The advantages of the exercise that you are about to learn, for free, will be:
1. You will meet more women, or have a richer connection to the one you're with.
2. You will get a new career direction, resources, and guidance, or inject your current career with all new ideas, teammates, and above all, ACTION.
3. You will know yourself better than you have in years.
Sound worth it? Let's dig in...
Many men who've approached me for advice of late have had two things on their minds - one is the area of life that we often talk about in the Mature Masculine Power Program, called "The Wasteland of Life," and the other area would simply amount to the need in a man's life for friendship and "teams" to belong to.
At first, they mention these things separately, not realizing that they are directly connected.
This term, "Wasteland," was first mentioned by Mythologist Joseph Campbell, when he would lecture about "The Hero's Journey" - a common plot in myths where a man goes through heroic personal growth, discovering things in himself that he wasn't aware he had. Without fail, there is a major challenge he encounters, and then a period in his life's adventures when literally NOTHING is going right for him. That time feels like he is wandering in a desert with no water, when he is entirely alone, and without resources, or even friends who would know how to help.
This is the "Wasteland" of life, and a time in which he may be suffering of what we describe in a remarkable training program called Depresculinity.
Campbell explained that this time is one with two possible worldviews - one of desolation and loneliness, and the other of discovery, self-knowledge, and even innovation. Examples are Christ wandering in the desert, literally, Jonah trapped in the "belly of the whale," or literal incarceration in such venerated tales as The Count of Monte Cristo, or modern fables such as The Shawshank Redemption.
One of the things we always try to do at Men's Psychology is to take real science that is useful and will transform your life, but to encode it to everyday words that pack uncommon power. One such relevant words regarding your own personal "Wasteland" periods of life is the word, "abandon."
I was once watching the director's outtakes of his narration of his own film, Serendipity, in which the director commented on what a great performance his lead actor, Jon Cusack was doing. He said that even at the lowest point of this character's story, he mustered a "terrific sense of abandon" in his portrayal.
This word really struck me as a clue and a solution for men in the "wasteland" of life. The reason being that the word simultaneously means the very negative - "being rejected or left behind, alone" - and yet also (in this case) means to be "set free, and to relish in joy at freedom."
This is incredibly relevant to men under challenge because there is often a "mental prison" they construct for themselves. They suffer the down economy, and don't think there are any jobs because they don't know where to look, who to meet, or expand their search or their possibilities. They get locked into a bad dating or relationship situation simply because they can't imagine better for themselves, or haven't given THEMSELVES the freedom or the space to realize that yes, there are millions of women in the world, and others do exist besides the one they have trapped themselves with.
Men don't see the answers staring them in the face, only in this Wasteland of life. And in this sense, the Wasteland is both needed by men in order to grow skills they never knew they had, as well as being a great gift to men - a treasure trove of self-discovery of valor and resolve, innovation and survivalist spirit that they couldn't possibly have known they had without this experience.
Which is the point in all men's stories that a Mentor appears. One who doesn't take ownership of either the problems or their solutions, but who serves as a guide to this positive version of the word, "abandon."
The Balance Between Freedom and Team Missions
If only you can discover these things about yourself in the Wasteland of life, you will not only be more empowered as an individual at solving the every problems that you feel have trapped you there, but perhaps without you even knowing it, you only now make a more valuable member of teams of other men all on the same mission in life.
If you can find your way to the type of "abandon" the director was talking about - the freeing of yourself from that mental prison of negativity, or thinking there are no answers, to instead discover that you have skills, are of high worth, and can bring your talents and resolve back to the table, you'll need to find a balance point between that personal freedom of self-discovery, and making your way back to the "world of the living" in the form of being on a team again.
That might involve taking a new job, or new social circles, or changing a lifestyle entirely - for example going from exclusive to entirely single again, or from single to married.
In the process, you cannot do without a team in your life, whether you lead it or not. Men need to be on teams, and they need friends who are more than just conversationalists or "drinking buddies." They need teammates in life that are like brothers, and together with whom they go out into the world to win a joint goal they have, to build something together that benefits society, to win the game at sports, for example, to start a business, to strive together for a common good as brothers, business partners, corporate colleagues, or whatever the name of the team you want to call it.
This is how men thrive in, strive for, and cannot do without friendship with each other.
But you have to leave the Wasteland to get there.
Finding Your Way Back to Your Mission, and "Your Team"
Many of you are familiar with the technology of discovering your mission as a man that we describe in the Mature Masculine Power Program. And some of you know about the technology of creating, maintaining, and cultivating teams in your work life that we talk about in the KWML Mastery Program.
Well, let's talk about two things that you need to do once you have discovered how to use "abandon" (the good kind) in the Wasteland, and get the hell out of there...
One is an exercise, a "mission" to do that will really illustrate this to you - more on that later...
The other is a new service that we are bringing back from the past.
It involves the power of using ACTION in your life as a man, the power of MENTORSHIP, and finally, the power of FRIENDSHIP.
To get out of the Wasteland, you will need to ACT.
That means PHYSICAL action, with at least a baseline amount of strategy - action on purpose, with a plan. But it is not just thinking and pondering your dilemmas anymore. It's using your body - your arms and legs to get going, and your mouth - your communication ability, at whatever level that is.
One of the "mental prisons" that's common for men in the Wasteland (and men with Depresculinity) is the simple experience of ambivalence. When you are ambivalent about something, it feels like being literally trapped in your mind, because two possible courses of action don't seem to offer solutions. In fact, they probably offer PAIN.
But that's just because you haven't discovered a THIRD way out yet.
The advice of many in my field when one is ambivalent - "caught between a rock and a hard place" - is that any action is better than no action.
So DO something. ANYTHING.
This is wise advice not just because it works, but because it is scientifically sound to do.
Here's why - in the Mature Masculine Power Program we talk about how the seat of masculinity is in the "Reptilian Brain" - that animal area of the brain where instincts and reflexes live. These things pertain most strongly to the body and its function. When you hear a loud noise, you jump to attention and look around at where it comes from. That's your body immediately getting into action, and masculine instincts take over to promote your safety, that of those you care about, and you have the full experience and positive emotion of "being a man of action."
So doing actions - even if they aren't well thought through yet - is better than doing nothing. It gets you out of sadness and depression, but also feeds your level of masculinity itself.
So that alone is a worthwhile strategy for getting up and out of your own personal Wasteland.
It gets better though - when you discover a MENTOR at your lowest points, you also now have a source of not only taking action, but of LEARNING the better and better actions to take. You will refine what you do, so that it speeds you even faster to your life's mission getting accomplished.
To those ends, I've decided to bring back the Men's Psychology Mission of the Week.
This is a program that carries mentoring with it, but importantly - takes your learning from the courses we offer, and puts them into real ACTION in your life - not just in the area of women and dating, relationships and romance, but in WORK, and in your sense of general personal growth too.
It is now a MEMBERSHIP option, and you can go HERE to sign up:
If you have ever been an On Demand Member, then you know what to expect - total support and mentorship around the weekly missions, which are perhaps the most immediate and personal experience of our material and its deep impact on your personal growth.
You'll get both a weekly assignment by email (your "Mission of the Week") - and only members will see the missions online at this site when you visit.
So let's do one, TOGETHER, and I will join you in it. We'll do it for a whole month together so that you really get a taste of how to make major changes in your life, through action.
I call the exercise, Social Injection...
"Social Injection" - a Mission for the Month
When you are in the Wasteland, you must:
a.) Exercise solitude and freedom ("with abandon") to discover what skills your challenge will need for its defeat.
b.) Then you will need to take ACTION, and preferably with a MENTOR (I'll be yours in this case.)
c.) Thirdly, you need a TEAM around you. (Our On Demand Membership's forums provide this to thousands of men, and where I answer the most direct questions)...
So let's build your team with this exercise, and if you follow along in my blog for this month, you'll see what I mean...
Let's "inject" some life into your social life and your team. You will find this to be the kind of massive growth you will be able to do every week in the Men's Psychology Missions Subscription.
This word, "injection" is used for a reason. Think of all the ways it is used, and even what the roots of it mean: "ject" is to "throw" or "place" something - an object or idea - and it implies work or power behind the effort. "In" refers to the direction - inward. So to "in-ject" means to "throw inward" or "instill within" (yourself) something powerful, and which takes effort.
That's in other words, a boost of "friendship power" in your life. A "Social Injection" of friendship - teambuilding power.
The word is used in reference to medical cures, such as a life-saving drug being "injected." And friendships can indeed be lifesaving.
The word is used in reference to piercing or cutting - implying the power of specific detail. We want you to pay attention to the QUALITY of your friendships, and even in ones you thought were only surfacy, or superficial. Locate and harvest the power in the unexpected benefits and sharing potential with your friends, by tracking the details of what makes them tick.
The word is used in reference to adding to, augmenting for the sake of increased power or potency - as in a "fuel injector" in an engine. Your friendships are that too.
So let's use Social Injection as a month long personal experiment for you, and I will do it along with you and report on the blog.
1. List 30 people you have known with some degree of friendship, but with whom you have fallen out, or fallen off, or just spent less and less time in contact with.
2. Get a calendar, and list the friends or former friends on each day of a whole month.
3. Then each day for 30 days, CONTACT them - one by one - and ask how they've been, update them on your life, and reconnect...but...
4. Do this with an analytic mindset for noticing the specific things you appreciate about them, the needs that you have, which they fill (a tough part of the exercise if you get honest), and the specific things about YOU that THEY need and appreciate.
5. Decide where you fit in each others' lives and do something about that. Strike an agreement to get them involved in your mission, you in theirs, jointly, and to mutual benefit. And do so in a way that combines activities so that you don't get overly spread thin in your energy.
(HINT: what you mutually appreciate about each other, and mutually need, is probably what your "Team Mission" is together.)
You will be amazed at the end of this exercise, because you will have utterly reinjected passion into your social life, your personal mission, your sense of accomplishment, and the problems of your Wasteland of life will essentially have brought you answers.
You will have met more women than in months or years (if you get together with these friends), get new career directions (or more importantly, TRACTION, ACTION in it), and you will feel two things absolutely - more self-esteem (happiness), and more expressed masculinity (which feels like being more ALIVE)...
See you in the newsletters, the blog, and the Men's Forums as we work on this together.
Paul Dobransky, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist, public speaker and relationship expert who has treated more than 10,000 patients in 15+ years in clinical psychiatric care. Journalists and clients worldwide have sought Dr. Paul's advice on dating, relationships and all aspects of human psychology.
Dr. Paul pioneered MindOS, a new, patent-pending approach to understanding relationships, mood problems and stress. MindOS synthesizes all schools of therapy into a single, effective system-based approach that uses plain language to help people understand psychology and solve problems. Go to http://www.menspsychology.com/ to learn more.