Perfect vs. Authentic

How Men Can Embrace Their Honest Selves

Great leaders, spouses, parents, friends … call people UP, not out.

Rise & Shine.

Welcome to Man Morning - a weekly newsletter for married, growth-driven fathers who are committed to getting better.

Every week, I share actionable lessons, stories, and insights designed to elevate your personal and professional growth.

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In This Issue…

Wise Words

• Test Yourself

• Real You vs. Perfect You

• Man Morning IRL

Around The Web

Wise Words

“A man is not merely a man but a man among men, in a world of men. Being good at being a man has more to do with a man’s ability to succeed with men and within groups of men than it does with a man’s relationship to any woman or any group of women. When someone tells a man to be a man, they are telling him to be more like other men, more like the majority of men, and ideally more like the men who other men hold in high regard.”

Jack Donovan, The Way of Men

Real You vs. Perfect You

In the 2004 film "Before Sunset," a line captures a struggle every man can face:

“I have this idea of my best self, and I wanted to pursue that even if it might have been overriding my honest self.”

It's like saying sometimes we try to be the person we think we should be instead of who we really are.

Your 'best' self is that perfect picture you have in your mind.

Always doing the right thing, looking good, and being praised by everyone.

It's what you think you’re supposed to be.

Your 'honest' self is who you really are when no one's watching.

It's your real thoughts, feelings, and genuine expression of your desires and vulnerabilities.

The best self is goal-oriented, driven by achievement and the pursuit of excellence.

In contrast, the honest self values authenticity over accomplishment, seeking fulfillment in being rather than doing.

When you choose your best self over your honest self, you risk losing touch with what makes you unique.

The drive for perfection can lead to a life that looks great on paper but feels empty inside.

You may achieve attention, admiration, and get people to like you, but it’s at the expense of the things that bring you joy.

And when the best self overshadows the honest self, you create a disconnect between your inner world and your outward actions.

This inner conflict can create an internal anxiety, as the pressure to maintain an image that's not fully you can be exhausting and unsustainable.

The opportunity is not to eliminate one self in favor of the other but try to be the best you can be without losing what makes you, you.

Embracing your honest self doesn't mean you stiff arm improvement.

Instead, it ensures that your growth is aligned with your true nature.

It means setting goals that resonate with your core, rather than chasing external measures of success.

By integrating your best aspirations with your honest feelings and beliefs, you chart a path that's both ambitious and authentic.

This balanced self acknowledges limitations while celebrating genuine effort, recognizing that true success is a blend of achievement and personal satisfaction.

In pursuing your best self, don’t forget to be real.

It's where your creativity, passion, and individuality lie.

It's the source of your connection with others and your inner peace.

While striving for excellence, make sure it's the excellence that's true to you.

Man Morning IRL

Image: Man Morning Los Angeles meetup.

Man Morning chapters are popping up all across the country.

Around The Web

What switching from paper to screens means for how you read. Own your own miniature private island for $16.5 Million. Experts scramble to understand rising cancer rates in young adults. Why randomness doesn’t feel random. 20 trends that will define American men this year. When you do something you don’t want to do (that will improve your life), this grows.

That’s it for this issue.

Forward to someone who will appreciate it.

Antonio Neves, Man Morning Newsletter

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