Sometimes – you just need to get alone. Our personal growth and development and progress aren’t always about doing, and about the hustle. This is hard for men to realize sometimes – that what we really need – is sometimes a little time alone in the woods.
personal development for men
From the time we are young, we get this wrong impression that finding and winning a great woman will give us satisfaction.
Don’t get me wrong – my wife has certainly brought much satisfaction and joy to me life – but there was a point at which I realized that I was expecting her to fill a hole inside my heart that no mortal can fill.
To HONOR is to value something rightly. If we value something in the wrong way – it is actually a dishonor. I was dishonoring my wife by valuing her in a way she could not fulfill.
We often expect the wrong things out of our partners. What are we looking for? Where can we find it?
Most of the guys that are reading Manlihood blog posts and watching our videos are good men. Most of you are not sexually assaulting people, or parading around with your chests puffed out and shoving your masculinity in people’s faces. No – most of you men have already achieved a level of personal development.
Most of you are good men.
There might be a few brigands and rogues who stumble their way on the content we put out. GOOD! Sirs, if you’re a trouble maker – I hope you can learn from us!
If you ARE a good man though – we can always strive to be better. We can grow and learn and become better husbands, fathers, and leaders.
Any one of us, though, can get sucked into the wrong path. We can make one small bad decision that snowballs – and then we’re screwed.
Let’s strive for better. Let’s stay on track to be the best we can be.
When a man walks into a room – he can change the atmosphere of that room. His presence carries a certain weight. If that weight is recognized – it impacts the others.
That weight? That’s what GLORY is.
Your reputation, your demeanor, your posture, your story, your character – all factor into how people can see you.
And we can strive to build a presence that is respected and well known.
When I started Manlihood, I started it as much for myself as much as for everyone else. I don’t just want to help create resources for personal development for men, I want to personally develop myself as well.
A while back, my buddy Brian called me out.
He told me that I was committing slow suicide.
Yeah. Not quick and traumatic.
Not fast and painless.
But by continuing to engage in a destructive lifestyle of eating crap food and not taking care of myself, I was committing slow suicide.
There are moments in our lives when we get a glimpse of something bigger than us.
I think these moments are why most irreligious people consider themselves agnostic rather than atheist. It’s hard to wrap their brain around the idea that there may be an all powerful loving God, but they can’t deny that there is some unseen hand at work.
Most of you know where I stand on that. I don’t really don’t want Manlihood to be all about preaching my Christian beliefs to you. I know we have men from all backgrounds. I know I’ll never convince everyone to convert, and that isn’t the goal here today.
I can’t, however, deny that there are moments in life when you see the Hand of God at work.
For many, they’ll call it “the universe” or “fate” or in the biggest act of denial or defiance, chalk it up to “coincidence” or “luck” – but even then, they stack stones to make an altar and sacrifice to it.
In eighth grade I made a friend. The first friend I ever really had. He was the new kid, his mother’s family was greek, so his curly hair and facial shaped sharply contrasted the little whitebread polish and irish catholic kids in our tiny little town. Nobody wanted to be friends with the new kid. I POUNCED. He needs a friend, and so did I.
Actually, he made a great friend. I’d call him on the phone, we’d hang out, and eat lunch together, and if it weren’t for his friendship, I’d probably have offed myself that year.
But at the end of that year, he broke the news – his mom was moving back downstate.
I would have been devastated, but fortunately, eighth grade was the year that I found value in myself. I had made a few friends before the end. I was sad to be losing my buddy, but at least I had a couple other friends.
Fast forward four years and one summer. I’m standing in the registration line at a large Christian college in Virginia. I had planned to go to a different school, but funding fell through, and Liberty offered me a combination of grants and loans that I couldn’t refuse. (Those loans though – yikes. Another topic for another day.) As I’m standing in line, I hear a voice say, “Don’t tell me you don’t remember me after all these years!”
Yup. Three people ahead of me in line.
And the three people between us were girls. Which meant as we registered and were assigned form rooms – that’s right. Roomies.
It was a great year, and reconnecting with an old friend was a powerful experience that proved to me the hand of the divine.
Fast forward again. This time, it’s 2001. My wife is doubled over with pain. We get her to the ER. Good news. It’s a boy. (His name is Abe.) Bad News. She’s got multiple cysts, they should be removed, but surgery is dangerous for her and the baby.
Prayers from family, and friends as close as family then commence. Dusty old church ladies who pray in King James. Slightly crazy charismatics who like to touch you when they pray and say things like “hedge of protection” and “from the top of her head to the soles of her feet.” Prayers from people who aren’t even sure if they believe it. Prayers from folks who have probably raised the dead.
A day or two later, further testing shows, the cysts are gone.
Over the years, that woman has had more unexplained things disappear than anything I know. Graves Disease, Nodules on her thyroid, you name it.
I’ll attribute it to that Hand of God. I’m not ashamed or afraid to do so.
Just last year, my youngest teenage daughter was diagnosed with significant hearing loss. After a barrage of tests and imaging, it was determined to be permanent nerve damage. “This doesn’t get any better. It only gets worse.” And then my sweet little girl got a hearing aid, which she wore like a badge of honor. I think it was her way of staving off the disappointment- to turn her shame to pride.
She didn’t even ask for healing. Didn’t think it would happen for her. But her crazy bold teenage friends were praying, and refused to stop.
She woke up one morning and the side of her head felt like pins and needles.
She yawned. SNAP.
And then she could hear.
Popped her hearing aid in, and it was WAY too loud.
Snapped her fingers. Yep.
Plugged her other ear. Yep.
Months later, a follow up with a very puzzled audiologist confirmed, her hearing was restored. “We’ve never seen anything like this. In fact, the hearing in both of your ears has improved.”
There are too many times that I’ve seen these things for me to deny that there are supernatural forces at work. Too many things, both sacred and wicked for me to deny that there are things beyond my understanding.
“I got a man.” “What’s your man got to do wit’ me?”
Nobody likes to be told what to believe. We take that “I got a man” posture if anyone starts getting “preachy.” While I love the idea that the things I say may be like seeds that get you to consider MY God, I know that for many of you, that’s not going to happen. I’m not judging, I’m not preaching, I’m not shoving anything on anybody. But I will ask you to consider it.
Ultimately, we have to ask these questions, whether they be of black holes, or an unseen God, or even a village witch doctor….
What does it mean for me?
How should I live my life in the light of this information?
Who is in charge of my life?
The answer to all of these, I can’t say for you. Part of the journey is in finding the answers.
Part of having faith is finding it, and fighting for it.
William Ernest Henley – 1849-1903
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
Want to weigh in? Comment here, or log in to our private facebook group – The Manlihood Mancave to discuss this with other men! Interested in more Personal development for men? Check out our website at Manlihood.com for more info! Don’t forget to check out our partners: Hatcher Media – Creative Marketing Solutions | Graphic Design | Video Production | Web Design | Content and Social MarketingHonky EDC – Everyday Carry Essentials. Handkerchiefs, Beard Oils, and More.
Josh Hatcher featured, general manliness, Lifestyle, manlihood, personal development for men, podcast, relationships personal development, personal development for men, relationship tips, relationships 0
In this episode of the Manlihood Mancast, Josh Hatcher tells us 5 relationships tips to save you a world of heartache.
Quick relationship tips that will save you a world of heartache.
1. She is not your whole world.
I know we like to say that because it sounds poetic, and it kind of feels like it. But don’t let her be your whole world. Make sure you have some good friends, and that you MAINTAIN those friendships (particularly with other men who build you up). Make sure you have some things that you can do without her. If you wrap your whole identity around her, you’re going to be in trouble if you encounter any problems.
2. You will have problems.
You’re either committed to work through them, or you are not. Make up your mind on the matter now.
3. Each of you is sovereign
Even though there is certainly an element of “submission” to each other involved in marriage – she submits to you – you lay down your life for her (just read ephesians) — it’s especially important to understand that each of you is sovereign. She has a right to her feelings and frustrations, as much as you do. You can’t get butthurt if she sees things from a different perspective, or if she prefers miracle whip to mayo. (I know – that’s probably a dealbreaker) Recognizing and acknowledging her sovereignty, as well as your own will allow you both to understand your value.
4. She doesn’t owe you anything.
You bought her dinner? She doesn’t have to sleep with you. You went to work for 16 hours? She doesn’t OWE you clean dishes. YES. It’s helpful for you to have arrangements and clear expectations of each other. But don’t think for a minute that love is transactional. You can’t purchase or earn affection. No one is indebted to give love to the other. Love is given as a free gift, or it’s not love at all.
5. You teach people how you want them to treat you.
If you tolerate disrespect, and if you give disrespect, you’ll get disrespect. You must set clear expectations of the behavior and communication you want to receive from them, and patiently correct them when they deliver something different.
Complaining, insults, intentionally hurtful words create a spiraling effect. One of you offers them up, the other retaliates.
Don’t expect her to show respect if you don’t. And if she doesn’t – rather than retaliate- calmly correct it and get to the root of why she’s feeling that way. Do it humbly. You very well might be the root of it. You don’t have to tolerate verbally abusive and hurtful language. But if there are patterns established, it will take patience to change those patterns.
Want to weigh in? Comment here, or log in to our private facebook group – The Manlihood Mancave to discuss this with other men!
Interested in more Personal development for men? Check out our website at Manlihood.com for more info!
Don’t forget to check out our partners:
Hatcher Media – Creative Marketing Solutions | Graphic Design | Video Production | Web Design | Content and Social Marketing
Sweat, blood, seawater, sand. Caked all over my face. I could HEAR smoke. I could SMELL the cries of my wounded brothers. On mission. Storm the beach. Take the high ground. Push them back. Kill the Nazi’s.
D-Day was a battle like no other.
Lou’s grandfather landed on that beach.
“This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success.”General Dwight D Eisenhower
I don’t have such a direct connection to the real event, as far as I know, but I do know that this date, which will live in infamy, is also the anniversary of my own internal battle.
Life was a whirlwind of chaos. Missed deadlines, jobs not panning out. Spinning the Roulette Wheel of “What Bill Doesn’t Get Paid This Month.” And the fog and stench of my own personal war was ever present.
I didn’t believe in ADHD.
It was just something the pharmaceutical companies made up. I didn’t dare take any medication. I didn’t want to inhibit my creativity. It wasn’t a chemical imbalance anyway.
And there I say, watching yet another ball get dropped. Yet another of my “soldiers” fall on the shore.
I was 430 pounds.
I was in debt.
I was in pain.
I was buried under responsibilities I couldn’t even wrap my head around.
My friend had similar struggles. He sent me a text. “Dude. You up? Can I call you?”
He had lost a lot of weight, I knew this was one of “those calls.” I’d had a thousand of them from well-meaning friends who tried to help.
He told me about his ketogenic diet.
(I have literally tried it before)
He told me about the ADHD medication he was taking.
(I was skeptical)
He told me, “Man. Do this with me. You can do it. I’ll help you.”
Okay, Dennis. I’m game. I’m tired of this. Where do I start?
He told me to go look at myself in the mirror. Do you see that ugly guy? Tell him you hate him. That you don’t want to see him again. Then make a fist, look at that fist. When you see that ugly guy, you punch him down.
I went to the mirror. Even at 430 pounds, I said, “Dang. I’m sexy!”
Dennis, it’s not working.
His internal fuel is different from mine, for sure.
Self-hatred might motivate some, but I’m too cocky for that.
We will accept nothing less than full victory! Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, 6 June 1944.
A few days later, June 6, 2018, I sat outside in the warm June air. And started thinking about D-Day.
D-Day wasn’t just about the taking of that beach at Normandy.
D-Day wasn’t victory for the Allied forces yet.
V-E Day was the day of victory over Europe. It was 11 months later.
V-J Day was the day of victory over Japan. It was 14 months later.
D-Day was called that because it was the DECISION DAY – the day of decisive victory.
Because we won that battle, victory for the rest of the war was assured.
There was a lot more war after that. A lot more carnage and cost and casualty.
But at THAT battle at Omaha Beach, our boots on the ground, our transports dumping men off in droves to overwhelm on stronghold, we changed the course of the war.
Lt Col Robert L Wolverton, commanding officer of 3rd battalion, 506th PIR.
“God almighty, in a few short hours we will be in battle with the enemy. We do not join battle afraid. We do not ask favors or indulgence but ask that, if You will, use us as Your instrument for the right and an aid in returning peace to the world.”
As I thought about that battle, and what it meant, I decided, then and there, that it was my D-Day. I was going to make the choice to never go back. I would not be the same.This day would decide the course of the rest of my life.
I talked to my doctor. I decided to give some medication a shot.
I decided to give a ketogenic diet a shot.
I took a new job.I decided that I’ll be a rockstar at it and I WILL excel.
I changed my attitude about everything. I will not say “I can’t” anymore.
I determined to lead my family the way they need to be led.
I determined to love my wife the way she needs to be loved.
I determined to lead myself the way I need to be led.
I determined to stop accepting a poverty mindset.
I determined to be who I’m meant to be.
It was the day of decisive victory.
And one at a time – my own V-Days keep arriving.
Last D-Day, I set my first goal of losing 100 pounds by June 6. And I’m there. I’ve done it. If that goal has taught me anything – it’s that setting my intention, and saying that I can and will do something is powerful.
I wish I could say that all my problems were fixed, but I can say that they are getting better. Meeting this goal has transformed my way of thinking. It has empowered me. I have no desire to stay the same. I have no desire to remain defeated. I will not.
I want you to make this your D-Day.
What changes do you need to make?
What do you want to accomplish?
What mindsets do you need to change?
What goals do you need to set?
Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Write down your goals.
Write down this sentence.
Starting today, I will ______________________ and I will celebrate my victory one year from today
My little brother had a really awesome toy when we were kids.
My Pet Monster.
It was almost as big as he was, covered in blue fur, with glow in the dark teeth and a big warty nose.
He came with an awesome accessory – a set of rubber shackles with a plastic chain between them. There was a false link in the middle, that would pop loose with a little force.
We would play cops and robbers, and take turns being arrested. Then, we’d “hulk out” and break off the shackles and run away.
You’ll never catch me, Copper!
Mike* was an addict. His wife and kids had died in a crash. He treated that pain with booze. The booze wasn’t enough. So he smoked pot. The pot wasn’t enough, so he started popping pills. It wasn’t long before heroin and cocaine were as essential as his morning coffee.
Dude was hurting. Badly. Unfortunately, self-medicating with toxins has a number of side effects, including an inability to hold down a job, an inability to keep a relationship, and an inability to drive safely.
He wanted to die. Tried to a few times.
He packed up and moved to the opposite coast, in an attempt to escape his chains. They followed him.
Several DWI’s later, he wound up with a prison sentence.
His emotional pain turned into a physical condition where his body depended on poison. His pain made him a slave.
Before MIke went in, he had his “Hand of God” moment – where he actually literally met God – but that’s another story for another day. Mike hit the ground hard, and renounced the mess that he was in.
Something BAD happened to Mike. Mike chose slavery in the hopes that it would make him feel better. It didn’t. He felt worse, and wanted to die. Tried to strangle himself with his chains. Tried to run, but he took his chains with him.
When a slave runs, a slavemaster will try to capture him, and punish him for leaving.
Mike broke the chains off. Got clean. Made a drastic change.
But he still had consequences.
I sent him this message before he went in. “Hey bro. I know you don’t want to go. Nobody wants to go to prison. But you’ve made changes while you’ve been waiting for this sentence to come down. You’ve walked out of the chains you had, and become an entirely different person.
Prison is certainly a consequence – but maybe it’s a privilege too?
You’ve been chosen to go on mission. To walk into that place as a changed man. You aren’t there to be punished – you’re there to be a lighthouse. To shine a beacon for all the others there. To show them that chains can be broken.”
He’s out now. Clean. Sober. Free.
No chains. No shackles. No prison walls. I’m sure he still has hurt. He’s scarred up on the inside. And he goes to AA meetings and churches and tells them that chance is possible. That chains can be broken.
My own story doesn’t feel as dramatic. Sometimes part of me wishes I had a story like that. Prison, Heroin. Freedom.
But I’m also really glad that I don’t.
But I know chains. I know them well. I also know the sound they make when they hit the floor.
You’ll never catch me, Copper!
*Not his real name.