It sounds cliché.
“You do you!”
You see it on inspirational Instagram influencers’ pages, hear it in TedTalks, and read it in just about every self-help book you could ever pick up.
But it’s my thought for the day and it’s important so I need you to stick with me.
Sexually compulsive behavior erodes your value system over time. It deteriorates the values introduced to you and built up by your society, religion, family, culture, and so on. Many of us were exposed to pornography at a very young age so we learned feelings of shame and guilt early on. Those feelings carried into our teenage years and adulthood and have lingered ever since.
How do you put together a sturdy set of values when your perception is skewed? Where do you begin when you’re still filled with guilt and shame after losing control of one of your most basic instincts at a very young age? What do you do to establish a strong foundation and build up your values again?
A Quote From Sir Richard Francis Burton
Sir Richard Francis Burton was a British explorer who lived during the 19th century. He’s credited with discovering areas throughout Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Burton is also well-known for being a polyglot, meaning he spoke multiple languages fluently. His historical resume is impressive and did a lot of incredible things during his lifetime.
I read a biography about him one time and found a quote in the book that has stuck with me ever since:
“Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from no one but self expect applause. He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.”
Now, bear in mind before you continue, Sir Richard Francis Burton was a racist. There’s no denying his awfully racist beliefs. Morally speaking, he’s nowhere close to being a role model, a mentor, or someone whose main ideas you should adhere to. But when it comes to courage, there’s a lot you can learn from him.
If you can learn to expect applause from no one but yourself, you become unstoppable. There’s no groveling for the attention or approval of others. You don’t need to look to anyone else for validation when you can validate yourself. This is the first step toward re-developing the self confidence and self-esteem that you lost long ago.
Admittedly, there are all kinds of definitions of noble. Again, it’s undeniable that Burton was a racist. His self-made laws included abhorrent beliefs about people of African descent. Still, he had a solid set of self-made laws he lived by unapologetically.
Create Your Own Laws
You have to make your own laws to live by. I don’t mean live a lawless life full of adultery and killing; those are not noble pursuits. What I mean is you need to set your own standards while you’re rebooting because you have a long way to go to get beyond average.
Men who develop pornography addiction early on fall behind as they grow up. Trying to measure yourself by the success and standards of your peers will leave you feeling less than and not good enough. And you need to move beyond the status quo, anyways. You have a lot to make up for after squandering the gift of life you’ve been given.
Men also have different ideas of what happiness and success look like. For some, having a wife and kids is the pinnacle of a well-lived life. For others, building a successful business and creating jobs is the ultimate goal to work toward. Don’t look externally for a set of standards to live by; determine them for yourself and start working toward them.
Be Wary of What Testosterone Bids You To Do
The first part of that quote is shaky ground for men who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior. You can never fight against your biology but you must be wary of what testosterone would have you do. The standards and values you develop should be far from the things that led you down the path of pornography addiction.
Run your urges through your filters and talk them over with an accountability partner. While you always need to follow your self-made laws at the end of the day, you should also be cautious when it comes to laws about your sexual behavior.
Take Honest Stock Of Your Life
Where are you at in life right now? How are you doing? Take a moment to consider this and answer honestly. If you look around and realize you’re not living a good life, it’s time to make some changes. You might be poor, lazy, or weak. Maybe you don’t feel masculine or you’re constantly envious of other men.
So ask yourself, what does your manhood bid you do?
For me, my manhood bids me work hard so I can live the life I want to and not be broke. My manhood bids me take care of my aging parents and my family. My manhood bids me work hard in the gym so I can stay strong, in shape, and have a good physique. My manhood bids me continue building a strong relationship with my long-term partner.
My manhood also bids me help men like you in the Porn Addiction Counseling – Reboot program who are trying to overcome their out-of-control sexual behavior. My self-made laws center around helping other men out of the same predicament I found myself in all those years ago.
When I base my life around these self-made laws, I feel like I’m on the right path and heading in the right direction. I never question the way I’m going because I’ve made and am now keeping my self-made laws.
Now it’s your turn. What are your self-made laws and how do you plan to keep them? It’s time to get to work, brother. We’re in pursuit of a noble life.