31 Days of Journaling, Day 28: Tools of The Manly Life

Day 28 of the Art of Manliness 31 Days of Journaling Challenge is to gather my tools for a better life. Here goes:

  1. A Mentor: One of the clear gaps I have identified from the past year has been a tendency to isolate myself from people, both at work and in my personal life, one of the impacts of which has been a lack of oversight of my decisions. Mentors, in both my personal and professional lives, are a priority for me over the next year. Two people, EM and CG, come to mind as options for both domains. Engaging them with a view to seeing if this is something they’d like to help me out with is something I have added to my list of things to explore and conclude over the next year.
  2. A Mastermind Group: The AoM folks boil down a Mastermind group into a collection of similar irons which sharpen each other.  Through my interactions with my friends in the corrosion business, I’d like to think the intent of this tool is being met already. Carefully selecting a mentor with corrosion expertise who also help provide coverage of this need, I believe.
  3. A  Pocket notebook: My evolving journaling practice is loosely aligned to Austin Kleon’s (which is in turn inspired by David Sedaris’s).
  4. Discipline: All of the above require me to get off my backside and develop/ implement a number of habits consistently. Discipline is what will ensure I keep at these till they deliver value in my life. Enough self.

31 Days of Journaling, Day 2: On Manliness

For the Day 2 prompt from The Art of Manliness’ Jumpstart Your Journaling 31 Day Challenge

One of the frameworks which has most defined my thinking about Manhood came to me many years ago in the form of an Al Mohler article on Boundless, in which he suggested 13 marks which defined mature manhood in his opinion. Given his background, that his views were based very squarely on Christian Conservative ideals was not surprising, and were very much aligned with my thoughts at the time, seeing I was (and perhaps still am) very much of a similar spiritual bent. Roles (husband, father), Responsibility, Leadership, morals and ethics and an ability to provide for a family all feature prominently in his piece, which morphed into a small book eventually.

Now that a few years have passed since I first read that, I still feel fundamentally aligned with Mohler’s ideals as espoused here, with the explicit addition of attempting to live those out whilst being a supporter and encourager to the people in my life (wife, future children, siblings and friends). The premise is that there is enough room at the top of the table for every one in my personal space to live their best life, however so they deem fit.