There are many times, as soon as a guy leaves school they don’t read anymore. You ever hear the saying
The moment you stop learning is the moment you start dying.
You may be thinking well that’s morbid, and yeah it may be a bit correct but at the same time, there is an element of truth that many men don’t see. That truth is that you are a lot like the tin woodsman. If you don’t learn there are different aspects of your life that will start to rust.
What happens when tin and other metals rust? For starters, it loses integrity and disappears. This is much what happens to men who just stop. They don’t care to expand their knowledge and experience these men stop growing and that lack of care causes them to start to rust and eventually start to lose their integrity be that strength, mental sharpness, friends fade, and much more if you don’t pay attention to your pillars.
What does it mean to rust?
The term rusting is best described with my knowledge of computers. I use to be wild about PCs. I use to update and build computers. Did tech support and at one time even ran a small computer repair company. I did tech support and even set up networks. I would mess with servers and even tried a little programming. Yet now I couldn’t even tell you what CPU would be good to use. This is because my computer skills have rusted. Rusting is the loss and atrophy of your skills and abilities.
If you are not applying yourself to a particular skill that skill fades. That just means a mental skill but any skill that involves the 4 pillars of a Relaxed Male.
Why is rusting bad?
It’s much like with metal rust slowly over time weakens metal to where it eventually crumbles and falls apart to the point that it doesn’t exist anymore. This is the same as you. If you don’t keep up with the different skills they will fade and there are times that you just may need to have used them. This lack of growth can affect you in several different fields of your profession or personal life.
A good example of this is John. He is a great employee but he is just there for a paycheck. The job doesn’t inspire him and therefor John doesn’t really expand on his knowledge of his profession. One day as they often do John is asked to come by the manager’s office. As he sits down he is told that the department is downsizing and they are letting him go. He was a loyal employee but the company isn’t looking for people who are just there pushing buttons. They need people who are expanding their knowledge and looking for ways to innovate. Coming in doing what they need to just isn’t cutting it. John was rusting and he didn’t even see the cutting away of the rust coming to his direction.
Rust can afflict all 4 pillars of a Relaxed Male weakening his resolve and confidence in life.
How rust can affect your four pillars
The Man’s Body Can Rust
Think back to when you were 18 years old. You were possibly lean and strong. You were at the top of your game physically speaking. Now fast forward and you may be in the mid 30’s to mid-40s and you see yourself in the mirror and what do you see? Well, that would be you rocking the dad’s bod.
Now today people wear the dad bod with a bit of pride. Yet if you look inwards you see that you don’t like that refection in the mirror. Your backside is a little wider and stairs tend to kick your butt. That flab on your gut is rust. The higher cholesterol is rust. Maybe you are taking meds now. Those meds are treating your physical rust.
You don’t exercise may be because you are telling yourself that you don’t have time. Maybe its because you have other obligations. You may have gotten a gym membership and you went for a while but shortly thereafter you stopped going. That pain in your joints and muscles soreness is that rust.
The Man’s Mind Can Rust
When it comes to your mind how much reading or learning do you do? Odd’s say not that much. Your time is packed with work and family life. So where could you possibly fit a bit of reading in or where could you find the money to take more classes? As the saying goes there is more than one way to de-fur a feline. So where there is a will there is away. Wel enough old sayings you get my drift.
When you don’t work your mind, your mind doesn’t grow. As a human, learning is a part of life and this is where not actively taking on more learning is where we get into trouble.
Examples of rusting mentally are finding yourself fixed in a particular set of beliefs. Another is how hard is it for you to sit down and read a chapter in a book? Many men say they start nodding off when they get a few sentences in. Have you ever lost the knowledge of a skill? I have I am sure you have said I use to know how to do this. These are all examples of a man’s mind rusting.
The Man’s Soul Can Rust
Do you remember something you use to do as a child? Was there something you use to do with almost the purest of enjoyment? Find yourself wishing that you could do that again? That wishing is a sign of rust in your soul. When you find that work is a grind and you may be facing burn out that is your soul rusting.
Now you have to work maybe you like carving little figures out of a block of wood. You can still do that and still have a good paying means of income. Do you find it hard to write though when you were in high school you had notebooks of stories and thoughts that you were almost always jotting down? How hard is it for you to piece together a story now? That difficulty is rust on your soul.
As mentioned burnout is a huge and common example of rust on men’s soul. We are doing something that doesn’t feed our creative side. We wonder where that drive left us at. There is an almost aching for doing that one activity again. That is that rust.
The Man’s Community Can Rust
How hard is it for you to walk into a church after not attending for 10 years? The truth for me is it is very hard. I create all these stories in my mind about how everybody is judging you. When in all reality those who remember you going are glad to see you again.
That feeling of discomfort is rust on your community pillar. The discomfort is that rust being flaked off ever so slowly. Do you remember how confident you use to be able to walk into a room and talk to people about almost anything? That is, again, that rust which has coated your confidence in yourself. When you face fear or belief that people are judging you that is the rust that has formed.
So how do you remove that rust that has built up?
Removing that rust is surprisingly easy in a straight forward way. Yet it is very difficult in application. The answer is to start working on those pillars again. Did you paint at one time? Then get a cheap painting set and some cardboard. Start anywhere si the key. The act will cause you to examine yourself, possibly even judge yourself, and that can be hard to face. You are your own worst bully. Yet the more you do it the more confident you become in that task. Sometimes after a little work, it starts to come back to you. Suddenly you are painting or taking photographs, or writing your blog.
You are not writing to reach anybody, in particular, you are writing for your benefit, you are painting for your enjoyment. You are sculpting because you are drawn to do so.
Get out and talk to people. This is an area I am working on right now. I am trying to make sure I get out and talk to people and get to know them. I make it a point to inquire about their families and what their biggest struggle is about. This has a lot of discomfort for me because I am used to just talking to people through a computer screen.
A great way to remove the rust on your soul is to find a hobby. To remove the rust for your community find a church or civic organization. Body rust, start walking for 15 minutes a day, or get an app that will tell you when you have walked a mile and start seeing how far you can go.
For your mind, there are lots of ways to knock the rust off. You can listen to self-improvement podcasts. You can take an online course, or even go to your local community college and take some classes. Join a men’s group. Start reading, or have an audiobook read to you. Now physical reading is better it actives more of your brain but small steps are important.
You can get rid of the rust that has formed on you. It does take work and some dedication but as you start to improve you may find that learning and improving yourself is the best thing in life.