We live in a world caught between two extremes. In one breath, we eschew and vilify masculinity and traditionally “manly” virtues, labeling them as “toxic” and detrimental to society. Yet in another, we revel in them. Subconsciously pining for a resurgence in traditional masculinity.
We are enamored with the classically masculine archetypes that proliferate our favorite movies, books, and TV shows (think Jon Snow, Don Draper, Hank Moody, and Captain America).
The blood in our veins rips at the sight of a vicious knockout in the UFC and, as we watch the victor leap to the top of the cage with his arms held high in the air, we can’t help but imagine ourselves standing in his place…the taste of blood on our lips, the deafening roar of the crowd filling our ears, and the inner confidence of knowing that we are capable of handling ourselves in conflict.
Yet all of our imagining does little to change the way we feel and show up in life.
Despite our desire to “be the man”, to feel strong, accomplished, and powerful…our desires are left unmet. We are not the hero of our lives so we allay our growing sense of emasculation by watching other hero’s through a steady stream of action movies, video games, and extreme sports.
The reason is simple…
Men today are lost. In the famous words of Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changing.” And modern men have failed to evolve with the changing times.
As feminism has given rise to unprecedented equality men are faced with a growing and inescapable sense of obsolescence.
Men aren’t needed in the way that we once were and, our seeming lack of utility has left men wondering, “What the hell am I supposed to do now?” We no longer have clear roles in society and men all over the world want to know how to be more masculine and even if it’s okay.
Women are graduating from college at higher rates than men, landing high-paying careers, able to provide for themselves easily without a man, are starting their own companies (some becoming self-made billionaires like Sarah Blakely and Kylie Jenner), and even running for President of the United States (Hilary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris).
These feats, unimaginable only a decade ago, are indeed good things. And this is in no way a call to regress to the “Good old days” of the past where a woman’s sole purpose was that of the dutiful housewife…
…Simply an acknowledgment that this unprecedented rise in equality and opportunity has created unforeseen and largely unaddressed problems for modern men.
Our physical strength once necessary to protect others from the hidden dangers of life on earth is no longer needed…
Our capacity as providers of resources and security is no longer needed…
Men are today more than ever before confused about what it means to be a man (let alone an attractive man) and what our role is in our rapidly changing society.
From a young age, we are told to be quiet, sit still, follow the rules, listen to mommy, obey the teacher and avoid any display of aggression, talking back or acts of “masculinity”. Not only are we not taught how to be a masculine man (or how to be masculine at all), but we are actively discouraged from seeking these answers for ourselves.
Doctors give us drugs for any minor symptoms which then sedate our lust for adventure and ability to create heroic lives. Teachers disparage us for our inability to sit still and pay attention and encourage us to fit in like the rest of the class, stick to the status quo, and avoid standing out. Parents tell us to “play it safe”, avoid taking risks, and “be grateful” for what is – a mundane and muted existence.
We live in a hyper-feminized world where feelings matter more than facts…where agreeableness is lauded and assertiveness is criticized…where comfort and safety are prioritized and courageous and uncommon action are seen as unnecessary and even childish risks that endanger the “common” way of life.
Throughout most of our lives, our very souls have been quietly and systematically castrated, causing us to enter adulthood as little more than boys in adult bodies, well into our 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.
At every turn, men have unknowingly been gradually feminized and emasculated…and it’s quite literally, killing us.
Suicide, depression, and anxiety among men are at the highest levels ever (source).
But we aren’t doing much about it, especially for men.
Instead of accepting the new challenges in our post-masculine world and fostering a new type of masculinity…most men opt for one of two extremes.
We either relegate ourselves to lives of quiet desperation, playing the role of the overly sensitive, submissive, “nice guy” with no backbone, no courage, and no drive. To wither away our lives in silence, knowing that we are not the heroes of our story and living on the sidelines as we watch others–in the form of movies, TV, and social media–take up the mantle of greatness.
Or we assume a type of “neo-masculinity” vilifying the feminine, blaming women for our problems, and grouping together into vitriolic groups (like Incels, The Red Pill, and MGTOW) and push the eject button to opt-out of mainstream society.
But what if there was a third option?
A new type of masculinity that marries together the best parts of the masculine and feminine energies. A type of masculinity that allowed men to reclaim their power…Not so they can assert their superiority over women…but so they can work with women to create a better future for the modern world.
I believe this type of masculinity is possible.
And today, not only will I teach you how to be more masculine and how to be manly…but I’m going to flip everything you’ve ever been told on its head and teach you why authentic masculinity is more important today than ever before and why you must achieve it to live your best life.
Redefining Modern Masculinity: How to Be More Masculine in an Authentic and Healthy Way
Masculinity is under attack, and with good reason.
For millennia, unchecked masculine impulses wreaked havoc on our societies, causing wars, bigotry, and in some cases the near-annihilation of modern civilization (think: The Cuban Missile Crisis).
And in our postfeminism world, things haven’t gotten much better.
Pick up artists, the “manosphere” wannabe tough guys, and gym bros have bastardized the concept of masculinity to the point where it seems all but impossible to agree on what it actually means to be a man.
When most people hear the phrase, “Masculine”, their mind is drawn to characters like James Bond, Don Draper, the Dos Equis man. Narcissistic and arrogant men who are willing to do anything and everything they can to achieve their goals, regardless of who they hurt or how much pain they inflict.
Masculinity in our modern world has become synonymous with “Rich Assholes”, and we’re taught to think of masculine men as overly domineering, arrogant, and aggressive.
I for one, believe it’s time to redefine what it means to be a “real man.”
Today, more than ever before, the world needs real men. Men who bring the masculine and feminine energies together in a balanced and powerful way. Men who are strong, courageous, even capable of violence…yet tempered by virtue and compassion.
To start, we must first understand that the masculinity which society has deemed “toxic” and inappropriate is not true masculinity. But a bastardized “shadow” of authentic masculinity.
Because when it’s all said and done, being “the man” has nothing to do with how you stack up against other men…it isn’t about being the biggest, richest, or best-looking guy in the room. It is not influenced by your “lay count”, bank balance, professional success, or appearance…and it does not tolerate subterfuge, arrogance, or bringing others down to get your way.
Although it is possible to fit the classic stereotype of the jacked, rich, and socially suave “alpha”, it isn’t always–and shouldn’t be–the case.
In this article, I will clarify the reality of this “New Masculinity.” But for now, suffice it to say that the old views of masculinity aren’t working. Real men are in greater demand (and shorter supply) than ever before…but the definition of manliness has changed.
It’s time for you, and all men, to evolve. To step into a new way of being. To develop a new relationship with yourself, your masculinity, and the world around you.
And this is how you do it…
The 7 Pillars of Authentic Masculinity: How to Be Masculine in a Feminine World
Masculinity is, first and foremost, a choice. It is not something you were born. It has nothing to do with your sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic status, or background. It is a way of being, a conscious decision to think and act in alignment with a core set of values and virtues.
Being a man is a matter of biology. Being masculine is a matter of choice.
And, in my experience, to unleash your masculine power and become a strong grounded man your forefathers would be proud of…a man that is respected by other men and desired by women…there are 7 choices you must make.
1. Talk is Cheap. Action Is the Only Thing That Matters
“Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you’re saying” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The masculine energy is first and foremost about action…building things from the ground up…exerting your will on the world in an effort to do good…making bold leaps toward the life you want and moving from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
But our modern world has all but beaten this natural masculine impulse out of us.
Gone are the days where action was the sole arbiter of validation and approval. Today, with the tap of a button and a few strokes on a keyboard, we can tell the world about our aspirations, sharing our goals on social media and earning the praise and acclaim of thousands…without actually doing anything to achieve them.
But true, adulterated masculinity gives no credence to lip service. It is not impressed by ‘aspiration’ or ‘ambition’. Only action.
We live in a world filled with talkers and thinkers. Individuals with great potential and potentially world-changing ideas…who lack the backbone to stare down resistance and actually bring that potential into reality.
But you must rise above this.
There is no virtue in your potential. Your ideas don’t matter. And your goals are as insignificant as an ant crushed underfoot. The only thing that matters and the only thing with which you should concern yourself is action…bold, forward moving, determined action in pursuit of something greater than yourself.
To learn how to be manly, you must rise above the din of the hopers and dreamers, clamoring online to “show the world” what they will one day become.
Instead, you must do.
Don’t talk about your goal to lose weight and build a better body…pick up a damn barbell.
Don’t talk about the dating life you’ll have “one day”…plant your feet in front of an attractive woman and say “Hello”.
Don’t talk about the business you’re going to build or the career you’re going to start…go create the damn thing today.
Fortune favors the bold and a well-lived life is the province of the doer.
You want to know how to be more manly?
In the next 24 hours I want you to do one thing…just one thing and then go do it. Build the positive momentum you need today and put one foot in front of the other.
Talk less, do more.
2. Comfort is for the Faint of Heart. Dare Greatly or Die with Regret
“I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent— no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.” ~Seneca
Our modern lives are engineered to make men weak.
The slightest inconveniences disappear with the tap of a button or the swipe of a plastic card.
Too hot? Turn on the AC or jump in the pool. Don’t want to walk? Call an Uber and spend your time playing games on your phone and entertaining your life away. Hungry? Order a meal using a delivery service. Heck, need anything? Have anything you could think of delivered to your door within hours via amazon.
Although the comfort and convenience of the modern world is enticing, and not something I would due without, it has come with unintended consequences.
The modern man is rarely, if ever, forced to face daily discomfort. Barring injury, death, and other tragedies, most of us can live our lives in a perpetual state of ease.
And it is this comfort, that is slowly killing us. We have grown soft, weak, and impotent, unused to adversity and unable to persevere when the smallest obstacles arise, let alone stack up…after all, why work hard to become stronger and take risks when you can simply tune out with the latest Netflix original and watch a show that exudes the feelings you want?
But true masculinity is antithetical to comfort. It neither seeks nor tolerates a comfortable and banal existence. It demands challenge. It craves the opportunity to compete against the forces of the world and emerge victoriously.
To be masculine in a feminine world does not require that you eschew all comfort or reject every modicum of luxury. Simply that you actively seek out and experience discomfort to build your “spiritual calluses” and prove your mettle.
And you can use the luxuries and conveniences of the modern world to create space and time to pursue intentional discomfort on your own schedule.
Take a cold shower. Lift heavyweights. Spend a weekend in the mountains by yourself. Learn how to hunt and survive in the wild. Complete a Spartan Race or IronMan. Take a kickboxing or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. Fast for a few days. Go sober and challenge yourself to give up that which you “cannot” live without.
Do something to push yourself out of your comfort zone and experience the thrill of overcoming your own perceived limitations.
As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
Be like Teddy.
3. Be Unreasonable and Bend Your Reality to Your Own Desires
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man” ~George Bernard Shaw
From the time you were a child, you were inundated with lies and half-truths about what it means to be successful.
The white picket fence…the charming housewife…the 2.3 kids…the luxury sedan…the lake house (you never use). Nothing is inherently wrong with these aims, however, for many men, this picture is not a golden portrait of success, but an abstract impression of their own personal hell.
Yet we are taught to pursue it with dogged determination, even when every fiber of our being screams, “This isn’t me!”
However, true masculinity, the type of masculinity we admire and seek to emulate, is more than anything authentic. It does not bend under societal pressures or pander to the desires of the masses. It is unashamedly true to itself.
While the status quo, the “American Dream” if you will, might match some men’s definition of success. For many of you reading this, it leaves something wanting…
You don’t want the mundane and banal life of a monotonous 9-5, lackluster relationship, and half-assed existence. You want more. You want adventure, excitement, challenge, and aliveness.
You want to bleed yourself dry and leave everything above ground…so that when your time comes, you can look back on your life and say, “Ah what a wild journey that was, now I shall rest…”
But to achieve this life, you must reject the status quo…you must assert yourself and your own desires, no matter how much it pains those you love or the rest of the world.
No one who did great or memorable things was ever understood in the beginning. Individuals like Elon Musk, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, even guys like Joe Rogan and David Goggins were all called “crazy”, “foolish”, and “insane” for having the courage to chart their own path. Today, the world sees them as heroes.
The same individuals who once chastised them for being unreasonable, now laud them as paragons of courage and perseverance.
And the simple truth is, in your own life, you won’t be understood. The second you decide to chart your own path, to reject the status quo, and pursue a life that is authentic to your truest desires…you will be shunned and vilified.
Family will criticize you. Friends will leave you. Society will laugh at you… at first.
But you cannot allow the opinions of others to persuade you toward a life you don’t want. Instead, you must pursue your own path and purpose without fear or hesitation.
Because when it’s all said and done, true masculinity is the domain of the most unreasonable man. The men who are willing to reject the status quo in pursuit of something greater that lights a fire inside of them. The men who step into the unknown and trust that somehow…some way…everything will work out in the end.
4. The #1 Trait to Develop “Non-Toxic” Masculinity
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” ~Edmund Burke
Despite what pundits in the “manosphere” have told you…masculinity can be toxic, just like feminism can be toxic. When unchecked and unrestrained, masculine impulses can lead one down a dark and dangerous road.
And we need look no further than our modern political and social landscape to see this truth.
Unabashedly hyper masculine corporations extract resources and pillage our planet to line shareholder’s pockets with maximum profits, giving little thought to the long-term implications of their actions or their impact on the next generation.
Seemingly masculine celebrities and world-icons assault and take advantage of the women in their circles because they believe they “deserve” whatever they want, regardless of consent or not.
An unhealthy degree of masculine competition proliferates our modern political dialogue as name-calling and dick-swinging replace valuable and edifying discourse…leading us down a dark road and preventing real change from ever happening.
Even the most perfunctory glance at the modern world reveals, plain as day, why so many liberals and feminist pundits have vilified masculinity at every turn. So much as asking the question “how to be more manly” or “how to be masculine” incurs wrath and criticism…and I get it.
Because masculinity can be toxic, but only when untempered by goodness and virtue.
True and authentic masculinity requires more than anything, a commitment to virtue and goodness. It is not about imposing your will on others or asserting your own superiority to “one up” others, but making a concerted effort to use your masculine energy in pursuit of a greater good.
A great example of this is the story of Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to be awarded a Medal of Honor. Serving as a medic in World War II, Desmond, despite the fact that he would not carry a gun or kill another man, threw himself in the line of fire to rescue 75 of his brothers in arms at the Battle of Okinawa.
His courage in the face of danger…his willingness to subject himself to humiliation and ridicule for his values…his desire to serve and do good even at the expense of his own life…are all deeply masculine traits.
To be a real man, you must first and foremost be a good man. A man who does what is right even when it’s hard and does it for no other reason than the sake of doing good.
Because although goodness without strength is impotent, strength without goodness is evil.
My challenge to you is simple. For the next 7-days, I want you to wake up and ask yourself one question, “What good can I do today?” Then go and do it. Whether it’s paying for a stranger’s meal at a restaurant, or simply giving words of encouragement to someone in your life who is struggling, make an effort each day to leave the world better than you found it.
Not because of karma or any hope for future reciprocation…because it’s the right thing to do.
5. The Navy SEAL Secret for Unleashing Authentic Masculinity
“You must own everything in your world. No one else is to blame.” Jocko Willink
We all enter into this life under different circumstances. We have different advantages, disadvantages, strengths, and weaknesses. And, as much as we would like to believe otherwise, there is nothing fair about life or the way in which the genetic lottery dolls out privilege.
Most men spend their entire lives wallowing in the unfairness of life. They lament their upbringing, the bullying they are forced to endure, the unfairness of our social and political systems, and the frustrating insanity of human life.
They use their seeming lack of privilege as an alibi for mediocrity, allowing their “excuse of the day” to explain why they cannot live the life they yearn for.
But the uncomfortable truth of the matter is this.
Life is unfair and it doesn’t matter whose fault it is. The only thing that matters is what you’re going to do about it.
In life, you have one of two choices. You can either take extreme and complete ownership of the cards you were dealt and resolve to do the best you can with what you’ve been given.
Or you can turn and point a finger at someone else…blaming society, your parents, or the president for your shortcomings and wasting your life in a pointless pity party.
Men who were less fortunate than you…who came from worse homes, lower socioeconomic status, and endured traumas so horrifying you can’t even imagine them…have found success, happiness, and fulfillment.
And you have no excuse.
If your life isn’t where you want it to be…if your job sucks and you’re stuck in a paycheck prison…if you’ve been single for half a decade and struggle socially…if you’re overweight, out of shape, and only a few burgers away from a heart attack…guess what?
It doesn’t matter whether it’s your fault or not. It is your responsibility to make a change.
Only by taking extreme ownership of your circumstances, shedding your excuses, and resolving to do what must be done, come hell or high water, can you experience the true joy of a fully masculine life.
And only then can you hope to make your life what it was always meant to be.
In what ways have you rescinded ownership of your life? Where is victimhood and “the blame game” holding you back from the life you want? Write down your answer to this question and commit today, to take full ownership…to never again allow someone else to be responsible for your life…and to step into your power fully, facing defeat with grace and honor and success with humility and quiet confidence.
6. You Don’t Matter (And the Only Thing that Does)
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you look at the greatest men throughout history…men whose names are still remembered centuries, often millennia after their death…you will notice one common theme that ties them all together.
A burning and ambitious purpose that superseded their own basic desires.
Great and truly masculine men, by very definition, do not live their lives for the sake of only themselves. Their sole aim is not fame or wealth or prestige. Nor are their efforts all exerted toward improving their own standing and reputation.
Men who do great things and leave a lasting impact on the world all, without exception, do so for something bigger than themselves.
Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Alexander the Great, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Marcus Aurelius.
None of these men lived only for their own glory and all of them lived (even died) in pursuit of a purpose they believed in so strongly, they were willing to commit their life to it.
And it was their clarity of purpose that made them who they were.
In your life, you must have this type of purpose. A mission and objective so powerful you’d be willing to give all of your life in pursuit of it.
For most men, this purpose is revealed only through trial, error, exploration, and pain. And for many of you reading this, your purpose might be to find your purpose by exploring the world around you and discovering the things that truly matter through new experiences.
Your purpose is not something you can find by sitting back and thinking about it. And it isn’t something that will reveal itself easily or readily.
Your purpose is something you must find and create for yourself…something that comes from hard-earned experience, from triumph, from failure…something that may take years of deep work and personal development to discover.
But when you find it…your life will have greater meaning and a reason for getting out of bed each morning.
From here, you will become a force to be reckoned with.
7. When All Hell Breaks Loose, Stay Grounded.
Finally, and most importantly, to learn how to be a masculine man you must learn how to stay grounded in the midst of chaos.
Most men, when presented with adversity and challenges, shrink. They hide and run for cover, allowing their actions to be dictated by their fleeting emotions. Instead of being ruled by their values, vision, and mission…they are slaves to their impulses often out of fear and scarcity.
But truly masculine men…men with real backbone, strength, and integrity…stay grounded.
They feel fear, overwhelm, and stress as much as any man. But they aren’t controlled by these feelings.
Instead, they live their lives based on a core set of values and beliefs. They know what they stand for, what they value, and they want out of life…and they do whatever is necessary to live in integrity with it.
They are not swayed by the opinions of the masses nor overwhelmed by adversity. In every situation, they maintain their composure and base their decision on principles, not the emotions of the moment.
Because they know that their emotional state is a fickle and fleeting mistress. She is neither consistent nor trustworthy and the masculine man knows this.
Regardless of what happens, you must stay grounded.
If your boss fires you, your wife leaves you, your business crumbles and your whole world feels like it’s falling apart…stay grounded and remain steadfast.
When faced with existential dread, overwhelm, and depression…stay grounded and seek solutions.
When life doesn’t make sense and nothing is going your way…when it looks as if everything you’ve ever worked for will be razed to the ground in a single moment of misfortune…stay grounded and remember that whatever happens…you can endure through it.
Being grounded does not mean you deny or suppress the emotional and psychological realities inflicting your life. Simply that you are not controlled by them into uncontrollable rages and defiant acts that is often labeled as “toxic masculinity”.
It is in these moments of chaos that separate the boys from the men… the followers from the leaders.
You embrace the suck and do what you can each day. You feel the stress and overwhelm but work through it with small actions. You feel the anger and the impulsive rage, but you contain and transmute it into positive forward action.
When it’s all said and done, the quality of your life and the strength of your masculine spirit will always be determined by your ability to stay grounded in the face of adversity.
And I can tell you from personal experience, staying grounded is always the best and sometimes the only option you have.