How The Superior Man Pursues Greatness
Balance is everything.
Many men pursue masculinity at an early age, thought they pursue traits and hobbies they perceive as masculine before they even attempt to define “masculinity” for themselves. I was guilty of this. I chased pretty girls, played sports and lifted weights, lusted after fast cars and lifted weights. I even attained these pursuits. If you ever meet people who have gone down this path successfully you will often find a man who has grown bored or unfulfilled. Eventually you’ll tire of the pretty girl who is often self obsessed and boring. The car will eventually lose its appeal and you’ll one day grow too old for sports. While all of these pursuits are worthy in their own right, seeking greatness is often more complicated than the aspirations of a teenager and hardly what one can define as masculinity. The definition of masculinity is not so tangible.
“The superior man is he who develops, in harmonious proportions, his moral, intellectual, and physical nature. This should be the end at which men of all classes should aim, and it is this only which constitutes real greatness.” – Douglas Jerrold
Perhaps Mr. Jerrold is onto something here when he talks of the end at which all MEN should aim is REAL GREATNESS.
While I personally feel that certain qualities are inherently masculine, perhaps there is some flexibility as to what each man feels is apt in his own situation. I stand by traditional qualities such as strength, resilience and honor. Though there are men who pursue greatness in new ways that are not traditional, such as raising children. Many of us modern men have been put in positions requiring us to be more present in raising children. I eagerly wait to see the products of boys raised by men. There is a newfound respect for clothing and style in today’s young men. Some waste too much time on chasing fast fashion which is for women who fall for advertising ploys. Style on the other hand, can give you an advantage in the workplace and when courting women. By looking your best, you give yourself the best chance for reaching greatness. Looking your best is a great way to boost your confidence, so yeah, style has its merits for the modern masculine male.
Another aspect of modern society shaping the direction of modern masculinity is the decline of violence and rise of poets. Words, be it written or spoken carry more weight today than in years past. Masculinity involves being adaptive and this is one aspect that many have shown true resilience. The typical job or side hustle taken by todays men involves writing or speaking. More than most people care to admit, the modern male has to be a salesman often throughout his life, even if he doesn’t work a job in sales. If you’ve ever been in a successful interview, congratulations, you sold something: your abilities. All you young bucks chasing after girls at the bars, are selling yourself as an attractive mate. It would appear that the pen finally is mightier than the sword.
The internet has decentralized power and it is creating a truly interesting shift in the dynamics of power and reach. One side of the coin is the decline of mainstream media: the failing New York Times, CNN and their fake news. Print media and the 24 hour networks have grown cumbersome. The positive side of that coin is the power gap that has opened up to the common man where a simple person such as myself can take a thought and write it out online and reach thousands, potentially millions. Never in the history of humanity has man been given such a powerful voice. Most men do not respect the breadth of this shift. Many do not even realize the implications that this may hold. Perhaps we can expand on that in a later post.
We all define greatness differently, but it is always respected when achieved. If you are the best at what you do, you’ll be recognized as a man who put in the effort and was smart enough to know the best plan of attack to achieve his goals. That is respectable whether you are writing a novel, racing a stock car or hitting a golf ball. If you find a man who is the best in his field, you will find a fierce competitor. This is a man who does not make excuses and is consistent in his daily endeavors. It takes dedication and discipline to beat everyone, no matter the task.
As our lives grow more comfortable, the competition seems to be getting thinner. I see a lot of sad and lazy people. People who are overweight, underdressed and lacking a likeable personality. I see a lot of men lacking confidence and they appear to be giving up on pursuing greatness. You can see it in the body language and lack of eye contact in average males. Even as life continues to get softer and more comfortable, there is a pushback in certain circles. Men won’t stand for a life without challenges and these men will continue to push themselves in any way they can. I see men taking cold showers, just because they want to get their bodies used to being uncomfortable. I see men fasting, so they can shock their system and keep on edge. Men are performing rigorous training and adhering to strict diets to prepare for Spartan Races and other obstacle courses. The assault on masculinity is a foolish and poorly thought out attack, because men who define themselves as red blooded and masculine only thrive in these situations. This is creating the challenge we need to define ourselves and find each other so that together, we can pursue greatness. Real men recognize it is in our nature to conquer and explore. We don’t fear adversity or challenges, we revel in them!
I don’t intend to define masculinity today, but one huge aspect is pursuing greatness. A man needs a purpose in life and today your chances of reaching greatness are better than ever. Adopt a winning mindset. Stop making excuses and become great. Reclaim your manhood!
Takeaway: Pursue greatness by learning to write well and spin a good story.
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