The Man Blog

Real Men Accept Correction

Real men are invested in the outcomes of their choices. For this reason, they accept correction to ensure that future choices show improvement.

When real men make decisions, they aim for one result: success.

High-quality outcomes don’t just fall into our laps. Hard work and determination are required ingredients for success. There can be no shortcuts.

In the end, the final result reflects the sum of all our choices, input, ambition and the investment of our precious time. However, even with the best resources, there will be times when we get it all wrong. There will be times when, despite hard work and best intentions, our efforts result in cataclysmic failure—and sometimes it will be our fault.

When we fail

When poor choices result in poor outcomes, real men accept correction. Why? Because real men want to make their future decisions the best they can be. In order to improve, we must learn from our errors.

We don’t call these errors “accidents.” We definitely don’t say “oopsy.” We don’t blame others for the outcomes of our decisions.

We call these poor outcomes by their real names: bad decisions. We are man enough to admit that we were wrong.

A real man’s focus lies in solving the problem at hand and preventing similar failures in the future. This must be valued above public image and pride, above ego and embarrassment.

We can either get our feelings hurt because correction is uncomfortable or we can be real men and learn from our experiences, acquiring better judgment and taking the steps to avoid similar failures in the future. Some men gladly take credit for a job well done but have no problem disowning the situation if it goes bad. This is not how real men act.

At work we are accountable to a boss or director for our impact in the company, be it positive or negative.

On a broader scale, this concept applies in relationships with family, friends and all those affected by our choices.

Our choices impact others. People rarely respond well to poor outcomes that stem from our bad choices. But while their response is not within our control, we do have complete control over how we deal with our shortcomings, our failures and our errors.

Real men keep these ideas in mind:

1. Calculate the reward and the cost before making the decision

We must have the foresight to only invest ourselves in the tasks that, after honest assessment, we are willing to see to the end. We ensure failure when we neglect or show disinterest in a project we’ve committed to.

Remember the words of Jesus: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’” (Luke 14:28-30, English Standard Version).

Before committing ourselves to anything, we must adequately prepare. That means researching the supplies needed, calculating the financial investment and establishing a reasonable time frame for completion.

2. We don’t get to choose God’s response

Our choices do not result in purely physical outcomes. Poor decisions often reveal flaws in our character. God has a vested interest in our character, and He often mediates our consequences to help us grow as Christians. Because God is merciful and forgiving, He knows how much redirection is needed to get our attention and to open our eyes. When our choices negatively impact our spiritual life, God provides us the opportunity to see the fallacies of our ways and fix them.

Consider these verses in the book of Job that ask, “Suppose someone says to God, ‘I have endured my punishment; I will no longer act wickedly.’ … Should God repay you on your terms when you have rejected His?” (Job 34:31, 33, Holman Christian Standard Bible).

Once we make our choice, we have to accept how God chooses to enact His redirection. Real men listen to correction from God, whether it comes from reading Scripture or from analyzing the painful lessons of poor choices.

While the right kind of confidence is a virtue, so is knowing our own limits. This requires an honest self-assessment. If we are responsible enough to make the decision, then we must be responsible enough to bear the consequences.

If everything goes according to plan, great. If not, we men must deal with the outcome.

When the outcome is poor, when the decision was wrong, real men accept correction—because real men want to make better future decisions.

To learn more, read “3 Characteristics That Define a Real Man.” 

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