30 Harsh Truths About Life I Learned Until Age 30

I’m 30 now and have been so for over 6 months. It is not as bad as they say. I was scared as hell to change the twos for the threes but in all honesty, life at 30 is good. I’m a bit more mature and, although I’m still way before any signs of adulthood, I’m making progress. And since I’m 30, I’m qualified to tell you the truth. Here are 30 harsh realities, some great, some disastrous, people learn before, during and after reaching this milestone.

You Can’t And Shouldn’t Try To Fix Anyone – You’re not Jesus Christ, so stop trying to fix people. The only people who can get fixed are the ones who can say “I have a problem”. And the only people who can fix those people? Also themselves.

Whoever Wants You Will Stick Around – I’ve been through about 6 breakups so far in my life, and all of them have been rough. There’s no easy breakup. Yet I’ve also been through many relationships, be they friendly or a bit more, which have been great and are still so. The people who want to stick around, they’ll do just that. They will stick around. Cherish those people.

Learn To Say “Fuck You!” – This is because just saying “no” is not going to cut it with some people. In fact, with most people! They always try their hand one more time, because maybe this time… but no. When the time comes, tell them to fuck off. Because there’s no reason someone who did you wrong is going to be all right and peachy now that you’ve finally given them another chance.

You Will Meet People In The Least Expected Places – I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the greatest people not in meetings, during business hours, at the restaurant or the club, in the theatre or at parties but in the most unexpected places. In the middle of the rush hour down in the London underground. At a plane wreck in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. At a souvenir shop in a resort at the Red Sea. People who’ve made me a better person. Awesome humans.

Pursuing Your Dream Is Hard – My dream is to write a book and travel the world. I’m doing both of them at the moment, and they’re hard. It’s not enough just to dream about it. You have to be about it. Stop talking about it, do it. Become it. If your dream is X, then X becomes the main focus of your life. EVERYTHING else comes second. You become X, and solve the equation.

Meet As Many People As You Can – It’s futile to tell you that the more people you meet, the better your chances of making great memories in life. Get out there and meet people. It’s cool.

Suffering Is A Means For Growth – I’ve been through many messed up situations and disasters in my day. All of them sucked. Yet suffering is only going to make you stronger. I know it sounds like a cliche, I know. But the second time around, suffering teaches you what to do and how to respond to a said situation. Growth looks like pain, crying, and mental breakdowns.

Love Is Not What It Seems – I’m not going to say there is no love out there. Because there is. And I felt it for a few times. A curse. But love is not something that will solve all of your issues. Love means acceptance. Letting them be who they are. Love starts with you, and then moves to others.

Accepting Failure Is Easy – Being a drama queen about a done deal is stupid. Futile. Why? You failed. So what? Millions have failed today. If all of them would start crying, we’d have a massive flood.

The More Things You Own… – … the more they will own you. 

Relationships Must Be Chosen Wisely – It is MUCH better to be alone than with someone who’s not the right company for you. Don’t rush it, no matter how difficult it may be to do so. If it’s meant to be, you can dig a hole in the ground and hide there and it will still happen. If it’s not, you can get together, have three kids, buy a house and a dog and it will still fall apart like dust.

You And Nobody Else Is Perfect – If you’ve put yourself on top of a pedestal, take yourself down. You look silly up there. You are far away from perfect. And if you’ve put a girl or a boy up there, stop it before they take advantage of your foolishness. They are not perfect, not in a million years. There’s no perfect human being. There’s just accepting them for who they are.

Success Is An Illusion – It means something else for everybody. What you see on Instagram is not your success. You see it as success but it is just lust. My success is publishing a book, owning a cabin, and travelling around the globe. I don’t need millions for that. I need to work until I can afford those things, not a day more.

Exercise Is Crucial – After a certain age, your body begins to fail you. Even at 30, I can feel this more and more. It’s not bad but it does make itself noticeable, more and more. Exercise helps me keep my body as powerful as it can be. Discipline is keeping me motivated, creative, and sane. Go to the gym. Ride your bike. Lift those weights. Take a pause when you need to. And then trick your own body by going back, when your brain thought it fooled you.

Mental Health Is Greatly Important – You can always replace a tooth with an implant, although that’s painful and very expensive. Yet you can’t replace your brain. Protect your mind like it’s the Holly Grail. No other part of your body deserves more care than your mind. Trust me!

To Travel Is To Live – Not just for me as an addict. For everyone. Going out there to see, taste, smell, touch and feel other countries and cultures is one of the best things you can do with your very limited time here on earth.

Never Settle For Less – If you’re planning on doing something, don’t settle for half measures. If you’re in it, be in it for the win. Why waste your time doing things only 50% of a thing? 

The Power Of God Is Under A Waterfall – You don’t have to be a believer to feel God. Just stand under a 60-meter waterfall in Iceland for 10 seconds. Then you will believe.

Obsessive Thoughts Mean Something – We all get those nagging thoughts from time to time about this and that. No matter what we do, they don’t want to leave our minds. And we begin to think we’re on the verge of madness. These thoughts tell a story, even though they do it in a very unpleasant way. Listen to the story behind the words. See what’s to deal with in there.

There Is No Loch Ness Monster – Yet the loch is worth a visit.

Americans Make The Best Cheeseburger – Shake Shake trumps Five Guys and, in fact, every other burger I’ve ever had in my entire life. Especially served with a view of Times Square.

Eating Well Is Fuc*ing Important – To me, food is a great part of life. One of the greatest things you can do. Not just stuffing your face, no. Going out into the world and trying all sorts of flavours and combinations. Skewered meats in Istanbul. Meatballs in Stockholm. Burgers in New York. Tajine in Marrakech. Falafel in Cairo. Indian food in London. I’m hungry as hell right now.

Taking Risks Is Healthy – What’s life without a little fun? A little nonsense now and then must be enjoyed even by the wisest men.

The Choices You Make In The Morning Are Shaping Your Life – It’s either you’re going to have a great day or a bad day. It’s a choice, not a chance. And you decide on it, every morning that you wake up. No, I’m not just saying the same things as those “motivational” videos on the web. This is tested and confirmed after 30 years of application. Try it!

Everyone Makes Mistakes – Sacrifice is not right but forgiveness is. Every one of us has done wrong to someone else. At least once. You and me, we’re the same in that regard and in that we will both be dead in a few decades. It is what it is. Mistakes can be forgiven, although never forgotten. Forgive them. It’s been their wrongdoing and has nothing to do with you. It’s fine. That’s done and away.

New York is THE city – I’ve been to over 30 countries and 50 cities and… you get the jist. There is no place like New York City. 50 Cent puts it right when he says “You ain’t been nowhere if you ain’t been there.” My main man knows!

You Only Have 2-3 Friends – They say there is no miracle in making 1000 friends but in making one friend that will be there for you when 1000 others are against you. 

Work Is A Tool, Not Your Life – Regardless if you’re a boss, a freelancer, or a mere employee, when that clock hits 5 PM you better turn off those computers and phones and enjoy the real life out there.

A Smile Doesn’t Mean Happiness – People often smile not because they’re happy. They smile because they are strong enough to look past their struggles and shortcomings. It is their choice to smile rather than cry, even though there’s little difference between the two expression choices. Smiling means you’re powerful enough to face your demons, and that’s sometimes enough.

Nobody Really Cares About You – This is both a source of happiness and misery for people. Unfortunately, most people find it aggravating that nobody actually cares about what they do with their lives. Yet the smarter ones find it liberating. Freeing. Nobody really cares, so you can actually do what you want. Dream big. Break the norms. Be yourself.

Enjoy life.

Gabriel Iosa



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