Life
by Steve Coulter on January 3, 2014

Whether it’s measured through fame and popularity, wealth and power, or even helping out the less fortunate and not giving into our innate greed, we all want people to recognize us for our accomplishments and when we do well. It’s why we get up in the morning to go to work, it’s why we start families, and it’s why we demand respect and attention when we get older.

There’s really no point in arguing otherwise, but there are some of us who prefer to live like children as long as possible and for them, I present this how-to guide that will hopefully help bros everywhere triumph over their respective imperfections and become the best bro they can be.

Remember: nobody is perfect. However, everybody has the ability to grab the bulls by the horns — even if only metaphorically. Don’t let these bad habits bog you down:

Closeness to friends

While the precise definition of a “bro” is ambiguous thanks to the 10,000 interpretations on the Internet, there’s one common denominator associated with from all the classifications and it’s that bros come in packs. They hang out with each other and become very dependent on their friends for socializing. This closeness builds and builds over time until it gets to the point where detachment is impossible and always being with your friends just becomes a part of life. This is the No. 1 reason why I consider myself a bro, which I believe is valuable because it stresses virtues such as loyalty, generosity, compassion and respect.

It’s a double-edged sword though. Sitting around, smoking and playing video games with the same half dozen or more dudes every night doesn’t get you very far. That is unless you consider beating Call of Duty a sixth time a milestone in your life. In that case, you’re in desperate need of some new…

Hobbies

Video games, beer and masturbation are all staples in a bro’s life 24/7/365 that become as essential as breathing before or during college. The problem is that all three hobbies add nothing of value to your character and actually pull you more and more away being a successful member of society.

I hate to add this in there, but I will: watching sports all day isn’t exactly a productive hobby either. I partake in it daily, but I can’t say it gets me any closer to personal satisfaction, or success. On the contrary, it’s the by far and away the No. 1 cause of stress in my life.

Side note: Although vital to male life, I would definitely classify excessive masturbation as defect. Sorry, masturbation. It’s nothing personal but you do distract bros everywhere and are an extremely easy habit to depend on in times of stress.

Fashion sense

I don’t want to play off stereotypes here because their ignorant and limiting, even when applied to a group of white, twenty-or-something males, but I will say this much: not wearing a shirt when the weather permits won’t get you very far in life. Sure it looks cool in Hawaii, California or Australia, but in most parts of the world, you just end up looking like a bum. A shirt is a shirt — they’re not too costly to buy. Therefore, there’s really no excuse not to wear one.

Moreover, the other stereotypical forms of bro attire — rugby shirts, flat-rim hats, highlighter-colored shorts, and boat shoes — compounded with style choices, such as spiked hair, only reaffirm the fact you lack life experience and that you’re trying to create a fashion “revolution” that will eventually fail like all other fads There’s a reason why people still dress “business professional” or, at the very least, business casual, when they work or when they go out to bars — it’s because dressing up shows you have the decency to accept the fact that there are some battles you can’t win in this world. Clothing is one of them.

Rhetoric

Public speaking is really a whole other ballpark, so I’m going to do leave that element out of this because we could get lost. What I mean by rhetoric is the fact that mostly all bros struggle to speak properly, regardless of situation, but especially when surrounded by people they are trying to impress. Instead of screaming about how much you enjoy the party, try to simply just smile or dance. The excessive, and often hard to translate, phrases that a bro uses when he goes out only show his inability to make an actual, substantive conversation. Also, referring to guys who are not your biological brothers as your “bros” just allows us society to stereotype you as just that, and will most likely confuse future employers, friends and significant others.

Sleep cycle (and location)

The one thing a bro does in his pre-college and college phase is learning how to appreciate the importance of sleep — something the rest of the country could really benefit from. With that said, its not all-good stuff. Bros develop a terrible sleep pattern that finds them waking up past noon regularly, and often miles from their own home. If you’ve slept on your buddies couch more than once already this week, then you’ve got to look at your life and ask: if I continue this will I one day be a success?

The answer, of course, is hell no. Sure, most party situations dictate you crash somewhere if there’s not a safe way to get home, but the reality here is that constantly ending up at your friends place makes you look like a bum who doesn’t care where he sleeps. It can be the floor, the bathtub or even the lawn. I hope you can see why this could become problematic in your growth as a human.

Extreme competitiveness

Probably my least favorite characteristic attached to bro culture because I feel as if only some bros practice it, while a majority of bros would be considered perfect poster children for passive aggressive behavior. With that said, if you’re trying extra hard to win a meaningless competition, then you’re trying to compensate for something you don’t have. It might be a small penis, but I’m willing to wager that it’s a lack of success in any number of categories — career, relationship, living situation, etc.

Regardless of why you’re doing it, it’s not acceptable behavior in the long-term and is culturally looked down upon. In fact, it’s a notable character defect that nobody has helped you correct because when someone points it out you probably get all combative and pissy.

Note: if there’s one thing all bros take away from this it’s that you should all accept people’s criticism of your negative behavior or bad habits. They’re more than likely just trying to help you succeed and not just being straight-edged, stuffy pricks.

Taste in music

Maybe my ears were born in the 1960s, but I feel like one thing that’s definitely holding back bros everywhere from being more successful is our generation’s collective horrific taste in music, specifically applied to doing something important like studying for a test or completing a project at work. If you’re the type of bro that likes to do work while blasting bad hip-hop or bumping obnoxious techno, here are two truths that may help you out — listening to that crap won’t enhance your performance level and by listening to it, you’re only pissing the people off around you more.

If you’re by yourself studying or at the gym, by all means — listen to whatever the fuck you want. It’s a free country after all, but all I’m suggesting is dial it back significantly when you’re doing something that is going to have an affect on others. 

Consistent smoking

I have smoking on this list and not drinking for one reason in particular — you can drink inside and it’s socially acceptable. Moreover, drinking consistency — I’m talking two or three shots for 12 straight hours — will result in you being sick to your stomach and not wanting to drink for at least the next day, if not two.

Smoking doesn’t have the same stomach-clearing power. Rather, the habit allows you to slowly develop an addiction without any noticeable effects. Next thing you know, you’re a flow-blown chain smoker who’s wasting 50 bucks a week on cigarettes. The financial part of this isn’t the problem — wealthy people smoke, but the big issue is the consistency of it. If you’re waking up to smoke a cigarette, or even the bong, you’re far from reaching that level of success we all wish to obtain. Why? Because if you’re smoking at 10 a.m. then you’re probably averaging a dozen plus smoking sessions each day. Add those up and that’s about an hour a day on smoking. Compounded with sleep time and playing video games, you’re down to about six hours of actual productivity. That’s not good.

Obsession with material items…

…that you won’t be able to own until you're successful.

This may seem like a bit of a reach, but it’s really not. If we all spent less time fantasizing and talking about fancy sports cars or ridiculously high-quality entertainment systems, then we’d be a lot closer to obtaining them. Everyone should dream — and dream big, but not to the point where dreams are smothering what we can accomplish on a day-to-day basis. It’s nice to slip away from reality every once in a while, but studying a car magazine more than you’re finance book isn’t going to get you that Porsche anytime soon.

Acting like a dick all the time

We made it all the way to No. 10 without mentioning acting like an asshole! Why? I don’t think it’s that much of a flaw.

Most successful people are cutthroat, aggressive and rude, which mean’s this is one of the behaviors bros develop in college that can carry over to the real world. Will you be liked because of it? Probably not, but this isn’t an article about how to win friends and influence them. It’s a column about finding success and climbing the ladder all the way to the top. None of that is possible if you don’t have a me-first mentality. That’s right, selfish people succeed.

On the flip side, acting like a dick 24-7-365 — just like you used to smoke that bong back in college, won’t get you very far either. You have to strike the right balance.

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