10 Wake-Up Calls on Your Way to 30

So recently I turned 30 this year and suffice to say, it has been one hell of a ride.

In between going through a death of a loved one (my dad died when I was only 20), failed relationships, finishing school and starting my own business, I've learnt a lot of life lessons which people don't normally talk about.

You could say these wake-up-calls in life have been rude awakenings, though they're contributed to my growth a lot.

We all grow up thinking life works a certain way, but usually, it doesn't.

Here are 10 Wake-Up-Calls in Life on My Way to 30.

1. Things can get very real.

After my dad died, it made me realize that life in all its glory and shortcomings are very real.

It is not often most people get to experience it though. The average person in life wakes up and reads about tragedy in the news only.

But I had to experience it.

Life is extremely unpredictable and things do get very real. We shouldn't take life for granted.

2. But that's not to say that we should lead a paranoid life.

The lesson here is that we should lead a life of no regret. You should go all out to do the things you want, so you can grow up, look back and never ask, "What if?"

It's really easy to say we want to do what we love in life though. What's harder is actually living it.

Be wary of the unpredictability of life, yet live it to the fullest. Nothing should hold you back, but always have the bigger picture in mind.

3. Some people are not what they seem.

We attach labels, and hence judgement on people. I believe all of us are guilty of doing so.

My first girlfriend was a church-going, hardcore Christian who didn't allow me to drink or party. Being young then, I assumed she was a very good girl sent from heaven who'd make me a better person.

She ended up taking advantage of me, manipulating me and cheating on me.

Indeed, some people are not what they seem.

Never attach labels on people based on what you see on the outside. We can never know someone perfectly, so don't be too surprised when someone acts out of the ordinary.

4. Love can hurt, a lot


First, it's easy to fall in "love", as we'd probably call it when we're able to hit it off with someone and get intimate for the first time. We start to experience these heightened emotions and think it's awesome.

  • But, they can come crashing down on you as things fall apart.
  • That is when the pain comes.

It can be very conflicting and bizarre even to think that the "love" you felt can bring so much pain, but that's just how it is.

My best advice? Breakups hurt, but you'll be fine. The next better one will definitely come along.

5. What you learn in school may not apply later on in life at all.

I've been blogging and writing for four years now, and I can say I learnt it all on my own.

Everything I studied in college does not help at all. I am not exaggerating.

It can be rather disillusioning considering we've been taught how important getting an education is. Count yourself lucky even, if you are not drowning in student-loan debt.

Indeed, life begins again once school is over. Take whatever comes after as a new challenge. Don't be too overwhelmed by life. Keep looking forward and don't hang on to the past i.e. your life in school.

You aren't a student anymore.

6. When someone appears too nice to you, it usually means they want something out of you.

I remember trying to connect with other fellow bloggers and feeling so beaten down when I realized how insincere some of them were.

One of them would say things like, "I don't usually do this for others, but for you I will", complete with a smiley face at the end.

I actually thought he was really nice, but alas, the sales pitch came in soon after. He wanted me to buy his coaching package.

It is a dark fact of life, especially in the working world. Be wary of such people. They're very good at manipulating others with mere words.

Message from Guided Mind: Be wary, but be confident in yourself and your abilities - our Confidence Meditation collections helps heaps!

7. Some friendships don't last forever.

Because people change. You change too in fact.

Be it your best friend from childhood or somebody you really clicked with in high school, the friendship may not last forever.

So don't get too upset when the fallout happens. It's only life.

8. Some people do not care for true love.

I don't know about you, but my generation is pretty sad today when it comes to love.

I know a ton of people who are constantly cheating on their partners, even the married ones.

It's sad, but love doesn't really come in black and white anymore. The grey area is pretty damn huge.

I say, focus on your own standard of love. Never give in to others' standard. Always keep your conscience clear and don't hurt others.

9. Passion doesn't solve all your problems.

You know how it is. People, the successful ones at that like to advocate the idea of having passion.

  • "You've to follow your heart."
  • "You've to chase your dreams."
  • "You've to have passion."

Passion is important, but it doesn't solve all your problems.

Hard work still matters and you're bound to face your own challenges. With that, you're bound to feel low from time to time.

Passion cannot solve your all your problems. It isn't the golden ticket to a happy life. Get passion, but remember to work hard.

10. Happiness is a choice.

Literally, all the things you think you need to be happy can never make you happy, at least not perfectly.

Money, girls, a nice car or even success itself can't make you happy perfectly, so don't be surprised to feel less-than-great when you actually get them.

Happiness is however, always a choice.

You've to choose it yourself, for you're 100% responsible for how you feel all the time.

So choose it. Make the positive choice for yourself. No one else can, but you.

Alden Tan is a writer and a breakdancer who blogs about honest and real stories. Check out his free book, 12 Things Happy People Don't Give A F**k About!