Season 1: Episode 6 – Book Review – Alpha & Know-It-All Masks

These are the last two masks I’ll be talking about, and this is the last episode for Lewis Howes’ Masks of Masculinity book.  There were so many gems and so many things I connected in my past.  Even over the past couple of days, I still continue to see people who are suffering from these masks: both men and women.  So, let’s break down the Alpha and Know-It-All masks.

“When I shut up and let my podcast guests do the talking, only then are they able to share their wisdom and teach me things I didn’t know.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

This was a quote that changed the way I did podcasts.  For example, when I brought Soheir on my show, I sat back, let her speak, and employed close listening.  However, some people who are hosts for podcasts and hosts in general do all the talking.  That could be a problem.

Another instance was my most recent podcast interview with Tiffany Okafor.  I related, but I also asked her some good questions and didn’t want it to be a full-fledge interview.

“Have you ever noticed how people tend to fill the dead time in a conversation or a meeting by rambling on about some random topic? Have you ever watched someone you work with try to impress the people around them by going on a long rant about something you can’t even pronounce? Have you ever seen someone in an important setting suck the air out of the room by making it all about them? They always have a response, they can’t let anything go, and they have to show you how smart they are.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Welcome to corporate America.  There’s always the manage/CEO that has to have his final say in everything.  There’s always that suit and tie guy that pushes the narrative that he’s better than everyone else because he knows bigger words.

I tried looking for the video, but there was an instance that two hollywood “white boys” (I’m emphasizing this for a reason) came to Gary Vee’s office, and instead of them shutting up and listening, they talked over Gary Vee the entire time, sending most commenters and subscribers into a frenzy of name-calling.  You have to be the student sometimes.  If I ever have the special privilege of bringing Michael Bernard Beckwith on my podcast, I would literally just ask some questions and sit back — just as I did when Sano came onto my podcast.

What’s available when you drop the mask…

People want to be around you
Freedom to not know
Ability to learn and grow
Wisdom from others
Deeper intimacy
Support from others

Podcast

Alpha Mask

 

This has already been handled about 10 days ago, so I’ll just post the podcast down below for you guys.

 

Final Review

Being able to finish these books, learn, grow, and teach what I’ve learned, is one of the greatest things I could’ve ever done.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve finished somewhere around a half-dozen books (compared to maybe 2 books the previous 28 years) and I’ve seen significant growth.

I want to thank everyone who’s been with me on this journey and we’re going to continue with Napoleon Hill’s PMA book in the next season!

Aggressive Mask: Part II

“Unaddressed anger is the glue that keeps the Aggressive Mask stuck in place, starting very early and lasting, in many cases, for decades. There is research on this, and it testifies to how much young boys, in particular, are soaked in anger. For many of them, anger is the only emotion that is “acceptable” to express.” – Lewis Howes

Blueprints, right? I mean anger is taught.  No way in hell it’s genetics…thats just the genetic make-up of a human being.  Men develop an insurmountable amount of anger over years – I’m one of them.  I’m not sure when it started developing, but late 2003 – 2004, I was enraged.  When I played video games, I would cry when I lost because I thought the game was “cheating.”  My mom would scream at me and tell me to stop playing the game.  Of course this is a story I told in my podcast before, but this is the aggression and crazy amount of anger that I suffered from during my sophomore year of high school.

It wasn’t until I joined Track and Field when it changed.  Again, if I had joined football, I would’ve been talked about in this part of Lewis Howes book.

Ashley Burch, who’s a writer said “when an emotion sneaks in for a male character [in video games], by and large, it is anger. And any sort of grief is very, very underplayed and never actually discussed or processed. Kids end up really looking up to this character. And what they end up idolizing is someone who cannot express themselves emotionally, cannot be honest or open with anyone around them.”

I’ve had the privilege of not having such a tumultuous childhood involving physical abuse both inside and outside the home.  However, I must tell a story that no one actually knows about.

Back in 1997, my father took full custody from my mother and we hopped from one side of Las Vegas to another.  During that time, his second girlfriend, named Kim, had a song and daughter named Brandon and Emily.  This was a family of three from Missouri (a small town in the middle of nowhere).  I didn’t make anything of the pair initially, but then things started happening.  I can’t remember exactly where, but let’s just say it was in the second apartment we lived in.  Brandon would shout, “n*****” at me.  When this happened, I would beat the bricks out of him (lol – but it’s funny – a little).  He would come up with blood coming from his nose and his mom would scream, “what happened to you?!”

“Arsenio punched me.”

I then said, “you called me a N*****!”

……crickets…..

The mother couldn’t defend her son for using such a degrading word.

These were the times when my brother wasn’t around because of his constant anger issues, which he probably got from my mother at the time because of all household issues.  So, I would have to fight my way.  I was bullied a couple days until I retaliated the 3rd day.  This was the day, and only day when I hit another human bring outside of sibling rivalries.  The bully, by the name of Richard, was shoving me forward and backward — and out of impulse — I swung my arm right across the top of his nose, breaking it.

That was 1998.  Fast-forward it to 2001, my friend Billy, who’s still my best friend today, came to a huge disagreement while playing basketball.  In the moment, he began flailing his arms at my face.  I stepped back a few times and grabbed his shirt, swinging him all over the floor before his mother came out and yelled, “I’m gonna kick yal’s asses!”

How did I remain composed? Billy, who would constantly call me poor over the course of a year, deserved a pair of hands to be laid upon his face.  I never had the courage to do it.  Maybe because when I was younger, I saw my mother and father put knives in each other’s faces.  I was never a violent individual – even going back to the Brandon days.

On the other hand and with great respect, I feel my brother wasn’t the lucky one.  I truly believe that my brother ended up getting a piece of the “90’s” mother and father in him.  I recently talked to my sister and she says they never speak to him because he’s always angry.  He’s demanding.  Everything is always right to him….and this is why the relationship between him and I sailed a long time ago.  That anger has lead to destructive habits which he engages in everyday.  The fact that I believe he’s a compulsive gambler, betting on superficial sports games to make ends meet, is a very valid point.  When “little brother” tries inviting him into another world, he becomes angry, gets defensive, combative, and belligerent.

I played sports (Track & Field); but my brother, on the other hand, never played sports.  Could this be the reason why there’s a lot of animosity?

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/aggressive-mask-part-ii-stories-from-chi

Lewis Howes: The Sexual Mask – Introduction

Around Sukhumvit Soi 4 there are a number of stands selling bootlegged electronics, clothes, and even sexual toys.  On these dilapidated sidewalks are hundreds of sex tourists stalking out their prey.  Sadly enough, their prey are just next to these stands – small bars with music and about three girls wearing very little and shaking their boobs, lunging out trying to grab their potential customers’ hands.

There are alleys, side-streets, bars, clubs, and everything else that applies that fulfils the needs of these men who have come from all parts of the world to deep-dive into a sexual trance.

Welcome to my world.

Is all of Thailand like this? No. There are gorgeous, poshy areas just up the road; and there are some excellent business districts where working class Thais live.  However, from where I work now, to the individual I ran into just a couple weeks ago talking about: “hey, I had sex with this girl and that girl — oh, wait, my girlfriend is calling me.”  This is what drives most foreign men to insanity — the constant need of sexual fulfillment.

Lewis Howes talked about a man named Neil Strauss in his book.  This is an individual who created a book in terms of becoming a “pick-up artist.”  He was, and probably continues to be that master.  He found himself in the middle of a “free-for-all” sex party in the heart of Paris.  A woman approached him and said, “I just want ________ in me.”

Neil went on to quote with Lewis Howes: This is the kind of woman I fantasized about as a teenager: an indiscriminate one. And more than anything I’ve experienced so far, this seems like free sex—because there’s no spiritual baggage, drug baggage, or even much relationship baggage around it. In fact, there’s no baggage or encumbrances whatsoever, just randomly intersecting body parts.”

That was the beginning of his downfall.  What he thought was going to be a utopia in the states after coming back – turned into a nightmare with three jealous ex’s.

“When Neil began writing The Game, he was, by his own admission, a sexual amateur. Worse than that, he was what he calls an AFC (average frustrated chump). The story is his introduction to the secret society of “pickup artists”—men who make finding and sleeping with lots of women their primary purpose in life, like a game. Strauss told his editor that he wanted to write about this community because it was interesting. In reality, he was tired of being alone and feeling like a loser. At one sad point in his life, Neil had even considered finding a mail-order bride. He tells the story of having been on the road with the band Mötley Crüe for a book he was writing and not even getting a kiss from a single girl. By almost every definition of what it means to be a “man” in America, Neil felt like a failure and was less than guys who were having lots of sex.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

And this is what I see everyday of my life here in Thailand.  Is it the ultra-successful group I’m engaged in at my gym? No, but I used to be a part of a relationships where one of my colleagues would invent lies about him sleeping with dozens of women per week while having a wife – or was it?

It’s like what I see now.  Several months ago I saw an anglo-foreigner holding hands with a 20 year old university student while all Thais watched, aghast. Just two months ago I saw what a appeared to be a 70-year-old homeless man, his 45-year-old son, and a 15-year-old girl in a restaurant.  I was flabbergasted at the fact that Thais thought it was normal, but what I was witnessing was two older men touching a girl and scooting even closer to her in the horseshoe-type sitting area.

This is what makes me furious.  From the men that come here to buy/marry a wife, to one’s who come here to engage in pedaphilia….because they’re “anglo,” it’s still considered “ok.”

And, then, when Arsenio Buck applies for jobs online, they quickly ask for a photo to see the complexion of my skin, resulting in a quick decision not to hire me because I’m colored.

Going back to Neil Strauss’ Story.  Men think sleeping with a number of women at the same time is considered to be “cool.”  Neil Strauss slept with scores of women, as most 25-30-year-old anglo men would do here in Thailand, and became the number one pick-up guy in the world.

Is that a nice title to have?

Lewis Howes says, “you might think that you want that, but you’re wrong.”

Podcast

 

Lewis Howes: Material Mask – Part III

“Whatever success you’re after, keep in mind that someone has already had it, hated it, and deluded themselves into thinking that just a little more would solve their problems.” – Ryan Holiday

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

It makes you think a lot about materialistic things in general, doesn’t it? I’m completely fine making a solid 3k-5k a month.  All I really care about is traveling, making a difference, and once I start making over that amount, I’ll develop a non-profit organization and build schools in impoverished countries.  That’s my life assignment.

Some people’s life assignment revolves around getting a Bugati.  Look at Christian Guzman, for instance.  Back around August of 2016 before my breakthrough, I would watch his videos to try to get a burst of inspiration.  Instead, it was about houses, money, and cars.  A lot of followers, again in the comment section, would hurl rhetoric at him in terms of lavishing himself in luxury.  The point I’m trying to make is during the video, I felt his energy.  And in saying that, his energy was so off.  He had such a feeling of discontent with the entire process.  He did not seem happy whatsoever.  Same thing goes with another YouTuber (fitness) named Chris Jones.  I feel that he’s another person who doesn’t seemed entirely fulfilled, although he has a gorgeous house, significant other, and car.  This is what scares me.

“I think one of the big reasons why men, specifically, chase money and fame is because they were turned away earlier from those feelings of acceptance and attachment, and they found some security in this myth that being rich, that having Tai’s house, will finally make them feel like men.” – Lewis Howes

Luckily, I’ve never been one of those men.  However, I feel like a particular clothing store, which I would get my clothes tailored from, was pushing me to the bring of having a Material Mask.  It being an Indian based store in BKK, they’re very pushy.  They would constantly push me to buy and invest more after picking up some.  Thankfully, the last time I went there (back in April), the manager ripped me off completely and told me to pick up 300$ worth of clothing (which would be only one suit and a pair of slacks – compared to five shirts, three slacks and a blazer just a year before) by the following week.  I left and said, “is this it? Is the trust broken?” And if I had gone back to pick up everything, I think not only would I have lost all my dignity, but the mask would be officially on.  I messaged another employee expressing discontent; and later on that evening, I went on to block all numbers and never went back since.

Did I need an extra 3-7 suits? Hell no.  I have about 5-7 suits already; plus a couple of blazers, vests, and an assortment of ties and slacks.  However, people will push you to do things you don’t want to do. If you’re not accepting, they become more adamant.

Don’t get me wrong, wearing perfectly tailored clothes gives me such a “swag” that no one else in Bangkok has.  However, it doesn’t give me true fulfillment, and that’s what Teacher Edward told me just a couple years prior.

“Listen, you can have all the clothes you want, Arsenio.  If you don’t know what you’re going to say, all of that won’t mean a damn thing.”

And the last Tai Lopez story is….

“There’s two ways you can consume, as a person making money,” he said to me. “There’s conspicuous consumption and inconspicuous. And conspicuous is what makes you unhappy. So I don’t have any nice watches, okay? And some of my friends are like, ‘You should have a Rolex because if you are successful, you need to show that.’ Well, I don’t really care about watches, never did. So if I bought a watch for myself, it would be what’s called conspicuous, me trying to show off.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Wait, but kicking off a video with you getting out of a Lambo or standing in front of a mansion isn’t showing off?

Look, we’re going to do different things with out money.  Entrepreneurs like Gary Vee says reinvest, which is the smartest thing to do.  Other people go to high-end stores and saturate themselves with high quality “materialistic” things.  Other people travel.  However, if you think that’s going to let you into the “cool group” you’re sadly mistaken.

Does anyone know the movie called “richie rich?” Ahhh, as a child, this movie was amazing.  A little boy who was unbelievably rich tried to fit in with the neighborhood kids by playing baseball. They shoved him away constantly because he wasn’t “them.”  Money is not a code, it’s an enabler.

Podcast

Lewis Howes: The Athlete Mask Ending + What Can You Do Now?

Remember my Dale Carnegie podcast on “not winning an argument?” Here’s the link…..Dale Carnegie’s ‘You Can’t Win An Argument’.

“You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it. Why? Well, suppose you triumph over the other man and shoot his argument full of holes and prove that he is non compos mentis. Then what? You will feel fine. But what about him? You have made him feel inferior. You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

My brother, who I’ve talked about so many times, always felt the need to win.  He would have this overbearing voice while yelling at the top of his voice to shoot a point across.  I would sit back, relaxed, and just retort before he does it again. He was one of the people who thought winning arguments were critical and it made him feel more superior, especially over his younger brother.

Steve Weatherford’s Story In The Podcast

“As athletes we’re obsessed with how we look, with how we perform, and with winning. We’re consumed by competition as the measuring stick for our manhood. But our self-worth has nothing to do with those things. It has to do with our values and principles.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

So, what’s available when you drop this mask?

  • Creativity
    Culture
    New experiences
    Connections with other humans
    Self-worth
    A healthy relationship with your image
    Balance
    Time to do other things you enjoy

Men, what have you been avoiding to focus on your physical appearance? I’m asking this because most body builders are very ego-maniacal, self-centered and anti-social.  These are the factors you can work on to rip this athlete mask off.

1.Health: mental, physical, emotional
2.Relationships: intimate, family, friends
3.Wealth: finances, career, education, business
4.Contribution: making an impact in the world and other people’s lives, being of service
5.Spiritual: connecting to a higher power or your spiritual beliefs.

Rate yourself in each area.  What would you look like in each area? Write these down in a notebook of some sort.

Also, what are your values and principles that you can lean on so that you can figure out how to contribute to the world, and to your own happiness, in each of these areas?”

More In My Podcast Down Below!

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/lewis-howes-the-athlete-mask-what-to-do-

 

Stoic Mask: Part II – What Can You Do Right Now?

“Men lag behind this shift because they are still learning how to talk openly with their partners and connect honestly with other men. We know what to do. We just don’t know how to do it. And until that changes, where does that leave us? That’s right. It leaves us alone.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

So, I have a confession.  Just recently I had a situation where I distanced myself after coming across a series of events that I just did not like.  It all started with an infestation of small bugs in my kitchen, which I was easily able to handle.  However, I had a headache later not hat evening and my significant other was saying things that were very agitating.  Woke up that morning and of course what happened the night before spilled into the next day, which was Saturday.  I went to work lackadaisical and I just didn’t get out of my own rut; what’s more, in the beginning of the day, I told her that I would be going on a media purge to stop the negative vibration from continuing.  It worked, but instead it hurt her feelings and she thought it was her that was the negative vibration.  Instead of just opening up and showing her how I truly felt the night before, it extended for a couple days (into Sunday morning) when it should’ve just ended Saturday morning.

This could be the sure driver to demise for all relationships.  Men, especially those who come from families where stern fathers are present, aren’t able to open up as easily as women because that would make them a “bitch.”

And when men decide to open up ,they open up to the wrong person.

If anyone can recall the scene from Bad Boys II when Marcus (Martin Lawrence) sat down next to Mike (Will Smith), they would giggle.  The Stoic mask was suddenly ripped right off Marcus; and instead of being a badass cop, he began talking to Mike about very personal matters, A.K.A. – Not Getting An Erection.  There was a couple of other things said, but it was one of the most hilarious funny and REAL scenes I’ve ever seen.  Some men just don’t open up to particular things, so they hurry up and tell the other person, “Ummmm we’re partners with boundaries.”  When that happens, that particular individual who tried opening up will never do it again.

“Dr. Brené Brown, author of the bestselling book Daring Greatly, points out that this is a step toward real gender equality and fairness. “Most women pledge allegiance to this idea that women can explore their emotions, break down, fall apart,” she said, “and it’s healthy. But guys are not allowed to fall apart.”

Have you ever seen a man have an emotional breakdown?  Society is becoming much more loose, thanks to the NCAA Basketball Tournament last year (and not thanks to the reporters) for shoving cameras down athletes faces after a tough loss.  These athletes were crying egregiously on camera and were made fun of by those pseudo-alpha males around America – however, I believe it was a turning point for society.  Men should be able to show their feelings in a very expressive way – just like women.

Who has heard of Tyrese?  Yes, the star of the Fast N Furious saga literally crying like no tomorrow on either an Instagram post or Facebook.  The world took by storm and told him to “man up” – so it ensues.

There are so many other examples I can use, but let’s get into the “what can I do Arsenio Buck” section of this.

What you’re doing right now is creating disease.  Diseased cells that will fester and compile over a many of years.  It’s creating anger.  It’s creating everything that’s synonymous to my previous sentences.  Expose yourself by being vulnerable. 

What will be available when you drop the Stoic mask?

  • Emotional freedom
    A weight off your shoulders
    Deeper relationships with men and women
    Healing
    A healthy heart
    Vulnerability
    The permission to feel
    Acceptance and belonging

And on top of that, here are some steps from Lewis Howes book that will guide you.

Step 1: Make a list of the five most painful moments of your life. Note what happened, and how you felt in each moment. Journal about it and go into detail. (An example could be: My dad was my best friend growing up, but he abandoned me when I was 6, and it left me devastated.)

Step 2: Once you’ve journaled about these painful moments, read them out loud to yourself. Give yourself permission to feel or to cry about them when you hear your own words. Play soft instrumental music during this process to facilitate your ability to reach your emotions as you allow your feelings to awaken.

Step 3: Share them. When you have accepted the truth of this pain and all these emotions, tell a friend, partner, or family member whom you trust. Part of removing the Stoic Mask is allowing other people to support you. The only way they can do that is if they know what’s going on. I’m a big believer that anyone who has experienced trauma in their past (and hasn’t ever discussed it with someone) will allow the trauma to grow in negative ways. You won’t be able to heal until you begin to share your story.

Step 4: Look into hiring a coach, therapist, or someone who is a specialist. Once you’ve shared your pain, you need to find someone who has experience with helping people understand their emotions and get comfortable with them. For those who really struggle behind the Stoic Mask, this is serious work and it requires a serious approach. But it is work that can start today, right now, with a piece of paper ”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

Podcast