What I am up to in the world.

Over the last 6 years I have been studying all manner of psychology and networking with psychologists and more specifically, PhD’s in men’s studies. I began this journey thinking I was interested in body language and even authored the book “influential body language” but rapidly my interests deepened and I realized my true interest is millennial masculinity, with body language as one small component.

I strongly believe that now more than ever young men in the west are in a masculinity crisis. We have few if any strong male role models outside of our families to speak to. We lack a map of what it means to be a good man and are adrift in a world of gender fluidity, political correctness, and a culture oversaturated in ideologies of feminism.

I noticed this problem over the last few years as I had conversations with young men my age about what they wanted out of life and about what type of man they would like to become. The dominant themes I felt from those conversations were a lack of clarity in masculine identity and when there was clarity, a guilt and paralyzing tentativeness around it. I believe this comes comes from feminism, the demonization of masculinity, the lack of having a community of men to voice your opinions to, and the lack of an initiation into manhood.

Looking deeper, statistics backed up my hunch. Men are dropping out of college at unprecedented rates, taking less interest in becoming fathers, earning less than ever before, and have skyrocketing rates of anxiety and depression.

Clearly something is going wrong for young men these days.

The issue doesn’t stop there though.

Because of our lack of clarity about what it means to be a good man and our lack of a process to make that intellectual knowledge practical we are living in an age where vast numbers of young men have poor mental and emotional health, poor relationships, and indefinitely delayed maturity and contribution in the world.

In the long run this is a very caustic trend for our culture. Men who are purposeless and without a solid grounding in relationships and work will ultimately be the cause of more poverty, more crime, and all the litany of damages that come from their absence in the family unit.

I am working on solving this issue one guy at a time with weekend workshops where we dive into, among other things,

The benefits of a male only community and one that is brutally honest, accountable, and nurturing in a purely masculine way.

Initiation rites and how going through pain and struggle to advance in key areas of life is a core manly virtue

Defining what it means to be a good man with breakout sessions, as well as borrowing definitions from sources as old as the bible and as new as evolutionary psychology

The use of radical vulnerability and physical practices to help let go of emotional hang-ups and scars stopping the participants from showing up as their best self in their relationships and communities.

The validity of definition of purpose for young men has been shown by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson who has shown through his self-authoring program which has boosted the GPAS of participants by upward of 10% and decreased dropout rates. The results were the most dramatic in underperforming men.

I have also received the endorsement of several people, most notably Dr. Dave White, PhD in men’s studies who will attest to the power of initiation rites and male only spaces.

If you want to see all the content I will be producing on this channel/page/site, subscribe below and Ill be sending you updates of all the interviews and content I produce to help you become the best millennial man you can be. For yourself. For your family and friends. For your community. For the world.

I see a future where men cease to be ashamed of their masculinity and cease to pander to political correctness. I see young men who clearly understand what masculinity is, its evolutionary basis and embrace it. I see a world where we reawaken our warrior spirits and like our ancestors, move into the world decisively, generatively and do battle to leave a mark on the world as all young men should.

Dying To Your Current Identity

I want to talk about an idea which I haven't heard anyone speak about recently. It's this idea that if you're working to improve yourself, working to become the best version of yourself, that there's actually a lot of pain associated with becoming stronger. It's not the type of pain that you would think. It's not the type of pain that people talk about when they say that becoming your best self, improving yourself, disciplining yourself, mastering yourself, getting good habits. Everyone says, and the commonly accepted idea is that it's challenging because it takes discipline, it takes you building character traits which you don't have.

                                But what I was realizing today as I was reflecting on kind of a journey that I've been going through recently of getting more disciplined, and mastering some of my demons, like rabid alcoholism. As I've been going down this road and this journey I've been realizing, and as I've been working to become a better man, and a better human being, a more generative, useful person to society, I've been noticing that there's a distinct type of pain that happens when you actually start to succeed and become who you wanted to become. It's that when you start to become stronger and better and smarter and kinder and more productive and more helpful, you start to reflect on your past, and feel pain.

                                The reason why is that if, say for a year, you didn't hold yourself to a very high standard; you drank too much, you smoked too much, you ate crappy food, you argued with your girlfriend, you didn't spend any time with your family, but you were okay with that. At that point in your life, you were at a place where your morals and your own expectation of yourself was very low. If you do that for a year, you don't really feel that pain associated with underperforming, because your standards are in alignment with your lack of performance. But if all of a sudden you start to get higher standards, and you start to hold yourself to higher, more powerful values, if your character starts to change, all of a sudden, you become someone with all these character traits which you've been breaking for your entire life. So looking back on the memories of your life, it makes you aware of all of those letdowns. Because looking back through the lens of this new personality, and this stronger and better version of yourself, you become aware of, "Damn, I've ruined and wasted much time."

                                I just wanted to bring that up because I think that that's like when you work out, and there's that type of pain which is ... I mean, it's very painful to work out if you're working out intensely. That type of pain is something which you grow to love, and you become addicted to as you train and as you work out and become stronger. I was just realizing that there's almost a sadistic joy that comes out of trying to become so powerful and so self-mastering, and improve your own self, and build your personality and your character traits, to the point where looking back on your past makes you devastated. It makes you unhappy, it makes you sad, it makes you angry, and it makes you say, "Never again." There's a power to that. I was realizing that we run from pain in this society, but when there's enough pain, like a stick poking you in the ass, it'll drive you forward.

                                So that's it. It's that idea of that persona pain being the driver to more and more future performance. Take care. Bye.

Stop Letting Society Dictate How You Should Feel

So, I was thinking. Today, I was standing in line at Home Depot, and I was returning the keys to a truck that I was renting from them, for an event that I was putting on for the family business. And, long story short, there were two people behind the counter, taking forever to help out Customer Service. It started to get on my nerves. I started to find myself getting angry, started to find myself getting pissed off that my day was being wasted, standing there watching these assholes work so slowly and dispassionately.

                                Then, all of a sudden I started to realize, I started to realize and reflect and think, and I was like, "Why am I so angry?" I had nowhere better to be. I actually didn't really mind standing there, because it was nice. It was a nice break at the end of a long and challenging day, where I'd been working very hard since 4:30 in the morning, and it was now 5:30 in the evening. 13 hours later I'm pretty tired. It feels good to just stand there, staring mindlessly at the people working behind the counter, and breathe. Focus on my breathing, focus on standing with some good posture, and feel good.

                                It wasn't an unpleasant experience, having to wait, being forced to take a breather and relax. So I was curious. I started to ask myself, in my own head, "Hey, why is it exactly, that I'm so angry about this, when it's not even something that I'm pissed off about at the deepest level? It's not something that I'm unhappy about, honestly." And I realized, in a moment, that the answer was, it's the socially acceptable thingw to do. Everyone else in line looked pissed so on some unconscious level I had made the same decision. When you have to wait, it's socially acceptable to be angry. People look at you strangely, when you're happy to just be standing in a line and relaxing.

                                And as soon as I realized that, as soon as I realized that my behavior was motivated by trying to behave like other people, I dropped it. I dropped the anger. I focused on my breathing. I relaxed, and I enjoyed the moment. It was kind of nice, you know, just sitting there smelling the wood of Home Depot, wafting through the air; listening to people having conversations in the background; staring at the window, looking at the snow falling. It was beautiful, and it was a beautiful moment, as all moments are if you actually can surrender and enjoy them.

                                But, the big idea I want to have as a takeaway, the big idea that I want to give you as a takeaway is, oftentimes our behavior is motivated by learning how to emulate and copy other people. That's how we human beings work. When we are growing up, we learn to act like our parents. As we grow older and older, we learn to act like our peers.

                We learn our behavior based on other people. But, if you can get to the place where you forget that, and you act from an internal place, when you act from your own decision, your own motivation, that's a place of authenticity. That's a place of sincerity, and that's a place where attractive character traits emerge.

Stop Apologizing for Being Politically Incorrect

I've got a small idea for you today. A simple idea but one, which I hope is going to be very impactful, if you happen to suffer from the same problem that I do.

When I used to speak on the stage all the time, when I would speak in front of Toastmasters, and Rotarys, and business networking groups, and things like that, I noticed that I would get rave reviews and great feedback, but especially early on in my presentations a problem which always plagued me was apologizing. When I made a mistake, when I said something that wasn't quite accurate, when I felt self-conscious about a socially unacceptable point of view, I would apologize. I would say "Sorry" immediately after saying something that a lot of people found impactful, and they felt was powerful. Because I said "Sorry" people would look at my presentation and that idea, which they initially liked less favorably.

                                I would take away from the power of what I was saying by apologizing. I catch myself doing this these days much less often, but one way, which I really catch myself doing this is when I am saying something that's politically incorrect, when I'm saying something that other people, most likely don't like, and that is likely to ruffle some feathers. The problem with apologizing when you're saying something is that unless the other person has expressed that they're unhappy with what you said, you could be apologizing for something that the other person enjoyed, and agreed with, and found value in.

                                It also sub-communicates and signals to yourself that you don't even like your own opinions, that you don't really like yourself. So if you are like me, someone who in certain situations often apologizes for their opinions, stop doing it. Because all it's doing is teaching you, and teaching everyone around you to discount your ideas and dislike you. 

It will reduce your self-esteem, it will reduce your esteem in other people's eyes, and it has no positive trait, to assume that you are intrinsically bad, or that your ideas are intrinsically unpleasant. So watch yourself, meditate on yourself, and see if maybe you have been doing the same thing for years, and years, and not been aware of it. That's the wild thing, is it's very easy to not be aware of doing small things like this because they're so habitual, and so deeply ingrained in us. Take care.

 

Why Has Masculinity Been So Demonized Recently?

I want to talk about what I'm going to call demonized masculinity. It's this really prevalent idea which seems to have sprung out of the 1980s and onward feminist thought, which has become more pervasive as this school of feminist thought has invaded universities and has become a dominant point of view in many universities. 

                                I'm going to call it demonized masculinity because it's an idea which seems to be so widely accepted now that for a lot of us, especially for a lot of us young men, it goes completely unnoticed. We don't even think about it just because it happens so many times because it's been forced upon us and spoken about so many times.

                                What I'm talking about is any action or any conversation with either these overt contexts or the subtext that intrinsically masculinity and masculine traits are negative. The reason why, and the genesis, of why I'm thinking about this is because the year after I left university the next class of young men that came into the school, and this is only for men, had to go to a several hour seminar, a half-day seminar of what amounts to anti-rape training. How not to rape and sexually assault women. That made me livid becasue the subtext of that men without being educated are generally rapists is so clearly false. 

                                the subtext is that if you are a 19-year old man you need an education on how not to rape, because that's literally just part of the fabric of your character apparently. It's inaccurate and it's just wrong. That's one of the things that got me thinking about it.

                                Another one that got me thinking about it is this idea that young men and men more generally, are terrifically violent and abusive people. Essentially, it's these two. It's the idea that men are these power-hungry, violent molesters. That's the narrative and the subtext that you'll bump into in a lot of people, especially academics.

                                I've actually had an ex-girlfriend like this where over the course of time, I realized that her dominant view of what a man was, was somebody who was violent and sexually violent. I just wanted to address it as an idea that masculinity has been demonized to the point where we can't see when it is being demonized anymore. 

                                We can also have the courage to stand up and resist people who seem to imply or literally say outright that masculinity and masculine traits are damaging to society. Men are more aggressive, but there's a lot of good that comes out of aggression, drive to achieve, lots of lust, protectiveness, tribal-oriented behaviors that are intrinsically part of being a man. There's a lot of good that has come out of that.

                                Men, for eons, have been economic powerhouses when they're really driven because they have to be to impress chicks. They've been physical protectors of women, weaker men, and children, and they have used that aggression and tribal nature in a lot of really positive, generative ways.

                                I just want to make this post because I want it to be the starting point of a conversation around how the perceived negatives of masculinity can actually be positive in society, because I firmly believe that they are. Take care.

 

Revealing The Sculpture - How Sincerity Gives You Energy

I want to talk to you today about an interesting idea which I call "revealing the sculpture." The big idea is this: it's that so often when we start to embark on a path of self-improvement, self-development, things like that, this awful, awful thing happens where we get obsessed with adding on to ourselves. We get obsessed with adding onto our character traits that are positive, and trying and trying to figure out ways and tactics and techniques to remove the ones that are negative. We focus on adding so much that we end up kind of forgetting the things about ourselves that are effortlessly powerful.

                                What I want to talk about today is really this idea of revealing the sculpture which is the idea that the path of self-improvement, the path of developing yourself in any area, becoming a better man, becoming a better husband or whatever it is, becoming a better employee, is not so much doing more, and figuring out how to add on to yourself. It's figuring out how to cut things off of yourself, and away from yourself, and like a sculpture is revealed out of a block of marble, it's not a process of adding, it's a process of just removing everything that isn't beautiful, and that isn't what you want.

                                I was thinking about this because on my drive home from work today, I was realizing that I had been more sincere with other people in relationships recently, and been letting down a lot of the persona that I carry around. I don't know if you're like me, but maybe if you are, you also kind of feel from time to time that you put on behaviors. Maybe you're a habitual people pleaser, or you smile when you don't actually find things funny, or you're putting on a tough guy attitude. You're putting on a persona to try and get the approval of other people. I was just realizing that I felt very alive today on the way home from work, because that energy that I had been spending trying to put on the right face, and to put on the socially acceptable behavior, had fallen away. The energy had been maximized, and increased, because I no longer was focusing on pleasing other people, but just focused internally, focused on what was going on with my own emotions, focused on how I felt and how I would like to present myself in the world, rather than how I would like to present myself for other people.

                                That thing, that energy lost, because you try and keep up appearances for other people, is called persona-fatigue. It's this idea that you start to get tired. When you're habitually putting on a mask, you get tired. It takes energy. It's just like a liar has to think a lot to keep all their lies straight. A lot of us are lying in the way that we present ourselves to other people. So what I'd encourage you to do, if there's any value, or if there's any action item from this little talk, is start to look at yourself, start to live internally, start to reflect on yourself, and almost meditate on yourself, all day, every day, almost as an outside observer.

                                Watch what's going on, watch the spontaneous emotions that flicker across your mind and that you feel in your body. Watch those emotions and see if those emotions are lining up with the way you're presenting yourself, of if you're consciously resisting them. I don't know how better to explain it, but there's a felling that you get when your emotions are out of alignment with the way you present yourself to other people. The reason why you do that is because you want to impress them.

                                Then there's a totally different feeling, a totally different quality to your relationships, your communication, and your life, when that's not the case. When your emotions and your interaction with other people are totally in alignment, and you don't resist your own intrinsic desires, but go with them, and let the chips fall where they may,

Working to exhaustion - The manly reward

 

I want to talk for a minute about something that I think is a core trait of being a good man and of being a strong man in this world. I think it's the joy of exhaustion. I think that there's a sort of sadistic joy at the end of the day when you are so beat you can barely keep your eyes open. Then you lay in your bed and you're out instantly. You sleep a deep dreamless sleep and pop up the next morning and do it all again. I think that that is a core competency, a core trait of what it means to be a good man in this world.

                                I think that often times, at least in our society in America, we want luxury (when I say we, we young men age 20 to maybe 35) We want to be pampered. We want the finer things in life. I know this because I used to live in Seattle if you don't know, the average man in Seattle spends close to $3,000 a year on hair and personal hygiene products. I think that's an incredibly feminine thing to do. An incredibly unenriching way to spend your money and your time, to focus narcissistically on the way that you look.

I think that a much more beautiful, and a much more manly, and a much more generative and useful trait for the world, is to find your satisfaction not in massaging cream in your beard and getting your haircut just so for $150 bucks but rather to work so damn hard that when you lay your head down at night you're asleep instantly.

The joy of exhaustion.

Go out, chase it, discipline yourself, master yourself, and make yourself chase down whatever it is that you want out of this life and don't pause. Don't take a nap this evening. Don't relax, don't stop, just keep pushing, driving, and you'll know when you hit that place. That place when you're falling asleep sitting up, that's where you're going to find true satisfaction as a man.

- Max

Why Being Vulnerable Makes You More Attractive

Why Being Vulnerable Makes You More Attractive

Being vulnerable and sincere is more attractive than ever before.

 Hell, it got Trump elected!

In today’s world we place enormous focus on putting our best foot forward, even if it is not an accurate depiction of ourselves. We focus on how the content we create on social media will be consumed, how others opinions of us will be shaped by the content we create

How To Overcome Anxiety and Stress by "Eating Your Shadow"

How To Overcome Anxiety and Stress by "Eating Your Shadow"

In this post, I want to look at an unusual way to overcome stress and anxiety - eating your shadow (learning to accept and embrace the parts of yourself you hate so much you run from them)

we are stressed out, anxious, depressed, and worrying unnecessarily we tend to run to self-help books, gurus, and well-meaning family and friends most of whom give us techniques to focus on the good. To put unpleasant thoughts out of our heads, to tell ourselves positive affirmations and imagine the perfect future with visualization.

Fuck that.

The issue with the power of positive thinking exclusively is...

What if Your Audience is Psychic?

What if Your Audience is Psychic?

Read Time: 5 Minutes

I am writing this post from the deck of my apartment. It is a gorgeous fall day here in Seattle and it has me thinking.

The idea I want to give you today is one I have been using in my speaking career since day one and I think it will help your presentations immeasurably.

What if your audience is psychic?

Why What You Say Matters Less Than How You Say It

Why What You Say Matters Less Than How You Say It

Read Time : 5 Minutes

I am sure you have heard that old statistic that only 7% of communication face to face is the actual content, the words. The other 93% is the context, the tone of voice, the body language, etc... 

But I don't think that most people have fully embraced what that means for how we work on presentation skills...

How and Why to Have a Presentation Ritual

How and Why to Have a Presentation Ritual

Read Time: 3:30 Minutes

In today's blog post I want to share with you my perspective on how you can build a presentation ritual which will remove the fear of speaking at its root and put you in a state of mind which fuels peak performance as a presenter. 

How to memorize A 10 hour long speech

How to memorize A 10 hour long speech

Read Time: 4:30 Minutes

Something which I have always taken great pride in is that I am able to talk for a very, very long time without notes. It's just something I was born with, my grandma used to ask me "Haven't you run out of words yet?!" when I would chatter as a little kid. People always seem surprised that I don't need notes for speeches, no matter how long, even while citing statistics and telling stories. 

I've called this post "How to memorize a 10 hour long speech" because in it I want to let you know my top 3 pieces of advice for memorizing your content so well you can talk as long as you need to...

Why I Believe In the Law of Attraction

Why I Believe In the Law of Attraction

Read Time: 3 Minutes

I am not a superstitious person, heck most people I know well would say I am logical to a fault. But I believe in the law of attraction and I believe it is a valuable tool for anyone who is working on presenting themselves better. 

Let me explain. 

I don't believe in the version of the law of attraction which comes to mind for most people. You know...

The Root Cause of Presentation Anxiety

The Root Cause of Presentation Anxiety

Read Time: 6 Minutes

I've had many great discussions over the last few years about why presenting and public speaking cause such a massive spike in anxiety in most people. 

Both what the root cause of this fear is and also a solution or a workaround to it.

Today's post was inspired by a conversation I had 2 weeks ago with a friend...