Masculinity is not only about physical strength and aggressive behavior but also, among other things, about patience, composure and overall intelligent living.
The present day social environment is increasingly filled with toxic ideologies and information disseminated by the popular media and by anybody with an internet connection and a blog. Therefore, I think that masculinity in the present day has an added meaning of being able to wade through the misinformation-overload of the unprecedented scale and live in a way that is least harmful to oneself, and most beneficial to the society. After all, it is men who build and run the society (for the most part).
We are living in the consumer culture. It is a culture wherein individuals are constantly encouraged to buy stuff, even the stuff that they don’t need. Through systematic brainwashing the corporations are creating needs in people’s minds that would never have arisen otherwise. Where there is a corporation, there is a system in place that ensures that all the money that you earn (mostly from working for one of them) goes back right to the corporations. And they are present in almost every sphere of life today. Foods, clothing, entertainment, electronics, media, everywhere!
In a world like this, frugal living is intelligent living. As a man, one must know to live intelligently.
Below are some of the ways towards that end:
1) Do without accessories, except a wrist-watch
I am referring to accessories like chains, bracelets or wrist-bands, rings etc. made of metal or any other material that many men wear. Such accessories are for women and feminine men.
Women traditionally have been adorning their bodies with accessories to attract attention of men. Men need no such thing. For men, it is their masculine attitude which comprises of strength, confidence, composure, etc. that creates attraction in the opposite sex.
The only accessory that I find useful is a wrist-watch. Get a sturdy watch that has an eye-catching dial, and either metal or resin strap. Leather straps soon turn smelly with sweating, and otherwise are not as durable as metal or resin straps. I currently have a Casio Illuminator watch with resin strap which has a dial that is both digital and analogue. It sports a look that is suitable for both formal and casual settings.
Keep in mind the objectives: A single watch that is 1) durable, 2) has a dial that stands out 3) is suitable for formal as well as casual setting, and 4) is low to moderately priced.
2) Have single pair of jeans, and a few plain t-shirts
Have only one pair of jeans and a few (three to four) plain cotton t-shirts. Go for jeans of the fit that is currently in fashion and get them in dark color (indigo or dark grey). For t-shirts, keep them plain and of the colors that are in contrast with the jeans. Light grey, yellow and khaki are some of the best colors in my opinion as they don’t easily show the signs of aging unlike black, navy blue, brown etc. that take on a lighter shade after a number of washes. Light gray, for example, would not betray that it is being worn for months unless it is torn or has got holes in it. Plain white t-shirt is also good, except that it would catch stains easily.
A pair of branded jeans might cost you somewhat dearly but they last a long time. Jeans are rugged and durable clothing. A one-time investment should last you at least a couple of years. Plain t-shirts on the other hand are normally the cheapest of clothing articles in a mall, even the good quality ones. Go for low to mid-range ones and do not compromise much on quality because one of the primary goals is also durability.
On a well-toned body this combination looks classy any day. There is no need to go for colorful and flashy jeans and shirts like you are going for a party. Flashy clothing is for women and feminine men who lack natural traits in their personality to make them attractive.
This does not mean that you would have no other clothes. You might occasionally need some party wear and a few formal clothes if your workplace requires wearing formals. The above, however, should comprise your go-to wear for hanging out with friends, going out on casual occasions, picnics and even on dates.
3) Say no to junk food
I read this advice somewhere: Be skeptical of eating anything that did not exist when your grandfather was a kid. It is a great advice if you see through it.
Modern food industry through prolific use of advertising seems to have convinced people that they are supposed to eat virtually all the time. A zillion varieties of processed and junk foods are available in a zillion different types of packaging or are served in restaurants at nearly every street corner. Now people want to eat when they are travelling, taking a stroll, or even when they are just bored!
Most of the food that the urban population is eating is useless, and harmful. All processed foods, that is, foods that come in packets, tins, bottles, are junk. All foods made of white flour are junk. Out go the window all bread items (even the so-called whole grain bread) like pizzas, burgers and sandwiches. All food items that are deep-fried are junk. All food items made with excessive use of butter, cheese, mayonnaise, sauces and spices are junk. As far as I know, all Chinese food is junk too. A rule of thumb: Just about all the food that is “fast” and advertised is junk.
Eat home-made food. Food made with wheat flour, like roti. Curries made with pulses and fresh vegetables, brown rice, salad,.. If you need to munch on something for time-pass, eat nuts. I am vegetarian, so I don’t know much about non-veg food, but I would say avoid eating anything that is preserved and cooked in a way that kills nutrients and adds a lot of fat to it. And while we are at it, eat heavy meals only when hungry and never stuff your stomach.
I am not proposing ascetic life here. It is impossible to stay away from temptation to eat junk food 100% of the times. However, setting a rule around it helps. You can set a rule to have the aforementioned junk food only once a week, or twice at most. That is my rule at this time. Someone with more discipline may keep it once a month or so.
If you are not already practicing moderation, ask yourself how much money you spend on the junk food and you might be surprised. It is a great money saver as well as immensely benefits health. Makes it much easier to keep the body in good shape. When the body is healthy, so is the mind.
4) Don’t smoke, drink or dope
If you smoke, drink, or dope as a habit then there is no point reading this guide any further. You are wasting your money and damaging your body and mind in such major way that all other efforts at self-improvement are futile.
Smoking occasionally (one or two cigarettes a month), and that too only when it has some instrumental benefit or the company necessitates it, is fine. Likewise, moderate social drinking is fine. But if you can’t resist the urge to smoke or drink then consider yourself to be way past the limit. As for doping, you should strictly keep away from every form of it. It is not worth your money and precious health.
Only a stupid person would be slave to his addictions.
5) Walk instead of using transportation
Make it a compulsive habit to walk short to moderately long distances instead of taking a vehicle or using public transportation. If you are short of time for where you have to reach, well, then walk faster!
I walk around three kilometers every day, which is because I don’t have scope to walk more. I wouldn’t mind walking up to ten kilometers a day or some more. If your circumstances allow you to walk about ten kilometers in a day, consider yourself lucky and walk.
Going to the market, hanging out with friends, running errands, going between home and the train station to and from work,.. All this can be done walking instead of using transportation.
6) Use low-end smartphone, till it goes outdated
Smartphone is a necessity. Using a smartphone as against a basic mobile phone increases one’s productivity tremendously. However, a low-end Android phone today does almost everything that a phone which is ten-times costlier does. Besides, the technology advances so fast that the features of today’s high-end phone would become available in the low-end phone in a year’s time.
The phone that I currently use is Motorola E series Android phone. It is sturdily built and has battery life matching that of high-end phones. It may lack some fancy features, but if you ask yourself what gains in productivity do people using the high-end phones achieve vis-à-vis those not using those phones, you will hardly find any. Mostly it just boils down to snob appeal. Men need not fall for it.
Corporations don’t want to manufacture products to last long. They not only want you to buy stuff you don’t need, but also want you to keep buying. It is called planned obsolescence. It means that a phone or a computer you would buy today is purposely designed to become obsolete before its physical life ends. They upgrade OS’s and technical specs at short intervals, so the phone you own today would not run the software/apps a few years later even if your phone is in good condition. Most people are gullible enough to change their phones in much shorter duration by falling into the trap these companies lay for them. Do not be one of them.
I have a friend who used an Android phone for 4 years till it went bad. His OS version (Android Froyo) did not support many of the apps that the subsequent versions of the OS did, but it did support many of the essential apps and that did the job for him. Do not be the fool to go and buy the latest device every time they are launched. Get new phone only and only when your current phone stops working or becomes absolutely outdated. You are not losing much, if anything at all.
7) Don’t go to expensive gym
Unless you aim to become muscular body-builder, there is no need to go to a gym at all. Buy dumbbells, a rod and a few weights, a bench, and learn exercises that can be done at home. You don’t necessarily need everything that I mentioned. A couple of dumbbells would suffice for basic exercises. YouTube is a great place to learn about various exercises and diet for fitness.
A half hour of weightlifting at home and an hour of walking outdoors should be sufficient for you to be the healthiest person in the neighborhood. If you can’t exercise every day, do it at least three days in a week.
8) Buy second-hand things
Barring electronics and clothes, there are many things that can be bought second-hand. Furniture, exercise weights, bicycle, books, etc. are some of the things that don’t spoil easily and if you find them in good condition they may give you years of usage with minimum spending.
Nowadays there are many websites (Olx.com for one) where you can buy second-hand stuff directly from the people who want to sell them. Take advantage of fools who want to sell perfectly good stuff as they are running on the hedonic treadmill of relentless consumerism.
9) Don’t use shampoo and deodorant
As a man you don’t need to use shampoo, and certainly not deodorant. There are alternatives to these products that not only cost nothing but also give surprisingly great results. See my detailed post about it.
10) Don’t spend crazy money on women, take the Red Pill
Only men who don’t really understand women spend money on fancy gifts and expensive dinners for women. Without the right personality the money you spend on women would bring you no success with them. And with the right personality women would love you even if you don’t spend a dime on them.
Gifts and dinners are overrated. I have had a hot girl who would give me sex and cook for me every time I went to her place. I never took her out to dinner, holiday, or gave her any gift. Not even a birthday present. I saw her for a few months and the total amount of money I spent on her is literally zero. And yet on my birthday I got an expansive shirt from her!
Most men in the world have no clue what women find attractive in men, and consequently they are terrible with women. Fortunately, today we have internet and there are many great men writing blogs to enlighten men about the nature of women, and a lot more about being a man.
Take the Red Pill. Follow these blogs in the mesosphere:
They would cover every aspect of masculinity from seduction and game, to hygiene and style, to society and politics. Everything that is needed to make one an exemplary man.
This article was originally published on Max Newman’s blog. Follow Max Newman on Twitter.