I’ve hired a contractor to do a job. No need to get into specifics of the job or stereotypes about the profession, I bring up the situation to speak to a larger point.
Two weeks ago, my contractor came over and I gave him his second check for my job. I’ve not seen him or the crew since. I do not think he ran away with the money. I have no concern that they will not return and finish the job (after all, if they do not, I get to keep the rusty wheelbarrow they’ve left behind). I’m not really in a rush for the work to be done — it does not affect my daily life too much.
My point is this…
I’ve called my contractor several times, wondering why his people are not at my place. To his credit, the contractor always calls me back. However, he begins the conversation with excuses (“oh, I lost my cell phone…”). I quickly inform him that I am not interested in his excuses, I just want an answer to my question of when I can expect work to resume. Again, he tries to explain his situation to me (“oh, one of my guys disappeared for a couple days, now he’s back…”) and again, I deliver the message that I am not interested in the excuse — no matter how valid. I just want know what you are going to deliver and when you are going to deliver it. And I want you to keep your word. If you cannot keep your word, I expect that you will communicate that with me. Do not make me chase you.
One of the Four Agreements is to be impeccable with your word. Say what you mean. Deliver what you say. While this certainly applies to women, I believe this dynamic to be rooted in masculine energies. As such, one of the keys to showing up as a powerful man is to be true to your word. Doing what you say keeps you in alignment and sends a strong signal to the world. Coherence is attractive and draws feminine energy to it.
Conversely, incoherence is highly unattractive. It’s unreliable, unconscious, erratic, and weak. It repels feminine energy. And in the grander scheme of things, it requires much more energy than standing by your word.
For example, as I mentioned, I called my contractor and expressed my displeasure on his voicemail. Now he’s got to call me back, do some somersaults and cartwheels dealing with a pissed off customer. While I give him credit for calling me back, wouldn’t it be easier to have a life where these situations do not occur in the first place? (You can be sure that this happens in his personal life as well). All it would have taken on his part is a 30 second phone call that informed me that he could not keep his word, that they could not be at my house today. Clear, direct, to the point.
While my contractor inspired this post, as someone interested in the law of attraction and living a very cool life, I’ve invested some time studying the respective roles of masculine and feminine energy. And I see lots of men who do not act like men. They show up like little boys; boys who are afraid to grow up and show up in the fullness of their power. The result is always the same: a life of frustration, of mediocrity, or as Pink Floyd sings, lives of “quiet desperation.”
I see it in men. And I hear the frustration from my female clients (by the way ladies, if you put up with it, you get what you deserve).
I could get into all the reasons men do not embrace their power, but that’s an entire piece unto itself that I will save for another time.
Instead, I’ll offer a few principles to keep front of mind.
1) Do not make excuses. Guess what? No one really cares about your story of why you did not come through. Really. No one cares. Do not mistake listening with caring.
An excuse is your way to try to distance yourself from responsibility. Save the story and just own it. Everyone makes mistakes. Own yours and retain your power. Yes, sometimes there are forces outside our control that affect your ability to meet your word. But as man, that’s your cross to bear (women have plenty of their own). Your shoulders are broad. Just carry it. Telling stories or resort to blame and you piss your power away.
2) Underpromise and overdeliver. A simple strategy, first taught to me by Thomas J. Leonard. Self-explanatory. Again, why people overpromise in the first place is another discussion.
3) Do not make promises. Believe it or not, not every one is built to make promises (the study of Human Design provides more insight on this). However, we are conditioned to believe that we are all supposed to make promises and to live up to them. But if you know you are not good at keeping your word, then come clean about that. Tell the person you cannot promise anything, or underpromise to the point where you are certain you can deliver easily. Of course, this can difficult when people are pressuring you to meet their desire for a clear answer — but standing firm in the face of pressure falls back under of our heading of What It Means To Be a Man. Either meet your promises or do not make them in the first place. Be self aware enough to know which category you belong in.
4) Communicate. My real issue with my contractor is the lack of communication. Yes, he has broken his word several times. And while that irritates me, the greater truth is that I am certain that this habit comes back to bite him in the ass just about every day of his life. He pays the real price, not me.
His life would be easier if he recognized the value of communicating cleanly. Whatever the reason, perhaps he cannot make it to my house on a given day. Things happen. All that is required is a quick call to inform me and things would be cool.
Why do men not communicate well? The simplest reason is that it’s easier not to. Communicating often means being present with emotional intensity — and that’s uncomfortable for many men. Nonetheless, it’s still part of being a man (that “emotions are for women” stuff is total cop-out bullshit).
So either begin to communicate or put some conscious attention on learning how to do so. Again, it’s your responsibility. Own it.
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…so this is something I feel strongly about and I do my best to live. From what my wife tells me, the fact that she can count on me to do as I say is something she greatly appreciates. If you’re a man, learn to act like it. And everything you attract into your life will take a quantum leap…