“It's important to be a gentleman.”
Gent, gentleman… we use these words all the time.
But what does it mean? How can you put being a gentleman into practice? How does it apply to today's world?
That's the subject of today's article.
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Gentlemen, (see what I did there?) let's get into it.
1. A Gentleman Is A Man Of Honor
An honorable man has principles and he strives to live up to them – he knows what he stands for and won't bend the rules because it's more convenient or it's the easy way out.
An honorable man or woman is one who learns early that one cannot do wrong and feel right. A man’s character is judged on how he keeps his word and his agreements. – Ezra Taft Benson
To live your life with honor means to strive to do your best and continually pursue excellence; you live with integrity, purpose, courage and dignity. An honorable man is honest, kind, respectful and acts with dignity and grace.
2. A Gentleman Is Courageous
Courage is often misunderstood. Being courageous does not require you to slay a dragon or run across hot burning coals in order to prove your manliness.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. – Mark Twain
Men of courage stand up for what's right. They are brave men who conquer fear and fight for what they believe in.
A brave man stands up against something which threatens him or someone he cares about and he takes action in a way that is consistent with his values.
3. A Gentleman Knows How To Be Mindful
We often do things on autopilot. Have you ever driven somewhere and realized you have no recollection of the journey? How about shaving, do you remember doing it this morning? You probably have a shaving routine but your mind was on other things.
The mindful gentleman is aware of and embraces his own thoughts, feelings and sensations, and the environment around him, at any given time.
The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live. – Buddha
He does not believe there is a ‘right' or ‘wrong' way of feeling at a particular time – he accepts these feelings for what they are.
A mindful man is able to focus on the present without dwelling on the past or feeling anxious about the future. Breathing techniques and meditation practices are something you can work to develop over time, but beginning to think in this mindset is the most important step you can take.
4. A Gentleman Knows Chivalry Is Not Dead
Traditionally, chivalry referred to the methods of training and standards of behavior for knights in the Middle Ages. Now, you may have heard the phrase ‘chivalry is dead'. Thankfully, we are no longer required to wear chain mail to work, but the principle of chivalry remains the same.
In the modern world, chivalry means being generous and courteous. This means opening doors for others (not just women!), allowing others to go before you in line or simply helping someone across the road or with their shopping.
5. A Gentleman Is Committed
As a modern gentleman, your word is your bond. If you say you're going to do something, you need to follow through and make sure you do it.
Sadly, we live in a world of fake promises and people who promise much and deliver little – the positive side is that makes you even more memorable if you become the guy people can depend on time after time.
People value honesty, integrity and reliability. I know it's sometimes easier said than done though, so check out my guide here on how to keep promises.
6. A Gentleman Is Confident
A confident man knows his own abilities. An arrogant man insists on sharing it with others.
Confidence comes from within. You should know who you are and be comfortable with what you stand for.
Oftentimes men will try too hard to come across as confident and appear arrogant instead. Let's use this example – talking over someone in a meeting isn't confident, it's arrogant. Voicing an opinion without considering the impact is arrogant, not confident.
Confident men are always ready to see the best in others and know that doing so isn’t a judgment about them.
If you struggle with confidence from time to time (and what man doesn't?), I show you here how to be more confident.
7. A Gentleman Understands Manners And Etiquette
A modern gentleman has impeccable manners and understands etiquette.
We define manners as the way you behave towards others. Etiquette refers to the rules of society.
And manners always trump etiquette.
Imagine someone invites you to a meal. Etiquette dictates that you don't begin eating until the host. However, someone opposite you starts their meal before the host has even sat down. Although this person is breaking etiquette, you wouldn't tell them to stop eating because this would be rude.
A modern gentleman always treats people in the way he'd like to be treated.
8. A Modern Gentleman Seeks Self-Fulfillment
A modern gentleman seeks self-fulfillment; he does not chase happiness. Moods go up and down and happiness can be temperamental.
Fulfillment is something you work for and feel deep down inside you. Fulfillment is long time happiness. Examples of fulfillment include raising a family, building a business you love, maintaining and growing long-lasting relationships, engaging in daily activities that promote good health (eating right and exercising).
Guys, take these to heart and become the gentleman you know yourself to be.