Know Thyself

Whether we're quoting Socrates, or The Matrix, the instruction "Know Thyself", is one of the greatest lessons passed from generation to generation. For men who value masculinity, it is a critical aspect of our lives. Although the question, "Who am I?", is a worthy battle, it may be a little much for one article, so let's start with an easier goal. What am I unwilling to compromise?

What am I Unwilling to compromise? Unwilling even if they were to pay me - Unwilling even if a loved one wants me to - Unwilling even if all my friends want me to - Unwilling even if I want to (in the short-term) - Unwilling, period. There are some things, granted only a few, for which trading these things (money, love, respect, pleasure) are simply not worth it. You may have heard of these called "terms".Thinker

Knowing what you won't compromise, simplifies the game greatly.
  1. It takes a lot of strength and conviction to say no. We want money, love, respect and pleasure and don't want to give them up. When you know which things are worth using that strength and conviction for, and which are not, you save that strength and conviction for when you need it.
  2. It's easier to be around you. Colleagues, friends, girlfriends, wives will all know you better because you are more clear in your actions and in-actions. The more you know yourself, the more predictable you are. That's a good thing for a masculine man. You're also more cooperative in things you are willing to compromise, since you have more certainty. All that makes having a relationship with you more workable.
  3. It's safer to be around you. Pushing back (being unwilling), often looks hostile to outsiders (especially women, some of whom have been pushed a lot by men). When you're only doing it for the things which really matter to you, you don't muddy the water. You'll be more consistent, and they'll know what not to bother to ask you - and likewise, will know what they can count on from you. Side note, you don't have to push, it's often easier to ignore others and then just handle it.
  4. You have a lot more confidence in yourself. You powerfully oppose when it's something you're unwilling to compromise, and you're cooperative otherwise. That fosters respect from others, and respect for yourself.
So, how do you go about finding out and clarifying for yourself what these things are which you won't compromise? You'll need to start by reflecting. Now, I don't mean poking at your navel and going hmmmm. Look specifically at the actions you've taken before and look for consistency.
  1. Who has made you angry? Getting angry and blaming another for what they did to you is a great indicator of where you compromised yourself. It's easier to say they did it to you. Really you didn't have the strength or conviction to prevent it, and it's yourself you're angry at. This anger points to where you compromised something you were unwilling to compromise.
  2. When were you guilty / ashamed. These times you're blaming yourself right from the start. Unfortunately, you're likely blaming parts of you which you couldn't change (not knowing, bad person, etc). Rather than blame yourself, blame that you compromised. Also, know that you've identified something you're not willing to compromise.
  3. When did you take unexpected action. We know, you're a lazy #*^@! :-) So, when you take action which surprises you, something must have motivated it. When you are unwilling to compromise, you spring into action to make sure it's handled, so you don't have to compromise. Where you didn't compromise and you did what was needed unexpectedly, also indicates where you are unwilling to compromise.
You'll know you are clear about what you are unwilling to compromise when you have a list of 2-4 ways to finish the statement, "I'm a man who...", and it's always true. That's one major step closer to knowing yourself. Getting that one step is a small amount of work, but produces a lifetime of gain.

Gary Menezes, 2018-10-16 | Posted in General