I’ve been reflecting on Lewis Howes new book The Masks of Masculinity. (Great read highly recommended it) In it, he discusses the mask that guys can put on as a lens into how to live in the world. Athletic Mask, Stoic Mask, Material Mask… Lady’s can have these masks too, but they generally have better support groups and talk with friends differently than guys. (More honest and open relationships about what’s going on)
Being honest and open about my life and mission in life to be a Renaissance Man is one of the reasons I started the Renaissance in the first place.
Somewhere between middle school and high school, I changed. (No duh stupid it’s called puberty idiot-face 🙂 When I say change, I mean I lost a piece of who I was and put up a barrier. Instead of being more outgoing and taking chances, I would hold myself back. A veil of apathy maybe.. although apathy might be too strong of a word… I was mild. It was more like a piece of glass between who I was and who I came across as. Paul would say I wasn’t living at level 10, instead, I was living at level 7 or 8.
Inside, I was energetic, curious, outgoing, creative (and a little rebellious) but subdued, possibly even a little distant on the outside. I still cared about things, — which is why the word apathy doesn’t quite fit — I enjoyed hanging with my friends and pursuing passions (music, art, math, sports) and creativity, but I wasn’t living my life to the utmost. I wasn’t completely awake. I was living like I was sleepwalking.
I didn’t see this at the time of course, (hindsight is a 20 / 20 Bee) and I doubt others did either. I think this continued to college and on. It wasn’t until I started the Renaissance and improving myself that I started to feel the glass between the world and my real self.
Living asleep won’t kill you, but it won’t give you an extraordinary life.
I want to find my childlike curiosity and boldness again.
There’s wisdom in living your life with child-like wonder and imagination. I’m not trying to look over the childish traits — self-centered, stingy, short — those are there too.
But the closer we can get to who we were as kids — imagination, playing, laughter, making friends, taking action, learning — the better our perspective and experiences in life will be.
The questions I’m facing today are:
Q: How do I live every day by being fully ALIVE?
Q: How can I increase my energy, charisma, and enthusiasm for what I do, who I am and who I aim to be?
Q: How do I live a fulfilled and extraordinary life?
Q: How do I create the most impact on others lives and build a network of incredible relationships
Q: How can I practice curiosity and childlike wonder and imagination every day in all that I do?
I don’t know if I have an answer yet on how to remove the sleepwalking mask, but I do know that continuing what I’ve been doing can do nothing but help:
Asking hard questions.
Making new connections.
Challenging myself with daily challenges.
Getting into what makes me uncomfortable.
And doing what I fear so that I can become what I dream.
— Josh Waggoner
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” — Marcus Aurelius
“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” Joseph Campbell