Since the end of the Industrial Age, men have lacked proper male role models. Pampered by our cushy white-collar jobs, our hands have become soft and our will has turned to mush. We have become the proverbial ‘yes man’ of the corporate world – lacking a spine, slithering around with a knife behind our backs, looking for someone to stab so we can climb the snakes and ladders of financial success. Perhaps we think: “Maybe the ladies will like me now that I have my cool new car and luxurious bachelor’s pad.”
Where are the real men of yesterday? The ones who worked hard all day till their muscles burned; the ones with blisters on their hands and calluses on their feet; the man that women swoon for at first sight? The answer is: “They’re all dead, Jim. All that’s left is us backstabbing, spineless, slithering yes-men.”
The real men may be dead, but their lessons from the past live on. Let us learn from our forefathers, what it means to be a man’s man.
#1 A Man Must Be Bold
In Chinese philosophy, a man’s body composes mainly of Yang chi – the essence of male energy, representing vigour and vitality. Yang is forceful, the aggressor, and symbolised by fire and heat. Women on the other hand, are composed of Yin chi – the cooling, receptive energy that surrounds everything. Yin is subtle, the receiver, and represented by flowing water.
Being a man, it is your duty to represent the essence of Yang chi. There is no time for beating around the bush; being too shy to ask for what you want, and being unsure of yourself. You have to be bold… it is your duty to be bold. You are the Yang – the aggressor. If you want to know a woman, you have to make the approach. You cannot wait for her to make the approach; she is Yin. She is the shy, receptive one, who is waiting for you to approach her. Pardon my seemingly chauvinistic suggestion, but let her be the Yin. Do not try to reverse roles and be the shy man who cannot even say ‘Hi’. I have never heard someone say, “Hah, he’s such a wuss for thinking she would even talk to him…”. What you would usually hear is, “Wow man, you’ve got guts! I wish I could do that.”
Women are attracted to men who are not afraid to love them… someone they can lean on, a shoulder to cry on; boldness is a representation of that inner strength. You can define boldness as ‘the courage to act’, turning your fear into strength, accepting rejection and pain as a natural consequence for daring to achieve your dreams.
Boldness also applies to business and life in general. The British Special Air Service (SAS) has a famous motto: “Who Dares Wins”. If you have got the brains, the guts,and the tenacity, then chances are success is yours. Listen to what German Philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
#2 A Man Must Live With Honour
Honour is a virtue of the Gentleman. Having honour means that you commit yourself to following a specific set of moral guidelines. People trust an honourable person’s word as a guarantee of future moral performance. Nowadays, we sometimes use the word ‘Integrity’ to represent honour.
Learning to live with honour will make you more of a man than ten years of corporate snakes and ladders can. Your promise must be a solemn commitment that you will keep to, no matter what. Your word must be as good as gold, if not better.
Building an honourable reputation is no easy task. It means total commitment to upholding your integrity and living your life by defined moral principles. If you are successful, your good name will spread. People will recognise you as a trustworthy individual, whom they can count on to take care of the largest responsibilities and entrust with the most confidential secrets. Taking on more responsibilities and secrets, can raise your life to new levels of prosperity and plenty. But let us be warned… if we ever breach that trust by committing just one selfish or perverse act, what could take a lifetime to establish, we can destroy overnight.
In the present Communication Age, good news travels fast and bad news travels even faster. The only way to stop the bad news is to never allow it to be created. So mind your actions because people listen to what you say, but they watch what you do. Place your hand over your heart and say, “Let my principles be my guiding light, distilled from my highest wisdom about what is right. Let my morals stand tall and true, let them choose the things I do.” Now touch your head and say: “So Be It!”
Make a difference today, put your foot down and be bold about upholding your honour. Adhere to your principles. Never do anything that would compromise your integrity and the trust people have in you. In return for your efforts, you will create more flow in your life; opportunities will come faster and more abundantly. You will have the chance to live your life to its fullest potential and splendour. So be a man of honour – your life depends on it.
#3 A Man Must Be Magnanimous
Magnanimous means to have a generous, forgiving, and noble nature. Simply put, magnanimous people have a big heart. They are gracious and kind, philanthropic and benevolent. A magnanimous gentleman gives generously and expects nothing in return. He takes joy simply in seeing those around him happy. He is an intriguing conversationalist and tells jokes to make others laugh.
A man’s magnanimity does not allow him to easily take offence at the words and actions of others. Anything potentially offensive is simply seen for what it truly is… wind passing through the trees. Like bamboo, he will never break, but only bend with the direction of the wind.
When you have mastered magnanimity, you will intuitively understand that there is a Law of Increasing Returns in the universe which states, “Whatever you give out will come back to you ten times stronger.” For example, if you look down on someone, ten more people will look down on you. If you cheat $500 from an old woman, sometime down the road, you will lose $5000. Likewise, if you contribute $200 out of the goodness of your heart, $2000 will be available for you to earn back. Perhaps through your business or in a sudden lottery windfall.
If you choose to let your greed get the better of you, manipulate others to your benefit, and refuse to help the needy, you can only expect poverty, hate, and disappointment to head your way. You reap what you sow; you get whatever you give out. This is a universal law.
A magnanimous man knows that helping others does not exhaust his resources, but rather because of the Law of Increasing Returns, it increases his resources tenfold, allowing him to do more good for the world. He knows that in helping others, he is also helping himself.
Develop the habit of solving other peoples’ problems and you become a more generative person. You produce and contribute more than the average guy, and thus earn more because you deliver more value to others.
Take little steps starting today, to make these characteristics a part of your character. Help someone in need, keep a promise, dare to speak up. Challenge yourself to become a man’s man: Be Bold, Be Honourable, Be Magnanimous.