It depends on us, how we want our lives to be like! Here are 40 things to know before 40 – and growing up isn’t as same as growing old. Remember, it’s never too late to start something new.
“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.” – Carl G. Jung.
There was a time when people in their 40s would be attending to their kids and running the household, making their dream home, and planning their retirement. But it’s no longer the same.
Now, people are quitting their jobs to start a business in their 40s, or just selling out all their belongings to travel the world.
If you’re about to turn 40 soon, here are 40 things that you should know by now!
1. The 40s are the new 30s!
In today’s date, rather than life taking a downhill at the 40s, people are getting more energetic and enthusiastic, plunging into new things and taking up challenges – which proves that the 40s are surely the new 30s.
Women in their 40s are looking and feeling better than ever – and it’s time you should also plan to do all that you wanted to do in your 30s, and make the most of these years ahead.
2. Get comfortable in your own skin.
Don’t aim for a perfect figure, or sign up for a keto diet if that’s not your thing. Ditch those fairness creams, and try to use products that add a glow instead. Stop hiding those stretch marks, and flaunt your curves in that gorgeous dress hiding behind your regular wear.
It’s time to get comfortable in your own skin and appreciate the way you are. That’s the first step towards self-love.
3. Embrace your age gracefully.
Pick up that glass of wine. Wear those stilettos. Rather than sulking about getting older, embrace your age gracefully.
The years that you’ve lived through taught you great lessons about life – and now is the time to implement those learnings and make things better. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, surround yourself with people you love, and do things that bring you joy.
4. If you have the time to count calories, then you have too much time on your hands!
Gone are the days to count calories – eat that goddamn cheesecake. Of course, you can balance it out with some fresh fruits and vegetables in a meal later, but there’s no point in sacrificing the desserts!
If you’re spending time counting calories – you might just rethink using that time doing something else – something more meaningful.
5. Pressing snooze is never a good idea.
Don’t put the alarm if you want to sleep undisturbed. And if you’ve put the alarm, wake up as soon as it strikes you.
The more you snooze, the more you’ll procrastinate. And in your 40s, procrastination isn’t a good idea, for sure.
6. Start meditating.
Find your peace. Give yourself 10 minutes at least, each day. Declutter your mind of all the thoughts that keep bothering you and bring all your focus to your breathing.
7. Mid-life crisis is a myth.
The woes of stagnation, anxiety, and depression can happen at any age. In fact, in this 21st Century, people tend to suffer from these psychological issues in their 20s.
The world has changed – and so has the concept of ‘mid-life crisis’. If you’re seeking a change, you don’t need to wait for the right time. Break the bubble and dive into whatever your heart calls for.
8. Finding love is a great idea!
It’s never too late to find love. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need another person to fall in love with! You can find love in your 40s in various things – like poetry, or gardening.
9. Believe that miracles happen.
“Miracles happen to those who believe. If you believe in something with all your heart and mind, you bring it to life.” – Leon Brown.
To put it more logically, we call it the placebo effect – where you believe in something so strongly, that you tend to gather enough energy to acquire it.
10. Letting go is easy.
All our lives, we’ve been told to learn to let go. But by the time you reach your 40s, you’ll realize that letting go is actually easy, then holding onto something.
It takes time to build something – a career, a friendship, a family – anything. Letting go would just mean leaving it for good, but what if you can hold on and make it better?
11. Hold onto friends who matter.
You don’t really need a hundred friends, but if you have a handful of them who matters – try and hold onto them.
Friends are the pillars of our lives – they are the ones who’ll stick with us through thick and thin, give us a shoulder to lean when no one’s around, listen to our woes for hours and maybe, give solid advice.
It doesn’t matter how old your friendship is, but if there’s trust and comfort, you should cherish and respect it.
12. Ask for help whenever needed.
We can rule the world by ourselves – no matter how strong we are! It’s always a good idea to ask for help. As a 40-year-old, you shouldn’t be stubborn and let your pride overpower you.
Know that seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It’s only when you reach out for help, you’d know who your real well-wishers are and it’ll eventually make you a more humble human being.
13. Get a pet.
Pets are a man’s best friends in their 40’s. No matter whether you wish to adopt a dog or get a cat – having them around brightens up your days.
14. Now is the right time to see the world.
If you’ve always postponed your travel plans thinking that you’ll step out to see the world after retirement – you’re making a mistake my friend!
Now is the best time to pack your bags, and tick things off your bucket list. Walk around the streets of Rome, binge on the street food in Saigon, experience a game drive in Maasai Mara, hike around the Machu Pichu – you’ll be astonished to see what’s out there for you to explore.
15. Sleep is the best therapy.
Sleeping won’t end your problems, but it’ll surely help you to calm down and give you time to heal. If you’re struggling to make a decision or feeling exhausted with the current scenario – just take a break, and get some sleep.
It’ll help your body to rest, and your mind too, giving you a fresh new perspective to look at (and to deal with) things.
16. Dressing up for yourself is a good idea.
For all your life, you’ve dressed up for others. You dressed up for your date, for that office party, for your wedding & for other events – but now, start dressing up for yourself.
Wear those colors you never dared to try. Put that red lipstick. Drape a saree. Or that little black dress.
17. You’ll only regret the things you didn’t do.
Everything we do might not lead us to success – but it definitely teaches us a lesson. If you really wish to do something, you should go and try it out. The only things you’ll ever regret in life are the chances you didn’t dare to take.
18. You always feel better after a workout. Always.
When you exercise, it increases endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline, and endocannabinoid — these are all brain chemicals associated with feeling happy, feeling confident, feeling capable, feeling less anxiety and stress, and even less physical pain.
Working out is a better choice than dieting if you really want to be in shape – and it’ll have an impact on your overall well-being.
19. Nothing is permanent.
Change is the only constant. Impermanence is the truth of life – and we take years to learn that. If you’re thrilled with the stage you’re in, be grateful and embrace the goodness fully.
If you’re scared, sad, or frustrated – know that it won’t last. Everything is in a fleeting phase. Remember how the world came to a standstill when the pandemic hit us in March 2020 – but we are here now, with vaccines and hope of a better tomorrow.
20. Clear your closet.
Remove items that you no longer need, from your closet. The items you haven’t used in the last 6 months are of no value in your life – so get rid of them. Give away your old clothes, bags, and shoes.
Clear all those heaps of papers (starting from bank statements, tax documents to medical bills) that are lying there for decades. Decluttering is therapeutic – and the more space you have in your closet, the lighter you’ll feel in life.
21. Most excuses are bogus.
When we don’t feel like doing something, we come up with an excuse. We think that’s the easiest way to escape – but if you pause and think, most of those excuses are bogus. “I’m not exercising because I’m busy”, “I didn’t call you because I had work” – so on and so forth – these are regular statements that most of us come up with, in our daily lives.
Well, it’s time to make a major change – identify your top priorities and rearrange your life to accommodate them.
22. Don’t let worry consume you.
Worrying will only lead to sorrow and anxieties. Manifest objectivity in life. Stop overthinking about things that will bring no good, and remember that nobody is living a perfect life.
Everyone has their fair share of problems to deals with – and it’s just not you who has issues. Look beyond the problems.
23. Jealousy is a complete waste of energy.
Try to be the best version of yourself – rather than comparing yourself with others. When you think – “Why is she doing better than me?”, “Why is her life perfect and mine isn’t?” – you’ll tend to attract more negativity in your life. Jealousy might affect your relationship with others, and ruin your mental peace.
24. Social media is full of lies.
Those ‘oh-so-good’ photos that you scroll through Instagram don’t show the real lives of people. Social media is a place where people just show half the reality, and most of it remains hidden.
It’s a world that is varnished, curated, and cannot be trusted. Don’t let it be a source of envy or self-loathing.
25. Changing the city will serve you better.
If you’ve been living in a city for more than 10 years – then maybe, as you strike your 40s, you should start rethinking shifting places.
The surroundings we live in have a direct impact on our lives. Find opportunities in a place where you know none. Try to look for a job in a new city, or if you’ve been staying away from home – think about moving back to your roots.
26. Learn to listen to good advice.
A friend once told me – “The fewer people you chill with, the less bullshit you deal with.” I had a hearty laugh, but I realized how true his words are. It’s very important to find people who can guide us well in life – and by the time you are 40, you’ve already experienced a lot. It’s time that you learn to listen to good advice and follow them.
27. Speak your mind.
Never hesitate to come up with your honest opinions. You don’t need to be a people pleaser, and being diplomatic might not always serve you well.
No matter whether it’s in a personal relationship, or in an official meeting – always speak your mind. You may not be alone in your thinking. By speaking your mind you encourage them to voice their opinions as well.
28. Happiness is more important than success.
All your life, you’ve chased success – but now that you’ve grown old and wise, you must have realized that happiness is more valuable than success.
A lot of successful people are suffering from extreme stress and depression, being unable to handle their achievements. If you’re happy with whatever you’re doing, success won’t matter as much.
29. Mental peace is greater than money.
Money is important, no doubt – but mental peace can’t be traded for that. Money is an essential requirement for every human on this planet but relying only on money, in the long run, deteriorates your health and mind.
You might gather a lot of wealth, and find yourself lonely. On the contrary, you can have adequate money and a loving family around you – that’ll take you a long way ahead.
Some people tend to fight over money and property for years, which ruins their mental peace. But in the end, what’s the worth of it all?
30. Your problems aren’t as big as they seem to you.
The moment you think – “Why do I have all the problems in the world?” – try to think about those who had a hard time to find one square meal today, or someone who lost their parents in an accident, or someone who’s struggling with a chronic disease with no hope of getting better.
There are bigger issues that many out there are facing – and you’ve no clue about it. Your problems might seem a lot to you – but they are not as been as they appear. Try looking at the better things in life.
31. It’s easy to say ‘No’.
You’ve probably always felt hesitant to say ‘No’ all these years, but now, in your 40s, you’ll realize that it’s important to be able to say ‘No’, so you feel empowered while still maintaining your relationships with others.
Expressing your denial will help you establish healthy boundaries and enable others to have clarity about what they can expect from you.
32. Smile more often.
Smiling often makes you a more pleasant human being. You’ll be more likable, competent, approachable, friendly, and attractive. As you age with time, you’ll understand that a smile can heal a lot of wounds and solve a lot of problems too.
33. Spend more time around nature.
Get some plants, start gardening. Go out for walks in a park. Ṭake vacations amidst nature. The flow of oxygen becomes better in the body when you spend more time amidst nature, and leaves a deeper impact on your mind as well. Also, soaking in the silence that lingers around nature might help you to connect better with yourself.
34. Having a ‘perfect partner’ is a myth.
You might be hooked to watching “This Is Us” and imagine your partner to be like Jack Pearson – but the idea of having a perfect partner is a myth.
Each one of us has certain shortcomings, and the concept of ‘perfection’ is relative. A person who’s perfect for me might not be perfect for you.
The myth of the perfect partner often causes us to have unrealistic expectations of others (and often of ourselves, too) which can lead to a great deal of emotional pain in and out of relationships.
35. It’s never too late to start something new.
Learn a new language. Learn how to play the guitar, or maybe a piano. Pick up the brush and start painting. Try your hands in junk-journalling.
It’s never too late to start doing what you want to do and gather new skills. Thankfully, being creative and innovative doesn’t come with an age limit.
36. Forgetting things are natural.
As you hit the 40s, you’ll start forgetting things. It’s not the big things that you’ll forget, but mostly the little ones. And it’s completely fine. Just don’t stress about it. Maybe try to write things down, so that you don’t find yourself in trouble.
37. Express gratitude.
The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.
Start maintaining a gratitude journal, write about the little things that make you happy in your daily life – even if they are as simple as a dash of sunshine after prolonged rains or a letter from a faraway friend.
38. Share your heart out.
Holding onto your words (and feelings) won’t serve you any good. Rather, if you be the person who believes in speaking your heart out – you’ll be more at ease with yourself. Open and honest conversations will always be appreciated.
39. Read more often.
If you’ve never had the habit of reading, then now is the time to pick up that book you’ve always wanted to read – and flip through the pages.
Reading is a habit that will slowly grow on you – and once you start enjoying it, there’s no looking back. Also, trust me when I say this, it’ll be more relaxing than scrolling through your Instagram feed!
40. You’ve come a long way! Appreciate yourself.
Now that you’re 40, know that you’ve come a long way. Living through four decades is no easy deal – kudos to you for shining through each phase in life. You’re a rockstar and you must appreciate yourself. It’s important to value your self-worth.
Turning 40 is a big deal – so celebrate it to the fullest. Dance along with the tunes of life and take note of all the ways you’re improving with age.
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