Brett McKay | Art of Manliness (Episode 600)

Brett McKay (@artofmanliness) is the founder of Art of Manliness, one of the largest independent men’s lifestyle sites on the Web. Similarities in the naming schemes between AoM and AoC are purely coincidental!

The Cheat Sheet:

  • What is manliness?
  • What are the domains — the hard and soft skills — an aspiring well-rounded man should develop?
  • Why men of any culture should strive to be useful, not important.
  • How to increase resilience by challenging your faulty “Me, Always, Everything” style of thinking.
  • Why action — and not getting stuck in your own head — is the key to flourishing.
  • And so much more…

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(Direct Download Episode Here)

In a society where the transition from boyhood to manhood isn’t clearly defined by ceremony or protocol, what sort of guidance can a young man making such a journey rely upon?

Art of Manliness, founded by Brett McKay, strives to be that reliable light of guidance. On this episode, we talk to Brett about what manliness is, what skills an aspiring well-rounded man should have in his arsenal, how we flourish by action, and more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

Please Scroll down for Full Show Notes and Featured Resources!

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More About This Show

Disappointed by the predictable, substance-free filler content so pervasive in magazines and websites that purported to serve the interests of men, Brett McKay, founder of Art of Manliness, knew he could do better.

“Here’s the origin story,” says Brett. “I was actually in a Border’s bookstore, when I was in law school, taking a break. And I was just browsing the men’s magazines, just killing time during a study session. And I just realized that every month, when you read the headlines on these magazines, it’s the exact same thing. You know what you’re going to get.

“There’s going to be articles about six pack abs. There’s going to be an interview with some actress or model where she shares what she looks for in a guy, and it’s like, why is that useful? I’m never going to talk to you. Also, I’m married. Showing clothes that the average guy could not afford. You know, $4,000 sweaters. Right, just a sweater, it’s $4,000. Like, I’m a broke law student; I’m never going to afford that.

“And so I just said, ‘You know what? I’m tired of this. This doesn’t resonate with me. So I’m going to start the men’s magazine that I would want to read,’ and so that’s what I did. And so, basically what you see on The Art of Manliness is the men’s magazine that Brett McKay would want to read himself.”

What Is Manliness?

The idea of masculinity that Brett promotes at Art of Manliness is a call back to the ancient world. To the Greeks and Romans of yore, manliness entailed a pursuit of excellence to become the most complete, best version of oneself — just as we encourage here at The Art of Charm. Seeking to improve one’s physical, mental, and intellectual virtues — including strength, courage, temperance, compassion, and frugality — make a man well-rounded and better steeled against whatever challenges the world might have in store.

This isn’t to say a pursuit of womanliness doesn’t include these very same qualities, but remember that Brett is operating from his perspective as a man to write for men. It comes entirely from a position of qualification, not exclusion.

“When Are You Going to Start a Website Like This for Women?”

Brett says he does get a lot of email from women who would like to see content geared toward their needs — women who are equally sick of the insulting fluff that gets passed along to them from magazines and sites geared more to sell ads than provide anything of use or substance.

“They’re just tired of the same content, over and over again,” says Brett. “Like makeup reviews and how to tone your tush and tone your abs; they’re looking for something a little more substantial as well, that speaks to them as a woman. And yeah, I mean, I’d love to start an Art of Womanliness; I just don’t have the bandwidth right now.”

“Also,” he continues, “it would be kind of weird for a guy to start a website called The Art of Womanliness.”

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn more about the hard and soft skills an aspiring well-rounded man should develop, why men of any culture should strive to be useful — not important, how to increase resilience by challenging a faulty “Me, Always, Everything” style of thinking, why action — and not getting stuck in your own head — is the key to flourishing, and lots more.

THANKS, BRETT MCKAY!

If you enjoyed this session with Brett McKay, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:

Click here to thank Brett McKay at Twitter!

Resources from This Episode:

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Jordan Harbinger - author of 883 posts on The Art of Charm

Jordan Harbinger has spent several years abroad in Europe and the developing world, including South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, and speaks several languages. He has also worked for various governments and NGOs overseas, traveled through war zones, and been kidnapped -- twice. He’ll tell you the only reason he’s still alive and kicking is because of his ability to talk his way into (and out of) just about any type of situation. Here at The Art of Charm, Jordan shares that experience, and the system borne as a result, with students and clients.

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