Posts Tagged ‘Alpha Attitude’
By now the Alphas out there know how important resilience is and what it takes to learn it as a skill. We know that things never go perfectly, that the secret is to try and try again and it is facing the challenge and the resulting perseverance that makes us stronger and more effective. Well, it is always a good thing when science tells us we are on the right track.
A recent study found that the most resilient and adaptive among us – those with lower levels of distress and higher levels of satisfaction – were also those who had faced some level adversity in life. They reported the classic U-type function we see in many relationships, such as anxiety and performance; wellness and resilience are maximized at moderate levels of adversity. A life that offers little challenge or adversity or one in which the adversity is beyond a certain level that allows for adaptation can both lead to lesser resilience and impaired functioning.
So seek challenge, do not run from it, but also remember that we all need time away from it as well, time to recuperate, regroup and re-commit.
“What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger,” wrote the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche in Twilight of the Idols. Besides being a monumentally manly thing to say, there’s a great deal of support for the idea, even if Nietzsche himself was a little crazy. “Strength does not come from winning,” said a famous Austrian who went from bricklayer to bodybuilding champion to California governor. “Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Next time your struggles seem overwhelming, think about Nick Vujicic, and be inspired…..
Not everything in life is as we might want it. We all have days when our problems seem like a heavier burden than usual. Sometimes, our burden may seem overwhelming. How we deal with those days is in large part what defines us. It’s what True Alpha Attitude is all about.
The synergism of resilience, perseverance, level-headedness, and an internal locus of control is the concoction underlying mental toughness — a key component of Alpha Attitude. Sports psychologists maintain that mentally tough athletes have a higher pain tolerance, rehab quicker, and cope better with exertion. These are the play makers. Business psychologists have identified this trait as a major factor in separating those who are and are not financially successful. These are the players.
As far as I know there is no machine in the gym that makes one mentally tougher. It is also not something that is simply created through conscious choice or we all would be mental tough guys. Read the rest of this entry »
In Alpha Male Challenge, James and Rick discuss what it means to be an “Alpha Male” in an age where men and women are legal and economic equals. As in the traditional view, an Alpha Male is “masculine,” but they present masculinity as a wholly positive trait: it’s about what a man is (i.e., an acknowledged leader striving to be at his physical, emotional and intellectual best) rather than what he isn’t. A true Alpha Male is his own creation. He doesn’t need others to be weak to feel assured of his strength. He doesn’t need to hold others in contempt to feel confident about himself and his place in the world. He’s authoritative, without being authoritarian.
This is a message that needs to be more broadly shared, as too many people are unclear on the concept. Take, for example, this recent article by Amanda Hess, posted at washingtoncitypaper.com. Titled “Who is to Blame for an Effeminate Man?”, Hess (properly) takes “Dr. Laura” Schlessinger to the woodshed for her lame solution to a problem posed by a reader, “Andrea.”
In writing Alpha Male Challenge, James and Rick had an ambitious goal: to create a roadmap that men could follow to reclaim their masculinity, physically AND psychologically. It’s the latter part that makes the book truly unique, IMHO. As skilled trainers, it would have been easy for them to write a solid diet/workout book; but they went well beyond this to tackle values, too. The result was a transformational set of ”Alpha Attitude” drills, designed to improve men intellectually, emotionally, and socially.
But there’s only so much territory that can be covered in 10 weeks. This is why I’m offering up a “bonus,” Alpha Attitude drill for your consideration. It’s a simple thought experiment: all you have to do is put yourself in the situation detailed beneath the fold, and think about how an Alpha Male – like you - would have handled it.
Many people feel they have the strength and toughness to get through anything life throws at them. A true alpha can adapt and survive no matter what.
Let me put you in a scenario… You get hit by a car and have severe head trauma. You finally get out of the hospital after spending 6 weeks in a coma and 3 1/2 months in the hospital. You leave the hospita lto find you aren’t the same person mentally and physically. You find yourself slipping into a depression and think the answer to fix it is alcohol. Your last drink you pass out and probably shouldn’t wake up due to the excessive amount you had. But luckily you do. Do you continue down the dark path or do you find another outlet to deal with your emotions?
Dan Cox, a true alpha, found his outlet. FITNESS! Check out Dan Cox’s inspirational interview!
Rick’s 2010 “Leap for Life” event will take place on the weekend of August 21 – 22. Last year’s jump was a massive success - Da Man ultimately raised over $15,000 for cancer research. This year, he’s aiming to beat that total – but he can’t do it alone, so this year’s jump will be a cooperative effort. If you’re ready to take the plunge, click here to join the fun… and practice the 4 “Cs” in the bargain.*
Of course, it can’t get done without donors, either. I kicked in $150.00 last week, and will donate more as the day draws nearer. Yeah, money’s tight – but for me, it’s personal… I watched my father die of cancer barely a month after my son – his grandson – was born. In addition, one of the best friends that I have in this world is a cancer survivor. So as far as I’m concerned, cancer research is worth every dollar I can spare.
If you feel the way I do, visit Rick’s “Leap for Life” page at www.leapforlife.org. Please donate what you can (every little bit helps!) or sign up to make the leap yourself. It’s the True Alpha thing to do!
*Commitment, Confidence, Courage and Conscience
Last month, Harvard’s “Men Against Rape” invited Michael Kimmel, author of “Guyland,” to the campus to explore the “Perilous World Where Boys Become Men.”
Kimmel’s focus was on the worst of the gender – disenchanted, predatory rapists. But Harvard student Rachel L. Wagley (’11) takes Kimmel to task in her essay in the Harvard Crimson.
An optimistic male audience member asked Kimmel how we can re-inspire manly virtue and create noble men. Kimmel responded that there are no good distinctively manly qualities, rejecting the uniqueness of manhood in a room full of talented men.
Wagley disagrees, taking the position that there’s more to men … and to manliness.
Denigrating manhood harms society because when we assault manliness, we devalue men. Take a moment to admire Heinrich Harrer’s aggressive spirit of pursuit, Tom Sawyer’s territorialism, Nelson Mandela’s courage, and the stranger in the courtyard who held open the gate. Endless illustrations of manly nobility, honor, and courage abound on Harvard’s campus. To Harvard men: You are worthy of honor and respect.
Research at the University of Pennsylvania used Magnetic Resonance Imaging to look at brain activity during sustained attention and found that, over time, our ability to maintain focus, recognize important events and make decisions declines. Simply put: we’re limited as to how long we can concentrate.
Likewise, self-control is like a muscle – it can be exhausted, it requires rest to return to full strength, and can even grow stronger with exercise. Our ability to concentrate is an important part of self-control, and it is also limited. The take-home message is to be conscious of our limited ability to maintain vigilance; plan ahead, create a structured program we can follow fairly easily, and allow ourselves time away from temptation by limiting the choices we have available.
No need to try white-knuckling it all the time – your brain is working against you. In time, our new plan will become as automatic as the old one.
Is it really necessary that we display “levels of sensitivity usually found in females”? Should we all be the same? Perhaps male sensitivity is expressed in different ways.
Just as testosterone does not MAKE us aggressive, less oxytocin does not MAKE us insensitive. We can cultivate this characteristic in a manner that is consistent with our maleness by developing our Alpha attitude.