Our Highest Desire

Although happiness is the ultimate goal of most men who bother to give it a thought, very few will ever achieve it as a way of being. The main reason for this is that they have surrounded themselves with so many distracting toys, trinkets and projects that they believe will make them happy, that they waste themselves pursuing these things and never learn what it is that would actually bring them happiness. All of the very things that “everyone” tells them will bring them happiness only serve to numb them down to the reality of who they really are.

For most of us, when we have surrounded ourselves with a good woman and toys and family and friends and a nice home with all the comforts and a good job with nice vacations we still find that it feels like there is something missing. It really doesn’t matter how compulsive we get about the stuff we gather around us, none of it is going to fill up the vacant place within us.

Men often instinctively feel that getting more or doing more will do the trick, so we throw ourselves into our sport or our hobby or eating or pussy or money or any one of a thousand things that we pursue – and none of it works for long: we always need more no matter how much we have already. So we become addicts or gluttons or workaholics in an effort to fill in the hole inside.

We men are designed to have a purpose in life: one that we feel makes a difference. The luckier among us create careers around our purpose and are able to live our dream for a living. These are the men who can honestly say after a day’s work: The world is a little better place because of what I did today. The majority of us have to find a purpose outside of our jobs, and that is just as good for most men.

The true danger in the “feminization” of men is not that they will become feminine or too in touch with their feelings. The danger is that they will come to believe that the love of a good woman, children, a nice house, expensive toys and a job to pay for it all is enough. These are enough for women, but not for a masculine man.

It is women who are okay with hearth and home and the love of a good man and their children and grandchildren. For we men, all of these things are cherished, but without a project around a purpose higher than ourselves, none of it is enough. Many of us just fold completely into the world of immediate gratification and creature comforts. I have met many of these men in their later years and they are only shadows of men, men with no purpose and only a desperate pain in their hearts where their passion might have lived. The wives of these meaningless men have taken them over completely and they are told what to do and when to do it. In mixed company, such men have no opinions and no voice. They sit and stare until it is time to go home. In their headlong rush into living a life with no meaning, they wind up an empty shell. They have learned to live with the pain of being a “non-man”.

Their wives are also miserable, as they have been let down completely by the very man that they dedicated their lives to. They hate who they have become and they despise the man who allowed them to take over. They have a habit of talking down to their men and their lips drip sarcasm and exasperation.

Somewhere, deep inside each of us, is a mission or a project that represents who we are as a man. It is a purpose that, if is pursued, can ignite us to brilliance and light up the world around us. The very act of seeking out our higher purpose is sustaining and can sustain those around us for some time.

Finding our higher purpose is a function of knowing who we are. After we make the decision to love ourselves and take care of the little child that lives in us, the next step is to take that love out and share it with the world through our higher purpose. Discovering that purpose comes from the understanding that who we are is dependent on what we value. Finding out what we value is essential to taking the next step. Our designer designed us to function at this higher level and to be a joyous being. Accepting anything less is to deny our very essence.

©2008, Irv Engel

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One's life has value so long as one attributes values to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion., - Simone de Beauvoir

Irv Engel is a successful salesman, builder, husband, father, grandfather and friend. He loves to sing, dance and is currently taking an art class to learn water color painting. He is the creator and coordinator of the Relationship Training Course for Men. This book, The Real Deal: A Guide to Achieving Successful and Real Relationships, is the result of hundreds of hours spent writing down the lessons learned in a lifetime of marriage, divorce, re-marriage and raising four kids. He hosts free telephone conference coaching sessions in the evening or on weekends.The conference is a good way to find out about relationship coaching and to ask any personal questions around your own relationships without risk to your money or your privacy. E-mail him for phone number, access code and schedule. Irv and Monica live in Lake Forest, Calif. They have eleven grandchildren. They have celebrated their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

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