Who I am
Hey there, I’m Sven Masterson. I am a master coach with Goodguys2Greatmen. My mission is to repair and restore the hearts of men, help them improve their relationships, and show them the path to intimate, deeply satisfying, emotionally and physically connected relationships.
I’m happily married to Zelda, who I married 28 years ago and with whom I’ve been in a continuous romantic relationship for over 30 years.
What I will share with you and why
I spent about half of our marriage in pain, misery, and frustration before encountering a handful of life-altering perspectives that helped me turn everything around. Today, I have a great relationship: one I often laugh about in sheer surprise, amazement, and gratitude.
Over the last five weeks, I’ve been sharing these life-altering perspectives as four “keys” that I had discovered that put an end to my suffering and unlocked a thriving and connected marriage.
Those keys are unconditional high regard, ownership, self-reliance, and brotherhood.
Today, I will conclude my series by sharing how these keys have worked together in harmony to unlock everything I’ve wanted in marriage, family, friendships, mission, and purpose. I’ll then tell you how you can explore these deeper for FREE.
Life used to really suck, and I couldn’t talk about it because of starving people in Africa.
As I’ve been sharing with you over the last five weeks, I experienced a lot of internal suffering for several decades before undergoing a personal transformation with these ideas.
For most of my life, I didn’t feel “allowed” to share my internal suffering because someone would always be nearby to remind me that others have it worse than me. Starving people in Africa, mostly. That was the proverbial trump card for shutting down any whining and complaining.
So, I spent most of my life stuffing the pain down deeper until I spent three summers in Africa alongside the so-called starving people and realized they were happier than me!
Soon after those summers, I got married and transitioned over a few years to spend most waking hours dreaming about better days when hopefully, true life could be found. I wanted a life I couldn’t seem to find.
I darted between passionate zeal and enthusiasm for new things and experiences, only to swing deeply into melancholy when I realized this new thing wasn’t creating happiness.
For about twenty years, I couldn’t figure out why I felt alone in crowds, unvalued, unappreciated, unseen, unhappy, and ultimately, unloved.
This wasn’t what I signed up for! I constantly wondered, “what the hell happened here?”
Life used to be fun, exciting, and hopeful. Still, somewhere along the way, it morphed into a monotonous existence where all I did was work harder and longer while feeling less appreciated, respected, and valued.
Life was dull, disconnected, and downright discouraging. Something had to give, and soon!
How using these keys together de-stressed and depressurized my marriage
As I’ve spent the last five weeks sharing with you, something gave, and as much as I thought it needed to be my wife, that wasn’t part of it. Instead, it was one big fat 2×4 of clarity after another, each revealing to me a new understanding of unconditional high regard, ownership, self-reliance, and brotherhood.
I’d have probably been content to have a decent marriage without avoidance, stonewalling, contempt, and a decent amount of intimacy and connection.
I got way more than that!
These four keys have unlocked a life I didn’t believe was possible, and there’s no area of my life where I’ve not seen significant improvement. And this is no fluke – I see the same things happen consistently with other men that pursue mastery of these same four keys.
Not only did each of these keys individually open new insights into life, but they also worked together as compliments to open new realms of experience in my life.
Here’s a visual depiction of how three of these four keys work together:
You might be wondering why brotherhood is missing. I’ll explain in a minute!
Unconditional high regard plus self-reliance led to self-trust
The intersection of looking within myself for what I need and changing my beliefs about my value and worth allowed me to trust myself with increasing measure. The more grounded I became in my value and worth coming from my being instead of my doing, the more I felt qualified for trust – my own and others.
Self-reliance also led me to start becoming my own first choice for providing for my needs, wants, and desires.
The result was that I stopped the constant anxious need to know if Zelda trusted me and, if not, why. I stopped looking for her trust as a measure of my manhood or well-being and instead began to feel satisfied within, that I am a trustable man regardless of how she viewed me.
I began to notice a strange phenomenon. The more I trusted myself, the more Zelda and others trusted me too!
Ownership plus self-reliance led to self-control and governance
Where self-reliance and ownership intersected, I found a newfound capacity for self-control and self-leadership.
The more I realized no one else in the world owned me or things happening inside me, the more a sobering realization set in. I was the responsible agent for everything I wanted in my life. No one else, just me.
The more I considered that everything within me that needed to be controlled must come from me, the more I possessed that responsibility. This led to tremendous freedom, especially from the frustration of waiting for others to do things that would elicit a new internal experience.
My newfound self-control, self-leadership, and personal agency helped me stop being reactive to others. Since they weren’t responsible for me, it became embarrassingly obvious how foolish reacting to them was.
This helped me end decades of repeatedly doing the same stupid shit, expecting different results.
Ownership plus unconditional high regard led to self-love and acceptance
I told you a few weeks ago how ownership helped me to uncover that I own my thoughts and feelings and, as the owner, have a willful role in them. I also mentioned how ownership also allowed me to realize I owned the meaning I assigned things.
When these ownership epiphanies combined with a new and unconditional level of regard for myself based on being, for the first time in my life, I could experience genuine self-love.
I grew up in an environment where any form of acknowledgment or self-approval was met with relatively swift and often harsh warnings and admonishment to not be proud and arrogant.
As a result, before these keys started to show up in my life, the phrase “self-love” made me feel icky.
I turned a corner when unconditional high regard and ownership coalesced into a view that “self-love” wasn’t self-congratulating, pompous, arrogant self-adulation but far simpler.
Loving myself was simply a matter of acknowledging that I was a whole and complete being and that my value and worth weren’t earned by merit but were rooted in far greater truths beyond my understanding.
I stopped feeling perpetually hurt, alone, rejected, and unloved. Instead, I felt like enough for the first time in four decades.
Without needing to experience anyone else’s nod of approval, declaration of worthiness, or acceptance before feeling loved, I was free! Free to enjoy an honest, sincere appreciation for who I am.
Brotherhood: the “Viagra” of a whole other kind of personal growth
I left brotherhood out of the image above because it’s a key that has worked differently for me than the others. It’s enhanced, extended, and hardened the rest of what I’ve shared with you.
Brotherhood has been the catalyst for understanding not only the other three keys but also an entirely new context for learning them, each with more fullness. It’s made everything come into sharper focus and stick.
To my ownership, brotherhood added challenge and accountability.
Challenge is the love language men speak between themselves. Ownership would be cold, ruthless, and uncaring without this loving language of challenge from other men.
Seeing healthy brotherhood allowed me to experience a form of challenging the best from one another that calls forth the best from within each man.
Accountability has also been a growth point. I’d always eschewed accountability in the past because it felt like a bunch of guys babysitting one another. I’d seen men do it to make the embarrassment and shame of telling other men their wrongdoing some sort of “healthy” motivation. It never sat well with me.
But as I began understanding brotherhood in harmony with ownership, I started to understand a superior form of accountability. One where accountability isn’t men shaming one another for doing wrong but is a firm and loving reflection of a man and his values back to himself. I witnessed accountability that reminds a man of his best, not his worst.
To my self-reliance, brotherhood added encouragement and interdependence.
Brotherhood has taught me the paradoxical truth that relying upon self and others aren’t conflicting ideas but crucially intertwined and must be held in tension with one another.
For a man to be self-reliant, looking within for the source of what he needs, wants, and desires in life, he needs flanks or brothers encouraging him to do so.
He needs men in his life that will remind him that he has what it takes and is qualified for the life he wants.
A high-quality band of brothers fortifies a man’s inner resolve and confidence to lead himself as the sole regent of his life.
To my high regard, brotherhood added compassion, understanding, and empathy.
For most of my life, I didn’t feel understood. I lacked men in my life who I knew understood what I was going through and could extend the compassion, empathy, and understanding I needed to feel human in my struggles.
Brotherhood with unconditional high regard has shown me what it is like to experience support without pity, love without compromise, and how to walk together through life with other men with mutual acceptance and without judgment, believing one another is doing their best.
Put together, brotherhood’s relationship to ownership, self-reliance and high regard look like this:
Where do I go from here, Sven?
These four keys have changed my life’s trajectory in staggering ways. I am confident, from my experience, that they will do likewise for you.
If you’d like to explore these concepts further, I want to invite you to invest 69 minutes into living the life you want by watching a 100% FREE micro-course on these four keys. If the course resonates with you, I invite you to request a complimentary Four Keys Clarity Call and learn more about how these keys will lead you to a connected, intimate, and passionate life.