The moment for some might never come. The moment is reaching a point of no return. You see your life through new eyes. Something has to change because something already has inside.
The moment is a turning point. A pattern breaker. The series of moments that came before it lose their colour because life will never quite be the same again. The lenses that filtered those experiences take on a new hue; one that illuminates and saturates the present with clarity. I describe the point in a man’s life where he sees with stunning sharpness what he is and what he ought to be.
The disparity resonates with unmistakable distraction and shatters illusions with merciless abandon. As men, we’ve all felt it — or we will. The moment is a flash of insight that screams the discontent that lingers within.
UFC name-in-lights Conor McGregor experienced the moment on a construction site; for he hungered for the octagon. A friend of mine experienced the moment while serving a billion dollar corporation. His sights were set on living further afield. These men felt their sense of longing gnawing at their heels. They had to act.
In truth there may be many moments in our lives that shake us to the core and force upon us a renewed outlook. I, however believe there is a singular one that defines what we will become, it tears us away from a life where we ran aground.
The moment strips away who we were.
We start to live as we are. The process is long but the realisation is instant. The moment catalyses a beginning. The life I saw unfolding before me was not true to myself. I was ignorant. Inveterate habits unknowingly betraying the soul. A millennial echo of misplaced ambition. The confusion mounted in parallel with the listlessness of a generation.
Colloquial labels and loose descriptions shaped an incipient intellectual. I saw myself through the eyes of others, never once stopping to question if their assessments were true. I was a perfectionist and a visual learner; book-smart but lacking in common sense. Saddled with with these impressions I fumbled my way into the working world.
I was incompetent at just about everything.
I’ve been multi-faceted as long as I can recall. A renaissance man from a Council estate raised by a Mother who encouraged learning. She said that she wanted children who could converse with individuals from all levels of society. Well, I guess she succeeded.
I had the illusion of versatility. Though I was able to do most things and learn quickly I struggled to accept that I couldn’t apply the full force of my talents. The gifts born to me festered beneath the surface, supplementing my confusion.
I was my own worst critic. I looked inward with piercing venom and saw myself as deficient. I was a round peg in a square hole. I couldn’t fit in. In customer service roles I would lag behind, become inattentive and lose interest in manual tasks. Office work stifled my creativity and curtailed freedom of posture. Ambling into the world of finance I found my talents to see some utility. Though I could not reconcile the idea of a boss.
I always saw what others did not. Someone above me would always throttle improvement. At this stage in my life I was struck with a realisation. Where is my place?
My moment came.
There was something missing. I started to dig into theory surrounding personality and with a peripheral knowledge began to assembles the pieces of who I was. Discovering I was an INTJ granted context to the myriad of largely inexplicable decisions that shaped my life.
It began to create a different future.
I knew where my path was leading. I looked at others who shared my type and values. Prominent bloggers among an emergent collaboration of masculinity, masters of persuasion and human psychology – they all had one thing in common – they were their own boss. Their vision was potent and their lives were a reflection of their values.
This was my moment. I knew I could never conform to the establishment. I could never join the hoardes that remain content with their unassuming lives of servile obedience. Stagnating in a vortex of outsourced happiness, rarely striving for more beyond the horizon of their immediate concerns.
It might be different for you.
We’re all different. It’s tantamount to irony that I see it the most given how fond I am of typing others. Yet everyone is the culmination of their experiences. They maketh the man.
An awakening might cause you to see Western society for the trampled mess it is, swearing to uphold a higher standard for you and your family as you champion a life grounded in virtue. Others might eschew corporate enslavement, casting aside the shackles to live unbound in warmer climates. Surrendering to the ebb and flow of a life marked by solo adventure.
The moment is an individual ephiphany. It’s the pivot between the life left behind and a new dawn. If you are reading this, it’s a matter of time before you find it. The only other conclusion is you already have.
My own life more than ever is at a crossroads and I am torn between options and opportunities. Though I have never possessed a greater understanding of who I am and what I want from this mortal existence we fleetingly cherish.
The moment reflects the you that resides within. The inner self that should stand up and be counted. I refuse to bend to the will of our corporate overlords and I refuse to compromise on my authentic self.
My moment was realising that I won’t change.
I’ve been rebellious, defiant and obsessed with learning and improving as long as I can remember. I once thought the former qualities were a product of teenage animus or just an enduring character flaw, disconnected from the inquiring nature of my mind.
I discovered that it was the aggregate content of my soul. As an individual I will develop and alter but the maverick spirit will never be quelled. I’m intellectually curious, value authenticity and relentlessly my own man and unlike the missteps from the past there’s no hiding it.
I’m awake now.
If you haven’t found your moment yet, it will come. When it does realise that life is just beginning.