My article of faith is action.
It’s through action that the abstract becomes concrete. It’s through action that change comes about. It’s through action that ideas become reality.
Factum non dictum. Deeds not words.
Unfortunately, we live in a culture that values the abstract over the concrete. People like the idea of things but they don’t actually take action on anything to make that idea a reality. They settle for sharing photos of other people going camping on Tumblr rather than actually going camping themselves; they click on lists of books to read, but never crack the cover of one; they read articles about starting a business, but never get it going; they raise “awareness” for an issue, but don’t volunteer their time for it; they’ve read a hundred “life hacks” about how to do a certain activity better, but haven’t actually done the activity itself!
In short, we’ve substituted the word for the deed, the spirit for the letter.
The thing that gives me the most satisfaction from the Art of Manliness is when I get letters, tweets, and emails from men sharing what concrete action they’ve taken in their own lives because of something they read on the Art of Manliness, and how those small actions have helped them feel more like a grown man and made them more effective and competent.
The AoM-inspired actions men have shared with me over the years range from the small and inconsequential to the big and life-changing. Guys have started shaving with a safety razor, dressed sharper, stopped smoking pot, treated their significant other better, began working out, made dining room tables, and joined the military after being inspired by AoM. One guy even used “Stop Hanging Out With Girls and Start Dating Them” to summon the courage to ask a girl out he met while shopping…and now they’re married! These kinds of stories always absolutely make my day — nothing makes me happier than seeing men leave the ethereal world of abstraction to step onto the firm ground of action. And it doesn’t matter how big or small the action they take. They all report the same thing: the moment they started acting like a man was the moment they started feeling like a man.
“Get action. Do things; be sane, don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.” -Teddy Roosevelt
I want to see more of this. I want to see that you’re not just reading the Art of Manliness, but doing the Art of Manliness. I want to see more men become doers rather than spectators. So show me.
To encourage you all to take action, I’m issuing a small challenge.
Take a picture that shows you putting the Art of Manliness in Action. Post it on Instagram, tag it with @artofmanliness and #aominaction so I can see it. (For those of you who don’t use Instagram and don’t plan to, I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you’ll have to bow out of this opportunity. Instagram is just going to make this challenge a lot easier for me to manage.)
Did you start barbell training because of an article on AoM? Show us a picture of you deadlifting.
Did you learn a new survival skill because of an article on AoM? Show us a picture of you starting a fire without matches.
Did you start roughhousing with your kids because of AoM? Show us a picture of you performing a baby suplex on your tyke.
Did you start a men’s night with your buds because of AoM? Show us a picture of what you guys do when you get together.
I don’t care what it is. Big or small. If there’s something AoM has written that you’ve put into action that’s made you a better man, I want to see it.
The ultimate goal of this challenge is to inspire you to take action, and to have your actions inspire others to do likewise.
Each Friday during 2015, I’ll pick 1-3 pictures that have been tagged with @artofmanliness and #aominaction on Instagram that best exemplify the Art of Manliness in action and re-share it on our Instagram feed. There isn’t a set criteria for how I’ll pick these. Super fancy pictures won’t earn you more points. Substance takes precedent over form. Tell a story. Show me what you’re doing with the content on Art of Manliness to improve yourself and better the lives of those around you.
The man who I select each week will be the recipient of a reward that will remain secret.
Only those who earn the Art of Manliness in Action reward will know what it is when they receive it in the mail. You’ll never be able to buy it. It’s something you have to earn.
I’m looking forward to seeing how you guys do the Art of Manliness.
Factum non dictum et Semper Virilis!