Lessons for a Strong Life

virtue

 

Virtue Over Pleasure

Virtue is a word that has died in the modern generation.

It use to be a word that traditional societies lived their lives by.  They actually qualified their value based on if the were being virtuous.  This is why you’ll see the great philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates use this word so often.

Most of the world chases pleasure and avoids pain.  These thoughts govern their decision making on what steps they take in life.  Live for higher ideals, establish what are your virtues.  Virtues are the impactful ideals that give your life it’s depth and meaning.  What matters more to you – living a life of integrity, honor, compassion?  Or making sure you get that pleasureful thing/experience that is here today and gone tomorrow.

Legacies are built on virtue.  Stories you love and stand the test of time are full of virtues, not pleasure and pain.   When you’re a man or woman of virtue you have boundaries of what you will say “yes” to and what you’ll say “no” to, the ability to do this gives you PREFERENCES, and this is needed to form a stable identity.

Growth is Life

Nothing stays stagnate.  You’re either growing or regressing.  There is no homeostasis, life is not linear.  It has it’s ups and downs.  To be a person concerned with growth means you’ll always have depth and value.  You’ll avoid depression and feeling unfulfilled if you approach life as a journey of betterment.
Not for YOU, that’s a selfish empty shallow reason for growth.  Do it because you OWE IT to the gift of life you were endowed with.  Viewing growth as a duty takes the emotion out of it.  The most disciplined men in history viewed growth as an obligation for their life to have worth.   This obligation will not let you sink into living just by the whims of pleasure and pain avoidance.

Only from a position of strength can you be a more generous person.

Seek Out Failure (It can’t rain all the time)

Make it your weekly mission to try the things you suck at.  When you shift your mindset to being okay with purposely pursuing failure.  You’ll likely recognize two things, what you thought were guaranteed failures were wrong; or you’ll learn something incredible about yourself while failing and be one step closer to a win.

Realize that the Mind is Willing but the Flesh is Weak

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).  
Paul said , “I know the things I should do and do not do them, the things I don’t want to do, I do!”   
That’s a paraphrase.   
Recognize that their is a disconnect between the heart and the head.  Ideals, passions, and virtues, will not always be congruent with feelings and emotion.
To let our emotions lead our actions would be devastating, some days I want to eat what ever I want in whatever amount.  Some days I want to listen to my stress and indulge in whatever activity relieves that pain or gives me the distraction I seek.
We have to be better then this.
To let our minds lead the way without checking with the passions of our heart can lead us to jobs we never truly loved, or trapped in relationships that aren’t the best for us.  Or even have us avoiding people altogether.

Wisdom is the ability to discern when your have to drag the flesh to do the right thing.

That may mean getting accountability.  A coach.  Friends that feed your spirit and enhance your brain and life.   That may mean a new social circle, a new job, a different environment.  

Cultivate a Soft Heart; But Never Adopt Victim Thinking

I’m driven by masculine traits, which usually makes me ambitious.  But with high levels of ambition can come the hardening of the heart.  Other times, the coldness of reality and how people treat other can make you hard or cold.  Circumstances of struggle, being born with the cards stacked against you, can often create a hard cold mind.   Cultivate a soft heart of understanding towards and for others.  This universe never existed for you.  A soft heart gives love in order to receive love.  If you look at people for the inherent worth they have, despite their actions, it will make it easier to care about them even if you disagree with them.  Hardness, anger, hate, anything of this notion is baggage on your soul.  A soft heart will keep you relevant to humanity, your purpose, and your appeal to influence others.  You can’t influence people you don’t care about.

If Something Repulses You, Listen to It

There’s traits that are attractive by design.  I’ve dated a certain breed of women because good qualities flow from good stock.  Don’t justify bad behavior, or behavior that makes you pause and retract.   This day in age, people are afraid to have standards.
This is for two reasons, one they’ve been taught the mantra of “Don’t judge anyone!”  This is garbage.  Every living thing on the planet judges for basic survival ability.  From the biological natural to the metaphysical.  Show me someone who doesn’t judge and I’ll show you someone with low standards for themselves and others, and who are ultimately unhappy.
The second reason is a fear of being a hypocrite.  Let me tell you something.. having standards and failing them does NOT make you a hypocrite.  Were you a hypocrite because you fell off your diet you’ve been telling everyone about?  Or missed that rep you wanted in that lift?  Were you a hypocrite because you were rejected by that guy or girl?  No.  Setting a standard and missing is just aiming at a target and missing.   Hypocrisy comes from someone who purposely does the opposite of what the said they’re going to do.  It is NOT someone failing there standard.  But the media and social circles love to point out when people fall.

 

Fall in Love with the Process of Fitness

We as humans usually will not commit to what we do not enjoy. The essence of being successful with your health and fitness endeavors is found primarily in being consistent; without consistency, any results you receive from your healthy eating and workouts will be very fleeting. I have paid close attention to those we have achieved great success in fitness, and all of them love fitness. Why do they love it? What do they love about it? For some, it may be the challenge of besting themselves. For others, it may be the visual results, or the way they feel internally.

You have to be aware of the rewards from your effort.  Journal anytime you lift a heavier weight, stay on track of your diet for the day, etc.  Keep a success journal – one for your lifting, one for your nutrition.  You’ll love looking back on these years later.


The Skill of Self Awareness
This is the ability to step outside of yourself and auto correct your actions.  This is the most useful skill you may cultivate.    People with high self awareness know why they do, believe, and say what they do and what it leads to.   People with no self awareness blame others and take no responsibility.

Most people aren’t mean on Purpose

Being mean is often a result on ignorance or apathy.  Take it lightly.

 There’s No ‘There’ There

Avoid people or doing things that lack substance and identity.  Life is to short to live fruitlessly or getting wrapped in causes that are time wasters.  Video games, political battles, friends or relationships that aren’t into growth and improvement.  They have no distinct identity, no depth, no significant characteristics.  Nothing exists in that place.  It’s devoid of meaning.  Avoid people and places that lack depth.  Nothing significant exists when there is no ‘there’ there.

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