Errol and Marjorie Gibbs, authors of Discovering Your Optimum Happiness Index (OHI): A Self-Directed Guide to Your Happiness Index (HI), share their seven steps to happiness for modern men…
On the surface of it, men’s lives are pretty cushy, with the odds for success often stacked in their favour – often, sadly, to the detriment of women. Men hold ninety-five percent of the CEO positions in the biggest 500 companies in the United States (2016 Fortune 500 list). Of our 76 Prime Ministers in the UK, just two have been women. The forty-five United States Presidents have all been men. Research shows that in the UK, men earn on average 9.4 per cent more than women. Men’s lives ought to be the embodiment of happiness in our postmodern world of innovative ideas, affluence and male privilege. And yet, increasingly, many men aren’t satisfied.
Where does the male trajectory begin? To answer this question, men need to become more mindful that becoming a man is a journey from boyhood to manhood, as opposed to merely a destination. The journey is often challenging for many young men hence it is essential to understand the experiences of the male youth on the path to manhood. Manhood means taking responsibility as husbands and fathers, providing for the needs of the family and being a good role model for his children, and others.
Inherited characteristics such as men’s race, colour, height, and size also determine the varied experiences of men. Likewise, men’s ability to manage the challenges of the postmodern age confirms their nurturing (spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, and physical). The majority of men, however, make it through the vortex of boyhood challenges and emerge as responsible, respectable and productive citizens. Following are seven things that make men unhappy, and seven tips for increasing their happiness…
1. Past, Present and Future
Some men have done things in the past that overwhelm their lives in the present and cast a dark shadow over their future. The immensely challenging and complex world of yesterday often determines the current and future happiness of men. Men can use the lessons of the past to inform their behaviour in the present and increase the probability of their happiness in the future. These behaviours include loyalty in marriage, healthy living, integrity in business, leading with honesty, integrity and authenticity, forgiveness of self and others and restitution for wrongs things done in the past.
The probability of a healthy marriage includes a ‘conscious’ and ‘subconscious’ search for love, loyalty, longevity, and happiness. A breakdown in communications is the most significant predictor of a breakdown in marriage and a cause of unhappiness in men. Happiness in marriage can blossom when the spouses keep communication channels open. Couples should strive to maintain the ‘vows of marriage,’ rejecting any notion of ‘irreconcilable differences’ and attempting to ‘reconcile their differences.’ Marriage, nurtured in such an environment engenders mutual hope, mutual trust, mutual affection, and increases happiness for men – blissfully.
Lack of education can cause unhappiness in men, but a complete education curriculum that incorporates spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, and physical development, underpins the greatest opportunity for job prospects, and a successful life. Success in the ‘spiritual’ realm is the ultimate way to measure success, through the prisms of love, peace, mercy, compassion, fairness, kindness, empathy, justice, generosity, integrity, and nonaggression against others. Men’s success in the ‘material’ realm incorporates education, career, creativity and innovation and entrepreneurship to enable growth and progress in the physical world for their well-being and happiness.
Men can have a rewarding career experience, underpinned by a ‘complete education curriculum.’ It can also be a less than rewarding experience regarding both compensation and lack of personal growth and advancement. Good character, high integrity and stellar performance help men to build careers with great rewards and upward mobility. Likewise, men can experience rich rewards and a sense of well-being and happiness, when they demonstrate a positive attitude, loyalty and work performances – primary factors for achieving high productivity and success for their corporation.
5. Financial Failure
Financial failure can be devastating for men, not essentially because of the male ego, but for the real burden of not being able to provide for personal needs, and the needs of their families. Financial hardship limits men’s growth, fuels fear and creates anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. These conditions give rise to feelings of hopelessness and unhappiness. Moreover, men should view ‘management of money’ as one of the central pillars for a happy marriage.
6. Health Crisis
Many men in our postmodern age view themselves as healthy in the absence of any condition that causes diseases. Notwithstanding, in the absence of disease, a sudden illness can transform men from happy to unhappy. Men need to broaden their focus on health from merely physical health to their spiritual and mental health, as well. Spiritual health is having the foundation of men’s values, faith, confidence, commitment and moral motives. It enables men to cope better when mental and physical health fade as they age.
7. Sexual Impotence
Sexual impotence is one of the greatest fears for some men, especially men who are not yet married with children, men whose partner is demanding sexually and those who have a health crisis that affects men’s potency. One can proffer that for some men, love = sex, hence the anxiety when the equation is not balanced. Fortunately, unlike some other illnesses that are fatal, there are many opportunities for counseling, medical regiments, and for psychological adjustments. Moreover, if the bonds of love, loyalty and fidelity are deep-rooted and endearing to the relationship, men’s happiness can prevail.
These seven tips can increase happiness for men. They should help to begin a conversation among men of all persuasions. The world will benefit from innovative ways to view men’s happiness, not merely through the prisms of social, economic, and lifestyle happiness, but through spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, and physical prisms, as well.
Errol and Marjorie Gibbs are the authors of Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI): A Self-Directed Guide to Your “Happiness Index” (HI), now available on Amazon. Find out more at gibbshappinessindex.com