Part of being a man and being a leader is doing what must be done, not what you’d like to do or what the populace wants you to do. Sometimes you need to be violent to protect the innocent. Sometimes you need to work long, arduous hours to provide for your family. You may not receive any praise for your efforts or pain, but that’s not what you’re after.
You’re a man. You do what must be done because it must be done, not because of the fame or popularity that it can bring.
This is at the core of what it means to “man up”.
We want to improve, grow, and evolve, but many of us don’t know who we want to evolve into.
It’s an important question. Break it down further and ask: What is my mission? What do I want to do?
When you know who you want to be, the man you want to become, you can create the habits to create the person. Without that reference point you’re shooting darts in the dark with your life being the stakes.
We aim to control what we can’t. We get angry, sad, even depressed over things that are completely out of our control.
It’s silly, but we all do it.
When we are able to draw a firm line in the sand between what we can and can’t control we hand ourselves the power to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Reflection is something that’s fleeting in our society. To get somewhere we once had to walk in silence, or ride a horse in silence. We once worked the fields in silence or hunted in silence.
We once had no choice but to reflect. Today we’re bombarded by noise, we can’t stay off our phones, ear-buds always blaring music in our ears. We may be learning lessons but we have no way to reflect upon those lessons, to ask life’s bigger questions.
You know what you have to do; walk in silence, work in silence, ride in silence, hunt in silence.
Buck society’s trends, be your own man and find your own path. (Read this: Well, We’ve Killed Reflection)
We often lose because we look at the totality of the path we’re on, the mountain we’re climbing, the enemy we’re facing, when the only thing that matters is the thing we must do in the moment.
Take that initial step, then focus on the next when it is here. To look into the future is to make yourself needlessly discouraged about events that are not yet here, nor are they promised.
One step, it’s all there is.
We seek answers from others too often. We google questions in hopes that we’ll find some insight. The fact is that most of the answers we need are within us, we just lack the courage or the conviction to make the decision.
We’d rather pass the buck, have someone or something else find the answer for us so, if things don’t work out, we’re not entirely responsible.
Ask and seek advice less. I know this isn’t a popular thing to say, especially from a fella who makes a living by essentially giving advice. But we need to make our own decisions. We need responsibility in as many areas as we can manage. We need to make our own choices and bare the blame or the glory for whatever comes of them.
We’re afraid that we’re not good enough, not tough enough, the reality is that toughness is a choice, and we all have the capacity to make the choice to be tough.
Granted, few make that choice, but it’s ours to make or ours to avoid.
Don’t run from the tough choices and moments in life, they are what will teach you, they are what will allow you to prove yourself.
Welcome them with open arms.
Envy and resentment and jealousy are cancerous, they eat away at the host. You cannot hold either in your heart and mind and live a good life.
Yet, somehow, our society increasingly aims to remove any advantage one may have at attaining success instead of helping others have these same advantages. We’d rather bring others down than work our butts off to lift ourselves up.
It’s an odd frame of mind, a weak one, one that a man can’t hold on to. Know that someone else’s success is a good thing, not a bad thing, and if you want to be great, start working. Hating someone else will bring you nothing but unhappiness.
If you want to master a skill, you need discipline. If you want to build a business, again, you need discipline. If you want to raise good kids, you’ll need the same thing.
No matter what you want in life, if you want to be great at something, you need discipline. (Read this: 5 Ways to Become More Disciplined)
In all areas of your life aim to acquire more of it.
When you’re going through tough times, understand their necessity. It’s hard to comprehend when you’re in them, but you need them.
You need to be tested.
If you’re not tested you’ll wander through life without truly improving or evolving. Being born into wealth and ease makes this more difficult. Trials often become something you have to place on yourself, and it’s rare to have the wisdom to be able to do that when all you need is around you.
When you’re born with less, though, the struggle is there, it’s around you, it is you. Don’t feel as though you are less because you have less, wear the pride that comes from a man in the struggle.
… And you cannot choose the circumstances you’re born into, but you can choose the circumstances your children are born into.
Violence sucks, it’s never “good”, though it can be honorable and just.
As the innocent in the Rwandan genocide were slaughtered, they needed to be defended. The needed evil people to be killed, yet the world waited, we didn’t respond, and a few hundred thousand people died as a result.
As Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East, we’re too worried about image and whether it’s “our battle” to take action. The reality is that the slaughter will continue until good men destroy evil men.
One way to see how good you really are is to place yourself in a situation where you either sink or you swim. A situation where your failure is painful and your success is dependent on a ton of hard work and discipline.
It’s not a nice feeling to add pressure and stress to your life, but it is often necessary for growth.
Not fighting when the innocent are attacked and slaughtered isn’t peaceful, it’s cowardice.
Violence isn’t good, but it does exist. And to defeat those who use violence to harm, you must fight fire with fire.
Some people or groups of people cannot be reasoned with, they are not reasonable. They must be defeated.
More Man Up Monday: The Choice That Controls Your Fate