Be a better man, daily. No wish, no dream, follow the plan in this article and simply, be a better man day in and day out.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
We want to be better men, we all do. Few, however, have a plan to carry it out. Just like few men have a plan for power or wealth even though they dream about it nightly.
What follows are 9 action steps that you can take this week that’ll help you be a better man, but also become better at being a man, that is, the core, the base of what masculinity is, utilitarian above all else.
You’re here to serve a purpose. You’re here to win. You are not here to fill a clog, to fit into a puzzle, to exist.
A woman is born. A man is made. (read: The Manliness Checklist)
Manhood is something to aspire toward. It’s a goal, something to achieve, it isn’t something that occurs when you reach puberty or buy a house or even get married.
It’s something you win. People around you know when you’re there. They know they can count on your for all kinds of things that they maybe once couldn’t.
They know you’ll lead them in the right direction and for the right reasons and they’re glad to follow.
The Romans called manliness, excellence in all things. And it is. Excellence isn’t born, but crafted over time, as is manliness.
1. Do what you say you’re going to do.
A man is no better or worse than his word. Yet, we lie to ourselves every day. We say we’ll do this, act like this, achieve that, and we never do.
If we’d only do what we say we’re going to do in business and in life we would be able to look back at our lives with a pride rarely felt in the course of humanity. (read: what it means to be a man)
Intentions are like buttholes… You know where the line goes.
They’re shitty and everyone has them.
Accomplishments, well, they’re rare. They’re a big part of why we’re here. We’re not here to want to do something, intend to do something, or wish we could do something. We’re here to achieve. From big to small, do what you say you’re going to do, whether you say it to yourself silently or aloud to others. Get it done.
2. Do what you don’t feel like doing.
One of the best barometers of whether you should do something or not, is that you don’t feel like doing it.
Try this for a day. Most people, men especially these days, avoid doing things simply because they don’t feel like doing it.
When you have that moment of not feeling like doing something, do it. Sometimes you’ll have to avoid something because it doesn’t stick with the plan, but the point is to do those things you initially set out to do but now don’t feel like doing at all.
Try it out. You will be a better man because of it. You’ll end the day having lived, achieved, and won. If you stack up enough days like that you’ll live a great, truly great, life.
3. Don’t get too low, or too high.
Enjoy your victories, celebrate them. We don’t do enough celebrating these days. That said, don’t get too high when nothing seems to go wrong, and definitely don’t get too low when it seems like everything is going wrong.
That’s nice to say, it’s a good piece of advice, but how do you actually achieve it, namely not getting too low?
You have to have a plan for your life and for your day, and you have to follow that plan regardless of how you feel.
Action is an antidepressant. Being static and stationary will make you even more depressed. I’ve been through this, recently actually.
I had every opportunity to get really low, down, and depressed. It was staring me in the face every day, and the only thing that prevented it was action.
I set out every day to not stop until 8pm, regardless of how I felt.
I had a bunch of work to get done, yardwork, I had the gun range, the archery club, cigars, and books.
I wouldn’t stop until the day was done and it was time to wind down. That’s how you avoid being too low, you’re too busy to be low.
There’s a reason why I smoke cigars and it has nothing to do with aesthetics or taking pictures and all that nonsense. Cigars are meditation for men.
I’ll smoke one every second day or something like that. It’s an hour or so of meditation, of thinking, of putting things into perspective, putting the pieces of the puzzle together for life and business and even relationships.
Do it however you need to do it, but men need that moment in a day, whether by stogie or pipe or book, where they have silence to get their mind right.
It will help you become a better man.
5. Read more than you watch.
TV can be good. It can be a winding down, you can get inspired from it and even learn from it. More often than not, however, it’s useless, and people watch far too much of it.
Spend at least an hour a day reading, and less time than that watching TV.
As a man, you need to be smart. You need to be able to strategize and plan, to dissect situations and to not allow your emotions cloud important decisions. Reading will help you become a smarter man. A smarter version of yourself is undoubtedly a better version of yourself.
6. Be dangerous.
Better dictates you’re better at being what men should be, a protector and provider. The fact that you have the capacity to be dangerous means you’re at least the former.
The reality is that there are bad people out there, and as a man, you have to be better at being dangerous than those bad people. This means you know how to fight, that you’ve trained to do so, that you’ve strengthened your body so as to be successful at fighting, and, well, you know how to use a gun. (read: how to be an alpha male)
The ignorance that guns are bad can stand between not having one when a bad guy does have one. They’re a tool, like a hammer or a knife and they’re a much more effective tool in certain circumstances when your family’s safety is on the line.
Be as dangerous as you can possibly be.
This is what being a good man requires. We’re utilitarian beings. We’re here to serve some purpose and protection is definitely one of those purposes.
7. Plan how to be successful.
Success isn’t something you wish would happen, but something you’re strategically creating. The more money you make, the bigger your impact can be. Money isn’t the be all end all, it’s a tool, a gauge you can judge how good you are at what you do – one of many.
Up until a certain time in life, boys dream about success, they wish it and pray for it, but men plan for it.
Until it’s a plan, it remains a wish. Have a plan to achieve power and success, and then do whatever you have to do to create it.
8. Be stoic.
Stoicism is a lot of things, it’s a way to live and think and how to see things. It’s an understanding that the event isn’t as important as your reaction to it.
You have complete power and control over how you see things, tragedy, victory, betrayal, the absurdly unfairness of life. Most things are not a part of you. They do not wish to harm you, they simply are.
Read Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus to know how to live. Read Proverbs, anything by or about Theodore Roosevelt or George Washington, and learn to deal with the worst and the best like a man. Read Man’s Search for Meaning as well.
9. Take care of yourself first.
This goes against what most of us think is ‘good’, but it’s the truth. This does not in any way mean you buck responsibilities, but you put the oxygen mask over your mouth before you put it over your kid’s.
If you suck, their lives suck.
If you’re unsuccessful, weak, fat, depressed, sad, down in the dumps, their lives are negatively impacted.
You have to be at your best for their lives to be at their best. You’re their foundation. So, take care of your shit. Get your money right. Get your mind right. Get your body right.
Have the things in your life you need to do to put wind in your sails. It could be hiking, hunting, shooting, reading, smoking a stogie every day, having beers with your pals once a week. Whatever you need to get yourself right, have it in your routine and don’t compromise.
Do the things on this list, most of them should be routine.
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