My 20s were turbulent but here are 3 things I learned most about myself as a man during the decade.
There’s no rush to be a father
I can't comprehend the mindset of men who want to settle down and have children ASAP. I just think there’s a world to explore and experience that isn’t always possible when you have children at a young age. Although I know not every guy is as adventurous as me so maybe I'm being too judgemental.
I remember talking to my barber last year and he was surprised when I said I didn’t have any children even though I’m 7 years older than him. He already has 2 children, a career, a wife & seems to have a structured (and settled) life. Fair play to him – nice guy. However, I changed my path when my life started to fall around me in my mid-20s. I don’t envy him as I stopped comparing myself to others a long time ago. I felt guilty for a second but then realised I owe nothing to society. I'm not having a child for the sake of it.
You can be a father in your 30s, 40s or even in your 90s! (shoutout Bernie Ecclestone!). I want to settle down with my future Queen when my life is where I want it to be – financially, emotionally & securely.
Yes, life is harder the older you get but only if you let it. If you can’t kick a ball with a child in your middle age, unless you have physical problems, then your lazy and never cared for your health. Thankfully, I take great pride in mine.
Life isn't a competition against other men
Repeat after me.
I WILL STOP COMPARING MYSELF TO OTHER MEN.
Say it 3 times then read on.
I can’t stress enough how much time I wasted with this mentality. It was sucking the energy out of my life for nothing. You can’t always control what’s in front of you. Sometimes people are in the right place at the right time and take advantage of the opportunity. Whether you call it luck, karma, fate, whatever – deal with it. Live your life through your own eyes and not following someone's shadow.
Oh, so a guy you went to school with has a 3-bedroom house, a stunning blonde in his bed & inherited some wealth to kick start his smug little business. Cool. Brilliant. Whatever. But in the grand scheme of things – who is he? Just another guy. That’s it.
What you actually need to do is convert your obsessive behaviour by converting the bad energy into positivity by learning from people who will inspire you to be a better person. Find people you consider a role model and learn about their psyche. Read their stories & pick out their strengths to see how you can implement them into your life.
Enjoy your money lads (but be sensible..)
I saved up a lot in my early 20s only to almost go bankrupt by the turn of my 30th birthday. I did make my money work by dipping into the stock market and unit trusts but my excessive spending behaviour and bad post redundancy decisions meant I lost it all.
I got into a state of depression because I was angry at how foolish I was to get into so much debt when I was doing everything right since my first paycheque. Nevertheless, my downward spiral only made me appreciate the smaller things in life. I think I needed to hit rock bottom to understand the real value of my money.
I was only saving for a deposit on a house so I could one day apply for a mortgage but did I really want one or was I following a trend because everyone around me was beginning to settle down?
It’s a conversation which divides people. Some will argue a mortgage is future security whereas others will say it’s a load of debt without any guarantee.
My attitude now is to enjoy your money while you still have your health because the retirement age will suck. We might get a couple of good years before seeing a doctor a couple of times a week. Wall Street will continue to get rich while we get old.
Please be more disciplined with your money than me but don't be afraid to enjoy yourself either.