I was blessed to have 2 daughters, and they were very girly girls with feminine interests.
Growing up they had zero interest in flying airplanes, riding motorcycles or shooting carbon fiber arrows with my compound bow. When I bought a pair of drywall stilts and did the “Uncle Sam” gig for the 4rth of July they didn’t even want to learn how to walk on stilts!
That’s me above, with 2 beautiful ladies from the Wesley Chapel Rotary club.
So IF I had a son this is some stuff I would teach him:
#1. Start lifting weights in your teens and take advantage of all that extra testosterone. You’ll look good and feel good, but understand that your newfound strength should be used towards noble purposes only. I was a lifeguard and a volunteer firefighter from my teens until my college years. Your role as a strong young man is to PROTECT those who are weaker than you. If you see someone getting bullied step in and help them out, even if that puts you at a social disadvantage, even if you have to punch someone in the head.
#2. Take on responsibility and grow into it. As a lifeguard I had to make sure little kids did NOT drown and this had life and death consequences. Society trusted me to take on this responsibility, at $9 per hour! When you are granted responsibility take this very seriously, you won’t become a man until you can be trusted with responsibility.
#3. Don’t grow facial hair if it barely comes in and looks wispy. Horrible look. I didn’t let me facial hair grow in until I was in my 30’s. Shaving your face daily decreases acne because the razor defoliates the skin. I shave in the shower, less nicks. Also, keep your nails clipped and neat. Use deodorant and shower often or you’ll smell like a used gym sock. Just be impeccably clean as much as possible, the ladies will like you for it.
#4. On that note… always be kind and gentle with women. You might be strong but you don’t have to be rough. My Mom is 70 years old, I always kiss her on the cheek when I see her, and also when I leave. Hold doors for everyone, if you’re walking with a girl walk on the side of the sidewalk that faces the street. If you ever see a woman being mistreated by a man step in and knock him out if needed. It probably won’t come to that, but I’ll gladly pay your bail money.
#5. Totally avoid people who do drugs and drink excessively, they’ll drag you down into their world, and it leads nowhere. Surround yourself with the kids in your class who are the top students, top achievers, the kids who have big goals. That peer group will lift you up and encourage you to be your absolute BEST.
#6. Learn how basic mechanical things work; internal combustion engines, motorcycles, airplanes, HVAC systems, solar, etc. I started buying used tools when I was a 13 year old kid working for an auctioneer, I still have those tools today and use them! Learn how to chop down a tree with an ax. Think about the skills you would need if we lived in a post apocalyptic world and learn those skills! At some point take a construction or manual labor job and work your ass off. You’ll learn valuable skills and feel great (but tired) at the end of each day.
#7. Don’t neglect your intellect. Make sure you read books outside of your school assignments. It can be science fiction, history, biographies, etc. The leaders in your generation will be the young men who are readers today. Your mind should be a giant curious sponge. Read up on Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Abraham Lincoln, the Founding Fathers, Jesus of Nazareth, etc. Reading about the great moral leaders of the last 2,000 years and think about how YOU could be a leader in your generation, in your school, in your community.
#8. Decide to be a man of character and integrity. Lying is complicated and leads nowhere, decide early on to adopt radical integrity into your life. Do the right thing even if that is not always the easiest thing.
#9. Set some BIG goals for your life and work like a dog towards those goals on a regular basis. My business partner was a Navy SEAL. He had big goals as a teen and went to the Naval Academy, became a SEAL and retired as a full Commander! Now he runs a successful company because of a goal he had 30 years ago. If you want to become President of the United States set that goal NOW and work towards it.
… this is just a short list, I’ll add more later.
Jan 18 / 2019