11 Life Habits More Men Should Embrace
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As we grow older, it’s always interesting to tie our actions and beliefs back to things we observed while we were growing up. Those who were older around us – whether it be parents, grandparents, guardians, or fiends, influence(d) our view of the world in ways that, at the time, we wouldn’t have recognized.
As adults, even still, we rarely stop to think about why we think or act the way that we do. I reflect on this often when I do something as simple as cooking, and realize that most of what I learned was simply a result of watching my mom or grandmother make Sunday dinners, or cook during the week.
Many of my life philosophies were also shaped by watching my dad and seeing how he would treat people around him. Everyone I meet who knows him is always a big fan, so I figure he must be doing something right.
Without further adieu, here are ten life lessons I believe will elevate the lives of those of us who implement them:
1. Tip well.
My dad has always told me that if you take care of people, they will take care of you.
I recall growing up and being in situations with my parents where tipping would be appropriate. Specifically, someone bringing your luggage to a hotel room, or a valet driver.
My dad would fold up a few dollars, place it in his palm, and casually shake the hand of whoever was delivering the luggage and pass it off to them.
I always thought this was a classy and discreet way of passing along a tip and I’ve implemented it ever since.
I also believe in taking great care of those in the service industry, like bartenders and servers. It is never a bad idea to be good to those who are handling your food or drinks, particularly when they can prioritize you for great service.
2. Learn the basics of style.
You don’t need to be a walking issue of GQ Magazine, but paying attention to detail when getting dressed in the morning will change how people view and respond to you throughout the day.
Understanding simple rules such as a brown belt is necessary with brown shoes, navy blue is not to be worn with black (save midnight blue for formalwear), and having the knowledge for how to tie a tie, is all useful knowledge when an occasion arises.
Defining your own personal style is also something that some conscious effort can highly accelerate. Maybe it’s a leather jacket and ripped jeans. Maybe you spend your days in a suit. Regardless of your preferred attire, the fit, color coordination, and details, are the difference between looking like you got dressed on purpose, and looking like you got dressed in the dark.
Protip: Head to Macy’s and look through the “Last Act” section where you can find some items for 70-80% off. It doesn’t have to be expensive to look good.
3. Read more.
In a world where most of what we feed our minds is compiled of cat memes and political arguments on Facebook, it is imperative to consciously decide what information we are going to take in.
Ideas in equals ideas out, and just like you get better performance from your body when you feed it well, you also get better performance from your mind.
The world of books is endless and diverse, and thanks to technology, you can simply download audiobooks onto your phone and listen during your commute, while you’re in the shower, or while you’re at the gym.
Reading does not have to be something that takes more time in your life, but simply a way to be more efficient with the time you already have.
4. Hone your communication skills.
Just as important as what you take in from the world, is what you give back to it. Effective communication and speaking abilities are paramount to your success in all areas.
You can better communicate why you deserve a raise, why you should be hired for a job, why that bouncer should let you into the club, and why you’re interested in that woman across the room.
A great method I’ve found for doing this is spending time watching speakers you admire and taking lessons from how they present themselves. Record yourself with your phone, and listen back. Practice being clear, concise, and articulate.
Learning the nuances of verbal and non-verbal communication can quite literally change your life.
5. Learn to defend yourself.
Though we are no longer cavemen, a sense of security and confidence comes along with understanding the basics of self defense.
In (what feels like) a previous life, I used to teach Shotokan Karate, boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. These skills gave me pride in knowing I could defend myself and those I care about should the situation arise.
You will hopefully never have to use self-defense skills in the real world, but it’s better to be equipped and not need them, than to need them…and not have them.
6. Learn to cook.
We mentioned what you feed your brain when you read, but without proper fuel intake, your body cannot function at its peak. And when your body cannot function at its peak, neither can your mind.
Your microbiome, mood, mental and physical health…are all tied together. Having the ability to prepare healthy and safe foods for yourself and those around you is a skill we should all prioritize.
Plus, women think it’s sexy.
7. Treat everyone with respect.
So many people get caught up in their own daily lives that they lose sight of those around them. They bump into each other on the train, in the street, don’t hold doors, don’t say thank you or sorry…
Unless you have been deliberately betrayed or hurt by someone, there is no reason to disrespect another human being whose story you do not know.
When you are kind to people, you’ll very often find that they are kind to you in return.
8. Learn more about women.
Particularly true for heterosexual men, a deeper understanding of the female brain helps us learn the basics of attraction, relationships, communication, and emotional connection.
So many men complain about not being able to understand women, yet so few men put in the time and effort to actually do so.
Communicate, ask questions, pay attention. We will never be able to predict or fully understand how or why an individual human being does what he or she does, but we can gain a greater understanding of how the human brain works and become better at navigating the waters.
9. Always stay true to your word.
Honor seems to be a lost concept in today’s society. Challenge yourself for 30 days to do exactly what you say you’re going to do. Watch how your self confidence and relationships improve because of it.
Experiencing different cultures, locations, arts, attitudes, societal norms…is the absolute best way to become acquainted with the world around you. It combats against prejudice. It expands your worldview and values. It opens parts of your mind you didn’t know you had.
I’ve spoken to so many women who want to travel the world but their husbands have no desire to do anything but sit on the couch after work and watch sports.
Gentlemen, the world is quite literally passing you by. Don’t miss it.
11. Define your identity and cultivate it every single day.
The world is always telling you what you should do. Where you should work. What kind of women you should date. What you should wear. What kind of car is cool to drive.
At the end of the day, the absolute only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself when you’re by yourself. This is the essence of fulfillment.
Becoming absolutely clear on who you want to be is the guiding light for what decisions you’ll end up making. Who you’ll end up marrying (if anyone at all). Where you’ll end up living and working.
Do not allow the world to mold you into whatever societal trend is exposing itself at the time. Choose, consciously, the best life that is suited for you as an individual.
There will never be another you in this world. Never let the gifts that only you can bring, go to waste.
If you want my help and guidance to finally break through your boundaries and create an even happier and more fulfilled life with healthier relationships, reach out and let’s chat.
Photo cred: Stopped Down Studio.
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FREE E-BOOK: 15 WAYS TO KNOW YOU'RE DATING A GENTLEMAN