There’s that holds us back in life that doesn’t need to hold us back.
We think we have to play the role that fits where we were born, who we were born to, and when we were born. The reality is we can choose much more than we realize.
We get to decide what we like, what path we take, who we aspire to become, what we aspire to do in life. We control a heck of a lot more than we realize, especially in terms of scope.
Most think small, a few think big. It’s a decision, a choice that’s available to all of us.
Again, a choice. We can choose to focus on what we can control or we can choose to focus on what we cannot control.
An event happens, it isn’t bad or good, yet we place labels on it that send us into discouragement and self-pity, which are very attractive ways to think initially, but destructive in the long run.
How we see ourselves is reflective of who we present to the world and how we act. If we’re lazy, we see ourselves as not able to achieve what we want to achieve, hence, giving little effort.
If we quit, give up, aim smaller than we should, give little effort, it’s not because WE are not good enough to get what we want, it’s because we don’t see ourselves as being good enough to get what we want and on the scope we want it on.
The answer to standards is, of course, to see yourself differently, but even more, to act differently and to show yourself that you are THE MAN.
I mean, what have you got to lose?
You can act like you’re the man by rising early, working hard, thinking bigger, even dressing better, training harder, and doing everything in your power to be the best man you can possibly be…
…And in doing so actually become a better man (at worst), and at best, achieve even greater things than you ever thought possible.
Or you can give mediocre effort, improve incrementally, and never see what you’re made of, never become the man you can become.
It all starts with choices….
I love the line from Ballers, when the Rock’s character tells a story about his old man meeting his long time boss, and realizing one very important fact in life:
That we’re all just guys. Some guys think they can, and some guys think they can’t.
There’s no real difference in talent or innate ability when it comes to success, in fact IQ is a horrible predictor of financial success, often working to lower one’s chances of becoming wealthy.
And no matter where you’re from, how you look, or what you like to do, there’s usually a success story, and if there isn’t, become the first, someone has to… Why not you?
We can choose to make excuses or we can choose to hold ourselves to a higher standard, the standard of the man we’re trying to become, not shaded by insecurity or laziness, mediocrity or safety, but fueled by pure, raw, unsaturated ambition.
Hold yourself to a higher standard.
Be the man, now, don’t wait, act.
> > Get MAN GREENS today!
Imagine doing something unforgivable. You think others may not forgive you or may be better off without you or knowing what you did, but most of all, you can’t forgive yourself. Maybe it’s an act, a moment, or a way of behaving you’ve adopted over time that’s unforgivable.
You can’t look at yourself in the mirror. You destroyed the idea of who you thought you were, and in doing so you let everyone around you down. You feel like an absolute piece of shit, but you’re still standing…
Being at the lowest is horrible, the true lowest, being disgusted with yourself, ashamed, embarrassed, all of it. It’s bad, but there is liberation in the fact that you can handle it. That fact is missed by far too many today.
Rock bottom, to too many men, is the end. Rock bottom should be the spot from which you rise from. When you’ve hit rock bottom, everything else is a bonus, it’s borrowed time, it’s a second chance, it’s a new beginning.
There’s no denying, however, that it’s painful.
I just watched the movie, A Star is Born, which I would never have actively sought out had I not stumbled upon it in the middle of a song that the lead actor, Bradly Cooper, was singing. I liked the song, so I started watching the movie from the beginning.
If you haven’t watched it, this article contains massive spoilers, so watch, then read this.
By the end of the movie I had a salty liquid streaming down my face, I think they’re called tears. I was alone, smoking a stogie, sipping on scotch, watching what could be called a romantic movie for about ¾’s of the film, getting choked up.
Cooper’s character is a man in pain. Maybe you’re a man in pain. I’ve been a man in pain and I’ll again be a man in pain. He meets a lady – played wonderfully by Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Cooper is a famous singer in the movie, a country/rock kind of singer, who has great songs in the film and they’re now on my playlist.
The famous singer meets the talented but undiscovered lady and helps her become even more famous than him, which he struggles with. As he declines she rises, and that seems to be a big part of the struggle with him in the film, but there’s more to it.
He sees who she is, the best that she can be, but also how she’s acting completely out of line with the woman he knows, which crushes him because he can’t say much about it without sounding jealous, a burden he carries. He knows who she is versus who she’s acting as, even though the rest of the world rewards and applauds her for her catchy tunes and outlandish shows.
As he’s ushered out of the limelight, she’s ushered in, and that he can’t handle, either.
Booze and drugs have been his go to crutch for years and he dives back into them, embarrassing her and – as others tell him – holding her back in the process. Though he knows she’s acting less than she can by creating crappy songs that sell but aren’t true to who she is, he sees himself as a weight dragging her down, holding her back, a weight that he eventually cuts loose through suicide.
Aided, of course, by the booze and the drugs, he hangs himself in his garage, multiplying his pain and putting it onto everyone else’s shoulders. He can’t handle the shame, so he makes others deal with it and more in confusing, hopeless, emptiness.
When I was 15 or 16 I was downstairs in my folks house talking with a cutie I was dating at the time when my mom walked into the room in tears, telling me abruptly that, ‘Johnny’s dead, he killed himself.’
Johnny was my cousin, the cousin I knew best, saw the most, a man who had a kind heart and a truly tortured soul. Suicide was too much, though. He hung himself in the basement of his home, his pregnant wife found him dangling from the ceiling, and his daughter was too young to really know him.
Watching that film brought back that pain, that feeling of confusion and hopelessness and senseless loss that didn’t need to happen.
My cousin didn’t need to kill himself.
He could have talked about what he was going through, whatever shame or pain he had could have been forgiven. He could have raised his family with pride and honor and I could be smoking a cigar with him on my porch, now that I live in the same city as his wife and two daughters.
We, humans, men, we do some bad things. We do some shameful things. We fail. We don’t live up to our expectations or those of others. We can be very selfish. We can be mean. We can dive deep into pity, into selfishness, into despair, thinking that from an outside perspective we have no reason for being here, that our usefulness is gone, that everyone around us is better off without us.
We lie to ourselves, making suicide the practical and only solution to the problem, which is us.
Sometimes it’s aided – as it is in the movie – by a piece of shit who tells us that we need to be removed from the picture.
It is never true that those around us are better off without us.
It is never factual that whatever pain we feel or shame we feel or despair we feel is enough for us to end our lives.
Everyone who knew my cousin felt pure pain when he died. They felt as though they could have done more. They felt responsible. Of course, he was the only one responsible, but that doesn’t change the daily pain and thoughts and questions we all have about him.
When you’ve done something so wrong that you can’t look at yourself in the mirror.
You’re stuck with despair, shame, and pain, and now what?
You’ve hit rock bottom, and you can always handle it. It’s never as bad as you think it is or will be.
You’re living on borrowed time, so do more, live more, help more, get out of your own head, get off the bottle, off the drugs, I’d guess that most suicides happen in drunk or drugged states. Don’t put that crap into your body.
Ask for help, for sure, but understand the freeing feeling of living on borrowed time.
Understand the power of rock bottom, of having nowhere deeper or darker to go, and smile at the darkness, own it, be in it, don’t avoid it or dull it, become it.
Build something from that darkness. Build a legacy that will eventually bring you to the light.
If you don’t think you can make your life better, do everything you possibly can to become the man that will make everyone else’s life better.
I’ve written this email/newsletter/article in a few different ways, from a few different angles…
What started out as an attempt to create an exercise for myself to make sure I’m living true, thinking true, and acting true to who I am and who I am at my best, turned into another question altogether, the notion of understanding what’s true by identifying what is not true. (read: Be Your Own Man)
Sometimes we better understand what something is by identifying first what it isn’t.
You’re not strong if you’re weak. You’re not good if you’re bad. You’re not a man if you’re a woman. You’re not a man if you’re soft, timid, cowardly, useless, and so on.
Defining Who You Are
There are questions to answer a bit later, but who you are is essentially your potential. It’s not who you’ve become because of diminished goals, because of settling, because of surroundings. Who you are is best defined by this scenario… (read: 15 Steps to Becoming a Better Man)
You live a good life. You work hard, do good, support and provide for your family, and then you die. Upon death you reach the pearly gates where you’re met by Saint Peter who introduces you to a guy you recognize but can’t put a name to. He looks like you, but better. He stands taller and stronger. He has a sense of pride about something, a mission, achievement, he’s driven.
The man is who you could have been filled with everything you could have achieved, with everything you could have accomplished. Meeting him hits you like a ton of bricks. He’s you, but devoid of the laziness, removed of the intentions that went unacted upon. He thought bigger. He didn’t see limitations only obstacles that could be overcome. He didn’t pity himself. He wore out before he rusted out. He chose to see the good rather than dwelling on the bad. By the end of his life he looked like a different man because of these characteristics and choices.
This is you. This is who you have to be true to, not the guy who holds too much self-doubt, or the guy who says he’s going to do things and never does them. With that definition, let’s move on. (read: The Lost Art of Fulfillment)
The Trap of Becoming a Fraud Because of A Lack of Confidence
Listen, we’re all acting and thinking in some way that isn’t true to who we are. We’re influenced by ads and marketing and culture. We compare ourselves to what we want to be and to who others are.
The fraud is often the result of a lack of confidence. It comes about because we’re unaware of who we can be, blind to who we ought to be, so we try to become someone else.
The fraud is rooted in laziness. We don’t want to think deeply, so we stop at an incorrect conclusion. We don’t want to risk, so we copy someone else’s ideas or follow someone else’s advice.
At its worst, the fraud is weakness. It’s the guy who takes the easy route, who doesn’t call out evil because he’s afraid of the consequences that will follow.
If you know who you are, what you believe, your values, morals, ethics, and desires, and you have the courage to live by them, you cannot be a fraud.
Just like we humans today are the result of being stacked upon previous generations, their victories, mistakes, failures, and successes, who you are is a collection of past knowledge and present ideas.
You’re both an original and a tapestry.
You, however, have to choose what and why you take from others, and what you create completely anew.
Don’t Adopt Someone Else’s Dreams
The worst we can do is to try to live someone else’s life. From a misdirection aspect, we have to curtail everything about who we are to succeed at something that we are not.
Question 1: What are your goals and dreams?
Spend Sunday thinking about what they really are and why they really are. Wanting power, wealth, happiness, a big company or a large ranch is fine, just understand why you want it and question whether it’s truly what you want.
Happiness and Misery
We all have different senses of humor. Different things make us happy and other things make us miserable.
It took me a while to really think about what really makes me happy, and the times I’m the happiest, and the times I’m the least happy. For myself, I need 3 things above all else:
1. A challenge.
And they all tie into one another. When I’m working on something that’s challenging and I’m excited about and hopeful about – meaning there’s real evidence that it’ll bear fruit and help others and become something big – time stands still, in fact, there’s not enough hours in a day.
Add in good relationships and newness, and I’m at my happiest. I need new things. I need to see new places, try new things, get better new skills. I need to be improving, and there needs to be struggle in the improvement. Monotony makes me miserable, as does comparison.
When I’m comparing myself to what I’d rather have or be doing or what others are doing or what they have, I’m miserable. Extreme solitude is also not great, we need to share, we need to benefit others and benefit from others.
Question 2: What are your happiest times? What are your most miserable times?
I’ll Never Be That
I’ll never be the envious fella. I’ll never be the lazy fella. I’ll never be the guy proclaiming all he’s going to do when everyone around him knows he’s not going to do it. I’ll never be the guy who sets out to hurt others, I’d much rather be the guy who makes others laugh and helps others.
I’ll never be the poor guy, the broke guy who has no power to help others. I just don’t want that. I’ll never be the insecure guy. I’ll never be the down, depressed guy. I’ll never be the low energy guy, I’ll never be the small thinking guy. I’ll never be the scared guy, the timid, soft guy who doesn’t do what’s necessary because it’s too difficult.
The fact is that I’ve been each of these guys before at some moment in time. That’s when you have to step back and identify why, what’s making me act like the man I do not want to be and get rid of it?
Question 3: Who do you never want to become? What or who are making you become that guy?
Morals, Ethics, Values
Much of this is already laid out in who you are and who you vow to never become. But we truly have to identify the ethics, values, and morals we think are important, write them down in code form, and have the courage to live by them no matter the consequence.
Will you earn by any means necessary? Will you turn a blind eye to those doing wrong or will you step in even if there consequences aren’t good?
I value risk, I don’t want to act because I’m afraid of risk. I value effort, I never want to be lazy. I value my word, both to myself and others, I do what I set out to do. I value courage, I will always move forward in spite of fear and often because of fear, chasing it rather than running from it. I value confidence, I won’t get down on myself or pity my situation. I think it’s ethically wrong to waste time speaking ill of others, to waste time thinking and not acting when the action is clear, to waste time doing things that make me worse, that degrade my body or my mind or my relationships or my potential. (read: Be Toxic)
Hopefully that helps.
Question 4: What are your morals, values, and ethics?
Be Your Own Man, Don’t Be a Fraud
You can be a good fraud. You can be kind and well-intended, but fraudulent. You can be nice, but be a fraction of who you can be, that guy you met at the pearly gates.
Don’t spend your life living by someone else’s ideals and ethics, their desires and dreams and goals. Don’t belittle who you are because you think someone else is greater than you.
Don’t look up to people, admire their actions, what they’ve done, their discipline, but don’t idealize them. Most often, they’ve simply made the right decision and had the courage and discipline to see it through.
Their potential is no different than yours.
Their worth is no greater than yours unless worth is judged by what they’ve done, in that case, they’ve simply done more. And you can do more.
I admire what Theodore Roosevelt did, the manner in which he lived, how to worked tirelessly and did what others thought impossible or just too difficult to do, and there are many others like him throughout history, but they’re all just guys, with the same struggles as we all have.
We all have struggles, and we all must overcome them.
Understanding who we truly are, and having the BALLS to live the best life we can possibly live, on our own terms, is our task.
Get after it.
Founder of Man Greens
MAN GREENS was created because of a void…
For years I used greens, but as I was writing and researching the Man Diet (grab your free copy here) I began to see ingredients in the various greens supplements I’d use that would increase estrogen.
That got my attention…
As I began looking into this potentially powerful supplement (if it’s done right), I found a ton of other mistakes in almost every greens supplement I came across.
All of them increased estrogen, but a lot of them were just empty b.s. that really did nothing.
> > MAN GREENS vs Best-Selling Greens (video)
In the video I do a comparison between MG and this best-selling greens supplement that has GREAT marketing, a ton of ingredients, and sells like hotcakes.
It’s one of the best-selling greens supplements there is, and you’ll be shocked at what’s actually in it when you look at it from the right perspective.
I was so drawn to greens because they should be the first supplement anyone takes.
They’re (or should be) filled with ingredients you don’t normally have in your diet that are legit superfoods.
They should help you focus, give you energy, keep you healthy, help you lose fat and build muscle…
…But by-in-large greens supplements take this idea that greens should be a foundational supplement and fill it with empty nonsense.
They take this desire we all have to be healthier and to eat healthier, and promise the world while delivering nothing.
Obviously with Man Greens I’m over-delivering.
I’ve added a few things that increase testosterone, lower cortisol, and block estrogen, while giving FULL amounts of the ingredients men need to thrive with their health, vitality, libido, and energy.
The best inventions are those that solve a problem.
MG solves both the problem of us not getting enough superfoods in our diet (nearly impossible to do naturally), and the problem of greens supplements not delivering those superfoods in high enough amounts, but also putting destructive ingredients into their formulas.
Give the video a look over.
If you haven’t yet, grab MAN GREENS.
P.S. MG fuels a certain lifestyle…
Last weekend I fished, hiked, kayaked, had beers and played pool with the fellas, worked, fixed up the yard, and smoked a lovely stogie.
It’s for the guy who never stops, and never stops aiming higher.
Get after it!
Be your own man.
“A man does not die of love or his liver or even of old age; he dies of being a man.” — Miguel de Unamuno
Personally, I’m not 100% sure about what being my own man is, not completely. I still question whether a belief is mine or because of some other influence, the same with a thought or a perspective.
Every morning I read. Each book both opening my mind and influencing how I think.
I’ll play golf or shoot or smoke a stogie at least once a week with a buddy. Every time we talk about business, family, life, politics, religion, and so forth. Sometimes – just like with a book – I’ll adopt a belief that makes sense and that I agree with, sometimes, I’m sure, I’ll allow the pal or the book or some post to influence how I act without it being completely in line with who I am.
Methinks this is inevitable, especially today.
We’re sold what to think, what to aspire to have, what’s important, what to believe, how to vote, and who to be in every conversation we have with others, in every great book we pick up, and in every TV show, movie, or piece of social media we consume.
It’s so constant that it becomes difficult to know who we genuinely are, what we genuinely believe and want and who we’re trying to become.
Just writing this I think there’s an answer in that previous sentence…
Who we’re trying to become.
This is who we are. We’re not born having achieved a single thing, learned a single skill, or done anything of value besides making our parents happier.
From that day forward we chase potential.
Sometimes we spend decades chasing it in the wrong manner, chasing loose women, fancy cars, drunken experiences that we’ll seldom remember.
Sometimes the incorrect chase is found in safety. We don’t aim high enough, we degrade who we think we are to fit our current circumstances, we avoid failure and thus avoid being ambitious enough.
Other times, and this is most prevalent, we chase our potential based off of what others we know have done, are doing, or are telling us we should do.
We become a whole made up of fractions of everyone we know, everyone we’ve read, and everyone we’ve watched. We inevitably end our lives never having lived them, never having walked in our own boots.
So how, then, does one become his own man?
How do we truly figure out who that is, and in the most ambitious, audacious, and daring manner possible?
You’re not mediocre. The more I read about great men in history and see and meet multimillionaires and billionaires and titans in various realms, the more I see that greatness is perspective, how we see ourselves, not who we’re born as.
The truth is we all are actively degrading who we are by seeing ourselves as less than we have the capacity to become, but finding that avenue to chase, the things that make up who you are, your genuine interests, beliefs, motivations, desires, plans, and what you want in life need to be clarified.
The answer isn’t immediate.
It takes trial and error and thought.
You can’t spend your entire day being influenced. You need peace, silence, and in my case, a stogie and an hour and a half to think, to find clarity, to pray, to work out decisions in my own mind rather than allowing someone else’s mind to dictate my actions.
I think this requires growth as well as clarity and understanding.
You have to become a better man to really understand your potential, to have the virtues in place to be able to determine lies from truth, influence from genuine desire.
Which is why I highly recommend you – at least once – complete the only course on becoming a better man, the 12 Virtues of Manliness.
…And you should do it today.
The longer we live not being ourselves, not chasing what we truly want and living as the man we want to become rather than waiting to become him, the further away we move from that marker, that man, that life that we’re genuinely and ambitiously here to live.
Get stronger. Get smarter. Get closer to your potential.
P.S. Spend some time thinking about desires alone…
Which ones are yours? Which ones are because of an external influence? Which should you ditch and which should you keep?
Who do YOU want to become? What do you want to do in this life? And, most importantly, what’s most important to you?
…Not anyone else, but what’s most important to you… Make a list.