Knowledge For Men

Last week. I visited my father's grave. 

 

Here are my thoughts on the experience and what you can learn from it. 

Direct download: I_visited_my_fathers_grave_for_the_first_time.mp3
Category:Success and Life Advice -- posted at: 11:04am EST

I almost quit. 


Knowledge for Men. San Diego. Entrepreneurship. Writing. 


All of it. 

 

But I didn't. 

 

And I'll tell you why in this episode. 

Direct download: I_Almost_Threw_In_The_Towel.mp3
Category:Success and Life Advice -- posted at: 10:15pm EST

Stephen Mansfield is a New York Times bestselling author and a popular speaker who works with leaders worldwide.

He first rose to global attention with his groundbreaking book The Faith of George W. Bush, a bestseller that Time magazine credited with helping shape the 2004 U.S. presidential election. The book was also a source for Oliver Stone’s award-winning film “W.” Mansfield’s The Faith of Barack Obama was another international bestseller.

He has written celebrated biographies of Booker T. Washington, George Whitefield, Winston Churchill, Pope Benedict XVI, and Abraham Lincoln, among others. Publishers Weekly described his book, Killing Jesus, as “masterful.”

Favorite Success Quote

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” ~Henry David Thoreau

Key Points

1. Manly Men Need Other Manly Men 

No man is an island.

Even though you have heard the saying hundreds if not thousands of times, few men truly internalize what it means, and still fewer act on it.

Just look at the statistics.

A simple scroll across the front pages and you will find sky-high suicide rates among males, loneliness, depression, and anxiety in numbers that we have never seen before.

Why is this?

While there are many theories and hypothesis, a critical look at the situation makes things clear.

We are a species that was built to be in community, and even though we are more connected now than ever before, most of us are utterly and absolutely alone.

We have no one to call us up, no one to celebrate with us, no one to challenge us, to help us, to hold us accountable and keep us to our word.

And because of this deterioration in our social structure men have become soft, weak, and effeminate.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

As a man, you have the power to break this pattern.

Make a conscious effort to meet and befriend other men. And when you are in these friendships, dive deeper than you ever have before.

Hold nothing back and hold each other up.

You will be amazed at the results.

2. Manly Men Do Manly Things

If you want to call yourself a man, then you need to do manly things.

Period.

Does this mean that you should shave with a tomahawk, lift boulders for fun, and skin polar bears with your fingernails?

Probably not (although that would be quite cool), it simply means that you need to embrace the masculine nature of doing instead of spectating  and talking.

Get off of your butt and get into life!

Learn a new skill, fix things, build things, explore, create, conquer.

Especially if you are a younger man, get off of the darn Xbox and learn something practical.

Teach yourself how to maintain a car, learn how to build and fix things, become a better public speaker.

Just do. 

Quit talking and take action, starting yesterday.

3. Manly Men Tend Their Field 

Every man has his own field to tend.

No, I don’t mean this literally, although some of you might.

What I mean is that every man has his own set of duties and responsibilities and if you want to consider yourself a man, then you must tend to those responsibilities.

Whether you are 15 listening to this podcast or 50, we all have our own fields.

For some of you, it’s school work, your girlfriend, and your football buddies.

For others, it’s your 8-figure company, your wife of 30 years, and non-profit.

It doesn’t matter what your particular field is, what matters is that you are diligent in tending to and watering your field.

Be disciplined in your action.

Do what needs to be done.

Tend your field.

4. Manly Men Build Manly Men 

One of the less flaunted traits of manly men is that they build other manly men.

There is an old saying that the true mark of a leader is not how many followers he has but how many leaders he creates.

Regardless of your religion or personal beliefs about the historicity of Jesus Christ, his virtues as a leader are unquestionable.

However, where Jesus excelled was at building up other leaders, in his case, disciples.

In fact, he was such an effective leader that of the 12 men who followed him, all but one (or two counting Judas) were martyred for their belief in Christ.

Now, whether you believe the stories or not, there is a powerful lesson to be learned about leadership and about the importance of building up those who are around you.

Are you really a man if all you can do is take from others and be built up?

Or do you need to take a step back and see who you can serve instead?

5. Manly Men Sacrifice Their Pleasures for Their Purpose 

The true hallmark characteristic of all manly men is their ability to endure suffering.

Manly men know that all greatness was bred through suffering.

You must experience the pain and suffering of building and losing your dreams before you will be able to fully appreciate, live, and achieve in the ways that you desire.

With the exception of individuals with inherited wealth, no man of substance, no man of great success, and no man of wealth ever achieved their status and material pleasures without first sacrificing and delaying gratification.

If you want to be great, be ready to suffer.

If you want to be great, don’t ask yourself what you want, ask yourself what you are willing to bleed for.

Direct download: Stephen_Mansfield.mp3
Category:Success and Life Advice -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Frank Miniter is an author and investigative journalist with a penchant for outdoor adventure. He has floated the Amazon, run with the bulls of Pamplona, hunted everything from bear in Russia to elk with the Apache to kudu in the Kalahari and has fly-fished everywhere from Alaska’s Kenai to Scotland’s River Spey to Japan’s freestone streams. Along the

Along the way, he was taught to box by Floyd Patterson, spelunked into Pompey’s Cave, climbed the Gunks, and graduated from the oldest private military college (Norwich University) in the U.S. He was a Senior Editor at Outdoor Life magazine and was the Executive Editor of American Hunter magazine.

He is also the author of This Will Make a Man of You and The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide. 

Favorite Success Quote

“I like a man who grins when he fights” ~Winston Churchill

Key Points

1. You Need to Stand Up for Yourself

The evolution of society and rapid shift in perceived gender roles has created a world in which manliness and masculinity are concepts that are ambiguous and difficult to explain, at best.

Yet no matter what your beliefs are pertaining to modern masculinity, I think everyone can agree on one simple fact.

You cannot consider yourself a true “man” unless you are willing to stand up for yourself, what you believe, and those you love.

I want you to imagine John Wayne, Steve McQueen, or even a character like Tyler Durden in Fight Club are sat at a table in a bar, surrounded by friends and family.

A stranger from another table comes over and starts insulting one of his family members, bringing up some past feud and looking to cause trouble.

What do you think they would do?

Would they cower in their seat, avert their eyes, and start nervously twitching?

Or would they get out of their seat, square up with the aggressor, look them in the eyes and invite them to leave before they had a real problem?

I think we all know the answer.

Being a real man has nothing to do with loving or looking for violence, but it has everything to do with being willing to take a stand for yourself or the things which you believe.

In the 21st century, it is important to realize that this rarely (if ever) means physical confrontation.

Taking a stand for yourself can be as simple as telling your boss that you need a raise because you have been working harder than anyone else and have measurable results to prove it.

It can mean speaking candidly with your significant other about the way that they have been addressing you in public situations and informing them that their actions are inappropriate.

And yes, occasionally, when all other options are exhausted, it can mean taking the gloves off and throwing a mean right hook when someone truly steps out of line.

Never be afraid to stand up for yourself, your friends, or your values, because at the end of the day it is better to live a short life where you face your fears and live boldly than a long life as a coward.

2. Life is Meant to be Lived in Community 

10,000 years ago on the plains of the Savanna, men lived in communion with one another. They lived together, ate together, hunted together, fought together, and died together.

Town elders would lead the tribe and create rituals and rites of passage for young men to pass through in order to become a man.

The warriors of each tribe relied on each other and trusted the men around them with their lives.

And for hundreds of thousands of years, this is the way that we as a species, and more specifically, we as men, have evolved.

We live in the most socially disconnected time in human history, and despite all of our technological advancements and the rapid growth of social media and other online platforms, the problem is not getting any better.

Men struggle to find meaning and purpose in life, they are lost and confused about who they are and what it means to be a man, they are lonely and afraid and depressed, and it is due, in large part to our lack of community.

We no longer live in tribes.

If we wanted to, there are many among us who could limit our face to face interaction with others to less than once a week when we go out for groceries.

Men no longer go to other men for advice and emotional support.

We no longer have tribe elders who can guide us and mentor us.

With the exception of military servicemen, we no longer have brothers in arms who have struggled through life with us and been there for us through thick and thin.

And we are paying the price.

Men are suffering from depression and suicide at alarming rates and society tells us to simply take another pill or get a new prescription, instead of being told to build a band of brothers.

If you want to succeed in life, if you want to be truly happy and successful, then you need to have a group of men around you who you can trust, you need to have a community of like-minded individuals who will build you up and hold you accountable and who will be there for you when you are on cloud nine and rock bottom.

3. Manhood is Defined by Your Values and Your Code 

Manhood has meant something different to nearly every culture throughout history.

The Vikings version of manhood was markedly different from the Greek’s which was markedly different from the Apache’s.

But the one thing that all of these ancient cultures had in common is that their ideals of manhood were derived from a code.

Every great “manly” culture built their foundation of masculinity upon an ethos, a way of life, and a code of honor and conduct based on the values of their unique societies.

For some cultures mercy and reason were at the forefront of their code, for others it was power and justice.

The truth of the matter is, there is no one code that will work universally for every man.

We all have different realities, different religious and political beliefs, and different lenses through which we view the world around us.

This means that all of us will function under a different code and live by different values.

And while it is extremely important which values you have and uphold (integrity, honor, service, and generosity should be at the top of your list) it is more important that you uphold a set of values that make you a better man and help you contribute to society in a more meaningful way.

4. You Need to be a Well-Rounded Man 

So often in our modern society, we are quick to judge and label certain activities as unmanly, red neck, or “posh”.

Many see hunting and marksmanship as a lower class activity for camouflage wearing, tobacco chewing country boys. or they see dancing as a “gay” and unmanly activity in which no

They see dancing as a “gay” and unmanly activity in which no self-respecting man would participate.

Or they say that horseback riding and poker are activities that are only appropriate for trust fund babies and the super rich.

But you need to remember that an essential part of modern manliness is being able to participate in a wide variety of activities and show yourself to be well-rounded both in your skills and intellect.

You need to become, as the rampaging viral internet memes suggest, “A man who can do both.”

You need to be able to be a diplomate and a fighter, to speak well among the scholars of academia and the blue collar workers down at the bar.

You need to be comfortable both in a suit and tie and in camouflaged jacket.

You need to be someone who is able to hold himself in any situation and is unafraid of new things, no matter what stigma is attached to them.

5. Show Respect to Others 

I don’t care whether you are living in an incredible community of amazing men, living by a code, and the most well-rounded person in the world, if you are not extending respect and love to the people in your life, then you are not a true man.

Period.

End of story.

No one can call himself a man if they are not respecting the people in their lives, if they are not loving others, and if they are not following the “golden rule.”

Respect others and earn the respect of others.

That is where true manliness lies.

Direct download: Frank_Miniter.mp3
Category:Success and Life Advice -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Internationally renowned human emotion, connection, and cognition expert Tony Selimi is a coach and the author of #Loneliness and A Path to Wisdom. He is currently traveling the world, sharing his message of transformation and connection.

Favorite Success Quote

“I embrace equally both support and challenge” ~Dr. John DeMartini

Key Points

1. You Must Embrace Both Sides of Life 

Life is not comprised of just the good or just the bad.

It is a beautiful dichotomous dance that blends together both exuberant highs and devastating lows meant to mold us, change us, and teach us.

While modern pop psychology gurus would have you believe that you should ignore any pain and struggle in your life and simply live in a state of constant and never ending euphoria, the simple truth is that life is beautiful because of the pain and struggles that we face.

Without the pain of discipline, there would be no joy in success.

Without the hurt of loss, there would be no satisfaction in gain.

Life requires the good and the bad to play out like the masterfully written movie that it is, and the sooner you learn to embrace both sides of life, the sooner you will be able to live up to your true potential.

2. Loneliness Affects Every Area of Your Life

Often times, as men, we revel in the concept of solidarity.

We love the thought of being the lone wolf, outnumbered and against the world achieving greatness all by his own accord.

And nothing could be more damaging or destructive to our overall health and well-being.

Whenever you live your life out of communion with others, whenever you lack strong bonds and friendships, and whenever you isolate yourself from the world, you are not only damaging your psyche, but your physical well-being and genetic expression as well.

Loneliness has been shown to cause disease, mental illness, and even alter your genes in a very real and powerful way.

There is nothing manly about depression and sickness, so quit trying to go it alone and invest into your social life.

3. Place Yourself in the Right Environments

An interesting phenomenon that can occur in our modern world is that men can be surrounded by friends but still feel lonely if the activities and conversations with those friends are incongruent with your personal values and desires.

For example, let’s say that you hate sports.

You couldn’t care less about the NFL or NHL or any other sports league.

And yet, one of your social circle’s favorite activities is to sit down together at the local bar, have a few beers, and watch the game.

Even though all of the men in the circle are fantastic influences and valuable friends, taking part in this activity will actually increase your feelings of isolation and loneliness.

This makes it essential that you start becoming more intentional about the activities you indulge in and the things that you do with your peers.

Direct download: Tony_Selimi.mp3
Category:Success and Life Advice -- posted at: 3:00am EST

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