Dave was an all-star football player in high school and voted best-dressed student. He was part of the cool crowd.
That’s because, more than anything, Dave wanted to be cool. His self-image rested entirely on what others thought of him.
He followed all of the latest fashion trends and always had a hefty car payment, as he couldn’t let anyone see him step outside of a Hyundai.
Dave spent hours at the night club meeting girls. Dave lost a weekend day or two of his life on hangovers and drug comedowns.
Dave worked for others, as he had no focus or purpose. His motivation was external. What do others think of me?
Dave never sat down in a room alone, away from all distractions, and asked what it meant to be a man.
He said he’d start his own business or make money online, but a man only has so many hours in the day.
He needed others to provide leadership for him and to feed his ego, which was always starving for approval. He won many awards for high performance. Yet he never felt satisfied or content. He never lived in the moment.
He would meet girls and actually had pretty good game. But because he lacked a sense of self, his women cheated on him.
Dave had a mid-life crisis and contemplated suicide.
Diligent Dan was a nobody. In some ways, he was the lowest of the losers.
Diligent Dan didn’t start off with much. He had average genetics and wasn’t voted most likely to succeed in high school.
He was the invisible man.
He followed the rules, went to college, and actually found a job after graduation.
Years later, he had trouble sleeping. Something inside him made him restless at night.
One day Dan was working his 9-5 when he spilled Starbucks coffee on his khakis. He jumped up instinctually when he caught a glimpse of his reflection on his monitor’s screen.
“Is this all there is,” he wondered. He felt pent-up rage escaping from his pores.
The other cube rats looked at Dan with blank eyes. He felt like screaming, “Can’t you see that we are all just human cattle?!”
His co-workers went back to work, their fingers moving up and down the keyboards like chickens pecking kernels of corn out of turds on the farmhouse floor.
Dan had been a brainwashed consumer and couldn’t afford to quit his job, but he knew it was time to make a change.
Dan didn’t know where to start, but he knew he had to make a move.
His daily routine changed. He would surf the web on the clock and type in “men’s self improvement.”
Dan embraced the suck.
He learned how to endure pain. He questioned his life purpose. As his whole view of the world was proven to be a lie, he was overcome with anxiety and felt a pit in his stomach.
But he drove on.
Dan developed a dominant mindset.
He viewed his mind as a high performance sports car that would tolerate only the cleanest fuel. He turned off the television and meditated.
Dan learned what it meant to be treated with respect, as people understood that they would only enjoy Dan’s company if they rose to his standards.
When people – even family and close friends – said negative things, he would get up, turn his back, and leave the room.
Dan no longer had the time to deal with whiners and complainers. He would help those who asked and lived by a new motto: “I don’t have time for the slow or the weak.”
Dan read that a man must have a strong body and a strong mind. He hit the weight room.
He didn’t follow a specific program at first. He just went into the gym consistently and hit it hard.
Slowly Dan’s body transformed. His shirts fit a little bit tighter around his arms and shoulders and his pants were looser at the waist.
He had to buy new clothes after ripping his jeans out, as he couldn’t find pants with a small waist and large quads.
He understood that his physical transformation was a metaphor for his entire life.
Dan was now a misfit of sorts, as he had overcome society’s definition of manhood.
He felt pride in being a man, as he was always working towards his vision. He knew where he wanted to be. All of his existential angst dissipated.
He slept like a rock at night. He was exited to wake up in the morning and knew he needed a full night’s sleep.
His confidence grew each day.
Occasionally Dan was mistaken for a celebrity. “I’ve seen you before,” people would insist. Dan would shrug his shoulders.
Women were showing up. Dan viewed women as a fun accessory to life, but always kept them at arm’s length.
When women would try controlling him, he would let them know that they were and always would be second to his life purpose.
This made women love Dan even more.
Like a good little boy with a college degree, Dan was a filthy, godless atheist.
He questioned whether this world contained more than he could consciously perceive. People became attracted to him, as if a magnetic field or beam of light left his body. He became a sun that lit a dark world.
There were too many “coincidences.” Dan would “coincidentally” run into people at the perfect time. It was as if his thoughts manifested themselves into the real world.
Dan would have an idea in his head of how much money he wanted to earn, and like magic the money would roll in.
Five years after that breakdown in his office, Dan had more money, more friends, and more women than he had time for.
He answered to no one and finally understood what it meant to be a free man.
There’s a fork in the road, a choice to take.
Which man will you be?