It sounded pretty fascinating to me so I looked into it. It turns out it’s a phrase that Ronald Reagan is credited with quite often but it goes all the way back to the Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 76.
The idea is that military power can preserve peace. But, I think this is a concept that is worth considering in our daily lives as well.
Now, before I get into how this might apply to you, I do want to point out that critics of the concept of “Peace Through Strength” can easily become “Peace Through War.”
And, while there might be a temptation for those with the most strength to use that strength for their own gain at the expense of others, that idea is at direct odds with what The Order of Man is all about.
Sure, we talk a lot about leadership but leadership should only be used to create win-win situations – not win-lose.
I think it’s important also that we address the concept of diplomacy. I believe in diplomacy. I think if there is a way to handle a problem diplomatically, we should try that first. The reality is, and as nice as it sounds to say “world peace,” some people just don’t want peace. They want war. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I did another Friday Field Notes on being a Warrior in the Garden which you can check out if you haven’t already.
Let’s talk about how this might apply to you though. Consider the idea of bullying. It seems everywhere we turn there’s a new bullying slogan or campaign that tries to teach “zero-tolerance” toward bullying.
I love it. I think it’s great. But, it’s NEVER going to happen. There will always be bullies. There will always be those who want to take from people weaker than them. There will always be those you want the results without the effort.
If we really want to stop bullying, we need to equip ourselves with the tools and resources to stop it before it happens – I’m talking about physical strength, mental fortitude, and emotional resiliency.
You know who the bully doesn’t mess with? The biggest, baddest kid on the schoolyard. And, that is the whole concept behind “Peace Through Strength.”
Alright, so let’s talk about these three elements of strength for a minute here.
How many times have I told you that it’s imperative you get in shape? Not only does physical strength allow you to defend yourself and those you care about but it allows you to be so much more effective in EVERY area of your life.
Want to be a better father? Improve your health.
Want to be a better husband? Maximize the amount of energy you can exert for sustained periods of time.
Want to be a better business owner? Get your butt in shape.
I don’t feel like I need to talk about this too much because we do talk about it quite a bit but marching order number one for you today is to start scheduling in exercise into your daily activity. Whether it’s running, a dozen push-ups after you roll out of bed, going to a Crossfit gym, or completing our physical challenges inside the Order of Man Facebook Group, you should be exercising every single day.
If you look the part, people are going to be less likely to mess with you.
Unfortunately, we are surround by mental midgets these days. Look around, you can’t say one thing or have a disagreement with someone without them losing their minds. This stems from idea like “everyone gets a trophy” and “safe spaces” where everyone can feel warm and fuzzy.
We bubble wrap our children from emotional pain, loss, and failure and then wonder why we’re raising a society of mental wimps.
How do you build mental fortitude? It’s simple – you do something every day that scares the hell out of you. If you continue to coast, you will never be able to face challenge effectively. We had a term we use in the military, Complacency Kills. It’s true, it can literally or figuratively kill you. Never live complacent.
So, here’s what I want you to do. I want you, as you’re doing your daily planning (if you don’t have a daily planner, you can download mine at www.orderofman.com/battleplan), start planning things that scare you. Maybe that’s making a certain phone call to a prospect. Maybe that’s signing up for the Spartan Race you’ve always wanted to. Maybe that’s ask that woman on a date. Maybe that’s do a presentation in front of a large audience. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it scares you.
Looks guys, stuff happens. You know that. I know that. It’s just part of life.
We go through divorces, we face death and illness, we lose our jobs, we go bankrupt. I hear stories every day from men who are dealing with some extremely difficult situations but, if you continue to let those situations drive every single decision moving forward, you are not going to measure up to your full potential and, frankly, you’re going to become a victim to those who prey upon the weak and broken.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of specific advice for you on building mental resiliency. Sometimes I think it is a matter of sucking it up and moving on. It’s a matter of having a clearly defined plan that you’re trying to execute. It’s a matter of understanding and even anticipating challenges and hurdles.
If you haven’t read the book Resilience by Navy SEAL, Eric Greitens, I would suggest you start there.
In a world where only the strong survive, it is imperative that we, as men, become the strong – not so we can manipulate and take advantage but so that we can maintain the peace in our homes, our communities, and our lives.
Wickedness is never going to go away. Evil people are always going to exist. There’s nothing you can do to keep in from knocking at your door. But, you can be ready. You can minimize. You can keep the peace through the strength you exhibit.