Men, Do These Things

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Men, Do These Things

  1. Stop talking so much about being a man.
  2. Turn to a man you trust and say, “I want to be a better man. Help me.”
  3. Create a “free fire zone” with five other men. Anything they need to say to make you better, they must say. You too.
  4. Do something physically challenging every day.
  5. Stop expecting to understand your wife. You never will. That’s what’s exciting.
  6. Get on your knees and ask God to make you the man he wants you to be.
  7. Write down what you are responsible for. Then, make it all as good as you can.
  8. Get into the wild for a few days twice a year.
  9. Look at yourself naked in the mirror. Keep looking. Is this who you really are? Fix it.
  10. Think of the best thing you can say about everyone who has wronged you. Say it out loud.
  11. Say something soul-igniting to each of your children as often as possible. Don’t be dramatic about this.
  12. Turn off the TV. Chase your wife.
  13. Eating is not a hobby. Eat less. Until there is something to celebrate. Then, eat huge.
  14. If married, stop masturbating. It’s an excuse not to win your wife. Go win your wife.
  15. If single, win a woman. Don’t sleep with her. Treat her well. Enjoy her mystery. End it when it’s over. Or marry her. She should remember you until the day she dies.
  16. Heal up with your father–whether he is dead or alive.
  17. Spend time and money on your mother regularly.
  18. Find people who know what you don’t know and get them to teach you.
  19. Master man skills: shaving, shoe shining, grooming, tying ties (4 knots), car maintenance, self-defense, dancing, manners, budgeting, investing, ….
  20. Pursue your wife. Win her heart. Find out what makes her happy. Make her happy. Surprise her. Spend on her. Bed her. Bed her again. Take her to someplace romantic. Send her away with friends. You pay and stay home. Make peace with her family. Teach the kids to honor her. Defend her against enemies visible and invisible. Be crazy about her.
  21. Be generous.
  22. Dump destructive friends. Find noble friends. Make each other better. And laugh yourselves to death along the way.
  23. Invest in a boy.
  24. Get your money in order. Save. Invest. Be ready for emergencies. Be generous.
  25. If married, stop flirting around. It’s a lie. It’s also a pitiful substitute for winning your wife. Get to it.
  26. Fix everything that needs fixing in your house. If you can’t, find someone who can. Be responsible.
  27. Stop talking so much about being a man.
  28. Knock down the walls between you and your children. Win them. Teach them. Discipline them.
  29. Take your 12-14 year old son on a long trip, just the two of you. Talk about everything. Everything! Be rowdy. Achieve something. Laugh. Stay up all night. Swim naked. Eat crap food. Beat on each other. What happens on man trip stays on man trip. No talking about it.
  30. Have dates with your little girl. When she has dates of her own, be aware. Meet the boy. Be awake when she comes home. Involve him/her in fun—not boring—family events. Pay for some fun dates. Trust, but not too much. Be on top of this. Make your daughter feel like a princess who ought not give herself cheaply. Be such a man in her life that you make it hard for her to find a husband as good as you are. Tell her that’s what you’re doing. Laugh a lot.
  31. Read poetry.
  32. Watch man movies and figure out why they are man movies. Discern lessons. Live them.
  33. Set rules about cell phones and social media. Not at the table. Not at family time. Live it first. Then expect it. Throw a misbehaving phone or two in the toilet. Make the point.
  34. Someone in your life is good at all this if you aren’t. Get help. Grow. You can do this.
  35. Clean up your language. Do you sound like an idiot?
  36. Have a weapon in your house. Know how to use it. Store it safely. Practice once a year.
  37. Find a sport.
  38. If you’re older, get your testosterone checked.
  39. Have life insurance for your family.
  40. If single, date often, sanely, morally and gloriously. Have fun. Don’t talk her to death. Learn about women. Don’t sleep with them. Keep that for “the one.” Find “the one.”
  41. If you drink, drink sanely. Don’t mistake drinking for some essential skill of manhood.
  42. If you smoke cigars, smoke sanely. Don’t mistake cigars for some essential skill of manhood.
  43. Don’t smoke cigarettes.
  44. Don’t bitch. Like your life. Change what you don’t like. Take control of yourself. Don’t bitch.
  45. Honor older men.
  46. Be part of a church or temple that encourages noble manhood.
  47. Rest from time to time.
  48. Cultivate a few good friends. Do life together. Get better together. Have fun.
  49. Practice good grooming. Remember, cologne doesn’t make you a man.
  50. If married, learn how to be better at sex. Talk to your wife. Shut up. Learn. Get better. Be happy.
  51. Learn to cook a bit. Cook things. Cook things for your wife. Cook better. Clean up afterward.
  52. Send flowers.
  53. Dress well. Not rich, just well. Get help if you need it. Be the best you can be.
  54. Stop being a slob. Clean up your stuff.
  55. Stop watching porn and strippers. Stop playing with yourself. Control yourself until you marry a good woman. Once you marry her, stop having digital mini-affairs with some plasticized slut you’ll never meet. It’s ruining you.
  56. Travel. See more of the world than you live in. Reflect on what you see.
  57. Serve the needy regularly. Do it quietly. Do it anonymously if you can. Do it with your trusted friends if possible. Do more as you have more.
  58. Stop lying. The truth about you is enough. Tell the truth. Insist on it with others. Stop lying.
  59. Read a book a month—at the least. Find books you love. Find books you need to help you do what a man does. Don’t worry about the great literature. You’ll get there when you’re ready.
  60. Take a vitamin for men.
  61. Ask God to make you equal to your destiny.
  62. Watch sports. Enjoy. Don’t mistake watching for doing. Do sports. Enjoy.
  63. There are many different kinds of men. Be your kind. Be your kind of a great man.
  64. Stop talking so much about being a man.
  65. No, your best friends can’t be women. What are you thinking? Have female friends. Have closer male friends. Don’t lie to yourself about which is which.
  66. Relax. Trust God. Learn some jokes. Take it one day at a time. Breathe. Rest.
  67. Stop selling yourself. Just be, and be good. People will know. Stop selling yourself.
  68. Real men cry. Don’t sweat it if you do. Get help if you can’t.
  69. Celebrate the achievements of women.
  70. Stop talking about yourself so much.
  71. Anger masks hurt. Discover the hurt. Know it. Feel it. Stop hiding behind anger.
  72. Know a bit about meat, wine, beer, liquor, politics, sports, news, stars, clouds, art and music.
  73. Do good work. Be thankful for a job. Get better. Change jobs when it’s right. Be grateful.
  74. Have a hobby.
  75. Have goals. Make lists. Pursue goals. Don’t be driven. Trust God.
  76. Don’t be bitter. Bitterness feeds entitlement. Entitlement leads to misbehavior. Misbehavior leads to destruction. Don’t be bitter.
  77. Live big. Live happy. Live passionate. Live generous. Live loving. Live manly.

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Written by Stephen Mansfield, author of Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men.