The Heart of Manliness

I’ve been doing a bit of reading lately, and something that keeps coming up is people wondering where the men have gone.

Society is seemingly screaming out for men, yet at the same time leading them to a path far away from manhood.

On one hand, we are bombarded by people asking where the men are at, yet at the same time saying that we are free to live without responsibility, without sacrifice .. in fact, do whatever you want?

The double-standard is ridiculous.

Manliness has now been misconceived as a beer-drinking, lady-chasing, never growing up larrikin. You can of course, be those things and still be manly.

They just aren’t’ what makes a man.

I’ve been thinking lately, what else has society said that you need to be a man?

People think that you become a man at a certain age

David Farragut, the U.S. Navy’s first admiral, became a midshipman on the warship Essex at the age of 10. At the age of 12, a mere boy by modern standards, Farragut was given command of his first ship, sailing a capture vessel, crew, and prisoners, back to the U.S. after a successful battle.

Young David was given responsibility at an early age, and he rose to the occasion.

He was a man before the age of 15.

On the other hand .. what about the 30 year old who still lives at home with his mum and dad?

I’ll leave that up to you ..

People think you become a man once you have slept with a woman


It just means that everything is working.

In fact, I’d argue that one-night stands show you don’t understand responsibility yet .. but that’s another discussion.

What about muscles and strength?

Some people think that you become a man when you are really strong, when you have lots of muscles and you can show them off.

This is ridiculous. Size has nothing to do with it, you only become a man when you use that size for something bigger than yourself.



So what makes a man? 

I would argue that three things show true manliness.

A Man Takes Responsibility

If this simple truth was spread further, society would no longer wonder where the men were any longer.

You are a man when you can take responsibility for your actions.

When you can take control of a situation that went bad, that’s showing manliness.

When your accountable and answerable for your actions, to yourself, that is the heart of manliness. 

Anyone can say that it was their fault and not take control of their mistake.

A man takes control of his mistakes through responsbility.

A Man Has a Purpose

Purpose has a big role in Manliness.

They are inextricable linked, you can’t be manly without purpose.

Why are you here? What are you doing with your life?

You don’t have to have it all together.  

Purpose shows us the point of life, it’s what brings everything into focus.

If you don’t know what you’re living for, how can we show responsibility?

My purpose is living for something bigger than just myself.

This brings everything into focus for me.

A Man’s Life is Full of Challenge

For many men, a sense of challenge has been taken out of their life.

You are a man when you have overcome great challenge.

In previous eras, a rite of passage was common but modern society seems to have taken that out.

Being able to look back and say ‘that was when I became a man’ is important.

I remember the moment I became a man. 

I was 19, standing on top of one of the tallest mountains in Switzerland.

Six years earlier, I was told due to a chronic illness that I would never finish high-school, never travel overseas, never achieve anything that I wanted to.

That was my challenge.

I overcame my challenge, and because of it, I can look back and know that I can show responsibility and live a life of purpose without fear because I overcome challenges.

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What about you?

What is your purpose? What was your challenge? 

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