Change is the only constant. No one is born perfect or has the best qualities. But this fact does not mean that a man should not try to become a better version of himself. It is important for a man to be ambitious, not just financially but personally as well. A man should strive daily to be better than he was the day before.
If you want to achieve more and improve yourself, you have to work on who you are—every aspect of your person. You have to do the following:
- Treat yourself right.
- Take care of yourself and your mental health.
- Invest in yourself—time and money.
- Purge yourself of everything that impedes your personal progress.
- Have self-control.
- Treat other people right.
- Be fully independent.
Without the right guidance, it can be difficult to start the journey to become a better man. However, these steps will point you in the right direction and make your journey much smoother. What’s more? Some of these steps take only a few minutes of your time.
This is the first step to becoming a better man. It might seem very cliché but you really can’t give what you don’t have. You cannot be compassionate and respectful to other people if you are not compassionate and respectful to yourself.
Don’t be too hard or too critical of yourself and your work. Try as much as possible to tolerate yourself as you do others. Understand that you are a human being and nobody—not even you—is perfect. Identify your strengths, weaknesses and shortcomings.
Try to find happiness and enjoyment in yourself and your activities. You can do that by:
- getting a new hobby or learning a new skill. Not only will this help you find happiness and joy, it will also help you broaden the reaches of your knowledge.
- complimenting yourself every morning before you begin your daily activities. This helps you master self-love and feel good about yourself. Saying nice things to yourself can boost your confidence greatly and make you happier.
- practicing self-care. This does not necessarily mean taking a vacation to the Maldives. Self-care actually means doing things that relax and gratify your soul, however small they might be. Self-care can be taking a long bath with Epsom salts, burning sage, applying moisturizer to your skin or even lighting a candle. Doing things that make you feel relaxed in that moment is self-care.
- tolerating your own mistakes. Instead of belittling and insulting yourself whenever you make a mistake, try to find out where exactly you went wrong and how to avoid making the same error in the future.
When you love yourself inimitably, you’d be able to love other people in the same manner too. Here are the best books on self-love and self-acceptance.
Don’t press the snooze button
It has been estimated that the majority of male CEOs wake up at 5:30 am or even earlier. In their world, there is no such thing as a snooze button. Life is just too exciting to sleep for too long.
As a man, the first thing you do every morning when you wake up and the last thing you do every night before you go to sleep contains the content of your day and the things you hold as important. Set your alarm clock early in the morning, even if you don’t have anything special happening that morning. This prevents you from staying in bed all day. Resist the temptation to hit that snooze button. It really does nothing good for you; it just slows down your productivity.
When I say ‘alarm clock’, I mean an actual alarm clock, not the alarm clock on your phone. Phones are inherently distracting. All the apps and functionalities in a smartphone can drag you down a deep, dark hole if you try to use it as an alarm clock.
Imagine this scenario.
Your phone alarm clock rings at 5:30 am. You wake up groggily, stretch and yawn. Determined not to hit the snooze button, you grab your phone and turn the alarm off. As you’re about to drop the phone, you spy your Gmail app, and you decide to check your inbox. You click off at 6:00 am.
Then you click on Instagram; you want to see what Hollywood has been up to. You know that if you spend too much time on Instagram, you’d encroach on your workout hours so you swear to yourself that after 30 minutes you’d click off Instagram. Then you begin scrolling, looking at all the pictures of IG influencers and workout routines of so-called fitness coaches.
By the time you remember to click off Instagram, the time is already 8:30 am.
If the first and last thing you do each day is stare at your phone, you’re constructing a weak foundation for the rest of your day’s activities. That’s why it’s very important to keep your phone far from you at night and use a regular alarm clock. Don’t touch your phone until after you’ve done something (meditation, prayer, workouts, etc.) production that day.
Read one book every week
It has been estimated that the top CEOs read one book every week or 52 books a year. Want to be as productive as a top CEO? Well, do the same!
Reading books has many benefits. Books give you knowledge, and knowledge gives you the potential to change the world. To become a better man, you will need every resource you can get. Knowledge gives you the power to transform your own life and the lives of those around you.
Whatever book genre you love reading—fiction or nonfiction— there are books that make you think and feel smarter. They help you see life and societal constructs from the perspective of the author(s). They enlighten you on just about everything. There is hardly a good book that exists that you won’t learn something from. There are so many kinds of books too—romance novels, business books, self-help books, etc.
Reading books is not that hard, to be honest. Lucky for us, we live in a world where we can purchase and read books without having to enter a bookstore. You can use Kindle to purchase a book or Audible to listen to a book. But if you want to use the traditional bookstore purchases, that’s cool! Just get some books.
The average book takes about six to eight hours to read. This means that if you read for approximately one hour each day, you can read one book each week. And yes, you can find that hour: remove one hour of Netflix-watching, read on your commute to work, read a half hour during lunch break and a half hour at night, read in the tiny free moments that are sprinkled throughout your day.
Imagine how much more knowledgeable you would be at the end of the year after reading 52 books.
Release the pressure
As a man, you’ll frequently face challenging situations that might threaten to swallow you whole. Instead of feeling stressed, panicking or crumbling under pressure, you must try to remain calm and clear-headed. You shouldn’t see these situations as things that pull you under. Instead, regard them as lessons and ways to learn and grow.
If you cannot seem to get rid of stress easily, you can journal. This works great for me. Writing in a journal will help you cognitively process all the stuff you’re going through. It is especially good to practice journaling when you are depressed or angry. Journaling requires you to think clearly and logically, which can help you put your emotions into perspective.
Don’t bother about how to write in the right way. There is no right way to write about your feelings. Write down everything–what happened that day, all the things you’re grateful for. Write freely and spontaneously–one sentence, 10 paragraphs, five pages.
If journaling doesn’t work well to reduce your pressure levels, you can try other activities like:
- Listening to music
- Mental imagery relaxation
- Deep breathing exercises
- Take time out for yourself
- Therapy sessions
If you’re intent on learning more about reducing stress, here are some books to help you find inner peace.
Control your negative emotions
You’re a human being so you’re bound to feel emotions like love, fear, anger, sympathy and jealousy; it’s all a natural part of life. However, you have to learn to control the negative emotions—anger, jealousy, hatred, insecurity, etc. They are, quite frankly, destructive to you and to others.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t get angry or jealous. There’s no one who hasn’t gotten angry. Heck, Mother Teresa had gotten angry before. The point is that you should not let yourself get too angry or too jealous that you try to hurt yourself or other people because of it.
Emotions like anger and jealousy have a way of possessing people. They can make people act erratically and say terrible things to satiate themselves. It can even make people commit premeditated murder. They’re like viruses that infect the soul.
One sure way you can get rid of these negative emotions is to change your mental predictions and primary belief of insecurity. To be a better man, you have to deliberately work to change the negative emotions and mental projections that you feel.
There are certainly some books that can teach you how to overcome negative emotions.These books can help you overcome insecurity and build confidence.
Become fit and well-groomed
Don’t underestimate the power of a good workout and a dope outfit. Your body is the vessel that will carry you through life; it is your home. To make sure you live a long happy life, it is imperative that you are fit and strong.
Except you are absolutely unable, it is important that you are functional with your body; you should be able to jump, run, kick, pull, push, bend, swim, etc. Your body needs to become a machine that is ready for anything that happens. I’m not saying that you should pick up bodybuilding. No, that’s not it. I’m saying you should workout consistently—probably an hour or two for 4-5 days a week—and eat healthy.
You should present yourself well to the world. Developing a great fashion sense is integral to this. The way you present yourself to the world gives people an inkling as to how you view yourself. Don’t listen to what people say about dressing nice being a vanity. Being fashionable isn’t vanity, it’s an expression of who you are.
Start dressing well. Infuse some of your personality into your outfits. A good outfit is subjective but everyone has an idea of what it means to look good. Figure out what works best for you, and start dressing like a confident man.
Be loyal and honest
Many people don’t know what it means to be loyal; loyalty is a very rare quality to find in today’s world. Men backstab and snitch on each other all the time. These are very terrible and mean things to do to people, especially people who regard you as their friend.
Loyalty, they say, is royalty. Don’t become one of those cowards who are disloyal to their friends and allies. Disloyalty is a very effective tool at destroying friendships, relationships, and communities. A loyal man is a trustworthy man. When you’re loyal to people, they’ll recognize that you are the real deal, and not a fake person. Because of how rare loyal people are to find, people will give you a tremendous amount of respect for being loyal. People will look up to you as a role model and you might even become irreplaceable in the eyes of others.
Loyalty also involves honoring your promises. Don’t go back on your word. Keep it. Men who cheat, lie, exaggerate and falter on their word/promises are not respected by other people. If you cannot keep to a promise, don’t make it. Tell the truth immediately.
In doing so, you’ll prove yourself to be an honest man and keep your respect and integrity.
Be financially independent
To be a better man, it is important that you’re not dependent on anyone financially. In the economy we live in today, no job is certain. You could get a job today, only to have it disappear tomorrow. This is why it is very important to start generating your own income. The best way to do that is to start a business.
It really doesn’t matter what kind of business you start; just make sure it is legal and lucrative. You could start a blog or start an online business. You could create your own firm and make a product to sell. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are passionate about it and that it can make you good money.
It has been estimated that the average millionaire has seven different income streams. You need to create your own income streams. If you have a job, let that be income stream #1. Then, get a side hustle. Diversify your side hustle to include different income streams.
For instance, if you decide to start a blog, you can make money through different channels like display advertisements, affiliate marketing, sales of digital products, sales of physical products, freelance writing, coaching and consultancy, etc.
Creating multiple income streams can help you build your finances till you become a millionaire—or even a billionaire. Who knows what the future holds?
Becoming a better version of yourself as a man and as a human being is very important. Fortunately, these eight steps will help you become a better man faster.
- Love yourself
- Don’t press the snooze button
- Read one book every week
- Release the pressure
- Become fit and well-groomed
- Control your negative emotions
- Be loyal and honest
- Be financially independent