We’ve all been there…sitting on the couch fully engrossed in the epic battle being played out on the TV screen in front of us, completely enamored with the fictional hero kicking ass and taking names by the dozen. We’ve all vowed at some point to be just like that badass from the movie walking slowly away from the blaze that destroyed his enemy.

In the last few days, I’ve been inspired by friend and fellow coach Chandler Marchman. Chandler runs a gym in Tampa, FL called Elite Strength and Conditioning – if you’re in the area, do yourself a favor and check him out. He’s a great guy, badass coach, and he will make you better.

Ok, so man-crushing aside, Chandler has been ranting lately on the decline of masculinity and how sissified the men of today’s world have become. I completely agree, so I want to share some advice on how to be a REAL MAN…you know, that badass that people fear, respect, and love all at the same time.

Here are a few traits that all MEN share…

Respect: All great men are given respect. And they also respect others! This should not be overlooked…if you don’t give respect to your fellow man, you will be seen as an insecure, self-doubting wimp who has to put others down in order to feel good about himself. I’m not talking about being afraid of the other team’s best player on the field during the game. But, I’m am saying that you must realize we all put our pants on one-leg at a time…There has never been a GREAT MAN who didn’t respect others.

Honor: A good name, public esteem or reputation. How do others see you? Do they see a hard-working, ethical, honest man? Or do they see a lazy, corner-cutting, slimeball looking for the easy way? Similar to respect, honor must start with you. Honor the wishes of others, honor your word, and before long,  people will see you as an honorable man.

Integrity: Congruent behavior means that your actions reflect your values, beliefs, morals, and goals. Your favorite movie hero is often shown standing up for what is right, even though he may face criticism or worse, injury or death. And that’s why we love them! These men are so full of integrity, that nothing, not even death, can make them waiver in their beliefs…how strong are your values? Who are you when nobody is watching? Do you touch every line when you do your sprints alone? Do you leave nothing in the tank because you want success that badly? Or is it all an act that you put on when others are watching?

Passion: Without passion, no man would pursue anything. Passion is that intense desire you have for the game of basketball, vertical jumping, or strength training. If you didn’t have a passion for those things, you wouldn’t be here reading this.

Courage: Courage is that voice inside you that propels you to keep pumping out reps on a triple drop sets even when your mind is screaming STOP! Courage is defined as the quality that enables a person to face obstacles, fears, etc. Make no mistake about it, we will encounter countless hurdles, obstacles, and roadblocks in our lives. Only those who are courageous enough to face them head on will make it to the promised land…

Confidence: The dictionary defines this as the belief in ones ability to succeed. But even more than that, confidence comes from a feeling of self-worth that is NOT dependent on the approval of others. Stop worrying about whether or not Johnny or Susie approve of your actions or choices (as long as those choices are ethical and legal!). You have to learn to make choices based on your own happiness and your own beliefs – not how others will view you. You will never make EVERYONE happy – stop trying to please everyone. Honor and respect your own core values, work hard toward your own goals, and confidence will build as you achieve success.

So those are a few of the requirements for being a badass and marching to the beat of your own drum.

Who do YOU think was/is the most badass of all time? (actors, entertainers, and cartoons don’t count…only real people!)

I’m starting this off with a vote for Pat Tillman…dude walked away from the NFL to fight in defense of his beliefs – values he felt were being threatened by an enemy. I thank Pat and all the members of our armed forces for their service.