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Beware the Ides of March
A young, educated and motivated guy goes to work for the ‘Man’, bright eyed and bushy tailed he’s keen to impress and do the right thing for others, confident and cocksure he’s also a bit of a ladies man, the world at his feet. But yet after some time he finds out that there are things happening to him that are outside of this control, he is used and abused by those in more powerful positions than him, a crappy boss thwarts his progress or a colleague leap-frogs him for a promotion.
Then the woman in his life begins to cause drama that also endangers his very career, putting his future at risk.
Sound familiar? Ever felt like this has happened to you? That for all your good work and excellence someone higher up had more street-smarts than you, maybe they poured honey in your ear about your job prospects only to take your good ideas and use them themselves for their own betterment?
While the underhand and sneaky world of political power in the movie The Ides of March starring George Clooney and Ryan Gosling may seem a million miles away from yours or my life, the very same hidden rules of engagement, dirty tricks and corporate one-upmanship are at play in any and every ‘political’ situation you will find yourself in today. Whether is a small group of friends, amongst co-workers or members of a local gym or club.
The reason for this is that all men have a reptilian brain and it is this part of our brain which houses our instincts for survival, helping us to navigate threats to our mission and defeat others who would stand in the way of our dreams and aspirations.
The movie itself deals mainly with what are known as ‘Machiavellian’ political tactics and manoeuvres and is in fact an updated version of a Shakespeare play Julius Caesar about the perils of life in the court of ancient Rome.
Machiavelli was an 13th Century diplomat and historian who wrote ‘The Prince’ as a guide to the real life political dramas facing noblemen and royalty in Italy as they battled to maintain peace and defeat enemies that would threaten their positions of power. In what may seem like an ancient document in our age of social media and futuristic get rich quick schemes Machiavelli wrote a masterpiece on the workings of all men’s reptilian brains and illustrated the many mini-dramas that happen not only in old European Kingdoms but in modern corporations and networks world wide (think Mafia like Godfather II or Politics like the example given of the Ides of March). Same struggles, different setting.
In the Ides of March you can see these survival instincts at play amongst the main characters that form opposing teams in a Democratic Primary election, the winner of which may go on to become a Presidential nominee (think departmental Heads in a corporation vying for the top job for comparison).
Ryan Gosling plays a brilliant, if slightly idealistic, communications strategist working for the team of George Clooney’s ‘honest as the day is long’ good guy nominee.
Unwittingly Gosling is ‘played’ by the campaign manager of the rival team and is manipulated into a meeting to discuss joining the opposition. During the meeting he is lied to about Clooney’s characters chances of winning the forthcoming vote. He turns down a job offer and rejects the lies but regrets taking the meeting without telling his own boss and so hides it from him fearing reprisal.
Somehow the facts about their covert meeting are leaked to the press. Gosling is immediately sacked for breaking trust. Dejected and realizing his predicament he then goes back to the rival team to ask if he may now accept the job offer as he has burnt his bridges with Clooney’s team – the team he really did believe in. He is turned away.
The rival boss reveals that the entire plan was concocted simply to ensure Gosling could no longer apply his skills to Clooney’s campaign and that once he refused to swap sides the meeting was leaked by them in the knowledge that the reaction would lead to him losing his job, thereby achieving the original goal of removing him from the opposition. One less piece on the chess-board. Once he refused to jump ship the first time he was doomed.
The young idealist was played like an amateur.
Whilst we are encouraged to feel shocked by this ruthless piece of skullduggery and back-stabbing we also see Gosling’s character come to accept, as we all must, that this is truly and simply the way of the world. The law of the jungle. Survival of the fittest (or the sneakiest in this case.) With his back to the wall he finally finds it within himself to do whatever it takes to win out and save his career by foul means or fair.
Gosling’s character is someone who for one reason or an other, be it lack of fathering, mentoring or experience of life lessons learned is lacking in skill at accessing and intelligently using the core instincts or ‘circuits’ of his reptilian brain.
Understanding how these ‘animal’ drives work in yourself and in other men (who may well be in competition with you) is crucial in order that you effectively navigate the pitfalls of finding, following and succeeding at a career mission and also in your relations to women in order that you have success and a real sense of passion for life.
At Mens Psychology you will know that there are a number of programs that touch on aspects of the reptilian brain but the cornerstone is the Mature Masculine Power program. This is a guide to all the secrets of the reptilian brain and in particular to your career or mission as a man, something so fundamental and crucial to your own sense of passion and survival that it requires all the ‘Machiavellian’ skills of The Prince to guard against sabotage from others.
If you really want to develop the skills necessary to identify and develop your true mission as a man then this is program you need. And, if you hope to do more than just amble through life at the mercy of those in higher power then you MUST learn the skills of an effective masculine life so you do not fall foul of the Machiavellian tactics of others.