By - MattTheMentor
I'm 45 and I am in what you call a "good place", but I was definitely not always here. I wholeheartedly agree with most, if not all, of what you said here.
If I had done more self-development when I was younger I probably would have figured out sooner, but I'm happy to have spent the last 5 years taking care of myself mentally and it's amazing how everything turned out.
What was the trigger that made you take care of yourself mentally in the last 5 years as opposed to when you were younger..?
There wasn't a single trigger. I guess inside of me I always wanted to be better but didn't know-how.
When I was in my 20's I dropped out of college and was working in the nightclub scene: DJ, Promoter etc. I was living like a rock star and I loved it. Girls, drugs, prestige... it was a young man's dream. But, I really wasn't taking care of myself physically. Some of my "friends" lost their lives, it was a real wake-up call.
I HAD to get my shit together, so I started a job in IT and exercising every day. This was EXTREMELY tough at the time. Quitting smoking alone took years.
When I was got to my late 30's I realized that although I was taking good care of my career and health, something wasn't right in my head. I wasn't "happy". I never had a good father figure or mentor in my life. I mentally raised myself and made a SHIT TON of mistakes while hurting A LOT of good people.
So, I started to read self-development books, watched YouTube self-development channels and practicing meditation. It was a LIFE CHANGER.
Now, I have so much gratitude my life ended up the way it did. I am a Senior IT Infrastructure Engineer and my intense physical training has brought me to combat martial arts like Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. At 45, I'm fighting friends 20 years younger, bigger, and stronger than me.
I have no regrets in life, but, if someone had explained these things to me when I was younger, I know I would have figured this out sooner. The best I can do now is mentor a lot of young people at work and the gym. If they can be where I'm at now at their age. when they are my age, they should be godlike, or at the very least, twice as better than I am now.
I find this so inspiring that you changed your life around and all for the better. I am at a stage now where I am aware I need to change and need to practice meditation but really really lack the motivation. Any tips for getting out of that rut I’m in?
This is super cliche but Nike's "Just do it" is the best advice I've ever heard. Wake up at 5am and don't feel like it? Just do it. Fix the bed immediately? Just do it. Cook a clean healthy breakfast? Just do it.
For me, after I got a couple of solid small wins, I used that same power for everything.
Awareness and the number 1 place to start. I'd say just by asking the question means you're already on the right path. You've taken step number 1. That's the hardest step.
I recommend reading David Goggins book or better yet, listen it on Audible. I also recommend The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins (or listen to her on YT interviews).
That's awesome, sounds like you had a very exciting and fascinating life. Glad you finally got yourself mentally to the place where you are today and are content and happy with your life! Thanks for the in-depth reply!
That's very kind words! I'm happy to share a part of my life with you my friend.
41 and couldn’t agree more. I’m in a great place in life, in all areas - but recently found myself nostalgic for a period about a decade ago when I was, at the time, probably the most lonely and unsatisfied with my life I’ve ever been.
Like the notable Cornell alum Andrew Bernard said "I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them."
That is my most favorite quote. Kinda stops us in our tracks to enjoy this minute.
39, I always think about the advice older men give to younger men, "stay hungry." I think this is part of it. When you're young you have all these desires and they become passions and they compel you into all the weird, shitty, great experiences that you think you hate, when you're dirt poor and (maybe literally) hungry, and it's all about the connections you have and taking risks. When you get old and your needs are met for too long, you get so complacent and that obviously breeds discontent.
I'm newly sober and I have the "new lease on life" because I nearly lost everything to drugs. Starting my career over, everything. It's crazy how good this feels, exhilarating. Scary, but good. I look around at people 10 years younger than me, who are so tired and resentful and dead-eyed from their comfortable, boring lives. They have already forgotten how good they have it. No kitchen remodel, however grand, is going to reignite that flame.
Maybe I should get into heroin before my 50th birthday so I can do this all over again... lol maybe not tho.
Congrats on the sobriety. I’ll have 9 years on Jan 1st.
Congrats to you too. Interesting timing. Are you nostalgic for a period just before or just after you stopped using?
The one I referenced earlier would be the year or so after I got sober. Looking back I see it as “lost” time I guess, I was young, thin and single and could have made so much more of that time!
Thank you for this post. It was what I needed to hear as I'm in a mixed position of doing good and being in a tough spot. I am worried about money but thankfully I have a beautiful fiance, no kids, a nice apartment, been sober for a while so can pass DT for jobs, and loving parents. It's hard to pick yourself up mentally when you're concerned about losing everything due to bills.
Yeah I have a ton of student loans, 3 more years to pay off my credit cards, but I have my looks and good health.
You’d be amazed at how it can turn around for you. I’ve struggled with crushing debt my entire adult life, mainly as a result of little to no financial knowledge and terrible decisions, and now make more than I ever expected to, invest heavily and am positioning myself to become financially independent within the next decade or so.
Keep your eye on the prize and work your way out little by little. It does NOT have to be this way for the rest of your life.
Thanks for the kind sentiment. Everything is temporary and I'm going to be grateful for what I do have!
This really got me thinking. Thank you.
What stuck out, or rather, things I hadn't considered: I'm currently single, and there may be a day when I'm partnered and look back with fondness on my single days. I feel like I'm at an in-between place in so many domains of my life with so much potential it's daunting. I can choose where to live (thinking about moving), what job to have (considering a career change), etc. And there will be a time when things are more solid, where it would be harder to make these sorts of changes or see the potential ahead (e.g. if I have a family and making career moves or location moves is harder or if I'm much much older and don't have much time left). I liked this perspective shifting.
And it reminds me of this:
"Your now is not your forever." \~John Green
When I was young and single, most of my friends were getting married. I was happy for them but sad for me.
By the time I got married, many of those couples were getting divorced. I wish I had appreciated being single rather than wishing those years away.
In my mid-20s, definitely have had some awful days the last two years. And not been a pleasant person to be around. I regret lots, I guess its all little things. But turning that leaf into positivity is super hard, no idea why. Thank you for sharing, have a great day!
Also in my mid-twenties. I want off this nightmare rollercoaster.
"And if your life is great right now then go climb a mountain or bang your hot spouse or something, this post is not for you."
\-not having a life that sucks doesn't rely on external variables. People have the ability to find happiness in very hard times. It really *can* be a choice.
Dog that bit about career uncertainty and time. I needed that. Good stuff
I kind of am all good with the Pandemic. Lucky and dissatisfied with my social life before it all. Now I have an excuse.
God I fucking hope not.
I can assure you that never in my future will I wish for the place I'm in right now. My teen has been in and out of mental health facilities since summer and dealing with substance abuse issues. They are rebellious and choosing to live with their father, the partier. In covid court limbo at the time and this will most likely extend well into the new year. And to be going through this during the holiday season? Although this season in my life is temporary I won't be missing it in my future.
Thank you. I was feeling down. This reminder helped me survive the day
This post is so true. I used to hate my life in college because I was poor and lonely. Now I make good money and I have friends, but I still think back to those days so fondly... I was young, life was exciting... They were actually the good days, and now that I have what I thought I wanted, I miss them. Wish I had appreciated them more. Wish I had spent less time pining for the future. Now I'm pining for another day, feeling like I hate my life... But the reality is, someday today will feel fond too...
Great post. Just this.
Overweight, unloved, and always forgotten? I seriously doubt it.
It can always get worse!
So fucking true... Still can't help it.
Our brains are wired to put a nostalgia filters on that stuff, especially when the problems you had got solved, you only see the good things in your past.
In 2020 I started working, I now have a semi govt job many people would kill for.
A coworker of mine couldn't believe he got the job (and he is in his 40s), I am 20 and I am probably among the youngest in this massive state owned Company (27k employees all around the country, not USA). I have lots of benefits, I probably will have a secure job for the rest of my life, and on top of that, it's also laid back.
Since I live with my parents, I'm stashing 1/2 of my money (1/4 goes for food and bills which I help paying for, and 1/4 goes for my lifestyle), I once loved tech, but now I don't care anymore, I could go out and get the latest iPhone, but I don't care, I could get myself the gaming PC I always dreamed.
I'm single, never been in a relationship.
I am financially stable, still I miss the time I was in school, didn't have any money, had less friends, was still virgin, but was happy, school made me happy, I was top of my class, got a lot of satisfaction and had lots of fun.
Even if I am stable, thinking about money, bills, buying a home, just drains me
Maybe it's the fact that being an adult isn't as fun as being a teenager, you are not allowed to behave in the same way, which I get, but it just makes everything fucking boring
Thank you for this. I am in my mid 20s - my boyfriend just turned 30. We still live with our parents and every single day I feel like I'm so far behind in life. I see my peers from school on social media with houses and babies and college degrees and careers, and I feel like I'll never grow up. The mental game is the hardest part of it all. Thank you for reaching into my darkness and letting me know I'm not alone.
Life, like, ultra sucks right now, but I'm also still young and found the best romantic interest I've ever had (and they like me too!). So I'm definitely gonna look at aspects of my life today in a good light later on!