I hate new technology as much as you do (Read: I use it daily), but I am especially loath to admit to how much I love my Apple douche pods (See: those alien-looking white earplugs). But, who likes to admit embarrassing things about themselves?
That’s right, no one. It does, however, get easier, as we endure our Humbling 30s. Everyone’s Humbling 30s are different, but no one escapes alive, because they are our foray into the fruition of “The Error Of Our Ways.”
Like obesity, bankruptcy, and divorce, Most Hasty-20s decisions blossom in our third decade of decadence, and if we don’t stop there, we might end up in our I’m-Fucked 40s. Fear not; I have good news: We can learn from our mistakes, and change.
As I prepare to enter my second (and final) marriage (I’m calling my shot), I owe a lot to my self-prescribed behavioral modification; I see a strong corollary between less “Mike-oriented” decisions and more happiness and success—by all definitions.
So what changed? I did. Here are my favorite “hard-way” lessons from my 30s:
I often hear people say, that story you told me that one time, it stuck, and it ended up saving me a lot of trouble. Conversely, no one has ever said to me, “I’m glad you told me that thing two or more times—hearing it over and over again helped!”
When a problem feels so agonizing that I want fight for my life over it, that instant, it is often barely visible in the rearview mirror in days, and wasn’t worth mentioning.
Some people are better than others at lying; regardless, I’m a bad detective.
When I’m compelled to say, “I’m sure I remember this correctly,” I’m arguing about the past, which can never be changed. It’s like arguing with wrinkles about aging.
When people say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” they are wrong. You can make it drink, but that’s water boarding.
All play and no work feels like work, but all work and no play never feels like play.
For every one time that speaking up has helped me, there are 99 times when it hurt me, or worse, someone I loved. As an avid gambler, this one hurts my self-reflective pride the most, but it’s also the best lesson of my Humbling 30s. So what’s yours?