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As teenagers navigate through their formative years, it is crucial for them to cultivate an open mind and embrace new ideas and possibilities. In an ever-changing world, the ability to adapt and think critically is essential for personal growth and professional success. In this blog post, we will explore five effective techniques that teenagers can employ to broaden their perspectives and embrace the endless opportunities that lie ahead. By implementing these strategies, young individuals can develop a mindset that is receptive to innovative ideas and ready to seize new possibilities. So, let us delve into the world of personal growth and discovery, and discover the power of an open mind.

Understand the importance of open-mindedness in personal growth and development

5 techniques a teen can use to help open their mind to new ideas and possibilities

To foster personal growth and development, teenagers must cultivate an open-minded attitude. Open-mindedness allows them to explore new ideas, embrace different perspectives, and discover various possibilities. By understanding the significance of open-mindedness, teens can develop the ability to adapt to new situations and expand their horizons.

One of the main advantages of being open-minded is that it creates an environment conducive to learning. When teens approach new experiences with an open mind, they are able to absorb information more effectively. This not only enhances their knowledge base but also enables them to develop critical thinking skills. By actively seeking out diverse viewpoints and opinions, they can better understand the world around them.

Moreover, open-mindedness empowers teenagers to break free from self-imposed limitations. When they embrace new ideas and possibilities, they are more likely to overcome challenges and push beyond their comfort zones. By being open to different perspectives, they can tap into their creativity and think outside the box. This enables them to discover innovative solutions and explore opportunities that they may not have considered otherwise.

In addition, open-mindedness fosters empathy and understanding. Teenagers who are receptive to diverse ideas are more likely to appreciate and respect the differences in others. This promotes tolerance, inclusivity, and the ability to build meaningful relationships with people from various backgrounds. By understanding and valuing different opinions, they can engage in constructive dialogue and create a more harmonious and accepting society.

Ultimately, understanding the importance of open-mindedness in personal growth and development is essential for teenagers. By embracing new ideas and possibilities, they can enhance their learning, expand their horizons, overcome challenges, and build positive relationships with others. Encouraging teens to cultivate open-mindedness sets them on a path of continuous growth and prepares them for success in an ever-changing world.

Embrace curiosity and ask questions

5 techniques a teen can use to help open their mind to new ideas and possibilities

Curiosity is the fuel that drives innovation and growth. As a teenager, you have a unique advantage – your thirst for knowledge and willingness to explore new ideas. Embracing curiosity will not only open your mind to new possibilities, but it will also help you develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Here are three techniques to help you nurture your curiosity and ask meaningful questions:

1. Seek out different perspectives: Often, we tend to surround ourselves with people who think and act like us. While there’s comfort in familiarity, it limits our exposure to different ideas and beliefs. Make a conscious effort to seek out individuals with diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. Engaging in conversations with them will challenge your preconceived notions and expand your understanding of the world. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their viewpoints – it will demonstrate your curiosity and show that you genuinely want to learn from them.

2. Stay curious and never stop learning: The world is constantly evolving, and there is always something new to discover. Make a habit of staying updated with current events, reading books on various subjects, and exploring different hobbies. The more you expose yourself to different areas of knowledge, the more opportunities you’ll have to ask questions. Whether it’s attending guest lectures, participating in workshops, or simply watching educational videos online, never miss a chance to learn something new and expand your horizons.

3. Challenge assumptions and dig deeper: It’s human nature to make assumptions based on limited information. However, assumptions can be misleading and limit our understanding of a given situation. When encountering new ideas or concepts, actively challenge your assumptions and ask probing questions. Don’t settle for superficial knowledge; instead, dig deeper to unravel the underlying principles and factors at play. By doing so, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of complex issues and uncover innovative solutions. Remember, great breakthroughs often come from questioning the status quo and challenging conventional wisdom.

Embracing curiosity and asking questions are integral to personal growth and success. By actively seeking different perspectives, staying curious, and challenging assumptions, you’ll foster a mindset of continuous learning and open yourself up to a world of new ideas and possibilities. So, as a teenager, embrace your innate curiosity and never stop asking questions – you never know what insights and opportunities may come your way.

Engage in diverse reading materials and explore different perspectives

5 techniques a teen can use to help open their mind to new ideas and possibilities

One effective technique for teenagers to open their minds to new ideas and possibilities is to engage in diverse reading materials and explore different perspectives. By reading a wide range of books, articles, and essays from various genres and authors, teens can expose themselves to different worlds, experiences, and viewpoints.

Reading materials that cover different cultures, histories, and societal issues can broaden a teen’s understanding of the world and challenge their existing beliefs. Encouraging them to explore literature from different time periods and countries can provide valuable insights into diverse perspectives, customs, and ideologies.

Additionally, teenagers can benefit from reading books that present different social, political, or philosophical viewpoints. By exposing themselves to ideological diversity, they can develop critical thinking skills and learn to evaluate and analyze arguments from various angles.

Online platforms and forums dedicated to discussing a wide range of topics can also help teenagers explore diverse perspectives. Engaging in respectful and constructive debates can encourage them to examine their own beliefs, question assumptions, and consider alternative viewpoints.

Furthermore, reading materials featuring diverse characters and themes can promote empathy, compassion, and a deeper understanding of human experiences. Young adults’ literature, in particular, often tackles relevant and thought-provoking topics that can expand a teenager’s appreciation for diversity and inclusion.

Encouraging teenagers to not simply rely on mainstream media but to actively seek out alternative voices and narratives is crucial in helping them develop a more open and inclusive mindset. By embracing diverse reading materials and exploring different perspectives, teens can widen their horizon, challenge their own biases, and pave the way for innovative ideas and possibilities in their personal and professional lives.

Seek out opportunities to have conversations with people who hold contrasting viewpoints

5 techniques a teen can use to help open their mind to new ideas and possibilities

In today’s rapidly changing world, it is essential for teenagers to cultivate an open mind that embraces new ideas and possibilities. One effective way to do this is by seeking out opportunities to have conversations with people who hold contrasting viewpoints. Engaging in discussions with individuals who have different perspectives can greatly broaden a teen’s understanding of the world and foster personal growth. Here are five techniques that teens can use to seek out these valuable conversations:

1. Embrace diversity: Actively seek out social settings, clubs, or groups where you can encounter individuals from various backgrounds and experiences. Engaging with people from diverse cultures, religions, or ethnicities will expose you to unique perspectives and help challenge preconceived notions.

2. Participate in debates or discussion forums: Joining debate clubs, attending public forums, or even participating in social media discussions can be excellent platforms for encountering different viewpoints. These platforms offer opportunities to engage in thoughtful debates and gain insights into alternative perspectives.

3. Attend events or workshops: Look out for events, workshops, or conferences centered around subjects you have an interest in. Attending such gatherings will give you the chance to interact with experts, professionals, and like-minded individuals who may hold diverse viewpoints.

4. Practice active listening: When engaging in conversations with individuals who hold contrasting viewpoints, it is crucial to practice active listening. Truly hearing and understanding the other person’s perspective without judgment or interruption allows for a deeper connection and more fruitful dialogue. This practice not only opens your mind to new ideas but also cultivates empathy and respect for others.

By actively seeking out opportunities to have conversations with people who hold contrasting viewpoints, teens can open their minds to new ideas and possibilities. Embracing diversity, participating in debates or discussion forums, attending relevant events, engaging in social groups, and practicing active listening are all techniques that can enhance personal growth and promote a more open and inclusive mindset. Remember, through these conversations, we can challenge our beliefs, expand our knowledge, and become better equipped to navigate an ever-evolving world.

Practice active listening and empathy

5 techniques a teen can use to help open their mind to new ideas and possibilities

In today’s fast-paced world, it is crucial for teenagers to cultivate an open mind that embraces new ideas and possibilities. One powerful technique that can support this growth is practicing active listening and empathy. By genuinely engaging with others and understanding their perspectives, teens can broaden their own outlook and foster a more inclusive mindset.

Active listening involves being fully present when someone is speaking, without distractions or interruptions. It requires giving our undivided attention and demonstrating genuine interest in what the other person is saying. For teenagers, this means putting aside their own preconceived notions and biases, and truly being receptive to different viewpoints.

Empathy goes hand in hand with active listening. By empathizing with others, teenagers can develop a deeper understanding of their emotions, experiences, and needs. Empathy allows teens to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, reducing judgment and providing a more meaningful connection. It helps create an environment of trust and respect, where new ideas can be freely shared and explored.

One way to practice active listening and empathy is to engage in meaningful conversations with a diverse range of people. Encouraging teenagers to seek out perspectives that are different from their own can open their eyes to new ideas and possibilities. This might involve engaging in discussions with family members, friends, or even individuals from different cultures or backgrounds. By actively listening and trying to understand different viewpoints, teens can expand their horizons and challenge their own assumptions.

Another effective technique is to participate in activities that require teamwork or collaboration. Working together towards a common goal encourages teenagers to listen to and value other perspectives. Whether it is a school project, a community service initiative, or even joining a club or sports team, such endeavors provide opportunities for teens to practice active listening and empathy in a practical setting.

Practicing active listening and empathy also involves validating and acknowledging the emotions and experiences of others. Encouraging teens to express empathy by actively affirming and understanding the feelings of those around them fosters a sense of inclusivity and helps break down barriers to new ideas. This can be as simple as offering a kind word or a supportive gesture to someone who is experiencing a challenge.

Take part in activities and hobbies outside of your comfort zone

5 techniques a teen can use to help open their mind to new ideas and possibilities

Many teenagers often find themselves trapped in their comfort zones, sticking to the activities and hobbies they are already familiar with. While familiarity can provide a sense of security, it can also hinder personal growth and limit the possibilities one can explore. To truly open your mind to new ideas and possibilities, it is crucial to venture outside of your comfort zone and engage in activities that are completely different from your usual interests.

Taking part in activities and hobbies outside of your comfort zone can be a transformative experience. It has the power to challenge your preconceived notions, broaden your horizons, and expose you to alternative perspectives. Whether it’s trying out a new sport, learning a musical instrument, or joining a debate club, these ventures into the unknown can unlock hidden potential and lead to personal growth.

By engaging in new activities, you expose yourself to a diverse range of people and experiences. This exposure can help you develop social skills, empathy, and an appreciation for different cultures and backgrounds. It also provides an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals who share your newfound interests, expanding your social circle and opening doors to new friendships and collaborations.

Additionally, exploring activities outside of your comfort zone can ignite your creativity and problem-solving skills. When faced with unfamiliar challenges, your mind becomes more adaptable and your ability to think critically is enhanced. This mindset can prove invaluable in various aspects of life, both academically and professionally.

Furthermore, stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to confront and overcome your fears and insecurities. By pushing your boundaries, you learn to embrace discomfort and develop resilience. This new-found confidence not only empowers you to take on new challenges but also strengthens your ability to adapt to change in an increasingly dynamic world.

To make the most of this technique, start by identifying an activity or hobby you have always been curious about but have never pursued. Join a class, club, or group that focuses on this interest, where you will be exposed to individuals who share your passion. Embrace the discomfort that comes with the unfamiliar and give yourself permission to make mistakes as you learn and grow.

Challenge your own beliefs and preconceived notions

5 techniques a teen can use to help open their mind to new ideas and possibilities

As a teenager, it is common to hold strong beliefs and preconceived notions about the world. However, in order to grow and expand our perspectives, it is essential to challenge our own beliefs and remain open to new ideas and possibilities. Here are eight techniques that can help teenagers open their minds to new horizons.

1. Question your assumptions: Take a moment to reflect on your beliefs and ask yourself why you hold them. Is it based on personal experience, facts, or simply inherited from others? By questioning your assumptions, you can gain a deeper understanding of your own beliefs and be open to alternative viewpoints.

2. Seek diverse perspectives: Surround yourself with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. Engage in conversations and listen attentively to other people’s viewpoints. This exposure to diverse perspectives can broaden your understanding and help you see issues from multiple angles.

3. Embrace discomfort: Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential for personal growth. Challenge yourself to try new things, whether it’s reading a book on a topic you know little about, taking up a new hobby, or engaging in activities outside your usual interests. Embracing discomfort allows you to confront unfamiliar territory and expand your horizons.

4. Educate yourself: Stay informed about current events, global issues, and emerging trends. Read books, articles, and listen to podcasts that cover a range of topics. By acquiring knowledge, you can better understand the complexities of the world and form informed opinions.

5. Engage in debates: Participating in respectful debates and discussions can expose you to different viewpoints and help you develop critical thinking skills. Be open-minded and willing to consider opposing arguments, even if they challenge your own beliefs. Engaging in debates encourages intellectual growth and helps you see the strengths and weaknesses of different perspectives.

6. Travel and explore: Traveling to new places offers a wealth of opportunities to learn and experience different cultures firsthand. Exploring new environments exposes you to diverse traditions, beliefs, and ways of life. By immersing yourself in unfamiliar surroundings, you become more adaptable and open to embracing new ideas.

7. Practice active listening: When engaging in conversations with others, practice active listening. Avoid interrupting or dismissing their ideas prematurely. Instead, genuinely listen to understand their perspective. Reflect on their points, ask clarifying questions, and show empathy. Active listening fosters mutual respect and creates a space for meaningful dialogue.

8. Keep an open mind: Above all, maintain an open mind. Recognize that your beliefs and perspectives may evolve and change over time. Be receptive to new information and willing to adjust your viewpoints accordingly. Embracing an open mind allows for personal growth and the discovery of exciting new possibilities.

Reflect on personal experiences and learn from them

5 techniques a teen can use to help open their mind to new ideas and possibilities

One powerful technique that teenagers can use to help open their minds to new ideas and possibilities is to reflect on personal experiences and learn from them. Our own experiences serve as valuable teachers, providing us with insights and lessons that can guide us towards personal growth and broaden our perspectives.

When reflecting on personal experiences, it is important for teenagers to approach this process with an open mind and a willingness to critically analyze their actions, decisions, and outcomes. By taking the time to review past experiences, they can gain a deeper understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

Reflecting on personal experiences also involves examining the thought processes and beliefs that influenced their actions and decisions. This introspection allows teenagers to challenge any limiting or narrow-minded perspectives they may hold and actively seek out alternative viewpoints. By recognizing the link between their thoughts, actions, and outcomes, they can begin to identify patterns and make conscious efforts to adopt more open-minded attitudes.

Furthermore, reflecting on personal experiences can help teenagers embrace failure as an opportunity for growth rather than a setback. By examining the reasons behind past failures, they can identify areas where they need to develop new skills or adopt different strategies. This process of self-reflection allows teenagers to approach future challenges with a growth mindset, viewing setbacks as stepping stones rather than roadblocks.

To facilitate this reflection process, teenagers can engage in activities such as journaling, meditation, or discussions with trusted mentors or friends. These practices provide an opportunity for introspection, allowing them to delve deep into their thoughts and emotions, and gain a clearer understanding of their experiences.

In conclusion, reflecting on personal experiences can be a powerful technique for teenagers to open their minds to new ideas and possibilities. By critically analyzing their actions, thoughts, and outcomes, they can learn valuable lessons, challenge limiting perspectives, and embrace failure as an opportunity for growth. Encouraging teenagers to engage in regular self-reflection will help cultivate an open-minded approach to life and allow them to embrace new opportunities and possibilities with enthusiasm.

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By: Willis
Title: 5 Ways To Be More Open Minded To New Ideas And Possibilities
Sourced From: williscoaching.com/5-ways-to-be-more-open-minded-to-new-ideas-and-possibilities/
Published Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2023 21:22:33 +0000

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Mens Health

The Future of Men’s Mental Health

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Captura de pantalla 2024 04 17 a las 17.36.20 1
Photo by drew_hays / Unsplash.com

Part 1 — Men and Mental Health, What Are We Missing?

I have been interested in men’s mental, emotional, and relational health for a long time. When I was five years old my mid-life father became increasingly irritable, angry, and depressed because he felt he couldn’t support our family, my mother and me, doing the work he loved. In desperation he took an overdose of sleeping pills to stop the pain. Fortunately, he didn’t die, but our lives were never the same. He was committed to Camarillo State Mental Hospital.

My father had been an actor in New York and moved to California with the hopes of working in the emerging movie and television industry. But like many creative artists of the period he ran into the “red scare,” was blacklisted, and couldn’t find work. His time in the mental hospital only made him worse. I grew up wondering what happened to my father, when it would happen to me, and how I could prevent it from happening to other families.

After graduating from college I was accepted into U.C. San Francisco Medical School with hopes of becoming a psychiatrist. I hoped to learn and develop the skills to help men like my father as well as the families who love them. However, medicine, at the time, was too restrictive for me and I transferred to U.C. Berkeley where I earned my Master of Social Work Degree. My initial interest focused on addiction medicine, but I soon expanded my work to include Gender-Specific Medicine and men’s health. I later returned to school and earned a PhD in International Health. My dissertation research was published as a book: Male vs. Female Depression: Why Men Act Out and Women Act In.

Following the birth of our first son, Jemal, in 1969 and daughter, Angela, in 1972, I launched MenAlive.com as my window to the world to house my books, articles, and on-line programs. I’ve had seventeen books published including international best-sellers Male Menopause and The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression, as well as trend-setting books including Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Overcoming Romantic and Sexual Addictions, The Warrior’s Journey Home: Healing Men, Healing the Planet, Stress Relief for Men, and Long Live Men! The Moonshot Mission to Heal Men, Close the Lifespan Gap, and Offer Hope to Humanity.

The field of gender-specific healing and men’s mental health has grown considerably since I began in 1972. I estimate that there are now at least a thousand organizations that focus on various aspects of men’s health. In 2021, I invited several colleagues who were doing great work to join me in what I called my Moonshot Mission for Mankind and Humanity. We began meeting monthly to get to know each other, share ideas, and create an on-line hub to bring individuals and organizations together to help men live fully healthy lives.

            With the help and support of one of our founding members, Joe Conrad, Founder and CEO of Man Therapy, we developed a website and introductory film at MoonshotforMankind.com.  I believe that men are both the “canaries in the coalmine” alerting us to the problems faced by humanity and also they are the key players in solving the problems that undermine the health of all. The Moonshot site shares our vision and call to connect:

“The journey to heal humanity has begun.”

Our Moonshot vision can be summarized simply:

“We believe man’s mental, emotional, and relational health is the key to empowering men to live long and well. Our mission is to help men live healthier, happier, more cooperative lives—fulfilling lives of purpose and productivity, where men are supported and valued as they make positive contributions to their families, friends, and communities. When that happens, families grow stronger, communities prosper, and humanity takes its next leap forward.”

Men and Mental Health: What Are We Missing?

            According to report by Derek M. Griffith, PhD, Ayo Ogunbiyi, MPH, and Emily Jaeger, MPH at Georgetown University’s Center for Men’s Health Equity,

Men aren’t the problem. The way that we — society as a whole and health care providers specifically — treat them is.”

In an April 2, 2024 article titled “Men and mental health: What are we missing?,” they detail a number of important issues that we often fail to address including the following:

  • It is time that primary care physicians, mental health service providers, and policymakers look critically at the accuracy and utility of their assumptions and explanations for men’s rates of depression, anxiety, burnout, substance abuse, and other common mental health conditions.
  • 40% of men with a reported mental illness received mental health care services in the past year, compared with 52% of women with a reported mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the crisis of men’s mental health.
  • The uncertainty of the pandemic, loneliness from social distancing, financial stresses, relationship challenges, and other contextual factors contributed to increased rates of men having difficulty sleeping, alcohol and substance use, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
  • Traditionally, men are socialized to define their worth by their ability to contribute economically to a household. However, as the labor market has shifted away from traditionally male-dominated jobs, men must now redefine their worth outside of their employment, income, and home.
  • The notion of “precarious manhood,” which is the belief that manhood is an achieved social status that must be earned and constantly defended, means that men may feel it is their character — rather than their behavior — being judged during more tumultuous economic times.
  • Even when men seek care, that care often falls short. Data from Canada and the United States found that more than 60% of men who died by suicide had accessed mental health care services within the previous year.
  • When men do seek mental health care services, it is not uncommon for them to feel that providers mislabel and underestimate their needs, and that these providers do not seem to have a genuine interest in their problems.
  • The fact that men are diagnosed with depression at lower rates than women, despite their higher rates of suicide, substance use, and violent behavior, suggests that more could be done to improve the tools used to diagnose men with depression.
  • While some mental health care service providers may be gender sensitive and recognize the ways that aggressiveness, alcohol use, and risky behavior are part of the presenting symptoms men with depression may exhibit, there are few courses and trainings that focus on gender differences in mental health, potentially leading to mental health care service providers being less equipped to serve and offer gender-sensitive resources to men.

We need a new approach for addressing men’s mental health issues. In the second part of this series, I will address the reality that men’s mental health issues don’t just impact men. They impact everyone. If you’d like to read more articles like these, please visit me at MenAlive.com and receive our free newsletter with new articles and tools you can use to improve your mental, emotional, and relational health.

The post The Future of Men’s Mental Health appeared first on MenAlive.

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By: Jed Diamond
Title: The Future of Men’s Mental Health
Sourced From: menalive.com/the-future-of-mens-mental-health/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-future-of-mens-mental-health
Published Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2024 23:33:29 +0000

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Mens Health

Podcast #983: Grid-Down Medicine — A Guide for When Help Is NOT on the Way

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If you read most first aid guides, the last step in treating someone who’s gotten injured or sick is always: get the victim to professional medical help.

But what if you found yourself in a situation where hospitals were overcrowded, inaccessible, or non-functional? What if you found yourself in a grid-down, long-term disaster, and you were the highest medical resource available?

Dr. Joe Alton is an expert in what would come after the step where most first aid guides leave off. He’s a retired surgeon and the co-author of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way. Today on the show, Joe argues that every family should have a medical asset and how to prepare to be a civilian medic. We discuss the different levels of first aid kits to consider creating, from an individual kit all the way up to a community field hospital. And we talk about the health-related skills you might need in a long-term grid-down disaster, from burying a dead body, to closing a wound with super glue, to making an improvised dental filling, to even protecting yourself from the radiation of nuclear fallout.

Resources Related to the Podcast

  • AoM Article: How to Use a Tourniquet to Control Major Bleeding
  • AoM Article: The Complete Guide to Making a DIY First Aid Kit
  • AoM Article: How to Suture a Wound
  • AoM Article: What Every Man Should Keep in His Car
  • AoM Article: Improvised Ways to Close a Wound
  • AoM Podcast #869: The Survival Myths That Can Get You Killed With Alone Winner Jim Baird

Connect With Joe Alton

  • Doom and Bloom website
  • Doom and Bloom on YouTube
  • Doom and Bloom on FB

Cover of "the survival medicine handbook," featuring a red first aid kit on a road under a stormy sky, by Joseph Alton MD and Amy Alton APRN.

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)

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By: Brett & Kate McKay
Title: Podcast #983: Grid-Down Medicine — A Guide for When Help Is NOT on the Way
Sourced From: www.artofmanliness.com/health-fitness/health/podcast-983-grid-down-medicine-a-guide-for-when-help-is-not-on-the-way/
Published Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2024 12:37:37 +0000

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Mens Health

How to Become Successful at the Three Essential Marriages for Achieving a Great Life

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Captura de pantalla 2024 04 11 a las 14.04.04 1
Photo by spiritvisionstudios / Unsplash.com

“Human beings are creatures of belonging which we achieve through three marriages. First, through relationship with other people and other things (particularly and very personally, to one other person in relationship or marriage); second, through work; and third, through an understanding of what it means to be themselves.” David Whyte, The Three Marriages: Reimaging Work, Self and Relationship.

For more than fifty years I have helped people achieve success in all three kinds of relationships. Like many I married young. My wife and I were together for ten years and had two children before our marriage broke up. After a time of pain and healing, I fell in love again, and remarried. Looking back, I can see that one was a rebound relationship and it too ended.

Endings are painful for everyone, but when you’re a marriage and family counselor who makes his living helping fix relationships, it is not only painful, but shameful as well. I talk about it on my website, MenAlive.com in an introductory video, “Confessions of a Twice-Divorced Marriage Counselor.” Fortunately, I got my own help, worked through unhealed trauma from my past, and learned what it truly takes to have a successful marriage. My wife, Carlin, and I have been happily married for forty-four years.

            We all want a life that is happy and joyful, but how to achieve success is not often clear and easy.

“If you have to make one life choice, right now, to set yourself on the path to future health and happiness, what would it be?”

This question was asked by two world-renowned social scientists, Robert Waldinger, MD and Marc Schulz, PhD.

Dr. Waldinger is professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Harvard Study on Adult Development. Dr. Schultz is the associate director. The Harvard Study is the longest scientific study of happiness ever conducted. It began in 1938 and offers the most scientifically supported guidance for achieving a great life.

The latest findings are reported in Waldinger’s and Schulz’s book, The Good Life: Lessons From The World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness. In a 2007 survey, millennials were asked about their most important life goals. Seventy-six percent said that becoming rich was their number one goal. Fifty percent said a major goal was to become famous. More than a decade later, after millennials had spent more time as adults, similar questions were asked again. Fame was now lower on the list, but top goals again included things like making money, having a successful career, and becoming debt-free.

            What does the data from thousands of interviews over eighty-six years tell us? If we want a great life what is the one thing that is more important than others? The answer can be stated in three simple words: Create Good Relationships.

“In fact, good relationships are significant enough that if we had to take all eighty-six years of the Harvard Study,”

say Drs. Waldinger and Schulz,

“and boil it down to a single principle for living, one life investment that is supported by similar findings across a wide variety of other studies, it would be this:

Good Relationships keep us healthier and happier. Period.”

The Three Marriages We Must Embrace to Have a Successful Life

            In his book The Three Marriages: Reimaging Work, Self and Relationship, David Whyte says,

“Despite our use of the word “marriage” only for a committed relationship between two people, “in reality everyone is committed consciously or unconsciously to three marriages.”

            Whyte goes on to say,

“There is that first marriage, the one we usually mean, to another; that second marriage, which can so often seem like a burden, to work or vocation; and that third and most likely hidden marriage to a core conversation inside ourselves. We can call these three separate commitments marriages because at their core they are usually lifelong commitments and, as I wish to illustrate, they involve vows made either consciously or unconsciously.”

For most of my life I tried to find a balance between my work life and my love life. The truth is that I was much better at work than I was at love. It is not surprising. I had my first job when I was seven years old. My father had left when I was five, committed to a mental hospital after taking an overdose of sleeping pills because he had become increasingly stressed and depressed because he couldn’t make a living to support my mother and me.

With my father gone, my mother had to find work outside the home. We had little money beyond what was needed for the essentials, so I learned early to work for anything I truly wanted. I got good at work, but like many who grew up without a father and mother at home, what I learned about having a healthy and happy married life was minimal and I was too busy hustling for my next job success to have time to wonder about what it meant to get to know my true self.

For too many of us we feel like we are going up and down on a teeter-totter with our work and love lives competing for our attention while our personhood often gets neglected and forgotten. David Whyte offers us all a great service when he suggests this basic reality:

“Each of those marriages, is at its heart, nonnegotiable. We should give up the attempt to balance one against another, of, for instance, taking away from work to give more time to a partner, or vice versa, and start thinking of each marriage conversing with, questioning, or emboldening the other two.”

            With the framework of the three marriages, we can ask ourselves where we might need improvement. Here’s a little scale I find useful.

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How would you rate yourself in all five areas? I feel successful in all five areas, but it has been a lifelong process of healing and learning. I still have a way to go yet, like all of us. My score was 24. How about yours?

Bringing It All Together

For me, I have come to see achieving success at the three marriages as a true hero’s journey, one that lasts a lifetime. My wife, Carlin, is part Native American. In our area, there are several women who weave beautiful baskets made out of local materials that grow in nature. A well-known basket weaver described a well-made basket as a metaphor for creating a great life.

            Here’s how she describes the process.

“Our life is a basket woven from many different strands, each essential for a strong container. Each part of our life is one strand in this basket.It’s impossible to weave multiple strands at the same time; we need to attend to the strand that requires our attention without losing awareness of the others. Every strand will get our attention—just not all at the same time. I know I give attention to where I am most needed, knowing that I will then move on to the next demand. The basket holds my life as I strengthen individual strands. I’m no longer on a teeter-totter—I am weaving my life into something whole and lovely.”

When I reflect on my own life, there are times when I must focus on my wife, Carlin, knowing that there are other parts of my life that will require my attention at another time. At other times, one of our five children or seventeen grandchildren all for my attention. Yet, I can’t ever forget my work and my commitment to my calling. Running through all these “strands of my basket” is my commitment to my deepest self, getting to know who I really am and learning to love the man I am with all my flaws as well as my gifts.

I have written about how I have integrated these strands in the books I have written. If you are interested in learning about me and my work, I recommend, Inside Out: Becoming My Own Man, 12 Rules for Good Men, and Long Live Men: The Moonshot Mission to Heal Men, Close the Lifespan Gap, and Offer Hope for Humanity.

If you want to learn more about me and my relationship life, I recommend The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stages of Relationship and Why the Best is Still to Come, My Distant Dad: Healing the Family Father Wound, and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Overcoming Romantic and Sexual Addictions.

If you would like to take one of my on-line courses, I recommend:

Navigating the 5 Stages of Love.

Healing the Irritable Male Syndrome.

Healing the Family Father Wound.

If you would like to join our mission to improve the lives of men and their families, I recommend:

The Moonshot for Mankind and Humanity.

If you would like to do individual or couple counseling with me, drop me a note at Jed@MenAlive.com and put “Counseling” in the subject line. I will send you the information. If you would like to receive my free weekly newsletter with updates and new articles, you can sign up here.

The post How to Become Successful at the Three Essential Marriages for Achieving a Great Life appeared first on MenAlive.

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By: Jed Diamond
Title: How to Become Successful at the Three Essential Marriages for Achieving a Great Life
Sourced From: menalive.com/how-to-become-successful-at-the-three-essential-marriages/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-become-successful-at-the-three-essential-marriages
Published Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2024 20:02:04 +0000

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