Education is important for your success. It’s also important for your masculinity. As a man, people expect you to know things. Not things like “how to pick up that large rock.” More advanced things. The kinds of things your grandfather was probably doing at around the age of two-and-a-half. Skills for etiquette, practicality and the occasional bout of dashing.
So review this list attentively. If you spot something you’re not up-to-speed on, consult our expanded library of articles and learn it. To do anything less would be a disappointment to men everywhere. That’s not a group you want to let down, bro.
How to Tie a Tie
Don’t bring shame on your family by asking your cousin to tie your tie before your own wedding. Practice your knot, and learn more than one. The traditional full Windsor is only slightly more complex to pull off than the cheaper half-Windsor but looks so much better. You can learn how to tie one in a day of practice. And when you’re done, you can practice ironing out your tie. Another skill every man should have in his back pocket, ironing.
How to Make Fire
Not using a Bic lighter and white gas. Yes, that’s “cool,” but in a crisis situation, you’ll be earning an F in manliness if you can’t make fire. Gather your supplies and learn to use sticks or flint and stone. There are multiple methods, but you should focus on learning one that works in a backpacking situation. With a little extra equipment, you can cook a meal over the fire, which is always a plus. Extra points if you can do it in foul weather.
Basic Car Maintenance
You don’t have to be Ricky Bobby, but you should be able to tell a broken alternator from a blown head gasket. Basic operations like changing a tire, replacing a battery and fixing a stuck starter motor can help ensure that you and yours don’t wind up stranded on the side of the road. You can save money if you learn how to save on gas and not go through so much oil. Plus, cars are cool and fun. Maybe if you start off learning some basic operations, you’ll one day be able to supercharge the family sedan. That wouldn’t be tremendously useful, but it would be manly!
How to Write a Letter
Not an email. If it hurts your brain that this made the list, you’re probably not a millennial. Sadly, the delay associated with “snail mail” and the antiquated payment model of using stamps that are sort of like money you put in a drawer and then lose…has made this medium unpopular. But there’s nothing more genuine than a hand-written letter, so practice your penmanship and thumbtack those stamps to your wall, where they’ll stay.
How to Manage a Budget
If you don’t understand basic finance, it can seem like money just comes and goes without explanation. You probably have some idea of where you’re spending it, but the ability to observe your habits and define a realistic budget can have a dramatic impact on your life. It can help you become a homeowner, get that dream car, plan for a wedding or even become independently wealthy. You can take some basic finance classes or study up online, the sooner you start, the more money you’ll save.
These are five great suggestions for where to start. Once you’ve got these down, you can move on to sharpshooting, wrestling bears, rigging sails and rescuing damsels in distress. We thought these were a little more modern, but that’s not to say this list is exhaustive. What do you think is an essential skill that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below, but please boys let’s keep this civil.
Photo provided by the author.