The Way of the Superior Man Summary
As Benjamin Franklin said “Most men die at 25, we just wait until 75 to bury them”.
Franklin wasn’t talking about men physically perishing at the quarter century mark, he was referring to their will and purpose.
Most men set out with grandiose plans and goals in the beginning, yet after hitting adversity and road blocks (which are absoultely necessary!) they give up.
They spend their days as a shell of their former selves.
They appear alive, yet they’re dead inside.
David Deida’s ‘The Way of the Superior Man’ details how to find your purpose, increase your depth of awareness and be authentically masculine.
I’ve read this book a couple of times over the last few years however haven’t published any actionable info from it, lo and behold here’s my The Way of the Superior Man summary!
There Will NEVER Be A Day When You’re “Done”
We all fall victim to the misconception of doing X now so we can do Y later…
That’s not how it works.
“Most postponements are excuses for a lack of creative discipline.”
You can’t spend day in day out working in a dead end job, living under the belief that in the future you’ll actually focus on that job you really want.
That’s BS and it’s a surefire way to reflect upon life later and see regret.
As David says “Aslong as life continues, the creative challenge is to tussle, play, and make love with the present moment while giving your unique gift.”
Your Priority Is ALWAYS Your Mission
“Every man knows that his highest purpose in life cannot be reduced to any particular relationship.”
You cannot place people, relationships, material possessions or anything for that matter in higher regard than your purpose.
Without a defined mission and purpose you’ll feel hollow inside, you’ll weaken yourself and disserve the universe.
Should you disregard everything and anything outside of your mission? Absolutely not! Just make sure you’re allocating enough focused time to your mission each day.
Find Your Edge & Lean Slightly Beyond It
“In any given moment, a man’s grtowth is optimized if he leans just beyond his edge, his capacity, his fear. He should not be too lazy, happily stagnating in the zone of security and comfort. Nor should he push far beyond his edge, stressing himself unnecessarily, unable to metabolize his experience. He should lean just slightly beyond the edge of fear and discomfort. Constantly. In everything he does.”
Comfort – be it in the gym, your job or your own entrepreneurial ventures is a sign you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.
When we’re relaxed and comfortable we’re either not progressing at all or progressing far too slowly for our own good.
If you constantly put up the same numbers on your bench press you’ll find your workouts are easy and comfortable… but you’ll find your chest isn’t growing and your bench press maximum remains the same.
Up the weight too much and you’ll likely injure yourself, ensuring you won’t be able to step foot in the gym for a while due to not only physical injuries, but also an injured ego.
You must become friends with your fear and go just beyond what your comfortable with, in all facets of life.
If you’re comfortably approaching 6 new prospective clients a day and you’d cause yourself undue stress and stretch yourself too thin approaching 10 new clients a day lean beyond where you are now and settle for 8. Once this becomes comfortable it’s once again time to lean further!
Live it Until it Bores You (Then Move On!)
“Each purpose, each mission, is meant to be fully lived to the point where it becomes empty, boring, and useless. Then it should be discarded. This iss a sign of growth, but you may mistake it for a sign of failure.”
There’s no written law stating that you must stick with a certain mission or project for all of eternity.
If you’re no longer feeling it, if there’s no longer any interest (as long as this isn’t due to fear!) then consider taking the lessons and skills you’ve amassed along the way and moving on.
Do not see this as failure and force yourself to endure that which does not interest you.
Talk About It
“A man’s capacity to receive another man’s direct criticism is a measure of his capacity to receive masculine energy.”
Keep each other accountable and seek guidance from likeminded individuals often. Once a week, once a fortnight – whatever plays into your schedule.
State where you’re at, what problems you’ve ran into and take on feedback.
The key here is to ensure your friends are also leaning slightly beyond their edge and are actively facing their fears too.
Open Your Chest & Breathe Deeply
“The front of your body, especially your belly, is the place where your energy meets the energy of the world.”
I personally advocate using the box breathing technique…
You must begin sitting up, you won’t be able to use the box breathing technique if you’re laying down.
Exhale all the air out of your lungs.
Inhale through your nose for a slow count of 4, allow the air to fill you up to your abdomen.
Hold your breath for a slow count of 4.
Exhale all of the air you inhaled for a slow count of 4, exhaling through your mouth.
Once all of the air is exhaled begin to count to 4 slowly before inhaling your next breath.
Repeat for 10~ minutes per day or whenever you need to increase your energy and decrease your levels of anxiety and stress.