Men are made, not born.
Just being born with a Y chromosome isn’t enough to make you man. It may make you a male in a strictly biological sense, but it doe not make you a man in essence. Man is forged by exercising his ability to endure hardships necessary for the advancement of his own existence and for the existence of his tribe. It is not a coincidence that masculinity is strongly associated with physical strength, prowess, courage, endurance, and stoic perseverance. These are not qualities that come about naturally by being born a male—although they may be born with the proclivity and capacity for them—they are qualities that are cultivated over time through pain and struggle.
To be a man, and to fortify your manhood, pain is necessary—you must master pain. Without pain, you will not grow. And by pain, we refer to pain in all spheres of life: mind, body, and spirit.
It’s a natural fact that physical pains make your body tough. Damaged skin will heal and grow thicker, bones that repetitively come in contact will become denser, and the pain from exposure will become easier to tolerate over time. The same is true for your mental and spiritual pains. Stress, exhaustion, frustration, the pain of loss, the pain of failure, the pain of shame, the pain of rejection, the pain of loneliness, the pain of being not good enough, and so on are all pains that will help you grow stronger and more resilient only if you allow them. You will never grow as a man if you allow your pains to define you as a victim.
There is only one consequence for a man who experiences no pain in his life: He becomes dull, weak, and impervious to the challenges of the life. He is a mere male being without any manhood instilled in him.
In ancient Sparta, all men were trained from young age to withstand pain and to shun comfort. As boys, they were punished by whipping which continued until they were able to withstand it in silence. As they grew up, they were made to walk in bare feet, sleep outside by making their own beds from reeds, and to bathe themselves in cold water. That is the sort of conditioning they went through to gain the reputation that they have today as the ultimate warriors. Pain was deliberately afflicted so that they would become desensitized to it. Pain developed their fortitude.
You must become aware of how inanely comfortable our lives are in the modern world. The level of comfort we experience can almost be seen as a general social decline and a degradation of our existence. It’s no wonder that manhood is bankrupt in our modern world. We have become weak and complacent.
You must change how you view pain. You must avoid the false dichotomy of seeing pain as something ‘bad’ and opposite of ‘good’ and as something that needs to be avoided. Pain must be embraced in a way that can be controlled by you. You must be willing to impose it upon yourself so that you can use it to fuel your masculine energy. But just as the utility of fire can act against you, you must be careful with what you do with pain. To be controlled by your own pain means slavery and can only lead to self-destruction.
Let the pain fill you with silent rage to be better, stronger, and smarter. Let it be a reminder not to be weak. Let it be a reminder that you need to be stronger and more disciplined. Master pain to master life.