There are no rules to this thing. Living a selfless and curious life with integrity is how I hope to be remembered. Inspired by Ermenegildo Zegna’s Elements of Man: The Life Collection, I wanted to discuss my thoughts on what really makes a man and how you can stand apart by rising above. With the launch of Ermenegildo Zegna’s Elements of Man: The Life Collection, the 5-piece luxury fragrance collection encompasses just a few – but an important few – pillars of what it takes to be a modern man. He’s aspirational, but nevertheless understated and intelligent, he appreciates the details and the thinks before he speaks. Focusing on these fundamental elements: Strength, Passion, Talent, Integrity, and Wisdom… Ermenegildo Zegna crafted unique scents around these pillars within The Life Collection. Here are my thoughts on what each of the pillars of The Life collection represents:
PASSION – If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? Practicing self-love and acceptance is important in so many other aspects of your life that if you don’t take care of it, you won’t be able to properly share your love. To me, Passion is also a little fire in the heart that you have to keep poking and adding logs to in order to keep your interests fired-up.
TALENT – Talent isn’t something to be wasted. If you have a gift that others do not possess, share that gift with the world to bring joy and entertainment. Withholding it from others and more importantly, yourself can only hurt the world. Also, talent isn’t something you’re born with our not. A lot of hard work goes into crafting and perfecting that talent.
STRENGTH – Sure, it’s great to bench more than the next to you in the gym, but physical strength is far from what it takes to be a man. Strength to stand up in what’s right and strength to believe in yourself (and others!) and in boldness (or courage) to live your truth are more important to be a man in today’s world than any gym exercise.
WISDOM – “All I know is that I know nothing.” once said, Socrates. They say wisdom comes with age, so I’ll have to just wait for this one to come. But in the meantime, I try and learn with every situation. I love the quote from Bill Nye, “Everybody you ever meet knows something you don’t.” It’s reflective of both wisdom and compassion and reminds us that we can always be learning.
INTEGRITY – “Character is who you are when nobody is looking.” Out of all the pillars, this is the one I identify with the most as a modern man. Ego and pride can sometimes get caught up in reputation – how other’s see you. But I’m not interested in reputation. I care more about what kind of man I actually am at the end of the day when nobody’s eyes are on me.
\Of course, each of these elements is complex and multifaceted and can mean different things to everybody. But I do agree then these are each essential to making an honorable and modern man in today’s’ world. I love how Ermenegildo Zegna folded each of these scents into the elements of the new collection and have started an important dialogue on the responsibilities of being a modern man. If you’re interested in getting your hands on the Life Collection, check it out here!
Photography by Christian Sampson