Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Be a Better Man in 30 Days

I was reading the Art of Manliness website earlier this week and came across this post referencing a challenge they initiated last year in honor of the beginning of the new year.  The challenge was called Be a Better Man in 30 Days and the site was reposting the original articles in an effort to spur people to participate again in 2012..  Given my recent success with other thirty days based challenges, I decided to give this one a shot.  Sure, I'm a few days out from the first, but I've been busy catching up on Dr. Who so you're all just going to have to cut me some slack.

The first day of the challenge asks you to define the five core values by which you live your life.  The exercise is supposed to help you get a handle on those things most important to you and therefore create a foundation by which to make decisions which will impact your life.  Specifically, the site warns that any person without a clearly defined set of values is in danger of being adrift in life and therefore making life altering decisions based on what said person thinks people want them to do.  As a man who spent the majority of his twenties sort of hiding from himself and what he found integral to his own life, and therefore hurt and disappointed people along the way, the crux of this exercise hit particularly close.

The AoM site suggest that you sit down with a notebook and pen in a quiet and isolated place to work out those things you think are most important to you.  If you guys know me, you know that "quite and isolated" isn't really my speed, so I came to a really busy coffee shop and surrounded myself with people, which is where I feel most comfortable and capable of work.  I took out the ubiquitous hipster writer's black and white composition book and went to work.  You can see the process in the image above.  I listed the things I felt most important to me, eliminated those that were of least importance and combined those that were redundant and whittled it down to five which I then ranked in order of importance.

1. Freedom
2. Integrity
3. Health
4. Financial Security
5. Adventure

This is the guy who will eventually have FREE WILL tattooed across his knuckles, so Freedom is of course number one on the list.  If you've got a brain in your dome, you can easily see how one leads to another and so on.  So that's my five core values.  What are yours?

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