The thing about maning up is that it is not an explicit decision you make to be or not to be a gentleman. It is the things you do in your stride that determine which side of the coin you are. There must have been a reason, a dividing factor that led to the definition of two classes of the ‘male-man’ — a man and a gentleman. The distinction is almost as clear as the difference between sheep and goats.
Further, maning up is not an outward decision; its elements lie within and are founded on certain principles and values. It cannot be forced or made up and it is not a status. It is a lifestyle. The fact that it comes from within implies that it has to be built from inside before it can manifest outside. How do you build it on the inside and transform it to become your lifestyle?
1. Your set of values
Values are the foundation on which your life is anchored. They determine what is acceptable or not to you. They determine your actions and reactions in different circumstances as well as your perception and attitude towards others. Your values become a rail on which your life rolls over and they define you. Your values may be different from someone else’s but more often than not, you will be drawn to people whose values are similar to yours. In selecting and adopting values, you will need to think about the results you desire.
Your values should help you emit positive energy, first for your own use then for the consumption of others. Values such as honesty and integrity, concern and empathy, enthusiasm, hard work and respect for others will transform you from just any other man to a gentleman who people (men and women alike) will always want to be associated with. Instilling values into one’s lifestyle is not an easy task, but the results are worth every effort.
2. Right things at the right time
A gentleman focuses on doing not only the right things, but also at the right time. There is always a time and place for everything. Principally, there is always a clear distinction between what is right and wrong, but sometimes the right things can turn out be wrong if done at inappropriate times or places.
For example, you may by now crave the pleasures of this world such as alcohol. Girls may also start fascinating you and every now and then, you want to partake of the forbidden fruit. Smoking may seem fancy and night outs with the boys the thing. All these things are fun, but it is wise to put some thought to them and exercise moderation.
Take sex for instance; how do you think your mother felt when she came home early one afternoon and walked in on one of your sexual adventures? She may not tell you, but your actions are not only shameful and embarrassing to her, but they have also mutilated and disgraced her house, her safe haven.
Again, for how long will she have to open doors for a stinking drunk young man who had to jump over the gate in the wee hours of the night? Remember, nobody is saying these things are bad or wrong just that they need to be done at the right time and place.
Wouldn’t it be more comfortable if you waited one or two years to get an apartment of your own? There you can drink, smoke and bring all the girls you want without making anyone uncomfortable or hurting anybody’s feelings, right? Such is the thinking of a gentleman who is respectful, responsible, considerate and sincere and such is the man who walks with his head held high.
3. Speed of thought process
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