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10 things every man should do before turning 40

The clock's ticking, gents. But how many of the following have you ticked off in your thirties?

By Raja Izz

Photo: Danial Deen Isa-Kalebic

Ah, your roaring thirties. Kicked off with a big thirty-first birthday party, it’s a decade that begins with such promise. But then, as you gradually climbed the corporate ladder, setup your own business and inevitably settle down, it’s common to find yourself approaching the big 40 as a shadow of your former self. Thankfully, to combat these late-thirties blues, we’ve amassed a list of things that you can do to spice up this exciting decade. From buying a tailored suit to riding a horse, these are the 20 things every discerning gentleman should have done by the time he’s 40. So get ready to tick off, and make plans to complete those to evade the mid-life crisis…

Picture: "The Protector" from Netflix

1. Invest in a piece of art

Art is long and life is short — or so they say. We’d argue that it’s more than that. Art has the power to enrich your imagination and taste, a journey to be a man of class. Today, art is a global currency, and the right piece can fetch tens of millions. So what are you waiting for? Be it a whirl around a local art fair or a big spend at a high-end auction house, make your investment. In ten years time, you could be thanking us..

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Picture: Danial Craig

2. Win a game of chess
This is harder than it sounds. Not only do shockingly few people under 40 even know how to play chess, but the game’s popularity has waned since the seventies heydays Spassky vs Fischer.

And then, even if you do find someone who has knowledge of the rules, a chess set and a want to play you, you have to win. Thought this was a simple one? Checkmate.

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Picture: Bon Zainal menswear

3. Invest in a tailored suit

Because nothing looks as refined as the tailored suit. And, even if you’re only going to invest in one tailored suit in your lifetime, it makes sense to get it early on. That way, you can make the most out of it. But remember: Keep it simple and classic.

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Picture: Danial Deen Isa-Kalebic

4. Travel to at least three continents

Europe, Australasia and Africa? North America, Antarctica and Asia? Africa, South America and Europe? There’s seven to choose from, and if you’ve visited at least three before you hit the big four-o, you’re well on your way to conquering the world. And, with the different cultures, peoples, food and landscapes you can find, there’s truth in the maxim; travel broaden the mind and personal standard.

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Picture: HRH Prince Mateen (credit: @tmski)

5. Learning how to play polo

Who doesn’t watch HRH Prince Mateen playing polo and feel a twinge of jealousy? We know we do. Be it Prince William or Garvy Beh, whenever anyone canters across the polo field, we all have secret desire to saddle up and ride off into the glory ourselves. So why not do it?

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Picture: Getty

6. Read a great work of literature

No-one’s going to be impressed at a dinner party if you tell them you’ve read Machiavelli's The Prince. They’ll likely just think you pretentious — and thoroughly predictable.

Instead, when conversation turns to literature, ensure you can surprise them with a little-known classic — anything from Wilde to Dante, Conrad to Kipling.

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Picture: BERNAMA

7. Donate Blood

If you are not already a blood donor, you should be. Your donations are few and far between, it’s an incredibly important public service to undertake and you tend to get a free cup of tea after you’ve given up some of the red stuff. It’s a no-brainer.

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Picture: Norazmi Ibrahim

8. Become a mentor to somebody else, even if just for a week

One of the key parts about growing into a man is assuming responsibility and imparting knowledge. With a whole new younger generation beginning to their mark on the world, it’s a key time to take someone under your wing and show them the ropes of a hobby, career or skill. Doubtlessly someone did the same for you, and you wouldn’t be where you are today without them…

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Picture: Faizul Ridzuan

9. Buy multiple properties

If there’s more of a mark of adulthood, we’d like to see it. Granted, you’ve been living on your own for a while now — or we certainly hope you have been — so you’re a dab hand at household chores and paying bills. But you should aim to actually own multiple properties before you hit 40 — unless you live in Monte-Carlo, of course....

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Picture: Prince Mateen and Raja Izz

10. Reach out to one of your heroes

They say you should never meet your heroes, but we disagree. If you admire someone, they should stand up to scrutiny — and offer you advice that will transform your life. So, whoever they may be and however you may contact them, reach out and reaffirm why you respected them so much in the first place.

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