How do you find a job or start a business and make a lot of money doing it without making the wrong choice? I spent years trying to find my passion and make it a career. I consumed every video, interview, podcast, and book out there on the topic.
Even now, there isn’t as much good, thorough advice as I want. But there is great advice out there that is just scattered among hundreds of interviews and speeches from successful people. I’ve compiled the best of what I’ve learned, what makes the most sense, and what actually has worked in the real world — not theory. Here’s the guide I wish I had for myself years ago:
Lewis Howes’s latest book, The Mask of Masculinity, is a breath of fresh air.
If you’re not familiar with Lewis, he’s a host of a Top 100 Apple Podcast, The School of Greatness, NY Times best-selling author of a book with the same name, millionaire entrepreneur (he’s in the online marketing industry), and the founder of an annual conference called the Summit of Greatness. He’s basically a self-help influencer.
Honestly, I wasn’t too much of a fan of his previous work because it was mainly generic self-help advice — stuff so many other gurus out there are peddling.
But this is truly a breath of fresh air from his first book because it covers a topic of psychology that many men struggle with that hold them back from success but rarely ever address. Heck, there’s barely any books on the topic.
You can tell this came from a place of honesty.
Lewis wrote it after finding himself unhappy, in toxic fights with his girlfriend, and bloody after a street brawl. Even though he was rich, successful, and a national athlete, there were still internal issues he had to work out.
Here’s what I liked and didn’t like about the book and what you can learn. Watch the video below:
I suggest checking this book out yourself because it will help you:
Have inner peace.
Form strong relationships.
Connect better with others.
Have a healthier self image.
Have a strong self worth.
Improve emotional control.
Have true strength as a man.
Eliminate insecurities with being a man.
Be your true self without fear of judgement or validation.
Each chapter focuses on a different mask that men wear. There are action steps at the end of each chapter to guide you and steps for women to take if they want to help their men.
How This Book Related To Me
This book definitely helped me, but it’s interesting to note that I likely had the opposite experience with some of the masks than Lewis, the jock.
While Lewis was a star athlete growing up and then, rich entrepreneur, he probably felt he could be the best and thought he had to wear the masks of masculinity, invincibility, athleticism, sexuality, alpha, and aggressiveness.
For me, I was so bad at most of these that I thought I could never reach them and just gave up on them. But I still partially believed that those goals were what made an attractive man. As you can tell, that can be a formula for low self esteem, envy, or compensation.
The Material Mask (the mask of wealth and status) was and is the mask I thought I had to compensate for.
I noticed I was fortunate enough to have already come to terms with some of the masks based on being a self help junkie and taking action on what I learned. I am able to be vulnerable when I want to even to strangers, which the Stoic Mask (“a man should never cry or reveal emotions”) tells you that you shouldn’t.
I had also gone through some great personal development through role models like Warren Buffett and met some friendly, muscular people. This helped me develop an internal, though not perfect, sense of self worth that allows me to not feel insecure in places where other man may seem much better than me, such as at a gym as the skinny guy.
Additionally, I had a huge temper, like my parents, as a child. Toxic fights would result in walls or furniture getting destroyed. The chapter on the Assertive Mask is great for working through this. Nowadays, I may overcompensated in the other direction by just being too passive and calm rather than feeling okay with showing people that I’m angry.
Having said that, I’m still not perfect at removing any of these masks and have room for improvement.
My Experiences with the Stoic Mask
I can list the times I cried, came close, or was deeply affected by others crying on my fingers. That’s how few it’s been. And maybe that’s not a good thing.
The Stoic Mask is definitely up at the top of my list for “Masks I can work on removing.” When I was young, my sister started crying to my parents about how I mistreated her. When that wasn’t the case at all, I got the blame and backlash from my father because she was crying.
As a man, I was unwilling to cry, so I held it in and just took the unjust blame. As I ran upstairs, a faint whimper came out.
Later on, my father was wise enough to catch that I was restraining myself from crying. He told me an old Chinese proverb that basically said how women’s tears are a dime a dozen, but a man’s tears are gold. He explained to me that it meant that women can and will cry over everything, even small things. But when a man cries, it means something.
I also remember on one of the final days of middle school, the teachers let all the students say goodbye to each other for the whole afternoon. Almost every kid started crying because they would be going to different high schools — except me and a tall, red headed guy who sarcastically said he wanted to cry but was “physically incapable of it.”
Imagine over a hundred kids, many of which were popular, athletic guys, all crying and hugging each other. People you had never see cry were crying. But it was a fun crying session. The popular girls were crying and hugging everyone. The boys were seen as cool for crying. It wasn’t a painful type of crying.
I didn’t have that many friends, so I was jealous. I spent most of the afternoon just standing and watching from a distance. I kept thinking, “How could they cry about this? I’ve gone through much more horrific stuff that would make you want to cry. These people are weak-minded and probably haven’t experienced as much suffering as me.”
It reminded me a lot of an MTV show I saw a few episodes of where they would go to high schools and make them do emotional exercises, like step to the other side of the room or raise their hand if they experienced some type of trauma.
Half way through the episodes, most of the teens are crying their eyes out.
But a Hispanic teen never did. Even though he raised his hand more than anyone else in the room. He lived in an area infested with drugs and gangs, so you can imagine what he had to go through (death of loved ones, violence, etc.).
When they interviewed him afterwards, he said it was cool that others were crying, but he just didn’t feel like crying.
But perhaps, others weren’t weak-minded or had easier lives than me. Maybe I was uncomfortable with crying.
Maybe I was made to believe that you only cry when you suffer badly. You can’t cry for small relationship-themed moments, like when your classmates go to a different high school, even though you can still keep in touch and meet on the weekends.
Or maybe I was so ashamed of exposing myself to crying or the feeling that I would miss anyone that I held back. Or maybe I just didn’t have many friends to cry for.
The interesting thing about this mask is that I don’t think anyone explicitly told me that as a man, you cannot cry. I think I just picked it up naturally through American society, maybe through the TV shows and movies out there.
I hope you understand that there are safe people and safe places to talk about your struggles and room for you to 10x your life no matter what you’re struggling with now.
Believe it or not, you can get fairly frequent advice from billionaires online.
When you have over a thousand billionaires in existence, it’s not surprise that at least few are fairly plugged into the online world.And I highly recommend getting advice straight from the top rather than someone who is moderately good at a skill. And who better to turn to than billionaires?
When I have some free time, I always like to check up on these people and the new advice they’re putting out. Here are a list of billionaires that put out at least semi-frequent advice online.
A new fad has been sweeping through the personal development movement.
Journaling. But is it just a useless fad seen as the next “magic pill” to success or is it legit?
There are even popular journals you can buy include the Five-Minute Journal, Mastery Journal, Freedom Journal, Morning Pages, and Miracle Morning (though this is more of a routine) as made famous by Alex and Mimi Ikonn, John Lee Dumas, Tim Ferriss, and Hal Elrod.
But there’s a huge problem with the current state of daily journals out in the market.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one of the only books that exist on how to make friends. And it’s wildly successful, selling millions of copies.
But after reading the book and the reviews, I realized there were critical components on how to make friends that were missing. People complained about the following in the book:
Short-term manipulative tactics are used that can destroy your long term success with making friends.
Some of the tips are focused on ways of getting people to like you for business and networking, which is different from making friends because you’re encouraged to be someone other than your true self.
The tips to smile more, be nice, and be interested fail to account for the female gender. When women do this, it can be misinterpreted as a sexual advance and encourage harassment.
Pretending to be interested in something you’re not and being too agreeable can cause you to end up with friends you don’t really want and you don’t actually connect with because you’re lying about your interests, overlooking their glaring faults, or befriending selfish people who drain your energy.
A lot of the advice is generic or repetitive and focused on common sense tactics to be a decent, average person.
I want to address these issues and give some advice on how to actually make friends without having to put on a fake persona or manipulate. My advice is based on what I have learned from my own experiments and/or asking people who seem to naturally good at making a lot of high quality friends.
I think most people are unaware of all the great benefits of creating an established network of healthy, supporting friends. Many are also unaware that social skills are an acquired skill that almost everyone can develop with practice.
This topic means a lot for me because I struggled immensely to make friends growing up. I even sat alone at the cafeteria often in school.
I believe you can make quality friends that have similar values and hobbies — who will support you — who you will be a lot of fun to hang around even if you’re starting from scratch. It won’t be easy but you can do it. And I’m going to teach you how to do it without having to manipulate, lie, or influence others.
Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine. -Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba
If you’ve been studying successful people for any decent length of time, you know how important never giving up is. Life is long and you never know what may turn in your favor over that time. But how do you develop persistence when you fail at staying consistent at most things in life?
What if you fail at not giving up when it comes to simple things, like maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding fast food, and always exercising?
Well, I used to be a quitter. But now I have maintained a very consistent exercise routine, meditation routine, and I have uploaded 1,000 YouTube videos on my channel without quitting. I’ll explain how you can do the same with science.
A year ago, I stumbled on an article on how to be mentally strong that got a ton of comments and shares. It confused me. Why do all these people care about this?
I didn’t care about being mentally tough. I wanted money and happiness. And I didn’t see how mental toughness would help me with that unless I wanted to change my goals to becoming a Navy SEAL. But everything’s changed since then.
Mental toughness is incredibly important to your peak performance.
Today, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know on a critical skill you may be overlooking. I’ll share with you why mental toughness matters and how to improve it. And if you’re wondering why you should trust me, it’s because all my advice comes from people you can trust: the world’s top performers.
When it comes to self help books for men, the books I recommend may not be what you expect. They’re not tactical books on improving your habits or focus. They’re books that dive deeper and focus on the inner psychology that are preventing you from taking action on the tactics you read about it. This may includes books on building the fundamental traits of a healthy man.
We currently live in at an era where many men are frustrated and functioning far from their potential.
We’re angry, frustrated, fearful, or anxious with our situation or lack of results and if we will stay in this plateau forever.
It’s not completely your fault. Society and your upbringing may have failed you. Many of the strong fundamentals of becoming an attractive man, like a coming of age rite of passage, male role models, and exposure the benefits of assertiveness and aggression were eliminated in your upbringing thanks to the modern world.
Because of this, many men lack strong friendships with other men, a spine to stand up for themselves or others, or the ability to effectively behave as a man, which can damage their success in their career, dating life, ability to make male friends, or romantic relationship.
A few books have helped me see what has occurred and how to improve it. You see, I’m a stereotypical nice guy. I’m overly passive, I’m scared of conflict, I dwell on anxiety for too long, I please for approval, and I have done kind things expecting something back.
I’ve learned that false belief systems prevent us from getting the results we want but we cling onto them hoping our results will change. I discovered that our beliefs came from a mixture of possible factors including radical feminism views that demonized male traits like assertiveness or dominance, lack of male role models and friends growing up, having few male teachers, past trauma with interactions with other men, and the rise of cities to replace towns.
This modernization of the world has removed vital parts of what we genetically need to become attractive, functional men in society. Our happiness and social skills could be low because of a lack of a tribe to develop strong, recurring relationships. Our extreme views on assertiveness and expressing sexuality could cause so much shame that we never stand up for ourselves or express romantic interest. Our lack of strong friendships could dramatically cripple our dating lives, emotional intelligence, and mental health.
Watch the video below for the five books that will help change your life as a man:
Note: I am not blaming women for all my problems. I am simply trying to have higher quality relationships with men as friends and women romantically in my life. I want to do that by working on my emotional behaviors (or Nice Guy qualities) that are holding me back from an evolutionary biology perspective.
I added this note as an update because one of my readers asked if knew about the MGTOW, Red Pill, and the Pick Up Artist communities. I’m aware of their existence but that’s about it right now. In his email, I could see a lot of hatred towards women and other men. That’s the exact reason I don’t follow their teachings. Recently, they have all developed extremist and toxic views on the world filled with hatred and deep psychological issues focused on manipulation or blaming others.
Now, I’d like to hear from you. Is there a book I missed that really helped you? Has any piece of advice, influencer, or book impacted your life positively in your journey to become a better man? Let me know in the comments below.
How fast should you make a business decision? Should you spend weeks or months getting every fact to make sure you don’t screw over your company? It turns out that you want to decide fast.
Napoleon Hill spent his life studying 500+ of the richest people in the world in person thanks to his access with Andrew Carnegie. He wrote books telling us how they did it and how you can do the same.
One of the things that he said was that he and Carnegie found that if you are unable to make a quick decision even when you have enough information you need, you will not follow through on your goals or be successful.
Now, this is important for two reasons:
First, note that he says you need enough resources. This means that making decisions without enough information is foolish and it doesn’t matter how slow or fast you make them.
Second, once you have the necessary info, you have to make your decision quickly. Hill went on to say that successful people make decisions quickly and are slow to change. Unsuccessful people make their decisions slowly and are quick to change.