Tip #47F: Be A Giver!
If you ask a man (or woman) who the three most important people are in his life, he might say "me, myself, and I". Of course he will not say it verbally but he will through his actions. I get why a person might think this because, as a society, we are often fed the message "self before others". We see several well-known athletes, businessmen, and politicians in scandals and schemes because they need more. Enough isn't enough. We all know that the underlying issue is usually g
Tip #47E: Keep Good Company.
The phrase "birds of a feather flock together" sums up the next tip in this series. Who you hang around will more than likely determine what you do and how you act. Here's a good example: when I'm back home visiting my family, I'm loud, country, and comfortable. I clown around and love to laugh. When I'm teaching at school, things are a little different. I try to be on my best behavior. I make sure all my I's are dotted and all my T's are crossed. I do my job. When I'm with m
Tip #47D: Have Vision!
The next pillar of the 7 Pillars of Manhood is Vision (see the first pillar here). When I say "vision" I'm not talking about the ability to see physically. In order to be an effective man, you need to have vision as it relates to foresight, insight, but you must watch out for the dreadful oversight. Let's take a look at each of these. Foresight-It's the ability to see ahead. It's kinda like watching a trailer before actually seeing the full-length movie. Having a preview of w
Tip #47C: Be Strong!
Continuing with The 7 Pillars of Manhood, strength is up next. Strength is very important (and I'm not just talking about the ability to bench press 250 pounds-although, if you can bench 250, good for you!). You must have strength in these four areas: Mental Strength A strong mind is one of your greatest assets. Making smart decisions, setting goals, and staying out of trouble takes a lot of intentional effort and it begins with a made up mind. Doing the right thing, even whe
Tip #47B: Find Your Destiny.
In the last tip, I wrote about understanding your identity, why you are the way you are, and what makes you you. In this tip, I want to take a minute to talk to you about where you're headed in life, aka your destiny. Some of you may eventually become teachers, doctors, lawyers, laborers, entertainers, singers, etc. You have also been given gifts, talents, and interests that prepare you for, or may even make your journey. But many of you might find it hard to understand what
Tip #47: Know Your Identity.
One thing I really enjoy is being a mentor and since my last post, I have started a small group with a few young men to discuss some things that I consider very important. I call them the 7 Pillars of Manhood. In order to be an effective man, you need these 7 Pillars: identity, destiny, strength, vision, accountability, generosity, and faith (if you're a young lady reading this post, that's okay. You should recognize a solid man when he has these 7 Pillars). In my experienc
Tip #39J: Don't Lose Control!
This is the final topic of the Fruit of the Spirit. It has to do with self-control. "Boys will be boys" and "it just happened..." or "we were just having fun and then things got out of control" are all phrases I hear teenagers say when things go wrong. I had a chance to talk with a teen a couple of weeks ago about getting intimate in relationships and what to watch out for. He said "sometimes you can get caught up in the moment and things just happen". I was like "yeah, you'r
Tip #39I: Be a Gentleman.
What does it mean to be a gentleman? A gentleman is a man that treats others in a proper and polite way (borrowed from m-w.com) but being a gentleman now requires much more effort than what was required a few years ago. Why? I think it's because there are fewer gentleman as role-models which means the younger guys are kinda left trying to figure it out on their own. Look around and you'll see many men that are becoming less and less concerned about others but more and more co
Tip #39H: Have a Little Faith!
The other day, I had an opportunity to speak with a young man for an hour or so. We started talking about faith in God, etc. He said he had a lot of questions about God & faith and I followed that up with "I do too". It seemed as if he felt he didn't need God and wasn't interested. I told him that he is living a very comfortable life right now and everything seems to be going well for him but there will come a time when he will have issues, problems, and heartaches that no ot
Tip #39G: Be Good!
The next fruit is goodness. When I browse Merrian Webster's online dictionary (www.m-w.com), I find that I don't need to define goodness. Instead, I can just look at the synonyms to get a clear picture of what goodness is. Words like character, decency, morality, honesty, integrity, probity, rectitude, righteousness, rightness, uprightness, virtue, and virtuousness help me understand goodness a little better. On the other hand, the antonyms of goodness are badness, evil, evil
Tip #39F: Show Kindness.
Continuing with bearing fruit, next up is kindness. It's sad that society has made a guy like me feel less of a man because he is considerate, puts others first, or is kind. Many consider a guy like this weak, a pushover, or a doormat because he may not use coarse or profane language, brute force, or have a tough demeanor. This was the biggest struggle of my life growing up as a teen. I knew I wasn't the typical guy. I was sensitive, considerate, empathized with others, and I
Tip #39E: Be Patient!
The next fruit is patience. This one is a pretty tough fruit to bear because much of our society is moving at such a fast pace. If you've read any of my other posts, you may have heard me say that many people want things to happen immediately. We have minute rice, fast food, microwave dinners, overnight shipping, and the list goes on and on. Don't get me wrong, some of these quick ideas/inventions are great because waiting sucks! However, I've learned a thing or two about wai
Tip #39D: Be a Peacemaker!
Peace is the next fruit I want to discuss. Growing up in the 80s, there was a was pretty popular commercial that featured a bubble bath soap (Calgon). The commercial featured a stressed out woman dealing with a barking dog, crying kids, traffic, a yelling boss, etc. The woman said these four simple words: "Calgon, take me away" and, magically, she was swept away to a luxurious bubble bath with soft music playing in the background. Immediately, her stress was gone! As you can
Tip #39C: Have Joy!
Continuing with bearing fruit, next up is joy. Some people think that joy is happiness. While joy and happiness are closely related, my understanding is that happiness is a result of joy. I heard someone say that happiness is a result of something happening but joy is a choice, an attitude, and a way of life. It comes from deep within. Another person tweeted that "happiness is like rising bubbles -- delightful and inevitably fleeting. Joy is the oxygen -- ever present". Ok