I keep hearing people proclaim the death of the gentleman. Everywhere I turn, I see overgrown boys speak to women in abominable ways. I see them playing manipulative games and emotionally punishing women like a pack of high school children.
I've seen these overgrown boys high-five their friends after spending a night with a woman, and then recount all the things she thought she shared with him and him alone.
I call them "overgrown boys" because they are not men; being a man is more than just mimicking the external features of manhood. Being a man means embodying the behaviors of one, of gracefully owning the calculating logic and flowing emotion that lives within us all.
In short, being a man is living in harmony with what you think and how you feel.
I will not delve into the superficial characteristics of a gentleman (such as holding doors and paying for dates), as the subject has been discussed at length. My interest is in the mindset of a modern gentleman: the class of Clooney; the fun-loving, go-getter attitude of a Branson; the seductive energy of Depp.
The Modern Gentleman is driven.
This is the single greatest flaw I see with men of my generation. When did it become cool to be in your mid-20s and have no vision?
Sure, you post motivational quotes on Facebook, along with pictures of what you consider to be the good life, but why are you spending your Friday and Saturday nights piss drunk or hungover?
What’s with the 4 am McDonalds runs? How productive are you after a night out?
Listen, it’s fine to let loose sometimes, but if this is your weekly routine, you need to reevaluate where you’re going. A man of passion is a man who will constantly strive to better the lives of the people he loves. Turn off "Game of Thrones" and get cracking.
The Modern Gentleman is composed.
I can’t believe the lack of maturity I’m seeing these days. From bragging about your sexual conquests to getting into arguments, to verbally lowering people around you to emotional outbursts at the wrong times. What the hell, man?
A gentleman is absolutely discreet, always composed and always in control. He does not let his emotions get the best of him.
Remember, it's all about balance. Everyone has good days; everyone has bad days. What distinguishes you is your character on such days. When challenged, our lowest nature will drag us into the chaos with clenched fists, but ultimately, you lose.
You lose every time you react to someone who taunts you. You lose every time you brag to your friends for validation. You lose every time you argue with people you care about.
How can your woman ever trust you again after that? If you snap at every little thing, how are you supposed to protect her and the people you love from the worst the world throws at you?
The Modern Gentleman is humble.
You start with nothing, but gradually (if you put in the work), you grow confident and might even develop a certain level of cockiness. But, eventually, those who become truly confident come full circle. In other words, they come back to nothing but a positive and peaceful nothing.
They see they are not better or worse than anyone else; they just worked very hard. They don’t feel the world owes them anything, and they don’t feel the need to put others down to show how great they are; they’re just comfortable.
These are the people who don’t need a reason to talk to you; if they see a beautiful woman, you bet they’re already walking over there with a huge smile on their faces. These are the guys who go around the bar raising a glass to everyone, partaking in everyone’s joy and basking in the energy of the room.
These are the modern gentlemen.
The Modern Gentleman has impeccable speech.
This is a slight detail most people don’t notice, but it's a game-changer. I’ve seen men dress to the nines in expensive clothes, and yet, swear like sailors. I don’t have that big a problem with swearing per se, but manners are important.
On a deeper level, your self-speech is hugely important. If your goal is to be successful, why joke about being poor? If you aim for confidence, why do you make comments like, "I’m such an idiot"?
This may seem like a minor detail, but if, upon a screw up, your first instinct is to beat yourself up verbally, the thought is lodged in your subconscious.
So, let me ask you this: In your relationship with yourself, if love isn’t there, who is providing it? You are the owner of your self-worth. You are the captain of your confidence; no one else can give this to you.
In addition, how you speak to yourself determines how you speak to others. If you haven't learned to love yourself, how can you love others? You can only serve mankind with love, and that love starts with you.
The Modern Gentleman lives for something greater than himself.
The successful people I’ve met all have one thing in common: They're focused on providing value to the world, not on making money. I’ve heard this said over and over, but I guess I had to meet them to believe it.
A modern gentleman lives for something greater than himself. Shift your focus; you aren’t on earth to hoard and accumulate. Being a modern gentleman, your mission starts the second you leave your house.
Have you ever stopped to speak to a homeless person and ask about his story? I don’t mean throw a quarter without even making eye contact; I mean genuinely treating him like a person.
Have you sat down and had lunch with that awkward, quiet guy at your office whom everyone usually avoids? Have you flirted with the 60-year-old woman and reminded her of her beauty?
You don’t have to cure cancer to make a difference in the world; it’s as simple as reminding people of their own importance. Being charming is as simple as making everyone feel important in your presence.
Gentlemen, put away the games and childish things; strive for something more. Run that marathon; climb that mountain; build something, and be great. You won’t be remembered for sitting on your couch watching "Friends."