“Should I get divorced… what will my kids think of me?!”
“Have I done this all wrong?”
For much of my marriage, I felt caught between two poles.
On one end, there’s the narrative of the ‘family man’—loving, devoted, ever-present.
On the other end, there’s the ‘alpha male’—ambitious, driven, soaring to the peaks of personal and professional success.
Society looks at these archetypes and says, “Pick one. You can’t have both.”
But here’s the revolutionary thought I had: What if I can?
What if you can be a fantastic husband while also creating success?
What if I can be an incredible father while having all the time for them and work?
Not only is it possible, but combining these seemingly different paths can lead to the most fulfilling life for a modern man.
Today, when interviewed on top podcasts as “the man that has it all,” I know deep down it was thanks to questioning the compromises I saw so many others and then the ones I was myself making.
And don’t think I stumbled upon this. It’s taken me years of trial and error, sleepless nights, tears, anxiety attacks, depression, and even suicidal ideation to have what I can share with you today.
I call it “The Art of Symbiosis: How Your Marriage and Mission Can Feed Off Each Other.”
First, ditch the zero-sum mentality that insists investing time in your marriage takes away from your pursuits and vice versa.
Marriage is the foundation that makes both partners more resilient, creative and encouraged to tackle their aspirations. You’re not sharing your life to become half a person; you’re doing it to become twice the person you were before.
So, how can being a good husband and pursuing your mission be symbiotic?
Here’s the kicker: As I lay these words down, I’m not positioning myself as a guru on some mountaintop, dispensing ageless wisdom.
I’m just doing my best to live a life worth living. What you’re reading isn’t some definitive guidebook—it’s more like a real-time living document of conscious evolution.
All my essays are the essence of my lived experience, inner dialogues, and private journal flung open to the world.
The philosopher Ken Wilber, who has penned some of the most intriguing ideas on human consciousness, describes our journey through life as a movement through different stages, or ‘colors.’ Each color represents a specific level of consciousness, a unique vantage point from which we experience and interpret our world.
I won’t spill the beans on where I find myself on Wilber’s spectrum because, quite frankly, that’s not the point. The ‘me’ writing these words today is a snapshot, a single frame in the ever-unfolding film of life.
And guess what? So are you.
If I revisit this narrative a decade from now, I sincerely hope that at least half of what I’ve written would look naive, maybe even laughable.
That’s not a knock on my present self; it’s an aspiration for my future self. It means that I’ve grown, stretched, faltered, picked myself up, learned, unlearned, and dared to redraw the boundaries of my understanding.
I can’t definitively tell you which 50% of what I believe today will stand the test of time and which will crumble.
And you know what? That’s not just okay; that’s beautifully, profoundly, humanly okay.
Your life, my life, and our lives are not static works of art but dynamic, evolving masterpieces.
And if we’re ever going to elevate ourselves, we must be prepared to edit, adapt, and rewrite the scripts of our lives. And that, my friends, is not just the path to being a great man or partner. It’s the path to greatness, period.
Fortunately for what transpired, and unfortunately for the pain it caused all involved, it was having a conversation with my wife about how I thought I might fall in love with another woman. This was when I knew I had to understand better what it meant to be a man.
To understand the imperative of the mission.
And I know what you know what I’m talking about.
No, I’m not talking about emulating the Dalai Lama, though the world would undoubtedly be a better place with more souls radiating compassion and wisdom.
I’m talking about the primal, existential drive to create, solve, strive, and fulfill a purpose greater than oneself.
Why is this so damn important?
And why should it be non-negotiable in the life of any man who aspires to more than mere existence?
Because we have a drive for purpose, that’s a hunger older than history.
First, this call to mission differs from some newfangled fad that most self-help ‘gurus’ are all regurgitating on YouTube and Instagram today.
It’s as ancient as the first stories told around the first fires.
You can bet your bottom dollar that the guy who discovered the fire alone wasn’t content with that feat. He was probably off the next day, figuring out what else he could burn without getting mauled by a bear.
It’s not just cultural; it’s biological.
Think of it as an evolutionary mandate. You’re here not just to survive but to thrive.
Sure, the stakes have changed—we’re not warding off saber-toothed tigers anymore—but the essential quest remains. Whether you’re mastering an art, a craft, or a profession, it’s a quest for mastery. I’d argue that some missions are nobler than others because some ‘boys’ think knowledge is pursued with the next series of challenging Fortnite levels.
Next after our drive for purpose, we have the drive for self-realization.
Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?
You have your physiological needs at the base—food, water, sleep.
Move up, and you encounter the need for safety, love, and esteem.
But what sits at the peak?
Self-actualization. It’s the Everest of personal development.
Maslow was pointing to the ultimate realization of personal potential and creative abilities.
To put it bluntly, if you’re not on a mission, you’re missing the capstone of your human experience.
Your mission—building a business, creating art, advocating for change, or whatever stirs your soul—isn’t just a ‘thing you do.’ It’s the crucible in which your character is both revealed and formed.
In striving for something bigger, you’re subjected to trials, tribulations, and, hopefully, triumphs that test and define who you are. It’s like life’s way of pressure-cooking you into a better version of yourself.
How you deal with failure, what you learn from it, and how you handle success say more about you than any Instagram bio ever could.
But the point here is to remember the ripple effect your mission can have on your relationship.
Contrary to popular belief, ‘Happy wife, happy life’ isn’t the be-all, end-all of marital wisdom.
What about ‘Happy self, happy spouse’?
When you’re fulfilled and energized by your mission, that vitality spills over into your relationship. You become a more exciting, engaged, and attractive partner—not just in the romantic sense, but in the profoundly existential sense.
Your mission adds layers to your identity, making you a multidimensional being worth exploring for a lifetime.
So, to sum it up, your mission isn’t a ‘nice to have’—it’s a ‘must-have.’ It’s not a hobby; it’s a calling.
To relegate it to the sidelines is to forfeit the most thrilling, fulfilling, character-building chapters of our lives.
You owe it to yourself, your partner, and the damn cosmos that conspired to put you here with your unique gifts and perspectives to take up your mission with both hands and run like hell toward it.
So far, we’ve delved into the urgent, soul-stirring call for a man to be on a mission—But what does this look like for us, the modern man navigating the labyrinthine complexities of today’s world?
These aren’t just to-dos on a checklist or hollow mantras to chant mindlessly.
Look, these aren’t just lofty ideals or some philosophical jargon. This is the playbook, the ground rules for any guy who wants to have it all: an awe-inspiring marriage and a life that screams purpose.
Now imagine living your life on a roller coaster—up and down, over and over, from the exhilarating highs of success to the gut-punch lows of failure.
Now imagine doing that while juggling flaming torches. Welcome to the life of the emotionally unstable man. A shaky emotional life makes for a dangerous everything else. It’s hard to conquer the world when you are busy conquering your spiraling thoughts.
Now picture this: a fortress of emotional resilience, a sanctuary where you’re not just tolerated but celebrated.
Imagine that deep emotional anchoring as the fuel that propels your rocket ship, not just off the launching pad but into all your dreams. With that bedrock of emotional security beneath you, you’re not sidelined by trivial worries or petty distractions.
You can march into every arena of your life—your career, passions, or wildest adventures—with the swagger of a man who knows he’s got an unshakeable foundation waiting for him at home.
So you don’t just conquer your day; you seize it like a king reclaiming his throne, knowing that your kingdom is intact and flourishing back home.
This is the exact feeling I have right now.
As I write this, I’m away from work. Spending time with some of my business partners means doing what I feel is needed to create what I want.
It seems immature to me now, but not long ago, I asked…
Is Lauren my soulmate, or is she my secret weapon for world domination?
Well, guess what? This isn’t an either-or proposition.
Your spouse can be the romantic partner who complements your life and the strategic ally as you ascend to greatness. Our partners are silent bystanders or cheerleaders, but a voice and opinion I respect and listen to—someone who doesn’t just understand the nuts and bolts of what I do but gets the essence of who I am.
Over the past 11 years, Lauren and I have made three international moves, had four children, and been through more ups and downs than I can poke a stick at.
Lauren has watched me crumble to my knees.
Lauren has witnessed me go through the darkest of days.
Lauren is the only person on the planet with any clue as to what we’ve been through together to create this life.
Think of it: Your spouse isn’t just someone sharing your space.
They’re an invaluable lens through which you can see the world, a unique toolkit of skills that enriches your own, a universe of potential that intersects with and expands your horizon. It’s like having a mirror that reflects not just your face but your potential, showing you who you are and who you could become.
The growth that’s happening with all the businesses I’m a part of, alongside the dramatic leveling up of my marriage, has come down to one main reason.
I call it Mutual Ascendancy.
Let’s say life is a mountain—As a husband, perhaps your peak involves challenges like career transitions, personal development, or creative quests. For my wife, her mountain might involve nurturing a family, accomplishing her career goals, or embarking on her transformative journey.
Both routes are different, but how do you keel them parallel—distinct paths nearby?
So why stay tethered?
Because while the specifics of the individual challenges vary, the underlying emotions, the core struggles, and the essence of the human experience are fundamentally the same. Your spouse understands what it feels like to stand on a precipice and look into the abyss, just as you do.
They understand the profound euphoria of conquering a particularly daunting stretch of rocky terrain, as do you. By staying together through these individual journeys, you become more than the sum of your parts.
Your individual development—as a husband, a father, a professional, or a personal growth enthusiast—doesn’t just benefit you. It enriches your partner’s experience, offering them new perspectives and tools for their ascent.
The same goes in reverse; their growth offers fresh insights, new techniques, and the invaluable emotional sustenance from knowing someone else is fighting a similar fight.
In this paradigm of mutual ascendancy, staying tethered doesn’t hold either of you back; it propels both of you forward. It understands that even as you each chart your course, conquer your peaks, and navigate your valleys, you’re doing so with the unspoken but deeply felt reassurance that someone else is right there with you—equally committed to scaling their peak, equally vested in ensuring that you both enjoy the view from the top.
So, as you both ascend, remember: The journey might be individual, but the triumph is collective. And the view? Well, it’s always better when shared.
As I’m putting my fingers on the keyboard, it becomes evident.
This dream life comes into focus when I’ve got my act together first.
You can’t be Superman for your spouse, kids, or community if you’re still figuring out how to fly. First thing first: you have to be your hero. It’s like the airplane safety rule—secure your mask before helping others. To be the rock for everyone else, you’ve got to be solidly planted on your own two feet.
Consider the mighty oak.
Its strength is not merely in its towering height or expansive canopy; its true power lies in its deep, robust roots.
In much the same way, a man’s strength is rooted not in his physical prowess or intellectual insight but in his self-awareness, his unshakeable understanding of who he truly is – his values, passions, boundaries, and vulnerabilities.
When a man commits to this journey of self-discovery, he arms himself with the most potent tool in his marital arsenal – authenticity.
An authentic man does not don a mask of pretense or perfection.
He embraces his imperfections, acknowledges his fears, and honors his desires.
He presents himself as he is, not as the world wishes him to be.
This authenticity becomes the foundation for trust, respect, and deep intimacy in a marriage.
Additionally, a man who knows and serves himself is in tune with his needs and emotions.
He can articulate his feelings, assert his boundaries, and seek help.
He does not see self-care as a luxury but a necessity. By nourishing his mental, emotional, and physical well-being, he ensures that he brings the best version of himself to his marriage.
A man does not strive for invulnerability but rather resilience in cultivating his strength.
He understands that his strength lies not in never falling but rising every time he falls.
He does not shy away from challenges or adversity but faces them head-on, using them as stepping stones for growth and self-improvement.
This journey of self-awareness, self-service, and resilience paves the way for a man to show up powerfully in his marriage. It enables him to engage with his wife from a place of genuine love, mutual respect, and deep empathy, thus creating a union that is not just enduring but genuinely enriching.
After all, as the great poet Rumi once mused, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
This is the essence of being a great man.
In the end, isn’t that what life’s all about?
Are we striving to be better, love more fully, and serve more selflessly?
Let’s acknowledge, own, and embrace the journey of a great man who dares to find his way with love, guided by the knowing of service, respect, and honor.