How to Go From A**hole to Good Man in 10 Easy Steps

Greg White has all the answers to living the good life: all ten of them.

Facebook is noise. Use it to tell your friends that your puppy just shit the quarter you thought you lost, then log off and read Mark Twain’s autobiography.
  1. Be kind to strangers: Pick up a dropped quarter, find the owner or at least someone more deserving. Carry some old man’s groceries.
  2. Be kind to the planet: Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth, don’t flush your home toilet every time you pee, don’t buy little plastic bottles of water. Buy locally grown vegetables.
  3. Be a better lover: Constantly surprise your mate. Make dinner. Do that tedious sex act they like. Take an errand away from them.
  4. Read: Facebook is noise. Use it to tell your friends that your puppy just shit the quarter you thought you lost, then log off and read Mark Twain’s autobiography.
  5. Be kind to yourself: Take five deep breaths three times a day. Do it with a friend. Don’t close your eyes.
  6. Stop saying “no problem”: Unless it’s a problem. If you sell coffee and I’m ordering a coffee, say “my pleasure” because it isn’t a problem. Darfur is a problem.
  7. Stop buying crap: Put a condom on your debit card. If you do buy something, wait a minute, wait an hour, and use a credit card that earns miles so you can fly away. Pass garage sales by—if they don’t want it, you don’t want it.
  8. Listen: Call your dad and ask what’s different about today than when he was your age. Volunteer to serve meals at a hospice or retirement home and then sit with the residents, or staff, and hear their amazing journey.
  9. Learn: Go back to college, take French lessons at a library, or cook with your grandmother to find out her meatball recipe before she dies.
  10. Never say you’re bored: Because you’re not: you’re lazy. Get up, get out and do any of the above. If you’re still bored, close your eyes and call it meditation.
  11. Live in the moment: If you’re reading a list of 10 and suddenly there’s an 11, enjoy the moment. Then move on.



Read more Lists on The Good Life.

Image credit: @jbtaylor/Flickr

About Greg White

Greg Cope White is an author, blogger, television writer and host, cook, world traveler, and inveterate bon vivant. He's also a former sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, with a book out about that time, The Pink Marine.


His Marine Corps memoir is optioned for a TV series. Meanwhile, he’s a bi-coastal, polo-playing, sixth-generation Texan with a voracious appetite for life. He has a long history in film and television. He just shot a pilot for Food Network. You can currently watch him on Cooking Channel’s show Unique Sweets.


Follow his all-too-true blogs, tweets, Insta @eatgregeat --  and Facebook (Eat,Greg,Eat). More info at:


  1. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great stuff. All men should be this insightful. Greg White for President in 2016.

  3. The Bad Man says:

    I don’t see how this post is in any way particular to men. It’s simply good advice for all people.

    However, the option to not do several of those things does not make one an ahole.

    Men are good.

  4. Nate Whilk says:

    “Pick up a dropped quarter, find the owner or at least someone more deserving.” Or someone who lies and says it’s his.

    “Carry some old man’s groceries.” Or some woman’s. Or ANYONE, young or old, who seems to be having difficulty. However, at the very least, ASK THE PERSON FIRST. If the person says no, that’s their call, not yours. Respect their decision.

  5. #6 strikes me more as a Pet Peeve of the author than a particularly good example of asshole vs. Good Man behavior. Not sure why it’s on this list.
    I say No problem all the time, it’s just a speech habit I picked up along the way and much like most other colloquialisms, I rarely think about it or say it literally – and I don’t expect that anyone I say it to is hearing me literally, either. I noticed that I’ve recently switched to “No sweat” – even when what the person is asking me wouldn’t cause me to break a sweat anyway. Asshole?

    In any case, saying “No problem” is not a problem, nor does it make you not a Good Man (Person). I actually think it’s a bit more asshole-ish to be all literal about it.

  6. Really? You’re an a**hole if you flush the toilet every time you use it? I always thought you were an a**hole if you DIDN’T flush every time…

    • Never , ever flush the urinal in a public restroom…
      You’ll understand that when you live in a place where water doesn’t always appear when the tap is turned.

  7. Enjoyed this…most of it could be considered gender-neutral, right? I’d like a follow up (or pre-quel?)..”How to from Good Man to A**hole in 10 Easy Steps. In fact..I might start working on that one myself.

  8. Greg–despite the first few comments, I enjoyed your article. Your discipline and respectful service to others and this planet is refreshing. Thanks and Hoorah.

  9. @Erik. Sorry you are suffering from shame. I will tell you however there are maaaaaaannnnnnyyyyyy websites/books etc on how to be a better wife, woman, mother, lover. How to be sexier, more fit, more assertive, more feminine etc etc. I really just had to point out how very extremely mistaken you are.

  10. While the list itself is very good I am so tired of the endless media messages about how men need to become good/better because there is something wrong with them without there ever being sent similar messages to women. I`m suffering from anti male shaming fatigue and just can`t take it in anymore or be bothered with it even when it, such in this case, is a good message in isolation. That should tell people something.

    • Erik, you re a good enough person right now. And whatever Higher Power you believe in thinks you are good enough and loves you just as you are.

      That said, the above list will help you to enjoy life more and get better results, but you are already good enough.


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