Book Summary: The Way Of The Superior Man by David Deida
I first read this book 5 years ago during my first year of college, and I don’t think I could of read it at a better time. However, it wasn’t until I recently re-read the book that I gained a better understanding of its lessons.
In fact, after reading it for the second time I was so impressed that it made my Top 10 Must Read List. Even though this book lands more on the spiritual side, you do not have to have a spiritual mind to learn from the ideas.
About The Author
David Deida is one of the most influential teachers around the topic of masculinity and spirituality. He has written best selling books and has impacted thousands and thousands of men & women with his message. He is a huge thought leader in the self-development community.
The way this book is written is each chapter delivers a powerful truth and message about becoming a stronger version of yourself. I highlighted my favorite chapters and pull out the best lessons and principles in my opinion that you can take away. Let’s start.
Live As If Your Father Were Dead
When I first read this, it made me feel uncomfortable. Why would you want to live as if your father were dead? It doesn’t make sense. However, I do believe there to be some truth to it.
A man must love his father and yet be free of his father’s expectations and criticisms in order to be a free man.
Ask yourself: How would you have lived differently if you had never tried to please your father? If you never felt burdened by your father’s critical eye?
Challenge: For the next three days, do at least one activity a day that you have avoided or suppressed because of the influence of your father. Practice being free in this way.
Know Your Real Edge And Don’t Fake it
Deida goes into talking about your fears and being aware of your limits as a man. Every man has his limit, his capacity for growth. The key here is knowing your truth about where you live at regarding to your “edge.” A man should never lie to himself about his real place. You should never pretend to be more enlightened than you are.
Deida uses an example of what you are currently doing to earn a living. Where do your fears stop you from making a larger contribution to mankind, from earning a higher income, or from earning money in a more creative and enjoyable way?
Live with your lips pressed against your fears, kissing your fears, neither pulling back no aggressively violating them.
Always Hold To Your Deepest Realization
This message hits on one of my favorite and most thought about virtue: AUTHENTICITY.
Make your life an ongoing process of being who you are, at your deepest, most easeful levels of being. Everything other than this process is secondary. Your job, your children, your wife, your money, your artistic creations, and your pleasures.
My takeaway was you want to live from the source of authenticity. When you live more consistently from this source, incredible things will happen to the details of your life. Stay true to yourself.
Stop Hoping For A Completion Of Anything In Life
Most men make the error of thinking that one day it will be done. It’s never going to be over, so stop waiting for the good stuff.
“After I get X, I will be happy.” – Wrong mindset.
If you’re not happy now, you won’t be happy after you get that one thing you’re looking for. Stop thinking it will be better or easier in the future. If anything it will get harder, and that’s okay.
Men who have lived significant lives are men who never waited: not for money, security, ease, or women. Feel what you want to give most as a gift, to your woman and to the world, and do what you can to give it today. Every moment waited is a moment wasted, and each wasted moment degrades your clarity of purpose.
Never Change Your Mind Just to Please a Woman
If a woman suggests something that changes a man’s perspective, then he should make a new decision based on his new perspective.
Deida says you should always listen to your woman, and then make your own decision. He claims that if you choose to go with your woman’s decision even though you fully believe in a different decision, you are weakening yourself. A man should trust his wisdom and believe in himself to the core.
Your Purpose Must Come Before Your Relationship
Finding your purpose in life sounds like a bunch of woo-woo spiritual stuff but I’ve learned this to be true. Every man must find out what his strengths are, that one thing that he can do better than everyone else and commit to it. His area of expertise is his purpose.
When I think of purpose I think of this:
What am I going to CREATE during my lifetime? What value am I going to bring to the world and get paid to do so?
Every man knows that his highest purpose in life cannot be reduced to any particular relationship. If a man prioritizes his relationship over his highest purpose, he weakens himself, dissolves the universe, and cheats his woman of an authentic man who can offer her full, undivided presence.
If You Don’t Know Your Purpose, Discover it, NOW.
Without a conscious life-purpose a man is totally lost, drifting, adapting to events rather than creating events.
Lead Just Beyond Your Edge
This philosophy has been said in many places, but what this means is a superior man is used to living and experiencing life outside his comfort zone. Surely you’ve heard the quote “Life begins as soon as you step outside your comfort zone.” This is leaning just beyond your edge. Use pain and discomfort as a cue to know that you’re doing the right thing.
In any given moment, a man’s growth is optimized if he leans just beyond his edge, his capacity, his fear. He should not be too lazy, happily stagnating in the zone of security and comfort.
Enjoy Your Friends’ Criticism
Deida reinforces my love for mastermind groups and the system of accountability. It truly is the best way to advance in business and in life.
Deida says about once a week, you should sit down with your closest male friends and discuss what you are doing in your life and what you are afraid of doing. The conversation should be short and simple. You should state where you’re at. Your close men friends should be willing to challenge your mediocrity by suggesting a concrete action you can perform that will pop you out of your rut.
KEY: “Good friends should NOT tolerate mediocrity in one another. If you are at your edge, your men friends should respect that, but NOT let you off the hook.”
Don’t Use Your Family As An Excuse
A man should, of course, be a full participant in caring for children and the household. But if he gives up his deepest purpose to do so, ultimately, everyone suffers. Take care of the children and the household as much as you want. Just remember that if you give up your true purpose to do so for too long, you are not really helping anyone.
Don’t Get Lost In Tasks And Duties
You have probably noticed yourself in the “do mode.” I get stuck in this all the time as I’m working. I want to get things done and check things of the list. This lesson reminded me to remind myself to take a step back and think about what I’m really trying to accomplish. In other words: “Focus on what matters most.”
The “do mode” is one of men’s greatest strengths and weaknesses. Focus on being present at all times and learning to love the present moment.
A man should never get lost in the details of his life and forget that, ultimately and in truth, life amounts to nothing other than what is the deepest truth of this present moment.
Choose A Woman Who Chooses You
I see dudes get tripped up on this principle all the time. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you want to be with a woman but she doesn’t want to be with you, you should speak with your friends and take a step back.
You are only punishing yourself when you want to be in a relationship with a woman more than she wants to be in a relationship with you. This is how you get stuck in that needy frame of mind. Nothing turns a woman off faster.
If a man wants a woman that doesn’t want him, he cannot win. His neediness will undermine any possible relationship, and his woman will never be able to trust him. A man must determine whether a woman really wants him but is playing hard to get, or whether she really doesn’t want him. If she doesn’t want him, he should immediately cease pursuing her and deal with his pain by himself.
This principle does not only apply when your in a relationship but also is applicable to men out dating and meeting women. You can’t be out there meeting women, trying to convince them to be with you. Women smell that shit from a mile away. If you want to know how to find yourself in the friend zone, this is how.
Instead, be on your path, be on your purpose. Be a kickass dude who has a lot going on in his life, and be willing to share it with people. Women will choose you and then you must choose your woman.
In conclusion, there is a common theme to the above listed lessons from Deida’s book.
Book Theme: Define your purpose. Make it your mission. Make money from it, live from it, & love from it.
Life purpose can easily be interpreted many different ways. I Google’d examples of life purpose statements below so you can grasp the idea:
I want to be a spokesman for wildlife issues and help people connect their daily actions to saving the wildlife on this planet.
I am going to be the most valuable, well connected residential realtor in the state of California.
I am going to deliver my message to a billion people through my written & spoken words.
I am going to become the #1 entertainer in the world.
I am going to become the safest, most profitable, construction manager in the industry.
“I am going to colonize Mars.” – Elon Musk
“My definite purpose is to become to most successful maker and marketer of steel in the world.” – Andrew Carnegie
If you haven’t read The Way Of The Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire by David Deida, I strongly suggest you do. There is a lot that I didn’t cover here but equally as interesting. It doesn’t matter if you are man or woman, you will benefit from the principles.