Manning Up & Finding Meaning

On the weekend I watched (and blubbered my way through) the brilliant ABC series Man Up. This three part series chronicles the adventures of radio host Gus Worland on his mission to save Aussie men from depression and suicide.

What Gus did so well, was highlight the travesty behind Aussie men in believing they must at all costs, ‘get on with it’, ‘grow a pair’, suppress their emotions and god forbid, never cry.

This inability to express vulnerability very often results in depression, suicide and traumatised families who have no idea of the extent of the problem until tragedy occurs.

[In Australia, suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 15-44. In 2015, 2,292 men died by suicide.]

In bed last night I couldn’t sleep for hours. I was mulling it all over and over in my head and thinking about the men in my life. I came to the conclusion that part of the ‘Man Up’ conversation must be about how we can engage men to seek more purpose and meaning in their life.

So many men are almost solely identified with their work that they’ve lost sight of what really matters – their health and wellbeing, their family and making a contribution to the world beyond themselves, being of service to a higher cause.

Over the past two years since building Slow School and through our Talk on Purpose program I’ve had the privilege of working with a number of real men ‘manning up’ – men who’ve found meaning at both work and home.

Oliver Zimmermann is one of these men. He beat depression with cycling and in doing so helped thousands of orphans in Thailand with his wonderful wife Irma.

Read their stories and watch their courageous talks here:

Oliver: How Two Wheels, Blindness and a Black Dog Changed a Life

Irma: How Turning Your Life Upside Down Makes it Right Way Up

If you’re a man ready to man up and search for meaning, bravo to you! You can be sure that other men are waiting in the wings ready to follow your lead. And there’s no time like the present.

Love Carolyn

[BTW: Men that are vulnerable, that cry and that have meaning and purpose in their life are the biggest turn on to us women. Just sayin’. ]