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10 Ways To Live More Consciously As A Man

1. Make real decisions.

A man understands and respects the power of choice. He lives a life of his own creation. He knows that life stagnates when he fails to decide and flourishes when he chooses a clear path. When a man makes a decision, he opens the door he wants and closes the doors he doesnt want. He locks onto his target like a guided missile. Theres no guarantee hell reach his target, and he knows this, but he doesnt need such guarantees. He simply enjoys the sense of inevitability that comes from pushing the launch button. A man doesnt require the approval of others. Hes willing to follow his heart wherever it leads him. When a man is following his heart-centered path, its of little consequence if the entire world is against him.

2. Put your relationships second.

A man who claims his #1 commitment in life is his relationship partner (or his family) is either too dishonest or too weak to be trusted. His loyalties are misplaced. A man who values individuals above his own integrity is a wretch, not a free thinker. A man knows he must commit to something greater than satisfying the needs of a few people. Hes not willing to be domesticated, but he is willing to accept the responsibility that comes with greater challenges. He knows that when he shirks that duty, he becomes something less than a man. When others observe that the man is unyieldingly committed to his values and ideals, he gains their trust and respect, even when he cannot gain their direct support. The surest way for a man to lose the respect of others (as well as his self-respect) is to violate his own values. Life will test the man to see if hes willing to put loyalty to others ahead of loyalty to his principles. The man will be offered many temptations to expose his true loyalties. A mans greatest reward is to live with integrity, and his greatest punishment is what he inflicts upon himself for placing anything above his integrity. Whenever the man sacrifices his integrity, he loses his freedom and himself as well. He becomes an object of pity.

3. Be willing to fail.
A man is willing to make mistakes. Hes willing to be wrong. Hed rather try and fail than do nothing. A mans self-trust is one of his greatest assets. When he second-guesses himself by worrying about failure, he diminishes himself. An intelligent man considers the prospect of failure, but he doesnt preoccupy himself with pointless worry. He accepts that if a failure outcome occurs, he can deal with it.

A man grows more from failure than he does from success. Success cannot test his resolve in the way that failure can. Success has its challenges, but a man learns more about himself when he takes on challenges that involve risk. When a man plays it safe, his vitality is lost, and he loses his edge.

4. Be confident.
A man speaks and acts with confidence. He owns his attitude. A man doesnt adopt a confident posture because he knows hell succeed. He often knows that failure is a likely outcome. But when the odds of success are clearly against him, he still exudes confidence. It isnt because hes ignorant or suffering from denial. Its because hes proving to himself that he has the strength to transcend his self-doubt. This builds his courage and persistence, two of his most valuable allies. A man is willing to be defeated by the world. Hes willing to be taken down by circumstances beyond his control. But he refuses to be overwhelmed by his own self-doubt. He knows that when he stops trusting himself, he is surely lost. Hell surrender to fate when necessary, but he wont surrender to fear.

5. Express love actively.

A man is an active giver of love, not a passive receiver. A man is the first to initiate a conversation, the first to ask for whats needed, and the first to say I love you. Waiting for someone else to make the first move is unbecoming of him. The universe does not respond positively to his hesitation. Only when hes in motion do the floodgates of abundance open. Man is the out-breath of source energy. It is his job his duty to share his love with the world. He must wean himself from suckling the energy of others and become a vibrant transmitter of energy himself. He must allow that energy to flow from source, through him, and into the world. When he assumes this role, he has no doubt he is living as his true self.

6. Re-channel sex energy.

A man doesnt hide his sexuality. If others shrink from him because hes too masculine, he allows them to have their reaction. Theres no need for him to lower his energy just to avoid frightening the timid. A man accepts the consequences of being male; he makes no apologies for his nature. A man is careful not to allow his energy to get stuck at the level of lust. He re-channels much of his sexual energy into his heart and head, where it can serve his higher values instead of just his animal instincts. (You can do this by visualizing the energy rising, expanding, and eventually flowing throughout your entire body and beyond.)

A man channels his sexual energy into his heart-centered pursuits. He feels such energy pulsing within him, driving him to action. He feels uncomfortable standing still. He allows his sexual energy to explode through his heart, not just his genitals.

7. Face your fears.

For a man, being afraid of something is reason enough to do it. A mans fear is a call to be tested. When a man hides from his fears, he knows hes fallen out of alignment with his true self. He feels weak, depressed, and helpless. No matter how hard he tries to comfort himself and achieve a state of peace, he cannot overcome his inner feeling of dread. Only when facing his fears does a man experience peace. A man makes a friend of risk. He doesnt run and hide from the tests of fear. He turns toward them and engages them boldly. A man succeeds or fails. A coward never makes the attempt. Specific outcomes are of less concern to a man than his direction. A man feels like a man whenever he faces the right way, staring straight into his fears. He feels even more like a man when he advances in the direction of his fears, as if sailing on the winds of an inner scream.

8. Honor the masculinity of other men.

When a man sees a male friend undertaking a new venture that will clearly lead to failure, what does the man do? Does he warn his friend off such a path? No, the man encourages his friend to continue. The man knows its better for his friend to strike out confidently and learn from the failure experience. The man honors his friends decision to reach out and make the attempt. The man wont deny his friend the benefits of a failure experience. The man may offer his friend guidance, but he knows his friend must fail repeatedly in order to develop self-trust and courage. When you see a man at the gym struggling to lift a heavy weight, do you jump in and sa y, Here let me help you with that. Maybe the two of us can lift it together? No, that would rob him of the growth experience and probably make a quick enemy of him as well. The male path is filled with obstacles. It typically includes more failures than successes. These obstacles help a man discover whats truly important to him. Through repeated failures a man learns to persist in the pursuit of worthy goals and to abandon goals that are unworthy of him. A man can handle being knocked down many times. For every physical setback he experiences, he enjoys a spiritual advancement, and that is enough for him.

9. Accept responsibility for your relationships.

A man chooses his friends, lovers, and associates consciously. He actively seeks out the company of people who inspire and challenge him, and he willingly sheds those who hold him back. A man doesnt blame others for his relationship problems. When a relationship is no longer compatible with his heart-centered path, he initiates the break-up and departs without blame or guilt. A man holds himself accountable for the relationships he allows into his life. He holds others accountable for their behavior, but he holds himself accountable for his decision to tolerate such behavior. A man teaches others how to treat him by the relationships hes willing to allow into his life. A man refuses to fill his life with negative or destructive relationships; he knows thats a form of self -abuse.

10. Die well.

A mans great challenge is to develop the inner strength to express his true self. He must learn to share his love with the world without holding back. When a man is satisfied that hes done that, he can make peace with death. But if he fails to do so, death becomes his enemy and haunts him all the days of his life. A man cannot die well unless he lives well. A man lives well when he accepts his mortality and draws strength from knowing that his physical existence is temporary. When a man faces and accepts the inevitability of death when he learns to see death as his ally instead of his enemy hes finally able to express his true self. So a man isnt ready to live until he accepts that hes already dead.

1. Be as contradictory as possible.
"People tell you who they are, but we ignore itbecause we want them to be who we want them to be." In Don's own words lies his personal brand of intrigue. Don's most detestable actions clearly tell us who he is (an insatiable womanizer driven by selfish desires), but we still want to see him as more. Don is a lovable scoundrel only because he evades definition. We watch him baiting a flight attendant with elaborate lies just after he's warmed a glass of milk for his pregnant wife. We see him unleash of spitfire of insults on an unwilling client, and minutes later he's gently encouraging Peggy. We see him asking to be slapped by a prostitute, and just minutes later he's the warm, caring father instilling values in his children. Don's faults are just as integral to his swagger as his strengths, if not more so. His charisma is derived from this sense of conflict. He is both the bad boy and the gentleman, and he is wildly unpredictable because of this dichotomy. He is a walking enigma that begs to be dissected, and yes, humped. Harness your own set of contradictions. Don't shy away from inconsistencies, embrace them with an unbridled panache of Don Draper. Believe you are "beautiful...interesting and modern" like Frank O'Hara insists, but balance that with the "catastrophe of [your] personality. You are not wholly good or bad. You too are a walking enigma, a nut that people will clamor to crack. When they're scratching at your door, desperately wanting into your head, you can thank us.

2. Be wildly ambitious. Always want more.

Despite believing he might not deserve it, Don wants everything for himself. He is captivated by novelty and perpetually chasing some fantasy that is just out of reach. His hunger for new women can be seen as an extension of his hunger for life in general. When Don proposed to Megan in the second to last episode of season four, it was unexpected, but not altogether surprising. He is an unpredictable dreamer. He admits this himself when we hear him narrating his short-lived journal: "Were flawed because we want so much more. Were ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had." Don is never satisfied with the status-quo. There are greener pastures, better accounts and more exciting women (Sorry Faye!). As a result, he comes across as insatiable, or as Faye bitterly notes, he "only [likes] the beginnings of things." Imitate Don's lust for life-improvement and you'll find those less motivated taking notes, and also have women clamoring to be the one who captures your fickle attention.

3. Be intensely private. Keep more secrets.

Don's persona is cloaked in mystery and intrigue. As a result, no one in his life seems to have even the slightest handle on who exactly Don is. When they were married, we hear Betty asking herself, "Who is in there?" while she watches Don sleep. The rest of the people in his life are left wondering the same. "Draper? Who knows anything about that guy? No ones ever lifted that rock. He could be Batman for all we know." Harry's words echo our sentiments. Don is intensely private. Just like his box of secrets he once kept under lock and key, we get the sense that a great deal of Don is hidden, and it's that ambiguity about his persona that merits intrigue.

Women hope they hold the magic key to his mystery-shrouded heart and men vie to be his confidant (remember Roger feeding him martinis and prodding him about his marriage?). Like Don's Right Guard slogan, the people around him want "any excuse to get closer" to the enigma that is Don Draper. Play up the riddle of your personality by being intensely private and acting as if you too have something to hide (even if you don't) and the people around you will be entranced with the idea of unraveling the conundrum.

4. Balance confidence with equal parts self-loathing.

"I can't decide if you have everything or nothing." Don poses this quandary to Midge in the first season of the show, but we can easily see it as being reflective of the self-interrogation Don performs each season. Don has had many things worthy of appreciationa beautiful wife, a sprawling house in suburbs, a thriving career yet remains deeply dissatisfied with himself. Don may make a living selling nostalgia, but it's also exactly what deters him from moving forward. He doesn't want to go back to being Dick, the farm boy spawned by a prostitute. He longs for the time when he was only one man, not trapped under the weight of two. We see Dick when he is in California with Anna, a looser, lighter incarnation of Don, a person Don can never be again. We realize that while he enjoys the perks of being Don, he isn't entirely comfortable with who he has become. We see him as a confident decision-maker at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, but when he's alone, we see his distress mount as he mulls over what he has become. What can you learn from this? His arrogance is not offset by others opinions, but by a deeply nagging sense of selfdoubt. Be the self-governing man who is ruled by his own appraisals, like Don, and you will emit a smug sense of self-made satisfaction (even if it is just a cover-up for self-made dissatisfaction). This will also help with that "inner torment" thing we mentioned earlier.

5. Rather than trying to earn the respect of others, make them work for yours.
Don is impervious to the opinions of others. At least, that's what his co-workers would claim, after watching him walk out on countless clients because he finds their ideas to be dull and uninventive. Don never acts as though he needs anyone. He believes his worthiness of respect comes from his work. He doesn't feel the need to overcompensate in other areas and abhors when he's asked to(see the shade he throws Conrad Hilton when he's asked for personal advice and called in for seemingly meaningless late-night chats). His exasperated glances seem to say, "Doesn't my work speak for me?" He resents being tested, because he prefers to do the testing. Think of Pete, and the way he always seems to respect Don almost as if by default, and craves his acceptance more than his wife Trudy's or even his own father's. Don doesn't dote on Pete, or dole out plentiful compliments like Lane. He gives him tough love, frequently pointing out Pete's failings while rarely apologizing for his own.

It's not fair, but it is effective. Take a tip from Don: Rarely apologize or admit your mistakes. Instead, act as if your every error is justified and purposeful. You're the creative man, and creative men don't make mistakes. They make bold moves simple minds can't understand.

6. Cultivate an aura of inner torment. Feel at home in it.

Don can glide across the room all he wants, but behind that cock-sure saunter, we get the sense that he's internally conflicted. There is an emotional unavailability he gives off, and women are helplessly compelled by his bittersweet magnetism. Don is a tortured soul, and we don't need that sad little shoebox of secrets to know that. It's visible in his extreme selfcontainment, and the slightly injured glint in his eye, and the way in which women get woozy when they catch a whiff of his damaged goods. Even the most emotionally stable women (Rachel and Faye, for instance) are susceptible to Don's injured man allure, because in their eyes it makes him a prime candidate for change. He is a woman's version of a conquest, much like the hoes you'd like to transform into housewives. Take it from Don: If there is a modicum of available hope in you, women will cling to it, and put pressure on it, hoping to cultivate their own diamond in the rough. Show them that tortured lump of coal, and prey on their hope to make it more. And in the meantime, smile less.

7. Never show fear of change or conflict. Embrace it.

Don's unwavering calm, only rarely broken by unexpected bouts of fury, knows no bounds. Current events that are earth-shattering for others barely register on Don's Richter scale. JFK's shooting, Marilyn Monroe's suicide it all seems to be taken in stride. Don engages in some personal mulling over the subject (see last slide), but there is no wild display of emotion. We get the sense that Don could leave it all behind and somehow be left essentially unharmed and undeterred. When presented with a creative problem (how to make a wheel sexy?), he squints his eyes, takes a long slow slip of something strong, and comes up with the answer he needs (a carousel, duh). We rarely see a hint of apprehension enter onto his face, which is why "The Suitcase" episode, where Don cries to Peggy, was so mind-blowing. Is this the same man who pursues women with dogged persistence, but seems to take their eventual departure in stride? We almost get the sense that if we asked him their names, he wouldn't recall them. When Betty asks about Bobbi Barrett and Don denies it, we get the sense that he almost believes his own lies. "I slept with her?" he seems to inquire of himself. Don's most impressive quality is his ability to erase the past and move forward, unencumbered. When you're in the face of conflict, take the advice Don gives to a shock-stricken Peggy in the hospital: "This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened." People will be in awe of you, trust us.

8. Engage in frequent introspection, or at least look like you are.

If you look just behind Don's well-maintained facade, you'll notice there is always something percolating just below the surface. You see it Don's drawn out stares into the darkness and hear it in his silence. When Don slips out of his daughter Sally's birthday party, and we see him parked beside the railroad, after he's hustled by two hitchhiking teens, we see him quietly observing his bruised face in the mirror. Before he has his epiphany to send that bold-move letter to the Times, he's gazing into Midge's mess of a painting. What does he see out there? It's himself. In Don's loner moments, we see his rifling through his soul's contents, as if he trying to unpack some important truth. It's this inclination towards introspection that endears viewers to Don, because it hints at the depth of his character. And while the other characters on the show aren't privy to the all-access pass to Don that we are, Don carries this sense of self-reflection with him. Live like happiness is fleeting, but maintain a contemplative quality that makes others wonder if it's true. They will find you intriguing, and they won't even know why.

9. Make more bold moves.

Im living like theres no tomorrow, because there isnt one." Don admits this unhindered approach to Rachel Menken in season one. Several episodes earlier he'd stormed out on a meeting because she was too demanding, and mere episodes later she's seen throwing her morals (and panties) to the wayside for the married ad man. Don applies a no-rules attitude towards life, and it's this mentality that makes him the master of the unexpected bold move. He unleashes them with such regularity that we almost expect him to do the unexpected. Force fingering Bobbi Barrett to get her to appease a client? A shocking (possibly deal-breaker) moment for any other man, but for Don, the sexual power-play only serves to solidify Bobbi's desire (and convinces her to coax Jimmy into apologizing to Don's client). While we don't suggest engaging in similar semi-violent behavior, there is something to be said for the way Don levies left-field moves. He doesn't think twice before showing up at school teacher Suzanne's door. He fires clients on a whim ("too traditional" seems to be his favorite reason). He has no qualms about manipulating others to get what he wants, whether it be with coworkers (remember when poor Roger vomited at the feet of clients after Don's elaborate "broken elevator" scheme?), his employers (that whole "fire us so we can start a new agency" strategy), or the general public (penning that ingenious letter to the New York Times about quitting smoking after being dumped by a tobacco client). Don's message here? I'm a man who knows what he wants and stops at nothing to get it.

10. Look and act like a gentleman (90% of the time).

Don's swagger, rather than being the product of artifice and ample fronting, is actually legit (even if his name is not). It's the unexpected result of who he is (and even who he is not) rather than someone he is trying to be. That being said, it wouldn't hurt if you dressed like Don. Invest in a suit that fits. Cut it out with that off-the-rack bullshit. Invest in your style. You might not have Don's pesos ( Vulture estimated he makes about $322,000) but make a few smart investments that will take you the dapper distance. Ample hair gel, and slick suits aside, Don embodies the quintessential gentleman. He adheres to a strict moral code90% of the time. We see Don's values in the office, where he is hesitant to break his word with Mohawk

Airlines, even when it means snagging a more lucrative client, American Airlines. He drinks like a gentleman (well, at least for seasons one, two, and three), and generally tempers his mouth and curbs his behavior when he's in the company of a woman. He sympathizes with the plights of others less fortunate, which we see when he gives Midge cash for her crappy "Look ma, I made this while doing heroin" painting, and in the way he tirelessly mentors Peggy. Ninety percent of the time, do the right thing, and demand the same of your company. The other 10% have no regard for anything but your own selfish desires. More on those later.