“Maturity,” Ewin Cole once said, “comes not with age but with the acceptance of responsibility.” The passage of time itself never makes anyone stronger, wiser, or mature.
What transforms us are the actions we take. Some of us grow up fast because we found ourselves in situations where we had no choice but to learn certain skills necessary for our survival.
True, we will all inevitably learn certain skills as we go through life. But transformation occurs at a much faster pace when we make learning intentional. That said, here are 16 life skills you should deliberately learn as a man before 30.
1. How to build deep relationships
Building deep relationships is hard work. What most people often learn too late in life is that creating meaningful relationships with people requires a deliberate effort.
You don’t get deep relationships by hoping to meet the right, perfect, or trustworthy person. As good as that may sound, it doesn’t cut it. No one’s perfect and sooner or later, people will fail us and show their ugly sides.
As a man, learn to make the effort to talk things through with people when things are not going well. You must accept that no one’s perfect. Take deliberate steps like remembering birthdays, sending gifts, randomly checking in on friends to see how they are doing, or just sending a thank you text for a favor someone did for you.
In a world where everyone is busy focusing on themselves, it is always amazing to see someone show they care.
Though a part of self-protection entails learning defensive skills like judo, or how to shoot properly (for countries where it’s legal to carry arms), it also has to do with your mindset.
How? The first and major step towards self-defense isn’t buying a gun, carrying a pocket knife, or even learning to throw a punch. The first step to learning is adopting the right mindset towards your safety.
It’s about accepting the fact that you are going to be 100% responsible for your safety and the safety of those you care about. It’s about maintaining situational awareness.
Meaning, harmful distractions like excessive drinking, drugs, toxic groups should be reduced or cut down completely. You take responsibility for not putting yourself in situations in which there’s a high probability of something bad happening.
If you have a lifestyle that produces a lot of conflicts, it wouldn’t matter how many defensive skills you have, it will be self-defeating.
3. How to jump-start a car
Most likely, the first car you’re going to have is probably not going to be a luxury one. And as a result, you might wind up at the side of the road one day with battery issues (this is how I learned to jump-start a car). But fortunately for me, when my car battery died, my friend was with me in the car. He simply used that opportunity to show me how to jump-start a car. And it’s a skill I have always been grateful for ever since.
Jump starting a car isn’t a complicated skill, but it’s highly necessary. It will only take a few minutes to learn, but it’s a skill you’ll probably end up using several times throughout your life.
4. A signature dish
Every man should have a special meal. One that you can wrap up for friends, family, and most importantly if you have a date come over to your house. Have a meal that you can comfortably and easily prepare, one that you’re sure you can get right almost all the time.
All you need to do is to master one or two dishes and you’ll get to look good all the time when you have guests over to your house.
5. Logical argumentation
There are going to be several times in life where you’re going to have to stand up for yourself and make your point as clearly and logically as possible. When times like this come, you want to do it by being rational, not emotional.
Learn to make your point without letting your feelings get the better part of you no matter how innocent you think you are.
You must understand that people don’t agree with you or succumb to your arguments because they pity you. This is what people who quickly get emotional in the face of heated arguments don’t understand.
Raising your voice doesn’t do you any good. Every man must learn to pass their points across in the most logical and cool-headed manner. People easily agree with you more when they don’t feel forced or coerced into agreeing with you.
6. Good Storytelling
A good story can do several things. It can illustrate a point, persuade, convince, and it’s a great way for you to connect with other people. Whether you’re telling a bedtime story to your kids, spicing up a conversation at a work event, or if you’re on a date, every guy needs to be able to tell a good story.
7. Public speaking
Public speaking can be a big phobia for a lot of people. But the hard truth is, no one can get around having to deliver a speech in public from time to time.
Whether it’s a presentation at work, a toast at your best friend’s wedding, starting a youtube channel, or simply giving your opinion in a meeting, you need to learn good public speaking skills.
Though public speaking isn’t a skill you may need every day, whenever you need to do it, you need to do it right. Why? People make bold evaluations about you based on how you handle speaking in public. Besides, if you don’t give your opinion clearly and confidently, no one will take you seriously.
Deliberately put yourself in situations where you will have to talk to a group of people, no matter how small. It might be a debate group at school or a bible study group in the church. It doesn’t matter the nature of the audience.
The most important thing is to keep practicing it. The more you expose yourself to it, the less you’ll fear it.
8. Basic first aid
Hopefully, this is a skill you won’t have to use too often. Basic first aid like CPR, how to stop bleeding, and how to dress and treat a wound is extremely useful and can be learned quite easily — if you’re not afraid of blood.
Of course, your first aid skill doesn’t have to be at a doctor’s level. Leave that to the professionals. But at least, learn to do basic first aid to your friends, family, and yourself.
9. How to change a flat tire
There’s going to be a point in everyone’s life when they’re going to be on the side of the road because of a flat tire. To avoid being stranded or walking a long distance to look for a savior, learn to change it yourself. Changing a flat tire isn’t that complicated, but it’s still a simple skill most guys don’t know.
Every man must learn to wear the right clothes for the right situation. Dress well but dress appropriately. It’s okay to be a little overdressed or underdressed. But you need to make sure you’re working that line well. Style allows you to stand out, but you also don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb. Learn to dress well and appropriately.
The best thing about grilling is that you create an environment where you get to eat and spend time outside in nature, not to mention that it’s a great opportunity for you to also hang out with your friends. Every guy should learn how to grill those burgers and hot dogs. It’s like the most masculine kind of cooking a guy can do. It’s communal, it’s fun, and it’s relaxing.
12. Wet shaving
Wet shaving is a beneficial skill in several ways:
- It’s better for your skin because it only uses one blade
- You get a closer shave
- It is less expensive because you’re not constantly throwing away disposable razors
One of the problems men usually have with shaving is that it can be very damaging. But wet shaving is much more gentle on your skin. It allows you to get a better, more comfortable shave.
13. How to tie a tie
A lot of people may be dressing more casually nowadays, but there are still going to be many times like a job interview, a wedding, or any business environment where you’re going to have to use a tie.
It never looks good seeing guys walk up to another guy asking them to tie their tie for any time they need to wear a suit or just dress business casual.
There are several methods for tying a tie, but just learning the Four-In-Hand knot and a half Windsor should be enough to get you into style.
14. How to drive in bad weather
If you drive often, chances are you’re going to run into sleets or rain from time to time. And unless you want to abandon your car because of a slight change in weather, you need to learn to handle your car properly when they occur.
Learn how to not overcorrect your steering or slam on your brakes when you get anxious on a wet road. You may not need this skill every day, but when the need arises, you must not screw things up.
15. Fixing a leaky faucet
There’s nothing more annoying and wasteful than a leaky faucet. If you’ve ever had a leaky faucet, you’ll know it’s usually quite expensive to hire a plumber to do the simple job of fixing it.
You can learn to fix your leaky faucets yourself. Besides the fact that being able to fix it is a quintessential masculine skill, it can help save money and also make you look like a hero to your lady. It’s a win-win.
16. Negotiation skills
Being able to negotiate helps you get the best out of life. You’re going to have to negotiate to get that raise. No one likes the guy who’s always letting others take advantage of him. As men, one of our strong points is our intellect. You have to be able to get that intellect across verbally. It can give you leverage and put you in a better position in life.
Though ideally, all these skills should be mastered before 30, we cannot ignore the fact that we all learn at different paces.
Sure, there are some skills you might already have gotten a hand on even before 20. But there are also several you might continue to work on beyond 30. But that’s okay. No matter the pace you go with, just never stop growing and building helpful life skills.