My quest for maturity began when I started learning martial arts as a preteen, before I did martial arts, I was more of the artistic type, I liked to draw and paint and was learning to play guitar. But I was a little shy and did not understand how to talk to girls. I didn't have one single group of friends that I fit in with, in other words I was a bit of a nerd and lacked confidence but had friends. I just didn't know my place in school. One day I decided I wanted to learn martial arts, so I enrolled into Tae Kwon Do classes, this dramatically changed my mental energy and physical body. It taught me self-control, discipline, how to listen and it also increased my flexibility, strength and confidence. I transformed over the years from being a fat chubby 12 year old to being a confident, capable 18 year old kid. With the confidence brought on by the martial arts, I had figured out how to meet, approach, flirt with, and get pretty girlfriends. This last part is important for developing mature masculine power, knowing and better understanding the opposite sex.
From there it lead me into joining the United States Marine Corps as an infantry Marine. I was even healthier, more confident, much stronger, faster, and by my definition, I thought I was a certified bad-ass. I consciously joined the Marine Corps because I wanted to become the best. The best at everything. No matter what it was, I wanted to be better than everyone at anything I set out to do. This may sound a bit crass, but it's the truth. It was in the Marines where I learned how to truly fight, how to win in a real combat situation. I learned how to act, fight, and think like a Marine. However, it did not necessarily teach me how to "be a man." But it was certainly a step in the right direction.
I also learned a great deal about compassion, empathy, other cultures, and made many friends from around the world. I traveled a lot. But I still felt something was incomplete, that I wasn't fully a man, yet. The journey was not complete.
If we look back at our ancestors and other cultures around the world, the initiation into manhood has traditionally been a huge trial to overcome, usually involving death or a high potential for death or injury. One tribe, I remember seeing on TV requires their boys to bungee jump from a tower with vines tied around their ankles. They have to accurately measure the vine so their head will plop on the ground with just enough to bounce off but not enough force to break their neck. It may sound extreme, but this initiation involves many masculine skills and a test of one's ability. Especially the ability to measure accurately and precisely, an outward demonstration of confidence in his work, and finally the confidence to take the leap of faith off the tower. All the while maintaining complete composure "knowing" that he will survive and come out a man...
Let that last line soak in for a minute. Complete confidence in his abilities to survive.
This is what is lacking in our modern society, there is no test, no trials, no initiation anymore, our food is handed to us through a drive through window. We avoid fighting like the plague, and we often let people use us, run over us, and disrespect us. All because we fear conflict. So an important element of journeying into manhood requires some sort of initiation, for me it was my breaking away from my family and questing through the trials and challenges the USMC provided. With complete faith that I would someday return home alive. I never once questioned if I would not come back alive, because I had faith, I knew I would be okay. Dying was not an option.
Not every man joins the military, some guys have their initiation through sports, or are taught how to be a man by their father, grandfather or any other fatherly figure. All of these are initiations into manhood to a certain extent or degree, but all are somewhat imperfect.
But many boys who do not play sports or have a father or join the military lack a manhood test all together, they grow older, hit 18 years old and suddenly expect they have became "men" and now deserve all the respect and privileges that go along with it. As if it were a life promotion that is awarded with time in service, not effort. Like the little trophies I received for playing t-ball, which indicated nothing other than completing the season. Completing the season is important, because look at all those who never showed up to begin with. So the level of value of a trophy lies in not only in the trophy but in what that trophy is a symbol of. Within T-ball there are the ones that sat playing in the sand and the children that understood the game, grasp it and excelled.
So, age is not an accurate indicator of maturity. Maturity is a way in-which one conducts themselves, how well they can control themselves, how much power they possess.
If you are familiar with physics power is defined by how much work that can be done in a period of time. Work over time. We can think about our masculinity as our ability to create change in the world around us. Or more simply, how well we can control ourselves in order to reach and accomplish goals and tasks and how efficiently we can do so. I must say, just because one is not a high achiever does not mean that they lack maturity, it could mean they simply have different priorities, or it could mean that they are unaware of their potential, or they simply lack the creativity or the power - and as we mature, our priorities change.
In this article I have outlined some of the key elements in cultivating mature masculinity and how to effectively project a controlled power, one that instantly makes people trust you, have faith in you, and all around like you and believe in you and your character
The Elements of Mature Masculinity
"Positive mental energy and healthy boundary functions."
Positive mental energy being that a man has control of his thoughts and does not focus on trivial things, he has the power to think clearly and he projects a feeling that others can interpret as a healthy character.
Healthy boundary functions are the same as a boarder of a country, or the skin on your body. They keep good things in and bad things out. If one allows someone to torpedo into their life, things can get out of control quickly. So mature and healthy boundaries are necessary for developing Mature Masculine Power. Everything in your life either filters your power or it enhances it, your thoughts, your friends, your actions/decisions, your girl friends.
You want to proactively choose things that amplify, and avoid things that filter out or cancel your power.
The Law of 100%
How many times have you hoped something would be 100% sure, but in the back of your mind you had an inkling of doubt? Eventually your 100% slipped to 99%, then 95%, then 80%, and the thing or situation you had hoped for slipped between your hands. You didn't grab on to it. You have to expect to win, no doubt, no fear. no exceptions.
In the movie Saving Private Ryan, they defined courage as "Do the right thing."
Any situation, maintain composure and do the right thing. The right thing may not always be the nice thing either...
If you are tired of letting life blow you around and want to take the steps necessary for taking control of your life and life outcomes, Join my Self Mastery Masculine Power and Self Development Online Program. It's an open discussion where we can discuss this topic and many others custom tailored to your life and situation. Its a month per month program, so you only pay as you go. Running this program is something that I do in my spare time just help others and give back what I have learned. So stop procrastinating and Join the Self Mastery Life Coaching Program now. See you all there.