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Being A Deer VS. Being A Wolf

Episode #319

What does it mean to be a ‘deer or a ‘wolf’ in a relationship?

Deer behavior is best described as a misplaced desire to be a “good guy,” but it will make you the prey and the beta in the relationship.

Wolf behavior will position you as the alpha, channeling your masculine energy as a leader and a lover.

The more masculine you are, the more feminine she allows herself to be. Learn how to be masculine without being a dick. Show masculine energy from a healthy, loving, and open perspective. Join The Activation Method, take care of yourself to look better and feel better. Be real and honest with yourself and start doing masculine things.

In this episode, we will talk about the differences between deer behavior and wolf power and how to show your masculine energy as passionate and pure.


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Head over to our https://www.thepowerfulman.com/the-alpha-reset/ page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man. 

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Episode Transcript

Mark Smith  0:00  

A lot of guys don’t understand that the more masculine they are, the more feminine she allows herself to be. And one of the guys on the call earlier said that you took a risk, and because of wanting to be the nice guy and the fear of being what the guys will say, being a dick appears or behaving like that is that they’ll get rejected. And, what it is, is a situation of learning how to be masculine rapping with it.

Doug Holt  0:28  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of The Powerful Man show. I am your host, Doug halt, with my co-host and master coach, Mark Smith. Mark, thanks for being here, brother.

Mark Smith  0:43  

Thank you, Doug. It’s always great to have a conversation with you. I’m looking forward to today.

Doug Holt  0:47  

I am, too. I’ve been excited about this. We had to cancel this last week, and I wasn’t 100%. And you were so generous to do it. And we keep talking about doing more and more of these. And the response has been amazing. Guys, for those of you that aren’t familiar with Mark, first of all, you should get familiar with Mark. First of all, a kick-ass cool guy. But secondarily, a world-renowned, amazing coach, and he is the man that most of our guys will get introduced to as they start going through The Activation Method. So, you know, we’ve shared Mark’s story on a previous podcast. So go back and see some of that. Again, we’re just touching it like the tip of the iceberg, right? You’ve all seen that picture. We see that iceberg. And then you see under the ocean how massive it is what you can’t see. And that’s how I would describe Mark and his history. It’s just nothing is hidden. It’s just you’ve had such breadth and depth to you that most people don’t realize it. So guys, definitely check that out. This is going to be an exciting conversation. I’m looking forward to it.

Mark Smith  1:53  

Thank you, Doug. You’re always so generous with your praise. And I think that says an awful lot about you. And there’s also an incredible amount of skill and wisdom in you that you don’t brag about. So, at some stage, maybe we should have a podcast conversation where you tell your story.

Doug Holt  2:16  

Someday it’s hard. Tim likes talking about what he does. I always joke that all of us are almost like we’re brotherly. We call it The Brotherhood is our mastermind. But it is, you know, in brothers, I have two brothers, and the way we show love is by making fun of each other and poking at each other a little bit. Yeah. Good little roasting. So anyway, you have an interesting conversation topic on the table. I’ll let you kind of introit and lead us there.

Mark Smith  2:47  

Well, it came from you, Doug, you put this post on workplace about the deer and the wolf, and I love that image of the guy eating raw meat sort of having done a lot of that myself and not being a vegetarian, it was a bit strange, but I love the creative tension between the beer and the wolf and it spoke to me because as you said, through The Activation Method, I speak to a lot of guys. I find many of them getting stuck into the DEER kind of mode and don’t know how to get out of it. It seems to be something that has become a habitual pattern, and probably even taught by parents their dynamic then leads to the guy going okay, well, that’s how to make a woman happy is that I’ve just got to be the DEER I’ve got to, what is the acronym? Defend, Explain, Excuse, and Rationalize, and then I added Rescue. So we’ll get into that a little bit more. But I thought that we could start with you giving us a definition of the deer first and then talking to us about the wolf.

Doug Holt  3:57  

Yeah, so DEER, as you said, is an acronym. And again, guys, you can see yourself in this DEER mode, right? A deer will also go predator versus prey, but it’s defending yourself, which we talked about in the four horsemen training. In podcasts, guys in the Facebook group, and YouTube channel. There’s four horsemen training, but the third horsemen of the apocalypse of a marriage or relationship are defending themselves. The second one is explaining yourself. And we’ll talk about that because it’s similar to defensiveness and then excusing what’s going on and then rationalizing and what you added to that, Mark, which I think is awesome is rescuing. Right? And when men find themselves in the situation of deer, they find themselves subservient, right? They become the beta or the omega, but the beta in the relationship, and you know energetically, switches and those roles, but that’s how they find themselves. And I think what this happens, Mark and I know from my experience and I did this by the way, early on In my marriage, because it’s becoming the nice guy, it’s okay, this is my wife’s not happy, right. And this is the woman I want to stay with. So just leave in, and what you have is not off the table, but it’s not as on the table as it could be. And so I started becoming nicer. If I do more things in the house and then get in arguments, I would defend myself, make an excuse for what I was doing and rationalize the behavior. And I found that the polarity, the energetic polarity in our relationship, was the opposite, which was so weird because I was playing competitive sports at the time. I was doing all of these other alpha things and in business in the community. I was a leader, but I’d come home, and I was prey.

Mark Smith  5:47  

Yeah, very, very interesting. I’ve got a friend who, when his wife asks him to do something, he says, yes dear. That reminded me of your acronym. And so when it comes to the deer behavior, what do you think is driving it primarily?

Doug Holt  6:10  

You know, yeah, so, first of all, I want just to make abundantly clear that I didn’t make up the DEER acronym. So that’s been out there before. I never want to take credit for stuff that’s not mine. I don’t want anybody to get confused about that. But what I think is driving that deer behavior is the desire to be the good boy, the good guy, right? And I think it’s if we go back to childhood. Unless you’ve done a lot of work, you don’t; I think most men don’t want to go back there. I think it’s been when you have an absentee father in the relationship, right? And the mom is kind of running the show. What’s the saying? I think most sayings are mostly true. But the wife wears the pants in the family, in the home. And I think many guys, to get attention and love, did so as kids by being good. If I’m a good boy, then I get attention and love, etc., etc. You know, I see that with my child. Right? I see him trying different things just to get attention and love. Right? Yeah. So I think that’s where it’s, that’s where it thrives from, and Mark and for me, I literally remember, and this is almost a decade ago. But I remember trying to figure out why my wife and I were arguing and kept thinking, dude, at the time, was running three companies, right? So working wasn’t an issue for me and all these things. It’s like, All right, I’m going to get home, I’m going to take out the trash, all the things that she would complain that maybe I wasn’t doing enough, which I didn’t realize weren’t her real complaints. And I’m going to do this, and I’m going to cook. And I tried all these things, and then I would go into deer mode because I was trying so hard to be the good guy. And it wasn’t working, which would just lead to frustration for me.

Mark Smith  7:57  

Yeah, so thank you for saying that. That’s exactly where I wanted to go next. Because the good guy ends up becoming the bad guy, doesn’t he? When frustration builds up and builds up, and then that explaining becomes snapping. And all of that, doesn’t it?

Doug Holt  8:11  

It does, yeah. And then it leads to contentment. You get content because it’s like, I’m doing everything you’ve told me you wanted, da da da. Be clear this all the time, and guys use choice, you know, choice words, and the right to describe a woman. But she cannot be satisfied. Often, the woman ends up leaving for another guy who appears to be less than or has been less money to do fewer things. But he is not trapped, at least perceived to be in this deer mode. Right? Going through it.

Mark Smith  8:47  

Yeah, very, very interesting. And you said something earlier on about that it fluctuates as well. You said in competitive sports, you’re doing these other things, and you come home, and then you’d get into the beta mode. It also fluctuates; there’ll be situations in a relationship with a guy who isn’t in beater and deer mode all of the time. Is that fair to say?

Doug Holt  9:10  

yeah, absolutely. And I know you and I both have done a ton of work on masculine and feminine energy. So when you get good with that you can dance. You can have that dance. The problem is for many guys that they’re not in that mode where they can dance with it. They’re so struck into beta depending on what side of the Atlantic you’re on. And that’s where the problems can happen. But you can be dancing, there’s you know, there are men out there that like to be submitted in bed, right? That’s their sexual turn on and nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. The thing here is the choice, right? Are you in beta mode by choice and by your desire, or are you trapped in beta mode? That’s the difference.

Mark Smith  9:59  

Yeah, You’re right. I mean, I’ve done masculine and feminine training, and you speak about energy, and a lot of guys won’t necessarily get that. So how could you describe that masculine energy and feminine energy? So I came up with the Latin term Anima animus, which is how I learned about it. And I think it’s useful to just wrap it up for the guys to say what does that entail? Do you get what I’m saying?

Doug Holt  10:30  

I do. And you made me Google some stuff earlier. So anima and animus I think, you know, Mark, this is a long topic. So when you think of masculine and feminine energy, there are two sides of polarity, right? Masculine energy wants to well. You can think about it this way. In business, it’s predominantly a very decisive sport, right? You need to be decisive. You need to be assertive, not aggressive, necessarily, but assertive, yeah, that’s masculine energy. Right, that’s kind of the energetic force that comes through there. Now, guys, if you can imagine two magnets, so two rectangle magnets are what I’m picturing in my head about two inches or Mark, you can help me out the centimeters here, but two magnets, and there’s polarity, right, if you turn them one way they attract to each other. But if you turn the opposite way, they repel. And I’ll come back to why that’s important. Now feminine energy will be more the creative aspect, and it’s wild, it’s free when you think about free-flowing dance, art, poetry, right cooking can be considered go both ways. You know you can get masculine and cooking as well as you can with the other ones. But, you know, a bell-shaped curve, right? You know, 80% of things fall into this path. 

And what happens here is, for example, a very masculine man could decide that he wants to tap into his feminine energy by painting, doing poetry, or something else. You want to have both of these energies in your life, naturally. But again, it’s the choice. What happens with a lot of relationships. And this happened with my wife and me early on, is, if like the magnets, if you both have the same polarity, right, positive or negative polarity, so two feminine energies, when if you’re a deer, and your wife’s naturally a feminine woman, which 90% of women are right, then those magnets are going to oppose, there are going to be opposing energy in there. For example, if I decide to paint as an expression of myself, which I don’t do, but it’d probably be a good idea for me. And my wife’s in her feminine energy, the attraction, there just probably isn’t as visceral. However, I know you have a lot of experience with this. Mark, I’m going to ask you a question here in a second, is, if you’re constantly in that dance, you’re mostly in your masculine, you can still be very attractive to your feminine partner when you’re dipping in and out, right? Because she knows your true north is the masculine energy, it’s a lighthouse. But what I’d like to know is, what could you add to that Mark for an explanation for guys that are newer to this? This train of thought.

Mark Smith  13:15  

yeah, I’m quite glad you turned it around to me because I’m learning a lot from your Doug. It’s great to have that vision of the magnets, and I think that reacts to that creative tension. What many guys don’t understand is that the more masculine they are, the more feminine she allows herself to be. And one of the guys on a call earlier on said that he took a risk and wanted to be the nice guy, and the fear of being what the guys will say, being a dick, the fear of behaving like that, is that they’ll get rejected. What it is, is a situation of learning how to be masculine without being a dick. If I’m forcing it at the part of the path of force because of being snappy or it turns out to be aggressive or passive-aggressive, it doesn’t work. But if you are genuine, if you’re calm and centered, and you’re that lighthouse, and you can breathe, and you can say, Hey, honey, that’s not going to fly. We’re going to do it this way, and this is why. Please get it to get in the car we’re going out, you know? Oh, yes. Do you guys think the guys are scared of doing that? Because there’s also something else, I wanted to bring in society around us. We’ve had these things, and I think we’ve mentioned it before toxic masculinity. All of that to guys are scared of being these real powerful masculine leaders. So that’s the one thing guys just do it. Take the risk. Don’t do it from a place of pain or fear. Do it from a place of building up your masculine head of steam and gradually Get more powerful doing things that take you step by step into your power space. You know you can also do incredible things by building up to it before going into the house. Clear your head. We speak about decompression. Get yourself well exercised, know, and it’s good to have breathed out any frustration so that when you show up in a masculine fashion, it’s pure. That’s something that I just wanted to throw in there. The key is to be masculine from a healthy perspective, from a loving, open perspective, not from a blame and shame perspective or a bullying perspective. That’s not what we’re talking about.

Doug Holt  15:43  

And that’s exactly right. And I think my experience with many men is when they try this on, right, they try this new thing on, they almost go overboard, because it doesn’t feel natural to themselves. And it didn’t seem to me, they’re young guys, because, you know, my whole life I was taught, you never hit, and I still don’t. Never hit yell and women, you know, raise your voice and treat them with respect and admiration and dah, dah, dah. And that’s great to a point, right? And almost only it was almost ingrained in me as an overkill being the extra Mr. Nice Guy. And ironically, my dating life when I wasn’t that guy, and it took care of me. I was more attractive to women. So if I can, one thing that I think could be helpful, guys, when you think about it, okay, how do I beat this masculine guy marketing, get your kit and get in the car, and we’re going to go, right? It’s energetic. And what the heck does that mean? Right? So the way I think about it sometimes is, if a good friend of yours comes to give you advice and something you need to do, like, won’t say hey, john, john, man, you need to quit drinking so much at night, you’re blacking out. It’s not cool, man. And it’s not what you want for your future. And I care about you. If he comes and says that to you, it’s going to hit you and like, Wow, he just got really, he’s my boy. He’s got me. Right? The same conversation could be Johnny drinking too much or blacking out is not cool, right? That’s a different energy, same comments. But one, it could be defensive, and Whoa, like, why are you attacking me? The same thing comes with this masculine energy, you come about it, but you’re centered, as Mark said. You’ve done your alpha decompression, you’re centered in yourself, and you’re doing it from a loving space of I’m doing this for us that she’ll pick up on that quickly. And you’ll know right away her response will be like, Whoa, who is this guy? This is kind of cool.

Mark Smith  17:38  

Yeah, my wife will tell you that being the deer is simply not sexy. My wife says to me, and I don’t want another woman in a relationship with me. She says that if I wanted another woman, then I would go for a woman. Women want men. They want men to be free, and you know, there was that song wearable the cowboys have gone? I think it was. Who was it? Doesn’t matter. Had the name on the tip of my tongue. I think she went out with Lance Armstrong. Or it was Shania Twain anyway, and it doesn’t matter. Let’s get into helping the guys so they know what DEER is like and how to be. Yes, dear. Okay. And where does it come from? What about the masculine? How do we relate more of that masculine? We’ve spoken about it in short order. But to step into that wolf power, what other than joining The Brotherhood, that is, what do you think is a way to do that so that the guys can get a grip of the path?

Doug Holt  18:45  

Yeah, yeah. So we talked about The Powerful Man becoming the wolf versus the deer. And Mark, you developed a great acronym for that which I know, which can share with the guys. And what happens is us as guys, we get deactivated. That’s why we have The Activation Method, which Mark leads for men all over the world. But besides joining The Activation Method, what can you do? Well, you can start by taking care of yourself. And part of that is also the easiest thing for most guys, in my experience. This could be my background is lifting heavy weights, doing weight training, or some kind of rigorous exercises that will raise testosterone; it’s going to raise your confidence. You’re going to look sexier, right? When you look better, you feel better, just the bottom line. If you’ve been walking around like a marshmallow cool, just be honest with yourself and start working out and exercising and taking care of it. So that’s one thing you can do. Another thing that you know we often have guys do pretty quickly is getting real and honest with yourself. That’s the toughest thing to get real with where you are. Because when I think Mark happens to a lot of guys and me, we lie to ourselves, right? We lie to ourselves more; we lie to anybody elsewhere we think we’re more malice masculine or more alpha perhaps, and we are. And the data, the feedback that we’re getting in our relationship shows otherwise. So I think you got to get honest with yourself there.

Mark Smith  20:16  

Can I share something there?

Doug Holt  20:20  

What’s that?

Mark Smith  20:21  

Can I just share something? I’m listening to David Goggins’s book Can’t Hurt Me at the moment, and I love it. So when I’m going running in the morning, I’ve got David Goggins sort of this Navy SEAL who’s been in in the ocean carrying a log or carrying a canoe or something, and I’m thinking, I’m going to run five K’s, and I don’t feel like running six or seven. And David Goggins is in my ear, okay, I’ll run six or seven. Yeah. So, what he’s got is a brilliant tool, which you kind of alluded to there about getting real with yourself. He calls it the accountability mirror. He looks in the mirror, and he says, and he gives himself a reality check. And I think that’s a great tool to use.

Doug Holt  21:05  

Yeah, mirror work is amazing. There’s a lot of ways you can use it. I mean, David Goggins. I mean, imagine that guy, there’s a great book, where you’re living with a navy seal, I think it’s what it’s called. And we’re David Goggins goes and lives with a guy for a month and his house. Worth checking out. It’s a fun book. But anyway, yeah, it’s exactly what it is. Another thing you can do to step into your masculine is to start doing more masculine things. And what the heck are those, Doug? Well, a lot of them are traditional things.

Mark Smith  21:38  

The right question, run out of my mouth.

Doug Holt  21:42  

Well, a lot of them don’t have a rite of passage anymore. As men, you can think throughout history, we’ve had a lot of rites of passage. And I know Mark, along with Arthur, are working on a whole program for fathers, and we’ll talk about that another time, we’ll get you back on. But having a rite of passage masculine things are the adventure, right? Adventure is a very masculine energy. Do you go mountain near mountain biking out into nature? Can be very feminine, but can also be very masculine, depending on what you’re doing in nature? And getting ground is a very masculine energy to be in there. You can also think about other traditional masculine manly things and start doing them right, trying them out.

Mark Smith  22:27  

Yeah, I love that. You said earlier on heavyweights, you know, what works for me is just doing push-ups, if I’m feeling frustrated, or feeling as if I’ve somehow given away my power or not breaking through a barrier, an invisible barrier, I’ll drop into 25 or 40, push-ups, and just keep going until the frustration is gone. I also learned from an enlightened master from India, called Asha, whom I’ve got great respect for. He had a meditation used to promote active and really practical meditation, not just sitting there going on. And one of the phases in the dynamic of meditation was jumping on the balls of your feet. And just like doing that, to get that masculine energy drop into your balls. I feel that I had a couple of guys on The Activation Method group who said they found that useful. And I also sent them a video of the New Zealand rugby team’s guys during the hacker, you know, doing something tribal-like that is good for us. Chopping wood, doing those kinds of things is fantastic for that. We just get that sense of masculinity because we’re, we are knowledge workers, these days, we work on screens, we’re not using our bodies to their full extent.

Doug Holt  23:58  

Hey, sorry to interrupt the show. But I wanted to ask you a question. Do you ever feel like something’s just missing, like, there’s something more out there, and you just can’t put your finger on it? I get it. Go over right now to ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus to discover the system that other businessmen just like you are using. We’ve included 10 case studies, ten men just like you who have found the solution and found their way on their path. But we want to share that with you. Go over to ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus right away. Now let’s get back to the show.

Yeah, it was a funny aside to that if I can, as I was at an event, and it was men and women, so it was mixed. And I want to say 3000 plus people at such a big event, and part of it was dancing. It was like energetic dancing. And so they put on some very flowy music, which was like okay, but you know, you’re you know how it is you’re at an event. You’re going to try this on, right? If I’m here, I’m going all in. You start dancing around with some of the women and then turn on to more like electronic music, which has got. Okay, it’s a little bit more aggressive. But what happened, Mark, is they then put on tribal music, big drum beats, and everything. And probably about 20 of us guys just magnetically came together. And I’m talking very big masculine guys dancing, almost like a haka type dance and the energy that created and the fact that all of us got drawn into each other immediately, just showcases the power for what you’re talking about sinking into yourself, whether it be balls, or whatever, you just feel that collective energy, that most of us never have the opportunity to experience. Right. And once you’ve experienced it, it’s hard to get away from that.

Mark Smith  25:49  

I wonder if we could tune ourselves to a specific number of hertz that is feminine and the number of hertz that’s masculine, that would be amazing, isn’t it? Now, just thinking of that music, I do drumming with a Jim bear drum because I know for myself. When I’m in South Africa, I’ve got a circle of guys, and we drum together. And I think I’m brilliant. We enjoy it. And we get into a rhythm, but I get it that that sort of vibration through your body is a good thing for masculinity. Now, though, the acronym that I came up with was for the WOLF is W wise. And maybe you can say something about each of these as we go through them. O for open, L for loving, and F is fierce. So should we go through that?

Doug Holt  26:41  

Sure. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, sure. You came up with the acronym, and I just think it’s amazing. We’re going through. So let’s both bounce back and forth. So what’s W wise mean for you?

Mark Smith  26:53  

Well, instead of reacting, responding, or considering not responding, you know, she has a need. Then suddenly, I’m either rescuing her or I’m explaining myself or whatever is in the effect of her needs, moods, or wants or desires, it’s being wise enough to be able to stand back and to make a choice as to what I’m going to do here. And whether it’s for me or not.

Doug Holt  27:20  

Love it? Absolutely. And I think it is tapping into that wisdom. Right. And to me, the wise also are just being centered. Right. That’s one of the things I think of, of being wise, is you’re not reactionary, you’re being centered, and you’re able to determine the course. That is best for you and your family.

Mark Smith  27:38  

Yeah. Okay. And then open, what does Open say to you in terms of the wolf?

Doug Holt  27:44  

Yeah, so I think this was an interesting one; you and I talked a little bit about this offline, or of recording, open to me is a symbol that you are secure with yourself, right, which is, to me, is the true sense of power, right? A powerful man. And if you think about almost going in to go into a movie in your head, right? The big strong guy or the powerful guy doesn’t need to put armor on because he knows he can handle the situation; whether he can Ninja or whatever, he can handle it. Simultaneously, the really weak guy has to put on layers of armor because he doesn’t know how to protect or attack or whatever. And I think that happens emotionally. For us as guys, if we’re not given the tools to realize how strong we are and how to harness that strength and be activated, then we can’t be open. We close ourselves down by putting these walls up, these masks of who we want the world to think we are. And therefore we have to close down.

Mark Smith  28:46  

I love that. Because as you said, we spoke offline, and it’s really around the inner child’s putting on layers of protection, not knowing how to show up. The Powerful Man having systematically peel the onion taken away those layers of protection to be able to say, this is who I am, I’m feeling sad, or I’m feeling angry, I’m feeling whatever, you know, I’m feeling confused right now I’m scared of this. And that radiates healthy masculinity because it’s those shells and those shields, and overacting as a result which probably leads to the toxic masculinity, which isn’t masculinity. It’s a kid acting out and getting freaked out and then doing stupid things, right?

Doug Holt  29:33  

100% Yeah, it’s I mean, anybody that has kids or has been around raising kids, etc., that teenager aspect or that the 11, 12-year-olds having a temper tantrum, and that’s what the toxic masculinity becomes. 

Mark Smith  29:47  

Yeah, I’ve put holes in the wall at my parent’s home when I was a teenager. This is a wonderful journey and then the L for Loving, Doug, a lot of guys, perhaps confuse this with being, we think that we’re in the deer mode when we’re rescuing or rationalizing; we think that we’re loving. But that kind of one of my favorite words is subordinate. It’s kind of; Please love me, you know, rather than, what’s, what’s the difference between a wolf love?

Doug Holt  30:25  

Well, I think you nailed it right. So loving as a wolf is unconditionally loving, right? Because you’re so centered within yourself that you don’t need, I don’t need my wife, I don’t need Mark to love me, I won’t Mark to love me, but I don’t need a mark to love me to have my sense of who I am as a guy, right? My cup fills itself from within to pour over into others. Rather than running around everybody, we use the cup guys as the analogy of how full you feel inside yourself. I think many guys in deer mode are running to their wife, saying, fill me with love, fill me with attention. The women are running to their kids, right? That’s a common thing in a marriage. I love your acronym and love here, and it is really about I have the love within me. I don’t need it from you. We can have it reciprocated, right with my wife, come together, and love builds and flourishes, but I don’t need it. I think it’s a big difference. How about you? 

Mark Smith  31:30  

Well, I was just thinking as you were speaking there, something that I think will help the guys love themselves. Because that, for me, is something that’s missing. If you put yourself last to your family, your business, your wife’s needs, your parents, and everybody else, you put yourself last; your cup is empty. So you need to love yourself, and it took me years and as I’ve done many six years of working on myself because I needed to probably it was apparent at some stage not from an egoic perspective, but from a real perspective that I need to love myself. I mean, what’s the point of walking around in this body and caring for everybody else and living my life without loving myself enough to enjoy who I am and how I experienced those people around me because when I’m full of love, then I can give more

Doug Holt  32:31  

this man I can tell you from so I met I know that the old me listening to this is like what do you mean to love yourself? I remember Mark when my wife was gone, but some other amazing teachers told me, Yeah, Doug, you need to learn to love yourself. I was, you know, I’m a grown man at this point. I’m going, what do they mean to love yourself? I love myself. What are they talking about? And I left on a journey by myself, going from Santa Barbara, California. And I was headed to Crested Butte, Colorado, which, if you guys don’t know, it’s a journey, and I stopped by Bryce Canyon. So I’m by myself. I decided to hike in the Narrows and Bryce Canyon. If you guys have been there, you know what it looks like. Of course, you can google it very, some mystical, spiritual place. And on that path, I spent that whole time from the drive and the hike, focusing on self-love and trying to learn and listen to books and reading and get in tune with myself. Fast forward to a month in that experience in Crested Butte. And everywhere else coming back. I had a new appreciation and realization. Again, just the tip of the iceberg, though, at the time of what it meant. And I can tell you guys listening to this right now, based on my experience and experience, seeing 1000s of men go through these programs and just working with guys is a big missing factor. And it’s like one of those things that you don’t, at least in my experience, Mark, you don’t realize you need until you start to taste it. You’re like, oh, wow, this is what people are talking about. 

Mark Smith  34:05  

Yeah. I love that as you were talking there. I imagined myself in Colorado in that place. I’d love to go hiking there one day, and we must set up some outdoor adventures for the guys. Definitely.

Doug Holt  34:22  

We’ll do it. We’ll do an experience, and we’ll schedule an event. We’ll get the guys out there, and you and I will head off in the mountains as well. 

Mark Smith  34:30  

Okay, wonderful. The last one is fierce F for Fierce. What does that say to you?

Doug Holt  34:37  

Wow. So when you first said fiercely to me, before we just jumped on here. The first thing I thought about was aggressively going after your life like living life as if it was your last, and so there’s this can’t remember who said it. But it was a saying I think goes back to ancient Greece. That to live, you have to die to live. I think I think a lot of people play it cautiously. Oh, you know, Mark, you want me to be alpha; you want me to try this on, but what is my wife going to do dah, dah, dah. Look, if you’re in a sexless marriage, or your marriage isn’t working, who cares? Right?

Mark Smith  35:19  

What you got to lose.

Doug Holt  35:22  

You got to change something. Right? Same thing, if you’re in a job you don’t like or love, change it. Like you got to go afterlife as if this is the only one that you have. Maybe you got more. I respect everybody’s religious beliefs. But I think we can all agree that we have at least this one. Nope, so why not play full out with this one fiercely loving, fiercely, contributing fiercely? What have you? So that’s what came to me, Mark. I’d love to hear when you wrote down the word fierce. What came up for you?

Mark Smith  35:56  

It was interesting because I had to recently set a boundary with my daughter who’s been, Daddy, rescue me Save me. And I have held back, and it’s been tough for me. And I sent her a message to say to her, and my job is not to rescue you. My job is to be your dad and to teach you how capable you are of being this magnificent young woman that I see you be. Then I sent her another message because I thought this was putting her in place to say go after it. And then I followed it up with a message I love you fiercely. And that was really what stood out for me is doing what it takes, stepping to the line as Tim would put it, and being willing to step into the best version of me that’s possible and take a risk. I mean, we do live quite contained lives and comfortable lives. And this, David Goggins book has got me thinking about, you know, the creature comforts. There’s a whole lot of stuff that we don’t need, and we can get a whole lot more out of life by adopting a kind of a yes approach to whatever, you know, whether it’s, you know, running up a hill or loving your, your wife or growing your business or whatever, just grab some fierceness. Fierce is a I think it’s a wonderful word because it’s not angry or anything that’s over the top. It’s kind of raw. I see it as being that that raw power. Yeah, and I’ve seen alliance eyes when I was in South Africa. I had the privilege to be very close to a lion. And it was a lioness, actually, and she was behind a fence, and I was on a bicycle ride. And I just saw that there was an open gate, and I went to the crouch down, and it was a camp where the lions were kept, I think, when they were out of being either adopted or being convalesced, or whatever it happens to be. And she was just lying there, and I stared into these big yellow eyes, and I just felt raw power and, and I know that she’s fierce, she and it’s just below the surface it’s just bristling and bridling, which is with power, you know, so that’s what I kind of meant by it.

Doug Holt  38:23  

Wow, yeah. What a picture. Yeah, I think that’s beautiful. And I think that you know, we talk about this a lot, The Powerful Man, the scariest thing for a guy to do is raise their hand and say, You know what, I’m going to change my life, right? Because it’s scary to admit and it’s scary to do your mere work, look at having a conversation with the man in the mirror. Michael Jackson’s got that song. I’m looking at the mirror, maybe not the most masculine example. Still, the point is looking at the man in the mirror and you know, whether it be fierce but we also talk a lot about courage right. They’re close; they’re similar in some ways, and courage really is not being scared, and I think many people miss that courage young scared but doing it anyway—right and making it happen, which makes me think fiercely as well.

Mark Smith  39:19  

Yeah, I’m scared often. Let me just say that sometimes. Sometimes I see what my day has got lined up, and maybe I don’t feel fully prepared, or I think to myself, you know, what if you know. I get into that headspace, and then what we said earlier on helps me is that I’ll do some push-ups I’ll get into something masculine when I’m home in South Africa, I’ve got a punching bag that’s hanging up, and I’ll go and hit the punch bag or chop some wood, and that helps me kind of get out of my head because I think a lot of masculinity is about getting into our bodies and our heads as well. We overanalyze, and then worry, wreck, and then get into deer mode. And so I think there’s a physiological route to getting into the masculine. Have you got any other tips for the guys to get them into the masculine that have come up to you?

Doug Holt  40:14  

I think there’s a lot of little ones that can happen in there. I’ve done this with a couple of guys who know getting him into the rhythm is finding a masculine character or a video. There are a million clips on YouTube or things like that. Guys use Mark on YouTube look at this use Mark as your example, right? and embody that masculine character for just a little bit and get into that role. What would he do? Right? Like we talked about this, a lot of guys’ fathers like to what dad would you be? Well, I’m someone who messes with my daughter. I’m Liam Neeson and have taken the right skills. Everybody likes that idea, when you can kind of embody it a little bit, right? You can say the same thing and this other masculinity and just feel what it feels like and just start doing it and get repetition. Or as Mark says, wake up in the morning, do some push-ups, get that energy moving in your body or a punching bag, or I have, right next to my desk, I have kettlebells and mace and other things to do. Same idea, right? I’ll walk around before a call or something where I need to evoke that energy even more. 

Maybe for some of you guys, if it’s been a long, long time, get involved in martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or something where you’re having, it’s a challenge, challenge yourself as I guess what I’m trying to say, but challenge yourself physically, as well as mentally I think you’re going to see all kinds of areas of your life open up. And get in there, of course, I’m biased, Mark. But I also think The Activation Method is a great way for men to get activated. You know, I used to never talk about it. And then I was like, you know what, I’m, I’m doing a disservice if I don’t just be honest, and admit that I think it’s a great way for guys to do it, I realize it, guys are either too scared to jump in or for whatever reason is not the right time for them. And so there are other things that you guys can do to get into it. I’m not saying it’s the only way. It’s just a way to do it that I think is good. But whatever you do, to Mark’s point, is be fierce and do something. You know, don’t just listen to this as educational masturbation. Just go on going on to the next podcast to the next one to the next one man, I used to digest like 30 podcasts in a day, you know, out for walking meditations or whatever. It’s the action. Listen to one listening to this one now, take massive action on the insights that you get.

Mark Smith  42:45  

Yeah, and that’s masculine energy taking action, right. So that helps. Yeah, I love that whole thing of imagining. I tend to think of those guys who had the swords and the shields in the old days, and I’m sitting here in battle in England, where the battle of hastings took place. And what won the battle was archery. So my martial art used to be Judo when I was younger. Now it’s archery, which is a little bit more zen, but yeah, there’s, there’s a lot of value in really bringing up that masculine energy in yourself. And as Doug was just saying, you can do some really simple things to start building, building that up, and a good thing, get angry with yourself get angry with the fact that you’re stagnating or that you’re feeling like a bit like a muffin or for whatever it happens to be, you know, get a bit pissed off and do something about it. I think that’s, that’s great. When my daughter the other day when she was getting angry with me, I left a voice message, and I said, that’s great. Get angry, get feisty, I love it, then you’re going to do something. And guess what, she’s gone out and created some opportunities. So there you have it.

Doug Holt  44:02  

Yeah, I also think too often. I don’t want to get too many tangents. But all too often, we think anger is a bad emotion. I don’t think there are any bad emotions. I think anger can be harnessed in such a great way to be imagined in sport, right? Most of the men that come through the program played sports at one point or another, whether it be rugby, football, soccer, what have you. And remember getting angry during a sport and cause you to run faster or catch up or hit a little harder. Whatever it is. That’s channeled anger. That’s what you’re talking about. Take that anger. Get angry at yourself. Crap. I’ve been in this deer mode for a year, ten years. Twenty years, right for some guys. Whatever. It’s been cool. Now I know better. I’m pissed that I’ve been doing this now. Let’s channel and take some massive action, jump down, do 20 push-ups. If you’re like Mark, maybe it’s 40 but does some push-ups, and then and then you hit it and take some massive action, guys because again, it’s just going to be a problem more and more. So Mark, in wrapping up this conversation? What are three takeaways you’d like guys to get out of this conversation?

Mark Smith  45:14  

Don’t wait. There’s no time like the present. Because this conversation inspires you, act on it now, don’t allow the deer to come and sort of wrap some lovely firm over you and snuggle you back under the duvet of comfort and, and mediocrity or whatever it happens to be. So that’s the one thing to take action straight away. Another thing for me would be, get another guy to buddy up with you. I know, it’s been COVID and all of those things. But I found that I got up at all sorts of hours in the morning and went for a 100-kilometer bike ride every Saturday and Sunday because I had a cycling partner. I knew it at half-past five or 6 am, and he’d be waiting for me. I couldn’t let him down. So and vice versa, it worked for him. So we’d meet and then and then go for a ride. So that’s the second thing. What would be the third thing, I’d say probably, that you will rank yourself down the line; you may not see it now. But your relationship will benefit you from taking risks and getting into your masculinity in a strong, healthy, and consistent way. And just keep going, keep building it. Because you’ll create that tension between the masculine and the feminine, and she will thank you for it. And so with your children, because if you’re a father, you’re a leader of little girls and little boys. And they’re looking up to you to see how it’s done. So if you’re not going to do it for yourself and love yourself enough, then at least do it for them.

Doug Holt  46:51  

I love that massive leverage, right? So guys, listen to what Mark has to say here. I mean, years and decades, excuse me of experience.

Mark Smith  47:00  

That is only making you seem old.

Doug Holt  47:03  

Leading yourself, well, you told me you said 26 years. I think you’ve been working on this stuff with yourself and coaching other people to do it their way in the best way possible. So take Mark’s words, guys, and again, take some massive action. Mark, always amazing talking to you. Thanks so much for taking the time today. Man, I appreciate you being on here.

Mark Smith  47:26  

You just have to give me time in a zoom meeting. And I will be here.

Doug Holt  47:31  

That sounds great. Well, I’ll take you up on that. Gentlemen, as always, take massive action. Like I said, take a look, listen to Mark’s words. Maybe go back and rewind this and listen to especially his last three takeaways. And guys, if this is your first time here with us, go over to ThePowerfulMan.com/Bonus. You can pick up the reignite cheat sheet. That’s a great way to use it in your relationship right now. It’s practical, and it’s free, right? There’s no barrier here for you to get that. And if you’ve been with us for a little while, what I’d love for you guys to do is I always say leave a review, but I love for you to go to the Facebook group and leave a comment and let us know what you got from this particular podcast this show. If you’re on YouTube, you can drop a comment in there. Of course, a lot of you guys are getting this on iTunes or Spotify. So run over to that Facebook group and just drop a comment, be fierce about it and step into your wolf. Rather than hiding out, making excuses, etc., and being the deer. Alright, gentlemen, as always, have an amazing week. We’ll see you next time on The Powerful Man show.