I spent my entire lifetime trying not to be careless. Women and children can be careless, but not men. ~ Vito Corleone, the Godfather
Men cannot afford to be careless.
Men cannot behave in a manner that would jeopardise our employment. Boys can stay out late, get drunk with pals, lose their job, ride free on the backs of their folks for a few months, and then get another job. Men cannot.
Men cannot spend their money frivolously. They cannot buy what they cannot afford. What they earn they have to use wisely, they have to invest and pay off whatever creditors they have.
Becoming an adult is something that was once done at 19 or 20. Today it seems as though it may happen at 40.
If you look at the statistics of debt held in the west, by-in-large, most people owe more than they bring in on an annual basis. The good cities, the cities or towns where values still hold are closer to the debt to profit margin, while the bad ones, a city like Vancouver, for example, has its citizens earning – on average – half of the debt they’ll carry in a year.
Housing prices aside, this number is driven by an aspiration to portray and image, not the once all-important quest to be of character.
This article treats trivialities like image and consumerism as something that children can do, but not men. If you aspire to be good and manly, there are things that, when you hit 20, you simply have to leave behind.
If you’re in your thirties or forties and you’re still doing some of the things or behaviours on this list, ask yourself if you need to be, ask yourself if these behaviours and habits make you stronger or weaker and if they make you weaker, why have them?
Being an adult male means you have to be a leader. In some capacity people look up to you or depend on you. Don’t be careless with this honor.
1. Keep a budget.
The first change that a young fella has to adopt when he enters manhood is budgeting. You’re planning for something now. You’re saving for a life you want to create in the future and for a family that you may not yet have, but will one day. (Read This: 11 Tips to Budget Your Money Like a Winner)
A budget is as much about knowing what’s coming in and what’s going out that it is about saving. It’s knowing what you have a tendency to spend money on that you don’t need and don’t really want, but you buy anyway.
It’s self-responsibility. It’s taking care of your affairs. It’s not being careless.
2. Think about what you buy.
I saw a video a couple months ago. It was some Youtube guy talking about having an abundance mindset. This notion that things will come into his life led him to spend money frivolously.
An abundance mindset is good. To know that if you work hard and smart that things will come into your life is a good thing. It’s a positive thing. To spend money on things you want on a whim, to let your desires push your purchasing habits is a dependence mindset.
Somewhere along the line the kid used the idea of an abundance mindset as an excuse to buy what he wants in a moment.
Anyone who lets their desires determine their actions is a slave to their emotions. They’re devoid of discipline and they see discipline as restrictive, not as liberating.
Discipline is discerning, it’s having the knowledge to back what you want to buy with logic and reason for purchasing it.
Children can spend money on stupid things. Men cannot.
Next time you have a desire that leads you to want to buy something, stop and think. Think about what this desire really is.
It’s most likely fuelled by an image you want to portray, which is given to you not by your genetics or what’s truly important in life, but my marketing, be it in film, in someone you look up to, in a magazine that skilfully lays out a persona of a man that you’d like to be yours.
This desire isn’t deep, it’s not meaningful, it’s wrought with triviality and once this image is achieved, another purchase will have to follow to further fulfill it.
Stop. Breathe. Think. What is it you really want?
It’s likely something that you think this purchase will get you but you’re wrong. Save your money, buy land, God ain’t making any more of it.
3. Do what you don’t want to do.
Boys can do what they want. If they don’t want to study, all they get is a bad grade, who cares.
Those among us who are men, who are winners, do what they don’t want to do with as much effort and pride as the things they love to do.
Success is often merely a matter of doing the things you’re not passionate about at a high level.
Being a good husband and father is often about the same thing. Of course you want to play with your kids and relax with them, but those dishes need to get done, the chores need to be completed, your lady deserves rest before you do. You’re a man. Rest is something that’s more infrequent for you than for anyone. (Read This: How to Rest Like an Alpha)
4. Take pride in everything you do, in who you are.
Take pride in how you look. Take pride in the work you do. Take pride in the man you are.
That means that you’re not lazy and you don’t sell yourself short.
Too many of us hold incredibly low expectations of what we can achieve in this lifetime and what our life will be. We give a fraction of what we can give to our work, to our family, and we push down the dreams we had as a kid because now they seem so out of line with the path we’ve been pushed into that we see them as not real.
This article is obviously not simply a matter of being an adult, but of being a great one.
Too many ‘adults’ slide into a way of life that is beneath them, both in character and accomplishment.
They sell themselves short. That doesn’t mean that the line of work you’re doing is beneath you, but that the work you’re doing, how you’re performing, and the pride you’re taking in what you’re doing is short of what it can be.
In no way does it make sense to give less effort, to pay less attention to detail. You end up giving close to the same amount of time, yet the results you create are far less than what they can be. Why not give your best? (Read This: Be A Man Of Action and Victorious Effort)
It’s like laziness, it makes no sense to be lazy. There’s no logic behind it, no benefit at all to the individual, yet we do it day after day.
Take pride in how you dress. Keep yourself well-kept and your body in shape. Don’t get fat and lazy, it’s unbecoming of what your potential dictates you should be.
5. Never be lazy.
6. Never blame someone or something for where you are right now.
7. Don’t change.
Don’t get careless or soft or lazy when things are going well. It’s easy to hustle when you have to. When you don’t, when things are taken care of and the bills are paid, people slip.
Marvin Hagler made a great point:
“It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning to go for a run when you’re sleeping in silk sheets”.
Yet, you still have to get up and out of bed, not because you need the money but because that’s who you are, you’re a man for shite’s sake, act like one.
A grinder, a worker, a man who takes pride in who he is doesn’t change or soften or weaken. You are who you are. Be the same guy when you’re at the bottom as you are when you’re at the top.
Highs and lows come and go. Life is a never-ending ebb and flow. Be the constant.
8. Give time to your family.
All of this work we do, all of these dreams we have, the goals we hustle to bring to reality, are for no reason if we don’t give our time to our family.
The excuse that so many men use is that they do all of this for their families. It’s not true. They may think it’s true, but what your family really needs is you.
You can make a few hundred grand or a few million less in your lifetime without diminishing your degree of happiness or value or worth and instead give those hours where that money was earned to the people that matter most.
The greatest regret for most men is that they were so focused on earning and they used their family as an excuse to spend more time earning instead of giving them their time.
9. Let your lady rest before you do.
The best example of what men have become today is in how we do chores around the house that our lady typically does. Let’s take the dishes, for example. Maybe that’s something that your lady does normally, but tonight you have to do them, and you do them just good enough to pass, but bad enough that she doesn’t want you to do the dishes anymore because you didn’t do them well enough.
I’ve heard this complaint from many a lady. I’ve done this myself, too. It’s less than who you are, who we are.
It goes back to the take pride in everything you do change in mindset. This includes chores and things that you don’t want to do at all.
If you’re going to do something, do it well.
More than that, do things you don’t have to do, let your lady rest before you do. Be the man, not just a man.
The problem with our society today is that youth is praised more than age and wisdom. It used to be the elders we looked up to, now it’s the young, the person living with no responsibility and a care-free lifestyle.
That’s ass-backwards. It doesn’t reflect what our priorities should be. We praise the dependent, the immature, the weak.
Be the strong, self-reliant, masculine male that you need to be to be called a man or a man’s man or a leader. It’s the same guy you need to be to live the life you genuinely want to live.
If this is heaven, if we’re not moving toward heaven, how would you live?
What would you spend your time doing, building, creating? What adventures would you embark upon? Who would you spend your time with and sacrifice for?
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.