5 Old-Style Ways to Be a Better Man

 

New post for the Good Men Project!

 

5 Old-Style Ways to Be a Better Man

 

When it comes to ideas for self-improvement, modern man Daniel Dowling turns to the tried and true. And so can you.
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We’ve all heard ‘em before. They’re old as sin and common as hydrogen, but they’re all true. We’ve heard these old sayings so many times that we repel them, like water from a duck’s back. But, if we take another look with a curious attitude, they can do a lot for us. Let’s revisit some of these old-but-good-’uns and allow them to inspire our lives.
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1. Do one good deed a day
This one isn’t just for Boy Scouts; it’s for man scouts too. Following this simple guideline will keep you attentive to others’ needs and connected to your community. Doing good things for other people is what good men do best. So, set a daily alert: One thing to do for another that isn’t attached to your interests. In this one deed you will find persistence, integrity, selflessness, thoughtfulness, kindness, creativity, and dare I say, sheer manliness. This one thing will keep you occupied and useful to others for the rest of your life, which is every man’s dream.

2. Practice like you preach
Don’t advise others to do a thing until you’ve integrated it into your identity.
I’m guilty of disobeying this one occasionally. But, the feelings of guilt are always a reminder to get back to congruity. We are strong, virtuous, loyal and influential men of integrity. Many people look up to us for inspiration and direction in their lives. We have a responsibility to guide these young men and women to meaning and significance, but it’s also a privilege. There is nothing that I value more than being a role model and difference maker in the lives of others, but it comes at the cost of eternal vigilance. Don’t advise others to do a thing until you’ve integrated it into your identity.

3. Patience is a virtue
This one often conjures up a 90-year-old butterscotch candy-chewing man with a cane, waiting in line at the bank, but patience is more profound than that. Patience is an extraordinary combination of gentleness, firmness, hope, loyalty, resilience and strength wrapped up in one common word.

Patience is helping your four-year-old spell out the word ste-go-saur-us a hundred times before he gets it right, and loving every minute of it.
Patience is weathering an emotional flurry from the woman you love most while showing her just how much she can depend on you. Patience is helping your four-year-old spell out the word ste-go-saur-us a hundred times before he gets it right, and loving every minute of it. Patience is seeing your dreams through to reality while tending to your family and work. Patience is what every good woman looks for in a lasting relationship with a man. I think boring ole’ patience just got a lot sexier.

4. Love is more than a feeling
If the band ‘Boston’ didn’t ruin this one for you, maybe your mom did when you were dating in high school. But, it’s true; love is a state of being and an action. A feeling is not always a state of being. For example, I can feel good all day but not actually be good. I can also feel lowly and unappreciated when I’m actually respected and valued in my community.

If you’re worried about not feeling enough love for somebody, then shift your focus to being love to that person.
Feelings come and go, but reality is consistent and built from your actions. If you’re worried about not feeling enough love for somebody, then shift your focus to being love to that person. It’s amazing how changing your actions can also change your feelings. Feeling hopeless? Give hope to someone else. Feeling useless? Get up and be useful in the unique ways that makes you you. Be a man. Be love.

5. Try, try again
This one might as well be called, “Trite and trite again.” But really, isn’t triteness up to our perception? No matter how many times it is said, never giving up will always lead to your greatest success. That is, unless you are attempting a toxic relationship for the fifth time …. Might want to call that one quits! (I should know…)
Have you heard about the gold miner who stopped three feet short of a multimillion dollar payload? Don’t let that guy be you. If you are fully passionate about a thing, if you’ve decided that this will be your mark on the world, and if you’ve given it all you’ve got … keep going. The greatest success always comes a step or two after your biggest defeat. Try, try again.

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Beauty and truth are more common than we think, but the willingness to seem them is rare indeed. I hope this article has inspired you to take more gems like the ones here and make them your own.

 

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