Iron Qualities Essentials Chapter 1: Tools

 

We live in a disposable world. So much of what we use today is designed for short-term temporary use. Gadgets have become more and more specialised to do particular jobs and we end up hoarding a big steaming pile of useless shit.

Men who are interested in becoming the best they can be take a minimalist approach. Strip away what is useless and keep only what is useful. What is essential.

That’s right. Despite what that fox says in ‘The Little Prince’, what is essential is not always invisible to the eye. There are real, physical things that every man should have at his disposal in order to blaze a trail through this big old world.

A man of Iron Qualities is ready to face what life has to throw at him. And he does it with the help of these Iron Qualities Essentials – things that civilisation has invented and refined over the years that help us to do what needs to be done. Efficiently and without fuss.

A man of Iron Qualities is ready to face what life has to throw at him. And he does it with the help of these Iron Qualities Essentials - things that civilisation has invented and refined over the years that help us to do what needs to be done. Click through to read more about 5 essential tools every man should have

 

Here’s the thing: You don’t need every damn gadget under the sun

But there are definitely some select items that will help you conquer life. Go out and get what is useful, look after it, and get rid of the rest.

Be the man who says “Don’t worry – I got this.”

And Big Daddy Bo here has a real life example for you.

A while back, I bought a new sofa. A sweet three-seater sofa bed in charcoal grey that…..blah blah blah whatever.

Anyway, I live on the second floor of an apartment block. So my job that day was to get the new sofa into my flat and remove the old one. I got it done, but not without the help of some Iron Qualities essentials.

The first thing we had to do was measure to make sure this bad boy would fit within the dimensions of my building. So I pulled out essential item #1…

 

Three metres of measurement goodness that fits in your pocket?? Yes. This thing can be used for all kinds of measuring needs and helps distinguish between perception and reality

The Tape Measure

Five metres of measurement goodness that fits in your pocket?? Yes. This thing can be used for all kinds of measuring needs. The skill is matching those measurements with reality…

I took some measurements and jotted down the dimensions of my doorways and elevator and apartment.

The tape measure never lies. Unfortunately, my desire to get my new sofa into my flat blinded me from the cold, hard truth of numbers and geometry. I would find that out soon enough but for now, the challenge was set.

When the delivery guys arrived with the sofa, we soon realised it’s girth was too much for the elevator to receive. So we had to take the scenic route up two flights of stairs.

It took four men and a lot of sweat and grunting to get this thing up to the second floor. And when we got there, it wouldn’t fit through the doorway to my hall. Geometry had bested us again.

To progress further, we needed to remove the wooden-framed glass panel beside the door in order to create some pivot space. Thus began the side-quest.

We needed a couple of essentials to get this panel removed, the first one being a….

 

A putty knife is versatile as hell. You can use it to chisel wood; spot-fix chips and holes in a wall; reglaze a window or scrape off paint or wallpaper.

Putty Knife

Really Bo?? A putty knife is an essential tool for a man?? Yes my friend, and here’s why: It’s versatile as hell. You can use it to spot-fix chips and holes in a wall; re-glaze a window or scrape off paint or wallpaper. And on the day of the sofa, it became a wood chisel. I worked it into the joints of the wood panels and began separating them. But of course, a chisel is no good unless you have a…

 

A decent-sized claw hammer will have enough weight behind it to knock nails into walls and build furniture. And the claw is used to pry out stubborn nails and re-shape bent ones

Claw Hammer

Because beating things with a heavy object. A decent-sized claw hammer will have enough weight behind it to knock nails into walls and build furniture. And the claw is used to pry out stubborn nails and re-shape bent ones. I used my hammer that day to first take apart that panel and then build it back up again.

But things are never as simple as all that. And there were parts of that wooden frame that were proven a little stubborn and refusing to cooperate with the putty knife / claw hammer combo. Not even a problem to a man equipped with determination and a…

 

Less intimidating (and expensive) than a power saw and not as long and cumbersome as a traditional saw. A decent hacksaw will serve you well for almost all of your household sawing needs

Hacksaw

Less intimidating (and expensive) than a power saw and not as long and cumbersome as a traditional saw. A decent hacksaw will serve you well for almost all of your household sawing needs. It can cut through cable, steel, hard plastics…and wooden panels and frames. Yes, even those.

And that was pretty much it. We manoeuvred the sofa into place in my living room with a little effort and when it was all done and in place, all that was left was cutting the string that we used to hold the bed part of the sofa in place while we lifted it up the stairs. It felt like a ceremonial ribbon cutting – an way of saying bye to the old sofa and welcoming this new piece into my life. And for this job, only one tool would do…

 

The very definition of a refined multi-tasking gadget

Swiss Army Knife

This badboy is the very definition of a refined multi-tasking gadget. Seriously, I have used it for so many things over the years. It has screwdrivers, a corkscrew, scissors, tweezers and knives. Classic multi-tasking. And on sofa delivery day, I used it for two purposes:

1 – Cutting that string from the sofa

2 – To crack open a well-earned icy cold Bohemian-style beer

Job done. Sofa in living room and Bo lying on it, beer in hand. And all with the help of five essential items.

 

If you’re starting from scratch, it will take some time and money to build up your collection of essentials

But don’t be tempted into taking shortcuts and buying cheaper alternatives. Go for the best quality you can afford. Often, these things are often not as expensive as you think – the five items in this article probably cost less than £50 all in. And that’s for decent quality.

I’ve only talked about five such items in this article. There are more. Hopefully you have at least a couple of these things. If not, don’t worry. Have patience – build and refine your collection over time. The journey to becoming the best you can be never ends.

Samuel: An Inspirational Man of Iron Qualities

It’s been a while since we’ve highlighted a Man of Iron Qualities on here. The last one was Conor McGregor back in December 2016.

McGregor is unrelenting in his determination to succeed and consistently demonstrates a positive spirit and drive that has taken him to the very top of the UFC.

But the guy I want to talk about today takes these traits to a whole new level.

Samuel is a Year 8 student at the Manchester Creative and Media Academy and he suffers from Cerebral Palsy. He’s also a big football fan and his favourite team is Manchester United.

He recently got a chance to visit the club’s training ground thanks to the Manchester United Foundation – a charity that uses football to engage and inspire young people to build a better life for themselves and unite the communities in which they live. And it was through a promotional video of his visit that I came across Samuel and his inspirational outlook on life.

 

In the video, we see 11 year-old Samuel meeting several Man Utd players during the day – which he describes as “the best day of my life.”

And while it’s nice to see the Manchester United Foundation help make a young kid’s day and the players give something back to the community, what stands out when you watch this video is Samuel.

We see a boy who possesses an amazingly positive outlook on life. He has a passion for football and nothing is going to stop him from actively enjoying this passion. Not even Cerebral Palsy.

 


“Having Cerebral Palsy is very hard to get with, but I don’t really take that as a big issue. I just get on with it.”

 

 

Samuel is an 11 year-old with Cerebral Palsy. But he doesn't let that stop him from going out and achieving his dreams and ambitions. Read on to find out about this inspirational young man

In fact, he does more than get on with it

After receiving support from the Foundation’s coaches, he now turns out for his school team, playing as a goalkeeper:

 


“When we’re in a match or in training, I use my knees to move around and jump…Having a Manchester United Foundation coach is amazing. I thought I couldn’t enter the football team, then my coach gave me a chance…and from there I got better.”

 

A positive attitude and steely determination are great assets that every man should strive towards. But in order to become the best we can be, we need a strong network of like-minded people. And Samuel is no different.

He has been able to play football for his school team and become a better goalkeeper because his friend helps him with his frame and plays football with him, while his football coach helped him develop and improve his football skills.

Samuel has friends and mentors who help him become a better player. And you and I are no different. Find mentors. Be a mentor. Support your friends when they need you. Reach out for support from your friends when you need it.

This is how we help others become better men. And how we can become better men ourselves.

 

This story is not about sport, football or Manchester United

It’s about the power of positivity and the determination to do your best and keep going – no matter the circumstances. It’s about the lessons Samuel can teach us all about how to live our lives every day.

Samuel has made the choice to enjoy life – and football – as much as he can. And it’s not easy or always comfortable for Samuel to play football. But that doesn’t stop him:

 


“Playing football is a bit difficult to be honest. I can’t really get around because when it’s cold my body just gets stiff. But I still try.”

 

 

And here’s the thing. We will all struggle from time to time

Most of us don’t have the luxury of being dealt a pair of Aces at this big poker game called life.

But you’re still at the table. Playing. So play – and play the hand you’ve been dealt. Don’t waste time thinking about how you would have played another hand. That’s the secret to living a fulfilling life – doing your best with what you have.

And what are you going to do if you haven’t been given every skill or opportunity or circumstance that you want? Are you going to piss and moan about it and give up on your dreams and ambitions?

It’s the easiest thing in the world to make excuses and give up. It’s never going to be easy. There will always be obstacles in the way that roadblock your progress. But what separates true men from the rest is how we react to these circumstances.

So many men give up and resign themselves to a life of being miserable and talking about what they could have done. Don’t be that man.

 

Be the man who keeps going despite circumstances, not because of them

The life well-lived is one where you do something to improve yourself every day – whether that be by learning something new, practising a skill or learning a new one. You keep taking steps forward – no matter how small those steps are.

So you improvise, adapt and overcome. Just like Samuel. And when you’re feeling like giving up, take inspiration from him just as he took inspiration from his heroes who play for Manchester United:

 


“(the players) show good emotions to keep going no matter what…when they are doing it I am saying to myself ‘never, never, never give up’. I mean, I’m in a wheelchair and I never give up. I don’t even care about having a wheelchair. Just try. Try your hardest.

 

 

A true inspiration

I’m so glad I saw this video and got the chance to experience Samuel’s amazing attitude to life. He has inspired me to keep going with my efforts to be the best I can be. And judging by the general reaction to this video, he has also inspired many others around the world.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t – or aren’t – making as much progress as you would like. You keep going. There is no end of the journey.

Keep going. Keep trying. Keep moving forward. Never give up.

Just like Samuel.