People say it’s a hard to be a man these days. For a man it’s not.
A man retraces his past
There comes a time when a boy needs to retrace all the paths that led him to where he is now. That is the only way he can truly understand himself. He will learn to understand his father to find the strength in himself. He will learn to find his mothers warmth in himself and he will find his ancestors spirit in his own blood. Only by understanding himself he will be invincible to his enemies. When he knows his every strength and weakness he cannot be hurt. While a boy struggles to reject his past, a man embraces it. He is part of something bigger and now it his time to create a new path. He will be grateful to all the people that helped him when he was a boy. He will take care of them when he grows to be a man.
A man creates his own story
A man constantly weeds out thoughts and words from himself that other people put in his brain and soul. He knows that speaking the words of others will make him weak. He is constantly searching for his own voice. In the beginning he will find he has nothing to say. His own voice is still hidden deep inside. He will find the words of his soul. He will learn to speak the words of his soul. He will slowly develop his voice. Small in the beginning it will grow into a strong and proud voice if nourished. He cherishes and holds on only to those thoughts and words that emerged deep in his own core and frees himself from the rest.
He will learn to speak the words of his soul. Small in the beginning it will grow to a strong and proud voice if nourished. Click To Tweet
A man is in great physical, emotional and mental shape
His body, his brain and his heart are a mans most powerful tools. He sharpens his tools every day. He will grow his body strong and durable, he will keep his mind fresh and his heart warm. He knows that his brain only functions when his body is moving and his heart is warm. He identifies flaws in his tools and trains everyday to improve his toolbox. He is always prepared to go on a long journey, to take on an enemy and to protect his tribe.
A man protects his tribe
A boy looks from outside to the inside. He envies kings far away and is concerned with stories from the other side of the country. A man looks from the inside to the outside. He starts with searching for truth in himself. He starts every change in himself. A man keeps his guard on the people close to him. He does not concern himself with things that blur his vision and might shift his focus away from his own path and his tribe that follows him. He will protect his tribe from all danger. On all journeys he tells tales and stories from his part of the country and from the people of his tribe. He will carry the flag high.
A man is grateful
During all steps a true man takes he realises that all this was possible because of things far greater and more important than him. He looks out to the ocean and can only feel gratitude for the chain of events that led to his ancestors being brought to life and giving him the gift of life. He sees the good in the bad and the bad in the good. He knows that people before him worked very hard to make things a lot better than they were before them. He is proud and grateful to continue this legacy. He is grateful to the people before him and around him for the world he inherited from them.
A man takes responsibility
In the end all there is left is pride and a sense of accomplishment as he realises that all that is good in his life was his fruit of labor. It is at this moment of raw pride that a boy becomes man.
And in the beginning it is painful, because a man has to accept that everything that is bad in his life was based on his decisions as well.
When a man starts to accept and embrace responsibility he realises that it is not his environment, his past, his enemies, his friends, his boss, his wife or anybody or anything that is responsible for his current situation. The only one responsible for where he finds himself now is him and just him. All his decisions up to this point led him to where he is right now. For good or for worse.
By taking responsibility a boy grows into a man. This step is by far the most important, life-changing and also most difficult one. This step will make life a lot simpler, but not easier. It will be harder. It will be more honest. More direct. It will once and for all feel real. Taking responsibility means the end of all excuses. Any excuse of ANY kind is a sign that one is not willing to take full responsibility for what happens. An excuse is the opposite of responsibility and ownership.
A man masters a craft
A man emerges himself in activities that empty his mind, illuminate his soul and serve his people. He learns to create something with his hands. He learns to build shelter and to make fire. He learns how to woodwork. His every senses absorb the intricacies of this craft. Something that cannot be passed down merely by word. That which can only be acquired by deliberate practice and full emergence. He learns to climb trees. He learns how to fight. He learns to kill animals. Not because he wants to, but he has to. Not because anybody told him to. Only because he has to. He learns to master the craft of writing and speaking. He learns to create stories. He learns to tell stories. He learns to tell his own story.
A man understands death
He understands that only death can create life, and that it is a beautiful part of life. To understand death he needs to accept it, but at the same time fear it. Only by accepting inevitable death he can live life. Fear of death is what motivates him to grow. When a man is confronted with the death of others he feels gratitude for the workings of the universe and the endless cycle of life and death. He feels grateful for getting to know that person and being able to have shared a part of the path. When a man is confronted with his own death he will know when to fight and when to let go.
Gerrit Keferstein is a Medical Doctor specialised in Performance & Functional Medicine. He is most known for his work on the optimisation of recovery and adaptation in elite athletes.