These all lie on a spectrum of esoteric and weird to fully mainstream, but this is the water we’re swimming in right now in terms of how to better ourselves as men.
So what are we striving for, what’s the ideal? An emotionally intelligent, functionally fit man that sits in cold water, bow hunts, explores his consciousness with friends, and looks good doing it?
Did I get close?
There is a huge opening right now as men are taking seriously the permission to enter the WELLNESS space. This is not just good news, it’s utterly fantastic and we should celebrate it as such.
I really do expect this trend to not only continue, and as we’re still in an early stage, I think there’s an important question to ask.
To what end?
To what end are we obsessing about our own growth?
What comes after we are all emotionally intelligent, functionally fit men that sit in cold water, hunt with a bow, explore our consciousness with friends, and look good doing it?
I think it’s an especially important question to ask right now. Right now meaning that our political system seems to be crumbling, our planet is heaving for breath, global pandemic is occurring, and shit is just generally going sideways at a hundred miles an hour.
I would risk offense by saying that growth for growth’s sake can be small minded.
In my own personal uptight code of ethics, all of this obsession works when it’s tied into larger purpose.
Imagine that individual men are car parts. One guy is the muffler, one a piston, one a hose clamp, etc. In the current dominating paradigm of men’s health, individual men are obsessed with becoming the highest functioning car part they can be. With the right nutrition, the right workout, the right job, the right cash balance, etc–they become a car part that is shiny and beautiful and high functioning.
But it seems to mostly end there.
Very little focus and energy is put on how those high functioning parts come together and function. The possibility is that of the world’s most incredible vehicle could be built, finely tuned, powerful and insanely functional.
So what do we get with a bunch of self obsessed men who improve themselves without a clear bigger intention? We get a thousand car parts, beautiful and optimized, laying in the yard doing nothing.
I believe that optimizing ourselves is the right choice, but I think we are missing out on an opportunity that goes so far beyond ourselves. I believe that right now, men’s passion, energy, and love may be the world’s biggest untapped resource.
Men are still overwhelmingly isolated, in competition, and trying to prove themselves.
I’d rather we get on the same team and save the world.
Our partners are asking for it, our kids are screaming for it, and our planet is literally gasping for breath while we sit and order the next supplement.
It’s time to open up and pay attention to a larger state of health as our first priority. The health of our relationships, families, communities–all the way up to the health of our biome.
The added benefit is that now our own optimization actually occurs faster and more powerfully, because there are stakes attached to it.
So how do we do this?
We take care of ourselves, so we’re healthy, nimble, effective and loving.
We pay attention to what we have to give and where it can be given. We pay attention to what needs to be healed and we heal it.
We take action. We learn how and practice to do the uncomfortable and hard things that need to be done.
We do it together. No more bullshit imagining that we’ll figure it out on our own, or that it’s valuable to play the solo game. Collaboration is where its at.
Men, this blog is both a challenge and a warm invitation to slow down and look beyond your bubble. People want and need you. The world wants and needs you.
This level of service will require you to let your guard down and work closely and intimately with others. This is the real call to action. This work that is being asked of us is not a solo gig. It requires us to find each other, get real and get to work.