15 Steps To Authentic Masculinity [Your Guide To Making It As A Man]

I was in Seattle for a meeting and she was back in my home in England. We had reached a critical point. Our relationship—that was not yet a relationship—was faltering and about to be over.

We had spent all our spare time talking it through online. I knew we would be amazing together, I just could not get her to believe it. She was unsure, she had lots of reasons why we could not go ahead, and yet every time I answered them, there were more. We loved being together yet something stopped it going any further. Then she asked, "...are you man enough to help..." the line dropped and I heard no more. I had to leave to go to the airport to fly home... then it clicked... then I understood!

Making it as a Man

It is not what he has, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.
Henri Frederic Amiel

I have lived my life as a boy, then a man. What was shocking to me was the realisation that I moved from one to the other much later than I thought. I assumed I shifted around the age of eighteen, in particular around the time I left home to go and work in the theatre.

I stepped out into the world, found sex, got married and had children. I thought you needed to be a man to do all these things. I grew my hair and my beard—a sure sign of being a man.

It was not until I was well into my fifties that I realised I had not yet made it. I had divorced by this time, and had grown up children.

What was it that made me realise that I had not made the shift? Why was it that, in many ways, I was still a boy?

It was the realisation that I still relied on others, that I still needed to persuade others to my point of view. I came to understand that although I had been looking after myself for many years I had not come to see myself or rely on myself. I also came to understand that I was not alone in this.

What Has Happened to Masculinity

What has happened to the concept of masculinity? What has happened to authentic masculinity? Do men have a passion for life any more? Is there a wind of change for men?

It is up to each man, as an individual, to find his own answers. There are, though, some simple steps you can take to find your answers. The truth is that you want to live a full and thrilling life because you know what your passion for life is. You and achieve this and be successful and powerful by owning your authentic manhood.

In 1960, in Cape Town, the then British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, gave his famous 'Wind of Change' speech. Macmillan acknowledged that black people in Africa were claiming the right to rule themselves. He said it was a responsibility of the British Government to promote societies where the rights of all were upheld. He said,

The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact, and our national policies must take account of it.

I would suggest that in this decade the 'Wind of Change' is blowing through the men's movement and through men, as a whole. Men are finding their strength and their voice. This is not as a dominant force but as a compassionate and supportive, yet powerful force. Men can now stand up in their power in the knowledge that they can be open, honest and authentic in their actions.

My writing on men has developed in this time; it is now time for it to develop as a wider force. My online presence has drawn together men from around the world, it is now time for those men to draw further together into a movement. Men work best by joining forces.

It is appropriate for me to lay out what can bring men together and what could hold us together. I would like to propose a shout out to the world. This is the wind of change blowing through men.

I do not know all the answers but I have come to understand where I went wrong, where I missed my way. I have found peace and relaxation through knowledge and courage.

How I Changed

As I flew home I thought about what had happened—in me. I finally understood that I had to come to peace within me, I realised that I had to be me, be a man, be myself. It was time to live my life, to be myself.

She said later that I was a changed man when I got home. My voice had dropped in tone and she saw the confidence I had found in myself. Her only question was how long it would last. She had seen it before in men, but it had never lasted.

It stayed with me and became an integral part of me. I enjoyed my confidence and certainty about who I was. I did not need to have others justify me or what I did, I could just rely on myself. There was no arrogance or dominance, that was in the past. I did not need to dominate any more, I had found myself.

15 Steps to Authentic Masculinity

Two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.
Carl von Clausewitz

One of the problems that men face today is that there are no initiation ceremonies any more. There is nothing that marks the transition from boy to man other than something outside themselves.

In an attempt to remedy this I have detailed 20 steps below that you can take to mark your shift, your development, your growth. They are all about how you see yourself and about how you act. Each step is within your grasp to change and develop.

Go through them and come to live each one with depth and authenticity. Find yourself within them and finally become the man you have always wanted to be.

Step 1: Live In Your Core

What matters is to live in the present, live now, for every moment is now. It is your thoughts and acts of the moment that create your future. The outline of your future path already exists, for you created its pattern by your past.
Sai Baba

When I first went to work in the professional theatre I had a specific attitude in applying for jobs. I felt that I could say anything I liked about what I could do as long as when asked to do it I could carry out the request—well. I would tell what I called ‘white lies’. These were not true in that they had not happened, but I could make them true in the present. I developed this idea because people always looked for experience in an area rather than ability. Often I had the ability not the experience.

I lived for what I could do now, to me that was all that mattered. Others might see it as arrogant, but I never let anyone down. The closest I came was when I accepted a job as a Schools Tour Stage Manager. One of the requirements was driving the van. At the time I did not have a driving licence! By the time I took up the position I did have one—it was just as well I passed the test first time.

For me this was the first, and most important step I took when I made my shift to being a man a few years ago. This was the point when I decided to live who I was and stop trying to plead with or please others, particularly women. I made this shift for myself and not to gain anything. The only need was a shift in my head, a realisation about who I wanted to be, thus who I was.

Your Core Masculinity

There’s three things: there’s masculinity, there’s intelligence, there’s sensitivity. You’ve got to bring those three things to a leading man’s role: masculinity, sensitivity, intelligence. In some people, there’s a little too much in the mix of one or the other.
Alec Baldwin

I believe that there is a core essence you are born with, an essence of sexuality, gender and personality. This essence creates you straight or gay, masculine or feminine, extrovert or introvert etc. This is not the whole truth but it does influence how you react to life, how you make decisions about yourself.

This core was overlaid in the early years with the experiences that influenced your development in a powerful way. This period can reinforce or suppress your essence. You may have decided by the age of seven that you are not worthy. Thus you may have sought refuge in stereotypical ideas of masculinity to hide what you think you are.

As Alec Baldwin says you have got to bring those three things to your life, sexuality, gender and personality. If you bring a little too much in the mix of one or another they will unbalance you.

Living There

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
William James

It was only when I truly looked at myself, when I discarded what I thought a man should, that I started living as the man I now am.

For many years I regarded the life I was living as a lie, I felt I was wearing a mask. I was afraid that people might see the real me, as I saw myself. To me, at that stage of my life, I saw myself as weak, indecisive and scared. To avoid this I put on a front of strength and determination.

It is a reality that we create the world we see and experience. So it became obvious to me that if I was living a lie then the world I lived in was a lie. This made it impossible for me to grow and develop properly in this world.

Step 2: Understand Your Influences

People exercise an unconscious selection in being influenced.
T. S. Eliot

Be conscious of your conditioning. You are not what you were when you were born, you need to understand how you have changed and been changed. Once you know what brought you to where you are you are able to move forward.

Once you have come to terms with the core you were born with, understanding your influences is the start of your growing awareness. We are all subject to the influence of our culture, friends and family. There is general disagreement on how much we are a result of our essence and how much we are a result of our conditioning. If you work on both you will come to understand yourself deeply.

As a man, your father is important to you. Whether you know him or not. From the moment we start to be aware of our surroundings you look for guidance from a male role model. Men are deeply attached to their mother until the point of separation which was traditional around the age of 13. The influence of a father is for life and grows deeper as you get older.

Personalities

People’s personalities, like buildings, have various facades, some pleasant to view, some not.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

The way your parents influenced you can create many different personalities inside you. This can be further exacerbated by friends and colleagues who continue to influence you. This taking on of different personalities will usually be completely transparent to you, you will see them as simply part of yourself.

I have been many different personalities to different people. One of the journeys in my life was the journey of integrating and pulling those parts together

That was a journey full of fear for me, until I understood that what I was hiding away from was the light in my life, not the fear. I was hiding away from the power and the passion that was in me, the power and the passion that I now love and embrace.

Attitudes

Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.
Irving Berlin

You are in charge of your mind and you control everything you do.You make choices for yourself and you should understand what your major attitudes to life are. You have built these attitudes from how you learned to be in the world. These have come from parent, from friends, from colleagues and many other people you have interacted with.

It is not necessary to change these attitudes, just understand that you have them. As Irving Berlin said, you need to “harness and control” them.

What are the powerful thoughts that exercise you daily? What is your attitude to money and abundance? How do you react to other people’s anger or threats? What do you fear most in the world? These are all based around attitudes that express themselves as values in your life.

Step 3: Have Your Own Standards

You can’t please everyone. When you’re too focused on living up to other people’s standards, you aren’t spending enough time raising your own. Some people may whisper, complain and judge. But for the most part, it’s all in your head. People care less about your actions than you think. Why? They have their own problems!
Kris Carr

How often have you sought the approval of others rather than of yourself? How often have you tried to fit into other people’s rules, and found failure? It is time to dance to your own music and succeed.

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.

When you focus on your own standards you do so knowing your own story and you own desires. Be true to your own story and follow your own desires.

Vision

If you have a vision for yourself, it won’t matter that others may be blind to what you can see. That vision will help you see past many factors that can discourage you. That vision will help you see past the setbacks — and setbacks will happen. It’s not enough to just be able to see. That’s only the beginning. The real question, the more important question is, what will you do with what you see? What are you going to do with that vision?”
Wyclef Jean

The primary question is do you have a vision. This is nothing to do with targets or goals. A vision is a view of your life that draws you forward into your future. It can be likened to a map of your future with guideposts and directions for you to follow. It is something you use to as you move forward and it is something that you constantly revise as you progressively achieve it. In a sense you never complete it because you want it to be a constant inspiration.

A vision should be just out of your reach. It should tempt you with its power and attractiveness. It should be something that you can use every day to guide what you do and frame the more immediate goals you set yourself.

It should start with who you are and what you have, but it should go further than that. It should be beyond expectations, beyond the expectations of others, beyond even your own. It should be outside your comfort zone. In framing the vision, however, it should be detailed and realistic.

Personal Masculinity

Confidentially, the type of male I find most enjoyable for a friend is one who has enough fire and assurance to speak up for his convictions.
Marilyn Monroe

What are the components of masculinity for you? Is it being a ‘manly man’ or is it being a compassionate man?

As far as I am concerned it is OK for you to be a man who is in touch with his emotions but only if you have certainty in yourself that this is OK. He let himself down by seeking my approval. He does not need it, just the courage to be himself.

The mistake that most people make about masculinity is that they see it as a stereotype. They expect men to fit a fixed model. The model is often tough and frequently dominating. That maybe masculinity for some people but it is of no use as an absolute definition. For me there is no absolute definition, there is no way of behaving that can be seen as masculine.

Step 4: Know Yourself As A Man

A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.
Meister Eckhart

The better you know yourself, the more likely you are to do what matters. Study your strengths, know your weaknesses, identify your values, define your success, learn the things that excite and those that terrify you.

It is easy to focus on our weaknesses, or what we perceive as our weaknesses. Do we do enough to focus on our strengths, what we are good at? Do you really know who you are or do you have a picture in your mind of who you think you should be?

It is important that you let go of the imaginary person in your head. It is important that you let the mask drop so that you can see yourself, naked to the world.

Strengths

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.
Plato

You should start with your strengths, what you are good at. This should be easy, but so often it is not. So often we downplay these out of embarrassment or a false sense of humility.

One simple and useful way of doing this is to look at everything through an ‘appreciative eye’ rather than a ‘critical eye’. A ‘critical eye’ looks to what can be corrected or changed while an ‘appreciative eye’ looks at what is working, what is great. When looking for improvements it is best to start here.

Improve what you are good at, focus on what people approve of. To get to these you may have to talk to other people about what they think your strengths are. Their answers may surprise you and they should please you.

Values

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.
Mahatma Gandhi

Our values are what drive us. Our values are the bedrock of our personal code of ethics. To fully understand your life you need to understand the values that guide your life.

Sometimes our values come from different sources—our parents, our culture, our friends, our education, our experience—and conflict with each other. This will usually not be clear until we start analysing them.

For example your parents may have instilled a value of hard work in you, the idea that you will achieve success only through long and detailed study. Your experience may have taught you that you can make money quickly and easily by using your initiative. You may have installed a value of easy money. You may find that as much as you make money you spend it. Although you have great success it comes to nothing. This might be because your hard work value told you that you did not deserve the money so, unconsciously, you get rid of it.

Step 5: Know How You See The World

The world we see with our senses is very different than the world we see through our essence. Our senses perceive the world of appearance. Our essence perceives the deeper layers of existence. The first step of perceiving the world of essence is not to have any goal other than to understand.
Petek Kabakci

How you see the world and express your emotions about it reveals everything about how you see yourself and the world inside. Your perception of the world outside betrays your inside world.

You are in charge of your mind and you control everything you do.You make choices for yourself and you should understand what your major attitudes to life are. You have built these attitudes from how you learned to be in the world. These have come from parent, from friends, from colleagues and many other people you have interacted with.

It is not necessary to change these attitudes, just understand that you have them. You need to “harness and control” them.

See the World

Reality depends a great deal upon one believing what he sees—or seeing what he believes. Either way.
Richelle Goodrich

It is interesting to explore what reality is in relation to the world as you see it. It is important to have a grasp on what you believe. If you at all doubt how you perceive it you can never maintain a sensible grasp on your life or the events that surround it.

Think about seeing the world through a glass window and consider the effect the glass has on your perception. If the glass is pure, clear and clean then you will see the world as it really is, if it is badly made and dirty what you see will be other than the reality on the other side.

The question is what controls or affects the purity of the glass, its clarity and its cleanness. It is of course your mind and your emotions—you control these factors. But you have to understand that and see the effect your mind and emotions have.

Yourself in the world

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The question of how you are in the world is a deep and critically important one. It is on that lies at the heart of your masculinity and how you portray it to the others.

The nature of your self-esteem affects your whole approach to life. You need to explore it and realise whether is a conditional self-esteem or whether it is an authentic self-esteem.

If it is conditional you will be driven to achieve all the time. You will see your acceptance by others as coming from the extent to which you impress them with your successes in life. You will be externally referenced. If you are comfortable with yourself no matter what you do or do not achieve you will have an even balanced view of yourself in relation to others. You will be internally referenced.

Step 6: Be Present

Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.
Eckhart Tolle

Give your full attention to what you are doing and what is happening around you. You connect to others by the extent to which you are present with them. Let go of what you want in this moment and focus on the other person. The quality of presence is a crucial one that women look for in a man. You need to be present with her and hold her in your presence.

Presence is at the heart of your connection with others. Do you see what that connection is at this precise moment or are you focused what is used to be or what you want it to be. This focus back and forwards robs you of the joy of being at one with the other person.

Let go of what you are seeking in life or what you have done in life and look at where you are, right now. This does not mean that analysis and vision are unimportant, it just means that you should be aware of when you can focus on them, and it is not when you are with others.

Connection

You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won't mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever.... connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.
C JoyBell C

It is said that you are the average of the five people you spend most time with. An important aspect of connection is not just the people you spend time with but the quality of the connection you have with them. Presence implies a deep connection with the person you are relating to. The depth of this connection is dependent on the extent of your presence.

Many people focus on themselves instead of their connection with the other. How are they coming over to the other person, what are they going to say next, what are they feeling. This self emphasis is obvious to your companion and directly affects how you are both relating.

Silence is the golden ticket to a deep connection. Can you listen to the other person, completely focusing on what they are saying and how they are feeling? The more you are able to experience this with others the deeper your connection will go.

Let Go

Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.
Roy Bennett

Your ability to be present and connect with others grows as you experience silence and the other person. Above I set out the need to shift your focus from yourself to the other person. This is the need to let go of yourself.

Letting go is an essential part of surrendering. Interestingly it is surrendering to yourself enabling you to let go of yourself. Once you accept who you are and develop comfort with that, it becomes easy to let go, to surrender.

Comfort with yourself is not achieving what you want for yourself, it is about accepting who you are, where you are, in spite of everything.

Step 7: Believe In Yourself

It’s doesn’t just come overnight, you’ve got to train for it and believe in yourself; that’s the most important thing.
Mo Farah

If you do not have a deep emotional reason for feeling how you do about yourself, you will never believe in yourself. If you do not believe you will not put your heart and soul into your life. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you, then you can go out and change the world.

You can spend your life training, learning, working to discover and create the change that comes from your heart and soul but if you do not really feel it, it will not work for you. The danger is that you spend your effort on something that feels empty. You can end up feeling that you have been wasting your time.

The key to avoiding this is to believe in yourself first. This can be the most difficult step in the process and can take the most time. It is, however, essential. You need to believe that you can create the change you seek, you need to believe that you are worthwhile if you are to have any chance in believing that what you seek is worthwhile.

Change the World

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
Leo Tolstoy

Of course we all want to change the world. We constantly see what is wrong in the world and how it could be improved. A quick glance through twitter, for example, will demonstrate the desperation so many people have with what others are doing wrong, especially politicians.

People are often right in their assessment of what is wrong and what could be done better, they just do not know how to achieve it. It is always up to others to create the change so that they can agree with what happens. It is always someone else's responsibility.

Changing the world, though, will only come about through changing oneself. A focus on this has the ability to transform everything. The problem is that people see themselves as small in comparison to the problems of the world and that their change will only be a drop in the ocean. To an extent that is true but it is feasible that a wave of change will come overtake others. The simple fact is that others will not accept your suggestions for change until you go there yourself.

Belief in Yourself

If you believe in peace, act peacefully; if you believe in love, acting lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that's perfectly valid - but don't go out trying to sell your beliefs to the system. You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world, change yourself.
Tom Robbins

The only way you can see where true change is needed in others or in the world, is to see the need for that change in yourself. But you can only see that once you believe in yourself. You must believe what you see in ourself and accept that it is real and legitimate.

Once you believe in yourself and have confidence in your feelings and emotions, just living your life will achieve great things. Solely being yourself will influence others without you even trying. The energy that people will feel in you will have dramatic results.

IKt must be genuine, though, you must feel it in your heart and have no doubt about it. There is a lot of work that you need to do to get to this point, but it will be worth it.

Step 8: Ground Yourself

Sometimes the pandemonium of life’s imperfections leads you to the perfect peace of your own unconditional acceptance.
Curtis Tyrone Jones

Ground yourself in who you are and what you stand for. If you act like a rock you are not swayed by fashion or chaos. When you stand firm you give certainty to those around you and enable them to dive deeper knowing you will still be there afterwards.

Your expectations, your choices, values, and beliefs are created by your unconscious mind. If you change your unconscious pattern of thought, you can change the basis of your life. Men seemed to be totally unaware of how they present themselves and how they’re seen by others. There’s a number of very specific issues that show what’s going on. Deal with those and you will change how people perceive you. They include: Clothes, Hair, Stance, Expression, Walk, Tone, Speech, Communication, Body Language, Attitude, Presence, Gratitude.

It means is that you’re in touch with reality. You are able to resist pressure from those around you. You’re able to be certain in yourself and enable others to feel certain around you. Once you rid yourself of any doubt, you find you can accept all that you are. Look at others only to model them and absorb what is great in them.

Certainty

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
Bertrand Russell

If you are grounded and certain in yourself then no harm will come of questioning what you say, what you thin, what you feel and what you do. This may cause you to shift what your are or do or it may confirm you in yourself. The certainty gained through this process will enable you to deeper into yourself sure that you are being creative.

Certainty is one of the most important human needs. It is one that we can not do without. From the youngest age people have found the need to understand themselves. Mostly people are externally referenced and seek that certainty from others. That can cause problems because you cannot control what others think of you, it can disappear overnight.

Finding you certainty from within is a sure-fire way of grounding yourself and providing a long-lasting confidence in who you are.

Grounded

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Rumi

Being grounded is a fascinating concept that many fail to understand. It is not just self-understanding and certainty but it is also a way of rooting yourself into the world and your peer group.

Being grounded is a clear necessity for a man in any relationship., The ability for a man to stand, grounded, in his masculinity is what women look for. It enables them to whirl around him in their femininity knowing that he will always be there certain and strong.

You can liken being grounded to being a rock firmly settled in the earth, immovable and solid. It allows people to know you will be there and it allows them to be sure of what you think and what you do. It is essential in fatherhood, letting children know what their limits are and understand that they will always be loved, no matter what happens.

Step 9: Seek New Goals

All his life, at every moment, Tolstoy possessed the faculty of seeing phenomena in the detached finality of each separate instant, in perfectly distinct outline, as we see only on rare occasions, in childhood, or on the crest of an all-renewing happiness, or in the triumph of a great spiritual victory. To see things like that, our eye must be directed by passion. For it is passion that by its flash illuminates an object, intensifying its appearance.
Boris Pasternak

Nothing adds more clarity to most of life’s confusions than seeing new things. Get out and explore foreign worlds. Spending too much time in one environment makes you feel like that is the only way. I assure you it’s not. Notice how different cultures do things in different ways.

One of the difficulties with the steps we have already covered is that there can be a tendency to see being a man as being solid and unmovable. What I have looked at so far is about creating certainty, in many ways, in who you are. But that does not mean that you need to be stuck, unwilling or unable to move forward or change.

The excitement of masculinity is the desire and ability to move forward seeking new ideas and new areas of life. I loved when I moved from being a Lighting Designer to being a writer. It brought fresh impetus to all I did. It did not change who I was or the core of my masculinity, but it certainly re-invigorated it.

Explore

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
H Jackson Brown

Fear tends to stop you from change, fear tends to stiffen and restrict what you do. Do not succumb to fear, no matter how it comes on you. One of the essential factors in developing your masculinity is letting go of fear and uncertainty.

Exploring means going where you have not been before, in thought, action and movement. You may spend time researching where you want to go or you may push our in the confidence that you can deal with whatever you face. Different people have different approaches to exploring, one size does not fit all.

Look through the ideas and thoughts you have about what might be and go there. In doing that you should not leave behind who you are. It essential to retain the groundedness you have developed and use it to deal with all that is new, all that you come to face.

Openness

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.
Albert Einstein

The ability to change is the ability to face what you have not yet faced. Yet you can do that on the rock of your masculinity, your groundedness. Tony Robbins says that you are either growing or you are dying. I am a great believer in that philosophy. It is how I live my life.

I find myself open to receiving whatever may come to me. At times I feel a little scared about this might mean but I relish soldiering on regardless. It can be difficult to remain open, to refuse to close life of to anything new, but I still go ahead with it.

The way I deal with life is coloured by my ADD. I both have a need to shift what I do to avoid getting bored at the same time as I need things to remain the same. I am, however, open to understanding and exploring these aspects of me and finding ways through that at stimulating and exciting.

Step 10: Be Passionate

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Maya Angelou

Throw yourself into anything you do or involve yourself in. It is your passion for life that determines what you get out of it. The Universe recognises when you absorb yourself in what you do and when you mean what you say. It responds to you with ideas and opportunities that will take you far beyond your original goal. This is the reward for your passion.

I talked above about your openness to shifting what you, to exploring new avenues and new ways of relating to the world and yourself. This has power when there is genuine passion behind it. The depth of you passion will be understand by others experiencing your new approach to life. Your passion will inspire them to be like you and change.

Passion comes from within and is at the core of your masculinity. Passion is what drives you as a man and what women find exciting in you. It is what makes people want to be with you and join you in your endeavours.

Passion not Anger

Passionate, with an intense, smoldering resolve. A leashed anger that he used, because he had dominated it. And a certain tempting arrogance. Not the haughty pride of a highlord. Instead, the secure, stable sense of determination that whispered that no matter who you were—or what you did—you could not hurt him. Could not change him. He was. Like the wind and rocks were.
Brandon Sanderson

I spent much of my life as an angry man, unable to contain what was raging inside me. It would break out at the most unexpected times, triggered by some forgotten hurt from my past. Not knowing that I was ADD made it difficult to deal with and almost impossible to control.

I found what turned out to be a simple way ofg dealing with this anger. I had tried to stuff it done, tried to ride above it, but the more I tried to ignite it the stronger it became. It demanded attention, it demanded that I deal with it. The shift I made was to realise that at heart the anger was a deep desire to be heard and to make a difference.

Understanding that enable me to embrace what I felt and find a way to bring it into the world. I embraced passion which felt close to anger without the negativity and aggression. I could feel deeply about whatever was concerning me and feel passion for whatever I wanted to do. Not only did I respond to this shift so did those who had been on the receiving and of my anger. They often found my passion scary but were willing to embrace it.

What Moves You?

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.
DH Lawrence

I love that quote from DH Lawrence, it neatly encapsulates what I feel. When I am moved by passion, I am all in, otherwise I sit back and enjoy where I am in life.

It is not necessary to be passionate all the time, indeed it would be exhausting to be this way. I, like many others, need time to rest and recharge, time to re-assess my place in the world, time to look at my relationships.

I know what moves, what I feel passionate about. I try to reserve my strong feelings for the things that matter to me, letting go of this things that do not matter so much to me. In anger I used to go at everything, I have dialled that back.

Step 11: Accept Change

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Lao Tzu

Keep experimenting with new people and new experiences. Keep learning new ideas and new ways of living. Consider your life a series of experiments. Live outside your comfort zone and be vulnerable.

One of the factors that appears throughout this guide is the acceptance of change. It is vital to resist the desire to sit back and let life flow around you. Move forward and see what is out there.

You will not find success with everything you try, you must accept that. But do not let it hold you back, keep going.

Change Happens

It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime...
Khaled Hosseini

You are not always in control of the change that happens around you, in fact it is probably true that most change you experience happens despite you. Find ways to flow with this and accept it.

When I look back at my life I can plot the changes that took my life in unexpected directions. These were never expected or even welcomed at the time. But mostly the effect on my life was dramatic and, ultimately, positive. Clearly I do not know where my life would have gone without the changes but I do know that I am generally glad they happened.

Expect change, welcome it and flow with it.

Surrender

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.
Abraham Lincoln

Surrender is about more than just letting things happen. It is about offering yourself up to a higher power that has ideas for your life that you simply do not understand. It is impossible to question what is happening to you because you can not see where things are going.

If you try to intervene and decided whether you want to go with the flow or not it suggests that you can know what the results will be. You cannot, do not try.

Let life take you, but not change who you are. Retain that core of masculinity that is you and any change will work to your benefit.

Step 12: Be A Servant Leader

Listen for the call of your destiny, and when it comes, release your plans and follow.
Mollie Marti

None of the above matters if you don’t get out and do something with it. It’s not about achieving success or even completing a project. The magic doesn’t happen in the learning. It happens in the action you take as a result.

Taking the initiative and moving forward with a project is about understanding that you lead by accepting that somehow the decisions are being made fo you. This does not show weakness, but rather strength.

Your destiny is there for you is and when you build your self-confidence and accept the necessity of surrender.

Leadership

It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.
JK Rowling

For me one of the great concepts at the heart of "Lord of the Rings" is the leadership that Frodo Baggins takes on. He was not as strong as any one else, he did not have the power and certainty of the others but he knew what he had to do.

He knew that he had to take the ring to destroy it because the others would be diverted on the way. He knew that he wanted nothing more than to destroy the ring, it was hsi destiny. He did not want it, he did not seek it, but it was his.

We all know when we are in this position. It is signalled by a strong desire to go the other way and not take up the challenge, but we know it is for us to pursue.]

Serving

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson

It is in serving that we bring change to the world. As leaders people look to us to guide them in what to do and where to go. The problem is that people do not want to be told what to do, they do not want to be directed. They want to be inspired, they want you to show them by taking up the challenge yourself.

This is the essence of servant leadership. Take a step back and see what is happening, look for where others are failing or weakening and step in to show by your actions what can be done. They will surely follow you.

Do not take on a role and tell others what to do, shrug off the role and move forward.

Step 13: Be Intimate

We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn't matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It's quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.
John Green

This goes further than being present with someone. You step into a special relationship with someone when you practice intimacy. This can be the case in a sexual or a platonic relationship. Intimacy is when you connect with another person by giving your emotional and spiritual energy to them. When you receive all the emotional and spiritual energy they give to you.

I experienced this when I sat with Urmila, before we were married, admiring the light as it slowly shifted across The Grand Canyon. Unexpectedly she was doing the same. We had not talked about it or even realised that that was what we were both doing, until afterwards. Neither of us will ever forget the power of that intimacy.

Like that moment true intimate moments will come on you unexpectedly, but you can encourage them by always being aware of your involvement and interaction with others.

Intimacy is Key

Thus, we strive for intimacy with the whole universe, not just with one person.
David Richo

Intimacy is about far more that moments directly with another person. It is alo about how you deal with the world as a whole. Are you truly aware of the environment around you, the people around you and the thoughts passing through you? You should be.

Hold your thoughts close and bring the world around you into them and them into the world.

Discover what intimacy truly is for you and explore it willingly.

Dive into Emotion

Dive deeply into the miracle of life and let the tips of your wings be burnt by the flame, let your feet be lacerated by the thorns, let your heart be stirred by human emotion, and let your soul be lifted beyond the earth.
Vilayat Inayat Khan

By now you should have realised that all these steps come back to live deeply and passionately as you surrender to the amazing world around you.

Step 14: Know Your Own Power

Let's invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It's not about being perfect. It's not about where you get yourself in the end. There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.
Michelle Obama

You are powerful in many ways. It is easy, though, to shy away from your power in fear of what it can do to others. When you understand your power, and its effect on others, you can live there in the knowledge that it can only help others. It becomes power laced with compassion, with the understanding of what others need.

It is the power of a servant leader, not the power of a demagogue.

Your Power

To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.
Arundhati Roy

Know what your power is and never shy away from it.

Power and Compassion

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
Leo Buscaglia

Love life and those around you.

Step 15: Live Your Full Potential

Always believe in yourself and always stretch yourself beyond your limits. Your life is worth a lot more than you think because you are capable of accomplishing more than you know. You have more potential than you think, but you will never know your full potential unless you keep challenging yourself and pushing beyond your own self imposed limits.
Roy Bennett

The lesson from all these steps is that you need to live your full potential to get everything that you can out of life. You get back what you give. Receive and it will come back to you. You have life so that you can live it, go ahead and make full use of it, live your full potential.

You must believe that you are capable of anything, that your full potential is greater than what you are doing now. Perversely this is not simply about doing more or being better at what you do but about being everything that you are capable of.

My wife and I have a saying that we use whenever we are talking about or looking the future and that is that whatever is coming will be "beyond expectations". It is a recognition of the fact that we do not know what will happen but also that we are capable of living a life which exceeds our current one, in all respects. If you have expectations, l;et go of them.

Your Core Masculinity

There’s three things: there’s masculinity, there’s intelligence, there’s sensitivity. You’ve got to bring those three things to a leading man’s role: masculinity, sensitivity, intelligence. In some people, there’s a little too much in the mix of one or the other.
Alec Baldwin

I believe that there is a core essence you are born with, an essence of sexuality, gender and personality. This essence creates you straight or gay, masculine or feminine, extrovert or introvert etc. This is not the whole truth but it does influence how you react to life, how you make decisions about yourself.

This core was overlaid in the early years with the experiences that influenced your development in a powerful way. This period can reinforce or suppress your essence. You may have decided by the age of seven that you are not worthy. Thus you may have sought refuge in stereotypical ideas of masculinity to hide what you think you are.

As Alec Baldwin says you have got to bring those three things to your life, sexuality, gender and personality. If you bring a little too much in the mix of one or another they will unbalance you.

Living in Your Masculinity

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
William James

It was only when I truly looked at myself, when I discarded what I thought a man should, that I started living as the man I now am. For many years I regarded the life I was living as a lie, I felt I was wearing a mask. I was afraid that people might see the real me, as I saw myself. To me, at that stage of my life, I saw myself as weak, indecisive and scared. To avoid this I put on a front of strength and determination.

It is a reality that we create the world we see and experience. So it became obvious to me that if I was living a lie then the world I lived in was a lie. This made it impossible for me to grow and develop properly in this world.

It is important that you believe in the world of your experience, it is important that you can trust whatever you experience. Unless you trust yourself, though, this can never happen.

Passion For Life

Work through these 20 steps and develop your passion for life. Find your authentic manhood and you will amaze yourself at what you can achieve in life, in business and in your relationship. Catch hold of the wind of change and transform yourself as a man.