For more than fifteen years, Owen Marcus has worked with men’s groups to develop programs that give them the tools and teach them the skills to be successful men, to celebrate their strengths, and to live their lives fully and with joy.
Owen Marcus overcame challenges such as Asperger’s Syndrome and Dyslexia to pursue his passion of helping others to find their out of the box solutions. However, it wasn’t until much later that he understood that in being free to be his own man, he was able to create and fulfill a life he designed.
His book Grow Up is not a “self-help book”; it’s a playbook on how to live your own life. Imagine a life where you can dream, love, create and live in the moment with an ease you never thought possible.
“The goal of life is to be a vehicle for something higher.” – Joseph Campbell
1. Embrace the Power of Connecting with Other Men
If you are feeling lost, unsure of yourself, with nowhere to go and no-one to turn too, then you need to surround yourself with other men.
You need to find and dive into a community of high level men who are living their lives at a higher level.
Men who can help you through your problems, call you on your b.s., and support you in your goals.
When you connect with other men, you become more empowered.
You share your burdens and your problems and open yourself up to the advice, criticism, and love of people who have your best interest at heart.
Drop your ego and find your tribe.
It will change your life in ways that you cannot imagine.
2. State Your Emotions Directly
Many people will tell you that you need to be “Vulnerable”.
And while there is merit to this claim, it sounds weak and feminine.
Instead, focus on being direct.
Tell people what you are feeling, be honest about your emotions, and open up about your problems.
When you are direct with people, you remove all pretenses and all facades.
You give yourself total freedom because you are willing to take 100% responsibility for who you are, what you want, and how you feel.
State your emotions directly.
Be honest and assertive and your entire world will change.
3. Most Women Are “Bitchy” Because Men Aren’t Assertive
If you are in a relationship and your woman is a “Bitch”, chances are strong that the reason for her behavior is your weakness.
I know that it might be uncomfortable to take responsibility for your relationship and your woman, but when you dive into the nitty gritty, you will realize that I am right.
Women want to fall into their feminine selves and feel safe and secure in the arms of their man.
But they can only do this whenever you are willing to fall into your masculine.
They can only be feminine when you are willing to take charge, be assertive, and do the work that is necessary.
So stop blaming your woman and start looking in the mirror.
You will often find that the fault lies in your own actions and not hers.
4. Do You Habits Give or Steal Energy?
Take time to examine your life.
Look at every habit that you currently have and ask yourself one simple quetsion “Does this thing give me energy or take away from my energy?”
If it gives you energy, then do more of it.
If it takes away from your energy, then cut it out of your life.
End of story.
5. Make a Connection with the Divine
One of the most uncomfortable topics for most men is the concept of the divine.
We hesitate to give the idea creedence and accept the possibility that we are not the greatest force in the universe.
But if you want to truly grow up and embrace your masculine, then you must develop a connection with the divine.
I don’t mean this in a religious sense.
I mean that you must cultivate an attitude of gratitude, must bend your knee to the will of the universe, and commit yourself to a higher purpose.
When you are willing to do these things, you will find an overwhelming sense of peace and serenity sweeping over your life.
Whatever you view the divine to be, I challenge you to get connected with it in your own way, now.
Thai Nguyen has been a 5-star chef, international kickboxer, and now writer at theUtopianLife.com & Spiritual Teacher; born in Vietnam, raised in Australia, completed my BA in Humanities/Theology in Texas.
“You have to die a few times before you can really live.” – Charles Bukowski
1. If You Were to Die Today Would you Be Happy
Stop what you are doing right now.
Stop what you are doing and think about this question.
If you had only one hour left to live, if you had just enough time to say your final goodbyes and make amends, would you be happy with how you had lived?
Would you be proud of your accomplishments? Would you be proud of how you showed up for the people in your life? Would you be proud of the man that you have become?
If not, then you need to make a change.
Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year.
Life is too damn short to live in an uninspiring and unhappy way.
If you wouldn’t be proud of the life that you have lived, then change something today.
2. Embrace the Journey
Life is a journey.
It is not a destination.
And quite frankly, who you are and what you want will change as you progress through life.
So don’t worry about having it all figured out right now.
Just embrace the journey.
Enjoy the ride.
And most of all, love the life you have while you create the life of your dreams.
3. Distinguish Your Values and Your Vehicle
You need to develop a clear understanding of the difference between your values and your vehicle and realize that your vehicle is not set in stone.
What do I mean by this?
Each of has values.
We have certain beliefs that we live by, activities that we enjoy, and lifestyles that we want to pursue.
And it’s so easy to get caught up in those values that we forget the flexibility we have when choosing the vehicle that will allow us to live out those values.
For example, if you love surfing, this doesn’t mean that your vehicle needs to be surfing.
As long as you have a career that allows you to dedicate the major portion of your day to your passion, you are set.
Learn to be ok with having disparate value and vehicles.
It is the fastest way to live a life of passion and joy.
4. Comfort Sabotages Your Success
If you get too comfortable, you will fail.
Maybe not at your job, in your relationship, or in your health… but in life.
Comfort is the great killer of dreams and ambitions, because as soon as you are comfortable, you stop striving.
You stop searching for that next level.
You stagnate, wither away, and die.
Do not let this become your fate.
Each and every day, do something that makes you uncomfortable.
Do something that scares you, something that puts you out of your comfort zone.
This is the quickest way to accelerate your life and experience more joy, freedom, and happiness.
5. Learn to Fill Your Life with Different Ingredients
Life isn’t like a box of chocolates, it’s like a dish at a gormet restaurant, it needs to have the proper variety of ingredients.
If you want to live a fulfilling life, then you need to embrace variety.
Try new things, have new experiences, learn new skills, meet new people, and travel to new places.
The mundane and familiar are the great stealers of joy and happiness.
The new, the exciting, and the unknown will pressure you to keep growing and become the man that you were born to be.
Jean-Paul is a high profile endurance athlete who is a veteran of over 80 marathons, in addition to numerous ultra marathons. In 2012, he represented Canada in the prestigious Comrades Marathon in South Africa, a grueling 90km race through mountainous terrain.
In 2014, Jean-Paul ran the iconic Boston Marathon twice in the same day to raise funds and awareness for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Jean-Paul is the guiding force behind Menup.ca, a movement to build a community in which men are free to support one another, and to challenge male stereotypes that limit our growth and prevent us from engaging in authentic and supporting relationships.
“It’s not the days in your life but the life in your days.” – Lance Armstrong
1. Be Willing to Open Up about Your Pain
We all have pain.
We all have trauma, whether we acknowledge it or not.
We are all flawed and imperfect beings.
And there is nothing wrong with that.
As a man, you need to be willing to open up to other people about your pain.
Be willing to bear your soul and be truly vulnerable with other people in your life.
You will often find that your fears about inadequacy and judgement are entirely unfounded, and the important people will do whatever they can to support you and love you through your pain.
2. Hurt People Hurt People
As a society, we do not address the problem of hurting people.
What we fail to realize is that it is a vicious cycle and hurt people end up repeating their experience by hurting someone else.
It is your duty to not only heal your own hurt but to also be available to other men in your life who are hurting but will not show it.
It is your responsibility to eliminate and eradicate hurt whenever and wherever possible.
You never know when that one kind word, when that one invitation for coffee, or that one offer for help will change someone’s life and prevent them from destroying someone else’s.
3. Learn to Balance Your Masculine Nature
As men we have both feminine and masculine energies.
And it is essential that we learn how to balance these energies.
We must learn how to be tough, strong, and unflappable, while simultaneously being open, vulnerable, and direct about our feelings and emotions.
One of the greatest challenges that we as men face is learning how to balance our two sides, and understanding how the masculine and feminine polarities affect out future.
The first step is to figure out which energy you lack and do the necessary work to build up more of that energy in your life starting today.
4. Get Deeper with the People in Your Life
Quit the surface layer, b.s. interactions.
A few quick hellos and an “I’m fines” are not enough.
You need to go deeper.
Start diving into more personal and emotional conversations with people in your life.
Figure out what is really going on inside other people’s heads.
Uncover what is really going on.
What pain are they experiencing? What pain are you experiencing? What is going great? What needs work?
You will never know if you don’t ask.
As soon as you finish reading this article, I want you to call up someone and ask them how they are doing… I mean how they are really doing.
You will be surprised at the answer.
5. You Are not Your Past
No matter what was in your past, it does not define you.
If you were an addict, a criminal, a liar, a cheater… It doesn’t matter.
All that matters and the only thing that defines you is who you are right now.
In this very second.
Who are you going to be moving forward?
Let go of your past.
Accept it, own it, and use it to inform yourself in your future endeavors.
But do not define yourself by it.
Ryan Holiday is a media strategist and prominent writer on strategy and business. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multiplatinum musicians. He served as director of marketing at American Apparel for many years, where his work was internationally known.
His campaigns have been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google and written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company. His first book, Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator–which the Financial Times called an “astonishing, disturbing book” was a debut bestseller and is now taught in colleges around the world. His subsequent books, Growth Hacker Marketing and The Obstacle is the Way were both published by Penguin/Portfolio.
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius
1. If You Want a Great Mentor Be Humble
Whenever young men go out looking for mentors, they often do so with a completely backward approach.
They go to their desired mentor and then flaunt their skills, pretending to be the greatest thing that this world has ever seen.
But there’s a problem.
Successful people do not want apprentices who have it all figured out.
They want someone who is humble.
Someone who is willing to learn and listen and take action.
If you want great mentors in your life, then drop the ego and be honest.
Tell them that you dont have the skills or the knowledge that they need, but you have the drive, the ambition, and the willingness to learn.
You would be surprised how often this attitude will open doors where there once stood only walls.
2. Be Willing to Just do the Work
Whatever your goals, dreams, and ambitions are, you must be willing to just do the work.
If you want to be great, if you want to be remembered, if you want to be world class, then show up each and every day and do the work.
Want a 7-figure business? Then do the work.
Want a great body? Then do the work.
Want a beautiful wife and an amazing family? Then do the work.
3. Learn to Experience Situations through the Lens of Stoicism
In every situation, there are both positives and negatives.
The philosophy of stoicism doesn’t ignore or hide the negatives, rather it focuses on the positives.
In every situation, there is something to be grateful for and a lesson to be learned.
If you lost your job, now you have time to take a breath and reassess your goals and dreams while you work towards finding a new stream of income.
If your girlfriend cheats on you, then you have the ability to use this tragedy to figure out where it went wrong and how you can improve next time.
There is always a silver lining.
You just have to be willing to look for it.
4. Don’t Predicate Your Happiness on External Events
If you want to experience more joy and happiness in your life, then you must remove your focus on external things.
True happiness comes from focusing entirely on things that are inside of your control.
Focus on your actions, your habits, and your mind and not the results that are happening in the outside world.
Just think about it.
If you are only happy when you are rich, what happens when there is a downturn in the market and your entire industry is flipped on its head?
But if you are happy whenever you are working hard towards the attainment of a more glorious goal then markets can rise and fall and your happiness will not change a beat.
5. Find What Fulfills You
At the end of the day, we only have one life on this planet.
And as such, it is important that we spend most of our time doing that which gives us joy and fills our spirit.
Life is too short to waste on an uninspiring vision.
Figure out what fulfills you and go do that.
Do you love to write? Play music? Build websites? Travel?
Figure out your passion, figure out what fulfills you, and then find a way to make it your life.