When he stops waiting at the bar for someone to talk to him and goes and chats up random strangers.
When he stops hoping to make extra money and does what is necessary to get that money.
When he stops relying on the world togivehim what he wants and when he goes and gets it himself.
When he stops proudly flaunting his ideas and just does it without needing the approval of anyone.
When he stops wanting to be the alpha male and simply focuses on his life and what he needs to do, making him the alpha in the process.
When he stops complaining about the way things didn’t work out and instead keeps grinding until they do.
When he stops being bound by fear and just does what is necessary anyway.
When he stops wasting time on lesser things and spends more time on the things that matter, even if they scare him or make him uncomfortable.
When he does more behind the scenes than in front of the scenes.
Taking care of your physical appearance is important, and clothes are part of that. But it’s about healthy routine and practice, rather than expensive or smart clothes. The same is true of your physical and mental health and your living space.
I’ll hold my hands up – there was a time when I was the kind of guy who would leave washing up so long it could legitimately be classified as a nature reserve.
But living in a house shared in the jungle, with up to 15 other people, where rats would crawl over the clean crockery, certainly gave me a new appreciation for hygiene and tidiness.
I’ve also suffered from depression. Having mental health problems doesn’t mean you’re not grown up. But when you’re at your best knowing how to take care of your spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing in the way that best suits you is important.
In fact, suffering from mental ill health was a terrible experience and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But many of us will suffer from this, and it forced me to grow up, confront issues I had never tackled and things in myself that I felt needed improving.
A Boy becomes a Man when he responsible and actively LIVES his life to the fullest.
Maybe this one feels like it takes a lifetime of wisdom, but I feel that it’s perfectly possible, at any age, to know what is truly valuable.
It’s not material goods, it’s not your social profile or your status, it’s not wealth or being fashionable. To me these feel like the mistakes of boyhood that I used to fall into.
These days I feel that knowing what is truly valuable is a key part of the transition I made from boyhood to manhood.
A man knows how to put others first and take care of himself and those around him.
This means being generous in the ways that are available to him. This might mean money, but it also means with emotions and time.
Log off twitter and spend time with those you care about and who care about you – you never know how long they’ll be around.
Put others before you, perhaps because it feels good, perhaps because you believe good things come around, but principallybecause it’s the right thing to do and it will make them happy.
Whether it’s literally taking flight and heading to the other side of the world, or doing something that scares you physically or emotionally, we only grow up by testing our boundaries.
As soon as we fall into the trap of saying “I’m not the kind of person who…” (ThanksSeth Godin), we stop changing and growing.
One of the best ways I’ve found of doing this has been collaboration on projects with friends. Self-starting events, projects, ideas and organisations has challenged me to take responsibility, learn what I’m capable of and lead in a way I never thought I could.
Most importantly though, I should say that there is no particular age at which men learn these qualities. Growing up isn’t to do with the number of trips you’ve made around the Sun. It’s about developing these and other qualities.
I know men much younger than myself who inspire me, and men older than myself who still have work to do. These are qualities we should be teaching our children and we definitely shouldn’t think of age as the gateway to them.
I still have a lot of work left to do too. I’m not a good man yet, but (thanks in part to the stories I read on this website) I am a better man.
A Boy becomes a Man when the things he doesn’t tell are far greater than the things he does.