One of my favorite websites to read for inspiration is The Minimalists, run by two friends who had achieved everything they thought would make them happy by age 30: six-figure salaries, nice homes, cars, expensive clothing, etc. but even with all that, they didn’t feel fulfilled. So they gave it all up to live minimalist lives. You can read more about what that means to them on the “About” tab of their blog.
There’s a post of theirs in particular that I really like and that I think you guys will find relevant: 30 Life Lessons From 30 Years.
The most resonant lesson for me is:
5. Make change a must. For the longest time, I knew I wanted to change: unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled, I knew I didn’t have freedom—not real freedom. The problem was I knew this intellectually, but not emotionally: I didn’t have the feeling in my gut that things must change. I knew they should change, but the change wasn’t a must for me, and thus it didn’t happen. A decision is not a real decision until it is a must, until you feel it on your nerve-endings, until you are compelled to take action. Once your shoulds have turned into musts, then you are ready for change.
There were many years before graduate school when I knew I wanted to be a writer but I didn’t actually make the time to write. Eventually, it became MORE painful to NOT write than to actually sit down and write. And that is when I became a real writer.
How can you transform your ‘shoulds’ into ‘musts’? And if they’re too hard to make ‘musts,’ then perhaps you don’t want whatever it is badly enough and aren’t ready to prioritize that change.
I guess it’s also learning how to accelerate getting that feeling in your gut – learning to tap into your emotional drivers.
What big lessons did you learn by the time you reached 30?