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The Ozymandias Complex
April 15, 2006

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #056, April 15, 2006

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

· There is a new man's story at!

· You might Qualify For Cruises At No Expense

· The Ozymandias Complex


Written by Noel McNaughton (c) copyright 2006


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

One of the wonderful things about being a young man is dreaming of the great things we will do. One of the dangers of accomplishing great things when we are still young is the temptation to become pompous and grandiose. I call it the Ozymandias Complex, and midlife has a way of helping us get over it :-)

Also, if you are single, a good dancer, and like to travel, see below.

There are about 1000 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about four minutes to read.

All the best,



There is a new man's story at!

All Doug Stevenson ever wanted to be was an actor. He took training, paid his dues, and tried hard in Hollywood for 13 years. By age 35 he could see it wouldn't work, and left, not knowing where he was going or what he would do. Twenty years later, he is living a life he could not have imagined, and using his acting skills in ways he would never have dreamt of.

Read his story here: men's stories

PS - I'll have another man's story up by the time the next newsletter comes.


You might Qualify For Cruises At No Expense

This came across my desk the other day. If you are a single man, it sounds as though it could be fun!

From an interview with Sue Goldstein The Underground Shopper in the newsletter of Bottom Line International

If you are a gentleman between the ages of 45 and 75 and are well- groomed and well-spoken, cruise ships want you. Your mission: To dance with and otherwise accompany the many unescorted women passengers. You might help with dance classes and act as an escort on shore excursions and to dinner.

Gentlemen hosts need to be able to fox-trot, rumba, cha-cha and waltz. Cruise lines might ask you to audition at a dance studio in a nearby major city -- they have relationships with studios around the country. In return, you get to see the world, meet people and enjoy gourmet feasts around the clock.

Most important rule: You must act professionally at all times. If you're caught sneaking extra dances or otherwise romancing particular passengers, you'll be asked to leave the ship at the next port and will have to get home on your own.

A gentlemen host is unpaid but receives a free cabin, discounts on drinks, laundry service and often free airfare. Booking agencies might charge a small fee -- less than $30 per day. If you go directly to the cruise line, there's usually no fee.

To become a gentleman host...

Crystal Cruises. 1-800-804-1500, ("Ambassador Host Program for Singles").

Sixth Star Entertainment and Marketing. 1-954-462-6760,

The Working Vacation. 1-708-301-7535,

Published: 15 June 2005


Ah c'mon, is this true? Men give their pe*nis a name because they don't want a stranger making 99 percent of their decisions for them.


The Ozymandias Complex

When we are young men, we often have a 'big dream' - becoming the president of the company, building a successful business, becoming a well-know actor. What we don't recognize is that along with this dream we subconsciously believe that success means our life will be great in all kinds of other ways (e.g. wealth will also bring fame, intelligence, a great se*x life, and happiness). It is a grandiose dream - our personal myth - wherein we are the hero engaged in a noble quest.

Sometimes a man achieves his dream, and become a bit insufferable, thinking he knows more than he does about all kinds of things. I have heard it described as 'a self-made man, in love with his maker'. I call this the Ozymandias Complex, after the poem by Shelley, and I think we all have it to a degree.

Shelley's poem was actually referring to Pharoh Ramses II, the greatest of all the ancient Pharohs (both in what he did, and in his own mind). He lived to be 92 years old, and ruled Egypt for 67 years (1279 B.C. to 1212 B.C.). Ozymandias is apparently a Greek derivation of one his many Egyptian names, User-maat-re.

Here is a quote from one of Ramses's statues: "I am Ozymandias, King of kings. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass any of my works."

And here is Shelley's poem (in case you forgot it):

Ozymandias I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822

Getting Over the Ozymandias Complex

Along comes midlife and whacks us on the head. We realize our dream was largely an illusion, and we discover that even if we are successful in a business or profession, we won't live happily ever after.

It can be quite a shock, and can lead to a midlife crisis. The stronger we held the dream, and the greater our early success, the bigger the shock to discover it was an illusion.

One of the tasks at midlife is to recognize that the assumptions that go with the big dream were made by a youth, and were incorrect. True happiness comes from recognizing 'what is', accepting things that cannot be changed, and making the inner journey to discover our connection with the Divine - or greater Reality.

The danger is that we will look outside for what can only be found inside. It shows up in all the stereotypical behaviours - quitting a job, leaving a wife, getting a young girlfriend, getting our hair dyed, getting a sporty little car.

How do we let go of our 'Ozymandias Complex'? I think the first step is to recognize that things didn't turn out the way we thought, and then accept that our life is ok anyway. Then we begin the inner journey. Personal growth workshops, meditation, prayer, and the New Warrior Adventure Training are all good ways to begin. My e-book "Picking Up The Burning Feather" can be a guide as well.


An elderly man lay dying in his bed, when he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favourite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs.

He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed, and slowly made his way out of the bedroom. With even greater effort, he inched down the stairs.

Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out on waxed paper on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favourite chocolate chip cookies.

The aged and withered hand trembled on it's way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.

"Stay out of those," she said, "they're for the funeral." =============================================

I do this newsletter and host the website as a service to other men, and am happy to do so. Just the same, it costs some money, and if you would like to make a small contribution to help with those costs, I would really appreciate it. If you would like, you can make a donation at:


The Mankind Project

The ManKind Project® offers trainings which support men in developing lives of integrity, accountability, and connection to feeling. Our trainings challenge men to develop their abilities as leaders, fathers, and elders as ways of offering their deepest gifts in service to the world.

The ManKind Project's New Warrior Training Adventure® is an intense, transformative men's initiation which invites men to forge a deep conscious connection between head and heart. The NWTA offers men a powerful, challenging opportunity to look at all aspects of their lives in a richly supportive environment.


Got your copy of Picking Up The Burning Feather yet? It will help you on your spiritual journey.

Just go to Picking Up The Burning Feather: A Spiritual Guide For Midlife Men.


Just For You: A Free Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, you will recall I promised you a link to a secret page on the Midlife Men's site where you can download a free 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' by George Slater.

Welcome to the newsletter, and for your free report, go to: DIY Retirement E-Report , and follow the instructions.



Learn to be a Teleclass Facilitator

If you are a facilitator/speaker/professional who gives lectures or workshops, you can do it from home and make money. Teleclasses (also known as teleseminars) using telephone bridge lines, are becoming increasingly popular, and and a very inexpensive way to deliver high-quality training. I took training in teleclass leadership from Teleclass International which I highly recommend.



A Destroyer of Compasses by Wade Bell, published by Guernica Editions, (Toronto, Buffalo and Lancaster UK) $15.00 Cdn

One Man's Mid-Life Crisis Led to Spain. Planning to spend six weeks, he stayed five years.

A book of stories the Toronto Globe & Mail called "an assured and sensual portrait of a culture" with "precise and ironic examples of human idiosyncracy." The review went on to call stories "gems."

Available from Amazon, E-Bay and local bookstores.

I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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