Chapter 8

Be Strong But Flexible, Bend Instead Of Breaking

What does it mean to be a man? Specifically, to turn from a boy who lives with his mother, in the world of women, the world of the feminine of fun, of games, of play, and then transition into the masculine world with the men, responsibility, and work?

The Spartans were some of the strongest, most revered warriors of all time. Popularized in movies like 300, the men of Sparta never surrendered and they were hard and rigid, but it was this same rigidity that prevented them from growing into an empire like the Romans. Eventually, the Spartans’ rigidity led them into their demise.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species

In this chapter of Hard Times Create Strong Men, Stefan analyses the fighting mentality of armies like the Spartans of Ancient Greece and the Germans in WWII, who eventually lost due to their inability to bend instead of breaking. In battle and in life, it’s much better to be resourceful, and flexible in your thinking than to be rigid and one dimensional. In the Art of War, the perfect warrior wins the fight without violence. 

Hard times create strong men, and weak men create hard times. It is the inevitable cycle of life where great empires are built and destroyed. Unfortunately, millennials are currently living in the era of weak men that drown in ephemeral pleasure and limited desires. However, strength and greatness are determined by one’s self, and so this is the best time to seize everything you have ever wanted.