How To Become a Fierce Gentleman

How does one become a Fierce Gentleman?

One tiny step at a time.

Today, I’ll lay out the specific and practical strategies you can use to start taking steps towards becoming a fully-realized Fierce Gentleman.

In each section below, I suggest certain resources that may help you on your journey. I’ve done my best to curate only the highest-quality, most evidence-based, outcome-focused tools & resources. I welcome feedback.

HOW TO BECOME A FIERCE GENTLEMAN – START HERE:

  1. Life purpose
  2. Addictions
  3. Physical health
  4. Mental health
  5. Emotional health
  6. Financial health
  7. Fashion & Personal Style
  8. Healing in relationships

DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE

The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. – R Buckminster Fuller

 

Your work is to discover your work, and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it. – Buddha

What can you do, that you can see needs doing, that nobody else is doing?

If you can’t answer that questions in detail and depth, you must find that answer.

The world is in such a terrible shape today because we’ve been shuttled into “safe” careers for the sake of economic expediency; our natural instincts have been subverted by the predominant economic attitude of scarcity.

The true F.G. throws off this limiting mentality and instead, quests always to give his fullest Gift, even as his understanding of that Gift changes over time.

This is deep work. It’s not work that you can do in an afternoon, or a weekend retreat. But it’s essential to do this work none the less.

STEPS ON THE PATH

  • Travel.  Often, we don’t give ourselves enough “breathing space” to really discover what we love, and listen to our deepest intuition. Travel, simultaneously expanding our awareness of what’s possible & breaking us free of our habits of mediocrity, is often just the tonic we need to make that quantum leap to our next greatest adventure.
  • Buckminster Fuller on WikiQuote, as an ideal shot of inspiration
  • My friend Jason Silva is a man who has carved out his own completely unique niche, and he is a great example of what truly discovering your own Gifts can lead to.
  • Documentaries  that will get you thinking about what’s really important: Chasing Ice –Deep Water180 SouthExit Through the Gift Shop

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WIN YOUR FREEDOM FROM ADDICTIONS

Ultimately, happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your own mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them. -Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

We can be addicted to almost anything: gambling, chocolate, shopping, Reddit.

I have found that the top two addictions that most men are dealing with are alcohol (and/or cigarettes) followed by porn.

STEPS ON THE PATH

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GET THE BODY RIGHT

If you’re tired of starting over, stop quitting. -Unknown

Most men I know know they need to move their body, lift heavy things, and generally take better care of themselves, either for a specific athletic reason, or for general health & longevity.

But this is often one of the most daunting areas of our lives to begin making improvements in: there is a universe of information on the Internet, and a million possible starting points.

STEPS ON THE PATH 


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GET YOUR MIND RIGHT

Insight is the sharp ax, and concentration is the strong arm. Together they can cut down the tree of suffering at its roots; individually the ax and the arm cannot fell it. – Donald S. Lopez Jr

There are a few levels on which we must address right-mindedness: the physical, and the metaphysical.

On the physical level, there are a number of things you can do, including meditation, aerobic exercise, and proper nutrition (see previous section.)

On the metaphysical level, your quality of Mind, and your access to your deepest intelligence, will be improved by a deeper quest for your own individual spirituality. This can include meditation / yoga / study of sacred texts, or any other spiritual path that you find works for you.

Below are a few excellent starter reads for overall mental health.

STEPS ON THE PATH 

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GET YOUR HEART RIGHT

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. -Khalil Gibran

The most important thing most men can do is to start the emotional healing of past traumas.

Although this is a process that can (& should) be explored in a group of close male companions, with a therapist, or as part of a guided spiritual journey, these tools are often not available to men right away.

Luckily, the process of healing can begin on one’s own, with no monetary investment, in as little as 1 hour 40 minutes, spread over 5 days (see first link below.)

STEPS ON THE PATH

  • Erase the Pain of the Past in 20 Minutes a Day – Love & Freedom article covering the “writing to heal” technique – it gives results in 20 minutes a day x 5 days in a row. A quick and easy read.
  • Writing to Heal by James Pennebaker PhD – the book upon which my article, above, is based.
  • Goenka Vipassana – A non-sectarian, donation-only nonprofit that hosts 10-day silent meditation retreats in peaceful settings all over the world. A deeply difficult, but healing, experience.

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GET YOUR TREASURE RIGHT

Making money isn’t hard in itself… What’s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting one’s life to. -Carlos Ruiz Zafon

How do you make money? What are your habits with spending, saving, & debt?

We all have obstacles to earning more, launching that business we’ve always dreamed of, or negotiating for what we really want.

STEPS ON THE PATH

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GET YOUR STYLE RIGHT

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. -Harlan Hogan

I don’t write a lot about men’s fashion. Mostly because I barely get by in this area myself, but also because so many others do so well.

Still, it’s important. So educate yourself, spend the money you need to spend, and make it a good one.

Below, to help you, are my favorite resources.

Cheers.

STEPS ON THE PATH

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GET THEE INTO A RELATIONSHIP

How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being?  -Oscar Wilde

Pardon me, I don’t dare advise you on how to conduct your romantic affairs, but I have just this one observation to make: there is only so much work you can do solo.

For all of us, there are a number of issues that will only surface within the context of an intimate relationship.

A close partner is a mirror held up to you that reveals things you are simply unable to see. At some point, you’re going to have to get into a close, intimate, one-on-one relationship in order to surface these issues and begin working through them.

To become a trustable man takes presence and practice. To become a competent-to-exceptional lover requires patience and practice with a devoted partner. In fact, becoming sexually balanced requires that you not only get your mind and body right as described above, but it often requires that you build enough intimacy and comfort with an intimate partner so that some of the dark sexual wounds of the past can safely surface and heal. You’re not going to even know they exist unless you spend time with a committed other.

STEPS ON THE PATH

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flourish4

Do you have a resource you think should be included in this post? E-mail it to me & I’ll review it.

We’ll send you the latest article every Sunday. Click here to get Fierce Gentleman in your inbox.


Also published on Medium.

32 Comments How To Become a Fierce Gentleman

  1. Adrian

    Andrew, really appreciate the insights that you are sharing. I was working towards the same ideal myself prior reading your articles and it’s good to have someone put into writing perspective that are immediately actionable. Dressing up for the part is the easiest of all the things to consider, t really gets challenging when you start improving your inner clockwork. Happy to have come across this. Together with you in this quest.

    Reply
  2. Name*aliji emmanuel

    Hello am just an 18 year old guy, trying to make a difference in my society on mental and physical way a man should live and think and you gave me almost everything i needed to start with.
    Thank you very much am grateful

    Reply
    1. Andrew

      Thank you Aliji. I am grateful for *you*, and for every man, no matter his age, who steps up to this calling. We have a big job to do. But we can do it together if we help each other.

      Reply
  3. W

    As I read through this it occurred to me how closely this strategy resembled “The Mindful Attraction Plan” by Athol Kay.

    Did you read this before putting this together? If not, it’s a great read and offers other insights for someone striving to become a real man in today’s world.

    Reply
  4. Hans

    Regarding the idea of addiction and getting your heart right. I am dealing with addiction in my life and at the same time attending therapy to address the core of my being. I would never tell any man or woman that a twelve step program is wrong for the evidence of its healing abilities is irrefutable. In AA meetings I was presented with the idea that a addicts we believed our addiction would be manageable if our problems would go away but found out that the addiction was the cause of our problems. I believe this to be true regarding the surface problems that are symptom of the addiction. However I believe that the addiction is a symptom of a deaper problem in the foundation or core of our being. It will be my great experiment as I dig beneath the layers to see if this holds true. During sobriety I popped the cork on the deep and dark and have discovered that my drug of choice no longer serves me. What kept the cork in does not put it back once removed. I shall see if sobriety stays with me as I heal inside. There are some therapists out there who agree that addiction causes surface issues but the addiction is a symptom of deeper unresolved pain.

    Reply
  5. costa

    I referred a friend to your site. He commented to me:
    “I poked around in the blog. While I liked the layout…values of traditional man always striving for improvement in all things, beliefs, etal…they used an image of Kanye West, presumably as an example of a Fierce Gentleman. That dichotomy kind of killed it for me. “What up bitches?” shouldn’t be included in the vocabulary of a FG.”

    And I’ve read the comments here re: the use of Kanye West’s image. (What an odd choice, no matter what the opinion !)
    Here’s ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE perhaps: One DOES have to consider with whom one associates. e.g. When an asshole enters my conversation circle, I either A) TRY to make a “gentlemanly point” re: his/her behavior (especially if it’s offending others, less able to stand up for themselves, present or otherwise) or B) I just leave him to his own embarrassing demise; No, it’s not for me to “JUDGE” others, but it IS up to me to take a stand for or against others’ behaviors. We can only “judge” whether or not we want to hang-out around a guy that “represents” himself the Mr. West does. It might be part hype, part marketing, even part “fierce” attitude (as one reader alluded)…we don’t really know. We only know about him what he wants to show us. Nei?

    My question Andrew: Why, out of the endless number of images available did YOU choose, and continue to choose, using this person to represent your “movement”?

    Reply
    1. Andrew

      Hi Costa. Thanks for taking the time to read & comment in such depth.

      I like how Kanye looks in a suit. Superficial? Yes. There are probably better images out there with which to represent our Movement.

      Your point about not condoning or endorsing behavior ring true.

      One of the things I like about Kanye is that he is in-your-face and unabashedly controversial. Let’s say I chose Marshall Mathers instead. Would some people dislike that choice? For sure. What about President Barack Obama? Same problem, though for different reasons. Sean Carter (Jay-Z)? He got his career started by selling drugs, hardly something I can endorse.

      This whole thing really underscores one of my key points with this Movement, which is: where have all the sterling role models gone? I’m open to suggestions.

      I’m taking down the image and replaced him with a headless gentleman rocking a suit, for now.

      Thanks for everyone who has commented.

      Reply
      1. Ralph

        “This whole thing really underscores one of my key points with this Movement, which is: where have all the sterling role models gone?”

        I think this is a great question. I believe sterling role models still abound, but because they, by nature, don’t tend to beat their own drum, they’ve been obfuscated by all the ultra-loud, narcissistic nitwits who routinely cloud the public sphere.

        And not that my opinion matters, but I think the new photo you’ve chosen is pitch-perfect and much more befitting considering the quality content of the site. Nice choice.

        Reply
        1. Matthew Sylvester

          Role models – Liam Neeson, Sean Connery, Jason Statham, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, Hugh Jackman, Brad Pitt, Jackie Chan. Gordon Liu, Phillip Reeve – I agree that they are hard to find, and you will never find a rapper that you can use as an example of a gentleman.

          Reply
          1. Andrew

            I like these actors as image models. But what about their personal lives? I don’t know enough about them to say.

            I’m not sure we can make blanket statements about rappers. I would say that a rapper like Marshal Mathers has gone to the very bottom of the bottom — almost dying of a drug overdose before confronting his demons and getting clean. Sure, he uses foul language in his raps. But isn’t that part of art?

  6. Pingback: 10 Qualities That Make You a Fierce Gentleman

  7. Laurence

    Wanting too “look sharp”, “feel sharp”, build and own personal confidence? Try shaving with a Straight Razor. That’s right, a straight razor. The kind your great grandfather used.
    What you will need; A very good quality straight razor. Preferably German or Swiss made. Avoid the cheap crap made in Pakistan. Those are of very inferior steel and do not hold an edge.
    You will also need a fine quality leather strop. The strop is used to keep the edge “razor sharp.”
    Next you will need a high quality Boar Bristle shaving brush, a mug and a puck of shaving soap.
    Start out slow. Go easy. Avoid the slightest wrong movement. Especially when shaving the jugular area. Stay focused, relaxed and confident. Allow yourself adequate time.
    When shaving is complete rinse with warm water then splash on some Bay Rum after shave for a refreshing, cooling effect.Smile. Go meet the day. (Shaving tutorials can be found online) Good luck men.

    Reply
    1. Andrew

      We agree on this one Laurence, and have started shaving with a straight razor ourselves. The Art of Manliness has some good tutorials, but you can find plenty of good ones on YouTube as well.

      Reply
  8. Laurence

    Having been born just after WWII these precepts were commonly taught/ingrained into our upbringing. Most young boys had a grasp on these ideals at a very young age.
    It is encouraging to see that some males are beginning to show interest in becomming men again.
    For a short course and if you prefer to cut through all the touchy feely, soft warm fuzzy crap then try reading “Grow a Pair” by Larry Winget. Good read for the ladies as well.

    Reply
  9. Joseph P

    Hugh Jackman. Sidney Poitier. Sammy Davis. Harry Belafonte. Brad Pitt. Look I love Kanye he has some blunders. That said I am sure he will become a FG. However you are right Andrew, I have never met him. Moving forward.

    Reply
  10. Ralph

    So having an opinion and vocalizing it makes us “judgemental internet dork(s)”? Sorry, not buying it. One doesn’t have to know Kanye personally to know that he is an ego-maniac. This appears, to me, to collide with #4 on the list of Qualities That Make You a Fierce Gentleman: “He understands that all ego-gratification plans are scheduled for failure.”

    Check Kanye’s humility here: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/the-juice/5719321/kanye-west-calls-himself-the-no-1-rock-star-in-bbc-interview

    I’m not trying to pick a fight; just calling it like a I see it. If you guys want to use his picture, go for it. But ad hominem attacks? Come on, guys…

    Reply
  11. Scott

    Very Un-Fierce to hate on who’s photo is up on top. Don’t worry about others choices about what they might consider or perceive as Fierce. I don’t worry too much about the cult of celebrity myself so I don’t really know or care enough to make judgements about such trivial things myself….

    Otherwise I really do’t think K.W. really gives a shit about whether or not YOU think he ought to be at the top of this page and maybe that is ultimately a part of his fierce-ness. Basically not giving a shit about judgmental internet dorks.

    Reply
    1. Andrew

      Scott, you nailed it. I’d like to think that the F.G. doesn’t judge people he doesn’t know. Why would we hate on Kanye? Most of us have never met him.

      Reply
  12. costa

    “Todo bien”….”It’s all good”, as my surfer friends say.
    I just HAVE to make one “observation” re: the following:

    “Addictions are a prison for the weak of will. -Anonymous”

    There are “addictions” and there are “bad habits” (addicts and “weak-of-will”)
    and I believe this quote, of the very old-school variety, confuses the two.
    And does disservice to both !

    Reply
  13. Eric Kenyon SFG

    Well Andrew old boy you’ve written a jolly good mess. Nerd Fitness? Zuska Light? No no lad it won’t do. Your fierce gentleman trains at Strongfirst, or at an affiliate of said organization. There are many, and the gentlemen and ladies there are extremely strong and fierce. Agreeing with the gentlemen Rory and Ralph on this Kanye West chap. Unfortunate choice.

    Reply
  14. Rory

    Kanye is not exactly the best example of a gentleman. In fact it is my opinion he is nearer the other end of the scale whatever that is. Maybe you could find a different picture for the top of this page?

    Reply
  15. Pingback: Fierce Mulligan | azimuthscompass

  16. Ralph

    You’ve done great work here. Love the site. But I was totally turned off when I saw that you’d chosen to post a picture of Kanye West. Come on, guys. As one of the biggest ego-maniacs in the news these days, he’s far from what I gather is a F.G. Take that picture down, please.

    Reply

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