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How To Be A Better Man: 40 Ways To Take Charge Of Your Life

No man is perfect. Turn your weakness into greatness by learning how to be a better man.

It’s a blessing to be a man. Nature gifted us with a strong body, an adventurous spirit, and an abstract mind. She made us builders, protectors, and providers.

But with such great power comes great responsibility. Being born with an X and a Y chromosome doesn’t automatically make you a man, let alone a quality man. Being a man is a privilege that must be earned.

Unfortunately, the world is full of males stuck in childhood no matter what age they might be. And although there is no shortage of wonderful men, the humbling truth is that we can all use some polish.

You and I can always benefit from learning ways to improve our manhood, so here is a collection of the best tips on how to be a better man.

How To Be A Better Man: The Necessary Improvements

I have never met a “perfect man.” Sure, there are men who I admire and aspire to be, but not a single one would consider himself perfect.

Even though there is no such thing as the perfect man, pursuing self-improvement as a core discipline can give you a more impactful and fulfilling life.

Becoming a better man than you currently are will require some work. More specifically, it will require you to make some much-needed changes to your mindset, lifestyle, environment, interactions with other people, and love life.

The ultimate goal is to become an architect of your life, a man of purpose and with personal agency.

Improve Your Mind

Man holding electrified brain

All personal change begins with the mind – the most important determinant of your success, happiness, and fulfillment.

You can’t effectively learn how to be a better man without cultivating a mind that’s conducive to learning and growth. Considering that your thoughts dictate how you feel, behave and act, all self-improvement begins with the mind.

Put another way, your mind (your inner world) is the most important determinant of your life experiences, particularly your health, happiness, success, and fulfillment. It should be your number one priority.

1. Stay True Your Values

Values are the principles you hold as true and unchanging. They are of great importance because they inform your thoughts, words, and actions; set the stage for our growth and development, and help create the future you desire.

Every decision you have made has been a reflection of your values and beliefs, so it is crucial for every man to have a core set of values.

Define your core values, and resolve to stick to them, especially when they are being tested.

2. Become Goal-Oriented

Achieving success, happiness, and fulfillment requires thinking ahead and planning for the future. Determine the things you want to achieve and set the appropriate goals.

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Having goals will help you to see where you’re heading, what changes need to be made, and if you are making progress. Once they are set, preferably in writing, commit to achieving them.

Your goals should become a part of your everyday life, and should always be in your mind.

3. Become Realistically Positive

Optimism isn’t just a good thing, if not a necessary thing. It gives us the motivation and confidence we need to go after the things we want.

But don’t confuse optimism with delusion. Unrealistic optimists are people who believe good things will just happen with little to no effort, while realistic optimists are those who believe they have the power and agency to make good things happen, even in difficult situations.

Don’t let your negative thoughts run amok — challenge them! Instead of assuming that things won’t turn out well and calling it quits, acknowledge the challenges and shift your mind towards finding ways to prevent failure from happening. Keep moving, and don’t stop.

4. Stand Steady Under Pressure

Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but you have control over how it is handled.

When presented with an infuriating or anxiety-inducing situation, respond, don’t react. A reaction is typically rash, compulsive, tense, and aggressive, while a response is thought out, calm and non-threatening.

Don’t take this to mean it’s bad to have emotions. On the contrary, it just means acknowledging those emotions and controlling them so that they don’t control you.

5. Take Responsibility For Your Actions

Unlike children, men clean up after themselves in both the literal and figurative sense. As a man, you must acknowledge the role you play in your own life and the lives of others.

When things go wrong because of your actions, accept your responsibility, do whatever you can to correct any mistakes, and move on.

Conversely, when things turn out well because of your actions, graciously accept your share of the credit.

Don’t blame others fr your life circumstances for your lack of success. It’s only when you own what’s happening in your life that you can finally start shaping your future.

6. Sharpen Your Mind

Become a man of learning. Always be in pursuit of knowledge to keep your brain prime and ward off mental deterioration.

Reading as a hobby is an excellent way to stimulate your mind, but you can also keep your mental faculties sharpened by solving puzzles, trying new things, and taking on new challenges.

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Check out these 134 Best Hobbies For Men for some fun and interesting brain-enhancing activities.

7. Become Mentally Tough

Having mental toughness means being able to endure any challenge with poise and composure. It is a measure of your resilience and confidence to succeed at anything you do.

To build mental toughness, you must make sure your thoughts and self-talk are positive and avoid the habits that lead to negativity and unhealthy behaviors. Meditation, visualization, affirmations, and physical exercise are amazing ways to strengthen this character trait.

Strive to become a man who is relentless and unstoppable in the pursuit of his goals and ideals.

8. Become a Free Thinker

Like the great Mark Twain once said, “If you find yourself on the side of the majority it’s time to stop and reflect.” Shed yourself of the herd mentality; always think for yourself.

Blindly following the masses will cause you to be mediocre. Put another way, if you do what the majority of people do, you will get what the majority gets.

Instead of letting the mainstream media, your family, friends, or your co-workers dictate what you should think, do your own research and form your own opinions based on your findings.

9. Become Open-Minded

You have to be willing to consider new ideas without prejudice and must understand that the opinions of others are, well, just opinions and are nothing to get riled up over.

Opening your mind to the possibilities of new knowledge, opportunities, adventure, and even relationships, regardless of who or where they come from, could bring greater fulfillment and happiness to your life.

Having an open mind is necessary to become the best man you can possibly be, as well as a leader among men.

10. Try New Things

The key to living an interesting, fun and enriching life is to, well, do interesting and new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be a catalyst for growth and a powerful source of motivation.

Be open to new experiences. Challenge yourself to do something new like running a marathon, learn a new skill, or travel someplace you’ve never seen before, even if that place is in your own city.

11. Stay Informed

You need to understand the world you live in if you want to function in it as best as possible, and that means being up to date on current developments.

But don’t fill your mind with just any information. Focus instead on the things, people, and events that really matter.

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Yes, that might mean sacrificing some of your sports and gaming sessions to learn about such things as the economic effect of the US-China trade war or the latest pandemic.

12. Rest Your Mind

While it’s important to relentlessly chase your goals and keep your mind sharp, you could easily burn out if you don’t give yourself a chance to relax.

Chilling with friends can be a major source of relaxation, but spending some time alone is just as important, doubly so if you’re an introvert.

When spending time alone, cleanse yourself of all electronic devices. Turn off your phone, and get off the computer. My favorite way to spend time in solitude is to go for a long walk on a trail. What about you?

Improve Your Body

Man doing exercise with dumbbells

No one takes a weak man seriously. Becoming strong, flexible, and fit will garner more respect.

I cannot stress enough the importance of having good health. Together with an unbridled mind, a healthy body determines your day-to-day well-being, how well you are able to live an active and fuller life, how well you will age, and how well both women and men find you attractive.

Improving your body also entails being well-groomed so that you present yourself well to the world.

1. Get Stronger, Exercise

Remember, your body is the vehicle that will take you through this life journey. To make your life as enjoyable as possible, it needs to be strong, flexible and vigorous.

Taking care of your body doesn’t mean looking like a model, but doing some basic exercise can go a long way. Going for walks, doing some yoga, and even running once or twice a week can do wonders for your vitality.

Lifting weights as part of a gym routine would be even better. But if you don’t have the time or energy for that, working out with your own bodyweight in the comfort of your home can be just as effective.

See: 20 Best At Home Workouts For Men To Build Muscle And Burn Fat.

2. Eat Healthy

Exercise is important for your health, but the food you eat is even more important.

Eating healthy is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing your risk of diseases and other health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

If you want to live a long and healthy life, keep up with your children for as long as possible, and be a positive role model for new generations of men, clean up your diet. Ditch the processed food for more wholesome food.

3. Learn To Fight

The most respected men know how to fight, and you should learn how to do so as well.

Learn to fight not because you love to fight; learn to fight so that you are ready to protect yourself should physical escalation occur.

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Learning any form of combat, be it boxing or martial arts, will grant you a newfound level of respect, both from yourself and from others. It makes you smarter, healthier, and more disciplined, and the confidence it instills spills over to other areas of your life.

4. See Your Doctor, Get Check-Up

One of the reasons why men die earlier than women is because they avoid doctors. Their “machismo” makes them far more likely to skip routine medical check-ups and less likely to seek help when they need it.

Rember, your physical and mental health should be your number one priority and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Swallow your pride, and see your doctor on the regular. If not for yourself, then for your loved ones.

5. Become Well-Groomed

Like it or not, the way you look plays a major role in people’s first impression of you. Not only that, but the way you present yourself to the world also says a lot about the way you see yourself.

Fortunately for you, the average man’s grooming protocol is nowhere as complex as a woman’s beauty rituals and routines. All you really need to do is maintain some basic hygiene.

Bathe regularly, brush your teeth, keep your facial and body hair well-kempt, trim your finger and toe nails, and don’t overdo the cologne.

Lost most of your hair? Consider shaving it all off instead of trying to rock a funny combover. If your balding but still have most of your hair, grab a bottle of Too Manly FULLER to get fuller, thicker hair instantly.

6. Become Well-Dressed

If you’ve been wearing the same belt for five years, and the leather is falling apart, it’s time to get a new one. Ditto for all your other apparels.

Men don’t buy a lot of clothes and tend to hold onto the ones they already have longer than women. While that’s a good thing from a financial management perspective, many guys unfortunately hold onto them for way too long.

It’s time to get rid of any possession that’s ruined in some way or you no longer wear. Make sure the ones you do decide to keep are clean, orderly, and properly fit your body and the occasion.

For more tips on dressing well, see the 15 Men’s Fashion, Style And Dress Tips For The Clueless Guy.

Improve Your Surroundings

Man Meditating - controlling environment

Reduce distractions and negative energy so that your mind can focus on the things that really matter.

If you want to change your life, change your environment.

Our friends, colleagues, location, habits, and lifestyle are all environmental cues that trigger certain thoughts and desires, causing us to behave in certain ways. They have a huge impact on our health, happiness, relationships, and productivity.

Not becoming a slave to our surroundings is an often overlooked part of learning how to be a better man. You can’t make a significant, lasting change without altering your environment in some way, so become intentional about your surroundings.

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1. Clean Your Living And Working Spaces

Clutter as “stagnant energy” that weighs you down, making it harder to move forward with our goals. You need to declutter your living and working spaces, both for your health and your productivity.

Eliminating clutter improves your hygiene, gives you more space to roam, forces you to decide what is really important to you, and frees you from unnecessary material possessions.

You don’t need to maintain absolute pristine conditions, but remove anything you don’t need, organize the things you need, and keep everything clean.

2. Clean Up Your Social Circle

As motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “you are the average of the five people you spend time with.”

It’s a fact of life that some people hold us back, while others push us forward. You can’t expect to have a positive life if you hang out with negative people, and more importantly, you are likely to live far below your potential if you don’t surround yourself with people who hold you to a high standard.

You must actively construct your social environment, consciously choosing what opinions, attitudes and life-philosophies to allow in your life. This requires having a vision of who you want to be and a core set of values and principles.

3. Connect With Nature

Studies show that spending time in nature has many mental health benefits, including decreasing anxiety and depression.

In a lot of ways, nature restores and invigorates your energy, helping you to regain focus.

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything that is happening around you, make an effort connect with nature and rejuvenate in its serene surroundings. Doing so can only do you good.

Improve Your Interactions

Man and woman arguing

Watch what you say or do. Effective communication, whether in the workplace or at home, is paramount to successful relationships.

It’s hard to put a finger on what makes someone charismatic, but good communications skills and projected confidence are often good characteristics of someone who’s widely admired and respected.

The good news is that these characteristics and many other ones can be developed by just about anyone. You must make a strong effort to improve your interactions with other people if you are to become a better man.

1. Think Before You Act

Men are notorious for making embarrassingly wrong or inappropriate remarks that get them into trouble. Don’t be one of those men.

While living in the flow of life and not being afraid to take action are important, recognize that some impulses are not always good. Make a conscious effort to think before you say or do something

A quick evaluation is usually all that is needed to determine whether or not it’s safe to proceed.

2. Become Assertive

As a man on a mission, you need to be direct about what you need, want, feel or believe, but in a way that isn’t overly aggressive.

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Being passive or timid will get you nowhere in life. Confront life head-on, claim what is yours, and don’t apologize for doing so.

Your assertiveness will reduce conflict, boost self-confidence, and improve your relationships. It is essential to be an effective leader.

3. Give And Receive

When dealing with someone, seek the best course of action for everyone involved. Make some self-sacrifice whenever possible, but only if it doesn’t undermine your self-respect.

When you show a willingness to put others before yourself, you present yourself as someone worthy of trust.

Conversely, be open to receiving. Thinking you can do everything on your own is not a sign of strength — it’s often a source of unnecessary hardship. Don’t make your life harder than it already is.

4. Become Sincere

Behave sincerely by treating other people with the same sort of genuine attitude you wish they would treat you.

Refrain from saying or doing things you don’t mean, even when trying not to hurt someone’s feelings or defuse a bad situation.

Coming across as insincere will cause people to lose trust and confidence in you, which could greatly undermine the success of your personal or professional relationships.

5. Become An Active-Listener

To actively listen means to listen attentively while someone else speaks, reflecting on what is being said, and withholding judgment.

Understandably, being an active listener has a major impact on the effectiveness of your work and on the quality of your relationships. It helps you avoid conflict and misunderstandings, as well as improve your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate.

Become a man who listens more than he talks.

6. Become More Patient

If your impatience causes you to make rash decisions or react angrily toward others, you need to fix that about yourself.

Patience allows us to suspend judgment long enough to make informed decisions, paving the way to a happier, more peaceful life.

When dealing with another person, try to give him or her your full attention, and try to see beyond your own frustrations by imagining yourself in their position.

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7. Be Present

Being present is important in every area of your life, but it can be particularly important when it comes to your relationships.

Realize that you can’t do anything about the past and can never be totally in control of your future. “Now” is the only time that matters.

Cherish both big and little moments with the people you cherish and take time to pause and smell the roses.

Improve Your Wealth

man holding coin currency to eyes

Every man should strive to become financially independent.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can be a great source of freedom.

Wealth is not about having so much money that you don’t know what to do with it. Rather, it’s actually about not having money be the dominating force when making decisions about your personal or professional life.

As far as your health and overall happiness are concerned, financial freedom is far more important than wealth, and that’s why it’s an integral part of learning how to be a better man. Every man should strive to become financially independent.

1. Become Financially Responsible

Debt can be a major burden, and having too much of it will severely restrict your life decisions.

Having too much debt makes it difficult to afford the things you want, and prevents you from moving ahead in life. Instead of being that guy who spends money he doesn’t have, be that guy who saves some of the money he does have.

Putting a little of your paycheck aside in your bank account or investing it wisely can give you greater financial freedom and security during both the good and hard times.

2. Become A Hustler

The word “hustler” often conjures up images of bad people doing bad things (drug dealers, street vendors selling illegal goods, etc.), but that’s not the full picture.

Hustling is making something from little to nothing with a go-getter attitude. Depending on your motivation and how you go about things, it isn’t always a bad thing.

All hard-working people are by definition hustlers, be it a doctor or the volunteer worker at the animal shelter.

Become the right kind of hustler. Find ways to build more wealth legally by becoming a man who doesn’t wait for success to come to him.

3. Become An Entrepreneur

Starting a business — any business — can be a great way to generate money and even achieve financial freedom.

Not having to work a 9-to-5 or being at the mercy of the company you work for can allow you to control your own professional destiny, give you more freedom to spend your time doing what’s most important to you, and open doors to unlimited earning possibilities.

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Entrepreneurship can also give you the chance to leave a lasting legacy, seeing as a successful business can be passed on to your kids and their kids.

We now live in a time when no job is certain, so put your financial future in your own hand. Start small, but think big. Any side hustle can transform into a serious business, so start one.

4. Become Resourceful

Resourcefulness is the ability to find quick and clever solutions to overcome obstacles and problems that get in the way of achieving a goal or task. It is one of the most valuable skills a man can have.

Oftentimes we blame our lack of success on not having enough resources. However, the truth is that it’s almost always because we’re not resourceful enough.

Resourcefulness leads to success and personal growth within all domains, be it your relationships, business, or academic pursuits. YOU NEED IT.

5. Become A Deal-Maker

Being a deal maker ties into being resourceful and financially responsible. Even if you are not an entrepreneur, you need to develop the mindset of a deal-maker.

See your life as a business. Always be advertising and selling yourself in the best way possible.

Improve Your Love Life

How To Be A Better Man - Loving women

As a man, you should strive to be irresistible to women. Put yourself in the position to be able to choose.

Here at Too Manly, we don’t subscribe to the notion that you need a woman or a “special someone” to be happy. You don’t!

However, part of becoming a better man is always being ready to attract and retain women should you ever decide to want or need one in your life.

The goal is to become a man who has choice with women.

1. Embrace Your Sexuality

You become a better man when you learn how to be comfortable around women and embrace your sexuality.

I say this because we now live in a world where good masculine men are made to feel bad for being attracted to women. They are blamed for everything that’s wrong with the world today.

Consider that nonsense! Never, ever relinquish your masculinity.

If you come across someone you find attractive, don’t be afraid to walk over and start a conversation. It’s OK to be a man who loves women. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

2. Become A Good Lover

You don’t need me to tell you that sex is more satisfying when both you and your partner are thoroughly enjoying it. And you don’t necessarily have to turn to tantric sex or read the Kama Sutra to rock her world in bed.

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Learn about sex and know your way around the female body. Making time for sex, mastering the basics, slowing down, and being unselfish are just some ways you can become a better lover.

Put in the work, and most women will reward your efforts.

3. Meet more women

There are a lot of shy or introverted guys out there. If you consider yourself to be one of them, engage more women.

The key is seeing and treating them like regular human beings. If you want a girlfriend or wife, stop dreaming about having one and start taking action. It’s what you do in the present moment that will determine your success.

Talk to them, and learn how to hold a conversation. Cast a wide net to increase your chances, and don’t be afraid to go for women out of your league. You might be positively surprised.

See: 100 Engaging Questions To Ask A Girl You Like

4. Become Irresistible

Every guy can be attractive, but not every guy is attractive. Does that make sense?

If you don’t feel like Casanova, it’s not because there is something inherently wrong with you. It just means you haven’t become the most attractive version of yourself.

Becoming a man who women find irresistible requires raising your value in every way possible. Take care of yourself, build confidence, have goals and a life purpose, become goot at sex, learn to communicate, control your emotions, and most importantly, respect yourself.

Do these sound familiar? Basically, you become a more irresistible man when you become a better man.

Improve Your Family Life

Hands of black man, wife and child

As a man, it is your duty and responsibility to meet your familial obligations.

A discussion on how to be a better man is never complete without considering the role a man plays in his family.

There are many family roles you might play during your lifetime. You might be a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather, or an uncle. You might even consider your friends to be your family even though they’re not blood-related.

Regardless of your role, do everything in your power to meet the familial responsibilities required of you. You must become a better son, brother, father, and husband / boyfriend.

1. Become A Better Provider

As a man, you should be able to support your family financially. However, being a provider bentails far more than that.

You must also contribute to the emotional, spiritual, physical and mental well-being of your family members, especially your children.
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In your quest for financial freedom, recognize that money is not the only currency that you or your family needs to be healthy and happy.

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2. Become A Better Protector

Being a protector isn’t all about beating up the guy who disrespects your wife or mistreating your children. It means protecting their self-esteem and self-worth.

It also means protecting your way of life, making a serious effort to ward off any threats to the things you and your family value

Being an effective protector will require you to be a warrior, not just with your body, but also with your and your words. Become a better fighter in all those areas.

3. Become A Teacher

Most guys go through life with their relationships on autopilot, unaware of the effects of their lack of engagement. Not only must you wake up, but you need to see yourself as a teacher in your relationships.

Be cognizant of what your behaviour is teaching those around you, especially your children. Set high standards for yourself; be a role model with both words and deeds.

4. Become A Leader

Leadership is not only for the workplace or business world — it is also a necessary part of a well-functioning family.

If you want your family to be strong and healthy, you must assume the responsibility of creating a culture that inspires love, respect, trust, fidelity, and fun.

Work in partnership with your partner; act like a servant, but not at the expense of your self-respect; live for everyone, not just for yourself; have an open heart and mind; do the right thing; have the courage to make tough choices; and never stop learning and growing.

Understand that if you don’t take responsibility for leading your family, someone else will. Stand tall from the front, and lead by example.

Never Stop Learning How To Be A Better Man

There are many facets to becoming a man. Some require more work than others, but all of them will help you achieve what I and many other gentlemen have learned the hard way through the years, and continue to learn.

Remember, there is no such thing as a “perfect man,” and being a real, high-quality and authentic man is a privilege, not a right. It is a state of being that must be continually honed over the course of your life.

It’s truly a challenge of a lifetime, one most adult males never even come close to accomplishing. Don’t be one of them!

We all have so much to grow. Any man eager to become the master of his world must never stop learning how to be a better man.

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Written By

Kwame Owusu is a personal development coach and the founder of Too Manly. He holds an MBA from a top business school and is committed to helping men all around the world look, feel and live the prime of their life.

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