The New Year

There are two ways that you can ring in the New Year. You can get so drunk that you need at least a whole day to recover, or you can celebrate like a man and get down to work.

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The New Year is something to celebrate. Once again, it is a time with family and friends to celebrate the accomplishments of the old year, memorialize those that left us in that year as well as look forward to crushing new goals and accomplishments.
Festivities give us small breaks to re-energize us on our journey. The New Year celebrations do this for our goals and life plans. Take a step back, take an honest inventory of the past year. Now, with renewed vigor, celebrate and move forward towards accomplishing what you want in life.
I generally have my goals for the next year put on paper by late October. I would suggest this method, but if you haven’t yet done this, it is not too late. Take the time today to get away from distraction, quite your mind and write down the things that you want to do in the next 3 years, and the next year. I have material goals, but I also have others dealing with fitness, character and the like. I suggest you do the same.

There is much to be done, so why would you want to start the year on the same note as the vast herds of sheeple who are partying their lives away? I would suggest beginning the year with a 30 day challenge of your own. If you don’t already do it, add in 30 days of cold showers. Start the year off right.

 

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2018.

 

 

 

 

Who’s Life Are You Living?

There are men who just naturally ooze Assertive Masculinity. The operative word being; naturally. They do this naturally because they are authentic, they are themselves. While there is something to the theory of “fake it till you make it”, eventually the behavior, in this case lets call it alpha behavior, must become natural. It must become who a man really is or else its just acting. Focusing only on “faking” it, leads to just that; being a fake. Eventually fakes are uncovered and nobody respects or likes a fake. This is why women get so creeped out by a guy who hopes he can orbit in the “friend zone” for years while secretly harboring romantic intentions. The alpha does not hide his intent. Some say that men with higher levels of testosterone are less likely to lie. I don’t know the science behind this theory, but this isn’t suprising since an alpha male is secure in himself, he lives a life of action rather than reaction. Lying is a reactive behavior.

We often “act” for a variety of reasons. What is harmful to us is when we start to act and then be for other people, when we start to script our lives to their wants and needs, their perceptions. When we say things or alter our behavior for other people what we are essentially doing is trying to control others thoughts and situations. This is both unhealthy and futile. In this case we choose form over substance.

There is a time for acting. We act like the man that we want to be in order to become that. The “acting” is a transient phase, it is a tool to get to a higher goal. Here is an example; if you want to have integrity you must immediately begin to act as a man who has integrity. You must also visualize yourself this way. By doing this you will struggle day by day. You will work and sweat to become this man. My experience has been that consistent visualization and work will start to bear fruit after several months. You will just realize one day that you are evolving into who you want to be. Visualization, or modeling/acting will not in and of itself do anything; you must make the choices and take the actions to become the man that you are visualizing. We don’t “hope” to become something; we decide that is what we want to do, then we do it using visualization as one of the many tools in our box. Always remember that action is the greatest tool of all.

What we can control and determine is who we are and what we stand for. Once we do this, we don’t need to act because we become; being is much more rewarding than seeming to be. This goes hand in hand with goal setting and reflection. Coming up with a baseline of beliefs and a code of conduct for ourselves, we begin to live our lives in a thoughtfully proactive manner. We start to live our lives with integrity; our thoughts, feelings, words and actions become aligned.  We begin to de clutter our lives from comittments that do not benefit us. We begin to learn the power of the word “no”. We boil our lives down to the essence, we become clear of thought and more able to be in the moment. Our workouts get better, they become something out of time.

Freedom comes from being ourselves; pure, simple and unapologetic. Other people respect straightforwardness but what is most important is how much we respect ourselves. Who is the man looking back at us in the mirror?

 

The Ending of the Year

It is hard to believe that it is already September. The time has flown this year, but it always does, whether we choose to do something or nothing. To me, this is an important time of year to check in with my goals that I set in January. We are entering the final quarter of the year, so its important to make sure that I am dialed in for the remainder of 2014.
As I move through life, one of the things that I notice in the vast majority of the population is that they lack any sort of introspection. This is not a knock on other people, just an observation. We all have struggles, none of us are perfect, but introspection allows us to see what we do well, and what we need to work on. We then take the appropriate action. Serious introspection is necessary to be able to do this and make the right calls. If you run a business that has any sort of inventory then you know the importance of having an accurate account of what you have in inventory and the quality of said product. The same thing goes for our lives. I have a close friend who is in Al Anon and has turned me on to some of their reading materials. The program is based on introspection and awareness of one’s state and then working to make things better. The program is completely about personal accountability, there is no blaming others. This is right where we want to be.
This is a good time of year to do this inventory. I take a daily inventory in the morning and evening before bed, but I like to do a more in depth review quarterly.  I review my goals and plans in the light of some of these questions: What worked? What didn’t? Why? What did I learn from it? How can I take this lesson and apply it to my life? What things can I use now to take the ball over the finish line in December? Am I where I need to be? Are there any things distracting me from my purpose, my goals? In what ways did I apply lessons that I may have learned from my reading? Did they work? I gain so much knowledge about myself and where I want to be by doing this. I also use this information as a foundation to build my goals and plans for the coming year so that when the calendar rolls over to 1 January I am already solid, I’m good to go.

Of course, the first assumption here is that a man has goals, focus and a drive to see these goals through. Just writing down your goals and dreams will do nothing. Action is the only thing that will make them come true. It is a lesson in discipline, fortitude and commitment. Finding your goals and purpose is not a haphazard process. It takes reflection, desire and clarity. I suggest taking a weekend trip away from the normal distractions of life, this helps to be able to think more clearly, although it is not necessary. The other important aspect is that the goals must be your goals, they must be your desires. It may sound strange but for many of us it is difficult to come to a decision about what we want out of life. Most of the time you will find that your goals come up very differently from what society tells you that you should want. This is good. When a man dials in his goals he finds that he wants less and less of what society has to offer. Having set goals and a code to live by also gives us the freedom to focus. We know the things that are not important, and the things that are. We can measure every question we have by our own question; “Is this action or thought in line with my goals and my vision of who I am?” This will boil things down to their essence which is exactly what we want. If you think of your favourite historical figure, action hero, or someone whom you look up to, my guess is that there is one thing that they all have in common: they live by a code that they do not violate for anything or anyone. To me this is all summed up by the Duke in “The Shootist”; “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a hand-on. I don’t do these things to other people and I require the same from them.”  In fact, all of the great legends, myth and folklore have one common thread; the hero, a man steeped in valor, honor and grit, takes on a journey from which he never wavers, despite a myriad of distractions. He often winds up engaged in combat as his values are tested and he must stand and fight for those things that he believes in. Life is full of distractions. A clear, definite sense of purpose as well as clear, defined goals will help us to focus on what we need to do to get where we want to be.

One must choose his goals and “code” wisely; once he chooses he must stand up for these things. Once chosen and internalized it becomes a mater of a man’s hounour and integrity; things which cannot be lost, only surrendered.