I recently received an email from a 21 year old fella who asked for my guidance in becoming a better man. He said he didn’t have positive male role models & believed the tutelage of a strong woman would benefit him.
The skeptical might view this as a trick to get me to role play a fantasy with him, not to actually obtain helpful info to improve his real life…& as it turns out, you’d be right. After tweeting asking my fans for suggestions to help younger men seeking to become better humans the ungrateful rascal told me off for not taking him on as a personal slave. (I’m not accepting new slaves at the moment but he didn’t take the perceived rejection gracefully.)
No matter! I think the advice my fans provided was fantastic & I’m sure there are younger men reading this who would benefit so I’ve listed some of the reading suggestions along with youtube stuff that might be helpful. I haven’t read everything on this list but at a glance they seem to have value & positive reviews.
I’ll also share a few bits of advice I personally think is helpful for younger people:
– You have 2 ears & 1 mouth. That means it’s better to listen at least twice as much as you speak. Practice the art of active listening. Not only will you learn more but you’ll make better connections with those who love to feel heard (that would be everyone).
– To thine own self be true. Be honest with yourself about how you really feel about stuff. You can manage or control your behavior but your feelings are a different story. Learn to accept the full spectrum of your feelings: sadness, fear, anger, frustration, joy, love, excitement, nervousness, anxiety, lust, impatience, numbness, relief, gratitude, vulnerability, etc. Feel the feeling in your body, witness it, ask yourself what message the feeling brings or is there another root to the feeling (like the root of anger might be hurt or sadness or a feeling of being excluded, etc.) Accept the feeling with warm curiosity and non-judgement. Let the feeling pass when it’s ready. Don’t wallow in it but don’t rush it through or stuff it down wishing you felt differently.
– Cultivate empathy by trying to understand things from the other persons perspective. Your feelings matter but the world doesn’t revolve around you. Find the balance of empathy for yourself AND others.
– Have integrity. If you say you’ll do something, do it. Keep your word. Be reliable. Take the high road.
– Be kind for the sake of being kind. Don’t always expect an immediate reward for doing something nice for someone. Learn to enjoy the feeling of just doing something good or doing the right thing.
– Be grateful for what you do have. There is always something to be grateful for no matter how bad things get. “I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi
– If having sex with women in real life is important to you either stop watching porn or find porn with regular people having real sex/women having real orgasms. Most porn is entertainment, not education. Sex in real life is not like most porn which tends to lack intimacy, genuine connection, high-level communication, authentic female orgasms & realistic pacing with warm up. Try searching “ethical porn” or “feminist porn”.
There’s a lot more I could say but I understand attention spans are short. Do your own research to find what resonates with you! There’s loads of stuff on youtube & plenty of great podcasts, TedTalks, etc. The internet is full of helpful stuff to improve yourself. If having a good therapist is accessible to you either through work/an employee assistance program or if you can afford one, there’s hardly anyone that can’t benefit from therapy. Seek good friendships with men & women of different ages. Be there for them, build your own community to learn from each other. Learn to care about others feelings & how to share your feelings in a way that connects you with others authentically. Lastly, be kind to yourself. Be the best friend, parent, cheerleader, confidant to yourself you could ever want or need. Self care, yo.
The Tao of Pooh & The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff
Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson
Way of the Peaceful Warrior and its sequel by Dan Millman
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz with Janet Mills
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Audiobook for “Man’s Search for Meaning” on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF65lvwQPbw
Ishmael- Daniel Quinn
Tao of the Wu by Rza
Some of Rza on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th-CEx-NEms
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers
The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry
The Courage To Be Disliked- Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
(Without even reading this great book the story of it may be inspirational in terms of tenacity: “Pirsig received a remarkable 126 rejections before an editor finally accepted it for publication–and he did so thinking it would never make a bit of profit. Then it was on best-selling lists for decades. Initially, the book sold at least 5 million copies worldwide.”
Audiobook of Zen & the Art of” on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClA9wO8GaqQ
PS: Got suggestions? Please put them in the comments! Thanks!
Becoming a Better Man