How To Be a Thirty-Something Snob

A while back, I was talking to a friend, asking about his weekend.  He told me that is was only okay because his Dungeon Master was out of town and his Dungeons and Dragons game had been canceled, so he just played video games all day instead. I had to laugh. What kind of thirty-something would say this? But then I thought, ‘what am I doing that’s so much more “thirty” than him?’  What a snob!

 I feel bad that I judged him, like some sort of thirty-year-old elitist, just because I have a blog.  And now that I think of it, going grocery shopping and then picking up a furnace filter sounds a lot older than thirty, compared to having a laugh with a bunch of friends.

Strangely, I actually like grocery shopping. It’s fun to search for deals and it’s great to come home and see all the pretty produce in the fridge and imagining the meals I’ll make through the week. I love doing errands at Home Depot and coming home to write my blog. I don’t think I would enjoy Dungeons and Dragons on my Sunday afternoon.

I suppose I can say, “To each his own,” but I think it’s something more. I write all the time about the expectations we have and what society expects of thirty-somethings. It turns out, I’m just as bad and I have my own impressions that have led me to judge.

Of all people, I should have known better!

Being thirty is whatever you want it to be and, as I’ve learned, it’s also partly about fighting the expectations and stereotypes that people have of adulthood. Breaking these associations is important for everyone who thinks that turning thirty is a crisis. When we see that we can still play games and play house the way we have always wanted, we can see there’s nothing to fear.

I guess I’ll just chalk it up to experience points.

What Do Smoking and Meditation Have in Common?

I used to smoke. I really loved it, too. I started in my teens when my best friend and I would sneak cigarettes from her grandpa and we’d light ’em up in the forest near my house. Later, I got a little more sophisticated and bought them with a fake ID… and then smoked them in the forest near my house…

In my twenties my favourite time of day was my commute to work when I’d have my smoke with my coffee and crank the tunes. Utter bliss. I would think, how can something that feels and tastes so good be bad? Eventually though, I began to see the hypocrisy in my indignant attitude against those who didn’t recycle, and my littering of butts out my car window. Also, I started to feel pretty uncool – healthy and eco-friendly is the new hip, no? And since I had always been insatiably cool[ahem], this was just a no-brainer…

When I bought a new car I decided I wouldn’t smoke in it. Then, a few “social smoker” moments later and I had quit. It took time, of course, but I knew it was for the best.

The other day the topic came up in my class when a student came back from our break and I couldn’t help but ask him to find a seat at the back where I couldn’t smell him. They always say it’s the ex-smokers, more than the non-smokers, that are more intolerant of the smell, right?  Anyway, as he moved , a younger student couldn’t help but say, “You still smoke? My god, it’s 2015!

I died. Not only is this the first time this particular student has uttered more than one word, but she really hit the nail on the head!

It is 2015. With all the knowledge we have about lung cancer and emphysema it’s odd that so many don’t kick the habit. But that’s just it. It’s a habit!

From working in hypnosis I have seen how habits persist in spite of what our conscious mind knows is wrong. Habits control us from our subconscious which, unfortunately, is stronger than our conscious mind. This is why hypnosis is so helpful in breaking bad habits like smoking and other addictions. In hypnosis you “speak” to the subconscious mind directly to reprogram it and rid it of negative behaviours that your conscious mind can’t control.

Hypnosis can also help you adopt good behaviours like more confidence, better sleeping patterns or eating habits. Once you know what you want, your hypnotist gives your subconscious a little kickstart towards the good habits you know will improve your life, but maybe have a little trouble adopting.

Part of what I preach is that meditation can help so many facets of your life and can help you achieve success and abundance in your thirties. But so often people tell me that meditation is difficult to do or hard to find time for. I understand where they are coming from, but at the same time, I want to shout – “But it’s 2015!

There’s so much research telling us that meditation brings so many health benefits and feelings of happiness and bliss, I just can’t believe that not everyone is doing it.  Meditation is one of the first steps to finding clarity in your life. I can’t stress this enough. For all of you out there who have trouble with decisions or are still unsure of your life path, this is the answer! Meditation is easy to do in that you don’t need equipment, but it does take practice. You need to make it a habit and you’ll reap so many rewards.

Take it slow at the beginning, use some guided meditations. A great app is buddhify. It’s not free but well-worth it – I still use it all the time on my commute. Or, you can always grab my FREE gratitude meditation HERE which will help get you started. I challenge you to five minutes every day for a month (It takes about 28 days to make a habit).

It’s about time, don’t you think?

Let me know how it goes and please leave me a comment!

Reader Question: I Was Fearless In My Twenties – What Happened?!

I got an email last week from a reader who told me a story about how her twenties were so exciting and full of adventure, but her thirties have been rather ‘blah’ and difficult, and she can’t figure out why.

[She has allowed me to summarize her story here]:

“I was fearless in my twenties. I didn’t care what people thought and I felt like I could take on the world. I travelled alone, got jobs here and there and led kind of a crazy life. I can’t believe I had the balls to just ask for a job wherever I was – bars, resorts, even airports. Now I’m home and in my thirties and I can’t get work. I just can’t seem to gather that same courage I had before. I have a part-time job but I’m scared to ask for a raise and I’m scared to leave. I have a two-year-old daughter so I have to do better than this but I’m not even sure I know what I want to do, even if I could muster up the courage. Where did I lose my nerve? Why is it so hard?”

This is a question I’ve had for a while, myself. I too travelled and did some crazy stuff in my twenties. I got married at twenty-four for goodness sakes! What was I thinking?! Thank God it worked out, but it so easily could have gone terribly wrong. But at twenty-four I had confidence and bravery in bounds and really, really big plans.  What’s more is that all of the things I went after in my twenties worked out really well – marriage, job, university, living in Mexico. These were all dreams that I conceived, went for without hesitation, and they manifested quickly and rather easily. There wasn’t a lot of desperation or pleading with the universe back then.

Fast-forward to now and it’s the total opposite. Dreams and goals are often coloured by doubt, risk and insecurity. The things I really want now take a lot longer to appear, mostly, I think, because I have to spend more time pushing back all those negative ideas and negotiating with the Law of Attraction.

I don’t know for sure why it was easier to make things happen in our twenties than in our thirties, but I have a couple of theories.

It’s Hormonal

Teenagers are notorious for having those superman complexes. Well, who is to say that there’s a specific age that this ends? I’m only guessing when I say that somewhere in our late twenties this calms down, but it isn’t an exact science. Barbara Strauch, a psychologist and the author of, Primal Teen, says that it’s not that teens have less fear, they just see less options. The broader perspective comes with experience, I guess. And, at least from my experience, it looks like it takes all of your twenties to collect a good sample. Then we go about applying this knowledge in our thirties –  shooting ourselves in the foot by remembering all the bad things that can go wrong whenever we make big decisions. Great.

We’ve Seen Too Much

We’ve seen what happens in our twenties when we act reckless – “I’ll never drink again!”…(Maybe a bad example…)  Yet, it seems that maybe all of our negative experiences start to pile up and eventually make an impact.

Here’s a better, yet scary, example:

It was only on the plane to go work and live in Mexico when I was twenty-five that I realized that I might be walking into a kidnapping scheme. For the entire flight and the drive with the alleged ‘agents’ to my new apartment, I was concocting very real plans to escape into the Mexican desert. It wasn’t until I saw my roommate’s happy face that I relaxed and realized how careless I had been. I was so focused on getting a job in Mexico that I didn’t take the time to check out what I was really getting into. I don’t even think I Googled the school to see if it was legit. I was completely trusting of the agent on the phone and blinded by the excitement and thrill of realizing my dream.

Inevitably, our experiences in our twenties start to teach us to smarten up for our thirties. It’s maybe not such a bad thing all the time. We just have to try not to overdo it to the extent that it prevents us from trying new things or taking a calculated risk once and a while.

Our Dreams Are Bigger

In our twenties, we have a few main things on our minds: school, romance, finding a job after university and probably travel.

In our thirties, the dreams are a little more complicated. We’re looking for permanency in all those areas and more. Life isn’t a test run anymore so the stakes are higher but the rewards greater. These kinds of things aren’t as simple to manifest and they may take a little longer to arrive.

Also, it’s getting a little late in the game to start something new – not impossible, but a little more difficult. We have to be sure we like the job we’re in before we get in too deep and wake up one day really unhappy.

In our love life it’s the same. The people we were having fun with in our twenties may not be the same type of people we can stand to look at forever and build a life and a family with.

And, unlike in our twenties, we have more than just ourselves to look out for now. Children and spouses are mixed up in the choices we make. We have more responsibilities and we know that our decisions affect more than just Numero Uno.

Basically, there’s a lot more pressure to make good on our BIG choices because we’re not just thinking of our future as some far off fantasy – we’re in it! This is the place we’ve been working to be, so we know we have to be careful with our design.

So how do we get over it? How do we get our nerve back?

I think the first step is that we acknowledge that some worry over big decisions is healthy and can keep us out of the trouble we used to get into. Secondly, we can learn from our past achievements. I’ve been trying to channel my twentysomeone and get to the feelings I had when I was able to manifest my desires so quickly. There has to be something I did in a certain way that I can do again ( a great thing we could meditate on this week). I think this could be different for everyone but, we can all agree, we all have a lot of experience by now to draw upon, so let me know what you come up with!

Please, PLEASE, share your ideas and comments! I think we’ll all be looking at the comments for answers!

What’s Your Focus Now That You’re In Your Thirties? PLUS Survey Results

In the last few weeks I’ve been talking about the three magical ingredients for any type of success in your thirties – meditation, visualization, and gratitude. Each one is powerful on its own but they’re a superforce when teamed together. Think Batman and Superman alone, compared to when they’re with Justice League…You’re thirty, so I know that you know what I’m saying.

This powerful combination can be applied to so many areas of life that are out of balance or unfocused.  To find out more about the particular areas that the thirtysomeone is focused on, I put out a survey and got 126 responses. I asked some general questions about priorities and goals for the near future.  Eighty-two percent of those surveyed were in their thirties and mostly working women. [Thanks again to everyone who participated!].

One of the things I asked was, “What is your current focus?”                                                                                       [Options:  Family, Career, Having it All, Health, Sexual relationship and Other]

It was almost a tie with Family edging out Career, ever so slightly– just as I predicted – just as anyone could predict, I guess. Just think of the lifestyle a thirtysomeone leads:  Unlike in our twenties, parties aren’t to celebrate the sun going down anymore, but more of a luxury. And falling in love or finding a booty-call are great, but probably losing appeal as finding a partner to build a life with sounds a little cozier.                                                                                                   [Sexual Relationship was under 10% and there were some twentysomeones in the poll…]

As for our careers, we’re mostly out of the test-run phase.  Or, the big 3-0 birthday rings in and signals panic as we realize it’s one of the last chances we might have to change career paths before we get into something too deep and can’t crawl out of until we’re 65!

So, our sights are now on both Career and Family. My question now is, are we able to have both?

It’s no secret that family and career are huge priorities for everyone at almost every age, but I think the thirtysomeone needs to take charge of this. Even more than our twenties, it’s our thirties that are the true building phase that can become a foundation for the rest of our lives.  A lot of the decisions we make now are crucial to our future and even other people’s future (spouse, partner, kids, etc.) – a responsibility we are probably still just getting used to. I think this is the particular struggle that is what makes this decade stand out (and why I find it so fascinating). And the key to our success and happiness is in finding a way to balance our focus between all of our new responsibilities and our own goals.

I also think that finding this sooner, rather than later, is integral to our future success. How many times do we hear 40 year-old women who are burned out, loving their families but also wishing they had followed some of their dreams?

I can’t stress enough that meditation and visualizing and gratitude are great ways to center yourself and find balance between your busy life and your true priorities.  There’s no time to waste dreaming about how you’ll get to what’s important later on.  Personally, I want to know, without a doubt, where to focus my energy and time so I can make the most of them and make a proper go at having it all in my thirties.

What do you think?  Are you ready to give meditation a try?  Here’s the link again for my last gratitude meditation.

What do you think about the survey results? What’s your focus and how are you staying balanced?

I’d love to hear your comments!

And if you haven’t yet, check out my FREE gratitude meditation and watch for more FREE swag at facebook.com/beingthirties – I’d love your LIKES!