Monday, March 26, 2012

Real men know the meaning of the word "commit"

I'll keep this brief.

Relationships are not about you fulfilling selfish desires.  They are about working together to be better than when you are alone.  This means you will have to change.  This means it will be hard.

If you enter into a relationship with the wrong motivation it will be a wreck in no time at all.

I'll put it this way:  It takes commitment to really love someone.

Happy feelings, sexual desire, etc are all part of a successful relationship but if you are not prepared to commit above all else, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health (especially when you don't feel those nice things for your partner) then you are not a real man.

I could also have titled this piece "Grow up and commit" because it is much the same thing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Jealousy - overcoming human nature (and harnessing the green eyed monster)

Jealousy is a normal and natural part of human nature.  That doesn't make it okay to be jealous, but even manly men have to deal with it.  So how do we deal with jealousy?

It is important to ensure that you aren't getting worked up over nothing.  I can't tell you whether you are really jealous or whether it is more admiration for an attribute of someone else that you would like to copy in your own life.  It is good and healthy to want to be a better person - healthier, stronger, smarter, more resilient, more manly...  And it is okay to admire and appreciate others who do these things better than us, so long as the aim is to learn from it.

Jealousy is a form of self-pity.  You pity your own lot in life because you want something better than you have.  That's why jealousy really sucks - because at the heart of it is having to admit that you are not as great as you think.  Some things you can change and other things you can't.  Step one in overcoming jealousy is to quit dwelling on the things that you can't change and to start working on the things that you can.  So much of real manliness is in having a realistic view of yourself.

Step two is to convert your jealousy into a healthy appreciation that will motivate you to be a better person.  And again, you have to be realistic in your goals here.  Some things you will never achieve because you won't have the same life and natural good looks (or genetics) as the dude on the cover of Men's Health magazine.

While this doesn't directly address jealousy over material goods, the principle is the same.  If you want "stuff" you have to be realistic about whether you can achieve that possession as a goal, and you have to set a plan of action to achieve that goal.

Speaking of goals, a simpler approach is to keep your focus on your achievable goals and not on the non-achievable which leads to self-pity and jealousy.  Usually there is not enough time to focus on the things that you can't have anyway, but keep a look out from time to time because the green eyed monster has a tendency to creep up.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When you know that you're not being a real man

It happens.  Nobody is perfect all of the time.  Not even Chuck Norris.  Let's just be really clear about this: nobody can be a "real man" all of the time so when I'm talking about true manliness it's with the disclaimer that a realistic point of view of human imperfection must be held also.

So having said that, I want to say that real men know when they are not being a real man.

Sorry, what?  Consider it a literary device to grab your attention.

What I really mean, that is, one of the qualities we want to develop in our manly selves, is the ability to notice when we are being "a tool".  This is harder than it seems.  So much of our own behaviour goes unnoticed because we men are creatures of habit and routine.  Add to this that we are also proud and do not want to be seen as weak, which means we don't want to be wrong (or just seen as wrong).  This leads us to deliberately ignore our faults and mistakes - you know what I'm talking about!

So try this little exercise
Replay in your mind the last argument you had or the last time someone told you off for doing something that annoyed them.  Not completing chores, saying the wrong thing, whatever.  Your instinct was probably to defend yourself, right?

Sure, sometimes you are in the right but, if you are honest with yourself, you know that you have a tendency to bend the truth to win an argument or to be seen as right.  What I want to encourage you to do is to develop the manly skill of noticing when you are behaving in this way so that you can stop doing it.  Identifying bad habits is the first step towards changing them for the better.

If it helps, say to yourself, "What would Chuck Norris do?"