Better Manhood Skills: Navigation, Transportation and Travel

Changing the optics of today’s manhood begins by acknowledging a change is needed. Sadly, our culture, the media, and many sociologists continue to shout that men have “gone off the road” by misusing their masculinity. That viewpoint is just wrong. Most men I know are mature men who understand how to use their masculine traits properly. But there are some guys who still act like immature boys so the “off the road” analogy can apply to the next skill needed to become a better man. As you will read, Navigation, Transportation, and Travel skills help men stay “on the road”, both literally and metaphorically. These skills provide men with greater independence, mobility, and control over their daily activities.  They also help them stay “on the road” of proper masculinity so they show up effectively as a mature man. 

The Importance of a Road of Manhood 

As I wrote in Time for a Change, changing how the world views men and manhood requires teaching young males about how to become good and proper men. I began this series about creating a roadmap for becoming a better man with a post titled, A Man’s Identity, and the important distinction between an immature male and a mature man. In The Secrets to Becoming a Real (Godly) Man and Start Being a R-E-A-L Man, I put down the bedrock layers for the road. Subsequent posts titled A Man and His Worldview, Using Your Masculinity Properly, and Discovering Your Purpose as a Man, finished the foundation. I then suggested maturity for a male comes by learning to Manage Yourself Well by applying some personal disciplines throughout your life such as:  

  • Setting Goals
  • Developing Good Habits
  • Learning to Prioritize
  • Developing Self-Discipline
  • Seeking Feedback
  • Learning from Mistakes
  • Being Self-Aware

This led to the beginning of the subset of hard skills like Money Management, Good Personal Hygiene, and Time Management. After this post on navigation, transportation, and travel, upcoming posts will cover some remaining hard skills, followed by a subset of important soft skills. Learning both hard and soft skills is critical to good and proper manhood. 

Moving into Manhood

Understanding how to navigate well, having reliable transportation, and understanding how to travel are important steps in the maturity of a man. These increase your access to the autonomous activities needed for adulthood such as postsecondary education, vocational training, and career management. 

Basic Navigation Skills

The basic skills of navigation include being able to read maps and use GPS devices. It also includes having an awareness of your surroundings and situations. 

There are many different types of navigational tools including GPS devices, cell phone apps (like Google Maps, Waze, and MapQuest), and even old-school paper maps. My wife loves paper maps, even when I want to rely on technology. Our three adult sons learned how to read a map and use a compass back in Boy Scouts. It’s a good skill to have that will come in handy whenever technology fails you. 

It’s also important to navigate safely, meaning driving a vehicle under control, unimpaired by drugs or alcohol, and always being aware of your surroundings, especially in unfamiliar areas. Take note of street names and the neighborhoods you enter. Pay attention to businesses you pass. Always be aware of the gas gauge (or electric charging levels in your E-V) so you aren’t stranded. 

Additionally, your career may be improved by strong navigation and transportation skills. Research shows that people with good navigation and spatial skills are more likely to pursue and succeed in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields. These strengths may help shape your career choices (something I will cover in a future post on Education and Employment). 

Basic Transportation Skills

Understanding different modes of transportation is also important, regardless of your stage of life. Knowing how to drive a motorized vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle) often becomes more important after the age you are eligible for your driver’s license (mostly at age 16).  Become comfortable driving a manual transmission in a car.

Not everyone desires or is able to drive a motorized vehicle so everyone should be able to navigate using other transportation modes such as walking, cycling, and public transportation (i.e. riding the trains, subway, or bus system). Learn the advantages and disadvantages of each mode of transportation, including cost, time, convenience, and environmental impact. This can also help you evaluate and manage your finances (i.e. car loans, maintenance, and insurance).  

Maintenance of your vehicles is also an important man-skill. Make sure you know how to change a tire, check tire pressure, and replace windshield wiper blades. Understand the importance of basic car repairs like oil changes, tire rotation, and brake and muffler repairs. Long gone are the days when you could change your own oil and brakes since cars and trucks are a lot more difficult to maintain these days. Find a good local garage if you are not skilled in these areas.

Basic Travel Skills

As an adult, there are several basic travel skills that you should possess to make your trips more enjoyable and fulfilling. First, learn to do pre-trip research to gain knowledge about the place you are visiting and learn how to book airline tickets and rent a car (though most laws limit renting to age 25 or older).

Other important skills include being able to talk to strangers and have basic conversations in a foreign language (or using technology like Google Translate). It is useful to be able to deal with unwanted attention while navigating unfamiliar territories confidently and safely. You should also be able to sleep anywhere if needed.

Possessing and mastering these skills will help you have memorable and successful travel experiences for leisure travel and in your career.  

Myths of Men, Directions, and Cars

Sadly, there’s a feeling that guys don’t ever ask for or follow directions. Yes, it’s true. Most of us refuse to stop at the local gas station for directions until it’s too late. We also refuse to open up the instructions when assembling something we just bought.

Some of us also put too much emphasis on owning a certain type of vehicle, whether it’s a muscle car, a big pickup truck, a motorcycle, or a late-model foreign convertible. Now, there is nothing wrong with liking to roar of the pipes of a new Harley, but let’s first make sure we have our priorities correct on how we manage our money and time.

Let’s not perpetuate these myths any further. Put your ego aside and learn good navigation and maintenance skills.

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GodBuddy Focus

The concepts of navigation and transportation skills help men stay “on the road” but also guide us on how to become mature, responsible, and godly men. Let me explain. 

It doesn’t appear that the Bible provides significant guidance on good navigation and transportation. Let’s face it though, the Son of God could miraculously transport Himself anywhere He wanted, at any time. While humans may develop technology to tele-transport someday, today’s godly men use Scripture to guide their life and follow Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16 explains how the Bible can become God’s GPS for us in life: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;  so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” Jesus said it very plainly in John  14:6 – “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”  God not only told us the way, but He also came to earth to show us a better way to not become lost! 

For discussion:

  • When did you first learn to drive? Who taught you? What type of vehicle was it? 
  • What applications do you use for navigation? Technology? Paper? The Bible? 
  • When did you feel the most “lost” in your life? How did you get back on the right path? 
  • Who can help you develop good time management skills or give you some honest feedback on how to improve? 

[Feature Photo by Axel Antas-Bergkvist on Unsplash]

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