5 Things I Wish I Knew About Life Before Forty
Life doesn’t come with a handbook but if it did, it would go something like this
Now that I am in my forties, my perspective on life has changed. I have learned many lessons through experience. Just because you mature in age doesn’t mean you mature in wisdom. You have to put effort into learning the constant lessons life is always teaching us and turn it into a manual for others so they know not what to do. This is me going back in time giving my eighteen-year-old self a manual for the next twenty years.
People Will Come and Go
You will meet many people throughout your fast life. You guys become friends for a reason and the friendships will seem seamless. You will meet people who may share the same goals, have the same ideologies, have the same personality types, and have the same hobbies. In the beginning, it will feel like some of these people you meet will be around forever. As you grow older, life will take everyone down their unique path. These paths will cause friendships to become more challenging.
Your friendship with others will no longer be a priority for them.
Along the different paths of life, the trials and tribulations of life have become a priority instead of friendships and people fade away until someone’s funeral. Don’t take this personally. Simply create a purpose for yourself in life. Make sure the purpose is bigger than yourself so it will keep you focused. It won’t stop the loneliness of the revolving door of people but it will help guide you in those lonely times.
Learn A Skill
You will soon realize that you won’t learn anything tangible from school but how fast you can memorize things. Throughout the school years, you will take many classes and subjects. These subjects will make you become the jack of trades and a master at nothing. As you get older, you will be left where most men without any skills go, in the abyss of the general skills job market. These job markets usually include jobs that most people hate such as customer service jobs. There is a reason many of these types of jobs do not require a degree.
Men with general skills have issues acquiring resources, money, and jobs due to not having a particular skill they can monetize.
There is no time to dwell on the past anymore, so don’t worry about it because it is never too late to learn a new skill. The key here is self-mastery in one area. What you value like money, passion, and enjoyability will determine what skill you will master. It won’t be easy because you will have to sacrifice time to develop your skill but it will possibly save your life in the future.
Feel the Pain
You are going to feel pain at a young age and it probably shouldn’t be fair to have to go through adversity at such a young age. You are going to experience things that you can’t control and it will cause you great pain. As you get older, you will learn to deal with the pain by not dealing with the pain. You will become a master at dealing with adversity unknowingly using stoic practices.
These stoic practices will become your survival kit when life gives you pain you may not be able to process emotionally right away.
It’s okay to use these tactics but it will come with a price. You did what you had to do to survive. As you get older you will understand these coping mechanisms has their place but too much of it causes delayed emotional pain. The delayed emotional pain causes trauma that you didn’t deal with. As you get older, learn how to deal with adversity in healthier ways. If you have to cry, pout, get angry or get frustrated, let it out. The important thing is to feel it, unlike the past. When you feel these emotions, you are able to work through them faster instead of burying them with stoicism.
Take Care of Your Body
This is one thing you did well. You started exercising from a young age. Ever since you secretly discovered “Bodies In Motion With Gilad” on ESPN as thirteen year old, fitness has always been a staple in your life. From high school as an athlete, from all the way through your twenties and thirties, you exercised as if it was your job. You will meet a lot of older men with serious health problems and they will all give you the same advice.
They will all tell you to take care of your body so you don’t end up like them when you are older.
They will all tell you that they wished they took better care of their body when they were younger. As you get older, you will start to get lazy with your meticulous healthy habits and will start to see mild symptoms of diabetes. Don’t panic because as a former personal trainer, you know how to lose any excess weight. Getting back to your old peak physical shape will keep you in the game of life as long as you continue to take care of yourself and control the things you can control. Staying in shape is more than just having abs of steel, it is about vitality, longevity, and staying in the game of life as long as possible.
Increase Your Financial I.Q.
This part will be one of the biggest challenges for a good duration of your life. There weren’t any financially healthy role models for you to model after. Everyone who helped your development as a young man did the best they could with what they had. There is a saying that goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Your guardians only taught you what they knew. Unfortunately for you, you are extremely observant.
You noticed things like why only a particular group of people get to live in nice neighborhoods, get certain jobs, go to certain schools, or drive certain cars.
What do they have that the average person doesn’t have? At the time, you won’t understand and will be in victim mode. None of that was your fault. As you get older, you will understand that these individuals have a financial acumen that you were never taught. Now it is your fault because you are aware of what separates the haves from the have nots. Realize that financial acumen goes well beyond knowing how to balance an outdated checkbook. Read books about businesses, stocks, success stories, and your cultural history to increase your understanding of finances. But most importantly, hang around others who have a higher financial acumen than you do.