When I was younger I’d watch Spiderman fight crime, idolise any footballer that didn’t play for Man Utd, imagined myself tackling everything life had to throw at me and so much more. I was the hero of my own adventure, and no one was going to stop me doing what I wanted when I wanted.
But then things changed. Even though I still saw myself as the (not-quite-so-super) hero, I started to consider that to be the best, I had to continually strive for self-improvement and do what I can – not just for me, but for those around me too.
And so, growing up I had my own problems, dealt with them in a typically masculine manner; not wanting to bother anybody else and just get on with it. If someone asked what was wrong, I’d shrug, say nothing, and carried on as usual.
Growing older, you realise this isn’t enough. It takes more experience, more facets of yourself to be the best man possible and own your world. The fictions I watched as kids were just that: fictions. Real life is much more complicated, and navigating it takes more than just quick wit and fast fists.
If you want to take charge in your life, make your decisions and do whatever you want to do then you need to realise it isn’t as easy as those superheroes made it look anymore. Responsibilities, other people to take care of and so many other things, always leave us with a feeling that more could have been done.
So what steps can we implement in order to become the best version of ourselves?
It is times like these where I believe we can strive for self-improvement. If you think you could have done better, then at the next opportunity – do it better. If you believe you didn’t put your all into a project, next time – put your all in. If you felt you didn’t appreciate the beauty of some far-off land, then next time – appreciate it.
It can be hard to self-evaluate. I know that to this day, I still struggle with this. That is why we often rely on others to tell us what we can improve on, as opposed to working it out for ourselves. But having the self-awareness to understand what you could have done better is a trait that will be invaluable for your success in the future.
Take a look at how you treat others – evaluate your relationships. Your friends, your parents, your grandparents. Even though you may have checked your relatives into one of the best care homes, that doesn’t mean they are out of mind, as well as out of sight. There is still an obligation to visit, to care, to show your appreciation for what they have done for you.
It is this kind of attitude that makes the man. If you show care for the older generation now, you will receive similar care in the future. Your positive actions now will inspire your children to do the same. You will have created yet another generation of people who care for others as much as they care for themselves.
Becoming the best man possible is all about looking at what you can do better. It is about understanding your flaws and knowing how to change it not just to benefit yourself, but to benefit those around you too.