Rule #7 – Be Clear On Your Values

The seventh rule of being a man is:

Be clear on your values

It’s important for everyone to know their values. And this is especially true for men.

You need to know what matters most to you and what kind of person you want to be.

Once you know those things, then you can have rules for your life and commit to living by them.

It’s crucially important that you Continue reading “Rule #7 – Be Clear On Your Values”

Rule #4 – Be Proud Of Who You Are

The fourth rule of being a man is:

Be proud of who you are

If you’re doing the right thing and you’re being the kind of person you’d be proud of and you’re acting in a way that you’d be proud of if other people saw and knew what you’re thinking then don’t be afraid to be proud of yourself.

In fact, you should be proud of yourself.

So go ahead and be proud of who you are.

Being proud of who you are, what you believe in, what you stand up for, and how far you’ve come are good things.

Be proud of what you’ve overcome and what you’ve accomplished in your life.

Be proud of the positive things in your life.

There’s nothing wrong with being proud of the things that are good.

Being proud of the positive things in your life is good for your self-esteem. It’s also beneficial because it reinforces doing good things you can be proud of. When you do the things that aren’t easy but are worth doing and when you have the patience and persistence to reap the rewards of your sustained efforts, then one of your rewards is earning the right to be proud of your efforts, your character, and your results.

It’s also good to be proud of standing up for what you believe is right. Standing up for your beliefs is a powerful core element of being a man.

So take the time to reflect on who you are and how far you’ve come.

Make a list of all the positive things such as growth you’ve experienced, rewards you’ve earned, strengths, positive character traits, accomplishments, and things others look up to.

Then consider being proud of the ones that mean the most to you.

After all, there’s only one you. So be positive, stand up for what you believe in, act in a ways you’d be proud to have other people see, think in ways you’d be proud if other people knew.

And then be proud of yourself.

– Weston Henry

Questions:

Are you proud of who you are?

How could your life be better if you were consciously proud of who you are?

Authenticity Is A Key Ingredient Of Being A Man

Being a man is means being authentic. It means being true to who you really are.

I’ve described this in the past as being congruent – all the parts of you are in agreement.

The people around you can see who you are. Your family, your wife, your girlfriend, your children, your boss or co-workers, and your friends can all see who you really are. And over time they learn to see through you.

If you say one thing and do another, that’s not being authentic.

When you behave one way in public and another in private, that’s not being authentic.

If you’re not authentic, the people around you will see through you and they’ll lose respect for you. That applies to your kids, friends, family, co-workers and significant other.

In short, you need to be true to yourself, be who you really are and be yourself all the time, no matter what and no matter who you’re around.

If you say you hate sports but then gush about football when you’re out with your buddies, that’s not being authentic.

If you don’t like someone at work but pretend to like them in front of your boss, that’s not being authentic.

To be authentic, you have to be yourself, your true self, all the time.

That’s harder than it sounds. We all have pressures that push us away from being our true selves. Pressures from others, pressures to succeed, peer pressure, internal pressures, and more.

It’s easier to be authentic if you know who you are (and it’s better).

Because if you know who you are inside: what your values are, what your priorities and goals are, know your boundaries, and have confidence in yourself then it’s easier to stay true to those things.

We aren’t taught how to be authentic. And we aren’t taught how to know who we are inside. Plus society pushes all kinds of thoughts and ideas and pressures to conform at us. Advertising alone bombards us with thousands of messages a year about what being a man looks like, how to be popular, how to appeal to women, how to be successful, and what we should want to be happy. Plus other media like music, tv, movies, games, and news outlets are also feeding us images of how they define manliness.

It’s no wonder it’s easy to be confused. But we have to reject those images and define ourselves by what matters to us instead.

Being a man requires being authentic. And that starts with you getting clear about who you really are.

– Weston Henry

Questions:

What role model do you have for being authentic?

What could be better for you if you were more authentic?

Rule #3 – Act Like People Are Watching

The third rule of being a man is:

Act like someone is watching

How would you act if you knew someone is watching?

When your boss, co-worker, mother-in-law, wife, children, or that jerk who cut you off in traffic make you mad, how do you react?

Would you react differently if you knew someone else was watching?

Think of the person you respect the most. Now imagine you are going to watch a video recording of your behavior with that person sitting beside you and you’re going to have to explain your behavior to them.

Or what if the whole world found out about your actions. What would people think of you? Would you be proud of your actions then?

If you can say yes, then you’re acting like a man. If not, well then chances are you aren’t acting like a man.

Actions are important. People can only see your actions and can’t see your thoughts.

But actions follow thoughts. So your thoughts are important too.

Treat your thoughts the same way as your actions.

What if the whole world knew your thoughts? Would you be proud if everyone in the world knew your thoughts?

Act the way you want the whole world to see you acting. Think the way you want the whole world to know you you’re thinking.

If you do those two things, you can be proud of yourself and who you are as a man.

– Weston Henry

Questions:

How would you act differently if you knew the whole world could see you?

How would you think differently if you knew the whole world knew what you were thinking?

Rule #2 – Be someone you’re proud of

The second rule of being a man is:

Be someone you’re proud of

If you always act in a way that you’d be proud of, then you can always look back on yourself without regret.

One way to do this is to think of people you respect and act in the way that would cause those people to respect you. For example, I have a lot of respect for my father. He’s someone I look up to. So, one way to be someone I’d be proud of is to ask myself, “What would my father do?” and then do that.

There’s a saying, “What would Jesus do?” that’s a great example of this kind of character modeling. Think about what your role model would do and then do it.

Another way of saying this is for you to identify role models and then emulate the things that appeal to you about those role models. If your role model is a family member, historical person, sports legend, leader in your community or church, manager at work, or whoever it is… ask yourself what it is that you respect about that person, what positive qualities make them who they are, and then emulate those things.

You have to be careful not to settle for superficial traits. Don’t pick a famous sports star as your role model because they’re rich or famous. Those aren’t character traits. Famous and rich aren’t ways of behaving.

On the other hand, if you pick a famous sports star as your role model because they were incredibly hard working, always strove to learn more, never stopped trying to get better, never gave up, and stayed humble even after they became rich and famous, now those are great character traits for you to emulate.

Here’s another way to accomplish this: Visual the kinds of values, attitudes, behaviors, thinking, and skills you want to have, those that you would be proud of and that would make the people you respect proud of you. Once you visualize them, then act them out. Start thinking and behaving like your visualizations right now today.

Visualization is a powerful way to teach yourself. Science has proven that visualization can help athletes perform better. Visualizing yourself having the kinds of values, attitudes, behaviors, and skills you want to have is a great way to begin developing yourself into the man you want to be. It’s a way to mentally practice acting like the man you want to be so you’re better prepared when tough situations arise.

These are just a few strategies you can use to get you there, but it’s the end result that matters most: Be someone you’d be proud of.

– Weston Henry

Questions:

Who are your role models and why? What are the character traits they have that you want to emulate? Are they helping you act in a way that you’re proud of?

What experience have you had visualizing yourself acting in a way you’re proud of?

 

Character – It’s what being a man is all about

Being a man is all about character.

It’s really about who you are. Are you mature, dependable, trustworthy, honest, transparent, and giving? Do you have high integrity?

Or are you immature, unreliable, dishonest, untrustworthy, selfish, and two-faced?

Modern western culture is warping our attitudes and values so that we think being a man is about being cocky, violent, rich, arrogant, disrespectful, and famous. Children are growing up exposed to these cultural stereotypes constantly. No wonder there is so much confusion about what it really means to be a man.

Just look at examples of famous people from American culture for examples: Movie stars are selfish and narcissistic. Athletes are cocky and arrogant. Rap music stars are flaunting disrespect for laws and bragging about violence. Plus we’ve got politicians who are corrupt and immoral, never taking personal responsibility for their actions or failures.

And across all those areas are countless examples of infidelity and adultery showcasing their selfish, narcissistic personalities.
Yet our media pushes those people as role models (to sell movies, music, TV viewership, and other products) and fawns over them with such exaggerated importance that they’re treated like pinnacles in our society.

But those aren’t the traits of a true man. And being rich or famous doesn’t make someone more of a man than a poor, unknown stranger you’ve never met.

Truly being a man is about positive character. How do you act? What do you do when faced with tough decisions? Do you consider the needs of others? Do you strive for the greater good instead of just thinking about your own benefit?

To be a real man, you need to have solid character. And if you have good character and act on it, really let your character shine through, you’re also likely to be authentic and have high integrity which are two additional traits important to being a man. (I’ll cover authenticity and integrity in future posts.)

If you want to be a real man, you have to have real character.

– Weston Henry

Questions:

What do you think is the most important character trait to be a man?

Who do you think embodies the character traits of a real man best?