When I turned 30 last week, I thought I would sit down and write some profound post on the matter — or at least try to. But it didn’t happen. The truth is that I just don’t have much to say. Everyone asks me how it feels to enter a new decade, but I really don’t feel any different at all. I remember turning 20. I feel the exact same.
That’s good, I suppose. Hopefully turning 40 will feel the same as well. Obviously, I’m different than I was 10 years ago, but living with myself on a daily basis, it’s hard to perceive that. I just know how I feel. The same.
But the truth is that the milestone did matter to me somewhat. For example, I wanted to figure out my next career move before I hit 30. I did, just in time. It just seemed like a good transition point, even though it doesn’t actually mean much. 30 trips around the Sun.
And while I don’t feel any different, I also must admit that some little things are a bit odd. For example, watching sports and noticing that the majority of the star players are younger than you. That’s an awkward feeling — not necessarily because they’re more successful at a younger age, but because you know that you’ll never be able to be successful in such a way. It’s off the table (even if it was never really on the table to begin with). I watch them and I still have a hard time believing they’re younger than me.
In the tech world, it’s similar in a way. You see so many entrepreneurs in their early 20s or even younger. And you read story after story about how most will do great things before they’re 30. Your heart sinks a bit. Maybe you’ve done great things, but just the notion that you might not be able to do anything great from here on out is truly terrifying.
Luckily, unlike in sports, we have plenty of counter examples. In fact, many people in the tech space seem to get better with age because knowledge is such a key asset. Unlike physical ability, it tends to get better over time.
Sure, Steve Jobs was 21 when the Apple I was unveiled. And yes, he was 28 when the Mac was unveiled. But he was 46 when the iPod was unveiled. He was 51 when the iPhone was unveiled. And he was 54 when the iPad was unveiled.
I’m going to keep my goals for my thirties simple — correcting some wrongs of my twenties:
- Be healthier
- Spend money on experiences, not stuff
- Stay focused and organized each day
I state these more to pressure myself into sticking with them. And the beginning of a new decade does seem like a nice, clean starting point — even if I don’t actually feel any different.