I spend a lot of time talking to men on a daily basis. One thing I’m always intrigued by is the fire that I can see (or can’t see) simply by looking into their eyes. It’s been said that “the eyes are the window to the soul.” If that’s true, you can tell a lot about a man and his passion and enthusiasm through a quick glance and connection of the eyes.
Unfortunately, all too often what I see when I look is lifelessness, soullessness, and a general complacency and signs of defeat. I can certainly understand and even relate to that feeling. For a lot of years, I felt the exact same way. I occasionally look at old pictures of myself and I recognize a defeated man when I see him.
Let’s face it, life is tough. It gets challenging. It gets routine, boring, and monotonous at times. And, what I experience more often than not is men who allow those circumstances to defeat them. I think one of the biggest dangers in society today is a lack of men who are passionate, fired up, engaged in creating a meaningful life for themselves and those around them.
If you’re one of these guys who has lost the passion for life, have hope. The fire is there, inside you. You just need to add a little fuel to it to get it stoked again. Here are several strategies for adding fuel to the fire:
I just mentioned life can get boring at times. But who said it has to be? Try saying “yes” to some things you might not normally say “yes” to. As of the release of this recording, I am hunting with some friends in Hawaii. That is something I would have normally turned down because I’m “too busy” with life. This time, I said “yes” and I’m creating some incredible memories.
STOP DOING THINGS YOU HATE
Look, we all have to do things we don’t like to do or don’t want to do. It’s part of the job of men but if it has become the status quo as opposed the occasional rarity or duty, you need to re-evaluate what you’re doing with your life.
No one is forcing you to do anything you don’t want to do. You’ve imposed those limitations and restrictions on yourself. So, rather than doing all the things you hate, just stop. Or, if they have to get done, delegate them to someone more suited to do them.
CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
This suggestion goes hand in hand with saying “yes” to more. The simple fact is that routines can be powerful but they can also be draining. Sometimes, you’ve got to break the mold and change your surroundings. If you’re stuck in an office all day, try going for a walk occasionally. If you go to the same restaurants, try something new. If you plop yourself on the couch every night before going to bed, try going for a walk instead. These changes in the environment will provide new experiences and perspectives to draw upon.
I think this one goes without saying but it is a little counterintuitive. Get your body moving. Most people think that exercise will drain you even further. And, it might (especially if you haven’t been working out for years). But, once your body gets used to the fact that your mind is going to demand it to move, it starts to crave that movement and build up energy you haven’t experienced in years. I know, for example, that every time I go to the gym and workout in the morning, I have a better, more energetic day.
GO TO BED EARLIER
So many men stay up late watching their favorite TV show. Then, they wonder why they’re so drained in the morning and have no desire to get out of bed. The body needs rest. The body needs to recover. If it’s not doing it properly, your performance will suffer and you will not be able to gain or sustain any type of momentum in your life.
I’ll do another episode in the future on the power of sleep and the intricacies of creating an environment where you can maximize your rest. For now, listen to my interview with Ted Ryce called Sleep Done Right.
PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE
Before you go to bed, plan out exactly what you’re going to do the next morning. What time are you going to wake up? What will your workout be? What items do you need to get accomplished?
When I go to bed without a clear sense of direction and purpose for what I want to accomplish the next day, the likelihood of me getting out of bed on time and getting after my day is significantly lower. If, on the other hand, I know exactly what I am going to do and I’m excited about it, I find it significantly easier to jump out of bed when the alarm goes off and attack the day.
I see so many men throwing pity parties for themselves. They get consumed with wallowing in their own self-pity. Don’t be that guy. I’ve never met a man who is actively engaged who simultaneously feels sorry for himself. If you’re getting down on yourself, go serve someone else. Volunteer to coach a youth team, feed the homeless, mow a neighbor’s yard, help a friend move, etc. Do whatever you can to be active and productive in helping other people thrive and succeed and you will inevitably thrive and succeed.
We don’t spend enough time alone. And, when I say “alone,” I’m talking about by yourself without anyone else and without any electronics or distractions. I can’t even begin to describe the power that comes from being alone with your mind and spending time just thinking about life. What do you want your life to look like? What do you want to accomplish?
I can name several times where I was working through some sticky situations. I simply went for a run without music or any other stimulus. I made it about 2 miles before I turned around, and ran home with ideas and insight that would solve the problems I found myself in.
Completely opposite of that advice is to borrow energy from other people. There are people that I simply don’t get along with. There are others I get so much excitement and energy from being around. Spend more time with those people. If they energize you, be around them. If they don’t, distance yourself.
Human beings are so much more connected that I think we know and I fully believe that we have the ability to transfer energy to one another. All you have to do is get within proximity with those who you’re inspired by and you’ll start feeling inspired to.
FIGHT A BATTLE
In his book, Wild at Heart, author John Eldredge says, “Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” I want to address point number one. Every man longs to fight a battle. I’m not talking about a physical battle necessarily but a battle of his choosing.
My battle is the attack and dismissal of masculinity. That’s what we’re doing here with Order of Man. You may have a different battle in mind. Whatever it is, pursue it. Engage the enemy. Come up with a course of action, and attack. Without purpose, the fire burns out. With a purpose, it burns bright.
Gentlemen, this is in no way an exhaustive list but it will get you started. Life doesn’t have to be miserable. That’s simply a choice you get to make. The fire doesn’t begin to rage overnight but over time, it will if you’re willing to implement what I shared with you today, it will.
Say “yes” more often, stop doing things you hate, change your environment, exercise, go to bed earlier, plan your day the night before, serve others, be alone, borrow energy, and fight a battle and you’re well on your way to adding fuel to the fire that will help you live the life you’re capable of living.