You slave at a desk all day, staring at a screen until your eyes burn. You drink enough coffee to get you through, but at the end of the day all you can think about is resting. You walk out of the office and loosen your tie, shuffle over to your 2003 Toyota POS, and curse the moron who let their shopping cart dent your door for the hundredth time. It seems sudden when the bottom drops from your stomach, but really it’s been building for a while. You hate your life. You’re always tired. You have nothing to show for 20 years working your ass off except bad posture and a back ache. When did this happen?
Not that long ago you were a god, after all! You had a that street demon of a car that you had spent 10 years replacing parts on and polishing it until it shined like the sun. Days held nothing but hope, and dreams! Where did it all go wrong? How did you end up in your mid thirties wearing a short-sleeve button down with a tie working like a slave to someone who barely knows your name? How did you end up with this mediocre piece of shit car and living in a 1000 square foot hole in the wall? What happened to all your dreams?
You were supposed to be living in a beach house with pretty girls washing your Maserati in the driveway while you drink margaritas. You were supposed to be rich, famous and trying to decide if you should retire or continue working 2-3 hours a day for a while yet.
Instead you drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic for an hour one way every morning at 7:00 AM to go to a job you hate and earn just enough that you should be able to retire sometime in the next 200 years. You’re lucky if your wife washes the dishes let alone the car and when’s the last time you even saw her in a bikini? It occurs to you that you’ve been sold a bill of goods.
It started when you were a child. “You can be anything you want!” “This is America! and here a man can have it all, if he’s willing to work for it.” “Hard work always pays off!” “If you do well in school, the world is yours to own!” Even into your adulthood people told you to just work hard. If you weren’t getting the success you desired work harder! But, looking back it was all for naught. No matter how hard you pushed yourself, you’d never own that beach house or car. You will die a pauper in a little shack with the words “I don’t have dreams anymore” scraped into the wall above your corpse.
That macabre picture was brought to you by every guy in his mid-thirties that is not yet a millionaire. We are all told that we can be anything we want. Our teachers, parents, aunts, uncles and older cousins seem to have all read the same instruction manual on inspirational speeches. The problem is that by the time you’re in your thirties the dreams that filled your head have largely been dashed to pieces against a wall of bureaucracy and bullshit that no one told you was there.
It’s a depressing thing to think about a man who’s fire has been smothered out in such a way. Even more depressing is the fact that for some there is no way that you’re ever going to get completely out of debt, let alone be filthy rich. No matter what those late night infomercials tell you it just won’t happen for everyone. There is good news though! While you may not be wildly successful financially, there’s no reason your life has to be mediocre! You can live a fulfilling life, rich in experience and love even if your teenage dreams of success never come to fruition.
I recently saw an add on my Facebook feed. There was a guy peddling a book that supposedly held the secret to getting out of the funk that comes with looking back at your life in your thirties. Thank God for targeted advertising right? What would I do without someone playing to my emotions and memories of lost youth to sell me his secret sauce of life for $10? I read through his pitch and it was intriguing. It played to the emotions of a 30-something year old very well.
He knew that just as you start to enter into your middle years many men become very depressed about their lives. They never travelled the world, or bought their dream home or car. Life just didn’t turn out for them like they were told it would when they were younger. This guy (I will not name him because I refuse to give him ANY traffic whatsoever) States that he did 3 things that completely changed his outlook on life. He suddenly became more driven, ambitious, and absorbed in life! He lost 60 pounds in 6 months, his marriage and relationships with his children healed! He took his business from $20,000 a month to $200,000! WOW! This guy did it! This guy has finally found the secret formula!
And for $10 you can have it too! And you can add it to the rest of the load of bullshit your local farmer uses to fertize his crops. This guy and hundreds, if not thousands, more like him prey on guys that just want a better life. Charging a ridiculous $10 for a 43 page PDF file with no life-altering information is crazy (if you’re wondering: my $10 is still secure inside my wallet. Always look for reviews before handing people money).
Here I will unveil the wisdom he so graciously wants to bestow on people for the low price of $10.
Find out what you want to do and dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to pursing that goal.
Live the way you’re supposed to. Meaning eat right, exercise, meditate, etc.
Spend time with your family and don’t give up!
WOW! Well, now that he’s shared that with me I guess I have a direct path to retirement! Or, more likely, you’ve been doing that this whole time and still ended up in the position you’re in right now. That’s okay though because I am going to share some information with you that might actually change your life, or at least your point of view.
We’ve all seen some billionaire kid on TV that came up with the world’s greatest idea in grade school, but do you know how old most people are when they become wealthy? IN THEIR 50’s! If you’re reading this and you’re in your thirties, strap in and get to work! You still have 20 years before you become a millionaire. That’s when 80% of self-made millionaire became wealthy according to a study in Business Insider.
Here’s the problem with people that write “books” like this guy did. They are just taking money out of your wallet and their life-changing advice is to keep going because you’re not there yet. It’s a ripoff in its purest form. You really want help succeeding? There are books out there that can help, like “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. A little bit of research on Google will provide you list of excellent books recommended by people who have already made fortunes and used the knowledge in these books to their benefit.
I’m not downplaying the advice contained in this person’s report, but it’s advice you already know. You do have to find your passion and pursue it relentlessly. You should also spend time with your family in order for those relationships to flourish. You already know these things. But you still feel like something is missing from your life.
Here’s the big secret: there is something missing. As we age we largely become creatures of habit. We wake, eat, work, come home eat and sleep. Once a year we take a vacation, maybe twice. It’s all so routine. The world holds no more mystery for you or excitement because your life seems planned already. And this is where most people fall apart.
Most people get discouraged and quit before they begin to get results from their hard work. A lot of people do become dejected in their 30’s and focus solely on the career that pays the bills, because you need lights. You may be pursuing a world changing dream, but you’ll never know unless you give it time.
If you’re trying to grow a tree taller than all the others in the forest it’s going to take time a care to get it there. You’ll have to tend it daily and make sure you’re putting in more effort than anyone else trying to grow their tree.
You have to pick a point at which you want to be able to measure success. 50 seems to be a good number as that’s when most people become first-time millionaires. Then spend a little time plotting the course to get yourself there. Find out what steps you’re going to need to take in order to obtain that goal. These will change as time goes on and may end up being altogether different than what you originally thought.
Love your family and see them as often as you can. “For what profits a man that he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul in the process?” You want to be rich for you, of course, but you also want to provide a lifestyle to your family and a legacy. What good does it do to accomplish that if they all hate you?
You have to train your brain. Read everything you can on business and anything pertaining to your pursuit. If you want to own a restaurant start reading stories of people who built huge franchises. If you want to write a game changing computer program, read books about those leaders in Silicon Valley that did it. Train your brain to start looking at opportunity differently.
Finally you have to learn to fight. I’ve said before that life is going to kick you in the crotch and you should buy a cup. It’s true. Life is the dirtiest fighter in the world and it will take you to your knees any way it can. You have to look within and find that wild animal, that raging ball of testosterone that you’ve been keeping in a cage for 10 years and let him loose! You have to learn to fight back. To stand up to whatever comes and howl into the wind like a madman. Learn to take a punch and how to get yourself back up (metaphorically).
That’s where the real fire inside is and that’s what’s really missing. You don’t have any fight in you anymore. You put your beast in a cage and lost the key. Now you shrink away from life instead of standing up to it. Men need challenges in their life. You need to stand toe to toe with an enemy and let them know that you’re not backing down. You’re not going anywhere and you’re going to leave a mark before it’s all said and done. Learn to defend your dreams again. They’re precious and they can slip away in an instant if you don’t guard them.
In your thirties you haven’t failed. You’re only just learning to succeed. The only failure you’ll ever meet is to give up and give in. If you pursue your dreams your entire life and end up on your deathbed not having accomplished your goal are you going to look back and be ashamed? Or will you be glad that you gave everything you had and showed your family, friends, neighbors and the world how one should live their life? That’s not failure. That’s success in its rarest form. Looking back and being proud of what you’ve done.
You want your fire back? Let that be your driving force. Make yourself proud and others will be proud of you too. And you’ll have lived a life of adventure and excitement, full of small wins and losses. You’ll have stories to tell your grandchildren. You’ll have a lifetime of memories that can only come from someone they would die before they let their dreams do the same. If you’re reading this and you’re in your thirties you have a lot of life ahead of you. You’re not approaching the end of the adventure it’s just starting to get good. Go live it.