Ever since starting the Art of Manliness in 2008, I’ve wanted to create something that would help readers take our content offline. I never wanted readers just to consume our content, but to put it to use in their lives — to take real action on it. I wanted men to become not just readers, but doers; not just spectators but actors.
I’ve long seen the difficulty in this. We’re bombarded with so much media that it can be downright paralyzing. There are so many options on what to do, you end up taking none of them. Inertia sets in. The restlessness we feel causes us to retreat away from the tangible world and further into our devices, further into our minds. We feel adrift, and our lives feel flimsy, insubstantial, and strangely weightless.
We want to learn new skills, but don’t know where to start. We set goals, but have trouble sticking with them. We want greater challenge and to push back against the age of comfort and convenience we find ourselves in, but there’s nothing there to push against. We want to pursue excellence and become better men, but the path of how to get there seems nebulous and hard to grasp.
Well, after almost a decade of brainstorming, and more than a year and half of dedicated work by the AoM team, we’ve finally created a solution to these frustrated yearnings — a structured program designed to turn your abstract intentions into action. It’s called The Strenuous Life, and it’s essentially a scouting program for grown men.