This week, I chanced upon a clip about famous Hollywood director Guy Ritchie explaining in a podcast interview with Joe Rogan about the philosophy that drives all his movie narratives.
He began by giving the analogy about wearing a suit. We are now experiencing the death of the suit. Why? Because the suit has become analogous to the 9–5 lifestyle that every man loathes but yet is addicted to.
After generations of donning on this armour of oppression, the modern man has become weary and emancipated. What used to be a gentleman’s symbol has now turned into the outward manifestation of a ball and chain.
This is far from Guy’s definition of himself as a man. Joe Rogan intuitively points out that he sees a man brimming with confidence and looking rather charming in the suit.
That prompts the next question: Why does Guy exude that kind of confidence?
Guy explains that he doesn’t just wear the suit for the sake of it, he wears it because he owns it. He takes psychological ownership over the act of dressing up and he fuses that with his own inner identity.
The act of wearing the suit and looking presentable allows you to transcend from worrying about what people think of you to focusing solely on the manifestation of your inner strength.
It’s a fascinating philosophy to live by. We see many cases of men getting hen pecked or controlled by their wives.
They “act” like how a man should, walk like a man, act like how society determines a man should be. But is he truly living his best life deep inside?
Many start out being able to suppress their emotions or their thoughts. But as time creeps by, you begin to see how living in this construct tires them out tremendously and they suffer from that connection with their inner man.
It’s like a parasite that chips away at their confidence, draining hope and the powerful creative force in life. This parasite is agnostic towards personality ,introverted or extroverted.
This parasite leaves dreamers sterile, lifeless and in need of spiritual resuscitation.
To solve this epidemic, there is a need to reconnect and reestablish this internal identity. One that is unique and unencumbered by anything other people expect you to be.
I was reminded of this during my Muay Thai session this week. Initially, I thought that it was going to be a big session with many participants, but it turned out to just be me and the trainer.
I was really looking forward to it because it had been more than a year since I did any striking training and I was feeling a little stressed out by some of the thoughts in my head.
Ever since I started my martial arts journey about 3 years ago, I noticed countless of misinformed individuals having negative connotations about martial arts in general. They either have an archaic, Hollywood-style concept that martial arts is only limited to Chinese people practicing in the park or that it is all about senseless violence.
The truth cannot be further from that. If you ever step into a Martial Arts gym, you’ll find many people who welcome you with open arms and they are some of the most calm and normal people around. They look a lot like this.
The point I’m trying to make is this: As a man (especially), there’s something really important about learning the rules of combat and the ramifications of getting into a physical tussle with someone on the street. Going one layer deeper, there’s an ancient warrior spirit living in all of us, particularly with men. We dream about it when watching movies all the time.
When that spirit is muted, you see a man that is devoid of all energy, like a walking, working zombie. When this spirit is contaminated by past experiences, it can even be physically and verbally dangerous to the people surrounding this individual. But when carefully nurtured, you see a man growing in deep confidence, happiness and purpose.
As a man and a martial artist, I’ve trained enough to know that I don’t know enough and I should never get into an altercation especially when someone tries to bruise my ego. I know the best thing for me and for the people around me is to walk away before anyone ends up getting stabbed or hit by bottles.
A warrior knows when to fight and when to walk away, a warrior knows that there will always be someone better than him that will humble him in training or in competition.
As I continue growing and learning as a man, I’ve started to find this spirit growing in me and it’s my responsibility to reconcile and integrate this aspect of me into the “suit” I’m wearing, essentially owning my “suit”.
Ultimately, what kind of man I’ll become does not hinge on global pandemics, but it is determined by the little actions I take everyday.
I have to take full ownership of my own life, both the good and the bad.
I am the master of my own universe.