Friday's Digest #56 

3 Things I Know Today I Wish I Had Known When I Was 30 

Have you ever had a moment where you kicked yourself for not realizing something 10 years ago?

September 22nd, 2023

Friday's Digest - The Newsletter for Doctors & Scientists

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Table of Contents


It's September!

Here are three things that make September special:

First up, September means it's time to go back to school.

👦🏼👦🏻 Firstborn and secondborn are heading to the same school this year. Just a while ago, we were dropping the little one off at kindergarten with sad faces during goodbye time ☹️.

But now, just a few days into the school year at this new place, secondborn doesn't need us anymore. Firstborn walks with him into school, and it seems the tearful moments have shifted from the kids to the parents. For the kids, it's just another day.

Next, people call September "Techtember"

because many companies launch new products. 👩‍💻Apple is one of them, and there's usually a lot of fuss about their new stuff.

I really like their products, but I can't help feeling that the big excitement over finally including a USB C port in their iPhone line📱, and announcing a finger gesture already hidden in their watch settings ⌚️, isn't all that great. But then again, Apple has changed the tech game in many ways, so I'm not too bothered and still enjoy what they make.

Lastly, September is the time for the Jewish New Year 🍎🍯.

So, happy New Year!

Many folks like to kick off the new year with a resolution 🤔.

It's a promise you make to yourself at the start of the year, aiming to stick to it as the days go by.

So today, I've got a treat for you – not just one, but three ideas for a New Year's resolution.

Stuff I wish I knew when I was in my 30s.


Rolling on to 56!

And have a happy New Year!

Main Article

Do you ever have moments where you look back on your life, and kick yourself for not realizing something 10 years ago? 🧐

Some of these things, you have to experience firsthand to understand what they truly mean. It involves working hard 🙇🏻‍♀️, failing, and then, after putting in your time, you come out wiser 🧠 and stronger 💪.

I'm not going to dive into these today. You'll pave your own path and find what you need to find at the right time.

Today, I want to talk about something else. I'll focus on the lessons you wish you had known earlier.

The kind of stuff that you find out the hard way. Sometimes, it takes a quick ten minutes of struggle, and other times, years or even decades to understand.

But when you finally get it, you kick yourself for not realizing it sooner.

You think to yourself, if only you knew these things from the get-go, everything would have been smoother. Basically, it feels like a lot of energy is spent for nothing.

So, here are the 3 things I wish I had known in my 30s:

📈 The best investment of money is in yourself.

Think about where your money has gone over the years 💸. And I'm not just talking about savings in the bank.

Even if times are tight and saving seems impossible, you're still spending money on something, right?

Like food 🍱 , clothes 👔, vacations 🏖️🗺️, etc.

Now, consider these purchases as investments. Buying food? Are you going for healthy options or grabbing something quick and possibly not great for you? Choosing the healthier option means betting on a better future for yourself - fewer sick days and more enjoyment in life.

The same goes for vacations. Do these trips bring long-term happiness and good memories? Most likely, yes.

You don't need me to point out that good food and nice vacations are beneficial.

But here's a thought:

💡Start treating the money you spend on yourself as an investment, just like money you'd save in the bank.

Buying clothes might not yield any "profit" in the long run since you'll probably replace them after a few years.

But what about putting time and money into personal growth? Like joining an online course 📒, taking an art class 🎨, or learning to play the piano (or tuba 🎵). In general, acquiring a new skill.

In the long run, your future self will thank you for these investments.

And if you want to look at it from a financial perspective, more skills often lead to better earning potential.

Way more than what you'd accumulate in interest from the bank.

🏡 Take home message:

Spend money on improving your skills.

😥 Rejection hurts for a second, regret lasts a lifetime.

This is something we tell our kids ALL THE TIME.

Thankfully, I heard it from my parents from a young age 🐣, so I tried to stick to it growing up.

🐢 But truly embracing it took some time.

It wasn't until later in life that I became brave enough to take significant risks to avoid future regrets. The kind of risks that may lead to massive embarrassment and a hit to my reputation if things don't work out.

🏃🏼 But somewhere in my late 30s, I went all in.

From that point, every choice I made was guided by avoiding future regret.

I reached out to experts in my field even as a young trainee 📧 , I proposed unconventional solutions to problems in research and surgery 🙋🏻‍♂️, and presented talks where I challenged the consensus 👨🏻‍🏫.

Sure, there were rejections and awkward moments, but overall, I gained more than I lost. And I have no regrets about these decisions.

Now, I'm not urging you to rush out and act on every wild thought that pops into your head.

My rule for the "no-regrets" policy is simple: The only risks I take involve potentially hurting my own feelings or reputation. NEVER hurting others.

🏡 Take home message:

When faced with a decision, ask yourself: Could I regret this choice later?

🙋 Don't apologize for thinking differently.

This is a big one I'd like to tell my younger self.

Building the confidence to openly share your opinions, even when they go against the grain, takes time.

But even if you suspect your viewpoint might be unpopular or incorrect, there's no need to apologize. If you're wrong, it simply means you've learned something new.

💭But if you hold back and later realize you were right, the moment has passed. You've missed a chance to contribute something valuable. At the least, you've lost the opportunity to be heard and possibly credited.

Worse, a good idea might never see the light of day because you kept it to yourself.

So, avoid saying, "This might be a stupid question.”

Instead, try:

"I might be missing something, but what if [insert your idea here]? "

🏡 Take home message:

Stand your ground if you believe your idea has merit. Share it respectfully and confidently, without any apologies.


📱Application I use - Anki.

A LOT of people found interest in last week's newsletter - "Why is It So Hard to Learn Something New After the Age 35? Two Studying Tools that Changed My Life."

And I got a lot of questions on the Anki app that I use for studying in my 40s.

So let me answer repeating questions:


That's it for this issue.

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Have a great weekend!