How to be the best man you can be: Be critical of yourself and increase the accountability in your life


Would you agree that people are not critical of themselves but more critical of others?

We care less about what we think about ourselves and more about how we look to others.

This is a problem. Rorke Denver in his book "Damn Few" said that we need to be the mentors and coaches in our life. In other words, our convictions, beliefs and desire to succeed should be how we critique ourselves.

When you are on a high functioning team, you have to bring your "A" game, and if you don't, you get called out and put in the spotlight. If you don't want to pull your weight and be critical of yourself, and focus on how you can better yourself and others around you, then you will be useless to that team.

Shouldn't we approach everything with the mentality that we are going to be excellent at everything, that we are going to give our best effort. 

I think a lot of people sandbag, they think that they can get by because of their looks, or how smart they are or even their natural talent. I can tell you that a person who works hard and brings their best every time is way better than anyone else. They are constantly trying to get better and are critical of themselves. They hold themselves to a higher standard.

How do we get there?

The first step to becoming the best man that you can be is having self-awareness. You have to understand who you are, where you come from and what your inner code is.

If you don’t know who you are then you will have a hard time understanding where you are.

Focused, intentional discipline is required when it comes to spending some time each day to reflect on your behaviors, attitudes, catching points, blind spots and shortcomings.

If you don’t do this every single day, then it will be hard to become a better man.

Some guys don’t’ care about this, they are ok with being where they are at, and don’t see a reason to improve, get better or to grow. That is ok for them, but I’m not ok with that.

The 360 Man, is geared towards becoming the best man he can be, that’s the whole idea of the 360, it means that it is the whole man, not just a portion of him.

How can I look at myself critically?

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This doesn’t mean calling yourself names, or saying degrading things because of you loath who you are. It means that you are looking to improve something in your life every day. We can all do a little to improve ourselves, even if it’s just 1% every day.

Some days, I get flustered over trivial things, or maybe I can’t deadlift 300# but I got 295# that means that I get to improve on two things. The way I handle certain situations, and to become physically stronger.

For you, it might be something different. Maybe you ate 2 donuts this morning at the office after you had promised yourself that you were going to make better choices. This is where you need to be critical of yourself and explore what habits, sequence of events, thought process or other inputs led you to make that decision.

Basically, if you’re not looking at yourself with a critical eye, you are not going to reach your potential
— Jocko Willink

I deal with Root Cause Analysis all the time as an engineer, meaning, I dig and dig until I find the exact reason something happened, the origin or epicenter of the event. I use all the ripples to trace back to that one event that caused all chaos.

I have adopted these same techniques into my own life and I want to share them with you so that you can apply them to your own life. However, you can’t just read this and not do anything. Just like everything else, you have to practice and refine.

I will use an example that happened just the other night.

I was being a jerk to my wife, and giving her a hard time about every stinking thing.

Now this may seem like something simple to you, but I don’t like to be this man, I don’t want to be busting my wife’s chops for stupid stuff, it’s foolish and it does nothing for either of us.

As I got to thinking about it, I started to dissect why I was doing what I was doing.

In order to start this process you have to find out what the problem was first.

Problem: Was acting like a jerk to my wife

What happened: She got mad at me, and I hurt her feelings

Why: I was tired and edgy

Why: I had been working non-stop for two weeks straight (14 days)

Why: I had scheduled it that way

Why: My wife had told me not to, but I did anyway

Why: I was being selfish

The root cause is: Selfishness

My own selfishness caused me to ruin an afternoon that could have been much better spent with my wife, but instead I used it to give her a hard time, and drive distance between us.

Pretty lame huh?

So why do I do it?

Mainly because I am not detaching myself from what is going on around me, I am projecting my frustrations, dissapointments and shortcomings onto my wife and other people around me. This can lead to bitterness resentment and anger. 

I hate feeling like that and doing that to people I love, so I have to be critical in this area of my life and create accountability. 

How do I get accountability in my life?


The best way to get accountability in your life is too look for it. If you want to be a better man, than you need to hang out with other men who want to be better, who want to know what it means to be the best man they can be.

The Spartans were with the men they trained and fought side by side with at all time from age 7 to around age 21. They learned masculinity and all of the characteristics that go along with being a man. They instilled the virtues of courage, discipline, honor and loyalty to one another. In fact, this is how all warrior cultures are.

The Green Berets, The SEAL's, Delta Force, they all put the other guys interests over their own.

They are accountable to each-other.

The tricky part though is finding guys that really want to make themselves better, put the childish ways behind them, work on improving their relationships, finances, physical fitness, and their goals.

Most guys live for the party or the next toy or gadget, it's difficult to find men of substance and value anymore and that is a shame.

I have a good group of guys that I hang out with and have been fortunate to find a group called F3. Most of these guys realize the need to be around other men. There are definitely still some "boys" in this group but the vast majority are in it for the right reasons.

Accountability comes when you start looking for it though, and if you are a man looking for something more, someone to hold you to a higher standard, and to connect with other men on a more meaningful habit and growth driven culture then I want you to drop me a line here and let me know what you are looking for, what you want more of in your life, where your sticking points are, and what goals you want to achieve.

I want to help all men be the men they were made to be, but the first part for you, is stepping up and saying. "I need this, I want to be a better man."

What we teach is pure SEAL. The lessons are simple, clear, and well-defined: They come right out of our basic values. Winning pays. Losing has consequences. Nothing substitutes for preparation. Life isn’t fair and neither is the battlefield. Even the smallest detail matters. We are a brotherhood. Our success depends on our team performance. And we will not fail
— Rorke Denver, Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior