In this week’s episode, we sit down with Mike Sagun, a men’s coach and the founder of The Unshakable Man, to deconstruct toxic masculinity and discuss the importance of nurturing emotionally fit men by providing young men with mentors and emotional awareness programs. We also talk about the healing power of owning your failures and laws, the definition of living authentically, and the value of crafting a life purpose statement.
Troubling Statistics Surrounding Loneliness
- Loneliness is officially considered an epidemic, considered more dangerous than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day
- Lonely people are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those with healthy social ties
- The rate of suicide in the United States is highest among men between the ages of 45-65
Intimacy & Affection Among Men
Mike repeatedly underscores the lack of intimacy and a”ection between men, specifically within father-son relationships. He mentions the many stigmas attached to a”ectionate men, specifically homophobia. At The Good Men Project, they highlight three ways for fathers to practice showing a”ection to their sons.
- Watch your language. Be wary of demeaning emotional expression as something that is feminine, “gay,” or un-masculine.
- Demonstrate appropriate physical touch with your male friends. Whether it’s hugging or wrapping your arm around your friends, demonstrate friendly affection with friends in front of your son.
- Express physical affection with your own father and male siblings. Display your love and a”ection for your own father as the ultimate model for your son.
Display your love and afection for your own father as the ultimate model for your son.
“What it means to “be a man” is just that you are human. ”
Forgive Your Parents or Caregivers for Their Faults
Cultivating empathy and forgiveness towards your parents or caregivers for their flaws and the trauma they may have caused during your childhood is a crucial step for healing and self-growth. Blame perpetuates pain. By resolving our resentment towards our parents, we free ourselves from a victim mentality and break the cycle of emotional su”ering. The book Forgive Your Parents, Heal Yourself offers guidance and actionable advice for those ready to heal childhood wounds.
“Understanding your flaws is one of the most important parts of understanding yourself. ”
Write Your Own Purpose Statement
Mike emphasizes the power of crafting your own “life purpose statement” in order to gain clarity about your goals and to create a roadmap to achieving them. He references the concept of “ikigai,” a Japanese word that roughly translates to “reason for being.” In order to find your ikigai, identify what the world needs, what you love to do, what you’re good at, and what you can be paid or rewarded for doing. The cross section of these four areas is your ikigai.
What Does It Mean To Live Your Best Life?
In our aspirational culture, we hear it all the time — “live your best life.” But what exactly does it mean? In Mike’s words, “Living your best life is accepting what is in front of you and where your life is right now. And another part of living your best life is accepting that you need to make some shifts—and then accepting the challenges.”
Mike’s Recommended Resources
- Being a Trusted Adult — TEDx Talk by Mike Sagun
- Embracing Our Identities and Living in Authenticity — TFCU Talk by Mike Sagun
- How to Find the Perfect Relationship — Poem by Adam Roa
- The Course of Love — Novel by Alain de Botton
- Real Love — Novel by Sharon Salzberg
- The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success — Novel by Deepak Chopra
- Adulting is Hard — Podcast by Mark Groves
- This Is How to Rewire Your Brain For Happiness: 4 Secrets From Research— Article by Eric Barker
“You might take a wrong turn, you might take the wrong exit, you might even get detoured, but your internal GPS will get you back on your path“