Doing it on our own is a nice challenge, but it rarely works. No matter what goal we’re trying to achieve. No matter our position in life, or our mission, we need help along the way. We need relationships that help us become better, more successful, and stronger men.
It’s been some time since I’ve created a “7 things every man needs” article. Over a year I think. Something that is going to change in the upcoming weeks as I delve back into this series from a completely different angle and with a completely different purpose.
We’ll look at things from style and literature, to today’s article: relationships every guy needs to be successful in every area of life (fitness included).
You may look at the title, and then at content and wonder, how in the hell does a man NEED this stuff? Good question. Simple answer. While a man may not need a business coach or a mentor to survive, he does need one in order to thrive.
Survival is not a concern of this site. Thriving is. The name of the site is Be Legendary. Something that I take into consideration every time I come up with an idea for an article. Will this help my readers (and myself) live a legendary life?
If the answer’s yes, then I go ahead with the article. If it really doesn’t contribute to your greatness, whether it’s in the health and fitness realm, or the “manliness” realm, then it doesn’t really need to be on the site, does it?
7 RELATIONSHIPS EVERY MAN NEEDS
Today we’ll look at 7 relationships every guy needs in order to find success in his career, in the gym, and in life in general.
A mentor is someone who has accomplished what you want to accomplish to some degree, and willing to share his experiences with you.
If you’re running your own company or business, this is vital to your success. I’ve had and have a few mentors. Some I paid for their help, others were friends who’ve accomplished awesome things, are older than I am, and were willing to take me under their wing.
Without their guidance, I’d be going in circles. I’d be running on a treadmill – expounding maximal effort without really going anywhere – rather than running up the hill to my ultimate goal and dream.
I had a mentor when I was trying to build muscle, I talk about him in this video: How I Gained 32 lbs of Lean Muscle in 32 Weeks. I’ve had mentor’s with my business. And although I don’t have a one-on-one relationship with them, I consider many of my favorite authors, mentors.
Whether your goal is with fitness, business, or if you need guidance in life, a mentor can be the compass you need to keep your ship pointed in the right direction.
THE ROLE MODEL
How will you know what it means to be a man if you have no examples of what one really is? Ideally this is your Old Man. If that’s not an option, read. Read about the lives and integrity of guys like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus, Nelson Mandela, and Ghandi.
See the dedication and even the obsession that guys like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, and Henry Ford had to making their dreams and goals become their reality. See how Mark Wahlberg gets up at 4:30 am every morning and starts working.
Read what made these guys successful. Admire the good in them, and learn from the bad choices they’ve made. Your role model can be a collection of a number of different people who possess attributes you respect and aspire to have.
THE COACH/THE TEACHER
Sports are important to a man’s development. At a young age they teach us discipline, the value of hard work, and – although in today’s world it might not be a ‘popular’ thing to say – they teach us to WIN.
Being a winner isn’t an inherent trait. It’s a developed habit that needs to be taught and nurtured. If you’ve lost your whole life, you’re probably going to expect it in everything you do simply because it’s all you know. A great coach gives you the experience of winning. Once you know you can win, you know you can win again.
Your coach or teacher is also the guy who saw leadership qualities in you and showed you how to develop them further.
I’ve had a few great coaches in my life, from basketball and hockey coaches, to my boxing trainer. I’ve also had some teacher’s that went above and beyond in showing me what it means to be a man.
They taught me about sacrifice – in the case of the teacher who dropped everything to help kids in Seirra Leone… a story which I’ll have to tell someday. They taught me to work on my weaknesses, not just on my strengths.
Michael Jordan had Dean Smith and Phil Jackson. Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Bill Walton had John Wooden. Ali had Angelo Dundee, as did George Foreman during his second time-round.
The greatest were often coached by the greatest coaches, and taught by the greatest teachers.
THE BEST FRIEND
Your best friend is the guy who will call you out on your bullshit when everyone else is afraid to ‘step on your toes’. He’ll tell you the stuff that’s hard to hear, that you need to hear.
If you’re stuck in a relationship where you’re your woman’s lap-dog, this guy will call you out and tell you to man up. If you’re TALKING a big game, but not LIVING one. He’ll tell you.
He has your back in a fight, even if you’re wrong, and the both of you are going to get your asses kicked. I’m fortunate enough to have a few of these guys.
These are the guys that’ll keep you humble, and you them. You can bust balls, laugh, but also be real and talk about big picture stuff.
Your lady can fulfill this roll to a degree. But not in the same way that your best man friend can. Sometimes you don’t tell her things because you don’t want to worry her, and fair enough. But you’ll tell your best friend, if not to find a solution, at the very least to communicate what’s going on, and to get it off your chest.
No matter how high your highs, your best friend will keep you humble. No matter how low your lows, your best friend will help you focus on what you should be focusing on. NOT on the negative; rather, on the impossible you’re making possible.
THE BUSINESS PARTNER
Even if you’re not in an actual business with a business partner, you still need a ‘business partner’. You need someone you can bounce ideas off of. Someone who you can talk shop with, whatever your line of work is.
This could be a coworker. If you’re an entrepreneur, this could be a friend in a similar line of work, or a pal in your own industry. It’s someone you push to accomplish more, and someone who pushes you.
THE TRAINING PARTNER
This is someone who pushes you, not someone you chat with during your rests. You should hate each other while you’re training because of the constant pain they’re putting you through.
This person will contribute to more of your success than any program, IF you have the right training partner.
Again, it doesn’t have to be a buddy. Often times we train with a buddy so we can get our little chat time in. That’s not a training partner. That’s a distraction.
If you’re training with a buddy, set boundaries. Have a ‘no talk rule’ during workouts. Be real with each other. Push each other. Benefit one another.
Last but not least, every guy needs an old fart to look up to. Often times our grandparents have already kicked the bucket by the time we enter manhood, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find some other old fart to hang out with.
With age comes experience and wisdom that the vast majority of us don’t have until we reach our twilight years. A few months ago I took an old family friend out for lunch…
This is a guy who’s been incredibly successful in business, and in other areas of his life over the years. Talking to him for even a couple hours has stuck with me ever since.
Looking back on life in his late 80’s, he’s seen opportunities in business pass him by. He’s learned lessons that I have yet to learn. He told me to watch out for things I wouldn’t know to watch out for, or to think about certain things in a manner I naturally wouldn’t.
My OWN grandfather is another great guy to talk to. I’ve rarely taken the opportunity to delve into a real conversation with him, but when I have it’s been memorable.
I recently learned that he held 3 jobs while he was raising his family. He worked his ass off to provide for them. And there’s no one with a better outlook on life than my Poppa.
If you have a grandfather, talk to him. I mean REALLY talk to him. Pick his brain and get into some deep conversations with the man. Old guys love sharing their wisdom. They love to pass on what they’ve learned. He’ll beam when you start asking him about some real stuff.
If you don’t have a grandfather, take out an old guy you respect. Take him for lunch. He’ll love it. You’ll learn more valuable lessons in that lunch than you could come close to in a couple years on your own.
Each of these relationships give us something. They teach us something about life, give a perspective we wouldn’t have on our own, and they help us develop into better men.
We also need to contribute to them. It should go without saying that a real relationship has give and take. If it doesn’t, it’s not a real relationship. So make sure you’re providing value in each of these relationships. It can’t just be all about you.