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19 Skills Men Should Master Before 40

“The more a man has in himself, the less others can be to him.” wrote German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. In other words, skill, not age or time, is what actually makes a man safe. As a result, as you approach specific life milestones, such as turning 40, you will feel a greater need to make a conscious effort to evolve and improve yourself. For all of us, these 19 skills serve as a terrific benchmark. Read ahead and check these 19 skills men should master – to see if you still have much to learn as you approach 40.

1. How To Make A Memorable Toast

Have you ever been asked to make a toast but couldn’t think of anything to say?
A excellent skill to have is the ability to make a terrific speech, whether you’re at a professional event or the best man at a friend’s wedding. The truth is, if you’re a man who is well-liked by others, there will come a time when those around you will look to you for a toast. And the ability to make one correctly demonstrates grace.

You want to get up, raise your glass, and say something that will make everyone laugh. However, one rule of thumb is to keep it short and avoid humiliating stories. You will be remembered if you give a memorable speech that encourages others.

2. Be An Effective Listener

As Robert Greene pointed out in his book, Laws of Human Nature, “When an event occurs or when we meet a new person, we do not stop to consider all aspects or details, but instead we see an outline or pattern that fits into our expectations and past experiences.”

Being a good listener needs a conscious effort. And, while it’s a talent, you should learn as soon as possible!  Being a good listener will help you be more productive, effectively negotiate, expand your influence, and make the right connections.

In social interactions, learn to listen to understand, not to reply. This doesn’t just help you avoid unnecessary conflict and misunderstanding with people, it also helps you get on the good side of most people, and this helps further broaden your connection in life.

3. CPR

Did you know that just 3% of people know how to conduct CPR, despite the fact that the majority of people are aware of its importance? About 9 in 10 people who have a cardiac arrest outside the hospital die because CPR wasn’t performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest.

It is a highly valuable ability to be able to provide first aid to another individual. It has the potential to save a friend’s, family member’s, or even stranger’s life. Plus, knowing how to perform CPR can give you more confidence and make you more effective in an emergency.

4. Manual Driving

The truth is that currently, the majority of automobiles are automatic. This, however, is irrelevant. Aside from the thrill and difficulty of driving a stick shif, repairing a manual shift vehicle is less costly.
You’ll be better prepared for any occasion if you know how to drive both an automatic and a manual car. If you rent a car in Europe, for example, you will find that most of the cars have manual transmission. You may even find yourself in a situation where you must drive a drunk friend home in a manual vehicle.

5. Parallel Parking

There is a reason why parallel parking is often on a driving test. It allows you to park in much smaller spaces. And besides the fact that it stops you from dinging your car, learning parallel parking also stops you from frustrating other drivers. Furthermore, there are many times you have to know how to parallel park to find a parking space at all.

6. Taking Constructive Criticism

The harsh reality is that no one enjoys being critiqued, constructive or otherwise. However, being able to deal with the outside perspective or judgement of others can help you grow and identify flaws you may not be aware of. We’re all flawed, and sometimes we can’t see things that others can. As a result, being able to accept constructive criticism with a level head also helps separate sincere and helpful feedback from noise.

7. Giving Compliments

Arthur Schopenhauer once said in his Counsels and Maxims that “Politeness is like a counter — an avowedly false coin, with which it is foolish to be stingy.”

Think about it. We all feel good when we receive a compliment. It’s a great way to exchange positive energy. A sincere compliment is a great way to show genuine appreciation for another person. A good man is kind and gracious, and a great way to express your graciousness is giving compliments rightly.

8. How To Choose Wine

How to choose wine is an excellent talent for a man to have, especially as he approaches 40. As you get a better understanding of wine, you will appreciate it more and, as a result, enjoy it more. Let’s be honest. In this day and age, social drinking has become a way of life.
When you know more about wine, you and those around you will enjoy it more since you will be able to choose the best wine for others – friends, family, and those dates.

9. Simple Sewing

This is a skill you’ll appreciate you’ve acquired when the time arises. There are going to be times when you have a clothing emergency but can’t make it to a tailor or get someone else to do it for you.

Learn skills like fixing a button, replacing drawing string, fixing zipper issues, or being able to patch a small hole. When you have an unforeseen clothing emergency, you’ll be glad you learned how to do simple clothing fixes.

10. Stress Management

Stress has a mental and physical impact on us, and understanding how to manage it can help your mind and body perform more efficiently. We will all face stressful situations at some point in our lives; it is unavoidable. However, learning to effectively control it will vastly improve the quality of your life. You’ll be happier, healthier, and more productive as a result of it.


11. Correct Push-Ups

One great thing about push-ups is that you can do it anywhere without any equipment. As a man, this is a skill you should learn at a much earlier age, but you surely want to have mastered it by 40. A proper push-up is an invaluable exercise, and it’s one of the best ways to build and tone your upper body. Done properly, it builds your packs, triceps, and shoulders. And if done really well can also help your lower back and your core. Not only does a proper push-up tone you, but it also helps you build strength from carrying the weight of your body.

12. How To Give A Good Massage

Knowing how to give a proper push-up is for your body, this one is for hers. Being able to give a good massage helps you build a deeper connection with a lady both physically and emotionally. If you want to be able to set the mood or have an excuse to get your hands on your woman and make yourself much more memorable, learn how to give a good massage.

13. How To Mix A Cocktail

Learn how to make different drinks if you want to have a dope at-home bar and be a great host. An excellent bartender (even if it’s only at your house) requires a recipe book of drinks, much like a great cook needs recipes to prepare delicious meals. You don’t need to be able to make twenty different drinks. Maybe five to eight will get the job done. A dry martini, a manhattan, the classic margarita, and maybe some daiquiris should be enough to get you started.

14. Gardening

There is no better way to have a self-sustaining method to feed yourself and your family than learning how to garden. Besides the vital fact that it’s a great way of controlling what you put in your body, it’s a great way to relieve stress and save money on your food budget.

15. Speak A Foreign Language

Being able to communicate in a foreign language not only helps you stand out in a world where you need to be internationally competitive, but it also allows you to better relate to others.
Learning a foreign language not only broadens your cultural horizons, but it also feeds your intellect and helps you develop in your work. It’s a valuable personal and professional talent to possess. 

16. Managing Your Finances

By the age of 40, you are probably making more money than you’ve ever had, and there’s a probability you’ll hit financial bumps from time to time. Hence, you need to know how to manage your money. There are certain things you need to especially pay attention to when it comes to managing your money.

First, live by a budget: Make sure you’ve built an emergency fund of at least 5 to 8 months’ living expenses. Start paying down your debt. And after paying your debt, invest. After you have all these under control, then have some fun with your money. Of course, managing your money is more complicated than this, but understanding this basic point is a great place to start.

17. The Art Of Networking

The type of personal connections you have is a major factor of how your life will turn out, both professionally and personally. When you network, you put yourself in situations that benefit everyone in your social circle. You exchange information, knowledge, and contacts, as well as giving and receiving advise and possibly learning about a new business opportunity. In general, mastering the talent of networking will help you advance professionally.

18. How To Cook Eggs

But why eggs specifically? There’s so much you can do with eggs. You can boil them, scramble them, fry them, etc. And besides the fact that eggs are comfort foods, being able to make eggs is easy and repeatable. Even if you are a guy who is intimidated by cooking, eggs are simple and easy to master.

19. Swimming

Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death, accounting for 320,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide. Swimming is dangerous, and, understandably, most people never learn to do it because they are afraid. But what’s even more dangerous is not knowing how to swim. Furthermore, if you don’t know how to swim, you’ll always be afraid when you’re around deep water. And when you’re on a boat, you’ll be afraid of falling out. A man is supposed to be a protector, and this doesn’t make you look good.


Constant learning, evolution, and growth are some of the ways we can become the best version of ourselves. Of course, no one expects you to be a master in every skill. None of us do!
You will be a better version of yourself if you work on learning or developing some or all of these skills.

As Jordan Peterson wrote in 12 Rules For Life,
“You are by no means all that you already know. You are also all that which you could know, if you would.”

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