Having covered the first three noble virtues (Courage, Truth, and Discipline) in part one, and Honor, Loyalty, and Hospitality in part two, we conclude this series with the the last three virtues: Self-Reliance, Industriousness, and Perseverance.
No, I’m not going to tell you to drink your own piss. Self-reliance is one of the easier of the nine noble virtues. It means that you should be able to call on yourself to get things done when they need to be. Whether you’re in a crisis, or just trying to complete a project on time, you have to know that no matter what, you have what it takes to get shit done.
I think another part of it is not outsourcing everything to other people all the time. Everyone has a “guy” for everything instead of being “the guy” who learns new things. Don’t be afraid of failure if you’ve never done something. As a rule I like to say that anything I consider myself good at is something I’ve royally fucked up before in my life. Part of being self reliant is taking risks and pushing out of your comfort zone to acquire new skills.
In our modern world, self reliance is more important than ever. It seems that constant access to information 24/7 has made us all lazy. No one just “knows” how to do things anymore. Take a class or workshop on something you don’t know how to do. A bonus would be something actually useful. If you work in an office all day, that is a soft skill. Learn a hard skill like welding or carpentry. Its good to have practical skills that can be relied upon when you need it most. One thought for the modern man is to take a hike out in nature by yourself. Bring only your wits and a backpack and have an experience.
Industriousness to me is defined a guy that is always invested in something. Whether its a book, working on his car, or killing it at the gym there is no time for laziness or complacency. To be industrious is to always have yourself engaged, and making time to make yourself better.
Far too often these days men just loaf in front of the TV or hunch over their smartphone. You have to keep yourself always moving or like water we become stagnant. I know personally that if I’m not engaged in some activity when off work, I start to go crazy. Think of ways you can fill those gaps in your day where you browse the internet or play a mobile game to do something productive. Bang out a few push ups, go for a walk, read 5 pages of a book. Just do something that is worthwhile. Your family will see how good you are at keeping yourself always pushing for more and they will respect and try to emulate you.
Each of the nine noble virtues are important, and each one leads to the next. Perseverance being the last one makes the most sense. To persevere is to look defeat in the eye and stand your ground. Its to be an unmovable, unshakable force. Those who persevere are ones who learn and adapt to their world rather than having it consume them.
In going along with the theme of this series, a viking warrior had to persevere far worse than you do in the twenty first century, so what’s your excuse? As men we must push ourselves and constantly chase more and more refinement and wisdom as we get older. The only way to do that is to experience what life has to throw at you. Some of my best moments have been when I was about to give up, and pushed that extra bit to accomplish my goal.
The old saying of getting back on the horse is true here. To give up at the slightest bit of struggle is weak and a feminine quality. Only through pain do we grow stronger. I want you guys to look inward when you’re about to quit, make that weak bitch voice inside you telling you to quit go away, and push through it. Failure is okay too, as long as you learn from it. I guarantee you feel amazing once you see what you’re capable of. Once again, your family will be assured that dad is the baddest mofo in the world when he gets through things they’d fail at.
Recap and the Final Challenge
As this series comes to an end, let us review the nine virtues in their entirety.
- Courage: a man must not be a coward and live, speak, and act in the way he wants to.
- Truth: Your word is your honor. A man who lies is untrustworthy.
- Discipline: You must mentally prep yourself for the challenges to your frame every day. You must have it in you to stick to your guns and live your life the way you want to, and not give in to every indulgence.
- Honor: Your code and baseline of excellence. You are the gleaming example of your family, and if you have no honor, they will never know its meaning. Your honor is like outwardly displayed discipline.
- Loyalty: You must be loyal to your family and tribe. Loyalty to your own will keep everyone safe. To double cross your own is a weak action that results in exile from the group.
- Hospitality: You have to look out for your own when they are in times of struggle. Don’t go too far or let them take advantage, but if a family member or friend would do the same for you, make sure you return the hospitality.
- Self-Reliance: Don’t delegate everything out to other people. You should know some basic skills to get you by in a time of crisis. Plus, the more you know, the better equipped you are for life.
- Industriousness: Never have “down time.” You should be filling each moment with something productive. You can rest when you’re dead.
- Perseverance: Don’t give up just because something is hard. Instead of running from struggle embrace it and recognize it as you’re living through it. It makes you a better man.
The challenge this week is to incorporate all the noble virtues into your life. Think of ways you can use them or incorporate them into your daily life and truly think about what they mean to you.
This concludes my mini series on The Nine Noble Virtues of Fatherhood. I plan on compiling it all into a mini e-book over the next few weeks. I hope you got something out of it and as always, comment or message with any questions.