Three Things Every Man Must Know
Byron| January 14th, 2014
I'm keeping this blog post short and sweet by bringing three questions to your attention you must know in order to influence others and find your unique calling in the world. They are profoundly simple yet challenging.
Three things every man must know...
THING NUMBER ONE: WHO ARE YOU?
I'm not asking you what you do for a living or what role you play to others.
I'm not looking for, "I'm John. An accountant. I'm married with three kids." I'm looking for something far deeper and elusive. This question evades most men because we don't really take time to think about it.
Look, I'm not trying to get all philosophical up in this place. I'm trying to get you to look deeper into your psyche and find what drives you. When I ask, "Who are you?" I'm really asking - what makes you tick? What do you value? What DRIVES you?
The reason must people reach for the easy answer of "Here's my name and here's what I do for a living" is because we're so used to society shaping us. We're used to looking OUTWARD to see how we show up around other people and selecting our role in society as an answer to this question. But never forget - you also shape society. Everything you believe and stand for impacts the world - whether it's millions or just a small handful of people.
So think about what truly matters to you. Think about how you are currently leaving your mark and how you want to leave your mark in the future. Do you value courage, leadership, imagination, or integrity? Do you stand for freedom of expression and love without boundaries? What matters so much to you that life would not be worth living without?
There's no wrong way to answer this - but what you want to be able to come up with is a mission statement of sorts. You want to answer "Who are you?" with something that speaks to your own purpose and direction in life. The last thing you want to say is, "I don't know." Of course you KNOW. You just haven't put in the work to be able to articulate it yet.
So be willing to wrestle with this question throughout your entire life. Your answer will constantly shift and evolve...and that's cool.
THING NUMBER TWO: WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE TABLE?
What are you offering? What skills do you possess that make you stand out from John the accountant? (My apologies to John.)
Rather than think about what you just do for a living, think about your specialties. What areas are you naturally gifted and talented? Knowing these means two things: 1) You are actually good at something and 2) You can easily define what it is and why it sets you apart from others.
See, when people meet you, they're gathering their first impression of you and all of that wonderful stuff we learned in Comm 101. But after all of that, they want to know one thing: what do you bring to the table? What do you know that I want to know? How can you help me? Is there a connection you can make for me that helps me get what I want? Is there something you can provide or teach me that will help make life easier or more enjoyable for me?
I understand it's a rather bleak way of looking at the world, but are you really willing to invest your time and energy with someone who doesn't offer much value? Probably not - because these are the kind of people that want to SUCK value from YOU. They have a habit of monopolizing your time and resources by constantly looking to get something from you without offering anything in exchange. They're usually extremely insecure, needy vampires with foul breath and poor taste in clothing.
When you have nothing to bring to the table (or don't quite know what it is exactly), you don't give a solid reason for people to want to connect with you. Secretly, they begin thinking, "Is this all this guy has going for him?" and quickly lose interest. Deep down, they might even start wondering if you are going to be like one of those other value-draining dudes with nothing to offer. Sadly, you can be the nicest guy in the world with a great personality when people really get to know you, but it won't matter if you're incapable of quickly showing what you bring to the table early on.
So here's how you can start to flesh this out a bit:
1) Start by writing down your strongest skills.
Sounds simple enough, right? Start by making an inventory of everything you have either learned or taught yourself. Jot down what your greatest talents and gifts are and why they are unique to you. So you're great at guitar - so what? What makes you great at guitar in a way that is totally different than the other millions who are great at guitar?
2) Then write down your greatest resources.
These could be people you know, doors you know how to open, communities you have access to, life lessons, techniques, strategies, referrals, or anything else of value. What do you have or know that other people could want?
3) And then write down how you solve problems.
Think about the challenges your friends, family, or co-workers have endured that you have helped solve. How can a combination of your strongest skills and greatest resources solve someone else's problem? Is there something you're naturally great at teaching or coaching? This is where you translate your answers to the first two questions into a formula for bringing value to others.
Writing these questions down helps you lock these concepts into your subconscious mind. You'll be more inclined to offer these things to the people you meet in the future and will come across as a highly valuable guy.
THING NUMBER THREE: WHY SHOULD THE WORLD CARE?
NASA Godard Photo and Video
We live in an extremely loud and crowded world. (Or at least Joel Roberts thinks so). There are many things vying for our attention on a daily basis. Who is to say your message is going to be remembered? Who is to say anyone will care?
Ouch. Thud. Right in the gut.
The bad news is that our walls of defense are up stronger than ever and are only going to get taller. We have an innate distrust of the majority of what we see and hear from the media, salesmen, and sometimes even the people we shake hands with. We've just been manipulated over and over again by false pretenses, only to pull back the curtain and realize someone is not entirely who they say they are. So, as a result, you might have trouble getting people to really care about who you are and what you bring to the table. The message is likely to get lost in the woods of bullshit.
But here's the good news: by knowing how to reach the world with your unique beliefs, values, skills, and resources, you can cut through the fog of apathy. You can have the world care about who you are and what you know.
Let's say you don't have particularly noble ambitions. You're just a single guy looking to go on a date with a hot girl and potentially start a relationship. Same question still applies to you - because if a great majority of people don't care about you and the value you've chosen to demonstrate, what makes you think an attractive woman would?
Now I'm NOT saying that you need to become popular or even well-liked for who you are. You can have a lot of people not understand or even disrespect your viewpoint - and there is absolutely no problem with that. There will always be groups of people out there that will flat-out disagree with everything you stand for. So what? The problem lies in generating bored reactions from the world - from having others respond to you with, "Meh." This is a HUGE indication that you don't really know who you are, what makes you unique, and what you bring to the table. You're not leaving a mark.
If you're still struggling with building high quality friendships, networking, dating, or advancing in your career (or business), understand that right now, you're not creating much curiosity or intrigue in others. You're being forgotten because you're not giving someone a reason to be thinking about you.
Fortunately, this is definitely fixable.
Let's jump right back to the single guy scenario: you want to score a date with an attractive woman but haven't been able to do so. Ask yourself, "OK, how can I distinguish myself from every other guy out there? What can I do to create a little bit of mystery in who I am? How can I ensure that she leaves the date thinking a little differently about life?" Think of yourself on a heart-rate monitor and picture the thing beeping like crazy when you touch an emotional nerve and flatlining when you're heading into predictable, "I'm just like every other guy" territory."
What makes the world actually care about you boils down to knowing why you matter. It comes down to knowing that no other person could generate experiences similar to yours. We all love to think of ourselves as unique and special (and we are) - however, we take it for granted far too often. We don't push ourselves to express our idiosyncrasies out of fear of being rejected or ridiculed. However, far more dangerous than being put down is being ignored.
"I'm a nice guy with a good heart" is no longer going to cut it. You need to find out what makes you an indispensable commodity. Find the kinds of things people might be curious in uncovering about you and gradually unveil them as you explain yourself. Give others a reason to invest their time in you - and then deliver the goods with your skills and resources.
Repeat this often enough and you will become a remarkable man...and these are three things every man must know.
About Byron Van Pelt
Byron Van Pelt is a Certified Life Coach, entrepreneur, and published author of Unshakable Swagger: The Man's Guide to Being Confident Any Time, Any Place...Period. He is now happily married with his wife, Bethany and lives in Jacksonville, Florida. With over eight years of dedication to the world of high-end personal development, he utilizes an arsenal of skills to accelerate his clients' breakthroughs in business, dating, health, and fulfillment. Byron specializes in teaching men how to explode their level of confidence in everything they do and ensure it resonates in even the most challenging circumstances.