The lost virtues of a man part 2: How to navigate through this modern culture with integrity, strength, confidence and character

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This is part 2 of a 2 part series. If this is your first time reading this then I suggest that you go back and read part 1.

In part 1,  we talked about how men have become lethargic, distracted and undisciplined.

Our society promotes man as the overweight adolescent, and most men do a good job of filling that stereotype.

Society has created safe places for young men to grow and share there feelings. We have become a soft convenient and comfortable culture that caters to every single little minuscule thing.


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SPARTAN BOYS

When Spartan boys were 7 years old they were placed into the boot-camp, military style training called the Agoge.

They learned to fight, work as a team, hunt for their food. They would sometimes go without food for a while so that they would get used to being hungry and learn to master their own body.

These young boys were much stronger and more capable of taking care of themselves then most 10-45 year olds today.

What has happened?


VIKING BOYS

Viking boys were considered adults by the age of 10. They worked on farms and had daily tasks to complete. These Viking boys were expected to learn how to take care of themselves.

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They had to be skilled farmers and handymen as well as skilled warriors. They were taught how to fight using spears swords axes and other weapons. Fighting was a part of life for both Spartans and Vikings, and they loved a good fight.

Even Viking girls learned how to fight with a sword and some of them became great warriors.

Today I don't believe that most men know how to change the tire on their car or how to fix their own lawnmower, or how to fight. The thought of a fight send our culture into a frenzy.

It is a lack of not wanting to learn, and our culture being to convenient. Hard things create hard men. Easy things create lazy, soft men.

Something is deeply wrong.

What can you do as a man in a culture that wants to emasculate you?


1) Have a Daily Practice or a Morning Routine

I was doing my morning routine the other day, and one of the things that I do is read a short scripture. As I was doing this I read:

"Very Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place where he prayed." - Mark 1:35

As a man, you need to have a daily practice where you break away and get yourself grounded.

  • Refocus
  • Re-energize
  • Reinvigorate.

If the creator of the Universe can do it, so can you.

When you have a daily practice it creates an anchor for your day. Your life may be fast paced, and throughout the day a million things can happen. That's why it is important to have a daily practice, so that when your days bleed into each other, you have something constant to bring you back.


 2) Keep your word, stop being "NICE"

If you say that you are going to do something, then do it. If you can't commit to something, then don't say you can. This is especially important if you have kids.

There are so many people that can't keep their word. 

Don't let guilt drive your decisions, because they often get you into trouble.

In his book "No More Mr. Nice Guy" , Robert Glover puts it this way:

Nice Guys are passive-aggressive. Nice Guys tend to express their frustration and resentment in
indirect, roundabout, and not so nice ways. This includes being unavailable, forgetting, being late, not following through, not being able to get an erection, climaxing too quickly, and repeating the same annoying behaviors even when they have promised to never do them again. 

This culture has created a bunch of "Nice Guys",... passive, indirect, and unavailable.

It is critical to be a man of your word in this day and age, because so many men do not do it. They don't show up in their kids life, they don't show up to work on time, they don't show up in their own life.

You can't be a victim. Be the best man that you can be, and take responsibility for yourself and your actions.

I have to tell grown men everyday to make it to work on time, or to set their alarm clock, or to make sure they are taking care of themselves.

You know why I have to tell men this? Because other men have failed.

When you start being a man of your word, getting up, working, out, showing up. You will start to have inevitable success in your life. 

If you start doing the work, you will start reaping the rewards. If you don't then you will continue to get nothing.


3) Finish What you start As Long As you Can Control It

When things get hard. Most men quit.

Don't ever start something unless you intend on finishing it. At some point whatever you are doing is going to get real hard, and you are going to ask yourself couple of questions.

  • What did I get myself into?
  • How can I get out of this?
  • How can I figure this out?

Don't stay glued to the first two questions, because then you will find a way to quit. Instead focus on the third question, How can I figure this out?

Then, figure it out. Men don't quit.

In 1777, George Washington and his men at Valley Forge were anchored in for the winter where it was harsh and many men didn't have the supplies they needed or the shoes and clothes they needed to stay warm.

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Yet, they were resilient. 

The men who tried to quit and escape, were given lashings and threatened to be shot on the spot for desertion.

Even Washington himself was dealing with an antsy congress that was wanting to replace him. His reply was the following:

“to observe one steady and uniform conduct, which I shall invariably pursue, while I have the honour to command, regardless of the Tongue of slander or the powers of detraction.”

Washington did not give up, and he received help from two other officers, one who took over procuring supplies for the men, and the other who came in and implemented a new training regimen, that bolstered the men's confidence.

After the winter, the men became stronger, reinvigorated and ready for combat. The rest, is history.

Washington, could have given up, and went home. He didn't, he finished what he started.


4) Do Manly Stuff

The best way to be a man, is to do manly stuff.

This involves hunting, shooting, fishing, building, lifting weights, climbing, hiking, fixing stuff, and hanging around other men who are interested in being men.

Men desperately need to do these things, or they will continue to wander aimlessly, passively, and pitifully into their own abysmal circumstances.

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Today boys have become apple computer using, Starbucks tasting, video game playing, safe place wanting, conservative hating lover boys who would rather talk about the newest phone app than learn how to build a fire, or fix a flat tire.

Its a far cry from those 10 year old Viking and Spartan boys. 

The society we live in is the byproduct of the men that lead it. Soft men create soft morals and weak character. Strong men, create strong morals and strong character.

Read about great men in history, and try to emulate your life after theirs. Most of them you will find did manly stuff.

You were made to be a warrior. You were made for mighty things. You were made to be a pioneer, an adventurer an explorer and a gentleman. You were made to be Tarzan. You were made to wrestle gorillas and lions, and also return home to your family and be as gentle and loving as a lamb.

God made you in his image, you are mighty. When you think about that real deep. God is the creator of the universe, and he, made you like him…what do you think that means. God made you to be a man.

He has given us everything we need, and he did it unapologetically, so stop apologizing.

Be who you were made to be. Do manly stuff.


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Stephen created the 360ManProject to help men get "unstuck", and back into the life they were made to live, and be the man they were made to be.

There are 4 Characteristics that a man needs on his journey to mastery. Strength Mind, Endurance, and Skill.


Photo credit: Thomas Hawk on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC
Axe - Photo on Visual Hunt