The 5 Most Under-Utilized Manly Traits

A man has got to know his own mind, realize his strengths, understand his weaknesses, come to terms with his past, analyze his own thoughts and actions, and hold himself accountable for applying this wealth of knowledge properly.

I’m doing a series of articles where I answer my own questions posed to Blog of Manly readers and Facebook followers. You can find the videos on the website here, and you can follow us on Facebook here.

The 5 Most Underutilized Manly Traits (as I see it) are:

1. Self-Awareness. It all starts here. A man has got to know his own mind, realize his strengths, understand his weaknesses, come to terms with his past, analyze his own thoughts and actions, and hold himself accountable for applying this wealth of knowledge properly. He can’t accomplish anything lasting without a firm grasp on these realities.

And this is the self-awareness that a man comes to after a long struggle against himself and with his God. This isn’t the exhausted acceptance of the hateful societal narrative about who a man is. This is individual. This is real and raw. And there’s a stubbornness to it: I know who I am and you cannot shake me off this spot.

2. Fortitude/Resolve. Once a man knows his own mind – is self-aware – knows what he truly believes – those beliefs become his compass. He has a choice: stay true to what he believes, or falter in the face of difficulty. The best men live resolved, principled lives. They risk discomfort or personal loss for the sake of worthy principles. The world needs men willing to take a stand and risk loss for the sake of right principles.

This. Is. Not. Easy. No one will get this right all the time. But everything we hold dear was bought at a very high price by men of resolve, men of principles. The men who would sacrifice their own lives, or risk harm befalling their own families and fortunes, to secure for future generations the promise of principles.

3. Action. I don’t know if it’s due to the rise of feminism, the lengthening of adolescence, the lack of practical skills from the decrease in necessity caused by the increase in technology, or something else, but men lack the decisiveness of past generations. Being a man of action has been radically disincentivized. The world needs more men of action to attack injustice, defend the powerless, solve foundational problems, and pick some noble fights.

Men of action develop ingenuity. They dream up solutions to practical and complex problems. They add immense value to those depending on them. They waste less. They are more satisfied at the end of the day (and, as a result, so are their ladies).

4. Truth-Obsession. Men were made to be the guardians of ideas, the tellers of hard truths, reliable counselors, and wise leaders. To meet that obligation, men must be truth-obsessed. Men can’t waver from the truth in the face of compelling emotional responses, unhinged societal reactions, or personal rejection. Truth-obsessed men often stand opposed to their own tribes like the biblical prophets crying out for awakening. The shape of the message can be compassionate, but there is no compassion in untruth. The only way a man can truly be loving it to always be pursuing and telling the truth.

The world is crazy, mixed up, insane, backwards, broken, confused, ugly, and chaotic. It ought not surprise anyone that we’re two generations into the systematic dismantling of all constructs of absolute truth, the glorification of individual interpretation, and the societal rejection of male leadership as something unique and significant. We’ve sacrificed truth on the altar of self-actualization; we’ve banished the high priests and replaced them with the temple whores; we’ve traded the sacred texts and now live by only one commandment: if it feels good, do it. This is what a society devoid of truth-obsessed men looks like.

5. Aggression. I reject the idea of the value-adding passive male. It’s not a thing. There aren’t enough fist fights. There aren’t enough men – unless you count the ones running around in “pussy hats” self-flagellating and hoping it nets them a roll in the hay with some unshaven shrew chanting about rape culture and toxic masculinity – going nose to nose in impassioned debates with other men.

Men understand instinctively that some problems can only be solved through violence. That doesn’t mean death or dismemberment. But maybe it means a bloody nose and a little embarrassment. But the women trying to raise men aren’t equipped with the same nature or instincts and the message received by our boys is, “Violence is bad. Be Nice. Don’t hit. Share.” It’s just a gut feeling, but I believe a world with more playground fist fights sees fewer school hallway shooting sprees. Men refusing to do their job raising sons are responsible for the epidemic of fatal violence unfolding around us.

Honorable Mention:

Risk-Taking. There are still plenty of risk-takers amongst us, which is why this didn’t make the formal list. It’s less under-utilized than the others. But while risk-takers still exist, they stand out more because they’re rarer. The modern man has had his value defined as providing stability and comfort for his woman, not scaling mountains or opening up new frontiers.

Please note: these are under-utilized traits. Not “most important” traits. If it makes you soft-hands feel better, I also think it’s important for men to be kind and compassionate. But that’s all anyone talks about. This is a list of things they should be talking about more.