FROM BEARS: Everyone grabbed a sign and displayed it on their chests during our morning Extraordinary Man class. Each sign represented their main MAN-BRAND that signified how each man in the room has previously (previous to this program) showed up in their lives. THE FAKER. THE FIXER. THE WIMP. STEADFAST. THE WOMANIZER. THE LOVER. THE CONTROLLER. THE PEACEMAKER. THE PEOPLE-PLEASER. THE CONFUSED ONE. INDECISIVE. THE TEACHER. THE WOBBLER. THE PACK MULE. SENSITIVE ONE.
The purpose of our man-brands -- to identify, then claim ownership and then seek to understand why we choose these positions and posturing as men. Not so much only as men, but as people -- with a specific gender-orientation. Be strong (at least appear strong). Don't show emotion. Anger is okay but not fear (though we're often fearful). We want to love but showing loving gestures could be a sign of weakness. We want to be gentle and tender but we've had little or no guidance or training on how to do this.
We are where we are...the sum total of all the man-beliefs we've learned and then empowered. But we come to understand we can change our beliefs...and thus change our man-brands. We can put aside the fixer and the faker, the controller and the peacemaker and ask ourselves (as we did and will continue to do all week) -- how do we want to be a man going forward?.
Each of us looks inside (no longer looking outside for the answers or approval). It's not about being our father's version of men...or some societal or tribal should. It's about me being me...you being you. It's about new options and new choices and new beliefs. It peeling away the onion of masculinity and getting to the core of what we yearn to be and experience. And then creating (or re-creating) ourselves. We're on our way -- because we're tossing what doesn't work for us and replacing limiting beliefs and visions with new core value and priorities.
One man had the sign this morning -- The Dreamer. Some of us thought that was inspiring. Later I suggested: "It is not the talker or the dreamer who makes a difference in their own lives and in the world; it is the one who goes out and does their talk and does their dream. It's not about the chatter; it's about the doing. We will be known and remembered not so much for what we said but for what we did."
And old Chinese proverb: The people who say it can't be done should get out of the way of the people who are doing it. Change is possible. Radical change is possible -- now. First you have to want it, then believe it's possible, then begin doing it...one step at a time. For almost 28 years, thousands of people have taken such steps at the Option Institute. What a blessing!!!