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  • Writer's pictureDillan Taylor

30 life lessons on my 30th birthday

Updated: Mar 3

I turn 30 today.

I attempted suicide when I was 23. Since then, each year has been better than the last. I plan to keep that trajectory going.

Here are my 30 favorite lessons learned since my 29th birthday.


  1. There are people dumber, who have worse circumstances, and who are less ambitious than you…doing exactly what you want to do. They just put themselves out there more. They take more action.

  2. Pessimists get to be right; optimists get to be rich.
 — Shaan Puri

  3. If you’re not from an area, don’t worry about “looking like a tourist.” You are a tourist. It's not a crime. — Damon Dominique

  4. Right now, no one is thinking about you. Your career, your ideas, your decisions…No one is judging or calculating your life, only you are. Don’t make decisions based on people who aren’t thinking about you.

  5. Drinking and experimenting with drugs can be a worthwhile experience. But if you need a substance to enjoy a person, event, or habit…cut that thing out of your life.

  6. People want you to do well, just not better than them. The same folks who root for you on your way up will shit-talk you when you’re at the top.

  7. Strenuous exercise 3x/wk. Limit added sugar, empty carbs, & alcohol. 7-9 hours of sleep each night… Do these every week of your life and you will be in the top 1% of health.

  8. Things you don’t need to start a business: confidence, a business plan, vision. Things you actually need to start a business: a product/service, people to sell it to, a way to take payments.

  9. All tension in life comes from unmade decisions or unhand conversations. Figure out what you’re avoiding and do the thing.

  10. Set up regular scheduled calls with friends (e.g. every other Tuesday @ 8pm). It will keep you more connected and you won’t have to stress about staying in touch.

  11. There’s no good reason to consistently watch porn. It’s a corrupt industry that coerces young women into selling their bodies & souls. And watching it destroys self-esteem, motivation, and sexual performance. — Meghan Murphy

  12. You will be successful if you just show up on time and do the things you said you were gonna do.

  13. If you can afford it, prioritize getting a coach, therapist, or trainer. These will do so much more for you than new cars or clothing will.

  14. Ask yourself, “If I could fast-forward this moment, would I?” If so, you’re either not being present or you need to change your environment. — Ali Abdaal

  15. People feel empowered when they feel accountable to something. e.g. My girlfriend and I split house duties and I’m in charge of trash. I own it. It’s not just a chore, it’s a responsibility I can take pride in.

  16. Avoid statements like, “I’m this kind of person,” or “That’s just who I am.” It's not set in stone. You’re just avoiding the work of improvement.

  17. How to build an audience in 2 steps: 

    1. one by one

    2. don’t stop

  18. Confidence = having lots of stories that disprove your self-doubt. If you’re feeling unconfident, don’t try to hack your mindset. Just put in more time and effort and the confidence will come.

  19. If you’re talking to a man or woman who says the other sex is the enemy…run. — Konstantin Kisin

  20. Always stand your ground. Stand out. Don’t shy away from speaking common sense just because everyone else is afraid to. — Timothy Snyder

  21. Use the 2-for-1 rule to talk to anyone for hours:

    1. ask a question

    2. ask a follow-up question

    3. share an idea/story/opinion

  22. Don’t be fooled by Twitter, LinkedIn, & Instagram. We’re all confused, overwhelmed, and nervous about our futures. 

  23. 90% of podcasts never make it past episode 7. Of the ones that do, 90% of those never make it past 20. So uploading 21 episodes will put you in the top 1% of podcasters. It’s never been easier to crush it. — Chris Williamson

  24. The Corridor Theory: You never know what’s in the corridor until you step into it. You can’t know what you’ll be working on 3 years from now. Just keep working and it will naturally shape itself. — Marcus Jones

  25. The easiest way to focus for hours is to remove all distractions:

    1. phone off and in another room

    2. BlockSite - extension to…block sites

    3. noise canceling headphones

  26. Traveling the world doesn’t teach you how different everyone is. It shows you that we’re all pretty much the same. Everyone is…

    1. in traffic

    2. getting food

    3. raising families

  27. One of the most valuable and hard-to-replicate products is a strong community. Where members support one another, exchange valuable lessons, and collaborate. — Daniel Vassallo

  28. A free gift you can give in 5 minutes:

    1. write a list of ways someone helped you improve/change

    2. send it to them

    3. cry

  29. How to be comfortable talking to beautiful women: flirt with everybody. Talk to everyone regardless of sex, age, or occupation. Make them laugh. Ask them questions.  — Craig Ferguson

  30. I don't know exactly what will happen if you help 100 people for free this year. But I know very very good things will happen. If you're newer at a thing, you can't get "paid what you're worth." No one knows who you are so the demand for your work is low. Compensate that by doing lots of free work. Prioritize improvement and build your network. You will be rewarded tenfold if you can just hold off on gratification.

Email me and let me know what lands and what doesn't. Or send me hate mail on Twitter @dillanroytaylor.

See you next year.


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