Virtues Part II: Strength
“Strength is a Wild Animal
Strength does not want to be fed,
Strength wants to hunt
Strength does not want to be put on a leash,
Strength wants to run free
Strength cannot be told how to behave,
Strength lives off of instinct
Strength cannot be tamed.”
What is strength?
It’s the physical and mental fortitude to take what you want and defend what you have. That is the primal base of strength. No higher virtue can exist without that primal physicality. It awakens in us our basest instincts.
Strength inspires awe and fear in both men and women. Lust is undoubtedly in there as well. Having strength, being able to dominate the world around you is sexy to women. Even a poor man with little to his name, a shitty job, living in a trailer, driving a beat up car can still make a woman’s heart beat faster if he has strength. Because deep down her gut, she knows that if society crumbles and civilization dies he would embrace it with open arms. He wouldn’t only survive; he would thrive in that world of strife.
That is the essence of strength, past the mere physical it is will to take action. That reliance and trust in yourself that makes you rush past any obstacle in your way. It is the one virtue that allows all others to exist.
What does a man without strength look like?
If a man has integrity but no strength he will strive for a deeper purpose, to live for some higher goal. He will try to be true to himself. But everything he holds dear will be stripped from him. The ideal he lives for will be taken from him, transformed into a dream. Without the ability to push back against the world he will never be comfortable with himself. He will never develop confidence or authenticity; he will be a coward shrinking from the world. Hiding in the corner too afraid of pain, and he will come to find that because of that, he will never live. He will never have the ability to fight back and take what he wants.
This applies to every other virtue. If a man is kind, noble, intelligent, wise, fair, or even brave (though courage and strength usually go together) but doesn’t have strength, he is wasting his time. He won’t be able to use any of those traits on the world. All his efforts will fail because he doesn’t have the force necessary to make his presence known. Sure, he might muster up the courage to speak his mind on a matter, or go after what he wants but most people will just dismiss whatever he says because he doesn’t have anything to back it up with. He has nothing to offer when a situation goes to “or what”. Once his opponent says that, it’s all over because he doesn’t have what it takes to win any confrontation.
Likewise if a man’s only virtue is strength he will be a common bully. He pushes the weak around to feel powerful, getting off on the little bit of fear he inspires in those around him. He lives a wretched existence only fulfilling his base desires. He sleeps, eats, fucks, and fights. He lives for nothing else. The small measure of power his physical strength gives him corrupts him. It stunts his growth so nothing else can be built on that foundation.
But as a man it is better to be feared than pitied. Even though the bully isn’t a good man, he is still a man. He still has agency. He can act on his own and isn’t subject to coercion.
That is the true power of strength. It gives you the energy and confidence to throw everything you’ve got into something, to leave nothing behind. You will be able to spend your mind body and soul to pursue a dream, an idea, a mission wide eyed and unflinching. That is what strength can do.
Where does strength come from, what is the source of its power?
It’s you, your physical body, your muscle and bone, flesh and tendons.
Your body is what takes you through the world, but many see it only as a container for your mind or soul. Something temporary, holding you back, limiting you. But that is wrong. Your body is you, all of you. Your mind and soul are interwoven with your bones and blood. Your body affects your mind. Just as your mind affects your body. It is foolish to think otherwise. So keep yourself healthy to keep your power flowing.
There is only one way to become strong. There are no short cuts, no magic pills, nothing, just you. Well you and pain.
Yep you read that right. Pain is the only way to grow strong. It is only found at the point where you want to give up. The point where your muscles are burning and your vision is dimming, molding you better, stronger than you were before. It is through sweat, blood, and tears. Nothing else will do.
To build strength, you must build muscle. You must first break the fibers down, you must rip them apart. It hurts, and burns, you’ll be sore for a few days. But once they heal they will be bigger and stronger than ever. You need to grind your body down and it’ll repair stronger.
“In fire is iron born, in fire it is tamed”
That was written by the Romans. Like many things the ancients seemed to have a better grasp of the nature of humanity than we do. It is only through the fire that you can become hard and driven. It is only through the fire of pain that you can become as strong as iron.
So enough with the poetic language; what are the day to day benefits of strength?
For starters you’ll be able to defend yourself. You’ll be able to hold your own in a fight (at least you’ll think you can). That thought alone will give you an incredible boost in confidence.
It’s no secret that guys like to size each other up. We love to think, “oh hell yeah I could beat his ass.” We do it to everyone, friends, family, and strangers on the street. It doesn’t really matter who. You are human males,and you were built to fight. Everyone alive today is a descendant of a warrior, period. Your ancestors killed their enemies and took their skulls as trophies. That blood runs in your veins. Your natural instinct is to fight. But we’ve tempered that impulse through society so now you just think it. But that doesn’t change the fact that nearly everyone that crosses your path is a potential enemy.
Now for a lot of guys, when they size someone up they think, “fuck that guys big” they look down and avoid eye contact. They make themselves appear safe and submissive. Hell for a lot of guys the only person they’ll actually size up and think they could kick some ass with would be a skinny guy who’s about 125 lb’s, soaking wet. There really isn’t much of a confidence boost from that.
But once you put on some muscle you start to get more liberal with your mental ass whooping. If you keep getting stronger one day you’ll pass a guy whose 6’2” 200 pounds and think, “yeah look at him, his eyes are down, his shoulders are slumped. Sure he might have some muscle, but he’s a pussy. He’ll crumble after the first punch. I can take him.”
The day you think that will be one of the best in your life. You’ll feel unstoppable. You’ll feel confident enough to hit on the hottest girl at the bar. You’ll talk with your head held high, your shoulders back, chest up, and eyes focused because hey, you’re one badass motherfucker.
In short you’ll have the body language of a alpha. And woman can’t resist that kind of dominant body language. They love dominant men. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or delusional. Women desire strong men. Period.
Do you think any woman looked at a skinny dude with a bird chest or a fat guy with bigger tits than hers all red faced and sweaty from walking down the stairs and felt desire? Do you think any woman would soak their panties just from the sight of these guys? No, not a chance.
Now, a guy with some muscle, maybe a little cut up, walking with his head up, shoulders back, chest out, making eye contact with everyone he passes, a guy who isn’t afraid of the world. You think a woman will turn her head to look at him? Hell yes she will. You’ll be able to see the desire smoldering behind her eyes. Who wouldn’t want to be that guy?
How to grow strong.
Like I said earlier pain is the gateway to strength. It is only through pushing your limits that you become strong.
A good way to build your body is weight lifting. Getting off your ass and throwing some heavy shit around. Now there are hundreds of routines you can find online so I won’t get into specific exercises. With that said I recommend compound lifts. Squats, deadlift, dips, presses and pull ups are about the only thing you really need to do to become powerful.
Now once you’ve got some foundation of muscle put on your healthy body it’s time to get rid of your fear. The quickest way to do that is to learn how to fight. Get punched in the face a few times. It will do wonders to your confidence. You’ll discover you’re not made of glass after all, and jump right back in with a swing of your own.
Lastly you need to challenge yourself physically and not just in the gym. Too many guys get stuck in the mindset of only getting exercise at the gym. That’s the wrong way to look at it. You should tailor your workouts and goal in the gym to the goals you want to accomplish outside of it. You have to train for something specific. Something that makes you actually uses your body. And that makes you a little uncomfortable. Take up rock climbing, mountain biking, boxing, fencing, snowboarding, and hiking. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you are using your body and not just lifting something heavy.
You do all those things and I promise you you’ll have a great foundation set up to build up all the other virtues we’ll talk about.