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In this series of short podcast episodes I’m going to share some of the big ideas I teach as part of The New Man 360 audio course.
That said, let’s dive in and discuss why so many guys hit the wall even if it appears — from the outside — that their personal lives, their relationships, and their career all seem to be doing just fine.
Playing a Role
As men we often define our lives by our job or what we do — I’m a coach, a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a cafeteria worker. We may have trained ourselves from an early age to be a “good boy” or a “good student”.
The problem is that this mindset is simply focused on playing a role. It’s about performance. It’s about meeting some imagined external expectation about who we should be or who we’re supposed to be. In this mindset we’ve allowed ourselves to succumb to an external authority.
The theory goes — “If I do what I should do, if I do what a good guy or good student or good husband or good father or successful professional is supposed to do then I will be lit up. I’ll feel peaceful. I’ll be loved. I’ll feel free. If I follow the rules then I’ll be fulfilled.”
It sounds good, right?
This Idea is Bullshit
The heavy cost of this mindset is that most of us end up on autopilot lumbering through our lives playing a role instead of actively creating the experiences we most deeply want. We end up wasting our lives.
Many guys drive themselves to exhaustion and depression and dysfunction because they’re ignoring their own inner authority. They’re following the external rules instead of listening to their inner wisdom. They’re ignoring their own unique sense of what will have them feel freedom, love, passion, and peace.
To avoid this wall and the sense of a wasted life we need to develop and follow our own inner authority. This means we need to be willing to ditch the roles and orient our lives around what actually strengthens us. And this is about the time the voices of doubt and resistance show up.
Here Comes the Doubt and Fear
“But if I only do what I want isn’t that selfish? Isn’t that narcissistic? Won’t I be a lousy person or professional or husband or father if I’m taking time away from that stuff to focus on what feeds me?”
Good point. The fear is that if we do what truly feeds us then that means we’re going to damage the other things we really care about. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Who Do You Want in Bed with Your Wife?
Consider this idea — What if it’s not a choice between either what strengthens you or protecting what you love? What if taking the time and energy to do what invigorates you has you be a better husband and father? What if doing the things that have you feel more peaceful and free also have you be more creative and productive at work?
The bullshit belief is that we have to deprive ourselves in order to do or be our best. We’ve bought into this weak idea that caring for ourselves is selfish or bad or wrong.
But let me ask you this… Which version of yourself would you prefer to be in your office or in bed with your wife or playing with your kids? The one who is drained, checked out, resentful, or toxic? Or the one who is invigorated, present, open-hearted, and playful?
The Bottom Line?
Don’t use your job or your family to justify self-deprivation. Don’t blame them.
Challenge the idea that says you’ll be fulfilled if you simply do what you imagine others expect of you.
Instead, begin experimenting with action. Start small. Very small. You don’t need a plan. You simply need to start experimenting and gathering data around what actually has you feel more alive or more free or more loving or more peaceful.
This is how you develop your sense of inner authority. This is how you slowly let go of role playing and step fully into a life that you truly love.
This is Just the Tip
Now there are many, many more big ideas and practical lessons in The New Man 360 audio course. The New Man 360 covers what really matters and what really works when it comes to:
- Dialing in Your Mindset
- Avoiding Traps
- Getting out of Ruts
- Navigating Relationships
- Aligning Your Work in the World
- As well as the practices that will actually make this stuff stick.
Click here to learn more about The New Man 360.
In the next episode, we’re going to explore how to avoid some of the biggest traps many guys fall into.