Insight For The Modern Man

James Anthony Ellis 
Legacy Magazine Editor

Men so love to win.

I mean just look. What do you see when the football team finally realizes it will be taking home the Lombardi Trophy or when the hockey team lifts the Stanley Cup? Or when the baseball pitcher throws that final out of a no-hitter?

Such excitement, such exuberance.

Look at them leap around, and shout and cheer and jump into each other’s arms.

Do you see such celebration in other parts of their lives, even in places where some positive has taken place?

Not really.

Even men in our men’s circles playing a silly game of 5-on- 5 Warball or left-footed soccer. A goal or a win and the teammates celebrate with complete abandon.

It’s about the win.

It’s about the barrier and obstacles, the steps to overcome these, and then the competition that puts a man up against a foe that demands his very best. And then it’s about the sweetness of that victory that offers a man so many messages:

  • Good job.
  • You did it.
  • You didn’t quit.
  • You pushed hard.
  • You overcame it all, practiced, did what you had to do.
  • And you won.
  • I’m proud of you.
  • You fucking did it!

This is everything you would ever want to hear from a fan, a spouse, a close friend, or a coach.

It’s everything you would ever want to hear from your dad.

Success, victory, winning. It’s what we strive for in our lives. Success is a major motivating factor for most if not all of us men. It drives us to get up early, or take on that tough task, or to strive to outdo another and outdo our previous best.

Without some goal to reach, some mountaintop to summit, why would we do anything? That touches into the concept of purpose. But purpose without some wins along the way can leave a man doused in the waves of disappointment and learned hopelessness.

But men can not just stay as they have been. They must grow and they must ultimately excel. It makes them come alive.

In the process of life, men find themselves in the battles so they can progress. A man wants to win because it shows he’s been through the ordeal and has proved himself worthy. He has refined himself, as well as defined himself. The seed of success resides deep within every man. The chiseling away of doubt and despair will lead a man to the victory circle and back to his true nature.

So that men stay true to their path and don’t wade in the shallow pool of their set-backs, it’s vital they have some sort of support system that serves a few valuable purposes:

  1. Help a man to clarify his true goals, visions and higher purpose.
  2. Point out a man’s blind spots that may sabotage him from realizing these goals.
  3. Ask the hard questions that help direct a man who has fallen off track of his own chosen path.
  4. Push that man up against his barriers when he’s about to quit on his own dreams.
  5. Celebrate the shit out of him and his progress as he reaches those vistas of his success.

This is what can be found on a men’s team or in a men’s circle or simply in any tribe that cares enough about a brother and his success, his wins … his victory!


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James Anthony Ellis is an award-winning playwright, journalist and filmmaker, who is the author of eight books, including the men-focused “The Honor Book” available HERE.