Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! To start off, I wanted to apologize for practically disappearing off the Earth without any warning. A lot of things in my personal and professional life have come up since I last put up an article, not to mention the fever dream of a year 2020 was. As a result, it’s made me so incredibly busy, so I haven’t been able to find enough time to research, write, and post for a long time. However, now that I’ve found that time again, and I will be back to putting up just one article a week. With all this good news comes some bad news, though. Since our admin Mary has also been very busy with some other things happening in her life, she will unfortunately not be writing for us anymore, which means that the Young Lady’s Journal segment of the blog will be discontinuing. If we can find another admin for the blog who’s interested in writing that segment, we’ll bring it back, but for now, it’s going away. Now, with all the updates out of the way, let’s move onto the rest of the article!
Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of videos by John Doyle, a popular conservative political commentator on YouTube, and he recently posted a video entitled How to Stay Optimistic about the Future of the USA, in which he talks about exactly what the title says; he talks about how and why to be optimistic about our nation’s future in such trying times. Inspired by this, as well as his constant repetition of the phrase “A disciplined mind is an effective mind”, I thought I would put out an article about six (6) things you can do to stay sharp and disciplined during these difficult times. Whether you choose to utilize one or all of these things, I’m sure you’ll find them helpful in forming you into the man you’re meant to be.
1. Start a workout regimen
This is one that many men today have a struggle with, but as my cross country coach used to say, “The hardest part is the first three steps: getting up, going out, and getting started.” As long as you set a plan and stick to it, some kind of workout regimen will go a long way into increasing your discipline, energy, and motivation in the long haul. On top of that, having a certain workout goal that you’re working towards can keep your mind focused and determined to reach said goal. Setting some sort of weight loss goal or running time goal is certainly the go-to option for a lot of people looking to start working out, but even setting a goal as simple as getting at least thirty (30) minutes of some kind of exercise each day can be a great stepping stone. It can be anything from cardio, to weights, to stretches, to any combination of any of those things and more. Having a workout regimen and something to work towards will be a fantastic way to mold your mind and spirit as well as your body.
2. Read a book (or several)
In today’s ever-increasingly digital world, this is another activity that has fallen by the wayside in massive fashion. This is a real shame, because books and poems have been written for just about anything that anyone in the world might set their mind to. There are fiction/fantasy books that can transport you to other worlds or other versions of reality that can help you expand your imagination as well as gain insight into the author’s. Non-fiction books and biographies can teach you things about moments in history or your favorite historical figures that you may not have known before. And of course, there are countless books about theology/philosophy that can give you answers about your life’s most burning questions. These texts, no matter what their purpose, can let your imagination run wild while also keeping your mind focused on the text in front of you. Needless to say, books can serve a wide variety of purposes and have many different ways to expand your mind, they’re a powerful tool for your mind to be more disciplined.
3. Learn an instrument
This is one that I can definitely take to heart. Learning to play the trumpet is one of the greatest decisions I’ve made in my life. Not only is there a massive learning curve to many a musical instrument which can certainly help to become more disciplined, but learning an instrument can help stimulate every part of the brain. As a result of this, learning an instrument can help improve memory, increase concentration, and hone motor skills. This is all on top of the fact that simply listening to certain kinds music can help challenge perceptions, expand your imagination, and give you some insight into the mind of the composer, almost like reading a book. With the massive learning curve, stimulation of the brain, and striving to improve once you start, playing an instrument is a fantastic way to sharpen your mind.
4. Pick up a new skill/project
This is something that my grandfather absolutely took to heart. This can certainly be tied to the other tips I’ve talked about already, but it can certainly extend beyond that. If you have something to work on, whether it’s a workout regimen, a piece of music you’re trying to learn, or something similar, that can keep you productive and can keep your mid from wandering. That’s why I even started this blog in the first place. Doing the research and writing helps keep my mind from wandering whenever I have time away from work and my family. Also, as many people have pointed out, humans thrive outside their comfort zones, so it could be even more beneficial to learn something that is completely outside your wheelhouse. You could learn a new language, learn the basics of electrical boards, learn how to weld, or learn how to cook traditional Spanish dishes; you have entire worldwide networks of information at your fingertips, use them!
5. Get off social media!
This more or less ties into what I’ve been talking about, but nonetheless, it’s a very important thing to keep in mind. No matter what you believe or how you view the world, it cannot be denied that social media breeds a lot of anger, toxicity, and vitriol that can be extremely draining to anyone who’s on it. It also shouldn’t be understated that there can be an inordinate of inappropriate and borderline pornographic content that can be spread through the social media, which can be extremely detrimental to a man’s mental health. I know a lot of this may sound ironic considering social media is how I’m able to share most of the things I do here, but it’s important to remember that there’s nothing stopping you from taking a break, even if it’s just for as little as an hour. Doing so can be very beneficial to your mental health, and being able to disconnect with the online world for a little bit can be a great way to unwind and reconnect with the real world.
6. Get in touch with your faith
I know this may seem jarring to any of my non-religious readers, but even non-religious people can benefit from this. Getting in touch with our faith, whether it’s by prayer, going to church, or speaking with a religious leader, can help give you the answers you’re looking for just as well as any book can. Not only will doing this help you get in touch with God and your faith, but it will hopefully make you realize what you’re striving for and what your purpose in this life is. And even if you’re not religious, maybe even just speaking to a religious leader can help find any answers you might be looking for. Even if you don’t end up converting or anything like that, it may just give you some more insight into your own life and what your purpose may be.
So there it is! There are six (6) ways to keep yourself sharp and disciplined in these trying times. We may be going through a difficult time right now, but if you’re able to keep your mind disciplined, you’ll be able to make the most out of your future and become a positive force for the people around you, because as John Doyle has said on multiple occasions, “A disciplined mind is an effective one.” In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. It is so good to be back, and I can’t wait to share more awesome content with you gents! Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!