Greatness isn’t born. Sure, nature plays a role in who you end up being, as does the family or city or time you’re born into, but greatness of any kind, mastery, accomplishment, success, they’re all learned. (Read This: Why You Don’t Need a Mentor)
Some want it more than others so they seek it out in a greater capacity. They hustle and learn and acquire as much knowledge as they can and then they put it into practice. But that doesn’t mean that greatness is only for those who’ve set out on the path, the path has no firm beginning. What I do know is that your beginning cannot be tomorrow, it must be today.
Those who push off greatness for another day bring their intentions with them to the grave.
Your failures, your pain, your weaknesses and fears and hardships are not unique to you. Others have gone through what you’re going through before, and much worse.
You can get through it. Reading is one great way to do this, but you can’t wait until you’re IN IT to learn how to cope with it. Start that process now.
Read through history what great men have endured and when you find yourself in that dark place you’ll know how to find the light. (Read this: Why All Men Need to Study Great Men)
You cannot get something great without giving something equally great. Pain and persistence and discipline, these are the currencies for success. It’s pain, fear, doubt, and endless intelligent work that must be handed over if you’re going to be a true success…
… And a true success is being a good man, a man of accomplishment and most importantly a man of value, not to yourself, but to others.
Now that young Theodore is here, I spend the first 30 minutes of my day, which starts between 3-4am, playing. I’m in the moment, having fun, then I lie down on his bed with him, calm him down, get him to sleep once again, and start work.
He’ll only be this age once. I’ll only be where I am once. You likely have many more things to be grateful for, the sound of the city, better yet, the sound of nature, a nice cup of coffee in the morning, the realization that you’re alive and improving, serving, getting better at what you do and who you are.
Be in these things, be among them, a part of them, and understand where you are in your life, in life in general. Feel the gravity of being alive, the touch, the sound, the smell of living and being healthy.
It’s an amazing feeling, a truly awe-inspiring one.
Your story is a part of a much grander narrative. Your story didn’t begin with you, but with your folks, and their folks, and their folks, and your ancestors, and your countrymen.
Many men have suffered greatly. They have endured immense pain, yet they have persisted and learned and have grown stronger because of that pain.
Read about these men. Their story is your story.
Death is one of life’s constants, yet it’s the thing we fear most. It’s inevitable, it’s necessary, without it we have no urgency. It’s in avoiding it that people waste time and live a closed life.
Embrace your death. Practice that moment in your mind. Make it more real. It will breathe energy into your life in the form of an urgency, a necessary kick into the present that only facing your mortality can accomplish. (Read this: You Will Fail and You Will Die)
We say to ourselves, “I’ll start tomorrow”, or next year is going to be my year, that year where I finally face my fears, quit my job and start my business, start saving, start traveling, start being a better person.
We live the majority of our lives in a time that is yet to be.
I do this far too often, it’s the only source of stress in my life, the only source of fear. It’s stupid. It takes self-awareness to catch it and strength to bring yourself back.
Spend 5 minutes each day priming yourself to live where only life can exist.
Envy is weakness. They are one in the same. They stem from insecurity, from being less than you know you can be and I say you to myself, not just to those reading this.
We can all be envious at times. I’ve spent years rooting that out of my brain. Every time someone is successful I have a genuine happiness, a desire to help them improve even greater, and it’s made my life far better.
To be a man of strength you have to be a man who lifts others up, you cannot grab their heels and try to bring them down.
You also have to recognize those in your life who are envious people, and remove them from your life. There is no sense in reasoning with them or trying to change their minds. Cut them off. Get them out. Your life is too important to spend with the cancers that are envious people.
What are your values? What do you believe to be good and honorable? What is your right and what is your wrong?
Your right and wrong shouldn’t be complicated. It should be a compass that guides you, allows you to take stands even when you’re the minority.
Few actually live. Most of us wait to live. We prepare to live. And after a life of preparation we realize we’d been preparing for the future, a time that doesn’t exist, that never comes, that can’t be enjoyed.
The present is all that there is. Be in it, for its good and its bad, appreciate it.
More Man Up Monday: Where Life is Won