Man Up Monday: Life Has No Summit, Just a Climb

There is no end to your work here. No day to rest, no finally to your struggle nor summit to your climb. Life is motion, it’s work, it’s a constant and daily hustle that will never end, and you have to not only be at peace with this, but embrace it. Embrace the struggle because it’s where value and meaning are found. Embrace ease and welcome envy and failure to your life where your search for meaning will never embark. Meaning isn’t found, it’s created, and it’s created through struggle, a struggle that will never cease.

Hard work isn’t something you do, it’s not something you do on occasion, it’s who you are. Take pride in everything you do, but realize that you’re in it for the long haul, you’re a lover of the work and not merely of the result.

Live the strenuous life, a life dedicated to improvement and to the simple love of working hard with a distaste for ease always lingering on your tongue. (Read this: Forget Finding Your Passion. Just Work.)

Time is everything, yet we give it to nothing, to sloth and waste and ease. We surf the net and watch tv, ignorant to the fact our time is dwindling, ticking down. Come to grips with this universal fact, that you’re closer to your death with every word you read.

Use your time on things that matter to you most. It can seem like a long haul, an arduous road, but it’s only on these paths filled with work and strife and effort that we use our time as best we can, if we’re not engaged fully throughout the day on something important we’re giving our time to nothing, and we’ll regret this very deeply some day in the near future.

Victory in life is victory over the Self. We are our greatest obstacle. There is nothing else that even comes close. Which also means that we hold immeasurable power over what we can do and accomplish in this lifetime.

Don’t focus on the exterior things that you have no control over, only those internal processes that you need to master. If you gain self-control in all things, you gain complete power over your life.

We have fears for a reason, they protect us from doing stupid things or taking silly risks, but they’ve become debilitating for many.

Take a deep breath the next time you come across a fear that cripples you. Think about what is, not what may be. Think about what you can control and what you cannot. Then act on what you can control and leave it to time to prove your fears wrong. (Read this: How Fear Will Shape Your Legacy)

If you don’t know your values and your personal rules anything can come into your life and lead you down a path that is out of line with who you are and what you want because you haven’t explicitly identified who you are and what you want.

Take pen to paper and write down your values. Write down your 5 or 10 or 15 rules that guide you through life and keep you focused on what you want and who you want to become.

To man up can mean many things. At its base, though, it’s a call to action to act in a manly manner. That is, to not make excuses. To work hard. To do what you can, the BEST you can with what you have.

To be told to man up shouldn’t make you feel less manly, you should be honoured that you’re called to be more of who you are, a fella who doesn’t make excuses, who carries his load without complain. A man.

When you learn how to fight, you learn how to remove your emotions from conflict and instead focus on tactics and skill. Every guy should learn how to fight, not simply because you’re then better equipped to defend yourself and your family, but because it helps you to avoid reacting weakly to your emotions when strength will help you prevail.

Great men use time, weak men waste it. Most waste it. I waste far too much of it but with ruthless focus am climbing my way toward that potential we all have.

If all you did was NOT waste your time, and instead use it on something, anything that would help you improve, there would be very little that would be able to hold you back.

If you waste time, which is something we all do, there can be no valid excuse for a position in life that isn’t to your liking. (Read this: Time Is Limited. Take Action.)

I need to listen more than I talk. I’m sure many of us do. We want to tell more than we want to hear. It’s a pride thing. But it’s in listening that we learn, that we HEAR what others are going through and what they can teach us.

This is something I’ve added to my “rules of life”, that I’ll listen more than I talk so I can learn more than I know.

There’s a common belief that ignorance is bliss and intelligence relegates you to a life of depression. This can’t be true because intelligence must include the ability to choose how you react to emotions. It must include the ability to control your own thoughts and it must include discipline.

What man can call himself intelligent if he can’t make intelligent decisions? If he can’t choose right from wrong?

The more intelligent you are, or the more knowledge you gain, the more your life should improve and the greater impact your life should have on others. Intelligence without self-control is useless. Intelligence without action is useless.

A good heart is useless if you lack the discipline to ACT with goodness.

I know too many who are good within their hearts but lead selfish lives that oppose who they are.

I’m there from time to time. I act outside of my values. Goodness is something that all men should be, and to be good is to act with goodness and compassion, intention, as it always is, is useless.

Discipline is strength. It’s strength over the self. If you have discipline you have control over your thoughts and your fears. You have courage. You have grit. It’s with discipline that you avoid distraction and stick to your work. (Check this out: 5 Ways to Become More Disciplined)

The focus of every day should be to strengthen your resolve by improving your ability to focus on a single task without being pulled by distraction.

To develop grit you have to take it upon yourself to make difficult decisions, to choose pain and strain over ease.

Make this choice once daily, simply because you want to become tougher, and it doesn’t have to be ground-breaking stuff.

Walk to the gym instead of driving (something I’ve recently started doing).
Run on your off days (again, something I’ve added).
Add finishers to the end of your routine.
Read instead of watching TV.

Choose the hard road in small areas of your life so you’ll be able to withstand it when the choice isn’t yours to make.

Life is an action, not a thought. To live you have to be in motion, conquering obstacles and doing good work.

Yes, life is work. It’s an endless amount of work that can never be completed. There is no summit in life, just a climb.

There is no “peak”, no top of the mountain, no end of the road. Just a never ending journey that’s won with work and focus and an adventurous spirit.

Don’t focus on the summit, there isn’t one. Focus on the moment. It’s all there is and all there ever will be.

More Man Up Monday: You’ve Got to Stand for Something