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.
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…
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….
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…
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. 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…
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.