The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. —Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you —Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
You know us well enough here at The Good Men Project to know we would never seek the magic formula for male happiness or try to establish the essential characteristics of a “typical” happy man. There is no such animal, and the definition of happiness differs for each person. But we do want to explore the concept of male happiness, because men are influenced from an early age by cultural and societal forces concerning what “should” make them happy.
First we’d like to ask—what is it that makes you happy? Especially, what would you say makes you happy if no one told you how to think about that answer?
And then consider this: Whether it’s the traditional trappings of a great job and financial success, a beautiful wife and intelligent kids, an amazing physique, athletic ability, or lots of great sex to brag about, or the more recently elevated aspiration of pursuing your creative passion and living the life of your dreams, men are constantly served up examples of what they need to do to achieve happiness. These expectations create another man box, the “happiness box,” that constricts men’s lives and limits the futures they seek for themselves.
The result: not having or doing or being these things causes men to feel shame and humiliation.
Is there a disconnect between what really really makes you happy—and what you think *should* make you happy? That’s the place we’d like to explore. But we’re equally interested in how you’ve discovered what it is that truly makes you happy. Do you have an answer to the blank statement here: “My life became better when_____”. What do you do for happiness that is non-stereotypical or counterintuitive?
We’re looking for articles that explore the problems that societal definitions of male happiness create and examples of men who have found their own fulfilling ways to live a happy life.
Articles might take the form of personal narratives in either written or video form, examination of media influences, interviews with men, or opinion pieces.
When you’re ready to submit, please click the red box, below.
The Good Men Project is different from most media companies. We are a “participatory media company”—which means we don’t just have content you read and share and comment on but it means we have multiple ways you can actively be a part of the conversation. As you become a deeper part of the conversation (Which really is “The Conversation No One Else is Having), you will learn all of the ways we support our Writer’s Community—community FB groups, weekly conference calls, classes in writing, editing platform building and How to Create Social Change.
Here are more ways to become a part of The Good Men Project community:
Request to join our private Facebook Group for Writers—it’s like our virtual newsroom where you connect with editors and other writers about issues and ideas.
Click here to become a Premium Member of The Good Men Project Community. Have access to these benefits:
- Get access to an exclusive “Members Only” Group on Facebook
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Are you stuck on what to write? Sign up for our Writing Prompts emails, you’ll get ideas directly from our editors every Monday and Thursday. If you already have a final draft, then click below to send your post through our submission system.
If you are already working with an editor at GMP, please be sure to name that person. If you are not currently working with a GMP editor, one will be assigned to you.
Join our exclusive weekly “Call with the Publisher” — where community members are encouraged to discuss the issues of the week, get story ideas, meet other members and get known for their ideas? To get the call-in information, either join as a member or wait until you get a post published with us. Here are some examples of what we talk about on the calls.
Want to learn practical skills about how to be a better Writer, Editor or Platform Builder? Want to be a Rising Star in Media? Want to learn how to Create Social Change? We have classes in all of those areas.
However, you engage with The Good Men Project—you can help lead this conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Join us!