Who doesn't desire a personal sense of meaning? Have you ever met the average ever day guy who wakes up groggy, showers and dresses for work, spends time in morning traffic, and trudges his way through a corporate job that makes him question the meaning of life. He often wonders what exactly he is building, struggling to find the meaning of manhood in a culture that lacks many of the opportunities and incentives provided to men throughout history. As technology changes, jobs move towards being desk centered, indoors, and for all intents and purposes, hands off. Joe feels like he is dying inside each day. He longs to build something of his own. This can describe the way many men often feel in Western culture. Devoid of a community, isolated in jobs that lacks a sense of deep, personal meaning, and often silenced, many men are working for nothing more than a paycheck. Gone are the days of the Wild West, the homestead, and the communal purpose that men and society in general used to experience. The Industrial Revolution changed the way we work, and men have suffered in many ways ever since. Finding a way to overcome, a purpose for which to work towards, and an obstacle that can be conquered is vital for the happiness and well-being of modern men. Here are seven ways you can find it.
1: Write Down Your Goals, Then Do Them: Study after study has shown that the simple act of writing your goals down on a regular basis has a direct correlation between actually achieving what you want in life. The best business books, life coaches and proven track records of successful people all over the world show that taking the time to write out what you will do makes you more likely to actually do it. Set aside time, evaluate what you want to do in life that you aren’t currently doing, and break up your task into smaller, attainable steps that will set you on the right track.
2: Stretch Yourself in The Gym: A lot of the dissatisfaction that men feel with jobs today is a lack of hands-on, observable results. Craftsmen, farmers, and skilled workers are not a part of American society the way they were a hundred years ago. Setting fitness goals is a very practical way to set goals, see progress, and work towards something that you have total control over. It builds confidence, helps alleviate anxiety and depression, and gives you the energy to conquer in every other area of your life as well.
Here is a video that might inspire you in this area.
3: Get Outside: Never at any time in history have men spent so much time indoors, and so little time outside, engaging with nature. The discomfort, peace, and time away from demands of the modern day, your job and your worries can help center you and realign your goals with what really matters. Going outside has been shown to restore mental energy, help you remember things better, and relieve stress. Plan a mountain climbing trip, go camping with your family, or take the time to walk a trail near your home every day.
4: Seek Out Mastery in Hobbies: There is nothing like mastering a skill you love, care about, or need in order to help the people around you. In today’s jobs where data entry, customer service, and robot like industry are the norm, men need to find other outlets to find mastery. Whether you like rebuilding engines or want to write the next great American novel, getting good at something you love is a vital part of happiness.
5: Find Where You Are Needed: Today, many men feel unneeded. Whereas in the past their roles were more clearly defined, today we see a shift that has left many questioning their identity and on a quest to rediscovering what it means to be a man. Don’t wait for someone to tell you they need you: look at your community and the people around you, and find a need you can help meet. Fix up a car for someone who can’t afford it, help your friend move on a Saturday, or become a mentor to kids who need a positive role model. Go out and actively find a place where you can fulfill a gap in the community you live in.
6: Face Your Fears: Every man has within himself, something that can be conquered: it is his own fears. It may be the risk of starting a business you’ve always dreamed about, going for a promotion at work that you may not get, or asking a girl you like out on a date. The modern day has not eliminated the need for courage. Take an inventory of the things that scare you, and go out and do them.
7: Learn Selflessness: A lot of modern day representations of men in pop culture, movies, and media convey men in an extremely shallow light. They are shown as selfish, immature, sex-crazed, and incapable of feelings. However, many societies in the past included selflessness as a requirement for becoming a man. Through various ceremonies and traditions across the globe, part of manhood was the willingness to sacrifice for the greater good of himself, his family, and his community at large. Take time to put others before yourself in your decision making, in your pursuits, and in the way you spend your time and money, and in your interactions with those closest to you
Do you find any of these or other things helpful in bringing meaning to your everyday life? Comment below and let us know.