Personal development for men: An exploration through stories

As men, what can we take on? What can we let go? How can we begin to regain control of our own lives, futures, destinies? Welcome to this new short program exploring the role of men and the male experience through the medium of six short stories by some of the world’s finest writers.

Who is it for?

This program is for men who are exploring how they might bring the best version of themselves to the world. Whether you’re a man in your 20s and trying to find a deeper sense of your self and your place in the world, or you’re in your 60s and ready to reinvent for the next chapters of your life, or anywhere in between, there should be something valuable here for you. Men are often criticised for not having emotions, or hiding them, or expressing them in the wrong way. This short program will allow a small group of men to come together for brotherhood, discussion and reflection on their roles within their own lives, families and communities. We’ll be enjoying some great stories by great writers, and thinking about them, and getting together to chat about what they might tell us about ourselves.

Who am I?

My name is Shane Breslin and I’m a writer, podcaster and (accidental) entrepreneur. Since 2016, when I experienced the painful breakthrough brought on by an emotional, financial and spiritual rock bottom, I’ve been discovering my own place in the world. My first book, Rafa Nadal Makes Me Want to Be a Better Man, will be published this month. I also coach and consult on digital media, marketing and communications with businesses and organisations across the UK, Ireland and the USA, from micro-businesses and startups to giant multinational corporations in consumer goods and healthcare. Either side of that I run, hike, read and try to be the best husband and father I can be. 

Can women attend?

The group is exclusively for men. There are places for men and women to get together and discuss things for the betterment of each other, and that’s always a good thing. This is not that place. I understand some people might take issue with this, but one of the few things I do know for certain is that the only way to please nobody is to try to please everybody. So, the group is men only.

How does it work?

  • It’s a six-week program, so we’ll have seven video calls over Zoom
  • We will start on Sunday, May 17th, with five further Sunday calls, and we will finish up with a final “graduation” ceremony on Sunday, June 28th
  • While everyone is encouraged to attend the live calls, nobody is required to do so. So that everyone who does attend can be comfortable, calls will not be recorded.  
  • Fiction often has a powerful way of telling us deep truths about real life. Each week we will read and discuss one short story which might shine a light on common or even universal male experience. Among the stories we’ll reading and chatting about together are pieces by Denis Johnson, Roddy Doyle, Ernest Hemingway and Kevin Barry.
  • It’s not a course, and it’s definitely not a seminar — there won’t be any direct teaching, but all of us can expect to go away having learned something new. 

Where and when?

The calls will take place over Zoom, and we will start on Sunday, May 17th at 6pm British Summer Time / 1pm Eastern Time/ 10am Pacific Time.  If you’re in a different time zone, you’ll find your time zone here. We will convene each week at the same time for seven Mondays until the final “graduation celebration”, on Sunday, June 28th. I also create a private Slack channel for all participants, where we can chat about some stuff between calls.

How much does it cost?

I want to make this affordable for everyone, and this is the first time I’ve done anything like this, so I’ve capped the price at €99. I understand that finances are difficult for many people at the present time. I don’t want money to be the reason you can’t sign up, so if for whatever reason you are unable to afford the fee, please email me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to offer a heavily discounted rate.

Free spots for under-25s

I’d like to offer three free spots for men aged 25 or under. For young men, the current pandemic may well be the first big crisis of their adult lives, and I think this program, a fraternity of sorts to share space and time with men of all ages, could be very useful. If you’re aged 25 or under, please email me at [email protected]. First three to email get a free spot.  

Book your place