I went for a colleague’s birthday outing few years back as he clocked the proverbial 40 years of age. I have heard people say ‘A fool at 40 is a fool forever’ and I suppose they meant that there are certain things you can’t fix anymore once you have gone past age 40 or simply put, there are certain things you ought to have done or stopped doing as you celebrate your 40 years on earth as a man.
Many believe that asides achy joints which are the main reasons we slow down as we get older, the brain part in charge of motion may also start a gradual downhill slide at age 40. New research also suggests that in middle age, even healthy people begin to lose some of the insulation in a motor-control part of the brain — at the same rate that their speed subtly slows. Dr. George Bartzokis, a neurologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the work, concluded that this explains why it is hard to be a world-class athlete after 40. So, in other words, if you want to be the Tiger Woods of this world, Usain Bolts, Christiano Ronaldos and the likes, you must have achieved that before you turn 40.
Now, here are 20 things I believe you should do as a man before you are 40, please note that this is not anywhere near comprehensive and the application of this list may vary from one man to another, But I think if you start with these 20 things, you might just be on the right track going into that dreaded middle age era of your life.
1. Have A Relationship With Your Creator: It doesn’t matter how you choose to communicate with the creator; by age 40, you should have a relationship with God in your own way, except if you are an atheist.
2. Have Healthy Respect For Creation: 40 is not the age where you should start learning about how to value other human beings, how to treat and respect them and how to take care and charge of the environment you live in. You ought to have done that way before.
3. Dump The Skinny Jeans: Except you are a performing artist or something close to that, please throw all your skinny jeans away no matter how fashionable they are, or simply give them to that your little brother of yours just entering the University.
4. Control Your Alcohol: People shouldn’t be bundling you home from a gig, or picking you up from the gutter the day after your friend’s daughter naming ceremony. At 40, you must be in control of yourself if you take alcohol.
5. Know The Purpose Of Money: By this time, you should know that man makes the money and not the other way round. So, If you still go around trying to oppress ‘homeboys’ and impress every chic in your neighbourhood because you have some money in your bank account, maybe you are not really 40 afterall.
6. Know The Difference between Making Love and Fu**ing, And When Which One Is Appropriate: Thankfully, we are talking to adults here, who shouldn’t be lectured on how to give pleasure to their partners when necessary. So, please know the difference, if you don’t, ask your friends to teach you. Lol
7. Know Your Worth, Your Value And Your Non-Negotiables: Back in my village, they used to say “Whatever we will not agree to when we become wealthy, must be subtly rejected while not as wealthy” it simply means, at 40 people you must stand for something and people around you must know what you stand for. You can’t have a fickle mind at 40 and expect people to take you seriously.
8. Have A Firm Handshake: you know those CEO like handshakes? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Your grip must be firm and sure by the time you are 40 especially when your job makes you to formally or socially meet lot of people.
9. Have Appropriate Shoes: Please brother, just like the jeans, some shoes are not just meant for you when you are 40. Even if you have 2 pairs, let them be appropriate for whatever occasion.
10. Have Some Money Saved: Well, I know Nigeria is hard but if you have a job, please have some money saved for rainy days. Some unplanned health issues might arise, you might lose some old parents or grandparents; and I suppose if any of that happens, you don’t want to start running around like a headless chicken for ‘chicken change’ abi?
11. Have A Purpose Or Be On The Road To Finding One: Have you heard that when a man discovers the reason or the purpose for which he was born; that is when he starts living? If you haven’t before now, well you just read that. So by 40, you must have known why you are born, you must have discovered purpose and daily working at achieving it.
12. Visit Your Alma Mater: If you are reading this, then I’m so sure you went to a primary school at least. So, it is recommended that you walk on the nostalgic path again, meet your old teachers (if they are still there) take a look at your classroom and the bench that you used to sit, contribute something, be a role model or just relive your memories. You can do same with your secondary school and higher institution as well.
13. Apply For Your Dream Job: Don’t look back later in life with regret, wondering what could have been. So before you are 40; equip yourself and apply for the job you’ve always wanted. It may not lead to any dramatic career choice, but unless you give it a shot, you will never know.
14. Be A Mentor: There is no reason you should not have at least one person that you inspire; one young person looking up to you, while you provide direction.
15. You Can Still Find A Mentor: The good news is, as you are mentoring somebody, you can also still find another mentor of your own even at 40 as you’re never too old to learn from someone older than you. You can continue with the ones you have had from your twenties or simply look for a fresh one and add them up, but we all need some form of mentorship no matter the age.
16. Be Successful In Your Chosen Field: I don’t mean you must have had plenty money and build mansions in Lekki. But even if you are a carpenter, you must have mastered the art of carpentry to the extent that people will look up to you and respect you because of your work.
17. Get Married Mbok!: Except you are a monk, you are expected to have had your own family before you turn 40. Even though, some factors are militating against many of us in this part of the world. But please strive to start a family before 40 unless you plan NOT to have one at all.
18. Be Done Sowing Wild Oats: This is almost like the one directly above, but except that we all know a good number of married men still sowing their wild oats. Please, once you are 40, you shouldn’t be running after every Jennifer, Shade, Ijeoma and Aminat. Abeg, amend your ways!
19. Be Prepared For Retirement: You are 40 and the truth is you might not live up to another 40 years and if you do, the productive years are now considerably shorter. So, if you are not fully prepared for retirement by now, please start planning before you hit 40.
20. Do The NEEDFUL: Remember I said the application of this list may vary from one man to another, so my last advice is that you do whatever is needful for you to have a successful post-40 life. I hope I have been able to get across to you. See you soon.