Income and Penis Size: Overcoming Masculine Doubts

by Ray Bruce, Ph.D.

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Eric, 26, has just completed his Ph.D. in applied digitalengineering. He's wondering what he's going to do now. Out of school and out of work, he's questioning his relationship and his life. His girl friend, Kim, has just had her best year ever as a stock broker with a major NYSE Member Firm. She says it doesn't matter who makes the most money. He's not so sure.

Next to penis size, questioning his ability to provide anadequate income is the surest way to create doubt for a man. A man who believes he's at risk with either is vulnerable on all fronts. Why are sexual prowess and income so important? Because they provide men with the most obvious symbols of identity. Externals seem to be everything in our MTV paced, consumer oriented culture. Sound bites don't give much time for more than a passing glance. If you have the right clothes, the right audio/video link, and the right job, you must be Mr. or Ms. right. If you don't, you're out. It's the external law of the jungle.

But things may be changing. Beyond income, what does work have to offer? Fortune Magazine in it's December 26, 1994 issue asks the question "Why do we work?" Their conclusion is scary for many men. Fortune reports that personal satisfaction seems to come in four ways:

  • achieving technical excellence;
  • serving a purpose larger than the individual;
  • being a part of a team; or
  • by finding what your spirit needs.

Here's the rub. Of these four springboards to satisfaction, only technical excellence deals with externals, the other three address inside issues. How can men develop tools to compete on the "insidetrack?" One place to begin is to develop a personal mission statement.

Stephen Covey in his best selling book, Seven Basic Habits of Highly Effective People says, "You see, once you can decide what you are about and what you treasure, what you value, you've automatically got guidelines. You've developed the criteria for making all of the decisions in your life."

Here are some steps to develop a written mission statement.

List the values and principles that are important to you in living your life.

  • Not your parent's or your girlfriend's or even your bosses, yours. What are the criteria by which you want to make choices regarding time, money, or relationships in your life? Be willing to take a look, it may be scary, but it will be revealing.

Write your values on a piece of paper.

  • Your list may include honesty, integrity, kindness, love, clarity, being on time. Write about how you actually live these out in your life and how you want to experience them. What changes would you have to make to live that value all of the time? What do you really want? It's always easier to talk about values than it is to live them. This is your chance to choose how you really want to live.

Describe your vision for who you are in the world around you.

  • Look at yourself not only in physical terms but also intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. See yourself as a whole person. Then you can see how you are and how you want to be as a part of the world around you.

Write about who you are in each of the four categories.

  • You might begin with the phrase, "As an emotional man I am...." Complete this for each area. How do you experience yourself? How do you want to be? How do you want to be in your family, community, or in the nation? How do you want others to see you?

What goals do you have for your life?

  • What is something you intend to change or accomplish? It doesn't have to be BIG, start with something doable, something just out of your reach. You may have a specific task or accomplishment already in mind. Or, sometimes completing a statement such as "If I only had one year to live I would...." will help focus your goals. Either way, write about how your goal serves you and others.

Create one page, one paragraph, and one-sentence statements that include your principles and your vision.

  • This is your missionstatement. Use the writing you did about your values, vision and goals as the basis for creating your statements. Begin with one page, then when this is clear, reduce it to a paragraph. The process of reduction will force you to be clear about what you really want to say. Take your time, this is not a 15 minute task.

Your mission will change as your life changes.

  • Stay flexible and adaptive. Having a written mission statement will help you stay on course and make choices in your life. Having a solid internal foundation for action will result in a new sense of personal power.

Your values and principles describe your character.

  • Your vision and goals give you direction. When your direction and your character are consistent, you've got satisfaction, no matter what the size of your pay check or your penis.

12/29/97

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