21-Convention Interview Series: Socrates: A Documentary for Manning Up Smart

Image 21 Convention Socrates Documentary





I’m pleased to announce that Anthony Johnson CEO, founder and visionary of the 21-Convention has just released the edited version of the 21-Convention Interview Series, that featured an interview we conducted for over four hours in early April. We were given a quick peek at pre-production release mid-May and many of us were highly anticipating the final edited release. I know I was! Well, wait no more!

Video link

This is really a very surreal moment in my life for me. I never anticipated anything like this, whether it was the experiences that I gained by actively trying to improve my life, the deep personal friendships that I gained, the camaraderie, the knowledge that I’ve helped people along the same path others helped me or even getting to the point where almost strangers (and now complete strangers) are seeking out your guidance, opinion or knowledge and experience within this world of dating, sex, relationships, personal development, life and life style management. I was honored and frightened at the prospects of being asked to initially speak at the 21-Convention. (click video image to watch to video)


Video Link

Having been the lead off speaker and attending the entire 21-Convention, meeting the attendees, sharing personal stories, fielding and asking questions, personal inquires, and the general batting around of a multitude of ideas, thoughts and concepts, I walked away realizing that I had a lot to say and a lot to give back to the men’s community.

I initially started by compiling my personal data bank of notes that I’ve taken over the course of several years and posting on more than one forum regarding inner game and relationship development. I quickly came to two conclusions; The first was that in many ways what I had to say was either not appropriate for those forums or I very much risked hijacking it. I needed my own place on the net dedicated to these thoughts, ideas and beliefs that was not going to compete with a hosted forum. The second is that the underlying wealth of collected information was so much that it wasn’t going to be easily collected, documented and edited. I simply wasn’t happy just blasting the information without a filtered awareness behind the notes and comments I collected or researched. This lead me to creating this blog. A site dedicated to the concept that committed relationships with women are healthy, natural and essential to our society and culture at large. This endeavor though should not be taken lightly or ignorantly. The results of doing so today are all around us and I personally find the consequences repugnant.

I have no illusions that I alone will be able to effect change, but I am consciously aware of the dramatic changes that have and do take place individually. I am surrounded by it. In my own life, in the lives of the men I choose to call friends and those that have sought out my and others help in assisting them along in their journey, though understanding and experiencing their life. I have made it my goal and mission to reach out and touch the lives of a thousand men, to make a difference in their lives, in their relationships and their family structure.

The 21-Convention has been an incredible initiator and incubator for establishing that concept for me, as it is also an amazing vehicle for delivering that message and content. And while I may be a speaker at these events, I am also very much an attendee and student myself, as I have and do take away so much from attending these conferences. If you are looking to find a direction in your life, to find inspiration, to achieve the idealized version of your self, as defined by you, this is the place for you.



Attend 21-Convention link

Living in the present

You cannot flourish until you’ve freed yourself from your mind.

Forwards, backwards, with nothing in-between.

It takes a particular man to be able to not only face life’s ups and downs, but to expect them, to chart his life through them, to be able to take a woman’s hand, care for her and guide her as well, a man willing and able to rise to the occasion of being a father and raise that child to be a better individual than he was. You cannot hope to be that man if you are racked by incessant dwelling upon past mistakes, failures and let-downs, or shaken to the core fearing known or unknown risks, obstacles or threats that loom in the future. Resisting these realities is the hallmark of suffering. The only way to prevent that is to firmly be living in the present, to acknowledge reality for what it is, rather than what you’d like it to be, to make room for that reality in your life and to deal with what is at hand and what you can control and affect, while at the same time letting go of everything that you cannot.

Fear and loathing

It is unfortunate that most people require a great deal of pain and suffering to relinquish their resistance to reality and acceptance of it. The pain, anger, remorse that you create that stems from this is always some form of non-acceptance and resistance to what is. The intensity of this pain and misery depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment and your emotional and ego connection to it within your mind that you are unwilling to let go of. These feelings are a symptom of your mind, not life. Life doesn’t suck, your state of mind does.

You cannot find yourself in the past… only the lessons.

It is highly common for people to spend a great deal of time reliving the past. Reliving the past often tends to create thoughts about how we could have done things differently, or better. While it is sometimes useful to review the past for the purpose of learning and improvements by conducting a self-analysis or a relationship autopsy, undue dwelling on the ‘if’s, and’s, should have’s and but’s often leads to a degenerative mental state that compounds natural and appropriate remorse, regret and dissatisfaction with a cancerous, soul-sucking state of depression.

You cannot create the future, but only make room for it.

Equally common is the pattern of behavior associated with excessive concern in anticipating the effects of the future. Doing so is results in a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety, which are precursors to outright fear. Constantly examining the ‘what if’s’ takes a tremendous emotional and energy toll with very little resulting yield in return. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t plan or understand the potential consequences of our actions, but that we shouldn’t be paralyzed in the analysis of them. To become so driven by fear that we ultimately live a life that is half lived and having missed out on what could have/should have been in the process.

Free yourself, free your mind.

Most of us are constantly looking to the past, or to the future to define our realities. The results are predictably severe anxiety, depression, stress and other negative emotional states that come to overwhelmingly affect the health and well-being of our lives in ways we often don’t anticipate. In many cases we become so focused and centered on either the past or the future that we become totally unaware of the moment and we are simply not present for our lives. We see this in men who are wrecked and are emotionally still carrying the burden of a failed relationship or the opposite, those that are making themselves physically sick over a relationship they don’t have, with women that are unavailable to them. We see this in men frozen in fear pondering the risk and responsibilities of being a man in this society, whether it’s in the form of approach anxiety, a lack of faith within themselves that leads to self sabotage or genuine fears of the SMP (sexual market place) and the dating environment that leads to relationship avoidance. When we are not living in the present we are rarely, if ever not only not accepting the world around us, but our own nobility and ability, which ultimately becomes your own personal narrative and proven case history. The result is remarkable suffering and a distorted perception of life in some form or another that will play out in every relationship we ever have.

Bring the hurt, the pain and betrayal…

In times of hurt, it is important to feel the hurt, experience the pain, release yourself to it and then let it go. You are not your feelings, but the conscious awareness behind them. In times of fear, let it wash past you without turning your aside knowing you are not defined by your fears, but your reaction to them. In times of betrayal realize that the broken promises, failed expectations and poor behavior choices were theirs, not yours and in no way reflects upon you. The actions of others say more to their values than it ever does yours. It is important to feel the feelings, learn the lessons and carry on. The past doesn’t demand that it be re-lived, only experienced and then remembered. Honor it that way.

Surrendering to the present

When one stops resisting reality, accepts it for what it is rather than what one would like, would have projected or tried to control, by letting reality in and making room for it by letting go of attachments and to truly accept what is, for what it is, one is surrendering to the present. It is at those times in which we are truly in the moment and living in the present. We are living without judgment or comparison to what we wish for and we are free from the twin tyrannies of depressions associated with the past and anxieties and fears surrounding the future. Doing so allows us to be liberated from the incessant dwelling of our mind and allows us to connect intensely to our current situation, without those debilitating distractions. It allows us to listen for the answers that a situation is really calling for that we normally would have never heard otherwise. In the acceptance of reality we are placing ultimate trust within ourselves. We do not need to seek the safety of a harbor when facing a storm. We learn to brave the seas, weather the gales and confidently sail for distance shores.

Staying Positive

Troubles seldom disappoint

As a gender men are expected to take the lead socially in almost every aspect of the courtship ritual and early developments of initiating the baseline of that relationship is established by concealed negotiations of what we except by accepting initial patterns of early behavior from our potential partner. Being cognizant and astutely observant of initial patterns of behavior or personal narrative, while dating, coming from a potential partner can help us increase the probability of establishing a healthy and productive relationship by filtering and screening those potential mates. These values should be treated and regarded as boundaries as establishing limits to what you will accept into your life and with those that you invite in. One of the most important is the ability of a couple to accentuate the positive in life more than those that choose to revel in the negative of life.

Too much EQ

Women often fall victim of cluster of personality traits and attributes that promotes excessive effusiveness, which in times of stress heightens their vulnerability, insecurity and emotional state that leaves them not only needing but desiring a strong, secure and emotionally stable figure in their lives. That figure has historically has been filled by stoic male partners, to re-establish an emotional baseline of emotional self-worth, security, and stability. The new girl order simply is creating an environment and culture in which historic masculine roles are not valued, developed and respected in men. As such, we are raising new generations of men lacking or devoid of these traits, characteristics and attributes. This is nowhere more apparent than when we look at the divorce initiation rates, between gay couples, as lesbians tend to divorce at a vastly higher rate than homosexual couples, where these skills, attributes and personality traits are typically not as developed or missing altogether individually and within the coupling. Even with the staggering high divorce rates within heterosexual couples, it pays to have a masculine male in the relationship that is able to objectively sort out emotional trivialities, as to define and interpret what is important, by taking issues into perspective, by accepting accountability for one’s emotional state, and being emotionally secure in the face of adversity, which are not historically feminine traits.

Strongest frame wins

Emotional contagion is the unconscious tendency to mimic the emotions of others, (the stronger frame wins), which takes place continuously within a relationship. Without being aware or insulated from it when the behavior or emotions are negative can become a disastrous effect individually and ultimately within a relationship. Emotional detachment is the concept of insulating oneself from the emotional contagion. It is completely possible to be emotionally supportive, without being emotional immersed. Establishing that emotional boundary is critical to maintaining emotional context, stability and security, as poor attitudes, bad emotions, and negative outlooks are all contagious and detrimental to emotional health and a relationship. If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in life, you’ll find it easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that is far below what you deserve.

Bad apples

First order of business of any leader is to eliminate the negative rather than accentuate the positive, as the negative has repeatedly shown in study after study has a disproportionate impact, as compared to the power of the positive. All militaries know this and have framed their entire institutions around this concept. Businesses marketers realize this concept as well, as a bad stereotypes and reputations are easier to acquire, and harder to shed, than good ones. As the male, it will fall to you to hold a critical confrontation when the patterns of acceptable behavior, attitudes and emotions exceed healthy boundaries. This should be done in conjunction with emotional needs communication and active listening skills for best results.

Resisting reality

More often than not, one’s emotional state is a function of how one interprets events, rather than what actually happened. Our emotional state (good or bad) is generated by interpretations of events. Taking personal responsibility for your happiness involves, ultimately adopting a ‘trust mindset’ which refers to the willingness to fully and unquestioningly accept the outcomes you are dealt with in life and ‘trust’ within yourself you are capable and able to handle what comes. To do so otherwise is the hallmark for embracing misery and suffering.

Think like an optimist

People who don’t give up tend to interpret setbacks as temporary, local and changeable. The best way to immunize a partner against depression, anxiety, and giving up in the face of failure or perception of it is to teach them to think like optimists in adjusting their self talk, setting goals in small attainable steps, to mentally rehearse succeeding in their efforts and activities and to learn active stress reduction techniques to soothe their mind and bodies. These are the same psychological techniques taught and demanded of special warfare candidates going through Special Forces selection process. These techniques work and are valued and utilized by those who require success in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Behavior economics

Researchers have shown for a relationship to succeed, the positive and good interactions between a couple must outnumber the negative by a factor of 5:1. If the ratio falls below that, the relationship is likely to fail. In studies the best indicator of happiness was the frequency of eating with friends and family… If you were to choose one activity to produce an emotional upswing, start with breaking bread with those that make you smile, laugh and forget your troubles. Having a special meal together can be an immediate remedy, but often you just don’t have time to prep a meal on the fly, which is why I recommend having a nice bottle of wine always at hand. By taking time to stop the normal pattern of daily occurrences and slowing things down and making them more pleasurable, while you actively listen and provide emotional support can help offset a negative emotional occurrence. A pre-emptive solution is to enlist allies on a regular basis, by having regular shared meals with friends and family to establish a higher emotional happiness baseline long prior to any troubles.

Express gratitude…

Expressing gratitude and sharing appreciation for a partner is the primary means for creating a positive relationship internally. As a man, it will be your role to lead by example to establish the relationship culture of appreciation, acceptance and love. By looking for and accentuating the positive qualities in your partner and humbly acknowledging the difference that she has made in your life, you not only validate her contributions but attract them as well. Showing genuine appreciation for your partner is one of the most powerful ways we can empower each other in a healthy relationship. Likewise, learning to expressing gratitude during times of extreme sorrow, pain or hardship can be done to help lift the spirit, by giving thanks. Your heart doesn’t need to be smiling when doing so.

Happiness advantage

For years psychologist have known that thriving couples accentuate the positive in life more so than those that languish do. They not only cope well during hardship but also celebrate the happy moments and work to build more of those into their lives. A simple behavioral tactic to boost the happiness ratio and to help strengthen emotional bonds with your partner is to actually celebrate success as they occur. The most simple is to just be consciously aware and present when your partner is discussing and sharing an achievement. Sprinkling in regular ‘high-fives’ and ‘you-go-girl’ comments often spike the happiness and focus upon a shared achievement. For bigger occasions, setting time aside from your routine to properly celebrate is in order. These needn’t be big, over the top costly extravagances, but having a bottle of champagne on hand chilled in the fridge affords one the immediate flexibility to toast, accentuate and recognize achievement or success at a moment’s notice. If those moments haven’t occurred in a while, or a natural stasis of life occurs, break the pattern and just celebrate being together. It’s a fairly simple process to plan and develop your life to regularly celebrate the living of it.