Back in 2017, my marriage ended.
I hit rock-bottom in my life.
To climb out of this hole, I needed to completely re-align myself. I needed to discover where I had gone wrong, and fix it.
Here’s the thing.
I wasn’t living like a man.
But I made myself a promise. I swore that I wouldn’t give up. I knew that I could succeed.
And so can you.
In this post, you’re going to learn the 31 things you can change to become a better man.
Every single one of these items are of invaluable importance to the journey of being a fully realized, successful man in our modern world.
And once you implement them, you’ll see powerful changes.
I’m also going to share the 3 most important things to prioritize now, to kick your journey into high gear.
Here’s what you need to do.
How to Be a Better Man: 31 Actionable Tips
1. Get Comfortable ‘Being a Man’
We live in a world today where it’s almost ‘taboo’ to be masculine.
But if we want to become powerful, effective men, we need to let go of our culture’s weird ideas about manhood.
Learn to become comfortable in your own skin. Own your masculinity. Take pride in who and what you are.
This is undoubtedly the first step to becoming a better man.
2. Pay Your Bills and Wake Up on Time
In other words, get more responsible.
No more missed bill payments. No more showing up for work late.
Show up to work on-time or 10 minutes early. Take control of the things in your life that need to get done, and make sure that they get done on time.
As Jordan Peterson says, “Pick up your responsibility. Pick up the heaviest thing you can, and carry it.”
Stop staying up till all hours of the night playing video games, then rolling into work late, hung-over, and sleep deprived.
Have more pride than that. You’re capable of so much more.
3. Run A Lot, and Pick Up Heavy Stuff
In other words—start working out.
Run, stretch, and lift weights.
Make it a daily habit.
Whether it’s yoga, boxing, hiking, etc. Get your body moving.
It just makes you a better man—pure and simple.
4. Adopt a Healthier Diet
Drink more water. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, cut out junk food, and stop eating bullsh*t.
The statistics on obesity in the United States are absolutely shocking.
In 2017-2018, the prevalence of obesity in the US was 42.4%.
Obesity-related conditions like Type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and heart disease are on the rise.
You owe it to yourself to be better and healthier than that.
Cut out sugar. Eat raw foods that’ll nourish your body.
Fuel your body for performance, and you’ll start feeling and performing better.
5. Start Taking Your Lifestyle Seriously
As a man, you have a certain image to uphold.
You also have character, reputation, and performance to consider.
You want to have productive relationships, a hot sex life, a good reputation, and to establish yourself as a man of honor, integrity, and grit.
This all comes down to the lifestyle choices you make.
You get 24 hours every day to become the best man you’re capable of being.
How are you using your time? What habits are you investing in? How much time are you wasting on dumb crap that isn’t making your life better?
Go to the gym, read a book, work on your business—do anything that’ll result in better habits, better performance, better outcomes, and better virility.
We only get one life, gentlemen. Start taking your lifestyle seriously.
6. Speaking of Style—Level That Up As Well
7 years ago, I had a shaved head, a tiny beard, a big gut, puny muscles, and a horrible sense of style.
I looked like a bald virgin potato. All I wore were huge t-shirts, discount jeans, and beat-up tennis shoes.
As a result, my sex life was basically nonexistent. I wasn’t taken seriously by anyone, and my self esteem was in the tank.
But, I turned it around—and if I can do it, anyone can do it.
Work on your own personal style. Start leveling up your clothing choices. Learn how to groom yourself properly. Go to a good barber to get a professional haircut. Get a professional beard trim.
Watch some YouTube videos about how to level-up your personal sense of style.
Find a good look for your body type, and rock it.
7. Hustle, Get Money, Repeat
The more you learn, the more you earn. – Warren Buffett
One of the most cringeworthy things I hear from men is this:
“I don’t really care about money. I’m not greedy. I’m content with not having much.”
A successful modern man will understand that money is essential to leveling up and winning.
It isn’t about having stuff.
It’s about pride, social status, power, and having the financial freedom to live life on your own terms.
Money is a valuable resource, and you need to understand how to create it for yourself.
Start by getting the highest-paying job you can get. Be the hardest working man in the room, always.
Then, at night, start learning a high income skill.
For me, this was freelance writing.
Start a side hustle. Eventually, if you keep hustling, this side-hustle will replace your 9-to-5 income and seriously level-up your money game.
Next, work on building businesses, investments, websites, or other hustles.
Chase that money. Level up your income. Wake up every day with a ‘have skills, will grind’ mindset.
Women love it. Other men respect it. Money goes hand in hand with status and power.
Own it, men.
8. Develop Tribe-Building and Leadership Abilities
If you want to become a better man in today’s world, you must understand the value of leadership.
Watch leadership videos by experts like Gary Vaynerchuk.
Understand that dominance hierarchies are real, and that climbing the hierarchy effectively gives you the power to not only affect greater positive change—but to also level-up your life in innumerable ways.
Building a tribe starts with your immediate friends and family.
Start taking on the responsibility of organizing things and leading important projects.
Learn how to mitigate disagreements peacefully. Learn to encourage, console, and motivate others.
Don’t be afraid to step into that leadership role.
Take responsibility, and make sure that team projects succeed.
As men, we need to become better, more effective leaders for our tribes, families, and communities.
This will create a better world, and make us better men in the process.
9. Find Your Purpose
Do you know what your purpose in life is?
When I coach men to help them improve their dating lives, this is one of the first questions I ask.
It’s an important question because it literally sets the tone for everything else in life.
If you’re not sure how to find your purpose, answer this question:
What problem do you want to solve in your lifetime?
Contemplating this question will give you valuable insight into what you should probably be doing.
Coasting through life without a purpose or a vision for your future isn’t going to do the trick.
A man without a purpose in life is like a ship lost at sea without a rudder.
10. Adopt the 5-Hour Rule
If you want to be a great man, you need to level-up your mind.
Some of the most influential people in our world (Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet, and others) utilize the 5-Hour Rule.
They spend 1 hour a day, 5 days a week, in ‘deliberate practice,’ leveling-up their knowledge and practicing to get better at something they want to master.
This could mean reading, studying, practicing a trade, etc.
Over time, this leads to personal mastery—which is a crucial element to success.
11. Stop Giving Away Your Power
If you’re like most men, you probably unknowingly give away small bits of your power throughout the day.
This can take many forms.
- Saying ‘yes’ to things you don’t want to say yes to
- Failing to maintain healthy boundaries
- Going back on your decisions out of guilt
- Caving in on things out of pressure
- Spending time around people who ‘dull’ your happiness and free-spirit
As a man, you will become infinitely happier and better when you learn to keep your power instead of giving it away to the people around you.
Honor your own words.
Speak honestly. Learn to say ‘no’ to things that you don’t want to do.
Don’t agree with people or go along with them just to avoid conflict.
Stick to the course that feels truly right. This will do so much to help you become a better man, and is desperately needed in our world.
12. Become a Dangerous Man
If all you know how to be is ‘nice,’ you can’t be virtuous.
Nice, harmless men aren’t ‘virtuous.’ They’re harmless.
There’s a quiet confidence that comes from learning how to be effectively violent and destructive, and yet choosing to be peaceful.
One way to level-up as a dangerous man is to study martial arts.
Start boxing. Take karate lessons. Take up MMA.
Start learning how to hurt people, destroy things, and take a beating.
This makes you dangerous, increases your confidence, and gives you the option to choose to be peaceful instead of forcing it upon you.
And by definition—you will literally become a better man as a result.
13. Cultivate a Certain Degree of Disagreeableness
“Nice guys finish last.”
It’s as true as the day is long.
The problem is that nice guys have a tendency to let other people walk over them.
They shy away from conflict out of a fear of upsetting people.
But this makes you weak, and lowers your position in the dominance hierarchy.
Learn to stand up to people and use healthy conflict to solve problems. Learn to disagree without feeling bad about it. Learn to be tough without feeling guilty.
And if you have nice guy tendencies, read this book:
14. Confront and Defeat Your Shame
Carl Jung once said that “Shame is a soul-eating emotion.”
And he was correct.
If we look closely enough at our negative emotions, we’ll quickly recognize that the root causes are almost always rooted in shame.
Men in our culture deal with many different types of shame. I believe that Robert Augustus Masters said it best in the following quote from his book To Be A Man: A Guide To True Masculine Power:
Shame is probably our most hidden and misunderstood emotion. It’s also the one most likely to motivate men to stay away from the help they need—and need to admit they need—which can range from psychotherapy to addiction programs. Performance anxiety is driven by shame; so is the drive to overachieve; so is the pressure to man up. Shame is behind the scenes much more often than you might think.
To become better men, we must learn to identify the shame we’re experiencing. We must bring it to light, and become familiar with it.
This allows us to shine a light on the demons that haunt us. It gives us power over them, and the self-awareness required to heal and move forward.
15. Find Thought Mentors and Follow Them
Studies show that students with mentors are much more likely to advance their careers successfully.
And I can personally attest to this.
Early on in my journey to become a better man, I started listening to men I admired and wanted to emulate.
This included men like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jordan Peterson, Dwayne Johnson, Rich Cooper, and others.
I started plugging these voices into my ears and listening to their wisdom.
I wanted high-level results. And my goal was to learn as much as possible from them.
It’s amazing how much we can learn from capable thought mentors.
Who do you admire in life? Find a way to plug their advice into your ears, and listen.
16. Fix Your Dating Life
Good sex is an inseparable part of overall well-being and happiness.
Let’s face it, men. We’re sexual creatures.
And there’s no shame in that.
Sex is both a natural, animalistic, instinctual craving, and also a vital component of the expression of romantic love.
In fact, I think that Helen Fisher said it quite eloquently in her best selling book Why We Love: The Nature And Chemistry Of Romantic Love:
Freud, as well as many scholars and laymen, maintained that sexual desire is a central component of romantic love. Hardly a new idea. Those who study the Kama Sutra, the love manual of fifth century India, know that the word “love” comes from the Sanskrit, “Lubh,” meaning “to desire.” It certainly makes sense that feelings of romantic love are intertwined with sexual craving.
If we wish to become better men, we must level-up our dating game, and learn how to engage with women properly.
A healthy, strong man is also a sexually satisfied man.
17. Stop Complaining and Start Fixing
If you wish to be a better man, one of the best things you can do in life is to stop complaining.
Complaining doesn’t help to fix problems. In fact, it often only serves to perpetuate them—creating negative feedback loops that create more negative emotions, which then serve as self-fulfilling prophecies as we doom our lives to greater disaster as we complain about our current disasters.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s certainly room in your life for a conscious rant now and then.
But unfettered complaining will make you feel bad, and make everything worse.
So stop complaining, and start finding solutions.
18. Level Up Your Self-Discipline
If I want to be great I have to win the victory over myself…self-discipline. – Harry S. Truman
I love this quote.
Self-discipline is absolutely an essential key to becoming a better man, because through self-discipline we realize our potential, and act it out with greater efficiency—thereby making our lives better and creating more value in the world.
Jim Rohn once said “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.”
This is frighteningly true. What we don’t accomplish will only become regret when we grow older.
There’s nothing scarier than regret.
But every day, you can choose to become a more efficient version of yourself, and increase your self-discipline.
- Focus for an extra 15 minutes on something important
- Do one extra lap
- Do one extra set of reps
- Cut out one more junk-food snack
Little by little, we become better. It doesn’t have to be all at once. Just start building better self-discipline habits over time.
19. Write Down Your Goals
Let me share some shocking statistics with you.
People who regularly write down their goals earn 9 times as much as people who don’t.
Alright. Now for the bad news.
Fewer than 4% of people actually write down their goals.
Start setting some goals for yourself.
There are many methods for goal setting. Just pick one and get started.
You don’t have to go crazy. Write down a few goals you would like to accomplish in the coming days, weeks, or months.
From there, you can level-up and continue to improve on it.
It’s a simple, but incredibly effective method for becoming a better man.
20. Stop Wasting Time
Did you know that business owners and executives tend to waste about 22 hours per week on useless stuff?
Yep. That’s an entire day, gone.
Wasted time is no joke.
You never get it back.
One of the most fundamental ways to become a better man is to make better use of your time.
It’s super simple. Stop wasting time on bullsh*t.
Start making progress and fixing your life.
21. Lift Other People Up
Build the biggest building if you want to, stop tearing down other people’s buildings. – Gary Vaynerchuk
Contrary to popular belief, being a better man isn’t always about focusing on what YOU are doing.
It also involves focusing on others.
Sun Tzu said that “A leader leads by example, not by force.”
I often say that alpha males never put other men down. They lift other men up.
This makes you better, more likeable, and more valuable.
22. Start Being More Honest
It’s no secret that honesty can be frightening. Especially if you aren’t used to it.
But it turns out that avoiding the truth is almost always the wrong policy.
Not surprisingly, being honest leads to increased happiness and healthier, closer relationships.
Want to level up your life and become a better man overnight? Commit to being more honest with not only yourself, but also with other people.
23. Be Kind and Respectful, But Take No Sh*t
Kindness is always the answer … always— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) June 12, 2019
As a recovering ‘nice guy,’ one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is that you can still be kind without tolerating nonsense.
As men, it’s of infinite importance that we maintain strong, healthy boundaries while also enforcing them with kindness and respect.
Kindness is an ultimate strength. It shows that we’re in control of our faculties at all times.
But make no mistake. It’s not ‘kind’ to let people overstep your boundaries.
You must achieve this delicate balance, and learn to hold people accountable, while executing big-time on kindness and respect.
It’s like a lion who protects his pride, but doesn’t hesitate to gently ‘swat’ the cubs or growl at them when they overstep their boundaries.
He doesn’t hurt them. But he lets them know that he’s not to be messed with.
24. Be Tough as Nails, But Temper it With Gentleness
Surprisingly enough, I think that Elizabeth Elliot may have hit the nail on the head when it comes to the importance of men being a positive, effective blend of tough and gentle.
This is from her work The Mark of a Man: Following Christ’s Example of Masculinity:
A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself, and about the woman he loves, refusing compromise when compromise is wrong. But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman’s resentment like tenderness.
As a man, you need to learn to be tough as nails. This isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always pleasant.
But you also need to temper this with gentleness. This is a powerful combination. And too few modern men understand how to balance these things.
25. Be a Role Model Other Men Can Look Up To
When I was a kid, one of my biggest role models was John Wayne.
He was a man’s man. He was larger than life. As far as I was concerned, he pretty much always depicted masculine strength to the highest degree.
But he wasn’t a mindless brute, either. He was sophisticated and self-aware.
His characters were never perfect—but they were always working hard to be the best they could be.
This leads us to a very important question that every man should be asking himself.
What kind of a role-model are you for other men?
Are you the kind of man who inspires other men to greatness?
Are you a man of integrity? Do you lead by example, and commit yourself to excellence in everything you do?
When you’re gone, how will you be remembered?
These are important questions to ask yourself.
26. Spend Less Time on Your Phone
Want to hear something wildly sad?
The average person spends over 3 hours on their phone every day.
Far too many men in our modern day get sucked into their phones.
They are scrolling social media, playing games, checking messages, swiping on dating apps—and subsequently ignoring the real world and their real lives.
Want to level up as a man overnight?
Ditch the phone.
Turn it off for an hour or two every day.
Delete the apps that waste the most time.
Commit to spending an entire day without looking at it.
Become more self-aware, and use your senses to engage with the real world.
27. Watch Less Porn
98% of men report watching porn.
And yet, men who watch more porn report lower sexual satisfaction in their lives.
As someone who used to watch far too much porn, I can personally attest to this.
When you stop watching porn and jerking off, life gets better.
Sex gets better, and you end up having more of it.
Flirting is more fun. You gain a ton of confidence.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you want to be a better, stronger, more masculine, more sexually functional man—turn off the pornography.
Go out and meet real women.
Go to the club and flirt.
Have some great real-life sex.
Hell, go to the strip club and get a dance or two!
But take a break from the artificial eye candy.
28. Drink Less Alcohol
One look at the statistics on alcohol consumption in the United States will make you realize how destructive the ‘demon liquor’ can be.
There was a time in my life when I needed to be drunk to feel normal.
I wasn’t a full-blown alcoholic—but I flirted with it.
There was a time in my life when I was so depressed, unhappy, and dependent on substances that I needed a joint and a shot of vodka just to start the day.
Men, don’t go down this road. I found nothing but sadness, suffering, and emasculation on this path.
Nowadays, I only drink once in a while when socializing with friends. And my life has never been better.
I have more energy. I’m happier. I have better relationships. I’m less depressed. I don’t wake up with horrible hangovers 6 days a week (huge upside if you ask me).
I literally have more fun when I’m sober.
Alcohol can be fun—but it can also be a monster.
Want to become a better man? Throw out the bottle and start finding pleasure in your purpose, your projects, the gym, real women, and the #hustlelife.
29. Replace One ‘Loser’ Friend With a ‘Winner’ Friend
Jim Rohn once said that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Tony Robbins says “The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the expectation of your peer group. Choose your peers wisely.”
Do you see the pattern?
I love what Gary Vaynerchuk has to say about this as well:
Cut your loserest loser friend and go find a winner friend. Go somewhere. Go to meetup.com, go to a Facebook group, join some sh*t, DM the 800 people that you think are doing what you want (make sure they aren’t bullsh*tting)—and just make one new friend. – Gary Vaynerchuk
As a man, I grew so much when I started spending time with men who were better than me.
They pushed me to get better, they busted my balls when I wasn’t acting right, and they didn’t let me slide with lazy excuses.
They challenged me. And as a result, I literally leveled up my life in every way.
It’s real. Put it in the bank, bro.
30. Don’t Make Women the Mission Of Your Life
I see so many men make this mistake.
We all grew up in a society where we were told to be gentlemen, to put women first, that ‘happy wife, happy life,’ is the way to live.
But by the gods—throw this advice right out the window.
The problem is that women were never intended by nature to be the focus of a man’s mission.
A high-value woman is, and should be, a high-quality addition to his already amazing, fulfilling, successful life.
No human in this world can fill the emptiness inside of you.
You need to fill that hole for yourself.
You fill it with purpose, meaning, a vision for your future, goals, excellence, pride, and grit.
Women don’t even want to be the mission.
They want to join you on the mission.
So starting today, stop making women the focus of your life.
When you meet a high quality woman, treat her well—like a tasty cherry on top of the already-awesome cake of your life.
Bring her alongside you. Invite her to journey with you. Don’t make her the destination.
31. Become Aware of Your Own Mortality
As men, we must become intimately aware of our own mortality.
I believe that Marcus Aurelius may have said it best in The Emperor’s Handbook:
Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.
So many men live like they are going to live forever.
But the problem with this mindset is that it undermines the pressing need to understand that your days are numbered—and that you only have a certain amount of time to contribute to the world and leave a lasting legacy.
One of the greatest truths that you need to understand about life as a man is that the point of our existence is the journey.
In fact, Thomas Bernhard clarifies this incredibly well in his book Concrete:
Whatever condition we are in, we must always do what we want to do, and if we want to go on a journey, then we must do so and not worry about our condition, even if it’s the worst possible condition, because, if it is, we’re finished anyway, whether we go on the journey or not, and it’s better to die having made the journey we’ve been longing for than to be stifled by our longing.
In other words—if we wait for life to become perfect before we make our move, we’ll probably die before it happens.
So the key, men, is to act now to leave our mark upon the world.
Our lives will only last so long—and understanding this provides us with a unique perspective.
We know we’re not getting out alive. So at the end of the day, there’s truly nothing to fear.
Take Action: The Top 3 Things You Should Prioritize Today
With all of this being said, how do you get started?
What is the most important thing to focus on first?
Here’s where to start.
1. Start Working Harder
Get a great job. Show up on time. Be the hardest working man in the room. Start getting some money coming in.
Get your own place. Start standing on your own two feet.
Pay your own bills. Stop depending on other people to support you.
2. Find Your Purpose
Figure out what you want to do with your life.
Set at least one long-term goal for yourself, and take it seriously.
Create a roadmap for your life, and start following it.
3. Cut Out Harmful Behaviors, Starting NOW
What behaviors are causing you the most pain and suffering?
Maybe it’s drinking. Maybe it’s drug use. Maybe your budget is out of control. Maybe you’re addicted to sex or pornography.
Maybe you’ve got a mean streak in you, and you treat other people badly.
Maybe you’ve got anger issues, and you take them out on everyone else.
Figure out your worst problems, and get help for them.
We Must Learn to Conquer Our Darkest Demons First
Pick a fight with the meanest mofo inside of you, and stick with it until you win.
Start knocking your problems out one at a time.
It isn’t easy. You may need therapy, 12 steps, some self-help—hell, you may even need religion.
God knows that I wouldn’t have survived if I wouldn’t have gotten help when I needed it.
All of that is fine. Do whatever it takes to rise above the behaviors that are destroying you, and start replacing them with healthy, positive habits.
And finally, one last note: Don’t be afraid to seek help and talk about your problems.
Find trusted men, counselors, therapists, etc. who will listen and help you.
There’s no shame in that.
Over to You
Hopefully this post has helped you to reflect on how you can become a better man.
That’s it. All that’s left now is to get to work.
Never stop learning, and never stop growing.
You’ve got this.
Go forward in victory, men. Never give up, never surrender.
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Go with grace, my friends. And never give up your power.