Men face a major challenge in navigating a complicated modern world. Few of us have had any meaningful male leadership, and most of us struggle in the face of a brazenly anti-male society.
To make something of ourselves, we need all the support we can get. My highs and deepest lows over 30 years forced me to collect my own tips that helped me navigate life with strength and energy. Here are some ideas I wish I had known sooner, or as I like to call it – A Cheat Sheet For Avoiding A Life Of Misery :
1. You must take responsibility for everything.
Society expects men to have a handle on everything. You can’t expect anyone to help you up when you’re down. This is a good thing because it teaches us early on that it’s all on you. The minute you blame others for your misfortune is the moment you embody the frail figure of a victim, and you will make life impossible for you.
2. Women will never love you unconditionally.
A lot of personal heartache would have been avoided had I seen this. As soon as we signal that we no longer have our shit together, we could lose her, and ‘love’ will have nothing to do with it.
‘Love’ relies on many variables being in place, from self-confidence to your access to resources and demonstrating your ability to provide, to holding your emotional frame. You are not entitled to her because you both have heartbeats. She is earned (and so are you).
3. Happiness is a choice.
Happiness is never conditional on your life being a certain way. You don’t suddenly become ‘happy’ when you reach a particular milestone. Thinking this means you are continually chasing and continually unhappy. No – happiness is a decision. One you make every day as you start the day fresh.
4. Marriage is the most significant risk a man can take today.
Think extremely carefully before opening yourself up to potentially huge losses surrounding divorce in the context of a court system that is rigged against men. Many men have lost decades of their lives because they jumped into formal marriage agreements with little preparation. Get prepared, or seek alternatives to formal, state-tied contractual marriage agreements.
5. Porn use puts you at a major disadvantage.
Porn is not like it was in the 1970s. I feel sorry for guys who get hooked at a young age. It is akin to getting addicted to the most potent drug. You are losing every day that you continue to open up your soul to the demonic energy of modern pornography. Stop; go through your withdrawals, and return to being human again.
6. Never take anything personally.
A common trend among struggling men is their making everything about them. They think it’s ‘alpha’ to get offended over someone seemingly giving them disrespect. I see my past self in them, and I see a weak man. Instead, approach life with a light-heartedness that acknowledges the ultimate meaningless of your ego. This is true strength.
7. Showing your emotions is not a strength.
Crying in front of your partner might be all the rage right now, but it will lose you respect. There may be a place for it as catharsis in a men’s group or in therapy, but not elsewhere. Society doesn’t want overly emotional men. It is craving stoic men who we can rely on for their stability. Sure be human – laugh, smile, be playful – express yourself, but don’t release your emotions unnecessarily just because Oprah said so to an applauding crowd.
8. Being nice is a losing strategy.
Many men take on the ‘nice guy’ strategy to get their way in life, owing to a sense of insecurity they have about themselves. They believe something is wrong with them (thanks, society), and they compensate with niceness. Don’t go there. Serve. Be real. Be valuable. Be willing to upset other people if it ultimately serves them. This is to live with honesty and integrity as a man.
9. Stress is not circumstantial.
Men are experiencing stress at massive levels. They are killing themselves in vast numbers each week because of stress. Much of this would be avoided when more men realise that stress is internally-generated. Managing our thoughts and letting go of rumination is the solution.
10. Learn how to make good money quickly.
Yes, happiness and money are not directly correlated, but you want your foundational income in place as soon as possible. Spending your life stressed about money will set you back and weaken you physically and mentally. An energised man knows how to enter the marketplace and make money when he needs to.
11. Aesthetics matter.
The mainstream media will tell us otherwise, but they are lost. How you look and the degree to which you take care of yourself physically significantly affect how others perceive you. Do everything you can to maximise your appearance given the cards you were dealt. Don’t rest on your laurels around this. Your appearance requires continual maintenance.
Final thought: Whatever you do, do not allow society to make you feel small or inadequate because of your gender, just because it’s trendy. Never apologise for who you are and go for what you want.
Own every step you take in this world as a man. This is how to best serve the world. We are needed now more than ever.