Stay true to your values. Make a conscious effort to define your core values—the principles you hold as true and unchanging—and commit to following through on those values regardless of any inconvenience that might result from doing so.
Having a strong moral base will make it easier to remain true to who you are even when things get tough. Committing to your values may take courage from time to time, but it'll be well worth the effort.
To fix your values firmly in place, take time to actually write them down. Keep the list somewhere secure and occasionally return to it, especially when your present circumstances start testing those values.
Train yourself to be realistically positive. Being unreasonably idealistic could prevent you from effectively dealing with the reality of your life, but being optimistic will allow you to acknowledge that reality while still hoping for the best outcome.
Challenge your negative thoughts. Instead of assuming that things will go poorly, acknowledge the possibility but fix your mind on what you need to do to prevent failure from happening.
Pursue your goals. Think ahead and plan for the future. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish and set the appropriate goals in response. Once you set those goals, commit to achieving them.
To some degree, you do need to live in the moment and enjoy your life for what it is. Don't let the blessings your life disappear because you're too focused on the future to pay attention to the present.
On the other hand, failing to set goals for yourself can easily lead to stagnation, which can cause your life to feel less fulfilling than it could be.
Stand steady under pressure. Stress is unavoidable. When faced with an infuriating or anxiety-inducing situation, though, train yourself to remain calm and control those emotions instead of letting them run wild.
Instead of following through with a knee-jerk reaction, take the time you need to calm down and think through things rationally. React according to reason rather than emotion.
This doesn't mean you can't have emotion, of course. On the contrary, accepting the fact that you do have feelings can be a difficult thing for some men, but the sooner you admit it, the easier it will be to control those emotions instead of letting them control you.
Take responsibility for your own behavior. When things go wrong and your actions are to blame, accept your responsibility and move on. Similarly, when things go well and your actions are one primary cause, graciously accept your due credit for the accomplishment.
Don't blame others for your own lack of success, and don't focus on the negative behaviors others have done when evaluating why things went wrong. You have no control over the things other people do to you; you can only control your own actions, so it makes sense to focus on your actions when evaluating the past and moving forward.
Sharpen your mind. Actively pursue knowledge and keep your brain in optimal working condition. Reading is a great way to do this, but you can also keep your mental abilities sharp by solving puzzles or tackling new challenges.
Let your mind rest. While it's important to keep your mind sharp, it'll be easy to overwork it if you don't give yourself a chance to escape from the world and relax every once in a while.
Hanging out with your friends can be an important part of relaxing, but you should also throw some alone time into the mix. When you do spend alone time, unplug from the world as much as possible. Get off the computer and turn off your phone. Spend time in solitude and give yourself a chance to recharge.
Take care of your body. You don't need to look like a bodybuilder—though, congratulations if you do—but some basic self-maintenance can go a long way. Keep the three cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle in mind: a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep.
You don't need to live on salad and protein smoothies to have a healthy diet. On the contrary, the healthiest diets are also the most balanced. You may, however, have to resist the temptation to binge on junk food. Man cannot live on bacon and deep-fried candy bars alone.
Try to exercise as soon as you wake up in the morning. You can go to the gym if doing so appeals to you, but if it doesn't, you can still take a brisk walk or get your blood pumping with a few jumping jacks.
Maintain a well-groomed appearance. Your appearance plays a major role in someone's first impression of you. While a woman's beauty rituals and routines can be somewhat complex, all you really need to do as a man is maintain some basic hygiene and wear clean, orderly clothes that fit the occasion.
Bathe regularly. You don't need to swim in your cologne, but you might consider dabbing some on for a special occasion, like an important date.
If you have facial hair, keep it trimmed. If you only have stubble, keep it shaved.
Wear clean clothes that look good, and make sure that they fit the occasion. Jeans and an old t-shirt are fine for a night with friends, but you should look a little sharper for a job interview or a first date.
Stay informed. Keep yourself updated on the world around you. Instead of filling your mind with relatively meaningless information, though, focus on the people and events that really matter. This might mean sacrificing some of the time you devote to sports or gaming to learn about things like the current state of foreign affairs or the economic effect of the latest natural disaster.
You need to understand the world you live in if you want to function in it as best as possible.
This doesn't mean you can't devote time to your hobbies and interests, of course. These things are important since they help you wind down and recharge. Simply learn to prioritize your attention, and learn to enjoy your hobbies without letting them control your life.
Clean your living and working spaces. There's a reason why bachelors have a notorious reputation for being slobs. Defy the stereotype and keep your personal space in relatively clean condition. You don't need to maintain absolute pristine conditions, but you should probably make sure that you can at least look down and see the floor instead of seeing piles of dirty laundry and empty take-out containers.
Be responsible with your money. Debt can be a major burden, and having too much of it will make financial institutions less likely to loan you money for things like education, new cars, and better living spaces. In short, being financially irresponsible will prevent you from moving ahead in life.
Don't spend money you don't have, and save some of the money you do have. Setting a little of your paycheck aside in your bank account or investing some of it wisely can give you greater financial security during hard times.
Experience something new. The key to living an interesting life is to do interesting things. Challenge yourself to learn something new or travel someplace you've never seen before.
Find something that interests you and learn about it. This might mean doing something mental, like studying a new language, or doing something physical, like learning karate.
Think before you act. While foot-in-mouth syndrome can affect both men and women equally, men generally have more of a reputation to get in trouble for it. Regardless of whether or not this is fair, you should make a conscious effort to put a few seconds of thought into the things you plan on saying or doing before actually following through with them.
Being “hot-blooded” is often viewed as a masculine trait, but it generally isn't wise. While you shouldn't be afraid to take action, recognize that some impulses are not necessarily good. A quick evaluation should be enough to determine whether or not it's safe to proceed.
For instance, if your first reaction is to insult your coworker or subordinate for a minor mistake, it'll be to everyone's benefit if you pause, question your impulse, and choose a better way to deal with the issue.
Adopt an altruistic attitude. Seek the best course of action for all parties involved, even if you have to make some self-sacrifice along the way. By demonstrating your willingness to put others before yourself, you send the message that you're someone worth trusting.
Empathy isn't something that comes easily to many men, and it's easy to lose sight of other people when you're focused on your owl goals. Nevertheless, it's important to keep persisting in your efforts to meet the spoken and unspoken needs of other people.
This does not mean sacrificing your self-respect, of course. There's a fine line between sacrificing for others and letting others walk all over you. The former is your choice, but the latter is a choice forced upon you that you blindly accept.
Behave sincerely. Treat other people with the same sort of genuine attitude you wish they'd demonstrate in return. Be true to yourself, and allow that truthfulness to spill out in the midst of your daily interactions.
Try not to say or do things you don't mean, even if you're trying to spare someone's feelings or defuse an ugly situation. Being caught in your insincerity will cause people to lose confidence in you, which will make it difficult to have a successful personal or professional relationship with that person.
Take two major action steps here: stop telling white lies and keep any commitments you make (unless a true and unavoidable emergency prevents you from doing so).
Meet your familial obligations. There are many family roles you might play during your lifetime. You might be a son, a brother, a husband, or a father. You could have important connections to extended family, or your friends might be your family even though they aren't related. Regardless of where you fit, you need to make sure that you meet the responsibilities called for within that role.
Both men and women need to be equally involved in their families, but while this is already socially expected of women, society doesn't often place the same degree of expectation on men. For instance, a working mom may receive questions regarding how she balances her career with her family, but a working dad probably won't.
By striving to meet your obligations within your family, you can build your relationships while also building your personal moral character. Families are life-long testing grounds, and treating your family well teaches you to treat others outside the family with similar care.
Treat women with respect. Contrary to popular belief, jerks don't get the girl—at least, not when the girl has any sense of self-respect. If you aren't already doing so, you need to stop treating women as objects and start looking at them as fellow human beings.
Make the first move. In any social situation, one person has to be the one who says “go.” Don't be afraid to be that person. Start making choices and arranging plans, and work through any objections as they come instead of worrying about them ahead of time.
The romantic realm offers the most obvious example. If you want to ask a girl out, ask her out. You might get rejected, but even if you do, her rejection at least frees your attention and allows you to start looking elsewhere.
As a non-romantic example, consider the dynamic between you and your friends. Instead of being the one who gets invited to things, start reaching out and extending the invite yourself.
Accept others for who they are. Nobody gets along with everybody, but you can probably tolerate most people if you can view them through an objective lens.
No one shares your exact history and current circumstances, so no one will think in exactly the same way you think. Moreover, each person is in a different stage of personal growth; you can probably look back on your life to a time you're not especially proud of.
Once you learn to accept the strengths and weaknesses of other people, you can start influencing them from a place of genuine concern rather than harsh criticism.
Demonstrate gratitude. Becoming a better man takes a lot of hard work, and you should be proud of your own accomplishments. You also need to acknowledge the help you receive from other people, though. Be grateful for that help internally, and be eager to share your gratitude externally to the appropriate parties.
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