A year ago I've started my journey into the hobby of pipe smoking. Influenced by a few people from within that community that described pipe smoking as a zen type of relaxing hobby, a low-effort, end of the day relaxation after a busy working day that any man can enjoy. On my year long journey my perspective on pipe smoking has somewhat changed, I still do it, but in a different way than I used to. My first text about smoking pipes was written last March, about Benefits of Pipe Smoking and you can read it here, let's say that that was me being excited about my new hobby, and this is me talking about how to do that hobby well, and how to truly engage in it.
The opinions of others is the one thing that we have the least control over in our lives. We can only influence them through passing conversations or through rumors we spread about ourselves by our words and actions. Yet, many men today seem to be greatly disturbed by the endless struggle to try and control the opinions of other people. The one, most important, thing that the Stoic philosophy teaches us is that we should only worry about the things which are in our control, these wise words echo through the ages from the mouths of the wisest sages who walked this Earth to the ears of the modern man who is trying to find a way to be the best man he can be. This great Stoic advice, which in my opinion could be the only advice one ever needs to adopt in order to live a good life, directly goes against the notion that we as men should worry about the opinions of other. As I've said, this thing is so far out of our sphere of control that spending any time at all thinking about this issue leads to nothing but misery and burn-out.
When a man spends time with himself, he comes to know and appreciate himself more. When meeting a new acquaintance, we often undervalue them because we know so little about them, once we sit one-to-one with that person, and we get to know them a little better, their true value and virtue is revealed to us, and they might even become so dear to us that we may call them friends, thus this also happens to ourselves, the less time we spend alone with our own self and our own thoughts, the less we value ourselves, and by spending time alone we get to know ourselves better and to see and judge our own virtues and sins to our own standards, thus we become more dear to ourselves and our own inner-self becomes our friend.
Walking is the most important activity we as men can introduce into our lives in order to become the best men we can be. There is no simpler way to improve the state of your mind, or the quality of your life than taking a nice long walk outside.
Having focus is the main trait a man needs to have in order to achieve his goals, along with a good work ethic and clear purpose, a man can achieve anything he focuses on. This is a cardinal step in becoming the best men we can be and the one thing that will serve us well in many different situations.
It's the primary trait of an alpha male to take what he wants without asking, it's the only way one can get the things one desires, be it status, wealth or respect, nobody is going to give it to you if you don't take it yourself, if you don't demand it, and these 'men' would rather die hungry then fight for a piece of bread. I used to be one of them, I too was born and grew up during the time of soft men, the peaceful and comfortable time in which men don't learn the traits needed to survive in this world. But though hard work on improving myself, both mentally and physically, by working to overcome my fears and challenge my enemies, I learned to embrace conflict, and by doing so grow both as a man and as a person. The answer to the mediocrity that is killing this society is to always strive for greatness and virtue, no matter the amount of conflict you as a man need to engage in, for you were created to be the predator of attrition, the one who takes the blows and deals them back twice as hard.
Mindfulness is a useful practice to any modern man striving to become the best man he can be. The stresses of daily life can bring even the strongest of us down, that is why we must harbor this ancient art as it is the only way one can stay strong and unrelenting in the world which seeks nothing but to destroy him.