I’m sitting at my desk when I receive a text from my old man’s best pal. It’s an article entitled, ‘Traditional masculinity‘ causes ‘homophobia’, ‘bullying’: Report, in the Toronto Star.
This is too far, is my response as I glance over an article that essentially says that what men are genetically programmed to be, what men have achieved, the achievements that have led to the highest quality of life in our history as humans, is bad. The article is in response to a new report from the American Psychological Association (APA) that says traditional masculinity is wrong.
Only the Strong Survive
Fact: we’re here today because of men with traditional masculine values. If they didn’t have them, they’d die. If we don’t have them, we lose, and our family suffers, as does our society.
That said, let’s hear this group of quacks out with an open mind.
What are the harmful aspects of traditional masculinity?
Let’s first highlight some facts. It’s better to be strong than it is to be weak. It’s better to be tough than it is to be soft. If you’re weak and soft you’re going to quit, fail, you won’t be able to support your family, you don’t be able to compete against adverseries who are tough and strong, and you won’t be happy.
So what does the organization say are the harmful aspects of masculinity?
“The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity – marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression – is, on the whole, harmful.”
This displays the laughable idiocy of organizations like the APA. They list four incredibly important and beneficial attributes that serve anyone, let alone men trying to make it in the world, trying to better the world, trying to protect and provide for their family.
Competitiveness has resulted in every major and minor evolution in our species, in technology, and as a society. Without competitiveness we’d still be hunting with our hands. Without competitiveness, people don’t want to improve their life, and a life that isn’t improved isn’t really a life, it’s an existence, and acceptance that you have no control over anything. Life without competition is simply hell.
Dominanceisn’t really a masculine trait, especially not a traditional masculine trait. For thousands of years a man’s primary goal was to protect his family, provide for his family, and build his family. Family always came first. To dominate them wasn’t his objective. Even men who craved power, they simply craved power, it wasn’t the domination of others, it was fulfilling what they saw as their reason for being here. And this was only a very minute few. The Roman Definition for Masculinity is excellence in all things – that’s as traditional as you can get, Ancient Rome, how is striving for excellence in all things bad?
Aggression is a beautiful and wildly necessary attribute. It’s the best antidote to fear you can have. Aggression can defeat a bully, it can conquer an obstacle, it can move a man forward when he would otherwise be paralyzed by fear. Fear and aggression cannot coexist, so what you’re saying is that we’re better off afraid?
Man Are Men Because of Our Balls
Quite literally, the differences between men and women are the result of testosterone. Testosterone led to changes in our brain, or physiology and physique and thus, our role. We’re typically bigger and stronger, we also can’t have babies. Thus, it has been our sole role for thousands of years to hunt and gather. We also defend.
You cannot change what and who a man is. If he’s ambitious, don’t quell it. If he’s tough, help him develop it further. If he’s weak, make him tough, because weakness – as they’ve said – isn’t a masculine trait.
More from the article, this is gold:
“Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behaviour, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict, and negatively influence mental health and physical health,” the report warns.
Among the pillars of “masculinity ideology” are “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence.”
Ah, the “gender role straing and gender role conflict” that masculine men go through (NONSENSE). Gender roles aren’t real. Men are men, women are women. We’re not acting, we’re not confining ourselves to a certain way to act. We act as we do because we are men, and the best thing you can tell a boy is to man up, he’ll know exactly what it means, it means to stop complaining and work harder. It means to not be a pussy and to be tough – well done! When has toughness ever harmed anyone?
Let’s also keep in mind that this is the same APA that deemed pedofilia was a ‘sexual orientation’, something they later claimed was a typo (nonsense). So they’re not exactly credible.
There is no role strain or conflict. This is something made up and very new. It’s the result of the blurring of genders and the making up of new ones to aphese confused people – and I’m not attacking people with gender dysphoria, or transgenderism, it’s just that they make up a very small part of the population, maybe 0.01% of 0.01%, so to say that men and young men have conflicts about their role is a dubious and harmful claim. You’re trying to treat the majority like they’re a minute fraction of a minority.
It’s the wrong way to deal with this.
Anti-feminity? Of course! What man would want to be feminine. Adventure, how in God’s name is that a bad pursuit? Risk? We’re more prone to risk because of our testosterone levels, it’s a very direct result of something we innately have, so to deny that we’re more aggressive, more prone to risk, and that we even enjoy violence, is to tell men and boys to be something they are not.
The APA is telling transgenders to be who they think they are, while at the same time telling men that being who they are isn’t healthy, and that they should actually turn their back on who they are and try to be more feminine.
You know what’s coming…
The attributes that the APA hate most are effects of testosterone. The limitation of testosterone is a cure to these awesome and wonderful side effects. It’s a wonder when they’re start prescribing estrogen pills to men to change their harmful behaviors.
“Though men benefit from patriarchy, they are also impinged upon by patriarchy,” said Ronald F. Levant, EdD, a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Akron and co-editor of the APA volume The Psychology of Men and Masculinities.
Here’s what’s wrong with this statement from the start: There Is No Patriarchy.
Here’s a look at the most dangerous jobs in America (not including being a soldier)…
Here’s a nice stat sheet for the ‘oppressed’ and hyper sensitive women of the #metoo movement.
Yes, men, the creators of this patriarchy also actively sought out the most dangerous jobs. They’re so privilaged that they decided they’d die at a higher rate than women. Not in the graph above is the fact that men commit suicide twice as much as women, maybe more.
This is also a dangerous narative for the survival of our species. For thousands of years men and women have been working together to raise families and tribes and communities and nations. We have not bee in opposition, nor have we thought of ourselves as opponents. We literally need one another to create a family, to grow a family, and to extend the species.
Yet, organizations like the APA, whom the government – especially the schooling system – holds in high regard when it comes to making policies – DANGEROUS – wants to pit men against women, it wants to create a patriarchy that doesn’t exist.
The result, of course, will be that our boys will be taught to be women and more feminine in schools, especially public schools. All forms of masculinity will be taken out of state-funded institutions. And being straight will eventually be outlawed at this rate.
The lunacy is incredible.
A year ago I was on my lawn doing some yardwork when a woman approached me. She was doing the census. She asked if she could ask me some questions. I obliged, and the first question was, “Are you a man or woman or other?”
My heart dropped, what a ridiculous question. What a ridiculous question for her to have to ask, and I told her so. She agreed. She’d asked thousands of people that question and almost all of them had the same response, and not one of them answered the question differently than their appearance would convey. She went on to say that her son is in public school, and they now have a third washroom for the third gender that doesn’t exist.
You’re Doing More Harm Than Good, APA
I don’t think this report is aimed to help anyone. To deny people the right to be who they are, and not just who they think they are, but who they actually are, and to dency the truths about the goodness of masculinity, to paint it with a bad brush, and to pit men and women against one another, is insidenous.
There’s no attempt to do good by saying that traditional masculinity is harmful.
There is only evil.
You’re setting up policies that would create more victims. We do not need more victims. And then there’s suicide.
Women attempt suicide about twice as frequent as men do, and yet men are up to 75% more successful. The reason is that we attempt suicide by violent means, because we’re more violent. Now you may say that by making men soft, you’re going to diminish that success rate. No, because women attempt suicide far more than men, by making men act like women you’re simply going to increase their rate of attempts while at the same time removing from them the values that helped men cope with the weight of the world.
Suicide is on the rise, not on the decline. The Greatest Generation, who had to deal with the Great Depression and then the Second World War, committed suicide less than we do today. The problem isn’t that we’re too masculine, it’s that we’re not masculine enough.
Men do not need an excuse. We do not need to talk more about our feelings. We need a purpose. We need a challenge. We need to feel like men.
By getting them young and influencing their behavior – which is what I suspect an organization like this will aim to do by influencing public school policy – you’re going to create far more confusion, while also compounding an inability to deal with it.
Without the stoicism, the toughness, the grit, the ability to endure and persist, the values that are traditional masculinity, you remove a young man’s ability to cope with the brutality and toughness of life. You will increase suicide rates. You will increase the amount of men taking medication for depression. You will increase the number of men who can’t take care of their families. You will degrade an entire section of society and relagate them to the pitiful state of victimhood.
That said, you’ll also have far more patients paying you hourly fees, likely government-subsidized because this will turn into an epidemic of soft males who cannot lead industries or households and will fold under the pressure, unlike those great men of the Greatest Generation who faced far tougher obstacles.
Maybe that’s your aim.
Why You Need More Testosterone, Aggression, Competition, and Stoicism
Alright, I got all of that out. And I don’t even think I cussed.
So, the battle lines have been drawn. We can see what they’re doing, where the end goal is, or where this will lead.
They want to rid our society of the virtuous and good, the masculine values that created the first great nations in history, defended against Nazism, Communism, and Socialism, that allowed all races and religions the same opportunity, the pursuit of happiness. And I’d also add, the pursuit of wealth, success, and greatness.
While the right to this pursuit was won and created by great men and great women, and the masculine values they took to court, to the battlefield, to a new land, you will only win the pursuit with the masculine values that organizations like the APA aim to destroy.
The same goes for your sons.
While they influence government and education policy and practice, you have to be dilligent. You have to actively seek out ways to create the strong, stoic, powerful, reliable, dependable, ‘archaic’, masculine man that you are genetically hardwired to become.
For those that want to develop such virtues, we go through them in The Average to Alpha Tribe, with a course calld the Barbarian Virtues, modelled after this Theodore Roosevelt quote:
“Over-sentimentality, over-softness, in fact washiness and mushiness are the great dangers of this age and of this people. Unless we keep the barbarian virtues, gaining the civilized ones will be of little avail.”
And I’ve created a Tribe of sorts to develop them through trials, by adopting a tougher life, rather than an easier one.
Thoreau said, Most men lead a life of quiet desperation.
I remember when I was there. I was waking up every morning, eating horrible foods, working away at a job that I knew I had no future in.
I was wandering, lost, not in any way living a story worth reading.
Average is the enemy of every man on this planet, and it’s an enemy that almost none of us will defeat.
In fact, we’re actually becoming biologically more average than we’ve ever been. The average guy today has 20% less testosterone than a guy at his same age only a decade ago.
When I was wandering, I was a shell of what I could be and thank God I had the wherewithal to understand that my hormones could have something to do with this steady state of quiet desperation.
Testosterone is much more than just a fat loss or muscle building hormone, it’s at the core of what makes you a man.
You get a surge in testosterone when you compete, another when you win, another when you make a bunch of money.
Testosterone acts like a hormonal reward system, rewarding the winners and punishing the losers.
To be the man you first have to act like the man, and your hormones will reward you for doing so.
Stay soft and sedated, and you’ll experience atrophy, regression, you’ll become something, someone smaller and more insignificant than you were created to become.
Act ambitiously, audaciously, and you’ll grow and evolve.
When I was in this state of average I found out that my hormones were low, that I was in the low end for my age, and while I was told I can take shots, I instead sought ways to force my body into creating more of this powerful hormone by changing how I acted, what I ate, and even how I trained.
While the vast majority of literature I read pushed a pill, potion, or powder, I saw the truth, that the optimal diet for testosterone is simple…
2 meals and a shake. One carbs meal, one fats meal, both meals contain protein.
I saw that men actually need a balanced diet, as carbs help lower cortisol and fats help us produce testosterone, and protein helps us maintain low body fat.
I saw that how I was living was ‘low T’ in itself.
I had finished boxing, so I was no longer competing. I was working a job that really didn’t push me. For the first time I lost the ambition that I’d had my entire life.
So, I changed what I could control.
I fixed my diet. Focused on strength training. And I started acting as the guy I wanted to become.
I started a business that helped other guys fix their training and nutrition and lifestyle issues as well.
My ‘turn’ wasn’t found in a program, but in research, in trial and error, and now, in the Man Diet.
Too many men are living lives of quiet desperation.
They’re living beneath what they’re capable of and this massive decline in testosterone is being almost entirely overlooked by the mainstream.
Certain things act as a foundation from which we can build upon and propell from, being a healthy, optimal ELITE man with ELITE testosterone levels is one of them.
We’ll cover other methods and ways to escape average in the coming weeks, but if you haven’t yet, ensure that you get your free copy of the Man Diet here.
I’m working my way through Tim Grover’s, Relentless, right now.
Tim is Michael Jordan’s strength coach, and Kobe Bryant’s. He’s spent a lot of time around guys who are killers, winners on another level, they’re beyond competitive.
It’s a great book, one that dives into the darkness of victory, the instinct of it.
Instinct is something many of us have lost. We were born with instincts. I remember being a kid, wanting to beat anyone and everyone at anything.
I’d fight all the time. I loved it. Slowly, however, we all confuse being good with being nice. We see this desire to kill, to do
minate, to hunt, as bad, and we soften it, let it go in an attempt to civilize.
You cannot ever become fully civilized if you want victory. Something within you has to remain true to those instincts and sometimes advice can cloud that inner voice, that ‘gut feeling’ that a man should always listen to first.
While I’m a guy who gives advice, who shows guys how to eat, train and become more disciplined, the advice is something you have to watch out for. Too much of it can lead you to live someone else’s life and lose those instincts that we all need to thrive.
So take advice from people who actually have your best interests in mind, but don’t take advice from everyone. Don’t seek advice from everyone either.
Years ago I stopped seeking so much damn advice and started doing my thing, whether it was business or life, and it’s helped me live life on my terms and build a business on my terms.
Listen, who do we admire, the man in a crowd, one of many, or the original, the man who stands on his own, who leads, who goes his own way?
We’re a tribe here, but no man can lose his ability to listen to his gut, to thrive off instinct rather than advice.
My dog, Teddy, doesn’t for a second think about chasing a deer, he just does it, and it’s nearly impossible to hold him back.
A lion doesn’t think about killing, that’s just what lions do.
Men should spend less time thinking about doing what they know deep down they need to do, and just do it.
When you have a decision to make, make it, follow the first thing that came to your mind and deal with the consequences later.
If you’re wrong, pivot, and fix the mistake, but stop living the safe life, the life led by the advice of others, where the tough decisions of your life can be pawned off on someone else so that, in part, they can share the blame if it’s the wrong decision.
Trust your gut.
It takes confidence to trust your gut. And if you don’t have confidence, and you want to develop it, start there.
Start by making fast and firm decisions, then follow through on them.
Be the lion, do as lions do. React, forget if everything is perfect. Forget about thinking about every scenario and outcome.
In 1911, three men set out on the adventure of a lifetime. They wanted to trek the unknown territory of Antarctica and link it with other known portions of the desolate continent.
The three men were ages 33, 30, and 29 respectively. They were ambitious, strong, courageous, and unwaveringly committed in their endeavor, so much so that two of them died along the way and one barely made it out alive. He was all alone on the ice.
This is a far cry from the 30 year olds that walk in our midst today.
Instead, they have traded their ambition for something far less virtuous.
Men have become soft, emasculated, and lazy.
This is due in part to real men having become reclusive and passive, and our culture becoming impervious to masculinity.
Look around and you will see that men are more concerned about the pants that they wear and the way their hair looks than how to make ambitious goals, and pursue their dreams. They have become afraid of their own shadow and doomed themselves to a life of mediocrity.
Chances are, that if you are reading this, then you go against the status quo, that you as a man have found yourself on the other side of society. You have been called “rough around the edges” or “insensitive”.
Take this as a compliment
Unfortunately, our culture has deemed men who are passive, and relinquish their manhood virtuous, and esteemed.
What men really need is self-awareness, mastery, and other men to learn from.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” – Proverbs 27:17
Men need to pursue mastery and be in constant pursuit of huge ambitious goals. They must constantly challenge themselves and push themselves to learn new skills and to grow in strength, endurance and mindset.
These things can only be developed if they are done with discipline and consistency.
The Lost Virtues of a Man
Men need to have some sort of consistent physical activity that they do, whether it’s lifting weights, martial arts, running, swimming, biking or a combination of all of them.
When men don’t do this, they get fat, injured, or have health issues. Don’t believe me, look around.
They also need to have a why, a reason for existing. They need to know their why, so that they can work in their Strengths and become who they are made to be.
Socrates said it best: “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
If you are not pushing your limits or putting your body under deliberate physical stress every day, you are denying your very essence.
Men need to know what they are capable of. When you lift weights, move heavy objects, destroy your goals and win, then you become confident and more alpha minded.
Lifting weights just to lift weights is not enough. You have to train. Life is going to come at you from all angles and you need to be prepared to handle whatever it throws at you. The more you exercise your body and your mind and put it under good, deliberate stress, the easier the problems will seem.
Learn how to do heavy Lifts like the Deadlift, Squat, and Olympic Lifts. Get a trainer, or go to a fundamentals class to learn these lifts. Proper form is key.
Men don’t play the victim. They take ownership.
Your mind will tell you that you can’t do something. You have to be able to tell it to shut up.
You have to build your mind by repeating positive habits. There are two very important ways that this can be done.
Lift Weights and Exercise: Lifting weights boosts testosterone, builds confidence, and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction long after the workout. I quote Jocko Willink “If you want to improve mental toughness, try this: BE TOUGHER“
Read Good Books: You have to read books that set your dreams on fire, and grow your library of manly books .If the only time a man is getting information is from Social media, Netflix or the TV, then he must just like being useless. Every great man in history was a reader, Marcus Aurelius, Themistocles, Teddy Roosevelt, Solomon, and many more.
I’m not talking about hippie yoga crap. I’m talking about shutting up and listening to what is going on around you. Take five minutes every day to sit, breathe deeply and remain quiet. Focus on who you want to be, and your ideal day. Then go out and do your best to be that man.
Do these things every single day.
Men need a battle to fight, and a challenge to face
John Eldredge in his book “Wild at Heart”, said that men need three things.
A Battle to Fight
An Adventure to Live
A Beauty to Rescue
If a man wants to know what he is made of, I would urge him strongly to take on some sort of endurance event. Triathlon, Spartan Race 13+ miles, Biking, Marathon, Ultra-Marathon, go-ruck event, being away from your family or loved ones for an extended period of time.
A man will find out a lot about himself by physically and mentally challenging himself. The thing you don’t think you can do. That’s the thing you need to do.
Men need to continually learn new skills and become proficient at the ones already developed. If you want to build a website but don’t know how…then learn. If you don’t know how to bench press…then learn. If you don’t know how to shoot a gun, then go learn. Do manly stuff!
Men know that there is never an arrival point, there is never a destination. This life is asymptotic. Meaning you will continually come closer and closer to perfection, but never reach it. This should be encouraging because the sky is the limit.
Once you have a skill, work hard to hone it, and incorporate it into your daily life.
Every day you have a choice as a man, you can settle into mediocrity and passivity that this culture nurtures and cultivates, or you can set yourself apart and be the man you are made to be.
Being that man isn’t easy, because doing things the right way is not popular, and others will go against you because they are shallow scared little boys.
Boys hide and do what feels good, they don’t take responsibility or ownership. They are cowards, afraid of the success they can achieve, afraid to be dangerous and harsh.
It takes a man to make men.
How to obtain Mastery
Don’t look for shortcuts. First, say to yourself what type of man you want to be, then be that man. No one is going to push you more than yourself. A man doesn’t wait for things to be perfect, he takes action.
Stay Consistent. Don’t give up because something gets hard. Becoming the man you are made to be, takes time, effort and practice. Lots of it. Epictetus said: “No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
Remain Teachable and Humble. These go hand in hand. Humility leads to being teachable. When you realize that you don’t know anything that is when you are ready to learn anything. Remember that you are a warrior and that you were made for greatness. Warriors are teachable, and always ready to learn.
Be willing to adapt. Things don’t always go as planned, but if you remain strategic in your approach and are developing your skill and strength then you will be able to adapt and change as new opportunities and openings arise in your life.
Challenge Yourself. Never think that you have arrived. That you have reached your destination. A man’s journey lasts a lifetime, and you can’t do things because you think you are going to get noticed or because you want accolades. Do the things you need to do because they will make you better as a man, not because you think you will be rewarded for doing them.
Don’t ever settle into mediocrity. Always choose the higher road. You will be a better man because of it, one that is born hardship, pain, discomfort, and grief. Life is never guaranteed to be easy, and as a man, this is the first step in developing a warrior mindset and a never quit attitude.
Be Legendary, Be Authentic.
Do Manly Stuff, Create goals and then conquer those big audacious goals that you set for yourself.
Kick ass. Ever. Single. Day.
Be the man that you were made to be.
Stephen Dull is a Navy Veteran, Cross-fit Enthusiast, Blogger, Podcaster, Engineer, who loves to lift weights in his garage, and help men be the men that they were made to be.
I was talking with a buddy and his lady the other day about them possibly getting a dog.
I love dogs, so obviously I was trying to sell them on the idea.
We went from talking about breeds to the specifics, like should they get pet insurance and so on.
Finally, the conversation dove into how stupid regulations are, namely the fact that my dog is banned in 7 countries.
If you’ve ever met Teddy, my 3-year old dogo Argentino, you’d know he’s an absolute sweetheart. The guy’s a teddy bear (hence the name).
Granted, at 110 pounds of solid muscle, you wouldn’t want to break into my house if Teddy’s inside. But isn’t that the point?
Part of the point of owning a dog is, of course, companionship, but they’re also working animals. They serve a purpose. Part of Teddy’s purpose is to protect and defend the house, especially when I’m not home.
Some governments – be they national, provincial, state, or municipal – look at the capacity a dog has to do harm to other dogs or humans, and they punish owners (by making them pay higher for licensing or insurance) or by outright banning the dog, regardless of what the evidence says.
For instance, chihuahuas bite more humans than pitbulls.
And dogo’s, well, they’re not even on the list – any list for that matter.
If you know dogs you’ll know it’s 100% dependent on the owner. If the owner is a prick, then the dog is likely going to react accordingly.
Punishing the masses for a few bad apples is always horrific policy.
Regardless, Teddy is a wonderful companion, and a GREAT guard dog.
That’s his purpose.
It’s also MY purpose, and YOUR purpose.
While we’re here to provide for others, to lead others, to inspire and motivate and so on, we’re also here to defend.
That’s our role.
Men are bred over thousands upon thousands of years to guard the village and city gates from other men and animals who would do its inhabitants harm.
Just like societies try to limit or even ban dogs who have the capacity for danger, they’re trying to make our men softer, more timid and malleable.
You have to fight that.
I have to fight that.
While we need to be caring, kind, and good, if we don’t accompany that with the capacity for danger, it’s all for nought.
And while you’re going to the gym to build bigger muscles, to get lean, and to increase your testosterone levels, you’re also there to train your body to be dangerous, and to have that potential running through your veins.
Because, as a man, in the end, it’s not about you.
You’re dangerous so those around you can be free, safe, and creative.
You’re dangerous so those around you don’t have to worry.
You’re dangerous because that’s what real men have been since before Moses wore short pants.
Take this quest with you next time you’re in the gym, and I guarantee you’ll put more into your training because when you think of your purpose on these terms, there’s a heck of a lot more at stake from your training.
A couple months ago I went on a hike with my buddy and his son, my godson.
The kid’s a great kid, but the hike was pretty damn long for a 4 year old. We’d rotate between carrying him and allowing him to trek on his own. When he’d get tired, close to quitting or whining, we’d provide motivation in the form of a call-to-action that men have given younger men for thousands of years.
This term has become controversial, as a few aim to get the majority to stop saying it.
This desire to rid our society of this call-to-action comes from a good place. It’s rooted in the notion that men need to talk about our emotions and feelings more. All that the other side wants is to help people live better, longer lives.
Good intensions, but a horrible solution. It’s wrong and destructive to rid such a powerful tool from our vernacular. In this article I’ll cover 7 reasons why calling on our boys to ‘man up’ isn’t just okay, but good and powerful and increasingly necessary.
There seems to be differing ideas of what ‘man up’ means, which is a big part of the problem. As with most things in life, two sides have the same goal, but differing worldviews help them create differing solutions.
As well with most things in life, there is a right answer and a wrong answer. If you want to raise victims, don’t use the term. If you want to raise leaders, use it, but use it wisely.
When my pal told his son to man up, I saw a change in his posture. He stood taller. He forgot his desires to quit and to rest, he put them aside, he rose to the challenge, and he got after it.
We live in a society that places far too much importance on desires and emotions.
What you feel like you are, you are. What you feel like doing, you should do. If you feel sad, you are sad. If you feel broken, you are broken. If you feel lost, you are lost.
Each of those, of course, are a lie if you choose to make them one.
What’s gone is the power given to the individual to own their reactions to events and the responsibility of how they respond to situations. What’s lost is the power given to the individual to shape their reality, their mood, their desires, based on how they act, not how they feel in a given moment. (Read This:The Event Doesn’t Matter. Your Reaction to It Does.)
By removing the call to man up from our vernacular, we’re removing a powerful call-to-action that propels boys to want to become men.
It makes sense that we want to deter our boys from becoming men when we live in a society that degrades men, that sees the masculine virtues that won freedom and wealth and prosperity as archaic and falsely oppressive. It’s a cowards way of thinking, of creating victims where there are none and oppressors where there were only men who made the lives of others better, easier, filled with far more opportunity.
We’re trying to make life easier, when easier isn’t necessarily better. We’re aiming to explain our emotions when our actions are all that matter.
We do not need to coddle our young men, to tell them to explain their feelings and follow their desires.
We do need to tell them to man up.
To man up isn’t to shut up. To shut up is to shut up, it has nothing to do with rising to the occasion unless shutting up means to stop listening to the weak voice within us that we all have.
If you don’t understand the call-to-action, you were likely never called to said action by a worthy source.
My old man was and is a worthy source. As is my mom. If either of them tell me to man up, it means I’m not being a man. Which means I’m not being dependable, strong, courageous, hard-working, and just. It means I’m being a pussy. I’m not doing what must be done and I’m not doing a good enough job.
I’m listening to the inner voice that wants to give reasons for my failure, that wants to provide excuses for how I’m acting, not the side that calls me to a higher standard.
To man up is to ask a man to do what must be done regardless of his desires, emotions, or feelings.
We tell a young man to man up if he gets his lady pregnant and is thinking of leaving her on her own to fend for her new family.
We tell a young man to man up when he’s complaining about where he is instead of accepting it as his reality, and doing his best to make it better.
We tell a young man to man up when he’s whining about how he feels, calling him to act like who he can be rather than acting like the coward he’s become.
We need this term in our culture.
This term was used heavily in past generations, the generations that fended off the Nazis, gave women the right to vote, ended slavery, and built nations of the west into superpowers.
Winning is a very good thing. We need to win once again, and turning our backs on the virtues that create victory (hard work, dedication, persistence, honor, justice, intelligence) because we’ve become so soft and sensitive that we’re even scared to claim ourselves victorious, we need to once again reclaim them.
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
1. People need more asked of them, not less.
It doesn’t matter the age of the individual, people need to be challenged. By coddling and thinking less of their abilities and toughness, we teach our youth to think less of themselves.
By telling a boy to man up, you’re not telling him that he’s less, but that he can be more – which is always true. We can always do more, be more, learn more, work more, and so forth. We’ve simply slid into an existence as a culture where the ideal is doing nothing, being lazy, and being envious of those who aren’t.
Work is life. Accomplishment is necessary for an individual to feel as though he’s lived a purposeful life. Happiness is overrated. Meaning and purpose and underrated.
People need to be challenged. They need more asked of them, not less. They don’t need a pat on the back, but a kick in the ass, then a high five when they rise to the occasion.
2. Young men need to be connected to something, a lineage that gives them a source of strength and community.
Every person needs to be connected to something, a history, a bloodline, a lineage. That’s what makes being an orphan especially difficult, it’s that you feel like you’re starting from nothing, with no history, no proof that you’re a part of something.
The truth is we’re all connected. Somehow, some way, you are connected to Cato or Napoleon or Theodore Roosevelt. As a man, you can bring that connection close by acting like those men you respect, by adopting common virtues and values and hard work is common throughout.
When you tell a boy to man up, you’re not pushing him down, you’re connecting him to that lineage, those men of history who didn’t let their feelings or desires diminish what they could accomplish.
That’s the key…
This call-to-action isn’t shutting down, it’s rising above. It’s not about closing up, but pushing through.
3. We don’t need to follow our desires, we need our actions to change them.
Every fella I know who’s written a book (not an easy thing to do) has done so on a schedule.
His words weren’t on paper because of feelings or emotion, but because of routine. Regardless of how they felt, they sat at the computer and wrote.
If you’ve ever felt down, you’ll know that a tough workout can change your mood. If you’ve ever felt sorry for yourself you’ll know that charity work can turn that around.
The keyword is ‘work’.
Actions have weight to them. Emotions are fickle and often lies. By telling your body to man up you’re telling him to take control of his emotions rather than letting them control him.
4. Challenging a young man to be more manly is beneficial, not harmful.
Being a man, not a male or a boy, but a real man, is something to be proud of.
Those who call on us to stop telling other guys to man up ignore the masculine virtues that bore free nations and defeated evil ones.
They see masculinity as brutish and oppressive, but my goodness, they’re the same lot that want participation trophies (which we know are destructive). They’re the same lot that want men to work in careers that are typically pursued by women…
… They ignore fact and reality.
Men and women are different, and being a real lady and being a real man are good. They’re the ideal for each sex and should be something we all aspire to be.
Everyone knows a ‘man’s man’, and few would have anything bad to say about him.
Being a man, a manly man, a real man, means being a leader, it means doing what must be done regardless of feelings. It’s acting with honor and courage. How in God’s great name could this be seen as a bad thing?
5. Telling a boy to man up teaches him that he’s not a victim of his surroundings, emotions, desires, or how he feels. He’s in control. He’s in power.
We place a great deal of importance on feelings and emotions.
People can spend their entire lives falling victim to both, never acting because they never felt like it.
The truth is that actions are far more powerful. We can do great things if we’d just act. We can persist day in and day out if we just act.
We can actually become better, stronger, more successful people if we’d just act like it.
To man up is to act regardless of feelings and emotions, and if you want to raise a successful son, that’s a valuable lesson to teach.
6. Telling your boy to man up won’t make him commit suicide.
One of the facts that the ‘stop manning up’ crowd cite is that men are more likely to commit suicide. This is true. Yet, as with most things, it’s true if you stop there, and if you want to prove that we shouldn’t tell our boys to man up, you will stop there.
The deeper, more nuanced reality of suicide and mental health is that men are simply more efficient at suicide. Why? Because we’re more violent and we care less about our appearance.
Women attempt suicide at higher rates. They’re just less likely to do it by doing something physical, like shooting or hanging themselves, or jumping off something tall. They’re more likely to attempt suicide using less violent means, like taking pills or something along those lines.
One study found that 7% of women and 4% of men attempt suicide, but that more men were successful.
Note: I realize that the words I’m using here and the way I’m using them can come across as incredibly insensitive, especially with such a devastating topic. That’s not my intension. I’ve had loved ones commit suicide. Dealing with this issue, however, I find it drives a point home if I don’t fill it with the despair and sadness that comes from those who’ve lost someone close to them. So, my apologies if this is just too coldly worded.
Suicide also isn’t merely a matter of talking about one’s feelings, but more about feeling as though we serve a purpose. When we lose touch with why we’re here, we devalue our lives and our reason for being here.
We can also see that diet and exercise are as effective as anti-depressants.
We’re also calling our young men to man up, less. We’re rewarding participation and not actual victory, devaluing hard work, persistence, and winning in the process. We’re making life easier for them and then the real world smacks them in the face.
As the quality of life increases, suicide rates increase along with it.
Ease is not what we need.
We’re born to overcome, to be challenged, to get pushed around and fight back, not to lie down and give up and sob about our plight.
You cannot tell your son to man up if you’re acting like a coward.
You can’t tell your boy to man up if you’re not treating your wife right.
You can’t tell your son to man up if you’re not being a great example. If you do, it will have the opposite effect.
You have to show him what a real man is, so he doesn’t get confused about what this call to action is.
If you’re abusive, cowardly, weak, he’ll have the wrong reaction to the challenge.
Fatherhood should make us better.
If you’re reading this, it likely has and is, or will.
Be the man your son, your daughter, wife, and family need you to be. If you are, simply watching you, how you act, who you are, will be a challenge that your son or sons will try to live up to.
Get after it.
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.
This is the test of your manhood: How much is there left in you after you have lost everything outside of yourself? ~ Orison Swett Marden
It was early on in the life of this online gig that I quit my onlymoney source and focused solely on trying to earn a living online.
The logic was reasonable. If I really wanted to make something of this online stuff, which would allow me to earn a living from anywhere and not be dependent purely on hours worked, then I’d have to give it everything I had.
I wouldn’t, however, say it was ‘smart’.
By giving away my only income source while not making anything from the online business, I was being dumb and naive. It didn’t take long to burn through my savings and then my credit before I was stuck trying to fund a business and pay rent.
That was one of the ‘when you’ve lost everything outside yourself’ moments I’ve had, and at least now I’m happy to say that I didn’t quit. It took eight months of overdue rent or rent not paid on time and late nights and early mornings working before I got a breakthrough.
The best story of a guy who showed his mettle when his world was collapsing is Cinderella Man.
As always, the book is better than the movie but the movie is incredible.
Want to know what it means to man up? Watch that movie and read the book.
Man up, Carry On
The term, man up has had a dark shadow over it for a while now. It’s a term that’s perceived as ‘shut up, don’t talk about your feelings, and carry on’. I know this is incredibly politically incorrect, but what’s wrong with that?
What’s wrong with seeking your own solutions?
What’s wrong with proving to yourself and to the world and your family and peers that you can make it on your own?
What’s wrong with persisting and hustling and working harder than others?
I get the whole ‘talk about stuff’ thing with depression and so forth. Read the Depression Cure if you have depression. See the science behind it, the causes of it.
To Man Up is to accept your role in your own life. It’s to accept responsibility for your role, your future, your part not just in your own life but in the lives of others too. It’s something you find out, create, when you’re at your lowest and you refuse to quit.
Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret. ~ Benjamin Disraeli
To man up is to accept the struggle of manhood. And yes, it is a struggle, a daily one, often without reward or acclaim, just the pride of the man enduring the struggle he’s put here to endure.
This struggle is necessary, but it’s being avoided by guys who opt for the quick fix, the easy path, the cheat to wealth. Why wouldn’t you want ease? Why would any man quest for an arduous road?
What is this struggle?
Is it merely hardship or something more?
Norman Mailer said, Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor.
Man Up: Face Your Battles
Every day we face battles. More often than not we’re ignorant to the wars being waged because we see these not as ‘battles’, but as natural desires. As such, they’re innate and nothing can be done about them. (Read This:Fight Your Desires)
Other times we ignore these wars and blame things as being ‘just the way they are’. We willingly sweep our role in our own lives under the rug and play the role of someone having things done to them rather than being someone who fights for a better road, path, or way of life.
Yes, you have to win these battles with honor, but you also have to identify the damn battles.
Don’t think life happens to you, know that you control not the event but you definitely control your reaction to the event. You may not control the weather or the news, but you have power over how you respond to the weather or the news.
These are the battles.
Your desire to be lazy isn’t innate, it’s a choice. Your desire to spend money isn’t ‘good’ because it comes from within, it’s only good if it propels you closer to your goal.
Man Up. It’s a simple request, but to man up is to follow the hard path, one of awareness and not of ignorance.
When you’re ignorant you don’t have to fight any battle, you don’t have to accept the role you play in your own life. You can remain blind to the power you wield and instead ‘go with the flow’. You don’t have to rise to the occasion. You don’t have to wake up earlier, or go the extra mile at your work because you think your success or lack-there-of is the result of a system, not of discipline, hard work, and many many battles won with honor.
You can be a little bitch, a lacky, a victim, or you can be a damn man.
It’s your choice.
Being a coward is easy. You always choose the easy way out. You blame others for your mess, your life, your failure. When you act like a man, when you man up, the only one you can blame is the man in the mirror. It’s a tougher road, but it’s a necessary one if you’re going to live just and honorable and successful.
When I was a kid I was puzzled by Muhammad Ali’s dodging of the draft for the Vietnam War. He could kill everyone – or so the logic went in my small little brain. I obviously thought the same about John Wayne. Why wouldn’t they just send John Wayne in to fight the Nazis or whoever the bad guy was at the time?
When we get older – and I wouldn’t say ‘old’, in past generations this started at 17 years of age if not earlier – this becomes our pursuit, and it should be a serious pursuit.
You cannot dream about being a great man, you’re not a boy any longer, it’s time that you craft a plan and follow it every day.
The Dead Serious Quest to Man Up
We grow up later in our society than we did before. It is, in part, because our lives are longer, but we’re also lazier and far more entitled than we’ve ever been. We’re creating entitlement generations by awarding and rewarding them without merit, just for participation. (Read This:Nothing is Deserved Unless it’s Earned)
At some point the notion that you’re the center of the world or that you’re deserving of something you haven’t yet earned has to end, this is when you man up, when you become a man, when you take greatness more seriously.
There comes a time when life has to be taken more seriously, and this includes having fun, adventure, relationships, and your career path.
Life has to be taken more seriously because it’s fleeting. With every day you’re brought closer to your death. This is serious. What’s more is that most people exist in ignorance of this fact. They ignore death and doom and go through their days disregarding the significance of this countdown.
To be a man is to pursue not just a more serious life, but to pursue greatness in every moment of life.
Man up! Stop acting as if there are no consequences for your lack of clarity or for your laziness. Man up! Stop pushing greatness to tomorrow and stop idolizing others who’ve accomplished it already or are on their way to doing so.
You’re a man, dammit, man up and start acting like one by doing what you’ve been afraid to do up to this point.
There are choices, daily, that men make that boys don’t.
Choose to read instead of watching TV.
Choose to work on your house instead of ‘relaxing’.
Choose to work another hour instead of playing video games.
Choose to spend time with your family instead of surfing the net.
Manliness is a choice, and a dead serious one at that. Make the choice to man up every day. It’s a lifetime pursuit, and it’s your duty to pursue it as such.
Wake up every day as if greatness is your purpose.
I’m not a huge fan of the term, but when applied to every area of your life it provides clarity as to what your choices must be in every single moment.
One should count each day a separate life. ~ Seneca
End each day with the question, If this day was my life, would I consider it a success?
It’s a simple but profound barometer. Success in life, after all, is a series of successful days. The future, however, isn’t always easy to work for nor to get excited about. A day is a life wrapped into 24 hours. When you add that kind of weight to a single day and you’re genuine about answering that question at every day’s end, it’s difficult not to have urgency in your hours and minutes.
Urgency and excitement are what allow us access to energy that defies what’s normal or common. Most people live a sedated life, almost waiting for their final day or blissfully ignorant to the fact that it’s coming, getting ever more close with each passing minute.
They live in such a manner because there is no urgency nor importance on their time. Time is something that ticks, it’s here to be spent or wasted or enjoyed, not used.
The worker, the hustler, the fella with the fundamental understanding that a day really does matter, and thus, so does an hour and a minute and the focuses of each should fit into one’s idea of a good life, a successful life, in the end, wins.
He wins because he doesn’t waste time. He doesn’t waste a day nor an hour nor a minute.
A day without accomplishment cannot be judged favorably. Accomplishment is time well-used. Time well used is time that fits into the overall goal or plan for a life. If, within your day, you accomplish one or two things that bring you closer to your overall idea of success, then you’ve succeeded.
If you’ve spent more time being pulled away into projects and attitudes and thoughts that don’t fit your definition of a good life, then you’ve failed.
It’s a personal definition, but if you want to build a great business, one that leaves a legacy far after you’re dead, then work without distraction has to be an important part of your day.
I assume you also want to ‘live’, thus, a day spent outdoors, in the woods, in new lands, or in adventures, has to also be deemed victorious.
Every day doesn’t have to be the same, nor should it. They shouldn’t be measured by the same categories because on different days our focuses change.
Your work matters, it’s a part of who you are and why you’re here.
Your family and friends matter, they’re an important piece of having a happy, meaningful life. Adventure and exploration are also important. At times work has to be left and an adventure has to be had.
If every day is successful in either of those three categories, then your life will be as well.