9 lessons 99 percent of men learn a bit too late in life, according to psychology

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Most of us gentlemen only realize certain truths about life when it’s too late. Looking back, we wish someone had given us these nuggets of wisdom a bit earlier.

These lessons, often learned through hard knocks and bitter experiences, come to us when we’re far along the journey of life. Psychology tells us that there are nine crucial lessons that a staggering 99 percent of men learn too late.

In this article, you will find those nine lessons that every man should know sooner rather than later. My hope is that it will save you from a few unnecessary detours or bumps on the road of life.

1) Accepting vulnerability

There’s a pressure on men to always appear strong, invincible even. Society often views vulnerability as a sign of weakness, especially when it comes to men. But let’s debunk that myth right here and now.

Psychology shows us that embracing vulnerability is actually a strength. It allows us to connect with each other on a deeper level, to express our emotions honestly and to grow as individuals.

Unfortunately, most men only realize this later in life. They spend years building up walls, only to understand eventually that tearing them down is what leads to true personal growth and deeper relationships.

Don’t be afraid of your vulnerability. Express your feelings, share your fears and let people in. It’s never too late to start, but the sooner you do, the richer your life becomes.

2) Understanding that being right isn’t always what matters

I used to be one of those men who had an insatiable need to be right, always. Whether it was in discussions with friends or arguments with my partner, I felt a strong urge to prove my point, irrespective of the cost.

It was only later in life, after many burned bridges and strained relationships, that I realized the error of my ways. I learned that being right isn’t as important as being kind. Psychology backs this up, stating that an incessant need to be right can lead to stress, conflict, and even loneliness.

It’s not about conceding defeat or suppressing your opinions. Rather, it’s about understanding that not every disagreement needs to morph into a battleground. Sometimes, maintaining harmony in relationships is more important than winning a pointless argument.

Looking back, I wish I had learned this lesson earlier. It would have saved me a lot of heartache and perhaps preserved some valuable friendships. It’s a lesson I hope you take to heart sooner than I did.

3) Realizing it’s okay to ask for help

In our society, men are often taught to be self-reliant and independent. The pressure to handle everything on their own can be immense. But here’s an eye-opener: According to a study by the American Psychological Association, men who aren’t afraid to seek help when needed are actually more psychologically healthy.

It’s only later in life, often after unnecessary struggles and hardships, that most men come to understand this truth. They realize that asking for help does not signify weakness; instead, it’s a sign of strength and wisdom. Knowing when you’re out of your depth and having the humility to seek assistance is a trait of strong character.

There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. It’s not a sign of failure or incompetence. Rather, it shows you’re smart enough to realize you can’t know or do everything.

4) Learning to listen

Most of us men think we’re good listeners. But are we really? Often, we’re so busy formulating our next point or rebuttal that we don’t truly hear what the other person is saying.

Active listening is a skill that many of us learn much later in life. It involves not just hearing the words, but understanding the emotions and intentions behind them. It’s about giving the other person your full attention, showing empathy, and responding appropriately.

Psychology tells us that active listening strengthens relationships, fosters trust and respect, and improves communication.

When you’re in a conversation, try to really listen. Don’t just wait for your turn to speak. Understand what’s being said and respond in a meaningful way. It’s a lesson well worth learning early in life.

5) Embracing failure

Failure is often viewed as the ultimate setback. As men, we’re conditioned to avoid it at all costs. But here’s a secret: failure is not the end of the world. In fact, it’s often a stepping stone to success.

Only by facing failure do we learn resilience, adaptability, and humility. It teaches us to take risks, to persevere, and to learn from our mistakes.

Unfortunately, it’s a lesson most men learn late in life. They spend years fearing failure, only to realize that it’s an integral part of personal growth and progress.

Don’t shy away from failure. Embrace it. Learn from it. Grow stronger through it. After all, the path to success is littered with lessons learned from failures.

6) Appreciating the present

So often, we men get caught up in the chase. We’re always focusing on the next promotion, the next purchase, the next milestone. In this constant pursuit of ‘more’, we often overlook the beauty of ‘now’.

The truth is, life is happening in this very moment. This realization, however, comes to most men a little too late. Years are spent planning for a future, often at the cost of the present.

Psychology reveals that mindfulness and living in the present can lead to increased happiness and reduced stress. It’s about appreciating what you have right now, instead of always yearning for what’s next.

Take a moment to pause. Look around. Appreciate the here and now. Because this moment, once gone, will never come back. It’s a lesson to learn sooner than later – the art of being fully present.

7) Knowing that it’s okay not to be okay

For a long time, I held onto the belief that as a man, I always had to be strong, unflappable, and in control. It was a mask I wore, a facade I maintained. But beneath the surface, I was struggling.

It was only when I acknowledged my struggles and allowed myself to be not okay that I truly started healing. It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary. And it’s something psychology reinforces – acknowledging your feelings is the first step towards managing them.

Too many men learn this too late in life. They spend years burying their feelings, only to realize that acceptance is the first step towards improvement.

It’s okay not to be okay. It does not make you any less of a man to acknowledge your struggles. In fact, it takes courage to do so. And it’s this courage that sets you on the path to healing and growth.

8) Prioritizing health

We live in a hustle culture where we’re constantly pushing ourselves to achieve more. Often, this comes at the expense of our health. We neglect proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise, thinking we’re invincible.

As men, we tend to put our health on the back burner, focusing instead on work, responsibilities, and goals. But here’s a harsh truth: without health, all other accomplishments lose their significance.

Psychology stresses the importance of self-care for overall well-being. Yet, this is a lesson most men learn late in life, often after a health scare or a reality check.

Make your health a priority. Exercise regularly, eat well, get enough sleep, and take care of your mental health. Remember, your body is your most priceless possession. Take care of it.

9) Understanding that life is about more than just work

Work is important. It provides us with a sense of purpose and the means to live comfortably. But life is about so much more than just work. It’s about relationships, experiences, personal growth, and making a difference.

Too often, men realize this late in life, after years of relentless hustle and grind. They look back and wish they had spent more time with loved ones, pursued passions, or simply taken time to enjoy life.

Work hard, but also make time for what truly matters. Life’s too short to be lived in an office alone. Cherish moments, nurture relationships, and make memories. Because in the end, it’s these things that truly enrich our lives.

Final reflections

The journey of life is filled with lessons. Some are learned early on, while others come a bit too late. But as the famous psychologist Carl Jung once said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

These nine lessons we’ve discussed are tied to this process of self-discovery and personal growth. They’re not just lessons learned late by men; they’re invitations to reflect, to question, and to grow.

Whether it’s embracing vulnerability, understanding the value of active listening, or appreciating the present moment, each lesson nudges us towards a richer, fuller life.

Remember, it’s never too late to learn and grow. After all, we are all works in progress. So take these lessons to heart, reflect on them, and see where they lead you on your journey. Because in the end, life isn’t about getting there; it’s about becoming.