George Carlin had some interesting observations about men who smoke cigars – “When are these fat, arrogant, overpaid, overfed, over privileged, overindulged, white collar business criminals gonna put out their cigars and move along to their next abomination? But hey, the news is not all bad for me! Do you want to know the good part? Cancer of the mouth! Good! Goes nice with a cell phone! So light up! Suck that smoke deep down into your empty suit!”

Seems old George, like me, had a distinct disdain for those posers. And men passing around cigars because their wives carried a baby for nine months and endured a terrible torture giving birth, so bad that it would take her body months to recover, as though the men had actually achieved something? A DNA test might pour icy water on those smelly, brown phallic symbols they so enjoyed sucking on. Pathetic.

Cigars don’t prove you’re rich or successful. Any more than tattoos or big trucks or tool belts, beards, hard hats or motorbikes make you more “manly.” It reminds me of those pretenders who parade around in camo pants and outfits, who have never fired a gun, let alone been blooded in combat. The only action those gutless wonders ever saw was in a video game.

“Blood and iron” doesn’t mean you nicked yourself while shaving and then ironed your wife’s dress! And then you get the drinkers: “Set ’em up!” Like you mysteriously become more masculine and virile because you drink a lot of alcohol and reek of old cigarette smoke. Sad.

Here’s what makes you manly, successful, and tough: Being able to say NO to the offers of cigars, booze, cigarettes, and other drugs out of self-respect. Being there for your wife and children when they need you.

Persevering in business until you succeed. Standing up for what you believe in, instead of wimping out in timid “political correctness.” Providing for your family instead of being an androgynous, weak, useless “stay-at-home-dad” while your wife or in-laws or parents support you and your family.

Being a real man means standing up for your wife and kids in public and being strong for them when troubles come. Acknowledging that YOUR WIFE is pregnant, not “we’re pregnant;” men can’t handle the pain of childbirth, and they’re not meant to, any more than a woman is supposed to provide for the family. Being a good role model for your kids.

Those things tell me you’re a real man, successful and tough, a goal-directed, accountable, responsible man who stands for decency and truth.

Robin Elliott    LeverageAdvantage.com