30 life lessons I learned before my 30s

By Zahra | When I was an early teen, the internet was still up and coming in the Netherlands. One of the first things I did on the world wide web though was look up Muhammad Ali’s address. I did a book presentation on the Greatest boxer’s biography and decided I wanted to write him a letter.

Not long after I did, I received mail back from the States. A signed card from the legend himself with a wise quote on it. I didn’t completely grasp the meaning of those words yet back then, as wisdom and understanding usually comes with age. So today I’d like to share with you 30 life lessons I learned before my 30s.

1. Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.

2. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

3. Always tell the truth.

4. A beautiful life begins with a beautiful mind.

5. If you don’t know what you want avoid what you don’t want, that in itself is a good start.

6. You reap what you sow: Life is like a boomerang. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.

7. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you’ll find you get what you need.

8. Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.

9. Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.

10. Recognize when a phase, a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over and let it go. Allow yourself to gracefully exit situations you have outgrown. Moving on doesn’t have to be a catastrophic or dramatic event. You can simply choose to move forward with peace and clarity.

11. People may not always tell you how they feel about you, but they will always show you. Pay attention.

12. Always trust your gut, it knows what your head hasn’t figured out yet.

13. Learn from the mistakes of others, because you might live long enough to make them all yourself.

14. You become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.

15. Never judge someone by the opinion of another.

16. The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.

17. Before helping others, you must first help yourself.

18. A private life is a happy life.

19. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

20. Just because you have a bad day, doesn’t mean you have a bad life.

21. You know you have mastered a soul lesson when the circumstance has not changed but the way you respond has. This is true energy self-mastery.

22. There are two gifts which many men are unmindful about – good health and leisure.

23. Life consists of two days, one for you and one against you. So when it’s for you don’t be proud or reckless, and when it’s against you be patient, for both days are test for you.

24. Sometimes in life, your situation will keep repeating itself until you learn your lesson.

25. Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

26. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

27. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

28. Home is where the heart is.

29. Every living human has a void within themselves that we all try to fill. Many of us with the wrong things; even with good intentions. The truth is, each of us has a God shaped void in our hearts. Only He can fill it.

30. And last but certainly not least: Trust like the birds–they go out early in the morning hungry and return in the evening full.

Also read: 3 simple steps to eating healthier

In recalling the life lessons I learned, I looked for already existing quotes that capture those lessons best. That’s why the quotes above are already existing quotes. But we can only fully grasp a life lesson when we’ve experienced it first hand in our own lives.

If you were wondering what the message was that Muhammad Ali sent younger me, it’s the following:

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your kind words. It is especially warming to know that I have touched your life in some way. Here is one of my favorite sayings I think you might enjoy:

Where is man’s wealth? His wealth is in his knowledge. If his wealth was in the bank, and not his knowledge, then he doesn’t possess it because it’s in the bank.

Keep smiling,
Muhammad Ali

Autograph of Muhammad Ali

I’d really love to hear one of your favorite quotes/life lessons in the comment section below.

Much love,

Photo credits: Pexels

18 thoughts on “30 life lessons I learned before my 30s

  1. Dit vind ik oprecht een van je beste post. Zo inspiratie vol. Je zou echt meer hierover moeten schrijven… en SoebhaanAllaah zo bijzonder de kaart van Mohamed Ali moge Allaah hem genezen. Dikke knuffel

    1. Dit waardeer ik echt enorm, vooral dat het van jou komt! En hij is inmiddels al een kleine poosje geleden overleden Allahyrah’mo. <3

  2. Love this.

    Here is one of mine favorites

    Take advantage of five before five. Your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your wealth before your broke, your free time before your busy, your life before your death


  3. Prachtig Allahouma baarek ❤✨ één van mijn favoriete quotes blijft: if its meant to be, it will be.
    Omdat deze quote me kracht geeft als ik dat nodig heb, om door te zetten of geduld te tonen, maar me ook heeft geleerd dat dingen niet te forceren zijn als iets niet voorgeschreven staat.

  4. Zahra….

    Everything in life shall pass and leave you except Allah. So live life like a one woman army doing what you love. Always be nice, everyone is fighting a battle we dont see. But never ever ever again give your 100 to someone except Allah!

  5. Allahoema barek Love deze tekst.
    Mijn favoriete quote is

    كما تدين تدان
    Wat je ongeveer kan vertalen naar wat je zaait dat oogst je.
    Dus wie goed doet goed ontmoet


    Elke wijze uil is ooit begonnen als een uilskuiken

    Heel veel liefs een nieuwe volgster.

    1. Wat leuk en welkom lieve Noor!

      Heel mooi, en heel waar. Ik ben het ook helemaal eens met jouw quotes. Een goede manier om telkens onze intenties te zuiveren en om door te zetten bij het opzetten van iets en het najagen van onze dromen. <3

  6. As if it was me who wrote these life lessons
    At the moment the ones that resonate with me are;
    8 just because rejection builds up character
    12 if every teenager can just figure this out we would live in a much better mind space
    15 so so true!
    19 the mind is the most powerful part of the human. We need to learn how to master it and we will master most things in life
    25 My mantra right here. So imagine you being calm in the midst of chaos en visualising where you are going❤️

    1. Thank you for your wonderful contribution Lise, I appreciate it and cannot but agree with the life lessons you highlighted. <3

  7. Mesmerising Allaahouma baarik
    Amazing post.
    Totally inspired and grateful after reading all of this

    Muhammad Ali, so sweet, Allaah yerhamho

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