Tips for men who want to change for the better in one year | Ed Latimore

This view of self-improvement might seem controversial, but if you did these six things for at least a year — you’d be a completely different, improved version of yourself.

You won’t recognize the person you see in the mirror, and most of your friends will be amazed at your progress. Of course, this causes other problems, but they are far outweighed by the benefits you would get from following this system.

I see many people recommending that you read “(this book)” to build good habits or develop discipline. Then there’s the most general “These are the books you need to read to fix your mindset” list.

This is a fallacy! Books are cool, but real self-improvement is earned in the trenches of activity.

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Put down the books! If you do everything on this list for at least a year, no one will recognize you—including yourself.

6 tips for men who want to change for the better

1. Train Muay Thai, boxing or MMA.

A year of living as a fighter, even part time, will do more for your mindset than a library of books on personal development.

Take at least ten amateur fights. BJJ and Wrestling do not count. These are great disciplines, but no one gets hit. We need danger and strong negative feedback to develop discipline.

Let me be clear. This suggestion is not just about getting in top shape. If it was, I would tell you to train to finish the triathlon.

The training points for a combat sport where you hit each other as a means to victory are:

  • You learn to persevere through pain.

Boxing hurts. Even if you win, you could end up with bruises, cuts or concussions. These things can happen in wrestling, but they are random, not how the event is scored to determine the winner.

All types of combat training develop courage, but wrestling and grappling do not force you to control your automatic jerk reactions. Wrestling takes courage, but there is a small chance that your opponent will actually hurt you. In striking art, this goes without saying.

  • You can do this anytime.

One of the criticisms I have received is that not everyone can play impact sports because of age. Although this is technically true, your enrollment in the school does not limit the range in which you can perform them. As long as you can pass the physical, anyone can fight anytime. That doesn’t apply to wrestling.

2. Learn a new language.

It’s scary, but learn it at least up to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR). This intermediate skill means you can handle everyday interactions—introducing yourself, talking, getting directions, and describing experiences.

At first, you’ll probably feel frustrated trying to figure out new grammar rules, pronunciation, and vocabulary. You will struggle with putting sentences together and maintaining a conversation. But gradually, through consistent practice and immersion, you will gain confidence in your abilities.

The satisfaction of achieving conversational fluency will build determination and perseverance that spill over into other pursuits.

Learning a new language forces you to speak up, overcoming your reservations about socializing with new people. You will connect with native speakers, gain insight into different cultures. As the language opens the door to friendship across borders, you’ll expand your worldview and ability to connect with others.

You won’t even have to master your new language to reap the benefits of learning one. It strengthens your character, broadens your perspectives and connects you with new communities. 200 hours of study will take you to level B1.

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3. Get a commission based sales job.​

The rigors of selling serve as a trial by fire that can change your ability to influence, communicate, and handle rejection. In the beginning, you will probably struggle with the constant experience of having doors slammed on you on the courts. But over time, you’ll develop a thick skin along with strategies to overcome objections.

Learning to persistently bounce back from “no” builds courage that most corporate jobs never require.

You will be motivated to become an expert at reading body language, measuring psychology and adjusting your approach to influence – the ability to persuade others is directly related to your salary. The high pressure of paying bills is a baptism of fire.

Every sales call tests your social muscles as you interact with different personalities. You will learn to establish rapport quickly, ask probing questions, listen actively and conduct conversations skillfully. If you succeed in sales, you can apply those skills anywhere.

4. Live according to the religious system.​

I know this is going to be the most controversial point on this list, because I suspect most people fall into one of two camps: either they’re already connected to a religion and don’t think age will interrupt them, or they’re agnostic/atheist or non-practicing their cultural religion and think that it’s garbage.

Here’s what I’ve discovered when it comes to religion — like all things in life, there are good and bad elements.

There are crimes and great deeds in the name of religion. Be it social, political or educational, people have an extraordinary ability to corrupt any system and adapt it to their selfish desires.

Without it, it doesn’t matter what religious system you adhere to as long as it emphasizes faith in something greater than yourself, forgiveness, and living without judging other people.

Most importantly, the more you hate this idea, the more it will benefit you. How you will have to challenge your approach to the world should prove difficult enough.

At worst, you’ll be able to argue with religious people with a more complex argument than, “I don’t need a man in heaven to tell me how to be a good person.”

When I did, I learned the valuable skill of forgiveness.

Most people misunderstand what forgiveness is and its purpose and, similar to how many people react to religion, they either immediately dismiss it as weak and indulgent to degeneration or misapply it, leading to their demise.

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5. Become obsessed with appearance.

Start by looking as good as your budget allows. That means getting in shape because hill sprints, distance runs and bodyweight exercises cost nothing. Intermittent fasting and not eating out should save you money.

Before you tell me that eating healthy costs more money, do the math on eliminating ultra-processed foods and how much it will cost you to invest in a crock pot or Instapot. Shopping at the outer edges of the grocery store is a huge upgrade to most people’s diets, especially if you’re American. You need a simple, clean and well-fitting one for your wardrobe. A basic hairstyle that you can maintain yourself is more than enough.

I make these suggestions as if you have little money, so if you have more, you can do more.

The idea is to be proud of how you present yourself to the world. This requires no money — just attention to detail.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, keep your environment clean and organized. I used to curse my messy office because I got things done because I knew where what was. The truth was, I just didn’t want to waste my energy on keeping things tidy.

Now that my workspace and car are clean, it’s a lot easier to get things done. This is a little discipline that goes a long way.

6. Volunteer

Making charitable donations is fine, but it doesn’t require you to commit to something that you have no use for. I don’t care what causes you volunteer for. The only thing that matters is that you do something for someone that you not only have no use for, but also can’t.

Selfishness may be part of human nature, but so are many things that are not only bad for us, but prevent us from getting more out of life.

If every action you take is motivated by self-interest, you’ll probably get far, but you won’t love any of your accomplishments.

This might sound confusing, so I’ll put it another way. If all you do is to get physical compensation, what will your life look like when you can’t work?

Even if you make it far, you’re more likely to hate what you’re doing when you realize that money can only buy things. It can’t make people love or respect you, and it can’t make you love or respect or respect yourself.

The path to significant self-improvement is not found in motivational books or Instagram posts.

It comes through intentional struggle, skill development, and service. Accepting difficulties is the only way to discover our full potential. Discomfort breeds progress.

Follow this unconventional roadmap to growth and you’ll discover strength, wisdom, and purpose. Your true self will emerge – forged through blood, sweat and tears.

You will gain skills for handle life’s tests with grace. And your character will blossom through caring for others.

The journey requires sacrifice, but the rewards are great. Avoid shortcuts that promise an easy transformation.

Embrace temptations that bring about real change. With courage and perseverance, you have the power to shape your life and the lives of those around you for the better.

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Ed Latimore is a retired American professional boxer, influencer and bestselling author. His work is focused on self-improvement and a practical approach to Stoic philosophy.

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