The police often question him just because they find him interesting. He’s been known to cure narcolepsy just by walking into a room. His reputation is expanding faster than the universe. He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels. His legend precedes him the way lightning precedes thunder. His charm is so contagious vaccines have been created for it. His personality is so magnetic he is unable to carry credit cards. Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact number. People hang on his every word, even the prepositions. He lives vicariously through himself. He is… The Most Interesting Man in the World.
Young men often hold vision in mind of the kind of men they wish to become. The vision is of impeccability; of positive masculine qualities such as adventurousness, and self-assuredness. Characters such as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, Bruce Wayne, and Zorba the Greek are examples. Recently a new character has emerged; one that sets an attainable level of greatness for males to aspire to: The Most Interesting Man in the World. The character, played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith, embodies qualities like poise, experience, and intrigue. Examining The most Interesting Man in the World we can discover how to implement his qualities into our life, to the benefit of all those we encounter.
- Poise: The Most Interesting Man in the World (MIMitW) maintains a dignified, self-confident manner. He is firm, but not aggressive. For example when endorsing his product he says “I do not always drink beer, but when I do I prefer…” His mannerism communicates that he is clear about is own tastes, and allows you your own as well. Its merely a dignified suggestion. In conversation he maintains his own space, and does not dominate the exchange. Around him conversation flow freely and openly, because all are able to contribute. Poise suggests a centered, grounded individual. When driving the MIMitW feels so centered its as if the world is moving underneath his tires like a trackball, but he understands the world does not revolve around him. He never ran with the bulls in Pamplona, the bulls ran with him.
- Intrigue: The MIMitW arouses curiosity and interest through unusual, new, or otherwise compelling qualities. His living space is an extension of himself: He keeps particularly inspiring or fascinating objects around. They are not necessarily expensive, but all have a captivating story behind them. Most notable is his world map. It contains pins in all the places he has ever traveled. This instantly invites dialogue among anyone who has also been to those places. You need not follow his lead exactly. Perhaps your travel experiences are few at the moment. In that case use two different colors of push-pin; one denoting the places you have traveled, the other signifying place you would like to go in the future. Guests will surely volunteer travel advice. The MIMitW utilizes Peacocking: To attract mates male peacocks use brightly colored and distinctive plumage. This strategy, when used by humans to spark interaction, is called Peacocking. This can be overstated, such as wearing a giant-sized Doctor Seuss hat, however the MIMitW would never stoop to such garishness. He prefers sporting a full-beard when most men go clean shaven, or perhaps wearing the first three buttons on his shirt undone to a formal event.
- Creativity: He never says something tastes like chicken. Not even chicken. The MIMitW always seeks to express himself creatively. Instead of saying something tastes like chicken, he would say: “This dish has a savory flavor with an underlying robustness, not overpowering, similar to the Pheasant I tried while visiting friends in Belgium.” When expressing anger he may use the word “peeved,” and he always makes toasts from the heart, never from note cards. When exposed to a new art form he pretends he has been doing it his whole life, and never makes excuses about being a beginner. He looks to integrate seemingly separate concepts, such as applying principles of foreplay to story telling.
- Levity: On a two party system: The after-party is the one you want to attend. On Happy Hour: Happy Hour is the hour after everyone from happy hour has left. The MIMitW is a master of humor. He has a few favorite quips he uses semi-regularly (such as “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy,”) but creates most material on the spot. He never laughs at his own jokes, though will occasionally find the laughter of others contagious. He utilizes the Dead-pan Delivery: Telling jokes with a straight face to increase their humorousness. Actively discovering what different individuals find funny allows the MIMitW to connect with people from all walks of life, from wealthy yacht owners, to dice playing Polynesians. He is often seen laughing raucously with whomever he is with.
- Activity: To lead an interesting life one must do what they love while actively exploring the novel. This is especially true in choosing leisure activities. The MIMitW enjoys activities like deep sea fishing, snooker, big wave surfing, participating in NASA reasearch, Jai Alai, noctural exploration, Kendo, boating, arm wrestling, parachuting, dice games, dog-sledding, snorkeling, martial arts, treasure hunting, traveling, and falconry. When choosing a leisure pursuit, ensure that it tests your abilities in some specific way. Intellect, steadfastness, courage, agility, strength, or determination are qualities that you could challenge. Jai Alai tests agility, big wave surfing tests steadfastness… you can figure the rest out yourself.
- Strength: He’s a lover not a fighter, but he’s also a fighter so don’t get any ideas… He could disarm you with his looks or his hands. Either way. Musculo-skeletal strength is an important skill to develop. It increases vitality, resistance to injury, physical stamina, mental fortitude, and develops the physique. The MIMitW knows this. Also, strength is practical when faced with a risky situation, such as getting mugged in Buenos Aires, or evacuating a fellow mountaineer after an accident. To build strength one can use weights, bodyweight exercises like yoga or gymnastics, and martial arts. Finding novel ways to train (like Parkour) ads to one’s intrigue. Instead of maximizing the weight on your bench press, try developing a planche push-up. The MIMitW likes to develops a few stunts of strength he can use to inspire others at parties. Examples include bench-pressing two women in chairs, and arm-wrestling. Other ideas: doing 10 squats on one leg (pistols), handstand push-ups, backflips, or breakdancing.
- Purpose: Find out what it is in life that you don’t do well, and then don’t do that thing. Choose a career that matches your talents, abilities and passions. Don’t pick something based solely on income. The last thing the world needs is another unfulfilled lawyer, doctor, or priest. Read The Zero Hour Work Week (for free) to learn how to match income with passion, ability, and talent.
- Benevolence: He’s against cruelty to animals, but isn’t afraid to give a stern warning. The MIMitW rights wrongs wherever he has the ability. Perhaps saving a fox from being killed for sport, or releasing a bear from a trap. This attitude is not restricted to the animal kingdom. It could mean building houses for impoverished families, helping African villagers receive clean drinking water, or buying a herd of goats for an Andean family. I’ve heard rumors that the MIMitW has been seen building houses with Jimmy Carter’s Habitat for Humanity troop.
- Experience: His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body. The MIMitW understands the C.S. Lewis quote “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” It is this attitude that is at the core of his philosophy. The more risks you take, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more interesting you are. Adopt this into your own life by taking one calculated risk tomorrow. Ask an attractive stranger out on a date. Streak around your block. Stand up to your boss. Whatever the outcome you will have a very interesting story to tell in the morning.
- Integrity: You cannot buy him. But occasionally trimmings from his beard come up in auctions… If he disagrees with you it is because you are wrong. The MIMitW rarely lies, but never to himself. Quite often people confine themselves to mediocrity by not being completely honest. They think “I would be most happy watching TV,” insead of “I would be most happy living my dream of becoming an author. I must start wiriting now!” People often cheat themselves out of lasting fullfillment by settling for some fleeting tittlation. This is dishonesty to self. You are allowing your blade to rust. The MIMitW never makes such a compromise, and in doing so keeps his blade, and therefore himself, razor sharp. This gives him the strength to live his dream, and to tell the truth even when no one is ready to hear it.
- Commitment: When he orders a salad, he gets the dressing right there on top of the salad. Where it belongs. Where there is no turning back. One cannot bungee jump by keeping one foot safely on the bridge. The MIMitW knows this. Whenever he acts, he act fully, without hesitation or regret. He knows the parable of the preist who would think about making love to his wife while praying, and think about praying while making love to his wife. In the preist’s conflict he was poor at both. When the MIMitW prays, he simply prays. When he makes love, he simply makes love. This small secret gives him the edge over mediocre men.
Being the most interesting man in the world is a simple philosophical choice. While it may seem like egotism to aspire to such a goal, it is not. Its about choosing to be open to life experience wherever it presents itself. Do you see a woman you would like to talk to, but are too anxious to approach her? That anxiety is closing you off from a life experience. Do your traditional Christian beliefs prevent you from joining in a Sufi mystical dance? Your rigid belief system is shutting the door of life in your face. That’s a problem. From now on make the choice to be open to life experiences. Remember the Mark Twain quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Because that is what being interesting is all about.