Just Let Others Do It
The new book, Team Guy - Forging Men of Soul and Steel is available now on
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Masculinity these days appears to be under threat as never before and, maybe out of a fear of repeating the mistakes made by overly dominant patriarchies of the past, men young and old now find themselves unclear about what is expected of them in a modern society.
Millennials in particular seem to be in a real state of confusion over what it actually means to be male as we hurtle through this current century; many others appear to have no idea why it’s even important to achieve clarity around this issue.
No longer clear regarding what they believe about themselves or their place in society, far too many men appear to be washed up on a shore of confusion; beached somewhere between the hard headlands of pointless tradition and the anchorless flotsam of the open seas.
The old was never perfect and there were many negative traits stitched into the fabric of patriarchal institutions – and yet the ‘anything goes’ alternative touted now by many has robbed us of vital traits that once protected society as a whole and ensured a more stable environment for the nurture and sound development of the rising generations.
Yet the onslaught continues.
A quick Google search reveals that whilst there are around 33,400 results for the phrase “Toxic Femininity”, there are around 997,000 results for the phrase “Toxic Masculinity”. These figures indicate that much more is being said these days about how ‘poisonous’ men can be. There is no smoke without fire, that is true, but it’s fair to ask if the scales are really this imbalanced.
Instead of being celebrated, the media has increasingly sought to undermine many very positive masculine qualities. Of course it's perfectly true that any gender trait can become ‘poisonous’ if taken too far but, as any toxicologist will tell you, it’s the *dosage* that makes any substance become a poison rather than the substance itself.
“Are you a man – or just a rather tall boy?”
The ultimate result of this programming has triggered in some men a demeanour of constant apology - as if, deep down, they’re actually embarrassed to be a man.
Under the acid rain of the media supported by numerous academic studies that apparently ‘prove’ that all women are being disadvantaged and all men are by their nature somehow deficient, the lionhearts of many young men have seen their strength greatly eroded.
With this, their sense of personal responsibility has also dissolved and many young men have abandoned the helm of their ship for others to take control - often the exasperated females in their lives who are then forced to step in and rescue the situation.
Whatever age a boy might now be regarded to have become a man, it certainly seems to have risen sharply in the past few decades.
The new slogan in a post-Nike generation might as well read,
“Just let others do it.”
With this the new measure of a young man’s achievement seems to be scored by how much they got away with doing - or not doing - to the present date.
I’m all for the empowerment of women, in fact I’ve conducted workshops that are designed to do just that, but I'm left wondering why the television ads and shows apparently incapable of elevating the amazing virtues of womanhood without presenting the modern man alongside her as weak, slow, slovenly and indecisive. We need to acknowledge:
“The media does not
describe modern life;
it prescribes modern life.”
Far too many men have sought to defer to the women in their lives on matters that they should have ‘owned’. But, from what I’ve heard, many women are not celebrating this shift: they want their guy to carry his own weight, to guard their families, protect their homes, work their territory and earn well, to be clear on what they want, proactively lead and support and act in such a way that she, and others, honour what he stands for.
Whilst there are a few women who might long for the day when they finally have their man trained to act merely as a ‘butler, with benefits’, I hear a considerable number more crying out for a man who can stand up, remain wholly present, make clear decisions, take command and boldly captain their ship to a desirable haven.
Many women I’ve spoken to feel a lot more happy and secure when their man acts like a man, takes responsibility, looks out for her, protects and provides, sets direction and boundaries.
Of course, there are still many men on this planet who are unaware, insensitive and selfish; qualities that need to be removed from each of us – for none of us are immune to at least some measure of these traits. But as we embark on our clean-up operation, we need to be very careful that we are not throwing out the baby with the bath-water; not exorcising the inspiration in our efforts to oust the demons.
The Legend of Oakenthor - Scroll 9
If you've read TEAM ME you'll be familiar with the mythical Legend of Oakenthor that tracks the story of a young prince who is unexpectedly given the throne of his father's kingdom. Wrestling with the demands of his new role, he is aided by five advisers who share with him their unique perspectives and teach him that there are many ways to tackle the challenges that arise.
And arise they do.
The Continuing Story
Mingled in with the teachings of my new book, TEAM GUY, this story continues as another series of 8 scrolls. The focus in this sequel is more upon the King's general, Armadig, who faces some clear challenges and has to learn from others to grow in his abilities and become more effective in his role.
Here, you can read the first of these new scrolls.
The last of the sun’s rays were by now slashing weakly at their foes as the light of day descended towards a remorseless and forbidding sea. Dark, finger-shaped clouds tightened, one by one, around the fading star which appeared for a while to be frantically treading water the colour of newly spilled blood. But it finally and inevitably succumbed. Taking a final gasp of breath, it slumped in defeat behind a cold, unyielding horizon; vanishing from view and from memory.
The commoners in the square barely noticed nature’s glorious finale. The day had been cold enough for them already and now the weakened sun had abandoned the land to freeze. Only the evening’s entertainment distracted them from their stiff and sorry state; but distract them, it did.
For the people’s eyes were presently fixed on a young, muscular fighter who rose from the sawdust and dirt in the make-shift ring before them.
Stamping their feet on the wooden platforms set up for the contest; they watched the sweat-covered victor as he stood over the body of his opponent and raised his club high over his head to the delighted applause of those all around. The young man was panting for breath and bleeding in not a few places but his eyes shone with the fire of a champion and his cheeks flushed with his well-won success.
He was nowhere near the size of his opponent and he had entered the ring far less protected with leather or steel armour. His only weapon was one wooden pole, accompanied by a small but stout shield of oak but his speed and agility, not to mention his audacious self-belief, had enabled him to land several crippling and decisive blows to the legs of the hulking mass who had repeatedly charged him, finally laying him out with a blow to his crown with the end of his pole.
The dazed beast of a man had to be helped out of the sawdust-filled square; his laboured breath freezing almost audibly as it passed out between his blood-stained teeth.
It was Winter; it had been for over a month now and the nights came fast upon the Kingdom of Archayah with a bite that the townsfolk could only attempt to fend off with fur and fire.
The quelling of the Absalem rebellion in the Spring that year still fuelled much of what passed as tavern talk, all around the realm. No one in living memory had stood up against a King of Archayah as renegade Earl Tyran had done and, whilst the common people had settled back to normality, relieved the uprising was decisively over, there was still a tangible disquiet lingering in the air. There was still more to be done to bring the heart and soul of this kingdom together.
On top of this, attacks from the Marauders had become more frequent of late. They usually waited until the first signs of spring before braving the turbulent waters that separated their home in the Outer Isles from the mainland but something, whether more of hunger or of greed, had spurred them out of their dark dwellings even whilst Winter’s grip remained across the land.
They tended to raid and steal, rather than kill the inhabitants of the coastal reaches. Wiping them out would mean there would be little to steal by way of food and livestock the next season. It was not only livestock they were known to drag away, however, for that would be far more bearable for the coastlanders. These moral-less invaders had recently made a prize of the young, village girls whom they had snatched from their homes and such kidnappings had been happening more often than any previous year.
Silently, though with a growing sense of anger, King Sapler mused over these matters as he stared out of the Northern tower of his castle home. He was well aware that all was not right within the kingdom.
From the thatched, stone dwellings of the towns to the smoky wooden hovels of the fisherfolk around the Lakes, there was an unwelcomed and haunting whispering of fear that festered just beneath the open conversation. It was the kind of unspoken fear a forester might feel as he joked freely with his fellow lumberers around their evening camp fire but whose eyes squinted warily out at an encroaching darkness; towards uncertain sounds and the flicker of eyes from unnamed creatures in the undergrowth.
The common children felt it too. Older brothers frightened their younger siblings with stories of the forest ghouls and dark sprites as a way of masking their own fears. Those who had heard the songs of the bards would relay the tale of the two-headed Vorraghast of bygone days, that had been banished by a valiant king but was rumoured to be alive and well, even after a thousand years, and now plotted its return – and its revenge.
The townspeople found it impossible to separate facts from fiction regarding recent rumours of Earl Tyran’s current whereabouts, yet possibly the most reliable sources indicated that he had actually reached the Outer Isles by ship after abandoning his city. Some relayed that he had met such opposition that he departed the same day - with somewhat fewer men than had landed - and headed off to follow the fastest current westwards.
The first part of this tale would not be surprising because the Marauders of that region had been growing in number over the past few years. That, coupled with their infamous viciousness and impulsiveness, made them a terrible foe to confront and though Tyran would surely have been seeking their cooperation, they likely prized the opportunity for a fight more than the opportunity for the kind of friendship the renegade Earl sought to offer them.
Any trip westwards, however, would have been a perilous undertaking, if that was indeed their path; as no one had ever returned from the Open Seas to tell of what lay beyond. No one.
At the tavern adjoining the town square that evening, a broad figure with an escort of two, armed but admittedly quite relaxed, bodyguards pushed open the door and stood there for a moment, filling the door. His eyes scanned the timber-vaulted room, through veils of smoke and the flickering shadows of candlelight, until they rested on the face of the young man whose exploits in combat at the square had caught his eye.
The youth grew silent and stood up, his jovial demeanour changing for one cool and serious as the King’s General approached, expectantly waiting for the old warrior to state his intent. Armadig had thought he might simply deliver his invitation to the boy with a quiet word in his ear, whilst the noise of drinking crowd roared on around them, but the whole inn had fallen silent and all eyes were now upon the new guests and their chosen target.
The youngster was uncertain what to expect and so it was with some relief that he heard the General request his presence at a weapons trial the following morning at the castle – adding that he’d best not drink too much this night nor reach his bed too late for neither would help him perform his best.
The crowd roared with approval; celebrating their young hero. The boy, however, had appeared to have immediately sobered up, handed his half-emptied tankard to the bald man beside him and got up to leave, much to the chagrin of his fellow carousers and a couple of somewhat under-dressed women who had, in a somewhat less than subtle fashion, been edging their way closer to his muscular form on the bench where he’d sat.
The course of Eribin’s life, for that was the young warrior’s name, was about to take an upwards turn.
Order the new Kindle book TEAM GUY - Forging Men of Soul & Steel
Such a state of mind can occur in individuals engrossed in their activity – whether it’s work or play – but it can also be seen in teams that have stepped into a state of togetherness, of unity that has them operating is perfect sync with their colleagues.
Rebecca Soni – Winner of 8 Olympic Medals
Manifesting the Magic
In such a state, when the richness of the moment floods the senses - time seems to vanish, actions become effortless and even the sense of self becomes blurred as the performer and the performance merge into one.
Such a state is common to numerous lines of activity and so a variety of terms have been coined to label these moment: Jazz players call it ‘being in the pocket’ and other musicians ‘the Groove’, marathoners call it ‘the Runner’s High’, cricketers call it ‘the Zone’ and the US Navy SEALs speak of activating ‘the switch’.
When I asked Floyd Woodrow, a former Major in the British SAS, to describe these states he surmised,
What actually is flow?
FLOW is a period of intense focus when you find yourself completely absorbed in what you’re doing and, when you need to deliver the goods, you’re also performing at the very edge of your capabilities.
Long distance drivers know it well, computer programmers go there often; book readers, gamers and singers get so absorbed in it that the feel like they’re on another planet.
- Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
- Merging of action and awareness
- Loss of reflective self-consciousness (loss of awareness of oneself as a social actor)
- A sense that one can deal with the situation because one knows how to respond to whatever happens next
- Distortion of temporal experience (typically a sense that time has passed faster than normal)
- Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, such that often the end goal is just an excuse for the process
As a leader it is vital that you understand how to get the best out of yourself and of your team. This can only really be achieved through an understanding of the factors that enable each one to get into their personal state of FLOW.
With this understanding, you’ll learn what you can do to set yourself up to spend your hours in your own flow state and achieve much more – whilst also enjoying what you do a whole lot more.
Love Poetry by Pad
Words once spoken
While so much
Is still unsaid
Dragged across a desert
Tracks long swept away
Water saved, evaporates
Nothing is remembered
Nothing is recalled
Forty years of endless pain
Wandering in aim
Drifting through a barren plain
So many scattered seeds
The parched land raised only weeds
On the rockiest of ground
I sowed it all.
And she came
For one night
Just one night
Free to be myself
You always were
One night collide
Life once lost in dreams
Erupts upon the scene
Sparks of fire
Ignite the wire
Illuminate the screen.
And her rain still washes over me
This sweet, sweet whispering, enveloping
Monsoon of love
So much still longs to be said
Of words once spoken
Develop your understanding of the Lover to deepen your relationships with others, to help galvanise teams and increase the depth of your connection with those important to you.
Do You Want Out or Do You Want "UP!"
There's been no notable rise in your earnings; no improvement in your location, no particular progress in career or enhancement to your most significant relationships.
Here are the essential factors that are holding you back:
- No vision
- No character
- No message
- No financial plan
- No visibility
- No influence
Let’s take those one at a time.
1. No vision
Everything starts with vision. Creating a crystal clear picture in your mind of your desired destination is vital to any kind of progress in business and life. Without vision, your daily tasks are unfocused and pointless. Your vision is your purpose. It gives you a reason to do what you do and helps you avoid wasting time on unimportant matters. There’s no point having a vision of something you’re not passionate about, so take time to envision something you really, really want to have happen.
If you know who you are and are acting according to a positive code of conduct it’s almost impossible to stand still. People notice people of character, those who are trustworthy, reliable, responsible, truthful and diligent. There are enough people in the world with ideas – but too few with these vital qualities. Get known for these character traits and you’ll find opportunity will come knocking on your door. Maybe not the next day…. But that’s ok, you’re good at PATIENCE too.
3. No message
What have you got to say for yourself? Everyone moving UP in the world has something valuable to share with their business, their customers, their families and the world at large. What is it you stand for? Do you have a story to tell that others would find valuable or a message that is worth hearing? Whilst we need a foundation of credibility and character, we should still recognise that the impact you make is always less about what you’re saying and more about the way you’re saying it.
To fail to get to grips with your personal money matters is to plan disaster. Money responds to active management that is based upon a considered plan – the outcomes depend almost entirely upon the degree to which things are managed (a symptom of you money mindset). People think that all their exciting dreams will come true if they only became a millionaire. The truth is that the vast majority of millionaires became what they are by diligently focusing on the boring stuff. You need to discover how liberating and generally brilliant the boring stuff can be.
5. No visibility
It is your network that defines your networth. People need to know who you are if you are to succeed in the world. This doesn’t mean you need to go around shouting ‘Look at me, I’m great!’, rather it just means that you should confidently share what you have of genuine value with others. Why remain the world’s best kept secret? There is no excuse for staying invisible when you have a multiple billion pound communication network within reach every moment of the day (and night).
There are many people who have visibility but very little influence. Visibility without trust is of no use to you, your boss or your customers. But if continually provide value to those around you, if you are reliable and true to your word, you will increase in your influence immensely. Get clever about this by finding people who would benefit from promoting what you do to their own networks.
Oh, did I say ‘seven’ reasons?
7. No Coach
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, ambitious executive, athlete or business owner, personal coaching will help envision you, challenge you, stretch you and create a plan of action - empowering and supporting you as you take huge leaps forward into a magnificent future.
I've come across a few people who proclaim themselves as 'Master Coaches' and yet they have no coach of their own. This seems to me to be a major flaw. Certainly we can learn many vital life lessons from books but all of us have blind spots - areas where we simply can't see the issues we need to face.
Either these 'Master Coaches' one one their blind spots is that fact that they have a blind spot (or two) !... or they simply have low ambitions.
It's Time to Step Up
Whoever it is, it's so important to make a decision to invest in yourself. Get someone into your life who is able and committed to seeing you become all you can be; with a new vision, developing a strong character, crafting your message, establishing a clear financial plan, increasing your visibility and influence as you rise.
If you're a business owner, professional athlete or performer and are completely serious are want see what personal coaching can do for you, give me a little detail here: teamme.com/contact and it the fit is good, we'll get talking.
WEALTH, HEALTH and HAPPINESS
Wealth You've got it all. Of course, there's always more, but you're really not doing badly by anyone's standards.
Health Well, you may not be doing too badly but there are a few things that you wish were better, right?
Happiness? Hmmmm… there's a question.
Because you’ve probably found there's at least one area in life where things really aren't going as you'd like. It may be an area of pain, of unfulfilled dreams, of unresolved issues; Some place where you've become stuck. Very stuck. So, what can you about this? If you haven’t seen progress for a while, then you really should look into discussing things with a personal coach.
If you've had coaching in the past (at least if you had good coaching) you'll know how remarkably empowering it can be; how quickly big issues can be resolved. You'll know it's not about lying on a couch and endlessly talking about your problems with a total stranger It's about getting laser-sharp clarity, overcoming roadblocks, finding tangible solutions and taking intelligent action until you get your desired result.
As a coach, I've helped to guide countless people just like you to ditch the doldrums, achieve their aims and find fulfilment. Through my tailored 7 step programs I ensure that you address the central issues - your driving needs, beliefs and behaviours The things that belie your current state and have kept you stuck where you are.
We demolish these hindrances, achieve new insights, set up more effective ways of handling situations - and see you rise to a much stronger place.
Does it actually work? Well, here are a few comments past clients have made after their coaching with me:
"The one-on-one coaching I've received from Pad has been absolutely invaluable - undoubtedly been the best coaching I've ever experienced. Pad helped me to sort through the cluttering, shuttering and muttering and get completely clear on what I wanted. With this has come a new vigour, sense of purpose and happiness.”
“The feeling of empowerment and confidence this coaching has given me I can’t fully put into words. I feel whole in a way I haven’t felt for ...well, ages!” Hardy S.
"Now I have the tools to know what to do –before I was just floundering!” Martin D.
Is coaching right for YOU?
Only YOU can choose to take action now.
Let’s get talking.
Do you feel there's not enough time left to get it all done?
What are you to do?
And yet there's a significant danger of serious disempowerrment if that dream looks too big to accomplish.
If you ask, 'Where Should I start?'
I'll say, 'Where You Are.'
As we've often heard, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” yet every traveler must have a destination (destiny) in mind from the start. Walking without purpose is called WANDERING. Wandering is fine as a form of relaxation (one of my current clients builds 'wandering time' into his daily schedule - he gets refreshed, gets ideas, gets back to productive work. He earns a full time salary on a 4 hour hour week. Sweet.)
"What do you want?"
"Where are you now?"
As you look at what it is you desire, make sure you pass the first test: check how you feel deep inside when you say to yourself,
"That is mine!"
But if there is hesitation and doubt, step back and try saying...
"That WILL BE mine!"
If neither of these statments ring true deep inside (and you have to get brutally honest with yourself on this) then take a further step back and try this statement...
"This is POSSIBLE!"
People have rightly said, "Choose the level you want to play at." But you must ensure that this chosen level is in line with your unconscious thinking. If part of you deep inside doesn't think you deserve the end result, for example, it will work against you - and it will win!
So, what now?
- Dare to dream
- Revive that vision you used to have
- As you think about it, envision it, feel it, look inside yourself and identify any evident unease with it.
- Take time to write down, to put into words, the feelings you have around this vision
- Then create a COMPLETELY BELIEVABLE statement that sums up that vision and hold this before you daily until you've able to TRULY raise your sights and believe for more.
Speak what is true - true of NOW and true of your FUTURE.
Let me know if this has been helpful.
Pad is a trusted adviser to business leaders across the globe. He is Director at Come Alive Success Coaching ltd. and the Author of TEAM ME - How to Play Your Best Game in Life, and TEAM GUY - Forging Men of Soul & Steel.
Pad works with high net worth individuals to help them connect to their unique identity, illuminate paths of opportunity and reignite their passion for life.
More about Pad >>
Law Of Attraction