The Dude's Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits [NOOK Book]


Discover the path to true masculinity—to an adventurous life of strength, purpose, and clarity.

Didn’t we used to understand manhood? Wasn’t there a time once when it was clear and straightforward? Are we lost?

Dudes, look around you: The trail we once traveled from boyhood to maturity is now so overgrown, it’s almost impossible to trace. Our vision is blurred, rendering ...

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The Dude's Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits

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Discover the path to true masculinity—to an adventurous life of strength, purpose, and clarity.

Didn’t we used to understand manhood? Wasn’t there a time once when it was clear and straightforward? Are we lost?

Dudes, look around you: The trail we once traveled from boyhood to maturity is now so overgrown, it’s almost impossible to trace. Our vision is blurred, rendering the map that previous generations followed unreadable. Our compass needles are spinning in circles, making navigation impossible. We are stuck in dense, dangerous woods, and our communities—the wives, children, friends, and colleagues we could be influencing—are suffering as a result.

It can be tempting to give up and, like so many men today, simply exist, but take heart: Now is not the time for men to abandon our quest. We can discover the path to true masculinity—to an adventurous life of strength, purpose, and clarity.

In The Dude’s Guide to Manhood, pastor, author and dude Darrin Patrick charts a course back toward real manliness, mapping out a vision to help men find significance and influence in today’s broken, mixed-message culture. Revealing his own frailties and missteps, Patrick doesn’t preach at you but walks with you on a journey toward healing and wholeness.

Filled with timeless wisdom, accessible insights and practical guidance, The Dude’s Guide to Manhood issues an encouraging and doable call to all men, whatever your age or stage. We need not settle for wandering aimlessly through our days, wounded, weak, and passive. Instead, we can get back on the trail, embrace our gifts while facing our imperfections, and trust the God of new beginnings to lead us into all that we are destined to become: forgiven, connected, determined, teachable, content, heroic, and so much more.

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  • The Dude's Guide to Manhood
    The Dude's Guide to Manhood  

What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“Men need help. They need practical guidance on how to be the men they were created to be. Many men have no map for growing up, loving their wives, fathering their children, and excelling at their jobs. They are doing the best they can, but are falling short. The Dude’s Guide to Manhood helps men living in the real world access the wisdom they need to live the life they've always wanted.”

—Rick Warren, Saddleback Church

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400205486
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 98,484
  • File size: 532 KB

Meet the Author

Darrin Patrick founded The Journey in 2002 in the urban core of St. Louis, Missouri. Darrin is Vice President of Acts 29 Church Planting Network. He also serves as the Chaplain of the St. Louis Cardinals. He earned his Doctor of Ministry from Covenant Seminary and has written two books, Church Planter and For the City.

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Read an Excerpt




Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2014 Darrin Patrick
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0548-6




I LOVE WINNING. MY COMPETITIVE FIRE BURNS BRIGHTER than that of most people I know. But I hate losing even more than I love winning. When I approach a game, I am determined to emerge victorious so I don't have to feel that sinking feeling that comes when watching other people celebrate. Competition flows through my veins; it is as natural to me as breathing.

In high school, I was a catcher on our school's baseball team. Even as a sophomore, I emerged as a leader. I was excellent defensively and could hammer almost any fastball thrown at me. My problem was that I couldn't handle Uncle Charley.

Uncle Charley wasn't a coach or a weird relative who inappropriately cheered me on to the point of embarrassment or distraction. Uncle Charley is code for a curveball, and for the life of me I couldn't touch one. I wanted to slam Uncle Charley, but instead I'd weakly pop up every one that came to the plate. Pitchers knew I was setting "dead red" (always looking for a fastball) and began to exploit my weakness. It was worse than isolated moments of failure. I was losing the battle. Pitchers kept me from succeeding by not throwing me fastballs. I was toast, and I hated feeling that weak.

One evening, I was watching a big-league game on television when I heard the famous St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck say, "I've heard that the key to hitting an off-speed pitch is to keep your weight back, keep a good bat path, and try to drive it to the opposite field."

I told my coach and he responded, "Yeah, that's right." And that was all. No offer to help me do the right thing. No encouragement that I could do it. Zero description about how to practice or what mechanics I needed to employ. The not-so-subtle message from this coach (and most men in my life up to that point) was: You're on your own; go figure it out.

Frustrated by the lack of guidance, I told one of my teammates about my brief interaction with the coach. My friend told me I needed to work at the tee.

"A tee?! Like, as in T-ball? Like for seven-year-olds?" I asked. It seemed ridiculous, but I was willing to try anything. If it took devolving into a Little Leaguer to defeat Uncle Charley, then so be it.

So I took a tee into the gym and hit a hundred balls off it every day for two months. My aim was the gap between center and right so that I could hit off-speed pitches to the opposite field (per Jack Buck's advice) in real-game situations. Hitting that curveball never came easy for me, but after the work and repetition, I finally started to experience some success at the plate. Was it ever as easy as hitting a fastball? No. But could I hit it? Yes.

Eventually, I was able to lay off a wicked curveball, drive a decent one to the opposite field, and take a bad one deep. My batting average and homerun totals soared, and I became one of the most feared hitters in my state.

It's amazing how we spend so much of our energy avoiding certain feelings. I poured countless hours into hitting a baseball so I would not feel dominated and controlled by someone else. As is the case for many of us, I didn't pursue transformation until the pain and frustration reached a point where I could not stand them any longer. But when I did finally reach that breaking point, I realized quickly that unyielding determination was indispensable for genuine change.

We can't escape the curveballs and crises in life. What matters is how we prepare ourselves to handle adversities when they come and how we react when they arrive. Some of us are facing serious health problems or family difficulties or are struggling with a loss of hope about our lives. Whatever our situations, whatever is standing in the way, whatever help we fail to receive, a simple question lies before us: are we going to adapt and push through, will we spend the rest of our lives avoiding certain pitches, or will we just quit playing altogether?

Sadly, most men quit. We tend to channel our drive and energy away from overcoming our weaknesses—and toward whatever makes us feel better. Men hit the eject button and hide in juvenile behavior such as video games, pornography, sports leagues, or substance abuse. Other men don't hide in their activities—they hide in themselves. They remain silent, consistently passive, and socially awkward. Still others hide with their friends, delaying marriage or, if married, avoiding connection with their wives.

The effects are the same—many of us avoid real life and escape into a pseudoreality that is more comfortable and less taxing than our own lives. Our wives basically become widows and our children are essentially orphans, left to mourn life alone because the husband and father is no longer present, even though he is at home.

There is a different course, however, which a few discover. When faced with curveballs, some men refuse to allow the challenges before them to prevent them from becoming the men they were created to be. Either they have an innate sense of drive and purpose or their frustrations force them to find one. Rather than mindlessly repeating what isn't working, their determination to succeed drives them toward finding a solution. These men choose to grow, and their resolute commitment to improving their lives means they let no obstacle stand in their way. They become determined men.

The man without determination will always remain one-dimensional. He will remain either a singles hitter or a power hitter with a poor batting average. But he will not be both. Meeting the challenges before us requires putting in the time to gain the skills we need, skills that broaden and deepen us.

Conversely, the determined man is a growing man. And such growth begins when we honestly confront our limitations and our failures.


Maybe you are tempted to tap out right now and walk away from the challenge of pursuing the transformation that your employer, family, and friends desperately need. But a more fulfilling, richer, and more adventurous life awaits you. I don't want to see you bail and become another statistic in the decline of manhood in America. I want to challenge you, to call you out so that you live a life of meaning and purpose and glory. Because if you are determined to be alone, you're almost certainly going to fail. All men need to be challenged and called out by others.

You may be thinking, You just don't understand how hard parts of my life are. That's precisely the point. Life is hard. The world isn't what it should be. People are broken, and we all know it. Becoming a determined man doesn't mean you have to ignore pain. It means replacing casual effort with supernatural strength to persevere in the midst of uncomfortable circumstances. Determination isn't always about succeeding. Sometimes determination means simply surviving, pressing on in the face of what feels like insurmountable obstacles. But as men, we need to realize that our friends and families depend on us to become all we are called to be.

Remember the story my dad told me about the green beans? He had a choice to access supernatural strength in dealing with me. Though my sisters and mother made it difficult for him to lead well, he could have adjusted. He could have engaged me personally and attempted to train me in my eating habits. Instead, he ignored me. My existence, even when he tried to ignore it, reminded him of his lack of resources and doubtlessly aroused feelings of powerlessness and uncertainty. Dad had an opportunity to jump in the deep end of the parenting pool, but he played it safe and chose to splash around in the shallows.

My father did the best with what he had. He parented as he had been parented. The more I realize that, the easier it is to forgive him. But when he was told that what he was doing wasn't working, he didn't spend time working on the tee to figure it out. He quit. I love my dad dearly, but I desperately wish he had had the courage and determination to persevere in what did not come easily for him.

My own sense of determination was hindered by my dad's failure to model it for me, and by his unwillingness to call me to live by a deeper standard than simply pursuing what I wanted at the moment. Even if I had the inner drive to succeed, I didn't know which direction I should go. And so I eventually found surrogate fathers who helped me navigate the challenges I faced. I needed them; determination isn't something that most of us can cultivate on our own.

Think about it. What is stopping you? What is keeping you from living up to your God-given potential? Where have you quit? Are you doing anything that those who are close to you wish you would not do? Every man needs to consider the cost of failing to persevere in overcoming the difficulties he faces. Just as off-speed pitches dominated me, suffering or the mundane rhythms of everyday life may be dominating you. The people who care about you are waiting for you to spend some time on the tee and get back in the batter's box and take a swing.


My friend James grew up in the hood, on a street where drugs were sold directly outside his house and people had gunfights in broad daylight. His dad was the most popular guy in the neighborhood because he could fix anything. He changed neighbors' oil, patched their roofs, and adjusted their transmissions—and all people had to do was ask. His dad was famous for working hard, being the life of the party, and helping anyone. But his dad was also famous for selling drugs to teenagers and being a player with the ladies.

As dangerous as it was outside James's house, it might have been more dangerous inside the house. James's dad was physically abusive. On several occasions, James broke up physical altercations between his mom and dad, which on one occasion ended with his dad shoving his wife's head through the sheetrock. The situation only grew more desperate when James's dad began shacking up with another woman. The infidelity crushed James, not only because of how it disrespected his mom, himself, and his siblings, but also because of the embarrassment he felt from his neighbors. The woman his dad shacked up with lived in the same neighborhood.

For years, James used his upbringing as an excuse for a lack of focus, direction, and drive to maximize his talents. Eventually, however, he realized that his past did not have to determine his life and that he could transform the tombstone of his history into a monument to God's grace. James now owns a thriving business, and he has overcome the shame of the way he grew up.

Nike got things half right. Eventually, we need to "Just Do It." At the heart of determination is a resolute decision to do something and to not stop until it is done. But our energy and effort are spoiled unless we do the right thing. To determine is simply to say no to one thing and yes to something else. In developing determination, we must face the past and discern both the right path forward and those obstacles that will hinder us as we walk down that path. The choices may not be easy, nor may they be safe, but we cannot escape them.

The world is littered with stories like James's. Most men don't make it out of tough neighborhoods or rough upbringings. The few who do rise up don't allow others' choices to define their lives. They lose their excuses and quit viewing themselves as victims of their circumstances.


There are few people who embody determination like Tiger Woods. Most of us were not set on a path toward athletic dominance before age two, but Tiger was. His father had a vision—Tiger would beat all of golf 's records, including Jack Nicklaus's hallowed eighteen major championships. Most golfers rarely shoot nine holes under 50 strokes, but Tiger did it at age three! He broke 80 for a full round at age eight. Then he broke 70 at age twelve. By the time he went pro in 1996, he had won every major amateur championship there was, and most of them more than once. He won the Junior Amateur title three straight years and then won the Amateur title the next three years, at the same time winning his high school and Division I college championships. Six months after turning pro, he won the Masters by 12 strokes. From 1999 to 2002, he broke nearly every major championship record and was the first player to hold all four major championships at once.

Research by university statisticians actually showed that other golfers played worse when Tiger was on the course. The stats show they actually did not try as hard because they knew they were playing for second place. That's dominance.

Despite Tiger's struggles on and off the golf course, his mythological status as the most intimidating figure in golf remained. Even while his life was falling apart, few people doubted that he would eventually return to the top levels of golf, even if he would never be the automatic, dominant player he once was.

Yet the problems Tiger needed to overcome to return to his peak form weren't just with his hands; they were also between his ears. That was the assessment, at least, of Jack Nicklaus. When asked about Tiger's game, he said, "I don't know what goes [on] between his ears. That's really the X factor. His golf game and his golf swing look pretty similar to what I've been looking at and he hits a lot of great shots. But you never know what's going on in somebody's head."

Some of us are beaten before we even play. We don't expect to win. Half the battle is in having the determination that no matter what stands in our way, we will not quit. We may not win the game, get the promotion, or save the marriage, but it won't be because of a lack of determination or effort.


One of the hardest things for most guys is the temptation to live in the past, or what I like to call the Uncle Rico Syndrome. Remember him from the quirky film Napoleon Dynamite? Rico was Napoleon's uncle who always talked about what he could have done: "Oh, man, I wish I could go back in time. I'd take state." Watching Rico is amusing, but it also hits painfully close to home for some of us.

This was the case for my friend Skip, who excelled in the performing arts in high school. He dreamed of performing on Broadway and winning Tony awards. But instead of moving to New York, he went to college in the Midwest. He bounced around doing community theater, usually becoming the star of the show.

Fast-forward twenty years: Skip can quote almost any song lyric from any current Broadway show by memory. Being in New York and on Broadway is constantly on his mind. He is nearly forty, and he still talks about how he wishes he had chosen a different course decades ago. His Facebook updates reveal the pain he suffers from his unrealized potential.

Other guys don't live in the past; they dream about the future, which can be equally damaging. They dream about that lake house, better vacations, or an evening with a particular lady. Our daydreams reveal a lot: Things may be hard now. It might be painful or boring. But just wait. One day ... Many of us are going to do great things when we graduate, when we get married, when we get promoted, when we get our dream homes, or when we get in shape.

But what about now? Determined men refuse the nostalgia of the past or the speculation of the future. Instead, they embrace the present because they know that every choice right now determines how the future will look. They don't shrink from reality but courageously confront it. They stare down the temptation to escape into the past or daydream about the days ahead, while fighting to embrace the world around them even as they seek to change it for the better.


For years I have had chronic back pain. Even as I sit and write, I am reminded that I must get up at least four times an hour or feel the consequences. Over the years I have been to dozens of chiropractors, physical therapists, and surgeons who have offered counsel and, in many cases, tried to cure me. Recently, I found help in the form of a multidisciplined doctor who has a holistic view and solutions for dudes with bad backs.

My first meeting with this doctor was both wonderful and terrible. It was awesome to have someone who really understood my lifestyle as a man and also was astute at identifying the sources of my misery. He treated me with a newer technique called active release therapy, which resulted in immediate relief. As I was benefiting from his magical hands, I was f looded with hope that I might not have to spend the rest of my life in pain. After the treatment the good doctor stepped out of the room and said he would return shortly with my treatment plan. Based on previous experience, I figured I would be seeing him once a week for treatment and that would be the path to healing.

Excerpted from The DUDE'S GUIDE TO MANHOOD by DARRIN PATRICK. Copyright © 2014 Darrin Patrick. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Forewords....................     xi     

Introduction: Men Without Maps....................     xv     

1. Get It Done: Become a Determined Man....................     1     

2. Pay Attention and Learn Something: Become a Coachable Man...............     17     

3. Train, Don't Just Try: Become a Disciplined Man....................     29     

4. Love Your Work: Become a Working Man....................     41     

5. Get Satisfaction: Become a Content Man....................     59     

6. Love a Woman: Become a Devoted Man....................     73     

7. Love Kids: Become a Family Man....................     87     

8. Say, "I Love You, Man": The Connected Man....................     99     

9. Feel Something Without Crying at Everything: The Emotional Man..........     115     

10. Find the Right Arena: The Fighting Man....................     129     

11. Get What You Want: The Heroic Man....................     143     

12. Living as the Forgiven Man....................     157     

Acknowledgments....................     171     

Notes....................     173     

About the Author....................     185     

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2014

    HELPFUL TIP!!!!!!!!!!

    Dont listen to this book. Its not true. I tried everything they said to do and i just became more like a girl. The true key to manliness is to wear your underwear on top of your pants. I hav tried it. It works. Try it and then put up a comment with what you think.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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