I’m turning 42 on March 28. After years of dealing with insecurity and trials in life, I am proud to say that I am wiser and stronger than I was several years ago. Let me share with you a few important things I learned as a 40-something to my younger self as well as to you especially, to men under the age of 30.
Stay fit – It doesn’t matter whether running, yoga or jujitsu, as long as you enjoy doing it, you can look and feel younger compare to the average sedentary men. Study shows that fitness can help to increase our lifespans for up to 5 years. You should start racking up finisher’s medals and trophies at 40 than at 50. I forgot to mention that you have to cut the daily intake of sisig and crispy pata.
Keep a journal – Your journal can be set us as your idea bank. I learned this from my mentor Jonah Chipeco last June. I remember years of collecting planners from Starbucks during the Holidays but I never really wrote anything on those and started collecting dust. I realized that those great ideas I should’ve written went to dust. After my trip to Japan in October 2016, I bought myself a journal by Muji and started jotting down great memories and wonderful ideas. If you collect journals during the end of the year, make sure to write on it.
Don’t marry out of fear or just to have kids – At the end of the day, having kids is a huge responsibility. Nobody wants to be a bad parent.
Drink moderately… Seriously! – Gone are days that we end up wasted with too much alcohol and embarrassing ourselves at parties. Not worth it!
“Be A Man” ideology is complete bullshit – It’s a shame that many of us Filipinos are raised to become the stereotypically macho. As a result, many men suffer from depression because of toxic masculinity. Also, there is a common misconception that vulnerability is a sign of weakness. It is in fact, one of the most under-utilized traits of a mature man. There is nothing more fulfilling than taking care of our children, parents, and loved ones.
Our parents are always right! – When we were young, rebelling was cool and we hated being told by our parents. As we grew older, we adopted their wisdom into our daily lives. The first people we run to during our downtimes are our parents.
The end of your career is NOT the end of the world – I’d like to share that I left my career as an HR Professional for 10 years. My career helped me to become financially stable, buy investment portfolios, and travel a few countries at my own expense. Deep inside, I was unhappy and dissatisfied with my career direction. So, I decided to start doing what I’m passionate about rather than working hard to be somebody else and end up miserable. Let’s take care of our mental health, gentlemen!
Read more books – I know this is a bit old school but there are lots of advantages of reading books over checking your social media regularly. According to the November 2019 article on The New Strait Times, print media provides genuine information that have gone through fact-checking and verification. It also helps our brains to work harder and stimulate more ideas. So, I highly recommend reading at least one book per month (regardless if it’s fiction or non-fiction) to stimulate your brains.
Control your temper – I have a confession to you guys. I have a short fuse, a sore loser and always cranky especially when I experience canceled Grab bookings and the slow MRT. Living in Metro Manila is never easy, but we have to deal with it. Culture, urban environment, mental health, and even low level of testosterone can cause men’s poor judgment and short temper.
When I attended the adidas FOCUSBREATHEIN Run on February 2, I was introduced to Mindfulness Meditation by Imee Contreras. Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one can develop through the practice of meditation and other training. You can try that to clear your mind and control your temper.
Master your hobby and love it – Some people either make fun or underestimate people with eccentric hobbies and interests. Let’s say you exchanged your successful career in IT to become a furniture maker. They may start to mock you because you exchanged a stable and prestigious job in exchange for an unstable career. You will indeed struggle at first. Don’t give up! Ignore their mockery, enjoy what you love doing most, and focus on your new career path. Don’t lose your passion until you earn the success that you deserve.