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Posted: April 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

We received a lot of feedback from you all on the subject of men taking a leadership role by not compromising their strength… which brings me to now ask you: Would you consider yourself strong? I’m not talking about necessarily being able to bench press 300 pounds at the gym or carry your grandmother’s refrigerator up a stairway… I’m talking about individual strength. Your individual strength is the key to your feeling of joy and freedom!What is individual strength? Being soulfully strong.

I believe that so many men are unhappy with their lives because they don’t know they are strong… being soulfully strong means:

1. Stand strong in your convictions! This means being strong willed, strong in your decision making, strong in setting goals and achieving them, and strong in planning!
2. Do not be afraid to communicate your strength!I know what you’re thinking. Every time you try to stand strong, someone is always there calling you stubborn, opinionated, and hard headed.

Well, the secret to avoiding this is as simple as one three-letter word:“WHY?”You need to effectively communicate the “why” behind your convictions. This will make people understand your point of view and the code you live by. But, if you dig your heels in without explaining WHY, you will be perceived as hard headed.

So, the next time someone calls you stubborn because you won’t give in, back up your reasoning by explaining WHY.As for physical strength: When you are young, it is your responsibility to learn your own physical strength and test it. You have to work out – get yourself in peak physical condition and continually work the limits of your strength. The older we get, we have to rely less on the physical strength and focus more on the soulful strength. We realize and accept certain things that we were “born into” – our DNA, genes, family… we learn to work our own personal strengths to compensate for things we cannot change and when we are finally mature men, we can hopefully recognize and learn to avoid our own weaknesses…So what compromises both your physical and your soulful strength?

-Too much alcohol
-Worrying too much about what others think
-Past baggage
-Worrying that you are “too” something, such as too skinny, too young, too ugly, too short, too much like your father, etc.

It is when we don’t know our own character or what we stand for that we become miserable, and everyone around us suffers because of it. Do you know who you are? Let me get you started by telling you what you are NOT:You are NOT:

-Your job
-Your family
-Your country club membership
-Your religion
-Your sports team

So, guys, if all this “stuff” was taken away, could you handle it? These things do not make your character. Your strength makes you who you are and defines who you are becoming. Let me share my formula with you for figuring out who you are as a man:

1. Solitude: It begins with solitude.The only way to find out who you truly are is to spend some quality time in solitude (yes, ALONE) and that concept completely terrifies most men. Most of us spend all our time at work and with family, we barely have any time for ourselves. So take some time for yourself every day, every week, every month, every year – to truly get to know yourself.
2. The Likes & Dislikes List:Get a pad of paper and draw a line down the middle. Write the word “likes” on the left and “dislikes” down on the right. Then, spend about 20 minutes filling it in with whatever comes to mind… (for example, I like dogs, dislike cats, etc.). An important part of getting to know yourself is taking a look at what you like & what you don’t like, and noticing patterns within these preferences.
3. Play the game of “Take Away”:In your mind, take away all the material things that make you: your job, your car, your home, etc. Who are you after all that? Do you still like yourself? If not, on a second piece of paper write down some things you would need to change to begin to like the you without all that stuff.

So if you like working out at the gym to build and maintain your physical strength, keep it up…but don’t forget to work your soulful strength too, because in the end, it’s all you’ve got… Your soulful strength is who you are, and perhaps more importantly, who you were. Man up! Til next week!

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