How to Become a Good Man: Do You Measure Up?

Society seems to be confused about what manhood is nowadays, so it’s understandable that people are wondering how to become a good man. The answer is simple: discover the positive masculine traits and qualities and then amplify them.

Read the second part of this article “How to Be a Better Man” too. Don’t worry. It’s also linked at the bottom of the page.

Become a Man, Then a Better Man

Before you can become a better man, you must be a man. Ask yourself the question, “Am I a man? Really?”

You might be confused if you’ve listened to the advice of women all your life who say things like:

  • A real man knows how to express himself and is emotionally in touch with himself
  • A man should have compassion, be able to cry, and not need to use aggression
  • He should have empathy for either and learn to love himself
  • Get raw with your emotions

This isn’t necessarily bad advice, but it isn’t the right advice for someone who wants to become a good man. It might be good advice for an overly macho man, but it won’t make you a man. Read it again, and you’ll realize this feminine advice will make you more like a woman!

Men are strong, reliable, and competent.

As a man, you are already naturally stronger than 99% of women out there. Men needed to be strong so they could protect a woman and their children. To do that, they had to also be reliable. Being strong and being there meant nothing, though, if they were incompetent – if they could fight or hunt.

So, these are the three strengths you must push before you start pulling up your weaknesses.

Masculinity Means Strength

Jordan Peterson encourages men to get strong enough to be dangerous. Why? “Because it’s the alternative to being weak, and weak is not good.” He says, “The people who shoot up the high schools, they’re weak.”

So start with physical strength.

Is there anything more masculine than a strong, muscly dude?

In the animal world, everything from male lions to elephant seals fights over mates, and our closer relatives, like chimpanzees and gorillas, do it too. Inevitably, it’s the stronger one who wins.

First, they must fight off the other suitors, but they must still stay on their guard and fight off competitors. Strength isn’t only about fighting, though; it’s a sign of health, which means you’ll be around long enough to help raise a kid.

But even more than that, a strong man has an easier life (and so does his family.)

  • A strong man can outwork a weak one, which means a better life.
  • A strong man can solve problems with raw strength (ever seen videos of men who park cars, or move them by pushing them?)
  • The family of a strong man has less stress in public.

“But none of this stuff matters in modern society!”

Think again.

Practical Tips to Become a Stronger Man

You might not have the genes (or the testosterone levels) to look like a bodybuilder, but you can become a better man simply by becoming a stronger man. Every healthy man should be able to hit these feats of strength:

  • Benchpress his bodyweight
  • Squat 1.5x his bodyweight
  • Deadlift 2x his bodyweight
  • Press 0.8x his bodyweight

There’s a simple training program that has been the go-to for anyone wanting to start getting strong for 20+ years – Starting Strength, by Mark Rippetoe. Is it the best program ever made? Probably not. But will it get you super strong, super fast? Yes, it will.

The program is pretty simple: you work on five lifts and perform just five heavy reps per set of each movement.

  1. Squat
  2. Bench Press
  3. Press
  4. Deadlift
  5. Power Clean

You can find the entire program here.

So get training!

Good Men Are Reliable


Strength is meaningless if you’re not there. You must be reliable to be a good man.

In the distant past, it meant you were willing to defend the tribe, to put in the time to hunt and bring back a kill so everyone could eat. In the more recent past, it meant that you would deliver on a deal with just a handshake or always pay someone back on time.

What does it mean in the world we live in today?

  • Paying your bills
  • Keeping your promises
  • Turning up on time
  • Being predictable (in a good way)

There are far fewer “my word is my bond” moments in modern-day life. Handshake agreements have been displaced by pages of terms of service and “I have read and agreed” buttons. But being reliable is still as important as ever.

I’m sure you know someone in your group of friends or family who is always late; they’re untidy, unorganized, and just unreliable. And although you love them, you wouldn’t trust them with bringing the ring to your wedding or raising your child in the event of an accident.

Unreliability erodes manliness, so if you struggle with this, it’s something you must work on.

A simple organization system is all you need, not some rigid structure that constricts your life, but a minimal support system that reminds you to do the things that are most important to you and allows you the freedom to do whatever you want, knowing that those important aspects of your life are taken care of.

Competence is Manly

Working with Wood

What does it mean to be competent? It means to be good at something. But more than that, it means to be good at something valuable.

You might be great at playing Fortnite, or you may know the names and values of every Pokemon card ever made, but neither of those skills has any real value. They don’t make you a competent man.

So before you put in the time to make yourself a better man by becoming more competent, ask yourself if you’re spending your time doing something worthwhile.

Every man should be competent in some skill that makes him money. Without earning money, you can’t live. Husbands need to support their wives, and fathers must support their children. It’s why women always admire a self-made man.

Take a look at your job right now. How good at it are you?

And if it’s something you don’t want to be doing in the future, how good are you at the thing you wish you were doing? It’s easy to say you won’t put any effort into your job because you don’t like it, but what are you putting your effort into instead?

“One day I want to write a book and become a writer.” OK, but how good of a writer are you right now? If you’ve never sold a book, you have your answer. If all you’re doing at this point in time is flipping burgers, and you’re not even good at it, what makes you think you’d be able to run a business or manage a whole team of people?

Get good at what you’re doing, and get good at what you want to do. Perfect your craft.

Good Men Will Become Better Men

If you’re competent, reliable, and strong, you’re already acting like a man, and so it’s time to journey down the fourth road of manhood self-improvement.

Personal development is a journey boys and men all take. Because it’s not good enough to be a good man, you need to be a better man.

Gregory Gaynor Avatar

Meet Gregory, a writer and the brains behind Face Dragons. He's the go-to guy for getting things done.

Gregory's been living the digital nomad life in Asia for as long as anyone can remember, helping clients smash their goals. He writes on topics like software, personal knowledge management (PKM), and personal development. When he's not writing, you'll catch him at the local MMA gym, nose buried in a book, or just chilling with the family.