There are a few things every man should do at least once in his life time, call it a bucket list for men. Now the list I present below isn't everything you should aim for in life, but it's a list of things that I think help to define who you are. I say this from experience because I have done them all. They are all experiences that I think gave me a new perspective on life and myself. Do I feel like I have lived a full life and I am ready to call it quits just because I have done these things? Nope. But I do think I know more about who I am and feel confident in that.
Quit Your Job
Now if you have a great career doing something you love, don't do anything rash just because I said so. But I am willing to bet that there are a lot of you out there who can't say your job is fulfilling or pays what you would like it to. That means it is time to make a change. Don't spend years wondering if you would be better utilized doing something else, somewhere else. Time goes by fast and you don't want to look back and think of the years you were trapped grinding away at a job that didn't see you for your full value.
Shave Your Head
There was a time in my youth when I had long hair. Really long. One day, after lamenting over it for some time, I took the beard trimmer and shaved all that hair off. For me, it was a sorta of therapy - I had decided to leave behind my old self and the things I didn't like about myself. For you it may not have that same level of meaning. You might not even have long hair. But there is a certain power that comes with shaving your head and displaying a bald head. You might feel like a new bad ass unleashed on the world, a soldier ready for a personal call of duty. Whatever the reason - it's something every man should do once. And if it turns out you have some lumpy noggin, it'll grow back.
Grow a Beard
A lot of guys toy with the idea of facial hair, sporting a weekend stubble on Monday morning. You might think it makes you look more macho, but really I think it shows you're just non committal or, worse yet, sloppy. Snoozing the alarm and sleeping in after a night of drinking isn't masculine. Really, a hang over stubble is no more manly than a pair of skinny jeans. That's why, at least once in your life, you should commit to growing a full beard. A beard is a love it or hate it sorta thing: some women love them, others hate them. I've always had a little facial hair and grew a beard a couple of times in my life but never gave it a full effort since I would start feeling itchy. Recently I picked up some beard oil and committed to growing a beard and used a beard oil every morning. The itchiness lessened, but never truly went away. But people look at me differently now. Younger dudes who can't yet quite grow one will comment "nice beard" and I catch women doing a double take. I get called sir more often. It's pretty obvious that with a well groomed beard, you command respect. And that's the kind of attention you want from a boss or single women.
Drive Cross Country
Sometimes, you need a change in your life perspective. When your sense of adventure gets the best of you, plan for a cross country drive. When I drove cross country I packed everything that would fit into a small little car and left everything else behind. That helped to to ween of of the consumerist trash I had been collecting and determine what was truly important to me. It was a new start for me. I needed a life change, but for you it may just be time for a change in perspective. Maybe a divorce, new job, or some other life altering event is your call to action. What ever the reason, spending time behind the wheel alone with your thoughts is meditative. You will look at things differently and realize how big the world is, and how small your problems are. The United States is a truly beautiful place with every terrain you can imagine. Budget for enough time to stop and take in the sights, and if you decide to travel with a buddy make sure you can tolerate them for an extended time and that they share your sense of adventure.
Go to a Strip Club
Now normally, strip clubs are not really my thing. Sure, I've been to them a few times I will admit - but there hasn't been many times in my life when I couldn't see tits for free, so I don't usually have a need to pay a girl at a strip club for the privilege. That said, you should go once in your life. I think it's part of a man's ascension to manhood. It may be the first time you see a naked woman and that's ok. Every guy needs that initiation to manhood and if you need to shell out a few bucks to get it that's ok too. Don't let feminists make you feel ashamed about wanting to see women naked. It's part of a mans biology that should not be denied. If you decide to visit a strip club, keep these etiquette tips in mind.
A piece of furniture, a bookshelf, a sub woofer box, a model airplane kit...whatever it is take the time to build something in your lifetime. For one, it teaches you to how deal with failure. It's doubtful your first attempt at a project will be a 100% success. That teaches you to look back at where you went wrong, make changes to how you approached the project, and do it a little bit differently next time. Building things also gives you a problem solving mindset and you learn what you are capable of. After a few failures you will feel the sweetness of success, and those cycles of failure, reflection, and re-evaluation means you get better at something and build a confidence that translates to other aspects of your life. You may even ignite a spark and find something that you love. That's called investing in yourself.
Beating a video game feels good, but how about running a marathon, reaching a bench press goal, hiking a trail, losing weight, or climbing a mountain? The feeling you get from beating something that requires physical exertion is primal. Men are hunter gatherers. Office life may make us forget that, but deep inside of every man is the need to beat something - to conquer it. Find something you have always wanted to do and do it. It doesn't need to be climbing the highest mountain you can find. Start slow. Lose ten pounds. Then 20. Do a 5K run for charity. Make your body feel alive and your mind and life will follow.
Jeremy Wright is a self described opinionated bastard. Follow him on Facebook.