I get it, men are hiding feelings because society says, it's girly, well, I say, your mind is far more important than opinions - Ryan Allen, Founder of MATC Conference UK
Society has gripped many people's lives and that's not just men but every walk of life has felt the burdens of expectations which are born through imagery, videography and every form of media, but we can choose how to respond and filter.
Of course, I would never suggest that we live on an island with no media for access, as that's silly and also, unrealistic but, the world we live in is on overdrive and as humans, we gravitate to wanting more and we look to celebrities and the heavily curated social media, for our daily sustenance. But at what cost? We are unaware of our human nature and can fall victim to the ideas of what success and beauty look like.
Men have evolved in many ways and society has also demonstrated that we have changed, and are more tolerant and acceptant in someways, but appear across media through archetypes and stereotypical ideologies of masculinity have not moved passed the barometer of linear imagery. Men are driving the fast, expensive and powerful car, with the beautiful supermodel girlfriend, who live in the most beautiful mansion in the country. Yes, there are men who have this life and I do not begrudge anyone who does, but this idea of masculinity as the ultimate defining factor of success is not realistic nor does it bowed well with men.
'A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences - in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of human morality ' - Winston Churchill
Men and Masculinity, I sense a conflict that is manmade with ideals and perceptions of listed attributes that if few are mastered, deems one a failure in life. This is a very toxic view of manhood, for many is simply too higher bar to reach, but the disturbing truths are that, men are making decisions silently, and privately, to choose an end of life rather than living it.
“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”– John Newton
Life is a gift that few have realised is one we have and there is no second, so living fully and making wiser choices will give us something we can be proud of. To be a success is not measured by the net worth of TV or film stars or the influences we read about online. Success is living fully present and doing the things that makes one very happy every day, and no, not everyone discovers what makes their their soul sing. And this might sound strange, I get that, mentioning souls and singing in the same sentence.
I'll dilute this slightly, what I suggest, is that we all have something we love deep down inside us all, that if our actions create momentum, and we continue to lock into this part of us, we find our ultimate thing, that can be a hobby turned into a career. We all do jobs, but does it make you sing from within, with excitement or is it a practical choice to pay the bills?
Success as a word and the images we see in the media have a place but we must develop a filter of what is reality. Supermodels are real and yes, they are beautiful, but beauty is not defined by one aspect, nor does nature select one aspect to be the ultimate. We have created ideas of beauty or success and packaged it so much, that we have consumed it and not
filtered it through common sense but accepted as truth, which it isn't and comparing our lives with it. That I believe is a dangerous step, and men are doing this and staying quiet.
We all have worries that are temporal, but we must foster a habit of releasing. Our bodies inhale and exhale, men must do the same - Ryan Allen, Founder of Hey Ryan Podcast
As a man, I understand the ideas and idols we have looked to as a measure of masculinity, and there are no rule books that define who we are or how we should be. That does not exist. Manhood and masculinity is defined by our inner strength and our ability to overcome the greatest of obstacles life brings, and survive to become wiser and stronger, with mentoring and therapy, if necessary. To live freely and respectfully without cares for others opinion of us, but that we can stand proudly, not arrogant in our skin, however that looks, because we are men, not defined by materialism but by our character that goes beyond skin deep not muscle growth.
I love the gym, but don't get me wrong - gaining muscle is great, but it does not define my masculinity, and if I do have worries, I have friends who have my back. Talking about life has nothing to do with masculinity, it's my character and my insecurities that are in the way. That's what I wrestle less with today. Never allow the cares of others opinion prevent you from taking care of you and your mind. Your mind does matter and it's time to take care of ALL of you, not just your vanity but your health inside and out.
Vanity cannot save you but wise steps can. Men take care of your mind and physical health, and you'll be able to fight through challenge with the resilience of a cared mind. A resilient mind takes practice and self-awareness with mentoring. Put your mind first, not peoples opinion. Everyone has an opinion just filter it and focus on you - for once. A man who cannot overcome his mind can never take on the world.