How to be a better man and release your inner hero
“Waste no more time arguing about
what a good man should be.
- Marcus Aurelius
Everything you need to know about how to be a better man is summed up in that quote. Be a good man and start right now.
If only it was just that simple…
Being a real man today is not easy, regardless of your age. We have work commitments, relationship commitments, etc, etc.
And if I’m describing your life, I feel your pain, bro, I do.I’ve been there and it blows.
Being a real man in 2016 is complicated
- You need to be masculine and tough but still be able to connect and show your feelings constantly with your woman.
- You must be an absolute killer at work but jesus, don’t crack an off-color joke or HR will be all over you.
- You need to provide for your family (and kids if you have them) in an ever-increasingly competitive world that gets more expensive every day.
- You face constant pressure at work and at home
- You get way too much f*cking email.(This is a given even if you’re a basket weaver in Bangladesh)
Does this sound like your life?
- You are struggling to find a meaning and a purpose to your life.You spend a lot of time wondering, “Is this all there is?”
- You don’t workout nearly as much as you want.
- You feel overworked, under appreciated and underpaid.
- Your relationship is good but could be much better.
- Sex life is ok. Not bad but not winning any awards either
- The most peaceful part of your day is when you’re driving home and you’re all alone in traffic with nobody bothering you.
- You have very little life balance
- In the time it took to read this far you got three new emails that aren’t important.
Now that I’ve depressed the hell out of you (more than a typical Alice in Chains song) let me tell you that there is good news.
You CAN create the life of your dreams and the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train).
You can blow up the shitty parts of your life and create something awesome.
So let’s blow it up.
You deserve a life with:
- Purpose & Meaning
- Fantastic sex and an awesome relationship
- Health and vitality
- Fun and adventure
- Life Balance
- Freedom and control of your world
But before we get into how to get on a path to having it all, let’s define what a real man is.
For our purposes a real man is:
A man who controls his own destiny, knows his purpose in life and in confident in his place in the world.
A real man is a great father, fantastic husband and knows how to throw a spiral.
He treats his woman with respect, reverence and honesty. He holds the door open for everybody and isn’t afraid to go after what he wants.
A real man in generous and focused on success and has failed many times in his life.
He always gets up & he grinds hard for what he believes.
His values are immovable and his close friends know they can count on him.
Character traits of a real man
- Confidence. Like Muhammad Ali level confidence. Believes he can do anything.
- Committed. All-in on what he believes. Doesn’t matter what it is, he’s all in regardless of what anyone else thinks.
- Generous. Like Bill Gates giving away $1B, a real man leaves money on the table for the other guy, over-tips and thanks everyone.
- Values all equally. Treats the CEO and the janitor exactly the same.
- Loyal. Faithful to his woman, his family, his values and his close friends.
- Honest.Willing to be brutally (yet tactfully) honest with everyone.
- Legacy driven. Focused on leaving a legacy in the world.
- Scarred up. Has had tons of failures and continues to rebound.Like Kiedis from the Chili-Peppers, a real man has been through some shit and wears his scars proudly.
- Great father. Know it’s more important to speak time with than money on his kids.
- Focused on a purpose. Like Tom Brady doing 2-a-days in the off-season on a diet so strict that avocado ice cream is a luxury, a real man is focused on his purpose.
- Unafraid to be a rock star.Has Tupac-esque fearlessness and isn’t afraid of the spotlight or the critics that come with it.
Now you may be thinking (I would) “Who the f*ck is the guy, I don’t even know him”. And you’re right to ask so here’s quick summary:
I’ve been married to my wife for 13 years, have 2 beautiful daughters, run my own business, I’m in the best shape of my life and I couldn't be happier.
It wasn’t always this way though. My life has definitely hit some low points:
- I was sexually abused by my Uncle V. from the ages of 10-14. Asshole. took me a long time to see sex as anything other than a power move.
- Mom divorced my real dad when I was 4, didn’t see/hear from him again until I was 36. Met him once before he died.
- Have had 3 major surgeries- 1 on each knee and 1 on my back/spine. Makes doing anything besides lying down perfectly still ache.
- Have failed in a couple different business ventures.
- Went through financial hell 2008-2013 and lost everything while my marriage was falling apart.
- Watched the Patriots lose 2 different SuperBowls to the f’ing giants.Jesus, Welker, catch the damn ball…
- Used to suffer panic attacks on a regular basis up until a few years ago.
- Used to think these thoughts on a regular basis:
- “I’m not good enough”
- “I feel like a total pussy sharing my feelings”
- “I have no idea how to share my feelings”
My guess is that you can relate to some of the stuff above.
We have all been there together and although my examples are probably different than yours, the feelings and scars are the same.
So embrace your scars and let’s get rolling.
6 STEPS ON HOW TO BE A BETTER MAN
The first thing to do is to assess your life right now.You don’t need to spend 10 hours doing this but take a quick assessment of your life right now.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What would the 15 year old version of yourself think?Would he be stoked at where you are in life right now? Or would be like, “Dude, why do you sit at a desk so much all day?”
- Are you ahead or behind right now in regards to what you want out of life? For example in my life I am way ahead in my relationship with my wife (never though ti would be this good) and way behind in my net worth (thought I’d be a millionaire by now)
- Do you have life balance or are you completely overworked?Can you take a vacation whenever you want or do you find it hard to get away?
- Biggest question, on a scale of 1-10, how happy are you?
By doing a quick assessment you’ll get a feeling of where you are right now and the areas you’d like to improve. Pretty simple and you don’t have to attend a 3-day Tony Robbins seminar to figure it out.
I firmly believe that the more confident you are, the more shit you get done and the more cool stuff comes your way.
The lack of confidence is arguably the biggest reason people fail in life. It’s not intelligence or lack of effort, it’s a lack of confidence.
Why is this? It’s because
Confidence inspires action.
And taking action usually leads to more success than sitting around and doing nothing.
[Plus wouldn’t you rather go into every date, meeting or social encounter brimming with confidence thinking, “I got this, no prob…”
Here’s how to build confidence:
Know the Captain
You and you alone are the Captain of your ship.This is your life and while tons of people may give you advice just remember that no one knows you as well as you do.No one has your unique DNA and no one knows what you’re truly capable of.
So, act accordingly and remember that you’re the Captain of your life.
Shoot for success not perfection
Instead of trying to do everything perfectly focus on being successful.Be outcome driven (did I bench 200 lbs?) not process driven (I’m going to do every rep perfectly and work out from 4:10pm to 5:25pm every other Tuesday).
When you focus on success everything else becomes easier. You gain back the energy you spent on the minutiae and are able to apply it in the right areas.
Say “f*ck it” more
Yep, I’m serious, say “f*ck it” more. When you say “f*ck it” it usually means you’re stepping into action.And as we’ve said before action leads to success more often than in-action. It doesn’t always work but it’s better than not doing anything.
Some of my personal examples:
“F*ck it, I’m asking out that girl I met yesterday” (15 years later I’m married to that girl).
“F*ck it, I’m quitting and starting my own company” (1998, quit my corporate job and launched my entrepreneurial streak which continues to this day. Best career decision I ever made)
“F*ck it, it won’t kill me” (2000, made the decision to run a marathon even though I have numerous knee and back surgeries. One of the best experiences of my life)
So say “f*ck it” more, you’ll be glad you did.
“Our fears are always more numerous than our dangers”
Create a Highlight Reel
One of the quickest ways to build confidence is to remember past victories. Tom Brady doesn’t win SuperBowls just because he’s a stud QB. He wins SuperBowls because he confident that he CAN win them. And he’s confident because he’s done it in the past.He builds on his past success.
So here’s what to do:
- Get a pad of paper and number it 1 to 100
- Write down any/all successes you’ve had that you can think of
- Don’t judge your list, just write down anything you can think of
- Refer to this list everyday for 21 days
It may be hard to get past the first 20-30 things but keep going until you hit 100. Everything counts, even getting elected to Student Council when you were a freshman in High School.
What we’re conditioning your brain to do is to think of you as someone who’s used to being successful.Once you get that ingrained in your brain your confidence will soar.
It’s sad but true that finding true loyalty in this world can be difficult.Quite frankly, most people aren't loyal anymore and it’s not a quality that many people aspire to.
Well that’s bullshit because if you want to be a real man you have to be loyal in three specific areas:
Your circle (close friends and family)
When it comes to your word, do what you say and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
You know who breaks their word constantly and we all just let it slide?
(No, not politicians I’m talking about actual real people) In fact, someone’s probably doing this to you right now.
So you know who this is?
People who are late.
Yep, that’s right, people who are late break their word every time they do it.
If I tell you I’ll be there at 1pm and I show up at ten past, I’ve broken my word to you.You may not mind it or notice but the fact remains that I committed to 1pm and I didn’t do what I committed to doing.I broke my word.
This happens all the f’ing time and no one makes a big deal about it.
Don’t be that guy, show up on time.
Be loyal to your word always.
Be loyal to your woman, treat her right and don’t cheat.Cheating takes many forms so don’t do anything you wouldn’t be totally comfortable doing in front of her.If you want to be a real man a real man is faithful to his woman.
And if your relationship is bad and you want to cheat at least get out of the relationship first and then do what you want.
I’ve done this both ways.
I’ve had girlfriends and cheated on them. I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit that but I it’s true. I was a total idiot in my 20’s and I regret it.
As I got older if I knew a relationship wasn’t working out I’d wait until we’d broken up before I hooked up with anyone else. Not exactly a knight in shining armor but better than before.
And when it comes to kids…
Be loyal to your kids (if you have them).Loyalty might be a strange word to use when it comes it being a good Dad but here’s the deal:
Kids usually don’t want things, they want you.They want to spend time with you. My youngest daughter would rather sit on the floor playing “Lego Store” with me than doing anything else.
The way to be loyal to your kids is to choose them over almost everything else.Over watching TV, over SportsCenter, over going out with the guys.
Choose your kids first and be loyal to your role as their dad.For those of us who have kids, it’s an honored bestowed upon us from God, let’s not squander it.
So be loyal and be there for them. Don’t miss anything that’s important to them. Even if it’s a play they’re putting on after dinner, just be there and don’t rush off to check your email.
After having two daughters I can honestly say that the most important part of being a Dad is just showing up.
[I’d say more but I’m off to play “Lego Store” with Noa]
And now I’m back so let’s talk about your circle.
Your circle is the small group of family and friends that are most important to you.It doesn’t have to be the ones you’re biologically closest to either.
I am way closer and would do anything for my buddy Johnny who I’ve known for 3 years than I would for my Uncle Johnny who’s been a shitty uncle since I was born. (Sorry, Mom, I know he’s your brother but he’s kind of a dick)
Be loyal to your circle. Don’t judge them and always be ready/willing to help no mater what.
And by close friends I mean they’re should be 3-4 friends that if they called you, you drop everything to help them out and vice-versa, no questions asked.Any more than that and they’re just Facebook friends or acquaintances.
Run this conversation in your head and see what 3-4 friends you’d do this for:
“Jim, I’m stuck in a Mexican prison and I need $20,000 bail right now and need help.We also may need to bury a body”
(John C.; Scott L.; Jim E; Brian P)
“I’ll be there in 3 hours and I’ll bring a shovel”
So be loyal to your circle.It’s the right thing to do and all real men do it.
A real man is honest in all situations.Honest, but tactful.
One of the cool things about being honest is that you never have to remember what you said.So in some ways, being honest lets you be lazy and that’s pretty cool.
Now sometimes it’s not easy to be honest and you might think that telling a small quick lie isn’t a big deal.
Well, it is.
It will always come back to bite you trust me, so don’t do it.Better to be honest and deal with the short-term consequences. Remember:
“Cutting corners is always the LONG way around”
You can be gym strong or you can be functionally strong.Being functionally strong means that at any given moment you can:
- Pick up and carry someone to safety from a burning building
- Run a 5k
- Play 2 hours of hoop without dying
- Wrestle with your kids without gasping for breath
So go for being functionally strong.And for my money, the absolute best workout you can do on a regular basis is crossfit.
Before you automatically think that crossfit is for powerlifting aggro lunkheads, hear me out.
Crossfit works on many levels because it combines strength & power with flexibility & endurance.
5 biggest benefits of crossfit:
- You get an awesome workout in 60 minutes
- Variety- every workout is different so you don't get bored
- Every workout combines flexibility, strength, stamina and endurance
- Good crossfit coaches (like ours at @crossfitsociety) make sure you’re always in the right body position when lifting so you don’t get hurt
- You keep score and write your results on the board at the end of every class. Always nice to see how you did so you can track your improvement
Some workout resources for you:
- All about crossfit - my podcast interview with Blake Bender and Eric DePaula of CrossfitSociety
- NerdFitness.com - Cool fitness site for guys like us (meathead-free)
- The best article, bar none, you will read about weightlifting, written by Henry Rollins: http://www.artofmanliness.com/trunk/1748/henry-rollins-iron-and-soul/
MASTER SEX AND RELATIONSHIPS
I have written about this topic in great detail so I’ll keep it brief. If you want a copy of my ebook, “How to Master Love, Sex and Relationships” Click here.
For now, here’s a primer on what you need to know.
First some sweeping generalizations about being a guy in a relationship:
- You are not naturally inclined to share your feelings with your girl.
- #1 pisses your girl off on a regular basis.
If this is you, don’t sweat it, you’re not alone and there is an answer.
Here’s the thing, all great relationships have a few things in common:
- Balance- you’re both independent and like being together.You don’t have to spend every waking moment with each other
- Respect - you respect her, she respects you.This doesn’t mean you can’t get into some really kinky role-play sex, it just means you respect each other
- Connection - You are able to connect on a quality basis, not quantity.You both understand that a solid 10 minutes of connection is better than 3hours of distracted hanging out.
- Phone death - great relationships don’ let the distraction of smart phones come between them. You’re not always checking espn.com and she’s not always on Instagram.You both have the power to put the damn phone down.
THE TWO BIGGEST HIGH-IMPACT/LOW-EFFORT THINGS YOU CAN DO TO DRAMATICALLY CHANGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP FOR THE BETTER IN LESS THAN 1 HOUR:
1. Be a 2- question Lover
Tell your girl you want to talk and ask her the two questions that will ultimately change your relationship for the better.They are:
- What is the MOST important thing to you in our relationship?
- What's the LEAST important thing to you in our relationship?
Quite simply, these 2 questions allow you to understand what you should be focusing on and what you don’t have to worry about.
“That we do one date a week, just you and me. I don’t care what it is, I just want to do something simple and hang out.”
“While I like that you get me flowers, I’d really just appreciate it if you emptied the dishwasher every day. That would be so much better and I’d know you were actually thinking about my needs”
These questions work because they give you the answers to the test and the ability to really make your relationship easy.
I used to make my relationship way harder than it had to be and had no idea what made my wife happy.I was clueless. Until I asked her.Talk aboutarea change in awesomeness.
AND, if by chance your girl says that the most important thing to her is expensive jewelry and the least important is sex, then you know it’s time to get out.
THREE WAYS TO MAKE SEX AWESOME (TOTALLY FINE IFYOU SKIPPED TO THIS SECTION)
Start foreplay early
Know what she values and what is most important to her (see above).Do that on a regular basis and you’ll build up enough sexual momentum to really connect and ultimately have better sex more often.
Schedule sex dates
If either of you has kids, a job or any kind of life then you’re probably pretty busy.There are probably plenty of times you’d like to have sex but your schedules don’t align.
So keep it simple and schedule a weekly sex date during a time that works for both of you. Monday at lunch at home maybe while the kids are at school?Wednesday night after going to the gym?
Doesn’t matter when it is, just that you get it in (get it?)
More talk = Better Sex
It may seem counter-intuitive but the more you talk about sex, the better you’re sex life will become.
They key is to get into the psyche of your girl so that you can understand her views and beliefs about sex.Once you understand that you can forge a deeper connection and enjoy a sex life even better than you could imagine.
Here’s how to do it:
- Sit down with her and let her know that you’re interested in making her even more happy in the bedroom.
- Ask her these six questions about sex:
- What do you like?
- What don't you like?
- What really turns you on?
- What time of day is better for you?
- When are you most likely to want to fool around?
- When are you least likely?
The logic on this is simple: the more info you know, the easier it will be for you to have a deep connection/great sex with your girl.
One of the coolest things about this method is you may find out is that she wants to try something you’ve always wanted to try but were afraid to ask and now it’s on the table.
And holy shit, that’s like finding out the Red Hot Chili Peppers need a back-up singer for their next gig and you’re it.And it’s the Super Bowl halftime show.
That. Is. Epic…..
I wrote a whole ebook on How to Master Love, Sex and Relationships, you can get it by clicking here
THE TIME TO START IS NOW SO LET’S GET ROLLING
I sincerely hope this post has been helpful to you.I also recognize that this is an incomplete list but I do believe it’s a great place to start.
Let me know in the comments any other areas you think should be on this list.
Life is short and the time for you to take action is right now.
Assess yourself - where are you right now?
Build Confidence - confidence inspires action
Be Loyal - your family, your circle, your word
Be Honest -
Be Strong -
Master Sex & Relationships -
Let’s go, dude, let’s f’ing go.