In my last article, Why You Should Read Onward to Manhood, I introduced you to author Eric Elliott who has written a book of the same title. I was inspired to write the article after interviewing Eric on a radio show I host, “Let’s Coach”. The book focuses on the journey to manhood providing a blueprint that if followed, serves to lead one to succeed in life.
As part of the journey, as defined by Eric, a man must move through the four quadrants of manhood. The quadrants are not something tangible but a state of mind. So what exactly happens during these four quadrants of manhood? Here is a brief introduction of each.
Eric compares the first quadrant to spending time at Disney Land – the happiest place in the world. While their boys are somewhat go-lucky and don’t have a care in the world. They are looking for the excitement and thrill of the rides, candy, and popcorn. It’s a feeling one wants to experience over and over again.
In this quadrant, they are very callous and curious enough to create problems. You are not supposed to worry about anything, you have someone providing your basic needs. Who would want this good thing to end? This is the place men start out but the reality is, as they grow they will move on to quadrant two.
In quadrant two, young men start moving to a place where they start to ask questions. Some examples of questions they ask are, “Why does this happen?” “Why can’t I have some more food?” and “Why don’t you do it?”. These are curiosity questions not necessarily rebellious questions. These are questions from someone seeking reflection wondering about what is beyond and what is going on right here, right now. They start viewing the world and life as a place they want to understand more. They desire to have a better quality of life.
Eric teaches the youth that he mentors to ask a lot of questions and not to simply accept things as status quo. One must be willing to ask questions beyond what they see right in front of them. According to Eric, when you are asking questions, it’s almost as if you are in a game of tug of war with your next level of living. It is almost as if life is pulling you forward. When you don’t ask questions, it is as if you are sliding backward doing a Micheal Jackson moonwalk but going nowhere.
The third quadrant is where maturing men are aware enough to seek answers to questions. That is the difference between quadrant two and three. It is easy to ask the questions but when you are diligently seeking answers you gain a level of understanding that surpasses the everyday person who just asks questions. Eric rates understanding as a modern-day superpower.
It is a modern-day superpower in that you look ahead to the consequences or the end result of whatever you are doing. You stop to consider the future. You make sure you are making the right decision and getting the right results.
In this quadrant, the nature of the questions change to what Eric calls “life staple questions”. These are questions such as “What am I going to do with my life?”. As you ask the questions, you begin to encounter and interact with people who have the answers to those questions. Those in quadrant three are in a more mature place of responsibility.
The fourth quadrant is where the maturing men are stout enough not just to provide answers, but to provide solutions. There is a major difference between providing answers and providing solutions. According to Eric, an answer is a temporary quick fix. An example would be asking what we are eating for dinner and knowing the answer is spaghetti. A solution is making sure there is food in the refrigerator for the next two or three weeks.
When in this quadrant of manhood, one may not be sure as to how to reach the solution but they walk in faith. They walk in faith until they see it. When others come to them, they assist by guiding them in the right direction. People look up to them and Eric encourages every man to have someone in their life they look up to. It can be a wise old man or even a wise young man. Eric himself has several people he looks up to and turns to when he needs to seek advice. These men have stretched him in key areas of his life to include his career and finances.
Having successfully walked through quadrants one through three, they are there to accompany one on his journey to manhood. They provide guidance, wisdom, and experience as one transitions himself.
Although the goal is to evolve to quadrant four, some men never even make it out of quadrant one. To achieve true success in life, that is built on a strong foundation, a man should understand the journey and how to navigate through the quadrants. “Onward to Manhood”, by Eric Elliott provides the blueprint. One question that is often asked is, What if it’s a single mother raising a son on her own. How does this all apply to her? In my next article, I’ll share Eric’s approach for single mothers.
Note: This article first appeared on Go Read at – https://www.goread.com/author/carolyn60/ and is shared with the author’s permission.