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Real men don’t talk tough on the internet.

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To my knowledge, my mother is not a man. But she’s a very strong woman.

My grandfathers were both World War II fighter pilots. My dad was a special forces soldier.

The phrases “be a man” and “toughen up” were introduced at an early age. My desire for validation, my need to adapt, were all viewed through a very male prism.

This approach brought a few obvious challenges. But what good, positive laws of living can be drawn from masculinity?

Most of these will apply to women as well.

I. Harness the power of mediocrity

The Naval Academy is quite competitive and for good reason. It’s prestigious. There’s no tuition. You’ll receive an excellent education and spending money. But you’ll be required to serve five years in the military after graduation. …


I learned the importance of incentives and restraint

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Sweeping mansions, putting greens, and towering homes zipped past my passenger window. Canopies of trees shaded the winding path to our home.

I was 10. We’d just moved to a new neighborhood. It was appropriately named The Cavalier.

It was a fun place to live. There was lush greenery, a lake, lots of houses, and thereby kids to play with. We all played together, climbing trees, wandering on our bikes. The wealthy kids were mostly nice and down to earth but a number of them fit the cliché, being bullies, and condescending.

That distinct class division would change how I lived my life. …


How boxing yourself in can be the best way to improve your output.

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Mozart often limited himself to just four or five notes in the first stage of composing. If you listened in as he wrote, his melodies sounded like little more than a nursery rhyme.¹ But only at first.

His rivals thought this approach was ludicrous. But Mozart was groomed into greatness. His immense talent was matched only by his brilliant strategies. Mozart knew, that by putting himself into a box, he could pressure cook the powerful, memorable backbones of his songs.

It’s as Ernst Schumacher said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. …

About

Sean Kernan

Quality over quantity. That guy from Quora. Enjoy? Follow for more. https://seanjkernan.substack.com/

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