How to Grow Up: 8 Habits that Separate Boys from Grounded Men

It’s time to learn how to grow up and become the man you were born to be.

And this article will help you with that.

But there’s a problem…

Over the past few years, masculinity has gotten a bad rap. We’ve been told that it’s toxic, that it’s dangerous, and that it’s a vice instead of a virtue. Somewhere along the way, men took the hint and decided to reject mature masculine virtues in favor of seemingly permanent adolescence.

As a result, we have an entire generation of “men” who are little more than teenagers running around in an adult’s body.

They live at home, rely on their parents’ income to support their lifestyles, and opt for the life of the permanent partier instead of a life of contribution.

I’ve interviewed more than 400 highly successful men from dozens of fields over the past half decade.

Over the course of these interviews, I noticed that nearly every “Great Man” has a core set of mindsets and habits that lead to massive productivity, impact, and fulfillment.

Their tactics, strategies, and approaches to masculinity might differ. But the core values remain the same.

Being a “man” isn’t determined by your age, your experience, or your accomplishments. It’s a choice.

There’s an old quote that says, “Being male is a matter of birth, being a man is a matter of age, being a gentleman is a matter of choice”

For our purposes:

Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of age. Being a strong grounded man is a matter of virtue and choice

It’s time to grow up. To learn how to be an adult and, more importantly, how to be a strong man of character, virtue, and power.

In this quick article, I’m going to teach you exactly how to grow up, leave your boyish ways behind you, and become the man you know you have the power to be.

1. How to Adult 101: Boys Act on Feelings Men Act on Vision

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The most basic distinction between boys and grounded men is that boys act on feelings, men act on vision.

Boys are like a feather in the wind. They allow their emotional state to govern their actions and they decide whether or not to keep their commitments in the heat of the moment.

If they don’t feel like doing something then they don’t.

Boys will hit snooze on their alarm instead of waking up early and doing what needs to be done. They will show up late to meetings. They will procrastinate on their work. They will defer what they should do for what they want to do in the moment.

Men are different.

Men create a crystal clear vision for their future and then base every action on that vision.

This is “how to adult” 101.

It doesn’t matter if a man wants to eat another piece of cake, smoke that cigarette, or sleep in an extra 50 minutes. He knows the vision that he has for his life and he isn’t willing to compromise his future success for pleasure in the present moment.

A strong grounded man is willing to do something that he dislikes, even something that he hates if it will propel him forward towards his vision. Boys will not.

Does this mean that grounded men never compromise? That they never screw up, sleep through an alarm, miss a workout, or cheat on their diet? Of course not!

They are human just like you and me.

But “real” men know that their actions must be congruent with their vision most of the time if they want to survive and thrive in this world.

2. Boys Waste their Mental Energy. Men Preserve It

Here’s an interesting fact that some of you might not know.

According to the law of supply and demand, time is not your most valuable asset.

Mental energy is.

Unless you suffer some sort of tragic early death, most of you reading this will live to be 79 or so. This means that the total number of hours in your life will be somewhere around 690,000.

You will be operating at peak mental energy levels for fewer than 25% of those hours!

And you will have optimal (10/10) mental energy levels for fewer than 6% of those hours! (Mental energy levels tend to peak for 90-120 minutes roughly 2 hours after you wake up)

So while your time might be limited, your mental energy is even MORE limited.

Boys do not acknowledge this fact.

They are happy to waste their mental energy arguing with trolls on the internet, watching porn, surfing the web, and indulging in mentally draining activities.

Men are not.

Men know that this is the only life we are guaranteed to have.

They value their mental energy and preserve it carefully.

They are selective about what projects and tasks they will tackle and always make sure that they are investing their mental energy in ways that will ultimately help them build their best lives.

If they “waste” their mental energy watching TV, playing video games, or indulging in other unproductive activities, they always do so strategically after using their peak mental energy levels to build their legacy.

3. Boys Abuse their Bodies, Men Weaponize Their Bodies

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In a country with an obesity rate of more than 33%, this is not a popular opinion to hold.

But I don’t write this blog to be popular. I do it to help you become the strongest version of yourself… Even if it hurts a little bit.

If you are not taking care of your body, you cannot call yourself a strong grounded man. Period!

Your health is your most valuable asset and if you abuse it with drugs, alcohol, shitty foods, and bad sleep, then you are acting like a boy.

Boys believe that they are invincible. As such, they treat their bodies with contempt.

They don’t prioritize sleep. They overindulge in drugs and alcohol. They have unsafe sex. They never train. And they aren’t cognizant of what they are putting into their bodies.

Men are different.

Men know that their body is one of the most valuable assets that they have. It’s the vessel that will take them to the next level and allow them to experience everything that this life has to offer.

And they treat it as such.

Men train at least 3 times a week. They value their sleep. They know that food is for fuel not for fun. They avoid hard drugs and if they drink, they do so in moderation.

Men care for their bodies because they realize that they are their bodies.

4. Boys Value Entertainment. Men Value Knowledge and Wisdom 

You can tell a lot about someone by asking a simple question:

“What was the last book that you read?’

I’ve noticed that 9 times out of 10 if someone says that they don’t read, especially if they make this statement with a sense of pride and ego, they are likely to be immature and unsuccessful.

In fact, studies have shown that 86% of rich people read for personal development for at least 30 minutes a day compared to only 2% of poor people (who are likely on the path to becoming rich!).

Boys will complain about studying. They don’t understand the value of reading. And they will rarely if ever, try to learn a new skill simply for the sake of expanding their mind.

Men, on the other hand, value their mind and treat it as a precious resource.

Boys watch hours of Netflix and TV.

Men read for hours each day.

Boys waste time playing video games and watching porn.

Men hone their minds by acquiring new skills and challenging their brains.

Boys refuse to consider new ideas and information that challenges their beliefs.

Men proactively seek out information that disproves their most cherished beliefs.

Men value their mind and constantly seek to expand it. Boys are simply looking for their next distraction.

It’s time to grow up and commit to your personal development and education.

Nothing will help you achieve your goals and become the man you want to be faster than committing yourself to constant improvement through personal development.

If you want to learn how to grow up…pick up a book.

It might just change your life.

(Want to know where to start? Just click this link to read my guide to the 50+ books every strong grounded man must read)

5. Boys Let Other People Steer their Lives. Men Are Self Reliant

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One of the key differentiators between boys and strong grounded men, and the ultimate answer to the question, “How to be an adult” is that boys base their life decisions on the opinions and whims of other people whereas men are self-reliant and captain their own boat.

Boys will go to college because their parents want them to.

Boys will take a job because their friends think that they should.

Boys will get married because “Everyone else is doing it”.

Men have a core set of values, beliefs, and goals and they refuse to be swayed by the will of others.

They will listen to advise from people who are wiser and more experienced then they are, of course. But ultimately, their decisions are theirs and theirs alone.

Boys are like a feather. They go wherever the wind blows.

A grounded man is like a rock. Even in the strongest storm, he stands firm in what he believes and the vision that he has for his life.

6. Boys Use Women for Validation. Men Seek Out Women to Share Experiences

Boys care about “Getting laid”.

They want as many notches on their belt as possible.

They see women as objects of sexual validation and satisfaction and will say anything to get in a woman’s pants and bolster their sexual prowess.

Men, whether monogamous or not, care about finding incredible partners to share in life’s amazing experiences. (This same principle applies in gay relationships as well).

They don’t seek out women for validation or for “Street Cred”.

They seek out women because they want someone who can come alongside them and share in the journey of life.

Whether they limit themselves to one partner or enjoy multiple partners, men value and appreciate the fairer sex and see women as equals with whom they can share life, not as simply another lay.

If you’ve been spending your time trying to “get laid” to feed your hungry ego, it’s time to grow up and realize the error of your ways.

Relationships are one of life’s greatest joys, but they can only be enjoyed when they come from a place of authenticity and honest connection.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t sleep with multiple women (at the same time even). It simply means that you are mature enough to seek out experiences and connections that add something to your life.

A one night stand can be one of the most amazing experiences of your life…IF you do it for the right reasons and share an authentic connection with your partner.

If you’re just doing it because you want the validation, you need to learn how to be an adult and seek out real connection.

7. Boys Blame Others. Men Take Full Responsibility

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Image Credit: Leadership Freak

Boys blame others for their failures and their mess-ups.

They blame their parents, their spouses, their boss, their co-workers, the economy, the weather and anything else they can point a finger at.

Men take 100% responsibility for their actions every time all the time.

Whether they are truly at fault or not, men know that they are ultimately responsible for everything that happens to them.

When their girlfriend cheats on them they take responsibility for ignoring the red flags and dating the wrong person.

When their boss screws them out of a large bonus they take responsibility for staying with an unethical company.

When their business tanks because of a bad economic spiral, they take responsibility for failing to prepare for a declining market.

Men take 100% responsibility for everything in their life and everything not in their life.

Because when they take 100% responsibility for their lives they have 100% of the power for the trajectory and the outcome of their lives.

To grow up and learn “how to adult”, you must take full responsibility for everything in your life and everything not in your life. Until you do, you will remain stuck in boyish habits and thought patterns.

Take responsibility for yourself and your life today and you have taken your first step to becoming a real man.

8. Boys Are Controlled by their Sex Drives, Men Are Not

Boys allow the heat of the moment and their sexual desires to control their actions.

They stay with a woman simply because she’s beautiful and the sex is amazing.

They will cheat on their spouses simply to satisfy a momentary urge, never thinking about the long-term consequences.

They allow their lives to be run (and ruined) by the little guy downstairs.

Men, on the other hand, are in control of their sexual activities.

While they know that they cannot control what they desire, they have complete control of how and when they act on those desires.

They base their decisions on their values and their vision, not on the momentary desires that they might feel.

If they are dating a woman who is holding them back from their dreams and draining their energy, they will cut her off… No matter how beautiful she is or how amazing the sex might be.

If they are in a situation where consent is unclear, they ask for explicit permission instead of trying to “score” in an ethically ambiguous way (e.g. with a woman who is intoxicated).

Grounded men live and die by their values, not the whims of their cocks.


Although masculinity has become a convoluted and confusing topic in recent years, the “Boy vs. Man” debate can be summarized very simply.

Men take responsibility for their lives, treat others with respect, and do what needs to be done.

Boys do not.

So as cliche as it may sound, it’s time to grow up. Quit being a boy and embrace the strong grounded man inside of you.

Do you want my help?

Then click here to watch my new client orientation to learn more about becoming a stronger Grounded Man, breaking free from nice guy behaviors, and creating a powerful social circle of likeminded men and a high quality romantic relationship.

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If you’re ready to push the boundaries of what’s possible in your life and become the man you’ve always wanted to be. This is the fastest way to do it.

The Times Have Changed. This is the Way Forward in 2024.

Here’s how I can help in my new FREE training on becoming a stronger Grounded Man:

1. The new path for men that creates a purpose driven life and doesn’t require you to lose your personal power, put women on a pedestal or sacrifice your goals.

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