On Being Manly and Changing Who You Are

5 Minutes | 3 Ideas, Quotes, and Questions | 1 Challenge


Moreno Zugaro

2 years ago | 4 min read

5 Minutes | 3 Ideas, Quotes, and Questions | 1 Challenge


Instead of focusing on what you need to do, focus on who you need to become.

Lasting change and improvement is hard because you have to battle a worthy opponent: Yourself.

Behaviors can be adopted quickly. Everybody can go and work out for a few weeks. But what good is it if you revert to old behaviors?

World-class athletes don’t train six times a week because they have to, but because it’s what world-class athletes do.
Warren Buffett doesn’t read investment reports because he has to, but because it’s what professional investors do.
Great fathers don’t spend time with their kids because they have to, but because it’s what great fathers do.

With the right identity, the right behaviors will come to you naturally. So the next time you want to improve your life and make change happen, don’t focus too much on what you need to do, but rather who you need to be. Then go and become that someone.


“Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and fervor.”
— Benjamin Disraeli

This quote resonated deeply with me because it touches on three areas I consider essential for masculinity and manhood.

We men are doers — and bold action is what we’re born for.

You like to solve problems, tackle challenges, and make things happen. Inaction makes you feel useless, depressed, and weak. Just ask anyone who spends their days on the couch how empowered and manly they feel.

If you haven’t taken action in a while, it can feel uncomfortable and scary in the beginning. You need to try new things, get off your ass, and put in some hard work. You’ll probably even make a few mistakes along the way. But mastering a difficult challenge is an indescribable feeling and a guaranteed confidence booster.

Take action, even if it scares you.

A man who doesn’t embrace his emotions is lost.

If you don’t connect with your feelings, one of two things happens. Either you go Kim Jong Un on them and suppress them into non-existence, which will result in unhealthy coping patterns. Or, you get overwhelmed by them and act irrationally because you don’t understand what’s going on. Either way, you lose. If you don’t embrace your emotions, you can’t control your reactions.

Feel deeply, but act rationally.

Truly authentic men are rare.

The ones who adhere to society’s expectations, keep their hopes and fears secret, and stonewall like a bricklayer come a dime a dozen. They’re afraid of opening up and expressing themselves because doing so means vulnerability. But vulnerability isn’t weak — the ability to put yourself out there as you are and not knowing what might happen is rooted in courage and strength. An authentic man doesn’t fear the judgment of others.

Live in alignment with your authentic self.


How can you achieve your 10-year goal in 6 months?

This sounds insane — but so do most genius ideas in the beginning.

I’ll be honest. You likely won’t achieve your 10-year goal in 6 months, but that isn’t the goal of this question. The goal is to get you into a different mindset and perspective, to get you to ask yourself “what would have to happen so I can achieve my 10-year goal in 6 months?” Then, you realize all the obstacles, wrong assumptions, and limiting beliefs you’ve put up for yourself.

When I was younger, I dreamt of being able to work low hours remotely and live on a beach. I thought it would take a long climb along the corporate ladder, tons of backup cash, and extraordinary amounts of good luck. I became worried about the millions of reasons people told me for why it would take at least a decade. A few months ago, I said “Fuck that. How can I get there within the next half a year?”

When I set the plan to live in Bali for a few months for next January, I thought about everything that had to happen and realized it was totally possible if I adjusted my life and business accordingly.

Your perspective determines your reality, so get used to changing it from time to time.


Ask yourself every day: Have I been true to myself?

Your life consists of many years. Your years consist of months. And your months consist of days. This isn’t a lecture on how to read a calendar, but the basis for creating the life you want.

If you reverse the whole thing, you realize that you can’t create a life that’s true to your authentic self if you’re days aren’t. Men end up in jobs that make them miserable, unfulfilling relationships, and not liking what they see in the mirror because they don’t understand that all the days on which they don’t live the life they want eventually become the life they live.

These small blunders can be easy to miss. A donut even though you’re on a diet, sucking up to your boss even though you despise them, or swallowing your words when you argue with someone. Reflect regularly on your behaviors and identify the ones that aren’t authentic.

Every day is a new opportunity to be true to yourself. Use it.


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Moreno Zugaro

Thought-provoking personal growth & slightly inappropriate humor | 600K views | Join 1000+ men on the path of authentic self-improvement:







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