I just finished reading “Man’s Guide to Well-Being”, a book by Regan Jacklin. While the information is still fresh in my head, I thought I would write a review and give my thoughts. Regan is the owner of RefinedMindset, a site aimed at improving your well-being.
This book comes in at 170 pages and 55,000 words long. If you are familiar with Ebooks you will know most don’t come close to matching this. However the length of a book does not necessarily give an indication of it’s quality.
I’ve seen more wisdom in a single paragraph than in whole novels before. Thankfully, this isn’t the case here. From start to finish there is advice and mentoring you can act on. After reading it the whole way through, I can attest to the fact there are no fillers.
The book is laid out in a manner which makes sense. It begins with the internal-self and finishes with a look to the heavens. In between these two points are various other topics which I will discuss in depth below.
Coming into this book I was fairly familiar with Regan’s work. We have interacted on each others sites before. As a result I had high expectations coming into this book.
For those who don’t know, Regan is a man who suffered with depression and anxiety for 10 years. He is not a medical professional but he has experience in personally dealing with these conditions. Sometimes simply having someone to relate to can go along way.
“Man’s Guide to Well-Being” comes with multiple worksheets included. These are resources to provide you with physical data on your growth. With the aid of these you can track progress and identify areas for improvement.
Each worksheet serves a different purpose and is associated with a different chapter. Reading through each has given me some ideas to implement in my own life. If used correctly, I am sure these can be effective for you. You don’t have to wait until the end of the book to start taking action. You can immediately start to work on yourself from part 1.
Another feature I appreciated about this book was the quotes included throughout the book. Regan did a great job of using these to reinforce a message. These were excerpts of wisdom from sources such as the bible and they suited well. As I said already, the wisdom contained in as little as a sentence can help to bring clarity to your life.
Now I will breakdown the four main parts and delve into each. This will help to give you an idea of what to expect.
Part 1 – Personal Growth
The book begins by focusing on the reader – you. Without the will to change it will be hard to see results. This is clear in Regan’s methods. Advice given here is time-proven. There’s a reason why activities such as meditations and affirmations are brought up continuously – they work. The worksheet “Habit Swapping” is a great idea. The concept is different from what most say. It isn’t just a “tear everything down” exercise. Instead, it is a methodical swapping exercise. Making a better use of your time is invaluable.
Regan lays out some of the enemies of the mind and how to avoid them. Prevention is the best strategy when it comes to dealing with problems. A statement is made on the damaging effects of lingering on past events. We only have a finite store of energy and it can only be directed in one place at a time. If it is constantly in past, it isn’t in the present and most certainly is not in the future. Enjoying the current moment for what it is brings a great sense of peace and fulfilment. By appreciating the life we have been given we can actually utilize it to the best of our ability.
When we do this, we embody a mindset of growth and can leave our fixed one behind. The chapter on this subject highlights this transition well. It spells out a clear path to success, by constantly working towards a goal. Regan makes it clear that success doesn’t happen by magic. It is brought about through continual progress. By seeing opportunities where other see obstacles you can go where previously thought impossible.
Foundational principles are not ignored here. Much like any Rise and Claim reader’s here will know the importance of exercise, so too does this book. The first part of the book has a good mix touching on different aspects of personal development. It asks the important questions others wouldn’t care or would be afraid to ask. That is something to be respected.
Part 2 – Mental Fortitude
Another thing I like about this book is it’s repetition. Don’t worry I hate pointless repetition as much as the next person. But it’s entirely different when the repetition performs a purpose. This is to highlight specific points of the text. Affirmations are one of these. Before reading this book I had a rough idea of their true purpose. After finishing it, I can say Regan done a better job than anyone in explaining it. I don’t know and I haven’t asked him but my guess is because he has experienced their effects first hand.
The second part of the book sees us delving into the mind more. To win the battles out there you need to win the battles in here first of all. I can tell Regan understands this as he explains how to tackle the beast head-on. The beast is described in detail to help you recognize it. This way, if it ever shows it’s ugly face again you can chop it down to size.
Unwanted emotions and negative thinking can all seep into one’s mind when unaware. Sometimes the best form of defense can be to count your blessings. We are all lucky to be alive especially in such a prosperous time. It’s easy to forget this if you listen to the news everyday. The truth is there is a lot to be thankful for. “Man’s Guide to Well-Being” provides you with a gratitude list. However the list is empty. It is up to you to fill it up with your own personal appreciations for life. This is something you can refer back to whenever needed.
Self-knowledge is paramount to all things. That’s why you need to ask some tough personal questions . The worksheet included here allows you to do exactly that. People can go through their whole life without ever actually looking down the tunnel of time. Self-analysis can be ugly initially but the results can be sweet. First you need to become aware of your current situation. Part 2 will help you do exactly that.
Part 3 – Lifestyle Changes
Once your mind is in order you can turn your attention to improving your lifestyle. This is exactly what part 3 is about. The chapter on porn is one that particularly stood out to me. As stated, it is a drug many do not even realise they are on. Men everywhere are hooked on this poison. It may not be pleasant to talk about but it needs addressed. Never in the history of humankind has such material been so accessible. We do not realize the consequences this holds for the future.
When talking about lifestyle, one cannot forget about diet and exercise. Thankfully Regan ensured to paint a contrast between an optimized life and a deteriorated one. This section has lots of first hand experience of how he dealt with this problem. Testosterone is an aspect of health which often goes unmentioned. The fact men’s testosterone levels are dropping year on year is an unsolved mystery. There are a few theories but nothing is universally accepted as of yet. As a man, testosterone optimization should be a high priority. Regan does a good job of giving some practical methods to do so. These can be implemented immediately for your own benefit.
They say what gets measured gets managed. I think anyone who meticulously tracks their lifestyle can attest to this. When I am aiming to lose fat what do I do? I track my calories and my daily bodyweight. Without doing so I couldn’t be sure whether I was moving towards my goal. I could use the mirror as a guide, sure. However this wouldn’t be as objective as the scales. In part 3 Regan reveals some of the best ways to become accountable to your own behaviours. By doing so you can see where improvements can be made. It can also hold as a great source of motivation by looking back at how far you have come.
Part 4 – Spiritual Basics
If you consider yourself some who isn’t spiritual, do not be alarmed. This section approaches the subject in an open manner. As someone who is always perceptive of new ideas, I particularly enjoyed this section. By incorporating both Western and Eastern traditions, a unique perspective is taken on the subject. Honestly my only criticism of this section is that it wasn’t longer. It was only intended to be the “Basics” as the title states. I will have to thank Regan for spiking my interest in the subject matter anyhow.
Part 4 will give you a new perspective on the world. Knowing what truly matters and what does not will produce a powerful gain in gratitude. If you lack a lust for life this part is perfect. It has everything from consciousness to to the vast cosmos of space included. The mysteries of the universe are truly fascinating. When you gain a better understanding of the world we live in, it’s beauty is revealed. It is a miracle any of us are here today. It is even more of a miracle that you are reading this right now. For that, we should be grateful. Everyone needs a moral framework to build their life around. We need individual morals and ethics or else we are lost. Whatever you believe in, believe in something. Have something to strive for, something to wake up for in the morning. Regan reveals what spirituality has done for him. If you needed a reason to open yourself up to it, he certainly makes a compelling argument.
A personal highlight on the book was the section on “The Power of Writing”. As someone who loves to write and finds it incredibly therapeutic, Regan put my thoughts into words. Reading this had me internally “aha’ing”. This has helped me gain a greater insight about myself. Here you can also find some great information on how to create purpose. Yes that’s right – it must be created. It is not born out of thin air. It is extremely rare for someone to wake up one day with divine inspiration. Instead, this must be worked for. In the beginning it may seem hopeless, sure. However if you persevere and don’t give up – things will start to change. Eventually you will start to become a little bit better. Soon enough you may become such a competent individual that you produce immense value for yourself and others. If you can do this then you are on the right path. This part will teach you how to find fulfilment in our ultra-materialist world.
Hearing Regan’s story was inspiring. Throughout “Man’s Guide to Well-Being” he refers back to his journey whenever it suits. By doing this I believe it helps draw a connection between author and reader. It’s glaringly obvious this book has been tried and tested already. It wasn’t written by an armchair quarterback. One reason being is the sheer passion which exudes from Regan’s writing. To someone with no skin in the game – this would be challenging to replicate.
Personally I have no experience with mental health problems. However all the content in this book was still applicable. Why? Because it is all based on the idea of improving yourself. This is something possible by everyone. I did come away feeling inspired nonetheless. If I was going through tough times, I can see myself returning to this book. It can easy to comprehend and there is actionable advice along every step of the way. While there is a time and a place for in-depth philosophical texts, “Man’s Guide to Well-Being” is fit for a different purpose. No matter what stage of life you at, the guidance here is universal.