Is anyone proud of themselves anymore?
Does anyone still have a sense of pride?
Two things happened to me recently that made me think I’d let my sense of pride slip.
I was at the train station in a cafe with Angelique.
There’s a guy who’s worked at the station for years. We say hello to each other but we’ve never really had a conversation.
This day he decides to say more.
“Young lady, you must be a very good cook!”
I can see where this is going.
“This young man used to be slim, good-looking and very well-dressed. Not anymore”, he said pointing at my belly.
“I used to say to my son, who’s at university now, look at this man. Be more like him. I don’t say that anymore.”
The next thing was I was visiting my dad who now lives on his own since my mum passed away 5 years ago.
There’s a fair amount of clutter there and it hasn’t had a deep clean for long time.
Throwing out unused stuff and dusting off layer upon layer was deeply satisfying.
It struck me that this is where the phrase ‘house-proud’ came from.
What’s happened to pride?
Pride used to be regarded as a positive thing, so why is it so maligned and discouraged?
Nietzsche argued that pride belonged in the Homeric aristocratic value system.
In this framework, pride was the preserve of the noblemen.
He argues that this got overthrown by the Judeo-Christian value system.
This later value system made being strong ‘evil’ and raised the status of the ‘meek’ to those who would inherit the earth.
Christianity made Pride one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
We also have the phrase: “Pride before a fall.”
So much of society now discourages pride.
What are the consequences of this?
Lack of pride manifests in:
Half-assed attempts at stuff
General not giving a shit
Pride manifests itself in:
Good upright posture
Strong eye contact
Attention to detail
Completion of goals
How can we take more pride?
Iron your clothes
It’s simple but there’s a world of difference between putting on a freshly pressed shirt and a wrinkled one.
You feel different.
Like you’re worth a freshly ironed shirt.
Lose excess weight
Being overly fat shows a lack of respect for your body and a lack of self-discipline.
Yes there’s a fashion for huge beards and straggly stubble at the moment.
There’s a reason that a man’s routine in the morning should be ‘Shit, shower, shave’.
It’s because it makes you feel awesome.
A really good shave makes you feel like you’ve made an effort and taken care of yourself.
Learn how to shave here:
Get a sharp haircut
The opposite of feeling groomed is being a shoddy mess.
Look like you’re ready to face the world head on.
Get a short back and sides like this guy.
Treat yourself to a regular haircut.
I get mine done in a local barber shop for around £10.
You might think that’s too cheap to for a good cut but the key is regular trimming and close shaves.
Trim your pubes
How much pride do you show in yourself when you have a bush that’s like, well a bush?
You wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of that, would you?
So don’t inflict it on your partner.
Get a large pair of scissors and cut your pubes carefully.
You don’t need to shape them, just make them neat.
(Don’t use communal kitchen scissors to cut your pubes like a friend of mine did whilst in a flat share.)
Polish your shoes
Scuffed shoes show a man who doesn’t respect himself enough to put his best foot forward. Take the time to learn how to care for your shoes and polish them up.
Make your bed
How much pride can you have in yourself if you can’t even make your own bed in the morning? There’s a great commencement speech by Admiral William McRaven where he shares 10 life lessons. One of which was ‘Make Your Bed’. He argues that the small sense of achievement gives you momentum for the day.
Here’s his speech in full. I highly recommend watching it.
You wouldn’t put impure fuel into your car would you? At least not knowingly.
Your body should run like a supercar. A Ferrari or a Pagani.
So why do you put fuel with questionable nutritional value into it?
Treat your body with the respect it deserves and eat the best quality food you can afford.
Don’t look average
The average man doesn’t have pride in himself.
This is clear from him wearing clothes that don’t fit him properly.
Generally, average men wear clothes that are too baggy for them.
He wears clothes that don’t stand out.
Don’t settle for average.
Aim for exceptional.
Look at Tiny Tempah.
Or Ryan Gosling.
Aim for the best.
Reclaim your pride
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.