I titled this website “Evolving Man Project,” but what exactly is an “Evolved Man”? I hope this website inspires my fellow men and those who identify as male to be someone who stands out from the crowd. Being an “Evolved Man” doesn’t mean you think you’re better than others. It also goes far beyond the outdated and overhyped “Alpha Male” troupe that seems the clog the Internet these days. As I said, it’s cool to refer to yourself as an ‘Alpha Male’ only if it’s part of your WWE gimmick.
The “high-value” male concept, just like “gender roles,” is bullshit humans made up to make men feel like they have to fit into a neat little box. These concepts feed into the Alpha Male ideology. That makes countless men think that having a flush bank account, an endless supply of willing sexual partners (straight-sex only, though), being over six feet tall, or being a dude that can rebuild an engine but can’t make a food dish besides a bowl of cereal makes you a manly man. That’s bullshit. You can find good men in the jail, homeless shelters, or on street corners in any major city. Integrity is the most critical part of being an Evolved Man.
What makes one an Evolved Man is inspiring and uplifting others not just through words but through actions as well. You set examples for your friends, family, and community. An Evolved Man isn’t the perfect guy. It means if you screw up or make a mistake, you don’t make excuses or blame others for your mishaps. It means you own up to it and learn from that mistake.
Another thing that an Evolved Man knows is that their physical health is essential. An Evolved Man understands that being mentally fit is just as important as caring for one’s physical fitness. I spoke candidly about my struggles with mental health and how recovery is a lifelong journey. Suicide rates for men globally remain far too high; addiction and domestic violence hinder men worldwide. Many societal and economic factors contribute to issues that face men as a whole. But what also hinders men is toxic ideologies ingrained into us men since the day we are born about sex, gender, and masculinity. The “boys don’t cry” mantra leads to grown men being afraid to ask for help, especially when they are struggling.
Being mentally fit can help one deal with the hypocrisy and contradictions of modern manhood. It can also guide you toward becoming a more Evolved Man. Here are four tips to be and stay mentally fit.
The outdated and old-fashioned strong silent type of man that was the ideal in the 1950s should have gone the way of the black and white television. Many men think suffering in silence is far better than asking for help. If you are struggling mentally, the worse thing you can do is suffer alone. It’s okay to ask for help; that doesn’t make you weak. Friends, family, and yes, even strangers can offer support. I owe my life to someone on the other end of the phone at the Veterans Crisis Hotline years ago. I doubt I’d be here writing any of this if I didn’t seek help when I thought I’d hit rock bottom.
It means that you have the drive to pursue your goals and passions. No matter how ridiculous others think those passions, hobbies, or goals are. Their hate can be a driving force and more reason not to give up. And your passion doesn’t need to make you rich or famous. It means being persistent in everything you do and being a man of your word. I grew up a foster child in an unjust system. Only half of the former foster kids get a high school diploma, and only three percent of former foster kids graduate college. Not only am I a college grad, but I’m also a published author. It wasn’t an easy journey, and there were many bumps in the road, including a tour of duty. I have two novels under my belt, with a third in the works. I didn’t give up, and there were plenty of times I wanted to give up. What’s important is I didn’t. Now, as an adult, I give back to my community and help young people who faced similar struggles I did growing up in the system.
One driving force in my younger years was an irrational fear of failure. This irrational fear of failure prevents many men from pursuing that dream job, passion project, or asking that cute girl out on a date.
If you fail at something, it doesn’t mean your life will end or you’ll spontaneously combust. Even if that pretty lady turns you down for a date or your small business goes belly up. In my youth, I wanted to attend the University of Illinois. I doubted myself when the time came, and I never applied. Fear of not getting accepted and thinking my high school GPA was too low prevented me from applying to one of t e best state schools in my home state of Illinois. Years later, an opportunity came along to attend the University of Chicago. This time I applied. I got accepted and graduated with honors. If I failed, I could have rested my laurels on the fact that I gave it a shot. Fa lure can be the best teacher. Like that old-school Aaliyah song says, you can dust yourself off and try again. Learning from mistakes and failure is what makes a person most resilient.
Who are you? We are many things, and as men, much is expected of us. But too many of us doubt our self-worth or connect it to social others accepting us. Confidence is key to one’s identity and sense of self. Don’t be hard on yourself; society is already hard enough on men. And thanks to some crappy fellas out there. It’s reasonable to understand why society is tough on us dudes when we screw up. Like the infamous singer R. Kelly. But remember, an Evolved Man doesn’t say, “well, not all men!” We show in our actions that men can be caring, compassionate, and respectful to others. The Golden Rule is an ideology that people of all creeds can embrace.
I spent most of my twenties trying to please people and thought more people would like me if I did. Remember, you can’t please everyone, and trying to will stress you out and make you unhappy. It will impact your self-worth, and not in a good way.
One must deal with negative thoughts and self-talk in a constructive way. You can write down a list of things you dislike about yourself and ask yourself if you can honestly change those things. I’ve recently joined the bald club for men because my hairline started to recede and recede so more. I embraced that hair loss is a part of life for some guys. I’d be lying if there was no self-doubt or anxiety that came with my hair loss, but I let those thoughts pass and embraced the chrome dome.
In the end, evolution is just a fancy word for change. So what is an Evolved Man? An Evolved Man is a man who knows that life is all about change. An Evolved Man must continue throughout their life to learn and grow. That’s what it means to be an evolved man. Mental health, like physical health, is a lifelong process to maintain. Never stop evolving, brother.