I saw this online and really liked it. Enjoy.
A good quote can change a man’s perspective on life. It could shape his behavior for the better or simply make him sound really cultured at a cocktail party. Whether it’s ancient Greek, some kind of Eastern thing or just something you overheard a drunk tell the bartender, it’s nice to have a few excerpts of enlightenment in the back pocket. And although we rule against getting “Carpe Diem” tattooed on your forehead, we do condone memorizing a few of these quotes about men for daily recital.
We understand each man lives by his own set of principles. However, there are poets, thinkers and scholars who have a much better way of articulating the proper ideals of man, and “I believe it was Nietzsche who said… ” always sounds better than, “Phil the plumber says… ”
So to help keep you on the right track in life, here are 10 quotes about men, written by men who’ve lived more notable lives than us, that every man should live by.
10. John Kennedy
“A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality.”
Doing the right thing is not always easy, but the greatest of men understand the obligation to do it anyways. JFK may have faltered on this front with Marilyn Monroe and the 700 other presidential playmates, but maintaining complete morality is a tough process. This isn’t only for men who make decisions on foreign policy, the space race and oval office intercourse, but the everyday decisions as well. Do the right thing and don’t look back; a clear conscience is often underrated.
9. Chuck Norris
“Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.”
A man can model his life solely on the Walker, Texas Ranger ethos, but for the purposes of diversity, we settled for just one Chuck Norris quote. This metallic metaphor reiterates the importance of self-control, and just how destructive your temper can be. Norris knows there’s nothing more pitiful than a father having a tantrum over a high strike at his son’s little league game. Losing your cool in the boardroom or on the sidelines, is perhaps the most devaluing of exercises. Thank you, sensei.
8. Albert Camus
“After a certain age every man is responsible for his face”
Camus’ quote from The Fall is in reference to the protagonist Clamence, a self-absorbed hypocrite who realizes his entire existence is a farce. Hopefully his face looks a lot different from yours. We’re all products of our pasts, and at a certain point “who we are” is a reflection of “what we’ve done.” And when you’d reach that age, you better be proud of the choices you’ve made and the actions you’ve committed, because you’re responsible for them. And if you make a few mistakes, there’s always botox.
7. Theodore Roosevelt
“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.”
The long and arduous path to the top of the totem pole is about proving yourself on the bottom. Underachievers always think they’ll start performing when they get the promotion to the bigger job, but they’re only fooling themselves. Jim from the compliance department may think he has the goods to get the corner office, but streaming reruns of Alf all day isn’t exactly outgrowing your current position.
6. George Washington
“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”
A cynical quote from old GW, who was perhaps still bitter he didn’t accept the Brit’s offer to throw Valley Forge, but nonetheless, an insightful quote. Anyone can be bought, and only a select number of strong willed men are impervious to a price. There are two lessons here: One, a man should always strive to honor his principles no matter what the monetary offer may be. Two, if it’s $500,000 or more, make sure you get it in cash — up front.
5. Oscar Wilde
“Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.”
It’s an old quote that’s revisited by Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally — there’s no such thing as a platonic relationship between a man and a woman. The man is usually consumed with the idea of sleeping with her. It’s a belief widely acknowledged by men, but rarely accepted by women. Remember that. Movie and dinner nights might mean one thing to you, but she certainly doesn’t view it as a precursor to intercourse.
“It is not titles that make men illustrious, but men who make titles illustrious.”
Though Machiavelli may have been directing this quote toward the reigning Medici Family in 16th century Florence, he knew it had relevance with the 21st century paper mill employee. Never be restricted or defined by your title, no matter who you are. You could be CEO or Junior Assistant Manager to the Traveling Secretary, but it’s only worth what you make it. If, however, you’re the latter of the two, you might want to explore other career opportunities in the meantime.
“When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.”
Criticism comes from all directions in life — your spouse, your children, your colleagues. But in the end, it’s better to dismiss the ill will and maintain your own convictions. Plato is a perfect example. The basis of Western philosophy would not have existed if all the critics were justified with answers. But as for the concept of the “platonic relationship,” we still have our doubts.
“There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time.”
Whether you’re trying to claim world domination or simply take a road trip with your son, just know the greatest enemy of those plans is time. Life is short, unpredictable and you’re only given a small window of opportunity to complete your aspirations. Constant procrastination and indecisiveness is a sure way to be robbed of them. So quit putting off that coup d’état, and get your act together.
1. Bob Dylan
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”
You have to do what makes you happy. It’s cliched, but a proven truth in life. It might not make you rich, but there’s nothing more valuable than waking up to do what you love. If you have an affinity for changing urinal cakes at the local Cracker Barrel, and that’s what brings you joy in life, all the power to you. And if you love touring the world, playing sold out arenas and being a cultural icon, that’s fine too.