The knowledgeable gentleman comprehends that his image does not begin with how society views him. Rather, the gentleman’s image begins with how he sees himself. He alone determines and dictates the manner in which he is presented to the world. When he gazes into the mirror, the reflection of greatness should readily greet him. It does not begin with the clothing he chooses to attire himself in, nor the vehicle he selects to navigate city streets. Not the place of employment where he makes a living. Not the amount of money presently residing in his bank account. Why? Well, because character starts with his self-worth. His esteem is not erected upon a mountain of biodegradable materialism – subject to decay and waste. No, the gentleman’s image is based on gentlemanly fundamentals that are concrete and certain. Virtue. Honor. Principle. Forthrightness. The Gentlemen’s Standard.
To be sure, it is certainly not common for self-esteem issues to be discussed in respect to adult males. Surely, any deeply rooted issues regarding self-respect and self-worth should have been addressed and resolved during adolescence and early adulthood. At least that is what some people hold to be true. However, this misguided belief is not grounded in reality. Being a male does not preclude one from experiencing tribulations that weigh heavily on the heart and mind. If there is a certainty that a gentleman can rely upon; it is the certainty that life will continue transpire as long as he continues to live. And as such, there may be a myriad of life events that may call into question the value of a gentleman’s worth, well, at least within his own psyche.
Nonetheless, please understand, a gentleman should never allow adverse circumstances or another individual’s profound insecurity to diminish or corrode his worth. Life is stained with imperfection and no one has been granted immunity from its reach. What a gentleman may perceive as flaw or failure; there is fertile opportunity for triumph and happiness. Embrace your imperfections. Welcome your flaws. And then proceed to put in the work to be a better you. However, do not act to please another individual or individuals. This is for you. Your worth is not predicated upon the integrity of someone else’s opinion. Your worth is predicated upon the fact that you are your own unique individual: confident, strong, happy, successful, and great. You just have to believe. I believe in your greatness, and so should you.
Undeterred by difficult obstacles in his path, the accomplished gentleman understands that he must remain true to his beliefs. Resolute in making decisions regarding his future, he does not let circumstances or individuals negatively influence his actions. Doubt can never become a factor, for doubt is a killer of faith and kidnapper of hope. Nevertheless, this gentleman is acutely focused. All challenges are welcomed. He remains remarkably steady, even in the face of naysayers. And even if success does not arrive expeditiously, he understands patience is an ally of diligence. And together, they will bring forth prosperity. Transforming aspirational dreams into reality, this gentleman never betrays his goals. He never betrays his work. And most important, he never betrays himself. Success feels so much better this way.
Today, I will reluctantly, stubbornly concede this excruciating truth: Sometimes a gentleman can possess an innate, insatiable instinct to be infallible. Yes, we are absolutely incapable of committing mistakes. We are never in the wrong and our lives are conducted free of error. Now, this alternate universe exists, of course, entirely within our subconscious. Nevertheless, a significant number of gentlemen believe this esteemed opinion to be truth. And yes – I am guilty on occasion of holding such foolish beliefs. However, the fact of the matter is we are all susceptible to making mistakes, and even worse, treating other individuals unfairly and unjustly.
Now, in striving to be righteous and honorable gentlemen, it is imperative that we recognize the moment our behavior becomes unflattering and injurious towards another individual. This moment does not warrant any form of excuse or justification. Moreover, the moment does not call for denial or flat-out ignoring that any offense has transpired. No, a gentleman should take ownership of his misdeed, demonstrate honest regret, proffer an apology, and make amends for any wrongdoing if possible. A principled gentleman fully understands that there is dignity and respect in his contrition. He does not cower before the truth of his fallible existence. A key component of being a gentleman is knowing this truth, and never being resistant to apologizing for one’s distressing actions. That is a gentleman’s standard we must diligently strive to uphold.
Humility. The act of possessing a modest opinion of one’s importance, understanding the complex context of life, and respecting the reality that other individuals may be better at some things than you. Gentlemen, please don’t be mislead by the boisterous musings of silly folk; so enamored by their own greatness that they cannot recognize their own shortcomings. Sometimes a man must recognize his faults and limitations. There is no shame in that. One must understand that embracing humility does not make a gentleman weak, actually, humility strengthens you. It keeps you grounded. It keeps you focused – on the important things in life. It is brazen arrogance that renders a gentleman vulnerable. Trust this: Keep living and life will eventually happen to you. And life can be the greatest administrator of humility. Recognize your position in life, and even if your station ranks well above others, discipline yourself in humility, as the folly of vanity can ultimately become your undoing. You don’t want to discover this bit of wisdom the hard way, but I am sure that you won’t. Maintain the standard my friends; catch you later.
To be truthful, despite earnest attempts to uphold a gentlemanly standard, a gentleman will always be subject to the possibility of failure. Given that living one’s life in perfection is an impossibility, missteps and mistakes are almost certain to occur. It is an inevitability. Nevertheless, it is paramount that a gentleman understand his shortcoming, and it is more important that he extracts wisdom from his failure. Diligently, he must strive to apply the proper corrective measures to ensure that the esteemed, personal standard he has established is met. Don’t squander precious time persecuting yourself.
Moreover, don’t grant time to individuals that want to continuously persecute and shame you. They are vulnerable to same mistakes as you, and constant reminders of your failure can negatively affect your spirit and focus. Privately and quietly – humble yourself. Admit your faults and recognize your error. A gentleman must not seek refuge in denial, instead, exhibit sincere contrition and work to prevent such failures from occurring again. You will emerge a more mature gentleman, fully knowing that you are still susceptible to making mistakes, but understanding how to try to avoid them in the future, and how to better deal with your missteps when it happens again.
A wise gentleman understands that while he may be incapable of altering certain burdensome circumstances that surround him, he is certainly capable of changing the manner in which those circumstances are handled on his behalf. It is true, there are just some realities and eventualities that stretch beyond the scope of a gentleman’s ability to resolve. However, sometimes it is not the situation that requires resolution, not at all, it is a gentleman’s spirit that demands an internal resolution to properly engage the matter at hand. Trust, the way a challenging circumstance is viewed and managed can dramatically refashion its complexion. If your mind and heart have predetermined a situation to be hopeless and lost, it should not be surprising if that reality remains unchanged. However, a positive and constructive approach can have a meaningful influence and substantial impact. Do not expose yourself to unnecessary stress in an attempt to change what cannot be changed. Instead, focus on strengthening yourself with patience, perseverance, integrity, thoughtfulness, and love. Empowering oneself with the proper tools for positive growth, both mentally and spiritually, is the best remedy for any adverse event you may encounter.
Strongly influenced by meager beginnings, his character has been wisely steeled with sincere humility – resistant to the caustic nature of arrogance and hubris. He understands that his current elevated status does not preclude reflection and deep thought. Thoughts that include a former reality burdened with struggle and tribulation. It is this remembrance that grants an appreciation for what he has and not lamentation for what he does not have. His wisdom dictates a comprehension that recognizes happiness is not predicated on monetary reward. And happiness is not sustained by perpetual monetary fulfillment. Because when allowed, wealth possesses a peculiar proclivity for nurturing a vanity that slowly erodes a gentleman’s character. Therefore, his heart is absent conceit and pretension. Family. Friends. Community. Serving his God. Those are the things that make him whole. Those are the things that give him joy. Those are the things that keep him humble.
A successful gentleman understands that he does not approach life insufficiently prepared for what might arise. He has a carefully devised strategy. He has meticulously formulated a plan for his future. The better the preparation, the better the ability to handle adversity. No crisis or dilemma will seem insurmountable. Think about it: A coach does not haphazardly send his players into a game without a game plan. Even football audibles, though deviating from an original set play, have a purpose. Sure, a play may be broken, but an intelligent player makes the necessary adjustments and adaptations. Life will not perfectly proceed as you might imagine. A gentleman will encounter setbacks. A gentleman might face innumerable obstacles. Nevertheless, a smart gentleman has a mission. He has a vision. He has a plan. He even has a contingency plan even when the original plan doesn’t go according to plan. He has strategically placed himself in position for optimal reward. You can do the same-if you have a game plan. So, do you have one?
To be truthful, despite earnest attempts to uphold a gentlemanly standard, a gentleman will always be subject to the possibility of failure. Given that living one’s life in perfection is an impossibility, missteps and mistakes are almost certain to occur. It is an inevitability. Nevertheless, it is paramount that a gentleman understand his shortcoming, and it is more important that he extracts wisdom from his failure. Diligently, he must strive to apply the proper corrective measures to ensure that the esteemed, personal standard he has established is met. Don’t squander precious time persecuting yourself. Moreover, don’t grant time to individuals that want to continuously persecute and shame you. They are vulnerable to same mistakes as you, and constant reminders of your failure can negatively affect your spirit and focus. Privately and quietly – humble yourself. Admit your faults and recognize your error. A gentleman must not seek refuge in denial, instead, exhibit sincere contrition and work to prevent such failures from occurring again. You will emerge a more mature gentleman, fully knowing that you are still susceptible to making mistakes, but understanding how to try to avoid them in the future, and how to better deal with your missteps when it happens again.