A Real Man’s Guide to Living a Legendary Life

Be Legendary Benjamin Button

Life is useless if it’s boring. It’s meaningless if it isn’t selfless, empty if it isn’t lived for a reason or greater purpose. Life is monotonous if it lacks passion, evil if it’s dominated by laziness, weakness, and worry, and wasted if it’s lived in the shadow of fear.

Trying to describe life is like trying to wring water from a rock. The only way to explain what living feels like, is to share experiences we’ve all, hopefully, experienced.

Life is holding your child for the first time, your sisters child, or your godson. Life is waking up next to your beautiful lady, then pretending to sleep just so you can stay next to her.

Life exists in experiencing the height of emotion. It’s crying during a movie when you’re not an emotional guy. It’s hugging your Mom and telling her you love her when it’s the last thing she’d expect of you.

Life exists in that moment when you’ve hit rock bottom, and you realize that you can handle it.

Living occurs when we realize our mortality; that with each and every moment we’re closer to death – it’s our mortality that gives us permission to risk, to venture beyond our fear, and to live.

To live is to see your old man cry for the first time, to kiss your first girl, to receive your first punch and then throw one right back.

Life was never so present as it was in my first fight. As I looked across the ring at an opponent who was trained to knock my block off, there was nowhere else to be, no other moment to remember. The present was all there was, and I miss it. But I’m glad I had that moment and I’m excited about others just like it.

Life is falling head over heels in love at the very sight of a woman, then having the balls to go say hello.

To live is to come to the understanding that there are greater things in the universe than the problems we feel are going to be the end of us. To live, you need to have perspective, but not so much perspective that it ruins the little miracles in life that we love most.

Life is the inside joke you share with your sister or your best friend. It’s the memory that never fails to bring a laugh in a conversation. Life is when you’re strong enough to be alone with your thoughts, to thrive in solitude and amongst company.

Living exists in pushing, not settling for safety, but reaching beyond what we thought we’re capable of. Death exists in safety, outside of the ropes of life. Safety is purgatory, it’s a life lived in limbo, not quite in it, but seeing others living it, and not having the balls to do the same.

Why do so many spend their lives in purgatory? Why don’t we reach beyond what we already have and what we already do?

If life exists in both big actions and miniature miracles, why do we do the same shit day after day, never appreciating or experiencing either?

We aren’t given life to waste it away on mediocrity.

We’re not given such a beautiful and rare gift to fit in, to be normal, to follow the crowd when deep down the crowd kills us internally everyday. We’re not put here, in this moment, surrounded by these people, given these talents, this worldview, these interests, passions, and ambitions to simply get up at the same time, work at the same job we hate, watch the same shows on a box that makes us dumb.

We’re meant to live.BE Legendary Chad Howse

We’re meant to step beyond our fears and into another existence where we live every single fucking day.

We’re supposed to pretend to sleep to stay next to the girl. We’re supposed to cry at the end of Benjamin Button – that one hit me hard the other day. We’re meant to live life like death is a constant truth, we’re not supposed to ignore the inevitable.

Ignorance isn’t bliss, but bliss doesn’t lie in theories, words, or thoughts, it exists only in actions, feelings, and purpose.

To live is to do what you fear most. And our greatest fear isn’t snakes, rats, or spiders; it isn’t even death, it’s that we’ll die having not done what we feel deep down we’re meant to do, that we’ll die having not loved, that we die having not showed those whom we love most just how much we love them.

Our greatest fear is that we’ll fail at what we want to accomplish most in life, but also that we’ll die having wasted a life doing what we hate to do.

The two fears oppose one another, yet somehow the vast majority tend to heed, relent, and give in to both. We die daily by being small when we should live Legendary by living, acting, and pursuing big, ballsy, audacious adventures.

We think we’re nerds so we don’t extend ourselves and do the cheesy shit that sweeps a woman off her feet.

We think we’re weak so we don’t stand up for ourselves or others around us that need someone to stand up for them.

We think we’re ugly so we don’t put ourselves out there in life.

We believe we’re not worth the great things we dream about so we never step towards the dreams.

We’re wrong.

But the only way any one of us is ever going to prove ourselves wrong is if we do what we fear most, and embark on the journey we should have ventured out on so long ago. The beautiful thing about life is, it’s never too late.

It’s never to late to love, to cry, to fight, to live like you were dying.

I experienced life when I fought in the ring, facing my fears, pushing down the slough of butterflies and worry that wanted to keep me small and insignificant.

I’ve lived through the perceived rock bottom, and gained strength from it. I conquered that which could have conquered me.

I experienced life when I quit my job, then gave my heart and soul to something that gave back, creating a company that’s about more than just a product, it’s about a vision, a purpose. I embraced the struggle, worked my ass off, and saw the fruits of my labor – fruits that always arrive if you’re getting better everyday.

I’ve risked, fought, and slain my dragons, but there are always many more to kill. But holy crap do I still have a lot to learn – which is damn exciting.

I’m living, I can say that with a sense of pride, but I’ve yet to live daily. I’ve yet to push as far as I can, reach beyond my grasp, and experience everything I want to experience in life. The love, pain, pride, power, beauty, awe, and the miracle that can be a life lived as a Legend.

A real man knows all of this, or at the very least, he’s learning it. A real man has grit, because he’s laid it all out on the line, and been burnt. He’s had to claw his way back from defeat, because he fought an enemy that was stronger than him. The next time they fight, the result will be different.

A real man is molded by his experience; experiences that few would have the courage to attempt. He’s the last man standing, always learning and fighting. He’s forever in awe of everything he has, and in struggle trying to be more, and live harder.

Be that guy. You are that guy. Awaken him, let him make the decisions in your life. Help him defeat that part of you that’s afraid, that is in love with safety, that wants to stay small. To fail to heed this call is to waste your life. You’re better than that.

Join me. Rise up.

Go on that road trip, ask out that babe, get in the ring, amongst the blood and sweat and pain, and see what you’re made of. You’re far stronger than you’ve led yourself to believe up to this point. There’s no day like today to man the fuck up.

  • saretta

    or woman up, for that matter :-)

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      AGREED!!!

  • Matt

    Awesome Chad!!! thank you …

  • Joseph Dixon

    Thank you Sir!

  • Brad

    Chad, great stuff! You should do another on key points on how to go about living – I am sure many would love it.

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      I’m just writing one about how to “look more alpha”, key points on living a legendary life will be on the list after that, great idea.

  • hot toddy

    I think novelist Jack London summed it up greatly when he said ” The proper function of man is to live, not to exist!”

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      WELL SAID!

  • Alexander

    That’s it. I’m a 17 year old guy that has accomplished what people accomplish by 30 in my country. I have my own small business, I get paid for it, I’m the boss and I love it, all the while not failing at school. In the gym, I used to be the small time skinny kid and this year, the previous 2 guys that were basically running it left me in charge. “I want you to be a LEADER!” one of them shouted at me once he officially left me the handle. I see people that are older than me, however I am smarter and more capable. 80% of credit goes to you my friend. I discovered your blog when I turned 15 and it was one of the best gifts I’ve had on my life on the best spot, right in the middle between my boyhood and adulthood. You are completely right one 99% of what you say. Yes. Men have to be strong, smart and powerful. Not the boring, weak, stupid, puny little bitches that they are today. Yes. I would rather die right now than to spend 70 more years of doing boring shit I hate instead of doing something people will remember me about, and then I will be too old and too tired of absolute emptiness to do anything. If at least one or two people remember me after death for something great and they pass it down to their families, I know I will have done something worthwhile with my life. So thank you my friend. Next year, once I have graduated, thanks to you and your blog I will be prepared to fight the obstacles ahead. Maybe not ready, but prepared. I am writing your ideas and I include mine too so that I can have them forever to keep inspiring me later on. I will give this notebook to my son one day, when he becomes 15. A guide for him to become “a legend”. I have suggested your site to many of my friends, and their lives have become a lot better. We still have much to learn though. Keep it up. I hope one day I’m lucky enough to meet you. 

    • http://www.chadhowsefitness.com/2011/01/20-characteristics-of-a-real-man/ Chad Howse

      This is incredible, Alexander. I’m saving this comment. Thanks a lot for reaching out, it’s inspiring to know that I had any part in inspiring anyone else. You’re awesome brother. You’ve got it. Keep pushing. You’re on your way to living a purposeful, action-filled life.

      Keep in touch.