Successful Adults Reveal How They Finally Got Their Act Together

Success isn't easy, and today's world can be overwhelmingly demanding. Following the advice of people who have mastered their lives is a powerful tool for individuals struggling to find their rhythm.

Dingus_Son_Of_Dongus asked, Older redditors who got your life together at a later age, what advice would you give someone in their early 30's?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

It's never too late to try something new.

I started getting my life together about a year ago at 35. I spent 10 years at a job that I hated, and quit to go back to school. I'm broker than I've ever been, but I'm also happier than I've ever been. My advice would be, don't let fear get in your way. I was so afraid of leaving my job, but now that I have, I wish I had done it years ago.

We see this all the time; only the bottom line matters.

Don't be loyal to companies, they're not loyal to you.

Don't let your life fall out of balance, and remember to focus on what's truly important.

Don't drink excessively and do drugs in an excessive amount, don't ruin friendships for stupid reasons and don't live beyond your means. Also if you're in a toxic relationship get out of it now, you'll be better off without all the stupid sh_t. And don't drink yourself stupid for goodness sake.

Solid advice. Take control of your reputation. Bankruptcy is there for a reason; give yourself a clean slate.

If you're carrying around a bad reputation or have something that you can't seem to shake, ditch social media and move away. Also, file bankruptcy if you owe a lot of money out. Just start over and stop trying to grow sprouts in salted earth.

The only person who matters is you.

Celebrate each small step forward, and try not to judge yourself against the progress of others.

Don't take constructive criticism personally. It can only help you improve.

When your boss is criticizing your work try taking what they are saying and implementing those things from then on. More often than not your boss is actually trying to help you improve and not trying to hurt your feelings.

First hand experience here - this is great advice. You have to let go to make changes.

Make a clean break. I can remember the day that I realized that everything will have to change. I cut toxic friends from my life on that day. There are places that I use to hang out that I never returned to.

Acknowledge your problems and fix them. You and you alone have this power.

I'm in my thirties now, but I was sort of stuck for a while. I was a college dropout, who had left with a bad GPA, and no plan to return. I realized not having a degree was holding me back, and my girlfriend suggested I just go look into it. I went to my old school to figure out what it would take to graduate, and I only had 3 semesters. Luckily, I had someone in my life to tell me I should go for it. I was broke, but I quit an ok paying job. I got two jobs with more flexible hours and worked 50-60 hours a week while going to school. I took on a moderate amount of loans, but used that money for education only, and supported my life with money from working. Some schools have very flexible class schedules, and as a real adult, I felt like I was taken more seriously. Professors and advisers see your effort and want you to succeed. My jobs were the same way, and when I finally graduated, I was offered a better position and convinced to stay on. Next, I focused on paying off my loans. Now, things are more or less together in my life. This scenario doesn't describe everyone's situation, but I think the thing that started it all for me is good advice. "Just look into it." Fix the things that are holding you back. For me, it just took a small step to get things rolling in the right direction.

If you're miserable, quit. You'll figure it out.

If you don't like what you're doing now, you won't magically like it 10 years from now.

Quit. Go to school if you need to. Work and do classes at the same time if that's what you need to do.

You have a rare opportunity now to reshape the rest of your life. Don't be that person in their 50's-60's who says "I finally got the courage to go back to school and learn (x)." Do it now while you have time to enjoy it and time to gain experience in your field. Nothing sucks more than being older and trying to gain a foothold in an industry when you're competing with people in their late 20's/30's.

"Buy now, pay later" will come back to bite you.

If you can't pay for it outright, DON'T BUY IT! Debt is no fun, folks. No fun at all...

Keep your dreams alive by never giving up on them.

Your dreams do not stop in the 20's. If you want to go back to school and to go into the career you always wanted. Do It! Be patient with yourself and love yourself.

Helping others develop skills in a particular field can be very rewarding.

The most valuable skill you can acquire is the ability to form judgments and offer advice. This is the central job of consultants, lawyers, doctors, engineers, and others. If you have experience and/or expertise in some area (it might be marketing of a product, or it might be the use of some website, such as eBay), you can sell yourself and profit. Focusing on that will improve your ability to keep a steady income. People who focus only on the performance of a particular task become expendable when technology changes or younger and cheaper workers come along.

Maintaining good physical health can greatly improve self-image and increase productivity.

If you aren't already, get in shape. 40 year old you will thank you.

Getting enough sleep is vastly underrated advice.

Keep moving forward, let those that are a toxic influence go. Get enough sleep.

Change is healthy. Embrace it.

Change is key. For whatever issue you might have with your life, change is the only way to get rid of it. Look at whatever issue you have and see: What did I change to remove it? What can I change to remove it?

You are your own best investment. Working for yourself is incredibly rewarding. It's freedom.

Work for yourself. Start a business, pour yourself into it and reap the benefits.

Travel the world by yourself. It's amazing what you'll discover.

I strongly suggest doing the rough backpacky couch surfy kind of traveling when you're young. Loses it's appeal when you've got higher standards.

Find a field that interests you and pursue it fully, one step at a time.

I didn't finish school/start my career until I was 31. 14 years later I make great money and thanks to that my husband was able to retire early. Advice- research your field of interest, intern, volunteer, and make sure you have a future in it. Take a class at a time until you finish school. Don't look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Take it a semester at a time. Don't give up!!

Simple, but profound. Things seldom go the way they are supposed to. Brace for it.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Credit scores hold enormous influence over our lives, and they are very fragile.

Started at 29. Build your credit, no matter how bad it is. Do whatever it takes.

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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