Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: Be the Man You Want To Be

Dear Gentlemen,

December 31st, the last day of 2009; how has your year been? Personally this year has been full of memories both up and down but I feel like I've matured a great deal and only look forward to entering the first decade since the millennium. (Has it really been 10 years already?!)

I attended church last Sunday and the Pastor was talking about a television show on TLC about Flight 1549, the emergency landing of a passenger aircraft filled with 155 people on the Hudson River. Now if you don't recall this incident (which made news everywhere by the way) was nothing short of a miracle. All the engines had died and everyone aboard was expecting to die but the pilot somehow maneuvered the plane and landed it safely on the water. They interviewed a few people and one man was asked what he was thinking as the plane was going down and he replied with this: "When the engines had died off, we were just kind of gliding. We were just quiet, there was an eerie slience and we all turned to eachother and we all knew it in each others faces. this was it. We're dead, we're gonna die. And then so many things rushed through my head and I realized this is it, this is the moment. I'm going to die now. One question that rushed to my head was this, "Oh my God, my life is gonna end today at this moment, Am I the man I always wanted to be be? Am I the man I imagined I would be when I died?" His answer was "No". I wasn't the man I wanted to be and I started getting angry. NO NO NO. I had not done so many things I wanted to do, I had not traveled to all the countries I wanted to explore, I had not said 'goodbye' to everyone I loved. I started getting furious. I wasn't ready to die because I wasn't yet the man I wanted to be". After hearing his reply, I began to ask myself the exact same question, Am I the Man I Want To Be? If I was to die at this moment, would I be happy with the type of person I have become? My answer was also "No". There are so many things I envision when I think about my future, I really think the rest of my life will be filled with amazing experiences that I am very eager to encounter.

2010 is only a day away and I'm sure some of you have pledged to change some part of your lives with New Years resolutions and what not but I am encouraging you all to really make 2010 an amazing year. Try and become the man you want to be. Improve yourself on the inside and out into someone that you want to become. I'm going to just talk about some the things I want to work on in the upcoming year.

1.) Posture

I wanted to start off with something small but what I think to be very important: Posture. Having bad posture is noticeable to everyone you encounter. Having a hunched back and lurched shoulders aren't really signs of a confident man. In fact, it gives off impressions that you are an introverted, maybe even a nervous type of person. Contrarily, having great posture will completely change how you present yourself to others. Sit up straight. Stand straight. Look confident in how you walk, talk, and look. Always be conscious of this throughout the day and work on it. Within a few months, maybe even sooner, you will notice some improvement and trust me you feel that much better.

Compare each picture and see how much of a difference good posture can make!

2.) Excercise

I've talked about this in a previous post so I won't elaborate too much. I must admit I've slacked off quite a bit within the past couple of months. This year, I'm really going to try to hit the gym as often as I can. Not only will you feel better after a workout, but you will be healthier, stronger, more confident, and all your clothes will fit better too. It's a win/win situation. This is definitely one of the things at the top of my list.

3.) read, Read, READ

My mom has been telling me to this for years and the thing is I DO read, but it's mostly other blogs, magazines, or the news. This year I want to indulge myself in more novels and books. Reading will not only expand your knowledge/mind on an array of topics but it will also make you a better writer and more articulate as well. Make a list of books you want to read and dedicate an hour or so in the morning or at night. There are so many things that I want to learn and read about. I really think that it is way more advantageous to know something, than to not know something. Knowledge really does equal power and it doesn't hurt to know more than the person next to you!

4.) Community Service & Volunteer Work

Definitely one area where I find myself lacking in. I recently read an article about the overall happiest state during the recession and that was Utah. Why Utah you might ask? Well one thing the author discovered was that Utah residents overall dedicate more hours to community service and volunteer work than any other state in the U.S. That's right, even with the recession at their front door they are still sacrificing time to help other's and it's shown that not only does it affect the needy but also improves their quality of life as well. I've also talked about this in a previous post but when you help other's it feels very rewarding and could actually do more good for you in the long run. You don't have to do community work everyday but I encourage everyone to dedicate at least 1 day out of the month to help a local organization, church, community center, charity, anything you think needs help. You'll enjoy it, meet a bunch of great people, and partake in actually affecting your surroundings in a positive way. Trust me it'll feel good.

5.) Take Care of your Clothes and They Will Take Care of YOU

Deep down inside, we're all a bunch of dudes. And dudes tend to get lazy and just throw clothes around after wearing them. Well guess what, it's time for change. Actually taking care of your clothing (especially your pricey pieces) will make them last longer and save you more money in the long run. If you aren't going to wash a dress shirt or a pair of jeans after wearing them, hang them in your closet! Don't leave them on the floor to collect dust and get all wrinkled. This will actually save you a lot of cleaning later on and you'll always be able to pull out your favorite piece to wear out when you're in a rush. Iron your dress shirts! Wearing a crisp shirt will do wonders for how you look. A stiff collar and cuffs will make a huge difference so after you do your laundry, iron your dress shirts (takes like 5 minutes a shirt not even) and hang them up in your closet and they'll be good to go. I also recommend some sort of shoe rack to keep your shoe collection all tidied up!

6.) "There's No Reason for Plan B, because it distracts you from Plan A"

We have the power the shape the paths of our lives. I came across this 10 minute video after reading through Jkissi's (fellow hypebeast forum member) blog and the my outlook on life has completely changed. Everyone who is reading this post MUST MUST MUST watch this video. Favorite it, bookmark it, keep it in your archives. I've probably seen this video more than a dozen times, you won't regret it.

Closing Words: Make 2010 YOUR year. Really become the man you want to be. You can't just build a great wall just because you want it, you have to lay each brick as perfectly as you can, one by one everyday and eventually you will have the greatest wall ever built. 2010 is going to be a big year for me, I'm going to be moving to Guangzhou, China for a year studying Mandarin, exploring a foreign land, and hopefully experiencing as much as I can throughout my stay there. Tons of mixed emotions from being nervous, scared, excited, and eager. As for ForGentlemen, expect bigger things! I've been emailed about some possible collaborations on articles and other projects that may be in the works in the future. I'll try and update this blog as often as I can until I leave for China in late February. From there I plan on updating with more personal things I.E. things that I'm experiencing there, maybe some personal photographs, and video footage. I'm really excited on how much more this blog can become. Thanks to all the readers of 2009, I really hope you all have a safe and great New Year. Cheers to all!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays To Everyone!

Dear Gentlemen,

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy holidays. 2009 is rapidly approaching it's end and we should all try to make the most of the remaining days and prepare ourselves for the upcoming new year. December 25th is actually my Birthday as well and I turned a very young(but feel very old) age of 23 today. I'll be updating once more(with a real post!) before the New Year arrives so stay tuned for that. I heard a story about an acquaintances mother who passed away after falling from a ladder trying to hang up a Christmas decoration. I was utterly in shock, that certainly must have been such a terrifying and horrible experience for the family during what is supposed to be such a joyous and family oriented time. None of us should take the time we have with our closest ones for granted at any time. I truly hope that all of you have a great holiday. No matter what you celebrate always spread love and remember that the act of giving will be repaid to you ten-fold! Stay warm, keep healthy, and have a great time this weekend everyone. Cheers!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spreading Positivity - Addictive, Contagious, & Rewarding

Dear Gentlemen,

As we enter the last month of the year, the temperature has dipped tremendously and the east coast was blessed with our first snowfall of the winter. The holidays are coming up which means there will be tons of celebration with your family and friends. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and many other holidays around this time all revolve around the common theme of giving. Now most of the postings on ForGentlemen have been solely about improving oneself to better oneself on the inside and out. But there are ways to become more gentleman like than simply doing things for yourself, and that's by doing things for others. Sure holding a door open for someone or carrying something heavy for an elder might be followed with a "Oh what a gentleman!" remark but I'd like to encourage everyone (including myself) to become better men by simply doing more and more for OTHERS.

I was G-Chatting with my girlfriend this morning and she linked me this website or GMH. Now I, like most people loved visiting the F.M.L (F*ck My Life) website reading about all the misfortunes of all these people and how funny some of them were. It gave me a good laugh but at the end that's all it gave me: a good laugh. is the complete opposite; it consists of tiny blurbs about all these acts of kindness done by people around the world and how it gave them hope or inspiration to do the same to others. I started reading them one by one and I was hooked. I think I read around 5 pages of good deeds and there were just so many things that inspired me to WANT to become a BETTER person, not through my clothing, not through my knowledge on things, but to improve myself through other people. Here are some GMH moments that really motivated me.

- My 24 year old neighbor is in the military. He has a wife and 2 year old son. He has cancer in both kidneys. He is said to have 6 months to live. Instead of staying home with his wife and child, he has gone back to Iraq to die. He's doing this so his wife will get all the possible benefits from his death. His sacrifice, selflessness, and love GMH

- Today, my grandmother died. I took a walk to try and calm down but ended up sitting on a park bench crying. Someone tapped me on the shoulder and a man handed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He said, "I walked past here earlier and you were crying, so I got you these flowers", and walked away. Kind strangers like him GMH

- There's a really beautiful freshman in our school who a mentally challenged sophomore boy has a huge crush on. She got asked by at least 10 people to the winter formal dance, but she decided to go with the mentally challenged boy. Beautiful girls who are also beautiful inside GMH.

- One Christmas season I worked at Wal-Mart in the jewelry department. A little boy about 10 yrs old came up to the register with a $40 jewelry box he said was for his mom. As I rang up the total, he pulled out 3 gift cards with his name on them. Instead of buying something for himself with his gift cards, he spent them on his mom! His thoughtfulness GMH!!

- Last night, over the phone, my friend told me he was considering suicide. I didn't know what else to do, so I sent him the link to GMH. He texted me this morning saying that he stayed up all night reading every post, and that he could never leave a world that contained such beauty. GMH

Closing Words: Gentlemen, each and every one of us is blessed to be given ONE life to live. How do you want to live it? How do you want people to think of you? Being known as the most stylish, or trendiest is by no means a bad thing at all but to be known as the guy who was honestly just an overall kind person will affect others in a much more impacting, positive, and inspirational way. Have you ever done a good deed for someone and felt really good about it? This feeling should be and needs to be felt on a more regular basis and once you start doing things for others, they will notice and reciprocate your actions unto others as well. The next time you see someone who needs help, help them. Think of the bigger picture. I wonder from time to time that when I am old and on my death bed that when I look back on my life will I be proud of how I lived? Did I really impact this world during my stay here in a positive way? How will people remember me? I really think by transforming our lives in a way to help others, will actually help us personally 10x more. I think our entire outlook on life will be better and it will really be evident in how we dress, act, and handle ourselves in this world. I'm sure all of you have heard the saying "Be all that you can be", I couldn't agree with this anymore.