In today’s video, I share an extremely important message for young men.

Read or watch below to start taking ownership of your life.

Zachary Stockill: I get a lot of requests from young men for advice; guys talking about their relationship life, sometimes their careers, and asking me for advice. This has been happening for many, many years now, for about 10 years.

Every single day, I wake up to an inbox filled with emails from a lot of men from all over the world, asking me for advice. And obviously, anyone in my position will quickly start to notice trends, certain topics that keep coming up, a certain framing that keeps coming up, over and over again. And more importantly, a certain tone develops in these emails from young men, again and again. 

In today’s video, I want to share what I believe to be an extremely important message for young men about taking ownership of your life. If you’re a young man reading this, and you value my thoughts at all, or have familiarity with my work helping people overcome retroactive jealousy through my videos, and my courses like “Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast” and others, I think you’re going to want to read this. 

As I mentioned at the top of this video, I get emails all the time from younger guys. And let’s just say guys in their 20s and early 30s.

A lot of these guys are just complaining; complaining about their girlfriend, complaining about their girlfriend’s past, complaining about their wife’s past.

taking ownership of your life

Complaining about their sex life, complaining about the dynamic of their relationship, complaining about women in general, complaining about the place they live, complaining, complaining, complaining.

Now some of these complaints are absolutely valid, in my view. While in general, I don’t like the idea of complaining, sometimes, their concerns are valid, and sometimes the things they’re talking about are absolutely worthy of further investigation. 

But in these emails, frequently, there’s a lack of taking ownership. Guys are talking about their girlfriends and it’s almost like they feel like they were “assigned” this person to be their girlfriend.

In many of these emails, they’re not really acknowledging the fact that they made a choice to be with this woman; you chose that woman out of all the women to be your girlfriend. Other guys I’ve encountered complain about a certain country they live in, or a certain city, saying “all the women here are terrible,” or complaining about the fact that their girlfriend has had a little more sex than they’re totally comfortable with. 

Here’s a lesson that I think a lot of men don’t really hear very much in today’s society. And that message is:

Nothing in your life will improve until you take 100% ownership of it.

Nothing in your life will get better until you take control and realize that you have the power to make different choices moving forward.

I’m not saying it’ll be easy. In fact, if you’re really struggling with something big in your life, like a relationship with your girlfriend, like the city you live in, that change is going to be painful.

Whatever that change or transition looks like for you will likely be a lot of work and very difficult, sometimes painful. But if you’re feeling that urge to make that change, chances are very good that the change will be worth it in the long run. 

Taking ownership of your life.

And I wanted to put this video out there because a lot of these guys are not acknowledging the agency that they have, not recognizing the power that they have to make different decisions moving forward; to make better choices, to break up with their girlfriend, and find someone who shares their values more. And all this stuff is easier said than done. I get that. 

But what is the alternative? 

This is the question I put to coaching clients sometimes. What is the alternative?

Really sit down and think about that. What is the alternative? Living for 20, or 30 years in a city or a country that you absolutely hate? Staying for 20 or 30 or 40 years with a woman who you really can’t stand deep down, when there are deep, deep, deep conflicts in values? Staying with a woman where you have to beg her for sex? What is the alternative?

In all of these situations, taking a risk, taking control, and making a different choice is always worth it. 

There will be pain, there will be a transition. But in the long run, it will pay off.

Being alone in a new city where there’s optimism, and you feel good about being there, is going to be so much better than staying living for decades in a city or a country or a town or that you hate.

Being single for a few months or maybe even a few years is always going to be better than being with a woman who you really can’t stand, where she’s got more red flags than a Chinese parade, where there are deep incompatibilities in the relationship that were there from the start. You get my drift? 

A big change is painful. Sometimes it takes you years to recover from that change. But in the long run, it’s worth it if you’re working towards something that you value.

And I don’t mean to just offer empty platitudes. My main message to men young men in particular is, for God’s sake, taking ownership of your life. Take ownership of your future, take ownership of your direction. 

There’s an idea that my business mentor Caleb Jones talks about a lot, which is essential: 

Everything in your life is 100% your fault. 

Everything. If you don’t like your job, guess what? You chose to take that job. Maybe you didn’t want that job in the first place, but you’re still there, you probably live in a free country, there are probably other opportunities available to you. You can, you know, sign up for college, you can learn a new skill, or you can apply for a new job, you can start a business. There are endless options. 

If you can’t stand your wife or your girlfriend, guess what? You’re the one who chose her, you’re the one who chose to marry her, you’re the one who chose to make your girlfriend. That was your decision. You get my drift. Take ownership of your life. It’s an idea that doesn’t appeal to a lot of people. But it appeals to me. 

Because once you accept this philosophy that everything in your life is your fault, dealing with these challenges becomes much easier because you realize that in every situation in life, you have some degree of agency, you have some degree of autonomy, and you have some degree of power, which is way better and way more energizing and motivating than feeling like a victim, and feeling like you don’t have any agency.

Feeling like you can make different decisions. Recognizing your inherent agency as an individual, as a human being, is always better than pegging yourself as a victim. 

So young men reading this who are feeling frustrated or confused: recognize your inherent ability to make better choices moving forward.

Taking ownership of your life. Because you’re young…

The stakes are much, much lower now than they would be if you wait for 10, 20 to 30 years to make some big changes in your life.

Take ownership of your life, making decisions like moving to a new city, taking on a new job, starting a business, or breaking up with that woman who’s driving you crazy and finding someone who’s a better fit… Finding someone who’s a better match. Don’t wait. 

Because let me tell you as a guy in my mid-30s: my 20s went by in a blink. It goes so quickly.

And when you’re young that’s the best time to make big life decisions, to take big risks and try something new. Because the stakes are much lower than they would be if you wait.

Nothing in your life will improve until you take ownership and responsibility for everything. If there’s one message that I really wish I learned as a much younger man, that would probably be it.

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Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.