A Man and His Mission
It’s the holidays. For most of us, that means spending an inordinate amount of time with family members.
For many men, family gatherings are to be dreaded. They don’t get along with certain family members, and their families aren’t supportive of how they’re living or the missions they’re pursuing.
I have it pretty good in that both sides of the two families that joined when Kristi and I were married are mostly tolerable. Truthfully, most of the time they’re all enjoyable to be around.
The exceptions are when my in-laws decide to discuss their liberal political beliefs, but that usually doesn’t last long, and is almost always civil.
However, if anyone in my family is ever disrespectful to me, my wife, or my kids, I will confront them and then cut them off if they don’t take swift corrective action.
You see, I don’t buy into the ridiculous notion that toxic family members get a pass.
I treat family the same as I would treat anyone else who doesn’t respect me, my values, my empire, or my legacy. I remove them from my life. They no longer get access to my time or my mind.
Too many men today have the flawed belief that family members get to treat them however they please and should never be cut out of their lives, no matter how disrespectful they may behave toward them.
A brother, sister, father, mother, aunt, uncle, etc. will blatantly disrespect them, their wife, or their kids, show no remorse for doing so, and these men will continue to allow it to go on unchecked.
They think to themselves, “What am I going to do? They’re family.”
You do the same thing you’d do with anyone else who disrespects you or who is a detriment to your mission in life. You confront them and set clear expectations for what you will and will not accept from them. Then, you give them the opportunity to do the same with you.
Once clear boundaries have been drawn, they must be enforced. A boundary without consequence of being crossed may as well not exist. It’s meaningless.
Understand that choosing to spend time with others is a choice to invest your greatest resource in them. Why would you choose to invest time in those that seek to tear you down or encourage you to compromise what you’re building in life (intentionally or not)?
This is a sunk cost that you can never get back. Think about the difference investing just 2 hours with the right men would have in your life compared to spending 2 hours with toxic family members.
Two hours with the right kind of driven masculine men – the kind that are inside The Fraternity of Excellence – can literally change your life. We see it inside the walls of the Fraternity on a regular basis.
You’re a Man…Act Like It
When we’re children, we must spend time around whoever it is our parents require us to be around. This is no longer the case as men.
A grown man is independent. He’s his own mental point of origin. At least he should be.
As men who have developed our own unique values and missions, we must make sure that we are investing our time heavily in those that share similar values and a drive for excellence.
It’s our sole responsibility to ensure that our actions align with our desires. As an agent with freewill we’re certainly free to choose otherwise, but we’re not free to choose otherwise without consequence.
When you compromise your mission, or try to live vicariously through the missions of others, there are always consequences.
Your mission must come first.
Jesus was the most mission-minded man to ever walk the earth. He was relentlessly focused on carrying out the desires His Father had imparted into His life.
He didn’t hesitate to cut off his friends, or even his family, when they acted in ways that would compromise His mission.
When Peter, one of Jesus’s closest friends, rebuked Him for saying that He would be tortured, killed and resurrected, do you know what Jesus said to him?
He said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Do you see what happened there?
Peter was trying to stand in the way of the perfect masculine man and his mission. Peter had become a stumbling block to what Jesus was working to accomplish. Jesus swiftly cut him off – and did so with one of the greatest insults he could have thrown at Peter, literally calling him Satan.
On another occasion, while Jesus was teaching spiritual truths to a large crowd that had gathered around Him, His mother and brothers came and tried to pull Him away.
Let’s look at how Jesus responds when those closest to him in this world tried to pull him from His mission:
“Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
Notice that he didn’t put a premium on relationships.
He put a premium on His mission.
Jesus well understood that His mission came first. He was His own mental point of origin. He knew what he was working to accomplish and wasn’t going to allow anyone or anything to stand in His way.
Do you think His actions might have pissed some people off? Do you think there may have been a few hurt feelings?
What about you? Are you following Jesus’s example?
Are you allowing others to have access to your time and your mind who aren’t a complement to the convictions you desire to unleash on the world?
Do you choose not to cut toxic people out of your life because you don’t want to hurt their feelings? Have you bought into the notion that we must simply tolerate all of our family members, no matter how damaging doing so may be for us, our families or our mission?
Jesus was loving, but Jesus wasn’t a “nice guy”.
Nice guys don’t shape reality into their image. Their reality is molded into the image of others.
A Man’s Mission Must Come First
While Jesus wasn’t a nice guy, he achieved something far more important: He accomplished His mission.
And He did it because His mission came first.
If you want to accomplish whatever it is that you’re pursuing in life, you must take a note out of His playbook.
Stop investing time in anyone who isn’t supportive of you or your mission, family or not. Cut them off; do so forcefully, if need be.
Build a tribe of “disciples” who are walking the same path and who are willing to deliver swift rebukes when anyone in the tribe deviates from the mission at hand.
Be relentless in the pursuit of actualizing the desires you have for yourself. Allow no one to steer you off the path you’ve chosen.
Never forget that for a man to be fully actualized in life, his mission must come first.
To place the feelings of others over your mission is to make the feelings of others your mission.
To those that stand between you and your mission, there’s only one thing that can be said to them…
“Get behind me, Satan.”
– Craig James (@CraigJamesTFA)
Check out more of Craig’s content on his website: Masculine by Design