Conscious Men by John Gray and Arjuna Ardagh
It’s nice to see a book like this. I think far too often in the world, men go around blind to what it means to be a man. We don’t think about the gender roles we play in our daily lives. We are not conscious of things that we can do to improve and make changes.
“We feel that there are a number of simple things that a man can recognize about himself that radically increases his sense of wellbeing as well as his positive impact on those around him”
What a great mission for a book. Here is some of the advice they offer . . .
“… stress is a byproduct of doing things that are not right for you.”
They authors suggest that when you live your life according to a mission or sense of purpose, you can feel comfortable and strong with yourself and stress won’t be as much of an issue.
The title of this book helps us to think about some of the drives that motivate and cause us to act in ways we don’t think about. Becoming conscious of these thoughts and drives, help us to overcome then and live a more purposeful life.
I identify with this quote . . .
“… couples fall in love but lose their passion quickly because they don’t create enough distance between themselves to maintain attraction. A conscious man is able to recognize that he has a need for intimacy, but he also has a need for solitude and silence.”
It all comes down to balance, in my humble opinion. That is one of the reasons I go for trail runs. I need that solitude, isolation, and alone time. It benefits everyone.
Here is a key point; what works for you might not work for someone else. We can’t assume that it every will. If we do, we will get frustrated and not truly understand the other person.
The authors tend to make some blanket statements in this book. Here is an example . . .
“Men take things more literally than women do and are not always so intuitive about anticipating another’s needs.”
I’m not sure this is always the case, but it does stimulate thinking. And that is the point of the book. To get us thinking about being a man, to recognize the masculine and feminine way of dealing with things, and to understand that we have access to both.
Here is another key point,
“In order for a man to feel motivated and to achieve and accomplish his soul’s mission,l he needs to be able to make promises that he can keep . . .
Following feelings is fine, but you also need the part of you which can be analytical that can ask, ‘Why am I doing this? What are the things I want to accomplish and achieve in the long term. This means choosing long-term satisfaction over short-term pleasure.”
Here are some closing thoughts . . .
“… conscious masculinity is all about epigenetics: allowing conscious choices and understanding to override automation and instinct.”
and . . .
“A conscious man is aware of the pressures imposed upon him . . . he is aware of his reaction and rebellion against those pressures, and so he wakes up to doing the right thing, no matter what.”
Words to live by, that is for sure!
My List of 2016 Reads – a detailed, personal reading log with links to every title I have read over the course of the year.