Life is full of choices, challenges and lessons we end up learning the hard way. At times, it would almost be easier just to go back to bed than face the responsibilities we have as a man. A good man knows, however, that running doesn’t solve problems and he does his best to face difficult choices head-on.
Life moves quickly. Today, my oldest child turns 16—it feels like just yesterday I was changing his diapers. For years, I slept walked through life. I believed the lie that I would have plenty of time in the future to make the difficult choices that would lead to change in my life. I let my weight go, watched my marriage deteriorate, and I worked day in and out at a job I hated with everything inside of me.
It took the death of my father to shake me out of the haze that had become my life. I realized that life was too short to keep making excuses. I made a vow that even if I failed, I would die trying to create a better life for my family and me. Since that day, I’ve lost 170 pounds, quit a job I hated, and moved our family to our dream destination of Maui, Hawaii. I vowed not to repeat these four mistakes a good man works hard not to repeat.
Accepting a job he hates. Business Insider tells us that 80% of guys are working in a job they hate. That’s scary because the average guy will spend 90,000 hours working in his lifetime—on average. These numbers might not apply to your situation, but you get the point. A lot of guys aren’t happy with their work.
What the stats reveal is more important. When one partner spends ten more hours than normal working, that couple is twice as likely to break up/divorce. There is also the stress that comes with a job you hate—40% more. All of this affects every other area of your life. I realize I’m probably not telling you something you don’t already know.
The question is: what are you going to do about it? Today, finding better work is easier and harder. The Internet and social media have created opportunities and opened doors that were previously closed. Today, you can use the web to find or create work you love. And, you should because it will affect your life. If you are stuck in work that’s negatively affecting your life, it’s time to get honest, and start taking the first steps to escape.
Holding onto toxic relationships. It’s hard to let go of someone who you share special memories with. It can be a romantic relationship, or family and friends, but your relationships help or hurt your life. If someone has become toxic, they will hold you back in life and feed into your doubt and fear. A good man knows it’s hard to let go, but he does his best to purge negativity from his life.
Not making his health a priority. Your health affects you energy and self-image. Not making it a priority is a mistake good men try to avoid repeating. If you want the chance of living a long and healthy life, you have to take care of your body through what you eat and how active you are. Make your health a priority and it will pay dividends.
Giving up on his dreams. When we’re young, the jadedness of life hasn’t hit us. We dream big dreams. Somewhere along the way circumstances and or people ruin that innocent image of what could be possible in our life. A good man dreams and wants more from his life. There may be a time when those dreams take a backseat, but he doesn’t make the mistake of giving up.
Making major life changes isn’t an overnight process, and I don’t want you to think it happened quickly for me. I didn’t win the lottery or catch any lucky breaks—it took good old fashion hard work and determination. It took the help and support of good friends.
I don’t know what you want to accomplish in your life. I don’t know what success means to you, but I’m guessing you do. Too many guys lose sight of their dreams/goals. Life throws unexpected circumstances at us but that doesn’t mean we have to give up.
It will take time. It will take overcoming failure. It will take stepping outside of your comfort zone. It will take believing in yourself and what’s possible and then taking action. Don’t repeat mistakes that keep you stuck in life. Do everything you can to create and live a life you love.
What mistakes are you working on not repeating?
Photo: Flickr/ erin m