12 TIPS TO BECOME A BETTER MAN
Have you ever gazed across a room at someone you think of as highly successful, happy and charismatic, and wondered how the heck he got where he is? How he found the time and energy to run a marathon, or start a fast track 100 business, or write a book — whatever the case may be? Well, the thing is, whatever goal you envision for your future, more successful, best self — you can definitely inch your way in the same direction if you adopt the same habits.
To start your journey, simply copy a few of these tips, give yourself time, and someday someone might be staring at you, wondering how you got where you are…
1. READ MORE
Successful people are life-long learners who push themselves out of their comfort zones. It can be tempting to feel "done" when it comes to learning, perhaps when you finally finish university, or reach a certain point in your career. But the successful folks of the world know that the learning process never ends. They know that learning new things will keep them innovative and creative, which leads to success in all aspects of life. They might read in their spare time, take classes in the evenings, or delve into research online — anything that keeps them fresh, informed, creative, and on top of their game.
And it’s not just about gaining knowledge and developing stronger analytical skills, research shows that there are multiple science-backed reasons to read more. For example, reading regularly not only makes you more interesting, it also:
☑️ Improves brain connectivity, focus and concentration
☑️ Increases your vocabulary and comprehension
☑️ Reduces stress
☑️ Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
☑️ Fights depression symptoms
☑️ Prevents cognitive decline as you age
So, just like going for a run or hitting the gym exercises your cardiovascular system, reading regularly gives your brain a good workout.
And, if you struggle to find time to read every day, try the app Blinkist which transforms the key insights of 5,000+ bestselling nonfiction books & popular podcasts into powerful explainers you can read or listen to in circa 15 minutes.
2. MAKE EYE CONTACT
We make assumptions about people’s personalities based on how much they meet our eyes or look away when we are talking to them. We can be left feeling rejected if a person we are interacting with doesn’t make eye contact. Which is why making eye contact is so vital during conversation.
Keeping eye contact with the person you are talking to shows that you are actively listening and paying attention. The simple act of holding someone’s gaze — whether it’s a potential love interest, a prospective employer, a client, or a friend — has the power to deepen a relationship.
Psychologists and neuroscientists have been studying eye contact for decades and their intriguing findings reveal its power and why you should master the science of eye contact:
☑️ It can make you more persuasive but also make you more resistant to persuasion
☑️ It makes what you say, and the words you use, more memorable
☑️ It helps people notice and remember you
☑️ It makes you more honest
☑️ It makes you more self-aware
☑️ It creates and deepens attraction
And it’s not just about making eye contact for the right amount of time (as too much can come across as creepy). You should also listen more than you speak. Smart individuals understand that you can learn more, and change, if you listen carefully.
By really listening to others your capacity to understand will increase.
So, next time a colleague or family member knock on your door to discuss something with you, instead of keeping your gaze firmly locked on your screen, make eye contact and listen. It’s powerful in so many ways.
3. PAY OFF DEBT ASAP
There are several good reasons to pay off your debt as quickly as possible….sure, you can reduce the amount of interest paid overtime but moreover, once your debt is paid off, you can focus fully on your financial and life goals. Whether that’s saving up to purchase your own home or buying your dream car or starting your own business, the options are endless.
Look, let’s face it, paying off that credit card bill requires a great deal of motivation. If you want to stay motivated to keep paying your debt off, you have to continually remind yourself of the reasons why you want to get out of debt. How will paying off your outstanding bills benefit your life? What can you do when you are debt free that you can’t do now? If you’re stumped for reasons why you should be debt free, here are a few to keep you motivated:
☑️ Increase your financial security
☑️ Increase your disposable income
☑️ Spend on things you enjoy without feeling guilty
☑️ Reduce the stress in your life
☑️ Reduce the number of bills you pay
☑️ Improve your credit score
☑️ Invest in your future
Whether or not you can pay off your credit cards immediately, make it a priority to maintain a positive payment history and use credit responsibly. Even if it takes a while to clear your debt, your credit will thank you in the end—and so will your bank account. If you’re worried about your debt, seek advice from the National Debt Advice Line and research your options.
4. BUILD AN EMERGENCY FUND/INVEST
So, what do you do after you’ve paid of your debt?
Firstly, you can start by putting money into an emergency fund to cover a financial shock. This could be losing your job, or a large, unexpected expense like replacing a boiler. Building an emergency fund can help prevent you needing to borrow money, getting into debt, or having to make difficult financial decisions in those moments, by giving you savings to fall back on. Think of it as an insurance policy. Financial experts advise keeping between three and six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund account.
Secondly, ask yourself whether your money could be working harder so you don't have to? Is your goal to create passive income so you can retire earlier or have a better work-life balance? Investing can help you reach big financial goals. If your money is earning a higher rate of return than a savings account, you will be earning more money both over the long term and within a faster period. For example, if you’d invested $1,000 in Tesla shares in January 2019 it would be worth >$16,000 as at 31 December 2021 – that’s more than 1500% return in just 3 years!
Investing involves putting your money into different asset classes which aren’t cash (for example stocks & shares, bonds, property, commodities, funds etc). It can help you to grow your money over the long term. But unlike the security offered by cash, investments can fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest. However, whilst cash savings don’t fall in absolute value, they’re not risk free. Cash often struggles to keep up with rising prices, or inflation, so you can lose money in real terms. For example, a pint of milk in 1990 cost circa 25 pence and in 2021 cost 55p.
You need an emergency fund before you start investing because if you put money into investments with no emergency fund in place and something goes wrong in your life, that catastrophe could easily happen when your investments are way down in value. Instead of being able to wait until the market had recovered, you would be forced to sell those investments at a loss.
Saving tends to be for the short term, while investing is for the long term. Get inspired by watching this guy…
Robert Kiyosaki's 7 Keys to Ridiculous Wealth
5. GET UP EARLYDid you know that if you kept your normal sleeping pattern but woke up just one hour earlier each morning, you would get 15 additional days a year? That’s mind blowing!
Many of the world’s most successful people get up early. Richard Branson reportedly gets up at 5.45am, Apple CEO Tim Cook gets up at 4.30am and Elon Musk rises at 7am, to name just a few. There’s a reason why so many successful people get up early. To gain an advantage.
A staggering 50% of self-made millionaires and 90% of executives get up before 6am, or three hours before their workday begins, in order to use undisturbed time to do things for themselves and engage in activities like exercise, meditation, reading the news, checking email and eating a healthy breakfast.
Getting up early allows you to:
☑️ get a head start on the day and gives you a few extra hours to achieve all the things you want to, whether that’s going to the gym, meditating, or learning
☑️ be more pro-active, which is a skill studies have found is more prominent amongst morning people (many early risers claim to have increased creativity and inspiration in the mornings)
☑️ train your body to wake up naturally and avoid sleep inertia (that groggy feeling you get when your alarm wakes you up suddenly whilst you’re in deep sleep)
☑️ have a more positive start to the day because you can kick start those endorphins by engaging in something positive like exercise, which will give you extra energy for the day, reduce stress levels, and clear your mind so that you’re focused
☑️ feel more in control, calm and collected because you’re not having to rush through your morning routine
☑️ prepare healthy meals which increase energy levels
☑️ be more productive because you have less interruptions and more headspace to plan your goals and priorities for the rest of the day
It may sound simplistic, but what you do in the morning really can dictate how the rest of your day goes — and thus how the coming weeks, months and years will go – as well as your road to success. (And that's exactly why life coaches are always driving home the importance of a morning routine.)
Successful people incorporate healthy morning routines such as working out and meditation, because starting the day with energy, awareness, and a sense of accomplishment sets the tone for the rest of the day and for success. So, choose a morning routine that works for you and gets you in a positive mindset for the rest of the day.
Now we know that conditioning yourself to get up earlier isn’t easy so deploy these tactics to help you:
☑️ Start waking up earlier in 30 minute increments. So, if you normally wake up at 7:30 a.m, start waking up at 7:00 a.m. Then gradually move to 6:30 a.m. etc
☑️ Move your alarm away from your bed so it forces you to rise to turn it off. This will make it a lot easier to get up and stay up.
☑️ If it’s dark when your alarm goes off, turn on the lights immediately as this will help keep you awake.
☑️ Go to bed earlier to ensure you get that optimal 7-9 hours of sleep which is so important for your overall mental and physical health.
Eventually your natural body clock will kick in and you won’t even have to rely on your alarm (which, to be honest, is a tad annoying on the weekends when you want a lie-in!).
6. REPLACE “I CAN’T” WITH “HOW CAN I?”
Language, thinking, change and growth all go hand-in-hand. So, getting your language right is paramount to achieving your goals.
The thing is, we’re all guilty at times of making excuses that hold us back, like “I don’t have the time”, or “I don’t know…” or “I can’t…”, what if instead we asked ourselves “How do I make time?”, “How can I….?”, “What resources or connections do I have that I can leverage?”, “I’ll know as soon as I figure out…” etc.
Maybe you don’t want to do it, but saying you “can’t” do it is a completely different story. Because, by saying “I can’t” do something, you’re already doubting yourself and submitting to defeat. With the right mindset, positive attitude, and a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, the only thing that is holding you back is yourself.
Do you know why most people say “can’t” and doubt themselves before trying anything? It’s lack of self-confidence and fear on many different levels. Fear of failure, fear of bad results, fear of change. But if you face your fear, use it, dance with it, learn from it, grow, and take action you’ll build more confidence and self-belief.
Try the Tony Robbins “Rocking Chair Method” to overcoming your fear: Picture yourself at 85 years old, in your rocking chair, reflecting on your life. Imagine you did whatever it is that makes you anxious; maybe it’s changing careers, learning to fly a helicopter or taking a trip to somewhere new. How do you feel? What’s your life been like as a result of the decision? Then examine how your life looks without achieving the thing that makes you anxious or fearful. Do you look back and feel like you missed out? Do you have regrets or sadness? Once you become more fearful of not taking action, you will feel less anxious about taking action. If you want something more than you fear not having it, you can do it.
So, it’s time to replace “I can’t” with “how can I?”. It’s a subtle change, but a powerful one. If you can eliminate this one simple phrase from your life and replace it with this question, your whole life can change. Changing your words from a statement to a question allows your brain to start working to find the answers and solutions.
The truth is, everything is possible, and if you want to achieve success in your life, you need to believe that. You can do anything you put your mind to. And remember, you will never know success if you have never failed. Plus, you learn more from failure, it’s like building muscle. You get stronger. Success is not linear. Success is when you fall and have the courage to get back up. When you keep pushing through. Trust in the process. Embrace failure and appreciate the wins along the way.
7. BE A MAN OF YOUR WORD
Being described as “a man of your word” may sound like a traditional ideal, but even in the modern era personal ideals like trust, integrity and honesty have significant importance in social and professional interactions.
Being a man of your word is not only a great way to show the people in your life that you care about them but establishing a reputation as a man of your word can benefit you in all aspects of your life from your career to your relationships.
Being a man of your word effectively means 3 things, together:
☑️ You keep your promises and commitments (explicit or implied).
Treat small promises with the same level of importance as big ones. Being a man of your word means more than simply following through with the commitments you think people will remember; it means following through no matter what.
Don't succumb to peer pressure when asked to do something that you truly don't want to do. This will make it easier not to go back on your word later. Don't use vague wording like, “I'm not sure but I'll try,” when you don't want to do something (do or do not, there is no try). Be honest and clear about what you can and can't do. It's better to say you won't be able to do something now then to make excuses later. And when others are clear on where you stand, there’s a lot less you have to worry about in meeting expectations and being a man of your word.
Treat your commitments as a valuable asset that you don't give away lightly. And, keeping your word even when you don't want to will help to teach you not to commit to things in the future that you will not want to do.
☑️ You don’t seek ways to weasel out of your promises, or to rationalize promise-breaking.
Honesty and integrity are of paramount importance as a gentleman. You know this. So stop making excuses for things you didn’t do.
If you find that you will not be able to fulfil a promise or commitment that you've made, take responsibility for it. When you make excuses, you come across as disingenuous. You tell others that you’re unwilling to own up to things and you aren’t as reliable as they may have thought. Plus, it removes your responsibility to follow through. Instead, be honest and apologetic when you need to cancel plans.
☑️ If circumstances (e.g. an emergency) force you to break a promise, you admit it, apologize, and do what you can to make up for it.
In a nutshell, being a man of your word means that whatever you honour, you commit to. That’s all there is to it.
8. BE A MAN OF CHARACTER
Most of us want to be described as a “man of character” but the standards for attainment remain rather vague in our modern age. So, what are the qualities of true character? Good character includes traits like integrity, loyalty, honesty, courage, and fortitude. Simply put, a man with good character chooses to do the right thing because he believes it is morally right to do so.
☑️ Moral Discipline. Described as having self-control. Control over your impulses and desires and not letting them control you or allowing yourself to become a slave to them.
☑️ Moral Attachment. This means being committed to a set of higher ideals and to acting, and if need be, sacrificing, for the greater good of your community, whether that be your family, friends, or team etc.
☑️ Moral Autonomy. This is defined as having the autonomy to make ethical decisions and the discipline to stand by your principals. A decision that is coerced cannot be a moral decision, and thus cannot be a decision of character.
A man with good character believes he should make good choices and shows over time that he almost always makes choices that are honest, respectful, fair, caring, and responsible. Making a mistake doesn’t mean you don’t have good character. Everyone makes mistakes and learns from them. But, when a man of good character makes a mistake, he takes responsibility for it. He also shows perseverance, which means he will make good choices and he will do the right thing, even when it’s hard.
Your character begins to be developed from the moment you’re born and is influenced by where you grow up, how you were raised, the examples your parents set, your education, the struggles, or tragedies you encountered and so on. Given you are faced with different circumstances every day and judge and decide how to act in response, your actions become your habits, and your habits become your character.
Even though there are many factors, some beyond your control, that play a role in engraving your character, the single greatest influence on your character is one you have the ultimate power over: how you respond to your circumstances. The true test of a man’s character is whether you can stand by your moral principles no matter how sorely tempted or how painful the repercussions.
The people you surround yourself with, are also one of the greatest influences on your character, so choose your squad wisely. Likewise, you can mould the character of those around you. Your actions will influence others. What example do you want to set?
Some examples of good character include:
☑️ Being a man of your word.
☑️ Seeking moral excellence and doing the right thing always.
☑️ Treating others with respect, courtesy, kindness, deference, dignity, and civility.
☑️ Fighting against injustice and demanding fairness.
☑️ Standing up for those that can’t stand up for themselves.
☑️ Thinking before you act and not letting your emotions get the best of you.
☑️ Taking responsibility for your actions, behaviour, and choices.
☑️ Having humility. Not seeing yourself as “too good” for other people or situations.
☑️ Motivating and inspiring better character from others.
☑️ The courage, mental fortitude, and perseverance to continue with a course of action, belief, or purpose, even if it’s difficult, in order to reach a higher goal or outcome.
Good character is often something a person builds over time. When you hear about a "character building moment", it means that you are facing a challenge and you need to look to your good values, make a good choice, and persevere (work through it even though it's hard). A moment when you have a difficulty to overcome can be a character building moment because it helps you prove to yourself that you can make a good choice that is in-line with your values. All the character building moments in your life help you grow into a person with good character.
Your character is your legacy. What will your legacy be?
9. HAVE MORALS
A man without any moral values has no real direction in his life.
This all going to sound a bit repetitive but bear with us….
We’ve just talked about character and good “character” traits may also be described as good values or good morals.
Values are the foundation of a person's ability to judge between right and wrong. Morals build on this to form specific, context-driven rules that govern a person's behaviour. They're formed from a person's life experience and are subject to opinion. For example, one man’s morals might tell him to be faithful, however another man’s morals might be quite different.
So, you might wonder is there really a standard moral code in society these days? Well yes, while most people follow society's laws, they also abide by certain social norms, which are governed by morals. While morals tend to be driven by personal beliefs and values, there are certainly some “sound” morals that most people agree on because they are traits generally agreed on by society. For example: Always tell the truth; Do not destroy property; Do not cheat; Keep your promises; Be tolerant of differences; Have integrity etc
You make moral decisions based on personal values all the time. Moral dilemmas can occur when morals conflict with each other. For example, what if you can’t afford the life-saving medicine your dying child needs, but you have access to company funds. Your core values might tell you stealing is wrong. However, your morality would tell that you need to protect your child. As such, you might end up doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
What’s your moral code and how does this govern your behaviour? Is it time to make some changes to your values so you can become a man of character that is revered?
10. HAVE GOALS
Having interviewed 1,200 successful CEOs, celebrities, authors, politicians and even an astronaut, Forbes magazine found that all of them set real goals that they can accomplish.
“Successful people wake up and they've already planned their day, while unsuccessful people are scrambling to figure out what they need to do next. Their goals are very focused, big yet obtainable and are aligned to their strengths. They know what they are capable of and will invest all of their efforts in it, avoiding their weaknesses.”
Successful people know how to break down their dreams and create achievable short-term goals. Constantly reaching daily objectives provides further motivation to continue focusing on your longer-term goals.
One of the big truths in life is that success doesn’t happen overnight. Successful people never quit, no matter what life or business throws at them. Achieving a goal requires long-term commitment. Change and success happens by making small and consistent progress, moving forward in small steps. If you’ve read the book Outliers, which examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success, you’ll know that the author Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.
All successful people know that it doesn't come easy and they are bound to fail more than they will succeed at anything. They are willing to learn from each failure, as it will help them make better decisions that lead to success later. Failure is just feedback. While many people give up after failing at something, a successful person will persevere.
11. PLAY A TEAM SPORT
Playing sport as part of a team can be hugely empowering, great for your physical and mental health and, more importantly, fun. But, team sports are about so much more than the health benefits. Studies have shown that team sports make you smarter. This might have to do with the increased cognitive ability that comes from playing sports. Plus, it’s a well known truism that employers look favourably on applicants who play sport. And there is sound reasoning behind it. Team sport builds resilience and determination, the ability to communicate, to work through difficult problems, to lead. There are so many soft-skills that you can transfer from the football pitch or the basketball court, directly to the boardroom:
☑️ Communication Skills: Team sports take a lot of communication — both verbal and non-verbal. Ever noticed how football players interact with each other on the pitch? A team that can communicate effectively will win.
☑️ Decisive Action: Plays happen fast which is why athletes develop the skills needed to make effective snap decisions. Whether it’s a football player realizing his best move is to pass to a teammate for the assist or a basketball player deciding to shoot, athletes learn critical decision-making skills that will benefit them both during and after game time.
☑️ Ability to deal with pressure: In sports, players need to act quickly and make split-second decisions. Decisions that could prove to be a win or a loss. These split-second decisions come with a tremendous amount of pressure. The ability to handle pressure on the pitch translates to making those same types of decisions in life; for example, meeting a critical deadline at work or closing a high-value deal.
☑️ Teamwork: This is an obvious one. Teamwork is all about collaborating with others to reach a common goal. The diversity of skills and personalities in a team help a player become adaptable, persistent, and patient. Team sports also teach a sense of group and individual responsibility.
☑️ Time Management: There are practices and games to attend, as well as time spent on personal conditioning and recovery. And players know that every minute counts in a match. This careful planning and precision helps them focus on reaching their goals faster than non-athletes.
☑️ Build self-esteem and sense of community: Team sports are said to bolster the five C’s: competence, confidence, connections, character, and caring. At the heart of this is self-esteem – as a result of better social interactions, stronger relationships, and higher performance in the workplace.
☑️ Sportsmanship: Sports teach players that they have to be gracious in winning and losing. There is nothing worse than seeing a display of poor sportsmanship by a losing player. A player who storms off, yelling and screaming after being sent off. The same can be said for an obnoxious winner. Sportsmanship and how a player deals with losses carries over into his personal and business life often. A loss is a loss, and how a player rebounds is most important.
As well as being good for developing soft-skills and your overall health, you’re much more likely to be motivated to keep up your training when you have teammates you don’t want to let down.
And when you join a sports team, be it football or cricket or another sport, you gain an immediate network of inbuilt, instant friends. In our solitary world where loneliness is an increasing problem for young people, this could be a lifeline. What’s also nice is winning. Winning is great. And as adults we don’t get to experience it enough. A win can transform your weekend, it will leave you elated and proud in a way adults rarely get to feel. Plus a win can give you the confidence to tackle other challenges in your life.
12. FOCUS ON YOUR HEALTH
It’s simple really, if you don’t focus on your mental and physical health then you won’t have the mindset and energy to achieve all of your goals and stay on top of your game.
"Self-care isn't selfish," Dr. Washington, a board-certified psychiatrist reminds us. "High performers know that taking time to care for themselves improves their effectiveness ." After all, you can't expect yourself to be clear-headed or creative when you're exhausted or burnt out. So, setting aside time for self-care is key.
Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improves both your physical health and mental health. And making simple changes to how you live doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take up loads of time. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact. Because, when you’re at your best you can give more of your self around that boardroom or that kitchen table.
☑️ Get regular exercise. Research confirms that exercise improves all-round health, fitness, mood and self-esteem while mental fatigue and stress are reduced. Exercising boosts oxygen circulation inside your body. This increase in oxygen allows your body to function better and to use its energy more efficiently. Plus, exercise is a sure-fire way to get your feel-good hormones, like endorphins and serotonin, circulating. Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your overall health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at one time.
☑️ Take care of your mental health. Mental health affects how you function, think, feel, act, make choices and relate to others. Mental health is essential to your overall health and quality of life. And having a positive mindset increases the likelihood of formulating a winning perspective and achieving long-term success. Read our tips here on how to take care of your mental health.
☑️ Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. A balanced diet and plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. Limit caffeinated beverages as well as alcohol. Alcohol can also interrupt your normal sleep patterns, which in turn can also leave you feeling tired and negatively impact your mood.
☑️ Make hard work light work. No matter how well you eat or how much exercise you do, the western lifestyle is not always conducive to getting all the vitamins and minerals that you need. Adding a supplement to your daily routine can help you avoid deficiencies and improve your overall health….so which supplement should you take? well, we're going to plug our own obviously! HIMMENSE SHIFT daily collagen protein drinks have been especially formulated for men and contain vitamin C, to contribute to normal collagen formation, as well as vitamins B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6, B12, D, Selenium and Ashwagandha, for multiple health benefits.
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Published 21 January 2022
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