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By Todd Adams

This week, the featured post is authored by Todd Adams, MenLiving Executive Director & Co-founder

I have been a fan of personal growth books, podcasts, in-person trainings, etc. for a long time. Over the last few years in my coaching practice, I have aligned myself with “parts” work. There are distinct parts that reside within each of us- the inner critic, the jealous one, the angry one. They’re not all uncomfortable- some others are the playful one, the loving one, etc.

I began thinking about the different “parts” in MenLiving. The birth of MenLiving was a result of a need I had to have deeper and more authentic friendships. It was not meant to save anybody’s life, rather it was to make my life better. I figured if I was a better version of myself then I might be more likely to show up differently with my wife, my kids, my parents, etc.

Twelve years later I have been told by more than a few men that they are quite literally alive because of the friendships and support they have received from the MenLiving community. This is overwhelming and I sometimes find myself deflecting that praise and remind the man that they did their own work- we just happened to be there to support them.  But I know we play an especially significant role. It was intentional when we re-branded from “The Tribe” Men’s Group to MenLiving.  We called it MenLiving because the demographic that is most likely to die by “deaths of despair” (suicide and drug overdose) are men.

Last week my sister shared this 2-1/2 minute haunting video with me that speaks to the urgency of why we exist. 

I would love for you to view this as it is one of the better ones I have seen that illustrates the deceptive nature of identifying people who struggle with depression. It’s not always obvious as a community, we need to do a better job of supporting people in need.

We exist is to support men who are in despair, but that is not all we are. We also exist to connect, have fun, feel more fully alive, and take life less seriously. My wife shared with me this one minute video of the “neighbor nerf wars”.

 This is an important aspect of MenLiving that does not get enough attention. As guys, we can be super serious. We have hosted monthly meetings since 2012 and the emphasis is on vulnerability, personal growth, and connection. Yet every June, we switch it up and have a “play like we did when we were 7 years old” meeting. At this meeting, a bunch of us (mostly) middle aged men play dodge ball, make up games at the local pool, and play some ultimate frisbee. We also host an annual Pickleball tournament. Just last week I hosted a bunch of friends to play board games and it was a blast. It’s so easy to forget to have fun and this is an idea that is foundational to MenLiving.

The moral of the story is that these different “parts” of MenLiving are designed not only to keep us alive, but bring more joy, love and connection to ourselves and anybody we come across.


  • Randy says:

    Thanks, Todd.

  • Mike says:


    Spot on today. I’m with you–life can be pretty serious at times, heavy, and challenging. So in the immortal words of chicago’s own Ferris Bueller a reminder that pairs well with your post–“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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