No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself. ~ Seneca
You have no reason to try to prove yourself to others. They really don’t matter in your pursuit, one that should be yours and yours alone.
You have to, however, prove yourself to yourself. That’s how you gain confidence. That’s how you gain power, strength, and character. And a man who never faces adversity can never really know what he’s made of nor what he’s worth.
Seek adversity by aiming higher and persisting. The flaw in many of our pursuits in life is that we think we find meaning. No, meaning is something you create, not by jumping from project to project or job to job, but by sticking it out and creating meaning in the least likely of places.
The profession is irrelevant. The aim has to be high, but the persistence has to be infinite.
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. ~ Marcus Aurelius
Fear regret. Most fear death or bodily harm or failure, but it’s the fear of regret that will propel us to attempt things we won’t attempt if we fear the latter more than the former.
The fear of regret, of dying with a heard filled with the stinging pain of not taking advantage of opportunity, pushes us to live. The fear of death confines us to an existence devoid of daring adventure or audacious attempts.
Don’t fear death, it’s a constant. It’s something that will come in its time regardless of whether you’re ready or not. Fearing regret, of dying on your deathbed wishing you’d been more and done more and accomplished more should conjure a pit in your stomach that can’t be cured until you start doing what you know you must do, living in a way you deem as life, not mere existence.
Most live a life of cowardice, a life in avoidance of living. They’re pussies. Don’t be a pussy. Don’t fear death, it’s an illogical thing to fear because it grabs every single one of us. Not living, however, is something most do but everyone has the choice not to do.
We can all live, few ever do. Be of the few, not of the many. Live a damn daring life in the face of irrational fears. Be a badass. Don’t be a little bitch.
I’m reading The Greatest Generation. It’s a great book. Read it. It’s a collection of stories about that generation that may be the best we’ve seen.
The World War II Generation, those born into the Great Depression, a time of economic destitution and extreme poverty. By the time they were in their thirties and forties and fifties they’d created an economic boom.
If they had a theme it would be self-responsibility. This isn’t romanticizing, plucking the few good from a bad lot. This truly was a generation of men and women who took responsibility for their lives, both what happened to them in the war, their disabilities that they wouldn’t call disabilities or the poverty that they rose from that wasn’t even their fault.
The main gripe that this generation has with those since is the lack of responsibility. Guys don’t take responsibility for their kids, for taking care of their families, for their work or how well it’s done or for their actions.
The Greatest Generation was a generation of men who fixed what was broken. They took it upon themselves to solve problems, be they on the world stage or chores around the house. (Read This:How to Be Old School)
They were also proud. Some may say too proud. It was a different kind of pride that they had, though, not one of entitlement like we have today, where we’re proud of our sexual orientation, our race, you know, things we haven’t earned but have been born into. Those of the WWII Generation were too proud to accept a hand out. They were too proud to call someone to fix what they knew they could fix. They were too proud to do a shitty job so they did the best they could with what they had.
If we could have an archetype for what it was to be a man it wouldn’t be the generation before them, there’s no misplaced nostalgia on all things in the past being better – those who contributed to the fall of Rome in their weakness are no better than those contributing to our fall in ours – it certainly wouldn’t be the generations since, with their entitlements and weakness and dividedness, it would be that generation.
A bulk of a generation had what men should aspire to have and were who men today should aspire to be. Many of these great men are still around today. They belong to both political parties and ideologies and yet congregate and drink and tell stories together. The pettiness of our kind doesn’t flourish among theirs. And they are a different kind of person all-together, no whining or crying and no idle threats. They don’t crave a safe space from opposing ideas, but if an ideology was bad enough it had to be dealt with and destroyed, and the lot of them worked at destroying it together.
They were strong, but didn’t get strong out of vanity. Their legs weren’t shaven, their eyebrows weren’t plucked, but their hair was combed and their shirt was tucked.
They had pride.
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.
Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a certain built-in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men. –Norman Mailer
Be aware of the trends that develop in society and why they develop. You can’t always go with the flow nor should you want to side with the masses. Sometimes you have to fight what’s going on around you by forging something stronger within you.
Honor is fleeting. It cannot flourish where vanity is king. It won’t thrive where envy and jealousy are the most common attributes.
Honor is the standard by which you carry yourself. It’s acting with justice and respect, integrity and character. It’s being a moral man when everyone else acts in convenience.
Honor is doing what must be done and what’s just even if it be a detriment to yourself. You don’t matter, your character does. Character is what helps you make decisions. Character is what helps you navigate the uncertain and murky waters of life.
Convenience has no place in an honorable man’s life. Convenience doesn’t rule his decision-making process. It can’t. Yet, it takes practice and self-awareness to understand what road should be travelled and what decision should be made.
We cannot be men if we do not live and act with honor in spite of our own welfare.
It’s easy to be honorable when honor is the easy decision, the sexy decision, the profitable path. But that’s not what honor is. Honor is staying the course through ridicule and pain, through trials, tribulations, and disaster. It’s not compromising who you are for convenience’s sake, nor fame’s, nor popularity’s, nor wealth’s.
As honor leaves American life, the attempt to destroy masculinity in American men, in all men, will follow.
Don’t let it.
Aspire not only to be a good man, but aim to be good at being a man. Be the protector and provider of your family and your community. Be the last line of defense. Be the source of logic and wisdom. Be all you can be or be nothing.
I mean to make myself a man, and if I should succeed in that, I shall succeed in everything else. ~ James A. Garfield
A man is a lot of things, most of all he is dependable. He is his word. He is his work. He isn’t the complaints and cries of the masses. He’s stoic and resolute.
To make yourself a man in modern times is to essential buck the times, it’s to oppose the trends. To be a man is to want not what trivial minds aspire to possess, but to see the deeper meaning in life, in what we’re here to pursue.
Make yourself a man, and you’ll succeed in everything else.
Aspire to possess the virtues that the life you want to lead depend on. They’re virtues that will help you persist, but not only through anything, through the doors and paths that you should follow as an honorable man. As society turns its back on the manly virtues that built its roads and bridges and fostered its freedom, aspire to develop what was once praised.
To make yourself a man is a necessary and honorable quest. Manliness is earned. Don’t mistake it with being a male, they’re two very different things.
Manliness is won by enduring life’s hardships with honor. It’s won by doing what must be done without seeking acclaim. It’s earned through persistence without false pride.
Make yourself a man; it will be the foundation for the life now only found in your dreams.