Tips For My 30 Year Old Self
November 18, 2015
Whassup, dipshit, how is 2002 treating you?!?
Don’t worry, I’m kidding, people don’t actually use the term ‘Whassup’ anymore.
In fact, by the time you catch up to me, and reach the much more competent 40’s, you won’t have the foggiest notion what cool things younger people ARE saying these days. They will have no idea what you meant by the term ‘foggiest notion’, by the way, and will probably think you are trying to make some misplaced Harry Potter reference. The young’ins will call that a ‘Fail’.
But, if we are being really honest with myself, you ARE a bit of a dipshit compared to me. It’s not really fair, after all, because I have the benefit of knowing the outcomes, of all your current habits and bad decisions.
Being more than 10 years ahead of myself, I can safely say that at certain points in our life, we didn’t have a fucking clue as to what we were doing.
So to improve us both, and for the sake of our future self, I decided to jot down a few pointers, to help us out, along the way.
Besides, it is important every now and again, to not only think about the things that are important to us, but to also look at them in a different way.
Go to exotic locations, and see as much of the world as you can. Never vacation in the same place twice, unless there is some special significance to the destination. Try to learn as much about the people and their culture, as you can. When you eventually do come back home, realize that your everyday life can also be an adventure. Borrow from what you have learned, from visiting other people’s homes. Then act like a traveller, all the time. Talk to people that you may not normally talk to, on your daily route. Take a strange way, to a familiar location. Be curious about your own neighborhood. Get to know the closest landmarks, and locals, more intimately.
Try to avoid the internet in general. It is addictive, and will slowly start to control you. More and more of your time will be spent deleting shit off of your email. Social Media will soon have you checking for Likes on your latest posts, like teenagers check for pimples on prom night. Never update your Apple software, unless you are forced to. Make sure you get Antivirus protection, and always resave on an external hard drive (you fucking idiot). Limit your subscriptions to email junk sites, because as I said before, you currently spend half of your fucking free time deleting useless shit. Stop filling up CDs and DVDs with movies and songs that you are never going to listen to. People stream everything now, so save your time and money for the Cloud.
Read more books, for sure. But also read the newspaper, and try to stay at least vaguely informed, about what is going on in your city, country and world. Read blogs, and other sources besides mainstream media. Read people’s eyes. Read people’s faces. Read into things at times, and be kindly curious about things that matter to other people. Read between the lines. Don’t read other people’s email.
Leave earlier for work, so you don’t feel so stressed before you even start with the really tedious shit. Pack your lunch and gym bag the night before. You absolutely hate scrambling around, in that decaffeinated zombie state in the morning, trying to sort your luggage, for the daily commute to work. And then you try to make up the time, by driving a bit faster, and becoming that jerk you fucking hate. The same one that cuts you off, on the way home.
Stop watching TV, unless you have already done a bunch of important or self improving shit that day. If you did at least one thing in your day that was really meaningful, or something that brought you closer to one of your goals, your brain deserves some candy. Binge-watch The Bachelor, to your heart’s content.
Value the location, and amount, of your current hair. Use a hydrating soap if you are not into lotions. Buy a big bag of those mini floss things, and put a bunch in our car. You can floss while you drive, which should prevent speeding or texting. Red wine now has the ability to either soothe any problems away, or cause crushing hangover-migraines. Put on sunscreen. Better yet, bring a hat, wear sunglasses, and try to find some shade. Actually, screw that, just stay inside, Melanoma is a killer. Take care of your back, and watch your posture. Look at the way you are hunched over, even reading this right now!
Eat way more fruits and vegetables. If you find it tricky, cook them on the barbecue, as that always makes them taste better. Any fruit or vegetable that is super colorful, is really healthy for you. This advice does not apply to mushrooms, frogs or snakes. Try to eat less meat. I know it tastes delicious, but try to remember that the delicious cow, chicken, or pig, you recently consumed, likely had a pretty miserable life.
Try to light a candle once in a while at dinner, even if there is no special occasion. It reminds you that inside each moment between you, regardless of the date, is the entirety of the love that you have invested in each other. If you become a parent, put the moves on your partner at least once a week, to make sure things don’t feel awkward.
Realize, at least once a day, that you and the people that you love, are going to die. You can keep this secret to yourself, throughout your day, and feel its effects make you appreciate others. Use your mortality as a way to value your time intensely, as well as serving to ground you. If you have trouble appreciating this present moment, centre yourself through your breathing, as it connects mind with body.
Exercise more. I know, it sounds hard, but just realize that you are going to live until at least 70, barring bad luck or tragedy. You need to continually maintain your muscles and flexibility, to maximize your ability to do the normal things your life demands. Just get it over with in the morning, and you will enjoy life in almost every way much more. Sleeping, eating, mood, anxiety, and sex are all helped by exercise, not to mention weight, blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. What else is left?
Try to turn your education, or job, into your passion, or something you love. You will spend a vast majority of your life doing it, so since you have to do it anyways, this just makes sense. Be micro-ambitious from moment to moment, and extract as much good out of everything you do. No matter how little you think other people notice.
Find and keep the important people in your life. They are like chess pieces, each with different values, angles, and moves. Learn which ones you can trust the most, learn how to love them all in some way. The people you should stay the closest to, are the ones that make you the happiest, or give you the most free stuff. If they have a kick ass cottage, that is definitely a bonus.
Take More Risks
Try stuff, even though you think it is hard, or don’t think you are very good at it. Humans are natural learners, and unconsciously recognize patterns and acquire skills, just by repetition. Who knows what other hidden talents lay untapped, just because you didn’t try something for longer than 20 minutes. There are likely many amazing things that go undiscovered, inside each one of us.
Some other people, who don’t want kids, shouldn’t have them. And until you want kids, use protection, as missed periods are always life’s worst punctuations. But these notes are for you. You should have kids, because you will be great at it.
Be A Better Person
Slow way down if you think there is wildlife around. Go for more walks with friends in nature, and talk about what it means to be alive. Replace coffee with water, very slowly, but watch out for the headaches. If you get one of those, it’s okay to cheat a little, and head to Starbucks. Look people in the eye and smile at them. Give the occasional person a wave, or the ole ‘how do you do?’ Open a door for several strangers in a row. Offer to push someone else’s elevator floor. Let more people in as soon as they signal. Nod to the people jogging by, or who drive the same type of car as you do, just for the hell of it. Realize that we are all in this together, and always combat violence and hate with love and compassion. Be the Dalai Lama.
Simon Trepel, MD
Simon Trepel, MD FRCPC, is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, in Winnipeg, Canada. He is an Assistant Professor, at the University Of Manitoba, in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Co-founder of the GDAAY Clinic. He is, more importantly, the proud Father of 2 beautiful Daughters. He writes in his spare time about things he knows something about, and occasionally about things he doesn’t; like Yoga, and Italian flavored coffees. He hopes you appreciate his subjective advice.
Check out his Blog, called Simon Says Psych Stuff, at