Tyler Ward is a regular contributor to Relevant Magazine, the Huffington Post and other publications, where his writings have inspired millions of readers. His articles centered around lifestyle, marriage and religion led him to release his first book entitled, ‘Marriage Rebranded: Modern Misconceptions & the Unnatural Art of Loving Another Person.’ Tyler is a key influencer in the next generation of men, which is why I asked him — along with a few of my other favorite gentlemen — to share his definition of what true masculinity looks like in our modern world. Their answers, and especially Ty’s, were too good not to share. Read his thoughts below, or download the entire eBook at Noisetrade. Hope they help!
– Mike Zeller, Creator of Resurrecting the Modern Gentleman & Founder of TRIM Fashion
Men define their own brand of success.
If we were all to close our eyes and think of the word “success,” it’s likely that many of us would come back with a tragically low amount of innovation in what we see.
Big houses. Stages.
Picket fences. Beach homes. Brad Pitt. Magazine covers.
And unfortunately, this lack of creativity comes from the fact that most of our definitions of success are not personal to our lives. They’re simply inherited from others. These ideas may come from our parents…or Hollywood…or some slightly-over- weight-middle-aged ad man who drives a red convertible and gets paid far too much to create TV commercials. As Alain de Botton, author of “The Architecture of Happiness,” puts it,
“The interesting thing about success is that our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own.”
And therein lies the predicament because most of these modern definitions of success we inherit are apparently quite overrated. According to most common dictionaries, success can literally be defined as “the attainment of popularity or profit.” And though this obviously aligns with most of our associations, even the rich and famous seem to think that luxury and fame rarely amount to much of a life.
“Fame makes you feel permanently like a girl walking past construction workers.” – Brad Pitt
“Don’t try to be a billionaire. It’s overrated. ” -Bill Gates
“Fame is overrated and it frightens me when kids say ‘I want to be famous.’ “-Keira Knightley
“Even when a person has an abundance, his life does not result from the things he possesses.” -Jesus
Of course, we all know that money and fame aren’t inherently bad. Most of us understand the meaningful role finances and influence can play in life. It’s just that this modern definition of success is overrated because it’s incomplete. Money and fame have a way of informing our entire definition of success—leaving arguably far more important things like relationships, health or spirituality to be slotted in—and we’ve all heard the deathbed regrets that result. Of course, refusing to simply inherit our definition of success is not as much about where these inherited definitions will eventually lead us as much as it is about what they’re doing to us today.
Many of you are being driven by another person’s version of success and missing the unique existence that only you were meant to live. The reason being as elementary as we simply haven’t considered an alternative definition. What if success, today, looked more like your wife having life in her eyes than your savings account having more zeros? What would your life feel like if success was more about the impact you had on your colleagues lives than it was about those bottom line numbers and that year end bonus?
Perhaps it’s time we stop living someone else’s overrated life and re-engineer one that promises more than feeling like we’re never enough and a handful of deathbed regrets. Perhaps this courage to redefine success in his own terms is what defines a man? You can call it whatever you want—being faithful, meeting expectations, winning—but we all have a deeply felt need to be successful. This very normal human craving isn’t misinformed or bad.
One of my favorite songwriters, Brett Dennen, sings a simple line in one of his older songs that has stuck with me for years. Everytime it comes to mind, it always seems to free me from my small definitions of success.
“There are so many ways to walk upon the earth.”
– Tyler Ward