AoM Better Man Challenge: Day 1

The first activity in Art of Manliness’ Better Man Challenge is to outline one’s 5 Core Values: the principles/things that you hold as valuable above all others. But it’s not enough to simply state them, one must clearly define them as well. So here we go, in order:

Over and above anything else, the thing that defines who I am is my faith. I’m a deeply committed Christian; I aim to know what I believe and why I believe it. If it weren’t for the saving death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus Christ, I would have no strength for today, no hope for the future, and no security and purpose in who I am and what I’m here for.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a people person. I love spending time with others: interacting, learning, growing together. I love my family, with all our quirks [quirks, Andrew? Surely not!] – I see little pieces of all of them in my character and makeup, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

Same goes for my friends – my closest friends are like family to me: brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts. Particularly my brothers in arms: strong Christian guys who fight the same battles, decry the same lies, share the same dreams. I love you guys.

The Bible says, “Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom.”

I like Princeton WordNet’s definition of wisdom: “the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight.”

Knowledge (see below) and experience aren’t much use if you don’t deliberately try and learn and grow from them. One can be extremely intelligent, or extremely successful, and still be a complete fool. One can also be poorly educated, have never been anywhere much, and still be incredibly wise.

I want to be known as someone “who understood the times and knew what [to] do.” (another Bible reference)

I’m an inquisitive person by nature; a true generalist (sometimes to a fault), I find most things fascinating, and strive to constantly learn new things. Sometimes this means that I’m not as focused as I should be, but I’d rather be “jack of all trades” (and “master of none”) than someone who knows everything about very little.

Finally, I believe life is an adventure waiting to be lived. There is interest to be found even in the seemingly inane, and fascination in the humdrum; the trick is to look for it.

Creative Commons: XKCD #308 (modified for language)


Very apt summary of your values - I think I notice all these things in you every time we're in conversation!

Perhaps the subtler one is 'adventure', but I guess you're a bit like me in that regard: to satisfy the thirst, the adventure doesn't need to be merely physical. Even so, I think we prefer safety too much. Dammit, you've awakened my thirst! Let's adventure more.