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30 years and 30 lessons (part 3)

Click here for part 1 and part 2

Ok, so with only a day away from the day, here are the 10 final lessons that I learnt and would like to share with you. And in case you are concerned that like some others, the number 30 depresses me, then let me assure that it is not the case. Yes, I do wish I could be in my 20's a bit longer, but I see a lot of new opportunities for me to look forward to, and going after many life long dreams, which I believe I WILL achieve in the next decade! So, onto the final 10 lessons:

21) Do some athletic training or play some sport to stay connected with your youth- ok, so if you are  in your teens, then you might not get this one so much. But, if you are 25 or more, I strongly feel that playing some sport or engaging in any athletic activity that you took part in as a child is good for you even now. This could mean a weekly game of soccer with friends, a weekly martial arts of tennis class, sprinting, or anything else that fascinates you. These athletic activities outside the gym add a new dimension to your fitness, and gives you a nice growth hormone release. Plus it makes you feel young and in charge of your health.

22)  Mobility and flexibility work becomes more important as you age- many many many years ago, as a child, I remember I could put my toes in my mouth (just dont ask why). but that is no way possible now for me. Well, I am still flexible enough to be able to touch my toes with my hands, but many of my friends cant do that any longer. While mobility and flexibility work maybe painfully boring, I do realize that it is essential. And you can really become tight very soon even without realizing it. Thus, its a good habit to make time for mobility and flexibility work in your regimen from a very early age. Its just one of those things who's importance is only understood when it is lost, so dont wait to lose it. Spend about 10-15 minutes for mobility work in your warm up, and about 5-10 minutes for stretching in the end to maintain a good amount of movement ability. But if you are already very tight, then you will need to spend more time on mobility and flexibility drills.

23) Once in a while go off training altogether, and enjoy some downtime- as much as you may enjoy your training, and fear that not training for even one day will make you weak and unfit, it is actually better to schedule some off time once in a while. Most top athletes will take anywhere between 2-4 weeks off training in a year to be able to refresh themselves to come back and work harder. These lay offs often help to heal minor injuries that you probably dont even know about, and give your body a chance for complete recovery from the tough workouts that you do year long. If you are a beginner, then taking a week or two off once every 8-12 months is good enough, but if you are more advanced, then you may want to consider a week off every 3-6 months. And yes, do not confuse weeks off with deload weeks, where you do some lighter training, but still train.

24) Drink enough water- you hear it often, and probably you forget about it often too. With about 70% of the human body being made up of water, this is something that you cannot ignore. Make sure that you drink enough water throughout the day, and especially around and during training time.

25) Get enough sleep- yep, you know that you should be getting atleast 6-7 hours of sleep. But if Facebook, mindless TV shows, or anything else is letting you sleep less than 5 hours, then its time to cut out the crap, and focus on getting quality sleep. Sure, you will be going through periods where work will keep you up late at night, but let that be once in a while. For the rest of the year, try to get as close as possible to 7 hours or more of sleep each night.

26) Surround yourself with successful people if you want to be successful- its often said that you will always be an average of your top 5 friends. Not that I believe that completely, but I will agree that your success will depend a lot on what type of people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with successful people, then you will be motivated to do well, and will likely do well too. And lets not forget that knowing successful people also improves your networking and creates better chances for you to succeed. Also, it is important to cut out negative people from your life. People who are always complaining and think negatively will always make you avoid taking chances and not let you grow. So, choose who you mix with and avoid people who drain your motivation levels.

27) Cut out the negative influences/addictions in your life- just like people, even habits need to be positive in your life. If you have a habit that improves you, like exercising and eating healthy, then encourage it. But habits that reduce your productivity, creates constant distractions, etc, need to go. 

28) Set goals, and periodically evaluate them- I wish that I had set some real goals when I was younger. By real goals, I mean goals like "I will lose 30 pounds in 6 months", or "I will be coaching 10 personal training clients a week in 18 months from now", etc. Well defined goals are far better and are much more motivational than vague goals like "I will lose weight", " I want to be successful", etc. Set well defined goals, and evaluate them around the half way mark or whenever you feel appropriate. And if you need to modify the goal, or more importantly your method to achieve it, then do so.

29) Learn something new to keep your mind sharp- you maybe intelligent now, but dont take your mental sharpness for granted. Learning new things keeps our mind sharp, and when you stop learning new stuff, be ready to find your brain getting duller everyday. It could be anything new that you feel interested in, like learning a new language, new subject, etc. Just keep challenging your brain with new challenges so that it stays sharp.

30) And finally, age is just a number- yes, at the end of the day, age is just a number. I have seen people 10 years older than me who are in better shape, and similarly I have seen people 10 years younger to me who are in worse shape. You can be in your teens, and feel that life is over, or you can be in your 50's and feel that there is so much more for you to look forward to in life. Dont let age be the reason why you do not go after your dreams. Work hard, and you are likely to achieve most things in life, or atleast get pretty close to it. 

So, those were 30 valuable lessons that I have learned so far in life, and surely there will be many more for me to learn along the way. Remember, each day that you live, life gives you new opportunities, its important for you to grasp them and work hard to make the best of them.

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