I’m sure you’ve no doubt been thinking this on occasion, right? Faced with only vegetarian options at dinner… Maybe you’ve woken up in a strange place and thought– “What would Mike do in this situation?”
No, I am kidding. Of course you haven’t, and I certainly hope you haven’t. That would be weird, and creepy. Although somewhat flattering I guess.
I know what you might be thinking though- “Hold on, is this guy comparing himself to Jesus- WWJD?” No, I am not. I’m certainly no carpenter. What I’m going to attempt to do here is express me- how my brain works and what causes me to do what I do, in some way.
You see I find myself giving out advice quite a lot these days. A majority of it asked for, and some of it not (one of the things I’m working on), however, I’m also writing, seeking advice, reading , learning, soaking up and taking in the best things from people I respect and admire. What I’ve learnt is there are certain things I do, ways I act, behaviours that dead set piss me off when I witness others exhibit and traits in myself that I catch from time to time and go “Yeah, good work me, that rocked”. Or not.
And if you think I’m making that last part up, then think again. I not only talk to myself often, but I talk to my food a lot. Just some of the crazy you’ll see in this post.
The idea for making this list of ‘rules that I live by’ first came to me via John Romaniello (Roman) and his post What Would Roman Do? In which he explained his continual formation of rules that he lives by. It’s an awesome post and I’ve definitely taken some inspiration from it into this and some of my own rules.
However, all of these rules are my own- meaning I do live by, or try to live by them where possible.
I’m not quite as experienced at keeping track of my thoughts as Roman, and certainly do not have actual notes from when I was a horny, drunken, idiotic teenager like he does. Although I do have a memory, and I was an idiotic teenager who was at times drunken but more often horny. No doubt. So I have pieced together the rules that I actually adhere to, that govern (the majority of) my actions and that keep me in check, and that I think some others could use a bit more to keep themselves in check…
I am by no means saying everyone should live by these rules- these are for me- however, that doesn’t mean you can’t get something out of them and perhaps even start your own. You should note that not all of these really make sense, but that’s me- I have a sense of humour that sometimes no one else gets. That’s ok, I’m fine with it, just as you should be with your own weird.
For this is the real reason for this post. I believe every man should have a set of rules that he lives by, be it conscious or not; something to govern your behaviour and a list to hold you accountable for your actions.
When you list something like this and really put some thought into it, you can start to get some clarity on who you are, start to see what makes you tick, what pisses you off and what you value most. These things are crucial for any man to not only become better at being himself, but be happy, live an awesome life and unleash his inner alpha- to become a legend.
That’s why I bring you these words today- I want to inspire you to write your own, as Roman and others have for me.
This is one of the keys that I encourage my ‘alpha’ clients to do- to put some thought into what it is that governs their life, take note of these things and add what is needed.
It’s something that I address in my book as well, and if you happen to read it and implement the steps laid out then writing your own rules to live by is part of it.
And so with that in mind, in no particular order with notes to explain some, here are mine:
- Know what you want and go after it. Do not float, don’t fluff and waste time. Think about what you really want and go after it. Hustle- like a boss.
- Get outside your comfort zone. Be adaptable to any situation and just say “screw it, I’ll do it”.
- Put others first, but never neglect yourself. Be selfish, but to a point. Always have the interest of others at heart, but make sure you get your best too.
- Treat everyone as an equal. To do otherwise = douchebag.
- Eat real food. Keep it simple and keep processed crap to an absolute minimum- but every now and then eat whatever the hell you want.
- Treat yourself like an athlete. Train often, train hard and train with purpose. Know the difference between training and exercise- do the former and do it well.
- Sleep like your life depends on it, because it does. Try to get at least 7 hours but limit it to 9.
- Smile often and CHOOSE to be positive and enjoy life. The choice is always yours, and if it isn’t then you need to change something. Of course shitty and tough times happen, but where you can choose to be positive and happy. Besides, who likes a grumpy bastard?
- Know your body and its limits. Learn to pay attention to your key indicators of health, such as energy, sex drive and how you feel before bed, upon waking and with training. Listen to your body and act accordingly.
- Give your best at everything– love, insight, advice, listening, compliments, friendship, hugs, jokes, training, arguments… etc
- Know what defines you and how others describe you. This is your personal brand- know it inside out, it’s what the world gets with everyone of your actions. If the world sees something different to what you have in your head- something’s amiss.
- Know your core values. Get familiar with the things that you value most in yourself and others. You should be trying to align your life in order to meet these. If you’re not- change something.
- Never be completely satisfied. Always strive for more; just don’t be an impossible prick.
- Have a purpose bigger than yourself. There is more to life than your needs and wants, find what it is that makes sense to you and go about making it happen.
- Have a little vanity and take pride in your appearance– body, fitness, health, hygiene, just don’t be a conceited arsehole.
- Give good hugs. Always.
- Pick your battles, but keep an open mind. Don’t close off the possibility of change or a different opinion, but if you have to take a stand- take a fucking stand.
- Don’t give haters the pleasure of your time, energy and attention. Let them be jealous, petty and sad little people.
- Be polite. Manners cost you nothing, but get you the world.
- If you’re going to swear, make sure you fucking mean it. By no means think that swearing is bad, just find the time and place. For fucks sake.
- You have two ears and one mouth- use them in that proportion. Listen and give opinions when asked, but be a considerate and empathetic listener first and foremost.
- Read more books. Then read more- you don’t read enough books man!
- Ring your family. Or text, email, Skype- whatever- just stay in touch. Mates too.
- Get to know and love yourself. If you don’t then it’s going to be hard to understand why someone else would love you. You can be critical of yourself, but do not self loath.
- Train your legs. This includes hamstrings and gluts.
- Set yourself challenges. I like to add training ones in regularly, like be able to do a human flag, or a back lever on the rings… 🙂
- If a situation calls for something to be done, be the man to do it. Don’t hesitate, even if it’s awkward or uncomfortable, man up and get it done.
- Have more sex. Not only is ‘the sexy time’ awesome, the ability to and want to have sex is a great indicator of health. Plus, it’s awesome.
- Act with integrity, always. Be a man of your word and make it mean something.
- Know what you do well, but be humble and have modesty. There’s very rarely any reason to show off. Sure, do what you do well, but be gracious and modest. No one likes a smug know-it-all.
- Know how to cook at least 3 meals incredibly well. If you don’t know how- learn to cook. Seriously, cooking for yourself is a basic human necessity, sort your shit out and learn, then master at least 3 dishes- dishes that can get you places.
- Embrace your weird. Everyone’s got the little things that make them special, don’t hide it, embrace it.
- If you’re going to criticise you’d better have an alternative. Complaining for the sake of it is painful to be around. However, if you’ve got something better in mind, have at it.
- Give everyone a chance, to a point. If someone proves themselves not worthy of your time and energy then don’t give them any, otherwise see what’s on offer.
- Ask questions. Of everything, your teacher, boss, trainer, me, yourself! Don’t just settle for information, especially dogma- ask questions and empower yourself. If you never ask, you’ll never know.
- If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Don’t be afraid to get in the pelt (shirts off). You work hard to stay in great shape, so don’t be afraid to show it- where appropriate.
- Have at least one go-to joke. It can be a cheesy one-liner or it could be an involved story, but it should be able to get a laugh, i.e. What’s Mary short for? … She’s got no legs.
- Do not zumba.
- Be a best mate. Contact your closest mates regularly, meet up for a beer, share old times, do epic shit together, ask how they really are- be an awesome mate.
- Grow a god damn moustache. At least one in your life warm your upper lip with hair, you never know, you might suit it. Outside of this- grow a beard, full beard only. Goatees are tough to pull off (for a white guy).
- If you’re going to a BBQ, take quality meat. Also grab some tongs and offer to help out.
- Get the first round in. And don’t sit there working out when it’s your turn next, just shout regularly.
- Don’t be so serious. Laugh at yourself and often, laugh at immature shit like when someone says ‘box’ or when someone’s name is Cockram. That shit is funny!
- Don’t watch the news or read the paper. Apart from sports- do that and know what’s going on, especially your team. Just avoid mainstream media propaganda crap, it’s making you dumberer. Facebook and real person-person interaction will tell you anything worth knowing soon enough.
- Time is your most precious commodity- use it wisely. Plan your days and get shit done. If you need to chill and do nothing, then do it, but don’t waste time on needless crap.
- To follow that- ALWAYS plan some down time. Do the things you enjoy as often as you can. Chill and unplug from technology every day for at least 10 minutes.
- If you love (or like) someone, let them know.
- Look after your teeth- floss every day. Not only can you enjoy some of the steak you had at lunch again, but you’ll be doing your health and body a big favour.
- If you have an argument, speak your mind with clarity, honesty and conviction. Be open minded, resolve it and move on. Don’t dwell.
- Be on time where possible. You might not value being on time, but the person you’re meeting might, and that shit is annoying, so don’t be late.
- Use people’s names, or nicknames if appropriate. On this- be imaginative with nicknames. Allow them to evolve and get abstract. For example, I know a guy called Willie Cox, his nickname is Penis Penis- absolutely brilliant!
- Learn to explain healthy eating and living in sixty seconds. Anything more is just painful and too detailed. Simplicity must prevail.
- You’ve got nothing to lose, so man-up and take a chance. This relates to anything, but especially women (or it did for me in the past). It’s a big ocean full of fish, so have a crack; you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. If it doesn’t work out, move on.
- If you want to talk to someone you don’t already know- establish contact and always compliment them. You’ve got nothing to lose remember, but let them know why you want to establish contact, make them feel special. Also- a simple thank you will do when complimented. Don’t make it awkward.
- Help someone every day who doesn’t expect it. Haven’t mastered this, but I try to where I can.
- Collect memories, not things. Go on more holidays. Organise life so you can travel, chill and live.
- Set yourself some rules around dating. Don’t be dictated to, for example if a girl has a ‘3 date rule’ have one too; the ‘if it doesn’t happen in 3 dates, I’m out’ rule.
- Buy a suit that fits YOU. This goes for all clothes, they should fit you– chose trends carefully and dress to impress. We can say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ as much as we like, but people will still judge you by your appearance, so look good fucking outstanding!
- Learn how to cook the perfect steak. There is no situation where a man shouldn’t know this, unless you’re at a vegan BBQ, in which case you should
probablyleave. Learn everything you need to know to cook the perfect steak in this post here.
- Deadlift, squat, chin up, overhead press and sprint. Not all at once silly, but do these things. They’re primal movements, in fact I’m pretty sure cavemen deadlifted- those beasts!
- If the service was good reflect that in your tip. Regardless of where you’re from and where you are, if the service was awesome then show some gratitude, at the very least because they’ve probably had 5 arseholes sit at that table already, yet they managed to remain professional and make your experience better.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. Saying no to things that will drain your energy or clash with your values is not only essential to ensure your time and energy isn’t wasted, but it’s fucking liberating. Next time you are about to say yes to something you would really rather say no to- say no!
- Be your own rock. Look within yourself for strength and be a strong shoulder for others. This doesn’t mean you can’t be vulnerable, but also don’t be weak. You should be able to get through most of the shit life throws at you yourself. If you can’t then I suggest taking a long hard look in the mirror- what needs work?
Yes I have gone to a house warming as a ‘House- warming’- that is a hot water bottle tied to the house. Awesome, I know… It’s the little details
- Details make a dress-up costume. If you’re going to ‘dress-up’ make sure you pay attention to the finer details, it’s what makes you best dressed worthy, and provides endless conversation.
- Don’t take things personally. This is a tough one admittedly, but I’m working on it. Surprisingly the world doesn’t revolve solely around me (or you), so other people’s shit is just that- their shit, don’t be so sensitive and self important to think that it’s about you.
- Leave your ego at the door.
- Write shit down, your memory isn’t that good. Definitely taken inspiration from Roman on this one, and luckily I wrote it down, otherwise, I’d forget!
- If you want to do something, do it. Within reason of course, but let’s say you want to write a book… FUCKING DO IT!
Aaaand… that’s my list. I’ve refined this, added things, removed a bunch of swear words… and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of new additions as time goes by, but the main thing is that I have now written my rules, and I’ve shared them with you. These rules are how I live or try to live, and now I have the accountability of all of you.
Since I’ve written these I have definitely become more aware of many of my actions day to day.
So here’s what I propose- a challenge: write out your own rules. Take your time, leave it and come back to it. Write through blockages and stalls and get a decent list down. Then refine it.
Have some fun with it, but make sure it’s a list of things you’d like to abide by. Then, to give it meaning and reality, post it up here in the comments and you can share in the accountability.
And if you look at the rules you come up with and they’re pretty average, or could do with some serious work, then get to work, as you no doubt need this work on yourself- to unleash your alpha and become more awesome.
And remember- these are to be your rules, not anyone else’s. Figure out how you want to live your life, and go do it! Unless of course you need to dress up for a house warming and find yourself thinking- “What would Mike do?”, in which case- check above!
Now, go be awesome.
Like what you see in this post? Please share it with family, friends & colleagues you think might like it. Or could do with some rules… a friendly suggestion, perhaps…