Who's steering this ship anyway?
Who's steering this ship anyway?
I was very encouraged to come across a new post last night called “What If He Cries?” by Diane A. (D.A.) Sears, United States Coordinator for International Men’s Day (coming this November 19). In her post, Diane advocates for women to make safe spaces for men to be emotionally genuine during times of grief, sorrow, and loss. She says:
For the past 20 years I have been helping men discover their strength, both through sharing my own personal exploration as well as professionally. This can look different for different men. For all men this happens through opening up to vulnerability. For nice guys connecting to their personal power means letting go of their people pleasing ways and being assertive.
All this talk about relationships in my blog sometimes detracts from the overarching goal of self-development: happiness. Being happy in your life, with or without a relationship, is the key indicator for relationship readiness and relationship satisfaction for any man. This same rule applies to any part of your life, whether it be work, family, recreation, or friendships. If you're not happy with yourself, anything outside of you will provide temporary satisfaction at best.
Happiness can be simpler than we make it. At it's most reduced form it is a way of thinking. The pattern that defines your particular way of thinking, you have likely been doing most of your life. This way, pattern, or habit of thought determines whether you feel happy or unhappy.
It has been awhile since I posted anything in the Inspiring Examples of Resistance series I started last year. This has not been because of any lack of inspiring stories out there, because there are many. I had my focus on other areas.
Some guys resent others to whom life comes easy. If you think about it, do you really want to be one of those guys? The moment they hit a challenge in their life they get completely thrown off, become frustrated, and give up. When push comes to shove, and success requires real effort and character, these people are the first to fail. They don’t have the strength, character, and integrity to cope with growing pains, because they have never had to grow, and maybe never will. Ultimately, if you have not tasted these growing pains you will not really appreciate the taste of success when it does come; such men will take it for granted and life will be dull for them.
As of late I have been focused on pointing out the pitfalls of negative thinking, particularly how it holds you back from reaching your true potential. In conversation I've noticed this message has been misinterpreted as waging a full scale attack on negativity. When I speak about being positive, it is not to say that one should not be experiencing negative feelings, or eradicating negative thoughts. Negative feelings are a healthy, natural part of life. To feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, etc. are all ways in which our emotions signal us to pay attention to problems we need to address in our lives. Problems arise when this negative vibration becomes ingrained in habit and persists as a low grade humming in your daily life below your radar.
First it is important to identify non-constructive forms of negativity as they apply to men (some of these can be applied more generally):
In trying to keep up with a whirlwind of inspiring events over the summer my last blog focused on the negative press that surrounded Gabby Douglas after an electrifying performance at the Olympics. Some of you asked me what Gaby Douglas has to do with self-improvement for men. The real question that blog post addressed was how negativity can have a detrimental impact on your life and a model for how to overcome negativity directed at you.