The One Mindset That Turns Boys Into Men
The difference between a boy and a man is the level of responsibility he takes for his own life. The difference between any man and a great man is the level of responsibility he takes for the lives of others.
Therefore the foundational mindset is:
My life is my responsibility.
But that’s easy to say. How exactly is it done?
Life is full of problems. Things always go wrong -your health, your finances, your relationships, your luck- and create problems that cause your life immense difficulty.
When we’re kids, we can just nestle ourselves under the protection of our parents and avoid these difficulties. Sheltered from them they don’t really affect us.
But the older we get, the more the world demands that we confront these difficulties.
We have to compete in the market place to earn money. This is hard. We have to take care of our diet and exercise, resisting the temptation towards gluttony and laziness. This is hard. We have to maintain healthy, honest, loving relationships in a world where we’re motivated to be dishonest, disloyal and fall out of attraction with those we once thought the world of. This, again, is hard. And on top of this, we have to deal with the hand life gives us, and more often than not, it’s not a good hand. And we’ve just gotta deal with that.
Yeah, life is hard. So your only options are to try and stay in a childlike, dependent state for as long as you can… Aka remain a boy. Or sort yourself out and start tackling your problems head on. Aka become a man.
Health and wealth sit at the foundation of all worldly problems.
If your health sucks, things are going to start to get a lot worse for you. This could be depression, disease, anything. If your finances suck, you’re going to run out of the ability to do anything pretty quickly, lose the majority of your freedom, and, you guessed it, fall into to depression.
Neither is good.
Now I’m not saying you need to be Mr Six Pack Abs Millionaire Man. You don’t. You just want to have above average health, and above average financial security.
If you don’t know what this means then take responsibility for this lack of knowledge and educate yourself. This is step one.
Both topics are FAR too big to address in a blog post, but for starters, here are some tips:
When it comes to health, the best first step is to stop eating processed foods and stop drinking soft drinks. Only drink water, and only eat foods that can be cut from an animal, plucked from a plant/tree, or pulled out of the ground.
When it comes to wealth, have some kind of consistent paid employment and spend less than you earn each month. Save as close to 20% of your income as you can.
Those will give you a good start, but the rest is going to come down to your own self-education. Which brings me to…
One of the easiest ways to start taking responsibility for your life is to bring awareness to all the ways in which you aren’t. Reading and learning are the best ways to do this.
Neither will change your life unless you take actions off the back of them, but they will show you exactly what actions you need to take.
Educational books help you learn what you don’t know and give you the tools to start solving problems (of all kinds) in your life with more effectiveness.
Self-help / pop-psych books help you learn basic things you’re doing wrong on a habitual level.
Philosophy / classic fiction helps to illuminate how you’re a bit of a dick and lacking empathy.
With this in mind, here’s a fundamental principle to follow:
Read every day. And read diverse, challenging books.
It can take as little as 10 pages per day. Anyone can read that.
One of the side effects of this is that you’ll begin to develop more emotional intelligence in the way of self-awareness and empathy – especially if you read psychology and classic fiction. The former helps you unpack your own self-limiting patterns of behavior, and the latter helps you better empathize with the lives of other people, no matter how different or unlikeable they may seem.
This not only makes you better at improving your life from a fundamental level of feeling, but it helps you to interact with and understand other people. This is an incredibly important part of living well. It can even be argued that emotional intelligence is more important than having a high IQ. It also brings me to…
You might be the most introverted guy in the world, who likes to spend all day locked away in a room reading Plato and coming up with counter-arguments to Socrates theory of love.
And yeah, that’s cool and all… But socializing is an inescapable part of life.
So get good at it.
You might not like it. It might make you feel awkward, exposed, embarrassed, ashamed. It might remind you of how nobody liked you at school and that everyone made fun of you.
But it’s also necessary. It’s fundamental to so many parts of living, whether its work, having fun, or just remaining mentally stable. It is so fundamental that it’s not even a choice whether you have to get good at it.
You have to get good at it. End of.
But to cut you some slack, this doesn’t mean you have to James Bond levels of smooth. It just means when it comes to socializing (and it’s sexual cousin, dating), you want to be above average.
You’re not the coolest guy in the room, and you’re not Casanova – and you don’t have to be. You’re just no longer chronically afraid of either situation and you can maintain a healthy, enjoyable, and stable social life.
In my coaching, this is one of the things I spend 99.999% of my time training guys to do. Why? Because it generates 99.999% of their results.
Not just for when I’m coaching them, but for the rest of their lives.
My advice? Pick whatever hobby interests you, find the social version, and commit to going to it multiple times per month (if possible) for three months. It might sound arbitrary, but this works.
If you want great results that benefit your dating life, start going to dance classes.
Possessing a single, useful, saleable skill upon which you can derive a solid income is one of the best ways to take complete financial (and structural) responsibility to your life.
First, it will provide you with steady income derived from your own effort and skill.
Second, it will keep you busy with work, which saves you from idleness. This has ENORMOUS benefits in your life. If you’re selling a skill you enjoy to sell, you’re busy working instead of filling your bored, idle time watching tv, playing video games, or browsing the internet. In other words, your spending your time adding value to your life rather than filling it with trifles.
A structure like this helps enormously in building positive, constructive habits in your life that can capitalize on for years. It also helps you develop a level of freedom that most people don’t have access to – as you are the one in possession of the skill, it’s far more likely that you’ll be in a position where you’re working for yourself.
There’s no higher level of personal responsibility than being your own boss. Because it’s either sort your shit out or fail.
Examples of the kinds of skills you can learn would be:
Freelancing skills like article/blog writing, copywriting, white paper writing, web design, coding, or app development. Or it could be trade skills like plumbing, electrics, or DIY. I even knew a guy who made over 100K fixing peoples pools. Then there are crafts like woodworking, carpentry, or metalworking.
The list is endless.
The important thing to understand is that you pick a skill that appeals to you and you stick at it. At first, you’ll suck (everyone does), but the more you practice, the better you’ll be, and you can start making money from your skills a lot faster than you’d think.
My advice: the better you get at whatever your skill is, the more you’ll need to know how to market it. Buy yourself a few marketing books so you’re not completely out of your depth.
Taking complete reasonability for your life is about putting the various pieces together and crafting a life that you take care of and which, in turn, takes care of you. It’s a holistic approach to living that puts you in charge of solving your own problems and develops the confidence from knowing future problems won’t get on top of you.
But what’s more: the better you can help yourself the better you can help others.
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About John Matich John is a writer from the UK who splits his time between travelling the world and trying to find unconventional solutions to dating and personal development. You can find more from him at www.lifeuncivilized.com.