Wednesday was my fasting day. It had been almost 24 hours since I had eaten and it was time to hit the weights. It was one of my squat days among other things. As I looked at my workout log from last week I immediately began to come up with reasons why I couldn’t or wouldn’t beat last week’s weight, actually I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with last week. After all, I told myself, I hadn’t eaten since the evening before, if I just went easy it would be totally excusable. I even promised myself that I would make it up on Thursday when I had eaten more. “Yeah, that’s it! I’ll kick its ass tomorrow!”
Right about then my alpha self chimed in. “If not now, then when?” My alpha self told me to push it, work throught the pain, the weakness, the fatigue, the hunger. “Don’t take a single step back.” I resolved that I would, at the very least, not lift less than last week. I would grind through it. I lifted the first set, not bad. The second set was better, I felt myself getting aggressive, I felt the drive to win come back, I added weight. By the third and fourth set I was up on weight and could feel, that I had more in me. More weights went on the bar. Now I was pumped! I felt newfound stamina and energy pumping through my veins. I switched to sets of one rep and loaded on the bar. I kept going, beating last week was no problem.
Our nature is to seek the easy route. If we could cruise through life in an easy chair we would be tempted to do that. We are tempted, but experience shows us that we would be completely unfulfilled. Take a look around. See the vast majority of guys out there? They are the ones who opted for the easy chair, they chose it. That is not for us. What do most guys live for today? The weekend? Your “two weeks paid vacation”? Getting plastered on Friday night watching tv, then getting up at 11am hung over on Saturday morning?
For us, leisure time is a reward for hard work but it is also preparation for taking things to the next level. For an alpha male, the classical man, leisure time is controlled, every minute is enjoyed because it is the fruit of his hard work, whether it be business, training or both. We push to succeed and to excel. Our pursuits, including leisure, make us better men. I am a better man today than I was before working out yesterday.
In letters to his son, Lord Chesterfield had the following to say both about leisure and hard work: “In short, pleasure must not, nay, cannot be the business of a man of sense and character; but it may be, and is, his reward.” Furthermore, Aristotle himself tells us; “Happiness then, cannot consist in mere recreative pastime: for it is absurd to think that all our serious exertions and strenuous labors should terminate in so frivolous an end. We do not labor that we may be idle….we are idle that we may labor with more effect…”.
What are some things that we can do to right now to make our lives more productive, and start reaping some rewards?
Working out is such a pure form of masculine character building. The weights do not lie, they are pure: you lift them or you don’t. There are no excuses. There is no; “could have, should have, would have”, you give it your all or you don’t. The weights don’t care who you are, where you come from, where you are going. I highly suggest reading “The Iron” by Henry Rollins.
Coupled with working out we choose to eat right. It takes discipline and control to choose healthy eating to that piece of cake or to not go out drinking with your buddies. We don’t really deny ourselves, we just choose a higher level of life, we choose those things that will only make us stronger. Then, at some point, we can reward our hard work and have some cake, or go out with our buddies for some beers. We work first, reward later. The reward is always smaller in proportion to the amount of work.
We manage our time wisely. If you are new to this, it means eliminating television from your life. I don’t mean throw it out, but stop watching it. Use your television only to watch things that motivate you, movies that show strong masculine leads. Don’t watch “chick flicks” and don’t watch network T.V. We determine our own schedules. We must control our schedules, or else we risk loosing ourselves.
It is essential for a man to have a passion in life. Are you passionate for your current job? Are you passionate about working for someone else and making them money? Of course, an alpha man has a work ethic and strives to excel and be the top dog where he is at, but eventually the call of the wild will need to be answered. He will need to devote his time to those things that he is passionate about. One of these things will be his own entrepreneurship. One of the many benefits of being an alpha male is that our passions overlap with those things that build us up as well. We become passionate about weight lifting, martial arts, business, learning, and sport just to name a few. Since we live a life of purpose, we love the things that we do. In fact, we love the man that we are becoming.