How To Be a Real Man in The Modern World

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In recent years the terminology “toxic masculinity” has been used to describe what is stereotypically wrong with men’s attitudes and why the sexes have not been treated equally. There is a lot of validity in the sexual equality discussion, so it should be clear I am not questioning those rational intelligent conversations.

But with everything that’s discussed these days, the pendulum always swings too far over to the opposite side. In doing so, this seems to wash the world of millenia of successes and reasons why humanity has evolved to where it is today.

The simple fact is, as a whole, men and women are different. Yes there are masculine women, feminine men, and all of the rainbow genders in between. But let’s for arguments sake say this makes up 5% of the population (it’s very probably less). Why does it seem to make up 95%+  of the conversation? It’s a topic which is layered with obstacles which can trip up even the most fluent and educated linguist, so it’s one I will leave here as a precis, in order to focus on what I believe it takes to be a real man in this modern world.

Safety & Security

It’s a man’s responsibility to make everybody around him feel safe and secure so they can focus on their own tasks and responsibilities. This is not only family with your loved ones, but also in the office with the people you work with. A real leader of people allows their staff to focus on their work without fear to ensure creativity and flexibility in coming up with ideas and finding solutions.

Leading From The Front (Real Man) vs Leading From The Back (Insecure Man)

There are different types of leaders. The authoritarian autocratic leader leads through fear and intimidation. They are the all powerful strong boss who protects themselves at all costs, while implementing decisions without consultation with stakeholders. This leader produces a culture of fear and removes all ability from their staff to create new ideas and come up with innovative solutions. They are never seen at the front of the company. They are only seen lurking in the shadows and hiding in the boardroom, and do not have close relationships with their staff. They lead from the back with a whip in their hands, revelling in the power and enjoying the fear on the faces of the employees as they look over their shoulders wondering if he is coming for them next.

The transactional democratic leader leads from the front. He has compassion for the staff who do the work, whilst clearly explaining the bigger vision and direction for the company. This ensures all staff have full clarity on the company direction, allowing ideas to be created freely with innovative solutions to everyday problems being faced. They are the leader who goes into battle first. They pull the company forward by being front and centre of the organisation. They are the face of the company in front of customers and suppliers. They are the man who stands up for his people and protects them at all costs.

Business vs Real World Analogy

I use this analogy as a business leader to align what a real man in life should be. Importantly it is your actions not words which define who you are. It is not the thoughts inside your head (and believe me, I have the most terrible thoughts). It is not the words from your mouth. It is the actions of what you do in everyday life which define your true personality.

As a father, you must lead from the front. You must show your children what is right and what is wrong. An oft stated comment growing up from adults around me was “do as I say, not as I do”, or “children should be seen and not heard”. It’s quite funny looking back thinking about those words which are remembered fondly with no blame. That’s simply the way things were from a generation born during or just before/after the 2nd World War.

But those statements are wrong. The narrative should change to “do as I say, and here are the reasons why you should do those things.” And you should instil good habits in your children by leading by example. How can you expect your children to go outside and run around doing sports and activities which keep their minds and bodies healthy, if all you do is sit around watching TV at any spare moment. Results from your actions may not be immediately rewarded, but over a lifetime, everything balances out and your actions will be what’s remembered and followed.

Clear Vision & Purpose

A real man must always be moving forward and have a clear vision of what they are striving towards. The people in your life must be able to rely on you and know who you are, know the values you stand for and why you believe in them. 

A real man does not sit around waiting for life to come to them. They move forward with clarity and conviction towards their higher purpose.

Authenticity & Vulnerability

A real man is authentic and stays true to their values at all times. This authenticity leads to a certain vulnerability, and that vulnerability can be scary. But by fighting vulnerability, a veil of protection is put up like a cloak over your real self. It’s ok to be vulnerable. It helps you grow and see yourself for who you truly are, for everything you are whether you like it or not. This builds your integrity which you can take with you everywhere you go.

Have Fun & Be Comfortable With Who You Are

Above all else, a real man must be comfortable in their own skin and know how to have fun and enjoy life. A miserable man does not inspire others. But a man who knows who they are, what their higher purpose is, what the vision for their life is and knows how to have fun achieving those things, is a man who will inspire others to follow and achieve great things for themselves.


In Modern Wisdom podcast #785, Chris talks to Jimmy Rex, a men’s coach, author and podcaster. Listen in and expect to learn what it means to be a healthy authentic man, the problems most men struggle with, how more men can learn to face their fears, what it means to be a warrior and give full devotion, the role of friendships in the modern world, why no one talks about love anymore, as well as much more.

In Mind Pump #2347, the boys talk to Adam Lane Smith, a life coach and expert on attachment theory. Listen in to learn how to become a better father, mother, husband, wife, man or woman. You will learn about attachment theory, why it’s important, and the scientific chemical reactions involved in the process of attachment. And as always, many more nuggets of wisdom and knowledge to be used in everyday life to become a better person in everything you strive to do.

Stay educated, keep learning and never stop moving forward to become a better person day by day so you can live wiser, Live Stronger & Live Longer.

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