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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

How Learning to Navigate Change Will Help You Succeed in Dating

Robert Manni - Monday, February 26, 2018


What happened to men? Nobody knows what they are doing anymore—especially the men.

There's no denying that women are on the rise and finally getting the recognition they’ve long deserved. The future is about the ascension of women and they are not going to take crap from men, especially those in power any more. But, that is not bad news for guys. If you are a real man, a Guys Guy if you will, there has never been a better time for dating. Women want the world to be a place where both men and women stand side by side and win. And that’s a very good thing. But right now, there is a communication chasm between the sexes. With all the changes and the #MeToo movement, many men don’t know who they are or how to act with women. Our culture is changing and if guys don’t learn how to adapt, it will seriously impact their ability to attract women and build relationships. Today’s women are shaking up the world and making things happen so understandably, they want to date men who know who they are, what they want, and focused on becoming the best they can be.

Let’s first acknowledge that men have an identity problem.

With their overdue recognition and all the success women are experiencing today many men find themselves out of touch, falling behind or out of sight. Men are at a crossroads in how they see themselves and how they fit in. A lot of guys’ masculinity is caught somewhere between the MMA and manscaping, and that’s no place to be. We are facing a male crisis and it’s up to men to evolve so women will appreciate and respect them. The good news is women are on men’s side. They want men to succeed. So fellas, it’s up to us do whatever needs to be done to get back in the game. Here are a few suggestions to help men be their best and become more attractive to women as people and potential partners.

1. Celebrate women

Men need to realize that women are not the enemy. They should support women's achievements in the workplace and throughout our society. A real man wants his partner to succeed and shows pride in her success. This is a quality that today’s women seek out. Men need to learn how to celebrate women. Women’s ascension and recognition is not a threat. It’s actually very good for men. With women taking on more of the heavy lifting and financial responsibilities, men are free to grow in other areas, including their education, spirituality, emotional intelligence and things they can do for their partner beyond providing for them financially. Today’s women are offering men this gift. It’s up to men to accept it and work on themselves. That’s seems like a good deal to me.

2. Go inside

It's an old adage, but the answers do come from within. The media is constantly bombarding us with fear and worry. Media and its forms of messaging intrudes into our subconscious so it distracts and hypnotizes us. For today’s men to maintain a true sense of self they need to learn how to "tune into themselves and tune out the noise." Although some men are exploring spirituality, holistic practices for optimal health, ways of getting in touch with themselves, the vast majority of following this path are still women. It’s time for guys to take that trip inside to learn what makes them tick and what is most important in life and to the women they love. Energetic practices including Reiki, hypnosis, meditation, tai chi, yoga, and even calligraphy are a few of the disciplines that show positive effects on men's self-knowledge and wellbeing. Women are good at sensing and reading energy, and a man with balanced, positive energy sends the right message to potential partners. But it’s an inside job.

3. Eat to win.

The benefits of cleaning up one’s body shows up many ways. Cutting back or eliminating habits like smoking, alcohol, red meat, preservatives, GMO's, dairy, and sugar not only improve a man’s physical well being, it also increases his mental clarity and his appearance. Autoimmune diseases begin in the gut, which is proven to work as our second brain. That means making the right choices when it comes to food and drink. Diet is an issue that many men overlook.

Too many guys still eat and drink the way they did in college. Men in their thirties are for the first time being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s symptoms which arguably due to diet and stress. . Unfortunately, many men still eat what tastes good rather than what's good for them. As a result, many men are becoming obese and breaking down much earlier nowadays. This is not sexy. Back pain, hip replacements, etc. take their toll on how a guy feels and appears to the opposite sex. Men prefer fit women and so it’s fair that women want men fit and capable of dealing with modern life’s challenges. Guys, evolving your diet as you age is critical to your appearance and mental fitness. Even modest change in diet has benefits. If you take care of yourself in a responsible way, and that does not mean you have to be a bodybuilder, women will respect your effort and find you more attractive.

4. A man is more than his job.

Many men define themselves solely by their jobs title and weekly paycheck. Sure, the economy's tough and we need that cash to keep us rolling in the style we’re accustomed to, but in today there is no job security. Jobs and titles change and most eventually fade away, leaving many men alone, and depressed with an identity crisis. So yes, money counts, but for a man to be truly successful and as attractive as possible to women, it's important for a man to know and love the guy he’ll spending the rest of your days with—himself.

No matter how smart or successful a man is, it's game over when he thinks he knows everything. Education keeps men on point and there are infinite opportunities for men to feed their minds and nurture their souls. Take a class, read a book, study a language, learn an instrument, practice yoga. Life is short. Take the time to do what strokes your passion. Discover the things that bring you joy. The more a man learns the more curious he becomes and the more interesting he will be to his partner. Knowledge is sexy.

Our world is changing, but there has never been a better time to be a man. Women are watching us closely, and I assure you that they are seeking qualities in their men beyond the size of their wallet and biceps. Men and abs help, but ultimately, today’s women want to date guys who know themselves and maintain a curiosity and passion for life. When a man develops these qualities, it definitely shows. And if men recognize and respect women, they can become very desirable to the ladies.

It's up men to take advantage of the resources available to live as vibrantly as possible. If guys make the effort to accept change and work on themselves, lots of available, intelligent and attractive women will be there to welcome them with open arms.

5 Signs We're Lowering the Bar (And What We Can do to Raise It)

Robert Manni - Friday, January 26, 2018


Each time I scroll through the news online or even a good, old-fashion newspaper, I’m amazed at how crazy and dysfunctional our culture has become. The online news feed is a parade of real news, fake news, and oddities.

It seems like everyone is in debt, too busy trying to keep their job before being replaced by robots or AI, or too damn tired to realize they are being fed garbage and being told to like it. As a result, we are wallowing in a vast cultural slush. The bar has been lowered, amigos. People can’t afford to travel so they take boring “staycations”. They work more for less money, brown bag their lunch, and eat at their desks. They binge-drink in cramped apartments because they can’t afford to go out and drink at bars. These are desperate times.

Since technology shrank the world, entertainment is global. There’s less fresh thinking because the creative concepts need to travel. So we get K Pop, shitty sequels to bad movies, reboots or movies based on bad television shows, and generic music pumped up and pushed out by producers instead of talented new artists who can actually read music. When was the last time you heard some really fresh music? Cardi B? Timberlake, the new, urban woodsman? Really.

While we are being distracted by pop culture, regulations like net neutrality that protect people are being decimated. The rich keep getting richer while the rest of us are left fighting over the crumbs. Our culture reflects the discrepancies in income through the garbage sold to us as entertainment, often the same pile of refuse served up a different way.

Do we need another go at the XFL? Do we need to pay $100 to see an MMA fighter in boxing gloves get schooled by a boxer? They keep selling us crap. Why?  Because we buy it. Everyone was warned about the folly of the Mayweather vs. McGregor “fight”, but people still shelled out a Franklin because consumers are suckers who exposed to a month of media overselling can be brainwashed. Yes, a sucker is born every minute. Our culture is a mess. People are so fearful, worried, and in debt that they will consume almost anything corporate America feeds them just to escape their lives for a few hours.

So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? Start by educating yourself and making your own decisions about how you want to invest your valuable time and hard-earned dollars.  Know that we the people collectively have the power to create change. People ultimately control what they buy. If they don’t open their wallets, products will be changed to suit their demands. Take organic food, for example. The only reason we’re not completely drowning in GMO’s and processed foods is that people realized that processed foods could be killers. Smart consumers don’t buy as much of the products sold down the aisle in cans or boxes. The change happened because consumers demanded better foods that foster good health.

So, we have choice. We may pay more for organic foods, but we forced Big Agra to listen. But change only occurs when our collective consciousness demands it. So the next time you reach for your wallet ask yourself if you are settling for garbage because you are flat-out tired and just need an escape, or if you can save that cash or put that money to use somewhere else until you get what you want.

Here are five examples of the dumbing down of our culture. I’m not discounting the fun quotient in some of them, but we can do better.

1. Eating Tide pods – This is not a joke. Young people are actually consuming those bright, swirly little plastic pouches that look like candy. They are not candy. This is DETERGANT and it is a very disturbing trend. Young folks, you can do a lot better things to entertain yourself besides eating soap. I have nothing else to add except, hey, P&G, how about changing those pods so they don’t look so tasty?

2. Bars featuring axe throwing- For me, the combination of alcohol, hatchets, and axes is not optimal. Is drinking and throwing axes fun? (editor’s note: surprisingly, yes) It must be, because there are more and more bars getting tricked out with an axe throwing area. What happened to bar shuffleboard and pool? I shudder thinking about what’s next after chasing Jack Daniels with axe throwing? Fight clubs for women? Hmmm, I think they already have that. If we need to get drunk and throw axes to blow off steam as a culture we are too angry and we drink too much.

3. Lipstick on pigs – If you haven’t noticed, those fast food and QSRs (quick service restaurants) are promoting the hell out of cheap menu items at $1, $2, $3 and whole meals for $5. We live in a fast-paced, fear-driven society where people eat suspect food quickly and on the go. There’s nothing wrong with a quick fast food fix in the rare times it’s absolutely necessary. But, many consumers live on fast food and the brands know it.

Lately, it’s gotten crazy. One affordable hamburger chain is now taking reservations for couples on Valentine’s Day so they can come to the store and celebrate their love with burgers served by table service. Be prepared ladies. Some broke dudes will give this a shot.

To keep their peeps coming back for more, chains also offer all you can eat delights like $3.99 for all the pancakes you can swallow. Here’s where we need to ask ourselves a few questions. How many pancakes should we be eating in one sitting? Three? Maybe four? What kind of flour is used in those pancakes? What’s in that syrup? Is it grade B organic maple syrup or high fructose corn syrup and food coloring? Ask questions and use your power. If it quacks like a duck…

4. Uninspired Hollywood – There are three trends in Hollywood just won’t slow down: superheroes, dysfunctional people, and violence. Every time I walk along the subway platform I’m inundated with posters for the latest movies and television shows. Besides posters for “Big Bang Theory” re-runs and “Young Sheldon”, the most frequent images are actors pointing their gun my way, people with blood spattered on hands and faces, or grim, angry, people dressed in black staring at me. And enough with the comic book superhero movies. Are we all still eleven years old?

There is another trend to blow out any movie that makes a few bucks into a franchise. Most of them are violent. Take the “John Wick” movies. The second one was actually better than the original, but the violence… Hundreds of brutal kills filmed beautifully. People love Keanu and this character, but when you think about it, aren’t we a bit insane to consume so much violence and murder as entertainment? Bad television shows like “Baywatch” somehow ran for years. Did we need a “Baywatch” movie? Did we need three “Hangover” movies? Nope, but here’s why they exist: The terrible sequels actually grossed more than the original because of sales in international markets. Hollywood is all about creating franchises that unfortunately have to get dumbed down in order to travel.

5. People don’t read – Every time I’m riding the subway and I see some reading a book I say to myself, “Hooray for New Yorkers”. Unfortunately, this is the exception, not the rule. Studies show that the vast majority of both college and high school educated Americans never enter a bookstore or read a book after graduating from their highest level of education. This truly is the dumbing down of society.

I’ll give you this. When we surf the Internet, we are technically reading. But reading a book is a commitment. I prefer fiction and the power of story, but the simple act of reading and finishing a book is critical to our individual and collective future. It’s bad enough that we’re confused about what is news or fake news. Read books and grow.

That’s my rant. Why was it necessary? Because as a Guy’s Guy, I want the best for me, for you and for us collectively. If we accept all the garbage shoved our way, we’ll only get more.  We have power in our pocketbooks and wallets to foster change. Use this power wisely and will help change our collective consciousness.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is you, the reader. Yes, I mean all the people reading this post. The simple fact you’ve invested the time to explore one man’s, or in this case, one Guys’ Guy’s perspective on the precious state of our culture is important. I thank you and hope you’ll be back for more next week. 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Dealing with Difficult People

Robert Manni - Saturday, December 02, 2017


There are a lot of truly wonderful people in the world. But why does it seem like we’re constantly confronted by difficult and annoying people who push our buttons?

I see you nodding your head right now. It could be those subway dancers swinging their limbs around the pole right in front of your face on the A train, that person in your building who never responds to your friendly greeting, those passive aggressive colleagues who are too weak to state their opinion to your face, but somehow grow muscles while sitting behind their keyboards so they can snipe at you from the safety of a group email thread, or that sibling who from some reason only communicates with you via text. Yep, dealing with these types can be a challenge for a Guy’s Guy. So how can we begin to see these people differently and not lose our cool when dealing with their tired acts?

I’m not exactly sure why it feels like these folks show up way so often, but I do have some ideas to share with you about who and what they are, and how to deal with them. Let’s call this one, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Dealing with Difficult People.  I’m tempted to call them assholes, but for the most part these are decent people whose choices all-too-often fall into the anal category. Again, let’s not be too harsh. Who hasn’t said or done something they later regretted? I have. Let’s dive in and explore why these people show up in the first place.

Every person is on a path of raising his or her conscious. We’re all coming from the same place, and are headed in the same direction. But this is a long, long journey and our ascensions are on different timetables. Eventually we’ll all reach “oneness” and become fully realized beings after we’ve learned our lessons, but due to a number of factors, each person’s journey varies greatly. There is little one can do to hasten the pace of someone else’s journey, besides simply leading by example. People have to learn on their own. If you do believe in reincarnation or a recycling of the soul, you’d agree it might take another person lifetimes before they reach your level of awareness. And the same could be said of you, compared to other more evolved souls. No one is better than anyone else, but every person’s journey has a different trajectory.

So, Guy’s Guy, what does all this esoteric babble have to do with those annoying people busting our chops? Actually, it’s all very relevant. Part of the soul’s journey within its the human form is to overcome the things holding back its ascension. For many of us, it feels like we’re always confronted by the same teeth-grinding circumstances and people who push our buttons. But unless we learn to overcome challenging circumstances and people’s behavior, we’ll continue to experience them over and over again.

If this sounds similar to movie Groundhog Day, you’re right. Bill Murray’s character kept reliving Nate Ryerson, the same day, and all the same experiences over and over again until he learned how to interact with them from a place of love. And that’s our collective challenge: How do we learn to address every issue and choice we make in life from a perspective of love, as opposed to fear? Fear turns to anger. Fear lashes out. Fear backstabs. Fear is dishonest. Fear is an asshole. And fear suckers us in through our ego. Ego is fear’s best friend. Our ego is constantly telling us that it wants to protect us, but in reality, ego only wants to protect itself. Fear keeps man enslaved in a recurring dream where we are continually confronted by the things and others that annoy us until we learn how to rise above the bad behavior of others without judgment. And that’s no easy task.

So how do I deal with those passive aggressive colleagues or that sibling who only communicates with me via passive aggressive texts? Tell me how to transcend the nonsense? Relax, amigo, you’re already getting upset. There are a few things you can do to make your way past those situations and people who continually upset you. Consider the following…

1. Become a witness – Last week I had my buttons pushed by some owners in my fantasy football league. Our commissioner sent out an email extending our trading deadline by a day because he’d neglected to remind us of the deadline, as he does every year. Within that short window four major trades were made. Our commish approved the deals and players switched teams. Yipee! That is, until one of our owners, who happened to be in first place by a wide margin complained. He said the rules are the rules and they could not be changed without an amendment to our league constitution. Yikes. He added that he had been too busy working to make a deal. Of course, his team was facing my team that weekend (and I am the reigning league champ). I had just traded for the number two running back in fantasy football and was primed to make playoff run as I did last year. I was steamed about his protest, but even more so when the other owners, who I think saw the powerhouse I had created, sided with him. I pushed back a few times, which only strengthened the group’s resolve. I soon found myself on the defensive, as if I had done something wrong. I eventually backed off and ironically; my team beat this willy-nilly owner’s ass by almost fifty points last weekend.

After I had an opportunity to review the situation, I came to the conclusion that I was right. These guys were not going to let me strengthen my team in such dramatic fashion. I stepped back though. It was time to learn a lesson about handling these types of situations and people. The word “witness” kept popping into my head. I needed to step back and separate myself from the situation, state my case, and then watch the others do whatever they decided. I would let it go and forgive them for the bullshit, but not necessarily trust them in the future. That’s my take. I’m sure they would disagree. But, I am the one who has to live with myself. I’m not really concerned about them or what they think about me. So although my trade was rescinded, I won the game and the day because I had been given a great gift from them by my learning how important it is to be a witness to my humanity.

2. Don’t take things too personally – As in the case above and the others that I cited earlier, when trying situations arise, it is usually about the other people, not about you. You can always win if you stay in your truth while being detached from the behavior of others.

3. State your case, and make it about choices – When things start getting personal, shift the playing field. Make the discussion about the issue. State your case clearly. If you think someone is being an asshole, it’s okay to disapprove of their decisions and their choices. Pull up, though, if you see they are making assumptions about your take on their character and taking things personally. In the case of the fantasy football trade, the owner I was challenging claimed I was questioning his integrity when I was only challenging his actions. He’s a decent guy, but I called bullshit on his actions, not on him as a person.

4. Don’t get sucked in too far that you blow your cool – I get upset when my sibling insists on only communicating with me via text messages. It’s become more of a means of relaying of information than a dialogue. It’s incredibly annoying, and on occasion I’ve been pissed off. I finally realized this relative has a personal issue he has to deal with. So when I get a text from him, I take a breath and wait before responding. It sucks that I have to do this, but if this is what I need to do to keep the peace, so be it. I look at it as an opportunity to learn patience.

5. Know when to let go I held my ground on the football trade until the passive aggressive email sniping got personal. At that point, I knew it was a no-win situation so I let it go. That weekend my team beat this ass. The following Tuesday a flurry of emails responses went out when our commish sent out possible playoff scenarios as we headed into the final week of the season. My name came up repeatedly in that thread and I’m sure the other owners were expecting some crowing on my part after my big win. But, I didn’t respond—they knew who won. No gloating necessary.

This has been long post, amigos, and hopefully you picked up a trick or two from a Guy’s Guy who has often learned about life, love and the pursuit of happiness the hard way. That’s okay though. We are here to learn.

This week’s GUY’S GUYS of the WEEK are the owners in my fantasy football league. Their questionable choices and behavior, some good, some bad, helped me get a grip on my own reality and the lessons I need to learn. Will I get into it again with them in the future? Probably, but hopefully I’ll take a different approach. 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Things Worth Investing In

Robert Manni - Thursday, November 02, 2017

They call it disposable income for a reason. We dispose of it every day—at lunch on $12 salads in plastic containers, ironic t-shirts, another pair of sneakers or shoes we don’t need to choke our closet space, or on numerous $9 glasses of so-called craft beers. But even though we live in a consumer society where over two-thirds of the money spent is on items we don’t really need, there are a few items worth paying those extra dollars for. Large or small, these are classic items worth the money, so your Guy’s Guy is going to lay them out for you to chew on and digest. Here in no particular order, is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO THINGS WORTH INVESTING IN.

1. Real estate – The rent really is too damn high. And besides getting a roof over your head for the next thirty days, there is not much to get excited about when renting your home. From my personal experience, I’ve done relatively well when investing in real estate and it began as soon as I found a way to scrape together the down payment to afford a mortgage for a modest, man-cave studio and the responsibilities that came with it. And I have never looked back. When you own that roof over your head, you get a tax break on the mortgage interest, you live in your investment, and in the vast majority of cases your home appreciates while you’re there. Wherever you may be, but particularly when you live in a ridiculously expensive city like New York, if you can find a way to buy your home, do it. If you can make those monthly payments, in the long run it will serve you well, amigo. Very well. Ask anyone who has done so and they will have a story to tell you about how much profit they made after buying that once-cheap co-op back in the eighties.

2. A great watch – Every Guy’s Guy needs at least one piece of top-notch jewelry. If he’s married he’s going to want a quality wedding band, but regardless of his marital status, this Guy’s Guy believes that owning a classic watch is a worthwhile investment. Let’s face it. There are clocks everywhere and you carry a phone so you don’t need a watch to know the time. A watch is a statement piece for a Guy’s Guy.  It’s something you can wear every day or if you choose, just to events that you hold in importance. I sat in the office next to the director of the Mont Blanc account at a big ad firm. I gave him a few bottles of rum since I ran the Bacardi account and he let me to pick from the Mont Blanc catalogue at half price. I was making good money so I bought very high-end “sport” watch, a silver dress watch, a pen, and a wicked cool pair of shades. I still have them all and I wear the two watches frequently to this day. On my fortieth, my folks bought me an engraved Rolex, so of course I also wear that too. But besides also owning a handful of very affordable watches, I’m done buying watches. The watches I own are statement pieces so I don’t need a special box or case filled a dozen good watches. I have three great watches, and that’s all I need. I still like admiring the classic timepieces I see, but I’m done.

3. A well-tailored suit and a tuxedo – A Guy’s Guy knows how to clean up, so every Guy’s Guy needs to own at least one finely tailored suit, regardless of his job or the type of work he does. There will always be an occasion where he needs to get decked out and show his stuff, so it’s a good idea to invest in a tropical wool designer suit in navy, charcoal or black. If you shop at an outlet you can pick a very nice suit for less than five hundred bucks. I recently purchased a classic, yet modern Theory suit that fits me like a glove for less than less four hundred that was originally priced at $1200. And, I will wear it when I need to for the next decade because it’s quality, a classic yet modern cut, and I work hard staying in fighting shape, like Guys’ Guys tend to do.

Another consideration is investing in a classic black tuxedo. I recent attended a wedding where the young guys in the wedding party wore maroon tuxedo jackets with black shirts and pants.  Not my style, but it was is their business. The point is; no one buys a maroon tuxedo jacket. I bought a well-made black tuxedo when I was in my twenties, and it still fits me and looks good. I also bought a formal white dress short shirt, cuff links, and a pair of shoes I only wear with the tux. Buying a tux is not as mission critical as owning a well-tailored suit, but it can be a good investment, especially if you compare it to the cost of renting.

4. A quality automobile – I’m still working on a personal issue that I have about letting go of things and people. This time it got me in trouble. I bought a silver Toyota Four-Runner in 2000 and due to my moving back into NYC, I rarely drove it. I kept it parked it on the street near the beach in New Jersey, and over the years the engine and the parts underneath the vehicle began rusting, and rusting, and rusting. I need car when I’m in Jersey and this vehicle was fully paid for, so I kept it but was making repairs and replacing rusting parts repeatedly. The decay continued and eventually, my prized vehicle became an albatross. I eventually dumped it, but not before I wasted a shitload of money on repairs.

I did buy a good vehicle, and that is part of the lesson because owning or leasing a good car can be a good investment, but only if you know when to cut bait and move on. Buying a car is so 1990 these days, so now I recommend leasing a top of the line vehicle and switching it out every few years. If you live in the burbs and show up for a date in an old rattlebox, it means negative points with the new lady.

5. Going to the dentist – A Guy’s Guy needs a first class ride for his teeth. A man’s oral health is a gateway to his overall health. And who doesn’t want a great smile? A Guy’s Guy looks for a dental practice with skilled hygienist and a dentist that can handle drillings and replacing old fillings to get that toxic metal out of your mouth, and doing what’s necessary to brighten your smile. Most healthcare plans these days scrimp on dental so having a great dentist might get expensive at times, but think about it as a sound investment in your overall health. Studies have found that built up plaque can find its way to your heart and other areas of your body and create havoc.

6. Wedding ring and band – Earlier I briefly mentioned this key, hopefully one-time purchase as another statement piece for a Guy’s Guy. When you marry, you want to show pride and your commitment. There is no better way to make your wife feel good about it than investing in a classy wedding rings and bands for both of you, but in particular for her. Make sure you exceed her expectations, and if you can swing it, go for at least two carats. No matter who pays for your band, pick a ring that looks masculine and makes you feel good about yourself. Trust me on this, amigos. It’s worth the investment to the marriage. And do you best to wear your wedding band. I’m not a big ring guy, but I keep mine in a little box on my bureau and at a bare minimum wear my platinum gold band when I am out in public with my wife. It’s the right thing to do.

7. Wine and spirits – Many Guys’ Guys like a cocktail or a glass of wine or beer now and then. Over time, most guys have had their fill of keggers and shots of lousy booze. When you finally grow out of that stuff, drink the best that you can afford, especially if you are drinking infrequently or drinking your booze straight. So out with the speed rack brands and on to the top shelf brands. As you age, if you still drink alcohol, drink less and drink better. Fear not, it’s not going to break the bank. There are many good vodkas available for $20 bucks and rums for between  $20 and $30. You’ have to pay more for good tequila, bourbon or scotch. When drinking wine, you can usually find something for every day drinking between $20- 35.  And if money is an object, with a little research you can find a decent bottle for less than $20. Beer is all about personal preference regardless of price. The point is that the clock keeps ticking and you're not going to live forever. Opt for the good stuff when you drink.

8. Organic food – It costs more, but you are protecting your health by eating organic food. The processed packaged crap down the aisles in the supermarket may taste good, but it isn’t good for you, and non-organic produce and fruit has been sprayed with pesticides. Over time, eating this stuff can cause chronic health issues. Think of yourself as a sleek Mercedes-Benz 450SEL. To keep it running smoothly you don’t fill it with the cheapest fuel. And despite all the cute memes you read about bacon, it’s basically processed pork, and that is not good fuel for a luxury vehicle like you.

9. Your wallet – This might seem like a minor thing, but think of how many times you pull out your wallet every day. A good wallet sends the right psychological signals to your brain about your financial self-worth and to others as to how you value yourself and your money. Spend a few extra bucks and buy a good wallet. It will help you feel your best about your financial standing even in tough times. Stay classy, amigo.

10. The right relationship – Investing the time in finding and securing the right life partner is probably the best investment you will ever make. I stayed single for so long that close friends and family stopped asking me when I was getting married. I knew I was not ready, so I waited until I had the epiphany of making room in my heart for someone else before taking the plunge. Maybe it took me longer than most. That’s my business, but I’m glad I waited, and I am glad I made the right investment in the right woman for me.

I hope these tips help you make sound decisions about the things in life that are worth investing in. I’m sure I missed a few along the way, but this is a good start for any Guy’s Guy who wants to send out signals that say, “Hey, I’m a Guy’s Guy and this is how I roll.”

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is the actor and classic Guy’s Guy, Cary Grant. Although he may have swung ways, no worries and no judgments. He still was a Guy’s Guy. Despite his living in a different time, this guy was all class. Although I’m not sure how he invested in real estate, he died a rich man and oozed timeless style when he was alive. If you are ever in doubt about spending those extra dollars on any of the items I mentioned, ask yourself what would Cary Grant do and you can’t go wrong.

When You Are NOT a Guy's Guy

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 19, 2017


People ask me all the time, “Hey, what is a Guy’s Guy anyway? Is that like a man’s man?” Nope. A Guy’s Guy is not a man’s man.

He is, however, an updated, more open and contemporary version of the old adage. A Guy’s Guy is comfortable in his own skin. He has a casual confidence about him as well as unassuming strength, seductive integrity, emotional intelligence, and a timeless style. He’s fun, too. But most of all, a Guy’s Guy celebrates women and the well-earned recognition they are finally receiving for their many achievements. So we have a pretty clear idea about Guy’s Guys and how they roll. But with the recent news about the bad behavior of so many men, now is a good time to explore what a Guy’s Guy is not. Let’s begin by stating that not all men are bad and creepy and only seek get laid at any cost. Yes, men, including Guy’s Guys like sex, but Guy’s Guys don’t abuse their power as leverage on women.

I’ve written about Anti-Guy’s Guys men previously, but unfortunately male behavior continues to disappoint, so here we are again. With this in mind I offer you, in no particular order, my list of men, and maybe a few women, who are not Guy’s Guys. Let’s call them The Not So Guy’s Guys. I hope this helps clarifies the Guy’s Guy movement, its importance to our culture, and our mantra- When men and women can be at their best, everyone wins. There are a lot of Guy’s Guys who will cross your path every day that deserve recognition, but for now let’s out a handful of bad eggs who need to clean up their act.

1. Harvey Weinstein – This is pretty obvious. With all the headlines about his alleged abuse of power and sexual predatory behavior, he does not fit our definition of a Guy’s Guy. After all, Guy’s Guys know that “No” means no and they never take advantage of their position to get sex. They don’t have to. Guy’s Guys are cool customers who engage women respectfully, are present, and actively listen to them.

2. Men Who Don’t Respect “Me too” – I’ve been reading way too much push back from males who have a problem with the millions of women coming out as one and letting the world know that they are not going to remain silent about the abuse they’ve received from men any longer. I say, good for them, and any guy who fails to understand the truth in what women are surfacing are in denial, guilty, or in need of a wake up call to women’s being treated horribly for centuries. Guys, please shut up if you have nothing positive to add the “me too’s” pouring out. Imagine how you’ll feel if you notice family members or your girlfriends posting these words. Maybe that will remind you that men still have a long way to go in respecting women in love, business, and treating them as our equals.

3. Donald Trump – Like him or loathe him, you’ve got to admit this guy has a problem in how he treats women. Besides his “locker room talk” with Billy Bush, how you noticed the dynamic between DT and his wife? She usually looks as miserable as half the country is right now and every time we are forced to witness his bewilderingly disrespectful statements and criticisms of virtually anyone who crosses his path. A true disruptor, but not a Guy’s Guy.

4. Trump’s sons – I give them a tiny pass because they grew up in a bubble and might not know how creepy and crass they are, but in particular, Jr. —or should we call him Beavis—needs help. First, he rants that women who can’t handle harassment in the workplace should not be working. Then, in his spare time he and brother, Butthead, get their jollies shooting and killing defenseless, majestic, and often endangered animals. Come on, fellas. Wake up. Not Guy’s Guys.

5. Floyd Mayweather – I mentioned him in my original post about anti-Guy’s Guys when he was running around the ring to avoid Manny Pacquaio. Now, after that travesty and rip off of the paying public, he felt the need to top himself for his final fight by taking on another brash big mouth from the MMA who had never stepped into a boxing ring. And, the suckers bought it. Afterwards Floyd thought he could ride off into the sunset with piles of money thinking he was boxing’s GOAT. But although he’s made more cash than any boxer in history, he will never be the GOAT of the sport. This is in part because he’s not a Guy’s Guy. He selected his opponents at their worst— either when they were too young, too old, and in the case of MMA star, Conor McGregor, a fighter not in the same sport. Floyd topped this off by setting a great example for all of the up and coming young men and fighters by investing in a massive strip club because, “Tits and ass and booze never go out of style.” I can’t argue with him on that point, but do you really have to go there?

6. Conor McGregor – Complicit in Mayweather’s “boxing match” was his MMA opponent, Conor McGregor, who after month’s of trash talk, borderline derogatory racial comments, and promises to walk right through Mayweather in one short round, came out pawing before being carried by Mayweather into the tenth round so the paying public would not feel cheated. He eventually got his ass knocked out the moment Floyd decided that enough was enough for the suckers who shelled out $100 for this glorified exhibition. As soon as the fight was over it was all hugs between these two. They had your money, McGregor launched a new whiskey, and so all was good. Not a Guy’s Guy.

7. Sarah Huckabee Sanders / Jeff Sessions – Ever wonder why Sarah Huckabee’s face always looks twisted and contorted? I think it’s from her inner turmoil and awareness that her job is to stand at a podium and lie for a living. Jeff Sessions is the old guy who looks like Granny Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies and who is also is our country’s leading attorney, the Attorney General. But if you’ve ever watched in squirm and spout nonsensically evasive answers to very direct questions from the Congress investigating him and his misleading statements about his possible involvement in “Russiagate”, you’d be hard pressed to think that this guy represents honesty, integrity, and the American way. Not a Guy’s Guy.

8. Rick Pitino – I attended Villanova University. We always had great basketball teams.  Our coaches drew up plays on a wipe board with a felt tip pen, concocted game strategies, and made players run sprints when they missed lay ups. Unlike the notorious Rick Pitino, they were never accused of raping women in bars after hours or paying families through third parties for recruiting. To be fair, although the university has fired him, Pitino denies the latter charges. But it doesn’t matter. Ex-Louisville coach Pitino; you ain’t no Guy’s Guy.

9. Anthony Weiner - What was his Twitter handle? Carlos Danger? Too bad, but this really smart guy had a real political future until Little Tony started running the show from down below with some very young ladies. Of course Weiner was married while sending naked torso selfies to his squad of online lady friends.

10. Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) – I give him points for all the beautiful women he’s dated, but I wince whenever I watch him on Fox Sports talking about baseball. He has no insights into the game he played his whole life and he does not understand human nature. I also have a problem with Fox for hiring and making a star out of a PED user and cheater busted not once, but twice while also lying about it repeatedly. As a studio expert, he is a master of stating the obvious through a pasted on smile and his perfect veneers. You can feel the other studio guys, who unlike A-Rod are Hall of Famers, cringe at his banal statements and when he takes his World Series championship ring off and thrusts it in front of the camera. It’s says something about his shame when he needs to take his ring off to display it rather than simply holding up a fist and brandishing the ring he won before being suspended for PED’s. He’s not getting into the Hall of Fame and he’s no Guy’s Guy.

11. Christopher Columbus – I’m an Italian–American, but I’m not big fan of Columbus. Columbus showed a lot of balls sailing across an uncharted sea in search of a short cut to Asia. But after landing in the Caribbean, he returned to Europe before returning and being responsible for the systematic mass murdering of thousands of indigenous peoples. Hey, people whose name ends with a vowel, like Manni, let’s not celebrate this guy. Change the name of the holiday to Italian American Heritage Day and let’s push for a federal holiday dedicated to the real Native Americans who were here before the Europeans conquered, corrupted and infected their land.

I can keep going and going, but I think it’s best we hit pause here for now. There is too much bad male behavior taking place these days. But thankfully, on the flip side there are also lots of Guy’s Guys doing great things. But unfortunately, the jerks keep getting too much money, power, and respect from the sheep that lap up the mush our media feeds us each and every day. Don’t fall for the hype, amigos, and always be a Guys Guy.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week are all the real Guy’s Guys in the world that celebrate women. Remember, there has never been a better time to be a guy than right now. Be present. Be respectful. Be Guy’s Guy and the world will be yours.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Being

Robert Manni - Saturday, September 30, 2017


Modern life is so stressful that it often feels like there are not enough hours in the day to deal with all our responsibilities. But is that how you want to live your life?

When you remain busy, busy, busy multitasking and toiling away without finding time to simply be, you’ll wake up one day and realize that half of your life is over. And you’ll ask yourself what you have to show for it beyond the completion of a lot of tasks, duties and busy work. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that’s what our Creator had in mind when mankind was conceived. But, so many people in our western society have a real need to always be doing something. Being busy is necessary, to a point. But when it transcends your ability to slow things down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, it can be a rigid state of mind that precludes you from enjoying anything except when you are doing something. By being, and not always doing, I mean taking a break from tasks, work, planning ahead, social media, texting, and incessantly checking email. Modern man is programmed for doing, and the sad truth is that for most Americans, it’s hard to do nothing and simply be.

If you take the time to learn how to shut down all the noise, I assure you that you can live a much saner and fulfilling existence. But, it’s up to you, because so many of us just have to be doing something or multitasking to feel they are alive, empowered, and important. Make no mistake about it; doing things is good. It’s part of taking on our challenging lives. But learning to simply be every so is a very healthy practice also. In the spirit of learning how to live quietly and peacefully, even in a crazy metropolis like New York, I offer you my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO BEING. And guess what? You don’t have to do anything but sit back and read.

If you are asking yourself how can I simply be when I have so much going on? Amigo, being is a learned skill, but anyone can do it if they take the time to step back and relax. It’s that easy, yet that difficult for many of us type A personalities. So let’s explore my insights and tips for slowing down and simply being, no matter where we are and what the circumstances we’re dealing with.

1. Unplug – If you are serious about wanting to decompress and live a less stressful lifestyle, the first step may turn out to be the most difficult. Putting down your iPhone, iPad, turning off the television, and taking a break from your desktop are real challenges for a society programmed to react to life by continually check emails and social media feeds and working on their computers for their jobs. Unless you take charge and shut it down now it then, you will be caught up in this vicious cycle and most likely become another victim of the grind who gets old before their time.

2. Rest and recharge – Last month I contracted a random case of walking pneumonia. I had to shut down. I had no choice. So I put everything in my life that was not mission critical on hold for a month so I could heal. I was so sick that nothing else mattered, and it turned out to be a blessing because I learned how to shut down and I am now fully recharged. During my illness I did the work that was necessary to live, I paid my bills and I tended to my family as best I could. But that was it. I was too sick to enjoy reading, listening to music, writing, or tackling the projects I lined up for this fall. I was too sick to do anything but rest and recuperate. I slept a lot, suspended my workouts, and made sure not to make any major decisions while I was taking antibiotics.

Since I had not been aware of my prognosis, I attended my annual fantasy football draft. I made crazy decisions that went against my intuition. My team is sketchy at best now because I now realize that I was mentally wonky during the draft. I was diagnosed two days later and decided to take a month to focus on rest, recuperation and healing. And, I’m glad I did. I used the down time to heal physically and mentally, look for the spiritual lesson from my ailment, communicate with my higher self, and align with my truth. I recognized and thanked my ailment and asked it to leave my body, and it did. The experience forced me to slow down and take the time I needed to re-evaluate my life and some major decisions I need to make. But, for a month, I did my best to simply be.

3. Stop your internal monkey chatter – Our third-dimensional lives are predominantly driven by ego. Add technology, smart phones and the relentless media presence in our lives and it becomes difficult to shut down our internal mental dialogue. It’s not impossible, but it’s a tough challenge because we are inundated with new stimuli virtually all day that places us in a reactive mode.  It’s important to our health to learn how to discipline our minds and no think for fifteen to thirty minutes every day. I’ve made positive strides through meditation, deep breathing, visualization and going for long runs where the endorphins kick in and help me zone out. It doesn’t matter what method you prefer for managing your internal dialogue as long as it works for you. The time to get started is now.

4. Consider the bigger picture – Another way to transcend your ego and the details in our conscious lives is to step back and look at our lives from a broader perspective. And by broader perspective, I mean a detached view of your life. My mother always says, “this too shall pass”, and she’s right. Most of the crap you are dealing with right now will not matter very much next year, in five years or when you get sick. Seeing the big picture depends on the expansiveness of your thinking and if you believe in differentiating timelines, past lives and various incarnations. Can you step way, way back and see this life as but a blink in the eye in an endless journey? What’s happening right now in your small self is only a blip on a seemingly endless path to ascension. If you believe that right now is all there is, then enjoy the stress and fear propagated on us by the media. You can live a reactive life if you choose, but regardless of how busy you are, I doubt it will make you happy. 

5. Let go and trust – Letting go is no easy task, but it’s paramount if you want to enjoy a more fulfilling life. Letting go, and even surrendering, does not mean you are giving up or losing anything. In fact letting go is an expression of trusting in your power and the universe. In fact this is very empowering. Holding on to attachments that have exhausted their usefulness holds us back from living the life we signed up for prior to our physical birth. Many times I’ve held myself back by keeping a bad relationship going, holding on to a job that had served its purpose, and becoming too emotionally attached to things like to where I lived. In every case, the moment I let go felt so much better and I was immediately free explore new chapters of my life.

All these actions (or non-actions) discussed can help you slow down, chill out, and simply “be”. If you can master this skill you’ll no longer feel as frazzled, stressed, or manic about dealing with all the day-to-day aspects of your life. You will be free to more fully enjoy your time in this human form and experience the beauty of our world. Just be, amigos.

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Dr. Amit Goswami, quantum physicist and author. Dr Goswami co-opted the term “do-be-do-be-do” from the Sinatra song as a signpost for how we can live more fulfilling lives through blending, balancing, and knowing when we need to do or simply be.    

10 Questions Guys Need to Ask Themselves Before Getting Married

Robert Manni - Sunday, July 30, 2017


I was single for so many years that no one bothered asking me anymore when I was getting married.

But then I got married, and I am glad I did. Marriage is one of, if not the most important, decisions you will ever make; yet many folks take this life-changing decision lightly. Nowadays the divorce rate exceeds fifty percent and until recent times who ever heard of a “starter marriage”? Take it from a Guy’s Guy. Don’t get married until you are absolutely certain that she is the one or you will pay a big price for your folly. I know so many guys who either married too young, grew apart from their spouses, or decided wanted to trade in their partner for a younger, hotter model. They all have one thing in common. They’re paying for it now.

Now, I’m not saying that when two people become partners in this fast paced modern world that it is always going to work out just fine. No sir, amigo. Shit happens and some of it hits you in the face when you least expect it. And it’s not necessarily your fault or that of your spouse. Life gets complicated, so unless you are a true risk taker, I suggest you do your homework and then think long and hard before getting married. If this sounds harrowing, it shouldn’t. Getting married to the right woman can be the best thing that ever happens to a guy. Take it from one who waited before finally hitting the jackpot. My experience confirmed what my gut told me. Do not get married until it feels right inside. And when you find that special woman, you’ll breeze through my list of ten questions guys needs to ask themselves before getting married. When it feels right inside and the stars are aligned, the answers come quick and they’re affirming. I hope they work for you the way they worked for me. Here goes… 

1. Am I truly ready to be a married man? Marriage is a lifelong commitment. And it’s no joke, so make damn sure you’re aware of what you’re signing up for before you take that leap. Marriage means you are entering a partnership built on a bond built on love, trust and respect. I strongly suggest that you look inside and ask yourself if getting married feels like the right decision. If there is any hesitation, take a deep breath and ask yourself again. If your underlying hesitation remains, you might want to reconsider your options. Ignore any outside pressures. This is your life, amigo. You hold the answers inside your heart.

2. What kind of future will I have with her? Do your best to peek into your shared future and visualize the kind of life that awaits the two of you. Where do you want to live, work, play, vacation, travel, settle down and buy a home, and spend your sunset days together? These questions can go on and on. Do your best to “see” your future with this lady. If you like what you see, proceed to the next question.

3. Will I be content not shagging other women for the rest of my life? This is usually an unspoken area, but in many ways for a guy, it becomes the issue. And if you are a horn dog like me, you’ll want a woman in total synch with your boning stylings. If she is the only one you’ll be rumpling the sheets with, you two better be simpatico about sex. Maybe, and this is a long shot, you both will be cool with an open marriage. It could happen, but don’t count on it. Unless you are a douche, once you tie the knot, your prowling nights are over. Yeah, you can always look at the menu, but ultimately the big dogs like to eat. Make sure you are cool with this.

4. What are her expectations? Guess what? It’s not all about you. If she’s going to invest her body, mind, and spirit in commune with you for what could be her entire life, she deserves to know what she’s getting into. If you think she’s the one for you, make sure you don’t hold back any creepy secrets that would give her pause. Let her know about your dreams and aspirations and how you’ll be there for her. And ask her what she expects from you along the way. It’s only fair that you are transparent and that you feel comfortable with her needs.

5. Do you both want kids? This can be a deal breaker. Everyone has their own vision of what their future family will look like, and not every woman wants to have kids, or wants to stay home and care for them. So if you want three kids and she wants none, or she wants to work and you want her to raise the kids, these issues could become a sore point as the years go by. Maybe you’ll have to take care of the kids! It happens a lot nowadays. Will she be cool with that? Will you? Get the details about children out in the open before walking to the altar. I was single for so long that I didn’t think I would ever become a father, and I was okay with it. That said—I kept an open mind in case the woman I married wanted to start a family. And here I am now, a doting father of a four year old. And I could not be happier.

6. Do I like her family? You might not think that this matters, but it does. In the vast majority of cases, you’re going to have quite a few interactions with your in-laws. So if you really can’t stand being around them, think twice before moving forward. Hey, you might find out that they don’t like you either. 

7. Does she make me laugh? The power of humor is underrated. When I think about it, most of my friends are funny, or at least know how to laugh. If you can’t make your future wife laugh, you are in trouble. And hopefully, she can get a rise out of you, too. This becomes important when you fight (which you will) and how you make up (which you will also do). I highly recommend finding a partner that laughs easily at your shenanigans. You want to make her laugh, don’t you? 

8. Do I really want to grow old with her? Fast forward thirty or forty years. She no longer rocks a black bikini the way she used to, and maybe she’s put on a few pounds. And you have less hair, worse eyesight, and a belly. Can you handle that? I actually weigh less than I did thirty years ago and I still run the same times. Why? Because I give a shit and I invest time in taking care of myself. And, frankly I expect the same of my partner. Think about how you will handle her looks and health three decades from now. Can you handle the variables? My advice is that you set the example by taking care of your health and fitness as a matter of lifestyle and pride. There is nothing wrong with a little pride when it’s for the greater good.

9. Does she fight fair? Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are like an old married couple. They fight, they avoid one another, and yet they still make wonderful music when they come together. Be like Mick and Keith. You can fight, but don’t hit below the belt. And always forgive. That doesn’t mean you become a doormat. You may not instantly forget shit they may have done, but it means that you don’t allow your partner’s behavior or your anger eat you up from the inside. The point is, marriage is a like long dance when it comes to managing emotions. Take the lead and make it a waltz. 

10a. Do we share the same values? Another underrated, but important thing to consider. By values, I’m referring to what you value you as people. It’s not about money. We’ll get to that. It’s more about how you both see humanity, and your role in making this world a better place. Do you both care about this, or is she the only one who cares about clean water, feeding the poor, education, and health care. What if she prefers country life and you dig the big city? Think about all of your values or you may end up marrying someone with a completely different set of beliefs. Can you imagine a Trump loyalist married to a Bernie supporter? You think that would work out?

10b. Are we in synch on financial issues? To solve a mystery, they often say, “follow the money”. When it comes to marriage, you best be in synch when it comes to how you view and handle the cash. If not, you could be in deep shit, and it could happen quickly. Nowadays, many couples have separate bank accounts. I think this is a good practice, but it doesn’t guarantee that financial issues won’t beguile your marriage. Money problems are near the top of every divorce hearing. There is a reason for it. People have their individual relationships to money, many times formulated during their upbringing. If you like to save and she likes to spend, good luck, champ.

11. BONUS QUESTION - What’s in it for her?  Why should she marry you? Think about it. What do you have to offer her that would inspire her to spend the rest of her life listening to you snore and watching the Jets lose? She can give you love, emotional support, children, and the kind of love that only a woman can share. What are you going to do for her? If it all boils down to is you making a paycheck, you are skating on thin ice, amigo. Think long and hard about how you can add to her life emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. She deserves it. So do you.

With marriage there is a lot to consider, but then again, if it’s meant to be, you’ll breeze through these questions. If you have to think long and hard about any of the points I raised, then you might want to think hard and possibly reconsider your options. After all, you want to be fair to yourself and your partner. If deep down, it really doesn’t feel right, no matter how much pressure you may be under, don’t do it. After all, who wants to spend their life with someone who may secretly not feel the same about them?

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is my father, Serge Manni. He was twenty-five when he married my mother, who was 21. They have been married for 67 years now. Sure, they have had their arguments and they are very different people, but underneath it all they have consistently maintained their love for one another. And ultimately, love is the fuel that drives a marriage. Good luck, amigo. I hope you make the right decision. It will change your life. Just ask any Guy’s Guy.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Staying the Course and Pursuing Your Dreams

Robert Manni - Monday, July 24, 2017


The great Charles Bukowski once wrote, “Slavery was never abolished. It was expanded to include everyone.”

One of the toughest challenges we face is remaining steadfast in pursuit of our aspirations while living in a dysfunctional culture built on the back on the common man and his debt and servitude. Here’s a typical scenario: It’s mid-July, it’s a sunny ninety degrees outside and you’re trapped in a high-rise office toiling away as usual. You emerge from your cubicle and stare out the window down to the street below, wondering where everyone is going and why you’re chained to your desk grinding away on another post-buy analysis spreadsheet coupled with an unrealistic timetable from your boss.

Welcome to the junior-level work life in New York. You want to follow your passion and be a rock star, a writer, or an actor and create something that will hold value and have meaning, but right now it feels like the core of your existence revolves around that lengthy report on a bathroom cleaner that smells like bleach. You ask yourself, “How do I find the time to pursue my dream while I’m working like a drone in bee colony?” On top of this challenge is how easily distracted we get, especially when living in a massive city filled with…lots of distractions. So, despite how focused you are, staying the course is not always easy.

But take heart. There is good news. First, you are not alone. There are thousands of other young bucks just like you in the big bad city putting their dreams on hold while toiling away at junior level positions. But I’m hear to tell you that if you play your cards right you can find the time to stay the course and make your mark on the world.

In over three decades fighting the good fight at corporations and agencies across the city, I often felt that I did not have enough time to pursue dreams that were slowly fading away. But because of my passion and belief in my message and myself, I found time to keep that dream train rolling down the tracks no matter how much day-to-day business needed my attention.

Your Guy’s Guy wants to share a few tricks he’s learned about staying focused on one’s passions in the face of an omnipresence clock and the realities of survival in the big city. So here are my tips for staying the course, surviving and thriving while following your dreams. That’s the idea, right?

1. Become an early riser – I recently read an article about the success secrets of a number of well-known entrepreneurs and successes in business including Elon Musk and Warren Buffet. They all shared one trait. They all got up every day at 4:45am. That’s pretty early if you ask me, but these visionaries know the importance of carving out time each day to focus on their passion, dreams, and some me-time to gather their thoughts before tackling the day. I’ve found getting up earlier has become easier with each passing year and I whole-heartedly endorse this practice. I use these early hours for affirmations, creatively, and to map out the day and how I’ll allocate the ensuing hours to my passions, my work, and all the usual day-to-day tasks.

2. Burn the midnight oil – If you can’t handle getting up early then consider staying up later to focus on your passions. And by your passions I don’t mean the blonde next to you in bed. My mind is clearer in the morning, but I have come up with a number of out-of-the-box ideas while burning the midnight oil. Whether you make time early or late in the day, the goal is to use these precious hours to stay on course and move your personal projects along. Write a song, map out a “what if” idea for a book or screenplay, or focus an hour or two on whatever inspires you to dream.

3. Meditate to keep your mind fresh – Speaking of keeping your mind clear and open to your creative passions, there is no better way to stay mentally and spiritually fresh than a brief meditation. I do my best to put at least fifteen minutes aside for the sole purpose of quieting my mind and allowing it to empty all my garbage thoughts and monkey chatter, like what team Kylie Irving should play for next year or when will the Rolling Stones will drop a new album. All this mental small talk chatter results in wasting valuable time that could be use to focus on what you really want to focus on.

4. Use your workouts creatively – If there was ever a reason for multitasking it’s using your workouts to think creatively and solve problems. I realize that pushing iron and playing golf require a tight focus, but cardio sessions are great for zoning out and getting in touch with your inner voice. I mapped out and mentally constructed most of my novel, The Guys Guy’s Guide to Love, during my long runs. Now I also use the time on the road to come up with ideas for blog posts, memes, book ideas, and tweaks to my screenplay and adapted TV series. I get my workout in and figure things out at the same time. That’s a win-win.

5. Find work relative to your true passion – Although my background is in marketing and brand management, I always held an interest in advertising because I wanted to be close to the creative process during my work. I choose account management because I did not want to use up all of my psychic energy coming up with ads for canned ravioli or cooking spray. But, I wanted to be surrounded by creative people and use my creativity to solve brand issues without having to write the ads. It turned out pretty well. I learned the creative process and cleared a wide path for my teams to excel. And the things I’m most proud from my advertising career are the great campaigns I’ve been part of that bolstered the sales of mega brands I worked on including Bacardi rum, Stolichnaya vodka and 1800 tequila to name a few. Of course it doesn’t hurt when you’re working on image brands. But during this time I never lost sight of my own projects and creative goals and used my free time to pursue my passions.

6. Learn to prioritize – Finding the time to stay the course for your long term goals and creative projects is a balancing act. The best way to keep all the balls in the air is by prioritizing your projects within the amount of time you can allocate for them throughout the day. Time flashes by but if you are mentally organized you can identify those tasks most important to your survival and can still set enough time aside to take care of business and your goals. Don’t forget, you almost always have the weekends to carve out some time for your personal projects.

Life is short, but there are lots of hours, days, weeks and years available to us if we take care of ourselves and stay organized. Of course, if you want to follow your dreams and you have a dismal job, make sure you keep your spirits up, think creatively, and find the time to follow your dreams. It’s up to you amigo, and I know you can do it.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is the great writer Charles Bukowski whom I mentioned in the opening of this post. Bukowski worked for years in a series of menial odd jobs before becoming a professional writer at the age of forty-nine. In fact, one of his most successful novels is Post Office a hilarious, sad and poignant chronicle about his twelve-year stint at the USPS.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Navigating the Friend Zone

Robert Manni - Thursday, June 01, 2017


For many guys, there is something worse than getting blown off by the girl of their dreams. It’s called the “friend zone”.

But, fellas, the friend zone is not so bad. It doesn’t have to be a recurring nightmare of rejection. In fact, the friend zone even has a few hidden perks worth discovering. In fact, if you play the game like a boss, you can work your way out of the friend zone and into the relationship zone. So let’s explore what I call, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Navigating the Friend Zone and find some ways to make it work for you.

1. The friend zone is a better than the “not even a friend” zone. We know how heartbreaking it is when that girl you want badly doesn’t share the same feelings you carry in your heart for her. It might feel soul crushing when she lets you down with the news that although she’s not amped to date you, she’s reserved a place for you in her friend zone. Of course you don’t want to hear that—you want to be up close and personal with her instead of being a pal or confidant, especially if she’s still in the market while you wallow helplessly on the sidelines. But if you think about it, staying within close proximity of that special lady is not the worst thing that can happen.

That’s look at the bright side. At least she hasn’t out and out rejected you. She thinks your cool, but just not cool enough to date… right now. When you’re in her friend zone, it means she trusts you and your opinions, maybe even your perspectives about men. Now that’s a place of power. While you hang close and search for ways to win her over, you can gently steer her away from the competition. Ultimately, if you care for her, you want her to be happy. So, this might feel a bit underhanded. But, as they say, everything’s fair in love and war. So, it’s worth a shot.

Plus, if you’re in her friend zone and work yourself into her inner circle, there’ll be numerous opportunities to win favor of her posse while showing them the real, authentic you—the guy she should be dating. Here’s another consideration: If she’s hot and she likes you, trusts you, and sees that you’re still available, she might see the light and reconsider her position. And who knows? She may even set you up with one of her comely girlfriends. I know you don’t want a consolation prize, but you never know how things can work out for everyone. Another consideration is that over time, you might not find her as appealing as when you first met her.

The bottom line is that as long as you stay close to her, you’re in the mix. And when you’re in the game, things can change. So don’t get too bummed out if at first she places you in the dreaded friend zone. If you play it cool, you can work your way out of the sidelines and into victory lane. Oh, and one more thing: Sometimes just being a good friend has its benefits. Wink, wink.

2. Stay positive. Be authentic – Whatever you do, don’t let her see you sweat when she sentences you to the friend zone. Take it like a man and keep smiling, even if you are falling apart inside. She’ll be impressed, surprised, and curious when she sees you maintain your composure after she jackknifes your heart.  Remember not to take her decision too personally. As long as she keeps you in her friend zone, she maintains a favorable opinion of you. Just stay cool, put on your happy face, hang in there and be a good friend. Things can change. And even if they don’t, she might be a great friend.

3. Have a plan. – If she rejects you, but you have to win her heart at any cost, then you’ll need patience, and a strategy to win her over. Changing a woman’s mind after she’s regulated you to the friend zone is no easy task, but it’s not impossible. One approach is to find out what she likes to do and then keep inviting her to do things together… as friends. This might be chilling and binge-watching Netflix, meeting for a drink after work, taking a yoga class, or seeing the latest exhibition at the Met. If she says yes to any of your suggestions, it’s a good sign. But above all, be cool, amigo. Don’t fall all over yourself trying to impress her, or make any obvious romantic overtures. Show some restraint. Wondering why you’re not hitting on her might drive her nuts. And if you’re simply having fun, she’ll want to do more stuff with you. If this keeps up for awhile, you’re almost dating her. If you can move things this far then there’s only one thing to do together that you haven’t done yet. At that point, if she’s interested, she’ll let you know.

4. Show her respect, and know when to call it a day. – Amigo, you just might pull this off. If so, congrats to you both. But, if after you’ve played the game to the best of your ability and she still only wants to be your bud, show her what you’re made of and let it go. Be happy that you got your shot at the title and move on. After all, do you really want to be with someone who really doesn’t want to be with you? I didn’t think so. Personally, I’ve found that when looking back, I’m glad things did not work out with a few of the ladies I so admired and ended up where I am today. I may have missed out on loving me some hotties, but in the long run I ended up in the arms of the perfect woman for me. And that’s no consolation prize.

This week’s Guys’ Guys of the Week are all the guys who successfully either escaped the friend zone or won the heart of the right woman for them.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Staying Young

Robert Manni - Thursday, May 25, 2017


I usually agree with Mick Jagger, but not when he sings, “What a drag it is getting old,” in Mother’s Little Helper.

Aging is something we all face, but it doesn’t have to be a drag. Genes play a role in how we age, but we can’t let that be an excuse for inactivity and not fighting the good fight versus Father Time. We all know Gen-Xers who look like overweight, fading boomers, and we all know boomers who run marathons and look great. It comes down to life-altering decisions about how we deal with getting older.

Science has proven that the human body replaces all its cells on a regular basis, so you’re not the same person you were five years ago—all of your cells have been replaced. Wounds heal, we gain weight, and some of us keep the hair on our heads. Studies have proven that regardless of your family’s history of a certain disease, it does not necessarily mean you will get it. But, your chances for contracting an illness skyrockets if you allow your subconscious to believe you’re destined to get sick. The point is, when it comes to aging, you can’t leave it up to your genes or family history. Your health and quality of life often comes down to your attitude, beliefs and the choices you make in how you live each day.

With this in mind, I offer you The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Staying Young. Listen, I’m just a Guy’s Guy. I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one of television. But I’m a survivor, and have experienced health scares that forced me to look into the abyss. I’ve done my research, practiced what I’ve learned on my own body, mind and spirit, and have lived to tell. And, I’m better than ever. So let’s get started. Here are a handful of ways to age like a Guy’s Guy.

1. Diet – You are what you eat, amigo. And if you want to age well, look younger than your years, and stay in shape, you need to give that old single-guy diet an overhaul by the time you reach forty. Otherwise, as the years roll on, you’ll have a much tougher time changing your eating habits and making the right choices for your health around the dinner table. It’s not that hard. Simply put, at every meal you make a series of choices to eat either this or that. Start making more of the right choices, and I promise you the process will get easier and pay off in spades in the long run. Start by eliminating or cutting way back on sugar, meat, processed foods, GMO-based foods, dairy, and table salt. Unfortunately, that means staying away from the bacon, too. Of course, go easy on the alcohol, and no smoking. Although most guys like myself considered themselves to be indestructible when we were in our twenties, by the time we hit forty our metabolisms change and it starts taking more time to bounce back. And if we keep abusing our bodies the way we did in college, we pay via expanded waistlines, toxic organs including fatty livers and heavy hearts, and a decline in life force energy.

2. Exercise – I ran my first marathon at age forty. And fortunately I did it the right way. Instead of diving into an intensive three months of training and long runs, I began laying the groundwork on the road a full year before the race. And I’m glad I did. I cruised through the finish line of my first NYC Marathon feeling elated. After a shower I met my friends for a festive Mexican meal and a few shots of good tequila. I should have counted my blessings and taken some time off and healed my body. But, no, I decided to run another marathon a few months later and paid a stiff price. I hit the wall hard in that second race and avoided long runs for a few years. Four years later I ran my third and final marathon. I was in the best shape of my life, but ran the worst race. Maybe it was due to my advanced age. I’m not sure. But I listened to my body during that grueling race when it told me in no uncertain terms that this was our final marathon. I might run a half marathon, but I’m done with the 26.2 miler. 

Partially through proper fitness, I have been fortunate enough to preserve my joints, tendons and knees over the years. So, I’ve kept to a steady regime of running, elliptical training, push-ups, and intervals of weight training to keep me toned. I walk everywhere and almost always take the stairs. Maybe I’m lucky, but I’d argue that I’m somewhat responsible for creating my health through my choices and a lifelong investment in maintaining my body.

Anyone can get in shape at any age. But the longer you wait, the tougher it gets. I suggest starting slow, and staying consistent. Even if you get an injury, try not to let yourself fall too far out of shape. It gets harder and harder to make your way back as the years roll by.

3. Rest and stay positive - You work hard. You play hard. Your body, mind, and spirit need rest. And as you age you’ll need more time to recuperate from working out, a long night out, or a whole lotta love. Sleep is a gift. Your body will thank you. And when life knocks you down, don’t take it personally. We’re here to learn and you can bounce back. A positive outlook goes a long way in your preservation.

4. Meds – When my check ups and tests don’t go as well as I’d like, I do my research I read, talk to people—many in the holistic field, and try various natural remedies before succumbing to meds. Case in point: after a very high cholesterol reading, my doctor suggested that I either go on a vegan diet or take a statin drug. I told him I would see him in a year before making a final decision. I stopped eating meat and cut back on fried foods and foods with high cholesterol for a year, while also working out consistently. Happily, when we tested the following year, my number dropped 90 points and then dropped another 35 the following year. Of course there are times we need meds, but ultimately you need to consult your physician, consider your options and do what you feel is right for you. Keep and open mind and consider trying out natural remedies. You’ll be surprised at what Mother Nature provides us.

5. Never stop learning - Keeping your mind sharp as you age is as important as staying in shape. Throughout our lives, humans only scratch the surface in tapping less than 10 % of our brains’ potential. For many, especially, many of the boomer guys I know, reading is defined as working on the computer as day, scrolling through their phone, or a quick pass through A.M. New York while riding the subway to the office. What ever happened to reading books?  Nurturing and feeding your mind through reading helps expand our horizons and keeps our minds sharp.

Quick story. I exchange texts with an old friend who is a big fan of our current president. His texts read like a rehash of whatever some Fox News host griped about the previous night. I routinely rip him a new one because my pal leads with his chin and does not show a trace of discernment about any issues. Everything comes down to bad versus good, us versus them, and black versus white. People who read know our world is complicated. When a television show needs big blocks of text to support the host’s point of view it shows a lack of depth or an open mind on the subject. It’s called brainwashing and unfortunately, it works on lazy minds.

6. Choose love over fear – When it’s all said and done, do you want to face your final days having lived a life based on making important choices based on fear or love? Choosing love keeps you young. It empowers you to the possibilities that come your way each and every day. Having an open mind is critical to keeping a youthful attitude and a spiritually grounded perspective, especially when we face life’s inevitable challenges. Choose love, amigos. It will keep you young.

7. Enjoy sex – When you’ve been married a long time and have kids and pressure and all the rest of the stuff that eats up our time, it’s easy to forego sex. Often, we pass out on the couch in front of the television before sleepwalking into the bedroom and crashing. Sex is important, amigos. If it gets overlooked for too long, relationships sour, bitterness ensues, and our body rebels when it’s not getting its fair share of intimate pleasure. Folks, please find a way to keep your love alive and the sexual fires burning. A good romp in the sack is good for the heart and the soul and if you ask me, it’s life affirming.

I could go on and on, but I think we’ve covered a number of simply practices that will keep you feeling, looking and being young for many, many years. Life can be a long, beautiful trip. All you have to do is strap in, make positive decisions, and enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts. I hope yours lasts a long, long time.

This week's This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Jack LaLanne, the man who opened America’s first fitness gyms. Jack’s long running television show in the sixties was built around wellness and staying young. And as a show of his commitment to his message, each year Jack would conduct a physical feat far exceeding the expectations of someone his age. At age 54, he defeated a 21-year old Arnold Schwarzenegger in a fitness contest. Jack lived 96 healthy years. You can do it, too.


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