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Men who are in their 40s and above and NOT happy with their lives, what advice would you give to younger men in their 20s?

Men who are in their 40s and above and NOT happy with their lives, what advice would you give to younger men in their 20s?

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20 Comments

  1. There are some pretty powerful concepts that you don’t really learn about in school:

    * Stress
    * Power
    * Compound interest/snowballing

    Most people don’t understand what stress is. Stress is not having your needs met, whatever they are. Learning to figure out what need is not being met and addressing it directly rather than using escapism (drugs, games, books, etc), denial (I’m not stressed out, nothings wrong), or delusion (this unmet need is making me a stronger person!) are not healthy ways to handle it. Some people have needs as easy as sleep or food. Some have harder to fulfill needs like not feeling alone. Just because you ignore a problem doesn’t mean it goes away.

    Lots of people don’t speak or understand the language of power. They can’t look at a situation and consciously think about who has more power. They can’t look at their own interactions and consciously think about the power they have in a situation vs someone else. Understanding how to have power without denigrating other peoples power’s is a super important skill. If you do not have power, you will lose. Respecting your own sense of power (being negative is dis empowering and disrespectful to yourself) is one of the most important things you can do.

    Lastly, compound interest is truly a beautiful thing, but it needs to be applied to more than just money. Everything you learn that someone else doesn’t is a potential future opportunity you have that another person won’t. Every workout you do that someone else doesn’t makes you more attractive. Prettier people have more opportunity. Opportunities have a way of presenting more opportunities. If you read a text book, and you impress your interviewer rather than doing mediocre, you get put on a better team at work, and get a better mentor to help you grow, then you get a better/easier/more impactful project at work, then you get promoted to a leadership position, then you get promoted to director etc, you have earned a lot of compound interest that you wouldn’t have earned without reading that book. Early investment in yourself, especially investment greater than what your peers do, compounds and snowballs into significantly larger amounts of success in the ways you apply your effort.

    To summarize these concepts in more concrete mistakes:

    * Escapism is a bad way to manage stress, especially stress caused by the negative feels that result from being super lonely.
    * Being negative all the time makes you feel powerless and see yourself as powerless and ultimately act powerlessly
    * If you don’t actively improve yourself, you will miss out on opportunities and watch other people’s success snowball while your own stagnates. You will fight a harder battle because people will see your own lack of investment in yourself and therefore think you are a bad investment for themselves.

  2. Marry the right girl or don’t get married at all.

    You will realize in ten years that there aren’t many girls worth marrying, in spite of what your hormones tell you.

  3. Recovering alcoholic here. I quit drinking when I was 38. I am actually very happy where I am now at 43, but I wasted a SHITLOAD of my life getting fucked up and being hungover. Now I am finally on a career path and I’m mentally and physically healthier than I’ve ever been. Here are my tips:

    * Alcohol is poison. – If you wonder if you drink too much, you drink too much. If you’re drinking every night and keep telling yourself you can moderate, you’d already be doing it. Stop while you can.
    * Get a therapist. – As men, we are conditioned to tamp down our feelings from a very young age. Learning how to recognize our emotions and be vulnerable is extremely important. Increasing our emotional intelligence is good for our well being and good for our relationships.
    * Learn how to meditate. – Set up a daily practice. There is tons of research on how good meditation is for our brains. Mindfulness meditation lowers anxiety and increases mood by shrinking the amygdala. Meditation can literally change our brain structure and help us stay focused and calm.
    * Exercise…preferably outdoors. – This is a no-brainer, but it took me YEARS to finally get into a regular routine. I took me way too long realize how good daily exercise was for my mental health. It keeps my anxiety low and my mood up.
    * Stop watching porn. – The availability of porn with the internet is causing unprecedented ED issues for younger men these days. The neural pathways porn creates in our brains makes it difficult to have healthy sexual relationships. It also gives us a warped perspective on how sex is supposed to be. Quitting porn has helped me rewire my brain and have better sex.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Pay attention in school. You will be surprised how many people your age or older you meet who lack knowledge and skills they could have attained through continuing adult or even basic education. Even if you think you know people very well, you really may not. Communicate well with your partner and pay attention to behavior changes you observe in them.

  5. Live in the present, don’t think too far ahead and certainly do not worry about the past. Any regrets you may have, from missteps you’ve made, will eventually subside. That’s learning and growing! What won’t subside are the regrets of NOT doing or trying something. That’s just a missed opportunity! Avoid indebtedness, it’ll kill you! Stay true to yourself and don’t worry about what others think. Save and invest (real estate) wisely! Keep your shit private, always! DO NOT impregnate a woman any time soon, it can wreck your career and possibly your life! Speaking of women….proceed with the greatest caution! Always have a sense of humor, even in the face of adversity. Find a mentor, a confidant with whom you can speak and always remember….some secrets should remain your secrets. Become a lifelong learner of anything and everything, knowledge truly is power! Best wishes!

  6. not in 40s but with a life in constant pain:

    1. focus on fitness and posture, to stay away from issues like slipped disc etc. you’ve already won half the race.

    2. do away with smoking and excessive drinking, it never pays off

    3. owning a home, invest well, multiple skills and sources of income.

    Minimal efforts(Not risk) equals minimal gain.

  7. I can’t stress enough:

    Save money. The money you save at 25 is orders of magnitude more important and productive than the money you save at 45. I didn’t start to focus on it until my late 30s and it has a *gigantic* impact. And yea: you can afford it.

  8. I’m in my 30s, and very happy with my lot. But a lesson I struggled to learn is that you can not change other people. The only thing you can change is hot you react and respond to other people. Choose not to be drawn in to an unnecessary argument, choose not to be embroiled in other people’s drama, know that a lot of the negative interactions you will have are not about you, but more about someone else.

  9. Take 3 minutes to google if your state has any form of common law marriage. (this is for both gay and str8 guys) If you, like me, live in a state that does have common law marriage, protect yourself by making plenty of statements in writing that make it clear you are NOT married. Have your partner sign the statement acknowledging that you are not married, and do not present yourselves as married. My ex-partner is suing me for “divorce”. Yes, in a state with common law marriage, you can be married and not know it! And if a court finds that you actually are married then you need to get a divorce (there are no common law divorces), and that sets you up for “equitable division of assets” in community property states. It’s ugly, and it’s VERY expensive. This is the precise source of my present unhappiness. When this is all over (assuming I get a judgement in my favor), then I will be happy with my life. But the stress of this is all-consuming because a judgement in HIS favor could cost me many thousands of $$. And one more thing: DO NOT give anyone authorization to use your credit card. Just trust me on this one. I was hit with a surprise balance of over $16,000 of charges that I never made and did not benefit from, but I was responsible for them as the primary card holder. The trauma from this experience is going to haunt me for the rest of my life. Be careful who you trust. Some people are very effective liars.

  10. don’t get married b/c of external pressure, even if that pressure is from the girlfriend. Making a lifetime decision at a time when you still don’t know shit doesn’t always work out well.

  11. 1. Save money, spend money. Don’t be broke, don’t be cheap.
    2. Find someone, and love them. Love is a verb. Love them every day.
    3. A profession is a means to an end. I don’t want to eat cat food when I’m 80.
    4. Having children means you have now transitioned from caring for yourself to caring for others first and foremost. Don’t have kids until you can dedicate yourself to being the best parent you can be.
    5. There’s no one-size-fits-all to parenting or life.
    6. Don’t wait for permission to have fun. Do it for you. Want to go on that retreat? Do it. Want to join that sport? Do it.
    7. Eat healthy, exercise, get outside. It’s harder to loose weight that to keep it off. Your hormones change as you get older.
    8. Find out who you are, what makes you tick, what makes you unique. Compromise on the things you can, stay true to your values.
    9. Family and friends are amazing. Invest in them. Don’t be around people who divide your circle.
    10. Never trust a fart on keto

  12. Have all your arrangements in writing, even if it’s with your parents, or future wife etc.

    You are going to build a house with your newly married wife? Define from before who owns the house and take the opinion of a lawyer.

    Did your parents or siblings loaned money from you? Have it in writing again through a lawyer.

  13. Marriage is a horrible deal for men. Most marriages are unhappy and, if she decides to leave you, you become her slave. Under no circumstances should you ever take this risk. There is no one you can trust completely. People change over time. People lie about who they are and you (yes, even you) can be fooled by them.

    This is not a bitter, divorced guy talking. I have never been divorced but I’ve watch so many other men be destroyed by it. It is just far too dangerous to ever consider.

  14. start saving for a house and retirement now. because the interest will build a lot better than when your in your 40s and trying to save for a house.

    if your not happy in your job, change it. because your not gonna be happy if your still doing it for another 20+ years. pick a job your happy to do rather than the one somebody else told you about.

    make sure your workmates you genuinely like. otherwise comming into work will be a chore.

  15. Boundaries! Stay fit and flexible. Have creative hobbies and passions. Travel on your own wether it’s across oceans or where you live. Observe more than you speak. Be authentic, be you, and don’t apologize for it, but don’t be a dick about it.

  16. Make genuine friendships. Travel as much as possible. Sleep with as many partners as u can(safely..those memories will sustain u later). DIY life skills over classroom education. Home 1st, car later. And, start hitting the gym early

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