It was 1984, my birthday, I was 36 years old with 2 sons 5 and 3 years old. I was in the office at work on a lighting project when my colleague brought me a cup of coffee and suggested I sit down. She put a call through from my wife who told me that my dad had died suddenly in the night. He was only 72 years old, exactly twice my age, and very fit and healthy. Bang—just like that—no warning—a heart attack.
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I was going to call this piece ‘Don’t Give Up The Day Job’. I wanted to warn aspiring entrepreneurs against jumping in to their new business too quickly. It seems so easy to jump online, put up a website and talk to the world about what you love. It might be football, travel, sex or anything else your mind can conjure up. Well, it is easy! You can make a decision, get online and be up and running in a day.
According to Tony Robbins we all have a Primary Question. It’s a question we ask ourselves everyday of our lives, one that controls our focus and the direction of our lives. For many years my Primary Question was, “What if I’m found out?” I regarded the life I was leading as a lie, a mask, an attempt to bolster my male power. My fear was being found out by someone, by anyone. My fear was that people would see the real me, the weak, indecisive and scared me.
Why do I upset both men and women at the extremes when I write. What am I doing that scares them so much. Why can’t they acknowledge what is really happening in the world and join to make it even better.
Like many in Europe, I am cheering on the people who are changing the face of their country through their own personal power. I am cheering for the individual who has made an enormous fortune through the success of his entrepreneurship. Finally I am cheering on the end of the old guard who thought that, today, they could still rule by force and domination.
There is a “crisis of masculinity in Britain” because of the pressures rapid economic and social change have placed on masculine identity says Diane Abbott, a senior British Politician. The rise of a “Viagra and Jack Daniels culture” is an indication of the pressure young men are under to live up to “pornified ideals”.
My wife has been reading the book ‘Getting To “I Do” – The Secret To Doing Relationships Right‘ by the well-known relationship expert Dr Patricia Allen. She has been reading excerpts to me and I have been getting increasingly agitated.
Everyone has different definitions of success and masculinity. Do not compare yourself to others. You’ll either feel over confident or very disappointed. You are your own set of standards. Sometimes all you need to succeed is the determination to show others what you are capable of. All you need is to have confidence in yourself to fulfil your vision and be happy.
I have been talking to a group of men and women in the last few days about how to get men engaged in their own advancement, in their own future. I was told that men need it and women want it.
Understanding your influences is the start of your growing awareness. As a man, your father is important to you. Whether you know him or not.