There are complete men and incomplete men. If you would be a complete man, put all of your soul's strength into all of your life's actions.
Eugenio Maria de Hostos
I once asked my grandfather how I could become a Caballero. He looked at me, somewhat amused at the question. He took a sip of his coffee and told me another story.
Do you know what's hell? Hell is the day you meet the man you could have become and then look into a mirror and see the man you actually became.
Many people will over complicate who they are simply to excuse not being more. They will complain that they don’t have the time to spend with their kids, yet have no problem making time to watch the ball game. They will complain how eating healthy is expensive, yet have no problem spending almost $10 in a Mocha Latte Triple Macchiato. They will complain how they wished they could be more romantic with their partner, yet spend their nights playing Call of Duty.
This is especially true within the “Social Justice Circle” as they will create morally acceptable excuses to do little while at the same time get a cheerleading section to back up their apathy. “I don’t dress up because I am my own man and magazines can’t tell me how to look.” “I am beautiful just as I am, so I’m planning to let myself go to a point that, even though I might be disgusting, I’m still beautiful.” “I swear like a trucker and treat others like shit because you can’t judge me.” “How dare you (work out/dress up/actually educate yourself enough on a topic to question my opinion). You’re the problem, not me!”
Personally, I am too tired to fight that fight, calling out all the bullshit excuses people use to actually do little for themselves. Because the reality is, it’s not that complicated to become a better man, or a better person. It’s not easy, but it’s not that complicated.
Start by defining who you want to be, what makes a better man in your eyes. Look at those around you, what do they do that inspires you? Do you want to be more dependable? More romantic? More honorable? Throw into the mix anything and everything you think makes a better man, a better you.
You know what you just did? You just created your own role model. In a society where role models are few and far between, having your own in your back pocket is more than just a social hack, it’s a survival tool.
Now for the hard part. Become that man. This takes work, self-sacrifice, and determination. It takes throwing away the ability to make excuses for your own behavior. You want to be more educated? Force yourself to study. You want to be more skilled at something? Force yourself to practice. You want to be there for those who you care about? STOP MAKING BULLSHIT EXCUSES AS TO WHY YOU'RE NOT THERE!
But here’s a little trick. Role play that man you want to become. Act out the qualities he has while you grow. Use him as a shell, as a suit that still fits to big, one that you will grow into. In simpler terms. Fake it till you make it.
After a while you will notice that the suit seems to shrink and fit better. The reality is that it’s not the mold that shrinks, but that you grow. And after a while you won’t need the mold any more as you became the man you wanted to become.
It might not be easy, but it’s really that simple.