A Man’s Guide to Finding YourSelf
It is peculiar how people stay true to form no matter how shallow and pointless it is. They readily jump into a vicious cycle of obligations and routines like it is the only road to take. Those who are true to themselves have become more of an exception than the rule. Why has it become so hard to show your true colors and embrace the vivid diversity of life? Well, the reasons are many, and most often they hide in the shadow of our ignorance. It is quite easy to snuggle up in your comfort zone – whatever you have made it into. It is not easy to get to know yourself – many have claimed it to be a lifelong pursuit. And even after you have spent a lifetime chasing your own tail, you may still manage to surprise yourself. And that is the beauty of this thing we call life. (Read This: The Value in Being Uncomfortable)
If you are willing to take a walk, a hike, a run or a stroll down the road to self-realization, we have prepared a few signposts to keep you company on the way. It can get pretty lonely, after all.
It is high time to tune down the overwhelming noise coming from all sides. I know this can be a challenge in and of itself – we have never been surrounded by more white noise. You are under attack by legions of information at all times. Even while you are aimlessly walking down the street, you are walking through a tunnel of screaming messages that are hard to tune out.
Apart from that, you are also, most likely, engaged in a never-ending conversation with yourself.
What is there left to cross off your to-do list. Should have gone in on that freelance thing Pete had in mind. Hell, should have started doing my own thing way before now, what have I been thinking. Should be my own boss, after all. Should be the boss of that cutie next door too. Could hit her up for a drink on Friday. Could have asked the blondie at the bar last night too. Damn. Should also run down to the shop to check out what’s going on with those new parts. Have to hit the road, don’t I. Lone wold, on the road again.
Yourself has been lost in translation between the outer and inner noise life keeps throwing at you. You want to please everyone, you want so desperately to fit in, you want to be someone others will like. Or fear. Or respect. Whatever toots your horn.
Well, that needs to stop. You need to learn how to shut all of that out. You need to take the time and tune all of that out.
After you get a hang of dealing with life in general, you will need to get down to some serious soul-searching. You’ve just got to love that word, right? In order to live the rest of your days as yourself, you need to get to know that person first. You have to realize you are full of shortcomings and work on them diligently. Namely, the best way to boost self-confidence and self-esteem is to take very concrete action. If you are living in a bit of a shell, you are probably not taking any action about anything. Somewhere along the way, you have taught yourself or have been taught by others that failure is a bad thing. That right there is a lesson you need to re-learn, pronto. Failure is the preamble of success, after all.
It has been scientifically proven that how you perceive your personality heavily impacts your success and happiness in life. See how I said perceive? A new car, a lovely girlfriend, loads of money, these things make life awesome, but they sure as hell will not bring you lasting fulfillment and happiness. The sad, yet very true and very empowering truth is that you are on your own my friend. No one will ever know what it is like to be you. When you are at your happiest and your saddest, no matter how much they can relate, your friends and family will never feel it like you do. And that is what makes you all that special.
Sooner or later, the spectacle of material splendor falls away like a house of cards, leaving you in dire straits, if you have laid poor foundation to your mind palace. No, I am not implying you need to go Sherlock on me and memorize every single thing that makes your life yours. I’m saying you need to work on yourself to get where you want to be, physically, mentally, emotionally, materially.
You are not defined by your consumption choices, a number of daily likes and retweets, and taps on your shoulder from the boss. The real question is who you are without all that, when you are sitting all alone in the mind palace.
Is it lonely there? Is it cold?
The answer may unsettle or startle you, but that is also a start. In fact, it is the first step in the right direction, where you can achieve greatness and magnificence on your own terms, not somebody else’s. Just steer away from the pitfall of ego. It is nothing more than an obstacle preventing you from connecting with your consciousness, and acts as a pair of really fancy sunglasses which do nothing but distort the way you see the world. Real success in life runs much deeper that the façade of mass consumerism, financial accomplishments, notions of self-importance, and petty desires. It embodies the pristine essence of mental stability and inner piece.
This is something that enables you to withstand pressure from the outside and safeguard your happiness under all circumstances. The most unique specimen are those who commit to a life-lasting journey of self-improvement and constant progress. Your bank account does not make you successful, your choices do. By choices I don’t mean should you buy the Merz or the Rolls. I mean the choices that make you try to be a bit better every single day. The choices that differentiate between the quitters and those who keep going even when their battery is down to the lowest it has ever been, when the night is dark and full of terrors. Those who refuse to go silently into the night.
So, step out of that comfort zone of yours because the same old same old yesterday’s you will most likely not cut it. Raise your standards, and turn your “should” list into a “must” one. Nobody is really content with just getting things done: you want them to bear some weight, and lead you somewhere, not to the same position you were a day or year ago. Running around in circles is fine, but sooner or later, you are bound to get dizzy.
Identify short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. They are your stepping stones to success, and also points from where you should evaluate your progress and further course of action. Reaching your goals is a much harder part than setting them, obviously. If you do not want to run out of steam, you have to recharge your internal generators. Ask yourself why you want to go down a certain road, and keep asking yourself that question until you get to the bottom of it. Once you clear that, turn your attention to the realities of day-to-day life. A life that is now propelling itself in the direction you are guiding it in, never forget.
Strive to develop healthy habits. Get up half an hour earlier and engage in some morning exercise. If you cannot fit that in before work, then how about nighttime running: break a sweat when the city grows silent and the night owls descend from their nests. Form you daily or nocturnal rituals, melt the stress away, and feel the positive energy filling you with vigor. Furthermore, change your ways when it comes to nutrition, and supply your organism with appropriate fuel to get through each new day with a bang. Remember that even lifestyle changes that seem insignificant add up over time and allow you to make a real difference. This is in fact the proper place to start. Feeling better about yourself (and that is what proper nutrition and working out will provide) is where you need to be when you start out on your hike out of the stale hole you might be in at the moment.
The fitness arena teaches you some important life lessons as well. It demonstrates that your expectations account for nothing in real life. Just because you have set yourself a goal, and are trying to reach it, does not mean you are about to get something done. Goals are fine, and you need to have them, but goals are just the carrot dangling in front of your eyes. It’s the legwork that counts. Without it, you will only be waking up to the image of the same orange object blazing behind your eyelids, tantalizingly close, but forever out of reach.
You can’t hide from the truth if you really mean to cultivate personal growth and make a positive change in life, you have to take a stand, get active, and let confidence and positive energy accumulate to the point where they spill over into all areas of your life. Endorse a growth mindset, be consistent in your aspirations, and crystal-clear about your goals. The key to happiness is inside you, and even if it feels like looking for a needle in a haystack, you should take those odds any day. A man does not shiver in the presence of intimidating challenge nor despairs over bitter odds. Nothing is impossible, unless you think it is.
About The Author
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and has spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for a better life.
You can contact him at –