7 Things A Man Can Do To Level Up

Hi guys, I’ve been invited as a weekly blogger/columnist for my friend’s dating app Love Out Loud Asia, check them out. This is my third post and you can read it here as well. 

If there’s one thing Final Fantasy and Diablo taught me when I was growing up, it would be the importance of Leveling Up. (And epic loot of course, but who’s going to find an Ultima Weapon in real life?) 

It’s a simple process really: Find weak enemies to kill for experience first, rest up to heal, then find stronger enemies to defeat. Rinse, lather, repeat.

How different is this from real life though? Finding a more difficult song to master or a more delicate dish to cook; it’s just like a tougher boss fight. Many practical skills and impressive feats are thoroughly achievable through hard work and patience, much like Mephisto runs.

While we can’t offer skill trees and stat distribution, here are 7 ways you can Level Up:

1. Playing a Musical Instrument

Most of us are absorbed in careers governed by efficiency and industry, but what ever happened to creativity, self expression and personal fulfillment? One of the true joys of life is creating something that you can share and people can relate to, for example a personal blog or musical cover of a song you love. So pick up that moldy guitar in the storeroom or start Googling “piano lessons”. I’ll even help out with guitar lessons, just ask!

Resources: ultimate-guitar.com, youtube.com/user/martyzsongs

2. Speaking a third Language

duolingo-or-memrise

There is no disadvantage if you can speak a third language on top of English and your mother tongue. Firstly, there’s the obvious advantage when travelling to that country. It adds a dimension on the C.V. and impresses at the restaurant. Learning a new language also expands networking opportunities and allows immersion in another culture, another world almost. With free online resources, that world is only a step away.

Language learning websites: duolingo.com, memrise.com

3Hittin’ the Gym

Photo credit: bodybuilding.com

Photo credit: bodybuilding.com

If you haven’t started lifting weights, here are the facts: it prevents heart disease, helps with sleep, improves posture, regulates testosterone levels, boosts self confidence and enhances your image. There are a ton of free resources available at your fingertips and with the convenience and low entrance fees of public gyms, there really is no excuse.

Resources: bodybuilding.comreddit.com/r/fitness/wiki/getting_started

4. Take up a Team Sport

Photo credit: Tiger Street Football

Photo credit: Tiger Street Football

Besides obvious health benefits, taking up a new team sport can improve communication and problem solving, sharpen decision making, develop personal patience and for others and foster bonds with old and new friends. Also, you are more likely to commit to weekly sessions with friends rather than a gym session that can always be put off.

5. Dressing Up

I quote from my previous blog post: “I’m in the opinion that a fashionably dressed man will leave a better impression than a lady with good fashion sense.” It’s not difficult to start: just visit male fashion websites with regularity. Some tips from another of my previous post: Fit > Quality > Brand, get a nice pair of loafers/boat shoes, belt must match your shoes and invest in a tailored suit.

Resources: dappered.comaskmen.com/fashionmensfashionmagazine.co.ukvaletmag.com

6. Cultivate EQ and Compassion

If there is one thing severely lacking in Singapore, it’s compassion. Start by volunteering for a cause and making it a weekly commitment. Too much? Bring your younger siblings out for a movie and get to know them better. No younger siblings? Your cute nephews and nieces. Visit your grandparents and talk to them.

You could also raise your EQ, which I personally value more than IQ. A higher EQ would  improve your relationships with your families, friends, prospective girlfriends and bosses. An excellent article by Karla Jennings on lifehack.org defines the Six Pillars of Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness, Empathy, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Social Skills and Happiness.

7. Cooking

I used to be impressed by guys who can cook, until I went to Melbourne for my Bachelor’s and realised how easy it is. Start with breakfast if you haven’t already. Scrambled eggs are a quick and easy fix in the mornings, and a great start to cooking. Move yourself up to pasta and sauce, before doing meats and vegetables.

It’s not going to taste nice on the first try, but Kurt Cobain didn’t compose a song on his first try either. A social aspect of being able to cook is sharing your dishes with friends; organise a potluck! Want a recipe? Google knows.

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This guide serves to add dimensions and diversity to enrich your life. Do not partake in this leveling up to impress your friends or with ladies; do it for yourself and your well being.

Ultimately, a man should never be content with himself physically, mentally, socially or spiritually; this drive and fighting spirit should test his limits and go beyond them. Only then, he would know he lived a full life, not one of just dreams and goals.

We foolishly believe that our own limitations are the proper measure of limitations.

– Napoleon Hill

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Top 10 Lies Singaporean Men Tell Their Women

Hi guys, I’ve been invited as a weekly blogger/columnist for my friend’s dating app Love Out Loud Asia, check them out. This is my inaugural post and you can read it here as well.

1. I’m on the way, but I’m stuck in a MRT delay/massive jam.

This is the male equivalent of the classic “5 more minutes” line. It’s so much easier to blame factors we aren’t in control of, and this excuse gets overused more often than not. Chances were, he lost track of time on his DoTA/FIFA game and left the house at 6.45pm for a 7pm date.

Obviously the best hero in DoTA.

Obviously the best hero in DoTA.

2. Looks aren’t important

Men are visual creatures; we like what we see. Except for that rare, select few of men, most of us are firstly attracted to the looks. Then the character assessment and chemistry might come later. But it’s primarily looks. Besides, it’s nice to have a trophy around the arm.

3. I’m working OT tonight

Another “oh-I-can’t-help-it” lie. This one’s really convenient to use though; there isn’t a set time for him to finish his work (when is work really ever finished anyway?), he has free play on whatever time he wants to end and he doesn’t have to answer any calls or reply any texts. Don’t fret ladies, maybe he’s really working overtime to buy that nice engagement ring?

4. Meeting a “friend”

When he says “I’m meeting a friend” without mentioning the friend’s name or whereabouts, you know something is up. Normally he would say “I’m meeting Jason later” or “I’m catching up with my army buddies”. So what’s with the minimalist approach this time? Although technically it’s not a lie; friends with benefits are friends too, right?

5. No, you don’t look fat in that.

Let’s be realistic: Before both of you started dating, y’all were working your asses off at the gym. So on behalf of the Singaporean male population, allow me to say it: “Yes you look fat in that dress, that’s because you’ve gained weight”. Please don’t kill the messenger.

6. I love you

Guys will say anything to get into your pants ladies. Men don’t take the word love as seriously as women. A lot of us use the word “love” loosely, some of us say it in a moment of flurry, only to regret the commitment later. Pro-tip: Don’t take the first “I love you” too seriously.

7. I’m just friends with her, I practically treat her like a sister.

Really? It’s funny, because I never had a crush on my sister, or brought her out on a romantic date before. It is pretty rare for guys to have close platonic friendships with the opposite sex without initial attraction first. He also wants to avoid all the unnecessary questions about her, so he simply uses a “sister” label.

8. I was in Commandos/Guards/<insert Combat Unit> during National Service, but got injured so I ended up being a clerk.

There’s nothing more important to a man than his pride (or ego). Very few men will openly admit to feigning injury, a.k.a. “chao keng” for an easier life during the NS period. Obviously a man wants to give his woman a sense of physical security and protection, so it’s always convenient to get “injured” in the line of duty for your country. Ah, so patriotic.

9. Nah, that girl’s not that pretty.

This is one of the good lies, or “calamity-avoidance” lies. You’re talking to him about a mutual friend or are with him when both of you see an attractive woman. If the girlfriend asks if he thinks that friend or woman is pretty, there is only one right answer.

10. Oh sorry, I didn’t check my phone/Whatsapp lagged.

When you’re with him, he’s on his phone ALL. THE. TIME. But surprisingly when he’s out drinking with his mates, he forgets to check his phone? Well if it really urgent, I’m sure he can pick up your call. But in the meantime, like most people, he would check his notifications drag down box on his phone to avoid being “online” or “last seen” on Whatsapp.

Before I end this topic, I like to give this humble bit of advice to any lady who is starting to suspect your man:

Action speaks louder than words. Don’t fall prey to his words so easily. See that he really follows up on his words. That way, you can separate the good eggs from the bad ones.

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