Life Lessons For Men
So you’ve left school and you’ve got your job and your apartment and everything is cool, right? Finally some independence, finally some time to relax and not have to answer to anybody else. That’s what being an adult is, isn’t it? Well, why do you still feel like you still have no idea what you are doing? It seems that best life lessons for men are things that we are expected to learn all yourselves, but it isn’t always that simple. Here are some man lessons, in no particular order, to give you a hand in surviving the travails of post-college life.
1. Learn to Take Responsibility for Your Actions
One of the top life lessons that all men should learn, is taking responsibility for your actions. There is a lot of the blame game going around, with people terrified of losing what they have, and if something goes wrong, they don’t want to be held accountable.
This doesn’t help anybody, though. Owning up to your mistakes and facing the repercussions, whether they mean you get fired, suspended, demoted, banned, or anything else you can think of is good for building character.
It is in these moments where everything has gone wrong and you hold your hands up and say ‘Hey, my bad’ that will set you apart from those who look to blame everybody around them. If you do suffer the consequences, consider it a learning experience. You are unlikely to ever make such a mistake again.
2. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Because nobody else will. It is good to be able to laugh at yourself, it makes you seem more approachable, more friendly, more human. Those who can recognize when they have messed up, done something stupid, and made an ass of themselves have nothing to fear, their truths are laid bare on the table for all to see.
So next time the music is playing some stupid song that you wish you could dance to but don’t want to embarrass yourself, don’t worry about it. It’s better to be the life of the party than the death of it.
3. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Whether it be girlfriend, promotion or even something seemingly insignificant, you can’t always get what you want. The Stones knew it, and you should know it, too. Learning this early will help you to cope with disappointment in a more mature way than if you had everything handed to you through life.
It can also prove to be an excellent motivator. It allows you to get introspective and consider what you could have done differently, instead of blaming others around you for your failings and improve your approach in the future. Learning and understanding that there are things in life that you can control will give you the ability and incentive to give it your all.
4. Not Everyone Is Going To Like You
And that’s okay. Some people just will not like you. They might not like your face, your sense of humor, the way you dress. They might even be really petty and hate you just because of where you came from, just because you are different from them, yes even in this 21st Century. But whatever, what can you do?
Well, you can treat them like you would anybody else. Don’t bite, don’t retaliate (unless, you know, things get violent), but be decent, and, if you can, kill them with kindness. You don’t want to waste your time trying to get everyone to like you, it seems desperate and obsessive so just be cool. You’ll probably not change their opinion of you, but at least you’ll not give them any more of an excuse to bad mouth you to your coworkers who, if they’ve got any backbone (see lesson #6) will have your back.
5. You’re Not Going To Like Everybody, Either
And this is okay, too. It might seem weird looking at this in a different way to others not liking you, but sometimes two people just do not click. They don’t share any interests with you, they might give off ‘Leave me alone’ vibes, they might be the physical embodiment of everything you believe is wrong with the world. And again, whatever.
They might not even be a bad person, they might just be someone who you don’t see yourself being friends or even acquaintances with. There is nothing wrong with knowing someone purely as someone you work with. So, be friendly, but don’t bend over backwards trying to force a relationship with someone who is not your type of person. Focus on people who are your type of person.
6. Learn To Stand Up For Yourself and What You Believe In
There are times in life where you are asked what you think about something, maybe you are even challenged about it, whether it be from a coworker, a family member or some random who is looking to cause trouble at the bar. In these moments, you might feel like you need to say something to please them, to back up their ego, to keep yourself from getting into a discussion that you just cannot be dealing with.
It’s a complicated situation. Do you merely agree with them, timidly and without issue and lose a piece of your spine (figuratively, obviously) in the process? Or do you stand up for what you believe in? Do you call them out on their bulls**t and risk losing a piece of your spine (literally, this time) in the process?
Well, no one respects a guy who doesn’t back up his beliefs, and if you merely act as a people pleaser, terrified of confrontation, you’ll be seen as weak, without any real belief, and someone who changes opinions like socks. If you are so quick to change your opinion to please others, your beliefs probably aren’t that strong in the first place.
7. Respect is a Two Way Street
Of course, it is. A lot of the older generation have this idea that to get respect you have to earn it, but how about this: just respect everybody because they are a human being? You would be surprised how easy it is for people to get along when people respect each other.
Showing everyone you meet a base respect by listening to them, talking to them, understanding them shows a maturity that even people much older than you fail to display. Furthermore, show respect for people’s wishes, both male and female. If you are getting the feeling or are flat out told that they want to be left alone, do so. You do not have autonomy over their feelings, bro.
8. Learn How To Look After Your Money
One of the most important life lessons is learning to look after your money. Seriously. The progression from adolescence to adulthood is exciting because you find yourself with funds that you’ve never really had before; money that you can spend on anything and everything you’ve ever wanted, and sure, go ahead and splurge a little, it’s your money. But there is a danger to this. Too much frivolous spending means that you won’t have anything to fall back on should disaster strike.
Learning to get a handle on your finances is crucial, and perhaps every guy needs to be in that situation where he has to decide whether to eat or pay rent before he realized just how important money management is. Early on, make sure to budget, to spend less than you make, to keep an eye on interest and credit card statements and for the love of God make sure you keep your credit rating a-okay. It might mean that you have to miss out on doing cool stuff with the guys, but at least you’ll be able to afford it, and then some, next time.
9. It Is Okay to Be Alone
All your friends might be shacking up with girls who will soon be their wives. They might be buying houses, and having babies (or at least a pet). But this does not mean that you have to fall in love and propose to the first girl who looks your way. Far from it.
You need to experience what it is like to be alone, to live alone, to do whatever the hell you want without worrying about responsibilities. Living alone is one of the vital life lessons for men and gives you a chance to learn important, nay, crucial life skills like cooking, cleaning, just generally looking after yourself, paying bills, dealing with stuff independently.
Yeah, it’s scary, life is scary, but it will be a helluva lot scarier in twenty years time when someone asks you to do something that you have no idea how because you’ve spent your entire life being codependent.
10. The Unknown is Not Something Scary and Strange
Your youth is the only time you can feel comfortable with throwing yourself into some completely alien scenario and not have to worry about things like jobs, family, finances and any of that other boring adult stuff that cracks you in the jaw when you hit thirty.
Learning about the world around you is the best way of expanding your horizons. You’ll get the chance to experience different cultures, learn about different ways of life. Taking yourself completely out of your comfort zone and realizing that is isn’t all that bad will set you up for feeling confident in exploring new and unfamiliar challenges, without any of the fear that someone who has hidden away might have.
11. Stop Concerning Yourself With What You Could Have, and Focus On What You Do
Getting too stuck on what you don’t have means you miss exactly what is in front of you. Sure, you might not have the highest paying job, the biggest house, or the fastest car, but these things don’t really matter, not in the long run. Some people will base their lives on their material success, and that’s fine, whatever makes them happy. But not everybody feels this way.
It might take something big to make you realize just how good you have it. There is no point in comparing yourself to others when you don’t know the full extent of their life. If you spend your whole life wishing that you had more than what you already do, then you will miss the chance to make the most of what is in front of you, and have the opportunity to improve on this, and be thankful, which is key to living the happiest life possible.
12. You’ve Only Got One Body, Take Care of It
This is obvious, but it means getting into good habits early on (which, really a lot of these lessons to live by are, in a way). You’ve only got one body, and we don’t care how good your metabolism was as a kid, all good things must come to an end, and so will this. There will be one day where you wake up and see yourself wider and more tired than you have ever seen yourself before, and you might recoil in horror.
Before the threat of middle-age hits, make sure to eat right, make sure to go to the gym, make sure to stay in touch with friends and keep up your hobbies, make sure to practice good physical and mental health. You might feel exhausted after work, you might just want some time to yourself at the end of the week, but make an effort to cook a healthy dinner, make an effort to drag yourself to the gym, make an effort to meet up with friends at their place or at the bar, make an effort to get out of the house. You’ll thank yourself later on.
So those are our lessons for life. We’re not suggesting you follow all of them, but keeping them in mind as you navigate the absurdity that is real life can help keep you grounded, they can remove those rose-tinted glasses and help you realize that things aren’t always going to fall into place. You can’t control a lot of things that will happen around you, but you can control how you prepare and deal with things that, without these lessons, you might not be able to handle.
- I’m 23 And I Have No Idea What I’m Doing – HuffPost
- 6 Most Important Life Lessons for the Millennial Man – The Good Man Project
- Most Important Things for a Man to Learn In Life – AskMen
- 10 Life Lessons Every Man Should Lean in Their 20s – Man Talks