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75 Tips On How To Be A Man, 2017

Josh Schmitz

(TRIGGER WARNING) In our semi-annual 75 tips on how to be a man, I'm not going to hold back on a new list of items which I've learned this year as to what a real man looks like, talks like, and acts like.

You see, the majority of Men today in their 20’s and 30’s are lost. There is a distinct cognitive dissonance, (ie: the tension in your brain) about the boy you are, and the man you want to become. Most 18-34 year old guys feel like lost little boys who are trapped inside a Mans body. Feeling completely confused, unprepared, and typically refusing to think about things like, family, career, moral / fiscal / and civic responsibilities.

Spending their time drown out, somewhere between trying to get pictures from girls on Snapchat, lying to yourself, (about yourself) on Tinder, or pretending you made a million dollars off of bitcoin (which we know you are lying about) the men of today float around from rental to rental, spending more money on festival tickets than they do their girlfriends Christmas present. This is the man of today. And the saddest part – its almost completely acceptable.

Harsh? Maybe.

True? Absolutely.

Granted - no matter what I say, there will always be those people who look at these articles as sexist, some as flattering, some as nonsense, and some as inspiring. The American Culture is, I believe, robbed of its manliness. “Masculinity” has become a dirty word, and sadly, we live in a culture where your AGE determines if you are a man - not your ACTIONS.

So where do we turn?

The movies tell us that the Men in which women desire the most, are sparkling glittery vampires, abusive sex addict billionaires, or worse - we've become normalized by the amount of memes produced involving the term "fuckboi" which is now somehow common place and widely relateable.

The magazines tell us that Men have no body hair, and are all chiseled Greek Gods.

Tumblr (still) tells us that real Men have beards, and if you shave, well then - you are just a pussy.

But the real world, the world I live in, in which we actually live and breath and exist - as far as I can see, unfortunately, it tells us Men are simply… Missing.

My great friend JR Galardi says you become a man once your own father passes away, and I actually think its a truer statement than most, only because in comparison, that requires some action, some stepping up to the plate.

So below is my attempt to help give some tips, tricks, and advice, in what the last 31 years of life has taught me what a real Man is.

RUCKUS 75 TIPS ON HOW TO BE A MAN, 2017:

  • A man listens to what he likes to listen to, regardless of the crowd or whats popular. Whether that's podcasts, sad boy jams, Celine Dion, or the spice girls - His taste in music is unwavering and unapologetic.
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  • A man pulls the chair out for his woman on dates, whether it’s their first date or their 100th.
     
  • A man drinks black coffee. No milk. No sugar.
     
  • A man walks first and opens the door for his woman. Not because she cant open it for herself, but because she deserves to enter every room first.
     
  • A man isn't afraid to fake using chopsticks (even though he knows they are irrational in a modern world)
     
  • A man does not bitch about his feelings on Facebook. Some of the happiest and most fulfilled men I know are the least active on social media.
     
  • Men don’t need a pansy or fancy cup to drink beer out of. Drinking it straight from the can will not kill you.
     
  • Men wake up before 7am.
     
  • Men keep a journal daily.
     
  • A real man takes responsibility for themselves and for others. I have never met a man I respected who didn't take responsibility for what he had, did, or said.
     
  • Real men give up the comparison game. You will never live your story if you are too busy trying to live someone elses.
     
  • Men do not fight their kids’ battles for them. A man lets his kids scrape their knees, lets them get stitches.
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  • Men do not email their kids teachers when they fail a test; they ground their children and teach them the importance of studying harder.
     
  • A Man has seen the movies Tombstone, Dead Poets Society, and 300, and quotes all of them frequently.
     
  • A Man understands that life is NOT fair, and understands that winners and losers are necessary in the game of life. A man throws away all PARTICIPATION awards and ribbons. There is no prize for just showing up.
     
  • A Man understands that you will never get a job based off your resume alone, you must forget about what your pedigree says. At the end of the day, its just words on paper – what matters is how to present and sell themselves well in real life.
     
  • One girlfriend at a time is probably enough.
     
  • A man takes care of the people who take care of him. Treat everyone with the utmost respect, from taxi drivers to parking attendants to the bartender.
     
  • If you can’t afford to tip – stay home.
     
  • A man knows how to tie a necktie AND a bowtie.
     
  • A man own Pets they aren't ashamed of.
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  • A man never-ever dates an ex of your friend. And, if you have a friend that dates your ex – he was never really your friend.
     
  • A man has had enough drinks in his life that when the bartender asks, you should already know what you want to drink. And if you dont drink, a real man isnt afraid to order a Shirley Temple in a crowded bar.
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  • When in doubt, a Man ALWAYS kisses the girl.
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  • A real man knows how to build a campfire. Even when the wood is damp.
     
  • Men do not dream. They plan.
     
  • A Man takes time to appreciate nice things, and is responsible enough to not to lose them.
     
  • A Man takes at least one cold shower a week. It teaches you self-discipline, and helps remind yourself that are not a pussy.
     
  • Real men should enjoy a good Sunday brunch with friends at least once a month.
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  • Men do not get cheap haircuts. Spend the extra money and get a proper shave at least 3 times a year. And go to a real barbershop where they bust your balls. Bring your kids there as well, allow your kids to get their balls busted too.
     
  • A man knows how to gut a fish. With a knife.
     
  • Its honorable to aspire to become successful and wealthy, but at the same time, a Man always understands that he is still better off than most who have ever lived and is generous with all he has.
     
  •  A man knows that anything worth having is worth working hard for. Shortcuts and free rides have no place in a mans world. You only get what you give, and rightly so.
     
  • Becoming “RICH” is a moving target that you can never achieve. Do not base your decisions around financial gain, but instead around the quality of your life and the relationships involved.
     
  • All the money in the world doesn’t compare to having a beautiful girl on your arm. Focus more on her – and less on the money.
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  • Never split a check with a woman. Not because she can’t pay on her own, but because she is valuable, and you want to take care of her.
     
  • A man is open-minded but firm in his beliefs. Principles are always held onto and respected, whether they’re his own or others’.
     
  • Men know how to disagree without disrespecting. Whether its faith, religion, politics, education, or anything else - A real man should know how to converse and disagree without making you feel lesser than.
     
  • Real men don't hit, abuse, or take advantage of women or children. Ever. EVER.
     
  • When a bartender buys you a round, always tip double.
     
  • A man should carry enough self respect to mean what he says, and say what he means. Men do not subtweet, doublespeak, or make people read between the lines – a man is open about his thoughts, feelings, and expectations all the time.
     
  • A man apologizes when he is wrong.
     
  • A Man understands that Piercings are major liabilities in fights. So are untied shoes and drop-crotch pants.
     
  • Buy a tuxedo before you are thirty. Stay that size.
     
  • Throw parties. Then actually be a host – Men recognize that the party is never really about you, its about building bridges and community within the safety of your walls.  
     
  • Measure yourself only against your previous self. The mirror is what should ALWAYS provide you with your biggest competition.
     
  • Take more pictures.  With a real camera, and a woman on your arm.  Save Them. Never take selfies.
     
  • When you have kids - make sure they know how to protect themselves. A good 1-2 combo goes a long way as a kid.
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  • When you truly admire the work of artists, writers, and musicians - tell them. And then spend money to acquire their work.
     
  • Staying angry is a waste of energy.
     
  • “Please forgive me, I was wrong” is how a Man apologizes. NOT “I’m sorry”.
     
  • Always bring a bottle of something to the party; Preferably whiskey.
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  • Avoid that “last” whiskey. You’ve probably had enough.
     
  • Date women outside your social set. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
     
  • If you believe in evolution, you should know something about how it works. Actually, if you believe in ANYTHING, you should know how it works.
     
  • Never take an ex back. She tried to do better and is now settling with you.
     
  • A man enjoys being alone, driving alone or even movies alone are some of the most needed and relaxing times. Learn to enjoy yourself when alone.
     
  • Never ever stop going on dates with your wife.
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  • Ignore the boos when they come from someone in a lower tax bracket. Pay attention to them when coming from someone in a higher tax bracket.
     
  • Don’t gamble if losing $100 is going to piss you off.
     
  • Never Ever Play the victim.
     
  • Know the rules of chess and bocci. Play both frequently, while at the same time not losing your edge if someone challenges you in Mortal Combat.
     
  • Do something once a day that scares you. No one was ever remembered for being comfortable.
     
  • Honesty, really is the best policy.
     
  • When choosing what cologne to buy – always let the girl pick, and stick with it.
     
  • Have a mentor in your life that you can really trust to call you out on your bullshit.
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  • Go to Church.
     
  • Make your own decisions and then have the courage to own up to them if they don’t pan out.
     
  • Be a broken record when communicating what is important to you. In business – Life, Relationships, Children, etc.
     
  • Break a sweat at least 5 times a week.
     
  • What you say really does matter. Choose your words wisely, especially when talking to a female or child
     
  • Surround yourself with friends that are smarter than you are.
     
  • As the Man Tyler Durden says – “You are not your fucking khakis”. Where you work, and what you wear, have nothing to do with “who you are”.
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  • Know how to tie a good knot.
     
  • Know how to swim.
     
  • Know how to drive a stick-shift.
     
  • Travel. Not for the instagram picture, but so you can learn and expand your knowledge of culture and experience life from someone else’s perspective.
     
  • Know how to wear jewelry properly.
     
  • Whenever you can, support small business: from auto repair shops, to tailors, to grocery stores.
     
  • Drinking tap water will not kill you.
     
  • A man is comfortable with the uncomfortable. Rise up and step out of the comfort zone.
     
  • Do something nice for a stranger at least once a week.
     
  • Learn the names of your immediate neighbors. Get together with them at least once a summer.
     
  • Own a good leather jacket, maybe even two.
     
  • Learn how to tell a good story. Your children and your grandchildren will appreciate it.
     
  • Holidays are more about giving than receiving. Look to serve your community on large holidays when the need is at its highest.
     
  • Always make sure your daughter knows how beautiful, smart, and worthy she is.
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  • Travel as far as you can, for as long as you can, as often as you can. Not to learn more about the world, but to learn more about yourself.
     
  • Know how to ride a motorcycle.
     
  • Read at least a book a month. Avoid the self-help section. That section is for women.
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  • Learn to act like the most confident man in the room, while understanding you are no better than anyone else.
     
  • Be Humble.
     
  • Always treat the woman you are with like she is the most beautiful girl in the room.
     
  • Under Promise – Over Deliver.
     
  • Don’t be afraid of confrontation, it’s is the only way we grow.
     
  • A man knows how to cook a killer breakfast.
     
  • A man knows how to rebuild things. If he doesn’t, he has the resilience to learn. Ie - engines, fortunes, relationships.
     
  • A Man becomes brave not by thinking and studying bravery, but by acting it out daily.
     
  • A man admittedly doesn’t know everything and understands the world is not black and white. If you have someone in your life that is a know-it-all, be very cautious when taking his or her advice.
     
  • A man never stops going on adventures, and also teaches his kids to appreciate the wonder and excitement of a good Adventure.
     
  • A man never makes a decision based on fear.
     
  • A Man understands there really are no maps in life, and if someone hands you one – it is NOT yours.
     
  • A Man can argue without raising his voice. He can take a stand without raising a fist. (A Man also knows when it becomes time to raise a fist, he often throws the first punch.)
     
  • A man interrupts trouble. He stands up for what is right even when it does not concern him directly.
     
  • Style — a man has that. He does not try to fit trends or stay young. He is established in his own right and has nothing to prove.
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  • A man understands that life happens fast, and that waiting for tomorrow is the worst thing you could do.

Josh.
1.9
Questions / Comments / Hate / Etc - holler@ruckusapparel.com

RUCKUS GIVES BACK DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING!

Josh Schmitz

On Wednesday, November 22d, Denver based apparel company RUCKUS, is hosting a food bank and full Thanksgiving Day meal delivery service to serve the people of Metro Denver. Bellwether, the flagship store for RUCKUS will be serving hot meals to those who have been without, offering meals to families to take home to cook on Thanksgiving as well as free haircuts and manicures to those in need. Bellwether is welcoming the community to get involved and give back to their fellow community members. From barbers to musicians to photographers to someone who would like to donate their time to pass out food, Bellwether welcomes everyone!

DIRECT NEEDS:

1) FOOD TO GIVEAWAY!
Not your shitty leftover green beans, we need the good stuff, the stuff you want to be eating. The homeless and those in hard spots do NOT deserve scraps, they need the same things we do.

2) VOLUNTEERS!
We need help setting up, tearing down, clearing meals, serving meals, and Driving meals! We are doing a hot SERVED meal during the day. This is our time to give back!

3) BARBERS and MANICURISTS / ESTHETICIANS!
Do you have a gift of barbering or beauty?! Come put that gift to work with us and give back! We need hands, supplies, and all the smiles you can bring, so we can fully help anyone who comes in!

4) MUSICIANS!
I wanna have some love in the air! Are you a singer / songwriter? Come sing and play some music to people who haven't been able to afford the beauty and gift of live music in a while.

5) ANY OTHER SERVICE YOU WANT TO PROVIDE!!
Have a flower shop? A soap company? Do you do balloon animals? Do you have a connection with families that are in need of food? Come by and join with us hand-in-hand as we give back and express love in a way that this city so desperately needs.

6) LOVE and SUPPORT!!
Bring your kids by here to help serve alongside a loving community in a real and tangible way.

7) PEOPLE TO SERVE!!
Maybe you yourself are in need of some food, or a haircut - or maybe you know a friend of family member that would love to get an amazing thanksgiving day meal delivered to their home! Simply come by Bellwether, or fill out the ANONYMOUS form below and we will deliver your food straight to you!

Name of person being delivered to *
Name of person being delivered to
Address food needs delivered to *
Address food needs delivered to


Love you Guys. Love this City. Lets give back as a community. It'll be the best part of your thanksgiving, we promise!!

CREATING A LIFE THAT MATTERS

Josh Schmitz

How does one live a meaningful life? This is the question that author Emily Esfahani Smith has obsessed over for years and has thoughtfully written about in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Atlantic and TIME. “I used to think the whole purpose of life was the pursuit of happiness,” she opens her massively popular TED Talk, before going on to explain why she’s come to believe that there is something much more important. This is also a theme in her wonderful book, The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters. Certainly, a purposeful life was of the highest priority to the Stoics—and they spoke clearly about the emptiness of pursuing mere happiness and pleasure. We reached out to Emily after her fantastic article in the New York Times this month, which was a warning to young people today on the perils of chasing fame, to ask her a number of questions that she was kind enough to answer. Below you’ll find daily exercises to help cultivate meaning in one’s life, book recommendations, and much more. And if you want to learn more about her work, her website is emilyesfahanismith.com and you can also follow her on Twitter. Enjoy!

***

We first connected after your wonderful New York Times piece warning millennials against chasing fame—saying essentially that there is all sorts of important, meaningful work to be done and not all of it is going to be exciting and glamorous. Obviously Marcus Aurelius talked a lot about fame—call it worthless clacking of tongues and pointing out how few people remembered even the emperors who preceded him. Talk to us a little bit about the allure of bigness and world-changingness with people these days and why you believe that might be the wrong thing to chase.

I think people have always yearned for greatness and recognition. We all want to know our lives matter and are significant in the grand scheme of things, after all. But today, this idea that a meaningful life must be an epic life is being inflamed, I think, by social media. On the internet, extraordinary lives look like the norm, and so we aspire for such lives ourselves. And yet, most of us will lead ordinary lives. Many of us won’t live out our dreams or accomplish all of our major life goals. But that doesn’t mean we can’t lead profoundly meaningful lives.

The 20th-century psychologist Erik Erikson said that in order to lead a flourishing life, we must master a particular developmental task at each stage of life. When we’re young, we’re supposed to figure out who we are and what our purpose is. As we get older, we’re supposed to shift the focus from ourselves to others and be “generative.” That is, we’re supposed to give back, especially to younger generations, by doing things like raising children, mentoring colleagues, creating things of value for our community or society at large, volunteering, etc. We each have the power to be generative. Fame and glamour are about the self—aggrandizing yourself. But generativity is about connecting and contributing to something bigger, which is the very definition of leading a meaningful life.

Your widely popular TED talk, articles and book The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters argue for the pursuit of meaning over happiness. What’s the difference? Why should we pursue the former over the latter?

Happiness is a positive mental and emotional state—the presence of positive emotions and the absence of negative ones. Meaning is bigger—it lies in connecting and contributing to something beyond the self. When people say their lives are meaningful, according to psychologists, it’s because they believe three things about their lives: They believe their lives have worth and value; they believe their lives are driven by a sense of purpose; and they believe their lives are coherent.

I don’t have any problems with happiness, of course. I like being happy and I want the people I love and care about to be happy, too. But I think the unending pursuit of happiness has led us astray. The real goal shouldn’t be maximizing our own happiness, but leading a meaningful life. Viktor Frankl, the Holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, said that happiness cannot be pursued—that it ensues from leading a meaningful life. I think that’s right—and certainly modern psychology research bears him out. When people devote themselves to doing meaningful things, like caring for a sick relative or studying hard for a test, they may not be as happy in the moment, but they experience a deeper kind of well-being down the road.

You’ve recommended looking up at the night sky to feel awe and transcendence. It reminds us of a line from Marcus Aurelius, “Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” What are other exercises and ideas would you recommend our readers implement in their day-to-day to help them find meaning?

I’d recommend creating habits of meaning in your daily life. In my book, I talk about 4 pillars of meaning—belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence. So find ways to build these pillars in your life. For example, after writing my book, I realized that storytelling—crafting a narrative about my life and life in general—was an important source of meaning for me, so I started keeping a journal where I process different experiences I’m having. For transcendence, I make sure to regularly spend time in places that inspire awe in me, like in nature or at the art museum. I’ve found that technology can be a real barrier to both transcendence and belonging, so I’m trying to get some control over my addiction to it. Instead of checking social media or the headlines before I go to bed, I try to read a poem or listen to some music as I meditate. I don’t always succeed, but no one said trying to live a meaningful life is easy!

You’ve mentioned the worrying trend of increasing suicide rates in the U.S.; more and more people feel like their lives simply don’t matter. What would be the one or two things you’d tell someone who is apathetic and feels that their life is devoid of any meaning?

I went to a conference a few years ago where high school students presented meaningful projects they were working on. One group of girls was putting together a book called “Dear Billy.” Their friend Billy had recently committed suicide and so, to honor him, they had different people in his life write him letters as if he were still alive. The girls wanted this book to be a resource for despairing individuals to see that there are people who love and admire them—that they matter to their community. So I’d encourage an apathetic and hopeless person to remember their community—their friends, family, teachers, and neighbors. Think about the letters those people would write to you if they had the chance. Think about the letter you’d write to others if you had the chance. Well, come to think of it, why not write that letter this week and give it to them? In positive psychology, there’s an exercise known as the “gratitude letter.” You write a heartfelt letter of gratitude to someone and then present it to that person. It’s a really powerful activity that lifts both people up and brings them closer together. Suicide and depression are often problems of alienation and isolation. So anything that strengthens those critical bonds of belonging will, I hope, remind people that their lives matter.

I’d also say this: I had a professor in graduate school who said the best cure for depression is volunteering. So much of meaning comes from knowing you have a role to play, that you’re needed and valued by others. So engage with the world. Try on different roles. Adopt the one that fits you best. And remember what Erikson said about generativity. Doing good in the world, even if on a small scale, can ripple out and make a difference.

At one point Epictetus makes an appearance in your book—you mention how Albert Camus was reading him bedridden and trying to find solace. Have you read the Stoics? Can you tell us the story of your introducing to them if so? Any favorites?

Yes I’ve read the Stoics. The first one I heard of was Marcus Aurelius. In high school, a thoughtful friend told me he was reading Meditations. This is embarrassing, but I’d never heard of Aurelius or his book so I looked it up, found out that Aurelius was a Roman emperor, and thought “Huh, I wonder what my friend likes about that book.” I filed the book away in my head, but didn’t come back to it until years later researching my own book, The Power of Meaning. The next stop was college, where I majored in philosophy. I also studied positive psychology in graduate school, so I encountered Stoic ideas in my studies. In classes, though, they were usually presented as an afterthought to Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. But I remember being more intrigued by their ideas than those of the other philosophers we were learning about. I liked that they emphasized living a life of virtue over hedonism, and I also admired the idea that your mindset creates your reality. It was so prescient—so much modern research has borne out their wisdom. Plus, Stoicism seemed to acknowledge that life can be hard and messy, but still worthwhile, and that also appealed to me. I think part of my attraction to the Stoics was temperamental, too. Some people burn hot—they have passionate, fiery personalities. I’m not like that. I’m more, well, stoic!

We’ve strongly recommended Viktor Frankl’s very Stoic Man’s Search for Meaning, which of course you’ve studied and written about in The Atlantic. Most of our readers have read and loved Frankl’s book, so what are some other books they should follow up with? You’re clearly extremely well-read and we always love to ask for book recommendations.

There are so many to choose from! Where to begin. George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch is long and at times dense, but so worth the time and effort. It’s about (among other things) a group of young people who are searching for meaning. They think they need to do something grand, but the lesson of the book is something we discussed earlier: Ordinary lives are full of meaning in the goodness they put into the world. Tolstoy is another author to read. The question of meaning is at the center of many of his works. I’d recommend his novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, which is about a shallow man who, on his deathbed, realizes his life was meaningless. That sounds depressing, but there’s a ray of hope at the end of the story. Before Ilyich dies, he learns what truly makes life meaningful. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel is also a beautiful commentary on meaning. In the novel, something horrible happens—and the question is: How does Pi make sense of it? What narrative does he craft? Our lives aren’t just the way they are, as Pi points out. We make meaning out of them from the stories we tell. I also recently read a biography of Leonard Cohen, I’m Your Man by Sylvie Simmons, which was wonderful. Cohen was a real spiritual seeker, a man who cared about meaning. That comes across in the biography and, of course, in his music.

*this post originally appeared on THE DAILY STOIC