5 Things Men Can Learn From James Bond

There are men in the world who show us on national TV what not to do, such as the latest Bachelor, Juan Pablo, and then there are men, even fictional men, we can learn from.

In a recent Facebook discussion, I asked: What fictional character, either in literature or movies, do you feel best embodies the idea of a “true gentleman”?


There were some fantastic answers, and a couple of votes for James Bond, including my own. Now, a disclaimer: Some women claim Bond is a womanizer and therefore doesn’t qualify as a gentleman. While I have no interest in defending a fictional character’s…character, I believe for the sake of this article it is important to note that Bond’s profession, along with the unfortunate circumstances most of his love interests face at the hands of a villain, it is nearly impossible for Bond to find himself in a monogamous relationship.

Furthermore, he does display emotion towards women he is with, and if they meet an untimely end to life, his mission becomes personal in avenging her. This shows he has depth and is capable of love.

But, enough defending. What do I think we can learn from 007?


To remain calm in all situations.

I believe, when called for (especially in relationships) emotions are perfectly acceptable for men to show, and even healthy. It is a common inaccuracy that showing emotion is a sign of weakness, but in reality it takes more strength to allow your feelings to be shown to others, rather than hiding them away.

However, if you observe Bond you will notice how he keeps his composure during conflicts or tense discussions. This is a skill we can all learn and benefit from in all areas of life. Thomas Jefferson said: “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” And how true it is – when in a business setting or during an argument, the first person who lets their emotions overtake them automatically loses.

This is especially true in relationships, if we lose our temper and lash out at our partner during a disagreement, there is no good ending.


The importance of showing compassion.


While Bond can be ice cold, as part of his job – he also often shows us that it’s okay to lend that strength to others and share in their pain during a time of need.

Part of being a well-rounded man and building healthy relationships is being supportive of others. This includes friends, family, and a partner in a relationship. If the person you’re with doesn’t feel as though they can talk to you about their problems or concerns, your overall communication will fail and take the rest of your relationship with it.


The importance of staying fit.

While not every Bond has been quite as ripped as Daniel Craig, Craig makes it easy to see that the best thing you can do for your personal style, is to get in shape.

Everything from t-shirts to tailored tuxedos look exponentially better when fitted to an active body. Not only is fitness aesthetically better, but when we look better, we feel better. And when we feel better, we have more confidence in ourselves. One can easily see how this pattern will afford us the motivation to continue improving in life and going after what we want.

While confidence should not solely be based on our looks (for men or women), the physiological changes that occur in our bodies, as well as how much better we feel when we look good, have unarguable positive results.



The ability to fight.

No, we certainly shouldn’t be getting into fights. It shows a lack of ability to solve problems through civilized discussion and the need to resort to violence and force to get a point across. In reality, all this does is cause more issues and is rarely (never) actually effective.

However, as a former martial arts instructor myself – I am aware that the first thing you are taught when learning to fight, is not to fight. Self-control, awareness of self and environment, and confidence are positive “side-effects” and byproducts of learning these art forms.

Plus, the reality of the world is that there may come a time when we are forced to protect ourselves or a loved one, and the ability to do so will be invaluable.


Value people over things.

While Bond is notorious for sporting the latest technology, the most fantastically exotic cars, and the most impossibly-tailored tuxedos, he has repeatedly destroyed them all for the sake of helping someone in need. Bond understands that things can be replaced, but people cannot.

People may feel that he simply doesn’t appreciate the things he is privileged to have because of how disposable they are to them, but I would argue that when seen in the context of sacrifice for the sake of a person or relationship, the act becomes more meaningful than just crashing a nice car.



Bond has his flaws, but don’t we all? He comes from a mysterious past, but rather than being born into nobility and taking credit for it, Bond has improved and refined himself into an iconic figure for men everywhere. This, in my opinion, is far nobler than simple genetic fortune.

What are some other characters we can take lessons from?

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13 thoughts on “5 Things Men Can Learn From James Bond

  1. Great post here James. I love the idea of learning from a fictional character. James Bond does embody a lot of positive traits gentlemen can learn from. My favorite is to keep calm in all situations as it takes a tremendous amount of emotional discipline. As a business owner, this skill is of utmost importance and what I believe separates the successful from unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Keep the value coming James, I’ve been subscribed for a few months now and love your posts!

  2. The hardest one for me was showing compassion for others. When things went ary for me, I was usually the one with a level head (most of the time) to defuse a situation and bring it back to normal. Was not the same coming back from her when I lost it (bad day at work, multiple issues then compounded on each other, etc), so trying to hold myself up in addition to trying to keep her from distancing herself made things a losing situation very quickly.

    I read all the time how men showing emotions defines us as being weak and some women have been raised to automatically reject men who do so. If that is the case I dont need to be in a relationship where I cant communicate my feelings/thoughts other than in good times.

  3. I think James Bond fits this idea well. The point about fighting is a great one. You don’t take martial arts class to learn to fight, you take them so you can learn to stay calm and aware. The fighting skills you learn are a last resort. Also, I think many men have a hard time showing emotion. Society has engineered us to avoid emotion, even from a little kid when we are told to “brush it off”. Not learning emotions only hurts us down the road.

  4. I missed the question posted on Facebook, but I’d like to throw my choice and female opinion in several months late…Dr. King Schultz of Django Unchained, as played so eloquently by Christoph Waltz. Even though Schultz has no romantic interest in the film, you just knew that the man knows how to treat a lady. He’s kind, compassionate, classy, funny, intelligent, has excellent manners and social grace, impeccable speech, and knows how to dress. Darn handsome, too. He teaches Django how to read, how to shoot, and helps him find his wife. He is also mysterious in that we don’t know his backstory…he tells Django that it’s been five years since he last practiced dentistry, so the question is what happened that made him abandon the profession in favor of bounty hunting? And did a woman, perhaps the love of his life, have something to do with it? All of these questions have haunted me since the first time I saw the film. I would also assume based on his gentle and personable character that he made an excellent dentist and cared about people. I would love to see Quentin Tarantino produce a backstory on the character…but only if Waltz could reprise him again. Swoon. I have never fell in love with a fictional character from a movie or book before and never understood the hoopla over Mr. Darcy but Dr. King Schultz is the epitome of the perfect man in my honest opinion. (Speaking of James Bond, Waltz will be costarring in the next movie due out in 2015.)

    1. Fantastic answer! I hadn’t seen that movie yet at the time of writing this, but have since and completely concur with your opinions. Thanks so much for sharing them here.

      Also, very excited for Spectre next year!

      1. Oh, you’re very welcome! Love the blog and follow it on Facebook as well. And yes, I’m very excited about Spectre–should be a huge movie!

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