I'm passionate about finding and sharing ideas that feed creativity and inspiration in this weary world. Because we're so surrounded with illusion and lies, I hope this blog will help others in their quest to get a bit closer to the truth. I'd also like to say that opinions expressed in this blog are not necessarily mine or those featured here. Oh, and if you choose to use any images/words from this site, kindly obtain permission from all relevant parties and add the necessary links and references.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Interview: The Art of Manliness

Although the Art of Manliness is geared toward guys; to me, this site speaks to women as well. Brett McKay is the author and graciously agreed to an interview. (pic taken The Art of Manliness)

What were/are your influences?
My grandfather and my father are definitely big influences on what I write about on The Art of Manliness. I also read biographies of great men from history to see if I can learn anything from them. A few of the people from history that have influenced me include Teddy Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

What were your dreams as a child and did you overcome your fears and realize them?
I think I had the typical childhood dreams like becoming an astronaut or becoming a secret agent. When I found out you had to be good in math to be an astronaut and that you might have to kill people to be a secret agent, my dreams changed. From high school I've dreamed of becoming financially independent. I don't want to be wealthy. I just want to get to the point where I don't have to worry about money. Right now as a married law student, my wife and I are living hand to mouth and we're taking on debt. I can't wait until I can get rid of the debt and get to the point in our finances that we're not living paycheck to paycheck.

I haven't realized this dream yet, but I'm taking steps to get there. I created a blog called The Frugal Law Student when I started law school discussing the steps I'm taking to save money. It's helped me to be accountable with my money and it has grown enough that I actually make some money off of it.

Were you a Lost Boy and how did you find yourself?
I don't think I was the "Lost Boy" that I talk about on The Art of Manliness. I was your typical overachiever in high school and college. I made goals for myself and followed through with them. However, I know a lot of men my age who you can describe as "Lost Boys." They haven't finished school, they're stuck in dead end jobs and all they want to do is play video games. Many of my friends who were in this position would come to me for advice. That's one of the reasons I started The Art of Manliness.

How did you come to The Art of Manliness?
There were a few reasons I started The Art of Manliness. As mentioned above, I saw many men from Generation Y and X not wanting to grow up and take on adult responsibilities. They're less driven and motivated to make something of themselves. As a result many suffer depression or just have a general sadness about their lives. My goal with The Art of Manliness is to motivate these men to "Man up" and become adults.

The other reason I started The Art of Manliness was I felt there was a need for a men's publication without all the sex. Open up an issue of GQ or Men's Health and I'll guarantee you'll find some picture of an almost naked woman. I grew tired of the objectification of women and wanted to create something that a wife or girlfriend would feel comfortable letting their husband or boyfriend read. So, The Art of Manliness has all the tips and articles that men enjoy in men's magazines without all the sex.

The final reason I started The Art of Manliness was I grew tired of the lifestyle most men's magazines try to sell. It's expensive and frivolous. I hated how man's magazines would recommend a wardrobe with shirts that cost $300. What average man has $300 to drop for a new shirt? So, I wanted a men's publication that encourages a lifestyle that an average man can afford. So, you won't find suggestions for expensive clothes, cars, or luxury trips on The Art of Manliness.

A lot of women nowadays are dating fatherless men (my term for men who've never had a father figure) and find themselves disappointed. What qualities do you think a woman should look for in a man?
I don't know if a man is the right person to ask this question, but here's my take. Look for a man who respects others. Too many men today walk around with a chip on their shoulder. Watch they way a man treats other people because that's probably they way he's going to treat you.

Look for a man who is not afraid of commitment. Fewer young people want to commit to people, organizations, or jobs. If you want to find a man who you know will commit to you in the long run, look for a man who already has a history of commitment. Men that are involved in a community organization, attend church regularly, or who volunteer regularly demonstrate that they are willing to at least commit to something. The chances of them wanting to commit to you are better.

Look for a man who takes his life seriously. Most young men these days are just boys in mens' bodies. They'd rather play video games than go to school. They don't have goals for themselves. When you start getting to know someone, ask them what they're goals are. If they don't have any, that could be a sign they're not taking their lives seriously.

From reading your blogsite, I can tell that you genuinely like and appreciate women. What are qualities that you think a Found Man should look for in a woman?
I think a Found man should look for a woman who motivates them to be better people. One of the things I love about my wife is she is always pushing me to be better than I was before and I encourage her to live out her dreams. I honestly don't know what I would do without her. I wouldn't be where I am today without my wife.

What gives you comfort and joy?
My wife. She's always there for me when I'm discouraged and need a boost. Even when I'm not down, it always brings my joy to talk to her on the phone or go out on dates with her.

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