Three Pillars to Being a Better Man


My journey out of quiet desperation to living a life of divine inspiration has been a path of radical inner transformation. It’s always a work in progress. We never fully arrive or have it all figured out. I have been on the road less traveled of taking a deep hard look at myself over the past several years.

It’s a courageous path and one I want to encourage you to take. Without going on this introspective path we will stay stuck in our addictions and wounds. We will get caught up in the status quo letting life happen to us instead of creating the life of our dreams. The path is narrow and the journey is challenging, but very rewarding. Life is short my brothers, but if we do it right we only need one life. A life of no regrets.

I want you to think of this as a guide map for you or a play book of getting out of quiet desperation. I have found on my journey that when we have these three pillars in place it gives us our best chance of living a life of divine inspiration. Without these three pillars in place we will feel like we are swimming upstream, always fighting the current instead of simply floating down the river of life knowing God is in control. 

I have been an upstream swimmer, but I am learning that life is a lot more fun, peaceful and joyful when I go with the flow. That is a hard thing for us men to do. Our nature is to always have to prove ourselves and make things happen. I believe there is a better way.

The three pillars that are the core of living a life of divine inspiration are brotherhood, optimal health and purpose. When we have these three pillars in place it will help us to be better men. It’s uncovering that spiritual warrior that has been buried deep down inside us for far too long. It’s there, we just have to look inside ourselves and uncover it. 

Are you willing to go on that journey with me? Are you willing to take a chance on yourself and uncover who you are at your core? Not who the world says you are, but who God says you are. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Pillar One…Brotherhood

The first pillar is brotherhood. This is all about finding a tribe of like-minded brothers who will support, encourage and pick you up when you have fallen down. And we all fall down. We just don’t want to be that brother that doesn’t get back up. Sadly, most men don’t have one brother in their life they can talk to and share their deepest pain. This leads to a life of isolation, loneliness, despair and quiet desperation.

It can be really challenging to heal from our wounds, shame and guilt unless we share our darkness with at least one other trusted brother. There is a loneliness epidemic going on amongst men and I hope to change that. I have witnessed time and time again that men want to express their feelings, they just don’t feel safe doing it. I have seen how cathartic it is when we are able to share our deepest pain. I see the weight being unloaded from the fifty pound backpack of shame that we carry around the majority of our lives.

 It weighs every man down whether we want to admit or not. We have been taught by cultural norms that we can’t express how we really feel and show up in the world as who we are, so we pretend. We put up a façade and suppress everything until we explode. That is unhealthy for everyone.

A brotherhood is needed now more than ever. That is why I created Barbells & Brothers. We need to be in a community where it’s safe to be us. Where we can practice courageous vulnerability. Where we don’t have to suffer alone.

The first pillar and first step to getting out of quiet desperation is finding another brother, community or tribe where you can take your walls down and unpack any shame or guilt you are carrying with you. This brotherhood should provide a safe place where there is never any judgement or condemnation. If there is, then they are not your people. Move on and find another brother. This is a judgement and condemnation free relationship. There is enough shame and guilt we heap on ourselves, we don’t need an added burden to our already heavy backpack.

Barbells and Brothers is a tribe of spiritual warriors that is a brotherhood first and foremost. We are all beloved sons of God. If you are feeling beat up by the world, exhausted, trapped, and powerless feeling like you are battling to endure and question whether you really have what it takes, I want you to know you are not alone. Every man including myself has felt that feeling of quiet desperation. That first step out of quiet desperation is getting in brotherhood. It will be one of the best things you have ever done for yourself. 

Pillar 2…Optimal Health

The second pillar of living a life of divine inspiration is being in optimal health. When I talk about optimal health I am talking about divine wellness. Optimal health is achieved by integrating physical, mental and spiritual practices into our daily lives. Too many men are living in quiet desperation because of poor health. It’s time to reclaim our inner warrior and get back to who we are created to be in our essence. We are fully integrated beings of mind, body and spirit. To live our best lives, having a daily practice that incorporates mind, body and spirit will lead to optimal health full of vitality, energy and abundance. It is a life of valor.

With physical valor, we honor our bodies and develop our physical strength to be of greatest service to God. With mental valor, we honor our passions and develop the mental strength to be of greatest service to God. With spiritual valor, we honor our beliefs and develop the spiritual strength to be of greatest service to God.

When we incorporate this pillar into our lives we become optimized beings. We are fully optimized spiritual warriors that have the energy to be of service to each other, our community and to God. When we neglect this second pillar of optimal health we lessen our ability to be in divine inspiration due to poor physical, mental and spiritual health. I see a possibility for every man to better himself through optimizing every aspect of our health. It starts by making it a daily practice. Barbells and Brothers is a tribe of spiritual warriors that integrates faith and fitness into our daily lives.

Pillar 3…Purpose

The third pillar of Barbells & Brothers is living a life of purpose feeling fully alive. Without this sense of purpose there is a feeling of smoldering discontent. A gut feeling that there has to be more to this life. When we have the check the box mentality we become complacent and get mired in the status quo. It’s a life that leads to boredom, mediocrity and addictions.

When we pursue our purpose it’s a game changer. I was in the pharmaceutical industry for seventeen years. Although it was a good job that provided for my family, it wasn’t my purpose, it wasn’t my calling. It was slowly eating away at me knowing that I was missing out on the life that God had intended for me. It was scary to quit my six figure job in the pharmaceutical industry to pursue my purpose, but it was a risk well worth taking.

Living our purpose doesn’t require us to quit our job, but for some of you it might. It’s about going on this journey of discovering who we are and showing up in the world as who God created us to be. That is living a life of purpose. It’s not about what we do, it’s about who we are becoming.

 It’s a journey of self-discovery and radical inner transformation. That is taking the road less traveled. It’s a narrow path from what the world tells us to do. It takes courage to become who we are. It takes risk to pursue inner wisdom rather than chase the American dream of power, prestige and possessions. That is the path to quiet desperation. The path to divine inspiration is living a life of purpose, feeling fully alive, excited to get up in the morning not knowing what adventure is in store for us today.

That is the life I am going after. I used to dread Monday’s, now most of the time I don’t know what day it is. As the saying goes, do what you love and you will never have to work another day in your life. I feel like that is where I am at in my life. I am living a life of purpose. It’s simple with clarity.

Without this pillar in our life we are missing out. If you aren’t waking up in the morning excited about the day, I would encourage you to start to create the life of your dreams. We have our default life and our created life. Take some time alone with God and start asking these questions. What are my passions? What are my dreams and goals? How can I make a difference in the world? What gifts, talents and skills do I have?

When we start to ask ourselves these questions and take small steps towards them we will learn more about who we are and what our purpose is. The purpose of our lives is having a radical inner transformation to become more like Christ. It’s a journey of a lifetime.

St. Irenaeus says, 

“The glory of God is man fully alive.” 

The three pillars of brotherhood, optimal health and purpose are the foundations of living a life that makes us feel fully alive. What is one step you can take today to live that life you so desperately want to live? It is on every man’s heart to make a difference in the world and leave a legacy. The best way we can do that is to be ourselves. To show up in the world being love. In order to do that we have to learn to love ourselves. The journey of a spiritual warrior is going on an introspective journey for a cause greater than ourselves. Let’s go on this journey together.

Troy Ismir

Spiritual Warrior Coach

Founder and Creator of Barbells & Brothers


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