The Virtues are necessary.

Adam is correct. Leadership does not come from the position. Leadership comes from within. As men, we have to develop self discipline and integrity and honour: the old virtues of prudence, honesty, courage. If we don’t have these we won’t do well.

We will need to find leaders to emulate, which is hard, because every one of the old virtues is now countercultural.

To lead you must first master yourself. You do this by cultivating virtue in yourself. Notice that you must do. Men make themselves. You cannot think your way to mastery. The doing begets the knowing. In the past, our culture provided us with a set of principles to live by, but in the modern world this is an unreality. So one of the first steps that a man needs to take to lead himself is to understand just what are the principles which he leads his life by. It is important to keep in mind that you are not your principles, but merely someone who seeks to live up to his principles.
One of my principles, perhaps the most important one that I have lived my life by, even from a young age, is truth. In a time of global untruths and deceit, now is a wonderful opportunity to embody truth. I do not seek excuses or ways out of living up to this principle. I must simply stand firm and hold to truth. The peck is a beautiful example of such an opportunity. Do you choose modernity, do you choose untruth, do you choose evil, and all for the material realm? Or do you choose truth?
Individually, this is powerful. We are in this position today because so many men did not master themselves and were easily swayed and led by hollow men. Being led is an abdication of our role as men to master ourselves. Instead of doing the work that we need to do to become men, we project our hopes onto someone external to us, a great leader.

Part of mastery is failure. With every skill there is, you will need to train yourself, and you will make mistakes. Correcting the mistakes is how we get good at something. My Dad was a teacher and he said there were some teachers with 20 years experience and some teachers who had repeated their first year of teaching twenty times.

Boys, as I have pointed out MANY times before, sometimes, no matter how hard you work, no matter how smart you are, and no matter how well you present yourself, sometimes (quite often, actually) it simply isn’t enough. You will not get what you want. The correlation between hard work and/or talent, and actual achievement, would be close to 1 in a sane world. We do not live in a sane world. We live in one governed by emotions and stupidity. and that is one of many reasons why we simply do not get what we want.

The key point to take away from failures, whatever they might be, is that they are not the end. I am not the first to point out that you grow through failure and not success. This is a basic truth of life. Learn to embrace the suck. You grow and change and mature when life isn’t going your way.

If you are telling the truth (which you should do), acknowledging the truth about yourself and correcting your faults that will still not be acceptable if the average person and the elite do not support you. Better to consider that the world is against you.

The Stoics knew this, and considered that virtue was its own reward because it meant that you lived a more peaceful life. I think this has flaws. Though virtue is important and right, we should add to this that it pleases God and is his will.

If enough of us live the truth the current edifice will fall. The foundations of the progressive cultus are crumbling already.