I was having dinner the other day with the wealthiest and most successful man I know. He just turned 50 and I asked him, “If you could go back in time and give your younger self some advice. What would you say?” His eyes lit up and he said “There are certain skills every man should know”.
Paul didn’t have success handed to him on a plate. He came from a toxic household and left home at 16 with no money or job prospects. Yet he overcame massive adversity to create abundance in all areas of his life.
He now runs multiple 7 figure businesses. His girlfriend is almost half his age. He regularly competes in triathlons. Paul attributes his success to one thing - acquiring skills.
In this article, I am going to reveal the exact skills he recommends every man must learn if he wants to be successful in all areas of life.
The Top Skills Every Man Should Know
If you are reading this, then I know you have an incessant drive to improve yourself. And you want to equip yourself with the right skills that will set you up for success in health, wealth, love and happiness.
So here are the most important things men should know, according to Paul.
Men should learn martial arts
The very first thing Paul told me was to “learn martial arts”. Paul is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and he said he regrets not starting earlier. Learning this has numerous benefits such as more self-confidence, discipline, weight loss, stress relief etc. But Paul’s main reason for practicing BJJ is survival.
“Our world is built on survivalism,” he told me. And “martial arts is going to help you learn how to survive.” It's not just a matter of knowing how to strike or grapple when someone attacks you. Martial arts can also help you stay calm under pressure, be quick on your feet and be fit enough to fend off illness.
Every man should know about persuasion
A lot of men would attribute their financial success to learning the art of persuasion. The world is becoming more competitive than ever before. Being a good craftsman might have cut it in the past, but in today’s world, it is not enough. We are all in the business of selling and persuasion.
Understanding the laws of human nature is essential during these changing times. It will give you an edge over all your peers. People have deep emotional desires behind the facade they present to the public. If we want to persuade them, we have got to appeal to their emotional desires rather than using logic.
Business is simply the mutual exchange of value. You have something they want and they have something you want i.e money. The only question is - do you know how to close the deal?
Go grab a copy of “Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter” and it will show you how to use persuasion as a weapon to make more money and climb the ladder in your career.
Habit stack to dominate your goals
Our life reflects our habits. Rather than setting big outrageous goals, learn how to habit stack. Habits are the foundation for having the drive, resilience and perseverance to achieve long-term goals. Anyone can set a big goal but most people will fail due to short-term temptations, distractions and emotional impulses.
When you know how to create a habit, you no longer have to rely on willpower to blast through tough times. You can simply put your preferred behavioral pattern on autopilot so you end up doing it without even thinking.
You can start putting many life-changing habits on autopilot and they will work for you for the rest of your life. This makes it easier for you to sustain your levels of energy and mental performance for achieving your most ambitious goals.
Successful people either learned positive habits from their parents or they taught themselves how to create positive habits. “I know I would be nothing, if I didn’t know how to accumulate habits,” Paul would say.
Waking up at 6 a.m., cold plunges, daily exercise and drinking 4L of water are some keystone habits that can change your life for the better.
Most men haven’t developed this essential life skill. It’s why women see the average man as immature, unreliable, dirty, lazy and unambitious. Developing habits will set you apart as a real man who has his shit together in life.
Social skills are the most essential “man skills” to have
If there is one skill that improved my life more than anything else, it was learning social skills. In my early 20’s, I had a phobia of people. I would choose to stay at home rather than go to gatherings. If I happened to be at an event full of people, I would do my absolute best to interact with as few people as possible.
But my life was suffering, I had no dates. I was unhappy. I wasn’t progressing in my career. And things were not going to magically get better all by themselves. Success never comes in isolation. It mostly comes from collaboration.
It can sometimes seem like the world is a cold, ruthless place where everyone is just out for themselves but successful people like helping other people. Most people who achieve success have had to struggle for it and know how hard it can be. So they are usually more than willing to offer a hand up to someone when they can.
Human beings flourish through cooperation. We are known as the “social ape” for a reason. Going it alone will wear you out and you will start to feel depressed. We need each other to thrive in life.
When a woman sees you’ve built up a solid social network of friends who like you, pay attention to you and respect you then it is going to trigger her primal attraction switches and make you 10x more attractive. Because the man who survived in the wild was the man who was the most socially connected.
Things Men Should Know How to Do Around Women
I was curious to know what specific skills a guy must be able to display around women. I asked him if learning DIY skills like plumbing, carpentry, gardening, how to change a tire, etc. was essential for maintaining a woman’s attraction.
“I don’t know how to put a nail in a wall”, he said. Paul grew up without a father so he was never shown how to do DIY skills.
“I could have spent years learning all these skills but are they essential? No!”. You can’t master everything in life. You have got to pick and choose which skills you want to develop.
And learning physical crafts is a great thing to do, but what is attractive to women is not whether you know plumbing, it is whether you can get the job done or not. I may not know how to fix a broken washing machine, but I can call the right person for the job and I have enough resources to pay them to do it.
There are some basic skills every man should know how to do around women (and they are probably not what you think).
Evolutionary psychology tells us women will subconsciously assess a man as a potential suitor based on three primitive criteria:
- Will he be good to me?
- Is he effective in life?
- Will he be good to our kids?
There are things every man should know how to do around women that meet these criteria and they are…
How to change her mood not her mind
Trying to logically convince a woman of your value by wearing expensive clothes, taking her to expensive places, buying her drinks, bragging about your job and how much you earn will fall on deaf ears because it doesn’t prove that you will be good to her.
David Deida says that “90% of a woman’s emotional problems stem from being unloved”. Trying to analyze her or “fix her” will not solve her emotional problems either. Your presence, physical touch, smile, warmth and playfulness will evaporate most of her emotional problems.
“The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Chapman is an excellent book for teaching you how to show love in a way that is felt and received by your partner.
If you have the willingness to love her but no ability to display personal effectiveness, then she will see you as nothing more than a naive boy with a crush. Being tender and loving yet at the same time being fierce and aggressive are basic skills every man should know how to demonstrate around women.
How to display personal effectiveness
Personal effectiveness is attractive to most women but ineffectiveness is repulsive to all women. In all cultures, women are erotically attracted to effective men. Transforming yourself into the kind of guy who triggers these attraction circuits in women is your only proven way to lasting success.
When it comes to mating, the woman is the selector. So when you first meet a woman, she doesn't care about your needs. Your sexual desires are irrelevant to her. Evolutionary psychology has wired her to select boyfriends who offer as many benefits as possible including protecting her and her offspring.
Ask yourself: Am I in shape? How strong are my social connections? Do I live according to my means? How am I displaying my creativity? What are my weaknesses and how can I improve them?
Eliminating any addictions or areas where you are ineffective in life is better for attracting women than becoming a beast in one area. What I mean is, getting rid of a massive beer belly will give better returns than developing six-pack abs.
Show her your paternal skills
Women will favor men who will make good dads. Being abandoned by the man in the family was devastating for a woman during hunter-gatherer times. The likelihood of a baby surviving without a father dropped significantly.
Here are some ways you can build empathy and kindness:
- Take care of animals - women love guys who can take care of animals. And when she wants to get a dog with you, it’s like saying, “I trust you enough to want to care for this creature together.” A kind animal owner will probably make a kind dad.
- Take care of children - several studies have shown that women are attracted to men who display good childcare skills because it displays that they will be good dads. So help your younger siblings with their homework or take your nieces and nephews to sporting activities.
- Be a role model to younger people - volunteer to be a mentor to someone less fortunate than you.
The list of skills every man should know might seem daunting at first but the good thing is you have the rest of your life to learn them. Pick one today and begin the journey of transforming yourself into a man, your future self will thank you for.