Bad Ass Virtues

March 17, 2021 John R. Hatfield 0 Comments

John R. Hatfield

Bad Ass Virtues:

The things that hurt, instruct

Benjamin Franklin

Bad ass virtues represent those virtues we as men need to embrace, forge into our lives, honor, and replicate in younger men as well as sharpen each other with. These are the virtues that require the crucible for refining the dross, purifying strength, courage, confidence, resilience, and depth of character. This is what makes them bad ass because they will break us and reshape us on the anvil. They will never be easy to conquer but conquer we must. We must awaken these lost masculine virtues in each one of us and become them allowing them to define us. They give definition to our masculinity a frame, a reference, a routine, a map of true manhood north unleashing our masculine power.



Saying no to yourself and yes to others smacks against selfishness. And everyone is naturally selfish, we want our own way and often throw an adult tantrum when we don’t get what we want or think we deserve. Self-sacrifice will always have a price, a point of pain because it is self-denial. It is choosing to think and put the interests of others, a cause, or an ideal ahead of your own interests, desires or wants, influencing a greater good. Self-sacrifice builds self-control which helps us to make decisions not based on feelings, but to push through not giving into these temporary emotions to reach a better decision. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, build self-control and selflessness.



Life will be a bitch. Hardships and struggle are the norm for everyone because life is not fair. Yes, pain, suffering, heart ache, and brokenness will enter your life. We all get knocked on our ass, ko’d, sucker punched, personally, with our family, in significant relationships, and in our workplace. I guarantee it, if you don’t think so, hide and wait. “The world breaks everyone and afterwards many our strong at the   broken places,” Hemingway. We must never let these knockdowns keep us down. We must choose to not detach. We must stand back up, get our legs under us, clear our head and emotions and then get into position to fight again. Staying down demoralizes us, depresses us, makes us cowards, and opens the door to all kinds of addictive behavior. We must enter the wilderness because it is there, we become resilient as we learn and overcome the brokenness into men of valor. Our scars become our source of experiential strength. The crucible forges deep strength on its anvil. This deep virtue of overcoming, not giving up, self-control, being able to weep, persevering through the dark night creates a man with deep powerful character traits.When suffering, pain, shattering, and the hardships of life happen, some are defeated and discouraged but the resilient become strong in the face of adversity.” Hatfield. We arise anew. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, allow the things that hurt to forge strength and confidence.



Self-discipline involves training to follow the rules, keep within the boundaries. Discipline of the emotions and the mind, to correct and corral them so as to rule over them. Without discipline we are vulnerable and susceptible to a breach of our personhood. Discipline will involve unpleasantness at times, pain, and grittiness. It mentors us to not give in to our emotions, what we think, desires, and temptations or the soft way. It is always a struggle in the mind to take charge over the body and our feelings. We must break unhealthy patterns of quitting or giving up. Only we are responsible to govern our own life, bringing our thoughts under control. The practice of discipline makes us sharper, better, and stealier. It is taking control. We choose to give in, compromise when life gets rough and tough. Discipline is the pathway to habits and habits helps us establish routines that define who we are. Without discipline we become weak and susceptible to be influenced from people, ideas, and things that bring us little worth on our quest to being the best version of ourselves. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, are able to withstand and resist attack.



You must take ownership for your shit storms you bring onto yourself and all other relationships. We all have missteps. Taking responsibility is honorable. What you refuse to own will follow you, it will eventually mark you. Blaming, side stepping, ignoring, keeping silent, denial, letting another take the fall, not being honest is the mark of an adolescent boy not a man and is dishonorable. No one can trust a liar, a blame shifter. Stepping up to the plate and owning your decisions, remarks, and leadership is being responsible and personally accountable. Yes, it’s a tough and painful decision with lots of slander and many times hate dispensed on you but it will bring a deep sense of integrity and peace knowing you did what was right, regardless of the consequences. That’s being noble, a lost value in our culture of manhood. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, will be respected and honored.



Choosing to love will require something from you. Laying down your life for the good of another or laying down your power is the picture. “We are either sacrificing love for power or power for love” Rhodes. It is a verb calling us to act. Its putting another in front of you. Love is rooted in sacrifice and sacrifice means you make a decision to die to your desires and wants for that of another. Love is always giving and meeting the needs of another regardless of if you like them. It’s easy to love those who you like and return the love. It’s hard to love those you don’t like or respect or at odds with or have hurt you. Love is accepting someone regardless. Its giving dignity and value regardless. All healthy relationships are built on love, honor, and respect not on rules or holding someone hostage based on authority or position. The opposite of love is to judge, condemn, reject, belittle, devalue, refuse kindness, hate, cancel, be selfish, unforgiving, and abandonment. It’s extremely ugly and hateful and sadly it has given definition to being male. You have to ask yourself what’s more important, to win the argument or protect the relationship. Love will never fail us, it brings out, kindness, peace, understanding, goodness, gentleness, self-control and forgiveness. Love should be an identifying quality that we as men dispense, not arrogance, anger, selfishness, or self-righteousness. To love will be one of the hardest things you will ever do, that’s why it is seldom seen. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, are revered and followed.



Get the job done, whatever it demands. You must put in the hard, laborious work others refuse to do because of their laziness, greediness, narcissism, or entitlement attitude that is rampant in the culture with no redeeming value. Why be afraid to demand more, to give more? We all have lazy days, days we don’t want to do anything or get involved. Those too are days you must bust your butt because there is nothing redeeming in laziness or entitlement or wanting others to serve you. We need to call out vigilant discipline. Committed to conviencee and ease is never something to desire or embody. Of course, it’s going to be hard, difficult, and frustrating at times but when it’s done you have inner satisfaction of beating the damn thing. It will take pluck, don’t give-up or give-in attitude, self-discipline, and resolve to ascend, crushing it. It’s the drive to bust your butt in your job, marriage, parenting, relationships, your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. And don’t forget you must be diligent to put in the hustle intensity of leading yourself in forming the best you. This habit and routine of putting in the effort, the extra-long hours, completing the task, to keep pushing through, will pay dividends in the long game. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, develop drive and fortitude.



Honesty is the number one virtue people desire in their leader, hands down. You must first be honest with yourself, and then with others. Honesty is the number one component to building trust. The wolf pack that runs counter to honesty is deception, lying, defrauding, half-truths, pretending, and betrayal. Where you find one, you find the others. Honesty is being true to your word; it is fulfilling what you promised. When you are honest you are one, congruent with yourself and your values. We must hold the line on integrity, on honesty because few do, they compromise. It starts with each of us. Our culture is so riddled with dishonesty, it’s a travesty to all. Many times, we lie to ourselves and then we actually believe the lie and it is destructive. When we have done something wrong, which happens more than we are willing to admit, we want to shift the heat onto someone else. Our self-image is fragile, and we can’t take what others would say or think about our mistake so we half-truth lie. That’s being dishonest and people abhor this. Being honest may be embarrassing, painful, and tough but the end result will be respect. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, find freedom and self-respect.



Two of the most powerful words are, I’m sorry, followed by, please forgive me.

When we apologize, we humble ourselves, admitting we did something wrong and was hurtful. At its core should be restoration of the relationship. The opposite is having to be right, which is arrogant. Being right then trumps the value of the relationship. True apology must involve the following three components, Regretsorrow for what you did, Responsibility- taking responsibility for your actions, and Remedy-willing to rectify the situation. Anything less than these three is botched and doesn’t represent an apology. Equally powerful is forgiving yourself. Guilt and shame have influence in trapping and caging us. They harshly remind us of the fuck up and rain down self-hate that often leads to depression. When you can’t forgive yourself, it’s like walking around with a 100-pound backpack. Sometimes we believe the lie that we must do some type of penitence to be able to take the backpack off. And other times we believe the lie that it will never come off. Bull shit. No one deserves to be remembered by their worst moments, no one. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, develop humility and value relationship.



We need each other. We were never created to be alone; we were created for relationship. Two are better than one because the other can come shoulder to shoulder to help and bring strength in the tough and horrific times in life that no one is ever immune from. Nothing great ever happened from being alone, it is always with others. When we believe we do not need anyone, we buy into the lie that we are superior. Superiority says you are better than everyone else, it creates a separateness from others, a condescending attitude of arrogance. You stop being a learner, valuing other gifts, skills, and design in others. We need others for our personal growth as well as professional growth. We need battle buddies who we depend on, who can carry us out after being wounded, won’t leave us, and are committed to our relationship to the end. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, form deep, meaningful, significant male relationships for the journey. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, form deep meaningful bonding relationships with other men.



Most see what needs to be done, but few will meet the challenge and get it done. You must be willing to be the first to start something, to jump in the race. It is taking action and not waiting or procrastinating. Fear of failure stops action, so you won’t do anything. You stand back, hesitate, won’t take responsibility, and simply refuse to get involved. You must make a decision to step into the chaos, the situation, the relationship, the leadership need. You must call out the spunk and get up and go. We must enter the conflict instead of retreat, many times, it will reflect working without being told what to do or needing supervision, having the drive to succeed or accomplish the task and willing to move into conflict instead of avoiding the obvious dysfunction. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, rise to the challenge and act.



“There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties, or you alter yourself to meet them” Phyllis Bottome. Courage will always be a choice to alter yourself, a decision to be bold and kick fear between the legs.

Being courageous is resisting fear, staring fear in the eye and calling out courage in its midst, extinguishing its stronghold. We must rise up to difficulties because they are a part of life, there is no way around this truth. Courage is in everyone, trust me it is there, you just need to call it out. The more you call it out and let it rule, the more you build this muscle becoming braver and more courage skilled. Courage must be brought to the struggle; it honors the struggle. Courage is required in every facet of our being, physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and relationally. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, stop being cowards and become men of valor for themselves and others.



We are committed to the masquerade. We love the masks we wear that represent the false persona we project but it splits us into two different men. Many cower at the thought of taking the mask off revealing the true self. We wear the mask because it represents what we believe is masculine. And we want to be accepted, valued, and affirmed as a male and we are afraid that our true self won’t get us the “masculine card” we desperately want to possess.

Authenticity will involve being vulnerable and transparent. Probably the toughest decision of being courageous is when we choose to be vulnerable, it’s a very scary decision because it places us in an unprotected space. Somewhere we have believed a lie that vulnerability represents weakness. Authenticity comes with being present and fully engaged, vibrant, and has a magnetism that attracts. When we come to grips with being honest and true to who we are and put the death blow to the imposter we heal, become whole and strong. Men who demonstrate this BAD ASS VIRTUE, find their true self, build inner strength, and are attractive.

John R. Hatfield

Bad Ass Virtues was last modified: June 29th, 2021 by John R. Hatfield