James Bond is an icon of manliness to most guys, which is weird, because 90% of his skills are utterly useless. His solution to a flat tire is to ramp the car off a multistory car park and get a new one. We can’t solve problems with an @$$#0!% roommate by tazing them with a converted mobile phone, throttling, and then tossing them out a window. Well, not more than once. (Though doing the same thing with your new cellmate might save you a lot of trouble.)
The point is, Bond’s violence only works because he has a license to kill, and any problem-solving strategy based on having more paperwork is not one designed for most men. Which is why we’re looking at the real life lessons of 007.
Some people get the wrong idea about manliness because Bond never reads the instructions and drives fast. But he’s not cool because he’s careless, he’s cool because he knows what the hell he’s doing. Bond might use grappling garters to rappel out of fourth floor windows after exploding a gun, but the most important part of that was not fumbling while he undid the latch, forgetting his belt, or hitting the wrong button and accidentally winching himself face first into police gunfire.
Bond thinks about what he’s doing. Sure, that’s because he’ll die if he doesn’t, but the same coolness applies to regular life. You never see Bond swearing while searching for the right key, trying to open a door while carrying a heavy object, or knocking a mug of coffee over his computer because a cat video made him forget where his own limbs were. The so-called men who joke that they never read instructions or don’t know how to do things around the house aren’t cool, they’re evolution trying to get rid of our entire gender. Men are meant to be able to do things. Think about what you’re doing, and be able to do them. You’ll find it impresses women a lot more than throwing people from airplanes.
Don’t Fish For Compliments
Do things quickly, effectively, and you’re allowed at most one (1) line about having done it. As long as that is a joke. Then move on. The reward for actually completing things is far more than getting people to say “thank you”, and nothing erases good credit like harping on about how great you are. Bond disarms nuclear devices, and he’ll only ever mention that once, and even then he’ll use a line cool (or painful) enough to show he’s not serious. All you’ve done is unclog a toilet. And while that might averts similar levels of catastrophe when scaled down to a population of two people, it’s not something to build a reputation out of. Just remark on how you “don’t take any s***,” and wash your hands.
Because Bond teaches us that actions speak louder than words, and the Bond girls’ gratitude teaches the same lesson even better.
Look The Part
Clothes make the man, especially when they’re loading with radioactive pocket lint and spring-loaded poison blades. But even without the extra functions, even when undercover in filthy slum, t-shirt and loose pants, more attention goes into the cut of Bond’s pants than most people’s heart surgery. The actor’s clothes take almost as much effort to prepare in the real world as his gadgets take for Q-branch. Because how people see you affects how they’ll deal with you.
You don’t need to dress in a tuxedo all the time – in fact, we recommend against that for all but the most confident of readers – but the basic idea is that you should make an some effort not to look like crap. “Clean enough” is not a phrase you should ever use. Bond doesn’t sniff a shirt to check it, because anything that needs to be sniffed does not need to be sniffed, it needs to be washed.
Don’t Flaunt It
Bond has the coolest toys in the world, and is even cooler because he never says “Look at this, it’s really cool, this ring can shatter plate glass!” For one thing, that’s less impressive: anything an action hero owns can shatter plate glass. For another, it’s being an @$$#0!%. If you have to explain how a phone makes you cooler because you own them, it’s not working. And make no mistake: if you start talking about how cool your new phone is that’s what you’re trying to do.
Some people can’t so much as load a new phone wallpaper without desperately waving at everyone they meet, and two people talking about the phone is the stupidest way to misuse it. Using tools to improve our abilities is the fundamental human ability. Bond doesn’t show off his gadgets, he uses them to make his life better. Better as in “not shorter” and “full of explosions”. The best kinds of better. Because that’s what Bond is.
And check out our 00-stravaganza with the rest (and best) of Bond.