I turned 33 – here’s what I’m thinking

Written by Charles Ngo
Written by Charles Ngo

*Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean*

I turned 33 a few days ago (4 Dec).

Worst birthday ever.

The day got sandwiched between an event in Austin and Affiliate World Asia in Bangkok.

I spent my birthday stuck on a plane for 24 hours.

Maybe it’s for the best. I don’t know what kind of trouble I would’ve gotten into if I was in Bangkok.

What is it like to be 33?

The most surprising thing about being in my early 30’s is how fast life is going by now.

Take a look at this post:

30 Lessons I’ve Learned in the Past 30 Years > > >

I can’t believe I wrote that piece 3 years ago.What’s on my mind now?

There’s a lot of pressure when you’re in your early 30’s.

This is the Asian parent’s scale of how much honor you bring to the family:

  • Earn over 6 figures a year? +1
  • Went to an Ivy League +1
  • Became a Doctor +1
  • Married to someone they approve +1
  • Kids +1
  • Extra Credit: +1 for each son

My status?

  • I’m not married. -1
  • I don’t have kids. -1
  • I moved far away from home -1

Wow, I scored low on my own system I invented.
Good thing I bring home the dineros or else I’d be disowned by now.
I do kinda meet one of the targets.
Not a lot of people know this, but I have a girlfriend.
It’s pretty serious.
We live together in NYC and we have stuffed animals that we call our “kids.”
It’s funny how many of my friends are shocked when they hear this.
“Impossible. We’ve never seen her on your Snapchat or social media”
I thought we established that social media doesn’t represent someone’s life?
I’ve always felt uncomfortable having so much of my life broadcasted, so it’s nice to have a piece of my life private.

Anyways what was I saying about marriage?

Oh yeah, don’t ever let anyone pressure you into it.

It’s one of the most important decisions of your life. You’re constantly growing and changing.

I can’t imagine settling down with someone in my 20’s.

I’m a different person now than I was then. What I might’ve wanted back then may be different from what I want now.

You don’t have to get married. You don’t have to have kids if you don’t want to.

If I listened to my parents, friends, and society I’d probably still be working at a 9 to 5 job in a cubicle.

// Don’t Play the Age Comparison Game

How old are you?

And do you feel you should’ve achieved more by your age?

I’m guessing yes.

This is a common theme among some of my friends.

This feeling hits hard when someone turns 30 or 35.

All the “should’ve” comments come out.

  • I should’ve been married by now
  • I should’ve bought a house by now
  • I should’ve made more money by now.

This is why some people go through these quarter and mid-life crises. We have an image of what our lives should be life and start having an existential crisis when it’s nowhere near that.

I get it – I had the same thoughts running through my head the other day.

Someone was telling me that I’m their idol and that I’m living their dream life.

While I’m thinking to myself:

  • Holy shet I’m 33 and still in the affiliate marketing industry? There’s nothing wrong with the space. I just always envisoned myself hopping around to a different industry each decade.
  • Wait, this kid made how much this year? He’s only 23??? Wtf am I doing with my life?

It’s destructive thinking that leads to more unhappiness.

How can you fix your mindset?

  1. Be grateful for what you do have.
  2. Someone else’s success is not your failure. Just because someone else is winning in life doesn’t mean you’re losing.
  3. It’s never too late.

Here’s a fun story since people can’t stop talking about crypto.

One of my friends was really beating himself up about Bitcoin.

(This was some time around July 2017.)

The price for one coin was around $2,600, and he was beating himself up for selling all his coins years ago.

He kept thinking about all the profits he would’ve made if he kept his coins.

I asked him what’s preventing him from investing in it now if he believed so strongly in the future of the coin?

He gave a bunch of weak excuses and realized that he can’t change the past.

He ended up investing more.

Well, I just checked the price and it’s around $12k. (Update: It’s now at $17k wtf?)

360% ROI in a few months.

Not bad.

You can keep thinking about the past, or you can start planting your seeds for the future.

// Time is All You Have

I’m the most time obsessed person I know. I have every hour of the day pre-planned, and I moved to NYC to cut my commute time to everything.

Yet I’m starting to think about how to spend my time better.

I read an article a long time ago by a nurse who cared for dying patients. She recorded what their biggest regrets were in life.

Here are the top 5:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Spend some time thinking about that.

I realize that I gotta spend more time with my friends and family. I always feel guilty every time I travel because I could’ve worked more.

But I know one day I’m going to regret not spending more time with my parents. I can always make more money, and tbh, more money doesn’t change much for me.

Another thought is to say no more.

I’ve kept stressing this over the years, but it becomes more important as you get older.

It’s because life naturally moves towards complexity and chaos. Don’t feel guilty about saying no.

You only have 24 hours a day and they’re yours to spend.

Thanks to all of you guys who read my stuff, it means a lot to me.

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                The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

The posts published by Charles are prepared and analyzed, including the author’s own experience…

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