Jan 27, 2014

What Ancient Tribes Knew About Being A Man That You Don't

For thousands of years of human existence in ancient cultures across the world, there have been rites of passage that made boys into men.

During these rites of passage boys would overcome fear, anxiety, and death in order to shed their boy-like way of thinking and more fully mature on a mental and emotional level.

One example of a rite of passage can be seen in the Maasai tribe of Kenya. A boy cannot be considered a man until he has taken the life of a full grown, healthy lion with his spear and returned to the tribe with his fresh kill.

In another ritual initiation, the Australian Mardudjara Aborigines youth (warning: squeamish alert) have their penises circumcised with knives, and their foreskin is fed to them in a ritual that signifies them feasting on their own “boy”.

Once these processes were completed the boy was changed into a man forever.

Everyone in his tribe could feel the difference in him. No longer was he a helpless boy clinging to his parents, but an individual who carried responsibility and added value to his society at large.

So what did these boys really do in order to fully mature and become men?

Close-up portrait of a handsome man

The First Step In Becoming A Deeply Attractive Man

Modern men (who many would refer to as adult boys) believe that manhood starts when some arbitrary markers of external success have been reached.

Maybe you were told that you become a man when you get your driver’s license… when you lose your virginity… or when you get your first salaried job.

But none of it means anything.

I have met adult males who have done all of these things and have a very tangible boy energy to them.

Their actions are dripping with an approval-seeking undertone that muddies their intentions.

While the process of emotional maturation doesn’t happen in a single moment, there is a definite set of things that you need to let go of or achieve in order to become a balanced and fulfilled man.

What Do Rites Of Passage Consist Of?

Sociologists have identified three major phases that make up all rites of passage.

They are 1) separation, 2) transition, and 3) reintegration.

The boy is first taken away from what is normal (his family, his bed, his social circle, his xBox).

He is then put through intense hardship that challenges him at his core (solo travel, mastering survival skills, killing an animal with his bare hands).

Finally, after having successfully navigated his obstacles and challenges, he is brought back to the tribe and shares his gifts of wisdom with the people of his community.

Ritualized rites of passages are missing from our society.

We have fraternities, armies, and gangs acting as the temporary replacement that often do more damage than good.

So how do we instil the same kind of character development into ourselves even when our tribe isn’t offering it to us?

rites of passage, travel

Modern Rites Of Passage

In order to transition from boy to man, the boy must listen to the call to adventure within himself.

You must thrust yourself away from the tribe and have your own unique journey.

When I quit my job, ended my relationship, and gave away nearly all of the physical possessions that I owned in the world to leave my hometown on a four month search, I didn’t know where I would end up.

I traveled through Thailand, Indonesia, and Europe in search of the depths that I knew remained hidden within me.

I systematically went through every fear that I had to challenge myself in as many ways as I could.

I went scuba diving because I was a weak swimmer who was terrified of the ocean.

I went rock climbing because I hated heights and was lacking in upper body strength.

I started a business and wrote three books because I didn’t fully believe that I could make a living doing what my heart knew that I needed to do to be fulfilled.

I challenged every limiting belief that I was presently aware of and I came out of it a stronger person.

Was I “fixed” and a completely integrated man forever? No. My journey (like everyone’s) is an ongoing process that will never truly be complete. But I can say with 100% certainty that it added to me today and I wouldn’t be nearly as valuable of a speaker or writer had I not gone through that year of massive growth.

So what are the fears that are holding you back?

What does the gnawing resistance in your mind tell you that you can’t do?

Just like a boat navigating rough waters, you can either point the bow of your boat directly at the wave or you will capsize.

What To Do Now

Am I suggesting that you need to sell all of your things and travel the world? Not at all.

I am suggesting that you need to do what you are afraid of in order to grow as a human being.

Your unique journey begins with asking yourself about what you fear.

What do you fear, how do you need to grow as a man to become a more valuable member of society, and what action steps can you take in your life to move through your fear and into your greatness?

That’s all you need to do.

Step 1: Ask yourself, “What do I know that I should be doing, that I have not built up the courage to do yet?”

Step 2: Ask yourself , “What one step can I take towards that starting today?” And then do that.

The world is waiting for you to step up into the man that you can be.

The women of the world are begging to be taken by heart-centred men that they can trust fully to hold the space that they need for them to be themselves.

For the love of yourself, women, and society at large, please prove everyone who ever believed in you right. Be better.

Dedicated to your success,

Jordan

Blog

Related

See All
Why Entrepreneurs Are Bad At Relationships
Mar 27, 2014
Jordan Gray
Why Entrepreneurs Are Bad At Relationships
Easily distracted, unpredictable moods, and eternally busy, entrepreneurs are notorious for being difficult partners. In the context of business, entrepreneurs excel at leading others when they are in a position of authority. But romantic relationships are an entirely different ball game. You don't...
Continue Reading
Strength In Vulnerability
Feb 25, 2013
Jordan Gray
Strength In Vulnerability
Strength In Vulnerability When I tell guys that my coaching practice has a strong element of getting men re-connected with themselves, their integrity, and their ability to be vulnerable, the responses are predictable. "But isn't being vulnerable seen as weak, and therefore...
Continue Reading
You Aren’t Special (And Neither Am I)
Dec 20, 2018
Jordan Gray
You Aren’t Special (And Neither Am I)
You are not special. You were not put on this planet to engage in some extra special mission that will save all of us, forever. You are not inherently better than or worse than others. You are extremely normal. You are incredibly average. And, in a very comforting and real way, we pretty much...
Continue Reading
Jordan’s Top 7 Books On Sex And Relationships
Oct 29, 2014
Jordan Gray
Jordan’s Top 7 Books On Sex And Relationships
Every week, people ask me what books I would recommend for them to further their understanding of sex and relationships. Having been someone that has been self-educating on sex, psychology, and relationships for the past decade, and having read hundreds of books on the subject, I feel fairly qualified...
Continue Reading
5 Ways Your Cell Phone Can Improve Your Relationship
Apr 19, 2015
Jordan Gray
5 Ways Your Cell Phone Can Improve Your Relationship
Cell phones get a lot of flack when it comes to how we interact with each other in our relationships. But technology is a neutral entity. It’s how we use our phones that matters. Yes, if you text each other more than you talk face to face, you can experience pain in your relationship. But if you harness...
Continue Reading
I Used To Think That Men Who Got Married Were Idiots
Feb 25, 2021
Jordan Gray
I Used To Think That Men Who Got Married Were Idiots
I used to think that men who got married were idiots. Or, if they weren't idiots, they were at least undesirable enough that they just had to settle for whoever chose them... because why else would you tie yourself to someone for life if the reason weren't that you didn't have any other romantic options? I...
Continue Reading