In this article, we are going to tackle a profound question in a very practical way.
What does it mean to be a modern man?
This doesn’t mean we will be comparing the faults and positives of today’s man with those of the past. We live in a different time to our predecessors, although many of the fundamentals remain the same, comparison is a pointless, if not toxic way to measure ourselves as men.
Instead, we will take a look at the realities of what it means to be a man in today’s society and where we can find a positive place in modern cultures.
When it comes down to it, being a modern man is truly all about one thing: awareness.
This spans across awareness of others, the environment we live in and of ourselves, our actions and responsibilities we hold.
Awareness of others
There is no need to break into a cold sweat…we are not going to force you into having long, meaningful conversations with those around you. However, being a modern man does mean being aware and accepting of those we come into contact with, as well as taking action when and where it is required.
Every year we see the media highlighting how a lack of awareness has a negative impact on the population of the world. In recent years we have seen major pushes for wider awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community, those suffering from mental health issues and those affected by political injustice.
Although the causes may change or cycle, our responsibility to be aware and take action does not. Being a modern man demands that we don’t bury our heads in the sand and instead stand up for those that need it.
For some, this may be a very public display of support. For others, it is a private change in our mindset. For example, paying genuine interest in how a friend is feeling or helping someone out when they need it most.
Awareness of the wider environment
As humans, we tend to be acutely aware of our immediate environment. We take note of that new pothole on our street, that our colleagues' computer is gathering an unhealthy amount of dust or the annoying squealing noise the bathroom tap makes.
These aspects may seem important, but our wider environment holds longer-term effects that are more deserving of our attention.
As modern man, we need to be aware of the impact of our actions on the wider environment. These are both in terms of limiting the negative effects we can have on it, such as the excessive use of energy generated via fossil fuels. As well as the positive actions we can take to protect it such as reusing and recycling materials wherever possible.
It is our responsibility as humans to leave the world a better place for our children and generations to come. This can only be achieved by raising our awareness of the long-term effects of our actions on the environment.
Awareness of ourselves
So, we have covered why and how we should be selflessly aware of others and the environment we live in. As modern man, we should also be aware of ourselves, how we present ourselves to others and our own wellbeing.
Unsurprisingly we are going to kick this off with skin care. How a man looks after his skin speaks volumes about his self-respect and how he wants to be viewed by others.
No longer are men taking their grooming seriously a minority. In fact, a recent study by GQ highlighted that “53% of 16-24-year-old grooming product users have added a new product to their grooming regime in the last six months.”
As we move from summer into the autumn months, we should be adjusting our skin care regimes to suit the cooler days and the impact that can have on our skin. Catering to this means observing the effects that those changes have on our body and taking the right actions to remedy them.
For example, in cooler months spending more time indoors with artificial heat can leave your skin feeling dry. Using nourishing, revitalising products such as the 02 Night Cream and 03 Everyday Oil will go a long way to repair any damage caused in this way.
In the same vein, how modern man dresses shows how he values himself and how he wants to be seen in society.
This doesn’t have to mean dressing in the latest fashions, but understanding the fundamentals of style will let you work on a wardrobe that's timeless and communicates the right message.
Again, moving into the autumn months you will want to tailor your clothes to the environment you find yourself in. Filling your wardrobe with some go-to, simple and easy to blend items will help you do this.
For example, a leather jacket or blazer can be used to layer a smart or casual look and keep you warm. Similarly, a choosing a pair of simple boots will allow you to look stylish regardless of whether you are wearing smart chinos or a pair of jeans.
Awareness of your external image is only part of the process of self-awareness. We also need to keep our internal health in top condition.
Taking some time to become aware of our body’s needs goes a long way toward helping us benefit our wellbeing. This spans from the food and drinks we consume to moving our bodies in a way that keeps us fit, healthy and mobile.
This can be as simple as making some small changes such as swapping excessive caffeine for healthier alternatives or educating yourself on the best foods to keep yourself in healthy.
Some may question why as a modern man we need to be aware of our personal grooming, how we dress and our wellbeing…well, it all boils down to one thing: self-confidence.
If we look and feel great we can project the best version of ourselves onto the world. This, in turn, lets us have the self-confidence needed to make a bigger positive impact on others and the environment.
It is clear that being modern man is no easy task. By raising your level of awareness of others, the environment and ourselves allows us to take appropriate action where needed and follow a path to becoming our best selves.