The Capable Men Blueprint
It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
— Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust survivor, Author of Man's Search for Meaning

The Blueprint

When you find yourself dabbling within self-improvement literature or lifestyle platforms like ours; You would be forgiven if you feel overwhelmed by the countless amount of viewpoints, antidotes, and wisdom that may claim to offer fulfilment and clarity towards finding your path and purpose. A confusing state of information overload, which will offer no positive benefits to anybody if some fundamentals are not clear. I wish to now convince you of a structure for approaching personal development that rectifies the confusing state of self-improvement while offering effective coherence towards your own path in life. This will be The Capable Blueprint.

THE 2 PILLARS OF THE BLUEPRINT

When it comes to personal development, I'm a firm believer that we should begin by compartmentalising our goals and development actions towards the 2 categories above; Capability & Fulfilment. These two fascinating categories have an endless depth to their subject matter and often require a lifetime of navigation to ultimately find what works for you. I wish to explain within this article that the act of working towards these two categories will provide you with a coherent strategy towards forming your own life code, resulting in the navigation of life on your own terms and with purpose.


Having the ability, fitness, or quality necessary to do or achieve a specified thing

Let us begin with what it means to be Capable. The essence of Capable Men. The journey of embracing your masculinity alongside the desire to increase your abilities to enable one to do whatever one has to do. The more abilities you have means the more things you can influence, contribute to and explore throughout your lifetime.

The path of capability has multiple objectives. Ranging from your own athleticism, (Focusing on your body) Your technical abilities, (What skills do you know?) and finally your critical thinking skills (The effective process of objectively analysing, and reconstructing information rationally)

No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.
— Socrates

Body & Skills

Finding the pallet of hobbies & activities you'll partake in throughout life is a subjective and fulfilling journey that each man has the task of personally managing. As a guideline, it's a good idea to develop skills and abilities that have multi-purpose benefits.

The objective; To collect proficient, functional skills over a lifetime which will have a remarkable quantity of benefits towards your quality of life.

  • Social Currency: Your ability to converse and personally relate to the interests of different people increases with the more abilities you have. Ultimately improving friendships, bonds and the understanding of others.
     
  • Navigation Potential: Navigating this Earth becomes much more efficient with the appropriate skills in your arsenal. Endurance, Strength, Fortitude as outlined above would be the very attributes that would allow you to complete a challenging hike in hostile conditions to name one example.
     
  • Survival: Your focus on capability makes you proficient towards adversity. Enabling you to be more capable of dealing with threatening challenges towards yourself or loved ones.

Critical Thinking

Building a strong body with a formidable pallet of abilities is one portion of Capability. The final portion of this path is your critical thinking ability. How well do you think? Are you consciously aware of your own cognitive biases? Do you execute critical analysis when assessing new information? Don't worry, this is a difficult question to answer for any man. 

The consequences of poor, analytical thinking can be costly. Strong critical thinking is essentially the immune system for preventing the digestion of faulty information. Throughout the Capable Men platform, we continuously attempt to encourage active critical thinking over a vast range of abstract ideas. The intention is to form a careful thinker who isn't compromised by his own biases as he ponders over a subject or a problem. Well-reasoned conclusions are the end result of his thinking, resulting in a empathic, reasonable, rational lifestyle.

The Socratic principle: The unexamined life is not worth living, because they realize that many unexamined lives together result in an uncritical, unjust, dangerous world.
— Linda Elder

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Satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one's potential

Fulfilment is the mental game. The internal dialogue with oneself that we all must engage with to find our own inner happiness. This is the force that allows one to smile even when times are rough, and understand the greater purpose of your actions throughout your lifetime. One can be utterly capable but lacking personal fulfilment, wondering aimlessly without an objective or purpose, and this is a crippling predicament for the primal spirit of man.

Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.
— Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Forming your own code

In my opinion, personal fulfilment begins with a strong foundation of personal ethics and morality that has undergone contemplation and scrutiny. This journey of questioning morality is one which man has contested with for millennia. Morality often changes throughout time; what is deemed moral today may be vastly different than what is considered moral in the future. When you're born, you arrive at a random location on this earth that has predetermined values, concepts, and rules that you must abide by in order to conform and coexist within society. It's a tragedy to allow time to pass without questioning such concepts, without understanding the arbitrary, inconsistent nature of these rules that are often in place to protect entrenched power structures rather than contributing to the wellbeing of humanity. It is here we must be capable in deciding our own direction and sometimes willing to walk against the majority to define our own destiny.

For many, guidance is concluded entirely through religious scripture. For others, it's through patriotism and the obedience of the current direction of the state. For the few remaining, one must form their own code of ethics and morality through personal discovery and discussion with others. Forming your own code that you have personally developed in which you uphold through thick and thin, unrelenting, in your desire for fulfilment is a powerful tool towards achieving inner peace.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
— Robert A. Heinlein

Where to begin?

Philosophy: The study of the general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, ethics, values, reason, mind and language. 

So how does one begin to conclude their path of morality to formulate their own code? Try Philosophy. I'm a huge advocate towards the personal study of Philosophy, which has helped me tremendously through the logical questioning of morality and ethics. Not only might you discover your values through the timeless advice of past philosophers but you'll most certainly develop a grand ability to understand, analyse and evaluate complex topics.

Here are the first 3 books on Philosophy that I have utilised in my own philosophic journey, that I would highly recommend for beginners:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
— Steve Jobs

Those who have a why to live, can bear with almost any how.
— Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

The above quote (Amongst the many included within this article so far) derive from Viktor E. Frankl, taken from his short but powerful book, Man's Search for Meaning. It takes us through the author's personal experiences in four different German concentration camps in WWII, including the notorious Auschwitz. Meaning and Purpose are the main focal points of this famous piece of literature. Viktor makes a powerful argument towards the importance of purpose through his own observations during his incarceration.

Viktor makes the point that life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, or a quest for power, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. This meaning was the very thing that kept men alive in this camp when they were stripped of all their possessions, given simply a number as an identity, deprived of food and clothing, exposed to brutal labour and found themselves hopelessly broken. Those who can find meaning in what they do, even when confronted with merciless evil; by having something still left to accomplish in life, provide themselves a formidable weapon that has pushed man through the greatest of struggles throughout time.

This is the area in which many people find themselves in limbo. They're in good health, have a good base of capability and yet lack a purpose to their actions. What is their mission? What are their goals in life? Are they in the right profession? What must one do with their time?

Life makes this choice for many, and these people will find their purpose predefined by the random circumstances of their birth. Extreme Poverty, A war zone or a disputed territory may be the location of birth and that may demand an immediate purpose that ensures your survival or that of the community as a whole before having the luxury of defining your own path. 

For those of you who are lucky enough to have less dramatic circumstances, the choice is yours to define what you should do with your time here in life. I have outlined the following actions for this Blueprint which acts in harmony with my aforementioned emphasis on personal capability. These 4 objectives of mine are fundamental to the overall strategy of this blueprint.

  • Free up as much time in life to do what you desire.
  • Travel this planet and experience as much of it as possible.
  • Seek adventure through curiosity and challenges.
  • Ensure your own wellbeing and that of your loved ones.

These goals are the primary reasoning for my actions henceforth. Will doing this free up more time in my life? If so, then it's a viable action to consider.

If you're currently in a job that is demanding 6 days of your life per week, and you're unsatisfied with life, could it be that you lack the time to do anything on your own terms? Sure you may be financially sound. But are you restricted to one week per year to enjoy life on your own terms? Is this how you want to go out? A lifetime entrenched within the corporate structure of life to simply make ends meet just so you can breathe another day, discontent?

Many will know of the inevitable turmoil of balancing an unhappy profession with the financial demands of life. But this simply requires a change of strategy and shouldn't be accepted as the end result. You have an obligation to continuously question the feasibility of alternative options if they can achieve the aforementioned 4 objectives. Perhaps it'll take a few years. Perhaps you need to work for a few years on something that doesn't give you much time or pleasure in order to keep the food on the table. And that's fine. But the intent must be there to change the circumstances as soon as possible. You must take ownership of your own life and build this path on your own terms as soon as it is viable to do so. Settle for nothing less!

One of my all time favourite pieces of literature for freeing up your own time and formulating a passive income stream


METAPHYSICAL REASONING

[Warning, this is the part of the article that attempts to dive deep into the metaphysical questioning of personal development. Turn away now if easily startled.]

"Why?"

The nihilist asks.

"Why does it matter to navigate life in a way which takes you through more experiences? Developing capable skill sets and responding to life's challenges with virtue? Why is this better than a life of simplicity and simply just navigating each day as it comes? We all die eventually right?"

Sheesh, that got dark deeply, ah?

But it's a good question. So you have made the decision to navigate the world on your own terms, honoring your word, upholding your own values each day and putting a lifetime into your own personal development to a high standard. Can you justify doing all of this each day with a reason that transcends even death? Can you convince yourself that putting all this effort into your own wellbeing is truly worth it instead of just winging it day to day? I figure, that if you can find this meaning; Then you have formulated an unprecedented will that will allow you live on your own terms over a lifetime, unhindered by the pressure of the hivemind. If you don't figure out this meaning, then this void is always open and your will may falter in the gravest of times.

A meaning that can transcend even death is truly subjective to each and every man. This may range from your children's wellbeing to building a legacy that leaves your name in the history books. Whatever this meaning may be, it is one that you must personally discover. Many infinite amounts of meanings have been defined throughout history that have been utterly crushed by the nihilist persuasion. But I'm going to attempt at providing meaning that relates to the vast cosmic context, that holds up for me.

As far as we're certain, when we truly answer the following question honestly; Is that we can only be 100% sure of one reality, one single consciousness, and that is of our own. [Solipsism] We can understand that this reality we're experiencing now all began when we were born without any recollection of any reality beforehand. We know of the inevitable nature of death and conceive of the biological consequences of this process to the human body. Anything else after this line is purely subjective and open to scrutiny and conflict.

So the only way I can approach this situation, and to give meaning to my existence on a cosmic scale without doubt and conflict is to conclude this is a game. The game of life with more questions than answers, in which I have two choices. One choice; is a life of little thought, following the hivemind and the impulses of our instinct without question. Making our decisions through comfort and primal compulsion rather than logic and rationality, like animals; no different than the simplicity of the moth's decision to hover around a lightbulb. Or I can continuously seek out new horizons, always asking questions and seeking new experiences in this lifetime, putting time into my own capabilities so that I can experience the most out of this reality to my fullest and pass on my adventures, tales, and wisdom to the next generation. This is my own meaning for all of this, this is the spirit of capablemen.com and the vision of this blueprint. And if I'm wrong in this approach on a grand cosmic scale of questioning? Then I am flawed by my own design and was destined to get this question wrong from day 1.

WHAT VALIDATES THIS APPROACH?

We honestly don't know. It's in our design to become proficient and manipulate our personal environment for the wellbeing of our loved ones/species. Thousands of religions over time have claimed to have a grand answer to all of this. Providing meaning and context beyond death itself. But how many of you on this Earth can proclaim the truth to this question with 100% certainty when there are so many different arguments from countless different religions? How can YOU be completely sure yours is the right one? (If anybody is even right for that matter!)

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
— Stephen Roberts

Our species is moving towards a certain direction. We do know that we once lived in caves and now we're plotting our movement around our solar system. Something is happening, and it could be a game that plays out over eternity. Reality is fucking weird, and we just happen to be in it without choice. Perhaps a million years from now when our species is a Type III civilisation on the Kardashev scale, we'll understand the purpose to all of this. In the meantime, the process of choosing a life of exploration through adventure and adversity, then passing on these attributes to the next generation and shunning those who prefer a life on the couch, who're contributing nothing to civilisation; is a successful process that is doing well for humanity's progress so far. It makes us stronger, we progress and each generation has a new horizon that must be explored to continue this game. This is the attitude that pushes man through undiscovered frontiers and demands nothing but the best. The curiosity to discover new concepts and conceive of new ideas comes from this mindset. So I implore you all to become Capable versions of yourself for the benefit of mankind and the greater cosmic context itself!

Or... we could simply wake up after death and find it was all a virtual reality simulator. And if that's the case, personal development will score you some serious points!

Rick and Morty playing with the Virtual Reality Simulator: Roy: A Life Well Lived

Rick and Morty playing with the Virtual Reality Simulator: Roy: A Life Well Lived

The founder of Capable Men. 

Currently operating personal projects while he simultaneously attempts to develop the Capable Men platform. John served five years in the British army, with a tour of duty in Afghanistan before eventually departing the forces to begin a career in the private security sector.

John attended several private protection courses dealing with security strategy, close-quarters combat training, firearms and advanced driving. This new profession took him worldwide Including the protection of government assets in South America, VIP tasks on the Côte d'Azur and security work within the French Alps.

His interests include global affairs, philosophy, hiking, sports and fitness.