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20 Things Everyone Should Master by Age 40

The right advice can help you change things up, figure things out, and see things differently. Here's the most valuable counsel once you've reached a certain point in your life.

How to Delegate


Make certain the people around you have good values, good judgment, and are loyal. Allow them to impress you but be sure they're comfortable coming to you for feedback. Most important, hire people smarter than you!

—Ivanka Trump, executive VP, Trump Organization; principal of Ivanka Trump fashion and accessories lines

How to Comfort Someone


We're a block from a hospital, so in my 31 years here I've met many people who've just received bad news. If you see someone in distress, don't hesitate to talk to them. Once you've heard their story, sometimes all you have to say is "I'll be thinking of you." Your words are more powerful than you think.

—Jimmy Vecere, bartender at 12th Street Irish Pub, Philadelphia

How to Have More Fun Having Sex


Sex researchers have found that one of the biggest turn-ons for women is feeling desired. So believing that you're desirable is key. Choose a part of your body you admire. It might be your eyes, your hari, the curve of your calves. Now focus on that part in your mind and "see" it as your partner would see it. It may feel silly, but imagine he's thinking, "Wow, I want her so bad." And remember: You don't have to wait until you're in the mood. Sometimes you just need to get started and the mood will follow.

—Gail Saltz, MD, author of The Ripple Effect: How Better Sex Can Lead to a Better Life

How to Spot a Good Opportunity


A lot of people ask me how I knew Mad Men or Breaking Bad would make great TV. I knew because when I read those scripts, I felt something. I didn't do any market testing or focus groups—I just asked myself, Would I want to watch this? When you're weighing an opportunity, make the question that simple: "Do I really want this, or am I doing it for the money or the prestige or because I think I should?" It can't just be about those things. It has to make you feel good, too. And by the way, if opportunities aren't knocking, you can make your own. When I was looking for work several years ago, I took everyone I knew in New York, where I'd just moved, to dinner or drinks or tea. I explained that I was open to anything. Six months later, one of those dinner dates called about a possible job at AMC. If I hadn't put myself out there, that never would have happened.

—Christina Wayne former senior VP at AMC, current president of Cineflix Studios, and an executive producer of the new BBC America series Copper

How to Make Conversation at Parties


First, get a drink. If it's a cocktail, it'll loosen you up, but even if it's just club soda, it's good to have a prop to hold if you're feeling nervous. Next, approach someone—a person, not a group—and ask how he or she knows the host. After that, be authentic and interested and ask questions, and others will float over and join in. A good host will have considered the mix of people, so when you arrive, ask, "Who should I meet?" Most important: Even if you won't know anyone and you're feeling intimidated, you must go. Do not stay home. So many people are afraid that no one will talk to them and they'll leave feeling awful—but has that ever happened to you? Me, neither. Usually I end up laughing and eating and drinking and making friends, and that's what it's all about.

—Marjorie Gubelmann CEO of Vie Luxe and society hostess extraordinaire
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