When you look around your surroundings, what kind of young men do you see?
It’s not hard being a teenager these days. We’re not expected to do that much, and that’s not a problem with a majority of the teenagers out there. We’ve been given low expectations that some barely reach for, and terrible stereotypes that many accept as who they are. Young men have become half-hearted, aimless, lazy, and disrespectful. And that’s not society talking—that’s reality; but, it doesn’t have to be your reality.
We lose our purpose before we even find it, give up on our dreams and passions because they don’t fit with the stereotypes. We’re afraid to fail, and because of that fear, we fail to grow.
The failure to engage in our own personal growth is catastrophic when it comes to entering our years of manhood. When reality strikes, we should come to the realization as to what we’re up against—and we’re up against society itself. It’s not so much a fight against the world—it’s the world against you.
There’s no one right way to become the young man that society doesn’t encourage. Rather, in my case, there are seven.
Here are the seven ways to become the young man society has forgotten:
Don’t believe you’re anything less than you really are
You can’t become something that you want to be if you keep holding yourself to the same standards, stereotypes and low expectations that society is holding against you and every other teenager. Don’t let those things apply to you. Nobody should. You have to apply high to reach standards, and high expectations for yourself to become someone who is more.
Man didn’t make it to the stars without first reaching for the sky. What’s difficult will make you more adapt and stronger than you were before, and will prepare you for the tasks and challenges ahead.
Strengthen your positive characteristics and starve the negative ones
You’re expected to be lazy and rude and rebellious. I’m pretty sure those are negative characteristics. And if those do describe you, you need to change that. You need to starve those parts of you. You cannot be who you’re supposed to be if you’re disrespecting elders, parents, and even your female counterparts.
Instead, you have to strengthen the positive character traits that live within you. Perhaps you’re a natural born leader like I am. But, it means nothing if you don’t strengthen it. It takes lots of time and hard work to encourage those kinds of characteristics inside of you. It’s not an overnight event, nor is it an easy one. But rest assured, your hard work into sharpening your positive characteristics will bring rewards like no other.
Live out the the stereotype of you
Be “you-nique.” Many might group you into a stereotype. It’s living out the stereotype and believing that’s who you are is the problem. Eventually, you’ll have to realize that you need to break free of the trapping groups that exclude what you’re meant to become.
And let’s not forget the stereotypical teenager doesn’t exactly have the best reputation. To break free, you have to live out your passions. Being unique isn’t wrong. It’s those who stand out and do things and see things differently that end up changing the world. Don’t hold back because it isn’t “cool.”
Raise your own expectations and don’t be afraid to fail
I mentioned raising your self expectations, and that means having a higher risk for potential failure. Because it is a normal part of life, you have to prepare for failure and the ridicule it will bring. It’s inevitable. But you have to fail fearlessly. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. If you’re not failing, you’re not learning. We learn the best life lessons through the form of failure. If you’re afraid to fail, you’re setting yourself up to miss out on vauluable life lessons in the future. And without those life lessons, you won’t make it anywhere close to becoming the young man society has forgotten.
Discover your life’s purpose
Do things you’re passionate about. Your life’s purpose is a vast topic. It could mean many different things. By “purpose,” I mean something you can live for. And the things that you live for can be small; it doesn’t have to be massive or elaborate. It could be something as simple as making one person smile. Never forget your life’s passions. Those passions, the desires of your heart could serve a great purpose for your life in the future, even tomorrow. So if you hide your passions, you’re fading out your life’s many purposes.
Pursue your life’s purpose
Take your passions to the next level.
Much like you should pursue your passions in life, you need to run after your purposes. You need to want them. Your passions in life directly show your purposes. My passion is writing, and one of the purposes of my life, what I live for, is sharing what I’ve learned from my experiences, and reaching out to the teenagers that stumble across this site. Your passions are much like stepping stones that go across a lake. Each step you take, you get closer to your goal. Only, it’s no lake, but an ocean. And your goal is, thereoetically, never met. Improve upon your passions. Grow in them. Don’t be afraid to create…that’s what you’re here for after all.
Seek the guidance of your father, or a father figure in your life
Allow yourself to learn from them.
A real man knows that he is not constructed by his own wisdom and self guidance. He is the product of learning from the knowledge and wisdom of others throughout life. Never forget to seek the knowledge of the Creator of the Universe.
Us young men like to think we already know everything. But we don’t. And that kind of arrogance can be our destruction. If we go about our lives without the guidance of someone who’s “been there, done that,” then we can’t become the young man that we’re reaching for.
Masculinity is bestowed by masculinity
as men’s author John Eldredge puts it in his book, Wild at Heart. You have to seek after the knowledge of your father like your body looks for food. It’s for your survival and your growth to become the man that you’re destined to be.
I like to think that it’s an easy task, doing all seven of those things. But, like I said, it really isn’t. To be completely honest, I’m still working on all of those areas of my life, as I imagine everyone is. It’s a struggle that’ll never end. But because it never ends, we never stop learning and becoming greater than what we were before.
Your ultimate goal is improvement upon who you were yesterday. That should be your mind set. It’ll make everything just a little easier.
Remember, you’re not expected to come anywhere near perfection, but you are expected to keep going—to keep reaching, and to keep working towards the goal of becoming the young man society has forgotten, but not for long.