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Lessons For Men-A Time Forgotten

There was once a time, where men were men. I don’t mean this in a cocky manner, almost the complete opposite actually. Men were once gentlemen instead of boys, chivalrous instead of self-absorbed, well-dressed instead of sloppy, not being afraid of hard work instead of looking for the easy way out.

I have looked up to older (golden) generations for as long as I can remember. I’ve listened to countless hours of stories and lessons that I didn’t realize at the time, but I’ve come to understand now how important they truly were. I have tried to instill some of these same lessons to my young impressional son. Here are some of those lessons.

  1. Read the newspaper.
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There is something about getting your news from an actual paper. In our era of digital everything, it’s rare to see a person holding a newspaper and when we do see it, it tends to bring some sense of nostalgia so at least hipsters are drawn to it. We tend to think of an old man in retirement or an upper-class businessman as being the main targeted demographic group for a printed newspaper when we should all be utilizing it.

Each time my newspaper delivery runs late, as it did just yesterday morning, and I’m forced to the Web for my early dose of news, I’m reminded how reading the news online pales compared to reading it in newsprint. There is something very satisfying to me about the physical interaction with a printed newspaper that you can’t get online. Tactile learners experience the world through touch and movement. (And no, clicking a button doesn’t count.)

Printed news—particularly the newspaper, is an amazingly sophisticated technology for showing you what’s important and showing you a lot of it. The newspaper has refined its user interface for more than two centuries and they have gotten good at it. So while your pulling for news in the morning (and you should be) consider utilizing a printed version. Studies have even shown that retention of data is greater when printed information is used over digital.

Think of it this way, a man with a newspaper in a suit an tie headed to work, is a man others will notice.

2. Use an Alarm Clock. 

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For the longest time, I can remember utilizing my iPhone’s alarm clock function to wake me up in the morning. I would set it before bed, place the phone on the charger on the table next to the bed (about 2 feet from my head) roll over and get to sleep. I did this for years!

One day I noticed that I just can’t get to bed on time and this affected the time I woke up obviously. I couldn’t figure out what was going on other than I just couldn’t sleep. I would be in the bed, laying there. One night it hit me, I was reaching for my phone to scroll through the latest Facebook feed then the twitter feeds and I would get caught up in the videos that come along with the news feeds. Once one video is complete, another one similar to it will automatically begin, it was like a well thought of trap. There should be a disclaimer (IT’S A TRAP!)

I decided to buy a docking station. I set up the docking station in the living room and that is where I would charge all electronics in the house. I bought an alarm clock, which may feel “old-timey” but hey, they work. I placed it on my nightstand the same evening I bought it. Wouldnt you know it, as soon as I hit the bed, I was out like a light!

My grandfather used two alarm clocks. One was a wall plugin and the other was battery operated and both were classy looking and situated on his nightstand. I now do the same and when I travel, I bring along the battery operated one and charge my phone in the hotel bathroom.

Ever thought of the science behind cell phones in the bedroom at night. There is a light as well as a radio signal that is emitted from your phone that could disturb your slumber, affecting everything throughout your day that follows.

3. Wearing a suit properly makes all the difference.

Do you ever think when you flip through the never-ending TV channels, and come across the classic movies and notice all the men are dressed up, all the time; why are they always dressed up? Not just the high-class businessmen, but men from all walks. You can search the internet for men’s fashion in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. Once you have done that, take a quick look around you or just a quick look at the news and you will see a huge difference! It always makes me wonder: What were we thinking? This must have been the time prior to the saying, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”  Well, we broke it.

Wearing a suit to work, no matter what you do places you at a great advantage. It does this in a few ways. The first of which is, it makes you feel different. Putting on formal clothes makes us feel powerful, and that changes the basic way we see the world and how the world see’s us, this includes those you work with.

Secondly, it shows respect no just to yourself, but also those in whom you may meet or interact with throughout the day.

Lastly, with wearing a suit, wear it properly, know that a three-piece suit is never inappropriate; it can always be dressed down if need be. Always utilize a pocket square, it’s not for you, it’s for the lady you may encounter throughout your day. Cufflinks should be utilized on your shirt cuff, they are fairly cheap but help in pulling your look together.

If you’re going to utilize a belt, then don’t use suspenders, it’s one or the other. If you do plan on using suspenders, the proper type does not have “clip’s” attached to your waistline. Ever wonder what those buttons on the inside of your pants are for?…. Suspender loops to attach.

Suit jackets should taper down like the shape of a V never end out looking like a []. If you like a particular suite, a quick trip to the tailers will fix this. The cost is relatively cheap and will pay off a hundredfold. The right fit makes all the difference. I have never seen a suit come off the shelf tailored properly to a body. Just expect the tailoring as a part of the cost.

If it’s too hot for a suit, then wear a proper vest. There are many vests available online through Amazon. These come automatically adjustable with the pull cord on the back but again, a trip to the tailor would be recommended. When you find the right vest, I suggest buying a few in different colors just to switch things up to not look as though your wearing the same item every day during the summer. A rule for vests to remember; if the vest has a silk back, then its usually one of two things 1. For a super formal occasion such as a wedding or 2. It’s cheap quality. Try to stick with vests that have the same material all around. These are not as forgiving when it comes to sizing but the tailor should be able to quickly fix this. This is like a $10 tailor fix here.

I could talk about the proper men’s dress attire for days, but I may leave that to another time.

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4. Rise early.

We’ve all heard the term in some sense that “the early bird gets the worm.”  I remember my grandfather already fully dressed for his day and eating breakfast with his newspaper in the morning at 6AM. I would stumble out of my room with drool still hanging on my face to witness this each morning. This was no Monday through Friday event either, but every single day. He used to tell me that the way to win, was to start the day before the rest of the world.

5. Less is more.

I wrote a small article post on Minimalism and for good reason. I look around my home at times and see new things and then realize those things are never even used. My grandfather, whom has a large home has nearly nothing in there that isn’t utilized on a weekly basis. He has less idle “stuff” in his home, which probably frees up money for investments and such. He could certainly purchase just about anything he wished and yet he doesn’t. So, having less “stuff” kept him with more cash in his pocket, less stress around the house and freed up time as he had less contending for his time and attention.

6. Read voraciously.

Reading has many benefits, not just opinion here folks but there is science behind it. ‘in our super information highway age of technology we often times forget to just sit back, open a well-printed book and just read. One 2009 study by Sussex University researchers showed that reading may reduce stress by as much as 68 percent.

Try leaving the TV off within the hour before bed. Get in a hot steaming bath and take a book with you. You will be relaxing, boosting your brain power as well as reading can help you fall asleep faster when you do crawl in the bed.

In the “olden days”, they didn’t have video games and movies on demand but most had access to a decent library. We have lost this benefit in some areas with the induction of E-Readers but I have to say, nothing beats a good physical book. No E-reader, no computer-based E-Book can compare. None!

 

More to be continued, the list certainly goes on……..

 

 

 

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