If you were to describe what it means to be a man in one word, what would it be and why?
"I don't know the reason for my answer. It was just the first word that came to mind."
From Kansas City, MO
Life, it likes to do this thing where it challenges everything that you believe and dream of. You can say it is the universe, god, or a spiritual entity, but at the end of the day, the source of friction that you believe is delivering this to your doorstep does not really change the amount of challenge that every human is confronted with.
Years ago I had taken it upon myself to learn how to craft my own wooden furniture. I spent hours online looking at designs and styles I loved, watched YouTube videos, and bought books on the topic. Finally, I decided on my first project and proceeded to start the arduous scary process of doing something for the first time.
I drove around until I found some wooden pallets in a dumpster or scavenged Craigslist for any free lumber that was posted. After accumulating a mountain of wood and a decent amount of frustration trying to pull the pallets apart, I was then launched into the phase of the project that slowly began to change my life. Articulating my vision. Back in Step 2 I briefly touch on the topic of creating a vision. Well, woodworking is a very practical example of creating a vision and then acting upon it.
The western world is saturated with self-help literature, self-proclaimed gurus, and nonsensical material attempting to manipulate you into following their "best" methods. If you spend any time on social media the amount of content created to inspire and motivate you seems to be an up an established trend. This stuff is everywhere.
Time and time again I run into men who struggle with finding the motivation to get up and actually take action in life. So, I started an ongoing series to help men who struggle with this. I wanted to create practical tools and ways for men to get a jump start in their life.
This whole article is based on the current results of a survey The Man Effect started in early April 2018. So, if you have not yet had a chance to take this survey on masculinity please take a couple moments out of your day, click the button below and go take it.
Yet again, another shooting has happened in America, and I am sad to say I believe it won't be the last. It saddens my heart deeply when lives are unnecessarily taken, and I find it odd that this has become something that our society has to now be on alert for. I remember when Columbine shooting happened. It was as an eerie day, and yet we seem to be living in a sort of groundhogs type society where this is repeating.
When ponding on the lost lives and the heated gun control debates that are ruining social media, I wondered what can I actually tangible do to make a difference in these moments when I feel so helpless from afar.
For quite some time now I have been asking the people of Reddit, Facebook, and the humans around me what they think when it comes to the topic of masculinity.
I have been spending years now studying and researching the topic of masculinity and what it means to other men and women. If you have not had a chance yet check out the photography side of this website where I have interviewed hundreds of people asking them all the same question, "If you were to describe what it means to be a man in one word, what would it be and why?"
These are all things I want to touch on in this article. Male friendships are a huge deal and play an important role in life, not only to me but men at large. For the sake of this article, though, I want to start off with defining male friendships.
Male friendships: Two men who have a sense of comradery. They may spend time together, have similar interests, or relate on a deep level. They at times can have an unspoken and spoken commitment to the other individual.
It has been one of my strongest desires with starting The Man Effect to help encourage men to be authentic and more present. Well, I was talking to one of my cousins who is a therapist, and we were discussing psychology and life in general. That is when being present came up in our conversation, and it inspired me to want to write an article to encourage men to grow in this arena and give them practical tips on how to do so.