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.
Life has been known to throw a few problems at those going through it. Yet, the men who face, overcome, and do not cower in the presence of adversity. They grow exponentially, and the life they live is different than those who do not.
I am curious to know, have you encountered hardship and problems as I have? I mean there is no way I can be the only human on this earth! HA
I had just watched one of my close friends go through a painful divorce and could not fathom how he was still holding on. We regularly talked throughout the process, and I watched him keep pushing and not give up. Later on, when I was thinking and reflecting on this painful experience he was going through I suddenly remembered, he had hired a life coach and spoke so highly of him.
I remember thinking how cynical I was of the term "life coach" and how I felt I knew my judgments were accurate.
Have you ever wished to become a man of action?
Why? Is it out of regret? Or longing for a fuller life? Or is it motivated by fear of missing out on life?
These are all critical questions to ask before you start seeking the motivation to be a man who is known to get things done.
Have you ever had the thought, "If only I were more confident as a man then I would get that raise at work, the pretty girl would give me attention, or I would be able to pitch my business idea and find investors."
Let's be honest at some point in life if you probably had some form of thought along those lines.
The desire and value of confidence is something spread far and wide throughout men. Sure they might not overtly say, "I wish I was more confident." But the thought is there.
There and millions of boys and young men growing up with only a mother, and those who do have fathers chances are high that they are not emotionally present.
Have you ever looked into or researched how vital the father plays in the emotional and social development of a child?
Well, I think before we dive into some creative ways for men to improve life it is important to understand where this immaturity may be coming from and why it is crucial to develop maturity so we can help prevent the some of the next generations from experiencing these struggles.
Some call it prolonged adolescence others call it extended adolescence, regardless in my opinion immaturity has been bleeding into the early and mid-twenties in a way that is entirely new to the western culture. We have previously touched on this topic here "Why Prolonged Adolescence is the New Epidemic."
My journey through the depths of the internet and books to find ways to be a more authentic man have made me realize something...
There is a lack of decent material out there for men seeking to better themselves. Sure you can find information on how to throw a tomahawk or how to shake a hand, but there is little to no content on how to become an emotionally intelligent authentic man.
The art of a genuinely placed compliment to women is an essential skill of a well-rounded man. I am no professional, but I have seen the fruit from taking cognitive action in this arena. So, I wanted to share what I have learned.
Taking the time to compliment those around you will give you a tangible experience on the power of your words.
For years and years I did not believe it was possible to define masculinity, but in the past months my perspective has changed, and I decided I would take the time to write down what my definition of masculinity currently is.
Now, before we proceed, I do want you to acknowledge with me that much of what a culture deems masculine is highly dependent upon the time period and the society that influences the people defining masculinity.
That being said out of the hundreds of conversations, books, podcasts, videos, and my own observations, I have spotted a pattern that I believe brings substantial merit to the discussion about masculinity.
Looking masculine holds a powerful cultural context in today's day and age and trying to attain this look for some men is highly desired while others naturally fill the role.
I decided to write down some characteristics on how to look more masculine. I divided them into outer attributes and inner qualities that I believe will help you on your journey.
Taking the time to work on the internal qualities first allows you to build a healthy foundation, so you are not motivated from a place of insecurity. Work on your foundations of who you are, changing the outside has little to no fruit if you do not give proper attention to who you are internally.