The definition of “Real” – genuine; not counterfeit, artificial, or imitation; authentic: a real antique; a real diamond; real silk.
The definition of “Man” – an adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman.
And therefore, one could say that a Real Man is a genuine, authentic adult male person. Not artificial or counterfeit, and not a boy.
As opposed to what,? An unreal man? A fake man? It’s actually both an unreal and a fake man, or more to the point, the fictional product of television advertising. Think back to the last commercial you saw on TV that used the phrase “Man” in it. There was Miller Lite’s “Man Up” commercials, Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius,” and the Pepsi Max ads that proclaimed that “Real Men Don’t Cry.” Then there are the ads, like the ones for 1800 Tequila, where Michael Imperioli very smugly tells the viewer that Real Men drink premium tequila.
So according to Madison Avenue, these are also “Real Men.” But there is a big difference between what we believe makes a Real Man and what advertisers and television would say is a “Real Man.” The best way to show the difference is a little exercise I’d like you to do.
To do this, I’d like to ask you a simple question.
Who do you most admire? Who are your heroes? Who, if you could be anyone, would you like to be? Who is the person that you would like your son, nephew, or friend’s child to emulate? And not because they have money, fame, or power, but because you believe they are a truly exceptional person. I’d like you to make a list of three to five people you most admire.
You can put down whoever you want on your list. I would simply suggest that they be people who you admire not for a single skill or ability nor for one period of time in their life, but someone who has consistently and with great humility behaved in a manner that you admire and that you would aspire to. So it you’re thinking of putting down LeBron James or Sydney Crosby, please make sure it’s for something other than being able to cram a basketball through a hoop or roof a puck.
So I’d ask you to make a list of the 3 –5 men you most admire.
Now, the next question is, what about these men or women do you most admire? What quality do these individuals possess that you believe makes them so unique that they deserve to be placed on your list?
When I think of the 5 men I most admire, I see there are common qualities those men have, namely: