Bring The Magic: How To Be Independently Happy

You wake to an even playing field.

But then, as the day unfolds, it happens.

The words of praise you speak to your wife are met with silence.

Or the coffee you brewed for her, with the cream and sugar just the way she likes it, went unthanked.

Despite the extra help around the house you did in preparation for your “ask,” she still turns you down… and to add insult to injury, she’s offended you’d even ask.

And so the day sours: your acts of service and words of affirmation glaringly unreciprocated.

As children, we seek unilateral meeting of our own needs, without regard for the needs of others. The value flows in one direction: to us.

When we marry and have children of our own, we evolve into a new paradigm… one in which we seek bilateral meeting of needs between family members. The value flows in two directions: “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine.”

And that is where most men stay, believing this unspoken pact of reciprocal need-meeting is the best a man can hope for.

But there is a third level, far superior to the levels below. When you operate out of this third level, your capacity for freedom, and power, and fulfillment, and JOY is boundless, because you have decoupled your wife and children’s behavior from your own happiness.

At this level, the value flows primarily FROM US.

At this level, you simply serve, without hope or claim for reciprocation of any kind. And this is the key: it is NOT a self-denial. it is NOT “sacrifice.” It is working within the paradoxical reality that man is fulfilled not by the reciprocation of his service, but in the act of service itself.

Our own back is scratched in the very act of scratching another’s.

Try if for yourself: for one day, serve your wife and children at the deepest level you are capable of. Put all hope or thought of reciprocation out of your mind. You’ll find that your spirits soar in the giving itself, REGARDLESS of any reciprocation that might come of it.

You think you will not have the strength of heart to make magic for others, so you wait for the magic to first befall you, never realizing that is is the ACT OF MAKING MAGIC for others that GIVES you heart in the first place.

Most men around you are stuck in this profound, lifelong Catch 22… waiting their entire lives to receive the spark that only THEY can flint.

For the sake of your wife, your children, your friends, family, customers, clients, patrons… come alive, now.

Their reciprocation or lack of is irrelevant. It’s all cherries and gravy.

As long as you have the will to begin it, you have everything you need.

So bring the magic.

Bryan Ward is the founder of Third Way Man and author of the LIT Black Paper


  1. Jbarruso says

    Fantastic article! I am living this now, my change of heart (thinking) came when my wife left me for another man. We reconciled and I’m a “happier” man for having let go.

  2. Nathan Kimsey says

    This is me right now. It has been me for a few years and it’s gotten a lot worse over the last 6 months. I can barely operate and for a man that I think is strong, caring and powerful I think I’ve lost myself. So, how do I get the fuck up and slowly begin to put myself back together and get my ass back to producing. For myself, my beautiful wife and my 3 daughters. Nathan/44/needs help. And I think it’s your help that I need to get this boost.

  3. This is so good.

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