It’s been a while since I read the Bible, but I still remember Jesus always talked about people as being “vessels.”
Vessel can mean a container that holds something, or a ship or a boat.
I like the metaphor, because I like the thought of seeing myself as something useful, something that can carry things for other people or carry my family through hardship.
But if your vessel has holes in it, or has weak and rotting boards, it’s going to slow down or sink when the weather gets bad.
So as men we have to proactively, ceaselessly, obsessively be fine-tuning our vessels.
Because there’s a lot of bad weather out there.
Shit, I have a lot of bad weather in simply the desires and temptations of my own mind that threaten to take me off course.
Let alone external forces that beat down on me, stress me out, or pummel me like stormy waves.
But unlike the external storms that may come and go, I can always improve my internal weather.
I can always work on being more disciplined, more self-controlled, more aware.
Honestly I don’t even like the words “discipline” and “self-control” – those words bore me and sound square and uninteresting.
But you can’t deny the reality that, in order to be great, in order to become wealthy, in order to be the unsinkable vessel to carry your family through the storm – as men we must show leadership, which can only be done by cultivating ourselves first.
Every morning I read one or a few books for an hour or two – literature, books on business, marketing, self-improvement – whatever I can get my hands on or is interesting to me.
If I start my mind off in the right place at the beginning of the day I become so much more effective at dealing with whatever the day brings.
Keep your mind sharp, stay aware, keep your vision for your life and your family ever at the forefront of your mind.
This will keep you going when the going gets tough.
And self-cultivation doesn’t have to be done as drudgery or as “yessir” or as “a Christian man” or whatever bullshit you grew up with.
It can be done with a sense of adventure, and excitement, and anticipation of becoming strong and conditioning yourself for the tough road ahead, as you sail forward toward your goals and ambitions for your life.
And fortunately, we don’t have to sail the open seas alone.
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