Authentic masculine expression comes from the harmonization of the three different ‘selves‘ which exist inside each man.
These three selves are the:
- Physical Self
- Mental Self
- Spiritual Self
Like any tripod these legs are all independent of one another yet are entirely dependent on the supporting strength the other two provide.
If you are looking to live the most optimal of lives and achieve the greatest sense of physical strength, mental joy, and spiritual satisfaction, then each of these aspects to who you are as a man must be cultivated and a balance must be struck between them.
Have you seen the gurus who are entirely spiritual, yet would never be able to lift their fellow man if he were to fall as he simply does not have the strength?
What about the brilliant minds who can understand the most complex of formulas yet lack any ability to connect with those around them as they simply cannot tap into the spiritual connection which exists amongst all living things?
Lastly, have you seen the man who sculpts his body to replicate that of a Greek god yet he cannot tell you the last book he read or education he pursued?
These are simple stereotypes which I can find plenty of people who break the caricature, but you get my point. More often than naught, a man is exceptional in only one area or none at all.
So how do you develop these three different aspects of the ‘self’? How do you reach and maintain harmonious levels within your heart, mind, and soul?
You know the answer, it’s always the same.
You don’t just get the life that you want, you’ve got to work for it. Nobody is going to hand you anything, you aren’t just going to become more intelligent, healthier, or happier by willing it.
No, you’re going to have to make yourself uncomfortable and you’re going to have to do the things you’ve been putting off.
This is the entire premise of my book 31 Days to Masculinity. When I wrote that month long program the aim wasn’t to get men laid or help them reveal their six pack.
Instead, I focused on the entirety of the man to help him rebuild himself without the influence of a weaksauce society. Similar to the 21 Convention, I set the goal of helping men develop every aspect of who they were, developing the ‘Ideal’ man as Anthony Johnson puts it.
This is why the book sends each man on a different journey, what he has to do to get himself to optimal living if different than what you’ll have to do. Each journey is unique, but there are some universal overlaps and that is what this essay is about.
When you work to develop your physical, mental, and spiritual self you’ll find that the challenges you face, the pieces you find easier/more difficult, and final results are going to be entirely unique to you. Yet, the other men who also go through this transformation will understand exactly what you feel as they’ll of experienced the same thing, differently.
Without resistance, the body will not grow. Without putting stress on the body, you’ll never be able to appreciate the beauty of it nor will you ever know what it is capable of.
There are plenty of men out there who watch movies and think to themselves, if that happened to me I’d rise to occasion.
If you’re one of those guys, I’d like to ask you, why do you think you can do those things, have you practiced any of them? Have you put yourself in those situations in a training environment? Or, as is the case with most, you just assume you’ve got the natural skillsets to do what takes others years to achieve at the whim of fortune?
Our body adapts to the stress placed on it. I’m not going to tell you what it is that you must create with regards to programming as I know nothing about you. You’re reading my blog and are a man, that’s all I know at this moment.
Here is what I can tell you. Weight lifting and strength training as a whole are instrumental in an overall development of the physical self.
You must lift weights.
I don’t care what your program is, I don’t care if you choose to implement a mixed martial art or running, and I don’t care the frequency, intensity, or preference you may have. Lift weights, get active, and ensure that you’re putting your body in motion and that you’re recording your results so that you can look at trend analysis and adjust the programming accordingly for the most efficient means of training without injury.
Remember, you cannot ‘out exercise‘ a bad diet.
This means that you must pay considerably more attention to what it is that you’re putting into your body.
Proper nutritional programming is essential for sustained superior output. Again, I don’t give a shit what your diet looks like so long as you’re ensuring it is high quality and conducive to a healthy body. Your physical, mental and spiritual self are completely dependent upon what it is they are using for energy.
TL;DR: Put good fuel into your body.
Do not let focus on the food cause an oversight on the importance of the fluids you’re consuming. Water is essential, it is the only thing that you have to have, all else is optional. Some find supplementing their water with electrolytes or other vitamins helps keep the intake from feeling monotonous. It’s much easier to drink a gallon of water a day if you’re enjoying each sip.
It is this combination of proper stress, fuel, and hydration that you’ll crate your most optimal physical self, and each of those also plays into the health and capability of your mental self.
It seems to me that the majority of men out there know that their minds are in shambles, yet they have no fucking clue how to fix it. So they add more to it, create more stuff, and fill it with more thinking that they’re lacking in something.
Gentlemen, I will tell you now, you do not need more, you need less.
In order to reach the greatest heights and develop the strongest mental ‘self’ you can, you’ve got to remove the unessential. Get rid of the shit that is clogging up your daily life. Not just inside your head, but the environment in which your head spends its time as well.
There is a reason I deleted my Facebook.
I could make more $$$ if I went onto that platform with TFA, but there is no fucking way because Facebook bogs my mind down. Seeing people ‘act‘ happy, while living miserable lives was driving me insane. Instead of keeping fakebook to stay in touch with my Navy brothers across the country, I just deleted it.
What’s the point?
I chose facebook as my example because that is what a lot of people find themselves getting caught up on.
You’re watching other people do shit and comparing your life to theirs and it is absolutely detrimental to your mental well-being.
It doesn’t have to be facebook though, your mental clutter could be:
- Seeking approval from your parents.
- Keeping the wife happy
- Playing it ‘safe‘ and doing what you’re “supposed” to do
- Keeping up with the Jones’s
- Trying to control things you have no control over
- Giving Time Vampires your most valuable resource – Your Time
- Confusing accumulation of ‘stuff‘ as accumulation of happiness
- Identifying with MSM or Politics
- Avoiding confrontation with who you are vs who you want to be
- Living in the mold created by society
Each of these things plagues plugged-in men in society, some more than others. The fact is, until you tackle whatever issues you’ve built in your mind, you’ll never achieve the optimal level of mental health.
I’m not happy all of the time, but I’m a happy dude. I’m happy because there is no clutter in my mind anymore.
How did I reach this point?
I faced my demons head on
Not only did I go through and delete people, things, stuff from my life which I did not find value, but I also removed physical pieces of ‘stuff’ from my home.
If there is clutter in your bedroom, how can you sleep peacefully?
If your writing area is a mess, how can you remain focused when writing?
If your living room looks like it came from a magazine, how can you say it represents who you are as a man?
You don’t have to live life as a minimalist, but more does not equal better. You should be able to look at everything in your home and know its purpose and value to your life immediately. If you don’t know why you have three different sets of fine china or why you have so many photos and paintings on your walls, remove them.
It’s ok for walls and horizontal surfaces to be bare.
You have to take that same approach to what is going on between your ears. Let the mind freely wander and as you find old grudges, resentment, fears, desire to please others, etc. Throw it out.
You’re done with it, you’ve made it this far but you aren’t going any further so long as you carry this excess mental baggage around.
Watch how much lighter your mental self feels once you face these things and remove them, watch how much more you smile.
People said I was insane and weird for deleting facebook. As soon as I did it I realized how many friends I didn’t have and it was liberating.
There is a reason I’ve been able to avoid the pitfalls which are so often associated with marriage and fatherhood.
I don’t play by the same rules as others and my mental self is flourishing because of it. Give yourself that gift, give yourself the gift of freedom to live authentically. Once you establish these new habits while removing the old toxic ones, you’ll find that you’re not only happier, but more connected to not only your true ‘self’, but also your fellow man and your environment as a whole.
This is where the spiritual self is found, this is the aspect of man that the world admires, other men respect, and women will never truly understand.
The most recent example of a man combining the three aspects of his masculine self can be seen in the Las Vegas shooting.
You see, this goes beyond specific religions; it is the spiritual aspect of our masculinity which makes us appreciate the beautiful delicacy of a flower, the innocence of children, the godlike power of the feminine, the brotherhood among all men, and the human connection between all people.
In my recent essay A Beautiful Suicide I wrote about Sonny Melton, a man who heard gunshots and did not panic (His Mental Self Was Strong), so he wrapped himself around his wife as they ran from the shooting (His Physical self was strong) he was shot and killed, his wife lived. Something we have to recognize, was his decision to put her out of harm’s way, his decision that if someone was going to die, it was going to be him, this shows that his Spiritual self was strong.
The same goes for Taylor Winston, the Marine who stole a truck to save lives. His Mental made the decision to steal the truck, Physical enabled him to move bodies, but it was his Spiritual which propelled him to act and save others instead of just himself in the first place. Without a healthy balance between the three, this man would remain unknown and at least 30 more people would be dead.
- Men are disposable
- Men carry the burden of performance
- Women and Children get on lifeboats before men
We are ok with all of this because we see the beauty and value there is in those who bring life into the world and we know that if there is anyone who is going to have a fighting chance to survive the shots, sinking of a ship, or fight it is going to be a man.
A man is willing to die for what it is he believes in. A man is going to reach out to complete strangers and dedicate his time and energy to their success because he feels the connection all men share. What do you think The 21 Convention was all about?
The speakers there gave very valuable time pro bono to help their fellow man because they give a shit about the mission.
When I’m in my Jeep I’ll often lose myself to just feeling the breeze and cruising, no music (sometimes it’s level 10 – not always) while other times I’ll appreciate the flavor of a whiskey, the sound of my kids laughter and screaming as they pile out of the house to open my Jeep door and greet me.
We’re all connected and I’d argue men are more empathetic, while delivering in a much harsher tone than women. A woman is motherly, a man will slap you down then build you up – is either better?
The masculine and feminine are complementary to one another
But this is for the men from a man. If you want the most from your spiritual aspect of being a man, you have to start connecting with others. There is too much hate in this world, and it comes from a place of self-loathing.
When you feel how good life can be, you want to share that and help others reach the same point, it’s literally what I’m doing now.
Haters are going to hate; don’t be one of them.
Instead of trying to rise by pushing others down, act like a tide that lifts every boat higher while rising yourself.
Before you mock, disparage, or demean another, realize you’re killing the spiritual connection in yourself. If someone deserves your wrath, it is better to straight up nothing them.
The opposite of love is not hate, it is apathy.
If you want more than you have, you’ve got to start doing things differently. You have the life you deserve, if you want to reach optimal levels of living and get more from each day you’re granted the privilege to enjoy, then you need to harness and bring balance to your physical, mental, and spiritual Self.
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