Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Take it on the chin" - rethinking the common approach

When someone is said to "take it on the chin" it usually means that they have done something and are standing up boldly to take the consequences.  A just punishment, so to speak.

This is something that a real man does.  He will always face what he has done and receive what he deserves.  Ideally, he won't have done anything intentionally wrong though!

I want to raise another side of this idea.  How about taking it on the chin for things that you know that you aren't responsible for?  Husbands will know what this is like.  Sometimes you may need to take a deep breath and then let it out before taking it on the chin.  Why would anyone do such a thing?  How about to support others through a situation in which they can't manage by themselves?  Kids crash the car and you have to pay to get it fixed or they can't get to school/work?

How about being in the same room when something important gets broken and you are blamed in the heat of the moment? Later, when the blamer *cough*wife*cough* realises that they were mistaken, you might get an apology and be thanked for not escalating the situation.  You might not get an apology though, but doing what is right is often more important than everyone knowing that you didn't really do anything wrong.  Everyone who matters will know in any case.

Manliness is clearly much deeper than just reacting emotionally.

So how else are men called to "take it on the chin" in this alternative sense?  And how can we remain positive through the effort?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Temper: make your brain explode (but not really)

One of the particular challenges that real men manage to overcome is the challenge of keeping his temper in check.  Whether arguing with a spouse, a mate, or a child, even when dealing with a naughty pet, it is never a sign of anything good when a man loses control of his temper.

Meekness is the characteristic of "restrained/reserved strength".  Just because you have the physical ability to dominate, doesn't mean that you should.  A reign of terror, in which you keep everyone in check by fear of what you will do or say to them, is not cool.  It's good for those whom you lead to realise that you have that power though - it leads to greater respect when you keep your cool and ask for obedience (rather than demand).

Restraining your anger is not the same thing as not letting people know that you are angry either.  They will likely see it in your face anyway, but it is better if others trust you to keep control and seek justice through fair and careful means (rather than through a general explosion which has collateral damage).  It may mean that your brain feels like it will explode, especially if you are clearly in the right, but let the pressure out with a deep breath and act wisely.  Your head will remain intact!

Part of a real man's burden is to suffer wrong at times too.  More on that another time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Challenges and Testing Yourself

Real men are never satisfied with themselves, yet at the same time they are confident because they know their own abilities and their reactions to certain experiences.

This lack of satisfaction with self leads to a desire to challenge oneself and to grow through the challenge.  That's where the joy comes from when testing yourself against a strong opponent or in difficult circumstances.  There is always joy in knowing that you are a better man.

On the other hand, if you never seek out challenges you will never develop the confidence of self-awareness.  Can I suggest a place to start challenging yourself?  Diet and exercise.  Correct diet gives you the energy to exercise and exercise develops your physical and mental capabilities.  This is the foundation for further success in challenges which leads to much rejoicing in your manliness!

Friday, February 24, 2012

When to Indulge

A real man knows when to indulge himself, and when it is wise to restrict his indulgences.

Whether they take the form of food, sports, social activities, reading, or other hobbies and comforts; he knows that there is a time to reduce his reliance on these things for emotional or mental support.

There is nothing wrong with using these indulgences to relax and recover some vitality, but it never does too good to overly indulge too often.  The senses become numb and the appreciation (along with the renewed energy they bring) is diminished.  Not only that, but indulging yourself often comes at the expense of healthy relationships with others.

Consider the practice of regular self-denial as essential to building selflessness and resilience.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Real Men Read

Different men read different amounts, but all men should be willing to read in order to learn.

Reading is not only for entertainment, but for contemplation.  Because it can be a slower form of getting information than a video, it forces you to take your time which can leave a lot of your mind unused.  This encourages you to fill the unused "empty space" with contemplation, specifically in the application of what you read.

So when you read, keep in the back of your mind the intention of working out how to do something useful with your new knowledge.  This will lead to you being a better man, and being more productive.