30 Principals That Got Me Through My Twenties

A mentor once told me, “Your twenties are for learning. Your thirties are for taking action.” It’s funny I remember that now, the day I turn 30 years old.

I’ve spent some time thinking about what it means to reach this age. So far, it’s been a humbling reminder of how long and short life really is. I’m lucky to have made it this far, yet there’s still so much ahead.

When we reach a “milestone birthday” there’s only so much time for reflection before we have to ask, “What do I want the next 5, 10, or even 30 years to look like?”

Throughout my twenties, I made it a habit to write down any quotes or pieces of advice I came across that seemed valuable. Going through those notes now, I’m shocked at how many great pieces of wisdom I’ve collected. Certain pieces I wrote down years ago, but am just now beginning to understand. There are others I wish someone had told me when I turned twenty.

One of my favorite books is Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. Besides its overwhelming amount of straightforward wisdom, I love the idea that the Emperor of Rome (the most powerful man on Earth back then) sat down each night and wrote advice to himself on how to be a good person.

I haven’t written my own book of Meditations, but I have kept my eyes and ears open to the advice of others. I’ve tried to apply the bits of wisdom I’ve collected, and now I want to share that collection with you.

As you read these lessons, it might feel like I’m preaching. But I can assure you that these are the concepts I need the most help with. Like Marcus Aurelius, I wrote these quotes down as reminders to myself.

Whatever age you are when this list finds you, I hope you find a piece of advice you can apply, or that you’re reminded of an old idea you’ve forgotten during your journey so far.

This year, I hope to not only remember these principles but to better apply them to my life. Because regardless of age, that’s what matters most: taking action.

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