Men has a lot of things to consider.
After a long and exhilarating day at the office, I pulled up to our suburban home in my flashy Ford Mustang, feeling like I was conquering the world—like all the money and stuff I had is what made me a real man. I had no idea how wrong I was.
I was young and didn’t know yet that new sports cars and big paychecks don’t make us successful or happy or good men in the long run. I couldn’t know that without asking myself some important questions I hadn’t asked yet—4 questions men should think about as they get older.
A man carries cash. A man looks out for those around him — woman, friend, stranger. A man can cook eggs. A man can always find something good to watch on television. A man makes things — a rock wall, a table, the tuition money. Or he rebuilds — engines, watches, fortunes. He passes along expertise, one man to the next. Know-how survives him. This is immortality. A man can speak to dogs. A man fantasizes that kung fu lives deep inside him somewhere. A man knows how to sneak a look at cleavage and doesn’t care if he gets busted once in a while. A man is good at his job. Not his work, not his avocation, not his hobby. Not his career. His job. It doesn’t matter what his job is, because if a man doesn’t like his job, he gets a new one.
Table of Contents
1. Does your career define you, or are you defining your career?
Early on, I was judging my value in this world mostly on my career path. That led to unhappiness and a never-ending treadmill of falling short. That’s because our careers don’t define us—we define them and their importance in our lives. Redefining your career, and not allowing it to be your sole measure of success in life, helps you focus on the right things instead of dwelling on accomplishments you have yet to achieve.
2. Has comfort made me complacent?
I recently left a job after five years. I easily could have stayed in that position, but I was so comfortable that I’d gotten complacent. When I realized I wasn’t growing anymore, I knew I needed to step outside my comfort zone. So my family and I moved across the country, where I started a new role. Have you settled in so much that you don’t notice how you can grow at work and at home? Even though it’s your job, is it what’s best for you and your family for the future? Are there habits you have at home that you should probably break? This is a crucial set of questions men should think about as they get older.
“Men become better when they challenge themselves to be selfless and own the outcomes of their lives.”
3. What am I doing to be a better man?
Men become better when they continually challenge themselves to be selfless and own the outcomes of their lives. Each week, I get together with a group of men and we hold each other accountable, share our challenges, and offer each other support. Our discussions about faith, friendships, and family life help us rally to be the best men we can be. We ask: Are we making a positive impact on the world around us, including at home? By becoming better men, we’re having a positive impact on our families and communities.
4. What am I doing to stay healthy?
When I look at my kids and think of them having to care for me due to preventable health problems, it motivates me to take care of myself. As a father and husband, where would my family be if I suddenly couldn’t work or play or be there? Our health impacts so many around us and we must ask what we are doing to remain fit both physically and mentally. I know I can get so focused on being a provider and leader of the family that I get off my physical and mental conditioning plan. Making sure we take care of our bodies and minds as they age is vital for accomplishing our goals.