“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”
– G. Michael Hopf
Those who say “leading men is easy”, have never really led men. Doing so is one of the most challenging tasks a man can undertake. Some fail, some succeed. Some muddle through, just doing barely enough to survive.
Leading men in good times requires little more than creativity, to alleviate their boredom. In contrast, leading men in hard times requires so much more, and is fraught with danger. Death may be your reward, but that is the easy way out. Failure, and the fear of it, my brothers, is the ultimate difficulty.
“Hard times create strong men.” Iron sharpens iron. When times are hard, strong men rise to the occasion, to reforge themselves, and to remake their families, their clans, their tribes, and their people.
“Strong men create good times.” Strong men succeed and when they do, the struggle seems to abate, thus creating conditions for improving life. Over time, life becomes near a state of leisure, and all that it ushers in.
“Good times create weak men.” A leisurely life makes men soft and feminine; weak of mind, body, soul, and spirit. Their intellect atrophies from lack of use, just as their muscles do from lack of work.
“And, weak men create hard times.” The weak men of a leisurely life do not have the testicular fortitude to hold the line against decay, decadence, and defeat. They usher in hard times by not being bold and strong-willed, and by losing their will to fight.
What now, Brother?
Are you a strong man or weak man? Look deep inside yourself, and you will find the answer. If you are a strong man, then it is time to get out front and lead. Take the reins of power and authority, bend the will of others to your leadership, and shoulder the responsibilities commensurate with your position. Do it, and do it well… and other men will follow you. If you do not do it, then get the fuck out of the way, and let a stronger man shoulder the mantle.
If you are a weak man, recognize it, and own it. You are who you are, that is the bad news. But there is hope; there is room for improvement. You may be weak now, but you will be strong. Follow the leaders around you. Lean on them to make you stronger, no matter how much it hurts. This is not about you; it never was about you. It is about our people. Do it for them.
The strong, and the weak; both need discipline. Strong men discipline themselves, while weak men are disciplined by stronger men. Know your role, accept it, and strive to be better because of it. Suck up the pain, deal with the fear, get your ass in gear for your people need you.
Have the discipline of body to make it better, stronger, faster, and healthier. To fail in any one of these aspects is to fail not only yourself, but also your people. Do not be the reason they fail to grow and thrive. Be physically better, if not for you, then for them.
Have the discipline of mind to be honest with yourself and your brothers. Recognize where you are weak, and get strong. Own up to your failings, and strive to eliminate them. Temper your weak mind with iron discipline. If you falter, a stronger brother will help you, but you must have the mental discipline to ask.
Have the discipline of intellect to seek out education and training. Make yourself an asset. Make yourself marketable. Make yourself so capable as to provide your leadership with a variety of options to employ you. Avoid being a “one trick pony.” Learn a skill, then learn another one. Challenge yourself every day.
Have the discipline of spirit to seek out your true potential, and your rightful place among humanity and your people. Seek out your purpose; achieve it. Be the best “you” – for yourself, your brothers, and your people.
The Importance of Seriousness
To be disciplined, a man must be serious. Seriousness and discipline go hand-in-hand. To ignore one is to limit your ability to succeed in the other. Put away the sources of your vice-of-choice, to avoid the pitfalls of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, or pride. Make yourself better; your brothers and your people are counting on you.
Get away from the negativism in your life, and seek out the positive. Work towards a positive goal, rather than away from a negative darkness. Working FOR something is more rewarding, and yields so much better results than working AGAINST something.
So suck it up Buttercup. Life sucks, and it is certainly not easy. Whoever said it was? It is not supposed to be. Life is about struggle. Struggle gives a man an opportunity for achievement and greatness. So man up. Be who you were born to be.
Gird your loins brothers, for the struggle is just now getting interesting.
And for all my brothers out there: Lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way.