Sun | Apr 30, 2017

The Flair Guy: The Fast and Furious Five before 30

Published:Monday | May 25, 2015 | 5:00 AM

We don't know it all, so from time to time, as men, we may need a little prodding and advice to make the right decisions. As such, the Flair Guy is here to set the record straight

We have created a non-judgemental space in which, once per month, we will focus on specific areas we can work on together. It's your personal development, career, what to wear, relationships or just navigating our daily lives.

The views in this space are not meant to be the panacea for all your problems, but we need to start somewhere.

In this first instalment, I took the liberty as a 20-something man myself, to figure out five essential things that we need to get done in our 20s before we get to the stage where we are no longer able to.

So, without further ado, take a read and use whichever one that is applicable to you.

1. Travel

And by travelling we don't mean a trip to Ochi or Negril on a Saturday with the boys to engage in mindless drinking. A man should make it his priority to see the world and broaden his horizon. Thinking Jamaica is the world will only limit your appreciation for different cultures and experiences. As a young man in your 20s, you should at least have a passport by now. Your Jamaican passport can get you into some 77 countries without a visa, and travelling is becoming increasingly cheap. So, go ahead I am sure you can find at least one other country that will suit your interests even among our Caribbean neighbours. Bon Voyage!

2. Start a Pension Plan/Savings

Yeah, Yeah! We know, times are hard and money is scarce. However, remember that old saying, "one, one coco full basket"? It is true. No one expects you to be a multi-millionaire at this age, but you at least need to have a bank account with the balance more than $10,000 by the time you get to 30. It makes no sense to splurge in your 20s and by the time you get to 35 you are without a stable financial plan and have no idea what age you want to retire or what you will do when you get there. You need to start now before it is too late.

3. Have a career

This should be a given. You can't be 30 years old and still not be sure what it is you want to do with your life. No, we don't expect you to have it all figured out, and, of course, you are allowed to change your mind. But no man wants to get to 30 and be still vacillating like a headless teenager completely confused about what he wants to do in the future. You should have at least completed a first degree, acquired a marketable skill, have a business or have some sort of tertiary training by 25 (and even that is a bit old). If you don't do this in your 20s, when exactly do you plan on starting? Get it together and get qualified for something. The world is not waiting on you.

4. Get a stable relationship

Fellows it's time to man up and grow up, and nothing forces one to grow up more than having one stable relationship. Relationships can teach you how to care for and pay attention to someone other than just yourself. And there is nothing wrong with a good woman loving you and you giving her your affection. Sure, she may break your heart, but this is all a part of the learning process. Remember, to love is to risk. So, let down your guard and take a chance. Who knows; it may all be worth it in the long run.

5. Make one memorable experience

And we are not talking about just having sex with the most popular girl in school or earning bragging rights about snatching what should be a girl's most prized physical possession: her virginity. We mean being fearless and doing something that you always wanted to do. Go skinny-dipping, bungee jumping, rock climbing, hiking, eat snails, or whatever, it is you have always wanted to try but weren't man enough to do. Take the plunge and go for it; we won't judge you. It's better to look back and say I tried that and I didn't like it, or I loved it, rather than wishing, still hoping and yet regretting you didn't try it in your 20s. Now is the time to loosen up, have some fun, but be smart about it.

lifestyle@gleanerjm.com