By Steve Mayeda
We Don’t Have An ‘Information Problem’
We don’t have an ‘information problem’ in our culture we have an ‘Identity problem’. This is something I am very passionate about. Identity is the foundation of TSL. If you were to explore one of our courses, that would be the first step – Exploring Your Identity. The Idea is once you know who you are, it is easy to apply a dynamic or method to build connections based on you. In the nearly 10 years of working at an elite level of men’s improvement I have never had an interest in getting men results at the expense of who they are. Improvement is dependent on authenticity and self-expression.
In the self-help and dating industries it is avoided to sell better to the ever growing discontent and frustrated male population. They sell results and information to an empty Identity. The ‘Industries of Improvement’ sell a fantasy. People can only believe in a fantasy when they have no reality. When a culture of men has no identity, the only option is fantasy.
Men want direction and excellence. However they must realize that is dependent on them. In any form of excellence – Dating, Lifestyle, Career, Sport or any other expression you’re capable of – there is only room at the top for the man that can full express who he is, honestly, authentically and proudly. This is a principle of excellence. You can only be great if you’re yourself. If you’re being great for someone else, then you have achieved something else.
Identity & Mistaken
Your Identity is you. The image you think you’re supposed to be is your mistaken identity. When you have a relationship with your mistaken identity it makes it impossible for you to find fulfillment. You can achieve any goal, hit any point of success, yet you will not find satisfaction until you can be you. Chasing someone’s image can never be you. Identity is not the image you think you should be. It is the image that you are.
Here are 5 things you can use as a guide to keep true to who you are. Be the man you were born to be. Stop worrying about what you can’t do and start taking responsibility for the opportunity of life that is in front of you.
1 – Honor Your Weakness, Honor Your Strength
Within every man there is the Strong and the Weak. We all have sides to us that are great and powerful, and we all have side to us that are weak and frail. In our culture and lack of masculine image we have become reliant on an iconic view of man. We don’t have a real life male role model, we have an icon. We have a fantasy of man, rather than a dad or male figure that will love us, care for us and show us how to live.
In a fantasy world we lose the value of reality. We lose the value of weakness. We model ourselves off the impossible, and reach for a goal that is an image outside of ourselves. We hide as much of the weakness within as we can, and exaggerate or manufacture strength to maintain that image. Many times we consider ‘image’ to be our culture’s highest value. When we look towards image we negate humanity’s greatest value – connection.
We forget how powerful our weakness is. We forget that reality, life and expression is dependent on strength & weakness.
My own personal weaknesses, my flaws and my shortcomings – irresponsibility, lack of organization, failures, lack of success, through the filter of ‘connection’ (humanity’s highest value) stop existing as points of shame, and start becoming representations of me. They keep me humble, allowing me to work harder. They give me the clarity, unity and the compassion to know that if someone, or something is more powerful than me it too has a weakness that I can connect & relate upon.
Our idols and heroes have the same amount of life as we have within us. There is no better or worse. All moments have the same value.
If we deny our weak we iconize strength. We can only live in a world or detached dreams, where the reality of you is hidden. Your strengths and weakness are great, because they’re an expression of you. Stop augmenting them to fit someone else’s standards of life.
2 – The Myth of Success & Failure
There is no success or failure in self-expression. We fear and run from a myth. There is only expression and the happiness of that expression. All I can ever be is myself. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. I hear over and over again how men want to succeed. I hear how they want to succeed with money, women and status.
I have been the best many times in my life and at many different things. There are 2 things that I can tell you from that. 1)I never remained the best, and 2) the longer I held on to that need to be the best the more miserable I was.
I found much more satisfaction when I could look you in the eye, and be myself. Whether I failed or succeeded was a story that served the experience we shared, not my self-worth. In my life, I have failed in major ways. I have made money and lost it, I have lost my family, I have had every opportunity to succeed and still failed countless times. For many of those things I felt terrible, I felt loss, sadness and hurt. However the success (if there is any) comes from me taking responsibility and expressing me. It always comes back to owning and honoring myself first. Once I do that I have the opportunity repair, change and amend things that I need to.
I can make more money, I can amend my relationship and I can build a foundation of expression. I can live my identity and be proud of that. Once I stopped making my identity change to achieve an image I found happiness and fulfillment with simply being me.
3 – Explore Yourself & Live Your Ambition
If we explore ourselves we will find ourselves. The answer is within. Our ambition is the pursuit of what will benefit us. Many people mix up ambition with the reaction of what they’re supposed to do. Whatever our goal is it is not the achievement of this goal that will make us happy. It is our relationship with that goal that will satisfy and fulfill us. This is the pursuit and the chase.
The ‘What’ doesn’t give us our satisfaction, it gives us direction. The ‘How’ & the ‘Why’ gives us our satisfaction and sense of Identity. The ‘How’ & the ‘Why’ come from within. In our culture we have men that chase and pursue goals that are based on other people. Men’s ambition is not their’s but an over zealous panic to not fail or be stagnant. Men build their lives off what they’re supposed to do and not what they want to do. Men have stopped expressing and started reacting.
Explore yourself. Find what you believe in and pursue it.
When you can remove what anyone thinks of you, when you can remove what you think about failing and you still want it you’re probably on the right track. However, you’ll only know once you start walking that walk.
4 – Own Your Life
There are no excuses. There is no blame. There is just you. Expression, fulfillment, empowerment, honor, pride, compassion have nothing to do with why it didn’t happen. If you’re truly expressing, that is all you can be responsible for. If it didn’t work look at how you can connect that expression better. This goes for all things.
If you want a better sex life, Own Your Sexuality. Own what you want, own who you are, and own your urge. If you get rejected…yeah sure, she might have been a ‘bitch’, or ‘that guy cock-blocked you’. What did you do about it? It isn’t anyone else’s problem but yours. Your urge doesn’t change. Your sexuality doesn’t change. How you ‘connect’ needs to change. The right people will connect, the wrong people will disconnect if you’re expressing your true self.
If you are looking to get in shape, of course you have a different body type and metabolism. You’re totally RIGHT – YOU ARE DIFFERENT. Own it. Your body type isn’t going to change, your metabolism isn’t going to change (right away), learn how to ‘connect’ your body to a diet and exercise plan that can work. Health is the goal, image is a byproduct of health. It doesn’t make sense to chase an image of health at the expense of health, but we do it all the time.
If you want to be an expression of who you are and live by ideals then you need to be invested in the process of change. If you’re invested in the process of staying stagnant spend your time blaming, talking shit and investing in the excuse.
Hitting walls happens. Own it. If you own it, there’s a point where you need to just shut up, and climb those walls. The longer I am alive I realize the best I can do is be me. Life gives me great things. Sometimes it slaps me in the face for no reason. That is never a good enough excuse to give up on being me. In fact it is more of a reason to take responsibility, look within, change what I can and climb the wall in front of me.
5 – Express Your Life
If you’re not true to it, it will humble you. Expression is meant to be authentic. If you’re authentic and honest, people might not always be able to see you. You may feel alone. You may get rejected, but what a great gift that is. You’re given the gift of choice and diversity of expression. Yet, because we are caught in the myth of failure, making our lives dependent on what other people think. We deny our expression to look good. In my life it isn’t about the perseverance of my expression, or the struggle of believing in my expression.
It is plain and simple. It is only satisfying when I expressed who I am. When I ‘fixed’ my expression to achieve a results, get someone else’s attention or live in the image of what life was supposed to be it may have felt good for a while, but it soon left. And when it left, I was left without pride, faith and a foundation of me.
Your life, no matter what you think it is worth has greatness in it. Not the kind of greatness that comes from a ‘Facebook like’, or a crowd of strangers cheering for you. Your life has the kind of greatness within that comes out when you sit with someone in front of you and show honesty, compassion, empathy and love.
That greatness within comes easiest when we see it within first. It doesn’t matter what our life has been like, the expression of who you are, what you feel and the connection to another human being is one of the most valuable things that you can ever experience.
Try it. Talk to someone, share yourself, your heart, your thoughts and your emotions. It may not connect right away, but when it does connect in that moment you will see one great thing. It is the force of nature called you. Remember it, embrace it, and live it. It has the ability to make you happy and change the world around you…starting with that person in front of you.
Your Identity is you – Stop giving it to someone else.
Live Your Life & Own It!
Founder of TSL
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