December 31, 2014

Good Things about Turning Into 30


This year August I turned into 30, I wasn’t happy at all. In fact I was quite desperate. I felt I accomplished nothing, far away from who I expected to be. Now 4 months later, I finally managed to see the bright side, accepted myself and got physical and mental positive changes in life.

Gap Between Dreams and Realities

Turning into 30 is quite a big thing in China. There is a saying “三十而立”, directly translated to “a man should be independent [steadfast] at the age of 30”, nowadays it’s interpreted as financially independent, emotionally mature, have a good family to take care of. I was born and raised in that culture and unavoidably affected by it. When I was in high school, I dreamed about the day when I’m 30 I’d be mature for sure like a real adult, disciplined and principled, knowing everything about life, handle any tough situations well, have a lovely wife, a happy family, maybe even with 2 children, a boy and a girl, and doing my best job to protect them. Sadly none of these happened.

Goals are dreams with deadlines. Even though I had been working hard these years, but I didn’t make it like a real goal with concrete steps to make it happen. That explains why I ended up like this.

I didn’t celebrate that day, I wanted to write a post but couldn’t finish it because of the dark energy. Part of me was still refusing to accept the fact that I’m 30, I felt not young anymore.

Everything Has To Become Worse Before It’s Getting Better

So what would you do if you’re not happy about the situation? You simply change it. One thing I know for sure that if I take the action it would definitely make a positive impact but I’ve never done it yet, is exercise.

Unlike early 20s when I could play intense games 12 hours straight overnight then still manage to finish a whole day lesson in college, nowadays even 1 hour Starcraft II game would make me feel exhausted. Sleeping 7-8 hours is supposed to be enough but I still have to drag myself out of bed each day. I know there must be so many rooms for improvement.

I’ve read it many times in different places that exercise regularly will generate more energy and boost your creativity. Understand it is one thing, but taking actions is another thing. This time I showed no mercy to myself. I went to the gym near my place, asked the staff to give me a tour and immediately signed the paper for the membership. They was suggesting there’s a program will be available soon that I could use a coupon to join with relatively cheaper price, only thing I have to do is wait for it, but I turned it down said I want to do it now, today, I commit to do it, don’t wanna give myself any other chance to make any excuses. I know taking the actions now is way more valuable than the extra percentage of the price for me.

My goal is not getting big muscles to make myself looking better to attract any females, I want to regain control of my life, to know that I’m capable of improving myself, to have more energies to accomplish the essential things in the future. I have the clarity, I’m absolutely sure about the direction, everything else just naturally happened without any resistance. It was as simple as that.

I am planning to write another post about my routines about going to the gym and some extra benefits.

Keep The Ball Rolling

Another side effect of having physical exercise is paying more attention to health. I became more conscious about what and when to eat, not like before I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted without limitation. Have vegetables regularly, try to have dinner at least 3 hours before sleep, push dishes away even though there’s some left if I know it’s enough already, etc. I’m still have little knowledge in this area so I’m also gonna take a cooking lesson to learn more systemically.

Also found myself have more time to read books. Reading is such an effective way to learn great thoughts from great people, *asynchronously*. It allows me to constantly revisit my past and recognize which part could have been done differently to have better result. One great thing for getting older is that you could find so many references from your past when reading, to fully explore the idea in your context, in your real experience.

By reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” I realized I had been living with impulse not correct principles, and that was why I was so weak to temptations, made several bad decisions and hurt the people around me. I followed the suggestions from the book and got my first draft of personal mission statement done. Whenever I have to make tough decisions it’s the reference for me to look up, who I want to be, who should I put first, what’s my responsibility. Decisions are never easy, but having correct principles guide me, it makes me look from the big picture, be more determined to my choice and commit to the result no matter it turns out good or bad at that time.

Willing to Think About Life Plan

I was never a fan of making long term plan. Even just think about it made me headache. “I just want to enjoy everyday and forget those complex things”, I said to myself.

But now I’m really willing to take the challenge. I know I actually like to plan things, like for a trip, for Christmas, even plans in games. What stopped me from planning my life, was the fear of the future. Family issues, relationship issues, unresolved conflicts, fear of the unknown… Made me feel stressed and overwhelming, so I ran away, used “just enjoy everyday” as the excuse.

Every family has a issue, so does relationship. You can’t run forever. I started to explore the options and possibilities, it wasn’t as hard as I expected. I could still breathe, it didn’t kill me. Be proactive, take the initiative also applies here. It has to be me to handle these things.

At Last

None of these changes require you to physically be the age of 30, but I surrendered to the fear of the future before and was unable to see things clearly, unwilling to deal with them, until now. For what it’s worth, I’m glad I overcame all the internal struggles, it’s never too late to make a meaningful life.

I’ll end with some of my favorite quotes:

Life is a gift, go make it count. - Michael Hyatt

The only true security in life comes from knowing that every single day you are improving yourself in some way, that you are increasing the caliber of who you are and that you are valuable to your company, your friends, and your family. - Anthony Robbins

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Qihuan Piao

Qihuan Piao

(aka kinopyo) is Chinese based in Tokyo. Software writer. He shares stories inspired him in this blog. His infamous line - "I feel calm when I kill those monsters, or people (in game)" shocks his friends deeply.

He also writes in Japanese and Chinese.