We need to talk.
As you make your way in the world you may think that being a man means being ‘hardcore’ or ‘gangsta’ or ‘a playa’ something equally stupid. It doesn’t.
Being a man means having integrity. It means trying to do the best you can, when you can, with what you have. And it means being honest and conscientious. It means being sensitive and caring. It means being brave and responsible. And it means having the courage to be who you are.
And it means a few other things too. Remember the following things well, and you will become a better man.
- Accept responsibility when you’re at fault. Apologise and try to make amends. If it isn’t your fault, be diplomatic and careful about assigning blame.
- Get a hobby.
- Try to create a space where you can be alone.
- Deodorize. But not too much. Life is not an Axe commercial.
- Don’t talk to people standing up with one leg perched on something. You are not a pirate.
- Look people in the eye and listen to what they say.
- Accept defeat and life’s little knocks with dignity. And don’t sulk – you’re not ten years old.
- Think before you raise your fists. 99 times out of 100 you will regret resorting to violence.
- Find a mentor. Find someone who inspires you and whose advice you can use to become the person you want to be.
- Try to buy at least one good suit as soon as you can. And look after it.
- Think carefully about what you choose to believe. Weakly reasoned opinions will make people think less of you.
- It is not always essential to make a big thing about holding a door for someone, but when you’re there, do so.
- Greet people. Even if they don’t greet you back.
- Know your limit when you’re drinking. If you cannot walk or talk properly, you’ve gone too far. And please, if you are going to drink, don’t even try to drive.
- If you are going bald, accept the fact gracefully.
- Driving fast and dangerously doesn’t make you Vin Diesel.
- Brush, floss and rinse.
- Try to keep in shape.
- Read a few books and work out your brain at least as hard as you do your body.
- Learn to dance a simple waltz.
- Measure twice. Cut once. This is true of all things.
- Learn the basics of car maintenance. Learn how to change a tire, jump-start a battery and replace filters.
- There is always a tool for what you want to do. Use that one, not the next best one. Take care to buy a good quality tool and look after it. In all likelihood you’ll never have to buy another one again.
- Honour. It isn’t just a word. You can be a hero in a thousand small ways or in a couple of big ones. But you will only be a hero if you act according to a personal moral code which emphasises caring, fairness and justice.
- There’s nothing wrong with a modern man using a bit of moisturizer or sunscreen. But be wary of wearing too much makeup.
- Be careful what you pierce.
- Don’t bully people who are weaker than you. You might feel like you are big and strong when you do this, but really you are being small and stupid.
- Enjoy watching sports. But remember that in the end, it’s still only a kids’ game played by grown adults.
- Find a tribe. Make good friends who influence you positively, and on whom you can rely when things get tough.
- Take pride in yourself. Do not let others trample over you. But also, do not be proud and conceited.
- Wear clean underwear and socks every day.
- Grow some facial hair. If it suits you, keep it, if it doesn’t, shave it off.
- Sus out the situation before you act.
- Learn to play chess. Eventually, someone will ask you to play or to teach them to play.
- Do good things for people. But don’t go shouting about it to everyone afterwards.
- Be patient.
- Be nice.
- Be cool (but not aloof).
- Remember: manners maketh man.
- Watch your language. If you’re going to swear, do so creatively and for effect. If your profanity is just an unthinking adornment, people will judge you to be unintelligent.
- Be conscious of time. There is both less of it, and more of it than you think.
- Don’t be a whiney or sarky. Even if everyone else is.
Thanks for your attention.
That is all.