This is a short but important one. So many men out there are facing a crisis of meaning. From what I’ve seen, finding meaning in your life and becoming a man of value are connected. But value is something you’ve got to curate and develop in order to execute on. Here’s how.
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.” Now, those are the words of Albert Einstein. And I’m going to talk today about the importance of being a man of value. Of cultivating your value as a man. Because it isn’t inherent, it’s not given. It’s something that you have to curate and develop and bring out into the world.
And your value is incredibly important. Your value and the value that you generate, the value that you bring into a relationship, into your family, into a work environment, that value is going to contribute to your sense of meaning, to your sense of meaningfulness, to your sense of belonging within a certain environment or situation or workplace or relationship.
And I think one of the interesting things that Einstein is pointing to in this idea — that try not to be a man of success, but rather a man of value — is tied into what Tony Robbins has been saying for years, which is that success without fulfillment is ultimately meaningless. And that is the endeavor that many men find themselves on, is that they are pursuing this sort of hollowed-out form of success that we have pedestaled. This idea in Western culture, that if you are somehow successful, that if you just make enough money or you’ve developed a business and hit it big, or you become successful in your career that somehow meaning and value will come along with that.
But that’s not true. Success and value are not inextricably linked. You might be someone who’s successful and fundamentally dislike what you’re doing. Fundamentally dislike and harbor resentment towards the people that you are doing it with. And in that way, you don’t feel at your core like you are a man of value. You don’t feel at your core like what you are doing and what you are producing and who you have become in the world is valuable because it feels like you are doing something that of course is producing a result, is producing an outcome, maybe it’s even a favorable outcome from a monetary standpoint, but it’s not a favorable outcome in a manner that allows you to feel fulfilled.
You see, when you become and aim at being a man of value, then regardless of the success that you have — in the beginning, in the middle, towards the end of your endeavor — regardless of the success that you have, you will feel fundamentally like there is a purpose attached to what you’re doing. Like there is a meaning embedded in your actions.
It will help to reduce the sense of fraudulence, the sense of imposter syndrome that so many people are riddled with. It doesn’t mean that it will completely eradicate it or make it obsolete, but surely in some way if you are aiming at value — to bring value into a relationship, to add value into a conversation, to add value into a work environment, your career, your team, the people that you manage, the people that you work for, your customers, your clients.
When you aim for that value, then everything else is possible because in order to add that value, in some ways you must maintain a sense of integrity. You must maintain and stay close to a kind of internal alignment in order to be adding value.
We cannot possibly be of highest value, contribute value to our relational dynamic, contribute value to our wife, to our girlfriend, to our boss, to somebody that works for us within our work environment and be completely out of integrity. It doesn’t work that way.
So value and meaning are connected. So to be a man of value is to develop and own and be unapologetic — and these are a couple of things that I hope that you take with you — but to develop your value as a man is to focus in on cultivating your strengths and your gifts. To own them unapologetically to say, “This is what I know I’m gifted at. This is what I know I have a strong predilection towards contributing in certain situations. I know I’m a good problem solver. Everybody tells me I’m a good problem solver. I know I have exceptional communication skills. That’s reflected in my capacity to speak at meetings or orate events or speak in front of people.”
Or, “I know that I’m incredibly gifted at project management or spreadsheets or math, or structural engineering,” like whatever the case may be. To cultivate the awareness of what your individual strengths are, of what your life has put in front of you to develop a specific skill set and a specific strength, and to be able to own that, and then say, “I’m actually going to take as much of this as possible and contribute this strength of mine to the areas of my life that feel meaningful to me.” Where it’s invited, right? Where people are asking for me to bring that strength. Not that we try and insert ourselves un-meaningfully into different situations that, that we’re not welcomed in, but that we look for the opportunities to add the value of our strengths. The things that have brought meaning to us.
The second thing ids to build or to contribute to the building of something that is meaningful to you. That feels aligned with your passions. That feels congruent with the values that you hold as a man. And that might not be possible within your work environment. You might be someone who’s working a nine to five or doing a job that you’ve realized or found yourself in that doesn’t bring you meaning. That you don’t feel contributes something meaningful or purposeful to the environment, to the world, to your community, to your family.
And so in this way, you can begin to either find a side hustle, you know, find something on the side you can begin to develop, or you can contribute to the building of something that’s meaningful. There are many, many, many organizations that are out there for profit and not-for-profit that you can give your time, your resources, your skills, your strengths to in a manner that is going to elevate your value as a man and help to reinforce that you bringing your value, you bringing your strengths out into the world, is needed.
Because many men are facing a sort of meaning crisis. That they feel devoid of any place that they can contribute value. That the problems that we face within our world are so existentially huge that when a man looks at how he can contribute and add value to the solving of that problem, he finds himself remiss to know even where to begin.
And so start small. Find places that you can contribute to that you can add your gifts, add your strengths, add your skills to, in a way that you feel is valuable and in an, a manner in which you get value back from it. It should be a reciprocal relationship. You should contribute value and receive value from it. It’s a very, very, very important part of it. It should be reciprocal. It needs to be reciprocal.
Lastly, develop the skills that you need in order to add value. Be honest and humble enough to know what is preventing you from adding value in your relationship. From adding value to your family, to your business, to your work environment, to your career, your team, your sports team, whatever it is that you’re involved in, be humble enough to know that you probably don’t have all the skills that you need in order to add the quality and the caliber and the depth of value that you ultimately desire.
So begin to cultivate those skills. Even if you just look at for the next month, “I’m going to focus in on being more disciplined with when I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning.” Or, “I’m going to be more disciplined with cultivating the skill of being assertive, of speaking what I believe is true.” Or, “I’m going to cultivate the skills of being more financially solvent, more financially stringent with myself and actually organize my finances to degree.”
So cultivate those skills that you know, are going to support you in adding value within whatever environment that you are trying to contribute to.
So thanks so much for tuning into this video. Don’t forget to share, like, and subscribe and leave us a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on or watching this on. Until next week, this is Connor Beaton signing off.
Did you enjoy the podcast? If so, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Podchaser. It helps us get into the ears of new listeners, expand the ManTalks Community, and help others find the self-leadership they’re looking for.
Are you looking to find purpose, navigate transition, or fix your relationships, all with a powerful group of men from around the world? Check out The Alliance and join me today.
Editing & Mixing by: Aaron The Tech
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.