FUNDAMENTAL TRAITS OF THE RENAISSANCE MAN
Shifts in culture are shaping new expectations for what it means to be a successful man in today's society.
It's no longer cool to be overly aggressive, domineering, or stubborn. Put simply: Nobody likes an asshole.
Instead, the modern man must learn to balance his strengths and recognize his weaknesses. Here are seven traits that men need to own as we enter 2020.
1. Be Mindful
Always make thoughtful actions towards the good will of others. Don’t waste your energy on negativity. Smile or give a head nod letting others know they're acknowledged. Open a door for another. Let the car squeeze in, even if you know they are in the wrong.
Small gestures make life not only easier and more meaningful for yourself but can have a powerful effect on others around you. Combining a positive attitude with a clean, well-groomed appearance is essential to garnering the respect of others. Research has shown that individuals who practice gratitude have lower blood pressure, improved immune function, a reduction in stress hormones, and better sleep.
2. Be Curious
Ask questions and try to learn from others you encounter. So much knowledge can be gained from taking the time to listen to others. People of all vocations have a wealth of information and are generally more than happy to share if you just connect and show some curiosity.
Intellectual curiosity propels the modern man to constantly better himself and his craft through reading, coaching, ongoing education, and time spent with mentors. He turns off the noise and makes time for nurturing his intellect. Read books, practice new hobbies or sports, learn to cook, play an instrument. There is so much knowledge just waiting to be gained.
3. Be Generous
If you have the means, don’t be a Scrooge! Not just with your dollars but with your time. If you're reading this, chances are that you probably enjoy some amount of financial stability in your life and don't have to search for your next meal or safe place to sleep. Appreciate what you have earned or have been given and spread goodwill to others.
Always tip well. Take time to volunteer doing something for the less fortunate or spend time being active with social and environmental causes. Your time is equally as important as your money when it comes to helping others less fortunate.
4. Build Strong Family Ties and Friendships
In this age of disconnection through social media, it’s easy to become self-absorbed and displaced. But even those who have grown up in "broken" homes have the ability to build new family ties and friendships. Love and social bonds are incredibly important to creating successful, fulfilled and healthy lives.
Build strong relationships with those you encounter. Do favors without expectations in return. If you visit places frequently, remember names and faces. They will treat you like family in return.
5. Quit Taking Shortcuts
Whether it’s hiking in the Sierras or simply your journey through life, it’s OK to take the harder road. What really matters is that you are enjoying the path you are on.
Hard work builds character and the road less traveled can lead to amazing circumstances that would not have otherwise occurred. The extra work not only makes you feel good when you’re finished but develops a sharper mind and stronger body.
6. Live With Integrity
Do the right thing when nobody is watching. A real man stands by his words and is not swayed by popular opinion or peer pressure. Keep records of your agreements and commitments and ensure that you fulfill them. It may seem minor whenever you break an agreement but each time it erodes a little bit of trust between you and another person.
A man of integrity will always have trusting and healthy relationships. He will always have somebody he can count on. Live in a manner that is consistent with your values and goals, and those around you will notice.
7. Respect, Respect, Respect!
Respect for others goes a long way towards living a positive, healthy and successful life. The old adage, "respect is earned, not given," is primitive in nature and needs an update.
Respect should be given to everyone you encounter until they prove otherwise. People who are respected tend to behave in a manner worthy of how they are being treated. Remember, what comes around, goes around.