with Johnny Birdsong
Happy New Year! As we start a new year, it always seems people set resolutions to improve themselves. I believe, as a Southern Gentleman, I should always try to be the best version of myself I can be. And there is always plenty of room for improvement. Let’s talk about New Year, New You.
There is no one who embodies as many qualities that are admired by other gentlemen, than “Bond, James Bond.” He epitomizes confidence, self-control and charm. He is not perfect; in fact, he has many flaws, but that’s part of his charm.
So, I have come up with ten qualities we can learn from 007 to help us be our best in 2023 and beyond. After all, today is the first day of the rest of our life. We can Die Another Day.
I have lost count of the number of times Bond has been double-crossed – usually by a beautiful Bond girl – but then decided against taking his revenge when he had the chance. Taking the high road and being the bigger man gives you a much greater feeling of satisfaction than taking the metaphorical eye for an eye.
Finish What You Start
A man can be counted on to complete the mission, whatever it may be. James Bond shows us that determination isn’t an optional part of manhood. It’s required. Think of the men in your life you look up to. Chances are they are people you can trust to do what they say. These are the people we follow, model and celebrate. When things get hard and go wrong, it doesn’t cause them to throw in the towel; it only pushes them harder. In the same way, Bond is a closer, something for which all men should strive.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Bond is never too proud to ask for help if he thinks he can use someone else’s skills or knowledge to achieve his goal. And if it’s good enough for him, it should be good enough for us – there is no shame in stopping and asking for directions when hopelessly lost.
Your day job may not involve running down criminals. Being fitter and healthier is something we could all benefit from. Start a new plan with goals on physical fitness.
Always Remain Calm
Remember that one segment in the last 007 movie where Bond cracked under the intense pressure of his mission? Me neither. Bond shows us that being a man means staying cool under pressure. Life is tough for everyone. Great men have the inner fortitude to handle themselves with confidence and self-control even when the world around them is falling apart.
Dress to Kill
For centuries, part of being a gentleman meant dressing well for every occasion. Suits, ties, collared shirts and well-fitting trousers were a necessary part of living well. Somewhere along the line, it became acceptable for a man to leave the house in baggy sweatpants, a t-shirt and a baseball cap. It also seems that since the COVID craziness hit, I hear men say, “I really don’t dress up anymore.” To that, kind sir, I say, “Yes, I can see that,” just as my well dressed friend Critt Rawlings did. How a man dresses says something about him. Men who dress well exude and inspire confidence. So, ditch your old, ill-fitting rags and invest in a new, quality wardrobe.
Have you ever seen Bond unsure over making an important decision, or any decision? No, because he always has the courage of his convictions, and so should you if you want to be respected.
Always Have a Backup Plan
When it all goes wrong – as it often does if you are an international man of mystery constantly putting yourself on the line – it is important always to have a plan B. And it is just the same in normal life, as you can’t always rely on things going how you’d originally expected.
Take Time Out
Bond doesn’t rest until the mission has been accomplished. But, once it is all over, you can bet that he is going to be disappearing off the map for some well-earned relaxation time. We all need to reward ourselves, recharge and get away.
Nobody could accuse Bond of not being romantic. And that’s a trait we all should improve on... It is almost Valentine’s Day, and what’s life without love?
I hope 2023 is the best year ever, with so many opportunities. Let’s get started, after all, You Only Live Twice.