There’s only one way for a boy to become a man.
When this happens the boy feels the change:
- The world begins to look different.
- He sees himself as a totally new person.
- Even when people look into his eyes, they can see the lion within.
The way for a boy to become a man is through transformation.
A boy becomes a man when he undertakes the responsibility thrust upon him to conquer the suffering of life and follow his North Star of fulfillment.
The individual in the midst of this transformation is looking to step from one side of a cliff, scale the bridge and arrive on a totally new landmass so to speak.
The boy can transform in many different ways. Furthermore, transformation generally undertakes a period of suffering before coming into a manly fruition.
In my own life, there were many moments that helped me transform into the man that I am today.
When I was 23 years old, I move from Chicago (my hometown) to Boston, MA. This was an exciting and trying time in my life.
I remember packing up my car with all the belongings I had that could fit in my 1999 Pontiac Grand Am coupe.
My father was making the journey with me. Our drive was about 16 hours and we did it over the course of two days.
During the drive we shared a lot between each other. I shared of the trials and tribulations of college- my father shared about his pursuits as a man.
- He talked about marriage and the struggle of it.
- He talked about saving his business from the brink of ruin (and having absolutely nothing to his name while raising my siblings and I).
- He talked about how he was proud of me to take on this adventure (he has lived in the same town his entire life).
- He illustrated what responsibility means and how that makes you a man.
I remember the biggest lesson that helped a piece of me transform was in that fact that I was alone,
“Son, if there is one piece of advice I can leave you with it’s that you’re alone in this world. You have your mother and I, we are going to be the closest thing to you in life. Then you have your brother and sister. You may find a life partner to grow with. you will have friends and acquaintances that come and go. At the end of the day, you are alone. This is a great responsibility because it allows you freedom. It allows you to be who you want to be. So with that freedom, who do you want to be?”
At first I felt cold. I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
After a few moments, the appreciation of the statement set in.
I was free.
This newly found understanding of myself helped my transformation into a man. I had a new responsibility. I wasn’t going to loft my way through life anymore. The doors were opening around me.
- Did these doors have risk? Sure.
- Did these doors hold any promises of success? Of course not.
- Did these doors allow for the expansion of my own freedom as a man on this Earth? You bet your ass it did.
This new understanding helped me move past the naiveté of being a boy. It was like opening Pandora’s box- once opened and you see the truth, you cannot go back and close the box.
Not only was I leaving my “nest” of Chicago and striking out on my own in a new city, I was going through my first bout with transformation.
Other transformative experiences I’ve incurred in my life are:
The times I was hurt by women.
I’ve been cheated on.
I’ve been lied to.
I’ve spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars trying to please my woman.
In the end, it’s all been squandered. The boy in me was both naive and resentful. I didn’t understand the “dance” of a relationship.
I didn’t understand how there are times you push and times you pull. The man in me has forgiven the women of my past. The man in me stands firm in the face of a women. The man is me is my current woman’s rock.
When I was fired from my job.
I used to work in sales for a successful Startup dotcom. I was making money hand over fist. I was leading in sales in my team.
Of course that all changed when we had 70% of our equity purchased by investors. The investors were all about metrics. I had to do things their way. This didn’t mesh well with me.
I found the methods that worked for my own success. I couldn’t make X amount of calls a day.
I built relationships.
Of course the investors couldn’t measure relationships. The stubbornness of my boyhood got the best of me. I was later fired for not performing my tasks and responsibilities to their liking. This woke me up. I understood there, I wasn’t invincible.
As a man, I had the responsibility to either “play the game” or draw up my own. For the past few years I have worked on building my own business and undertaking that responsibility.
When I was a boy, I always thought that happiness was a destination. I thought that if I read and performed the “script” (the ideas that your family, society, teachers etc deem to be the “right” path in life- go to school, get a safe job, work for 35 years, grow a family and retire into the sunset) that I would be happy.
Now, as a man, that idea has been shattered. I use the word shattered not in a pessimistic way, however.
I say shattered because for me, that way of living still retains the characteristics of boyhood.
- It’s naive.
- It’s prescribed.
- It’s risk averse.
The man takes upon himself the challenges and the suffering of life.
The man searches for freedom; whether that be freedom financially, freedom in location of living, freedom in speech and though or freedom romantically.
The man knows that there can be no good without bad and further no fulfillmentwithout suffering.
The man pulls away the curtain to reveal the Great and Powerful Oz.
The man does all of these things through transformation. taking on the responsibility of this one life that you have an understanding that only he can build his pyramid.
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