We all have priorities. Some things we don’t think we’re prioritizing, we are. There are some things that you and I put in our lives that are honestly just holding us back from being the best version of ourselves. I think there’s something to be said for being a little more old-fashioned if it means being more responsible with my time. And in a lot of ways, the gentleman of decades past (or, at least, our idealized ideas of them) exemplify a lot of what we should strive for today.
The modern day comes with so many distractions that keep us from the right priorities.
If we can return to some of the simpler, more focused priorities of ages past, maybe we’d fare better—personally, professionally, and relationally.
3 Things a Gentleman Must Prioritize to Succeed
1) Fiscal Responsibility
Can I be frank? Being a gentleman isn’t about blowing cash. Responsibility with money isn’t exciting per se, and maybe it doesn’t sound sexy, but when it comes down to it, you’re going to be so grateful for all of the money you didn’t spend on useless purchases. If you never received a formal or proper financial education, learning how to handle money the right way can be tough.
But in the end, it comes down to prioritizing high savings, investing well, and spending smart. You want to have money to handle emergencies so you don’t end up in a bind that you can’t handle, and you don’t want to wind up with tons of credit card debt.
In fact, you want to eliminate the debts you have pretty quickly. Fiscal responsibility always pays off—not just for you, but for your future, and for your family.
2) Meaningful Relationships
Too many professionals put their relationships aside. Marriages are destroyed by workaholic tendencies all the time. For a modern gentleman, romance and relationships matter. It might be friendships. It might be a dating or a marriage relationship. It might be children. But regardless, these relationships are important, and investing time and pouring love and goodness into them are valuable priorities. More than that, they’re paramount.
Whenever you’re about to do, say, or start something, pause and ask yourself—is this a worthy pursuit?
3) Worthy Pursuits
Worthy pursuits is intentionally vague because it’s an encompassing concept. Whenever you’re about to do something, say something, start something, you can pause and ask yourself—is this a worthy pursuit? It might be a big decision on your part, like starting a business and pursuing a lifelong dream. Maybe you’ve been wasting your time in a dead-end job that you don’t like. Not a worthy pursuit (though maybe, for a time, a necessary one).
Is getting into a heated argument a worthy pursuit? Probably not.
However, standing up for what you believe in, and what’s right? Worthy. Valuing health and physical fitness? Worthy. Trying your best to make a life and a future for yourself that you’re proud of? Worthy.
These things are worthy pursuits, and worth prioritizing.
3 Things a Gentleman Must Leave Behind to Succeed
1) Bingeing on Media
It hurts to hear, but the days of watching 6 consecutive episodes of Game of Thrones have to stop. Staying up too late watching TV or movies or playing video games? They need to be over ASAP. Phone browsing in bed too late? No more.
I understand...I love a good show too. But this widespread acceptance of binge-watching at the cost of not only productivity but health and sleep is so costly. And we don’t even realize it! How many hours of progress do we lose to television, Youtube, and over-relaxing?
I’m all for taking a well-deserved break at the end of the day. But we also have to be honest with ourselves when bad binge habits are hurting us!
2) Overindulging on Food & Drink
Speaking of bad binge habits…
Since I started running, I’ve become a lot more conscious of the stuff I’m putting in my body. Whether it’s food or drink, the affects both have on the body can really take a toll. A lot of us still haven’t put our frat boy ways behind us, even though the party ended years ago. Gentlemen, it’s time to put down the drinks. Toss the junk food.
I’m not calling for a purge of all things tasty and fun, but there’s something to be said for mastering moderation. It’s time to value health and to take control of our bodies and our senses at all times. There’s nothing to be gained from overindulging in food or alcohol, believe me. Just regret and a few too many pounds. Better eating habits will give you better focus, clarity, and energy to fuel your mind and body towards better things.
3) A Sense of Entitlement
Lastly, a modern gentleman leaves behind his sense of entitlement. He doesn’t assume he deserves anything. Instead, he earns it. This isn’t where I’m going to rail against the current generation because every generation deals with this problem. And it’s up to all of us to come to the point where we realize that people, the world, the system...none of them owe us.
Our dates don’t owe us, our bosses don’t owe us, the universe doesn’t owe us. No matter how good you are or how well you’re doing, you aren’t owed anything.
Believing that keeps you humble. It keeps you grateful. It keeps you grounded. You start appreciating people, moments, and everything that you have just a little bit more. You know that you worked hard for it, and recognize that it can be lost.
A gentleman keeps gratitude in his heart, even for small things. And no matter where you go or how much success you find in life, you will always have that.