Friday, March 8, 2013

18 Ways to Be A Better Man

This is not an attempt at making it seem like I have life figured out.  Don't fear; I will not be getting overly emotional or challenge you to "dig deeper" while summoning my inner Paulo Coelho.  You don't need me to tell you to explore the deepest crevices of your spiritual being until you locate the child-like version of yourself so you two can cry together.......huh?  This isn't complicated.  There are simple ways to be a better man, and this will probably serve more as an admission of guilt than as a tutorial.....

#1 - Stop Acting So Tough
       Yea, I'm talking to you psycho guy in the red mustang that's driving like a maniac because the soccer mom in front of you is doing the speed limit.  Relax.  Refusing to cry, being unable to show emotions, or hating kittens doesn't make you a tough guy.  It makes you an asshole.

#2 - Wear A Suit Once In Awhile
      Whether you work on Wall Street, or you're a mechanic, nothing is better than putting on a well made, tailored suit. It's Saturday night, you're about to enjoy a night out with your better half and you're trying to decide between those dirty khaki's with that wrinkled button down, or your dirty khaki's with your Jets jersey......Knock it off.  You're a grown man.  Dress like one. You may think wearing a well-fitted, classy looking suit is not your style......but I bet you she would say differently.

#3 - Learn Something New
     The older I get the more I understand how it is that people get complacent.  Life is tough sometimes.  And sometimes old problems are more comfortable than new solutions.  Challenge yourself to learn something new.  Something you never thought you'd know how to do:  a sushi class, a foreign language, how to scuba dive, paint, an instrument, etc.  It's amazing how little we actually know.

#4 - Stop Competing With Everyone About Everything
     - Nobody cares that you're better than them at something.  Actually, it makes them feel bad about themselves.  Now, maybe that's your goal sometimes - to beat some body at something.  And I'm all for that.  But to beat your six year old into submission over a game of Connect Four is unnecessary.  You know that guy who always wants to one-up everyone?  Everyone hates him......Don't go through life competing with everyone about everything. 

#5 - Do More Than What You Get Paid For
     -  There's a saying that goes, "If you never do more than what you get paid for, you'll never get paid more for what you do."  It's cliche', but when was the last time you under-promised on something and over delivered?

#6 - Spend More Time With Your Family
     - I'm constantly trying to balance work-life and business with family time.  But the numbers are against me.  Eight to nine hours a day at work, sometimes more, and an hour or two per day with the baby during the week.  I know this is typical for most families that require a breadwinner or two.  But the average American now watches TV for six hours a day, works eight hours, and sleeps eight hours......I'm not a math wiz, but can someone explain to me a) how this is logistically possible if you have an eight month old  and b) when you even acknowledge your family or children???  During commercials??

#7 - Stop Staring At Every Girl That Walks By
     - Seriously.  It's creepy, borderline disrespectful, and the decent ones hate it.  Some of us use whistling, facial expressions and our car horns like its some sort of mating call.  Good luck with that.  Talking to you again dude in the red mustang, blasting Pit Bull, with your're a real catch, I'm sure.

#8 - Live Passionately
     - Life is so much more than football, cars, and women (I know, hard to believe).  Its ok to be passionate about those things, but expand your horizon.  Be interesting by being interested.

#9 - Be Ridiculous Sometimes
     -  Don't take yourself so seriously.  Nobody else does.  Especially if you have children.  One of the biggest things that I've learned since becoming a father is that it's totally ok to act like a damn fool.  He doesn't hold it against me, or think I'm being annoying (yet).  He just laughs hysterically.  Mission accomplished.

#10 - Don't Tattoo Your Face
      -  Really no need to elaborate.  But I'd like to add the following to that list; tramp stamps, neck tattoos, someones name, a tear drop, a Chinese symbol, Osama Bin Laden's face, or a tribal tattoo.  They're all stupid.  And you'll regret it.  Or you're in jail - which you'd probably would rather not be in.

#11 - Remember What Your Mom Taught You
      - Chivalry isn't just dead.  It was murdered, brought back to life, then poisoned before being stoned to death by clowns.  It's bad.  Real bad.  What happened to opening doors, saying please/thank you, or yes ma'am and yes sir??  You still shouldn't chew with your mouth open, bite your nails, dirty your clothes, and is it too much to ask you to slide a chair in for her??  It's amazing we get as many of them to agree to a second date, let alone marry us.  Wait...... the divorce rate is what???!!

#12 - Compliment People More Often
       - We all know someone who just lifts people up.  They aren't interested in themselves, and seem genuinely interested in what's going on in your world.  Not only are they interested in your mundane day-to-day activities, but they're impressed by it.  Again, GENUINELY.  I don't get it, but if you think that it's awesome that I ironed my shirt, or scored tickets to a Heat game, I'll take it!  And so will others. 

#13 - Get Your Finances and Health Under Control
       - There is nothing more debilitating than being unable to enjoy life because of a lack of money or poor health.  Poverty and illness aren't things that happen to you.  More often than not, they are things that happen because of you.  Pay now and play later, or play now and pay later......either way you have to pay.  Be proactive with both.  Nobody put a limit on what your net worth can be.  There is nobody preventing you from living healthier besides you.

#14 - Learn To Disconnect
       -  There's a commercial out now where a group of guys jump in their truck and head out for a weekend in the wilderness.  The further they drive off the beaten path the worse their cell phone signal gets.  Until, finally, their phone says "No Service".  At which point, they park, start unloading the truck and say "Finally!".  It's honestly been years since I was totally disconnected......and I miss it.  From one man to another, nobody cares about where you're checking in from, or that tweet you sent out about Dancing With The Stars.  40% of iPhone users say they'd rather give up brushing their teeth for a week then their phone.  Seriously?? 

#15 - Listen To Her
      -  I know.  It's hard.  She wants to talk about the new girl at her office that came in with a plaid skirt (OMG....So gross!), and you just walked through the door.  Now, maybe in this instance it's not going to bite you in the ass, but one day, it will.  We're men.  We like to act.  Not talk, or share feelings.  I get it, and I'm with you.  But she needs it.  And if you don't want to listen to her, trust me, someone else will.

#16 - Stop Walking Around With Your Bluetooth In Your Ear
       - You aren't talking to anyone.  You're just standing in line at Starbucks.  You're not even on the phone.  I don't walk around with my golf clubs because I might use them at some point.  Why are you walking around looking like a blinking idiot and you're just buying groceries??  Are you on a conference call that's of the utmost importance?? 

#17 - Know How To Catch, Clean and Cook the Fish
       -  This world is mostly divided up into two types of men.  Men who can cook and gut a fish but only know how to fry it in beer batter and cigarette butts.  And men who think fish are icky, but would love to prepare it with a bed of fresh spring greens and a raspberry vinaigrette.  Wow.  If you can do one, you can do the other.  Trust me.

#18 - Do The Right Thing, and Don't Complain
       -  I've always felt like an old soul in some ways.  I know older people feel like our generation has it so easy these days.....and they're right.  In the "good ol days" you worked hard, took care of your family, did the right thing, and never complained about it.  Today, we want to cut corners, bail on our responsibilities, do what's easy, and then bitch about it.  Any one can quit and complain, but it takes a real man to do the right thing, even when it's not easy, and not have a Facebook meltdown about it.

This will likely be an ever-evolving list.  What do you think makes a man a real man?

No comments:

Post a Comment