If you want to understand what it truly means to be a man, read the story of Adam Brown. Of course, he was far more than just a man, but a hero, a true hero in a world where we call our athletes heroes. We give that moniker to anyone who does something just a bit above average, but that’s how we are with almost everything.
I say it’s awesome if I line up a time to hit the gym with a pal or a nice looking lady agrees to a date when the truly awesome experiences in my life, where my jaw has dropped and I’m honestly in awe can be counted on one hand. Stepping into St. Peter’s Cathedral or the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City were awesome experiences. Sitting atop a mountain peak in the Rockies was awesome, breathtaking, inspiring.
We do this with men, too. We call the fella who’s done nothing to indicate that he’s honourable or self-reliance or dependable or responsible, a man. We see manliness as something that everyone with a dick and balls deserves to be called, but we know that being a man is a call to be something more than a male.
We know that being a hero means doing something that few, if any, would do, while also being effective while doing it. The warrior who jumps onto a grenade to save the man next to him, the firefighter who walks toward the falling buildings to see what he can do while others run in the opposite direction, or the man who faces the gunfire, putting himself in its line to prevent his teammates from taking any damage.
A hero isn’t the guy who hits the game-winning jumper or tosses the last-second touchdown pass, and it surely isn’t the guy who wants to become a girl and spends thousands to do his best to become one.
There are few true heroes in this world, just like there are few true men in this world. They’re not the ones complaining about their plight, hardship, or the hand they were dealt. They’re the ones who work. They may hate what they do but they love who they do it for. They’re the ones you don’t hear much from. The ones not asking for rewards or awards nor for life to be more fair.
When you read about Adam Brown, you read about a man and a hero and not the kind that society so liberally lauds, but a true man and a true hero, and those words don’t even do justice.
I’m not going to give away his story in this article, that can be found in Fearless, the book that Eric Blehm writes about his life. What I will cover are a few of the lessons you learn within those pages. They’re lessons that stick with you. They hit you. The book’s life-changing. So while you may or may not enjoy this article, get the book.
1. KINDNESS REQUIRES STRENGTH.
Kindness without strength is of no use. It does not good for the victim who needs protection, defending, or even a helping hand.
Much of the world goes ignorant to the fact that evil does indeed exist, and evil, be it the bully in the school yard or on the global scene, must be met with force. It’s only then that kindness can thrive, under protection.
Thus, it’s a man’s duty to be both good and strong.
2. ROCK BOTTOM IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ASCENSION.
Adam hit rock bottom a few times. I don’t want to give away the book, but man did he have setbacks. They weren’t just setbacks but reasons to give up and to think that God had left him or he’d dug himself into a hole too deep to rise from.
Yet with each setback something or someone new came into his life to help him limp along.
Read the book to realize that hitting rock bottom doesn’t mean you’ve hit the point of no return. Every horrible moment in our lives gives us an opportunity. We just have to pick ourselves up off the floor, keep the faith, and keep moving forward.
3. FAITH IS MORE POWERFUL THAN REALITY.
Not raised in a Christian home, Adam eventually developed a very strong faith as the result of some of the things he went through. One of the more powerful moments in his story, in his family’s story, is when his parents simply gave up what they were doing, fighting for him, trying to figure out how to save him, and put their faith in God.
There’s a moment in the book where both parents realize that they cannot control the situation, and they weren’t Christians, never had been. For some reason it popped into Mr. Brown’s head to simply go to church and pray.
Faith is more powerful than reality. Faith can lead you to do things you have no business doing, accomplishing feats you should really have never even attempted.
It’s important to understand reality. You need to know and come to grips with where you are in life so you can do the work to rise. It’s incredibly important to have a keen sense of the reality of your situation, but the necessity for faith is even more important. It’s what will help you take one more step when everyone else would have given up long ago.
4. THERE IS NO OBSTACLE TOO GREAT.
Not, there is no obstacle too great to overcome, but, there is no obstacle to great to set out to conquer.
Adam set unrealistic goals. As such, he achieved unrealistic feats. Those who confine themselves to what’s expected of them do not live.
They never realize not only their potential, but what life could have been, what this experience could have consisted of had they set their sights a little higher.
Do not fall into the trap of trying to conquer mediocre feats. Aim higher. Always aim higher, and then aim just a little bit higher than that. The logic in only attempting what is safe and realistic is utterly stupid, it’s throwing your life away just to be safe.
5. MEDIOCRE MISSIONS LEAVE YOU WANTING MORE.
Time is ticking. It’s kind of a scary thing. With each day we’re inching closer to death and we have no clue if that death is a week away or a half a century away. And yet we aim to do what we know we can do.
The problem with this is profound. When you set out to accomplish the mediocre, you’re taking time away from the bigger goals you’ll one day realize you should have set out to accomplish.
This realization will hit you like a Mack truck, paralyzing you as you realize you wasted your most precious minutes, days, and years in the pursuit of things that didn’t excite you or feed your soul.
To leave yourself wanting more as life comes to an end would be as great a tragedy as their can be, and yet that’s likely what’s going to happen.
Aim higher. Dare far more greatly that you can even comprehend right now. To continue on the path of the known will leave you with nothing but regret. (Read This: Staying The Course to Greatness)
6. TO SERVE IS TO LIVE.
Any philosophy or faith or religion or science recognizes the connection of the human race. The human genome project found that all of humanity originates from a single female.
When you look at the DNA of different people around the world it’s startling to see who has more shared DNA. Sometimes the white fella in Scotland shares more common DNA than the brown fella in Bangladesh than he does with his white neighbour.
The Stoics recognized that we’re all connected. Christians, the same. You have to see how we’re connected rather than seeing our divisions if you’re going to live a good life. If all you see is how we differ you cannot serve with the same passion, and it’s service that gives meaning.
If you want to live a good, happy life, above goals, above audacious adventures, lies service.
Serve in any way you can.
7. THE BETTER YOU ARE, THE MORE HELP YOU’LL GET.
Not just in the form of skill, but in how good you are.
If you’re a good person, a protector and defender, a guy who uplifts rather than puts down, a guy who avoids gossip, and a guy who puts others first, no matter how low you get, people will rally to lift you up.
If you’re a good guy, and more importantly if your actions prove such a thing, people will be there when you most need them.
8. GIVE YOUR ALL IN ALL YOU DO.
Mediocre effort makes no sense when you also have the option to give maximal effort. We have the capacity to give maximal effort in everything we do and yet how often do we give maximal effort?
No matter what he was doing Adam Brown gave it his all. From the very first chapter of the book you realize this.
It’s a breath of fresh air to see someone truly go for it when we live in a society gripped by a sense of entitlement. The hard worker, the fella with real passion for life will always live.
9. WE WILLINGLY TAKE OUR FREEDOM FOR GRANTED.
When you read about both the way things are in other parts of the world, namely in places like Afghanistan or Iraq where freedom only exists where good men fight for it and oppose the evil that’s rampant, you see how little we respect our freedoms.
Everyone, it appears, opposes wars these days, yet they have no clue who these wars are fought for, nor what they’re fought for. They don’t see the kids getting raped, the women who have no rights whatsoever, the children being married off at 9. They don’t see the torture that exists when someone leaves Islam, the beheadings, the brutality that exists in that region. Those who aren’t strong enough to resist it have no chance, except for when someone fights for them.
And then there’s us…
We’d rather have someone else make our decisions for us. We vote because we’re afraid. We want a caretaker. We don’t want freedom nor do we understand what it actually is. (Read This: 5 Ways Men Are Becoming Little Bitches)
The gravity of this ignorance must sicken those who fight for the freedom of people they don’t know. We spend our time complaining about a coffee that’s too hot or weather that isn’t just right, oblivious to the hardships of those who serve, the battles of those they fight for, and the freedom that we seem to no longer want.
Reading this book you’ll discover a true hero, not one puffed by the powers that be as a feel good story for the masses. But a real man. A man of honor, one that every single human in every free nation should know about.
About The Author
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. He’s a former 9-5er turned entrepreneur, a former scrawny amateur boxer turned muscular published fitness author. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live a big, ambitious life.
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