Character

Manual Work Will Make You A Better Person (And Man)

Will Dawson, author

“Growing into an XY Chromosomal Pair in the 21st Century” Being a “man” today is an incredibly difficult goal to achieve. A sound argument can be made that this is one of the most difficult times to grow up as a man in history. Not because your life is difficult, I assure you, if you’re…

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The YMN Code Expanded – Compassion For Others

Giving To Homeless Person

This is the first in a series of posts where we’ll take on the YMN Code piece-by-piece, expanding upon each statement and explaining it’s importance to living a life you can be proud of. 1. Start with compassion for any person you meet. 99 times out of 100, they’re doing the best they can. A lack of…

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Four Principles for Becoming an Adult

Here are a few ideas to consider if you are tired of the foolishness and frustrations of childhood and ready to begin a happier, healthier grown-up life. 

1. The world is complex. Your thinking should be too.

Children oversimplify the world into black and white categories: “This is the best thing ever! That is the worst thing of all time!” or “You’re my best friend forever! Now I hate you!” Adults appreciate that the world is full of subtle degrees, containing few genuinely polar opposites. The world is irreducibly complex; to oversimplify is to misrepresent, and to act upon misrepresentations is to make mistakes. We cannot settle for cartoon versions of the world simply because they are easier to handle in our heads. As the philosopher Alain de Botton once quipped: “Maturity is the confidence to have no opinions on many things.” Be slow to reach any conclusion once and for all…

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Just Because You’re Good At Something Doesn’t Mean You Can Be A Dick

Boys of all ages, including over-grown ones, often mistake technical abilities for the whole of intelligence. Possessing specialized information and narrow analytical skills, like playing complicated guitar riffs, building a tricked-out sports car, or humiliating an opponent in a vicious political debate, are perhaps the weakest measure of how “smart” a person may be.
 
At most, activities like these require opportunity and labor: first you see someone else shred on his guitar, then you get your own an axe and practice, practice, practice. Exposure, time, and effort: these are the requirements of becoming deeply knowledgeable and highly skilled in the technical sense…

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The Art of Honorable Discourse

Every act of communication we have works to either build or tear down a relationship. It takes little time to make an impression and serious commitment to maintain a positive one. You have the power to choose the impressions you leave on others. Civil discourse and friendly conversation help to positively shape our identities. Similarly, crass language and lackluster communication sticks to our reputation like old gum. Our words often carry more power than we ascribe them. 

As you grow older, you will come to realize that you are responsible for other people’s opinions of you. Keeping an eye on how you converse with others will help you protect your reputation, develop your shortcomings, and own your words. Despite your best efforts, you don’t always say exactly what you mean. Nobody does. Luckily, there are tricks to help us keep our values aligned with the words we allow to escape our mouths…

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