If we’re objective, the world is more pleasant and opportunistic than it has ever been.
Yet in some ways, it is more difficult than ever to carry yourself properly as a man
A Lot of people wouldn’t agree with that statement, but if you are male then I know you’ve felt it.
You have a desire to make something of yourself. To lead. To win. To do something serious and impressive with your life.
Yet in society, men seem to get hit from every angle.
Assumed to be scumbags by feminists.
Assumed to be guilty until proven innocent in cases of domestic violence.
Assumed to have an easy life.
Expected to show no weakness.
Wild divorce court prejudice.
In times like these, how do you thrive as a man?
How do you make good on your own potential?
How can you do right by the people who rely on you?
Here are 7 principles that I have found invaluable.
Use these as a guide to genuine, masculine greatness.
How to carry yourself as a man
- Preserve your masculinity
- Be a provider
- Be goal oriented
- Learn and learn and learn
- Make a point to listen to people
- Don’t gossip about anyone. Ever.
- Be inspired by others. Compete with yourself.
Preserve your masculinity
In the world we live in today, there is a pressure on men to be less masculine or even apologetic for showing masculine traits.
In order to carry yourself as a man effectively, you must realize something.
Just as femininity is all of those traits that are worthy of a woman, masculinity is the word used to describe the traits that are worthy of a man.
It is something to be celebrated.
If a man is uncomfortable being masculine, he is scared of his own nature.
He is a confused mess.
He can never be effective or fulfilled.
It doesn’t even make any sense!
Of course, There are masculine men out there who are also c*nts. These men are misogynistic and shallow, and tarnish the male image.
Also of course, there are brilliant things about femininity that we would all do well to embody. Some men show more feminine traits, some women show more masculine traits.
There are always exceptions to the rule.
But to throw out masculinity altogether, is to completely destroy what makes great men great.
A man, ultimately, is defined by purpose. Chasing excellence. Taking responsibility. Leading. Strength.
Great men decide what they want and pursue it relentlessly. They take responsibility for the people they love. They are strong. They grow. They are useful. They chase excellence. They value honor. They listen. They lead.
One thing great men do not do, is avoid the one thing that makes them who they are.
Read also: What is a man’s purpose in life?
Be a provider
You can take any community, from any part of the world, from any time in history.
Almost all of the time, this statement will ring true.
It is an unavoidable, fundamental truth of masculinity.
But what does it mean, and what doesn’t it mean?
In researching for this article, I came across a brilliant post on theartofmanliness.com. They make some insightful points about man as a provider.
When you think of a man providing for his household you might think of the classic 20th century stereotype.
Man goes to work, works himself to the bone to make all the money, the woman stays at home furnishing the house and having kids.
But this interpretation is very new, and was largely only an option to the upper middle classes.
For most of human history, raising a stable family was a demanding and complicated endeavor. Both man and woman had to contribute, to provide security and resources.
In primitive societies, for example, sure the men hunted. But the women would work to gather fruits, nuts and seeds. Both sexes contributed to feeding the tribe.
The word provide comes from the latin word providere. According to the online etymology dictionary, providere means:
To provide then, literally, is to see ahead. It is to act with foresight.
It’s not that you have to provide all the resources to the family in order to be the provider.
It is that to be the provider, you must take it upon yourself to look forward to the future.
To have a vision for yourself and those around you.
To have a plan when things go wrong.
To keep your tribe out of danger.
Be Goal Oriented
Someone with a victim mentality has given up control of their situation.
They have decided somewhere down the line that the world is out to get them, they won’t ever get what they want, and there is nothing that they can do to make things better.
They hunch over and look down timidly, scared to take risks or put themselves out into the world.
They don’t act.
They don’t even react.
They are acted upon.
People like this have seen how rough life can be. But rather than standing up and contending to make something of themselves,
They spend their time grieving and wallowing in their helplessness.
When you set goals for a better future, and work single mindedly on achieving them, You are the opposite of a victim.
You are taking responsibility for your own destiny.
A man pursuing his goals is a man determined to grow into something more than he is.
He is a man using every ounce of what little control he has been given over his own fate.
To be a provider is to have a vision for your family.
A man pursuing his goals is a man committed to realizing his vision.
Learn and learn and learn
Think about this for a second.
Everything is new to us. Almost everyone we come across has something to teach us, and we are curious. It is awesome.
During our teenage years, we continue to learn. We don’t choose what we want to learn; rather, knowledge is fed to us.
We learn the specific knowledge that the school system deems appropriate, at the speed that the school system deems appropriate.
After 15 years or so of education, we enter the working world. We trade our time for money directly. We still learn, sure, but the rate at which we learn begins to slow dramatically. We are now “adults”. We got an education to get jobs, and now we have jobs.
We start to get comfortable. Time starts to fly. We clock in, we clock out. We settle into the role we have found ourselves in.
Why does everyone live like this?
There is nothing wrong with being satisfied with your life and enjoying your job.
On the other hand though, if you are 40, and you could teach a 20 year old 90% of your practical skills in a year, it’s hard to see that as anything other than settling.
If you want more for yourself, or ever feel like you can achieve something truly significant, There’s some things about our world that you should realize.
In school, even university, even things you learn in your job to an extent, you are spoon fed. Other people give you knowledge, and you just have to listen.
If you were to take responsibility for your own knowledge and learning, you could actually feed yourself anything you needed to know to build an extraordinary life.
Realize that almost everyone stops far short of their own potential.
Realize that your brain is brilliant and constantly changing.
Realize that in this incredible age that we live in, just with books and the internet, you can learn whatever you want for almost no money.
You could teach yourself a foreign language.
You could learn to produce videos to a professional level.
You could learn about online business.
You could learn to code.
You could literally start with an iphone, a working brain, and a hunger to learn; and in 5 years you could be a millionaire.
You could actually, feasibly, do all of these things with plenty of time left to do other things.
It all starts with a hunger for learning, and the understanding that all the knowledge you could ever need is out there waiting for you.
Read also: 5 of the most heroic acts in history
Make a point to listen to people
You don’t know shit, mate.
I’m sorry but come on. It’s true.
Don’t look at me like that.
You’re only 1 person.
You’ve lived for like 2 seconds.
You got a brain like a shriveled melon.
You’ve never even met ninety nine point ninenineninenine percent of people that exist.
Just how much can you really know?
When you’ve only experienced such a tiny amount of what there is to experience, and you only know such a negligible amount of what there is to know, surely everyone you meet knows something that you don’t.
Maybe their hard earned knowledge could be of use to you.
And if you were to really listen to people when they were talking to you, you could find out. And you could use their experience to make your own life better.
The people love it
One of the things that I love about my girlfriend is that she really listens when you say something to her.
Like you can see it on her face.
It’s how I look when I watch peaky blinders or something.
When you can tell that someone is really listening to what you are saying, not just nodding along in agreement or waiting to speak, you can’t help but feel genuinely respected and appreciated.
That being said, why not give that feeling to people when they talk to you?
They will see that you trust them enough to really hear them, and they are likely to do the same for you in return.
Don’t gossip about anyone. Ever
In life, your reputation is a huge part of how you are perceived.
So like Mr. Buffet does with that of his firm, you should protect and build your own reputation with everything you’ve got.
We all know people who, although we might like, we also know that we can’t trust. We are sure that if we share something with them, they will share it with others.
Or people who, if they feel wronged in some way, will spew their feelings and gossip behind peoples’ backs. The person they are gossiping about thinks they are friends, but they clearly aren’t.
They’re not bad people, they can’t seem to help it.
But they also aren’t trusted with sensitive information.
In most social circles, it’s as if there is an unspoken understanding.
Who can be told, and who can’t be told anything but public knowledge.
To use contrarian thinking:
How would you have to behave, to be absolutely trustworthy? To the point that everyone feels safe to come to you with everything, all the time?
Dont gossip about anyone. Ever.
Be inspired by others, compete with yourself
We’re about to get spiritual up in here boys.
Without getting specific, (They might read this), a friend of mine recently had some really cool things happen to him. The sort of things that we would all love to happen to us.
This is a good friend, too. Like known them for years, ask me for anything kinda friend.
Of course, my external reaction was pumped. I said all the right things to show my support for their growth.
But I noticed that deep down, there was some jealousy in my own soul.
I was jealous of their success.
One of my best friends mind you.
This really made me question some things. Was I a bad person?
Was I a horrible friend?
Was I one of the haters that the rappers are always on about?
What I found was really nothing to do with any of that stuff.
Scarcity vs abundance
If you operate from a place of scarcity, you believe in only so much of everything.
There is only so much money and success to go round.
If someone makes a million pounds, there is less money left to be made by me.
If my woman leaves me, Im absolutely fucked.
From this point of view, my reaction towards my own friend makes sense.
Or you were stranded on a desert island, and some monkey started running off with your bananas.
But as a man, today, in this society?
you can do way better.
If you see the world as fundamentally abundant, you see opportunities wherever you go.
There are loads of brilliant people. If your girl leaves you, there’s plenty more out there.
There’s loads of money. So much. There’s trillions of dollars shooting round the internet all day, every day. If your friend makes a million, there’s proof that you can too!
You can have as much as you want, and there’s plenty left for everyone else.
You can give as much as you want, and there’s plenty more out there for you to go and get.
From this abundant mindset, the success of others is genuinely inspiring. It is to be celebrated. It makes you deeply joyful.
For that reason, your honest response when someone close to you succeeds is a brilliant indicator of your own attitude towards the world.
Jealousy is insecurity and scarcity
I had had a shaky couple of months, and wasn’t as disciplined as I had once been. This allowed some insecurity to creep into my mind.
I wasn’t taking enough positive action in my own life, and so I started to subtly question my own ability to be successful. I slipped into scarcity.
This can happen to the best of us. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a human.
So when it happens, do the work to get yourself back on the straight and narrow.
How to lift yourself out of scarcity and into abundance
Here’s my own process for shifting my mindset towards abundance, when I find myself insecure.
- Take a step back, and realize what is going on. Understand that this problem is with you, it is temporary, and it is completely in your control.
- Realize that the world is a beautiful and abundant place. Change your focus from the weak and negative, to the strong and positive. Don’t see yourself as a bad person for allowing insecurity to creep in- every honest man has been there.
- Have a long hard look at yourself. Someone who is taking enormous action, everyday, towards his own goals, will not fall into scarcity. It’s time for some tough love.
- Recommit to your goals, and take action. Strong action will literally cure this. A few solid weeks working on your own projects and wellbeing will transform you from thinking like a victim, towards thinking like a source of power and positivity.
- Remember this process. Remember what worked for you. You might need it again sometime soon.