20 Lessons on my 30th Birthday

by bxrtley

My 30th milestone was filled with love from a few friends, a questionable bottle of white wine and a sappy toast. It was celebratory, but selective and simple. It suggests how I might live the next 10 years. An unsophisticated, yet content lifestyle. The day before, however, was not so celebratory. It was a sobering inauguration of lessons I’d be learning for the rest of my life. Everything I needed to shape my character was presented in succesive events and specific examples-all in one day. They are undeniable truths of what I must to work on, build up, tear down and fully adopt:

  1. Being patient.
  2. Being humble.
  3. Being a servant.
  4. Being selective in friendships.
  5. Being over the past.
  6. Being optimistic.
  7. Being kind.
  8. Being more trusting and trustworthy.
  9. Being a better steward of finances.
  10. Being a risk-taker.
  11. Being more balanced between seeking help and helping myself.
  12. Being more balanced with sharing personal info.
  13. Being consistently connected to God.
  14. Being productive at all costs.
  15. Being still in all uncertainty.
  16. Being secure as a man.
  17. Being family-oriented.
  18. Being sacrificial.
  19. Being a better listener.
  20. Being more supportive to friends in need.

The most important thing I’ve learned on the day before my birthday is that generosity, simplicity and intuitive risks will take me much further in life than any hard skill set. I can market, code or network my way to the top, but it requires me to use people as the rungs of a capitalistic ladder. Being magnanimous, an effective proprietor of the little bit of resources I do have, and a gut-following risk-taker (especially when it comees to investing in other people), places me as the rung or platform for others to better position themelves to a higher plane of existence.

Ten years ago I said I would change the world by the time the big 3-0 hit. I think what’s really changed is me. My world. And there’s still more change to do and to become. So I’m raising my glass of transparency and toasting to the opening pages of Chapter Four living. Here’s to being thirty.