A Gentleman’s Guide to Mindset & Purpose

In Character Education, Mr. Caliber Gentleman by Trent RhodesLeave a Comment

Enter the Gentleman’s Movement. The Internet is being flooded with websites, promotions and books about what it means to be a gentleman. You will find this movement in unison with fashion and the women’s movement. Advice is given to men from women, from men, from people who declare themselves the quintessential. There are numerous resources to learn how to look the part. And you only need to look the part to become it, right? Fake it until you make it?

Not here.

The niceties commonly associated with being a gentleman are but one level of expression. This is just the surface level and they can appear mechanical or natural given the man’s personal development. And here exists the missing piece, the Philosopher’s Stone of gentleman-hood: personal development.

Like any form of conduct, the habits become you as you go deeper into understanding and embodying the mental states and values beneath them. This is the same with being a gentleman.

This is part-guidebook and part-development book, written in a dialogue format for simpler understanding. The two characters, Gentleman X and Paul Wise, engage in organic conversation centered on two aspects necessary to understand and embody: mental state and purpose.

One unique element of this writing is you will notice there are no references to seduction skills, how to get women or the bedroom arts. The basic premise on that subject is this: the greater you become as a man, the more attractive you become to women. Simple.

The knowledge in this guide, if applied with strict focus on your own growth, will inevitably create a charisma and presence that will cause women to gravitate towards you. No techniques, just existing as the best version of yourself.

Enjoy.

 Gentleman Conversation

One principle of SAGE learning states we can gain wisdom from personal experience. Sometimes this means putting the smallest detail under a microscope and examining it for meaning. Often what happens is we begin to recognize the potential in every circumstance. The inner light bulb switches on and we start seeing the world differently.

It’s truly the simple things in life that are the most difficult to grasp, practice or master.

If someone said, “Forgive this person and you’ll get over it,” intuitively you understand that this is the best choice. But it’s probably difficult to do depending on how attached to the situation you are.

Or if you’re faced with a big performance in a few days, everyone will be staring at you, and you’re already sweating bullets in your house wondering how well you’ll pull it off, you already understand the solution is: practice.

But easier said than done.

If someone breaks your trust, the intuitive response is: don’t trust the person again until it’s earned.

When it comes to Gentlemancraft, there are also simple ideas to go around. The first to realize is:

A Gentleman is Not an Ordinary Man

He is an extraordinary man by nature of his ability to blend both sides of his nature, the compassionate and the aggressive, the protector and the warrior, the velvet glove and the iron fist: the gentle and the man. Here I highlight an element that will quickly distinguish him from wannabes, posers and those who throw the word around without understanding its depth: conversation.

Talking is different from conversation.

Visiting the Kinokuniya bookstore a few months ago, I came across a title called Tinder Nightmares. Tinder is a widely popular app for people who look for the quick hookup. The book seemed to copy and paste direct communication between guys and ladies. It was entertaining but I saw that it alluded to a more pervasive challenge in today’s world. With all of the communication devices and ways to “connect” with each other, conversations just touch the surface, often superficial. In the book you can see the blatant desires expressed (sexual of course) and the way people relate to each other now is far removed from the organic boost we should be receiving after a thoughtful, quality conversation.

Firstly, here’s my disclaimer: This is not about dating or relationships, although you’ll find it useful for both. This article is reserved for men who seek quality conversations with quality women. This type of woman has her head on straight, life goals, cares about her integrity, intelligent, has high standards, isn’t looking for a hookup and owns a high B.S. meter. It’s not for men who are trying to give lines, project swag, act like someone they aren’t or take a career being a “playa.” Quality women don’t buy into that stupidity (she thinks you’re more child than man) so it wouldn’t even work.

Despite the media’s persistent projection that men and women are the same, a gentleman recognizes that we’re incredibly different and these differences influence a conversation.

You wouldn’t communicate with a bird the same way you would with a baby. Nor would a gentleman communicate with a sophisticated woman the same way he’d communicate with his close male friend.

Here’s some of her uniqueness:

Unless you’re gifted in this area, she’s naturally more intuitive than you. By her nature, she has a higher level of unspoken understanding especially when it comes to men. From the age she started being recognized as different or pretty, boys have been hitting on her. It doesn’t take her long to see the patterns and know when a boy likes her. She knows they do things and act a certain way. She’s so fast at seeing this, her mind starts thinking steps ahead about whether to let you move on to the next stage. Because of having so many guys try their luck everyday, her senses are heightened. In conversation this is clear. She knows the cues, the subtleties, the hints you give off when you’re only after one thing or genuinely interested in her.

She knows who she wants to talk to. The passive nature ascribed to her is void. She’s actually receptive and not passive. Passive means to sit back and do nothing. Receptive means she’s sensing and does what’s appropriate. In reality, she knows exactly what to do to make herself approachable for a conversation. A gentleman knows this and finds that he never has to struggle to have a conversation because when she’s interested in talking, the channel is already open. In the gullible man’s mind, it seems like he’s being an aggressor and having to “take a risk” to strike up a conversation.

She’s more resilient than you. She’s endowed with strong emotions and it’s this strength that takes her through peak highs and lows. She can feel happy at one moment and another experience can make her soar to the depths of sadness, only to return to feeling good again. The child man sees this as being emotionally unstable but this actually gives her more endurance over life’s trials. Because she feels so deeply, she naturally gravitates towards those experiences that touch her heart and soul. In conversation, she’s less likely to feel bitter, resentful and can walk away first, knowing the man is going to whine after her. In relationships, she’s usually stronger and capable of moving on faster. Not to mention she tends to live longer than men, rarely goes bald and seems to age without the horrible physical conditions men seem to obtain later in life. Simply, if you’re average, she’s going to outlast you.

She’s blessed with reading situations. Since her intuition is so high, she does a lot more gesturing and communicating without the need to directly speak. And even when she’s speaking she’s still communicating several levels in addition to the words. Conversing or spending time with a man, she expects him to understand certain things: how to deal with people, anticipating issues before they arise, knowing how to use the space around her, knowing where her boundaries are. It’s a silent spoken language. This is where your common man feels it’s a problem that she expects him to “just get it.” A man whose intuition is weak needs to have everything pointed out to him.

She knows just how much beauty influences conversations with you. A woman who claims she doesn’t understand how her beauty influences communication with men is pretending to be naive. Refer back to her intuition and it will be clear she knows from the many average guys who try to gain her attention. The quality woman will know this thoroughly and will more likely not make obvious attempts to control the conversation with it. If you’re average, you’re just going to be taken over by it without her having to do anything special.

These are just a few of her unique capacities and what makes her generally a better conversationalist as well as stronger in social environments. So if you want to enhance your communication skills with this type of woman in mind, this is who you’re going to become.

A man who can converse on a wide range of subjects. Just read an article yesterday that explained 28% of Americans haven’t read a book in a year, with some people reading 1 book per month. Imagine that: all of the knowledge available on the Internet and the stores and only reading 1 title? That’s 12 books a year. What are the minds being fed? You as a gentleman are going to be different, because you know that reading is what expands your mind, opens it to possibilities and connections. It makes you aware of the world and you capture the collective thoughts of people over hundreds of years. You’re not going to read content of the same genre everyday. You’re going to challenge yourself to learn about areas foreign to you. It’s easy to see who fills their mind with junk because that’s all they’ll have to talk about. It’s also easy to know who’s well read because they’ll have many topics to talk about.

A man who has a genuine curiosity about her, not just what she can do. You’re not going to talk about how she looks in a pair of jeans. You’re going to be interested in her as a whole, feminine human being with goals, fears, likes, struggles, worldviews. So you will ask her questions that get her mind racing. You will challenge her opinions and give her the mental space to play with possibilities. Again, her intuition will already sense what you’re after if you’re average. She’s sensing to know if you’re above average.

A man who can introduce something new to her. If she’s a quality woman, she’ll be a seeker, someone who consistently involves herself in growth experiences. Since you know this, you’ll be prepared to share a new insight, resource, activity or support her on some new journey. It shows you invested attention into something special about her (refer to her intuition) and honed in on it to enhance her growth. It also shows you too are a seeker and work towards your growth.

Unless you’re bonded (relationship, married, “seeing each other”), a man who doesn’t discuss sexual experiences. This one’s going to tear a hole in a man’s heart, but only if he’s average. For years it’s been looking popular to brag and boast about sexual matters as a man. But this is what only average men do. So as an extraordinary man, you’re not going to do it. You’re not going to discuss your personal experiences with other men, nor are you going to discuss them with other women about women. You’re going to maintain the integrity of your privacy. And if you’re bonded, you’re going to keep the privacy between you and the lovely lady. Your lady friends hear it all the time and actually hope one day they can talk to a guy who has the self-mastery to bring up higher-level topics.

A man who doesn’t have to brag about himself. The loudest in the room is the weakest in the room, says Denzel Washington in American Gangster. That’s because the loudest one feels he has something to prove, and if you have to prove something to someone else, your basis for action doesn’t come from within. It comes from insecurity. The gentleman knows how to share about himself without being boastful, allowing his signs of power to naturally emanate. She’s intuitive. She’ll recognize them.

As you begin communicating from this position, you’ll find the quality of your conversations improve and leave people with positive lasting impressions.

Mental State

PW: So let’s get into this, shall we? Why make a book about this anyway? There are so many others out there. Isn’t this just another to add to the list?

X: If it was just another, I wouldn’t do it. This has a very specific message and that is…becoming a gentleman has societal, civilization benefits. It elevates everything. Keyword being “becoming.” It’s a process, a transformation.

PW: So being a gentleman isn’t just about being nice to the ladies?

X: “The ladies” is a cliché and a problem.

PW: Problem? What do you mean by cliché?

X: If a man’s only goal is to do things “for the ladies,” he will never become great, or anything beyond the level of the ladies he’s chasing. See, from the start the whole idea of the gentleman is broken.

PW: This really is a different way of looking at it. If you’re not supposed to be a gentleman to please the ladies, then what’s it for?

X: This is about mental state. Firstly, if a man’s goal is to become more attractive to women, he must become a better man. The qualities that naturally attract women are the same qualities that make a man great. The problem is the man’s mental state and motivation. He should be seeking to become great because he has a focus, a specific passion that riles him up. Engulfs his ambition.

PW: Ok this is really different. What kind of passion should that be?

X: Depends on the man and his talents. So you see, the only way to really get in touch with that passion is to understand his mind.

PW: And then?

X: Once he understands his mind, he’ll have better awareness of how to use it. He’ll know his strengths and spaces to improve on.

PW: How long is this supposed to take?

X: What specifically?

PW: Understanding his mind. How long is that supposed to take?

X: There’s no formula to that question. Again, depends on the man and his capacity. The more driven he is, the more I imagine someone like that would understand his drive faster, with more clarity.

PW: We’ve barely even touched being a gentleman, talking about the mind. It’s starting to sound like one of those self-help books.

X: Far from it. This isn’t about self-help. It’s about waking up men to the long-term implications of living without principles.

PW: Ok what? How?

X: As I said earlier, the presence or lack of gentlemen affects society and civilizations. The opposite of a gentleman is a beast. Humans, just like every other being on the planet have set principles for living assigned to it. People have the power to ignore or go against those principles. The consequences will be clear. The beast chooses to ignore these principles and lives with an anything-goes mentality. Numerous examples of this, but the mental state is the root. Disloyalty creates multiple children with a father who cannot afford or is willing to provide for them. Uncontrollable tempers result in abusing women and an unhappy household. Indiscriminate sex spreads diseases and reduces appreciation for the act. Cheating seen as a norm ruins the idea of a committed relationship and marriage possibilities. Overindulgence in the pleasures zones out the mind, removing focus on higher aspirations. You can see how this continues to spiral.

PW: But aren’t there issues with women too? Is it only the guy’s fault?

X: Women have contributions but this isn’t about them. It’s about men’s conduct.

PW: Ok point made.

X: This can go either way, but I daresay when men refine their conduct, women will also raise their character.

PW: How?

X: More men demonstrating gentlemanly conduct will force women to become better if they ever want a chance with them.

PW: Sounds like common sense to me.

X: Does it? Sounds radical to some people. So this is why the mental state is of extreme importance to nurture.

PW: All right, let’s get into that more. What should a gentleman have in his repertoire for the best mental state?

X: There are so many and the many books and sites out there talk about most of them; they’ve done the job. So I will concentrate on those that have lacked attention.

PW: Okay what’s the first?

X: Boldness.

PW: How’s that a mental state?

X: It’s a trait of the mind. Boldness is what pushes a man to take action. But not just any action, because everyone takes action in some way.

PW: Is it like gambling?

X: No. It’s more about taking action with the right timing. Let’s think of a room full of people and there’s a contest. The host tells everyone that they have to give an answer to potentially win a prize. So out of the 100 people in the room, everyone gives an answer. Everyone took action to possibly win, right?

PW: Right.

X: Now let’s say we take that same scenario and no one has to give an answer. It’s by choice. So as soon as the host finishes explaining the game, one hand shoots up without hesitation to give an answer. And he’s the only one who gave the answer. That’s boldness.

PW: Isn’t it being confident?

X: Confidence is the layer beneath boldness that allows a man to take such action, yes.

PW: So I could say confident and bold and mean the same thing?

X: No. Confidence is the prima donna of gentlemanly traits and talked about so much I’m deliberately going to avoid it here. Let’s say confidence is a man’s awareness and power of his ability to do things. He knows his talents and is unshaken by attacks to his personal security. Boldness needs confidence to act. He can also have bold thoughts.

PW: Why is boldness so important?

X: It’s essential to a gentleman’s growth. For anyone, really. It gives him the energy to move forward, knowing there are consequences, and possibly he may face these consequences. But he still moves forward. It’s an establishment of his presence in the environment he’s in.

PW: Okay, so it’s more than just taking an action with risks. It’s more about the “how it’s done.” Done with a stamp of strength.

X: Right.

PW: Let’s get into the strength part. That’s also talked about in many places. Guys are expected to be strong. Big, burly, brutal. What’s your take on this?

X: Guys are expected to possess these in some form. But when we speak of the gentleman, we have to look at this type of man as a step upward, a higher caliber. So these qualities exist with a different flavor. Let’s look at the major figures of the past. Choose any of them. The men. Warrior and philosopher, scientist and sage, they all possessed an extraordinary level of strength. While physical vigor is a major piece, it allows the guy to handle enormous amounts of work and exert himself; they all had a different kind of strength as well. In abundance. They had emotional strength.

PW: Okay I have some questions about this but I’ll let you go on.

X: Emotional strength is the capacity to handle situations, people, environments, everything with resilience. Basically, you’re mature. Some fields like psychology call this emotional intelligence or the EQ. Man and woman have this but the gentleman has become a master of his emotional states. This means he doesn’t act uncontrollably. Even in a fit of rage, which we’re all susceptible to at some level, his actions aren’t guided by the emotional tantrum. He has a constant awareness of his feelings and how he responds to the world. He’s self-controlled. Leashed power.

PW: Well you’ve taken away some of my questions here. What about when a guy snaps? Or “blacks out?” Isn’t this justified in some cases?

X: Again, for guys, yes. But a gentleman is a different caliber of man. He has what I call the Calm Rage or the Buddha’s Rage or….Aggressive Zen. This is rather difficult to describe in words, but you know it when you have it. His emotions are charged but they do not control him. He feels them but they don’t eliminate his focus, which should be razor sharp. They’re used to let him know what’s valuable to him, what pisses him off, his boundaries, and respect level, love. These are all quite natural to humans, but the difference is the gentleman remains in control of them instead of the other way around.

PW: So you can be angry but not too angry, or feel like you had a bad day but not let that ruin your entire day?

X: Exactly. That’s the resilience. The bouncing back from whatever experience tried to knock you down. In fact, the gentleman embraces these experiences.

PW: So he’s a masochist?

X: Wouldn’t use such an extreme term. But he embraces those experiences that challenge his growth. Those often tend to be experiences that create a sense of discomfort.

PW: This is starting to sound more like a psychology class than gentlemanly conduct. Have to say I’ve never really heard it covered this way.

X: What we’re getting at is the root of what manifests a gentleman beyond the clothes and posing. It’s easy for men to put on suits or expensive accessories and use the word without really embodying the idea in daily life.

PW: Ok so emotional strength is like emotional management. Self-help gurus talk about how people can do anything they put their mind to.

X: This is a different texture. You’ll find those gurus being at the center of everything, all of their talks and campaigns. So the message is often consumed by the guru’s efforts to become a celebrity. The gentleman’s strength is an understated quality. You’ll know he has it and he doesn’t have to tell you. You’ll feel it; it’s naturally expressed because of possessing those qualities we described already. It emanates and shows in his words, voice and bearing. So this caliber of man doesn’t need to explain his strength and certainly has little need for overshadowing his message.

PW: What’s with the bravado then? Why’s it so popular to have it? Doesn’t it help pick up the chicks?

X: It’s not about picking up chicks for gentlemen. And I believe women’s intuition is strong enough to tell the difference between strength façade and the authentic internal power of a man. Maybe not immediately or all of the time.

PW: How does maturity tie into this? I read in some article a while ago about guys maturing years later than women. In my own experience I think this was kind of true too. Or it seemed like it was true.

X: I’d like to think that this was an outright lie but we can see from many angles how this “maturity” happens for men and women differently and at different times. So I think it’s important to establish just what we mean by maturity. In this context, it’s about focus and values, things that are viewed as important. Taking responsibility and accepting consequences. Accepting the truth of situations. Being honest with yourself.

PW: So do you think guys mature slower?

X: Yes and with specific reason. Boys no longer have the rite of passage into manhood that existed in the past. When a boy reached a certain age, he would be put under a test. Something challenged him, whether it was being in isolation or having a duel or figuring out a problem. Something caused the boy to become a man by the experience. His eyes were opened, mind expanded, the world appeared different. Then he would be deemed a man and he was taught to understand how his manhood was to be cultivated by the elders, other men in the community. This could happen among a group of elders or the boy’s relatives. Typically, it would be the father or some male figure in the family. More traditional communities, those closer to nature, would have the community of men treat it as a ritual, making the transformation from boy to man that much more intense and valuable. In all of these cases, there was a specific, designated experience that made the boy into a man. We don’t have this rite of passage or even acknowledge its value. So boys just grow up with or without male figures and without the challenge into manhood and wander. They look like men but do not have the inner substance that would make a man. And without this substance, they cannot become a true gentleman.

PW: So this is a much deeper problem than simply saying one matures faster than the other. I wonder what would happen if we started these rites again. Think it’s a good idea now since we’re not really used to it anymore?

X: Of course leaving a youth in the wilderness or out somewhere on his own, without resources and expecting him to make it wouldn’t fly in this society. We can simulate this environment though, with constructive rites that instill the values of manhood into boys. When they “pass,” we acknowledge them not as boys any longer, but young men, and treat them with the expectations that come with the title.

PW: What are some of those expectations?

X: Discipline. Self-discipline. The blooming man and, for our purposes the gentleman is capable of setting goals and sticking to a course that can reach them. It’s a basis of focus, the laser-like kind that doesn’t allow for distractions. This self-discipline can handle hardship, so endurance is a healthy side effect.

PW: Wait, how would self-discipline be that important for a man? Isn’t too much discipline bad for being spontaneous?

X: No.

PW: That’s it? Just no?

X: Ignoring self-discipline is a common cop out for people who want to do whatever they want, how they want without accepting responsibility for outcomes. Let’s choose any eminent figure in any industry. Take your pick. For that person to reach that level, self-discipline to understand and master their industry is paramount. There is no room for a scattered mind, do any and everything. Because some actions won’t lead to the outcomes they envision. If I made the choice today that I wanted to become a great chef, how does spending most of my time out of the kitchen or away from the chef environment help me? If it’s truly my choice to become a great chef, not just a good one, then I need to put in the work for it. Great effort for great results. There’s no other way. That requires self-discipline.

PW: Some people just want to be good at something. I’m thinking the level of the goal would determine the level of self-discipline needed.

X: You’re right. Which leads to another expectation for the gentleman. Ambition.

PW: This is a common one isn’t it? Ambition is talked about so much. A key to have.

X: It is. For the gentleman, the ambition is closely connected to his inner strength. He’s ambitious because striving is essential to his becoming a greater man. He knows striving, stretching, reaching, extending himself in the world will bring more opportunities and people who will support his growth. So this man consistently seeks ways to elevate.

PW: What’s the next expectation?

X: Agility, being prepared for the unexpected.

PW: Since a guy like a gentleman is so cool and collected, I can’t imagine him being in a place where he’d have to watch out for the unexpected. What do you mean, like fights?

X: Could be any situation that might throw him off. But he should have a mindset that doesn’t freak out when things happen unintended. That “collectedness” you speak of is the focus and being able to adapt. It’s not to say there should be a complete, known plan, but you can create one quickly if necessary. You see potential opportunity and success in each situation and can capitalize on that.

PW: This sounds great for business. Anything that needs a level head, really.

X: How often do you hear people say, “I’m so stressed out?” That distress comes from the feeling of not being able to control or stay in control of a given situation. When you feel you’ve lost your ability to handle something, it’s left to circumstances. You’re carried away on some wind and have no idea how you’re going to survive. When you have the resilience, the inner strength, the focus and ability to adapt, no situation can be too disastrous for you.

PW: Powerful stuff. Based on what you’re saying, it’s possible to never stress out.

X: That’s exactly what I’m saying.

PW: Part of me thinks this is impossible but from how you’re describing it, it sounds like common sense.

X: That connects to one of the main ingredients for a gentleman’s mental state. A leader’s mental state.

PW: Tell us about this one.

X: This is different from how you may think of a typical leader, who stands in front of everyone or a crowd or audience. Not a political leader, although he could become one. This is leader in the sense of how he uses his environment and oversees people.

PW: Oversees?

X: He asks about people’s well being, checks up on people he cares about and offers his resources and guidance when asked. He takes initiative to survey situations and can make quick decisions that comprise thought and intuition. If someone falls, he catches him or her or is the first to go to the scene to help. A few examples. Men and women alike feel this leadership energy and naturally defer to it

PW: It’s so general it sounds like he could be a leader in any field.

X: That’s the idea. The qualities make the leader and not the title.

Emotional Control

PW: So I wanted to go deeper into the emotions. This might be my ignorance, but I’ve always thought the goal was to be the big, burly, buff guy who shouted. The loud guy showing off his dominance like the silver back gorilla. Know what I mean?

X: Media portray this image very well. But if you look at the reality and results, being an out-of-control man only gets you out-of-control results. A man who is incapable of governing his emotions will end up making stupid choices, regretful or not. Usually there isn’t a desired outcome. Let’s be practical with an example, a common one. John Doe is dating Jane and, for whatever reason, Jane ends up breaking the relationship off. She’s no longer interested in the relationship. John Doe is deeply in love, of course. He’s shocked by the revelation, which I believe many of us would find natural.

PW: Yeah I would! And I’d be pissed!

X: And pissed John Doe is. He pleads, begs and does what he can to salvage the relationship. To no success. While Jane works to get her life back together, John is still pining for his lost love months after. He calls her, shows up at her place, asks Jane’s friends about her. He won’t let her go. In his mind, he’s still with her and he’s determined to do whatever it takes to “make” her return. So John obsesses, day after day, about how she’s supposed to be with him. You can fast-forward this scenario and make what you want of it. There are many cases like this that end up horribly for the woman and guy as well. He’s an emotional wreck; he can’t eat, sleep properly, function at work, loses his purpose, destroys his drive. All gone, not because of the woman breaking up with him, but because he’s unable to govern his emotions.

PW: Yeah this sounds like a Lifetime movie. About 7 examples come to mind like this! What should he have done then? The woman he loved just broke his heart.

X: If he owned a strong mental state, an unshakeable purpose and emotional mastery, separating from the woman he loved wouldn’t have caused him so much grief. She told him not what he wanted to hear but needed to. She could’ve lied and kept the thing going, pretending she wanted to continue. But she was honest and it was better he found out at that moment then years down the line, after marrying her and having children. The gentleman would accept the decision and move on.

PW: This sounds easier said than done, man. I can’t imagine just walking away as if nothing happened.

X: This is why mindset is so important. The gentleman’s mental attitude is different. The orientation is based on a different set of principles and they’re not compromised.

PW: What are those principles?

X: Principles of caliber. There’s a standard of honor and integrity the gentleman lives with, so that his responses to the world are measured by that high standard. Crying and begging a woman to come back to him after she willingly broke up with him would be below the gentleman’s caliber. A man who feels defeated after losing a job or a house or a financial fall would be below that high caliber.

PW: So you’re basically saying that caliber should be built up before meeting the woman or finding a job?

X: Caliber is an ongoing journey for a man, a process of continuous development. A woman may enter his life while he’s developing. He may find a great job or vocation while in the early stages of developing. But he should be developing irrespective of those life experiences.

Purpose

PW: How do we tie in purpose to this? When I think of a gentleman, I think of the suit and hat and cane and speaking properly. Chin up, head held high and saying “please” and “thank you” all of the time. Good manners. These kinds of things.

X: That all exists because of a purpose.

PW: Which is?

X: The gentleman may choose whatever field suitable for his talents, but the drive that propels him stems from his purpose. He has some vision of what he expects to become and currently be. You sense there’s a mission about him. He’s doing something for a reason, acts for a targeted reason. And since the goal is to embody the highest version of himself, everything or just about everything you’ll see is expressed with precision and impeccable.

PW: Really? It all seems like an act sometimes, trying to be who they aren’t.

X: In some cases that might be true. Again, it’s fairly easy to detect the falsehood in a posing gentleman.

PW: How does the gentleman find this purpose?

X: By finding his talents. His talents function as the direction for his purpose. When he knows his talents, he’ll eventually know his purpose.

PW: Can he find his purpose without knowing his talents?

X: I think this is possible and happens more often than the other way around. People in general have some sense of what they really want to do. Maybe they can’t articulate it, but they feel it. So the “endgame” or vision is there. What causes the frustration is lacking the strength that says, “I know how to get there.” That’s where the talent comes in. The gentleman who goes through his rite of passage, however that manifests, is faced with knowing himself and consequently realizing his talents. This then guides him towards understanding what he’s to do in the world. If he has a talent for sport, it may be to use that talent to inspire others through his sport. Or his art or his science or his creations. There are as many talents as there are people.

PW: Can a man become a gentleman without his sense of purpose?

X: Based on our specific understanding of it, no. The “man” aspect in the gentleman prompts a purpose, because a man, not a boy, embraces his responsibilities and one of them is his loyalty to his purpose. If he lives many years without this purpose, he floats, is unsure and then he becomes emotionally unstable and floating in the world. See how all of these mental states and strengths feed into each other?

PW: I’m starting to. It’s all coming together. Boy, we have a lot of work to do! No pun intended.

X: Definitely do. When we approach this ideal of the gentleman from this perspective, we can see how society benefits, relationships become more enriched, the world excels just from the boy transforming into a man transforming into a gentleman. And this definition is broad enough that it can encompass the man of the Renaissance or the man of the jungle. It doesn’t matter where he is because these qualities are universal.

PW: I can see now too how his relations with women would naturally improve and with family too, and the reasons for being respectful and being able to stand up for himself. All coming from the sense of purpose. This is great!

X: You might’ve just crossed a rite of passage right here.

PW: Maybe, haha. Well our times up. X, wonderful talking with you and I hope readers can see the value in your insight and our discussion today.

X: Thanks, Paul. Likewise.

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