Male role models don't have to be the quintessential good guys. You can draw strength from both gentle and strong men. Here are 10 that can empower you to be brave and bold in times of need.
Growing up in America, you’re surrounded by images of potential male role models including superheroes in cartoons, presidents, public figures, and countless male characters on TV and in the media. Boys seem to have at least one favorite hero at any given point in their childhood.
As you grow up and find yourself in the shark tank of work, adult responsibilities, and family life, with children who look up to you, you may end up leaving behind your admiration of male superheroes. Maybe your wife thinks you shouldn’t spend time or money on adolescent ideas. But show her 10 Female Archetypes and she may be asking you to take her to the next Avengers movie.
An archetype isn’t defined by any specific characteristics. An archetype can be anyone who has traits that you admire or would like more of in your life. You can draw inspiration from them and even celebrate their achievements as your own. Consider revisiting your childhood favorites. Can you draw inspiration from them as an adult? You can also choose from this list of my top 10 picks.
Born in England, John Lennon became an American household name. His musical talent blew up the stage with one of the most successful bands on the planet—The Beatles. John wasn’t shy when it came to performing, nor when it came to sharing his personal views on religion, politics, and equal rights.
Men and women alike loved and admired his popularity, talent, and courage to speak his mind. During a stage of our evolution where spirituality, growth, peace, and love were gaining new views and protestors seemed to be in every city, Lennon was on the front line. Television, newspapers, magazines, photographers, they all wanted their share of him. Lennon’s quotes, songs, and dedication to his beliefs are still admired today.
Come Together With the Imagination of John
- Whenever the women in your life are down about the patriarchal challenges they face, turn to John for inspiration. Read his quotes and views on how he felt women were treated. Listen to the songs he wrote that stood up for women’s rights and equality. You don’t have to be a feminist to draw inspiration from John. All women really want is understanding by the men they love.
- When you would like to be admired for one of your talents, draw strength from John Lennon. His music and style was loved so much that cheers and screams muffled his music even before he started playing. When you want admiration for what you love, pop in a live Beatles album or a John Lennon single and listen for the crowd. Imagine that same crowd is cheering for you, your work, and your passion. Own it as truth.
Courageously standing up for the innocent people of Gotham City, Batman puts his personal love life, dreams, and even business on the backburner to save lives. He is a billionaire playboy, a successful businessman by day, and a superhero by night. He is a mere man with no mutant powers, just his ingenious gadgets and determination. These are the traits that make Batman one of the most popular superheroes of all time. Because he is an ordinary man, it reasons that any man could potentially become the Dark Knight.
Beat the Challenge With Batman
- You don’t have to fight crime to save lives. When you feel the need to help your family or community, look to Batman. Maybe your neighborhood is struggling with pollution or lack of jobs and you want to do something other than complain about it. Meditate on Batman for a few days—you can even watch the movies. Adopt his way of thinking and focus on the challenge at hand.
- Batman is one of the darker superheroes illuminating the fact that just because there is darkness inside of you doesn’t mean you can’t be the light for others.
Also called the messiah, the messenger, the prophet, the Son of God, and the savior, Jesus is called upon for many tasks. He lived on this planet more than 2,000 years ago and is still praised by millions. He was the one to take away the sins of the Christians, and the Muslims look to him as a great messenger. No matter what religion, they all show respect to his name and missions. Even atheists may yell his name in times of despair or frustration. Jesus, the man who walked on water, changed water to wine, showed love to outcasts, and healed the sick, is an archetype for nearly any occasion.
- The popular What-Would-Jesus-Do bracelets are a physical reminder to use Jesus as an archetype. Maybe someone you know is sick and you want to help. Although you may not have the capability to heal them, you do have the ability to send loving, healing thoughts. On a quantum level your thoughts and words turn into a physical action. If this friend or loved one is open to your love, your thoughts can help in their healing process.
- Be a great messenger. Jesus was dedicated to traveling, speaking, and uplifting as many people as possible. These days you don’t have to travel the world to accomplish this task. When you’re bestowed with knowledge, share it. Someone out there is waiting for your uplifting words.
The deity with the human body and head of an elephant is one of the most popular in Hindu culture. As the remover of obstacles, Ganesha is looked upon before any ritual or spiritual activity is performed. The large head represents wisdom and understanding while the trunk represents versatility. The strength of an elephant’s trunk can range from picking up a tiny needle off the ground to uprooting a tree.
The mouse that is always with Ganesha symbolizes the ego. The ego can chip away all that is good and real in a person. When we allow the ego to have control we lose the focus on who we are as a soul. This is why Ganesha is sometimes shown riding the mouse, metaphorically controlling the direction of the ego.
Remove Obstacles With Ganesha
- No matter the goals in life, there will be obstacles and challenges. Let’s face it, life would be boring without them. Humans love to achieve and if everything was handed to us immediately, we’d be bored. This is why Ganesha is used before almost every activity in the Hindu practice. You don’t have to be a Hindu to appreciate this. Read the interesting story of Ganesha, and use it whenever you have to overcome an obstacle.
- The ego can destroy any aspect of happiness in our lives when it controls the reasons for our actions. The “I” is only a piece of who we are, taking on different roles at different stages in our lives: “I am a mother,” “I am a CEO,” “I am liked by others.” While the ego plays an important character in the game of life, the problem arises when we think that character IS who we are. When our actions, words, and thoughts become nothing more than proving this to others or even to ourselves. Whenever you feel your “I” trying to control you, picture Ganesha taking control of the mouse, aka the ego.
He is edgy yet open-hearted, a non-conformist yet something many can relate to—a father. He is also full of talent. This is not a man who will take just any role for a buck. Women and men alike are drawn to Depp, but why? I personally feel it is his honesty and true self that he allows all of us to see. A lot of celebrities are always in some type of character. I feel Depp is an exception—an aura that not only radiates brightly outward but also is welcoming.
Be Yourself With Depp
- Have you been dressing or acting a certain way to appease those around you? When you’re ready to find your edge, your uniqueness, turn to Depp for inspiration. He is willing to be himself no matter the judgment. You don’t have to be a movie star to dress on the outside the way you feel on the inside.
- Make money doing what you love. A Kentucky boy who doesn’t compromise his true self has shown that you can do what you love and receive the compensation you deserve. No matter the goal, use Depp as the archetype of success and acceptance of self.
Muhammad Ali is one of the most recognized faces in sports, and his skill and determination did not stop in the ring. Ali was a voice for the people. Refusing to fight in the Vietnam War turned a lot of heads and gained the attention of the American people. Although some may have condemned his decision, there were certainly many young boys who wished for the courage to do the same. He stood up for what he believed against the downward glares of the men before him.
Once again, he stepped away from the teachings and beliefs of his parents when he converted to Islam. Ali believed in himself, and his physical and mental strength is nearly unmatched in our time. Whether you like him or not, is not his concern. His concern is and always has been to be the best he can be in all aspects of his personal Dharma.
Be Courageous Enough for the Risk With Ali
- In both physical fights and mental ones, Ali can provide you strength. Whether you’re backed into a corner or up against an intimidating opponent, draw inspiration from this brave man.
- It can be scary for a man to go against his family, especially his father. In some cultures to stand against your father even as a grown man would be at the risk of lifelong rejection. While planning life goals, raising your own sons, or facing personal challenges, a father’s voice rings loud from the subconscious mind. Find the courage to create your own path with the unreserved advice of Muhammad Ali.
The indestructible, raw power of the Hulk is the go-to archetype for strength. The man, Bruce Banner, is small, smart, and introverted. His counterpart—the Hulk—is raw, loud, and in-your-face scary. All eyes are focused on him, even those who are close to him are fearful of his uncontrollable rage. Even in heroic moments he may destroy or harm the innocent. Sometimes to do what’s right, we have to put our intellect and reasoning to the side and let our inner Hulk come out.
Unleash the Extrovert With the Hulk
- Although Hulk is the extreme of all that he represents, some cases call for an extreme archetype to pull us in the right direction. Bruce Banner being the pushover that he is would never put himself on the front line of an altercation. Hulk on the other hand will stand against an army and be confident enough to know he will win. Pull confidence from the Hulk whenever you find yourself on the front line, even if that front line is standing in front of a conference room for a business presentation or confronting an unreasonable professor or boss. “Smash” your challenges to non-existence with the Hulk by your side.
- If you have decided to get fit or get more serious about your workout plan, the Hulk is definitely the character from which to draw inspiration. Envision his bulk while running, lifting weights, or working a physical labor job.
The character in the 1983 film Scarface is still loved by men of all ages. Tony was a gangster, boss, taking what he wanted by all means necessary. The character is based solely on greed, power, and corruption yet men of all races, backgrounds, and economic classes love him. Why? Because all men have a little gangster inside of them. They like that feeling of “I am the alpha.” There is also the notion that you will survive regardless of what you may have to do. It’s the primal, animalist instinct of living. This characteristic can be fulfilled in healthier ways than actually becoming a gangster, and Tony Montana is here to be the archetype for just that.
- This can be a tough world, especially for men who have a lot of love and values in their hearts. Other men may look at you as weak for doing the right thing verses doing the thing that makes the most money or brings the most prestige. During times like this, turn to Tony. Be his power and rank in your field. Walk into boardroom meetings as the Tony Montana and you’ll meet very little resistance. Be that role, just as the actor who played him.
- What else do men admire about Tony? His money-making abilities of course. Whether you need or maybe just want more cash flow, Tony is the man. This doesn’t mean you have to generate funds illegally or immorally. You just pull from the same ability to produce and apply it to your personal Dharma.
The ultimate archetype in any country, among any race, is God. Also called Creator, Allah, Brahman, the ultimate creator of all that exists, and more. Although many religions are divided around the world, many can agree that being more God-like is what many humans strive for.
In our current stage of humanity, God is looked at as male, but I believe that we have lost the feminine aspect of our ultimate archetype. I suggest that all men (and women) look at God as a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energy and see how your challenges to life transform. To overcome, learn, create, and explore this planet that we live on, we need balance. Men have female hormones, just as women have male hormones. Embrace the feminine and masculine aspects of God. In doing so, you’ll find both inner and outer strength to confront your battles from every angle.
When taking on a character, remember to play the role, don’t allow the role to play you. Once you take on an archetype, it can become a part of who you are. This is why it’s important to only choose what you want of that character or person, leaving what you don’t like to the side. When you eat from a buffet you don’t have to place all dishes on your plate. Also when using a personality for your job that you don’t necessarily want to express to your wife and children, leave him in the car. Choose the more loving archetype before walking into your home.