We as men have often fall into this idea that there’s one big solution—one psychological big bang—that’ll “fix” everything in our personal development journey. I call it the Golden Gun, and just like its namesake, it’s (surprise!) NOT real. Listen in to find out where the real fix is, why we need it, and why it deserves more recognition and respect. Scroll down for the transcript!
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Stop Looking For The Golden Gun
You know what one of the biggest challenges that I see a lot of men facing when it comes to doing their own inner work, doing their own personal development or going to therapy—because I get this question all the time—like, what challenges do you see in men when they start this work?
[00:00:17] It’s that we are looking for what I call the Golden Gun or the Golden Bullet. We have been indoctrinated into this Western ideology, this kind of fast food version of everything within our life, that we think that our personal development should be delivered to us like a Big Mac. It should arrive very quickly and very efficiently, even if it’s sloppily put together.
[00:00:45] And so for many men, the challenge that they first face when they embark on this path—and this, this can be when they first embark on it, it can be a year down the road, it can be two years down the road, it can be a week down the road—but what most men will face at some point in their journey is that they are looking for things to happen instantaneously.
[00:01:07] They’re looking for a solution to their problems. That is the “smoking gun”, the Golden Gun. And I’m going to use an analogy because this, I just—it feels so true. I remember playing Goldeneye back in the day on Nintendo 64. And in Goldeneye, when you play the game—and I just want to say this, I think Goldeneye I may be the single greatest video game of all time, but you let me know if that’s true or not—in the game, you get to this point where you unlock the Golden Gun.
[00:01:41] I think it’s like a Walter PPK. It’s Bond’s classic gun. I’m totally blanking on it. Walter PPK7 or something. I don’t know. I’m blanking on what it is. But you unlock Golden Gun, and the golden gun is great because it’s like this one-shot-kill gun. And I remember being a teenager, being so excited when I was playing this game to unlock this gun.
[00:02:01] And when I did, I got the gun, I started playing and I’d been playing for like weeks, maybe months to get to this point. To get this gun. And I remember distinctly playing the game for like 25 minutes, maybe not even, and being bored out of my mind.
[00:02:16] And what I realized in that moment is that the reason why I loved the game was because I loved the challenge.
[00:02:23] I loved the challenge. I loved that I had to work in order to win. I love that I had to hustle a little bit in order to be successful and victorious. I love that my skills got better, that I got better as a player as I went through the game and faced more challenge, more adversity, more uncertainty. And yet when I got the Golden Gun, what I realized was that all of that vanished. All of that was eradicated. And what I was left with was the ability to just breeze through the game.
[00:02:56] And yet this is what we as men are looking for within our own personal growth and development. We are praying and hoping and wishing that we’ll have some kind of revelation, some kind of actualization, some kind of psychological Big Bang that will create a singularity that we will never have to really do any work from. And it’s an illusion. It’s not real. And it robs us of the work that is rewarding for us. It robs us of the work that is rewarding for us.
[00:03:29] And so part of our journey, part of our steps that we need to take within our own development is embracing and letting go of the hope that we’re going to have this massive “aha” moment that’s going to be so fundamental that we will not have to work on ourselves any longer. That we’ll not have to battle with our Inner Critic. That we’ll not have to feel the temptation of wanting to watch porn even though we told ourselves that we wouldn’t do that anymore, even though we, set a boundary with ourselves. That we won’t have to feel that frustration of hitting snooze on our alarm for the 12th time in the morning and get out of bed on the first try every single time for the rest of our life.
[00:04:22] The reality is is that the reward is in the work. The reward is in the work. Nevermind the journey, right? The journey is like—that still feels too conceptual. The reward is in the work and sometimes what we actually need to embrace the most is the fact that grit, determination, discipline. That all of these aspects of ourselves as men are cultivated in the moments where we let go of the adolescent, teenage desire to have our problem solved in a heartbeat. To have our issues in life eradicated within an instant, in a sort of fast food, Burger-King-served-up-to-you-on-a-platter-in an-instant means, right?
[00:05:14] I mean, if you think about just some of the problems that you’re probably facing in life, they’re going to require long-term work. Right? We think that we should be able to unpack childhood trauma in a heartbeat. We think that we should be able to move through divorce in a week. And you know, there’s many reasons for this that I’m not going to get into right now.
[00:05:38] All I really want to emphasize is be joyful for your work. Be grateful for your efforts. As small as they might seem. As minute as they might feel. Curate an awareness and appreciation for those parts of you for that work and that effort, because when we are able to do that, we can slowly relinquish the grasp of the illusion that we are going to have this sudden awakening, this sudden enlightenment that will rush upon us and suddenly absolve us of all of our challenges that we are facing mentally, emotionally, relationally, sexually, financially, physically, whatever it is that we are facing.
[00:06:29] And embrace the lifeblood of having to do the work, to earn the change, to be rewarded with transformation. Right. It’s something that is so undeniably and unequivocally rewarding, right? It’s like people who win the lottery, something like 80 to 85% of those people will go bankrupt within the first three to five years. Why? Because most of them haven’t been taught the skill or having cultivated the vessel or the container to be able to hold that level of abundance. And so as fast as it comes in, it goes out, and for most people that’s—for most men especially— that’s what we’re facing. That’s what we’re up against. We need to be able to cultivate the vessel, the container within ourselves, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, financially to know that we are deserving to know that we have put in the effort, because that is what develops us as men.
[00:07:32] We crave that. We crave the effort. We crave the knowing that when we win the first place, or the metal, or get the relationship that we’ve dreamt about for years, or build the successful business or whatever it is, we crave the knowing that we deserve to be in that position because we have worked for it. Because that is our initiation. That is our initiation as men; that we initiate ourselves into the experiences, the relationship and the success that we attract in our lives.
[00:08:12] Because when we don’t, we feel like an imposter. We feel like we haven’t earned it. We feel like we don’t deserve it. And for most of us, we get real bored real quick and we ended up sabotaging it anyway.
[00:08:23] So. Enjoy your work, respect your effort, and embrace the fact that the work that you’re doing today might take you longer than expected. If you’re working on moving through infidelity and healing your relationship, if you’re working on not watching porn anymore because you know it doesn’t serve you, whatever your relationship to porn is, it’s—I’m just throwing out examples—if you’re working on getting your body into peak physical condition. Know that it might take longer than you’d like it to, and longer than you expect, but embrace the joy and the experience and the privilege of getting to fucking work for it. Of getting to hustle and earn—and earn your own sense of self-leadership your own sense of confidence, your own sense of alignment, your own sense of self-appreciation.
[00:09:26] Work for it. It’s okay. It’s all right. So, thank you so much for tuning in this week. I appreciate you. I appreciate the work that you are putting in. And don’t forget to share this episode with just one person that you know, will enjoy these words. And until next week, this is Connor Beaton signing off.