Skip links

10 Things to Do Before You’re 40 – Part 2

In conjunction with my previous two articles, the next or the last five the ten recommended ways to live our thrilling 30s are as follows:

  1. Learn to cope with life’s frustrations. When I was growing up, my dream was to be a doctor. Later, I dreamed of participating in politics. Working as a policy aide I soon realized that this path was not meant for me. So, I began exploring other things. In mid-30s, I discovered my true calling of fostering worked in consulting, started non-profit and for-profit businesses, served in the army and did many other things as well. Only in my mid-30s did I discover my true calling of fostering leadership development. So go with the flow, but do your best. You will get there eventually.
  1. Learn to think and thank. The words ‘think’ and ‘thank’ share the same etymological root. Those who pay attention to detail are more likely to express gratitude and appreciate life. Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General, would spend hours every week handwriting thank-you notes to his staff and visitors, a simple gesture that meant a lot to the recipients. I encourage you to write down five things that you are thankful for every day to generate optimism and a positive mindset.
  1. Find and enjoy one or two activities that keep you going. People often call me a Korean machine because of my strong work ethic. However, each morning I dedicate minimum an hour to play sports. Sports to me is not just a hobby; it is an outlet for letting out a negative energy and while getting rejuvenated. A Harvard professor once said that putting your brain to rest and your body in motion is a great way to fight burnout after working hard.
  1. Mentor or coach someone. Pass on your invaluable life lessons to others: your children, friends, and colleagues. Help them see and understand the real world we live in. Share tips, lessons and inspirations. It is important it is to responsibly take part in rallying and supporting one another to become responsible citizens of our world.
  1. Learn to network for success. I have always emphasized the importance of being connected in order to succeed in our times. Networking demonstrates not only how much you value your relationships with others, and how committed you are to expanding your professional network. So go on, reach out. You might discover new opportunities and even make lifelong friends!

Above all, we all should plan our lives well 30s well, so we not only achieve our life goals but also return back to our communities. Through the Center, I have been extremely privileged to take part in cultivating public, corporate, and community leaders across Asia. I challenge you to uncover your leadership potential and to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be through the programs we offer at our Center. 


Interested in bringing leadership programs to your organization? Visit our Adaptive Leadership Signature Program Page.

Receive thought-provoking articles and program announcements.