5 Qualities That Make a Good Man

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Most guys don’t plan on coming up short in relationships, but a failure to plan is the same as a plan to fail. We all want to be the best men that we can be for ourselves and our lovers, but how can we achieve our best without a reasonable goal? Our culture lacks a definition for the word “man”, so men who want to be good often lack direction. Here are five traits that every man can strive for to be a holistic man.

These are the first five traits in a two-part article; stay tuned for the last five traits.

1. Resilience

Life is by definition a challenge. We get knocked down, battered and abused by hard times, misfortune and doubt. But in the challenge lies our opportunity to learn and grow. Resilience is getting up again and again, it’s the last bit in the tank when you think you can’t go on, and it’s the ability to roll and flex with the punches.

Resilience is a product of challenge, and the ease of modern living has all but leveled our playing field. So to cultivate the trait of resilience today, you get to pick your own mountains to climb and your own obstacles to overcome. The more you commit to challenges of your own making, the more resilience you will grow and the more your family and community can depend on you when times get tough.

2. Gentleness

Men have been programmed with steely exteriors in this culture. With so much pressure on guys to look tough it’s hard to switch gears between public and private life, and men forget how to be gentle. But gentleness is a key ingredient to resilience, and it serves as the balance.

Gentleness is the softness that allows our loved ones to connect deeply with us,; without connection, life isn’t much worth living. The strongest men are those with the softest hearts, and their gentleness allows them to grow with family and community. You can practice gentleness by looking deeper into the needs and emotions of yourself and others. It is easy to react harshly, but it never leads to connection. Conversely it is hard to be gentle, but gentleness lets others know that we care and are ready to connect and grow with them.

3. Dependability

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

The role of a man is to be a rock for his children, wife, and community to rely on. The strength of a man’s word determines the security that his family and community have, so to be dependable is a serious responsibility and privilege of manhood.

It takes effort and hard work to make your actions line up with your word, but in the habit of dependability you grow a deeper faith in yourself, which extends to the people around you. When you are dependable, the important ones in your life open up fully to you and share their innermost world for a full and rich connection. A man truly is only as good as his word, so boost your dependability by only making promises that you can keep, and by stretching yourself to the limit to keep those promises.

4. Adventurousness

Adventure doesn’t necessarily imply leaving for weeks at a time and hacking through jungles in search of long forgotten treasure. But many people feel that adventures must be big and grand to qualify, and so they stay hunkered in their home when millions of adventures wait in their own backyard.

Being adventurous really only means stepping outside of your comfort zone, and you can do that every day. You don’t even have to leave your home if you pick out a good enough book. Adventurousness is the precursor to resiliency; it is the desire to expand your horizons, and to gain new knowledge and experience. You can practice this trait by talking to new people even when you feel unsure of yourself; by exploring new trails and hiking paths in your area; by surrounding yourself with fun loving people; by picking up new hobbies and passions; and by getting dirty every once in a while.

The spirit of adventure is a balancing trait to dependability which helps you to see your routines with new eyes. Adventure lies in the heart of every man and is only waiting for the next trait to be expressed.

5. Courage

Courage comes from the Latin root “cor,” which means heart. So to be courageous is to express your heart. It takes courage to tell that special woman you love her and want to spend the rest of your live. It takes courage to quit a career that has held you back from fulfilling your greatest purpose. It takes courage to forgive loved ones and to move on past old hurts and wounds. But a man is someone who gives life to his community, and courage is required to stand up and express his unique qualities that support life. Courage is the culmination of virtues like wisdom, resilience, intelligence, and vulnerability.

More from Health & Fitness Cheat Sheet: