Attempting to define manhood and masculinity is a challenge as old as time. Most men would agree that two of man’s primary responsibilities are to provide and protect. At the core of masculinity, this may be true. The modern man, however, is facing some unique and additional challenges.
Consider the growing popularity of non-traditional arrangements such as stay-at-home dads or the smear campaign against men lead by the general media. Unfortunately, we’re portrayed as either arrogant and overly macho or pathetic and totally incompetent.
The sad reality is that it’s not surprising that we’re viewed in such a negative light. We, as men, seem to have lost our way over the past several decades. There was a time when a man’s word was his bond, when his honor meant more than his status, and when he took pride in putting in a “good day’s work.”
Defining what makes a man isn’t an easy task, but it’s the first step in regaining the status we once held and deserved. In doing so, we’ll live more fulfilled and satisfied lives at home, at work, and within ourselves.
Many people believe that personal responsibility is limiting. It keeps you from doing the things that you want to do.
Real men understand that personal responsibility is very liberating. Of course, it’s difficult to take responsibility when things don’t go your way, or you mess up. But that’s actually where the beauty lies.
When you take responsibility for your life and become a steward over your actions, you give yourself the power to do something about it. Each time you shirk responsibility, you give your power away by telling others that the results are “out of your hands.”
Eliminate excuses from your life. Stop telling yourself that you don’t make enough money, or don’t have the right connections, or don’t have enough time.
Regain control and power over your life by owning your mistakes, fessing up when things go wrong, and learning from each and every failure.
When you take responsibility for your life, you can hold your head up high knowing that you learned from your mistakes, overcame your trials and learned to succeed.
Many of the virtues we once adhered to in society seem to have been lost. Honor, integrity, discipline, focus, service to name a few. In fact, the divergence from these core virtues is the root of many of the world’s biggest problems. Consider increasing crime rates, the disintegration of the family, and the rise of war and terrorism across the globe.
As men, it is imperative that we return to the virtues we once lived by. At some point (if you haven’t already) you will be called upon as a leader. That leadership role may be in your family, your community, your church, or in business.
The lack of living by these virtues can stop a mission dead in its tracks. Consider the last time you worked for a dishonest boss or alongside a non-committed co-worker, and you’ll begin to see that virtuous living is an absolute necessity to the success of any organization.
Men who are successful live by a set of principles and virtues that have made them excellent leaders. If we are expected to lead our families, communities, and businesses, we must live worthy of the responsibility that comes with the title of owner, manager, husband, or dad.
I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have an improved vision of what their future holds. That said, it often surprises me why more people aren’t as successful as they should be.
There is one characteristic that sets successful men apart from men with potential: action.
We all drag our feet at times. We get lazy. We get complacent with our life. But, if you have any hope of achieving more, action is the first step.
Theodore Roosevelt sums it up perfectly in The Man in the Arena.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Men, it’s time to become the men we once were. The world needs you and me to be responsible for our actions, to become good stewards, to learn from our mistakes, and to get back up each and every time.
As leaders in our communities, business, and families there are people looking to us for guidance, direction, and a path to success. We cannot continue to sit on the fence. What separates successful men from those that aren’t is a willingness to take massive action towards their goals.
Let us again be the men our sons and daughters can be proud of, our communities will follow, and the world will look up to.
Photo: Flickr/ @Doug88888