Get in here. It’s Man Cave Monday!
There’s a prayer I say for the men in my life; my brothers, my friends, my uncles etc. I pray that they each of them be a man amongst men. Take it or leave it, the men and manliness are subtly being reduced and kept in the background. Contrary to popular belief, being manly is not about being in obvious authoritative control of where you are. Being a man is first about being in charge of your life and being capable to lead when it is time.
Being a man is far from being about needing to be seen and heard, it is about being able, about being valued enough to earn the respect of people who know you closely. If people know intimately and still think you deserve their respect, most times than not, you are on the path of true greatness.
Here, I share a 5-pointer non-exhaustive list on ways which has helped men stand out, be outstanding and become a standard for manliness.
Give Attention To Your Spiritual Life.
Apart from this being about the most important item on this list of mine, I decided to bring it up first so we can face it first. Many men are cynical when it comes to the spiritual, and while I have seen enough saddening truths to understand their reasons, I still know beyond a doubt that you need to submit to Someone higher to live right, you need to be accountable to that Someone. You may wonder what I am talking about so I will explain.
If there’s anything all great leaders will tell you, it is that a good leader is a good follower. If you cannot be humble enough to submit to God, it is hard for you to truly understand leadership. Apart from being accountable, however, giving attention to your spiritual life makes you give your best in your endeavours. You are aware that there is One who sees all and expects the best, He expects excellence from you, so you have an inexcusable reason for giving your best at all times. Also, it gives you peace and you are not so hard on yourself. You give your best, but you know that there is One who controls the universe so you do all you have to and if it doesn’t go as planned, you don’t consider yourself a failure. There is One who sees all is aware of your efforts.
Be accountable to Someone higher. Each morning remind yourself that there is Someone who expects excellence from you and yet has got your back. It will give you peace.
A peaceful man is a powerful man.
Know What You Want
Let me say this clearly. Many humans don’t know what they want. Many will summarize that they want to be happy, but while that is a valid want, it doesn’t answer the question, ‘What do you want?’
Many people think they want money, but they actually want the things money can buy or the fame money brings or the ease money brings, while there are others who think they want a beautiful wife, but what they actually want is a wife whose husband they would be proud to be. Knowing what you want is key to finding fulfilment and it helps you choose your battles and know when to walk away from unnecessary actions.
If the ride is not going your way, don’t take it, but first you have to know where you want to go.
To know what you want, you have to ask yourself some deep questions. You need to search down deep into your heart and know what is truly important to you, and what you can do without. When you know what you truly want you also know not to make mistakes which will take you through a path longer than necessary.
Know what you want. Ask yourself questions, dig deep into your heart, explore yourself, when all is said and done what is the thing you want most?
When you know what you want then it will be easy for you to take the next step.
Have A Goal.
I am sure that some of you mentally rolled your eyes when you read this. This has been said time and again and it is beginning to appear like it is not as important as people make it.
Well, newsflash! It. Is. Important.
How will you make a journey with a destination? Or worse still why would you have a destination you don’t want to recognize? When or how will you know that you have gotten to where you are or were going?
Goals, though not meant to be rigid, are supposed to be recognizable to you! You should recognize yourself when you are achieving your goals because it will be a deliberate move and journey. You knew where you were headed and so you can’t say, “I don’t know what I am doing here” or “I woke up and found myself here”. Your goals should be clear to you and they should be plain to anyone who hears you talking about it.
Write them down, complete with the steps leading there. When you need to change a move you know what to change and the consequence or reward. You stay in charge of your life. Write them plainly so anyone who reads will understand it.
A man without a goal is usually lost and goes anywhere the wind blows him to. That is not an outstanding man. An outstanding man has goals for himself 5, 20 and even 50 years ahead. It is hard work, but worth every second it will take for you to sit and get them written.
Yes, sit down and get your goals written down… NOW.
Have Your Rules Of Life.
Everything is governed by rules and when you go against the rules, you get the repercussions. We live in a world of cause and effect. You go against the rules, you get the consequences.
Some rules are known as they are obvious and others are not so obvious until you study and discover them, but they are effective, nonetheless.
If everything is governed by rules, then what rules govern you? What do you use as a standard? Do you just live by the opinion of others? Do you just go along with whatever you hear at a point in time and so you are neither here nor there? Does this sound like an outstanding man to you?
Right from the beginning of time, a man has been defined as someone who has a mind of his own. He is principled and knows what he won’t do and what he would do. What are your rules of life?
To find out your rules of life, you need the first three points mentioned above. With the above points, you should know your values, your beliefs, your fears, your hopes, your likes and dislikes, your boundaries etc. These things are what help you in drafting out the rules you want to live by.
These rules don’t have to be written on stone, as truth is revealed in successions, but whatever is a rule at a time should be followed. Until you are shown a truth which cancels a rule, live by your rules and don’t be like the man who moves according to the direction of the wind. Then when you are shown a truth, make the necessary changes.
What rules govern your life? Write them out so they stick on your mind.
We have talked about looking up to Someone. Now we are talking about having people look up to you.
Have people who you teach what you have learnt in life. Give as you received; that is how you build a nation, a world, of wonderful people. Maybe in church, or you visit a school, or in your community, have people who look up to you and this will serve as another reason to be accountable. You remember that they would take a cue from you, so you can’t afford to live mediocrely. You pursue excellence with all you’ve got because you realize that if you don’t put in your best, those looking up to you will think they can also settle and that is how you build a nation, a world of mediocre people.
You don’t have to be perfect before you mentor others, you just have to have learnt some lessons you can teach. Let them also share your journeys with you and watch you grow. Let them see how you overcame challenges which were supposed to overwhelm you. That is the greatest way to teach and learn.
Having mentees is one way to give back too.
Remember those laws we talked about above? Giving is one of such laws. Give and in some way it comes back to you.
Mentor someone today and be outstanding.
Being a man is not a day’s job, as the popular saying goes. It is actually a lifelong calling which is honourable and worth it. Always stand for truth, always stay humble, always seek solutions, and be principled, these are what an outstanding man should be known for.
As I said, this list is not exhaustive, but if you do them, you are on your way to being OUTSTANDING.
May you be a man amongst men.