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You might not know that many top-performing professionals attribute their success to the transformative power of life coaching.

As you’re dedicated to serving others, it’s just as important to navigate your own career with clarity and purpose. A life coach can be your ally, helping you uncover your true ambitions and align them with your passion for service.

You’ll define attainable career goals that not only satisfy your personal aspirations but also enhance your ability to contribute meaningfully to the lives of others.

By committing to this partnership, you’re not just investing in your professional journey; you’re ensuring that every step you take strengthens your capacity to make a positive impact in your field.

What is a Life Coach?

You may be wondering what a life coach is and how one can aid in reaching your career aspirations.

A life coach is a professional who partners with you to clarify your goals, unlock your potential, and strategize your path to success. They’re your ally in personal growth, ensuring you stay focused and accountable as you pursue your professional objectives.

Benefits of Working with a Life Coach

Working with a life coach provides three key benefits:

  • personalized guidance,
  • enhanced motivation, and
  • expert strategies to overcome career-related challenges.

Your journey toward professional fulfillment is unique, and a life coach’s personalized guidance empowers you to carve out a path that aligns with your passion for serving others. They foster accountability, ensuring you’re not just setting goals but actively pursuing them with intention and self-awareness.

Empowerment comes through this partnership as you’re encouraged to take charge of your career trajectory. Life coaches are instrumental in sharpening your goal-setting skills, helping you to articulate and chase after your aspirations with vigor.

Identifying Career Goals

You’re ready to take your career to the next level, and it all starts with pinpointing your true aspirations.

Together with a life coach, you’ll craft meaningful goals, establish a clear action plan, and regularly evaluate your progress.

Overcoming the inevitable challenges becomes part of your growth journey, ensuring you stay on track toward your desired success.

Developing Meaningful Goals

Identifying your career goals is the cornerstone of crafting a fulfilling professional journey with the support of a life coach. Through thoughtful goal-setting, you’ll lay the groundwork for personal development that resonates with your desire to serve others. A life coach acts as a mentor, guiding you to pinpoint aspirations that align with your values and drive. Together, you’ll map out a path that not only leads to success but also to making a meaningful impact in your field.

Career coaching empowers you to recognize and overcome obstacles, ensuring your goals aren’t just dreams but achievable milestones. It’s about harnessing your passion as a powerful tool for change—both in your life and in the lives you touch through your work.

Setting Action Plans

A compass on a desk symbolizing direction, surrounded by a roadmap, a plant, a clock, and silhouettes of two people in consultation, against a backdrop of a mountain path at sunrise. This setting represents the journey of career planning with the guidance of life coaching, which significantly reduces the risk of misdirection and enhances the clarity and purpose of one's professional path.

Set your sights on career success by clearly defining what you want to achieve and mapping out a strategic action plan with your life coach’s guidance.

Your aspirations to serve others can flourish when your goals align with your values and passions. Together with your life coach, you’ll engage in goal setting that not only considers your desired outcome but also the impact you aim to have.

Crafting action plans is a collaborative effort, where your coach supports your dedication to career development. They’ll help you recognize obstacles and transform them into steps for growth.

Evaluating Your Progress

Having mapped out your strategic action plan, it’s essential to regularly assess your progress and align your efforts with your evolving career goals. This means practicing consistent self-reflection and seeking feedback from those you serve.

Feedback is a powerful tool that can highlight where you’re excelling and where you need to pivot your strategies. By engaging in goal-setting, you’re committing to a path that’s both fulfilling and in service to others.

During performance reviews with your life coach, you’ll face accountability, which is vital in staying on track. Remember, your values, passions, and aspirations are the compass that guides you. If you find yourself straying, recalibrate and refocus.

Your dedication to serving others is noble, and with deliberate reflection, you’ll ensure your career trajectory remains true to your calling.

Overcoming Challenges

Amidst the complexities of the job market, you’ll face obstacles in pinpointing your ideal career path, but with a life coach by your side, you’re not alone in this journey. Together, you’ll tackle occupational burnout, master stress management, and clear the haze of doubt clouding your decision-making.

Your life coach will guide you through a process tailored to serve others and fulfill your aspirations. They’ll help you identify your true passions and align them with your professional goals. By addressing the challenges head-on and employing strategies like the GROW model, you’ll move past the roadblocks and towards a career that not only sustains you but also allows you to make a significant impact in the lives of others.

Signs you may need a career coach

You might realize it’s time to seek a career coach if you’re feeling stuck in your current role and unsure of how to move forward.

When confusion about your next steps eclipses your daily work, a coach’s perspective can offer much-needed clarity.

Additionally, if navigating workplace dynamics or feeling overwhelmed has become the norm, a career coach’s guidance could be instrumental in regaining control of your professional journey.

You feel stuck

Career stagnation, marked by a lingering sense of not progressing, often signals it’s time to consider a life coach’s guidance. When you’re feeling stuck, a career coach can be the catalyst to help you rediscover your purpose and realign with your aspirations.

They’ll work with you to clarify your goals and set a course for achievement that resonates with your passion for serving others.

If you’re struggling to bridge the gap between where you’re and where you want to be, a career coach offers the necessary tools and perspective. They’ll help you measure progress in meaningful ways, ensuring you stay on track and remain motivated.

With their support, you’ll find the confidence to move forward and the strategies to thrive in your chosen path.

You feel confused about your next step

If your career path seems shrouded in uncertainty, it’s likely time to seek a life coach’s expertise. A life coach provides career counseling to help you clarify your goals and create a strategy to achieve them. They’re attuned to the nuances of serving others and can guide you through the fog of indecision.

You struggle to navigate the workplace

A compass on a desk, symbolizing direction and guidance, surrounded by a roadmap, a plant, a clock, and silhouettes of two people in consultation, representing a life coaching session. The backdrop features a mountain path at sunrise, illustrating the journey of personal and professional growth. This setting emphasizes how life coaching helps in reducing risks and uncertainties, guiding individuals towards successful and well-planned career paths.

Consider seeking a career coach when workplace challenges become roadblocks to your professional advancement. If you’re struggling to articulate your aspirations or feeling stuck in your current role, a career coach can provide the guidance you need. They’ll help you uncover the right path that aligns with your values and passions, ensuring you serve others with your unique talents.

A professional coach becomes especially valuable when measuring progress and defining success feels daunting. They’ll stand by your side, helping you navigate obstacles that hinder your growth. With a life coach’s support, you’ll gain the clarity to move forward confidently in your workplace, transforming your career into a journey of meaningful accomplishments.

You feel overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed by your career choices and the pressures of professional development often signals it’s time to seek a life coach’s expertise. When anxiety creeps in and the stress biology of constant worry affects your well-being, it’s a clear sign you might need support.

You’re passionate about serving others, but you may lose sight of your own goals amid the chaos. A career coach can offer the guidance needed to clear the fog, align your aspirations with actionable steps, and ease the sense of being overwhelmed.

They’ll help you navigate the complexities of your career path, ensuring you stay true to your mission of helping others while also advancing your professional journey. With a life coach, you can regain control and move forward with confidence.

Finding the Right Coach for You

To kickstart your journey, you’ll need to research various coaching styles and techniques to find what resonates with your career aspirations.

It’s crucial to connect with coaches through trusted resources, be it referrals or professional networks, to ensure they’re credible and experienced.

Don’t hesitate to interview potential coaches to see if their approach aligns with your needs and if they’re someone you can truly work with to achieve your goals.

Researching Coaching Styles and Techniques

You’ll need to delve into the various coaching styles and techniques to find a life coach who aligns with your career aspirations. Start by exploring the different methodologies offered by coaching services. Some coaches may employ a directive approach, providing clear-cut strategies and action plans, while others might favor a more collaborative style that encourages self-discovery and personal growth.

Verify their credentials; a certified coach with the International Coaching Federation is a good indicator of professional standards and ethical coaching practices.

Look for someone who demonstrates the ability to understand and serve your unique needs. The right coach for you’ll actively listen, challenge your limiting beliefs, and inspire you to reach your full potential in serving others.

Connecting with Coaches through Resources

Finding the right life coach for your career goals starts with leveraging the resources at your disposal. Begin by researching online platforms where professionals connect, like LinkedIn. Here, you can discover coaches with the specific employment expertise you’re seeking. Don’t overlook the importance of coach cost; while investing in your career is essential, ensure the fees align with your budget.

Look for a coach with a proven track record in training and skill development. Their experience should resonate with your career aspirations. Remember, the relationship with your life coach should be built on trust and mutual respect, so take the time to interview potential coaches.

You want someone who not only listens but also challenges and inspires you to serve others and achieve your best.

Interviewing Potential Coaches

When you’re ready to select a life coach, it’s crucial to conduct interviews to ensure they’re the right fit for your career ambitions. Begin by verifying their certification and discussing their coaching experience. This step is an investment in your future, and you want someone who’s a proven track record of guiding others to success.

During the interview, gauge how well they understand your desire to serve and whether their approach aligns with your values. Trust your instincts about the rapport and compatibility you feel.

It’s essential to find a coach who not only listens but also challenges and inspires you to reach your full potential. Remember, this partnership can propel your career forward, so choose wisely.

Establishing an Effective Relationship with your Coach

To kickstart a fruitful partnership, you’ll need to define what success looks like for you and communicate that to your coach.

Building a collaborative relationship hinges on mutual trust and respect, setting the stage for open dialogue and progress.

Ensure you keep the lines of communication clear and consistent, which is vital for navigating your career path effectively with your coach’s support.

Defining Expectations and Outcomes

Establishing clear expectations and desired outcomes with your life coach is essential for a productive partnership that aligns with your career aspirations. Defining expectations goes beyond just setting goals; it involves expressing your vision for serving others and the impact you hope to achieve. Your life coach will help you clarify these expectations, ensuring they are both realistic and attainable.

Together, you and your life coach will map out the outcomes you are striving for. Whether it’s a promotion, a career transition, or enhancing your leadership skills, this collaborative effort ensures that every step taken is purposeful and directly contributes to your overarching career goals.

It’s important to remember that a life coach is your ally. They are someone who is invested in seeing you succeed and serve to your fullest potential.

Building a Collaborative Partnership

With a life coach by your side, you’ll forge a partnership that’s pivotal to navigating your career landscape effectively. This partnership thrives on open communication, ensuring your aspirations and values are heard and respected.

As you work together, you’ll establish clear career goals, harnessing a synergy that transforms your vision into actionable steps. The coaching relationship is a two-way street where your commitment to growth and their expertise in facilitating change merge.

Through this collaborative effort, you’ll find the support and accountability necessary to make meaningful progress. Remember, a successful partnership is built on trust, mutual respect, and a shared dedication to your success.

Embrace this journey with your coach, and you’ll see your career aspirations take flight.

Keeping Clear Communication Channels Open

In your journey toward career success, working alongside your life coach necessitates maintaining open lines of communication to foster a relationship built on mutual understanding and trust. Achieving this requires not just talking but active listening, ensuring you’re fully engaged with your coach’s guidance.

Your emotional intelligence plays a pivotal role here, as it enables you to understand and express your feelings effectively.

Keep the communication two-way by frequently sharing updates and seeking feedback. This open exchange allows your coach to tailor their support to your evolving needs.


Now you’re equipped to tackle your career crossroads head-on. With your life coach by your side, you’ve set SMART goals and honed your strengths.

You’re ready to build relationships and navigate challenges with confidence.

Remember, it’s not just about the milestones; it’s about the journey. So, take that step, embrace the process, and watch as you transform your career into a reflection of your true potential.

Your success story starts now. Go make it happen.

What role does a life coach play in navigating career goals?

A life coach helps you identify your career objectives, develop a realistic plan to achieve them, and provide support, motivation, and guidance throughout the process. They help you stay focused on your goals and overcome any obstacles that may arise.

How can a life coach assist me during job interviews?

A life coach can prepare you for job interviews by helping you understand what potential employers are looking for, improving your communication skills, boosting your confidence, and assisting with strategies to handle difficult questions. They can also help you reflect on the interview afterwards to identify areas for improvement.

What types of methods or techniques would a life coach use in coaching towards career goals?

Methods may include setting clear and attainable goals, creating action plans, improving self-awareness through assessments or reflective exercises, developing communication skills through role-play scenarios, providing constructive feedback and encouragement, and utilizing accountability measures to ensure progress.

How does the quest for achieving career goals evolve under the guidance of a life coach?

Under a life coachs guidance, the quest becomes more structured and focused. The coach will help you define clear steps towards achieving your goal which makes it feel less daunting. Regular check-ins with your coach keep you accountable while their constant support keeps you motivated throughout your journey.

Can working with a life coach guarantee success in achieving my career goals?

While theres no absolute guarantee since success also depends heavily on individual effort and external circumstances, working with a life coach significantly increases chances of success. A good life coach provides valuable insights into personal strengths and weaknesses regarding careers paths; they offer resources for skill development; they guide decision-making processes effectively; they boost confidence levels and resilience capacities – all crucial factors contributing to successful achievement of career goals.

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By: Willis
Title: Navigating Career Goals With A Life Coach
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Published Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2023 14:45:56 +0000

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Mens Health

The Hazards and Blessings of Being Male: Embracing the Seven Challenges For a Successful Life

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Captura de pantalla 2024 05 17 a las 20.33.26 1
Photo by: Alexander Grey |

Although there have been infinite varieties of life forms that have evolved on Earth in the last 4 billion years, two life forms that are our male and female ancestors evolved a billion years ago. Here’s how this first sexual experience occurred according to cosmologist Dr. Brian Swimme and historian Dr. Thomas Berry in their book, The Universe Story.

The first male organism—they call him Tristan—and the first female organism—they call her Iseult—began life in the ancient oceans. Swimme and Berry describe their chance encounter this way:

“They were cast into the marine adventure, with its traumas of starvation and of predation. Able to nourish themselves but no longer capable of dividing into daughter cells, such primal living beings made their way through life until an almost certain death ended their 3-billion-year lineage.

A slight, an ever so slight, chance existed that a Tristan cell would come upon a corresponding Iseult cell.They would brush against each other, a contact similar to so many trillions of other encounters in their oceanic adventure. But with this one, something new would awaken. Something unsuspected and powerful and intelligent, as if they had drunk a magical elixir, would enter the flow of electricity through each organism.

Suddenly the very chemistry of their cell membranes would begin to change. Interactions evoked by newly functioning segments of her DNA would restructure the molecular web of Iseult’s skin, so that an act she had never experienced or planned for would begin to take place—Tristan entering her cell wholly.”

Of course no humans were there to record this original encounter, but we all have origin stories and this one resonates with me. Dates are never exact and change as more information is gathered. Here are some additional dates I found important in The Universe Story timeline:

  • 12 billion years ago, the universe begins.
  • 4 billion years ago life first emerges.
  • 1 billion years ago sexual reproduction evolves.
  • 216 million years ago the first mammals appear.
  • 30 million years ago the first apes inhabit the earth.
  • 2.6 million years ago the first humans appeared.
  • 200,000 years ago Archaic Homo sapiens evolved.
  • 10,600 years ago first settlements in the Middle East emerged and wheat and barley were cultivated.

Needless to say, we have a long evolutionary history to embrace. In their book, Solving Modern Problems with a Stone-Age Brain, Douglas T. Kenrick, PhD and David E. Lundberg-Kenrick describe seven evolutionary challenges we must all face and embrace. They offer a visual summary as a revision of Maslow’s original Hierarchy of Human Needs which they call The New Pyramid of Human Motives:


The Seven Challenges for a Successful Life

            During the billion years of life, all organisms must embrace these challenges and they are particularly relevant beginning with our mammalian history. In their book, the Kenricks ask, “What are the fundamental problems of human existence?” They go on to share the results of their research.

“Together with a large team of researchers at more than 30 universities on five continents, we have been investigating the universal motivations faced by human beings around the globe.”

Here is a summary of their findings:

  • Survive.

We must meet our basic physiological needs for shelter from the elements,

water, and food.

  • Protect yourself from attackers and plunderers.

Given the scarcity of resources and the ever-present possibility of starvation, there has always been competition among different groups (most often the male members) for precious real estate and resources (including access to females).

  • Make and keep friends.

As the Kenricks remind us. “Our ancestors were not rugged individualists.

They need to band together not only to protect themselves from bands of

marauding bad guys but also to accomplish most of the tasks of everyday life.”

  • Get some respect.

Some people have always been more resourceful and clever than others and

some were more willing to bravely defend their groups against armed marauders.

Those resourceful and courageous individuals won higher status and gained

greater respect.

  • Find a mate.

“From the perspective of evolution by natural selection,” say the Kenricks, “this

step is essential. Every one of our ancestors managed to attract at least one

person who wanted to make with them. Not everybody in the ancient world got

to reproduce, though, and a reasonable percentage of men went unmated.” This

fact, is of major importance when understanding male desires, fears, and


  • Hang on to that mate.

From an evolutionary perspective, we not only have to find a mate who will have

sex with us, but we need to hold on to our mate long enough to have a child and

raise the child to maturity, so they can find a mate and continue the process.

  • Care for your family members.

Unlike other animals, human males are much more involved with raising children, since human children require long-term care before they reach reproductive age.

Males and Females Are Alike and Also Different

Males and females are alike in that they must both successfully meet the seven challenges noted above. However, there are also significant evolutionary differences. These differences first came home to me when I first met psychologist David M. Buss and read his book, The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating.

“If mating desires and other features of human psychology are products of our evolutionary history,” says Dr. Buss, “they should be found universally, not just in the United States.”

To test his theories, he conducted a five-year study working with collaborators from thirty-seven cultures located on six continents and five islands. All major racial groups, religious groups, and ethnic groups were represented. In all, his research team surveyed 10,047 persons world-wide.

Dr. Buss concluded that there are actually two human natures, one male, the other female. What do women really want? Buss found that the top three qualities that women look for in men are exactly the same as those things that men look for in women: Intelligence, kindness, and love. Then, what women want diverges from what men want.

“Women then look at a man’s ability to protect her and her children, his capacity to provide, and his willingness to make commitment to a relationship,” says Buss.

What do men really want?

“A man is drawn to youth and beauty,”

says Buss.

“This interest is not just a modern desire driven by advertising and male desire to control women [though advertisers take advantage of our evolutionary-driven desires]. It is a universal desire based on evolutionary pressures for reproductive success. Men who mated with women who were incapable of bearing children left no ancestors. Every man alive today is descended from men who did not make that mistake. Worldwide, men are drawn to younger women.”

Note: Just because we have these evolutionary-based desires does not mean we must act on them, that they are good for us, or will make us, or the partners we desire, happy. It also does not mean they are hard-wired into our biological makeup and can’t be changed. It does mean that we must take seriously our evolutionary-based desires and listen to the ancient “whisperings within” that pull us in certain directions.

The Hazards and Blessings of Gender-Specific Health

The ancient Roman philosopher, Virgil offers a simple truth to consider.

“The greatest wealth is health.”

A modern American medical doctor, Marianne J. Legato, M.D., world-renowned cardiologist and founder of The Foundation For Gender-Specific Medicine, says,

“The premature death of men is the most important—and neglected—health issue of our time.”

Although human males, as a group, occupy more positions of power in government and business than women, it has come at a price. This was first brought home to me by psychologist Herb Goldberg, in his book 1976, The Hazards of Being Male.

“The male has paid a heavy price for his masculine ‘privilege’ and power. He is out of touch with his emotions and his body. He is playing by the rules of the male game plan and with lemming-like purpose he is destroying himself—emotionally, psychologically and physically.”

In recent years we have learned a lot more about the realities of being male.

“If it’s true that men rule the world, it comes at a heavy cost,”

says Dr. Legato.

“From conception until death, men are inherently more fragile and vulnerable than women. In virtually every society today, men die first.”

Dr. Legato offers the following facts of life:

  • The male fetus is less likely to survive the womb than the female.
  • Boys are six weeks behind in developmental maturity at birth compared to girls.
  • Men have four times the developmental disabilities of females.
  • Men suffer more severely than women from seven of the ten most common infections that human experience [Including Covid-19].
  • Men are likely to experience the first ravages of coronary artery disease in their mid-thirties, a full 15 or 20 years before women.
  • Twice as many men die of heart disease, the leading cause of all deaths, than do women.
  • Men die by suicide 4 times more than women.
  • Murder and homicide are among the top four killers of men from the time they are born until heart disease and cancers begin to claim those who survive into middle age.

Accepting the realities of our own inherent weakness and vulnerabilities instead of trying to pretend we are masters of the universe is the first step we just take to begin our own healing and recovery.

I have been writing a series of articles on the Future of Men’s Mental Health. In Part 3, “Gender-Specific Healing and Man Therapy,” I explore my own healing journey and issues that address the unique problems faced by men and how the emerging field of Gender-Specific Healing and Men’s Health is a key to the future of health care. If you’d like more information about upcoming trainings, drop me an email to and put “Gender-Specific Health Training” in the subject line.

The post The Hazards and Blessings of Being Male: Embracing the Seven Challenges For a Successful Life appeared first on MenAlive.

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By: Jed Diamond
Title: The Hazards and Blessings of Being Male: Embracing the Seven Challenges For a Successful Life
Sourced From:
Published Date: Sat, 18 May 2024 02:41:58 +0000

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Mens Health

The James Bond Workout

James Bond Workout 2

Illustration titled "The James Bond Workout" depicting six exercises: 20 slow push-ups, straight leg lifts, toe touches, chair dips, deep breathing, culminating in a hot and cold shower.

When you have a license to kill, you’ve got to keep yourself in tip-top shape.

So what did James Bond do for his workout? 

From the James Bond novels, we know that 007 liked to do all sorts of physical activities that could count as exercise: boxing, judo, swimming, and skiing. He was also a golfer, so he got some activity in that way.

As a Commander in the Royal Navy Reserve, Bond likely incorporated some of the calisthenics he learned from the military into his workout routine. It’s possible that he even drew inspiration from the Cold War HIIT workout, 5BX. 

You can see these influences in the workout 007 does in From Russia With Love. In that novel (one of the 5 best books in the Bond canon), Fleming describes a short calisthenics routine that his secret agent does that’s capped off with a “James Bond shower”:

There was only one way to deal with boredom — kick oneself out of it. Bond went down on his hands and did twenty slow press-ups, lingering over each one so that his muscles had no rest. When his arms could stand the pain no longer, he rolled over on his back and, with his hands at his sides, did the straight leg-lift until his stomach muscles screamed. He got to his feet and, after touching his toes twenty times, went over to arm and chest exercises combined with deep breathing until he was dizzy. Panting with the exertion, he went into the big white-tiled bathroom and stood in the glass shower cabinet under very hot and then cold hissing water for five minutes. 

A pretty quick and straightforward bodyweight workout, that we’ve illustrated for reference above. With one adaptation: Bond scholars and aficionados have never figured out exactly what Fleming meant by “arm and chest exercises.” We substituted chair dips; they work both the arms and chest. You can imagine in your own arm and chest exercise if you’d like. Performing that portion of the workout, and all the rest of them, in a tux with a pistol and martini glass on hand is optional, but highly encouraged if you’re an operative training to face the unique challenges of international espionage. 

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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By: Brett & Kate McKay
Title: The James Bond Workout
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Published Date: Thu, 16 May 2024 17:20:27 +0000

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Mens Health

Man or Bear: What Evolutionary Science Can Tell Us About Male Violence and How to Stay Safe

Captura de pantalla 2024 05 08 a las 17.49.44

Captura de pantalla 2024 05 08 a las 17.49.44 1
Photo by: Mark Basarab /

Have you been following the discussion that began with a question to a small group of women: If you were alone in the woods, would you rather encounter a bear or a man? The great majority of the women answered, “a bear” and explained that they would feel safer encountering a bear in the forest than a man they didn’t know. The hypothetical question has sparked a broader discussion about why women fear men.

I’d like to share my own experiences. I will start by laying my cards on the table so you know my biases from the outset:

  • I have been a man all my life which now totals 80 years.
  • I was born in New York City, grew up in Los Angeles, and have lived in cities most of my life where I never encountered a bear or any other wild animal.
  • I am a psychotherapist, author of 17 books about men and their relationships, and have worked with what many consider “dangerous men” in jails, prisons, and treatment centers.
  • In 1991 my wife and I moved out of the city, bought land in the hills of Mendocino County outside a small town of Willits, California and I had my first encounter with wild animals including several bears.

The impetus for our move to the country began when I was diagnosed with a rare adrenal tumor which kills most people before they know they have it. Luckily, I didn’t die. My doctor made the diagnosis—a pheochromocytoma. I had emergency surgery and the tumor was removed.

When I asked the doctors what caused me to get a tumor, they didn’t know. “Maybe genetics, maybe bad luck, who knows?” they told me. Well, I believe we all have an inner healer who does know. I asked and the answer I got was clear and concise:

Inner Healer to Jed: Adrenal tumor, adrenaline! Don’t you get it? You’ve living in stressful environments for way too long. You have to slow down.

Jed to Inner Healer: I have slowed down. I was born to New York, pretty high-stressed place. We moved to Los Angeles where I grew up and went to school, a lower stress place. Now we live in Mellow Marin County. I’ve been slowing down, really I have.

Inner Healer to Jed: I do hear you. You have slowed down, New York, Los Angeles, Marin. You’ve gotten your stress score down from 100 to an 88. But you have to get it down to a 9.

Jed to Inner Healer: You’ve got to be kidding me, a 9! I’d have to change my whole life!!!

Inner Healer to Jed: Yep.

So, we found a little cabin on 22 acres of land and moved in and I planned to relax more. It was quiet and peaceful and the neighbors were nice. But the truth was, everything scared me. It was too quiet. After we had been there a month and I was sitting on a ridge overlooking a valley, I heard a very faint sound. So soft, I wasn’t even sure it was there. I finally realized that what I was hearing was the sound of my eye lashes blinking. I was used to the sounds of a big city. It was difficult to think with only the sounds of silence to keep me company.

            What really scared me, though, were the animal sounds I would hear at night. I was determined to follow my inner healer’s advice and learn to slow down and relax. I knew I needed to settle into my new surroundings. There was  a deck at the end of our property where I often went to think about my future. I decided I would learn to address my anxieties and fears by sleeping outside every night during the first summer we were there.

Each night after dinner, I would walk in the dark from our house to the deck, about a ten-minute walk, where I would spend the night. I walked first with a flashlight, then stop, turn it off, and listen to the night sounds. I would hear the bugs, birds, and small animals moving through the brush. I would snuggle up in my sleeping bag and gradually I got used to the night sounds and got to know the creatures that lived in my new neighborhood in the woods.

One morning as I was just waking up I saw a large animal coming my way on a narrow trail that led away from my deck where I slept. At first I didn’t know what it was. It was bigger than a big dog but walked differently. It didn’t take me long to realize that a large black bear was walking towards me.

My mouth went dry, my heart began to pound. I didn’t know what to do. Should I yell and try and scare him away? Should I run and hide? I had no idea. What I finally did was to start talking very fast: “Ah…bear…I’m Jed, I don’t have anything you would want to eat, including me, I know this is your home, I just moved here, I really want to be a good neighbor, please don’t hurt me, I…”

I ran out of words and the bear stopped a hundred feet from me. I looked at him (or her? I had no idea) and he looked at me. And I wondered whether the next thing would be a bear at my throat. Instead, he turned around and walked back down the path.

It was a strange rite of passage for this city boy. I felt like he had decided that I was definitely a little strange but I was OK. He came back periodically when I wasn’t there. I could tell because he marked his territory by scratching marks on the posts of my deck. I had a number of encounters with bears, a few real scary one when we encountered a mamma bear with her cubs and she reared up on her hind legs and barked her cubs up a three. I bowed low and slowly backed away. I had a healthy respect for bears and other wild animals but we got to know each other.

Not so, when I had my first encounter with a strange man. One morning I was walking on my property and suddenly a strange man turned the corner on the trail. I yelled, turned around and ran. I looked over my shoulder to see if he was chasing me and realized that he was running away, looking over his shoulder to see if I was chasing him.

We both stopped running and slowly approached each other cautiously. I told him I owned this property and told me he was visiting neighbors and had gone for a walk and gotten lost the night before. He had slept out all night and was trying to find his way back when he ran into me. I drove him back to the neighbors who saw me as a hero for finding their friend and we shared stories about our encounters with bears and men.

What Evolutionary Science Can Teach Us About Bears and Men and How to Stay Safe

We can’t understand bears, men, or how to be safe unless we know something about evolutionary science. In their book The Universe Story, cosmologist Dr. Brian Swimme and historian Dr. Thomas Berry, share our evolutionary history. Here are a few key players and the dates they joined the party:

  • 12 billion years ago, the universe began with a bang.
  • 4 billion years ago life first emerged.
  • 216 million years ago the first mammals appeared.
  • 55 million years ago the first bear-like animals evolved.
  • 2.6 million years ago the first humans, Homo habilis, walked the earth.

In a recent book, Solving Modern Problems with a Stone-Age Brain, evolutionary psychologists Douglas T. Kenrick and David E. Lunberg-Kenrick, detail the seven fundamental problems the humans have faced since we arrived. We have to:

  1. Survive by meeting our basic needs for water, food, and shelter.
  2. Protect ourselves from attackers and plunderers.
  3. Make and keep friends.
  4. Gain status and respect from our fellow tribal members.
  5. Find a mate.
  6. Hang on to that mate.
  7. Focus on family and raise good children.

What they say about basic challenges number 1 and 2, can help us better understand how to stay safe in today’s world. The first step is clear. We must get what we need to survive or our story ends here. All our direct ancestors survived and completed all seven steps.

They go on to talk about the reality that in our evolutionary past, as well as in modern times, we have a lot more to fear from men than we do from wild animals. In the Bronx Zoo, there is a classic sign on one exhibit that advertised, “World’s Most Dangerous Predator.” Above the sign was a mirror.

            Humans truly are a dangerous species and the danger is most commonly coming from men. Whether you are venturing into the remote unexplored jungles where modern hunter-gatherers live or looking at death rates from our evolutionary past, Dr. Kenrick and other evolutionary-informed scientists have found that men are the more violent half of humanity.

“The odds that a stranger is a potential threat to your physical safety are many times higher if that stranger is a male. They are especially high if he is a young adult male and if he is with a group of other young adult males.”

So, it is natural that women, and men, would be more fearful of meeting an unknown man in the woods than a bear. But the fact that our modern brains still have the old wiring from our evolutionary past, does not mean that we should be afraid of all bears or all men. As I learned, we are all safer when we learn about the others who we will encounter in our lives.

I learned to get comfortable with the bears who lived in my neighborhood. I also learned I could talk to the bears, let them know I was no threat, and I imagined they would listen. I found out I could overcome my immediate reaction to flee or fight when confronted by an unknown male. I could stop and realize we were both afraid of each other and taking time to calm down and talk helped us both connect in a positive way.

What I have learned from evolutionary science is that most wild animals can be our friends and so can most men. The way to be safer in the world is to connect more deeply with ourselves, each other, and this beautiful planet we all share.

            One more point. Humans have certainly done our evolutionary job well in populating the world. We don’t need more and more people, but we could certainly use more wisdom from our animal elders. As Thomas Berry reminds us,

“We never knew enough. Nor were we sufficiently intimate with all our cousins in the great family of the earth. Nor could we listen to the various creatures of the earth, each telling its own story. The time has now come, however, when we will listen or we will die.”

I have worked with a lot of dangerous and violent men in my life. I agree with the world of psychologist James Hollis. “Men’s lives are violent because their souls have been violated.” I invite those interested to check out our Moonshot for Mankind.

The post Man or Bear: What Evolutionary Science Can Tell Us About Male Violence and How to Stay Safe appeared first on MenAlive.

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By: Jed Diamond
Title: Man or Bear: What Evolutionary Science Can Tell Us About Male Violence and How to Stay Safe
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Published Date: Wed, 08 May 2024 23:46:04 +0000

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