men's personal development

Man Of The Week – Michael Van Osch

Michael Van Osch is our newest Man Of The Week! Michael coaches men on acquiring dynamic leadership skills and developing fulfilling and lasting relationships and marriages. After twenty years in sports marketing and advertising, Michael opted for a change and trained to become a professional actor, subsequently touring the one-man Broadway show “Defending The Caveman” for four years across North America. A man that wears many hats and possesses many talents, today Michael is an entrepreneur living in Atlanta with his beautiful wife Lisa and also leads the marketing and PR efforts for a local nonprofit organization. Check out the rest of Michael’s humbling and inspiring story as he follows his passion to impact and empower others around him.

Age: 50

What do you do? (Work)
Marketing Executive and I coach motivated, experienced men in leadership and relationships.

Why do you do it?
I do both because I enjoy them and they allow me to make a difference for others while using my talents. Working with men is definitely a calling and something I’ve been involved in for a long time.

How do you make a difference in the world? (Work, business, life, family, self)
My goal is to help other men live the life they’ve always wanted, which means living up to their full potential in all areas. It’s not simply a matter of confidence, it’s learning the right information that most of us either weren’t taught or have moved away from over time and as the world tries to soften us. 
What are 3 defining moments in your life? 1) Moving to the U.S. from Canada in my late twenties. 2) Meeting my incredible wife. 3) Forming a men’s group in Atlanta sixteen years ago that still meets every month.

What is your life purpose?
I believe it’s to help other men. For whatever reason, I’ve been exposed to great men and critical information in my life and it’s my purpose to pass on the learning.

How did you tap into it?
I tapped into this through my own desire to change and grow and to stop making the mistakes that were preventing me from being the man I wanted to be. I hate to settle, so I don’t. I keep on keeping on. I have high standards for my life and it’s a journey of learning and uncovering that I’ll always be on.

Who is your Role-Model or Mentor? I had a great mentor who passed away a few years ago now – he was more than a high school coach, he opened my eyes to the possibilities in the world and to going for it. My dad is also a mentor, who through a fairly strict upbringing taught me to keep my word and do the right thing.  I also have historical figures that I use as role-models in various ways, especially Winston Churchill.
Do you have any daily habits? If so, what are they?
I meditate each morning before I do anything else and I pray each night.

When do you know your work/life balance is off?
The concept of work/life balance is very overplayed and not the goal in my mind. If you’re building the life you want, there will be times when your life will be seriously focused in one area and must be in order to make your goals reality. But it’s our responsibility as men to take care of the other areas as well. Sometimes you may not have the nicest lawn in the neighborhood because you’re focused on a critical time in your business, and that’s okay. You do what you can to not have the worst lawn either but it’s not the priority. I believe we know when something has to change – you feel it and you know if you push to much further without changing that something has got to give. The man who always wants to be in perfect balance will never accomplish anything of note.

Vulnerability is a challenge for most men – share a vulnerable moment from your life with us.
There was a point in my life almost 20 years ago where I became very depressed, unhappy in my work and relationships and frankly burnt out. The spark had definitely gone out and I didn’t know how to relight it.
What did you learn from it?
I learned that nothing is permanent and even your darkest hour will pass if you hang on and keep trying to take that one step forward.  This is when you need to lean on other men that you trust.
If you are or were going to be a mentor for another man, what is one piece of advice you would give him?
I know from experience that many men are like I was – they’ve become a lone wolf in their lives. Most of us had a group of friends in high school and/or college, but once we go out into the world, get married and start families we tend to become a lone wolf without close male friends to rely on, to get advice from and who will hold us accountable. My biggest piece of advice is to look for a small number of men that have your back and you can trust. You’ll have to work at this to create it but the payoff is immeasurable in your career, your marriage and your life trajectory. It could be a men’s group or simply one or two guys, but it has to be intentionally cultivated, it won’t just happen. Connecting with ManTalks is great way to make that happen.

How do you be the best partner (Boyfriend/Husband- past or present)
Couple of key things – my wife and I have a rule that we deal with an issue between us asap, solve it and once solved (and that’s key), then we don’t bring it back up later. When we argue, we always keep it respectful and there is no name calling – if you go there you’re opening a door to future trouble. We know each other’s love language and don’t expect the other to be the same person we are; we place a lot of respect on our differences.

Do you support any Charities or Not-for-profits? (Which one(s) and why?)
I support ChildFund and sponsor a boy in Indonesia as well as All Grace Outreach which helps orphans and widows.

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Wow, good question. I’d probably have a theme song for each year as I always have a word or motto for the year that motivates me. This year’s focus is Perseverance. 

Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
In 3 years I see helping a lot more men get to where they want to be through coaching and sites like
 and the ‘top-secret’ One Thousand Men Project that is currently in the works. 

What legacy do you want to leave for future generations?
Teaching men how to lead themselves, their families and their communities. John Maxwell says that everything rises and falls on leadership and I believe that. If we all become the men we know we can be, the world will be taken care of.

What One book would you recommend for any Man?
There are so many, but without a doubt I recommend everyone read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. If implemented, those principles alone can set a you free. It’s been said that leaders are readers and that is absolutely true of every leader I know. The bigger they are the more they read. Be discerning but take advantage of the wisdom that is out there. If you’d like to be on my reading list leave me a message at

If you know a Man that is making a positive impact on the world, we would love to hear from you! Contact us at [email protected]
[activecampaign form=5]

Man Of The Week – Mike Abramowitz

Mike Abramowitz is our newest Man Of The Week for his incredible journey in unlocking potential and impacting the lives of hundreds he’s worked with. Today Mike is a District Executive for Vector Marketing and the Founder of G.R.A.B. Tomorrow, which is a life skills development agency for young professionals in the greater Pinellas County area. Since earning his bachelors degree in industrial engineering with a minor in leadership studies from the University of South Florida in 2008, Mike has made a career in helping young professionals open their mindsets to what’s possible when they fully commit to creating a strong foundation for their lives outside of the classroom. Mike has a passion for providing tools, skills, and unlocking potential that’s buried under socio-economic conditions & circumstances, lack of coaching, and fears that aspiring leaders face. He influences his students to understand that “Someday is NOW” and gives strategies to take immediate action and G.R.A.B. tomorrow (Grow, Re-evaluate, Appreciate, Believe).
Age:  31

What do you do? (Work)
I am a District Executive for Vector Marketing and Cutco Cutlery, founder of PB&J for Tampa Bay, which is an effort to feed 25,000 homeless people this year in the Tampa Bay area, and the founder of The G.R.A.B. Community, which is a community where young professionals develop life skills and take control of their lives outside of the classroom in order to GRAB Tomorrow.
Why do you do it?
I have a passion for providing tools, skills, and unlocking potential that’s buried under socio-economic conditions and circumstances, lack of coaching, and fears that aspiring leaders face.  Ive been blessed with abilities that others around me are still searching for. I help them find it.
How do you make a difference in the world? (Work, business, life, family, self)
Since earning my bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering with a minor in leadership studies from the University of South Florida in 2008, I have made a career in helping young professionals open their mindsets to what’s possible when they fully commit to creating a strong foundation for their lives.  I’ve trained and coached 4000+ young professionals to be entrepreneurs and sales representatives.  I’ve interviewed 10,000+ applicants.  As a keynote speaker, I have influenced 20,000+ audience members inside and outside of the classroom through 300+ hours of speaking.  Through PB&J for Tampa Bay, we have provided 25,000+ meals to those less fortunate.
What are 3 defining moments in your life?
 – Witnessing my mother battle with cancer for 4 years and seeing her be strong and weak at the same time. This unlocked an inner strength in myself that I never knew existed.
– Losing my best friend in a fatal car crash when we were both 27 years old because it gave me such an appreciation for living a life versus just being alive.
– Losing my my investment properties and $130,000 during the market collapse and realizing that my self-worth is not tied to my net-worth.
What is your life purpose?
To help those around me unlock their potential, appreciate life, and not be victims to their circumstances regardless of how much adversity that they experience.  The best success stories had some of the toughest challenges.  To help people move past their past and into a future filled with opportunity, possibility, gratitude, and excitement.
How did you tap into it?
By surrounding myself around people who care enough about me to challenge my patterns, thoughts, and habits in order to prove to myself what my life could look like through a different lens.  My potential was buried and those around me helped me unlock it, including perspectives from books and seminars from people that I have never met personally.
Who is your Role-Model or Mentor?
Mom for her strength and love
– Dad for his kind heart to strangers and ambition
– Michael Jordan for his work ethic and determination through challenges
– Tony Robbins for his wisdom and principles he lives his life by
– Matt King for his constant support, encouragement, and perspectives

Do you have any daily habits? If so, what are they?
A friend of mine, Hal Elrod from the Miracle Morning Community, introduced me to a philosophy called SAVERS, which has been a game changer for the past decade of my life. When I am at my best, I begin my day with the following:
S – Silence/Meditation/Deep Breathing
A – Affirmations/Incantations
V – Vision Board
E – Exercise/Yoga/Stretching/Foam Rolling
R – Read
S – Scribe/Journal through my thoughts/emotions and plans for that day
By giving myself clarity and intention for my day, it allows me to stay present and focused throughout my day.
 When do you know your work/life balance is off?
My work/life balance is always off.  I do not desire balance in my life.  I desire CANI – (Constant And Never-ending Improvement) Balance to me is having an equal distribution of my time dedicated to certain areas. A great book by Matthew Kelly titled Off-Balance helped me become aware of being present with my life and invest time into the people, places, things, and activities that are in alignment with driving long term satisfaction and happiness. So, the key is being present.  When I feel like I am distracted or not present, I will grab my journal and answer the following questions:
– How do I feel?
– Why do I feel this way?
– How do I want to feel?
– What actions can I take to feel this way?
– Then I take some deep breaths and get back to being present.  I choose to control my emotions when I become aware that I am not fully engaged in my life.
 Vulnerability is a challenge for most men – share a vulnerable moment from your life with us.
After my mother passed away, my dad and I took a trip to Hawaii to get quality time together and really connect.  My expectation going into the trip was to help him understand the tension that has been built amongst some family members about him having a girlfriend only 3 months after his wife (my mother) died.  A lot of animosity and discomfort to say the least.  So, my goal was to create some level of resolve and keep the family together.
After a first attempt of bringing this to his attention, I was shut down.  He had a shield over his emotions and would not let me in.  He reacted as if he didn’t care about what others thought and he needed to focus on his sanity, not others.  He began to push me away, as if he didn’t need me in his life either.  At 21 years old, of course this would hurt anyone, but tapping into a very vulnerable place, I made an important point to my dad that would hurt him and elevate our relationship at the same time.
“I need you to be mom and dad right now.” — unsure of where these words came from, but they poured out of my mouth.  “Im not ready to bury my mother, but I had to.  You’re not prepared to be both parents, but I am asking you to.  I need you now more than ever.  I need your encouragement, your emotional support, and your love.  Do not push me away.” — as tears pour down my cheeks.
Although my dad did not receive my request initially, he understood that I was not coming from a place of anger towards him, but from a position of pain, suffering, and trauma.  By him seeing and hearing that I needed him, truly below the surface of conscious emotion, I unlocked the beginning of a relationship with my dad that continues to flourish.  He is my best friend.

 What did you learn from it?
I learned that no matter how painful it is to risk vulnerability by sharing my feelings with someone else, it will always benefit me.  If I don’t communicate my feelings, I might be chasing after something that can never satisfy me.  If my dad neglected or rejected me, I would still need to survive without him and I would not invest my energy into an unwanted space.  By communicating, I can begin to create resolve and build a new, stronger relationship moving forward.

 If you are or were going to be a mentor for another man, what is one piece of advice you would give him?
Live with purpose and gratitude.  Stay focused on what truly brings you passion or aggressively find that and appreciate that journey and the people on it with you.
 How do you be the best partner (Boyfriend/Husband- past or present)
– Admit when I am wrong.
– Apologize when I simply react instead of giving a thought out response.
– Know her Love Language and satisfy that need whenever I see fit.  It will be one of the following: words, touch, time, service, gifts.  My girlfriend’s is words, so I consciously give text messages, leave notes, give compliments, give praise, and appreciate her whenever I can.  Not because I am supposed to and not to manipulate, just simply to make sure she receives love the way she desires to.
– Cuddling.
– Putting the phone away when we are together.
– Ask her about her day before telling about mine.
– Actively Listen.

 Do you support any Charities or Not-for-profits? (Which one(s) and why?)
“PB&J for Tampa Bay” is an effort to feed 25,000 homeless people this year in the Tampa Bay area. We recognize that those less fortunate, who find themselves upon hard times, should never be overlooked or given up on. Life is unpredictable and at any moment the tragedy of an unforeseen circumstance or disaster could leave even the most stable person in a similar situation.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Miley Cyrus – The Climb
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Physical – Best shape of my life at 185 pounds, able to do 10 pull ups, 50 push ups, and eliminate my back pain
Financial – 20 streams of income
Career – 10+ books released, international speaker, running a thriving business in the Hall of Fame with my company
Contribution – Expand PB&J for Tampa Bay to USA and have 100+ locations nationwide feeding 600,000+ per year
Mental – read 50+ more books
Adventure – traveled to a few of my dream locations, including an African Safari, South American Jungle Waterfall tour, sky dive (anywhere), ski Whistler
Relationships – married and having my first born, hosted a family reunion, have a dog
What legacy do you want to leave for future generations?
I want people to be “good-finders” in themselves and in those around them. Everyone deserves to feel good.
In an unjust situation, I want someone to find their inner patience and acceptance. In a thriving situation, I want someone to share with others and spread those vibes.  The pay-it-forward concept will eventually catch up to the local community, into the city, into the state, into the country, and then the world … one person at a time.
What One book would you recommend for any Man?
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
If you know a Man that is making a positive impact on the world, we would love to hear from you! Contact us at [email protected]

Why I Invite Micro-Dose Suffering Into My Life

Lately I have been thinking a lot about excess.  Excess is defined as, “An amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable.”
Comparing North Americn culture to other cultures, it’s quite staggering where we stand in terms of excess and waste.
It is no secret that North America is known for its size — the size of the US military, of our servings, of our people, of our cities. Everything.
We’re a society obsessed with gargantuan behavior.  
This is our normal life. We are creatures of adaptability, so if everything is large then large becomes normal.
But when you see the way other cultures live, looking back at our behavior is like a shock of cold water to the face.
We think the way we live is normal. I suppose it is normal, but if everyone is overweight then the person who treats his body with decency becomes the outlier.
Some people are hardly able to move. Walking down the street in most American cities means you will see people in motorized wheelchairs simply because they are overweight.
When visiting other cultures you will be hard pressed to find any overweight people. It’s not something I noticed until I travelled abroad but really sank in when I returned.
I don’t know the cause of this, but I believe excess makes us weak and that there is strength in hunger.  
Excess creates reliance. Reliance on food. Reliance on comfort. A lack of things — be it food, clothing, shelter, or heat creates will and discipline. Instead of gorging whenever you want you must control yourself in the face of a desire to eat the remaining days’ food before 7 am. 
How many people do you know that would be willing to do a 24-hour fast on a moment’s notice?
Our current culture makes us reliant. In the face of this, I believe it’s fundamentally important to introduce suffering into our lives.
Suffering does not have to be mean grieving, coming from a rough childhood, or even a sadists’ form of suffering. Suffering can be tame and you can micro-dose suffering on an everyday practical level.  
Micro-dosing is known for its use in medical practice, where one takes a minimal amount of a substance. Here’s how Wikipedia defines Micro-Dosing:
“Microdosing (or micro-dosing) is a technique for studying the behaviour of drugs in humans through the administration of doses so low (“sub-therapeutic”) they are unlikely to produce whole-body effects, but high enough to allow the cellular response to be studied.”
Given Wikipedia’s definition of Micro-Dosing, let’s define what Micro-Dose Suffering is. I define it as taking small actions that are not pleasurable to perform and cause a low level of suffering but are incremental compared to major life events that may cause massive suffering.
An example is taking a cold shower compared to going through the major suffering of a divorce or death in the family.
Micro-dose suffering is something I have started doing recently.  
There is no other way to say it: You and I live privileged lives
We’re able to access the Internet. That alone is enough to make us 1-percenters on this planet, but we have have many other things going for us such as food, shelter, clean water, plumbing, and hopefully some cash in our pockets.
It is really important to realize this, otherwise we can forget everything we have. Remember, humans are creatures of adaptability. We adapt to our situation, whether positive or negative. In the face of negativity we will adapt and when everything is going our way, we too will adapt.
I micro-dose suffering so I can appreciate what I have. I first recognized this when I was eating little and sleeping in my care while driving cross-country on a 3-month road trip. 
Food was decadent and a bed was cloud nine. It was a micro-dose of suffering and I adapted.Gratitude
I do this now by fasting occasionally and doing workouts that are designed to mentally challenge myself.  
These are small things we can do to practice gratitude but we also need larger things to help us get a greater perspective of where we stand.
Visit people who live on a dollar a day. Then when you come back to North America, order a small drink and look at the size of it.  
It should be called the smallest large.  
I enjoy suffering in the most non-sadistic way possible. I enjoy suffering because it highlights my privilege.  I am blessed to be in the position I am in life and I don’t want to forget that. Any aspect of it.
If you live in North America you’ll be hard pressed to escape excess. It surrounds us, but I challenge you to recognize that it surrounds us and to take action on it. It doesn’t have to be a large action.
Do something small like skipping dessert. Dessert is supposed to be a special occasion, not the third course.  
Get up before dawn and go for a run.
Take a cold shower.
All of these things will help you appreciate the abundance we have here in North America.
But it requires discipline to act. It is not easy. I commend you if you take action on one item listed above at any point in time. Routines are hard to break, but the beauty of routine is that if you establish the correct ones they become even more powerful.  
Take the first step in breaking a bad routine by acknowledging one thing you will do — taking a cold shower for example. Establish that you will do it once. That’s all. No more.
Then pick an exact time that you will take action and write it down. “I will take a cold shower tonight after my workout.” Then at night, turn on the shower as you are used to it, presumably in the range of warm to hot, then over the course of the shower lower the temperature until by the end it is just cold water.
(Pro-Tip: Remember to breathe deep, this helps deal with the cold).
Congratulations! If you went through this exercise you deserve to feel incredible. You expanded your comfort zone and won the day. I’ll bet your next warm shower will be beautiful.
Excess is everywhere and it is in our best interest to recognize it, because if you indulge you are only affecting yourself and if you choose to not indulge you are only affecting yourself. It reminds me of a quote from Henry Ford, “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”
It is of the utmost importance to keep your body and mind sharp and to get rid of the excess.
Indulge if you like. I certainly do from time to time, but remember, the world continues to turn regardless of how much you weigh. Indulge or don’t indulge. Either way, you’re the one who will reap the consequences.
Personally I choose to take care of myself, which I guess makes me a minority.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are regarding this topic, if this impacted you at all or if you have any questions or comments. Seriously, I would love to hear from you.
Luke dropped out of college at 19 and traveled the country for 3 months doing research on secondary education.
Luke_Harris-Galahue_HeadshotDuring that time he interviewed over 100 people including professors from Harvard, MIT, Yale, CEO’s of 7 figure businesses and students across the nation.
Luke was the 7th employee at where he now does Marketing.
You can usually find him doing Jiu Jitsu or Crossfit, listening to Hip-Hop or Taylor Swift, and growing a company.
Connect with Luke on Facebook or LinkedIn
Like what you saw? Subscribe to the ManTalks podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, and join the private ManTalks Facebook Community for conversations that matter. Facebook not your thing? Sign up to the ManTalks newsletter. Every week we’ll send you an email with the best articles and interviews we published that week.
[fc id=’3′][/fc]

10 Reasons to Be More Selfish [And How it Helps You Avoid Anxiety]

Thanks for joining me. Read on as I teach you to be more selfish [and how that will help you avoid anxiety].
I was so consumed with trying to please people for so long that eventually I started having stress induced panic attacks.
I worked long hours, commuted for 3 hours every day, earned a top salary, was a ‘good employee,’ and tried to keep everyone happy.
I tried to be a good father and husband with the little time I had left in my day.
Still not content with doing enough I even convinced my wife that we should start another business on the side, hoping to get some more money in the bank for retirement or some other unnecessary purchase. So now I could work when I got home from work.
Often, I would get home from work, grab something to eat, and then go straight to work on my start up. I would finish at midnight, only to fall asleep and prepare to do it all over again.
The fucked up thing is that many people actually admired me, “Look at Tim, he’s doing his best. Trying to provide for his family, working hard. It’s not easy you know.”
In that culture, lack of sleep was worn like a badge of honor. The less sleep the better, as then you could be more productive and get more done.
During this time I never thought about myself. I was just trying to scrape through each day and hold everything together. I needed to be more selfish.
“Must keep work happy.”
“Must keep wife and kids happy.”
“Must make more money.”
“Must keep up appearances.”
“Must neglect my own well being.”
Whenever I’d go away on business trips I was torn. My wife would be waving me off, frequently with tears in her eyes, as I’d be leaving her to look after our young family, while I went off for some unnecessary meetings. On the other hand, I’d have my boss phoning me and encouraging me to get out more.
Now I know that it was impossible to keep everyone happy. There were just too many incompatible things in my life.

IMG_2999I was the opposite of selfish. My own personal happiness came last every time. I thought if I could make everyone else happy it would make me happy.

But, that’s not how it works. I tried.
Eventually after trying to people please for long enough, my mind and body said enough is enough and threw Anxiety at me. It hit me like a dirty sucker punch in a beer league hockey game.
One day things were normal enough and the next I experienced a severe public panic attack, which turned my world upside down. Everything I’d been working to build was crumbling (in my mind at least anyway) and I made worse case scenarios my favorite pastime.
I managed nothing for myself until then.
No self-care
No nurturing
No consistent exercise
No concern to nutrition
No self-love
No self-belief
No self-confidence
No self-esteem
I suppose on reflection it makes sense. If you never invest in yourself, why would you expect to be in good shape mentally, physically, spiritually, or otherwise?
What I’ve come to learn is this – In order to be the best version of myself. I HAVE to come first. If you’re not selfish, you’re selfish. Selfish in that you’ve chosen to not fully show up in the more selfish Selfish because you’ve actively chosen to not choose yourself. Selfish because the people around you never actually get to see the real you.
Why you need to put yourself first and start being selfish:

Be More Selfish Reason #1 – Physical Health

Let’s start with an easy one. If you don’t take care of your body, your life will be limited. Maybe limited in how long you live or how fast you can run or how much energy you have in the day. But it will be limited. I chose to put myself first in this regard now. My gym time is sacred and is often the first thing I plan in my day. It’s non negotiable. Do I always love it? No. But it’s not a conversation anymore it’s a default. Because let’s face it, without regular exercise, everything in life is harder.

Be More Selfish Reason #2 – Mental Health

Pumping iron is visible, flexing the old grey matter however is all to often neglected. Some people still think working on mental health is a ‘woowoo’ waste of time, but it can make a huge difference. Spending 30 minutes a day journaling and meditation alone can be transformative for those willing to give it a try. Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Start with guided meditation and try out a journaling method called “morning pages”. There is no right or wrong.

Be More Selfish Reason #3 – Get Some Space

We’re so much in demand today that we forget what it’s like to be alone or just have our thoughts and nothing else to entertain us. I can say from personal experience that my biggest breakthroughs have been when I took a couple of days out, alone. And had time to really work on me.   I’d never stopped before. In 30+ years of being alive, to reflect on my life and ask myself what parts of it I was happy with and which didn’t serve me at all. In that space I made the biggest decisions of my life. Leaving my job, working on my relationships and uncovering my gift.
When is the last time you took a whole day to just be with yourself, consider your life, and ask if you’re on the right path?

Be More Selfish Reason #4 – Upgrade Your Relationships

I always hear, “well they’re my friends,” or, “well it’s my family” but here’s the truth: it’s a choice. You decide who you engage with and what you fill your head with. So if your getting dumped on by people that you speak to, change the people you speak to. It’s your choice and you must face the consequences my friends.

Be More Selfish Reason #5 – Work for You

This doesn’t mean you have to literally work for yourself and be an entrepreneur. What I mean is this: if you’re not putting yourself first in your choice of occupation, it’s going to cost you.   Do you work for the job that has the most career progression or prospects? Or maybe they just happen to be the company that pays the most cash.
One huge lesson I’ve learnt is that – more or less – money isn’t what makes me happy in my work.

Be More Selfish Reason #6 – Find Meaning

This ties into #5. If you chased a career due to parental or societal expectations, you may find it hollow. I did. When you can immerse yourself in work that is both fulfilling for yourself and serves others you tap into a wonderful energy source.
Don’t know where to start? As James Altucher says, practice writing down 10 ideas a day. After doing this for a while you’ll build up your, “Idea Muscle”
If you’d told me a few years ago I’d be an Anxiety/ Stress coach, helping people to overcome their adversity I’d have spat out my monster energy drink and laughed.
But now this work is what lights me up every day.

Be More Selfish Reason #7 – Get Grounded

Go for a walk without your phone, regularly. Sounds so simple but very few people actually do it. I believe there is great power in connecting with nature, listening to the birds, and smelling the smells. It gets us out of our heads and reconnects us. The freedom we all seem to crave so much is there for the taking, every, single, day. Grab 20 minutes and be free.

Be More Selfish Reason #8 – Develop Your Self

Always wanted to play the piano or learn Spanish? Do it then. Self development is often cited as one of the keys to happiness. I get this from retreats, masterminds, and also reading books. To take it a step further, share your newly learned capabilities. It’s powerful stuff.

Be More Selfish Reason # 9 – Nurture You

When was the last time you took a break, guilt free. Maybe to head off to the movies alone or binge watch some Netflix without feeling like you should be doing more. Maybe it’s getting a hair cut or beard trim followed by a nice cup of tea at a coffee shop (yes, I’m English). Often, as we transition through tough times, we focus on self-judgment rather than self-compassion. Be gentle and realize you’re enough.

Be More Selfish Reason #10 – Be You

This is the biggest thing you can do to honor yourself and your truth. Something I’ve come to learn the hard way is that the more out of alignment we are in our lives, the more we will struggle in all aspects of life.
What I can tell you is this: if you’re not putting yourself first there is no way you can be the best husband, father, son, brother or person.
Ironically the scariest moment in my life, the first panic attack, has ended up transforming my life. Now each time I feel that fear I know that if I lean into it, the growth and learning will be on the other side.
Being Selfish ends up being the most effective way to help myself and others.
Tim JP Collins is The Breakthrough Anxiety Coach and supports people suffering with Anxiety, stress and panic attacks.  Tim’s approach isn’t just about coping, it’s about moving past Anxiety and fear to live the life you were destined for.
Tim JP CollinsTim worked in the corporate world as a Vice President of Sales for 15 years, so is well versed in the business space.  He ultimately decided that wasn’t for him and was drawn towards supporting others, to live anxiety and stress free while going big in their lives.
Tim has also spent time in Entrepreneurial and Real Estate fields, starting a business with his wife in 2007, in their spare time, which went on to be brand name in the infant market and was acquired in 2015.
Tim is the creator & host of “The Anxiety Podcast” Each week Tim interviews people that have stories that you will be able to relate to. The interviews are raw, real and vulnerable and people share what’s really going on for them.
Tim believes that the more out of alignment we are in our lives, the more Anxiety & Stress will show up.  So he really looks at the bigger picture when working with clients.
Connect with Tim on the Web, The Anxiety Podcast, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram
Or, if you’re feeling a little old fashion you can just email him: [email protected]

How to Actually Stop Procrastinating in Five Simple Steps

Pretty much everything you’ve ever read about fixing procrastination will invariably make you miserable.
The people giving advice have good intentions, I’m sure.  But most procrastination tips are terribly flawed.
This is particularly true of habits and morning rituals.  And yet, these are two of the most popular anti-procrastination approaches.
In this article, I’ll show you why the typical approaches won’t work and will also make you unhappy.  Better yet, I’ll show you a more effective and blissful way to beat procrastination.

How Procrastination Ruined My Love Life

When I was 16, I had a huge crush on one of my best friends (not the best idea to begin with).
One day, she invited me to go see a movie with her and her girlfriend. Um…yes.  I began imagining all the amazing ways this could turn out, but that’s a different story.
She was going to call and let me know what time they were leaving…
So I told my mom, who said fine, BUT, that I still hadn’t cut the grass in our yard.  I’d been procrastinating for about a week.  I could go to the movie so long as I cut the grass first.
No problem.
I raced outside to cut our grass as fast as possible.  Forty-five minutes later, I ran back inside, sweaty and exhausted.
And then my mom told me that my friend had called…  
Cute little boy emotionally talking on the phoneI hit speed dial (this was way back in the day, and yes, I had her on speed dial).  Her mom answered and told me that they’d already left about 30 minutes ago.
The next few minutes involved a lot of falling on the floor and a lot of general anguish.  Laugh if you want, but nothing could have made me hate procrastination more than that.
Since then, I’ve been fighting procrastination every day of my life. I pulled all-nighters in school.  I’ve replied to emails 2 years late.  I’ve procrastinated at everything.
And every day, I’ve tried to be better.
It’s the same for you and everyone else.  You also want to be better in some way.  It’s the reason you try to stop procrastinating.
You want to earn more money.  You want to be a better parent or partner.  You want to be more successful.  You want to be happier.
But here’s the catch…

You Don’t Need to Be Better…

You don’t actually need to be better, as crazy as it might sound.  You don’t need to achieve more.  You don’t even need to grow or improve.
This goes against almost everything you read or hear these days.  Growth and improvement are proclaimed as the keys to happiness, success, and fulfillment.
Everybody is talking about “better” ways to do things…
How to build habits.  How to stay focused.  How to be a better person. How to set authentic goals.  How to be happier.  How to be a better friend, parent, or version of yourself.
It all sounds so noble and admirable.  After all, who wouldn’t want to be a better version of yourself?  And who wouldn’t want to be happier?
But there’s a dark side to always trying to be better.  And as Yoda has taught us, the dark side is quite tempting.
Take for instance…

The Plague of Habits and Morning Rituals

Over the past couple years, habits and morning rituals have become HUGELY popular.  They’re particularly popular as ways to beat procrastination.
I understand the excitement.  Back in 2008, I jumped on the bandwagon and started building habits.  I built a workout habit, a habit of writing, a habit of gratitude, and many others.
Then I created a morning ritual.  I woke up early every morning to journal, exercise, meditate, and to do the most important tasks of the day.  After all, it’s what successful people do, right?
Perhaps.  But there’s something you’re missing…
You only build habits and morning rituals for things you don’t really want to do.
When you were a kid, did you need to build a habit to play your favorite games?  Did you need a morning routine to get out of bed on your birthday, Christmas, or other holidays?
Businessman chained to a large ball
Of course not.  You didn’t procrastinate on those things because you wanted to do them.  It’s the same reason you don’t procrastinate on sex or dessert.

Why You Actually Procrastinate

There’s only one possible reason you procrastinate
You don’t want to do something.  Or, at least, you’d prefer to do something else.
You can try to complicate the issue, but that’s what procrastination boils down to.
So if you want to beat procrastination, you have 3 options:

  1. You can force yourself to do something you don’t want to do.
  2. You can make yourself like something you don’t like.
  3. You can stop doing things you don’t want to doand do something that you actually like.

The majority of people take approach #1.  You try to be stronger and have more willpower.  You don’t want to go to your job or work on your business, but no problem…you just power through it.
Some folks try approach #2.  You post goals on your wall or use NLP techniques to motivate yourself.  Maybe if you repeat enough affirmations, then you’ll enjoy working hard, right?
Hand with marker writing: What Do You Want More In Your Life?Pretty much nobody takes approach #3.  Doing what you like is (surprisingly) the hardest and scariest approach.  But I want to offer you this possibility…
Approach #3 is the most authentic and most effective approach.
And if you take this approach, you might also regain your happiness, passion, and sanity.  But it’s not easy…

How to Truly Stop Procrastinating

The Entire Answer: Stop doing things you don’t want to do. Start doing things you actually like.
Or think of it like this:
Do what gives you energy.
Stop doing what makes you tired.
Doing this is a lot more practical than you might believe.  But, like most people, you have objections to doing what you want.  Here are the most common objections (especially the last one):

  • “But I have bills to pay.”
  • “I don’t know what I really want to do.”
  • “If I do what I want, then I’ll watch TV, have sex, and eat junk food all day.”

You’ve convinced yourself that you must do certain things.  It’s almost never true.
If you do what you want, would you just waste time and sit on the couch?
Maybe.  You might waste time at first.  You might overindulge.
But the reason you would do those things is to escape.  You’re trying to escape from a life that you don’t want.
You’ve trapped yourself inside a battle going on in your head…

You’ve Got to Get Out of Your Head…

Procrastination starts in your head.  But you can’t think your way out of something you thought your way into.  So ending procrastination means getting out of your head.
To do that, you first need to understand how the battle in your head works.
There are 7 Phases of Procrastination:
Phase #1: You Feel Inadequate
These feelings are often hidden.  You may not be aware that you even feel this way.   But emotions drive almost everything you feel or do, and inadequacy is particularly strong.
You feel like you aren’t smart enough, successful enough, pretty enough, or popular enough.  In some way, you aren’t enough.  And you likely feel inadequate in many ways.  But one might be stronger than the others.
This is NOT a rational decision to feel not good enough.  It doesn’t matter if what you feel bad about is true or not.
Your inadequacy first started when you were a kid.  In some way, you felt unloved or insufficient.  Again, it’s not because it was true – we all feel this way at times.
Whatever it is, inadequacy is painful, so your brain tries to repress this feeling.  It’s pushed so far back in your brain that you don’t realize it’s there (unless you do a lot of digging).
Phase #2: You Try to Fix/Improve Yourself
This is the story of your entire life.  You try to be smarter.  You try to be more popular. You try to be richer or more successful.  You try to be funnier.  You try to be more caring and giving.  You try to be nicer.
The way you try to be better doesn’t matter.  The goal is the same.  You want to feel like you’re good enough.  You want to feel at peace.
When you do improve, you feel a little bit better.  You get praised or applauded, and you feel better for a time.  But it doesn’t last.
You believe that being better might fix the shame and inadequacy that you feel.  It never works.
Still,  you can’t stop trying to be better.  If you do, you’ll be forced to feel the initial shame and inadequacy.  That’s terrifying.  So…
Phase #3: You Forget What You Actually Want
You have no idea what you want.  Almost nobody does.  Stick with me here…
Your drive to be better is so strong that you act out of patterns and habits, not out of choice.
For example, you might actually want to raise a family in a small house in the country.  Or you might want to play music all day.
But you don’t feel smart enough or successful enough.  And along the way, you’ve been praised for your career or business success.  Each time you got a little bit smarter or more successful, you temporarily felt better.
So your brain responds by creating patterns to keep you moving in that direction.  And you start to believe that you want to be more successful at your job or business.
That’s just an example.  The point is this…
The majority of how you act and feel is not what you want.  It’s all just patterns to protect you.  (Below, I’ll show you how to rediscover what you want.)
Phase #4: You Do Things You Don’t Want To
Because you think being better will make you happy, you try to work harder.  You try to improve yourself.  You try to become the “best version of yourself.”  You build businesses and relationships with successful people.
But you don’t want these things – not deep down.  So…
Phase #5: You Procrastinate
You’re stuck in an endless cycle of trying to feel better by doing things you don’t want to do.
These activities don’t energize you.  After all, how could they?  The only reason you do them is because you don’t feel good enough to begin with.
So when you build a business or when you try to work harder, you’re reminded that you’re not yet good enough.  You try to become more likable and popular, but it’s just never enough.
The result is that you procrastinate.  You don’t get energy from doing these things, so you put off doing them.
You feel like you need to do these things, but you don’t want to. You beat yourself up for being lazy, and then finally…
Phase #6: You Try to Stop Procrastinating with Silly Tricks
You try to form habits.  You start a morning ritual.  You work with Pomodoros.  You make lists of your most important tasks for the day. You join an accountability group.
Any of that sound familiar?  I’ve done it all and more.
Sometimes these things work (see Phase #7 below).  Many times they don’t, though.  That’sNia mostrando sonrisa because your subconscious mind knows that these things won’t fulfill you.
Procrastination is hard to break because it’s an important sign for your life.  Your body and mind are screaming at you not to do something.  The question is whether you’ll listen.
Phase #7: Even if You Stop Procrastinating, You’re Miserable
Here’s the thing.  Phase #6 works.  You can force yourself to do things you don’t want to do.
Depending on your pain tolerance, you might be able to do that your entire life.  But there’s a price.
You’ll never be authentically happy or at peace.
You know this deep down, but you might not be willing to admit it.  If you’re always trying to be better, then it’s because you always feel not good enough. And if that’s how you feel, you can’t possibly feel true happiness or peace.
Understanding the battle in your head is just the first step.  You also need to take action…

Follow Your Bliss: Moving Backwards to Do What You Love

You need to do two things. You need to move backwards.  And you need to follow your bliss.
Most of the time, you’re looking for new ways to beat procrastination. For real results, you need to slow down and move the opposite direction.
If you take time to understand the battle in your head (above), then this is simple (but not easy):
Step #1: Cut out the silly new hacks and tricks (see Phase #6 above)
If you’re reading this article, then those hacks and tricks haven’t worked for you.  You’re still procrastinating.  And even if one does eventually work, you’ll be miserable doing things you hate.
Action: Stop looking for and trying anti-procrastination hacks.  You can do this bit-by-bit if you need.  Cut out one hack/trick at a time.
Step #2: Stop worrying that you procrastinate (see Phase #5 above)
Procrastination is not the problem.  It’s just a symptom of the problem.  More than that, it’s a sign that you’re headed the wrong direction.  It’s your intuition and soul yelling at you to stop.
Action: Don’t ask “how” to do this.  Just do it.  Asking “how” is a diversion tactic. That doesn’t mean it will happen immediately, but just commit to stop worrying.
Step #3: Stop doing things you don’t want to do (see Phase #4 above)
You can do this little-by-little.  Start paying close attention in your day-to-day life.  What makes you tired or drains your energy?  Follow your gut.  Start by cutting out small things.
Derek Sivers wrote a great article about this 8 years ago.
Then move on to bigger things, like your job, business, relationships, or where you live.
Step #3 is scary.  What happens if you stop trying so hard?  Will your life fall apart?  Will you lose your drive and ambition?
Maybe (to all those things).
I have this conversation with a lot of people.  For most people, losing their drive and ambition is terrifying.  So I ask them why they need drive and ambition.  The most common answer I get is…
You feel happiest when you’re growing and improving.
But why is your happiness dependent on growth and improvement?  (It’s because you don’t already feel good enough.)
You don’t worry if your hair is growing or improving (unless you’re bald or going bald).
Do you worry if your fingernails are growing and improving?  Of course not.  You believe that they’ve grown enough and are good enough already.
But not you.  You need to grow and improve.  You don’t have enough money.  You’re not happy enough.  You don’t have the perfect relationship.  You’re not nice enough to the people around you.
You’ve convinced yourself that being better is your path to happiness.  So it’s scary to stop doing these things that might make you better.
But nothing you’re chasing will ever make you good enough. As long as you’re chasing improvement and growth, you’re just distracting yourself.
Action: If something makes you tired or drains your energy, stop doing it.  Slow down and do less.  Stop draining activities one at a time.  Say no more often.
Step #4: Discover what you actually want (see Phase #3 above)
Important Note: You can’t skip Step #3.  You need to cut things out of your life before you add new things in.
Start by saying “no” to things that drain your energy or make you tired.  Then, start adding in activities that you think will give you energy.
You might be right or wrong about which activities you like.  You might try an activity and find that it also drains your energy.  It doesn’t matter.  You’re exploring.
Action: Do new activities.  Start with things you loved as a kid.  If it gives you energy, then do more of it.  Don’t look for a reason.  Just follow your bliss.
Step #5: Be Patient and Be Compassionate
If you follow Steps 1-4, procrastination will disappear almost entirely.  But it takes a while.
You won’t want to be patient – this is because you’ll still have the urge to be better.  But that impatience is a guide.  Whenever you feel the need to improve yourself or be better in some way, stop and notice it.
Most of all, begin to develop self-compassion.  By doing more of what you like and less of what you don’t, you’ll stop procrastinating.  But you’ll also be more aware of your perceived inadequacies.
When you notice that you feel not good enough in some way, just acknowledge it.  Sit with that feeling instead of trying to fix it.
Here’s what will happen if you do that…

Following Your Bliss Will Not Only Stop Procrastination.  It Will Also Open Up a Universe of Possibilities

Following your bliss is a phrase that I stole from the great Joseph Campbell.  It’s the single best approach for ending procrastination.  It takes guts and courage, but the results are more than you could hope for.
Here’s what Joseph Campbell has to say about it:
“…if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
You have two options:

  1.  You can keep trying to force yourself to do things that drain your energy; or
  2.  You can follow your bliss and do things you love doing.

The first option might eventually work, but at what price?
The second option is tougher, but it’s 100% certain to make your life a little bit more enjoyable.  Your choice.

Now…Let’s See Your Courage

If you want to make progress right now, then step up and answer this question:
What are you most afraid will happen if you don’t keep pushing yourself?
Be honest with yourself, at least.  In what way do you not feel good enough?
And if you’re feeling very brave, let us know in the comments below what you’re afraid of.  Also, let us know one thing that drains your energy that you’re going to stop doing.
jeremy-headshot2Jeremy Hendon has founded a few businesses, sold one of them, and calls himself an author and speaker. Mostly, he tries to help folks live a life they love. You can check him out at, on Snapchat (@JMHendon), or on Twitter/Periscope (@JMHendon).
Like what you saw? Subscribe to the ManTalks podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, and join the private ManTalks Facebook Community for conversations that matter. Facebook not your thing? Sign up to the ManTalks newsletter. Every week we’ll send you an email with the best articles and interviews we published that week.
[fc id=’3′][/fc]

The 5 Key Steps to Editing Your Life Story

We Believe the Stories in Our Mind

“I’m such a procrastinator. I put off everything,” Robyn (my wife) said.

She was talking to her coach and mentor.

“What do you procrastinate about?” he asked.

“Everything,” she said.

At that moment, she was sitting in her office at work.

“Let me ask you a question. Did you get dressed this morning?”


“Did you get your kids dressed?”


“Did you have breakfast?”


“Did you get yourself to work?”


“Have you been doing your work?”


The point was becoming clear.

She never has and never will procrastinate over everything. She’s not even a bad procrastinator. She’s motivated, focused, hard working, and fit. She exercises, reads, writes, and is emotionally available for her family and friends. She’s wakes up at 5am to do yoga, meditate, and plan her day.

She’s that kind of person. Yet, she suffers this belief that she’s not doing enough, because the stories we tell ourselves become our beliefs.

Beliefs become actions.

Actions determine fate.

We’re putting ourselves [and everything we love] at risk when the stories we tell ourselves become unconscious and automatic. Because it starts with a [seemingly] harmless story, but it ends with an action.

There’s something else you need to know about my wife: she’s always late.

It’s been the bane of my existence since we started dating twenty years ago.

Her habit annoyed the hell out of me because she’s so damned conscientious about everything else. It didn’t make sense.

“How come someone who has it together can’t seem to leave on time?” I would say.

Just like a compulsive smoker that can’t stop even though he stinks and wheezes, my gorgeous little wife couldn’t stop being late in spite of the repercussions. It was like she couldn’t see the pattern and how it affected everyone around her.

She believed she was a procrastinator, and her belief was reflected in her lateness.

[Note to my wife: I promise the next article will be about one of my many blindspots;)]

The great psychologist and researcher Daniel Kahneman pointed this out in his Nobel Prize winning book, Thinking: Fast and Slow.

Our brains don’t see the difference between a story and reality.

This becomes a problem when many of the thousands of stories we hold in our minds aren’t true. Kahneman also discovered that we rarely use the ‘slow’ thinking system to make rational decisions.

Stories are a kind of shortcut for the energy using process of rational thought. They allow us to make quick judgements and decisions.

Great. Everyone loves a shortcut when it works. But what if the shortcut leads you to a dead end over and over again every day for the rest of your life?

You would probably want to stop using the shortcut, or at least change the path.

Enter The Editorial Process

“The only kind of writing is rewriting.” — Ernest Hemingway

In the personal development space there’s a lot of talk about transformation and starting over, but I’ve come to believe that self-editing is more effective than starting new.

Self-editing is the process of slowly changing our belief system by changing our story. Just like the process of editing written works, it is painstaking but incredibly important work.

ManTalks speaker, Philip McKernan says, “It doesn’t matter if you think big. You have to believe big.”

We execute and act on our beliefs.

I’ve edited my personal story several times and will continue to.

I remember when, four years ago, I struggled to wake up early. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to get up before 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning.

I even remember saying to several of my friends, “I’m just not a morning person,” when they would ask me to do early morning things like go for a run or go to the gym.

In desperation I decided to try bringing in some accountability. I asked an early rising friend if he would mind texting me every morning at 5:30. He agreed, and I began waking up early. It was a massive struggle at first, but with every passing day it got a little bit easier.

A few months later when we moved to Jamaica, Robyn and I would leave our blinds open, and it was easy to wake up with the Caribbean sunrise every day.

I had become an early riser.

Then life happened. We moved across the world to Korea, and my old habits crept back. I hadn’t fully edited the story or cemented my belief.

Before I knew it, I was waking up at 8:00 again. I had created some powerful justification stories about getting up at 8:00.

“It’s not that late.”

“It’s one of the benefits of not working a 9 to 5.”

“I work into the evening.”

Eventually, I decided to get back to early rising. I clawed my way back to 7:00, then 6:30, 6:00, 5:30, 5:00, and finally today I wake up at 4:30.

Today I feel confident in saying I’m an early riser. It’s a part of my belief system.

This doesn’t mean those old stories will never come back or that I won’t have to continue to engage with the inner story. I will. That’s the nature of self-editing.

Take a look at any area you struggle [or succeed] with in life, and you’ll find a belief system based on one or many stories.

The 5 Keys to Editing Your Story [and Changing Your Beliefs]

1) Relax — The first thing to realize is that you’ll never get, “there.” Change to belief systems comes slowly. Many days it will feel like nothing is happening at all. Commit to the process forever.

Be wary of snake oil salesmen who offer a, “secret system to personal transformation.” You’re in this for the long haul, so chill out, do the work, and enjoy the journey.

2) Move Quickly — In total contradiction to #1 — it happens fast. When you self edit, you will be smacked in the head by truth.


When those moments come, move immediately. Otherwise the old beliefs will sneak back in.

3) Take Action — You’re not Stewart Smalley.

Change doesn’t come from repeating lame affirmations in the mirror. That’s a form of magical thinking, and probably the least effective form of self editing.

Sure, you edit the story in your mind, but then you have to actually do something about it. Action forges the new story and crystallizes belief.

It’s why going back to the gym after a week off seems difficult, but if you go every day you feel less resistance.

During the break you internalize the lazy story. You’ve stopped being the person who kicks ass and become the lethargic couch potato.

The only way to beat that inner bitch is to show up every day. With each passing day the inner bitch gets weaker and you get stronger.

Editing your story only in your mind and then never taking action will result in no change. The old story will remain.

Take action. I can’t stress this enough.

4) Reframe — When you first start the process you won’t even notice the stories passing through your consciousness. They will silently control your actions.

Without knowing why, you’ll do the opposite of what you know you need to do. Rather than throwing 45-pound weights on the olympic bar for a heavy set of squats, you’ll find yourself crushing donuts like Chief Wiggum.

All because that damn story just played in your head… again.

But, with practice you’ll start to catch the story, and eventually you’ll laugh at how false it is.

Maybe the story says you’re, “not athletic,” because some asshole in the first grade punched you in the mouth and you felt weak.

When you do catch the destructive story, reframe it like this, “I was small, which doesn’t mean I wasn’t athletic. Also, that kid’s dad probably beat him with a belt every night. No wonder he was such an asshole. I wasn’t weak at all. My brain is sending me a false story.”

Then you put down the donut and go workout. Little by little you lose the story that you’re not athletic and the donut starts to look like poison — sweet delicious poison, but poison nonetheless.

The next day you’ll probably feel the call of the donut again. Reframe it again. Rinse and repeat until the story of you, the athlete, is stronger than the story of you the donut aficionado.

5) Ask Yourself, “Is this true?”

Some stories are based in reality and others are false. When you begin to see your mind as a story machine, you will soon realize that it’s constantly playing both true and false stories.

An example from my own life: for a long time I had a story that writing was hard, excruciating work.

Which meant I set myself up to experience excruciatingly difficult work every day.


These days I still get that story sometimes, but now I immediately ask myself, “Is this true?” Then I reframe. I realize it’s a false story. This helps me remember why I love writing and that it’s a joyous process.

This awareness transforms the moment and I go on attacking my work with joy and vigor.

A Daily Practice of Self-Editing

Robyn and I talk every day about our stories and how to edit them. She helps me edit my stories, and I hers. Over the years we’ve changed many things together — things about ourselves that we thought were permanent.

I’m writing this at 5:45am after getting up for meditation and yoga at 4:30. I’m an early riser now — a successfully edited story.

There are others, though, and I will keep my red pen handy.

[For more on story editing, listen to Zander Robertson on the ManTalks Podcast.]

Zander Robertson is editor-in-chief of the Mantalks blog. He’s ghostwritten more than 20 zander-robertson-1books for major publishing houses and self publishers. Zander believes that the world turns on powerful, raw, and true stories. Read Zander’s article on the first steps to uncovering your story and/or writing your book. Email [email protected] to pitch your article idea for ManTalks.

Like what you saw? Subscribe to the ManTalks podcast on iTunes or Stitcher, and join the private ManTalks Facebook Community for conversations that matter. Facebook not your thing? Sign up to the ManTalks newsletter. Every week we’ll send you an email with the best articles and interviews we published that week.

[fc id=’3′][/fc]

These 3 Expressions Will Destroy Your Sex and Love Life

Change Your Language to Change Your Thoughts Around Sex and Love

A good male friend recently confessed to me something that, I believe, many men secretly think. He said,“If I meet a girl and after a few hours she’s already willing to have sex, I am disappointed. I can’t help thinking that she’s doing it with many other men – she’s just fucking around.” But I’ve come to believe that nothing is more dangerous for our sex and love lives than the negative way we think and speak.
It was the Nth time I had heard this comment about someone, but the derogatory charge behind those words hit me. I had to bring my friend’s attention to his words. This led to a deep and honest discussion about sexuality and relationships.
Often stopping for a moment to think about what we just said about intimacy can give us a valuable sneak peek into our subconscious ideas and values. The language we use around sex and love is especially charged. It expresses and conditions our attitude towards sex and love.
Here’s a few examples of negatively charged expressions we use abundantly, often without realizing the implications.

He/She is just fucking around.”

Even in our, “sexually liberated” times, we still negatively judge anyone who lives his or her sexuality with multiple people. We consider any relationship that’s not strictly monogamous to be impure and lowly.
The term, “fucking around” reflects our fear and judgment of sexual promiscuity. It summons images of objectification, low respect, and zero emotional connection.
But this is a lot to assume, especially when speaking about anyone else but ourselves. Even is someone wants to explore sexuality with as many people as possible, isn’t that a positive way to spread sexual and emotional energy among many different people?
Like a sexual butterfly.
Experience shows that many intelligent, deep, loving, and caring people have done exactly this at some point of their lives.

“She’s easy.”

Sexually negative judgments are particularly severe towards women.
The definition of easy is, “free from worries or problems”. Sounds great, right? And indeed, easy is good in virtually all contexts of life. Having an easy life, being an easy person, taking it easy, easing up – we all like that.
How come then, that being an, “easy woman” is immoral and shameful? Why should a woman refrain from having an uncomplicated and easy sexual life, if she wants to?
With this expression, we may be unconsciously suggesting that we prefer women to be full of worries and problems around sexuality. This becomes so ingrained, that women will often even judge themselves harshly for desiring uncomplicated, “easy” intimate encounters.

“He/She has been cheating on him/her.”

This expression conjures dark stories of evil, cunning and deceit, such as the ones we see in movies and books. In the media, there is always a clear-cut judgment of everyone involved in a “cheating” episode: the victim, the perpetrator, and the accomplices are all designed to be either good or evil.
But reality has a way of escaping these simplistic projections. The “unfaithful wife” may turn out to be a loving and caring woman that tries to do her best to keep her emotional life healthy.
We may discover that the “cheating husband” adores his wife and family, while still needing emotional and sexual diversity. True, cheating implies that an agreement has been broken. But often, we realize that the problem lies more in the rigidness of the agreement itself, its inability to cope with the changes in our lives, rather than in the immorality of the people involved.

Changing Our Language Around Sex and Love

Although we don’t necessarily need to radically change our way of speaking about intimacy and relationships, bringing awareness to it never hurts. The temptation to negatively judge someone else’s love life can be very strong, but it is unlikely to produce any beneficial results, other than reinforcing our anger and righteousness.
So here is a practical suggestion: let’s be attentive to the negatively charged expressions we may use around sexuality and love. Most often, these expressions reveal an unnecessary negative bias of someone else’s life. At the very least, bringing awareness to them can give us an insight into our hidden fears and sore spots.
One day, we might even decide to get such expressions out of our vocabulary and open our minds and hearts to the incredible diversity that human beings have to experience connection, intimacy and sexuality.
[For more on sex and relationships, listen to the ManTalks Podcast]
Raffaello Manacorda (but you can call him Raffa, he likes that) is a Tantra teacher, author, and coach. After graduating with a degree in Philosophy, he spent more than a decade living in raffa_200x200alternative communities and working as a radical activist. He discovered Tantra early in his twenties, and then went on to explore the deep secrets of sex and spirit. He is the creator of The Network of Love, an international workshop on conscious relationships, and a regular columnist for The Elephant Journal. His current obsession is human evolution in all of its aspects, and he loves to rant about Tantra, sexuality, and conscious relationships.
Connect with Raffa on Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter
Join the private ManTalks Facebook Community to discuss this article and all issues related to modern men and masculinity. Facebook not your thing? Sign up to the ManTalks newsletter. Every week we’ll send you an email with the best articles and interviews we published that week.

[fc id=’3′][/fc]



Which Statement Best Applies To You?

Click the button below.