"You see, the majority of Men today in their 20s and 30s are lost …"

This is a repost from our friends over at Ruckus Apparel. The original post can be found on RuckusApparel.com.

Around a year ago, an article hit my desk from Business Insider titled, “The list of manliness.” It's a collection of 50 things they value to be good, manly traits. Noticing there were some serious discrepancies between their list and my own, I — alongside my business partner Rustin Coburn — chopped and screwed and added to their article and put together our own list of manliness.

Looking back at the previous list we created — with another year’s worth of experience under my belt — I feel it already needed a serious makeover.

You see, the majority of Men today in their 20s and 30s are lost. There is a distinct cognitive dissonance (i.e. the tension in your brain) about the boy you are and the man you want to become. Most 18-34 year old guys feel like lost little boys who are trapped inside of a Man's body — completely confused, unprepared, and typically refusing to think about things like: family, career and moral / fiscal / and civic responsibilities.

Spending their time drown out — somewhere between trying to get pictures from girls on Snapchat and lying to themselves (about themselves) on Tinder — the men of today float around from rental to rental, spending more money on festival tickets than they do a girlfriend's Christmas present. This is the man of today. And the saddest part: Its' almost completely acceptable.

Harsh? Maybe.

True? Absolutely.

Granted, no matter what I say there will always be those people who look at these articles as sexist … some see it as flattering, some as nonsense and some as inspiring. The American Culture is, I believe, robbed of its manliness. “Masculinity” has become a dirty word — and sadly — we live in a culture where your age determines if you are a man — not your actions.

So where do we turn?

The movies tell us that the Men women desire the most are sparkling, glittery vampires … or abusive sex-addict billionaires.

The magazines tell us Men have no body hair and are all chiseled Greek Gods.

Tumblr tells us that real Men have beards, and if you shave, well then — you are just a pussy.

But the real world, the world in which we actually live and breath and exist — it tells us Men are simply … Missing.

My great friend JR Galardi says you become a man once your own father passes away. And I actually think it's a truer statement than most, only because in comparison, that requires some action … some stepping up to the plate.

So below is my attempt to help give some tips, tricks, and advice from what the last 29 years of life has taught me.

Of what a real Man is:

  • A man pulls the chair out for his woman on dates, whether it’s their first date or their 100th.
  • A man does not bitch about his feelings on Facebook. Some of the happiest and most fulfilled men I know are the least active on social media.
  • Men don’t drink beer out of a pansy cup. Drinking it straight from the bottle wont kill you.
  • Wake up before 7am.
  • Take responsibility for yourself and others. I have never met a happy Man who wasn't responsible for what he had.

  • Give up the comparison game. You will never live your story if you are too busy trying to live someone else's.
  • Men do not fight their kids’ battles for them. A man lets his kids scrape their knees and lets them get stitches.

  • Men do not email their kids' teachers when they fail a test; they ground their children and teach the importance of studying harder.
  • A Man has seen the movies Braveheart and Tombstone … and quotes both often.
  • A Man understands that life is not fair, and understands winners and losers are necessary in the game of life.
  • A Man throws away all PARTICIPATION awards and ribbons. There is no prize for just showing up.
  • A Man understands that you will never get a job based off your resume alone, you must forget about what your pedigree says. At the end of the day, its just words on paper — what matters is how to present and sell themselves well in real life.
  • A Man takes care of the people who take care of him. Treat everyone with the utmost respect from taxi drivers to parking attendants to the bartender.
  • If you can’t afford to tip: Stay home.
  • Own Pets you aren't ashamed of.

  • Never, ever date an ex of your friend. And if you have a friend that dates your ex — he was never really your friend.
  • You’ve had enough drinks in your life that when the bartender asks, you should already know what you want.
  • When in doubt, a Man always kisses the girl.

  • A Man takes time to appreciate nice things and is responsible enough to not to lose them.
  • A Man takes at least one cold shower a week. It teaches you self-discipline and helps remind yourself that are not a pussy.
  • Enjoy a good Sunday brunch with friends at least once a month.
  • Men do not get cheap haircuts. Spend the extra money and get a proper shave at least 3 times a year. And go to a real barbershop where they bust your balls. Bring your kids there as well. Allow your kids to get their balls busted too.

  • Learn how to gut a fish. With a knife.
  • It's honorable to aspire to become successful and wealthy, but at the same time, a Man always understands that he is still better off than most who have ever lived and is generous with all he has.
  • Becoming “rich” is a moving target that you can never achieve. Do not base your decisions around financial gain, but instead around the quality of your life and the relationships involved.
  • All the money in the world doesn’t compare to having a beautiful girl on your arm. Focus more on her — and less on the money.

  • Never split a check with a woman. Not because she can’t pay on her own, but because she is valuable, and you want to take care of her.
  • When a bartender buys you a round, always tip double.
  • A Man understands that piercings are major liabilities in fights. So are untied shoes and drop-crotch pants.
  • Buy a tuxedo before you are thirty. Stay that size.
  • Throw parties. Then actually be a host. A party is never about you, its about building bridges and community within the safety of your walls.

  • Measure yourself only against your previous self. The mirror is what should always provide you with your biggest competition.
  • Take more pictures. With a real camera. Save Them. Never take selfies.
  • When you have kids — make sure they know how to protect themselves. A good 1-2 combo goes a long way as a kid.
  • When you truly admire the work of artists, writers, and musicians — tell them. And then spend money to acquire their work.
  • Staying angry is a waste of energy.
  • “Please forgive me” is how a Man apologizes. Not, “I’m sorry”.
  • Always bring a bottle of something to the party, preferably whiskey.

  • Avoid that “last” whiskey. You’ve probably had enough.
  • Date women outside your social set. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  • If you believe in evolution, you should know something about how it works. Actually, if you believe in anything, you should know how it works.
  • Never take an ex back. She tried to do better and is now settling with you.
  • Being alone, driving alone or even going to the movies alone are some of the most needed and relaxing times. Learn to enjoy yourself when alone.
  • Never ever stop going on dates with your wife.
  • Ignore the boos when they come from someone in a lower tax bracket. Pay attention to them when coming from someone in a higher tax bracket.
  • Don’t gamble if losing $100 is going to piss you off.
  • Never Ever Play the Victim.
  • Learn the rules of chess. Play it frequently.
  • Do something once a day that scares you. No one was ever remembered for being comfortable.

  • Honesty really is the best policy.
  • When choosing what cologne to buy — always let the girl pick, and stick with it.
  • Have a group of men in your life that you can really trust to call you out on your bullshit.
  • Go to Church.
  • Make your own decisions, and then have the courage to own up to them if they don’t pan out.
  • Be a broken record when communicating what is important to you. In business — Life, Relationships, Children, etc.
  • Break a sweat at least 5 times a week.
  • What you say really does matter. Choose words wisely, especially when talking to a female or child.
  • Always have a consistent older Mentor in your life that you can go to for advise.
  • Surround yourself with friends that are smarter than you are.
  • As the Man Tyler Durden says, “You are not your fucking khakis.” Where you work, and what you wear, have nothing to do with “who you are.”
  • Know how to tie a good knot.
  • Know how to swim.
  • Know how to drive a stick-shift.
  • Travel. Not for the Instagram picture, but so you can learn and expand your knowledge of culture and experience life from someone else’s perspective.
  • Know how to wear jewelry properly.

  • Whenever you can, support small business: from auto repair shops, to tailors, to grocery stores.
  • Drinking tap water will not kill you.
  • A man is comfortable with the uncomfortable. Rise up and step out of the comfort zone.
  • Do something nice for a stranger at least once a week.
  • Learn the names of your immediate neighbors. Get together with them at least once a summer.
  • Own a good leather jacket, maybe even two.

  • Learn how to tell a good story. Your children and your grandchildren will appreciate it.
  • Holidays are more about giving than receiving. Look to serve your community on large holidays when the need is at its highest.
  • Always make sure your daughter knows how beautiful she is.

  • Travel as far as you can, for as long as you can, as often as you can. Not to learn more about the world, but to learn more about yourself.
  • Know how to ride a motorcycle.
  • Read at least a book a month. Avoid the self-help section.
  • Learn to act like the most confident man in the room while understanding you are no better than anyone else.
  • Be Humble.
  • Always treat the woman you are with like she is the most beautiful girl in the room.
  • Under Promise – Over Deliver.
  • Don’t be afraid of confrontation, it’s is the only way we grow.
  • A Man knows how to cook breakfast.
  • A Man knows how to rebuild things. If he doesn’t, he has the resilience to learn.
  • A Man becomes brave not by thinking and studying bravery, but by acting it out daily.

  • A Man admittedly doesn’t know everything and understands the world is not black and white. If you have someone in your life that is a know-it-all, be very cautious when taking his or her advice.
  • A Man never stops going on adventures and also teaches his kids to appreciate the wonder and excitement of a good Adventure.

  • A Man never makes a decision based on fear.
  • A Man understands there really are no maps in life, and if someone hands you one — it is not yours.
  • A Man can argue without raising his voice. He can take a stand without raising a fist. (A Man also knows when it becomes time to raise a fist; he often throws the first punch.)
  • A Man interrupts trouble. He stands up for what is right even when it does not concern him directly.
  • Style — a man has that. He does not try to fit trends or stay young. He is established in his own right and has nothing to prove.

  • A Man understands that life happens fast … and that waiting for tomorrow is the worst thing one can do.

Questions / Comments / Hates / Etc – holler@ruckusapparel.com