To endure is not enough. We all face hardships in our lives, and to simply go through them without complaining is not enough to constitute a life well lived. One must pursue hardships, aim high enough to experience the greatest trials, face fears so great that an average man would crumble.
Don’t pat yourself on the back because you’ve endured some kind of trial. Realize, in order to live well and to flourish, you need trials to forge the manly virtues and qualities that grand goals depend on.
Go into the dark corners of the world. Attempt what others are afraid to do. Endure when most would quit and give up. Persist longer, strive harder, get up earlier, work harder, and do all of the things that are becoming unpopular in our modern politically correct society.
In short, seek our trials because they make you the man you want to become. It’s trials that will help you become a winner.
What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. ~Abraham Maslow
We can all be better.
Read this with that understanding. While I call you out, I am calling myself out and every other fella out as well simply because on the mountain that is our lives, we’re barely making a dent in our climb to our potential, as we are now.
We’re weaker than we can be physically, mentally, and spiritually. We’re lazier than we need to be, we complain more than we should, we envy and see the world with a cynical tint. We all do it from time to time. But we shouldn’t.
The path to manning up requires you to be self-aware.
If you aren’t rooted in humility, you will see no room for growth. On the flipside of that coin is confidence. If you think so low of yourself that you aren’t worthy of improvement, you’ll do nothing to better your situation either.
You must see yourself as you are, not as others see you nor as society would like you to see yourself.
Respect is not something you are entitled to, but something you earn. To this point you may have not earned it so where most books would tell you to demand what you deserve and to put your mind in the place that is where you want to be, I say hogwash! You cannot demand the respect that a great man has, you must earn it. (Read This:You Don’t Deserve Shit)
It was once understood that anything of value had to be worked for. It was understood because the things we now take for granted had to be worked for. If you wanted to talk to a friend on the other side of town you had to walk or ride. You had to enact some form of effort. We can now text.
If you wanted milk or meat you had to hunt or fish or head to the barn and do the milking.
There has never been a sense of entitlement like there is today and entitlement is about as unmanly a thing as there is in this life. A man cannot feel entitled to anything. Entitlement is the absence of grit and toughness, it’s the incurrence of weakness. It is the pussification of a society that wants without merit.
You cannot gain anything if you feel you’re entitled to it because entitlement prevents you from giving what is necessary to acquire what you want.
Life is the capitalistic system. They do not differ.
Capitalism didn’t happen, it wasn’t the brain child of some mind, it was the evolution of the human condition, the understanding that in order to get something you have to give something of equal value. Sometimes you get something with lesser value, you get a deal. Other times you get something and you had to give something of greater value, either is subjective.
To get pride you must first work to achieve.
To develop toughness you must break yourself, your mind and your body down, then build it back up.
To get love you must give it. To make money you must do something to merit a paycheck. To man up you must stop complaining and do what needs to be done.
Entitlement rids you of the ability to do what’s necessary for success, happiness, whatever, because it’s founded on the principle that things will simply happen. No matter what has been done, who you are, whether you warrant what you want or not, entitlement dictates that you will get it because it’s “deserved”.
The primary flaw in this line of thinking is that the only way to know that something is deserved is to have it happen. The team that deserves the Stanley Cup, wins it. The fighter who deserves the title, has it. The man who deserves a million dollars in his bank account has done what is necessary to get it.
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.
I take pride in taking the hard road and prove to people I earned it. ~Jake Ellenberger
When a man has the option of ease and to live a lavish life but chooses not to take it, he becomes something greater than a male in the biological sense.
Discipline, no matter how far we aim to run from it, will allow us to man up when the time comes and make no mistake, the time has already come.
It’s discipline and training that will allow you to recognize your dependency on things, on ease, on a softer way of life that weakens you as it threatened to do Marcus Aurelius a couple thousand years ago.
Aurelius, if it weren’t for letters he wrote to himself, would go down as yet another emperor of Rome who lived in opulence and rules with an iron fist. The fact that he did write letters to himself are incredibly valuable and telling.
The letters, packaged up and sold as Meditations, are letters of advice to himself. It’s an effort to find clarity where it seems not to exist. This is clearly a man writing to himself because it’s his own compass, his own voice and soul that will lead him to his truth. None of his advisors or friends will suffice, and it’s likely none of them knew what he was wrestling with.
To most, a flourishing life is one spent on vacation. But a true flourishing life needs vocation.
Man needs a quest.
We need something greater to pursue. While Marcus Aurelius had a quest, his struggles came not in pursuit of greatness, but in the pursuit of what was essential, and what was essential will always be essential.
Aurelius, and others Stoics like him, saw the changing seasons of fashion as useless and even destructive. As such, he dressed simply rather than dawning himself in the flamboyance of other prominent figures of the Roman elite.
He saw gossip and the conversations that most have as not only useless, but destructive. Delving even into thought, he struggled over which thoughts warranted exploration and which should be left alone.
The most powerful man in the world, rather than living a life of excess, saw the nobility and the benefit of living a disciplined life of less.
This isn’t to say that you strive for less, but that as you rise you strive to have less and depend on less. It’s in understanding what is essential that you’re able to focus on what matters and root out those things that will hold you back from reaching your potential, which, in the end, is all a man can strive for in this life.
The thing about potential is that it’s only realized when we become audacious in both goals and action. Our potential can only be realized when we deem what needs our attention and what doesn’t, and what needs our attention. What doesn’t need our attention brings us away from our potential, what does brings us closer to it.
Potential is something that we can only grasp when we’re performing at our very best, and without discipline and instead with laziness and ease our potential is beaten and broken down without our awareness of their decay.