If you’ve ever asked yourself the question “How can I start over in life at 30?” then you’re at the right place to get an answer. Please bear in mind, this is only one answer. But you can take this one answer and add it the other answers you find and hopefully come up with your own.
That’s what life is about, in the end. Coming up with our own answers on how to live.
I will be presenting some unconventional information about how to make choices. I’m going to show you how to use your heart to determine what you want in life and where you want to go.
You are not about to read a list of “solutions” you can apply to your life. No one can give you those. You have to come up with your own solutions.
What you will read is how you can come up with your own solutions. And you will rely on your heart’s intelligence to do so.
Your Mistakes Made You
I heard a valuable phrase related to mistakes a few years back. It went: “If you were to erase all the mistakes you’ve ever made you erase yourself.”
Mistakes are our best teachers. Despite what school tries to tell us about them, making mistakes, and experiencing their consequences, is the only way human beings can learn to make wise choices for themselves.
I’m writing this because, if you’re reading this article, you’ve probably accepted that you’ve made mistakes in your life. You’ve taken the time to reflect on the choices you’ve made up until now and are dismayed to realize that you’ve been operating on autopilot, ignorant to the painful reality you were setting yourself up for.
That’s a good thing. It might not seem like it now. You might be in the pit of despair as you look at the depth of the hole you’ve dug for yourself. But trust me when I say that realizing you’re actually in a hole is good.
Realizing it opens you to change.
What determines whether you climb out of the hole and embrace life in a new, wiser and fuller way, or you stay in the hole and become angry, bitter and isolated is your choice.
You get to choose. You’ve chosen to dig this hole for yourself. You can choose to make your way out of it.
So let’s talk about how to do that.
I Made Plenty Of Mistakes In My Twenties
You can read these articles if you want to learn the details about the triumphs and mistakes I made in my twenties. To summarize the first third; I got a university education, got good grades, made great friends and selected a “profitable” career path. During the second third I smoked too much weed, drank too much alcohol, made too many choices for others and not for myself and contributed to destroying a deep and loving romantic relationship.
By the time I woke up to the mistakes I had made I was 27. I had no idea what to do with my life professionally, romantically, socially or financially. I was emotionally and financially broken. Gratefully, I was in good health.
The final third of my twenties was spent redefining who I wanted to be and how I wanted to live. I embarked on a rigorous journey of self-discovery and self-education. It was the best decision I could have made. I was able to do this because I had (and still do) people who love me and support me when I fall. It was thanks to their emotional and financial support that I was able to dedicate myself fully to my new beginning. I am eternally grateful to these people for their support during all that.
So now to the steps you can take to start rebuilding your life at 30.
The First Step: Take Inventory
If you’ve reached a point where you feel you need to rebuild/rethink your life then it’s because your life isn’t heading in the direction you want it to in. Getting to this point is the first step in changing!
The second step is to realize what you want to change. This can be one thing or several. And only you can decide what it is you want to change. From my experience there are 5 areas which make up our lives. These areas are all interconnected, I’m just classifying them here to have something concrete to write about. The areas are:
- Work life
- Romantic life
- Relationships (family and friends)
- Living situation (where you’re living and with whom)
It’s up to you to look at your 5 areas and question what it is you want to change in them. Not only that, you also have to question why you made the choices you made in the first place. It’s not enough to know what you want to change. You also need to know what values you followed which led you to where you are.
Your values are your beliefs. And your choices are based on your beliefs. If you don’t dissect your values, then you will wind up making similar choices to the ones which brought you here.
Use Your Heart To Question
I wrote in the last section that you have to “question” what you want to change and why you want to change them. Here I will explain what I mean by questioning. I don’t mean use your mind to question.
I mean that you need to use your heart to question.
Ancient cultures knew that the heart was our center of emotional awareness. Most modern humans are ignorant about the emotional nature of the heart; we’re taught that it’s a pump, but it’s much more than just a pump.
It’s also our wisdom core.
The heart has intelligence of its own. Science is confirming this. The heart knows where you need to be, what you need to do and who you need to be with. All the answers you’re looking for are within you, in your heart.
I know this because this is where I found my answers. In fact, it was only once I stopped listening to the chatter of my mind and started listening to the wisdom of my heart that I started making the best choices for myself.
We can communicate with our heart. It takes practice, but it’s an ability every human has access to. Making decisions with our heart goes against everything our reason-infatuated civilization tells us: that to make important choices we need to use our heads and think about the pros and cons of a choice. That’s silly.
We don’t think about whether we love someone or not. We feel it. The same goes for when we want to marry someone. We don’t make a list of the pros and cons of marrying that person (I hope). We feel it, with our emotions.
Listening To Our Hearts Is How We Listen To Our Emotions
This is what Obi-Wan Kenobi refers to when he tells Luke: “Search your feelings.” Feelings aren’t something you think about. Feelings are something you feel. Most of us are so lost in our minds that we are unable to connect with our feelings.
That’s why so many of us make choices which lead us around in circles or cause us to stagnate. We are stuck in our minds! And the mind can only think in terms of problems and solutions!
But life isn’t a problem which requires a solution! So why are we listening to our minds to make all of our choices?
To live effectively, adventurously and true to ourselves we must live in our hearts. We must make choices while paying attention to our hearts. Only then will we escape the circular nature of our minds and step into the complex and harmonious nature of our hearts.
Read this article about meditation in order to learn how to step out of your mind., heart-opening
How To Listen To Your Heart
Heart intelligence is a fascinating subject. Consider this a super brief introduction. If you want to learn more about it, I recommend reading “The Lost Art Of Heart Navigation” by Jeff. D Nixa. It’s an amazing, heart-opening book.
Until we use our heart to make choices we will make choices which are less than ideal for us. We will encounter road blocks (put there by ourselves). We’ll self-sabotage and make life hard for ourselves and others. By making choices in ignorance of our heart we are working against our emotional grain.
Once we align with what our heart wants we unlock vast reserves of energy, courage and wisdom which we can wield to craft our life.
This doesn’t happen from one day to the next. But if you dedicate time and energy to building a relationship with your heart, you will find yourself making choices that serve you and those around you in the best way possible.
Basically, making choices with your heart means feeling your heart as you make a choice. Your heart is always sending you messages; chemically, electronically and mechanically. Listening to your heart means listening to these messages.
Like when we see someone we love after a long separation. Or when we hold someone’s hand whom we like. We feel a warmth/excitement in our heart. Or when we’re afraid and our heart is pounding.
But the heart doesn’t just send messages during intense emotional situations. It’s always doing so. Especially when we’re choosing what we want to do with our lives and whom we want to become.
Our heart knows where we belong. We just need to listen to it.
How To Build A Relationship With Your Heart
This is an exercise to tune in to your heart:
- Sit down in a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed for at least 5 minutes
- Close your eyes
- Breathe normally
- Focus your attention of your heart; try to feel its beat, to feel it moving within your chest. Feel it’s energy, it’s aliveness. That’s your emotional center! If this is the first time you ever do this you might not feel anything. Be patient.
That’s all there is to it.
Repeat this exercise a few times a day. If you’ve been ignoring your heart for most of your adult life (and most adults in the west have), then it will take time before you start feeling the connection. There is no easy fix.
But every time you tune in to your heart you will be building a relationship with it. You will be strengthening the nerve connections which allows you to feel deeply into your heart and hear its messages.
As an example, I’ve been doing this for almost three years now. I can feel my heart’s beat without closing my eyes, I can feel how it changes in response to my thoughts, I can feel how it responds when I consider a choice.
I only follow what my heart approves of. Most of the time, I’m not perfect. But mostly I follow the navigation of my heart. And it always steers me true.
It knows where I belong.
How To Ask A Question Of Your Heart
As you build a relationship with your heart you will also want to learn how to ask it questions. Like with feeling your heart, asking it questions takes practice. But it’s straightforward. There are two ways which I use.
The first is with writing. This one is easiest for a beginner, because writing is a concrete activity that stirs the heart up:
- Sit down and write about your life. Write about your joys and sorrows. And write about the options you have and the solutions you’re considering.
- While doing this, focus on your heart. It will be communicating with you. When your heart feels joy/warm, when you write about a person/solution, you can be sure that it’s for you. If your heart feels fear/cold when you consider something, you can be sure it’s warning you to try something different.
This is why journaling is such a powerful habit. It allows us to get in touch with our inside world.
The second option is to ask the question without writing anything down. It’s the same thing as with the writing, except you do it all in your mind’s eye, while feeling into your heart. This one is more challenging, because it all takes place within you, rather than on a page.
The Solutions The Heart Gives Us
The heart and the mind each have their own specialties. Our heart will always provide us with the best solution to our emotional questions. That’s what it’s good for! The mind is best for solving logical problems, like in math.
But our emotions aren’t logical. They can’t be arranged like the squares on a Rubix cube. So why would we use the mind to try to understand them?
The heart is our compass within complexity. You’re aware of how it’s impossible to comprehend all the ramifications one of our choices can have in the world because of how everything is connected in an infinite web of relationships? Well, the heart is capable of navigating that complexity. The mind isn’t.
And humans are complex beings! Every choice we make changes us and changes the world around us. The mind is totally incapable of handling that complexity. But the heart can handle it; complexity is its bread and butter.
One of the things I’ve learned from following my heart is that it will choose options which keep us close to the people we love and who love us. On top of that, the heart will also guide us to support those people.
See how it works? Choosing with the heart means choosing the best option for yourself and those around you. This leads to the best results. The heart handles complexity.
The Heart Teaches You To Rely On The People You Love
If you have people who love and support you that’s amazing. It’s one of the most valuable things you can have. I believe most people have someone who loves and supports them. The heart will tell you the following: support them!
Humans are at our best when we support each other. You might not be in the best of places, you may be emotionally and financially broken (like I was when I was 27) but that doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to the lives of the people around you.
What can you do to make the lives of the people around you better, right now?
Make them breakfast, clean their house, listen to their challenges; give them the support they need, that everyone needs, by being there for them. If you do this you will discover that you have a lot to offer and that will build your confidence.
You will be serving yourself as well as the whole. The more you support others, the more they support you! Together, humans are strong!
What If You’re The One Doing The Supporting?
Maybe you’re the one doing the supporting. Maybe you’re a single parent who is going through the collapse of everything you’ve built. Maybe everything has already collapsed and you’re just there, sitting amid the wreckage of what was. You might be close to breaking.
I’m not a parent, so I can’t speak for that experience. But I am a human being and I can say that when we have people to share the load with us, we are much better at coping. If you have loved ones; be they friends or family, talk to them.
Tell them about where you are and how you’re feeling. Many times we’re so afraid of being perceived as weak that we keep everything bottled in and refuse to ask for help. Then we stew, alone in our little worlds filled with problems and misery. This is especially true for men.
If you’re a supporter and you feel like you’re alone, the heart will probably guide you to showing vulnerability and requesting support from those you care about. That’s a good thing!
Humans want to support other humans. We want to feel needed. This whole idea of “Go at life alone. Figure it out alone, otherwise you’re weak.” is utter nonsense. Humans are social beings. We need others to be happy and healthy.
Showing Vulnerability Makes Us Strong
But showing vulnerability and admitting that we’re drowning is the first step in recruiting help from those we love. There’s nothing wrong with admitting we need help. Our ancestors evolved depending on each other, they survived because they relied on each other through thick and thin. We’re the same way, except that forests and Savannah has been traded for buildings and roadways.
If you live far away from people who love you and support you, you might want to consider moving close to them (that’s what my heart told me to do). We learn very little about the importance of strong relationships, but believe me when I tell you that they are central to our lives. We need strong relationships to be happy and healthy.
The world can be a tough place. We
need to rely on each other as much as we can to make it through! If you don’t seek help from those you love because you’re angry/upset at them, you need to consider swallowing your pride and rebuilding bridges.
Life is too short to hold grudges and keep anger and unforgiveness in our hearts. If you feel you’re alone and it’s your pride which is keeping you from seeking support, then you are only making things harder for yourself.
Other Strategies For You To Consider
Once you’ve started listening to your heart and making choices with it you might want to consider reading and applying these articles:
- Relax For The Win – Enjoy Life!
- The Morning Routine Of Champions
- Do What You Like Doing
- Unlock Your Creative Genius – 5 Habits
- What Is The Best Investment You Can Make?
If you’ve never taken the time to listen to your heart before, then that’s your first step (or training your mind through meditation). Make it into a habit. Take small steps, everyday!
The truth is, we can rebuild at 30. We can also rebuild at 40 and 50 and 60! But we have to start with small victories (Hint: make your bed every morning).
We can’t change everything from one day to the next. We need to take small steps. Taking small steps, consistently, will eventually lead us to a totally new and unexpected place. Currently, I’m living in Calgary, Canada! Two years ago I never would have predicted this.
But here I am, and I’m happy, healthy, I have strong friendships and I’m building a business I love.
If you do take on too much at once and fail (which will definitely happen, because we don’t understand our limits until we fail), then you can always get up and try again, adjusting accordingly.
The Important Thing Is To Start!
Start training your mind and connecting with your heart. Once you’ve got that down, start training your body. Then optimize your nutrition. Learn new things. Pursue your interests. Slowly things will start falling into place. You can rely on this website to help guide you. Send me an email or comment if you need support.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re all in this together!
To our wealth and success.