In this episode, we have a guest speaker, David Maxwell. David is a coach, speaker, former pastor, and just incredible human being, empowering men around the world to move into their full potential.
See show notes: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e115-becoming-an-unbroken-man-with-david-maxwell-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes
In this episode, we have a guest speaker, David Maxwell. David is a coach, speaker, former pastor, and just incredible human being, empowering men around the world to move into their full potential. I met David when I was coming back from a workout, as he was going to work out, and we kind of cross paths, and we stood in this hallway we're at a convention. We're in this hotel, we're just talking, and I'm just something about his presence that made me want to stay engaged in his story and journey. I asked him about, you know, why are you here? What are you doing? Why bother going through the travel during COVID and showing up and paying for the hotel in the whole nine and that kind of back and forth that happens. He said something really interesting to me.
For a long time, I've contemplated this idea and understanding within myself what it means to be a man? And I wouldn't say that this is a conversation that ostracizes women from it, not by any scope of the imagination. Some of the information that David shares are profound; I think if you are in a relationship, a man or woman was trying to understand men better, or a human was trying to understand the human capacity better, whatever that means for you. The conversation I had here with David today was really beautiful, really powerful, and moving. I hope you will bring a lot of value to your life.
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Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world. Super excited to be joined by my guest today, David Maxwell.
David coaches men on how to live a life with purpose and passion. He spent 25 years helping men feel confident in who they are and the decisions they make is also the host of The Confident Man podcast. David, my friend, I am so excited to have you here. How are you today?
David: Hey, Michael, I am doing well. Thanks for being here. I'm excited to talk to you and your community.
Michael: Yeah, The Unbroken Nation is going to be super excited about this conversation, the value we're going to bring today. I'm just gonna dive right into confidence as a man, is something that has so many different nomenclatures around it, you know, being egotistical that you'll be maniacal, to being narcissistic, to being a Bro, to being the whole nine. And I recall early on, you ruined my journey, 12, 13, or 15 years, being in my early 20s and just not really understanding what confidence was or self-esteem, and finding myself, 27 years old going, I have zero self-esteem. Talk to me about why that's so prevalent for men and what your mission is in trying to change that nomenclature?
David: Yeah, I think for a lot of guys. Well, that was my story. I mean, I started the process at a right around 29. My son was born and I figured out one, you realize you don't know how to be a dad but also didn't know how to be a man. My parents divorced when I was young, and I had different abuse situations happen in my life when I was little, that really kind of, I didn't realize because when you're a kid, you don't know, but as I grew up, those kinds of became the center of who I was, and what I did, and what a lot of guys do is when they're not sure who they are, they're trying to find their validation outside themselves. And I think that's where a lot of guys are today, they don't know who they are just as a person, they don't know how to live, and so what a lot of men do is they latch onto the success model, the get as many women as I can model, and those are the things that say those are their mind. I'm proving that I'm a man. I have money, I'm a man. I can have sex, I'm a man. And so those are the things that a lot of guys turn to because they don't know what else to do, sometimes it was the model shown to them, sometimes it's just the influence of society, they're like, well, that's what the movies tell me I should do. And so I think a lot of guys are out there doing all of that but the problem is, a lot of them are realizing kind of in the back of their mind is this it. You know, there's a quote from Marie Antoinette, I don't know if it's a genuine quarter, not but supposedly right before the French Revolution. She said that Nothing tastes which means that they had so much of everything that nothing really made them happy anymore.
And I think for a lot of guys, they're trying all of this stuff and they think this is what's going to make me feel like I'm a man, this will validate me as a man, but then it doesn't. So then they're like, well, maybe I should move on to the next thing, that's why you see a lot of guys go from relationship to relationship to relationship because they're trying to find that woman that they think, once I get the right woman, everything will fall into place and not realizing that the issue is really within them. And that's the part that a lot of guys are scared to do to go within and do what I call the journey with them, which is really the scariest journey for most men.
Michael: Yeah. And so many things really hit home for me. I look at myself in my 20s and being chasing money, chasing girls, chasing possessions, and being miserable from the outside looking in you would go, wow! Michael has it all figured out but I was with a disaster and I was destroying everything around me, and without hitting this rock bottom moment I really wouldn't know what to do, I probably wouldn't be talking to you right now. And one of the things I'm always thinking about is like, how do you mitigate the risk of rock bottom to create change in your life when the only thing that you've ever known is the measurement? So, me growing up without a father or father figure or father figure, that I have to be abusive. I look towards movies and rock stars and created this identity of what a man is supposed to be based on those things. So it was money, girls, cars, clothes, drugs, and that works really well until it didn't because I had to sit there and look at my life and go, this is a disaster. When you think about what it means to be a man, what is it? Like, how would you define that?
David: Yeah. Well, I use the term confidence because to me a confident man is not a cocky man, it's not a man who thinks he knows everything. To me, a confident man is a man who knows who he is, he knows his strengths, he knows his weaknesses, he's a man who's willing to say, you know what? I'm pretty good at this, I'm not so great at that. A lot of, guys, their insecurities makes it where they can't admit, that kind of stuff, they can't say what, they're not good at, they just want to be better than someone else, they're always trying to one-up someone else to make themselves feel better. But a confident man doesn't have to do that because he knows who he is, he doesn't need that validation from outside because he has it from within now, that doesn't mean he doesn't grow, he doesn't change, that's the point of it. When you're confident in who you are, you're more willing to work on yourself. You're more willing to say, you know what? I'm not good at this, or gosh! I'm not really great at communicating, I want to become a better communicator because you're willing to do that because it doesn't change who you are, you're just getting better at things, and that's what a lot of guys. Don't even have the tools to do, they don't even recognize it because, no one's ever said it to them, and no one's kind of woken him up to that idea that; ‘Hey! you know, you're living in a 2x2 room when you need to take the walls down and see the whole world’ and a lot of men are sucked in their two by two-room with the posters of the rock stars, in the movie stars, in the sports stars, and they think this is life, you know, realize there's a whole world out there that they can't even see because they're stuck in that little room.
Michael: Yeah, and it's so easy to be stuck in that room because it's safe. And I think about one of the hardest parts, and navigating this journey for me was like a step being into the fear of recognizing that I have the power to kind of create who it is that I wanted to be as a man, but also probably the scarier part of that was having to reframe who it is that I was as a man and who I looked up to as men in my life and in my community and often having to the most difficult part of this I would say is remove those around me who did not support the narrative that I was trying to create. When so much of what it means to be a man is influenced by our community, our neighbors, our peers, you know, our drinking buddies, the guys, we go talk about sports with, how do you like to start to step into that in a way that's practical? Because I think from one aspect it's really easy to look at life and say, oh I'm going to mimic model master of this guy over here, and your environment, negatively reinforcing, the idea that you've changed, one of the quotes; I always come to, and I know The Unbroken Nations probably tired of me saying it, but it's important is Jay-Z, he said there's quotes one of my favorite. I'll paraphrase “People always saying that you changed, well, I didn't do all this work to stay the same.”
Now, how do you know about the process of creating a simulation in the change process of trying to mimic model master? Whoever it is, you are determined to be a confident man. So you can step into that in your own life?
David: Yeah, I think for a lot of guys, that thing they have to do is begin to find what I call purpose, and what you do is you help them to see that purpose is not a thing, it's not a thing you can grasp like your purpose is not to make a million dollars that may be a goal, but that's not really a life purpose. And a lot of guys are living their lives with no real purpose, what they're doing is they're living their lives for their goals and those goals usually come out of their own insecurities. So what you do is you help them to start looking deeper and finding bigger purposes and purpose that really change is a purpose that's outside of yourself. A man who's just living for himself, that's not really a purpose, that's selfishness. And you won't be a great husband, you won't be a great dad, you won't really make a difference in other people's lives because you're really living for yourself. Even if you are doing things for others, you're doing it from a selfish motive, and that selfish motive, I won't ever go away, so you won't really be able to enjoy it. Like there are people out there who have a lot of money and they give away a lot and that's great that you know, I'm glad they do. But if they're doing it out of a selfish reason, to kind of show everybody how good they are, giving show everybody how successful they are, they've lost all the joy of actually giving and helping because they've done it with that motive that's focused inward. And purpose has to be developed outward, it has to be that I'm here to help others, I'm here to touch others, I'm here to help other people live their life. Now, it doesn't mean you can't be successful, in fact, the people who are the most successful are the ones who are actually living for a purpose greater than themselves. You know you look throughout history, you look at someone like a Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill; these are people who did something outside of themselves, they were imperfect people, they didn't always get it all right, but they had a purpose that was bigger than themselves and that impacted others and what happened they found their destiny within that purpose.
So I think one of the biggest things we have to do for men today is helping them to see outside of their own little world that, hey, you're not just here for you, if you have a family, you're here for them, if you have a business, you're there to impact people, you know, and just I like what you do with your life. You had that moment where you change but you also began to see, I want to help others with this. And as you did that, what's happened? You develop more of yourself by wanting to help others, and I think that's where a lot of guys are missing, is their living so in word selfishness, that they're not thinking that they're here to really help other people, and so, they're missing that whole aspect of their life.
Michael: Yeah, that's such an incredible and poignant thought because what I'm always thinking about is of being in service because if I were rewind to my life, as a man is a disaster, it was me first, me first, me first, because I was equating achievements, right? To this idea that this is what it means to be a man, and like, what some of those achievements there were ridiculous, and I always keep it real on this show, it was, how many women could I be with? how much money did I make? What kind of car could I have? How can I have the most expensive pair of shoes in the hood? Right? And so because of things like this you might achievements the things that drove me were what I would consider for lack of a better term nonsensical in comparison and juxtaposition to the man that I am today. Whereas this morning, in my journal, I wrote when I die, I helped 250 million people, whereas not that long ago, I'd be like, can I buy 250 pairs of shoes? And so, you know, how do you correlate this idea of creating purpose while understanding that achievements are okay and not get lost in the scope of it all?
David: Yeah. I think that's where we're guys have to do is really seek to find their purpose where they have it within where my validation comes from within because then what happens is, you can go for the achievements, you can make achievements happen because those don't own you, those don't bring that sense of validation. So when you make an achievement, you're excited because of what it does for everybody, not just you, you benefit from it, and that's not a bad thing. But your purpose is not the validation, it's kind of like the difference between a race and a journey. What I tell a man is life is a journey, it's not a race, there's really not a finish line that you cross, it's not going to be that, you know, ‘Hey! When you hit 50, if you're independently wealthy and can retire anywhere in the world, you've won, no, you can’t 50, you may have a lot of money, but why else do you have? And that's what we have to understand is that for every man, life is a journey and they want to do a journey that's worthwhile.
Almost every man, I've talked to in coached and helped they want to do something worthwhile with their life. It may not be changing the world but it could be changing their community. It could be changing their family. It could be changing themselves so they can impact other people. Some men that I've worked with, get to that point where they realize I'm a selfish pig. All I do is think about me and that's a huge revelation for them, especially if there's someone who has a family, and if they start focusing on their wife if they start focusing on their kids, what can I do to impact their life? Then they will be completely transformed because they have kind of taken themselves out of the picture and they see themselves living for that of the person. So, they may get the achievements they want, they may get a happy marriage, they may have great kids, who love them, and they have a good relationship with and those are great things, but they get those not because they're just trying to do that because they're trying to make a big purpose in the world and change other people.
Michael: Yeah. And I think, about this constantly, right? And so much of it, the phrase when people go oh you want your cake and you want to eat it too. I'm like, well, why else do I have cake? Right? And so I think a big part of my journey and what I won't to like you can have success and you can have a great relationship, you can have a great career, you can have a great family, you can have everything and impact the world but I think the hunger like this idea of like having an appetite for something, right? Is so much about and I want to know your thoughts on it is about can you satiate your needs as a human being, as a man, as a person to create an impact on the change that you want to see in the world, but I find that you have to be super self-aware for lack of a better way to phrase this so that that appetite doesn't actually become the driver. One of the things I know that you talked about and in coaching is appetites. What does that really mean when you're trying to understand who you are?
David: Well for men, it's we want to give men permission today to be passionate to have desires because that's how we're designed men are passionate creatures. You get two men together, who were into two different sports teams and they're going to be passionate, they're going to be arguing about who's the best. Men today, argue about things, like, you know, Jordan versus LeBron, just because that's who we are as men. We were getting very passionate about things when I want men to see is that passion is not a bad thing. Sometimes guys, feel like what the term, toxic masculinity, in these things they want to; ‘Oh! something's wrong with me.’ No! No, it's not wrong with you. You just need to channel it in the right direction. Men who are passionate, who channel their passion, they're the men who make a difference in the world. It's kind of like a train, trains are huge, they have huge engines, they have rail cars going back from miles, as long as they're on the track. They take care of a lot of business, they do a lot of stuff but get them off track, and literally, it's a train wreck.
And a lot of guys in their life their passion gets them into train wrecks because they don't have it disciplined, they don't have it focused. So you take a guy who sleeps with woman after woman after woman, take all that passion and let him channel it into one woman, let him channel it into one relationship and I guarantee you that relationship will be much deeper and stronger than any he's had before because he's focusing all his passion into that one relationship.
And so what he's doing is he's keeping his life from going off the track, he's actually channeling it. In fact, a lot of times with men, I use the example of a bullet. If you take just a handful of lead and throw it at someone, you know, it can hurt them, it might give them a little nick, but if you form that lead into a bullet and shoot it out of a high-pressure chamber, they can do a lot more damage. A lot of men are wasting their passion doing lots of things when they have gifts and abilities that are designed to do something specific but a lot of times, they never figure out what that is because they're just throwing their passion everywhere. They're chasing all the women, they're chasing all the money, they're gaming, five hours a night, and they're doing all of these things but they're losing that passion that they have, and they don't even know what to do with it. They say; ‘Hey! I love all this passion. So I guess I'll game all night,’ but then they're not growing and getting better and really using their gifts for other people.
Michael: I often think about the idea of mindset in this, right? And the attitude that we have in creating the life that we want to have and fear often being this precursor for why we don't create the life that we want. What do you think is the correlation between the attitude you have? And then how much of this is like really having to face your fear?
David: Yeah, I think for a lot of guys, it's facing your fear and also getting to that point of realizing that there are things you're good at and there may be things you're not good at and that's okay. And a lot of guys don't like that, they want to feel like they're good at everything but that's, you know, Olympic athletes. Don't try to do all the sports, they focus on the one sport and they become graded it, and that's what takes them to the Olympics. And I think a lot of men today or scared of admitting, I'm not good at this or I'm not good at that and I think that's something they have to realize that you need to do because then you can start prioritizing what's more important, what's the most important thing in my life? And also for some guys, it's just getting to that realization of gosh! I need help. You know, for me it was that when my son was born I realized my life was out of control, I was doing all these things, I didn't want to do and I just needed help and that was scary because I had to admit, I needed help. It was expensive because I had to pay for that help. So, you have to invest in that even though you've been investing in wasting your life.
Now, I had to invest in getting help, but those are the things that I think for a lot of guy they think that admits defeat when it doesn't, it gives them actually more tools to win the war in their life. And that's where a lot of guys, they don't see it that way, they see it as well, I'm a failure. No, you may have lost the battle but the war is long, the war is your life and if you start fighting the right way with the right tools, then you're going to start winning that war instead of having it beat you. And some guys they have just gotten so beat up, maybe they've been hurt, maybe they don't know how to do that inward journey, and they don't know how to get help, so they asked a friend and the friend doesn't really help them because they don't know any better. What I tell men is they need to find a good coach and when I say coach, a lot of times, I'm talking an emotional and mental coach, and that could be someone who coaches, like what you do with income broken or what I do coaching men or it could be a professional counselor. Some guys need to go too deep counseling and deal with stuff. And when I tell them is think of a counselor, someone who's a mental and emotional coach, all they're doing is helping you figure out, why you are the way you are. It's not to blame, it's not to not take responsibility. Men should take responsibility for themselves, but they should also recognize hey! I need some help.
You know, every professional athlete has a coach and they're the best of the best.
You know, you watch the series on Jordan, I was just reading something about it today and he had, Phil Jackson, you know, he had coaches, he had people, he had trainers, he had all these people helping him so he could be as best, and I think his men sometimes we think I have to do it all on my own. I have to be the lone wolf and that's just not the case, when a man surrounds himself with other people when he surrounds himself with those situations and starch to better himself that's when he'll make more of a difference because he can actually grow stronger from it.
Michael: Yeah, I could agree more. If I were to, package up the way that you create change in your life in a simple way. It's like, get a coach, and, I mean, I have multiple coaches, you have to think about this. Even I love the professional athlete reference because you think about they have a nutrition coach, they have a fitness, coach, they have conditioning coach, they have a strength coach, they have the game coach, they have assistant coaches, the assistant coaches as coaches, right? What I'm always thinking about is, how can I be in connection and learning from a person who maybe even just one step in front of me, not necessarily even, you know, ten miles away because sometimes people go and they look up and say, okay, I want to have that person coach me but you're not ready yet but there's somebody closer to you that is that can help you get there.
But you know, I've said it a million times asking for help is not weak, it's in fact, the strongest thing, I believe that we can do as human beings, but in that, you can sit here, you can ask for help, you can work on your attitude, you can do all this work, but at the end of the day, my favorite word ACTION, you still have to do something about it. What is it that you think is the precursory reason why men don't take more action in their life to have the life that they want to have? And what tools can you give them to and this applies across the board I think maybe not even necessary just been but what tools can you give us to help us take action in our lives?
David: Yeah, I think one it's a mindset shift, of a lot of guys I've coached. It's not the fear of taking action is not the fear of action, it's the fear of perfection, and I think a lot of men, a lot of women, even we were very much perfectionists in our minds, and so what we do is we have this perfectionist mentality. It's like people who at the beginning of the year, I'm going to lose weight, I'm going to get in shape, I'm going to do this at the other and a lot of men do this, they start the year, I'm going to do the, you know, 12 egg a day diet, eat and put dirt on my tongue, the rest of the day. I'm going to run 20 miles each day and in four weeks, I'm going to lose a hundred pounds. Well, that's ridiculous, and they're going to fail and they're going to mess up because that's impossible to do and they shouldn't do it that way. And so they think, you know what? I'm just a failure. So they quit. And I think for a lot of us what we've done is we've messed up at times in the past so we think, you know what? I'm a mess up. I'm a failure. So I'm just not going to try. I tried it one time, it didn't work. I tried it six times, it didn't work, whatever, and what we have to do is understand that progress, is better than perfection. None of us is perfect, will never be perfect but progress is that one step at a time.
And I think, for a lot of people, it's just taking that first step, it's not figuring it all out. You know, where's my life going to go? How am I going to do this? That's impossible. You don't know the future, but you do know the one step you need to take. You know the one step maybe I need to get a coach, the one-step maybe I need to join a group to help me overcome this area of my life, the one-step maybe I need to get out of this toxic relationship, everybody usually knows the next step they need to take and I think the key for people just takes that next step. Don't worry about the steps after that as much as just take the first one and then usually you'll growing up to go, Okay. Maybe I need to go here. Maybe I need to go here. You know, we talked about coaching last year. I joined a coach organization that you're a part of now, and the thing that did for me was it helped me change my mindset this year of coaching with them has really opened my mind up to stuff I never would have thought of or it would have taken me 10 years to do. So, what they do is they really make it a lot faster where you can grow a lot more. And I think we have to realize that as we'll just taking that first step and getting that help actually moves you to the place, then you start recognizing Oh! maybe I need to do this next and do that next. We're a lot of times we want to have it all planned out.
You know, we want the Google Map form that shows us the entire process for our life, it just didn't work that way. A lot of times, it just starts moving in that direction, and then it goes from there.
Michael: Absolutely. That's the only way, I think about momentum all the time without the first step you will not create momentum and to sit within the scope of fear, like everyone's scared, everyone has fear, but the difference in life between those who are successful and not other people who are willing to face it and it's not easy, and I'll tell you this, I would much rather walk through the tunnel holding someone's hand as opposed to by myself.
And one thing I'll mention as well, like, I love that. You also have a coach in your life who coaches you, if don't hire anyone who doesn't have a coach, let me tell you this. The Unbroken Nation, I feel about this, I will never be like, I'm going to be the person that can solve the problem for you, it might be David, it might be someone else in our peer group. It doesn't matter to me, just find that person. And if they don't have a coach, they're full of shit and do not give them any of your money, time, effort, or energy because they are a farce. One of the things I'm curious about here, I'm going to flip the script a little bit, you know, as a woman, how can women support us in our journey to be the best version of the man that we want to be?
David: I think a couple of things, for a lot of women, if they're married to a guy or he's their boyfriend or something, as is a lot of times if you're in that close relationship with them, it's really best for you not to be the coach, you need to encourage them to find a coach, but you don't want to be that coach. I was talking with a guy recently and he and his wife were talking about some issues. And I told them, I said; Listen, you're her husband, you're her lover, you're not her coach. Don't try to be her coach because he was trying to coach her, but she was not receiving it very well. And I told him, I said, you don't need to try to coach her, be her husband, be her cheerleader. And so a lot of times in relationships, what we do is we want to do everything, we want to be the cheerleader, we want to be the lover, we want to be the coach, and that's a lot of roles, and that can be overwhelming to the other person, and so, what you want to do is encourage them to find their coach, encourage them to find that other person. Now, if you don't like that and you want to be there for everything, then that's another issue. You know, I've been around women who the guy they want to be everything to the guy so they want to answer all his problems. Well, that's an issue, she's going to have to deal with because we can't do that to each other, that's an unhealthy relationship. You know, if you want to be the end-all, be-all, to the other person, you're just not designed for that. And so what I tell women to do a lot of times, it just encourages your husband, your boyfriend whoever to find the coach, encourage them in their growth, and they'll become a better person, and you'll actually get a better relationship out of it when you take your hands off that coach, because what will happen is, it's easy for him to kind of not listen to you, even though what you may be saying is the same thing as what he may be telling.
You know someone else is telling them but if he's paying them to do it, guess what? He's probably going to listen a little bit more than you and you can get offended or you can say I just want them to do it, but I would pull back from that role, be the cheerleader, be the encourager and sometimes you may have to drop a hammer, if a man is doing something that's hurting him and hurting you, you may have to be the one to say, okay, get help or that's it. And sometimes, as men we need, sometimes women need that, everybody needs that at times, but I wouldn't try to be that coach to them because sometimes it becomes too easy for them to kind of pull back and not really listen.
Michael: Yeah, and it's so difficult to navigate that, right? Because part of us wants to and as a person who I consider myself to be empathetic wants to help people. The one thing that I know that's true about life is we can't help anyone, only people can help themselves. We can give them all the tools, we can lay them out on the front, but they can only help them, what we can do is support, that's a big word that I mean right here, David. SUPPORT and just be like, yeah, I'm here for you. I got you. What do you need? How can I show up and, and more? So, what are your thoughts about judgment in relationships when they come to this place where now, someone wants to create and this can go either way, right? Where someone wants to create change in their life, they want to get better, they want to step deeper into the journey, but on the other side, the other person is trying to pull them back. Hey, You're changing, your different. How do you navigate that? Because I find that happens quite frequently, whether you're a man or a woman, you're in this position we're like, I'm going to do what it takes to have the life that I want to have, and yet my counterpart is saying; I liked you better the other way.
David: Yeah, and that unfortunately is a reality of it. If one person in a relationship begins to change and grow, they're going to change and grow. So the dynamic of the relationship will change, and that's where, if you're the person, who's the encourager, you have to understand that and be okay with it because if not, then you'll start pulling them back and say, well, wait a minute, I liked you better the other way.
Like my wife and I, we had been married for a few years and then I started getting help and I started changing, and what happened was, I started having an opinion. Well for the first five, six years of our marriage, I didn't really have an opinion. I was like, whatever, and that's because I was hiding addiction stuff, so, that's kind of how I did it. Well, I started getting healthy and getting hole and then I started going I don't like that, I don't want us to do that, and she didn't like that, because she like, kind of like the fact that we did whatever she wanted. So, that became an issue for us that we had to work through. We had to, we had to talk through, we had to get some help, get some counseling on that and get some people to pour into us so that our relationship could grow, because if you grow your relationship is going to grow if the other person's willing. Now if the other person is not willing to grow and change and they want to keep things the same, then one of you is going to have to make that decision. Is this relationship the one I need to be in? Is this the one or what can we do to grow and change together? And that's the issue with it, if one person is growing and changing it usually going to end up, both of you are going to have to grow and change to keep the relationship in it. Now, on the other side of that is a much deeper better relationship, but it is going to take work to get there.
Michael: Yeah, and I come to this phrase. I remember in my early 20s. I was seeing someone and her mother came to me and she said, you two are half yoked, and I didn't know what that meant, and it's like this Midwestern earthing, right? And effectively it means, if you have two ox or oxen, I don't know which plural applies here, and they are on a plow and they have the yoke around them.
If they both are not in synchronicity, the plow does not move, and she said, you are half choked and I was like, ‘Oh! okay, that actually makes a lot of sense, especially in the context of the chaos of this crazy-ass relationship I'm in.
And so getting on the same pages is so important and I don't even think you can hit that home any harder than that, and I think it really starts with you guys getting an alignment about the future that you see the relationship being and I believe and I could be wrong here, David, but do you feel like this applies across the board? Like beyond relationships, but to life and career and emission and the journey and everything?
David: Yeah, really a lot of times. If you begin to change and you really begin to take stock of your life and your purpose, a lot of times that means a lot of things are going to change in your life. Now, and that's what sometimes holds people back is, they're scared of that, and what I would say is don't try to figure out what the change will be but understand it if it comes; you will change and grow. If you start taking control of your life back and you start figuring out what you want to do, you find your purpose, you start moving in that, you may figure out, I don't like my job, I may make incredible money, but I hate my job and it doesn't fit my purpose.
Well, that means you may eventually change jobs, but at the time of beginning, don't worry about that, but just understand that could happen down the road and that's not necessarily a bad thing because you're changing; the changing who you are, what your purpose is and those are positive things. If all you've lived forwards money and you change your focus where hey I'm not living for just money any more than some of the things you did for money, might change to where I don't have to make that much money. I think I'd rather have more of a life in this area and you may end up moving to a different part of the world reinvention is hard. It's hard for everybody, but it is necessary to grow.
Michael: Could agree more. And ultimately you're going to be faced with this precipice of; Am I willing to do what it takes to be the person that I want to be? And in that, you're going have to ask yourself, some difficult questions. You're going to have to change your attitude. You're going to have to change what you want to achieve. You're going to have to change the action that you take in your life, to create that person. And if you have support, if you have other people on the journey who are in synchronicity with you, it will be so much easier, and I think that's the thing people often miss the mark on, as they're out here, they're trying to do it alone, they think they can handle it, but they don't recognize something very important. And that is that no one great has ever done anything on their own. It just doesn't work like that, you can't even name them. Talk to me before I ask you, my last question. What is it that you want to do? Like, what is the impact that you want to make in your life, achievements, and your actions? What is the future for you look like David?
David: Yeah, for me the future it's different from what I thought it was going to be. I'd done 30 years working with teenagers and Ministry aspect helping people, my wife passed away about two and a half years ago, and after 28 years of marriage and as I walked through that process of grieving and figuring things out. I had a job change, the job I was in kind of what marry anymore. So, it kind of did all this shifting and me and it made me really what do I want to do? How do I want to make a difference in the world and through that process, which is not a fun process to go through, I learned a lot about, I really want to empower men.
I really want to help men; I've been doing it my whole life. I just hadn't realized that I've had this thing about helping men, young men, my journey of growth is a man and it kind of came out of a lot of that process in my life, where a lot of things were taken away for me, and it wasn't my fault. I didn't do anything to make that happen, it just happened, brain cancer, kind of did that, and it kind of took my wife away, and I could be angry and bitter about it, or I could say, okay. What's next? What's the next part of my life? What am I going to do with my life? Am I going to just sit and mourn and say, well, I've lost everything or am I going to figure out what's the next step? And so I had to do it again. I had to find support groups to go to and the first one I went to was one of the most awkward support groups in the world and it was hilarious. I walked in and everything inside of me scream, get out, get out, get out, but I did and I stayed because I knew I needed support and that support group became one of my most treasured places to go because I could deal with my grief around a bunch of people who understood. They didn't sit there and go, you're a freak, they sat there and go. Yep, that happened to me, and I'd be like, really. So I am not the weirdo and it's amazing, that when you begin to say, okay, I'm going to grab a hold of this reinvention. Yes, it's uncomfortable, it's hard, and sometimes things pop up that you're like, I didn't know that was there. I didn't want to deal with that, but that's part of the growth process. And so for me, helping men do that has become my passion, my life's work, I want to help men, be better men, be better husbands, be better fathers.
I really want to help multiple generations because I worked with teenagers for so long. I could tell you the families that were healthy and not based on their kids. I could tell the ones who had a good relationship with their dad and who didn't. And so I want to help guys achieve that in their life because I think it's going to help our society as a whole. You look at the fatherlessness in our society, and I think that's one of the things that's devastating us as a country, is the lack of fathers who are active and involved in their children's lives. And so, that's the kind of become my passion is to help man, and it kind of came out of my own brokenness of going, what am I going to do with my life now?
Michael: I love that, man. I relate to that. And thank you for being vulnerable and sharing that, and it's such a great point, David. You can create change in your life and you can still lead a life on your terms, no matter how bad things have been because the one thing I know about life is like, I don't know that it gets easier but I do know that the option to lead it on your terms is always going to be there and I love your mission. I fully support it as a man who had no idea what it meant to be a man, because I spent so long lost by myself without father figures and role models that work in that service are needed in a way that I can totally aligned with and so I'm so happy that we get a share of this Mission and story with The Unbroken Nation today and I hope that someone listening will come and find the support that they need whether it's through us or through you or through anyone else but before I ask you my last question, can you tell everybody where they can find you?
David: Yeah, everything about me, is that my website it's davidthemaxwell.com and there's information about me about what I do, I speak, I coach. I have digital curriculum all that stuff just to help them be who they are and on there. I have a free video course, it's just a free video course, kind of helping men on their passions, helping men, kind of learn how to take their passions and focus them, and that's a free thing guys can download and do.
Michael: I love it, David. Thank you so much and my last question for you, my friend is, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
David: I think it's understanding that no matter what happens if you just keep one day at timing it and just what is my next step that when life throws stuff at you, and life will stuff happens in life. Sometimes you cost and step that other people did to you, and it's not fair and it's not fun but if you make that decision, that I'm going to walk and I'm going to keep walking in that new direction, then those things won't break you, those things won't take you out, they'll actually become the stones that you'll step on to go to that higher level. And I think that's what it means, because when I look back over my life, you know, I see things that were done to me. I see things that I did, but I just made those decisions at key points that I'm going to go this direction, I'm going to keep walking and people say, well, what's going to happen? You say I don't know, but I'm just going to keep walking, and as long as you're still moving as long as you're still trying, and you don't quit, then you can't be broken. I think you won't be broken, even if you fall down and get devastated, you're going to get up and keep walking because that's what you've decided to do.
Michael: Powerful! My friend. Thank you so much. Thank you for being here and sharing your wisdom and knowledge.
Unbroken Nation, thank you for being here.
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David Maxwell coaches men on how to live a life with purpose and passion. He’s spent the last 25 years helping men feel confident in who they are and the decisions they make. He is the host of The Confident Man Podcast.