Cheers to becoming a better man…
Our 20s are full of experiences, growth, trials, and tribulations. It is a major growth period.
Our brains do not even fully develop until the age of 25, so naturally, there will be a lot of growing pains associated along with hard lessons learned on the way.
Throughout my teens and 20s, I have wondered what makes a man, a man? What truly separates the men from the boys? Is it traits? Values? Virtues? Attitude? Or, just experience?
Closing in on 30, I come to find out that it is all the above. Men are looking for guidance way more than ever searching for meaning to figure out what it means to be a real man.
Here are five important lessons learned that will make a very big difference in your life:
1. When You Give Your Word, Keep It.
There are few things us men have. Our egos, pride, hair and sometimes that goes. So we cling to things that sometimes make us look childish especially to the fairer sex. If you are stripped of everything you have, the one virtue that should never leave you, as a man, is the virtue of your word. It is shocking how many men fail at this! It is simple when you say you are going to do something, do it. If you never meant to do it, then never say it. When you say you will call your date, crush, girlfriend or wife on a certain day and time, you better call her on that day and time. When you say you will have that report done on Wednesday, then make sure you have it done by Wednesday. The last perception you want to have, whether it be personally or professionally, is a man who does not follow through.
2. Maintaining Your Integrity.
Having a strong moral compass is fundamental. It is valuable in your career, friendships and relationships. In short, it builds trust and once that trust is built, opportunities will fly your way across various arenas.
3. Being Purpose-Driven.
This one is easier said than done. If you have not found your thing, then keep searching. We are all driven by something. It could be making a difference in the world, democratizing education, creating impact, being a great husband, a great father, climbing up your company’s corporate ladder, or it could even be solely money. Understanding your goals and mission as a man is fundamental to getting ahead, finding success, happiness and fulfillment. It also builds confidence and pushes you through a lot of life’s challenges.
4. Checking Your Emotions.
I do not subscribe to the notion that men should suffer in silence, bottling their feelings and emotions inside. This was a wrong method taught by previous generations. In fact, it is becoming a very serious problem among men that is manifesting itself into mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression or worse. However, lashing out, blasting the world and blaming others for your own problems is weak. It is not taking responsibility. Life will challenge us and there are aspects that are beyond our control that cause us to have our down days but understanding that those moments were temporary is showing mental fortitude. When you keep your emotions in control, you are in control to navigate through those challenges.
5. Developing Self-Awareness.
Being self-aware is having a clear perception and insight into your own personality. Being self-aware is also having an idea of how others perceive you as well as connecting with other people. This is important because we are in tune with who we are and able to build on our strengths and if you are self-aware, you are able to do two even more important overarching things as a man — grow and mature.