The world, and more importantly its women, is not interested in wasting its time on the games of boys; if you want to be successful you need to be a man. One of the largest parts of being a man comes down to one simple concept: handle your shit.
There is nothing wrong with being a boy, full of hope, innocence and awkwardness. But as soon as you want to be taken seriously in matters of importance you need step up your game. While I never thought I would quote the bible on this blog (or in any other walk of life) Corinthians said it best.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
-(1 Corinthians 13:11 – King James)
When I say that you need to grow up and be a man, don’t confuse that with ceasing to love the things which make you happy. A grown-ass man is allowed to be childish and immature; you’re allowed to stay up all night playing video games or eat cake for dinner. Never lose what makes you who you are. But when something of importance needs to be accomplished, when someone is depending on you (yourself included), it’s your job to be a man and handle your shit.
The World is Often a Horrible Place
It’s an unfortunate truth, but the world is often a very horrible place. Life is often brutal, unfair and ugly. A man cannot afford to be oblivious to this.
The truth is not something you can hide from. It must be accepted and embraced, despite whether or not you like it. Most of the shots you take will fail. Most of the people you love will be torn from your life. Most of your dreams will die before they ever get a chance to live.
As a man you need to understand that this is okay. It’s always easier to give in and give up. It’s always easier to see all of the horrible things in the world, and nothing else. The truth is everything has balance. For every horrible and ugly thing in the world there is something as equally wonderful and beautiful.
It takes work, often a lot of work, to see the good things in this world, especially when everything isn’t quite going your way. Don’t expect good things to simply fall into your lap, if you want to be happier, if you want to be more successful, if you want more people to love you then you need to go out and make that happen.
First you need to accept that the world is a hard place to be, and then accept that a man, any man, has the ability to rise above the shit in the world. Accepting anything less is a choice; it’s in your power to make a better one.
Homophobia is Holding you Back
Do you like dick? A man can answer that question easily and honestly. A true man owns his own choices and doesn’t let someone else’s choices ruin his happiness.
I hate olives; I think they are disgusting and putrid. But if the person next to me in a restaurant is eating them, I don’t give a single shit. If that person offers me some of their olives, I’ll say no and thank them for being so kind. Their love for something I don’t love doesn’t affect me in any way. I’m sure you see where this analogy is going.
Let’s say the haters are dead on accurate and being gay is actually the most horrible thing that could possibly be wrong in the world. How exactly does someone else making this huge mistake affect you? If you find homosexuality so disgusting that you let it ruin your day, that’s a choice you have made. Make a better one.
A true man is confident. He’s confident in who he is and what he can do. This means you’re comfortable and confident in your sexuality. This means you can say “that boy is beautiful” without a single shred of guilt or shame. There is no correlation between the ability to see and understand beauty, and sexual attraction.
You should be confident and comfortable around all people, regardless of their sex, race or sexual orientation.
Own your Mistakes
If you’re going out and trying to accomplish new and great things, you’re going to be making countless mistakes. You’re not perfect, no man is. To be a man you need to own your mistakes.
Owning your mistakes starts with being honest and objective. When something you’re involved with goes wrong, you need to honestly evaluate what went wrong and how. If it was in any way related to what you did or did not do, you need to accept that as fact, and own up to it.
You cannot learn from your mistakes if you live in a dream world where you believe you’re not making any of them. If your girl cheats on you, a boy will blame her for the relationship failing, wash his hands of it and move on to the next girl who will cheat on him. Instead you need to accept that there was a reason she slept with someone else: she wasn’t happy or content with what she was getting from you. You should have been a better man, or addressed the issue before she felt the need to find someone else.
Accept it, own it and figure out how to fix the problem before it becomes a pattern.
In business a boss will always respect someone who comes to them with the mistake they made, and the solution for fixing it and not repeating it, over someone who pretends it was just bad luck.
Have an Opinion
You have a brain, and in that brain opinions are formed. It’s better to have an opinion and be wrong, than to have no opinion at all. Being wrong is okay, if you’re able to own your mistakes being wrong will never make you look dumb or weak.
Never tell someone what you think they want to hear. If you’re going to speak, speak what you believe. Honesty is a crucial trait of a man: you have opinions, make sure they are heard. You don’t need to agree with the people you respect, just understand why you don’t agree. It’s okay to be wrong.
Men demand respect, and no one respects a yes man.
Do what it Takes
All of the advice above was just examples of common mistakes made by boys. If you ignore everything else in this article, don’t ignore this: a man does what it takes to get the job done.
Men don’t fail because they gave up. Men don’t quit because something is too hard. A man goes out and does what it takes to get the job done. If you put everything you have into something, and fail, that’s okay. It’s not okay if you could have done more, or worked harder. If you fail because you quit, you are not a man, but a boy.
There is a caveat to this. It’s honorable and okay to quit or forfeit when there is truly no chance at success. When there is no hope, it’s always best to cut your losses and move on.
No one is going to do your work for you in this world. No one can accomplish anything on your behalf. If you want to be respected as a man, you need to go out and earn that respect.
All of your goals will feel a long way off, that’s how they work. The finish line of a marathon will always feel impossibly far from the starting gate. All you can do is keep moving forward, one step at a time. Before you realize it you’ll be halfway there and the end will be in sight.
A man always moves forward, even when the road gets tough. A man never gives up, even when he finds himself lost. You should be well aware of all the ways in which you may fail, but never let them stop you from working to succeed.
A man does what it takes, and takes what he needs.
Want more? How to be a Man Part 2: Eight Easy Rules.