I’ve asked hundreds of men, “When is a man in his prime?” and I have always gotten wildly different answers.
When considering the best times of a man’s life, men are often confused by the subject. They think back to their college days when they partied with many young women, or, if they are an older gentleman, they remember when they were at the top of their game and a true powerhouse of their company making tons of money.
What I’ve come to realize is that there is a lot going for the average man. We get to experience the unique pleasure of having many peaks in our lifetime: our sexual, financial, and philosophical prime.
Let’s talk about each in detail.
Going into your 20’s, a man is just starting to become a truly sexual being. No matter how sexually successful he was as a teenager, his attractiveness to women will continue to increase throughout his twenties. The only reason you need money at this stage is so you can pay your bills and get access to hot women, otherwise it’s all about having some really tight active game and using what God has given you.
Entering his 30’s, a man is finally grown up, and should by this point have plenty of experience with women and a much larger income to boot. He will be able to clean up with women if he did not waste his twenties jacking off. (The dotted red line going down from 30 is if a man does not use his twenties to constantly hit the gym, perfect his game, or make enough cash to survive.)
There are unlimited examples showing when men have had the most sexual success during their thirties, such as when Jerry Seinfeld was banging Shoshanna Lonstein in his late thirties (she was 17), but there are also many examples where very young men or very old men have great sexual success. However, these successes are exceptions that prove the rule; we notice these exceptions because of how well they defy the norm, not because they are the norm.
Finally, around age 45, men hit the wall. His grey hairs will need to be dyed (if he has hair), and going to the gym does not make him as cut as he used to be. His energy for going out and meeting tons of women has faded. The years of being a stallion are over. After hitting the wall, with diligence and hard effort he can preserve his once formidable sexual prowess, and he can maintain the leg up over women even fifteen years younger than himself. But if a man doesn’t take care of himself in the golden years, his body will quickly decay and he will find himself a sexual outcast (the red dotted line after the age of 50 represents this).
Making money is a skill. You get better at it with time. Making money is also dependent on a lot of factors beyond your control, such as your political climate, business connections, and the value of your skill set.
Thus what tends to happen over a man’s lifetime, is a slow gradual build-up of income and resources until they hit that breakthrough moment sometime in their thirties when they start to make a lot of cash. The dotted green lane is the contingency of a man who fails to realize his financial potential during this time.
After leaving his parents in his twenties, a man begins to understand how he can fit into the economy. He makes friends with other men in the same situation as he is. He works hard despite shitty economic conditions, being screwed over by a loved one, or some other similar misfortune.
Usually it is not until a man’s 30’s before he understands how to make good money, and even then he’s just getting started. Although he is now proficient in his chosen field, he is at the point in his life where other successful men will take him seriously.
Just a fact of life: Until you’re 35, truly successful men aren’t going to consider doing business with you. Other men will see you as a child and will not take you seriously.
More importantly, as a man ages so will his friends. If a man choose his friends wisely during his youth, many of his closest friends will become very successful, and can help take his financial situation to the next level. Provided his friendships were properly cultivated and the man in question was not a total screw-up, he can reliably depend on his friends to help his future business endeavours in any way possible. Often the help is mutual, which means that successful friends help each other become filthy rich in their 40’s.
This brings us to the ages of 40-60, which are by far and away when most men make their fortunes (Just look at the Forbes 400). By now, his economic expertise in his field, as well as the tens of thousands of business contacts a man has met and sorted through, and/or the corporate ladder he has climbed, has resulted in a realization of all possible economic opportunities.
For every man making bank during these two decades, there are another three who never found success. Not everyone can win this game, and should a man fail he can feel some consolation provided he tried his absolute best.
As a man nears 60, he will be exiting this prime as other men view him as too old to take seriously. If he was part of a corporation, he will be pushed out. Often times men start to feel the burnout of working hard for decades, and this is a major contributing factor towards the decline of a man’s money making years.
However, it’s not until beyond the age of 70 does a man really lose the traction he had in his 40’s, as many of his friends who once helped make him into a powerhouse will have since retired, or have passed away. The skills he learned as a young man will no longer be useful, and it will be difficult to compete with 30 year old men who will seem to have unlimited energy.
With the end of his financial prime, hopefully he has enough cash to carry himself through his twilight years. This brings us to the often neglected…
Philosophy is often misunderstood as a noun, and people try to ask, “What is philosophy? What works are considered philosophical or not?”
But they are looking at it the wrong way. Philosophy is a verb, and is the creative mode of thought that leads to new discoveries by analyzing the world in a different way. And there is no time better suited towards difficult thinking than the end of one’s life, which is why a man’s philosophical prime is between the years of 55-70.
Immanuel Kant published The Critique of Pure Reason when he was 57, and the second, more polished, version when he was 63. Socrates delivered The Apology in his old age, which has served as the foundation of all philosophy since. Aristotle was 50 when he founded The Lyceum and almost certainly produced all the works we have from him during his philosophical prime.
Even of philosophers who create great works early on, such as Wittgenstein or Hume, they often return to their early works in their later years only to renounce it entirely, as Wittgenstein did with his Tractus when he wrote his Philosophical Investigations, or as Hume did with his completely revised Treatise of Human Nature.
The reason why a philosophical prime comes so late in life, is because knowledge is difficult to acquire, and takes decades of learning before a man is able to make sense of things. And even then, we are always in a perpetual state of ignorance. Kant said that the only philosopher who could solve all of the world’s problems is one who could live forever; who knows?
As a man processes information and becomes more and more self-aware of his human condition over the course of his life, he reaches his zenith of processing it all before old age sets in. After 70, the mind begins the gradual, inexorable, and often horrible decline that render’s a man’s memory incapable of recalling things he could once recite by rote. His mind is slower with each day. Senility is a bitch.
And yet, in spite of this, a man at 80 is still much more capable of understanding the world than he was at the age of 50, simply due the compounding effect experience has on the male mind. So as long he is capable of using his mind, a man should continue to have discourse with other younger men so that they may carry forward the great philosophical tradition binding the western man across centuries.
The only thing that can stop a man from using his life experience to inform and educate others is the risk of cognitive illness, such as Parkinson’s, which is represented by the dotted blue line. If a man gets that he is done.
No matter a man’s age, he is uniquely situated to take advantage and exploit his position in society to the best of his ability. A full life involves many sexual conquests, business deals, and thoughtful nights of quiet contemplation, with each taking a higher priority depending on the life experiences accumulated up to that point.
So, to answer the question, “When are a man’s best years?” I would have to answer, “All of them.”
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