November 25, 2019

45. UMAN Framework: Uniqueness


Today we’re looking at the UMAN framework and in particular stage 1 – Uniqueness.

The UMan Framework

There are whole libraries of books on self-help, but few of them give you a practical overarching framework or strategy about the entirety of life and becoming the best man you can be. So we came up with the UMAN framework.

The four pillars
We tried to keep it as simple as possible, but something that has a lot of depth to it as we explore each of the different pillars. So there’s four elements to the UMAN framework: Uniqueness, Mental game, Action plan and Nailing it.


Today we focus in on part 1 – UNIQUENESS


So just what is this uniqueness thing? Pricey loves all of this frame. As Greg was breaking open the whole of the framework Pricey was reflecting that there is a danger that people think that everyone’s got to fit into the same mould. But we want to begin by saying that you are a unique individual!

Our whole framework begins with you. What makes you you? What makes you that special, extraordinary human being? What makes you your own fingerprint? Your thumbprint is unique. No one on the whole planet has the same fingerprint as you.

So there’s this beautiful gift that you are, and everyone walks a unique journey, everyone has particular gifts and we want to celebrate you and what makes you you. There’s that beautiful line from the poem Desiderata,

“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should”

Later on in the same poem there are the beautiful words, “Be Yourself!” So that’s where we want to actually begin. Be yourself, but be your very, very finest self.

And uniqueness is at the very core of being a Universal Man because it gives you this solid foundation for understanding your behaviour, your reactions, your desires, your goals.

And without understanding those key things, it’s very, very hard to operate in the real world. You’ll surprise yourself. You’ll do things that might make you upset and you’ll do things that could be going down completely the wrong path and you won’t understand why certain things just piss you off or throw your right off track.

So knowing yourself through your beliefs and your values, things like your personality preferences, diving into your purpose or your principles for life, these are the things which make up you. So one of the key things is understanding who you are, right? And then understanding that the very best version of you, your uniqueness on a grand scale, is what the world wants to see.

Every person listening has their own particular personal story, your particular personality, your family and all of those things have shaped the person you actually are.

And you know, one of the things we’ve got to be careful of here is that, pretty well every human being has had a difficult time. We’ve all got parts of our story which have not been good, times when we’ve been hurt, times when there has been an influence which seems to be holding us back.

We are not victims of our story
There’s a rugby league coach, his name’s Wayne Bennett, and Bennett often argues that we’re not victims of our particular story. It would be so easy to live out of a victim mindset. And Wayne grew up in a very, very difficult home. His father treated the kids in a difficult way and Wayne always says we are not a victim of our story. We’ve got skeletons in the cupboard, we all do. We have faults and our feet of clay but we can choose to go beyond that. That skeleton, that difficult time is not actually me. I’m going to choose to go beyond that. I’m not a victim of it. I’m not limited. So let’s go back to who we are in a unique way. Let’s go beyond that.

This is great wisdom that all great people have known deeply within them. It is incredible wisdom because sometimes, as we go through our life and
we have the experiences, and some of them are great and some of them are really negative. Sometimes we let those negative things become baggage that we carry. They affect our personality, they affect our temperament and our response to the world. And a part of becoming you and understanding your uniqueness, is diving into how you can reframe some of those negative experiences, to find a way to help them bring out the best version of you. And instead of carrying heavy baggage, carry wise lessons, which are much lighter than baggage.

The goal here is to unleash the perfectly flawed version of yourself. And we’ve spoken previously about living on the edge and this idea of just living and being proud of who you are. That’s what we want more than anything in the world for you.

Power of Language
It’s just amazing with this being your kind of unique self. Simple words like I can’t or, I am only, I shouldn’t, can all limit us. One little exercise Pricey remembers and has done many times over the years is to get a journal and write down over and over again “I am …!” and write a response each time. If you repeat those two words over and over again your responses change.

At first your answers are to do with what you do and some aspect of family and of relationships. Then over time you might go to some physical aspect of your life and maybe even some spiritual aspect of who you are – your hobbies and your skills, your likes and dislikes come out. But then as you write down over and over again answers, what happens – you go deeper and deeper and you build a sense of the complete sense on you.

When you go back and you look at the responses you gain a sense of the complete you especially as you go beyond the surface and functional aspects of “I am!” You get to a beautiful space, to a beautiful picture of your unique self!

The Shadow
One other point we’d like to make about this journey to understanding you is that every now and then you’re going to come across things you don’t like, what Jung called your shadow self, all these thoughts about you that perhaps you don’t like. And that can be really challenging in those moments.

Greg had a client just the other day say that they found it really hard to learn every single day or all the time. And they were talking about excellence and then they beat themselves up because they didn’t stay the path all the time. And when you think about that at a deeper level, it actually doesn’t make any sense. They’re being way too hard on themselves.

In the course of our every day, sometimes we can come across hard on ourselves and maybe too aspirational. You’ve got to be kind to yourself and gentle to yourself when understanding who you are because you’re going to have weeks where you’re low on energy and you can’t start to beat yourself up about things like that.

You’re going to find something about yourself that you don’t like – that’s life. Maybe you don’t like that you’re a details person, maybe you don’t like that you’re someone who’s more out there in the clouds. Maybe there’s just these parts of your history you don’t like. Maybe you regret actions.B

We want to give you all a bit of a challenge. This might be something you want to do over the weekend or when you find some quiet time because going a bit deeper and understanding more about yourself can take time. It’s sort of best done in silence and contemplation. What we want you to do is spend a bit of time in doing a bit of a study into who you are.

And this might be reading some books. You might want to read things like some stuff about Carl Jung, any sort of psychological book or book on human psychology or personalities. Maybe you want to do a bit of work on your core values, and we’ve just released an episode on that. That was a last episode on determining your core values. Maybe you want to do some research into your purpose, maybe look at your personal history and your story and review that. Whatever, but spend some time alone – just reflecting on your unique you! Spend some time over the next couple of weeks trying to get to know you just a little bit better.

One example of a challenge you might take on is to look into personality types. There is fantastic stuff there. So you’ve got the Myer-Briggs, you’ve got the Enneagram and many, many other sorts of things. But remember that – in the case of Pricey, he’s not just a two (on the Ennegram), he’s not just an I-N-F-P (on Myer Briggs). Each of us is our unique self! Personality types is simply a tool to grow in awareness of your unique gift of you.

Spend a bit of time. Engage with what we have said here and become more aware of your own unique self and then ultimately say, “I am more than that – I am this unique, deep me and that is gift!”

We want to conclude with the Marianne Williamson quote that Nelson Mandela used at his inauguration as President of South Africa.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.
Marianne Williamson

The beautiful thing about that quote is that when we let our own light shine we unconsciously give others permission to do the same – and when you are a Universal Man, by claiming your own light, you’re encouraging the men around you to claim their own light too.

Grego and Pricey