Insight For The Modern Man

Justin LaBarge 
Producer, Legacy Magazine

Well men, here we are again. Staring down the deep perspective of another year gone by, and anticipating the prospect of a new year, a new decade, a new set of possibilities.

Does the need for self-reflection have merit for you? Are you willing to stop preoccupying yourself with the many tasks your life demands of you? Are you willing to be honest with yourself (and us, your men) and take inventory?

If you’re like me, you are completely predisposed to create meaning in ANYTHING, anywhere, and at any time. And if so, I say let us be philosopher kings. Let’s redeem ourselves. Regardless of your willingness to think about it or not, it’s all in there, inside and down below like a basement that needs to be cleaned out.

Looking inside, I first see broken commitments I’ve allowed to languish. I’ve chosen to keep these conflicts in place rather than take the mature masculine path of cleaning them up. This is the painful truth, because each of my failures has an equal impact on someone I love, or something I need. And this sucks.

To move forward, I commit to you to list these out-of-integrities that I’ve invested so much energy to avoid – and clean them up. Each one with a by-when. I commit to sharing these with my men for support. I commit to making this a practice for the new year. You have my word.

That felt pretty good.

Next, I see where I could have played a bigger game and instead played it safe. Specifically as a business owner. Specifically with my partner. I sell out because I don’t know myself to be anyone special. Or someone who is great, because that all seems so risky. Not to mention … a lot of work!

This inner-voice is how I am when acting like a boy, the part of me who wants to renegotiate my commitments when the going gets rough.

To move forward, I commit to operating with a plan. To know what I want, and develop the way to accomplish my goals. To find a personal team of support to help me get there. To stake my claim and commit to the actions it takes to accomplish. To this commitment, you have my word. 

By the way, as you read this, my list of catharsis I can’t help but wonder – how are YOU doing with yours? 

Next, I see that I need to own my victories – the things I set out to accomplished and won. This has been a good year for me, because I took on some big things.  I own the success of bringing Legacy Discovery to the North East Region of MDI for the first time in almost five years. I’m proud of the impact we made for 23 participants and their families and communities. I also own the method of my accomplishment – that I did not try to do this alone. We did this together as a region of leaders. This is the hardest part for me to own – and so for this I am the most proud. 

I also own building a retaining wall and patio in my yard. I’ve never taken on a project of this scale, requiring research and planning, materials, and a lot of sweat.

I own that I’ve successfully lead my business for its 16th year. 

I own that I’ve been elected Tribe Leader for Atlas, MDI’s online team meetings.  

To move forward in 2020, I commit to taking on leadership responsibilities that I’m called forward by my heart. You have my word.

Having expressed all this, personally this has helped me to gain clarity and regain ownership of my integrity … to clean out my basement. 

I hope you’re playing along with me, because you owe it to yourself, your family and community, and your men. This method of assuming ownership of the shit and wins in our past year goes far beyond simply “outing yourselves” to our personal truths. 

You are in fact clearing your path toward living from your purpose in life. You, yes YOU have a purpose (despite whether you realize it or not), and may you be reconnected to your passion by clearing out the deadwood. 

Let us set sail to a purposeful and powerful 2020, charting our course by this new understanding and this new philosophy.