I’ve asked myself many times throughout last year, “What have I accomplished?” without actually being able to think of an answer. 2014 has flashed by and I found myself being unable to manage with what was thrown in my way last year. After days and days on reflecting on what went wrong for me, I finally got an answer. The problem was that I was still a boy, a 22 year old boy. That was why I was utterly helpless in the whirlpool that was 2014 that swallowed me up and spat me out. It has dawned on me that in order to make 2015 a better year, changes have to be made. I told myself that in 2015, I will no longer be a boy. I will be a man, and not just any type of man, but rather, a true gentleman.
“Chivalry is dead.” That is how most articles providing guidelines to what a gentleman should be usually begin with. However, being a gentleman transcends just merely being chivalrous or gallant. As the title of this article suggests, we are no longer living in medieval times.
I drew out certain qualities to acquire in order to successfully make this transition in my life, a type of resolution of sort. So, this is how I intend to live my life in 2015 and these are the 8 ways of the 2015 gentleman.
1. Be genuine in both words and actions.
In order to be a true gentleman, you have to make sure that you ditch the masks and facades. You have to want to be a gentleman for yourself, without having any ulterior motive. Have this any other way and this outlook will just be another mere layer to your costume. And so, rule number one of being a gentleman is to be a gentleman solely for yourself and not to alter the way you behave to change the perception others have on you. To be a gentleman is to be genuine and to be sincere. Say the things you truly want to say and do things you truly want to do. Forget about any judgmental eyes watching you. At the end of the day, you only have yourself to answer to, not anyone else.
2. Be a generous listener and a well-spoken individual.
Many people confuse listening with merely hearing. The ability to listen needs to be developed. It requires a deeper level of comprehension than mere hearing. The art of effectively receiving information and connecting with others as well as to communicate your message across to achieve its underlying purpose tactfully will take some practice. Think before speaking and choose your words carefully. Even words with similar meanings are open to different interpretation. Always keep that in mind. Words are cheap and yet, more often than not, they are sharper than blades. Think before you speak and you will save yourself from being in one misunderstanding after another.
3. Take pride in yourself.
A gentleman should really take pride in the way he looks. Get a haircut or change your wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to experiment with something new. Of course, tread lightly and avoid fashion’s cardinal sins. Go ahead and pamper yourself with a facial from time to time. Hit the gym and make the effort to get your ideal body. As clichéd as it sounds, the rationale behind this is simple. When you look good, you feel good. This brings us to point number 4.
4. Be confident.
Confidence is a quality that all gentlemen should possess. The belief in his own ability to succeed in whatever task he is faced with. In the bleakest of situations, it is the belief in yourself that gives you the strength to say “Screw it”, grit your teeth and soldier on. More often than not, against the odds, the result may just show you that you are indeed stronger than you think. Ask yourself what you would do today if you knew for a fact that you would not fail. Then, go out and do it.
5. Be driven.
Nothing is more attractive than someone who is focused in pursuing his dreams. It does not matter if it is that promotion at work or losing 3 kilogrammes by the end of the month, a driven man will never go out of style and results will eventually, show. However, this comes with a warning. While focusing on your goals are important, never neglect those around you because of it. You may just end up losing the very source of motivation for your drive. We all know how those stories end…
6. Be independent.
A gentleman should be able to stand on his own two feet. Be able to support your lifestyle in a financially responsible fashion. Yes, everyone needs some form of emotional support from time to time but a gentleman should not overly rely on this. Instead, he should be strong for the people around him. A gentleman must be able to stand tall should the world around him crumble and fall. This independence translates to stability and security. Life throws us curved balls from time to time. Being independent makes us more able to adapt to these situations when they arise.
7. Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve.
Be someone who isn’t afraid to express yourself. If you are unhappy about something, let it be known. Don’t bottle it up. Think you’re falling for that beautiful lady in your life? Go ask her out. Bare your heart to her. And if she sends your heart back your way, don’t beat yourself up over it and neither should you ever allow yourself to wallow in self-pity. Sure, it sucks but there is a silver lining to every cloud and the best thing for you is still out there. You have no regrets for doing all you could and furthermore, it is her loss to have let a true gentleman go. If she sends her heart back to you instead, then taking that risk of opening your soul to her was well worth it. Always treasure her for baring her soul to you as you did to her. It is just as difficult for you as it is for her to do so.
8. Have fun!
Lastly, and probably the most important of the lot, is to have fun doing what you do. Life is not always such a drag. Make time to just relax and have fun. Put your worries aside and reward yourself for all the hard work you have put in. Do things you enjoy. Be adventurous. Try something new. Pick up a martial art or hit the club with your mates. Life is short. Enjoy it. Smile and be happy. Do not let your worries weigh you down. Live a little!