This one’s going to be maybe a little shorter than it has in the past, but it’s a very important message, and it’s one that I think, well, I know personally that I really didn’t utilize in my life for a very long time. In fact, I’ve probably only been thinking heavily about evolving, and growing and expanding over the past 10 years because leading up to that point, I really wasn’t evolving. I wasn’t growing, I wasn’t getting better, I wasn’t improving.
The reason I titled this Evolve or Die, is I don’t quite literally mean you’re going to die. What I mean is that you might suffer some sort of emotional, or intellectual, or mental, or spiritual death and I can tell you, I talk with men every single day who are walking around like lifeless zombies wandering from a task, to a task, to a task. They don’t have any clarity, any purpose, any direction in their life and frankly for all intents and purposes, they might as well be dead because they’re walking around like the living dead and you might find yourself in that situation.
You may be in that situation right now and that’s the last thing I want for you because society needs men who aren’t wandering around with no direction. What we need is highly motivated, ambitious, dedicated, noble, capable men who are growing, and evolving, and expanding, and getting better and developing some sort of mastery towards a skill that’s going to serve them, and their families, and their businesses and their communities in all ways.
Now, it’s difficult because I think as human beings, we find the path of least resistance and often, the path of least resistance is us just doing the status quo. Doing enough just to get by at work, doing just enough to get by in a relationship and not go through a separation or divorce, doing just enough in the gym may be to not get too fat. In a lot of ways, we’re playing the game of life in a way that isn’t about success, it’s playing not to lose. We’re taking it easy and we’re coasting. Even if we’ve had some measure of success, we’re resting on our laurels assuming that that’s enough and if it is enough, I can’t help but think why you’re still kicking, why you’re still existing.
It’s never enough for me. I want to continue to grow and expand in all ways and in order to do that, I’m going to have to adopt the mantra, evolve or die, get better. Part of the hard part with this though is that as you do start to walk down your course and your path of self development, getting better physically, getting stronger, eating the right foods, reading new books, listening to new podcasts, listening to this information, joining the Iron Council, doing everything that you can to get better, you’re going to have some pushback.
You’re going to have some pushback from people who are close to you, people who have even said that they want you to win. People that have either literally said they want you to win or have voluntarily signed on the dotted line and said, “I will support you in your growth and your progress along the way,” i.e your spouse, close friends, employers, et cetera, et cetera. Co-workers, these are people who should have your back but unfortunately, as you begin to grow and you begin to acquire new information and develop new skill sets, you’re going to have people that are going to push back on you.
I want you to understand this because I think it’s very, very easy for us to get bitter and be resentful and hold animosity towards these individuals who seem like they’re stunting our growth. I think for the most part, that 90%, 95%, 99% of these people, it isn’t that they have ill will or don’t want you to succeed, I don’t think it has anything to do with you at all. In fact, I think most people including ourselves are pretty selfish and think very little about other people.
When you start to walk this path, the reason that people push back on that is that your growth, and your evolution, and you improving and getting better represents a threat to their own existence. We find people who are like us so if we’re relatively successful in business, guess who we hang out with? Other people who are relatively successful in business. If we’re fat, and out of shape, and overweight, and aren’t exerting ourselves physically, odds are that you’re surrounded by people who are fat, and overweight, and out of shape, and aren’t exerting themselves physically. That’s comfortable for us.
We kind of swim in the same school, we find those people who make us comfortable with our own existence. But if you want to grow and you want to evolve, then you’re going to have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You’re going to have to look around not only in your inner circle because you might be complacent there, but you’re also going to have to expand that circle. You’re going to have to broaden your perspective. You’re going to have to look to other individuals who you are inspired by, who are doing things in a more efficient, more effective, productive way than you currently are.
If the shoe were on the other foot, meaning that you are the one that is watching other people evolve, that’s not comfortable. It’s not comfortable to see that somebody else is progressing faster than you. You have two choices, you can either ignore that … I guess you have three choices. You could ignore that individual altogether, you can attempt to pull them down like the old crab in the bucket mentality, or you can race to catch up. That’s what you’re asking people to do who are in your inner circle. As you start to develop and expand and grow, you’re asking them to catch up and maybe these people don’t want to catch up.
Here’s what you need to know about this, you have no obligation to stop, you have no obligation or responsibility to slow down. Now, I do think you have a responsibility and obligation in some cases to explain yourself. For example, your wife, you may want to explain what you’re doing and why. One of the things I hear quite often with guys who join our brotherhood, the Iron Council is their wives initially, not that they talk bad about it, but that they don’t quite and fully understand it. It represents again, a threat to the status quo, which makes them concerned and so they say things like, “Oh, your little man club, your little man organization.”
But what’s really fascinating is, as these guys grow and develop, and we’re holding each other accountable, and we’re doing challenges, and we’re doing assignments, and these men who come into our brotherhood start to improve their lives, guess who sees that? Their wife, and as soon as their wife sees that it’s a result of them banding with other men who are motivated and ambitious and try new things and growing, and she begins to connect the dots between you being part of the “little man group” or “little man club” and your improvement, you being a more capable husband, and father, and leader and a patriarch of your home, she starts to connect those dots and then she sees, “Oh, okay, this makes sense. This makes sense.” This becomes what my friend Zach Even-Esh has talked quite a bit about, the new normal, the new normal. You have a normal right now, you have a baseline right now.
What I’d like you to do is inventory your life in four key areas; yourself, personally, mentally, spiritually, getting right with yourself. How do you feel about who you are? How do you feel about what you’ve done? Are there some inadequacies? Are there some confidence issues, some self-doubt, some internal dialogue that’s destructive to who you are as a man? If it is, that’s all right. We need to identify it because these are areas for growth and evolution in our lives.
Getting right with yourself, getting right with your mind, getting right with your soul and really knowing that you do have a purpose and there is a reason that you’re here on this planet. There’s a reason that you’re alive. We want to help you connect to what that is so you have to continue to grow and develop because you can see so clearly that there’s something else meant for you, and we want to help you bridge that gap. That’s number one.
I want you to look around and inventory your relationships, and how do you evolve? How do you expand? How do you grow? How do you position yourself into relationships that are more advantageous for other individuals, that are more advantageous for you? How do you evolve current relationships by leveling those people up, by leading positively and effectively in their lives? How do you get your kids to be more influenced by your positive behavior? How do you get your wife to voluntarily follow you because you’re somebody worth following? But also, how do you find other people who are further down the path than you?
Note, I didn’t say better and I didn’t say that deliberately. They’re not better than you. They may just be further down the path than you. You don’t need to be intimidated by these individuals thinking that they’re better than you or they’re worth more than. No, just realize that these are individuals that are further down the path, that they have identified a skillset, that they have mastered that skillset and it’s improved and enhanced their life to the degree that you want to improve and enhance your life. Don’t be intimidated by that, be inspired by that. Then ask yourself, how do I surround myself with those individuals? What value do I have to offer these other people? How can I make myself a man who these types of individuals want me in their circle? That’s number two, connections.
If you’re the same guy that you were in high school or worse, then you’re not evolving. You’re not growing, you’re not expanding, you’re withering away and you’re dying. From the minute that you’re born, it’s a process of death. But, is it a steady downhill decline and the demise of who you are physically, or is it growth? Is it an expansion? I’m in the best shape I’ve been in my entire life right now, at 38 years old. I thought my prime was at 18 years old and here I am two decades later stronger, bigger, faster, leaner, more capable not only when it comes to strength, but also skills like martial arts, and just understanding how to utilize my body and harness it as two things a tool, and a weapon should I need it.
Because I have a growth mindset as Carol Dweck talks about in her book, I think it’s called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. If you haven’t read that book, make sure you check it out. That’s the third component, is condition. How are you improving physically? Are you getting the sleep, the nutrition, the exercise? Are you getting more mobility and more strength and conditioning, and all of these things that go into being a more fit and healthy human being?
This is the way that you give back and the way that you add value to all of your interactions. The way that you add value to your family, your business, your community, inside the walls of your home, inside the walls of your business. If you’re coaching, if you’re mentoring, if you’re guiding, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, how are you ensuring that the place, the environment in which you find yourself is better off because you were there? This is a legacy also.
I want the world to be better than when I got here. I want my kids to be better off because I was their father. I want my wife to win more because I was her husband. I want my clients to win in my financial planning practice because I was their advisor. I want the men who are inside of this, you who are listening right now and also in Order of Man and Iron Council to be more capable men because of the tools, and the systems, and the processes that we have created, so I’m constantly looking for ways to make myself more valuable.
One of the biggest issues that men run across is their lack of confidence in themselves, and I’ve talked about it a million times. Guys will say, “Well, I’m just not confident. I don’t know how to gain confidence in myself and really just be happy with who I am.” My response is, “What makes you think you should be happy with who you are?” More often than not, these men can’t come up with an answer to that, and that’s the problem, that’s the problem. You don’t get to just have confidence because you feel like you deserve it, or you want it, or it’s been endowed or it’s a gift that you’ve been born with.
That’s not confidence. It might be arrogant, it might be cockiness, but confidence is genuinely earned and it’s earned by facing battles that are meaningful and significant to you, and then overcoming those battles, and doing something that you didn’t previously think yourself capable of. That is how you develop confidence. That is how you set you on a path to evolving, and growing, and expanding, and becoming better.
Guys, these are the things that I want for you. These are the things that I want for myself. We live in a time where people continually dismiss and mock masculinity. There’s a huge, huge problem, especially when we begin to look at what seems to me the increasing rates of mass murders and violent encounters that are destructive and harmful, not productive and helpful. This comes from society because we have bred these individuals, a society that has completely dismissed what it means to be a man.
That instead of positioning men where they should be, a leader in their family, their businesses, their communities, their homes and every environment in which they show they’d rather pull those people down, off that mantle of masculinity. It’s our job to dismiss that idea, to represent the antithesis of this weak, cowardly, pathetic male that society would have us be and we do this by evolving, we do this by expanding. I can’t tell you how often I hear from guys who will say things like, “Well, what do you expect? That’s just what society wants from us. There’s nothing we can do about it and our hands are tied.”
Some guy said the other day, “50% of people won’t really grow from this.” It’s like, I don’t care about any of that, I don’t care about any of that. What I care about is immediately me fixing myself, making myself more capable, improving, getting better, and then expanding that starting within the walls of my home, into my neighborhood, into my community, into my state and even into the country and internationally through this movement. But it starts at the lowest common denominator, which is myself.
And guess what, good news, you can entirely control yourself. When somebody says to me, well society blah, blah, blah, fill in the blank with their excuse of choice, says something like that, I can dismiss that because I’m not too concerned about what other people are doing. I know I have the greatest impact and influence when I decide to evolve when I decide to grow when I decide to make myself more capable. So, don’t rely on the excuses, don’t feed yourself the BS and tell yourself how society wants you to behave and then acquiesced to that weak request. Instead, reject it, dismiss it, share the message, the movement of reclaiming and restoring masculinity.
Be this in yourselves, grow, evolve, expand. If you’re the same guy that you were yesterday, as you are today, you’re doing something wrong and although you may not be in any sort of physical threat of death, you are certainly dying mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, potentially even physically. I don’t want that for you. I want growth, and I want life, and I want vitality and energy and then ultimately, productivity for the things that are important to you, your family, your business, your community, your career, the people in your circle.
We do that by getting better, by improving, by expanding. We focus on those four key areas. Again, they’re calibration, connection, condition, and contribution. When you inventory those spaces and you ask yourself, and you commit to being ruthlessly honest and truthful about where you fall on those things, you establish the foundation for growth and expansion moving forward. Be honest with yourself guys, don’t BS yourself. You can pay yourself lip service but deep down inside, you know when you’re lying to yourself. If you’re lying to yourself and you’re not telling yourself the truth about how you show up, and who you are, and how you’re behaving and the potential that you’re leaving on the table, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Don’t sell yourself short, be real about things so that you can improve, that you can grow, that you can expand.
Then as I part today, I want to tell you that I appreciate how you guys show up. I get messages every day on Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and emails, and texts and everything else from you guys who are saying what you’ve been able to accomplish in your life in a very, very short period of time. That’s the beauty of implementing not only what I’m talking about today, but what we talk about and have been talking about for the past four and a half years. What we talk about and the actions that we take, and the accountability that we have in our brotherhood, the Iron Council.
When you implement these simple, not easy but simple strategies that I share with you, process, or I should say progress starts to happen instantaneously. It will happen for you, so make sure you band with us like you have, make sure you subscribe to the show. Connect with me on Instagram at @ryanmichler. Share this episode, share this podcast, share the movement. My goal is to mobilize millions and millions of men across the planet who believe as we believe, who believe that they are the patriarch of their home, and their businesses, and their communities, who lead effectively with clarity and kindness and compassion, and even love, but do it in a way that’s effective. That produces and drives results for themselves and the people that inevitably we are called to serve as men.
All right guys, that’s all I’ve got for you. Again, we’ve got a crazy weekend here at the Order of Man headquarters with our first event here in Maine, The Maine Event is what we called it. So, I’m going to get to that. I’ll let you guys get to your weekend. I’m glad that you’re here. I’m glad that you’re tuning in. I’m glad that you’re banded with us. We need more men in this fight and it’s my mission and has been my mission for the past almost five years now to reclaim and restore masculinity. We are making our dent and we will continue to make a dent. We will continue to enlist, and equip, and mobilize the type of men that this world needs. All right guys, get out there, take action, become the man you are meant to be.