In my last two blogs I looked at what you should achieve at certain ages. I found that our 20s are a time for travel, friends, independence and figuring out what you want to achieve in your life. It’s also a time for hard work and perseverance and career. Our 30s are still a time for big dreams, risks and career, but also a time to enjoy life a little more – that means spending time with friends and family and enjoying hobbies like music and photography. In both these decades we need to be saving for our future and taking care of our health.
Today I want to look at what we should be doing in our fabulous 40s. Again, if you have ideas about what to achieve or learn at certain ages, please get in touch!
For today’s advice I went to a highly reliable source – a trusted publication everyone’s mother sweats by – Readers Digest, and I think their advice on what we must do in our 40s is just brilliant.
1. Use your passport!
Ok, if you got married or worked hard in your 20s and 30s and never went travelling then you need to get this over and done with in your 40s. That’s right, you are still young enough to be a backpacker, but hey, got a bit more upmarket than youth hostels. To really understand yourself and the world, Readers Digest says you need to spend some time on the road, and I so agree with them!
2. Cry in public
Oh, Readers Digest, l love you so! In our 20s we really cared what people thought, in your 30s we were loosening up, now in our 40s we can be brave enough to make a fool of ourselves in public. You now have permission to blubber at sad movies in a cinema, you can cry at work if the world really annoys you, damn it, you can cry on a bus if you want to. Finally, in your 40s you should be liberated from caring about what others think!
3. Write your will
Few people actually want to die, but the sad reality is that cancer visits too many people in their 40s. It is time to be a grown-up and plan for every eventuality – even death. Readers Digest says do you want your kids fight over your collection of pickle jars (Yes, I believe Readers Digest readers pickle – my mum made preserves). Sit down, write up a will allocating your possessions and get a lawyer or a proper will kit.
4. Go to therapy or counselling
I told you Readers Digest was good! It says “If your immediate question is ‘Why would I need therapy?’ perhaps you should really ask ‘Why wouldn’t I need therapy?” Even if your life is going well, everyone has their ups and downs, and a professional can help you strengthen your inner reserves and develop better coping skills. Plus, when else are you not only allowed but expected to talk about nothing but yourself for an hour?
I say we all accumulate baggage in life and it weighs us down. In your 40s you know yourself better, you know what has shaped and hurt you. You can come out of the shadow of your childhood and finally shape your own destiny leaving many hurts and disappointments behind.
5. Plan for your retirement
Hey, every source I went to for advice on what to do in your 20s, 30s and 40s says plan, plan, plan for that retirement. Unless you want to work forever, start thinking now about your future.
6. Write a journal or diary
By the time you make it into your 40s you’ve had many real life adventures. By writing, you can order your thoughts and also leave part of your life for your children or loved ones.
7. Fall in love
I guess this is like travelling – it’s a great adventure and most people do it in their 20s and 30s, but some people make it into their 40s without having fallen in love. Readers Digest advises us to go for it, saying “it’s the ultimate risk. But like all risks, falling in love can provide huge rewards. Even if it isn’t the love of a lifetime, learning to open your heart and be vulnerable can only help you grow as a person. And who knows? Maybe you will find that special someone.
8. Pay off your debts
According to Australia’s Financial Wellness Index, which measures how employees perceive their current and future situation, found 5 per cent of Australian workers are severely financially stressed, 14 per cent are moderately financially stressed, 35 per cent are mildly financially stressed, 46 per cent are financially secure. That means 54 per cent of Australians are financially under pressure. And one of the biggest causes of money woes is credit card debt. Thanks to their ease of use (swiping a card almost doesn’t feel like spending money at all!) and low interest rates, it’s easy to quickly rack up more debt than you know how to do with. Overwhelmed by debt? Pay it off.
9. Look up an ex
By the time we get to our 40s, many of us have exited a first marriage. Around a third of first marriages fail. You could consider looking up an ex – the one who got away? An ex from your youth will remember you!
10. Plant a garden
In your 40s, it is definitely time to put down roots both metaphorically and physically. You learn about the plant life cycle as a child but you don’t really appreciate the magic of it until you’re an adult. You grow a garden with your kids, if you have any. Kids love digging in dirt!
11. Climb a mountain!
Why climb a mountain? Because, as Edmund Hilary said, it’s there. Enjoy your physical strength, as it will start to wane in the coming decades. Get out into nature and exercise.
In my next blog, I look at what we need to get done in our 50s.
The Proven System To Unlimited Wealth and Prosperity
ABOUT PAT MESITI
Pat Mesiti is a best-selling author, coach and educator in the area of personal development. Having built some of Australia’s largest people-driven organisations, Pat understands the power of harnessing human potential. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s great business minds and has sold over millions of copies of his books and materials.