Ask Dr. NerdLove: How Do I Let Go of An Old Flame?

Hey Doc:

Recently I got a message from a friend saying she was back in town for the foreseeable future, working just along from me, and wanted to meet up for friendly drinks.

What she doesn’t know is that about 4 years prior, at a low point when I was struggling (and losing, badly) against debilitating depression, shame and self-loathing, I developed a terrible, terrible case of oneitis for her after some awkward, post-night-out kissing. That was all it took to prompt me into an obsession that kept on for nearly two years. On the surface, I was her awkward grumpy friend she once had a slip-up with, who she liked getting drunk and being weird with. But underneath, I was deeply unhappy, lonely, neurotic, having suicidal thoughts and obsessing over her every day. Oh, and we were work colleagues!

It was f*cked, but thankfully things changed. She moved away, I started therapy, my life got a little better, slowly. I didn’t see her for a long time. I still thought about her sometimes, but when I heard she had started a serious relationship I was happy to have another reason to put her out of my mind. When a mutual friend tried to tell me they’d broken up, I just didn’t want to know. I just kept making progress, getting better at making the most of the ups and recovering from the downs. I still having a nonexistent love life and a sh*tty job, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made, because I’ve started learning how to value my own feelings and enjoy being me, in spite of everything.

But now that she’s back and I’m staring down the idea of seeing her again, I’m realising that I never fully cured my oneitis, and I still feel inadequate when I think about seeing her. My mental health has taken a bit of a dive as a result. I know I don’t want to be with her but I’m still really attracted to her. I feel like I couldn’t possibly be myself around her. I feel like her opinion of me matters more than my own, like I need to please her but never could. Which is insane, because I haven’t felt this subservient to anyone else I’ve had feelings for, and because she was always a loving, supportive friend to me. It almost feels like I’m getting dragged backward to that darker time in my life, just as I was learning how to trust myself.

What I want most is to stop worrying and just be as honest as possible with a view towards getting out of each other’s lives so I can let go of how I feel about her once and for all. After all that time apart it hardly feels like much of a loss. But I feel like a part of me is worried about hurting someone who was always just a kind, supportive friend, while another is scared of being judged by her. I’m also worried I won’t be able to properly explain this to her, or that it won’t give me the closure I’m hoping for, or that I’ll just be making the wrong move entirely.

The added kicker is that she isn’t to blame for any of this, and has no idea I ever felt this way. Every day we saw each other, I was lying about how I felt. I’m definitely ashamed of it, and kind of scared of making it all real by talking about it.

I suppose what I’m asking is, what’s the best way for me to resolve this thing and put old obsession behind me?

Link to The Past

My question for you, LTTP, is “what does this woman represent to you?”

One of the reasons why we get stuck with a case of Oneitis  – getting hung up on one person who has no interest in dating us – is because we invest that person with meaning and importance that goes beyond who they are as a person. They aren’t just a human being to us anymore they’re the avatar of some specific belief or need that we feel is lacking in our lives. Many times it’s because we’ve invested so much in them emotionally that we can’t imagine life without them; we have made them so important that we treat them as our last and only hope for love. There may be millions of other women out there in the world, but there’re none like her, nobody who could possibly mean what she means or do what she does. She is the only person we could love or who could love usback.

Other times it’s because of what their presence in our lives means. She represents validation, especially if she’s socially desirable. Whether it’s her looks, her status, her fame, fortune or some other quality, the fact that she wants to date us means that we must be something special. It’s a way of saying “look at how awesome I am, because I can get a woman of this caliber.”

But the problem is that as much as people may want to round that feeling up to love… that ain’t it at all. It’s never about her as a person, it’s about what she represents. It’s about what’s lacking in your life.

So the first step to curing your Oneitis is to figure out what you are missing, LTTP. It sounds to me like what your friend represents is love, affection, and support at a time when you desperately needed it. Throw in some sloppy make-outs, and it’s not hard to see why you link those feelings with her specifically. She was, in a way, a guardian angel for you, coming to you in your darkest hour. And because you invested so much importance and glorious purpose, you feel like you have to live up to a certain ideal for her. You feel as though you have to have this over-the-top life in order to be “worthy” of her, this woman who gripped you tight and pulled you from perdition. And so you’re in this double-bind. On the one hand, you want her because she represents that moment of passion. On the other, you fear that you aren’t good enough. So here you are, torn in two directions: obsessed with her but scared of disappointing her. Since she’s become this divine figure, her judgement is all-important. If she were to see you, measure you and find you wanting… well, wouldn’t that just be reaffirming that you’re nothing but scum who doesn’t deserve to crawl on this planet?

Here’s the thing though, LTTP: all of that isn’t true. It’s your own cosmology, this view that only exists in your head. It has nothing to do with reality or all the work that you’ve put in. And let’s make no mistake: you’ve put in a lot of work. Which, to be quite honest, makes your obsession and fear somewhat frustrating. You’re invalidating all the hard work you have done, the way that you have dragged yourself out of the muck because you don’t see that as being at all equivalent to one make-out session after a few too many drinks.

You need to start recognizing your own value, LTTP and the importance of how much you’ve done for yourself. The more that you can look at where you are and where you’ve come from, how hard you’ve fought and how much you’ve accomplished, the less you’ll feel that you need to supplicate yourself before her.

And just as important is that you need to recognize that this version of her you have in your mind right now doesn’t actually exist. You’ve put her on this pedestal and, in a way, invalidated her humanity. You’ve created this supernatural being in the place of a woman who farts, stubs her toe and gets zits, just like you do.

Hopefully, you’re still talking to your therapist. One of the best things you can do is talk about your friend with them and these complicated feelings that your friend’s return has brought up. That might get you some clarity and help resolve a little of the anxiety you’re feeling. Just as importantly, since they’re in a better position to judge where your heads at, they’d be better able to tell you whether meeting up with your friend would be a good idea or not.

What I don’t think you need to do is explain any of this to her. Like you said: none of this is her fault, and dumping this on her is only going to cause unnecessary pain and confusion. That’s a cruel thing to do to someone who’s been trying to be a good and supportive friend to you. Instead, I think what you should do is work on accepting her as a person. A kind person, someone who clearly cares for you and has been a source of support… but just a person. Not somebody who’s opinion is more important than yours, not somebody who you need to impress or who has life-or-death power over your self-esteem. The more you can take her down from this pedestal you’ve erected and see her for who she really is, the less of an awesome and terrible figure she’ll be.

And at that point, you’ll be in a better position to know what happens next. Maybe you’ll be able to have a more honest friendship with her, free from the stresses of your Oneitis. Maybe the two of you will drift out of one another’s lives again, as sometimes happens.

But regardless of how your relationship evolves or changes, you’ll be free. You’ll have been able to let go of your oneitis and feel the strength and confidence you need to move forward and find your own worth and validation.

Good luck.

Previously published here and reprinted with permission from the author.

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from The Good Men Project

‘Hellboy’ Is a Mess. Too Bad

In Director Neil Marshall’s spirited action fantasy “Hellboy”, adoptive Father Professor Broom, played with whimsical gravitas by Ian McShane tells his Son, “I wanted you to be the best you…” David Harbour’s Hellboy, the hulking prosthetically horned, red-skinned beast, acknowledges his Father’s love in tears. No spoilers here. After all, Dad is human. Hellboy, well he’s some other distinction.

The dramatic arc resonates genuine poignancy. Yet, seems so out of context, like much of “Hellboy”. “Hellboy” often gets lost in the narrative abyss.

Based on Mike Mignola’s source material – Dark Horse Comic Book “Hellboy”, Neil and Screenwriter Andrew Cosby reboot the beloved 2004 movie starring Ron Perlman as a narrative quandary. David Harbour embodies the irreverent sense of humor and charisma in a wonderful homage to Ron Perlman’s Hero beast.

But like I told my buddy Ron, after we both watched the movie, “That was all over the place.” “Hellboy” is an unfocused mess. WTF? Too bad.

Not just for us, but also for the cast. Beautiful commanding Milla Jovovich is beguiling evil as The Blood Queen, Nimue. Hers along with David’s Hellboy inspire strong performances from feeble material.

In the prologue set in 1540 or so: Omniscient sorceress Nimue prepares to unleash her deadly plague on the world; thus, ending humankind forever. However, she’s vanquished by stalwart King Arthur, played by Mark Stanley, and sorcerer Merlin, played by Brian Gleeson. To dissipate her immense power they literally chop Nimue into pieces, foreshadowing Neil’s macabre resurrection visual, and bury her parts at the ends of the Earth.

Hellboy works for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) fighting the “dark forces” like Giants. He’s a superhero of sorts. He has great speed, strength, and fighting skills. He also possesses a huge mysterious metallic right hand.

Professor Broom and Hellboy work together at the BPRD. He virtually raised his son there. Returning from a mission, Broom gently grooms the horns on his son’s brow. As corny as that looks, it’s sublime. Regardless of blood, they’re family. They love each other unconditionally. That is the singular saving grace of “Hellboy”.

Eventually, conspiracy consumes. Predictably, the evil Nimue returns from wherever, and seeks revenge. Surprisingly, she seeks Hellboy as well. Although handsome is not Hellboy’s strong suit, Nimue is passionately drawn to the muscular red beast. Perhaps, it’s his wry sense of humor? Maybe, it’s Hellboy’s lineage according to eerie villain Lady Huttom, who reprises Hellboy’s origins and discovery by Professor Broom.

Meanwhile, to save the world from Nimue’s apocalyptic intentions, Hellboy joins forces with Alice, played by young spirited Sasha Lane, and soldier Major Ben Daimio, played by calm strong Daniel Dae Kim. It’s on!

The bond of Hellboy and Nimue make “Hellboy” watchable, which isn’t saying all that much. David and Milla have engaging chemistry. They’re both strong, resilient, and don’t take themselves too seriously. On the other hand, “Hellboy” does. Rather at times, Neil Marshall doesn’t have a clue what kind of story he wants to tell.

The visual effects in “Hellboy” are spectacular. Gruesome images of shredded and exploding flesh populate the screen. Then there are whimsical visuals of the Nimue’s limbs sewn back together or some vicious Giant swatting Hellboy like an insect.

“Hellboy” occurs as a funny, bloody narrative mess. Not in a good way. Again, too bad for David Harbour and Milla Jovovich. Really, too bad for us.

The post ‘Hellboy’ Is a Mess. Too Bad appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project

Tandy Explores a Very Strange Place in ‘Rabbit Hold’

rabbit hold, cloak and dagger, tv show, action, adventure, drama, season 2, review, freeform

Tandy takes on a risky rescue mission in ‘Rabbit Hold’

Last time on Cloak and Dagger, Tandy and Tyrone got to learn a bit about a new foe. They found out how they came to be, and just how dangerous they could be. Tyrone disagrees with their methods, but Tandy thinks it might be just what they need. As this episode came to a close and things got bad fast Tyrone did something he couldn’t fully explain. Now Tandy decides to take on a dangerous rescue mission in ‘Rabbit Hold’. I was able to watch a screener of this episode and here is what I thought of it.

rabbit hold, cloak and dagger, tv show, marvel, action, adventure, drama, season 2, review, freeform

(c) Freeform

You can read the premise for ‘Rabbit Hold’ here:

Still on her quest to find out more about the sex trafficking ring, Tandy takes a dangerous trip to find Mayhem, who may have the answers she is looking for. Meanwhile, Tyrone’s past actions catch up to him and put Adina in harm’s way.

rabbit hold, cloak and dagger, tv show, marvel, action, adventure, drama, season 2, review, freeform

(c) Freeform

Tandy took a trip to a mysterious place in ‘Rabbit Hold’. She wasn’t sure what she was going to see in there, but went there anyway. The mission was to find someone and bring them back, but it looks like this won’t be that simple. To move on a power is taken away, and as the journey moves forward things only get stranger. Along the way it looks like someone else has been trapped there for a while, and has a vendetta against somebody. As this episode comes to a close a rule is broken which has things end in a way no one saw coming. If you want to learn more about Cloak and Dagger click on this website.

rabbit hold, cloak and dagger, tv show, marvel, action, adventure, drama, season 2, review, freeform

(c) Freeform

Cloak and Dagger ‘Rabbit Hold’ airs tomorrow night at 8pm. You can follow this show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The post Tandy Explores a Very Strange Place in ‘Rabbit Hold’ appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project

Form, Feeling, Perceptions, Thoughts, Awareness

  • Through desire we select and initiate that which already exists.. –Ernest Holmes


  • We are not bound by linear time and limited availability. –Rev. David Ault


  • There can be no enlightenment or awakening without the ego, and yet it has outlived its usefulness which is why Jesus said, “Deny thyself.” –Eckhart Tolle


  • Make me your origin, I am a bottomless well of inspiration. –Julia Cameron, Answered Prayers

  • Enlightenment is collapsing the world back to its Source. -2nd Book of the Tao


  • Even eating can be selfless if you are eating to get the energy to serve others. -Satchidananda


  • Affirmation: I separate only to affirm unity.


  • Breathing the words below on the in and out breath trains mind in both focus and direction and letting go…..







These quotes are shared by Robert Rannigan, LPC, to touch, inspire, and motivate moms and dads to reflect upon what is important in their lives and those of their spouses and children. The role of fathers has been slowly changing over the years. Dads are now expected to be more emotionally involved with their kids and–most of all–desire more emotional closeness with them. To do this, men have to establish a sense of safety, certainty, and knowing within their own internal environments. Through increased mindfulness and focus, they will then be able to create these very things for themselves, as well as for the families they love.

Grouped by a common theme, “Quotes for Parents” bring words of wisdom, almost daily, from great minds—current and old—into the lives of modern parents (and the rest of us) to nudge them (and us) ever so closer to the mindfulness and self-awareness we should all be practicing every single day.

These quotes are provided as encouragement to observe the power of words and to choose your words carefully. In the morning, choose one (or some of their impactful words) to meditate upon and guide you in a positive direction as you navigate the day’s challenges.


This post was originally published on Robert Rannigan’s Daily Quotes for Parents and is republished here with his permission.

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Photo credit: By phive2015 (feature pic) and Valeria Vechterova (well) @ iStock by Getty Images

The post Form, Feeling, Perceptions, Thoughts, Awareness appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project

2 Simple Steps to Help You Break Through Your Fears

If you are addicted to success you most certainly are addicted to fear too. Why? Because they are a direct consequence of each other. When you achieve success, it’s because you have taken actions and broken through fears that were holding you back. Every success you have comes from breaking a fear you held onto.

It is incredible to think how much energy and time entrepreneurs waste looking after their fears, making sure they are listened to. It is much harder to feed the energy of fear than feed the energy of success. I want you to think about the mental dilemma you face every single day, the battle you will probably have in your mind when it comes to taking certain actions in your business.

Shall I take that risk?

What if I’m rejected? What if I’m not good enough? What if I’ll be ridiculed in front of others? What if I fail? Just think of how hard it is to constantly listen and obey these thoughts.

The battle in your head is real and challenging. The good thing is you can win it, and the bad thing is there will always be a battle going on in your head. However, you can become a more consistent winner.

Success will always require a new level of expansion which will result in a new level of fears needed to be broken. Imagine this like an elastic band. Every time you face a fear, the elastic will stretch more and more, and the tension will be greater. When you become brave and take the action, the tension will be released and the elastic band will fly further creating a bigger expansion.

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Fears are normal and essentials to your success

If there are no fears, there’ll be no stretch and no expansion from you. If you want to succeed, you must break through some fears, and this is obvious. But how can you break through fears with ease? I personally used all the possible solutions available in the world to win my fears: meditation, counseling, talking therapies, exercises and many more.

Although those helped, the ultimate way to conquer your fears is to go straight through them. I won some of my biggest fears since starting my entrepreneurial journey that no one else and nothing could help me break. This seems better said than done, but by following a few simple steps, you can do it too.

Here are 2 simple steps to help you breakthrough those fears:

1. Becoming aware of what your fears are

Often they’re very well camouflaged, and they’ll appear in your life as if on autopilot, in the same way electricity comes when you flip a light switch. They’re often triggered by someone else’s actions or words, or by your idea on what the consequence of a certain action will bring to you.

Fears contain so much energy on their own, so imagine what you could do with that energy if you could use it to your advantage. Imagine fear being a close wrist. Every time you activate the fear, you give more energy to it. Every time you think of the fear, you feed the wrist with more power.

As you live your life controlled by fears, the wrists will get more and more powerful. Picture that. Then you try to take certain actions in your business like going live for the first time, proposing a deal to a certain client, writing an article where you express your very own controversial opinion about something, or invest money you currently do not have.

Fears will come in, fully charged. You try to win by punching towards the wall of action. You want to break through, and you know that on the other side of the wall there’s success.

You punch and keep punching but nothing happens. Then, imagine you taking the leap, pointing the wrist towards the wall and BANG! You break through.

Now, the energy of fear has been released and is now ready to be used to your advantage.

The energy will disperse and free itself and it will transmute into freedom and power to take further actions.

“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

2. Figure out why you fear that certain thing

After you realise what the fear is, ask yourself, “Why do I fear to take this action?” Explore the consequences that breaking that specific fear will bring you. “What will happen if I break this and I achieve the results I desire?

These questions are vital, as you’ll realize your fears are just trying to keep you safe. Humans are not wired for success, they are wired for survival. So anything to do with success will be filtered through your lens of fear.

Once you realize WHAT will happen if you achieve the success you desire, which usually are negative scenarios, calm your mind and imagine a positive scenario instead. Write this down for each negative scenario your mind will create.

One of my biggest fears is the fear of being successful as I believe (my scenario) that people won’t like me anymore, and that I won’t be able to spend time with my family. So once I detected the fear, I changed the scenario. Instead of thinking people will not like me anymore, I create a new reality I desire which could look something like this: I will be able to help and impact more people and I will make sure I take lots of days off and delegate stuff to my team so to spend time with my family.

It is that simple. Once your subconscious mind is reassured with the new positive outcome, it will become easier for you to take action. In the end, always remember you’re in charge of your life, no one else, let alone your fears.

How do you conquer your fears? Let us know your advice and thoughts below!


The Importance of Hope When Facing Depression

One of the most devastating pieces about depression is that it often times squashes all sense of hope. Without hope, people may lose any little bit of “fight” they have to work towards recovery. Dr. Jon Allen states, “I can’t think of anything more important than maintaining hope when you’re striving to recover from depression. Catch 22: at its worst, depression promotes hopelessness.” (Coping with Depression: From Catch 22 to Hope, (2006) p. 249). Depression counselor, Douglas Bloch, considers the presence of hope as an “absolutely essential” part of recovery from depression. He believes that without hope, one may believe that there is “no reason to put the work in today and do what it takes to pursue recovery” (“The Importance of Hope in Healing From Depression”).

One man who I met at the support group that I attend (see my post titled, “The Power of Support Groups”), stated that it was easier to stay on the couch and that he was “fine with it”. He didn’t want to deal with any of the challenges of life and wasn’t willing to put in the necessary effort to recover. This was a man who had been through depression in the past, knew what he needed to do in order to work towards recovery, even blogged in order to support others to work through depression, yet…in the midst of it could not get himself off of the couch.

One member of the group questioned whether or not staying on the couch was easier, as there is no possibility of “failing” if he wasn’t to work towards getting better. There would also be no possibility of being disappointed after being hopeful about recovery, so therefore perhaps, it was argued, he had no hope. He must have, however, as it was pointed out, had at least a glimmer of hope, as he was able to tear himself off of the couch in order to make it to the support group. Depression is an awful illness whose symptoms work against everything that should be done in order to become healthy. Many people with depression want to isolate, yet it’s known that connecting with people is helpful. Depression takes enjoyment out of doing things that in the past were enjoyable. This particular man loved writing and playing music. However, he put down his pen and left his guitar sitting idle in its case throughout his struggle with depression.

Other men from the group reached out to this man, as it was clear that he was in a dark place and needed support (see my post titled, “The Importance of a Support Team”). Suddenly, he was off the couch and in various coffee shops meeting individually with other men from our group. I, too, invited him to coffee. By the time he met with me, he had mentioned that he had been online to seek out resources and programs for recovery. It was clear that he had made a significant and critical shift from having no hope, to having hope. He was getting out of his house, connecting with others, and seeking resources in order to recover. It was a great moment, as I was able to witness the shift from a lack of hope to hope that was energizing and palpable.

The lack of hope can be devastating and even life-threatening. It’s important for those suffering from depression to understand that there is hope. People do recover. There are resources. You are not alone.

As with all of my posts, comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Previously published on The Depression Files

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The post The Importance of Hope When Facing Depression appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project

Why We All Need to Create a Personal USP to Build Ourselves a Better Future

While I write for some of the world’s biggest publications, these days I find myself sharing my knowledge with more and more people via audio. I’ve been lucky enough to appear on Mario Porreco’s The 10-Minute Mindset, Brian Kelly’s The Mind-Body Business Podcast, Tim Alison’s Screw the Naysayers, Mark Struczewski’s Podcast, and in the coming weeks Chris Scarfo’s The Scarfo Show and Bruce Eckfeldt’s Thinking Outside the Bud.

Last week, Tony Winyard kindly invited me to appear on his podcast Exceeding Expectations. It won’t go live for a few weeks, but during our conversation, we talked about the importance of creating something special for clients. It’s something that Steve Sims talks about in his bestselling book, Bluefishing. For those who haven’t read it, I consider it a must-have for anyone looking to take their business to the next level.

As children, we do what we can to fit in. Standing out usually comes with repercussions. If a kid’s too fat, too tall, too skinny, too weird, too weak, or too something, they tend to get teased or bullied. However, once we enter the business world it’s a whole other story.

If you want to be successful, the last thing you want to be is average. The competition is fierce. You want to find a way to differentiate yourself from those around you. It doesn’t matter where you are, what you do or how old you are, you need to create your own personal USP.

For those unfamiliar with the expression, a USP is a unique selling point. It’s the reason why people buy from you over anyone else.

Think about the big names today. They all have their USPs. Google is synonymous with search. Apple has the iPhone and iPad. Microsoft has Windows. Coca-Cola has Coke. Amazon dominates delivery. People buy from them because they are the best.

Growing up before the Internet, our choices were limited to those in our local area. No longer. Today our competition is halfway across the world and down the street. That’s why it’s imperative to find ways to separate ourselves from them.

Take me. At age 26, I walked away from a job and started my entrepreneurial journey. I bought into a franchise system and built my school from the ground up. It wasn’t easy, let me tell you. But after a few years, I was able to hire staff and at one point had seven people working under me.

Then something in changed. I saw what was coming and knew I needed to prepare for it. I built a second school with a partner, worked with another group of entrepreneurs to build up their school, all in the hopes of learning new skills. Turns out I made the right decision though it wasn’t what I expected.

While I started down one path, I ended up going completely in the opposite direction and now find myself a time management consultant.

My reasoning was based on two concepts

1. Impact
2. Evergreen

The one thing I loved about teaching was helping people transform their lives. The only problem with it is it takes years to learn a language. I wanted to find a way to influence people’s lives fast and the one thing I found students struggled with regardless of their chosen profession was time.

The second piece had to do with the incredible advancements being made in technology. I wanted to find an area that would survive the coming winds of change.

Today, I’m a native English speaker who has resided in Japan for over 20 years and am a time management expert. That’s my USP.

Thanks to YouTube, books, podcasts, and seminars, you can become pretty much anything you want: a Facebook Ads expert, a marketing expert, a LinkedIn profile expert.

The choice is yours.

The question is, what do you want to become?

What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.

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The post Why We All Need to Create a Personal USP to Build Ourselves a Better Future appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project

Man Alive! Million Dollar Influence – Aaron Keith Hawkins

What does it take to be an influencer — to be a man people listen to, trust and respect?

How do you lose influence? 

And are you already without even realizing it?

If you find yourself disappointed or unsatisfied in the realms of love or leadership, learning the skill of influence will allow you create more connection, collaboration, passion, excitement…

From the moment you walk into a room you are either positively or negatively influencing people. Aaron Keith Hawkins (of the Unbreakable Success Podcast) and I did a joint podcast episode where we discuss how to learn and develop the skill of INFLUENCE.

We both know you don’t have to be born as an influential person because we have each taught many people to communicate and interact in ways that are more powerful and influential!

In this Man Alive Podcast conversation we covered:

  • Aaron’s four biggest reasons people fail at influence
  • Why influence is both subtle and obvious at the same time
  • The invisible realm of influence –– where trust and respect are built
  • How understanding people’s basic needs allows you to have more influence
  • What to do when you’re not influencing people in the ways you want


Even men at the top of their game find themselves wanting more from life. Man Alive is the resource for men who want more meaning, a bigger impact, unshakable confidence, a hotter sex life, more money, deeper love, solid friendships or a powerful legacy.

A version of this post was originally posted on and is republished here with permission from the author.

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The post Man Alive! Million Dollar Influence – Aaron Keith Hawkins appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project

If I Were a Rich Man

My monthly nut isn’t huge, but given my meager salary, it is formidable. Therefore, I need my bi-monthly paycheck to be heavy on the cash and light on the deductions, which mean I claim a lot of dependents on my W-4 form, so I don’t get much taken out of my paycheck, but this rickety financial ploy means that I owe taxes every year.

This year, I owe the IRS 3 grand. That sucks, but it is what it is, and I pay it, though the look on my face when I write the check can be described as…pained.

The older I get the more I fret over money. When I was in my 20s, just starting out, I didn’t give a damn. As long as I had enough money to pay my rent, buy some gas, beer, and weed, I was good.

But that changed. Now I own stuff, like a house, and I have kids and such, and though I’m always fretting over money, I do know what I’m worth–or to put it another way: I know the monetary value of what I own. Guys, it is imperative that you know the value of everything you own. Your net worth. The ONLY people who DON’T need to worry about their net worth are batting .310 in the majors and making 20 million a year. The rest of us–we need to know.

Let me explain this by telling you a story. I have a friend who makes 40K a year as a bartender and he drives an Uber every afternoon from 4 pm to 6 pm. His name is Rocco. I was talking to him last week at the bar where he works. He was moaning about his life, which by the way, is usually done by the drinker, not by the guy pouring the drinks, but Rocco was in a sour mood. Basically, he was saying, “I’m 36 years old, I work about 60 hours a week and I got nothin’ to show for it…” And so forth. I listened to him for a bit, and I said, “Shut up, you got
plenty, and I’ll come by tomorrow and prove it to you.” He said, “ok, asshole..” and ignored me the rest of the night.

I met him at his place the next day. He sat on his couch and stared at me while I poked around. I had a pen and a piece of paper.

After about 20 minutes I sat next to him on the couch and said, “you got a lot of assets here”. He looked at me expressionlessly, but his eyes said, “you are out of your effing mind…”

So I read off my piece of paper. I found about 30 items that were, well… assets. A plasma tv, couch, two lamps, a DVD player that he never uses, a lava lamp, a laminated wood coffee table, some DVDs, an IKEA mirror, a 2 drawer filing cabinet that he used as an end table, a metal picture frame, an ab roller with dust on it, an Xbox and maybe 15 games, a bed with a mattress, cups, dishes, all sorts of pots and pans and utensils, and a second lava lamp, which he believes creates a seductive atmosphere; a laptop computer, iPad, a bowling ball, a suitcase, a Cleveland Indian Duvet; a Cleveland Indian lamp, a baseball mitt signed by Jim Thome, a Cleveland Browns poster, an array of comic books, binoculars; a coin collection he got from his dad, a Darth Vader piggy bank, a banjo that he doesn’t know how to play, and all sort of clothes, an alarm clock, a baseball bat, and a poster of Kate Upton in a one-piece bathing suit. I asked him how much money he had in his checking account: $422.12
Savings: three grand; all this, plus his 2012 Honda Civic–were his assets.

He actually cracked a grin when he heard the list. We grabbed his computer, went Craig’s list and eBay, and went through the list one by one to see comparable items that were listed for sale, and what they were valued at, including the Civic. We wrote down the amounts next to every item. Then we totaled it and added the money in his checking and savings account.

It came to eleven thousand, four hundred and twenty bucks.

Rocco stared a the piece of paper for a while, then got up and got me a beer (a Stella!) and sat down next to me. He looked at the paper again, held up his beer bottle, clicked it on mine, and said, “fuckin’A”.


Find your assets. List them. Put a price against them. Know what you are worth.

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The post If I Were a Rich Man appeared first on The Good Men Project.

from The Good Men Project