in: Character, Manly Lessons, Podcast

• Last updated: September 24, 2023

Podcast #926: The 5 Shifts of Manhood

In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

What does putting away the ways of childhood and stepping into manhood look like?

My guest says it requires making five key shifts in mindset and perspective. His name is Jon Tyson, and he’s a pastor and the creator of the Primal Path, a rite of passage geared toward helping boys become men. Today on the show, Jon and I unpack the five shifts of manhood and how parents and mentors can help young men make them and move from immaturity to maturity.

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Read the Transcript

Brett McKay: Brett McKay here and welcome to another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast in the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. He wrote, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things.” What does putting away the ways a childhood stepping into manhood look like? My guest says it requires making five key shifts in mindset and perspective. His name is John Tyson and he’s a pastor and the creator of the Primal Path, A rite of passage geared toward helping boys become men. Today on the show, John and I unpack the five shifts of manhood and how parents and mentors can help young men make them and move from immaturity to maturity. After the show’s over, check out our show notes @AOM.IS/shifts. All right, John Tyson, welcome back to the show.

John Tyson: Mate. McKay Thank you so much for having me back on. Really enjoyed it last time and now I’m looking forward to our conversation today. So.

Brett McKay: Yeah, we had you on last year to talk about this year’s long rite of passage that you did with your son to help him transition from boyhood to manhood. And that’s episode number 810, how to Turn a Boy into a Man. That’s one of our most popular episodes ever and we still get positive feedback on that episode. So thank you. I wanted to bring you back on because in that episode we briefly mentioned these things that you call the five shifts of manhood. Every boy and Every man for that matter, needs to make in their lives in order to develop into mature masculinity. And these five shifts, they were inspired by some rules of manhood that the Franciscan Monk, Richard Rohr, we’ve had him on the podcast before he set these rules out in his book Adam’s Return. But let’s talk about your shifts. What are your five shifts of manhood and how did you go about formulating what these shifts should be?

John Tyson: Yeah, Richard Rohr, his five Rules for manhood when life is hard, you are not that important. Your life’s not about you, you’re not in control, you are going to die. And I thought that these may actually be a touch discouraging to a 13 year old to hear straight out. And even though they’re true, I felt like what young people need is a desire to know they’re making progress. So by framing these as shifts, they get a sense of journey or yeah, they’re moving forward in them. So minor ease to difficulty self to others hold to apart control to surrender and the temporary to the eternal. So, the way I sort of put it is boys psychologically are interested in the ease, primarily care about themselves, think they’re the center of everything, try and control their lives to manipulate it how they want, and then think only about the moment. But men embrace difficulty. They have an other orientation, they realize they’re just a small part of a great story. They surrender to something greater than themselves and they live for the long-term rewards rather than immediate gratification. So yeah, I try to set up a one year journey to focus specifically on helping them make the sociological spiritual narrative sort of shifts that they can move forward into maturity.

Brett McKay: Yeah, I like that idea that you need to help boys see progress. I think that’s one of the appeals of Boy Scouts when you’re a young man. And I think that’s why boys like video games. ‘Cause there’s… You’re always gaining an XP and it feels like you’re making progress. And you need the same thing in our moral progression as well, particularly for boys, young men.

John Tyson: Yeah, totally agree.

Brett McKay: What I wanna do in today’s conversation is unpack some of the underlying principles of each one of these five shifts of manhood. So let’s talk about that first shift. The first shift is from ease to difficulty. What is it about a boy’s life that’s easy?

John Tyson: Well, I think guys, in today’s world, I think in some ways things are probably actually harder. So yeah, there’s a lot of anxiety. This is the most anxiety ridden generation. There’s a lot of societal confusion. Kids don’t know how to build a solid sense of self social media. So when I say ease, I’m not wanting to make it, sort of dismiss some of the challenges, particularly our kids growing up now face. But in many ways, as a whole, things have gotten easier. Technology, physical safety, even the prioritizing of kids’ mental health and their a wellbeing is not something that’s always existed in our world today. But I think I’m talking primarily when I talk about this, about the internal sense of ease, which is a boy who refuses to grow up and move beyond himself. So sort of a Peter Pan Syndrome.

And I honestly think in many ways parents can do a lot of damage with this. They can work to make their son’s lives easy. There was an amazing book, I know you’re aware of it, called The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter. He said in 1990, that’s when they really began to track the rise of helicopter parenting. And now they’ve actually moved on to what they call snowplow parenting, where parents basically violently remove any obstacles to their kid’s success. But one of the interesting things that came as a result of helicopter parenting is that in the next generation, anxiety amongst college students arose by 80% after helicopter parenting began. So parents thought they were helping their kids by taking away their difficulties, taking away their challenges. And all they that it did was actually make them feel insecure and ill-prepared to face the realities of life. So yeah, I’m basically trying to help, particularly young men, young adolescents, realize that there’s a sense of dignity, nobility, strength, internal honor and confidence that comes from embracing hard things.

When a man steps into a room and realizes I can handle this, or I can lean into this, or I can learn this, his internal sense of self will develop and grow. And I think honestly, a lot of the pressure that folks feel in their world today is that nobody’s giving them that chance. So you’ve got people in their 20s who literally aren’t prepared for the challenges of adulthood life. So I want young men to lean into accepting responsibility, developing a sense of competency, internal honor, confidence that enables them to yeah, make a contribution to the world.

Brett McKay:  So you’re a pastor and as a pastor you’re in a unique position to see people’s lives, both temporally like how they’re doing with their career or the relationships, but also spiritually, how are they just doing? Do they have a vitality to them? Yeah, and you get to see their struggles, like people go to you when they have problems. How does this, this embrace of ease that you’ve been talking about, how have you seen this manifest in people in your congregation and people you interact with?

John Tyson: Well, it’s in many ways, it stunts their development as people. I think that we are put on this planet with a sense of purpose and calling and, there’s something we’re meant to live into. And if they’re not given the chance to develop and mature, this definitely holds them back. So you think there’s a, there’s a verse in the scriptures in James chapter one, and it’s a verse that’s actually very, very similar to stoic philosophy. It says, Consider it a pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds because the testing your faith produces perseverance, perseverance must finish its work. So you’re maturing complete, not lacking it in anything. And sadly, I see a lot of young men who have an internal sense of lack, they feel a sense of shame because they know they don’t have the maturity they need to face what life is asking of them. So yeah, I think there’s a sense of stunted development, perhaps some foundational regrets wishing that someone would had either, would rather pushed them harder or given them more responsibility or given them a chance to even fail in areas that they’re working out. So yeah, I would, if I could honestly say it would, it would be this, people are frustrated and sad, there’s a sense of sadness that they’re not all they could be, and a sense of frustration that people haven’t pushed them to become that.

Brett McKay: Yeah. So, I work with teenage boys in my church’s congregation. I’ve coached flag football. And one thing I’ve noticed with a lot of the boys that I mentor and lead, a lot of them just seem like anesthetized, like they’re just so cocooned. And it’s like they lack this vitality that you’d hope to see in a teenage boy. Like that thumos, right, that spiritedness. And it’s so frustrating. It’s just, like, man, like this is the time of your life. We should be excited about doing new things and excited about making goofy mistakes. And they just kind of approach life just like…

And it’s so frustrating and sometimes I feel helpless, like, what can I do? And I think it is a lot of this, just this life of ease they’re just embraced and in their phones and in video games and they’re missing out on, on really great parts of life.

John Tyson: Yeah, I think they need to be called into it. I think that’s a lot of people’s frustration. I mean, originally the idea of the rite of passage was that a young man is gonna go through a series of changes, relational changes, psychological changes, mythological changes, physical changes. And the goal was to give him a pathway to activate his energy and direct his energy so that he could make it through this gauntlet without falling apart and sort of keeping it together. And I think that because for a lot of folks, they have no either spiritual tradition that they’re growing up in, they have sort of shifting family dynamics. A lot of them don’t have relationships to call them into the life of adventure to call them into this journey. I don’t think there’s anything more exciting on earth than being invited by an older community of people to figure out how to grow into an adult, handle your stuff, become mature, accept responsibility.

And I think because we’ve lost that, the guy said, well, what’s the point to get into what a meaningless job to people are getting married later and later. So is the family yet is work it so that there doesn’t seem like there’s a, a vision of life being a glorious adventure or b, be an invitation into that? I think that’s sad. And I think another thing that impacts this honestly, is the distortion of where value is found. So for example, we live in a society that values TikTok stars or value celebrities. And in many ways it’s actually a distortion. I’m here in New York City, it’s almost 9/11, and I’m thinking about to what happened in society when 9/11 happened. So they would shut down sports events and they would honor firefighters, first responders and policemen as the true heroes.

So normally the celebrities would have the stadium and everyone would cheer. They literally stopped the games and honored men who sacrificed and served others. And it was like, there was a moment where our culture saw clearly the glory of what a man can do when he is at his best living for something beyond himself. And I get sad that it takes such major crisises to sort of rightsize our reality. So yeah, I would just encourage, if you’re a dad or if you’re a youth worker listening to this, or if you’re an uncle or you’re a mentor, invite young men out of their ease. Invite them into something, call them out, tell them you see something in them. Tell them there’s a journey ahead and you’d like to take them on it. And I think a lot of guys are just waiting for that invitation, out of ease into something that really matters.

Brett McKay: So you talk about ways that you can start making that shift from ease to difficulty. And one of them is facing instead of running away from conflict, how do you see boys and misguided young men run away from conflict?

John Tyson: Well, part of the challenge they face is, very, very few young men are in healthy environments where conflict and how to handle conflict is modeled for them. So you’ve got kids who are growing up on devices, they say things on their phone that they would never say in real life to a person. So they’re hyper bold online and they’re not given the opportunities to navigate this in real life. I just heard a professor say this is a professor who basically oversees freshman orientation. He was asked, what’s the most important thing you do preparing freshmen to succeed in college? And his answer blew me away. He said this, it is teaching students how to talk to one another face-to-face. So he said almost all of his freshman orientation is just helping kids figure out how to communicate with one another in person.

So number one, I think we need to accept part of the responsibility that we haven’t given them a lot of opportunities to grow in this. Another thing I think is healthy is they’ve gotta see it modeled. They have to see conflict modeled either in their the home, in the local community, maybe coaches can help facilitate this, ’cause what we honestly end up doing is we stuff it down and there’s no healthy expression of anger. And when that anger is turned inward or the frustration or the conflict is turned inward, a either the relationship will suffer because you’re not working through it or b a kind of cynicism and bitterness will settle in their the heart. So I think, yeah, we’ve gotta put people in positions where we model it so they realize it’s not bad. Conflict is not bad. I think you’ve gotta have a larger vision of the value of relationships.

Like it’s worth fighting through conflict to restore the relationships. One of the books, I love, it’s actually a… It’s not a, a super new book. It’s a book called Radical Candor. And in it, the author talks about trying to find that sweet spot. She says, if you don’t, if all you do is care about a person’s feelings or, and you never confront them, it’s gonna make it toxic. If you’re too obnoxious, like you just rage at them, that’s not gonna work. But Radical Candor is that combination of care and challenge. And I’ll tell you a story that was really interesting to me once I was dealing with one of my staff members and we were doing an end of year review and I wanted to share something awkward with him that I needed him to work on as one of our pastors.

And he said to me, Hey, can you just pause for a sec? I sense you wanna say something really hard to me and I want you to know that I also sense that you’re intimidated to say it. And I want you to know something I have learned that refusing to share based on what you think other people will perceive you as is actually a form of selfishness. You’ve gotta love me enough to confront me more than your fear of me rejecting you. And I remember, man, there’s a power dynamic. I was this guy’s boss and he had the courage to say that and was one of the most life-giving gifts. Love cares more about the relationship with a person than a fear of conflict. And so I think we’ve gotta cultivate love, value relationships, model it, give them examples, and then give them space to fail. If you don’t know what you’re doing in terms of dealing with conflict or having crucial conversations, you gotta give them space to work through it. So practice, modeling, valuing it, leaning into it, accepting is a part of life and really helping, I think young men understand your life will be defined by the conflicts you have. Learn to get good at them and handle them well. And the more we do now, I think the better our society’s gonna be as well as their lives.

Brett McKay: Well, related to embracing conflict, I’ve noticed that a lot of young… A lot of teenagers have a problem with this ’cause they’re learning how to do it, but then even a lot of, older men have a problem with it ’cause they haven’t developed this capacity. And that’s just to be assertive.

John Tyson: Yes.

Brett McKay:  What can we do to help young men learn how to be assertive? So be it’s… Assertiveness is standing up for your… Basically being a self and setting boundaries and pushing back or saying no. How can we help men be more assertive?

John Tyson: Well, I think what gets celebrated gets repeated. I mean, that’s a basic in management. And so a lot of times I think where we go wrong is we shame the lack of activity, and, Robert Bly, one of his most interesting insights was that boys experience shame in the presence of their fathers when they’re passive. There’s just a sense that a dad puts out, which is, why aren’t you doing more? And so, so often they retreat to their mother’s sort of feminine energy because if a young man comes in, an adolescent comes in and he hasn’t done enough, mom is primarily gonna say, Hey, that’s okay. I still love you, but dad’s going to express disappointment. I think we’ve gotta find a way to be a little more holistic. I think we need to reward action when we see it. I remember really, really, here’s just a practical example.

My son was home and there’s something I really needed him to do, and he was doing 20% of what I needed and 80% of it I needed… I wanted him to change. And I was thinking about this, what gets rewarded gets repeated. And I thought, okay, I can’t nag him about the 80% because he’s not been proactive. He’s not taking initiative. He’s too old for me to nag him. And I thought all I could encourage and affirm the 20% he is doing right. And so even as a little experiment in parenting, I just, I highlighted the thing he was doing well and I watched his whole face light up and then guess what happened? That 20% went to about 70% without any nagging or feedback from me. And so, yeah, it was just rewarding the activity that he was doing. I also think one of the things we’ve gotta do is, is help them deal with the fear of rejection.

And this starts really little. I used to make my kids at Chick-fil-A or McDonald’s go up and ask for refills. And that doesn’t sound like much, but when you are like five and you have to walk to the front and there’s a line of people and sort of ask someone to do something that you don’t know if they’re gonna do for you because you’re a kid. I think those little small things over the course of time can build sort of assertive reflexes where you’re sort of training yourself to take action. And then I think one of the things we can do is show them the rewards of assertiveness. Passivity leads to limited options and leaving things to the last minute reduces your agency. You’re stuck with situations you don’t want. So I think, showing them the beauty and power of expanding the horizons by being proactive seems to work.

My son, he’s now 23, I was teaching him this stuff at a decade ago. He’s absolutely has this in him now. He had a few situations where he lost options due to passivity. And I heard him talking to his sister who’s 20, and he said, one of the things he said was like, one of the best things I’ve learned is that if you are not proactive and assertive, you will limit your options and that you will not like your life. And again, that was just small little things over the course of time to develop those instincts. So I think yeah, reward what you wanna see, and I think you’ll see more of it.

Brett McKay: I love that. Giving your kids opportunities to practice the skill of assertiveness. We’ve done that with our kids too. Like at Chick-fil-A, you can swap out the toy for an ice cream cone. Yes. We made our kids when they were like four or five, you got to… If you want the ice cream cone, you gotta go ask the person. And they were terrified. But they did it. Yeah. And then as they’ve gotten older, we’ve had them expand that, the things they have to ask for become harder, but they’re doing, and little by little it’s gonna add up to something I hope.

John Tyson: Yeah, I agree.

Brett McKay: So, another way that you can shift into embracing difficulty in manhood is embracing responsibility. But a lot of boys, a lot of young men in their 20s, they don’t wanna embrace responsibilities because, let’s be honest, responsibilities can be burdensome. So how can we make the idea of embracing responsibility more attractive to young men?

John Tyson: Well, I think a huge part of it is showing them that it is a gift. It is a gift as a man to be able to handle hard things. It is a gift. Again, I know that this has been brought up a lot, but it’s confidence comes from competence. And the more that they get confident in handling difficulty, the more they’re gonna start feeling good about themselves. Like, Hey man, I can help you with that. They’re gonna see others’ eyes light up when they show up and they can add value in a room. Again, there’s that sense of internal dignity. I have what it takes to face the moment. And I think one huge motivator that we don’t talk enough about is recognition of peers. Peers. We want honor not just from the opposite sex or the people that we’re attracted to, we want honor from our peers.

And so when your friends look at you with respect, Because you can do something or you can handle something, I think that’s a huge motivation. So I would say you’ve gotta give them a vision of the beauty of being able to handle hard things. And again, the more you affirm that, the more you recognize their growth and their effort, I think the more that you begin to see all those things. I did an apprenticeship as a butcher from ages 16 to 20. So I dropped out of high school, got a job at 14 dropped out of high school at 16. And I know that feeling of, a group of older men who could do everything in a butcher shop. And all I could do with a knife was cut my arm. I mean, I just, it was terrible. And then over the course of time, they gave me small skills and challenges and were patient with me.

And my internal sense of, yeah, of dignity, of honor, of recognition, of value just grew over those four years. And so again, I think it’s giving ’em a vision of that, showing the rewards of that. And then one of the best ways to help ’em embrace difficulty is to turn around and have them teach people a little bit younger than them, what they’ve learned. They will feel amazing seeing their growth, knowing they can impart what they’ve learned to other people. So yeah, I think you’ve gotta create a cycle, like, sort of like a multi-generational cycle of the beauty of difficulty and then a desire for you to grow in that path so that you get affirmation from peers on and from those above you and dignity as you invest in those who are coming up.

Brett McKay: I think that’s great. And I think that’s a really important point for, particularly for men who are in mentor positions to young men. You need to affirm these young men, when they embrace responsibility and they do the right thing, tell them they’re doing a great job. And I mean, ’cause every, if every guy’s listening to this podcast, they probably had a moment when there was a man, and not just their dads, but it was like, it could be a coach. A teacher, I think, especially when it comes from another man that’s not related to you. It just something, it just invigorates you. It makes you feel amazing and you wanna do more of it. So if you are a coach, a youth leader, a teacher, when you see a young man embrace responsibility and do the right thing, tell them they’re doing a great job, because that’s gonna do tons for them.

John Tyson: I just hired a guy on my team and in the interview process I was the second interview we did, young guy, 25 years old, he was living in the south and moving to New York City is embracing difficulty. It’s more expensive, it’s a faster pace of life, lot less sort of life comforts. And I said to him, this is a 25 year old guy, why do you want this job? And I’ll never forget this. I’ve been in interviewing people in some way, shape or form for two decades. And he said, I’m a young man and I wanna load up responsibility on my back so I can expand my capacity. And, when I got off the interview, I said to the person who was, gonna be his manager, hire him. It almost doesn’t matter what that person does. A young man in his mid 20s who’s thinking about life like that.

What a rare and refreshing thing. And, yeah, I’m actually looking at that guy right now as I’m doing this recording and he is killing it. He’s doing an amazing job. He stands out in a crowd because he’s chasing down responsibility. My definition of masculinity is the joyful pursuit of sacrificial responsibility. And I think that’s when a man is most fully alive when he is joyfully pursuing the good of others through sacrificing himself. And obviously as a person of faith, I think we see this best in the person of Jesus, but that archetype of the man giving his best for others, I think it’s compelling. And I think it our world’s aching to see more men like that.

Brett McKay:  We’re gonna take a quick break for a word from our sponsors and now back to the show. Okay. So we talked about the first shift from ease to difficulty. Let’s move to the second shift, and that’s the shift from self to others. What does this boyish, self-centered approach look like?

John Tyson: Well, it basically, it just makes you live like you’re the center of the universe. Part of the challenge in modern life, Charles Taylor talks about living in an age of the authentic self and the authentic self basically says life exists as a blank canvas for me and my own pursuits and fulfillment. So there’s no concept of the common good. There’s no concept of obligations to a larger society or to a previous generation or to, any sort of religious tradition. It’s just you doing you and the world exists to expand your rights. And listen, there may be societies where individualism has been repressed, there’s been an unhealthy collectivism that’s required the triumph of the individual. But I don’t think that’s the world that most of us are living in. So what it actually does, and part of this is how society forms us.

When you have social media feeds, you only see who you wanna see. We’re living in a world of preferences. And so whenever we don’t get our preferences met, we feel like it’s a major crisis. Saint Augustine, talked about the idea of incurvities, which he called love turned in on itself, which means love is another centered orientation, which means it requires another to find its fulfillment and proper expression. And he says, the problem in essence of what sin is, is that all of our love is turned inward towards ourselves. And so as a result, we end up sort of inhibiting our growth and, we become people whose hearts are closed off. And this could make us bad neighbors. It can make us bad partners in relationships, it can make us bad employees. And, we just live in a little CS Lewis, wrote a famous essay on, on sexuality to a young man he was writing to.

John Tyson: And he says, the self and selfishness is a prison we live in, but the challenge we face is that we learn to love the prison of the self. And so we think we’re free in it, but we’re actually trapped in it. And the goal is always to come out of ourselves in life, towards other people. So yeah, this is, I think the hardest war because selfishness feels good, selfishness feels great at first. And when you are young, you don’t have that trajectory or history to see the damage selfishness does. So yeah, I think we’re relational beings. We’re created to love and we thrive best getting beyond ourselves into love. So I think this is one of the most important shifts to move from a self orientation to a vision of caring for others.

Brett McKay: And yeah, and we talk about the point of adolescence in your early 20s is to develop the self, but if you don’t have others in your world, like how can you develop the self? I think you need other selves to know that you are a self. Does that make sense? Like if it’s just you.

John Tyson: Yeah, totally. Yeah. Yes, you need little bits of feedback. You need those little relational pings, those belonging cues, those, all of those small little things that just sort of help you orient your way through life. And I think it’s up until age two or whatever, an infant has no awareness that the universe doesn’t exist for himself. But the older you get, the more you realize life is about others. And so, yeah, again, I agree with you. I think it’s important, you’ve gotta figure out who you are before you try and change who you are. But it’s really, it’s more advantageous to help you figure out who you are in relation to others, not just on your own.

Brett McKay: Yeah And you’re talking about, I think a lot of the focus you see on the internet and YouTube videos is about self-development and self-care. But I think, I understand what they’re trying to do with it, but I think it’s actually, it’s counterproductive. I think you’d be better off shifting your gaze outwards.

John Tyson: Yeah. And even the field of positive psychology, I mean, yeah, all the research is showing that happiness is an indirect product, which means you never get it by trying to pursue it. And a lot of the resilience research shows that the best thing you can actually do for yourself is serve others. And again, even if you call this kind of altruistic selfishness, it’s better than just selfishness. So I think even the, the sort of psychological research is showing us that we are more emotionally healthy, we are less anxious and depressed when we consider others and put their needs at least as an equal with our own. So I think, that’s catching up to what religious traditions have often taught.

Brett McKay: Well. How can we help young men make that shift from self to others when they are growing up in an environment where it cocoons the self? Any insights or ideas there?

John Tyson: Well, one thing I’d say is, you gotta get your son out of his room. You gotta get him out of his room. He’s gotta engage around the home. I think there’s value in bringing your kids with you. I think all men should be trying to serve their community, serve larger society, and that’s gotta be a sort of a cause that’s appropriate to you, that can be an international cause helping alleviate poverty. That could be something as small as, caring for your local park or mentoring. You should be doing something for others in your life. And I think the biggest thing you can do is invite your son to come with you. If you’re a mentor, you’re already doing this for him, but like, invite him into things. I think it’s also important to expose them to trips and experiences that expand their heart.

You can’t make this happen, but you can create environments of self-awareness and discovery. You can sort of stack the environment where you know this is going to happen. Like when I set my son on a one year gap year around the world, and people were like, why did you do it? And I said, here’s, here’s part of Myos goal. I want to irreparably break his heart for the global poor so that he doesn’t become a selfish and entitled American College student. Like, I just want him to know there’s a world out there that he has a contribution to make it, and that is in genuine need. And, I’m actually very, very grateful because he came back from that, the exposure to that he was in… He worked with AIDS orphans, he went down to Central America, worked with kids in poverty.

It just changed his heart. And there’s a kindness to him and a self-correcting awareness towards others. So I think, those kinds of experiences, they can start small and they can grow up and then give him relationships with people who are different than him. So he’s gotta have people he likes, but then there’s, you wanna expose him to people who can challenge his perceptions and challenge his understanding and sort of push him to acknowledge that there are differences in the world. And again, just the way life is these days, you’re not gonna have to go very far. You just have to have an open, open sort of heart. I think, one of Jesus’ greatest teaching, probably his most famous, one of his most famous ones, the parable of the Good Samaritan. And the basic point he is wanting to make is your neighbor is whoever’s in front of you with a need.

And when you view, like loving your neighbor as you love yourself is whoever’s in front of me with a need, that’s an opportunity to go beyond myself and to repair the world, even in a small way. And, most of us are not gonna live dramatic lives, famous lives, big lives, but we can live profoundly meaningful lives. And most of the change we’re gonna be making is very small change. But I think you reweave the tapestry of the broken world strand by strand, and I think it’s small lax of other centered, sacrificial care, exposing our kids to that, teaching them to be proactive, to respond to that, to embrace the difficulty of that. I think that’s a gift that we can give the next generation.

Brett McKay: And, the shift from self to others, it requires you to make that shift from ease to difficulty, because shifting your focus to others can be really hard. Like, I mean, one of the hard things about serving others and being for others is that people can be really dang annoying. Like they just… Can be really frustrating. So how can we help a young man develop the patience that’s needed to serve others?

John Tyson: I think one of the big things, I think almost all traditions have some concept of the golden rule. And, Christ had been merciful as your father is merciful. And in essence he’s like, you’ve been shown mercy. You’ve been shown kindness, now you’re obligated to show it to others. So I think, yeah, we have to, we have to have a sense of our own annoyingness. We gotta… We have to have a sense. Wow. I at times can be very annoying. And then therefore, out of the sense of kindness I’ve received from my family, from my community, my friends, I have to extend that to other people. I, again, I also think there’s gonna be moments in our lives where our, our kids are gonna watch us respond to how we’re treated. And again, all of life is a chance to grow.

That’s beauty of life. You’re always in it, so you don’t need these big dramatic things. It’s like all of it is fuel for change and is modeling. Someone can cut you off in the car? Do you scream at ’em? Do you presume the best? Or when your kids are like, what a jerk, how could they do that? Maybe you could say, man, I wonder if they’re late and it’s taking their kid to school for the first day and they’re really anxious about it. You wanna humanize other people, you wanna help them get into other people’s shoes. You wanna sort of help them empathize with what’s happening. So yeah, I think you’ve gotta model it. You’ve gotta sort of teach through it. You’ve gotta have a sense of awareness of our own flaws. And then one of the things that I think I try and do is I try, and this is just classic, how do win friends and influence people?

Your kids, don’t like having their own annoyingness pointed out, and if you do it harshly, it’s probably gonna be counterproductive. So I would always try and point out flaws indirectly by using myself as the example, like modeling to your kids like, Hey, you know what? I just wanna apologize. I realized I was really angry with you and I sort of yelled at you a little bit. That’s got nothing to do with you. That was me. And I’m sorry to project that onto you. When you model that in front of your kids, it’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of power. And they begin to see, oh wow, I can treat other people like that, or I can ask for forgiveness when I’m like that. I think it just sets a relational tone that that sets them up to live. Well.

Brett McKay: Another thing I’ve tried to do with my kids to help them embrace this self to others in a mature fashion, I think an immature way that people wanna make the shift from self to others is they want to do good for others, but they want to be appreciated for it. But then I, there’s this essay by this writer from the late 19th century, early 20th century, William George Jordan, and the essay was called The Courage to Face ingratitude. And I love that idea, and I tell my kids that you have to have the courage to face ingratitude. You’re gonna do good things in life. And it could be at work, it could be at church, it could be just for a friend, and you might not be told, Thank you for it. It might be overlooked. And it, might not even be because the people are inconsiderate or maybe it’s got a lot going on in their life where they can’t take time to recognize what you’ve done for them. But you still gotta do good anyway. You have to have the courage to do good, even if no one’s gonna recognize that you’ve done good.

John Tyson: That is powerful. There’s this one little line Jesus has in the Sermon on the Mount that is probably one of the things I struggle with the most. He says, be kind as your father is kind or be merciful. It says because he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. And that is really, really hard because there is that… That’s what you’re addressing. There’s that inbuilt sense in us where they’re like, well, that’s a bad person. They deserve it, or they’re ungrateful, so I’m gonna withhold my gratitude. And it’s like, no, that’s what God is. He’s kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. So you need to be too, if you really wanna be like your heavenly Father. So I love that idea. Otherwise, in some sense it is, it’s an immature form. We’re just doing it for ourselves to get recognition or it’s basically a payback or a relational exchange. Like, if I do something good for you, you have to acknowledge this. I love that idea of the courage of just taking it and, learning to handle that as a man.

Brett McKay: Yeah.

John Tyson: That’s good.

Brett McKay: So the next shift, the third shift is from whole to part. What do you mean by that?

John Tyson: Well, I’ll just give an example. I think the latest survey I saw was over 80% of kids when asked, what do you wanna do with your life? Responded to either a YouTuber or social media influencer. And that is such a shift from the traditional vocations that people pursued. And here’s kind of what they’re saying, I wanna be the center of my thing. And you’ve gotta help people realize this is a very disorienting reality. But there’s about another 8 billion of us floating around right now. And so we’re a part of the human story, but we’re not the center of it. David Foster Wallace says, I think it’s in, “This is Water”, in that short little book, he says, we have to deny our own experience because there is not an experience that we’ve ever had that we are not the center of. And so it is like, in some sense, we are living in a reality distortion field because everything we experience we’re the center of it, but that doesn’t match reality. So a part of the goal of life is to help our sons move beyond themselves. So you want two things. You want sort of confidence that you are important and that you do matter.

But you want humility to acknowledge, it’s not all about you, and again, so the goal is not to try and be the center of the story, I think that that sort of narcissism and self-focus is unhealthy for a person, it’s gonna distort them. It’s unhealthy for society when you’ve got men who are using the world to build themselves, but you don’t want to passive weak men who lack confidence, which is well, I’m insignificant, I don’t matter, I’m nothing. It’s that… That’s that combination of, Hey, you matter, you’ve got a role to play, but it’s not all about you, so take your place on the wall, build your thing, but you gotta realize it’s not all about you. And so, yeah, again, I think part of that is exposing them to the larger world, and I think, again, this I think is connected to embracing difficulty, every man in his heart really has to be able to do this, he’s just gotta hold his own. A man needs to be able to hold his own, And when a man can hold his own, when a man can pay his bills, win the love of a good woman, marry, stay married and enjoy marriage, raise kids, or if they’re single live with a sense of purpose and calling.

That’s gonna give you enough to not have to make everything about you, and I think it would give us that sense of, Hey, I can’t do everything, but I am doing something that matters and I’m a part of something bigger than myself, and I have a part to play and let me just play my part well, and I think there’s actually something very liberating about that. The older I get, I’m in my mid-40s, the older I get, the more I’m like, I don’t wanna be the center. But that comes with age, and so I think, yeah, helping him get that sense, play your part, you do matter, but you’re not the center, confidence is humility I think very, very attractive and really what we need in the world today.

Brett McKay: Yeah, so it sounds like this shift is helping young men figure out their role in life.

John Tyson: Yeah. Yeah.

Brett McKay: And I think oftentimes we think we, there’s this idea, I think in modernity, that we have to create our roles and maybe there’s some rules that we do create for ourselves, we can be constructors of ourselves, but I think one thing you’re talking about is helping young men find those roles that already exist, and helping them embrace them and excel at them. So that role could be like, it could be parent, it could be fatherhood, it could be being a husband, it could be having a role in your community. There are roles there. I think that’s part of the problem with modern life is that we there is a good like an existential pressure to create ourselves.

John Tyson: Yeah.

Brett McKay: Into the thing that we want to be. And as a consequence, you just feel just overwhelmed by it. When man, there’s tradition you could fall back on that can help you, give you a sense of a sense of self that’s already there for you. And then you can change that role a bit based on your own uniqueness. So you don’t have to reinvent the wheels, is what I’m saying.

John Tyson: Yes, I think these are very challenging times, particularly for young men. Listen, I’m a big, big believer in empowering women. I don’t think anything we’re talking about is to the exclusion of women. Obviously, this is a conversation focused on young men. But these are particularly challenging days for young men coming up. So you’ve got gender confusion, which is definitely too big for this podcast, but it’s like we don’t even have a sense of what it means to be a biological being anymore. That’s very, very confusing for people. And then you live in a world where, again, many of those traditional roles have disappeared. And so many of the things that men were traditionally affirmed for have now evaporated. And so there’s a sense like, wow, what do I use my strength for? What do I use my competitive spirit for? Like a lot of those things have been weaponized against young men. And sometimes because they’ve done damage with them, but for those coming up who haven’t even had a chance to do damage. And so a lot of times it just sort of mutes them. You said like young men coming up, there’s just lack of vitality. And I think it’s because they think, if I really express who I think I am, will this get weaponized against me and will this be worth it? And so, I think a huge part of what we’re called to do as parents, mentors, leaders, coaches, teachers, is to help them figure out who they are, what their gifts are, and how to get the next season of their life right.

There’s an interesting word people use a lot. It’s a biblical word, but we use it in society a lot. It’s the word equip, like we want to equip young men. We want to equip the next generation. I’ve never really heard anybody teach a lot on equipping. So I did a word study in Greek and to equip, which means to help them get ready for their role, has four main ideas. The first one is the idea of healing a broken bone. So when someone had a broken bone in Greco-Roman culture, they go to the doctor and he would reset the bone, put a cast around it, tie it to something. So it’s the resetting of what is broken. So part of the way we help men fulfill their roles is honoring their journey. Let’s go back through your story.

Even your childhood, where are the areas that you feel like there could be brokenness or pain? We want to address those wounds. We want to address those unmet longings, those places. I think that’s an important part of what it means to get them ready. Then the idea of preparing a ship for a long journey. This is the image of a ship being loaded up with cargo. So part of what it means to help them get ready is to put into young men’s lives the tools they’re going to need when they’re in the ocean of adulthood. Restoring something to its original condition. This is the idea of renovating something that’s been lost. And I think that’s perhaps what you’re touching on. There are a lot of really healthy values that have been lost in our modern society and helping young men find those and live in those.

And then lastly, training a soldier to fight. Each young man is going to have character flaws, proclivities that need to be addressed and sometimes it can be a lack of skill. So I think our goal is to sort of put our sons or young men in front of us and say, what issues of brokenness can I help them with? What are they gonna need when they go into the future based on who they are? What needs to be restored that they’ve lost because of our culture or their own mistakes? And how do we teach them to fight? How do we train them to fight, well, which is the idea of a soldier learning how to prepare? How do we get them ready for the conflicts and challenges of life? I think if we would just ask those four things, put our son’s name in the middle of a piece of paper and then ask whether they need healing, whether they need preparation, what’s been lost and then what they need to fight well. I think we go a long way in helping them get ready for life.

Brett McKay: Oh, I love that idea of that broad definition of equipped. Let’s talk about the next shift, the fourth shift, which is the shift from control to surrender. So how does control manifest in a boy’s or an immature man’s life?

John Tyson: Well, control, it’s a fear-based insistence on trying to manage outcomes towards your liking. And so it’s just like, I’ve got to get what I want. And we sort of joke about control freaks and that sort of thing. This would be the opposite of passivity. Ultimately, we’ve got to come to terms with the fact that 95% of our arrival on planet Earth had nothing to do with us. You didn’t choose the time of history you’d be born in. You didn’t choose the color of your skin. You didn’t choose when you would be here. You didn’t choose your family. These are all things that were done for us, and these are all things that happened to us, and you’ve got to have a sense. It doesn’t all depend on me, and this is surrendering to something greater than yourself. I’m thinking a little bit about sort of the beauty of the recovery communities. I think in some ways they are teaching the rest of the world how to really be vulnerable and how to love. But in a recovery community, say AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, I gave up trying to be in charge of my life. Like I had to surrender to something greater than myself.

So part of the problem of sort of having a controlling spirit is you don’t trust other people, your heart dies as you close it off, you refuse to empower others so you will often stunt the gifts, nurture and development of others around you. It’s very, very hard to control everything in love because love requires empowerment. Controlling people end up terrified and alone or only surrounded by people who fear them. And so from the Christian tradition, the big thing that people would talk about is surrendering to love. Like that’s the great tradition, surrendering to love. Saint Ignatius of Loyola has a quote, he says, sin is an unwillingness to trust that what God wants is our deepest happiness. And so most of our mechanisms, we feel like we’re orphans on the planet and we have to make it all happen for ourselves. And that can distort us, but the relief of saying, I’m going to entrust myself to something greater. I’m going to surrender myself to a purpose beyond myself, live into that. That produces a kind of openness and humility that I think our world desperately needs, and again, this really does take trust because there’s many, many times where we think, Well, if I just control this, it’s gonna give me the result I want, but often it actually does the opposite, so surrendering to love, I think is a huge part of this.

Brett McKay: And I think that’s a hard one because for boys and for young men, even immature men, we have an idea that to be masculine, to be manly, is to be in control all the time. And so when you tell a guy, well, you actually got to surrender, it’s like, wow, that’s passive, that’s unmanly. But what you’re saying is that as you surrender yourself to something bigger, that surrendering process can actually embolden you and make you more expansive and more powerful, we’ll say.

John Tyson: Yeah, the ultimate, I mean, again, from my faith tradition, the ultimate example is Christ in Gethsemane. Here is the greatest man who’s ever lived a life of love, and he’s on his knees sweating drops of blood saying, Father, not my will, but your will be done. And it actually takes incredible courage to surrender. The strongest thing you can do is acknowledge that you’re not God, like I’m not in charge of everything. So I think I see it, I think, more like you, which is it takes a kind of fearlessness. It takes a security to surrender. But I will say this, you’ve got to be able to surrender to something. Like if you don’t have a larger sense that you’re in a larger story or there’s sort of an ultimate meaning or cause you’re living into, it can be very, very hard to surrender because if you’re like, I’m here for no reason, there’s no purpose, I make up the rules, that is going to produce a kind of, I think, unhealthy aggression and domination that can damage the world. So yeah, people have to go on their own journey and figure out what it is. My tradition is learning to surrender to love, but believing that as you do so it takes courage to let go and in so doing we actually get given back more than we could have accumulated for ourselves.

Brett McKay: Yeah, you see this idea of surrender in a lot of movies. There’s always that moment where the hero of the story has to surrender. He has to make this leap of faith.

John Tyson: Yes. Yeah.

Brett McKay: I’m thinking like, I mean, here’s a dumb one, like Joe Versus the Volcano. Remember that Tom Hanks movie where he goes to the top of the volcano and he has to say, I’m just going to jump in, [laughter] and he jumps in and he’s [0:49:52.5] ____ but you see like other like Gladiator, The Matrix, all these movies were in order for the hero to grow he has to just surrender to the possibility of failure I guess and but in so doing he opens up the possibility of success.

John Tyson: I’m in totally agree I mean in essence the archetype of every villain is the villain is trying to control everything.

Brett McKay: Right.

John Tyson: And the hero is the one who was surrendering out of love for others.

Brett McKay: Yeah.

John Tyson: And so there you’ve definitely like that archetypal sense of like go through any movie the villain is the one trying to control everybody out of selfish motives and the hero is the one who will give himself out of love for something greater than himself. That’s it’s there. It is something core to who we are as men that I think we need to mature into.

Brett McKay: All right. So that’s the fourth shift from control to surrender. The final shift is from temporary to eternal. So what does a boyish temporary view look like?

John Tyson: Well I think it looks like now. It looks like the immediate. It looks like instant gratification, it looks like I don’t care about the future because there’s no such thing as the future and all I want is this now. And again, what can be so sad about this is we limit our options. Every choice we make now is either reducing our horizon of possibility or increasing it. And a lot of times we make short-term decisions and short-term thinking that hold us back, and so yeah, the big goal is to try and get them to think long-term, big picture, outside of this season. When I was with my own son, I would always, whenever I sensed something was shifting in his heart, maybe he was shifting, sort of psychologically, developmentally, or even in terms of his interest in his hobbies, I’d always try and process that with him, which is like, hey, you used to love robotics when you were 12, but now that you’re 16, why don’t you like him anymore? And he’d say, well, I think I just outgrew it. And I want to say, enjoy your moment, but I want you to know when you’re 25, you’ll probably outgrow what you love now. So hold it loosely.

Think long-term. Think big picture. Teach him about the compound effect, about how our daily decisions set us up for something longer. So, yeah, again, we can so overload the present that it crushes us if we don’t have the relief valve of later to work out our expectations. And ultimately, I think our goal is to help young men make wise decisions based on greater rewards later on rather than just immediate gratification. This is hard. This is an instantaneous generation. And again, I think this starts when kids are very, very little. We have to teach them self-restraint. We have to teach them the ability to think big term. A lot of parents… And look, I understand it is so hard to parent in the modern world, but your kid cries so you give him an iPad and then bingo, he’s trained to get what he wants immediately. And I think it takes real sacrificial love to sort of say no to the moment, explain why, give them encouragement along the way and help them see the rewards of long-term thinking. This is very, very hard. Almost everything in our culture is at war to make sure that this doesn’t happen. So this requires real intentionality.

Brett McKay: So you mentioned some things that you can do to help your son, or even it could be your daughter too, this applies to them as well.

John Tyson: Yeah.

Brett McKay: To make that shift from temporary to eternal. And for you, because you’re coming from a Christian background, eternal is, you’re thinking about not just earthly life, but the life to come. But I mean, you even talk about, in some of the stuff you’ve written, about helping your children think long-term when it comes to finances, when it comes to your time management, when it comes to your relationships. So what are some practical things that you’ve done with your children to help them make that shift? Instead of thinking about just now when it comes to money, time, and relationships, they’re thinking about 10 years from now, 20, even like it could be even the next generation.

John Tyson: Yeah, I mean, we did that for both of my kids. I opened a Roth IRA as soon as I could. So I took them through the compound interest thing, showed them the chart, and I would say to them, do you want this money now or do you want to save it? If you have it now, you can spend it on whatever you want but I want you to know that this is going to cost you four or five times as much or would you like this when you’re older? So I think one of the things that we forget is almost every moral system that matters is actually motivated by rewards. We forget this. You’ve got to hold rewards in front of them to show them that it’s worth not giving in to the short term. So what I was trying to do with that retirement chart, if you put $6,000 away a year now, you’ll retire as a millionaire and it will be effortless for you. But all you will have done is stewarded time and money and decisions right. And then I sort of try to expand that out. We’re big, big believers in life, in just the law of the farm, law of sowing and reaping.

And you reap what you sow. Don’t expect a harvest if you haven’t sown anything. I got that in my kids’ heads so many times, law of sowing and reaping. I wanted them to realize you will be rewarded if you make wise decisions now, and you will experience regret if you don’t make the right decisions now. Now, listen, you can redeem that regret, but why not start by doing it right. So yeah, we would talk about the law of the farm all the time. Even went out to a farm, walked my son around, sort of showed him, can you imagine expecting a harvest here when you’ve done nothing? That one definitely stuck with him. I did I took my son to a graveyard, helped him to see the sort of the shortness of life, made him walk around, the whole what’s your dash exercise. It was interesting, my son a couple of weeks ago, I said, where are you going? He said, I’m going out into the woods. This is in upstate New York. And I said, what are you doing? And he said, I’m going to contemplate what I want to do with my dash. And so that’s him, that was… It was probably almost 10 years since I’d done that with him and here he is still in the woods going, now I want to live my life well. I want to make that out. So I think, yeah, getting that eternal outlook I think is important.

Brett McKay: Yeah, that dash exercise was really powerful. We mentioned that in the last episode and that stuck out to a lot of people is that you go to a graveyard and you look at a tombstone or a headstone and there’s the date that the person was born, the dash, and the date that the person died and you got to ask what am I gonna do with my dash? What’s gonna be in that dash? I think it’s really really powerful. Something that we’ve done, we try to do with our kids is talk about our family history with them.

John Tyson: Yeah. Yeah.

Brett McKay: And talk to them, show how decisions that your grandparents made, your great-grandparents, your great-great-grandparents made, led to you. And you can have that same effect on your children, your children’s children. Helping them see that they’re big, like going back to from whole to part, helping them see that they are part of a story, that the decisions they make now aren’t just going to affect themselves, it could affect generations to come.

John Tyson: Yeah, I think that’s hugely important. Most kids don’t know their grandparents’ names. We can’t even go back two generations, three generations and make sense of our story. In The Primal Path, one of the big things I have fathers do with their sons, it’s a little thing I call putting your son’s story in context, which is you need to take him on a tour of what made you you, what shaped you, who shaped you, where you were shaped. Sometimes that’s as simple as maybe you grew up in the same home and you want to take in the four or five really meaningful moments. For me, I took both my kids back to Australia where I grew up. And you just… What you’re wanting them to see is the universe did not… The big bang did not happen at your conception. You are a part of a longer story and you will set up the coming generations with the decisions that you make. I think we’ve got to hold that in front of them.

There was a famous Protestant theologian from a couple of decades ago named Jonathan Edwards and he had this phrase he would say, burn eternity on my eyelids, place eternity on my eyes. In essence, what he was saying was like, help me think big picture long term because there’s a conspiracy of the immediate that often robs us of what it is to come. Just on a practical level, I was doing some financial planning and I saw the shocking statistic, 50% of Americans who retire have zero money for retirement. 50%. 3% have more than $500,000 say for their retirement. I don’t judge these people. I feel sorry for them and have compassion for them because nobody either gave them the tools or the pathway or whatever to consider their future and now they’re in it. And I think gracious warnings, holding eternity before our kids’ eyes, reminding them of the larger story, that’s a very, very rare gift we will give our kids. But doing it will set them up, I think, not just for a good life but for a good eternity.

Brett McKay: So you developed a program, you mentioned it, it’s called The Primal Path that helps dads lead their sons through the shifts we’ve been talking about today. It’s sort of based off of the rite of passage you took your son through. Tell us more about that and where can people go to learn more about it?

John Tyson: Yeah, I mean, a rite of passage, James Hollis, who’s a Jungian psychologist, says the point of a rite of passage is to hold a person together during a stage of transition. So around 13 or so, puberty, these energies will possess a young man and he will feel like he’s becoming somebody else. And so the goal is to sort of, yeah, create a pathway to initiate them into a healthy adulthood. And almost every society in history has had one of these paths, almost like a code in human culture. Tribes in different times of history, in different parts of the world have never communicated together, realized there’s a pathway we need to get right. So I basically, I really didn’t invent anything. I just read a bunch of books and then try to create or recover that rite of passage. So it’s basically got a series of stages.

First one is an invitation to a journey into adulthood from an older formed community of men. So a father plays a very, very central and important role, but it really is a communal experience being initiated into a community of men. Then you’ve got to have the depth of childhood thinking and relating, you’ve got to learn to put your childhood away behind you, get rid of that sort of naivety and embrace reality. Third, you go through a season of transformation and training. In ancient societies, it was around three things. Number one, it was the faith tradition, who are our gods or our moral principles. Number two, what skills are needed to contribute to my community. And number three, what is respect in our community, which means how do I play my part in the good of the community. Then I was sent out on what they called the ordeal. This is so a young man realized that he had what it takes, that he was tested with the things that he had learned, and then lastly he was brought back and blessed by a community of men.

So I basically just took a bunch of that stuff and put it into a program called the Primal Path. You can do a one-year journey based on the five shifts. That’s something that we sort of rolled out lately with the five shifts we’ve talked about, 15-minute little daily connection points. We do a thing called man school every week, which is giving him a practical skill to be able to do. And then these things we call difficulty days where when you get to the end of one of the units you have to sort of earn a patch. We use sort of like faux military patches, but sort of like the Boy Scouts. It’s just the sense, I’m making progress, I’m moving ahead. So yeah, and so far, honestly, it’s actually been kind of, it’s kind of been remarkable. We’ve now had 1000s of dads go through this and I get stories daily and they just make me weep.

I got one yesterday and I literally put my head on the table and just wept because it was a dad breaking generational cycles. This is a dad who felt like no one did this for me. I felt like I was winging manhood. I was terrified of damaging my kids. And now, a year into this thing, I’ve got a relationship with my son I never had. I can see healthy masculinity growing in him and all of the flaws from my childhood. He doesn’t have any of those traits. And when you just see that sort of change, it’s really life-giving. So we live in a time in history where in many senses most of the bad things happening in the world are because of badly formed men. Most of the damage in our world is men whose character is not set, who are living out of childhood wounds. I just wanted to create a path to do it. So you can go to, if you want to read more about that.

I also just developed the five biggest principles on this, which is just a little five-day email course. So if you sign up for that, you can jump on that. And then something really interesting, so many dads have gone through the Primal Path and they’re like, I need this for me. What about me? So we actually started something for men called Forming Men. You can go to and that is basically the primal path for men. So it’s helping him go through, in some sense, an adult rite of passage to deal with their brokenness and become the men they feel called to be. So yeah, just trying to help repair some of the damage that’s happened in the world. Again, I care about women. I have a very, very high view of women and their role in the world and all that, but there does seem to be a huge deficit in spaces for male conversation and formation. So hopefully these are life-giving places that help men on the journey.

Brett McKay: Fantastic, well, John Tyson, thanks for your time. It’s been a pleasure.

John Tyson: Thank you so much, mate. Always good.

Brett McKay: My guest here is John Tyson. He is the creator of The Primal Path. You can find more information about that at Also check out his book, The Intentional Father, A Practical Guide to Raise Sons of Courage and Character. It’s available on Also check out our show notes at AOM.IS/shifts. We find links to resources and we delve deeper into this topic.

Well that wraps up another edition of the AOM podcast. Make sure to check out our website at where you can find our podcast archives as well as thousands of articles that we’ve written over the years about pretty much anything you’d think of. And if you haven’t done so already, I’d appreciate if you take one minute to get us reviewing off of podcast or Spotify. It helps out a lot. If you’ve done that already, thank you. Please consider sharing the show with a friend or family member who you think we get something out of it. As always, thank you for the continued support. Until next time, it’s Brett McKay, reminding you to try to listen to AOM podcasts, but put what you’ve heard into action.


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