In this ongoing series that you won’t find anywhere else, successful men have been sharing their advice to men of all ages, and especially men in their twenties. We recently heard from an airplane pilot who started from nothing and visualized his success.
We also heard from an airborne infantry solder and war veteran who shared 47 tips for men in their 20s.
Today we hear (indirectly) from a World War II veteran. As with the other two posts, I do not necessarily agree with or endorse everything said. I am publishing his email unedited, because it’s up to you to listen to a large number of men and decide for yourself what works for you.
Most of the stuff I have learned in my life, I can attribute to my father.
He taught me honesty, integrity, determination, the ability to question and a myriad of other things.
Mostly, he taught me that I should educate myself. Always. Every day. Without fail. The phrase…”you learn something new everyday” really is true. Be it about yourself or about the world in general. My father was a World War II vet and I think the things he experienced during the war shaped him and many of the men of his generation. I say men, because that is what he was, a man. Unapologetically.
That is what young men from this generation need to learn. It’s okay to be a man.
No need to be ashamed of it or apologize for it. After the war, my dad worked for the railroad then got his teaching degree and became a mathematician and teacher. Why am I writing all of this?
It’s context. It helps to get a little background information on me and who I am and why I am going to write all of these things.
I could write a bunch of sunshine unicorn bullshit and tell young men what they need to do but would it be honest? Hardly.
So that is a little bit about me. I am who I am because of what was imparted to me by my own father.
So these are some of his lessons he taught me and some of the things that I have learned along the way.
That is what I think young men need today. Older men to look up too. Preferably their own fathers.
My Experience (For Young Men): Just a few points…
1. Education – Always educate yourself. Most importantly, do it every day. It does not have to come from an institution either. The best knowledge comes from ideas/items/skills that you seek out yourself. Read a lot, study, then read some more. Don’t just passively read books or learn new things in a flyover manner, put them into action. Some learning is skill-based which leads you to find connections to other types of learning. Learn things you WANT to learn about, not something that you THINK you should learn. Challenge yourself.
Start by reading these two books.
- You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself.
- You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and Allthe Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself.
Educate yourself about how the world works. How it TRULY works. It’s a huge rabbit hole and can take you down many paths. There is a lifetime of learning to be had there. My father used to tell me that the world is not what it seems. It is only now thru years of study and reading and truth-seeking that I have come to know what he meant.
2. Live Internally – Think! Use your brain. Learn to think critically. Thinking is a skill. Learn logic. Learn how to examine your own life. Live there every day. Too many people live externally. Mike, you have written or podcasted this notion many times. Learning how your body works, movement, learning how to dominate yourself. Things like that. Too many people wander through life and are guided by external stimuli.
3. Fitness – Get off your ass 20 something kid! You weigh 300 lbs. and play Call of Duty in your mom’s basement all day because your sociology degree didn’t pay off? MOVE! NOW! Sell the X-Box or Play Station, buy some fitness clothes and move your body. If you can’t afford a gym membership, then sell some of your shit and join a budget gym. Planet Fitness has programs that start at 20 bucks/month. If you can’t move start by walking and build from there. Just start doing something than sitting on the couch and watching your life roll by and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Find something you love to do. Basketball, skiing, soccer or whatever. Play is good!
4. Nutrition – McDonald’s, BK, KFC, Pizza Hut etc. etc. does not cut it. Get it out of your life. As well as chips, donuts, candy, soda pop and a whole host of other shit. Eat as best as you can and what money will allow if you are on your own.
5. Life – In my daily experience, since the time I was able to have some walking around money, someone or something is ALWAYS trying to sell you something. It does not have to be a good or service either. Aren’t opinions and ideas something that people have for sale? No money has to change place, just the idea. Don’t be influenced by it. Don’t succumb to it. It goes back to thinking. Learn to think for yourself. People are always trying to tell you how to live, how to eat, how to think and how to act. If it isn’t individuals, it’s the media and society in general. You have to train yourself to tune it out. Learn to say no and work on that skill of thinking for yourself.
6. Women – They are not all sluts and whores. Feminism has done some pretty nice work at making women think they are the be all end all of our society but I am starting to see some cracks in the message. Many young women I know are starting to embrace feminine attitudes and thinking about raising families and understanding their roles. I see it more every day. We have a long way to go, but ultimately I think things are starting to change a bit. A lot of young women are not buying what “feminism” is selling. And if and when a young man is ready to meet that woman, nurture it, define your roles and set the boundaries. In other words, be a man. Don’t put the woman on a pedestal but don’t treat her like a bag of shit either, that is, if you find a good one. You CAN actually find happiness with a woman. Take the time to find a good one but be mindful of who she is as a person.
On a side note. Some of the shit I see on the Manosphere is complete bullshit with regards to women. If you can’t tell a woman is a complete nut job or a slut within the first 5 minutes of meeting her than you have some work to do as a man. And are these the kind of women you want to bed down? One after another? If all you want to do is bang a bunch of women and get notches on your belt then that is your prerogative. However, I have known a number of men like that and they are now in their mid-fifties alone, pathetic and trying to relive their glory years trying to chase after 20 year old ass. And these men don’t have the “goods” to do it. Is that the kind of legacy you want to leave as a man? Hey look, I have banged my fair share of women, but after awhile, you cannot fill the empty void any longer. A good woman will fill it if you are lucky enough to find one and she will have you. It has been my experience that no man wants a slut and no self-respecting woman wants a man-whore. Just a thought.
On the topic of matrimony. Realize that marriage is not for everyone. If you want to go that route, figure out what it means to be married and what the undertaking is and what it could mean for your life in the future. Lastly, define what YOU want in ANY relationship with a woman and what you want it to be like for you and her if you want something long term. In other words get some balls.
8. Honesty & Integrity & Respect – Your word is gold. Mean what you say and say what you mean. If you don’t like something, say it. My father used to say “be aggressive but don’t be abrasive”. Don’t let people walk all over you either. There’s that old saying of “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” If that becomes a habit, it will mark you for the rest of your life. Respect yourself above all else. Respect others (as hard as it can be sometimes) and in the end you will always come out better for it. Even if it does not seem that way at the time. Compassion could also be added to this little trifecta.
9. Spirituality – I know many people are atheists these days and that is fine. Being spiritual does not need to involve a major religion. I identify as a Catholic, but I don’t practice it that much any longer but I still come back to it from time to time. I am thankful for that experience. It gave me a good grounding as a child. Gave me a great education too. I also do not push my beliefs on people. Be spiritual in the sense of believing in something greater than yourself. What “that” is should be of your choosing.
10. Choice – You always have one. Every dam day of your life. Learn it. Sear it into your brain. Every DAM thing you do in life involves a choice. Chose wisely. Learn to choose wisely.
11. Intuition – Cultivate it. Listen to yourself. Cultivate the listening of that small voice within you. If you work at it, it can guide you.
12. Skills – Find a useful skill. Something you can do with your hands. I am a gardener, writer, have medical skills (former Army medic), I have good carpentry skills, I am mechanically inclined but am always trying to improve that skill. And I am skilled at shooting a rifle and a pistol. Learn something that does not involve computers, gaming or some device. I am not a luddite but young men these days waste far too much time on their devices. Put that shit down for once. Learn a skill. Welding is next for me. You may need skills like that in the future.
13. Work – Find your passion. Find something you love and become an expert at it.
14. The System/Culture – Learn how the world works. The system is set up against you. That is why number 13 is important. You either work within the system or create your own. Learn how the monetary system REALLY works. Learn about debt slavery and how the deck is stacked against you from the time you are born.That is why skills are important. Why non-traditional skills are important.
15. Other Men – Learn from them. Young and old. Especially older men, they have a lot to share and you can learn a lot from them. I am 50 years old and still learn from men years older than me. Show them some respect too. You never know where they have walked….they may have walked in a rice patty when they were 19 years old and were far away from home and saw shit you will NEVER see. They may have walked in another country that was not this one, a country that was filled with chaos and despotism and saw shit you will NEVER see. Respect these men and learn from them. They can teach you a lot.
Well, that is all I have. I hope some of this was helpful.
This is a great thing you are doing Mike. Our society has emasculated a whole generation of young men. It will take a lot of work to right the ship. You are doing a noble thing.
Love the website too. It gets better every day.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes.
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”
― Jordan Belfort