Authentic Manhood (The Final Edit)

An update of several posts, integrating tem into one comprehensive piece.

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 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 said, “Are you man enough to…” 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!

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.

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

The Wind of Change for Men

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.
Harold Macmillan

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.

I would suggest that in this decade the ‘Wind of Change’ is blowing 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.

What can bring men together and what could hold them together? 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.

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.

20 Steps to Authentic Manhood

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.that you get? How could you use one of these 20 steps to start a journey of change in your life?

In this step you will learn to discover your core masculinity and feel your male energy, that drive that is deep down inside you. When you live there with honesty and courage you will truly be the man that others will look up to. You will be able to live there because you will know it is where you want to be.

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.

I speak a lot to men and women about men and the need for them to go inside and feel what’s in there, deep down. The response I get always includes a recognition of what I am talking about and where they need to go, but they do not always go there. The major reason for this is a lack of understanding of how easy it is to go there, how easy it is to decide who you want to be.

I received the following email from a friend after first publishing this as a post online,

“Graham thank you for posting ‘The Male Agenda’, particularly as I seeking to find, discover, explore my own maleness. My previous model is being rightly challenged by a woman who I am very friendly with and very fond of. She is an Aries and responding to her Ariesness, which I feel is challenging me, causes me to look at myself as a man!”

He is aware of what he needs to do, he has been for some time, but he still is not going there, he is not living in his core. The reasons are to do with him and his life. Are you living there? If not why not?

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.

Genetics plays a strong part in sexual orientation. This counters the idea that sexuality is always a choice. Your sexuality is not learned behaviour that can be un-learned. It is important to connect with your sexuality and feel strong in it.

It is not a question of whether you are straight or gay, but a question of being strong in who you are.

In understanding your gender it is critical to understand that there are differences between men and women. Beyond the stereotypes of Mars and Venus are the essential differences in how men and women think and react to outside events.

This is often the result of hormonal differences experienced in the womb. Differences that affect how the brain develops.

A study has shown that the brains of men and women work in different ways. These could explain some of the differences in male and female behaviour.

Many of the connections in a typical male brain run between the front and the back of the same side of the brain. In women the connections are more likely to run from side to side between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

These are physical differences in the brains of the two sexes and play an important role in understanding men and women. They could show why men are, in general, better at spatial tasks while women are better at verbal or intuitive tasks.

Much of your personality exists at birth and does not develop during growing up. The extent to which you are extrovert or introvert is just one feature of this. You can cause harm to yourself in trying to fight against the natural tendencies of your personality. The ability to understand and accept your personalities is key to developing your strength as a man.

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.

I based my view on a masculine stereotype I thought was attractive to women.

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

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.

This is the case, most often, in relationships, an area that many people have problems with. The general tendency is to look at the other person in a relationship and blame them for whatever does not work. This stems from a lack of trust in other people and a resulting tendency to see a hidden agenda in whatever the other person does. This is inevitable if you do not trust yourself, if you feel you have a hidden agenda, even if you are unable to admit it.

If you start with yourself and gauge everything that happens against what you see in your life, then everything can change. If something is wrong in the relationship then you look to what you are not being honest and open about. Setting this up as your standard enables you to see a world in which people are open and honest.

Living in a world of clarity and authenticity aloows you to be open and clear about who you are. It allows you to live in your masculinity without fear of reproach or condemnation. You can explore your male energy with compassion rather than domination. You can live your life as a man.

What do you feel about your core masculinity and your male energy? Do you live with them or do you struggle to understand them?

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.

In my coaching for men one the early subjects I always talk to my clients about is the influence their father had on them. I know the influence my father had on me, I have written about it a number of times. I always felt the negative aspects of it, mainly around my anger. Recently I have come to see how strong and independent he made me. Clients have almost always had a troubled relationship with their father. This is frequently at the base of the issues they try to deal with.

John had a controlling father who called his son a wuss! John had no sense of his masculinity and no idea what his passion is.

David didn’t know his father and didn’t get on with his stepfather. He was bullied by his parents. He is restless and often angry. He has no sense of a masculinity that can stand the test of femininity. He lost and unhappy.

These men cannot get past their broken relationships to their core masculinity. They are too influenced by their surroundings to see that they are different men underneath.

It is important to connect with your influences to move on from their control. One of the ways this is frequently necessary is around the subject of approval. When you constantly seek approval from others, from those who have controlled and influenced you, you let them keep controlling your life. When you seek approval from yourself, from your own view of the world, you take back control of yourself and live by your own strength.

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.

In the previous section I talked about Frank. One of the personalities he developed was a dedicated, hard-working one. This is what he had to be for his mother. She insisted he did well at school and constantly made sure that he worked hard. At the same time he had a lazy side that came from his father. He liked to be non-engaged and not complete things, because that’s how his father was. These two personalities created further conflict within him, as well as all the other conflict he had.

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.

It was on a day long vision quest run by a friend of mine. I realised that no-one knew the whole me, no-one had a complete rounded picture. Once I fully understood what this meant I set about changing things. This was the hard part of the journey.

I was a lighting designer, at the time, and I was President of the International Association of Lighting Designers. I was on a spiritual path of self-development with a completely different set of people.

I started by opening up my professional contacts to my spiritual development. In doing this I connected my ‘inner light’ to the ‘outer light’ I worked with. I gave a presentation at a lighting conference about the spiritual responsibilities of lighting designers. Some people thought I had ‘lost it’, but many were inspired by the connections I made.

In the world of self-development that I was involved with I had kept quiet about the professional and leadership roles I had elsewhere in my life. I just wanted to be an ordinary man to them. They were amazed when I opened this world to them and started to understand what I was trying to achieve.

I found it scary to open these worlds up to each other but in the end I felt more at ease in all of them. What worlds do you live in? To what extent do these worlds know about each other? What do you achieve in keeping them separate? What happens when you forget?

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.

One core attitude is do you move towards a vision of your life or do you move away from where you have been? This attitude is about whether you focus on pleasure or pain. These are two core emotions within the depths of your being that drive so much of what you do.

So many people are driven by fear, fear of failure, fear of success. They get caught inside a frame of fear that feel unable to escape. I speak to many men who simultaneously fear being a failure as a man and being a success as a man.

If they do not get it right they will not be respected by their family or their peers. They may be ridiculed by others who have made it. They will judged as weak or in capable. As a result the y will feel that their life is not worth living.

If they do get it right they will have to keep it up for the rest of their lives. They will be on their own with no help from others. It ill be so easy for them to make mistakes and get it wrong again. If this happens they will be ridiculed again as being unable to keep it up.

In either case they will be isolated and ridiculed. How much easier it would be to be in the middle with everyone else? How much easier to not stand out from the crowd? How much easier to hide away?

Moving forward and focusing on a vision for you life needs you to stand tall and be yourself, be sure and certain in your masculinity.

Do you know what your attitudes are? Do you know what personalities you show to the outside world? Do you know how your parents influenced you?

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.

My father pulled himself out of the dockyards of Glasgow, Scotland, to become an accountant and the financial director of a major UK manufacturing company. He achieved it by working hard and knowing that he could do it.

He was determined to pass on that ability to his sons. He wanted them to see a great future for themselves and find a way to create it.

I felt pressured by this and did not know how to react to it other than by running away from it.

I was not successful at school and failed to get in to university. My father suggested I followed him into accountancy or insurance. I was determined not to do an office job. I went into overdrive and found myself a job, any job, in the theatre. That forged my future life.

Many years later my father told me that he envied me. I asked him why and he told me that it was because I followed my dream and did what I wanted to do. I was surprised but I realised that he had felt pressed into expectations that he fulfilled but did not enjoy.

I have always been grateful for that insight. It helped me to see that life was really about how you create it for yourself. You never know the truth behind someone else’s story, all you can do is make assumptions. Usually those assumptions are wrong.

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.

It is then important to look at how you use your vision. If you set it too far ahead it can seem unobtainable, too little connected to the life you are living now. If it does not reach forward enough it can give you little inspiration and little encouragement.

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.

Take, for example, the creation of a relationship vision. It should contain detail about the person you want to be with and how you see life being with her. If you write it in the present tense it will be all the more real for you. Fill it with passion so that it is real for you. This should be happening now in your mind, it should already be in existence.

You can then go about living as if the vision is in place. If you envisage living a certain way with your ideal partner, then live that way now. If you wait until they appear the chances are that they will not. If you act as if they are there already there then all you have to do is see what or who is around you and you will find them.

Create your vision and your plan and base it on you and your talents, not on the expectations of others. It is your life you are creating.

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?

I spoke to a client this week who told me that he and his friends were happy being men in touch with their emotions. They were happy having wives who were strong in the corporate world. He almost apologised for it.

His problem was the apology, he did not think that I would approve.

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.

Any definition is only relative to the person concerned. What is masculinity for one person may not be for the next person. It is this relative concept that I call Personal Masculinity.

In the first steps you have gone through a process of understanding and knowing yourself. It is only through this process that you can start identifying what masculinity is for you, what your personal masculinity is.

How do you feel most comfortable as a man, what makes you feel peaceful and calm, where do you feel your power is?

Although I love connecting with others, I feel at my most powerful on my own. For many years I was concerned because I seemed to shy away from other people, especially other men. I thought there was something wrong with me, I thought I was hiding away from something in my life.

When I understood that this was when I was at my strongest I saw that this was the real me. I do not know why I am like this, nor do I concern myself with why, I just am. When I am alone with my thoughts I can write and bring order to the world. People find the results of that inspiring, that is good enough for me.

So create the masculinity that is appropriate for you and be certain and comfortable in it.

Find your path and resist the temptation to follow others. To do that you need to know yourself and what you are capable of.

What are you passionate about? What is your vision? What do you see success as?

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.

My wife takes great care to tell me what I am good at. She emphasises what my talents are and what I succeed at. She ensures that I stop and celebrate our successes.

She does this to make me feel good about myself, but she also does this because I tend to focus on what went wrong or what did not work. I do this because I want to improve and be better next time, that is good but not enough. It is important that I see what does work and my wife reminds me to do this. I am grateful to her for this because without it I would move on and forget.

I have experienced the failure of several businesses. It is good to learn the lessons from these, but it is not good to dwell on them. To focus on business success is to learn an even greater lesson, what it is that you do right.

The difficulty with this step is going beyond a logical understanding. Not until you feel it in your heart and understand all its implications can you be sure this step is complete. It is time to take your feeling deep down inside and let your heart and your soul speak to you.

A great way to achieve this is by meditation. Get in the habit of sitting quietly with yourself, allowing your heart to speak to you. It is not necessary to learn any specific technique rather learn to be quiet with yourself. Get used to feeling what your body is saying to you, free of any interference from your mind.

It is your mind that you need to learn to mistrust. When you can sit outside of what is happening in your head and learn to listen then you are on course to know yourself.

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.

As an exercise write down everything that has worked or gone well over the past year. Include everything you can think of, with no editing. Think of the times when people have praised you or complimented you on something specific. Think of when people have responded to what you were doing. Think of the times you felt good about what you were doing, times you felt on a roll.

Look at your list and identify the common threads. Tease out three strengths that you see there. Focus on these strengths and look at how to improve them, make them stronger.

I did this exercise and identified the following three strengths in myself: Communication—the ability to listen and connect to people, Certainty—the ability to be confident in myself and encourage confidence in others, Creativity—the ability to create what people want and allow it to flow.

I am constantly improving my creativity, but I know that my communication could be even better.

As you improve your top three strengths you should repeat the exercise, or do what I suggested above, go and talk to some people you connect with or respect. It is scary to do this but you will find that people are happy to take part. I did it a few years ago and gained some insights that I had not thought of.

The intention behind this work is not only to build up your strengths but also to re-focus your view of yourself. In knowing yourself it is important to feel good about yourself, it is important to know that glow that comes from knowing how great your are.

When talking to other people about your strengths or when receiving compliments generally it is crucial to receive whatever praise comes your way. You should never downplay what people say or slip into a false sense of humility. Receive the gift with acceptance and thanks. Respect what people think even if you do not agree with them. Afterwards look closley at this disagreement and ask if it is genuine. This will usually indicate an area you need to work at.

Values

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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.

This type of conflict can remain hidden and be the source of failure and frustration. In looking at your values it is crucial to keep an eye out for conflicts of this nature.

Focus on identifying four key values. Start with random lists of values. Think through what you think and believe and add what you find onto one big list, the more the better. When you have a big enough list do a rough pass and delete any that are definitely not you, these should be obvious, but before of deleting just because you do not like them. Get down to a list of 10 to 15.

Now start at the top with the first value. Check it against each of the others in turn and decide which is more important to you one or the other. You either leave it above the ones it is more important than or move one that is more important above it.

Keep doing this process with each value in turn until you are happy with the order they are in. If you are not sure go back through it and repeat the process. Cut the list down to 6, by cutting out the lower values, and re-confirm the order, then cut it out down to your 4 top values.

Check this list against what makes you feel excited or worthwhile and add anything in that occurs to you and repeat the above process. Eventually you will have your top four values.

Explore those values and understand how they interact with your life. Are they all positive or is there any negative aspects. Is there any conflict between them or do they all align.

Lastly it is important to determine that they are the values you want to live your life by. You may want to defer this part of the process until you have been through the rest of this book. It will give you plenty of ideas about how you might want to change.

Most importantly enjoy this process.

Step 5: Know How You See The World

The world we see with our senses are very different than the world we see through our essence. Our senses perceive the world of appearance. Our essence perceive 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

Freedom doesn’t come from financial achievement or lifestyle rewards. Freedom is the ability to choose the way you interpret what happens to you. If you see yourself as a man to start with, you will act like a man and the world will be a better place as a result.

Freedom comes from your heart and is expressed through your emotions. When you seer a beautiful sunset do you stop and feel the depths of what you are seeing or do you dread the onset of darkness?
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.

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.

Moving forward and focusing on a vision for you life needs you to stand tall and be yourself, be sure and certain in your masculinity.

See the World

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Yourself in the world

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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.

The first type of Presence is being in the moment, being you, being attentive to what your partner is saying and doing, and to her needs and desires. It starts with you, you have to be able to be aware of whether you are present. By being present with yourself, not dominating or passive, you can be honest, vulnerable, open, forthcoming and forthright.

The second type of presence is attracting people’s attention by who you are. The attraction comes from an inner sense of believing in yourself and in your message. With this presence, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of your personality spring to the forefront of everything you say and do, through stance, tone, cadence, eye contact, gestures, your honest passion or emotion that is apparent in every word, your ability to make persuasive points, to sustain a clear argument, and the physical delivery of the message

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

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Let Go

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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.

After all changing the world is what most men think they are born for. Most men spend their lives seeking ways to achieve this. It does not matter whether the change is small or large, it matters. It matters to you and it matters to those it affects.

You can spend you 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.

I spent much of my life as a lighting designer. At first I had to come to believe that I was a lighting designer and that I had ideas and concepts that meant something. I had to believe not only that I was capable but also that what resulted was worthwhile. I had to believe in myself.

Once I got there my career took off. Nothing was too difficult for me, and no project was beyond my reach. I became well known for the work I did, the cathedrals I lit, the city-wide studies I wrote and the theatres i brought atmosphere to. I look back at them with pride because they are me. I see myself in them. They do not make it all worthwhile, they show that I was right to believe in myself.

Change the World

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Belief in Yourself

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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.

To love yourself means to accept yourself as you are, and come to terms with those aspects of yourself you cannot change. It means to have self-respect, a positive self-image, and unconditional self-acceptance. It means having a healthy regard for yourself, knowing that you are a worthy human being. It is important to remind yourself that no one is perfect. You have strengths and weaknesses and you possess the resources to work on improving yourself.

You are unique in the specific talents and abilities you have to offer. In order to appreciate yourself is up to you to discover what makes you unique and to go further in developing those talents. You have a responsibility to yourself to do so. You cannot sit around and wait for approval from others. You need to work on accepting yourself. You are the only you you have and it’s in your best interest to be the best you can be.

To be able to truly love someone without attachment or possessiveness, you have to fully accept yourself with all the flaws, mistakes and inadequacies you may have.

But if you just rely on those around you to teach you about love, you fall into a passive way of coming to love yourself. I prefer to use my ability to love myself to show others how to love me. That creates an interaction that grows and builds. Learn to love others so you can learn to love yourself.

Certainty

Grounded

Step 9: Seek New Goals

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’s the only way. I assure you it’s not. Notice how different cultures do things in different ways.

Explore

Openness

Step 10: Be Authentic

The world exists on personal connections. Know who you are, and are not, and be open with those around you. Make genuine connections. This comes from the ability to be vulnerable and the power that gives. When you open yourself to others in truth and honesty you will create change in the world.

Connections

Stand Up

Step 11: Pick Your Friends With Wisdom

The people around you create who you are. If they inspire you, you’ll pass on that inspiration. If they depress you, you’ll pass on that depression. Those around you must dream as big or bigger and have as much passion or more than you do.

Friendship

How Others See You

Step 12: Get A Mentor

Even when you have grounded yourself and are authentic you are you do not know all the answers. Sometimes you cannot see what you are doing and how you are showing. If you have a mentor you can use their eyes to see you as you are. Then you can show up in the world in a much more powerful way.

Why Improve Yourself

Humility

Step 13: The Process Not The Outcome

Stop worrying about getting there. You never will anyway. All the fun is along the trail next to you. It’s impossible to enjoy it if you’re dazed by the blurry horizon that never gets any closer.

Day by Day

Forget Goals

Step 14: Be Passionate

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.

Passion not Anger

What Moves You?

Step 15: Accept Change

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.

Change Happens

Surrender

Step 16: Accept Uncertainty

When you step into uncertainty with confidence then you can face whatever occurs. When you become comfortable with uncertainty, that shows internal strength. The knowledge that you can face whatever life brings you is a powerful state of certainty to be in.

Uncertainty is Power

Stop Controlling

Step 17: Be A Servant Leader

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.

Leadership

Serving

Step 18: Be Intimate

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.

Intimacy is Key

Dive into Emotion

Step 19: Know Your Own Power

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.

Your Power

Power and Compassion

Step 20: Live Your Full Potential

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.

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.

Genetics plays a strong part in sexual orientation. This counters the idea that sexuality is always a choice. Your sexuality is not learned behaviour that can be un-learned. It is important to connect with your sexuality and feel strong in it.

It is not a question of whether you are straight or gay, but a question of being strong in who you are.

In understanding your gender it is critical to understand that there are differences between men and women. Beyond the stereotypes of Mars and Venus are the essential differences in how men and women think and react to outside events.

This is often the result of hormonal differences experienced in the womb. Differences that affect how the brain develops.

A study has shown that the brains of men and women work in different ways. These could explain some of the differences in male and female behaviour.

Many of the connections in a typical male brain run between the front and the back of the same side of the brain. In women the connections are more likely to run from side to side between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

These are physical differences in the brains of the two sexes and play an important role in understanding men and women. They could show why men are, in general, better at spatial tasks while women are better at verbal or intuitive tasks.

Much of your personality exists at birth and does not develop during growing up. The extent to which you are extrovert or introvert is just one feature of this. You can cause harm to yourself in trying to fight against the natural tendencies of your personality. The ability to understand and accept your personalities is key to developing your strength as a man.

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.

I based my view on a masculine stereotype I thought was attractive to women.

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

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.

This is the case, most often, in relationships, an area that many people have problems with. The general tendency is to look at the other person in a relationship and blame them for whatever does not work. This stems from a lack of trust in other people and a resulting tendency to see a hidden agenda in whatever the other person does. This is inevitable if you do not trust yourself, if you feel you have a hidden agenda, even if you are unable to admit it.

If you start with yourself and gauge everything that happens against what you see in your life, then everything can change. If something is wrong in the relationship then you look to what you are not being honest and open about. Setting this up as your standard enables you to see a world in which people are open and honest.

Living in a world of clarity and authenticity allows you to be open and clear about who you are. It allows you to live in your masculinity without fear of reproach or condemnation. You can explore your male energy with compassion rather than domination. You can live your life as a man.

What do you feel about your core masculinity and your male energy? Do you live with them or do you struggle to understand them?

Conclusion

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.

How do you show up in life right now? What are the results