Most Important Things For A Man To Learn In Life
Five Crucial Life Lessons Every Man Needs To Learn ASAP
This article was initially published in the Quora thread, What are the five most important things for a man to learn in life?
I will be turning 25 soon.
Five years ago, I made a decision to surpass the bad condition I was in back then and to work hard to improve myself and my mind-set as much as possible.
I believe maturity is a subjective thing and it’s based on the emotions and challenges you go through life. I’ve met 40-year-olds who were acting like 18-year-olds and 18-year-olds who enrolled in the army and possessed at 22 the self-discipline that others can only dream of.
Based on these thoughts, what you need to focus on the most is internal growth. Don’t go adding unnecessary things around you. Instead, develop inner toughness.
Some of the helpful lessons I learned in my journey towards growth are:
- Stop Complaining
Seriously! It’s such a big waste of your daily energy — which is limited, by the way. Why use it all up on complaining about how your situation sucks? Whether you don’t like your degree, your city, your job, your boss or any other condition you are in, complaining will do exactly zero towards improving your current state. Life doesn’t owe you anything and we should never feel entitled to take it for granted. Furthermore, if you complain out loud, the people around you are going to get sick of it. You are gonna become the guy that bums everyone out and they will start avoiding you. Start doing something about the things that bother you. And if you are afraid of change, embrace it. Change is the only constant we have in this world. Either you lead the change or you get left behind.
- Talk To Her
The girl who has been sitting alone at the bar for 20 minutes might just want to talk to you. Even if she hasn’t made eye contact with you. She is out alone on a Friday night because she hopes to meet an interesting guy. I feel that today there is a trend among young men that is wrong. In a social media-driven world, guys believe that in order to be more successful with women they need to be overly metrosexual men who care more about their looks than their personality. Take care of your grooming but don’t obsess about your looks. Go out there, talk to people. Smile and say hello to a cute girl at the supermarket. Start random conversations. No girls fantasize about meeting the dream guy in a club while half drunk. Maybe he just sparks a conversation with her in the metro on a random Wednesday. Be an interesting guy, stop caring about looking manly. Act, develop inner confidence and charisma. It will be scary, but that’s the point.
- Work Out
I cannot stress enough how important this is for several reasons.
- It teaches you discipline. I had moments when I set goals for myself but always failed in being consistent because I didn’t see the results. Then when I started running marathons, and later powerlifting, I learned that I will not see results very soon. You have to fall in love with the process itself and detach from the outcome. I used to say that people who practice sports are just mindless pieces of muscle, but once you start practicing psychical activities, you learn how much hard work goes behind them and you gain so much respect for people who are active. They are actually some of the smartest people I know.
- It becomes a point of reference. Every time I was going through hard times, I would work on my mental strength the same way I would practice physical strength. Muscles grow by basically being hurt. See every challenge as an opportunity to grow and learn no matter how difficult it is. You are not what happens to you but you are how you react to it.
- Endorphins. The natural way of relieving stress and surviving days when you feel a bit under the weather.
Sounds obvious, right? You would be surprised by how many people don’t practice this actively. Most people tend to react to their surroundings. They get lost in the nitty-gritty and don’t actually control what they should focus on. A lot of people will tell you that in your 20s you need to do everything. Experiment with this and that.
Living in an “ADD (attention deficit disorder)” world where we are constantly hit with notifications and reasons to be impulsive can lead you in a downward spiral that amounts to nothing in the end. I suggest putting value on THINKING first, then DOING. The people that tell you to do stuff are the people that want to take advantage of your skills so they can do the thinking and you can do the work. 400,000 years ago, none of this existed. It was created by someone’s mind gradually. Practice writing 10 ideas per day and go for long walks in the park every Sunday. Become present. Grab control. Have perspective.
- Manage Your Input/Output Ratio
I used to hate reading. I think I only read one proper book by the time I turned 20. During school, I would always read the online short versions or watch the movies of the books I was supposed to read in literature class. The books in the program just didn’t click with me. Then, after finishing school, I still had a huge thirst for knowledge so I started researching topics that I liked and read the most recommended books. And this is how I fell in love with reading and it’s something I strive to do daily for at least one hour. Now I always carry my small Kindle with me. Every time I have 10 minutes, I take it out and read another page. At this point, I’ve lost count at around 200 books and my only worry is that I won’t have enough time to read everything. But there’s a catch. Reading is input. In order to actually grow as an individual you also have to create a set of actions as output. Don’t just read and feel excited that you are becoming so smart. You need to put in practice what you read: Share your “aha” moment from the book with a friend, write a review, start a project. Don’t move on to the next read until you apply one lesson from your current one.
You can’t create great stuff without learning, but learning without creating stuff is also redundant.
These are just some of the lessons I was lucky enough to experiment so far. I only hope the next five years will be even more challenging.
Thanks and regards,
Seth Simon Mwakitalu
Entrepreneurship Consultant and Lifestyle Trainer
Tel: +255 754 441325 or +255 714 051174