One of the most misunderstood concept in practice today is manhood. Apart from religious creeds, we hardly have anything going by way of a credible definition and examples.
Of far greater concern is the shortage of real men and models. We refer to historical figures or descriptions in novels to find real men.
Hollywood and its variants of manhood is at best illusory, fantasy-based and promotes the wrong values. Yet this is where most young men take their cues from.
I have written this in order to contribute to the conversation on what a real man should be and to help young men especially by challenging them to character and virtue. In short, young men need to man up if they won’t perpetuate the mistakes and misery in society today.
Are you a guy who is tired of being a jerk? Or a lady who is tired of dating jerks? You need to read this and in so doing, understand that some explanations are my personal opinions and can be treated as such.
Here are the 20 traits that describe the man most women dream of:
You can never become a prestigious man if you lack the minimum requirement of belief in yourself, your own potential and your personal qualities.
Confidence is attractive. Most women don’t want be around a man whose appears beaten down, lack-luster and unsure about his steps.
You can be confident without being cocky or obnoxious. All you need is a right belief system about yourself, a strong sense of purpose and the grit to pursue the best you can be, have, or do.
A prestigious man is a man of style. This is not to mean that he is a dandy who obsesses over the number of shoes, belts and wrist watches he has. It just means that you have a way of distinguishing yourself.
Even simplicity can be a style. It’s why I admire celebrities and entrepreneurs like 2face Idibia, Bill Gates, Aliko Dangote.
Your style also extends to the way you talk, carry yourself, the swagger in your steps, the way you write, and the way you handle your business.
In mentioning style, this is not to mean that I believe in an ostentatious lifestyle but I believe every man needs an element of style. You must find a way to cultivate your uniqueness in this regards. Let your appearance and your way of doing things be memorable. Look decent, act right and add a bit of style to it.
You don’t have to look like Brad Pitt or any of the typical alpha male model to be attractive to women. Your style and good grooming can make a way for you. And don’t forget, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
A prestigious man can stand up for himself, what he believes in without imposing it on or lording it over others. He is not a pussy who allows other people to disregard his opinions or decision.
He is not passive, allowing people run roughshod over him or act like a doormat. A prestigious man is not a people pleaser.
He doesn’t kiss asses or lick the ground someone walks in.
He believes in obeying his conscience, acting in alignment with his highest and best values. He can do all of this and still be pleasant. Never should assertiveness be interpreted as insolence.
In a relationship, an assertive man gives his woman the right to be herself, doesn’t change who he is or pretend to be something he is not in order to please a woman. He is bold enough to live out and stand by his uniqueness.
Women enjoy the authenticity and strength that assertiveness radiates.
4. Easy going
A prestigious man doesn’t believe in brute strength. A man diminishes in value to the extent that he has to force his way through life. Having the key is a better way to open a door than forcing it open. You know what that means.
You are easy going when people find it easy to relax around you, they don’t have to pretend or struggle to be themselves. In your presence, the highest and best in people find expression and you are easy to approach and talk to.
In a dog eat dog world, gentleness can be interpreted as a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it’s a sign of strength. The book of proverbs advises that it is better to control your temper than to take over a city.
We need more men who breathe and live with compassion. Men who honour women and treat children with respect and consideration are in great demand more than ever.
Are you that kind of man? May your heart be the breast from which the milk of compassion flow to the world.
A noble man treats people with consideration and doesn’t tear down people with words. His words encourage and build people. In short his heart and mouth is a tree of life.
I advise that men should learn to treat the women in their lives to a vision of their potential.
A man should also address and not ignore his woman’s excesses. He should do it without hurting her self-image. He must ensure that the correction of any behaviour is done with her self-esteem kept intact. This is an art and requires a lot of wisdom, something that few men possess.
He must earn the right to criticize by having a very long history of praise. The woman must be so secure with him that she can respect the process. The advice of Dale Carnegie must always be followed,
“Be hearty in your approbation and lavish with praise.”
A man without ambition can be likened to a castrated bull, good for nothing except to be fattened and used as meat. The minimum requirement to be considered a prestigious man is ambition.
What do you intend to make happen for yourself?
Sounds selfish right? People especially in some religious circles condemn ambition. There is nothing wrong with ambition, it is the expression of it that is either noble or ignoble. When it is positive and pursued with a sense of contribution to society. That is fine ambition!
I dare to say that you can’t be of any value to anybody until you have made something happen for yourself. You can’t give what you don’t have. Develop a great career, hone a great skill, write great music, and develop credible leadership. Then use your success to empower others.
See yourself as a steward of your time, money, gifts and relationships. Use them to make the world a better place to live in.
A prestigious man is result-oriented. He organizes his time and priorities such as to deliver the highest return on investment for his labours. He is careful how he expends his energy.
Like my uncle, Barrister B.A Adeyemi will tell me,
“In diversifying our efforts, we often diffuse our energy.”
That’s some thought! It means be careful where you invest your time, energy and emotions. You only have one life to live. Make it count!
Let your woman find you productive and busy. Let the time spent with her be seen as an indication that you place value on her and not because you are trying to fill a void in your life. In short, to be a prestigious man, GET A LIFE.
In addition, remember these words by Farrah Gray,
“You can’t have a million dollar dream with a minimum wage ethic.”
A prestigious man doesn’t lose his head when the going gets tough. He understands that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
New rule – stop sweating the small stuffs!
This is going to be a hard trait to master. We are in a world given to anxiety and worry. But worry serves no good. It doesn’t change yesterday’s problem but it can drain today’s energy that is needed to change the course of tomorrow.
If you believe in prayer, pray. It’s a great therapy to hand over your anxieties and cares to God. But work hard not to succumb to petty worries and anxieties.
90% of your worst fears won’t happen except you make them happen. Fear as they say is False Evidence Appearing Real.
One of the most attractive features of a prestigious man is his eloquence. A man must be able to express his ideas with clarity and passion. He must be able to persuade and rally others around a worthy cause.
He should be eloquent in speech and writing. If you need to sign up for a public speaking course, please do. If you need to sign up for a writing class, please do immediately.
Only men of eloquence can move other men. They are the voice of hope and inspiration in our world. The likes of Obama, Tony Robbins, John Maxwell etc.
I believe ladies enjoy eloquence too. Ability to paint pictures, ideas and a great future with words will win with a woman. Just ensure you have more records of action than talk. As long as you can back it up with consistent actions, you will do just fine.
Do not judge yourself, if you have been blessed with the fine art of smooth talk. People covet it and when they don’t have it, they hate it. It has nothing to do with you and more to do with them. As long as you have the integrity to back it up.
Even the Book of Proverbs said,
“The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver.”
Even though your IQ can’t be improved significantly, according to science, intelligence can still be cultivated. However, that’s the kind of IQ that is tested and based more on memory and quick thinking in identifying patterns and solving puzzles.
I must point out that we have a very narrow definition of intelligence when we think it’s just about correct diction, vocabulary and ability to pass SAT exams.
A prestigious man has that kind of intelligence and more. His intelligences shows in his discipline, the way he plans and organizes his life, his mastery in handling people, his wisdom in conflict resolution and ability to translate vision to reality.
He also ensures to cultivate his mind. He feeds himself with the highest and best of literature ever produced by mankind. He reads the classics, the inspirational series, the hard stuffs and the spiritual books especially The Bible.
A man should prides himself in the quality of his library and not the size of his mansion. He should not flaunt ripped muscles while possessing an empty mind.
A good man should also lends his voice to the important conversations going on around him, carefully shaping the opinions of those under his influence, furnishing them with the best approach of seeing and addressing challenges in his society.
A great guy demonstrates open-mindedness in his ability to learn new things, explore other people’s point of view and a willingness to see the world through the eyes of people who hold a different opinion, thoughts or values.
People often can’t see when they have erred on the side of bigotry or have become partisan of their beliefs, philosophy or religion.
A noble man is not like that. He is tolerant of people even when he recognizes they are acting in ignorance. He is patient with the weakness that show in people when they can’t tell their left from their right or when they get into extremes.
Open mindedness will help you find the middle road, something that eludes most people.
When with a woman, an open-minded man listens to his woman and he is willing to consider her point of view. He marries or dates a woman he respects so that he can listen to her without thinking she has an inferior mind.
A man should ensure to marry a woman equal or better than himself.
I’m guilty of being the serious minded type but I have often seen the need to crack up once in a while. Life is not that hard. Don’t be too hung up on your struggles to enjoy a good laugh, to smile and to have fun.
Humour in this case should not be interpreted as that casualness or light-heartedness that doesn’t embrace the enormity or responsibility called life. It should not be seen as a method of practicing escapism either.
When with a woman, a man with a good sense of humour can laugh at himself, enjoy a good story, take a light hearted approach to issues and when in his elements, simply make his woman laugh.
A great guy is secure. He has a strong sense of identity built on the framework of his purpose. He is not crying like a baby for external validation and people’s opinion of him doesn’t define him. He can speak the truth in his heart unapologetically and at the same time with love.
Nothing repel people (especially for women) as a man who is insecure. Insecurity makes you see problems where there is none. It creates undue stress and strain in the relationships. Mountains are made out of mole hills and become granite rocks.
To get rid of your insecurity, you need to take the first step of self-love, practicing self-acceptance. You need to let go of past experiences of hurt, abuse or being taken advantage of. You need an identity based on your purpose and a set of strong and enduring values.
You need to be true to yourself and live in alliance with the highest and best within you.
You can try letting go of the tendency to control people. You can’t make people love you or stay if they don’t want to. People can leave you but don’t give them the pleasure of taking away your self-esteem and joy in the process.
I know this can be difficult especially if your identity is built around your relationships. But you can’t continue to empower people’s weakness to control your moods, feelings and reactions. Be response-able. Choose your reactions and make sure they are empowering.
Don’t be a dead beat that spoils the fun for others. Don’t be too serious as to let others walk on egg shells around you. Have a free spirit that allows other people’s personality to blossom.
The world is full of pressure, most created by the need to pretend, to be something we are not. Be a good sport. Let people find delight in your presence.
Let your colleagues find you a great team member. 80% of your success in life even in marriage will come from your ability to get along with people, your spouse especially. You don’t have to always take everything personal. Be strong to ignore indiscretions and minor relational sins.
A prestigious man must be one who understands that true leadership begins with the authentic leadership of his own self. He must direct his own affairs wisely in order to influence others.
A man must prepare his life and character for leadership. It is often said that the failure of today’s society can be traced to the decline of credible leadership in men.
Leadership is influence and if you think it’s not your business, think again. You will lead at least two or three people. Your wife and one or two children at least. So what values will you model? What will be your legacy? Are you a man for whom she can throw the sail of her ship and know that the ship won’t capsize as a result of your carelessness or indiscretion?
Before you carelessly ask for a woman’s heart and hand in marriage, thinking that it’s now an opportunity to indulge the passion below the belt, answer the question – are you ready to lead?
A woman’s heart is delicate and precious. She needs a man she can look up to. A man who is strong and stable, not a man soon gone with the winds. She needs a man who her kids and other people can respect.
As a man of influence, you must be take responsibility to improve your society and culture, pointing them to true north principles by your own life and character.
It’s interesting that the same media that promotes the exploitation of women turn around to glamorize the infidelity of men. What hypocrisy in society! We often forget that a society will always get the kind of values that it celebrates.
How many of our movies celebrate a man’s commitment to his woman or his family. Such movies don’t sell. They are for spineless wimps right?
It is true that popular culture don’t celebrate good men as much but that’s no excuse to indulge bad behaviour. To your conscience be true.
A man shouldn’t cultivate the company of wanton women. He should encourage the development of virtue in his woman and strive to treat other women with purity and respect.
What I’m referring to here is not prudish innocence but the moral discipline to channel your passion into more productive ends.
I will never forget Steve Farrah’s words in his book, Point Man,
“Real Men don’t cheat. Real men stick with one woman. Period!”
Before you let selfishness get the better part of you and you gratify your lust, always remember that the pain of regret always outweigh the pain of obedience.
“Only the good can be happy and only the virtuous can be good.”
If you divorce your pursuit of happiness from the foundation of virtue, pretty soon you will end up miserable and unhappy.
It is said that we are not punished for our sins but by our sins. It’s high time you got a firm grip on your virtues.
I received the biggest challenge of my life recently from Derwin Gray when he wrote in an article challenging clergy men to invest in their character instead of their platform.
I’m all for influence and platform building. But now, I recognize the need to invest twice as much time in building my character. Men must be careful not to think there is a holiday in character building.
It is my belief that the discipline of yesterday that made you successful today doesn’t guarantee tomorrow’s success. You must not relent on your disciplines any day.
In addition, I understand the powerful role that faith systems can play in developing virtue. However, my observation is that some women’s preference for a religious man is not based on a sense of purpose or an alignment with a creator as much as it is a guarantee for relational security and a shield from infidelity.
The assumption is that a religious man is a good choice because he has a tendency not to cheat and not because a relationship with God is very important and is the ultimate goal of life. Just my thoughts.
It takes courage for a man to do anything worthwhile in this life. Most men have been held back from the life of their dreams, not so much from a lack of direction as from a lack of courage to take action.
What dreams are you allowing to die a slow natural death? Which of your dreams have you injected a lethal poison before it saw the light of day? Today is when you must start living the life you have always dreamed of. When courage allows your light to shine, you give permission to others to do the same.
Nelson Mandela understood courage when he said,
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who doesn’t feel afraid, but he who conquers the fear.”
I can’t agree more with E. E Cumming’s words,
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
Even the pursuit of love requires courage as expressed by Lao Tzu,
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
I believe there is a certain kind of happiness most men will never find until they find a special woman and are courageous enough to love her deeply. It is cowardice to use women and the height of it for that matter.
Instead of abusing or revenging another woman’s indiscretion, follow Maya Angelou’s advice,
“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
From the choice of a woman to marry, to the choice of a career, business partners, books, music, news, a great guy is choosy. He doesn’t deal with drama, propaganda or triviality.
A great guy chooses most carefully the woman he keeps. He is sure to choose a good woman because he has plans to make a better. He avoids the drama queen, the gold digger and the pleasure-driven vixen.
A great guy evaluates his commitments in light of his purpose. He is choosy not to engage in activities that compromise his highest ideals.
He tries to be the best he can be, directs the choice of his friendship because he understand a man will attracts a society most like himself.
A man’s character is tested by the way he treats people lower than himself. How a man treats his janitor, driver and gate keeper are important ways to discern his humility.
If he disrespects people as a sport, he will play the game with his woman pretty soon especially if he considers himself a SELF-MADE MAN.
Instead of such behaviour, a man should cultivate quiet confidence, a heart that recognizes the goodness of God for all that he has, is and can do.
Humility also means admitting weakness and need. It is vulnerability, a word most men don’t like and which its lack, is responsible for the lack of accountability in men today. It is why most men have an affair instead of telling their wives or girlfriend their needs.
As a great guy, choose the kind of woman you can be comfortable with, a woman who can interpret your uniqueness, accepts you for who you are – strengths, weakness, and quirks.
If you have to hide your needs or struggles, you are setting yourself up for a fall. I know we men hate to admit need so find a good woman that makes it easy for you let go of your pride and come out of your shell.
Let’s get real
I must admit my need for growth in most of these areas. However, what I’m seeking to do is to identify the traits that I know to represent the ideals and the best every man should strive for.
The cultivation of these traits I believe will help any man fulfil his God-given potential, earn the respect and admiration of his woman and enable him serve his generation in a noble and inspiring way.
In writing this, I have asked myself what I would like to see in myself if I were at my best for myself, wife and society. They represent my ideals. If you are challenged by them and consider them worth embracing, start today.
Are you like me who is wondering when he will measure up to these standards? I have a mentor’s advice.
I admire Stephen Covey’s sincerity in 7 habits of Highly Effective People,
“I personally struggle with much of what I have shared in this book. But the struggle is worthwhile and fulfilling. It gives meaning to my life and enables me to love, to serve and to try again.”
Personally, I recognize every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. If the largest room in the world is indeed that for improvement, I believe we all can be better men.