Be an Alpha Male

You are a man… Now grow a pair, and act like it!

Dear ladies – I know that I have a few women who read this blog, and I feel very lucky to count you among my readers. Please, please do not be offended by today’s article. Instead, embrace it. Allow me this one diatribe and I promise to get back on track… Actually, this post is about being healthy… Just in a manly sort of way. You see, I am an alpha male. And, I am happy being an alpha male. There are moments when I walk around like a rooster (cock) and flair my feathers… Most of my friends know this is so, and they like me anyway. My wife says it’s because I’m an Aries… I think it’s a combination of things (and none of them is my cosmo sign). I imagine that some of it I was born with (genetics and all of that jazz from the jizz). Some is root cause (we’ll talk briefly about my Dad and upbringing). Some is because of my hemophilia (being told I can’t do anything masculine during most of my childhood). Perhaps most of it is because I faced death (in the form of HIV and AIDS) at a young age and lived through the hoopla. Regardless, (and despite what many of you might be thinking) today’s post is not about me. It is about men in general.

There is a problem in America. I call it the pussification of Americans. We are getting weak. We whine too much. We sit in our cars, at our desks, and on our couches. We complain about stupid shit. Don’t get me wrong… I love that technology and inventions are making our lives cool and supposedly easier. However, I can’t stand some of the by products of this enlightenment. For instance, I take a hard stance against giving every single player and every single team a trophy. Some of you may not agree with me on this, and I’m cool with that, but hear me out. When you give every one of our kids the same trophy (win, lose, or draw) you are teaching them something innately wrong. You are teaching them that everyone wins regardless of ability, talent, and most important, will to succeed. Think about it… Do you want your kid to believe that he can do a half-assed job and get the same reward as someone who works his or her butt off? I don’t! I refuse to teach my children that! Success requires grit, determination, willpower, and hard work! PERIOD

ego digresso

Let’s start out by defining what an alpha male is. I normally think of the alpha male as the leader of the pack. The wolf comes to mind… Hence my headline graphic. “Pack” is a very broad term. To me, the pack is your immediate family and close friends. Your pack is the epicenter of your life and must be protected at all costs.

The alpha male is someone who can protect himself and his pack (the pack always comes first). He is someone who is not afraid to fight for what he believes in. And, he is ferocious when he needs to be. That said, he is also calm, good-natured, loving, nurturing, and understanding. He is a peaceful being that will try and find a peaceful solution before falling back on aggression. But, God help you if you force him to the level of aggression.

Fighting is not the way of the alpha. First and foremost, an alpha displays compassion, expresses gentleness, and always tries to find a reasonable way out of a fight. An alpha does not fight out of anger or for revenge. Rather, the alpha only fights when there is no other option, and he only fights until it is no longer necessary. He never continues fighting a man who is down and/or out of the fight. A coward kicks a man who is down, the alpha refrains and refuses to do this. He uses his head and best judgement always. An alpha male stays in complete control, even in violent moments. Most importantly, an alpha never compromises his values in the heat of the moment. A calm presence and cool head are distinct attributes of the alpha male

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“The best fighter is never angry.”
– Lao Tzu

My Dad was an alpha male. And he taught me and my brothers to be alpha males. He taught me that I must NEVER start a fight. And, that I must ALWAYS finish a fight that I enter. Never give up. Always be strong and fight for what you believe in. Care for others and protect those who cannot protect themselves. NEVER EVER be the bully, but stand between the bully and anyone he would try to bully. These are the alpha values that I am now passing along to my son.

The alpha male is a warrior. He is strong. He is courageous. The alpha male is adventurous and has great stories, because he is not afraid to live life. He is also funny and has a great bond with those around him. The alpha is a hard worker. He is often quiet and an avid listener. The alpha has a thirst for knowledge (kaizen). The alpha never fights to destroy things, only to defend. He defends women and is always chivalrous. The alpha male is generous and gives his time, energy, and money to help others. The alpha male is an alpha male without trying, he does not strive to be one… He simply is one. Most of all… The alpha male is a humble man.

My son (and all of the alpha male offspring) are the beta males while living under the roof of an alpha male. He is there to support the alpha and learn from him. It is your duty (as alpha) to teach him the way of the warrior. He must learn and understand that values like honor, courage, and commitment (thank you, US Navy) are incredibly important. And, that you must stick to your values (once they are properly defined and fine-tuned) at ALL costs. My son will grow into a strong alpha, because it is in his heritage. It is in his bloodline. He will grow up like the fathers before him. He is an alpha, because he is.

If you want to be an alpha, or you are unsure if you are one, here are a few pointers (my humble opinion) that can assure you get there:

  • Increase your testosterone – lift heavy weights (intensity level needs to be high), burn fat, have more sex (I’m not kidding), take Zinc supplements (fewer than 40 mg per day), increase your vitamin D (the sun is the best source), get quality sleep, limit (or eliminate) alcohol consumption, eat quality fats, lower your sugar intake, and eliminate stress (alpha males do NOT worry).
  • Strive to be a born leader – read leadership books, and coordinate your skill building around this essential alpha male skill.
  • Create your own moral code – design a moral compass based around a personal mission statement, vision, and a list of values. Most importantly, once you create your list of values, strive to live them!
  • Listen to others – you must listen to and carefully assimilate what other people (especially those in your pack) have to say.
  • Practice daily kaizen – spend a little time EVERY day adding to your knowledge.
  • Confidence over cockiness – learn the difference and hold your chin high with confidence.
  • Give back to your community – you know what to do, now do it!
  • NEVER EVER back down from protecting your pack and those who cannot protect themselves.

    Either you are part of the solution, or you are part of the problem. I’m asking all of you to step up (unless you already have) and accept responsibility for your role as a man on this small blue dot that we affectionately call Earth. Be the alpha male that you were born to be! Together, we can change the world.

    Last note… When you see another alpha, you will recognize him. Nod, shake his hand, and encourage him. We are all in this life together. Act like the man you are.

    Man up!

    Written with sincere feelings and love,

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    About Vaughn Ripley

    Vaughn is a happily married daddy, author, and CIO. He is an HIV+ hemophiliac, and is one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.
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    1. Great post!

      • Thank you, Liz! I value your opinion, and really appreciate your kind words. This was a post that felt good to write (most of them do, but this one even more so).



    2. Mike Rolfes says

      Love it, V. Learning, striving to be better and more resilient as a person almost self-perpetuates if you get into that alpha male pattern. On the other side of the coin, so do downward spirals of misery and self-loathing. Once you decide to take charge of your life, you can move forward and do great things. I am in a great place now but haven’t always been. When I decided to take charge of my life, my “alpha-ness” came through. Even recently, I had the opportunity to try something new that truly represents life’s challenges and how to deal with what comes your way in a thoughtful and focused manner.

      A buddy of mine started me in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Talk about an eye-opening experience. I sucked when I first started (still only a white belt but steadily improving), getting choked, arm-barred, kimura-ed…just tapping out left and right. You fail, constantly, and will always fail at it. But when we started drilling the escapes from the bad positions (side-mount, full-mount, turtle, whatever) using thought and technique, not only do you feel more comfortable in the bad spots, but you have the technique and confidence to get out. It’s not easy, mind you, and it won’t work all of the time, but DAMN does it feel good to know you can. It’s an addictive sport that brings a mindset of confidence and calmness and is a helluva cardio workout.

      The BJJ community has a saying that I love, “Sometimes you win, the other times, you learn.” If you fail guys, take what went wrong from it and make a learning experience out of it. Don’t wuss out because you failed, jump back in the game and apply what you learn from those failures.

      Sidenote: Anyone in the Carroll, Howard, Frederick area, come on out and try BJJ at Urbana Academy with me. It’s fun. I’m 46 so you’re never too old to start.

      • Mike,

        Awesome comment! I respect your opinion and love your feedback! It is great having friends like you who totally “get it.” Thank you very much for the thought provoking (and pertinent) comment!

        Keep up the excellent work,

    3. Interesting read. It’s funny; I have always outright rejected the entire concept of “Alpha Males” while also tending to meet your descriptions of one. In nearly every endeavor I have engaged in I have risen to a leadership role and excelled there. I place the well-being of my “pack” (Be that my family or the hemo community or whichever group I am a part of) at the top of my priority list and strive to nurture them and help them grow, and will ferociously defend them, even sacrificing myself if need be. Yet, for myself, I have always viewed “alpha males” as conmen, strutting and posturing and trying to present themselves as the epitome of awesome, though they never actually are, and I’ve told a few that not only are they not even half as great as they pretend, they also aren’t fooling anyone. In my perception, being an “alpha” entails a certain amount of proving one’s superiority, real or perceived, over others, and I just don’t find any value in that at all. A real, strong and secure man is confident enough (I believe) in himself that he doesn’t feel any need to actively convince others of his worth, or mark his territory, or even BE an alpha. He simply is who he is, and others can accept or reject him for that, but he demands neither, unlike an alpha, who craves the former. He can certainly wear the mantle of authority, but rejects its throne. Similarly, he speaks with the conviction of experience, but eschews the pulpit of reverence. Show me an alpha who thinks he’s leading the pack, and I’ll show you ten solid but stoic men who actually are.

      Anyhow, that’s just how I view the concept of alpha males. Interesting to read your viewpoints, though, and they give me much to ponder. Thanks for sharing, my brother!

      • Interesting view and take, Jeff… Sounds like you are describing the omega when talking about your version of the alpha. As I say in the article, “The alpha male is an alpha male without trying, he does not strive to be one… He simply is one. Most of all… The alpha male is a humble man.” This sort of sums up what you were saying.

        Thank you for chiming in, I always enjoy your commentary and dig your look on life!


    4. Great post! I appreciated its candor and angle. I tend to lean more toward gender-neutral language, but understand, connect, and appreciate the energy behind being an ‘alpha’ and encouraging people to find their alpha energy. Thanks!

      • Jill,

        Thank you! I concur, and much prefer “gender-neutral” language. However, some of my post are primarily for men and I struggle with how to present them so my audience made up of men and women can get something from them. As much as I’d love to have every post simply pointed at the human race in general, I have the fault of being born a man. Therefore, I understand more about my sex, than the fairer sex… That said, I wanted to share what I believe. That even though we are men, we must still project our code of honor and chivalry. Without these values, we are less than we can be.

        I’m so glad that you enjoyed my post and I really appreciate your candor as well.

        Thank you,

    5. Vaughn,

      Loved this read. I agree the “pussification” of America is alive and well. Nobody wants to be offended by what others say because they dont like it. Well, in my country, the first Amendment guarantees the right to free speech. It does not say shit about YOUR right to not be offended. If this statement offended you, GOOD!

      The one thing I read that I dont agree with is about kicking someone when they are down. If you mess with my pack I will fight you. Not until you are down, but until you are dead. When you are down and I am not, that means the death blow is coming. Take your last look at the sky because it is will be the last time you see it. I will not start the fight but I will finish it. This to is the “pussification” of America. We dont finish the fight anymore.

      The Spartans believed, when in battle, come home dead on your shield, or don’t come home. These were the ultimate in alphas and warriors. They never did a half assed job.

      As usual, thanks Vaughn! I feel inspired. More people need to read this and walk the walk.

      • Now THAT is what I call an opinion! Excellent comment GM. Thanks for sharing! I see your point of view, but know that there are plenty of times when the use of deadly force is not necessary. I concur from the standpoint that if there’s no alternative then you must do what is appropriate to protect your pack… However, I think it rarely would come to that.

        Thanks for the fun (and honest) reply!


    6. Quincy Ewing says

      First off, great topic V.
      For me, as I read I thought of 2 main points…

      1. Alphas, both in the animal pack as well as in humankind avoid fights and challenges often times just by clearly establishing themselves early on as Alphas. This reinforces a peace through strength argument that The United States “used” to operate under. Show your strength swiftly and consistently and challengers will know better. The United States long ago abandoned this mentality. Thus we are regularly challenged. This is unacceptable and avoidable in my opinion. The constant challenging and testing is far more violent and results in far more casualty than what would be the case if the United States flexed its “Alpha” more often.

      2. There is an extreme “plastic” nature to our society now. Some of it is pop culture. Some of it is the advent of technology. But what it has produced is a a lot of fake Alphas. Men who “Peacock” with flashy cars, expensive clothes,and other unimportant things. And our society- having lost its way, falsely props these boys up as men and even Alphas. There is nothing of substance or value to them yet they are coveted almost as a commodity to be bought and sold . And they are willing for the right price.

      The Alpha to me is extremely important. And in my opinion results both from nature and nurture. There are those you come across that you could never imagine they would ever be anything else. They are inately Alpha. Then there are those that clearly you can tell have been “through it” and have been shaped, molded, even emplored into strong and protective Alpha men.

      As a father of a 10 year old boy I appreciate this blog as a call to men to “DO BETTER”! Because it seems each generation of young men is losing a little more of its manhood with this everyone gets a trophy mentality. Sometimes men lose. Sometimes women lose. Thats where growth is. And robbing them of failure robs them of growth.

      Love it V. Great Topic.

      • Wow, Quincy! What a well thought out and thought provoking comment. Thank you very much for your kind words, and your insight. You nailed it on point 1 and 2. And, I’m glad that you enjoyed the article.

        I think your “nature and nurture” point is spot on too. Very clear that there are both types of alphas, and each has earned his wings for different reasons.

        Thank you for the comment, and thanks for “doing your part.”

        From one alpha to another, keep fighting the good fight!


    7. Gloria Rangel says

      I agree! Thanks for sharing!