The situation is serious: In many western countries there is a divorce rate of 50%. Many young men who don’t want get married and more and more single moms who raise their kids without a father. these are clear signs that something has to change. The good news: Life quality increased dramatically in the last centuries and therefore also our great demands towards others and ourselves. In western countries we have more possibilities than ever before to create the life we want to live. More often than ever before we can ask ourselves. “Who am I?” Which sooner or later leads to a deeper question “Who am I – as a man?” For that, men need male role models. Often, we turn to movie or rock stars, but we forget so easily that they are also sons, brothers, often fathers, neighbors and citizen of a country. How do they deal with that? We are trying to do our homework to become maybe a star, but forget to keep attention in the other areas of our life.
In the past, many men experienced the so called mid-life crisis, where they left their wife, bought a porsche and rediscovered their wild side. Now men have their – as I call it – “early life crisis”. What should they do – and even more important: Why? Having a job is not enough, they want to do something that makes sense, they want fun, they want to leave something meaningful behind. But how can we reach that? This question – and even more the answer – is key, because doing the wrong job, following the rules of society like a puppet on the strings, carrying a mask day in and out sucks so much life energy from men and can lead to breakdown, burnout and even suicide.
To successfully conquer the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s world, we need new men, we need a new masculinity. The macho type of the 80’s is outdated. Yet most women don’t want to have a softie at home. What we need is a mix of both. Every man and every women has a male and female side. We have to remember our male qualities and at the same time we have to learn from women. We need to understand when to be hard and when to be soft. When to fight for our rights, and when to let go. When to show clear boundaries and when to be graceful and merciful
The New Masculinity is acknowledging the work of David Deida, who states in his worldwide bestseller “The Way of a Superior Man” that every man (and woman) has a masculine and feminine side. The whole universe is based on the rules of polarity, the game between yin and yang, between day and night, between light and dark, plus and minus, male and female. Typical masculine attributes are e.g focus, courage and aggression. Typical female attributes are e.g. compassion, aesthetics and patience. As stated above, every man and every woman is carrying both sides in them, in average a man has more masculine and a woman more feminine attributes.
Here is my contribution, definition and addition to define The New Masculinity: Each side has three components. On the male side we have
1. Vision: A man needs to know what he wants in life. He is the captain of his ship and he needs to know which coasts he is sailing to and why. He needs a strong vision that gives him power in dark moments, that reminds him each day why he is putting in the effort. A vision is a living picture of him in 10-20 years, something he can smell and breathe. The stronger your vision is, the stronger you are as a man.
2. Courage: A man with a vision stays a dreamer if he doesn’t have the courage to make it happen. Having courage means not only regarding your own vision, but also to have the courage to fight for minorities, to fight for the good, to raise your voice for those who lost it. To use your power to fight the evil in this world.
3. Persistence: A man is a man if he believes in his vision and doesn’t give up if he suffers setbacks. People will laugh at you, they will criticize you. Friends will turn into enemies, but you are not giving up. In these dark moments you have to prove to yourself – and to yourself only – how serious you are with your vision. And believe me, you will be tested, many times. And it will make you stronger. Keep going and you stand out of the crowd.
On the female side we find:
1. Heart: Whatever a man does, he does it with his heart out of love for himself and others. He is not a narcissistic egoist, but he uses his talents and skills to make the world a better place. If his actions are not connected to his heart, he is acting out of dangerous and probably materialistic motives.
2. Vulnerability: That’s what most men find challenging: To allow feelings and to confess that they are not always in total control of their lives. That they are sometimes preoccupied with their own insecurities and inadequacies.. Open up, connect to other MEN (who are going through similar issues). This is the first step to heal and get back on track in your quest to find true happiness.
3. Communication: We have to learn to not only have a strong vision and to follow through with projects related to it, but we have to have the ability to talk about it, which allows us to listen to others, to show compassion towards other people’s lifes and comprehend their viewpoints.
Once we learn those skills, once we open up to life, how do we effectively use that in our daily business and private life? And more importantly: How do you see and approach the world once you are willing to change your attitude and perspectives towards life – as a man?
Find out in the last BLOG of this series “Why Men Have to Rise”, called: BLOG 3: It’s Our Right to be a Man