This is a very complex and deep book to get into, nonetheless it has been one of the greatest and most influential recent reads on my character. The majority of it is too personal and intense for me to get into a full summary, however, I will summarize the largest and, in my opinion, most important section of the book: Part 1, A Man’s Way. Below are a list of the chapters in part 1 and the core lesson I received from each one. Enjoy:
(Disclaimer: While the book is called The Way of the Superior Man, Deida makes it very clear that the book is not necessarily for men only. He states that the book is a guide for those with a masculine energy and a way to under the masculine from the perspective of those with a feminine energy. Deida delves deeper into the differences between masculine and feminine energy in the book, but a key component of each: someone with a masculine energy may be very into relationships and love, but they know, deep down, that the most important thing to them is their purpose in life. Someone with a feminine energy may be very involved and dedicated to a mission or career in life, but at their core, they will never be satisfied unless there is love flowing in their relationships. Men tend to be more masculine, women tend to be more feminine, and some people are balanced, but this is not always the case)
And so it begins:
Stop hoping for a completion of anything in life – If you are not doing it now, you will never do it. Dedicate at least an hour daily to doing whatever you dream about doing. You may find you cannot or do not want to actually do it, it is just that: a dream. Men who lived significant lives never waited for anyone or anything.
Live with an open heart – When bad things happen to us, we tend to close ourselves off literally and figuratively. Practice opening yourself up in bad times. Open your body to the unkind world and open your mind and heart to the pain it is going through.
Live as if your father were dead – Live free of your father’s (or applicable role model) expectations and criticism.
Know your real edge and don’t fake it – Know what your limits are, admit them to yourself, and live right on their border. Don’t try to live too far into your fear or too far away from it, but rather at the edge of your comfort zone and stay right there. It will expand. Fear shall become your friend.
Always hold to your deepest realization – Make your life a process of living in the moment and being who you truly are in your freest moments.
Never change your mind just to please a woman – Trust your own wisdom. Listen to advice, take it into account, and make the decision that is best for you.
Purpose before relationship – A man’s purpose in life is his mission. If you neglect that for a relationship, you will suffer and the relationship will suffer.
Do it for love – When you really make love with a woman, you are fully giving yourself to her and losing yourself in her. This is how you should approach the world and your life. Women and the world will test you to see if you really are capable and worthy of giving yourself and your gifts fully to them. Give it all anyway.
Enjoy your friends criticism – You and your friends should challenge each others mediocrity. Don’t support each other without challenge. Your friends should know where you are, where you want to be, and challenge/criticize you in a way that will help you reach there.
If you don’t know your purpose, discover it now – Without a purpose, a man is lost and uninterested in the world.
Be willing to change everything in your life – Your purpose is like an onion. You must peel back layers and layers of purposes in order to get closer and eventually reach your deepest purpose. Do not try to skip ahead in this process, accept it and lose yourself fully in your current purpose. It is easy to be disappointed when you succeed or fail at a purpose and realize it is not what you expected. It is simply preparation for your deeper purpose. Be ready to change everything in your life if you must when your current purpose is complete.
Don’t use your family as an excuse – Don’t cheat your family by cheating yourself out of your purpose. Love your family and devote yourself to them, but know your highest priority in life is your mission.
Don’t get lost in tasks and duties – Don’t be so absorbed in accomplishing unimportant tasks that you forget about your deepest purpose and the present moment. If you died right now, would your last moment feel right, dissolving into your love or being engrossed into a irrelevant task or duty.
Stop hoping for your woman to get easier – Women, at least the women that will attract you the most, will always test you in all kinds of chaotic ways. If you can remain grounded in truth and love (humorous, strong, happy) through her tests, you pass her tests.
“Stop waiting. Feel everything. Love achingly. Give impeccably. Let go. Repeat with whatever remains as long as you are moved to do so. The way dissolves wide open.”