12 Things Every Guy Should Master to Become a Real Man.

Via Atalwin Pilon
on Mar 10, 2011
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How to Be ‘Manly’.

Twice today I came across some funny internet content that was about ‘being manly.’

Since I don’t believe in coincidence I take this as an omen and assume the Universe is inviting me to write about masculinity. And of course I feel the need to balance the funny stuff and approach the topic dead seriously. But before I start doing that, let me give you the links that triggered this post. First one is “What manly dudes talk about” and second is “How to be a man?” from Tales of Mere Existence, an excellent channel on YouTube, in my opinion.

I do feel that it’s an interesting and challenging topic. The bottom line is very simple. To be a man we have to be a mature version of a person with a Y chromosome. And everything we don’t develop doesn’t mature. Our physical development takes care of itself more or less. We just need to keep eating, sleeping, drinking and breathing (although it helps tremendous if we do that properly). But if we don’t take care of our psychological, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development these aspects remain underdeveloped and therefore immature. You can do the quick scan right now: if you are a man and haven’t been taking care of one or more of these terrains you can be sure that the corresponding side of you is immature.

Anyway, let’s get started. I typed this list in my phone while waiting for my order of Thai food. I did it off the cuff—there is no particular order nor am I having pretenses about it being complete. On second thought and more honest: I think it’s pretty complete but I was just acting humble. This is a list of features I honestly feel a mature man must own, be or do:

1. Be fearless

Being fearless does not mean being without fear, being fearless means admitting your fears and going beyond them. A real man is not in denial of his fears, holding up a mask of invulnerability but is willing to face his fears and work on them. He has the courage to do things that frighten him when the situation calls for it. A real man knows that the path towards fearlessness is endless.

2. Be resilient

A man should be flexible and reliable at the same time. If necessary he can start all over again at any given moment. Whatever happens; his house was burnt down, his crop failed, he lost his job, his wife had a miscarriage: even if he has mourning to do he starts all over again. A real man accepts his fate but doesn’t become a victim of it.

NelsonMandela2 12 things every guy should master to become a real man

3. Live, speak and listen from the heart

A real man doesn’t hide his feelings and intentions. He is not afraid to be gentle nor afraid to be sad. He is in touch with his emotions and is able to express them. He has the courage to live his dream and the space to listen compassionately.

4. Own your anger

A real man owns his anger. His anger has transformed into masculine compassion. He can be angry, strong, decisive and courageous. His anger serves his presence and the presence of others. It is not a humiliating or destructive type of anger. The latter happens when a man is a slave of his anger, that’s the anger of the coward trying to overcompensate his feelings of inferiority. This is just as sad as a man completely disconnected from his anger. He becomes emasculated and has no power at all. Other men don’t take him seriously. Women can smell immature anger and emasculatedness from a mile away and don’t find it sexy. Mature anger, on the other hand, is a big turn on.

5. Make meaning

Try not to become a man of success, try to become a man of value. Einstein said that. I think that’s true and important. If you fill your days with doing something that pays the bills but is essentially meaningless you are wasting your precious life. Yes, even if it pays the bills so handsomely that you can spend 2 months per year on adventurous holidays and eat in fancy restaurants, you are still wasting your life.  A real man has the balls to travel outside his comfort zone to make a sincere attempt to contribute to mankind. He works for the greater good instead of for the sake of protection of his self image and clinging to the illusion of safety.

6. Own your edge

This life is a journey and we all are somewhere on our path. A real man is honest about where he is at in his development. He doesn’t pretend to be wiser or more evolved than he actually is nor does he shrink so that others won’t feel insecure around him. He knows his strengths and his weaknesses and is not ashamed of either. That there is always work to do is a given to him. He knows where he has his work to do and is willing to listen and learn from those who have done that work.

7. Be vulnerable

A coward is always trying to hide his weak spots, a real man works on them. He is willing and able to reveal himself even in the midst of pain. He is vulnerable because he wants to be vulnerable. By opening up in every moment he is continuously practicing his courage. It’s his way of defeating his own cowardice.

8. Make love passionately

A real man does not hold back. When he makes love he opens up to all his rawness and all his tenderness and he gives his woman everything he has got. He does not shy away from intimacy. He can penetrate his woman so hard and deeply that she can feel that he is entering her soul. He aims for her heart. He makes her feel like a princess and a porn star simultaneously.

9. Practice a martial art

When push comes to shove every man should be able to defend his wife, children and honor. Just like we teach our children to swim to prevent them from drowning a man should know at least enough basic fighting skills so he can throw a punch in case of an emergency. A real man has spent enough time in a ring or dojo to ensure a deescalating presence. He does not panic, is not easily provoked and has some strength and skills.

Read on for 10, 11 and 12 over at Basic Goodness.


About Atalwin Pilon

Atalwin Pilon (40) is man on a mission. In January 2012, he left his home and his country to travel the world. He is on a spiritual quest, searching for what he calls the 21st century warrior: courageous men and women who are driven by compassion and integrity instead of greed and fear. He wants to know if one man can make a difference and if he can make a difference himself by offering his skills and heart to the world. He will write a book about his findings: "The Quest for the 21st Century Warrior". Feel free to contribute to his journey if his cause speaks to you. He needs your suggestions, hospitality, introductions and/ or your generosity to be be successful. You can make difference too. If you want Atalwin as your life coach you can book a Skype session now. You can follow his adventures on his website (he writes often). And you can find him on Twitter and Facebook too.


72 Responses to “12 Things Every Guy Should Master to Become a Real Man.”

  1. […] For more blather about manhood, click here. […]

  2. […] labyrinth in which you are embroiled is so dense and complicated that you simply resign yourself to this state of barely post-natal intellectualism and regard your occasional brushes with our legal system as an inescapable but necessary […]

  3. […] a man, not a boy. Get to know your sexual energy and channel it consciously versus haphazardly spilling […]

  4. purplerose says:

    Really enjoyed reading this, until i got to "make her feel like a Porn star". Really? Is that what you think most of us women want to feel like when being made love to. I can only speak on behalf of myself and my handful of good female friends when i say, sorry ,but we don`t.

  5. Elle says:

    I think this was meant to be a bit overarching, similarly to when we (humans) say Man when referring to mankind. He's saying a man should be able to fill these rolls for those who depend on him, his partner, his other. Not a female in particular.

  6. suz says:

    Excellent! Please post on facebook again so others can benefit!

  7. lisab says:

    I'm with strongropes. And porn stars are not fantasies. They are human beings who are suffering from emotional, mental, and economic hardships who are being outright exploited and commodified as something to use. In the worst cases they are even being forcibly prostituted and trafficked so that the porn industry can continue to make millions off of the human soul. I hope my husband never thinks of me as a porn star or frankly, even a fantasy. I'm a real person with thoughts, feelings, and a beautiful soul. Fantasies don't have any of those things because they are manufactured illusions that keep people grasping in all the wrong directions.

  8. Real Man says:

    This article is not about what women want. It's about how to be a real man.

  9. Real Man says:

    There are certain aspects to the generalized male biology that call for action in the realm of sexual fulfillment, competition, physical and mental fitness and stimulation — similarly applicable to the spectrum of human gender.

  10. Alexis says:

    love it!

  11. Ullyses says:

    I really love this article. I almost didnt read it though because of #1-Be Fearless. I think you meant to type Be Brave, or Be Courageous. By definition, fearless means without fear. I agree that a goal of humanity it eliminate fear as it is, and let wisdom and intuition guide us, but thats not what your talking about. You are talking about trumping fear and moving past it. That is bravery or courage. You are not eliminating fear, thats a silly notion, simply not letting fear be the governing emotion is what you talking about. Sorry to play semantics, you are a writer and I am sure you want a clear message sent. 🙂

  12. lisab says:

    This article would be a gazillion times better if it was reworked to fit the title "12 Things Every Guy Should Master to Become a Whole Human Being".

  13. @JKaikanBoyd says:

    I personally think that a REAL man, if anything, would encourage his family to take Self Defence for themselves. Quite honestly, I'm not sure that being in the ring is the solution to good training. I know some pretty amazing men who never set foot in one. So in sporty of what the founder of this blog would like for us to do in response to articles, I would like to respectfully point to the fact that maybe there's some intelligence in making suggestions without assuming we all fit in a little box of REALNESS.

    Quite honestly, BEING is about being all of those things the human experience offers, and if being a coward is what you need to experience in the moment, YOU will not be less of a man to me!

  14. Carl says:

    Learn a martial art and defend your honor by kicking your boss's ass when he makes fun of your choice in beverages.

  15. thatfellaandy says:

    I find "how to be a man" posts to be among the most cringe-inducing content on the internet. I wonder if the authors of such articles realize how self-absorbed and inflexible they seem? This article would be interesting, and even mildly valuable, if it were titled "12 Things I Should Master to Become the Man I Hope to Be". I understand this title doesn't have the same draw, but at least it doesn't force one persons view of masculinity down the throats of men who may or may not conform to the author's particular beliefs. My opinion- the way to be a man is to define masculinity for yourself, on your own terms, then pursue that ideal with everything you've got.

  16. Meredith says:

    thank you! I enjoyed the balance of the article.

  17. Kieran says:

    Great, however, as a straight man I can still see that there is a lop-sidedness to this article, by virtue of the fact that it implies by exclusion that gay men can’t be real men. Many gay men I know exhibit many of the listed attributes of manliness better than I do myself, albeit they’re not interested in my girlfriend… 😀

    I know I’m splitting hairs here, but it’s an important omission…

  18. You forgot to say be a gentleman.

  19. Alyssa says:

    Really? REALLY? A man should be fearless? There is no such thing as fearless, it's a human response. An adult should learn to work with their fear and use it to make a game plan, but to suggest that "real men" don't feel fear is to perpetuate a harmful and shame-inducing myth on men, that emotions and feelings are weak.

    And a man should make love to his WOMAN? Do we really, in this day and age, need to point out that not all men love women in that way?

    And a man has to practice a martial art? No, sheesh. "Real Men" do lots of things. Some of them do sports, some don't, but perpetuating this "man is strong thing to protect others" is just bollocks. Seriously, it's the mythology that harms men. This is so steeped in imbalance it's hard to take seriously. Unfortunately, many people will, and will feel no end of shame, and judgement, as a result.

    Real HUMANS let other people be who they are, without trying to control them.

  20. I clearly missed the real man memo and married everything but… Pfff here is to making better choices next time 🙂 cool post. Fearless, resilient, own your anger and passionate lover? Yes please :-))

  21. Mary says:

    Not all men are able to have sex so if they're reading this they may hate you for implying they have to be sexually active to be a true man.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Sorry for doubting. Hopefully, you caught my poem today. I trust that you share from the heart and that Superman would tell me if it wasn't so.