"Get comfortable with yourself. Who you really are. Not who others want you to be, who you think you need to be, but who you authentically are."
Emmanuel “Manny” LeGrair is the writer of online lifestyle blog The Better MANual. He’s all about style, substance and the movement for men to #BeBetter. He also knows a thing or two about maintaining an impressive beard. Check out his interview below to find out more about his take on style, grooming and personal development.
What do you do to maintain a healthy appearance?
I think that it is the culmination of several factors and it starts with what you put into your body. I try to keep my diet "clean" as much as possible and stay hydrated. I have lived life on the other end of that spectrum and I can genuinely say that what we consume is a major factor in our appearance. If you group that with regular exercise and intentionality behind how you want to be perceived, I think that you have a winning combination.
Do you have a specific grooming routine?
I try to keep it simple as much as possible. The simplest way I can explain it is to break it up into increments
Daily (or twice daily);
- Complete oral hygiene
- Wash and moisturize my face
- Comb, and moisturize my beard
- Moisturize my body
A Few time per week;
- Wash and condition my hair
- Exfoliate face and skin
Weekly (No more than 10 days between)
- Visit the barber for a beard trim and haircut
- Use a good facial mask
- Cleanse my pores
- Detangle my hair
What do you value the most?
I am not sure that I can say that I value these the most, but authenticity and consistency are of great importance to me. I believe that authenticity is more rare than it should be; finding someone who is truly OK with who they are and living out that truth is a treasure. Once that is found, I feel like many other things (like consistency) fall into place.
What sacrifices did you make in order to change your life?
I think that the biggest sacrifice that I made was knowing and internalizing that I would have to walk alone at times. In all of my major changes, I can say that it had not been a crowded path to walk. Honestly, when we really get focused on a goal, it affects many other areas of our lives and we have to learn to accept that.
What motivated you to start a life & style blog and promote men to #BeBetter?
I actually started mentoring young men when I was in college. While doing that, I developed a passion for facilitating growth in others, namely guys because it took me while to finally become comfortable with myself. I had been following blogs for years and always wanted to start one; but I knew that I didn't want it to be an imply about style. I always thought that there was a need for guys to know that they could and should look good, but that was only half of it. The other half was feeling good about about who they are as individuals. I knew that the two put together would be a winning combination that could translate into better men in general.
What are your top 3 tips for achieving success?
I think that success is defined differently for each person so this is always a tough question. I will say this however; a pastor of mine, whom I respect GREATLY, many times shares a quote/mantra that he lives by. "Aim High, Pay the Price. Stay the Course." I think that this statement has three crucial steps for success. "Aim High" involves deciding what your 'success' or goal is and setting your sights there. "Pay the Price" to me is the embodiment of hard work to achieve that success. For example, it takes work to get to that weight loss goal, but consistency will keep you there and will help weather the ups and downs that will accompany your journey - "Staying the Course."
How important do you think daily self-improvement is for men?
I think that it is of great importance. I do not think that there will be great bounds made everyday, but if you're striving to improve and are present and learning in the moment, then you'll get there. Men can have such a profound effect on many things around them and that effect can be positive or negative. It's up to each individual to decide what effect they will have on their society, community, and circle of influence, and to be honest enough with themselves in determining how they can reach that point from where they currently.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for men?
Get comfortable with yourself. Who you really are. Not who others want you to be, who you think you need to be, but who you authentically are. I think that that is the basis for most all other growth. If you try to build on anything other than authenticity, it will crumble under the pressure when and however it comes - because it’s going to come. When you reach that point, I believe that other things will be finally able to fall into place.