What masculinity is, and what it isn’t
Dictionary.com defines masculinity as “having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength and boldness.”
The core of masculinity is being anti-fragile. When things get tough, you keep on going regardless of social pressure, pain, fatigue, monetary problems. When I was playing poker for a living, I played for 14 hours every day, for 12 months straight. I had slept in the car (below zero temperature) and had passed out at the poker table. When I was hustling on Amazon publishing books, I was writing 6 hours a day, every day, for 3 months straight (I stayed in for New Year eve)
Masculinity isn’t a check list of what things man should and shouldn’t do (leave the fake bullshit to http://www.artofmanliness.com – a watered down website for the politically correct. “Holding a door for a woman” isn’t about being a man, it’s about being a decent human being)
** “real men shave with straight razors”, “real men drink hard liquor” is consumer drivel marketed for fragile hipsters.
How to become anti-fragile
Combat sport and lifting weight is a great way to become anti-fragile. Why? Because it’s mentally and physically tough. Taking up a manual labor job doesn’t hurt either.
A boy could read “7 ways to gain amazing confidence in a social situation!” and walk away feeling good (momentarily) or he make a permanent identity change by going to hell and back (taking up combat sports, lifting weight, going through boot camp etc)
Soccer, football and basketball are great team sports but lifting weight and combat sport is more personal – the person is in it alone, confronting his own fears and limitations.
How to spot fake masculinity
Like everything in life, people would rather seek shortcuts and “hacks” rather than put in the hard work. Why sweat for masculinity when you can buy it?
- Like a hipster who grows out his beard, have an undercut while wearing a checkered shirt. He looks like a lumberjack (some of) but never worked in construction or forestry in his life (but he’s at Starbucks typing on his Macbook air about micro brewed beer)
- Like a middle-aged man working in IT who drives Harvey Davidson while wearing a leather vest and army style helmet.
- A man who has both of his arms filled with tribal tattoos while wearing a Tap Out t-shirt and walking around his neighborhood block while sipping on a protein shake.
If these people are less concerned about feeling good and more about being good, they’ll get somewhere awesome.
** people buy into a masculine stereotype where the man should dress like a lumber jack or always be in a suit. Bull shit. Dress how you like to dress, as long as you look good.
In conclusion …
During tribal times, a boy became a man by going through a ritual – hunting a lion with his father and uncles, or working at a manual labor job, or joining the army; nowadays, it’s about folding clothes, filling coffee and text messaging. Is the modern day man soft?
Today is the day for you to work hard. I remember training in muay thai for 5 hours a day when I first started. I had bruise shins and sore shoulders. I still train hard – I take two classes every day and stay an extra 30 minutes to do pad work.
Whatever you’re doing, push hard and push for the extra mile every day. If you’re waking up in the morning feeling sore and mentally drain, you’re doing it right.
Until next week,