40 Day Challenge for Men: Archive
Men face challenges—to their sense of themselves as men—through people's view of them. Men need to face up to these and come out the other side strong and confident. You succeed by getting to know yourself, accepting who you are and living authentically.
Day 1—Do You Love Yourself?
In learning how to love others it is critical to start by loving yourself. If you are unable to love yourself you are unable to love someone else. Men have trouble with this. They might respect themselves but loving themselves, that's a bit sissy. No it's not!
Day 2—The Dawn Will Banish The Cold
Self Awareness leads to re-awakening. The re-awakening of the self that is buried inside, the re-awakening of you as a man. It's about the discovery and welcoming into your life of what is already there, buried deep down.
Day 3—Do You Deserve Fatherly Love?
Your father is important. Whether you knew him or not, his influence lives on. Men often aspire to be their fathers and are determined never to be like him. This tension continues through the years and shapes the man you are.
Day 4—Can You Stop Needing Your Mother?
Men love their mothers but also need their mothers. This about men who are looking for their mother. I don't know whether the mothers or the men are to blame for this. The men are looking to be fed and be generally molly-coddled.
Day 5—Do You Need, Desire Or Love?
Desire often starts a relationship and love takes over to keep it going. Desire can leave, creating a sterile relationship with no core. The balance between love and desire is critical in building our life with another.
Day 6—Show Me How To Control Others
It's easy to control the ones you love and the ones you don't. Control of yourself is something you shy away from. Men often tend to ignore the need for this relying, instead, on righteous indignation at what life has done to them.
Day 7—Do You Find Intimacy Difficult?
Men have issues with intimacy and frequently are unable to admit it. They sublimate their emotions in actions they can understand. This is the heart of the difficulty between men and women. Is it sex or intimacy that's important?
Day 8—Suffering Is Resistance To Pain
Men are stoical individuals who grit their teeth and endure pain. It is regarded as a badge of honour to keep going with life through suffering. In wartime soldiers often pride themselves on their strength to keep going through pain.
Day 9—Look for the Learning in Emotional Pain
For men, emotions are feelings that they find difficult to understand. Men are not emotional and remain in control. Men are not able to predict when they are going to break out and cause pain and extreme difficulty.
Day 10—Are You Seeking The Truth?
It is important to be aware of what you are seeking. Everyone seeks something in life, whether it's a quiet life or a life of risk and adventure. The difficulty arises when you don't know what it is and you create confusion for yourself.
Day 11—Can You Look Forwards And Backwards?
Janus was the Roman God of beginnings, transitions and change. He represents time because he simultaneously looks forward and backwards. His advantage is that he lives in the now because he sees the past and the future.
Day 12—Do You Blame Or Take Responsibility?
The desire to blame is embedded within our society. It seems that it's always someone else's fault. This is seen conspiracy theories and in our relationships where we blame each other for everything that's wrong.
Day 13—Are You Aware Of Your Masculinity?
What is it to be a man? That's a question many of us think we know the answer to and a question that no-one seems to be able to find the answer to. In my view that dichotomy is where the key lies.
Day 14—Enjoy the Dusk, Celebrate the Day
You are on a journey to connect more with yourself and understand your core. No matter where you have reached on that journey this is an appropriate time to stop and just appreciate where you are and who you are.
Knowing what you believe you need to know, what you are prepared to live and die for is critical for moving forward. It requires the ability to make a stand on what you believe. What's important is that this can be anything.
Day 15—Do You Accept Your Personalities?
Most people think of themselves as a single personality, they are who they are. Sometimes they have a suspicion that all is not as it seems though. They also seem to change constantly and shift their approach.
Day 16—What Do You Like About Yourself?
Perhaps you accept all your personalities, but does that mean you like everything about yourself? Liking yourself is a very personal thing. If you don't like yourself, or all of yourself, you could have a miserable life.
Day 17—What Don't You Like About Yourself?
Men find it easy to identify what they don't like about themselves. For many it's physical characteristics. They have an image of a perfect 'man' and identify all the characteristics that don't match up to this perfect ideal.
Day 18—What Would You Like To Change?
Change is constant in life and is something most men shy away from. Natural change ensures you grow older and shift your viewpoint on life. Conscious change, however, can be traumatic or it can be liberating.
Day 19—What Are You Willing To Do To Change?
Is it necessary to change? Isn't it easier to stay as I am? I am sure that this is in the minds of many men. It's taken so much to get where they are, do they really need to go further. No, if they just want to keep doing the same old thing.
Day 20—Describe The Ideal You, The New You
You can start to let your imagination loose, you can dive deep into your creative self and paint whatever picture you want. This is where you get to know what it feels like to be god, where you design what you want to be.
Day 21—How Will You Achieve Change?
There are many ways to achieve change. I learned about re-wiring our neural pathways so I can deal with some of the more complex issues of change. Many men want life to be simple, they want to be what they envision.
Day 22—Is Your Life A Construction Site Or A Garden?
You are walking along this road of constant change, seeking the ideal you. "Is that it?", you ask, "I keep walking?". Well, yes... and no. Effort is needed, every day. Making a shift is critical but that shift needs to be you.
Day 23—How To Live With Uncertainty
To move forward is to move into uncharted territory. To change is to become something you yet don't fully understand. To grow is to become something new. This is a path of exhilaration and excitement, a path of wonder.
Day 24—Can You Let Go Of Your Ego?
This started by looking at the need for us to love ourselves. "Start by loving yourself", I said, "This is not being selfish. If you are unable to love yourself you are unable to love someone else." This is a vital element in love.
Day 25—Can You Now Accept Who You Are?
You started this period of acceptance by looking at different parts of yourself. You have been through a process of accepting the process of change so you can bring all parts of yourself into alignment.
Day 26—Enjoying The Person You Are
Acceptance is important, indeed critical in developing your confidence and certainty. For a truly amazing life you need to go beyond that and enjoy who you are. I find it interesting to see how many people don't enjoy their life. This is particularly true for men who are focused and dedicated to the life they lead. They have found success and gained a reputation but they just can't find a way to enjoy it.
Day 27—Celebrate Who You Are, Be Outrageous!
Celebrate who you are on this amazing day, this day of openness and power. How often do men restrain themselves from going all out and just being? How often do you see men dancing for joy, full of energy and excitement?
This is the most interesting stage of the journey, the stage of authenticity. It is where you move outside yourself and look at how you relate to other people. Even when you develop full awareness of yourself you can have issues with how you portray yourself.
Day 28—Do You Live Your Life At Full Potential?
For me life is about living, living to my full potential. The human brain has infinite potential and while popular myth says that we use no more than 10% of our brain capacity, the truth is that we don't yet know the limits.
Day 29—What Vision Do You Have?
Vision is essential to an interesting and exciting life. Vision is what draws out our power and passion. Vision is what makes your life, what powers your life, what moves you on and draws out your creativity.
Day 30—Do You Walk Your Talk?
The Great Gadzoni had just completed a challenging tightrope walk across Niagara Falls. The wind was howling and stinging rain pelted him as he inched across the rope. What was next for him? What other challenge awaited him?
Day 31—How Do You Use Your Sexuality?
One of the big issues around the subject of gender is how men use their sexuality. The stereotypical complaint is that men use their sexuality to dominate, that there is too much sexualization of men.
Day 32—What Are Your Spheres Of Influence?
You are the average of the five people you spend most time with. Does that mean they influence you or you influence them? Who you spend your time with is important in determining what your life becomes, what you make of it.
Day 33—How Are You And Your Family?
Your family of origin is where you find your first role models, and where you first form your personality. Much of what you have been looking at has been about dealing with the issues raised during this learning phase.
Day 34—How Do You Use Your Power And Strength?
Men are all about power and strength. There is a need to create a hierarchy that defines who a man is. Amongst men there can be some justification for this, but between men, women and children it becomes unnecessary.
Day 35—Can Others Rely On You?
If you live life relying on others you risk being at effect, you risk being blown by whatever wind is around you. It is more creative to be at cause, creating the life you lead. This is an important lesson you have been learning.
Day 36—What Are You Dishonest About?
Dishonesty is so rife that it is scarcely noticed. I am talking about the minor everyday things that we brush off. They start with speeding and end up in matters of integrity. How often do you 'withhold' the truth from your partner?
Day 37—What Will You Stake Your Life On?
What is the major principle in your life? What will you stake your life on? This has often been very clear for men. The periods of world war in the twentieth century had clear cut issues of freedom that many men related to.
Day 38—What Is Passion? What Drives You?
Passion is what gives you your fire, passion is what makes life worth living. When you know what drives you, you can truly touch your passion. However you see life you can't fail to realise that you need to find its purpose for you.
Day 39—Do You Know Your Truth? Do You Speak It?
We all have something to contribute to this world. Recognising that you are important, no matter who you are, is an essential part of being a man. Seeing this enables you to speak your truth whatever the situation is.
Day 40—What Will Life Look Like Now?
This is the last day of the cycle. Thank you to all those who have followed along the journey. At the end I have written about those readers who followed the journey with some of the insights they had along the way.
Challenge—Participants Open Their Hearts
The Cycle of 40 Days is over. This was written for you to re-assess and consider your life. It was a time of growth and renewal, a time of challenge that you could see through and come out of victorious.