By Michael Lee
Number 1 – They Think, Say, & Do Negative Things.
Yup. They see problems in every opportunity.
They complain that the sun is too hot. They cursed the rain for ruining their plans for the day. They blame the wind for ruining their hair.
They think that everyone is against them. They see the problems but never the solutions.
Every little bit of difficulty is exaggerated to the point of tragedy. They regard failures as catastrophes. They become discouraged easily instead of learning from their mistakes.
They never seem to move forward because they’re always afraid to come out of their comfort zones.
Number 2 – They Act Before They Think.
They move based on instinct or impulse. If they see something they like, they buy at once without any second thought.
Then they see something better. They regret & curse for not able to take advantage of the bargain.
Then they spend & spend again until nothing’s left. They don’t think about the future. What they’re after is the pleasure they will experience at present.
They don’t think about the consequences. Those who engage in unsafe sex, criminality, and the like are included in this group.
by Nick Notas
When I began coaching, I expected people to come to me with all sorts of problems.
But I never expected so many to tell me, “Nick, I feel totally stuck. I’ve tried everything but I just don’t have what it takes. My life is hopeless, so why should I bother trying?”
These people feel completely helpless in their lives. They feel like they have no control over achieving their goals or finding fulfillment.
The first time I heard this, it hit me hard. Because I remember how trapped and powerless I felt years ago.
In the span of months, my dad had a heart attack and was forced to close our family restaurant. I had to drop out of college to support my family. My friends all moved to colleges out of state and my social circle disappeared. Then my girlfriend of two years dumped me.
It seemed like there was nothing I could do to stop the shit storm. I believed I was destined for unhappiness.
So I blamed myself. I blamed others. I wallowed in self-pity. For a long time, I did nothing and nothing changed.
I was experiencing a mindset called learned helplessness. And it kept me miserable and from getting what I wanted out of life.
What does it feel like to be wrongly convicted
I was wrongly convicted of murdering my wife. I recall that first night in jail. It was not unlike being punched in the face. I was stunned, numb, and not sure of what lay before me. All personal control had been yanked away. What I wore, what I ate, where I slept, and where I could not go were all dictated by the State. In that situation, the absolute power of government becomes blatant, coercive, Orwellian.
The first few months of prison life are about adaptation. It’s a different society, a subculture of power — physical, emotional, and spiritual. There are simple rules. Obey and internalize those rules and you’ll get by.
As the years pile up, feigned apathy becomes your outward mask. But on the inside, anger and bitterness consume you. Revenge occupies your so-called free moments. At other odd times, you fantasize about living a normal life… or escaping to a tropical paradise… or dying in prison. You imagine building houses, establishing relationships with the opposite sex, or burning down the houses and the relationships of your enemies.
But as the decades accrue, an acceptance and an understanding of life creep in. If you’re lucky, you become calmer, more relaxed, more sure. You see the value of faith, hope, and of course, love. You come to appreciate pure things, like the behavior of animals and the joy of small children. It sounds cliche and almost banal, but time wears a man down.
In the end, if you are lucky, you see that our trials are what improve us. And if you are very lucky and somewhat insightful, you see that whatever your trial has been, it is exactly what you needed. Our trials make us who we are.
by Nick Notas
Your past does not have to dictate your future.
If it did I’d still be an overweight, insecure, needy guy who couldn’t maintain a healthy relationship. But instead I celebrated my 3-year anniversary yesterday with an amazing woman, in the greatest shape of my life, and happier than I’ve ever been.
However, it deeply saddens me to encounter so many people who can’t break free of the chains of yesterday. Their actions, choices, and beliefs about themselves are governed by experiences that occurred 5, 10, or even 20 years ago. And it prevents them from growing into the best version of themselves.
These negative experiences have poisoned their core. Many guys have shared with me their stories and the resulting limiting beliefs:
“I’ve been friend zoned or rejected by every girl I’ve ever liked. I’m an unattractive, inexperienced loser that no one will ever want.”
“My dad was a womanizer who constantly cheated on my mom. I’m afraid that I’ll become the same kind of guy and hurt the women I care about.”
“The only girl I loved left me for who I thought was my best friend. I can’t trust any women anymore, they’re all selfish sluts.”
“I was the fat kid (weird kid, skinny kid, etc) everyone made fun of growing up. Deep down I can never change that.”
I know you’ve had a difficult past. You’ve had some negative experiences that impacted your life greatly. You’re scarred from people who mistreated you or broke your trust. Your previous failures have made you afraid to try again. But holding onto your demons forever is not a solution. Instead:
by Nick Notas
Good friends are family.
They aren’t just buddies we have a fun time with but people we treat like our own blood. They can be profound connections that are forged for a lifetime.
I remember sitting in the car with my girlfriend and a close friend when he opened up to us. “Listen, you know how much I care about my mom and brother. They have the best intentions but sometimes they don’t truly understand me. But you both do. And I want you to know that you’re my family, too.”
It was one of the most honest and meaningful statements someone had ever said to me.
The other day I was excited to see a “How to Be a Good Friend” article appear in my feed. Reading through it was severely disappointing for a topic so important. When I searched for similar articles on Google, I was amazed to see how many contained idealistic advice that lacked any substance.
Here’s my list of ground rules that I follow to be a good friend.
- Don’t be a fair-weather friend. You have to maintain your own life and set boundaries for your time. However, being there only when it’s beneficial or convenient for you is selfish. Friendship should be a mutually valuable connection.
This especially applies when starting a new relationship. Don’t forget about your friends or let your partner dictate who you’re allowed to see. Even though you have less free time, keep in touch and make plans when you can. How can you expect the friends you ignore to welcome you with open arms if the relationship ends?
There comes a time in every Man’s life, when frustration starts to dominate every aspect of your reality. You start questioning yourself, your choices, your ideals and even your own existence. You start feeling lost, without even the slightest sense of direction and your understanding of what matters and what doesn’t, starts fading away along with your dreams and aspirations.
This was my reality a few years ago and this is the constant reality of many men I know and interact with. It comes from a deep feeling of uncertainty that characterizes our times and the various choices we force ourselves into. It comes from years of trying to decode the secret meaning behind the terms living and existing and it usually denatures to a wild combination of uncertainty and doubts.
Living our lives in our own terms has never been an easy thing. It is easy to complaint about it but if you don’t really know what these terms are, you will never be able to achieve it.
In the Quintessential Man’s Manifesto, I expressed the 10 rules every man should live by in order to shape a quintessential reality. Today however, I am going to propose a different set of Rules. They are somewhat more fastidious and refined. They try to move away from commonalities and generalities but at the same time inspire and direct.
I wrote them for a friend who found himself in a difficult time some years ago. But then I thought, we are all friends in a way. Lost men in need for direction and hope. Hope that there are people like us that can bring us together and share the same ideas and collectives.
Hope they will inspire you the same way they inspired my friend.
1. First Important Lesson – “Know The Cleaning Lady”
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
“Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”
I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.