Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity) is a lone wolf. The character (not Matt Damon) is the epitome of manliness, mystery, danger, skill, toughness, detachment, sexuality, and is an island of self containment. He’s a little more mysterious than 007, but still has a license and ability to kill. Jason Bourne, James Bond, Dirk Pitt, Jack Ryan, Mitch Rapp – all characters who exude the independent, “I can do it on my own, no one understands me because I’m so tough and dangerous, I’m usually three steps ahead of just about everybody, and women really dig me” kind of guy. He has power.
Ok, that’s cool. I love those kind of movies. In fact, I was in a Dirk Pitt movie (Sahara) as the iconic lone wolf waiter. But that’s another story. Those movies sell really well because they touch men at an inner level of self imagery. Men want to see themselves as heroic. They want to be desired by women. They want to do it on their own, to be beholden to no man, wear the cool watch, drive the awesome car, and be free to satisfy themselves on the next female conquest. Working in a cubicle 2080 hours a year, sack lunching it because your student loans and car payment suck up your cash flow, playing poker video at work to escape responsibility for a short while, going home and scrambling to get the kids fed, bathed, jammied, read to, and in bed for the night with hopes that your wife isn’t too tired to respond to your begging for sex – doesn’t seem like the life of danger and adventure. Men’s minds wander. Of course your life won’t be that way.
I don’t know any guy that hasn’t had some variation on the lone wolf idea. Taken to the far end of this thinking (not even extreme far end), men do have sexual affairs outside the marriage, men do go it alone by turning a deaf ear, men do wall out the world to those who would bring them love and happiness. Men do become dispirited. They make movies like Hall Pass because of the commonplace contrast between men’s youthful expectations that continue to live in a middle aged body. Men can wake up one day disappointed in how little they’ve done in their life. The manly imagery they once held comes to crisis against the mundane workaday life they now lead. Don’t think this is late 40’s stuff and is too far away for you twenty-somethings to worry about. It becomes possible the day a man sees himself cemented in a life as a mere provider with no way out.
Thinking that way is a misperception of “reality”. First of all it’s important to understand that the lone wolf imagery is a fantasy that doesn’t truly exist (as I know you know). As you mature in life you recognize the compromises necessary to balance self expression and family fulfillment – adventure of travel or little Joanie’s braces; being in top shape or keeping a job that requires travel; and recognizing that your wife will have ebbs and flows that are a function of the female life – are all realities of life. That’s how life goes. So starting with an understanding of how life channels you down that potential pathway at least gives you a heads up.
Secondly, and this is pretty much my main driver with Ironmen, the more you take ownership of your life by showing up every day with the intention of succeeding in marriage, business and finances, health, and all the rest of it, the more likely you will succeed; and, in succeeding, have a greater likelihood of a life with more choices. Everyone recognizes that 5 years ago you were less mature than you are today. What is harder to understand is how much more mature you’ll be 5 years from now. It depends. If you get excited about your life; write down your goals for this year; include your wife (or girlfriend) in your plans; meet with like-minded guys every week and brainstorm success; measure your weekly successes against your plan – this will maximize your potential and your maturity. This path will create a dynamic, energized, intentional, adventurous, fun existence.
The result will be that you will have too much personal momentum to mess with some extramarital woman, some superficial auto bling, or some job drama, or anything else that will remove you from the path of substance. Yes, you can be that man of power.
Fantasy is fine. Enjoy the movies.
To your continued success.