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.
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.
A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man without trials.” ~ Seneca
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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.
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.