Home Stoic Manliness How to Man Up and Create Meaning in Life

How to Man Up and Create Meaning in Life




To man up is to take responsibility.

…For everything within our control.

That is, our actions, our thoughts, deeds, decisions, even where we are right now in life.

That is so powerful, and it pains me to think that many will go through life without taking responsibility, removing even the chance for positive meaning in their lives, and this lack of taking responsibility is far more rampant than it ever was because now we can survive without needed to take responsibility.

The fallacy in many arguments where they state that life ‘has no meaning’ comes when they look at pain. 

Life is painful. Life has a downside. It has negative meaning, thus, it must have positive as well, or at least the opportunity for it.

The thing is, the positive is only won, it does not merely happen or occur, it cannot. 

As Jordan Peterson wrote, ‘What you want most is to be found where you least want to find it.’

That is, the gold in the dragon’s lair. 

The wealth, success, and peace you want that’s found in doing work you may not like, in being disciplined, in actively bringing on more struggle.

This is also where you find meaning.

The meaning is IN the suffering. They are not separate.

By avoiding suffering you (we) avoid meaning, a possible reason for suicide rates being more prominent in wealthier nations where suffering is optional, where survival is guaranteed to a point.


We know what to do and what not to do.

The greatest resistance is found in those things that are most important for our lives and our quest, and the lowest barriers, the ‘push’, as it were, is found in those things that are most destructive.

We have an internal voice that tells us what to do.

We feel shame if we lack discipline, if we lack effort, if we quit, if we do things that we know are bad, and ‘bad’ often means simply doing the opposite of what we should do.

Of course bad means cheating, lying, watching dirty videos, being lazy and so forth, but it also means not doing the work that we know we should do and instead doing something else, tricking ourselves into thinking we’re being productive and then beating ourselves up about not doing the right thing for a long enough period.

Shame is powerful, it’s good if it makes us feel bad about not being who we can be and all we can be.


You HAVE TO aim to be who you can potentially become, and that potentially isn’t limited.

We are part of the infinite. Something about us, our spirit, soul, the fact that we’re here, is aligned with the infinite, and thus, there really is no ceiling to who we can become and what we can achieve and that’s the quest.

And it isn’t relegated to financial terms. In fact, it’s more to do with impact than finances, though potential impact is increased with greater wealth.

Be all you can be.

You’ve done it before.

You’ve had a supremely structured and disciplined day. You’ve done the work. You’re stayed the course and avoided distraction. You’ve put down the bottle, avoided the porn, went to the gym, helped your neighbor, done what your conscience asked you to do at every turn and by your day’s end as you crawl into bed exhausted, you can’t help but smile with pride over who you are that day.


Humans are goal-oriented in nature.

We need something to fixate our minds to and to work on tirelessly and relentlessly.

Have an idea of who you can be, but make it bigger.

Have an idea of what you want to achieve, and then make that bigger.

Limits are as much imagination as the unlimited is.

Do all this.

Take responsibility for everything under your control in your life, from actions to thoughts to deeds to dreams, and you will have an abundance of meaning.

Be Legendary,
Chad Howse


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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.

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