30+ Era, what do you do to keep learning, growing, and developing as a person?


The Fallen
Nov 1, 2017
I'm turning 40 in a few weeks and have been spending a fair amount of time thinking about the kind of person I've become and the kind of person I'd like to be. Like most people (I think), there's definitely some misalignment between the two. My job requires a lot of learning and development, which I enjoy, but I haven't worked on that kind of stuff as much as I should in my personal life. I know some people who basically just go to work, come home and sit in front of the TV all night, and do the same thing again the next day. No judgment if that makes them happy, but it's not how I want to live my life (and I don't). I've been trying to learn Spanish, I frequently push myself to learn new things in the kitchen, and I try to do new and interesting things when the opportunity comes along, but I feel like I should be more proactive about it. I was curious what the older members of the board here do to keep growing as human beings.


The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
Read for pleasure, exercise for 30 minutes a day, try to remind myself that time on this earth is short and that I shouldn't use it for stuff that won't matter in weeks, months, or years.


Oct 25, 2017
Had some babies, that'll throw you into the fire of learning how to take care of another human being, that is enough for now :)

But before then, I don't know, I didn't think about it often. Do I think I could have learned Spanish instead of the 2000 hours I put into video games the past few years? Probably. Would I ever use it? Probably not. So why put the pressure on myself to "better" myself? My wife goes through spurts of self betterment often and never really follows through to see the end result and I feel like I'd end up on the same path. So with my limited free time I just use it as recharging the batteries and mentally taking a break via games/books/movies.

So what do I do then that I think keeps me fulfilled as a person (besides the kids now)? I make sure I travel both nationally and internationally to get out and see things. I make sure I hang out with friends via nights out, sports teams, (golf/basketball/softball), happy hours, etc. Those combined with my high-stress job and some smaller hobbies like reading behavioral (science/economics) books keep me pretty busy to the point where I don't feel like I'm "not doing anything with my life," and when I do have a night off its a sigh of relief.

Put it this way OP, when you are 80 and reflecting on your life, what will have been more important, that you were bi-lingual and were able to make a mean chili or that you had fun and enjoyed yourself? If those things are fun to you, do them, otherwise do what makes you happy.
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The Albatross

Oct 25, 2017
I've become a lot more willing to accept people for who they are, and I just try to have real empathy these days, instead of fake empathy. Fake empathy was the sort of empathy I had for most of my life, which was to say, I'd see someones problems through my own eyes, instead of trying to see it through their's. Or, I'd only empathize a problem that I could relate to. I might go through the motions of empathizing with someone, but it wouldn't be legitimate. I think I've successfully kind of kicked that habit. I'm too old to be petty, and too old to put up with someone who I know I don't want to be around and can control it. Just recently became a parent so that was the biggest learning experience for me, and still is every day, you re-learn the routine you've had over the last 15 years....... but now there's a little human who's dependent on you too.

For self improvement...

I've tried to develop a 15-foot jumper consistently. Still failing, but getting better.
I've always been an active learner around my job, so that's continuing
Give up social media and bull shit internet stuff. I don't need to share an opinion on everything anymore, the world doesn't need another opinion sharer (and I understand the dilemma of saying this while sharing an opinion on a website built around sharing opinions).

jon bones

Oct 25, 2017
I'll let you know when I figure it out, OP.

I'm in my mid30s, have a stressful career and a young child. I'm honestly in "make it work, keep it together" mode and not really focused on personal growth at the moment.
Oct 27, 2017
I learned how to fish so I could help my kid. Many new experiences I am having is to give my children skills/enjoyment that I didn’t readily have when I was a child.


Apr 8, 2018
I'll let you know when I figure it out, OP.

I'm in my mid30s, have a stressful career and a young child. I'm honestly in "make it work, keep it together" mode and not really focused on personal growth at the moment.
Yo, for real. 33 and I've got 3 kids. A 2 year old and two infants. I'm just trying to keep my shit together on the daily.

Kids are great, though. If I didn't have them I have zero idea what I'd even want to do with my life. It's incredibly fulfilling to raise a child.


Oct 26, 2017
I mostly read but I do spend about 8-10 hours a week on airplanes for my work so it gives me a LOT of down time.


Oct 27, 2017
I'm turning 28 soon, but I try to stay humble. Don't be a crotchety old fuck when some teenager who knows more than you is explaining something to you that they know better. Accept that your time is up and their time is now, John Cena. And be happy that you met someone from the future generation that seems to have their shit together better than you do.

But really. Stay humble. Don't be a shitty person.


Oct 27, 2017

As much as it's a source of misery and hate it's also an incredible well of knowledge and perspective.


Oct 26, 2017
I'm 2 months away from 37

I workout at least 5-6 times a week, that'll likely shorten to 2-3 as I get back into Jiu-Jitsu soon. I'll read, practice the guitar, practice archery, and take plenty of smaller day/weekend trips with my wife, and meditate. I'll also have some board game nights with friends. And of course, I'll play videogames after work to relax before my wife and I get into the regular routine of making dinner, doin' dishes, etc.

For me, I think it's important to have both a physical and a creative hobby. Especially if that hobby can take you outdoors (for me, that's archery). So there's always something to learn between martial arts, guitar, and archery.

All of them have helped me in some form or another. Jiu-Jitsu and meditation have helped me confront my anxiety and work to lessen it.
Oct 27, 2017
I went back to school and now I'm working on a masters degree.

Nothing like being surrounded by people 20 years younger who are more accomplished than you to push you into self-improvement.


Dec 23, 2017
READ.... there is so much knowledge and information out there. We live in the best times to educate yourself and research information.
Dec 11, 2017
36 here.

Mon through Wed I typically take 2-3 hours once I get home to continue whatever I'm learning on Coursera/Udemy, mess around with labs.

I'm also big into cooking - have been for a while - and normally make dinner 4+ times a week so that keeps me busy in the evenings too.

I do outdoor activities when I can on the weekends and go to the gym pretty much every day (twice a day Mon-Wed). Between that, chores, going out with friends and this girl I just started seeing, I feel like my schedule has enough going on that I'm developing but also having fun.
Oct 25, 2017
Just turned 33, and between getting married 3 years ago, finally hitting my stride in my career, and having my first child last year, I get plenty of learning and growth all over the place. So I'm content just engaging in my hobbies in my alone/free time. Thankfully I have a good mix of hobbies (video games, baseball, gardening, other outdoor stuff, occasional travel) while also keeping up on the news/politics through reading and listening to podcasts and trying to work out and eat healthy as much as possible.


Oct 25, 2017
Longwood, FL
I chose a major (electrical engineering) that would force me to keep current with technology and trends. I’m now a licensed PE specializing in healthcare. Learning new things is how I stay employed.

Having a family will keep you on your toes. Also prevents you from getting too comfortable.

Living in an area with a ton of activities to do is also healthy for development. I love living in Orlando partly for this reason


Oct 27, 2017
I read a good bit.

Recently I joined a Dungeons & Dragons weekly league. I hadn’t played in years, but my new neighbor found the group, so I thought it would be good to do to meet new people and relax a bit.

I try to take on household projects that I feel capable of handling. There is a YouTube video for everything, so if you have the tools, there is a lot you can do on your own.

I do try to hit the gym at least three times a week. Not only for physical development, but I definitely feel more mentally alert when I’m consistent with exercising.


Oct 27, 2017
I'm my case I spent close to 33 years in a cult so I'm now using my mid thirties to scratch some things off my bucket list and figure out who the hell I actually am and what my interests really are. Just trying stuff I never did before, doing new things socially and traveling. I still want to try volunteering and am trying to work on fitness. (Hard as hell.) Just keep trying new things and don't get stuck in a rut seem to be the important things.
Oct 30, 2017
Pushing 40 here as well.

I think it helps to enjoy learning things, which I do. Learning new things to make in the kitchen is fun because unless you're baking it's hard to completely screw up and so avoiding outright failure makes learning more enjoyable. I've also started to learn how to garden, though it can be an expensive hobby. There's something very fulfilling about getting your hands in the dirt.

I also meditate to try and better myself, though a lot of that is me trying to control my extreme anxiety rather than self-improvement.

I wish I had more patience to learn how to fix things, but a lot of things are things that I'm more likely to break than be able to fix because I have rather poor dexterity (I've been having trouble with putting together my compost bin, for instance, because of the need to use a hex key and wrench simultaneously)


Oct 29, 2017
I started to learn French in my free time. I've done a few six week courses and lots of self learning. Going to take my first exam in May.

Bad Advice

Jan 8, 2019
30 here -.- where did they time go..

Anyway I am starting to think I am not going to make it in my current engineering career until retirement. I am not happy here. Which is why I have started to learn coding, something I have always wanted to do. Of course learning via free online courses isn't going to help me start a career I am missing the valuable formal education and certificates. But even so somehow I am hoping it will help me land a job in the IT field. We'll see I guess.


Oct 25, 2017
I've devoted the last few years of my life writing a long story (I started the story back when I was 17 and did it on and off since then)
Since I turned 30 I have written 729,553 words towards that story and completed a 106,366 word side project.
I would like to do stuff like learn Japanese, or work on music or video game creation more, but alas even at the pace I'm going I doubt I will finish my story before I turn 40 so I just continue to focus on that.


Oct 25, 2017
I own a house, I pretty much had to learn to be a jack of all trades. I ain't paying someone else for a manual labor task I can figure out myself.
Oct 28, 2017
I'm 28 and haven't learned shit

Swinging my kettlebell, practicing guitar, and reading fantasy novels is all i have.


Oct 25, 2017
New Jersey
I am 28 but I push myself in a million different directions

I make music and release stuff and always have something going on in that sphere
I read a fuckton about politics and read a lot of political books
I try and watch about 50 new seasons of TV a year
I am trying to learn French just cuz
I work out about 5 times a week
I try to cook at least half the week
I have some book outlines I am slowly gestating on
I play video games here and there
I try to be social at least once a week
and I have a nice job and girlfriend

I have low self esteem so it's really easy for me to be motivated to better myself


Oct 27, 2017
Im 30 soonish. I have hobbies that teach me stuff, and I try my best at them.

I love jiu jitsu. Every week I learn something, its nit like just playing soccer with friends. I study and go through techniques and try to connect them to other moves I know in new ways. Really active on the mind.

I enjoy my dnd group. We are really playing for the creative outlet, so I figured out how to 3D print our minis and and some basic terrain features. It has also really helped me understand story structure and narrative storytelling from the point of view of the creator.

I also enjoy mixing drinks. Same thing, you can start making your own gins and start combining things you might think work. You learn, copy, adapt, expand etc.

My job is cutting edge technology stuff. So I force myself to take time and read about where the field is going. Study papers and go to conferences too. My girlfriend is also a scientist, and anytime she tells me something about her work I really put the effort to understand it. Sometimes i even need to actually go to whiteboard and spend like an hour trying to figure out some new biological process I never even knew existed.

Overall, curiosity and being engaged with what you do. Never do anything halfway, fully immerse to whatever you are interested in and really think about what stuff will feel like wasted time in retrospect.
I think about it a lot, but like others, I'm still in the 'have small children' survival phase. My second is almost 1.5 now, though, and I've started work again so I'm coming out of it, but if I have a 3rd I'll have to start all over again. I am working on several small personal projects, at least. And I've set reading goals. Maybe I'll get to refocus when I hit 40?


Oct 26, 2017
I play guitar. I'm also learning programming right now(hope to to land an entry level coding job someday). Would like to make a small game as a personal project. I also like to cook and would like to start reading a lot more, if I can find the time.


Oct 27, 2017
I'm 45, and I'm just happy to get out of bed in the morning without too much trouble TBH!.

I've developed an increased interest in science, astronomy, time and history, how the world and people work.

I combine this with travelling as much as possible, and visiting places that hit notes with the about (for example, we recently visted Netherlands and went to the eise eisinga planetarium, and I am going to Geneva to visit CERN very soon).

I feel that knowing more about life and the universe, plus travelling, gives me a more rounded view on things and makes me a more rounded person, plus it takes me out of the "ME" headspace that seems so prevalent these days, I prefer to think I revolve around the universe, rather than the universe revolving around me.


Oct 28, 2017
The person you are at 30 is pretty much who you are for the rest of your life
Nah. If you mean in terms of skills and abilities, then that's obviously false. If you mean in terms of personality then that's false too, albeit to a lesser extent. But people can and do change throughout their lives - although if you think you can't change then you certainly won't.
Oct 27, 2017
Nah. If you mean in terms of skills and abilities, then that's obviously false. If you mean in terms of personality then that's false too, albeit to a lesser extent. But people can and do change throughout their lives - although if you think you can't change then you certainly won't.
When you reach 40 you'll see that there's nothing really different to being 30.


Oct 28, 2017
You're a little old to be that thin skinned to find condescension in that. You must have seen some shit, or blossomed very late in life...
Nah, there was nothing thin-skinned about it - I wasn't offended :) It's just that it's very easy to dismiss someone else's opinion as them not having the experience to know what they're talking about, when in this particular case I was speaking from experience.

As to what changed for me, the big thing was having kids in my 30s. That made me less selfish, more patient, more empathetic, kinder, and taught me the value of both time and money in a way that I didn't appreciate beforehand. It also showed me that real happiness isn't what I thought it was and made me reassess what I wanted from my life. Parenthood doesn't have that effect on everyone, and many people have already figured most of this shit out well before they become parents, but it was transformative for me personally. Other stuff has happened and I've changed in other ways too, but that was the catalyst for really significant personal growth.


Nov 8, 2017
Developing my open source game (and game engine) in C++. 14 years and counting. It will all be worth it for the day I can finally release the finished product.


Oct 27, 2017
Dunno.. just keep curious and try to become good or better at the stuff you like to do. Be openminded and listen to people.
I also have a very curious kid and a curious girlfriend. Don't waste time on braindead people.


Deleted member 2321

User requested account closure
Oct 25, 2017
Got myself a kid. That´ll make you grow, learn and develop.

Bonus feature: it also slows things down.
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Oct 25, 2017
I read leadership books to better myself.

Accept feedback from people around you even if you don't like or agree with it. Our self-awareness is usually not good. We always believe otherwise.

Get a few people to be a mentor to you. Run decisions by them and get their opinions on how they would handle the same situation. Surround yourself with good people and you will be a better person


Oct 27, 2017
I've been watching a lot of Youtube videos about music theory and music production in the last year. A month or so before my 40th birthday, decades of musical writers block cleared. I'm legitimately excited to keep learning shit as I get older. Maybe I'll be a professional producer by 50? Who the hell knows?

You only stop growing if you want to stop growing.


Oct 30, 2017
pip pip cheerio fish & chips
- Don't be afraid to just do things as a one-off. Not everything had to be a commitment to a new routine. Maybe you'll just try a dance class or a oneshot dnd session or making a pie once or something. Sometimes things stick, sometimes things don't. It wasn't a waste if you still learned a little something.

- Take the time to clear obstacles towards doing things and ask others to adjust as well. eg: If i want to get into cooking, maybe I need to get into a routine of keeping it tidy and inviting. If I want to get into reading, maybe make sure I have a nice comfy chair that everyone's agreed not to throw their laundry all over. etc.

- find friends interested in similar stuff and make eachother challenges. This weekend we HAVE to both draw 5 pictures! Whoever makes it to 10,000 steps gets to pick where we go for dinner!

- Don't be that person who always says yes to everything, and habitually cancels last minute. Just be honest and realistic with yourself if you want to do something or not and mentally commit to it. If your (perceived) priorities don't appease other people um... too bad?

- Keep a calendar and/or to-do list so u can actually remember all that shit you said you were gonna do. If you have to keep reminding yourself of it in the meantime, it can create unnecessary anxiety that puts you off actually doing the things.

- If you have kids and a job, be forgiving to yourself, you're already doing a LOT.

- podcasts at work, baby!