One day it will happen. The Storm will arrive in your life and it will hit hard. It will slam in to you so violently that it will shake you to your core. It will crush you. Everything you thought you knew about life will crumble before your eyes. This gentlemen, is what I call a The Storm.
The Storm is an event, a circumstance or a series of each or both that will bring you to your knees. It can involve a loved one, a good friend or your hopes and dreams.
No matter the form it takes or the severity, we will all have to endure one or more of them in our lifetime.
It will be a life altering event, something you can never fully prepare for. Even the most rugged and hardened of men are vulnerable.
Worse, it might be an ongoing situation that can never be fully resolved.
For some reason we are put on this earth to face challenges and face them we will. One way or another you will have to deal with The Storm in your life.
For me, it was a series of events that spiraled out of control in a hurry. I was caught completely of guard and could not keep up as things completely fell apart around me. It was so unexpected and so difficult that I was surprised I was able to function day to day.
How does a man survive The Storm in his life?
The Storm – Recognition
The first step in surviving The Storm is recognizing it for what it is.
It is now your time to deal with extreme difficulty. In this respect you are no different than any other man.
By definition it is something that will be devastating to you in its effect. No matter how rock solid you believe your life is, no man can be fully prepared.
To step aside and make it a point to recognize The Storm for what it is will at first sound trivial. Perhaps even a little selfish if it is primarily a loved one that is affected. After all, it’s not always all about you is it?
When you are in the thick of it and can hardly function, the idea of coining your deep and personal difficulty as The Storm (or anything else) will indeed seem meaningless.
But then as life begins to call and you realize that you’ve got to begin functioning on some level, you will have to recalibrate way back down to the most basic of fundamentals.
You will gather yourself and ask a simple question. “What is it that I need to do first”?
A man needs to be fully cognizant of his difficulties to properly deal with them. The first step is to isolate and concretely define the situation.
I will submit that the best first move is to get outside of yourself and your immediate emotions and nail down the best starting point for a crisis: objective recognition.
It’s Your Turn
Acknowledging that your turn has come up, as simple as it sounds, will better allow you to deal with it. Take an arm’s length approach and get your bearings.
In my situation, my first thought as raised my head up was “This is your sh*t storm Max and you’ve GOT to handle it. It’s nasty, deeply personal, painful, unjust, devastating and frightening, but you’ve got to man up and fight for what’s right. Gather your wits, put one foot in front of the other and start taking action”.
Call it whatever you want, but recognize it for what it is.
Recognize it and then get to work.
There are three possible outcomes when The Storm hits a man’s life:
- You can let it CRUSH YOU
- You can hold on for dear life and SURVIVE IT
- or you can decide to BECOME THE STORM
Crushed by The Storm
So you are minding your own business going about your life and then one day you get hammered. The Storm rolls in and keeps pounding away. It is relentless, more than you can take. It knocks you right off your feet. And then just when you think to yourself you are at your limit, it gets even worse and breaks you.
I for one will reserve judgement from those men who are crushed by a Life Storm and never recover. Until you can walk in another man’s shoes you can never truly know his burden.
All I know is that I would want each good man out there to fight like hell with all he’s got. I would want him to never give up and try to create some good out of The Storm after it rolls over his life. Take a respite if needed, but never give up.
This is the true measure of a man, is it not? We can all be broken. Just don’t accept defeat as a permanent state. Justify your loss by rising up again. Rise again from the smoldering ashes, do what’s right and reap the glory of your Creator.
Survive The Storm
Sometimes the rains and the wind will come at you so hard and so unexpectedly that all a man can do is hold on. You’ve got some fight in you but you are ill equipped and unprepared. In this case you will hold on for dear life and survive The Storm.
You will grit your teeth and squeeze tight. The Storm is overwhelming, but you will not let it break you. You will survive and live to fight another day.
Here you will function as best you can. The basics of the situation will get taken care of. There are no immediate solutions perhaps, but you know deep in your heart that you will come around.
Every day you will put one foot in front of the other. Even when you realize there is no immediate solution and this could be a long term or even permanent proposition you will steel yourself and gather momentum.
You will harden yourself and take the time to get your bearings.
The Storm – Convictions
My breaking point put me in a state of complete confusion. I had no idea what to do and realized in the moment that bad things happen to good people all the time regardless of preparation and foresight, but I was absolutely lost.
I remember thinking to myself what the hell am I going to do here. Thankfully, my anger helped me brush aside self-pity, but I was stuck. There were no immediate answers for me.
In my situation all I had were my convictions and a willingness to take action.
If it is relevant to your Storm, seize your convictions and don’t let go. Make sure they are legitimate. Be willing to bet your life on them. Brush surface emotion aside and go deep, go all the way to the core.
Reach out to family or a close friend, someone not directly involved in the situation. Make sure it is a person or persons who will set you straight if you are on the wrong path. Just don’t seek out easy affirmation, but those who will challenge you if you are misguided.
Submit your convictions. If you are just and righteous in your thinking you will receive validation from good people. Sometimes that is the extra boost you will need to refine and forge the courage and direction required to move forward.
A man with the true courage of his convictions is formidable.
This is who you want to be.
Become The Storm
You’ve been left with no other choice. You didn’t let it break you and you survived the onslaught. You are not going to give up and you are angry. A keen awareness has come about your existence. It’s time to get serious and lay it all on the line.
This is the kind of seriousness that will define a man’s life from here on in.
Perhaps like me, there is not much you can do to control The Storm or its effects. My only answer was to get things done. To take action and do everything right. To me there was no other way. I was going to push back at circumstance.
It was crystallized for me one day when I received the image below from one of my incredible sisters:
It hit me like a ton of bricks in that moment. Everything in my life was on the line. Am I just going to hang on and try to cope? Or am I going to invite the Creator to come along and fight like my life depended on it.
I decided to stand tall, to become The Storm.
I propose to you gentlemen, that when that life crushing event occurs one day, the only way to really survive is to indeed become The Storm yourself. Lay it all on the line.
This was my defining moment. I for one was not going to go down without a fight – no way, no how, not me. I would use everything good that was inside me and fight like hell no matter the outcome. If I went down, I would do so on my own terms.
I would become the F*CKING STORM. I would become a Force of Nature.
Please notice the parallel here with the overall premise of this website, how the answer to surviving The Storm is to become The Storm – or a Force of Nature.
We are not working on superficial self-improvement here at Becoming a Force of Nature, but much more.
Sure, we live in a difficult and broken world where certain physical and mental characteristics can be of tremendous earthly benefit to a man. These things are necessary to enhance our existence day to day.
But the ultimate goal is to live up in the High Country here on earth as I call it. You will do this for your own sake and as tip of the hat to the Creator. But your singular ambition will also benefit the loved ones around you like nothing else you can do for them.
In my opinion, the best thing you can do with your time here on earth is to become the very best you can be.
Create Some Good
Meet The Storm head on. Live your life with purpose by pursuing your Life Mission and Life Vision.
At bare minimum, hold fast to your Life Mission and convictions when The Storm hits. When you are able to catch your breath, reassess your Life Vision. If it is still valid, then chase it down at full throttle. If adjustments need to be made, then make them and get moving.
Develop your Personal Armor like never before. You now have a life searing purpose. Leverage that purpose and build your momentum every day. Never let go of that energy. Develop and use it like your life depended on it.
Play the long game and grow your Financial Armor so that you will be able to provide yourself and your loved ones with some financial security. There are some crude realities in this world that must be handled with planning, sacrifice and discipline. Having your finances in order will boost your morale and provide you with a measure of independence.
Recognize that you may have to deal with very bad feelings for a very long time. It’s just the way it is. Learn to compartmentalize your emotions by pushing them aside with positive action. Forge your Emotional Armor.
Cut out the alcohol. The time for shallow distractions has gone, has it not?
Pursue the ultimate goal in becoming The Storm and work like never before to create some good out of the calamity. Work to make it right in some way if that is at all possible.
Do Everything Right
Perhaps if you commit to doing everything that you know is right, in the end all will become as you would want it to be. All will be set right. And with a little help from above, perhaps it can happen.
If not, then at least you hit The Storm head on with honor and courage.
You fought the good fight.
I’m not sure there is much more that could be asked of a man.
All the best,