“How can I be more of an alpha male?”
“Everywhere I go I keep hearing that I need to be an alpha.”
“Hey bro, that guy totally out alpha-ed you!”
“That girls never going to like me, she’s only going for that guy because he’s handsome, muscular, and likable. He’s so much more alpha then I’ll ever be in this lifetime.”
It’s 10:00 PM and I’m currently working out of a random McDonald’s near a major college campus on the Gulf Coast of Florida on my yearly family vacation. As I spent the latter half of the hour just thinking and observing the random faces entering this establishment, I couldn’t help but notice a similar trend in the type of people entering it.
You’d think that most of the people entering the establishment would be semi-retired men and women coming in for a quick meal, but in actuality it’s far from it. For the last hour and a half, it’s just been packs of young college-aged men who seem to be a jello-shot away from complete obliteration. While I sit here, I can’t help but look on and reminisce about my days as a young, reckless, stupid college kid with an endless amount of energy to chase the next high or the biggest thing.
It suddenly hit me that what I was seeing was something that I hadn’t seen for almost a year and a half. With a slew of endless high fives, boat shoes, snap-back hats, and hearing the word “bro” after every sentence, I suddenly realized that it was a group of frat guys down here for Spring Break.
Other than the typical talk about last nights (insert sport highlight here) and the keg stand they did on the beach, one topic that they talked about non-stop was their tactics, strategies, and methods of trying to meet women.
In the 5-10 minutes I was eavesdropping while waiting for my order of 20-piece Chicken McNuggets, I heard a slew of methods ranging from the typical, “I’m going to get as drunk and as high as possible and see what happens.” to the gimmicky such as, “I’m gonna manscape tonight and wear a speedo and a fake cast so they see my abs and will tell them that I broke my arm trying to save a drunk guy from falling off a balcony last night.” to just the downright absurd, “I’m going to walk around with my DJ equipment and tell all the girls that I’m (insert famous DJ here) and slip them my room number.”
The dating coach inside of me was shaking his head. In reality, I really just wanted to interject and give the guys some brutally honest and straightforward advice that didn’t consist of ridiculous gimmicks and getting as uninhibited as possible. Before my impulses took over, I stopped myself and walked away feeling a sense of nostalgia after picking up my order.
I felt empathetic, as I was in their shoes not too long ago… curious, uninhibited, and trying to figure out ways to meet and hook up with cute girls during that one week in the middle of March. It suddenly brought me back to a thought I had when I was talking to one of my best friends about a week ago, and again with my dad this morning as we were running errands.
For a long time, I had always wondered what it meant to be a man in this modern day and age. With how much that has changed in terms of technology, our society, and the generation gap, it’s really hard to define what constitutes as being masculine.
I’ve always wondered if having a beard, muscles, and drinking like a fish adds to a man’s masculinity. To be honest, as I’ve learned in the last few years, it really doesn’t matter or make any difference if you’re any more masculine or “alpha” than the group of guys I was talking about in my earlier observation.
Maybe it’s being a little older, maybe it’s having a handful of life experiences, maybe it’s because I’m comfortable in my own skin, or maybe it’s a combination of all those things. I want to share with you seven concepts and lessons that I’ve learned in the last few years about what really makes a man a man.
7 Modern Alpha Male Traits
1. Let go of the idea of being an Alpha Male.
This was the first lesson I ever picked up from my father when it came to trying to figure out how to be a man. I tried to think of who was the most masculine and most alpha guy I could talk to and get some advice to better understand myself and my masculinity. The first person that came to mind was my father.
To give you some perspective and to paint a clear picture, my dad is what would be characterized as a man’s man. He’s humble, yet very blunt, brutally honest, and straightforward. He’s got a Filipino accent mixed with a thick Jersey drawl, he smokes cigars, swears like a sailor, loves guns, the great outdoors, watching the New York Yankees, Jets, and Knicks, and most of all a true hard knock with tons of grit and life wisdom.
For a guy who’s 5’5″ and balding, he’s not much to look at, but he walks and talks with an imposing presence and a quiet confidence that can be defined as the strong and silent type. In all the years I’ve been raised by my dad, other than hearing his life stories from being a poor immigrant who had to work like a dog to fulfill his version of the American Dream, I figured he was the best person to ask what it meant to be an alpha male and how to be one.
He then gave me a perplexed look and then said, “It’s all bullshit, let go of the idea, don’t try to be something that you’re not, and own who you are. Doesn’t matter if you’re short, tall, fat, gay, muscular, deformed, or whatever. The worst thing you can do is to give a fuck about what everyone else is doing and what they think of you.” At the time I really didn’t think much of it. I heard him, but I really didn’t HEAR him.
Now since I’ve been out of college for almost a year and have a better understanding of myself, I’ve realized it really is just all bullshit. So the main takeaway is own who you are, don’t try to be something you’re not, because at the end of the day nobody really gives a damn. Imagine if you lived with that truth at the core of your being? What would you do? Which brings me to my next point…
2. Self-awareness is key.
One thing a lot of people (especially men) lack is a sense of self-awareness. It’s a quality held by few, and there aren’t many for that matter willing to acknowledge their deepest fears, failures, and weaknesses. Very few even have the courage to actively work on their shortcomings or improve themselves, let alone even try to not cover it up.
We live in a society of shortcuts and quick fixes. The worst thing any man can do to himself is try and fill that void with empty highs from pornography to cover up his loneliness, drink or do drugs to mask that empty feeling inside, and even poke at and prey on people’s weaknesses and shortcomings.
As a man, it’s your job to become aware of the voids in your life, and acknowledge your shortcomings and what you perceive are your biggest insecurities and fears. Be real with yourself. Nothing builds true confidence more than by having integrity with yourself and knowing who you are. So accept it and work on it.
3. Explore your passions.
Knowing who you are is important, but most of all there’s nothing sexier and makes a man more masculine than living a life of purpose. Whether you want to be a cop, a doctor, an exotic dancer, or even make beer infused ice cream for a living, it’s important to seek out and do your thing. It’s easy to dream big but hard to execute. It’s easy to make excuses but it’s harder to call yourself out on your own bullshit.
Don’t take the easy way out. Do your thing and create your own path. A true alpha male creates his own path in life, doesn’t need outside validation, and follows his true passions in life. It takes self-awareness and a pair of balls to go for what you want, so if you know you’re going to get flak, “Fuck it, cause at the end of the day you know what you want, who you are, and nobody can tell you how to be happy other than yourself.”
4. Be independent and love yourself.
I’m going to let you in on a cold hard truth that I learned from an early age, and why I just simply don’t take shit or let anyone tell me what I can and can’t do with my life.
People will let you down. Your friends will let you down, your teachers will let you down, your family will let you down, and your girlfriend will let you down. Everyone will let you down at some point in your life. Nobody is perfect, and I feel like this is why I’m able to give everyone around me so much honest love and care, because at the core of it, I’m happy.
I know how to make myself happy, and I don’t rely on anyone or anything outside of me to make me happy. Does that make me a selfish and narcissistic asshole? Before you judge, let me clarify that last statement. I firmly believe that nobody can truly be happy if they don’t know how to love themselves first and foremost.
I’m not saying go out and max out your credit on a brand new Ferrari, a pair of expensive exotic dancers, and buy a brick of cocaine just because I told you to love yourself. If that’s the case, please go back and reread the first three points and digest it for a while. My point is, don’t be so hard on yourself, you can’t please everybody.
Learn to love and accept yourself for your strengths and your flaws, and know what makes you happy. If you’re happy you’ll be able to love, appreciate, and respect everyone in your life that matters. Don’t tie your self-worth to trends, fads, seasonal friends, or even your closest friends, family, and loved ones. Don’t be afraid to be alone, because at the end of the day you’re not.
I’ve learned that not relying on anyone for my happiness has ironically made me happier and brought in more quality people into my life. From my friends, family, and even exes, all my relationships have depth and honesty attached to them. To quote Gary Vaynerchuk, “Depth, not width. Do things and take actions that have more depth than width.”
5. “Be masculine, not macho.” – Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy is one of my favorite actors and probably one of the most masculine men you’d see on the silver screen. I recently read an article featuring him on what it meant to be masculine in this day and age.
As brief as the interview was, Hardy managed to address one of the things a lot of men have trouble with, that they mask by being macho: “You have to fully accept your own masculinity. But that has nothing to do with being macho. It also means that you can be like a mother; you can have a caring role. It’s about consideration, patience and cognitive skills. And if you can manage that, then when you die, someone will turn around and say, ‘Now, he was a good man…'”
There’s nothing wrong with being caring, showing love and appreciation, and letting people around you know that you’re human at the end of the day. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. If you’ve got nothing to hide then you’ve got nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about.
This also goes back to what I said in the last few paragraphs… Seriously, who gives a fuck? If they do give a fuck then why should that matter to you? The haters are irrelevant because we all know they don’t have the balls to do it themselves.
6. Stop chasing the dragon, focus on your own shit.
Even though it’s my job to teach guys how to find love, date women, and get into relationships, it’s important to focus your energies on improving other areas of yourself and your life. Your self-worth and esteem shouldn’t be tied to her. Know your priorities, focus on improving your life, and live your life with integrity. Women are attracted to men with purpose, so let go and understand that women will come into your life.
That doesn’t mean you should be a complete asshole or a pushover nice guy. You know yourself well enough. Treat her well, be chivalrous, and most of all be the man that you truly are. If she hates on any of that or what you stand for, that’s a clear sign to walk away. Don’t be afraid to walk away, regardless of how hot or high-status she is.
There are 4 billion people on this planet, half of whom are women. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and you’ll find the right person if you stick to your guns and stay true to yourself.
7. You’re a constant work in progress
Be competitive with yourself, and challenge yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Seek out mentors, take care of your body, read and never stop seeking knowledge and truth, build a business, save the whales, jump out of planes, and say hi to every random stranger you come across.
But remember this: you’re always a constant work in progress, never stop growing and evolving, and keep seeking ways to improve yourself and your life, because no one else can live your life for you, except you.
‘Til next time… Take care for now, we’re always here for you guys!