Nobody knows what men are doing anymore -- especially the men. There's no denying that the glass ceiling still exists, but things are changing. While more women are on the rise, both in work and education, young men are experiencing a lag. They lack role models and many of their older counterparts are falling behind -- and in some cases, falling off. Here are a few suggestions to help men thrive.
1. Celebrate women: Men need to realize that women are not the enemy. They should encourage women's gains in the workplace because it's a very good thing for everyone, including men. When women take on more of the heavy lifting and financial burdens, it frees men to evolve in other areas. Men, if you only knew how much women wanted you to be at your best -- and not just financially or at your job -- we'd make great strides in bridging the growing communications gap between the sexes.
2. Go inside: It's an old adage, but the answers do come from within. Media constantly bombards us with fear and worry. We become hypnotized by multiplatform messaging and its intrusion into our subconscious. As a result, much of our behavior has become reactive rather than thoughtful. It's necessary to find ways to "tune in and tune out." More and more people are turning to holistic ways of getting in touch with themselves. Energy work such as Reiki, hypnosis, meditation, tai chi and yoga are but a few of the practices that are having positive effects on men's wellbeing.
3. You are what you eat: Going inside also means cleaning up your body. Cutting back or eliminating smoking, alcohol, red meat, preservatives, etc. not only improves physical well being, but also increases mental clarity. It's a quality of life issue that many men overlook. Unfortunately, many men choose what tastes good rather than what's good for them. As a result, they find themselves talking about when they used to be able to do rather than still doing it because their bodies are not what they used to be. Even modest changes in diet have long lasting benefits.
4. You are more than your job: Many of my middle-age male friends define themselves solely by their jobs and weekly paychecks. Sure, the economy's tough and we need money to function, but we can define ourselves beyond a position or salary. A man can be much more if he chooses. Jobs and titles change and eventually fade away, leaving men with themselves. Fellas, it's important to know that guy you're going to be spending the rest of your days with. Fortunately, we live in a culture rich with outlets for learning and personal growth. Take advantage and you might find you're a lot more than you ever thought you were.
5. Keep learning: The secret to youth is remaining curious. No matter how smart or successful you are, it's game over when you think you know everything. Learning also keeps our brain healthier so we can be at our best. There are infinite ways of feeding your mind and nurturing your soul. Take a class, read a book, study a language or learn an instrument. Just do something that brings you joy, regardless of your age or lot in life.
The world is changing rapidly, but there has never been a better time to be a man. It's up you, guys, to take advantage and live vibrantly.