Human beings have the curious ability to pass down knowledge and information via language; this is an ability that no other creature possesses.
Yet what do most men do, when offered the chance to gleam knowledge from men of the past? They completely ignore it. They’d rather spend their time watching Netflix or eating garbage food that will make them fat.
Don’t be like them. We live in an age of unprecedented access to information; all of the knowledge of the great men of the past is literally right at your finger tips. A large majority of this knowledge can be condensed into pithy quotes.
From Nietzsche to Seneca, Teddy Roosevelt to Andrew Carnegie, and Norman Mailer to Ralph Waldo Emerson, we’re going to explore some of the most masculine quotes to live by. I suggest you take them to heart.
1. “Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a certain built-in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men.” –Norman Mailer
2. “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.” -John Wayne
3. “I came. I saw. I conquered.” -Julius Caesar
4. “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” -Nathan Hale (before being hung by the British)
5. “It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” -Emiliano Zapata
6. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
7. “A man does what he must—in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures—and that is the basis of all human morality.” -Winston Churchill
8. “No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.” -Seneca
9. “This is the test of your manhood: How much is there left in you after you have lost everything outside of yourself?” -Orison Swett Marden
10. ”We live in a feminist and effeminate culture. Because of this, at best, as a people we are uneasy with masculinity, and with increasing regularity, whenever it manages to appear somehow, we call for someone to do something about it.” -Douglas Wilson
11. “Civilization comes at a cost of manliness. It comes at a cost of wildness, of risk, of strife. It comes at a cost of strength, of courage, of mastery. It comes at a cost of honor. Increased civilization exacts a toll of virility, forcing manliness into further redoubts of vicariousness and abstraction.” -Jack Donovan, The Way of Men
12. “Manhood is the defeat of childhood narcissism.” -David Gilmore
13. “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” -Abraham Lincoln
14. “It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be.” -Virgil
15. “Man is so made that when anything fires up his soul, impossibilities vanish.” -Jean de la Fontaine
16. “A man should be upright, not be kept upright.” -Marcus Aurelius
17. “Fathers are to sons what blacksmiths are to swords. It is the job of the blacksmith not only to make a sword but also to maintain its edge of sharpness. It is the job of the father to keep his son sharp and save him from the dullness of foolishness. He gives his son that sharp edge through discipline.” -Steve Farrar
18. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” -Confucius
19. “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” -Theodore Roosevelt
20. “Genius is the power of carrying the feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
21. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
22. “Opposition is what we want and must have, to be good for anything. Hardship is the native soil of manhood and self-reliance.” -John Neal
23. “It is not necessary for a man to be actively bad in order to make a failure in life; simple inaction will accomplish it. Nature has everywhere written her protest against idleness; everything which ceases to struggle, which remains inactive, rapidly deteriorates. It is the struggle toward an ideal, the constant effort to get higher and further, which develops man-hood and character.” -James Terry White
24. “Duty is the essence of manhood.” -George S. Patton
25. “There is one rule, above all others, for being a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet.” -Robert Jordan
26. “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.” -T.E. Lawrence
27. “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” -C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
28. “A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and is confirmed only by other men. Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all.” -Camille Paglia
29. “Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.” -Benjamin Disraeli
30. “A man may conquer a million men in battle but one who conquers himself is, indeed, the greatest of conquerors.” -Buddha
31. “When someone tells a man to be a man, they mean that there is a WAY to be a man. A man is not just a thing to be—it is also a way to be, a path to follow and a way to walk. Some try to make manhood mean everything. Others believe that it means nothing at all. Being good at being a man can’t mean everything, and it has always meant something.” -Jack Donovan
32. “No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself, depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength” -Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
33. “Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine!” -The Count of Monte Cristo
34. “Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.” -Patrick Henry
35. “Man is nothing else, but what he makes of himself.” -Jean Paul Sartre
Masculine Quotes: Final Thoughts
Despite the wide array of quotes, it seems that there’s a few common themes. Suffering makes a man’s character, to be a man is to overcome adversity, and the core of masculinity is to be bold and to exert your will on the world.
These things, unfortunately, have been forgotten by our culture; we live in a society that’s been feminized from years of brainwashing and a PC-ridden culture.
But, fear not. For as Thomas Jefferson said: “One man with courage makes a majority.” Despite the fact that masculinity is a taboo in our culture, many other men feel the same way as we do. They crave danger, they crave adventure, and a chance to prove themselves.
Great things are starting to happen, my friends. Men all over the world are waking up and starting to realize the madness of our feminist indoctrination. Every week I get emails from men thanking me for my blog; seeing their success gives me hope that one day, we can have a culture that values honor above all else.
If you have any quote suggestions, comments, or concerns let me know—and, as always, I’ll see you next time.
Jon Anthony is a dating coach, fitness expert, and self-improvement guru. He dropped out of college to start Masculine Development in 2015, and has since been self-employed, helping men across the world achieve their best lives. You can best reach him on social media, or via email for questions.