by Mike Zimmerman
Choosing to Marry
This moment comes long before you pop the question. Ask yourself not whether you’ll still want to sleep with her in 20 years (you will), but how you’ll react when you discover what foul brand of sugar and spice she’s truly made of. A promising answer: “We’re still a pretty good team.”
Becoming a Father
There are tons of fatherhood variables, but we do know one simple truth: The only times you’ll suck at being a dad are the moments you refuse to put your kids’ needs first. If you’re ready to prioritize them consistently, you’ll cruise.
Receiving Your First Real Defeat
We don’t mean losing to Springfield during your sophomore year. The adult defeats – job losses, divorces, family estrangements – are the ones that cut deep into the ego, because they spotlight failure of temper, character, and adaptability. Are you able to limp to your feet, spit the turf out of your mouth, and smile with your two front teeth missing? You’d better be. People rally around that guy.
Becoming an Orphan
The day both your mom and dad are officially planted is a defining one. No more training. No more advice. No more free meals on Thanksgiving Day. It’s your turn to be the example at the head of the table. You don’t have to wear a cardigan when you carve the turkey, but you do have to take up the knife. Don’t cut yourself.
Realizing You Don’t Know Everything
The younger you are when you experience this moment of clarity, the better. It means you’ll be humbler in the face of knowledge – that’s a good thing. It also means you’ll have more years to quest, to learn, to figure out everything from options trading to tying a tighter fly. You ain’t stupid, sir. But you ain’t God, either.