by Ben Neal
10 Things Every Man Should Know By Age 30
Turning 30. It’s supposed to be one of those moments you dread; a reality check about how fast time flies, and how life hasn’t turned out like I expected, and all that jazz.
But honestly, for me, turning 30 was no big deal. And I’ll tell you why: I made good use of my 20s.
I had fun, traveled, partied hard and worked hard; I fell in and out of love, started a family, started a business; I took risks, made mistakes, fell flat on my face, and I got back up and went at it again.
Did things turn out the way I expected? Hell no.
But I can look back on the last decade and honestly say that I have no regrets. I have lived, and I have learned (the hard way) some important things about life, and manhood – things I would like to share with you. Things that I think every man should know by the time they hit the big 3–0.
10. It Doesn’t Matter What Others Think About You
Forget about being cool, or popular, or even being liked by other people. Don’t put on a show, a mask, a false persona to impress anyone else – whether it’s your boss, a girl you like, or whoever.
Be yourself. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks, it matters what you think. It takes courage and strength to bear your soul, to be genuine and vulnerable. That’s what people respond to: integrity and authenticity.
9. Nobody Knows What the Hell They’re Doing
When I was younger, I thought there must be some people, older and wiser than me, who had their shit together, who had it all figured out. There isn’t. They don’t.
Nobody really knows what they’re doing. No one is ever really ready, or prepared for what life brings. So go for what you want most, and figure it out along the way.
8. Follow Your Passion
By the time you’re 30, you should know what you’re most passionate about. Life is too short to pursue your every interest and curiosity. Focus on one thing, and give it your all. You can have as many hobbies and side projects as you like, but there’s got to be one thing you love above the rest – one thing you’re willing to suffer and bleed for.
Do that. Devote your whole life to it. Don’t hold back.
7. Manage Your Money
Money isn’t the most important thing in life – but it does matter. If you want to travel, see the world, send your kids to college, and enjoy your retirement, you’ve got to manage your money.
Set a budget and stick to it. Plan for emergencies, and save up for long term goals. Don’t burden yourself (or your loved ones) with debt and stress. Grow up. Get organized. Get your house in order.
6. Dress For Success
By now you should know better than to dress like a bum. Don’t sag your pants. Wear whatever you want to around the house, but for God’s sake don’t wear cargo shorts and flip flops to a job interview, or a business meeting. Or a first date.
By age 30, every man should own at least one suit (that fits), and know how to tie a Windsor knot. If you want to be successful, you’ve got to dress the part.
5. Don’t Lose Your Temper
It isn’t cool to lose your temper. It’s not a sign of strength, or manhood. When you get angry, and fly off the handle, you have already lost – you’ve lost your ability to think clearly; you’ve lost control of yourself and the situation.
There are very few things in this world worth getting that upset about. If you’re naturally hot-headed, then meditate. Learn to relax, keep calm and cool. Become master of yourself – that’s true strength.
4. Don’t Hang Out With People Who Drag You Down
Renowned motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Powerful words. Take them to heart. Don’t waste the precious moments of your life on people who disrespect you, use you, take advantage of you, or drag you down with constant negativity. Surround yourself with successful, kind and positive people that you respect and want to be like.
3. Establish Healthy Habits Now, Before It’s Too Late
Never take your health for granted. By age 30, your metabolism is starting to slow down. You can no longer get away with living on fast food, pizza and beer. Now is the time to get deliberate about taking care of your body. Establish healthy eating habits, and an exercise routine. Don’t wait til you’re fat, sick and tired – by then it might be too late.
2. Make Time For The Ones You Love
If there is anything more important than money, more important than your career success, it’s your family and friends. It’s relationship, connection, community and belonging.
Make time for your kids, your partner, your family and friends. Don’t sacrifice that time for anything. That’s the #1 regret of people on their deathbeds. It’s the most important thing in your life. Period.
1. Live For Today
The most important lesson was also the hardest for me to learn, and it’s one that I’m still working on, and probably always will be. It’s simply this: live for today.
Whatever you want to say or do – start a business, write a book, ask that hot girl out on a date, tell your dad that you love him, that you forgive him, that you’re sorry for being a dick – don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t wait until the weekend, or your next vacation. Don’t wait until the kids move out, or until you retire.
Do it now. Say it now.
The best times of your life are not behind you, or ahead of you, it’s happening all around you. The big pay-off, the pot of gold, is not in the future, or at the end of the rainbow. It’s right here, right now.
Live for today. It’s not about the destination – every step of the journey is to be enjoyed.