7 Battles Every man must win: How to fight for the most important things in your life

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Every day, you are in a fight.

Whether you want to believe it or not, you are in a fight.

Did you know that?

The fight is for your life, your dreams, your character, your ambition, your success in life. Their is a battle going on for your heart and for your mind, a battle for your health and wellness, a battle for your marriage and relationships.

The fight never stops, the battles rage on.

Unfortunately, many men are losing the fight.

50 percent of marriages end in divorce, more and more men are looking at pornography and becoming addicted. More and more men are playing video games instead of being present for their families. More and more men are overweight and they are becoming even more passive with each generation.



Take a look around.

We can’t say things without offending someone. We can’t play a sports in school without resetting the score after each quarter.

Men no longer need to work on their relationships when they can get fabricated versions of women on the internet, that don’t hold them accountable.

Many guys have reached the pinnacle of their life with a beer belly and a boyish attitude to go with it. It’s more about what I can do, then what I can do for my family. Men disappear into their hobbies or vices, which leaves them more and more distant from their children.

It’s happening around you, in fact, it might even be happening to you.

There are 7 battles that I believe a man must absolutely be aware of and fight against everyday. Sometimes you might win, and sometimes you might lose… but you have to fight.

1) A man must fight for his identity

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This is so important in this day and age.

Most men are confused. This has a lot to do with how they were raised and how there fathers did, or did not invest in them.

With divorces happening over 50% of the time in marriages, it’s no wonder that young men are raised without a father figure modeling life for them. On the other hand, there are passive fathers who never teach their kids what about how to be a man, instead they shelter them and raise them to be soft and unassertive.

Other boys are left to the opinions of their friends and are easily swayed by the medias take on homosexuality, and the LGBTQ community.

When they start believing the lies of this world and the thief comes knocking on their door, they start to question whether they are really men or not? When no one is their to help them except their lost and just as confused friends, they turn to homosexuality because it is easier than fighting back.

This is disheartening.

A mans identity needs to be preserved. He is made different.

He is made in the image of his creator, and a man cannot find his identity without first knowing and having a relationship with his creator.

No one can truly tell you who you are, or who you are made to be, other than him.

Men put their identity in their income, status, what they own, where they workout, who they hang out with, what kind of house they have. Each one of them measures the others according to their own interpretation of their identity.

Everyday, someone is trying to tell a man who they are, and who they should be. Your wife may even try to put you in a box and mold you into a modern emasculated man. Churches have done an excellent job of making men feminine. They are not allowed to upset the people in the congregation or say what they mean for fear of not being “Christian”.

I don’t say these things because I want to sound the alarms and start a war, I am saying them so that you realize there is indeed a fight and so you become aware of it. Your identity is at risk.

2) A man must fight passivity

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Passivity is something that has become more widespread.

Let me be clear about the definition of passivity: accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance.

In other words. Men have given up.

  • They don’t take care of themselves physically because it’s hard and nobody else does

  • They watch TV shows or movies because everyone else does it

  • They spend money on whatever they want, because that’s what other people do

  • If their friends or coworkers have an idea, they go along with it

  • If they don’t agree with their wife about something, they do whatever she says anyway

They wander through life oblivious to the lack of impact, passion, drive or, ambition that they have. The worst part is, they pass it along to the next generation. Their sons and daughters become passive.

Why?

Because, it’s easy to do. It’s the path of least resistance. They don’t have to fight, or be looked down upon and everyone will approve of them (More on this later).

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect” - Mark Twain


 

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Passivity is a disease. Once it has gotten hold, it clings for dear life, like that tiny piece of skin on the roof of your mouth that won’t go away. You keep flicking it with your tongue but it won’t go away until you reach in their and pluck it out.

“To consort with the crowd is harmful; there is no person who does not make some vice attractive to us, or stamp it upon us, or taint us unconsciously therewith. Certainly, the greater the mob with which we mingle, the greater the danger.” - Seneca

Passivity is essentially not having a mind of your own. I used to sway with whatever everyone else was doing, and I buried myself doing it. I had low self-esteem, no identity, and no backbone. Passivity is a sign that a man is not yet mature in who he is, and needs to go back and fight battle number one.

Find your identity, and you will not be passive.

When everything else around you is going one way, you can boldly and comfortably turn heel and walk the other.

One of the best ways to stay calm in the storm and without compromise is to create a list of 100 goals. The reason to do this is so that no matter where you are at in life, or whatever is going on around you. You can compare yourself to the goals you set, and not the ones others set for you.

It will give you direction, purpose, a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind.



3) Fight against playing it safe

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Every single person will want to put you in a box or make you conform somehow.

There is always going to be opposition in your life. You can’t play it safe.

Just like the adage goes: You have to grab the bull by the horns.

I distinctly remember a time when I was younger when a group of guys I was with wanted to go and jump off some cliffs at a lake. Everyone was talking a big game about how many jumps they had done, or how awesome they were at doing flips.

Once we got to the tip of the cliff, no one wanted to jump. Some of the guys were saying that it really wasn’t worth it. In fact one of them said “I’m all for doing crazy stuff, but this is dangerous.”

We already knew that it was deep enough and that no one was going to hit any rocks. The water was about 55 degrees but no one wanted to do it.

So I went first. I wasn’t going to play it safe.

After I jumped, then more guys jumped.

When you play it safe, so does everyone else. When you take risks (Calculated ones), you bring out the greatness in others.

This is just cliff jumping, but this can translate to any area of your life.

  • Don’t play it safe in marriage and relationships

  • Don’t play it safe in the lives of your children

  • Don’t play it safe at work

  • Don’t play it safe in determining the direction of your life

  • Don’t play it safe with the goals you set for yourself

The thief in your life who wants to prevent you from being the man that you were made to be, and one way he does that is to try and make you afraid of going all in, afraid of stepping out, and afraid of who you might become.

4) fight against trying to impress others

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I love the movie Fight Club.

Mainly because it takes a huge shot at consumerism and the passive man. In fact, it reveals a huge hole in the lives of most middle aged men, who have become slaves to the daily grind.

They eagerly seek purpose and meaning. Sure the movie has some twisted views and scenes, but for the most part it’s relevant.

There is a quote in the movie that most people miss:

Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won't. We're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

What’s all the stuff for? Why do we do the things we do? Are we trying to impress someone?

What’s more interesting is this: If you are trying to impress someone, just remember, they are probably trying to impress someone else.

Don’t try to impress anyone. Your life is more than that, and you are more than that.

The only thing that you need to compare yourself to is your own goals, and the person that you were made to be.

Chase wisdom and character over anything else. There is no limit on the value of that. The most influential people are the ones who do what they want to do because they know it is the right thing for them, not because it impresses someone or because they think that is what others would want.

The more we try to impress others, the further away from ourselves we get.

5) Learn to remain detached

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It’s really easy for a man to lose his cool.

This is something that takes a whole lot of discipline to overcome. People and circumstances will always find a way to frustrate you, but you have to learn to stay disconnected from it in a personal and emotional way.

As a manager I have had man y people yell at me or get angry at me and even argue with me. Usually when it is when I correct them about something they are doing, or when they don’t agree with me.

I always let the person get angry, and even yell or argue with me. Why? Because they are upset and they need to get it out. However, I myself don’t react and get worked up.

I remain unaffected by their outburst. This allows me to actually get to the heart of the matter without taking it out on the person. Yelling back or arguing back only creates more and more frustration, and yelling.

It is better to remain detached from the situation. When you do this, you not only remain calm and collected but you earn the respect of the people around you.

When you remain calm, you help other people remain calm.

When you freak out, you will make everyone else freak out.

I have this thing I do when I am extremely frustrated. My eyebrows go straight up when I talk.

My wife has to remind me to lower my eyebrows when I talk. It’s kind of funny, but it gets me off the ledge of jumping into the freak out zone.

When I was in the Navy I saw many junior officers overreact to certain situations when all they needed to do was take a step back, remain calm and make some decisions, even if those decisions were delegated. They lost a lot of respect for this and became known as someone who could not lead under pressure.

In the same way, even now, I have co-workers that are like this. They are concerned with something happened that they couldn’t control, and try to come up with outlandish solutions to solve a problem that doesn’t need to be solved.

It’s difficult to work with high strung, stressed out, over-reactive environment. By you remaining detached you can bring a calm and stillness to the area in which you are in. Your family will trust you and respect you, and your kids will actually want to be around you.

6) Your focus and Attention

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Everything is fighting for your attention, your time, and your energy.

Everyone and every brand wants a piece of you. We are constantly bombarded with marketing. Billboards, Facebook ads, YouTube videos, promotions, coupons, news headlines, social media updates, notifications on our phones, our kids wanting us, our wives or significant others needing us.

It’s exhausting. Just reading all of that gives me anxiety.

None of those things are generally bad, but it can lead to information overload which tends to cause anxiety and paralysis of the brain.

Some people have so much information that they can’t even function.

I have found a way to combat this. I believe that how I use my time, engage my attention and my focus are all things that I can control, so I do everything that I can to regulate them.

The choice is all yours on how you utilize them.

There are several sayings that help me with my responses:

So if your eye--even your good eye--causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. - Matthew 5:29

This one may seem extreme, but it is in fact saying that if you have a problem with something, even if it’s good, but it’s causing serious issues in your life, or preventing you from the joy you could experience otherwise. You probably need to cut it out of your life.

For men this could be:

  • Pornography

  • Alcohol or Drugs

  • TV or YouTube

  • Social Media

  • Hobbies

One of the greatest examples of this is from the movie “Fireproof”. In the movie, the main character is struggling with his marriage. In one scene it shows him in front of the computer clicking through ads and videos of women. He has had a problem with pornography which is one of the reasons for his marriage being on the ropes.

He has a n epiphany of this very verse, and takes the computer out into the yard and destroys it with a baseball bat. He realizes that this chain in his life is not worth losing his marriage over, and it’s certainly not worth much of anything else. The truth is, we know the things that are bad for us or causing us pain, even if we think they are good.

The hard part, the part that makes you a man, is choosing to do the right thing, despite how it makes you feel, or how others might perceive you. We already said we can’t care what others think, we aren’t here to impress anyone.

Watch the video below. (*****DO NOT SPEND HOURS ON YOUTUBE AFTER WATCHING!!!*****)

“Nothing is needed by the fool, for he does not understand how to use anything, but he is in want of everything. The wise man needs hands, eyes and many things that are necessary for his daily use; but he is in want for nothing. For want implies a necessity,and nothing is necessary to the wise man.” - Chrysippus

You don’t need anything. You were born with everything.

The world would like to convince you that you need everything now, and that you must have it. If you don’t you are somehow missing out, or are less than everyone else.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you are constantly distracted by things that you think you need, and living in an endless wheel of consumption or the desire to acquire, you are truly, indeed, the one missing out.

Some other tips on fighting for your Focus, Time and Attention:

  • Get rid of the news, cable or any streaming TV service. Cancel it! Drop it like a ton of bricks.

  • Read Books that pertain to wisdom

    • Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, The Bible


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7) The battle for your mind

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In the same way that there is a battle for your focus and attention, there is a battle for your mind, and what you believe to be true.

Truth is truth, you know it to be true, because it does not contradict itself, nor can any argument prevail against it.

Your mind will often lie to you, and if you are like me, I have a million different thoughts run through my head regularly.

In fact, most of what I write on my blog is merely just an internal dialogue that I have with myself. I don’t really put much thought into what I write, it sort of just runs through my fingertips and onto the keys.

However, there are times when I have thoughts that tell me I’m not good enough, or that I can’t do something, or even that I deserve something.

Those are lies.

How do I know they are lies?

Because I know the truth about who I am and what it is that I need and deserve. You can know the truth too, that’s the great thing about it, it’s not a secret.

Here are some truths about you and me that we need to understand:

  • Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; ... - Psalm 1:1-6

    • The wicked in these verses are not “everyone else”, as some Christians or people would like to believe. The wicked is in reference to our natural inclination towards doing the wrong thing, in other words, if we believe the lies, then we tap into our wicked nature. It’s not an Us vs. Them type of thinking that most Christians have, it is a Me vs. Me mentality. Who am I going to believe? The man I was made to be, or the man that the world wants me to be?

  • Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. - Proverbs 22:29

    • Learn to be good at what you do, and do it every day with excellence, You will find peace in it.

  • A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. - Proverbs 29:11

    • Restraint, learn to use wisdom.

  • Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” - Genesis 1:26

    • A man has been given authority over everything on this earth. There is power there, we need to believe that. Remember that when you face seemingly impossible odds.

  • Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. - 1 Corinthians 16:13

    • Be a man (What it actually means): Become self-aware (Seek wisdom and truth, learn your strengths and weaknesses, take ownership), be strong (Exercise the body and the mind), Stand firm with the truth. Trust the truth.

Truth is something that you have to seek, in the same way that you would seek for a lost treasure, or in this day an age, a purchase of a new vehicle or a television. As much time and effort as you put into that, you need to put into finding and studying truth.

Truth cannot be taken from you, and it’s value is exponential. The value of a car purchase, or any purchase for that matter is decreasing in value and limited in it’s time.

Winning the battle of the mind is done daily. One step at a time.

##Stephen


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Knights - photo credit: Vassallo Salvatore Armor - Limatola via photopin (license)