The James Bond movies have been a staple in cinema for over 60 years now. Nearly every year a new Bond movie comes out, and they seem to succeed every single time. How is it that this character has stood the test of time and is still as relevant today as he was 70 years ago when the first James Bond novels came out?
The movies obviously have certain attractive elements to them: amazing action sequences, great storytelling, great villains, and of course, beautiful women. But there is a deeper reason that the James Bond movies in particular connect with people. There are numerous movies out there that possess all of the elements just mentioned, but none have had the same run as the James Bond franchise, and none seem to connect the way Bond movies do.
James Bond has something special, something that deeply resonates with men. He is the guy who men want to be like, and women want to be with. Essentially, he is the man who possesses all the qualities that men want: Charisma, Stoicism, Adventure, and freedom. Every man wants to have more of these qualities, no matter who you are, where you're from, or what ideology you have. Therefore James Bond resonates with all men, and that’s the true reason for the success of the Bond franchise.
Let’s look at why James Bond exactly resonates with men, how he displays these characteristics, and how we can be a little more like James Bond by improving these characteristics within ourselves. Here are the 5 most important characteristics James Bond possesses and how you can acquire them as well:
First and foremost, James Bond possesses absolute freedom, something most men lack nowadays. You are tied to a certain job where you have to work fixed hours, you can’t leave your location because of family, friends, or fear, and you feel trapped in the reality you’ve made for yourself, wanting a way out. This is the way a lot of people feel and what makes James Bond so interesting to them. James Bond is free, he does what he wants, when he wants, at what location he wants, and with whom he wants. Although he does get assignments from the British government, he is free to perform the task the way he wants to, as long as he gets it done, swiftly. It’s a performance-based job with a ton of freedom, but nobody said that acquiring absolute freedom would be easy.
You see James Bond in the movies going on missions to all sorts of eccentric countries: he’s in Italy, then he’s in Paris, then in Russia, he seems to have been at all the most beautiful locations in the world. This is of course desirable to everyone else. Who doesn’t want to at least visit all of these beautiful places? I do.
In the more recent James Bond films we’ve also seen the renegade version of 007. He suddenly doesn’t listen anymore to the orders of his government and does what he believes it right. We see this in the earlier films on small things such as how a task is accomplished, but in the later movies like Casino Royale and Spectre, he decides to take matters completely into his own hands and doesn’t care what the government wants. The important thing to keep in mind is that he always does this with good intentions. It is never solely to disobey orders, it’s simply that he doesn’t listen to orders that he believes at the moment are wrong. When he gets the opportunity he explains himself and discusses these orders, but when they don’t listen he just does what he wants anyway.
2-Emotional control (Stoicism):
Another quality that is admired in all men, is the ability to stay cool under pressure. To be calm and stoic in stressful situations. We loathe men who can’t control their emotions or panic when the situation gets stressful. We want men who can get the job done, no matter how stressful the situation or how fearful they may be. Do it anyway.
James Bond is a class example of this type of man. Stoic, calm, cool under pressure, and as capable in stressful situations as he normally would be.
James Bond doesn’t really cry. He is a rock to others who are less emotionally resilient than him, and makes sure that he is strong enough to help them deal with their emotions. How are you going to help calm someone down when you are stressed out yourself? You need to be stoic yourself to help others with their emotional problems.
James Bond is also a master at directing the emotional energy he has into productive work. It isn’t the case that he doesn’t feel emotions, that’s not what stoicism is about either. It’s about feeling your emotions, controlling them, and using them in a productive way. James Bond does this all the time. When he’s angry, he doesn’t throw a tantrum, he just decides to take his anger out on the bad guy by doing everything in his power to destroy him. When he’s sad, which he rarely is because he doesn’t have time to be sad, he turns that energy into something that helps him, something productive.
Controlling your emotions and directing them in the right direction is something every man needs and every man wants to have. You don’t want to be the crybaby in a sad situation, you want to be the rock that others can clamp on to for support, you want to stay calm, focused, and goal-oriented, and accomplish what you need to accomplish, regardless of your emotional state.
That is what James Bond does when he’s calm and collected, he’s not suppressing his emotions, he’s controlling them, and he knows how to channel them in a positive way.
One of the foremost qualities James Bond possesses to the maximum, is charisma. The guy is extremely charismatic and likable. He can use this charisma to talk himself into any building he wants, any hotel, any bar, you name it. This way he can get close to the enemy without having to be directly noticed. When people like you, they tend to be more open to doing things for you, and that’s exactly what James Bond exploits every time.
Now, what he also is besides charismatic, is incredibly charming, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. When we said that men want to be like him, and women want to be with him, this was not just a cool-sounding quote. James Bond is smooth, confident, charming, even romantic, and funny. These are all qualities women adore in a man and what makes them attracted to one. What we see with James Bond is that he doesn’t even have to try anymore. Simply by possessing these qualities, women tend to throw themselves at him, he almost has more trouble keeping them away from him than attracting them.
Charisma is one of the best qualities you can possess from a social aspect. It makes you more likable, more attractive, and more persuasive. Many of you however tend to believe that charisma is just some God-given gift, you either have it, or you don't. While it may seem that way for James Bond, simply because we don't know anything about his past, charisma is something you can cultivate. You don't have to be born charismatic to become a charismatic person. Charisma is mostly a combination of mirroring the other person's feelings, exuding a calm and confident attitude, and adopting a form of defenselessness. If you practice these three aspects of charisma, you'll instantly become a more charismatic person. Not that you'll immediately be as charismatic as Bond, because no one in reality is that charismatic, you can become more charismatic then you are now.
The one thing James Bond radiates the most is absolute confidence. He's confident in himself, in his capabilities, in his character, and in his moral compass. With this confidence, he comes across as a very capable, calm, stoic, and secure person. He knows his worth and he isn't afraid to settle for anything less than that.
The confidence he has in himself is also where all of his other qualities we just named stem from. You can't be calm and stoic when you don't feel competent, you can't be charismatic, likable, and charming when you don't like yourself, and you cannot be free, and go against the orders given to you if you are not confident that your way of doing things is best. This confidence that he exudes in turn makes him more attractive and makes it possible for him to possess all of the other qualities.
So first of all, you have to become confident in who you are, else the other qualities are not possible. How did James Bond do this and how can you? Well, confidence starts with keeping your promises, those promises you make to other people, thus being a man of your word, and the small, quiet promises you make to yourself. The ones you could break without anyone knowing. Keeping these promises makes you incredibly confident in yourself, because when you say you're going to do something, you actually do it.
Another way to become more confident is to simply become better. Start doing things that matter and get better at them. At first, you can only draw confidence from your mindset, and not your capabilities. You can only be proud that you're willing to do what others won't, but you still suck at the skill. You have to start with this beginner's mindset, of continually wanting to learn, realizing that you know nothing and want to know more. Being humble at the start is the only way you're going to get better. But once you become competent at the skill, you will start to become more confident in your capabilities. You just showed yourself that you can become good at something if you put your mind to it, that will bring you confidence in any new endeavor you will try. You will also have another skill added to your arsenal, which makes you a person competent at something, and from competence stems confidence.
And last but not least, what excites people the most about the James Bond movies are the adventures that he experiences. He goes to exotic countries where he doesn't know the people or the culture, on a mission to kill some bad guy or get information on a crime syndicate. James Bond has an exciting and adventurous life, something most men want, but don't have the balls to live.
Look, most men want to live an adventurous life, that's just in our nature. But society has suppressed this nature of ours, it has told us that we need to take the safe route, the one with the least risk possible. This is the worst decision we can make when it comes to our growth. We can only really grow from taking risks and learning from them, from experiencing the pain of losing, and relishing in the joy of victory. Risk is what any man needs to learn. The risk of doing something your unique and individual way, not listening to what others say you should do, but simply following your heart and doing what you believe is right. This will always involve some risk, whether through the perception others create for you, or the reality of your endeavor. But the biggest risk you can take in your life, is to take no risk at all.
You see this in people who have never taken any risk, it's almost like they never even existed. They don't have any stories, they are not interesting, they've always taken the easy route, and this makes them not respectable at all.
We only respect men who went through hardship, who went on adventures and took risks, who came home with stories of the incredible things they have done, how everything nearly went disastrous but almost magically ended well.
We love the stories of risk and adventure, that's why we love James Bond. The adventures he experiences, the life-threatening risks he takes on every mission. While we may be too scared to do such things ourselves, we always respect and admire the people who have the balls to take those risks and come back with a great story.
Become the man you admire and take some more risks. Come home with stories of war and adventure, and watch people respect you more for them.