Becoming A Man.
“There’s just not enough real Men these days”..
..then I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.
I’d be sitting in the Bahamas dictating it to one of my loyal sweat shop workers..
..who would transcribe it before handing it over to the other group of loyal workers who would be uploading it onto the blog.
But it poses a very interesting question: what does it mean to be a Man?
And how do you become one?
I’m not writing this because I pretend to have all the answers. I’m writing this because I wanted to start a dialogue between all of the Men who are part of our community about what it means to be a Man..
..and what it takes to be a Man.
And, on top of that, I wanted you to have a serious look at your life. How you’re living it, and how you are going to move forward from here.
Now, when I’m talking about becoming a Man, I’m not talking about becoming an adult male.
I’m not talking about having an x chromosome and turning 21 years old; I’m talking about the deeper elements of Masculinity.
What I’m going to do is offer my perspective on what these deeper elements are – and then at the end, I’m going to invite you to comment so we can all grow through this.
So, what does it take to become a Man in our modern day society?
In ancient cultures, there were (and still are in some parts of the world), highly ritualistic paths to becoming a Man.
Some simply involved celebrations. Some went as far as killing a wild animal with a spear, but in my opinion, the essence of masculinity runs deeper than that.
In my opinion, there’s one key element that is required for taking the leap from boyhood to Manhood.
It’s not to do with what you own, how old you are, or how many chicks you’ve slept with. It’s about the fundamental way you engage the world. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be:
To me, becoming a Man is about breaking your reliance on the outside world for any of the necessities of life.
It’s about moving from being a taker, waiting in the wings for the world to provide you with the things you think you need to flourish..
..to being a giver, generating all the things you need and being able to share those with the world around you as a gift.
Now, you might not find this too enlightening.
You might read it and say:
“Well, I’m independent, so therefore I’m a Man”..
..but before you do, I want you to consider something. I’m not just talking about 1 form of independence. In my opinion, there’s actually 4.
And until you are independent in all 4 categories, then there’s still a way to go before you’re the creator of your world and not just a taker.
I’ve put the four stages in the order that I usually see someone achieve them in. You may agree, or not. That’s fine.
This post isn’t about proving how much I know. It’s to get you to think about how you see the world – and how you’re currently engaging the world.
If you have any thoughts on this, there will be a place for you to comment on it at the end.
The first stage of independence that a human male normally achieves is physical independence – the ability to dress yourself and the ability to feed yourself.
Most people hit this before they become a teenager.
If you haven’t’ yet achieved his level of independence then there’s probably a few things in your life that you’re going to need to look at before you can start building the future you desire.
The next stage of independence that a male usually achieves on his road to independence is financial independence.
Now, there are some people from particularly well-off families who don’t progress through this stage till much later in life, but most people hit this place around the time they leave study.
If you’re not financially independent, then there’s nothing wrong with it – you just might want to consider how it’s affecting the way you’re looking at the world.
If you’re still dependent on your parents to provide you with the basic necessities of life, then how do you think you’re going to perceive the rest of the world?
If you’re looking to things outside yourself for the very basics that are required to move through this world, then what issues is that going to throw up?
The third stage of independence that a male usually achieves on his way to full independence is psychological independence.
The way I’m defining psychological independence is the ability to make decisions for yourself and take action on those decisions based on your own intrinsic standards and morals.
Now, before you jump in here and say..
“Yep, that’s me”..
I’m not just talking about moving out of home and being able to make decisions without your mum or dad standing over your shoulder.
I’m talking about the ability to follow your desires and stand up for what you believe in, in every situation. If there’s any part of your life where you hold yourself back in because of what other people might think of you..
..then you’re not psychologically independent.
You’re still allowing the thoughts and perceptions of other people dictate how you live your life.
Sure, you might not be relying on your mum any more, but you’re still relying on other people to determine your path through this world.
And the final stage of independence that males usually achieve on their way to becoming fully independent, and in my definition, the final stage in achieving Manhood is..
..emotional independence. Becoming emotionally independent is where you cease relying on the external environment for your sense of happiness or fulfillment in your life.
Now, I’m not saying you need to become an emotionless robot.
Rather, I’m saying that regardless of the emotions that you experience in your day to day life, your sense of fulfillment and satisfaction from life continue to remain steady..
..because they’re based on your living the life you desire, rather than waiting for something external to make you happy.
If you really want to know how well you’re doing through these 4 stages then take a good, long hard look at your interactions with women and you’ll be able to clearly see where you’re at.
The last time you went out to meet women, where you physically independent? Were you able to dress and feed yourself? I’m guessing that if you’re reading this then you are probably OK with this.
The last time you went out to meet women, where you financially independent? Were you able to pay for your own way there and back?
Were you able to purchase the things you needed whilst you were there?
You were probably OK with this one as well.
Now, for the interesting ones. How about psychologically independent?
Did you do what you felt was the right thing to do in every moment? Or did you rely on the information, standards and rules you’d been provided by someone else (maybe even things you’d read on this website)?
And did you do the things that you truly wanted to do or did you hold yourself back because of what other people might of thought about you?
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you probably aren’t psychologically independent yet.
And how about emotionally independent?
Before you left the house, did you feel satisfied and fulfilled due to the way you carried out your life on that day? Or were you feeling somewhat empty and hollow?
And did that feeling carry through when the first woman who brushed you off and flicked you a look of utter disdain or did it drain out of your life? I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, then you’re not at this stage either.
There are a number of processes that go on to facilitate this change (with the number one being self-awareness), but that’s not what this post is about.
It’s about describing the factors that I believe help a human male step into Manhood.
I’m in no way saying this is definitive or right; it’s just one persons perspective amongst many. Now I’m curious to hear what you think. I’m going to start a thread up in the Mother Blog area of the forum where you can discuss this.
You can find it here:
One thing I want to make clear here:
I’m in no way claiming that you should feel bad for not hitting all these stages or that you’re inferior for not doing so.
I know less than half a dozen people who I would say consistently hit all four of these stages and I’m not one of them.
I’m FAR closer toady than I was even 6 months ago, but it’s still very much a work in progress (and I’m pretty sure it always will be).
This post isn’t about trying to make you feel bad; it’s about helping you see just where you edge is.
So, what are your thoughts? How do you feel about these ideas? And where do you see yourself standing?