“For the man who makes everything that leads to happiness, or near to it, to depend upon himself and not upon other men has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation; this is the man of manly character and of wisdom. – Plato
Be a MAN; This three word sentence was one of the most important elements in many of the self improvement and exercise courses sold through many comic books and muscle magazines. The course that comes to my mind is the Charles Atlas “Dynamic Tension Course.” First assembled in the 1920’s and sold through mail order, the course didn’t just teach muscle building exercises; it also talked about the attitude and what it takes to be somebody.
Atlas (also known as George Siciliano from New Jersey) may have been the most famous person to use the word, but a quick look through many other old-time sports and fitness books will show that authors of the early 20th century actually thought about what a MAN is, or more importantly, what a MAN can be or become.
Many books and courses on bodybuilding, wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu and judo were often referred to as the “manly” arts. Whenever the words “MAN” or “Manly” was used in the advertising, you would get an injected sense of possibility. The word makes you imagine what you can become if you simply focus and follow a daily fitness program and / or combat oriented art or sport or devote yourself to any other worthwhile endeavor like building a business.
In today’s rapidly changing culture, we see the exact opposite approach being used. I see many training courses in bodybuilding and the martial arts being sold under the pretense that you do not need to be a “MAN” or “MANLY.” You do not need to be tough. Strength, fitness and conditioning are not necessary. Technique is all you need. Strange and actually sad isn’t it?? Commercial successes of today appeal to the inadequacy of an individual but offer no internal solutions. Everything is external.
You don’t need to be a “Man,” just use our flashy technique.You don’t need to be “A Man” just use supplement xyz. You don’t need to be responsible for your life, its other people’s fault. You do not have to be “A MAN” just blame it on your skin color, gender, financial situation, parents or ethnic background.
In today’s world, how often do we see the words “MAN” and “MANLY used??
Men have been conditioned by today’s society to think of themselves as having a feminine side and nothing could be farther from the truth than that. Also, part of this unmanly frame of thinking may be that many men of today are afraid of what women might think of them. It is neither sexist nor chauvinistic for men to think of and work towards becoming an ideal MAN. It is only natural for a man to act and think like what he is. For the women reading this, keep this in mind and that is it is a crime to try and dumb down your man’s skills and tarnish his dreams.
Many men are also afraid of acting like men for fear of not being liked by the masses. It is a sad and pathetic waste of human life to try and please everyone.
It takes guts to run on your own gas. It also takes guts to admit that you want something more out of life. It takes guts to invest in yourself, to ask for help from those who can help you, and to model and emulate what other successful people have done. It takes absolutely no guts to live in quiet desperation. It does, however, take cowardice to conform and to play the victim.
Whenever we are faced with an uncomfortable situation in life, we have a choice. We can act like a man or we can act like a coward.
Part of the reason why I got interested in Bodybuilding and the martial arts was because as a young kid, I received my fair share of bigger kids bullying me. I blogged about one the experiences, which I will revisit here in this post hoping that it will serve as a form of motivation for you to use in lighting a fire under your butt.
In my blog post titled “How to stop bullying” it reads:
“When I was in grade school, the first grade to be exact, I immediately became exposed to what bullying was all about. During my lunch period a bully demanded that I give him my lunch or he would meet me outside to beat me up. I quickly thought of a solution and that was to just give him my lunch. I thought that, that would take care of everything and the problem would go away. Well, as time went on and I continued to supply this bully with my lunch, I noticed something interesting; I became hungry. I figured that I would bring some food from home. The next day during lunch this bully noticed that I brought food from my home. Once he noticed this, he began demanding that I give him that food as well. I could not figure this out. I said to myself this guy is eating his food plus I am already giving him my school food, why does he want the food I am bringing from home? So, I gave him that as well. One day my mom noticed that I was taking food to school. She asked me “Don’t you eat at school?” I said “no.” I explained to her that I was giving it away to this kid to keep him from beating me up. My mom said “What?” She said to me the following: “Tomorrow you will eat your lunch at school. If this bully asks for your food you say no. If he insists and threatens to beat you up then you meet him outside and fight him, understand?” I told my mom that I was scared of getting hit, which my mom replied, ” who would you rather get a beating from, me with this leather belt or some fat coward bully?” It’s a no win situation I thought. I said ok then, I will fight this bully.
(You will notice that this very important lesson was already training me to handle things like a man.)
The next day, which was on a Friday, I went to school. I did not take any food from home. At lunch time I went to the student cafeteria to eat my lunch. The bully was there and demanded my food or he would beat me up. I said “ok then, we will fight after school.” After school I went outside and waited for this punk. He shows up and I immediately go on the attack. The fight did not last long. The bully began to cry. Then he ran off. I was in a sort of shock. I said, “Man that’s it. I gave this guy over a month of my food like some chump and he turns out to be the chump? Wow.” I think the beating I would have gotten from my mother frightened me more. The moral of this story is this, Bullies are nothing but cowards. You never appease evil, NEVER. Evil only understands two things; strength and power. You will always be somebody’s sissy until you stand up for yourself. From that lesson, I learned never to appease or take any crap from anyone. I apply that same philosophy today as an adult as well. Yes Bulling does exist in the adult world as well and in many forms. And like a MAN, we must handle our business accordingly.
The Point to all of this is simple guys, “BE A MAN.” You are going to be tested throughout your entire life. How you deal with each test is what’s important.
Read Victor Prides “So you want to be a professional badass.” http://boldanddetermined.com/2014/05/26/professional-badass/#comment-273127
Remember that whatever you want to do in life, work on doing it to the best of your ability.
Until Next Time.
One thought on “How To Be A Man”
This is another good article. Truly enjoy your articles.