Introducing The Journeyman Life: The Not-So-Perfect Path to a Life Well Lived Book by Tony Daloisio

To introduce the book, The Journeyman Life: The Not-So-Perfect Path to a Life Well Lived, I would like to share an excerpt, followed by a description of the five major stages that are the foundation of the book and the “journey process” outlined within.

The Journeyman Life: A Not-So-Perfect Path to a Life Well Lived

Now Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

“This book is about you, the man you have become and the man you hope to become! It is about assessing your life, with your vision of a life-well-lived as the standard, the setting of aspirational goals in the movement toward that vision and charting a path to achieve that vision. No doubt that you, like me have faced a time or times in your life where you have come to the conclusion that without meaningful change inside of myself, I would likely be less happy, less fulfilled, less of a positive force and less healthy in my life. For me, I have had many moments of truth like this. Those moments have compelled me to learn, seek, and be dedicated to a “full body scan” of my inner and outer life. I have chosen to dedicate my life to that quest.  To attempt to learn, open myself up to examination and hopefully grow and change to become a better human being, a better man.  I have been and still am on that path and I would like to share that path, that journey with you the reader in hopes that my learnings will help you to gain the fulfillment and well-being that you want and deserve. Ultimately the journey is about making a decision and commitment to transform your life experience. No one but you have the capability to make that choice. We know that both life as it is and the path to transformation are challenging, that it has been and likely will be a “not so perfect path”, and yet for the courageous and dedicated man, the decision to make this a conscious journey will be the most important decision of his life”. 

Tony Daloisio, The Journeyman Life: The Not-So-Perfect Path to a Life Well Lived

The paragraph above and the inherent call to action describes the purpose of The Journeyman Life book. Although the book is designed to guide a man who is at a crossroads in life, whether that challenge be professional, marriage, relational, family, or internally focused, it also informs implications for the greater good of our society. While there has been a temporary spike in awareness and intent to the contrary, men still have a stronghold on key leadership positions in our world; they still remain the holders of the greatest wealth and power and are still the formal heads of their families. At the same time, we are observing glimpses of a growing vision of leadership in our world characterized by an increasing balance in the energies of both the feminine and masculine. Many of the world’s greatest thinkers are asking, “how can we accelerate this transformation before it is too late?”

With major world issues becoming an increasing reality (e.g., climate change, the threat of nuclear war, systemic racism, the growing economic divide, and more), achieving lasting and real systemic change in these areas has been very difficult and unsuccessful. We are at a stalemate in the change process, and neither an answer nor coherent leadership has emerged in our ideologically divided world. It is the hypothesis of this book that the only real answer might be to look inside each of ourselves, asking powerful questions of the most mature and principle-centered parts of our being, and making personal choices to raise our consciousness inspiring both inward and outward changes in our lives. Through this personal transformation, there is a hope to become a role model for others to join and change. This personal change could be the source and provide the accelerant for needed systemic change, a process described in the book as an “inside-out” approach to change.  

The journey of one man becomes that powerful starting point!   

I decided to write this book because I wanted to improve myself, to share with my family, my children and grandchildren about a path that I had dedicated my life to.  Although I am a professional psychologist in the field of growth and development, I am writing this as a fellow journey man who is on the path.  I am in this process with the reader.  Because of my over 30 years of work in this field as a consultant and coach and my personal passion to improve the quality of my life and those around me, I have dedicated over 10,000 hours to this cause.  I wanted to share those learnings and tools with my fellow man who are on this same journey.  I wrote the book to be both practical and easily applied and also with a wider and deeper perspective to allow for deep and lasting change to occur.  

The Journey Begins

In the book, the reader is guided on a carefully designed path that allows him to systematically uncover, discover and recover his true purpose in life.  To do this, the book steps the traveler through five stages:

The five stages of transformation
  1. The Outer Reality of Life

    If you are like me, then you likely live the majority of your life in this outer world of interactions, successes, failures, challenges and triumphs.  Yet for me and you we spend the vast majority of our waking hours and even our sleeping hours thinking about our lives, evaluating ourselves and others and trying to figure out how to maneuver in this complex world. This first stage is designed to open the door to a careful assessment or discovery of the man that the reader has become in terms of his relationships, his spiritual life, emotional well-being and skill, health and physical self, and his mental acuity and abilities. In order to assist us in this all-important assessment or life review, we offer several important frameworks and perspectives. To give us a chance to step back and look at life with new eyes, and a fresh perspective. 

    The first is the 4 Archetypes of the Masculine Psyche as described by Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and more recently, Robert Gillette. We are able to see our current self clearly through this lens of both the shadow tendencies and the mature masculine representation of each archetype.

    The second is based on the work of Harvard psychologist and professor, Dr. Robert Kegan. He, and his colleagues, outline groundbreaking research on the stages of adult development. In doing so, we discover that the vast majority, 65% of men, are in a stage called “the socialized self”. This stage is represented by an over-dependence on the needs of the “ego” in our lives and is characterized by “a reactive mindset”.  Compare this stage to the 4th stage in the development process of adult men, which is called the “Self-Authoring Self Stage”. In this stage, a man is guided to actions based upon inner values and life purpose. The spotlight moves from his ego to a greater view of the interdependence of all things in life. In this perspective, relationships matter, values lead, and belief systems are curated to create synergy, love and a focus on the complete ecosystem of our lives. This is an important distinction and is one that we can see in the more recent sociological trends where men, often in reference to their leadership positions in our societies, have been maligned for immature decisions and actions which have negative consequences for many others.  I am, as I am sure you are, very interested in how we are traveling on this earth, how we are perceived, how we can be better, more helpful, more loving, more kind to others.  This stage gives us a glimpse of who we are, who we have become in life in real terms, based upon your very own criteria, not one made up by the outside world!

    We leave the first stage of the journey with a clearer sense of our current reality, a glimpse at a better vision of our lives, and the motivation to be at the “doorstep of transformational change”.  In order to be ultimately successful, the traveler must look inside, to the inner self, the world of belief windows, values, and skills; but also the shadow side of fears and core issues which for men are more characteristically covert and never expressed. That aspect creates a covert depression in men which leads to things like abusive behaviors, addictions, alcoholism, and a host of other negative behaviors. This dynamic becomes the outer life of the man. Exploration of the inner life holds the key to change, as noted sociologist Joseph Campbell suggests in the title of his last of many books entitled The Inner Reaches of Outer Space
  1. The Inner Self

    The second stage of the journey begins by turning the spotlight back to the self; specifically, our inner self. The idea of working on the inner self has been a major focus of psychology for hundreds of years, while there is a strong aversion, in most men, to doing so. The great paradox of life is that the greatest gains in life come from the inside out. Yet, we live our lives 90% focused on the outside and yearn for change, growth and greater effectiveness, happiness and success. It must be understood and tamed to be able to change our behavior and tap into our real feelings.  I for one have spent hundreds of hours attempting to understand my inner self.  

    The Inner Self dominates the manner in which we show up in our outer lives. Every decision, every thought, every interaction with another is generated primarily from our belief windows. A belief window is an inner construct that our minds create or cultivate over many years of our lives. It begins in childhood as we experience our family dynamic and our own personality emerges in an effort to blend into the world. We all experience core wounds or issues which stay in our bodies like stored energy waiting to emerge with one sole purpose in our lives; to keep us safe and secure. The ego is a construct crafted to do just that. The study of the stages of adult development from Dr. Robert Kegan’s research shows us that the majority of men are operating internally from a reactive behavioral mindset or belief window. We even construct “voices” of the reactive mindset that speak to us internally and guide our every thought and action. We call these the “Voices of the Reactive Mind” in this section of the book. The voices that I have come to know inside me, say things to me like: “you have to be on your guard at all times to be safe and successful”, or “your self-worth is a function of your successes or wins in the outside world”.  

    To be effective in our journey, we must understand these voices, why they exist, what they say to us, and what their impact is on our lives. We learn that they are a major player in our lives, guiding our every move. While they have the appearance of keeping us safe and secure in our ego mind, they actually are grossly under-developed and immature with little business running our lives. It is a bit like a five year old holding tight to the steering wheel of your car while you are driving in heavy traffic down the highway of life at 80 mph. Stage 2 of the journey is about uncovering this inner reality, debunking it and setting the stage for change. The goal of Stage 2 then becomes what I call, “bringing us to the doorstep of change”, as we discover our complex and powerful inner world and how it is driving our lives.  

    The shift to Stage 3 is based upon that discovery. With this understanding of both the Outer World and the Inner World of our lives, we are ready to turn the corner in the winding path of our journey to “Chart the Course” for our transformation. 
  1. Charting the Course

    Assessing and refining your understanding of your “Outer Life” and “Inner Beliefs”, are each critical to the journey process, as it gives us the impetus or motivational thrust to bring us to the doorstep of transformation. Change is difficult, and having either arrived at a threshold of pain or unhappiness with your current reality and / or having a motivating and inviting aspirational vision of your life in the future, can provide the change fuel needed to get you started. Most change processes put a large percentage of effort into these two stages and rightfully so. However, it is also true that as deep as one’s inner or outer understanding and acuity are about oneself and life, real change happens in the day to day, moment to moment events and interactions of daily life. We sharpen our awareness and choice to be able to be more effective in the practical aspects of our life. 

    In Stage 3, we begin to turn the corner to the homestretch of our transformation process. We must set goals, draw lines in the sand for our behavior changes, and chart the course for our continued journey.  Additionally, this section addresses the need/opportunity to upgrade the “skills for the journey” necessary to achieve sustained change. In addition to this, we see the need to, “equip ourselves” for the journey as it is not realistic to think that what, “got us here, will get us there” in the future of our lives. An example of this for me is that I am quite guarded and judgmental about others who come into my world and I have a tendency to want to control them and our interactions.  Learning about true empathy and compassion are skills and mindsets that have the potential for improving the quality and openness I have in relationships. 

    In his book, The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz discusses the difference between the ideas of structural conflict and structural tension as relates to success in achieving lasting change in oneself. In the former, when you choose to articulate a vision and assess your current reality, that gap creates a conflict in yourself which desires to be relieved or lessened. Often the pull of the vision or the call of the unhappiness with the current reality are not strong enough to propel and sustain change. In the latter, structural tension is seen as a positive situation. The difference is the degree to which one is committed to the vision. Full commitment along with a deep understanding of the current reality creates a strong pull for lasting change and that is what is needed to chart the course forward in our continued journey to evolve ourselves. The book uses this concept as a reminder, and even a mandate, to the reader of the importance of true commitment to change and the clarity to match that commitment.  
    In Stage 3, “Charting the Course”, the book also brings into the readers scope the idea of, “Equipping for the Journey”, with an upgrade in skills to navigate this new path. The reader is reminded of two important aspects of change. The first is the notion that, “what got you here, won’t get you there in your life.” We must upgrade, or change our skills, to be able to interact with our world differently and more effectively. The second is the powerful thought that emerges from the description of the: “SEE_DO_GET Model of Change”. It teaches us that until we truly SEE the world, or our situation, differently we will continue to call upon the same actions, (DO), and keep getting the same results, (GET).  We must alter our belief windows to be able to chart the new course effectively.  

    In Stage 3, “Charting the Course”, the book also brings into the readers scope the idea of, “Equipping for the Journey”, with an upgrade in skills to navigate this new path. The reader is reminded of two important aspects of change. The first is the notion that, “what got you here, won’t get you there in your life.” We must upgrade, or change our skills, to be able to interact with our world differently and more effectively. The second is the powerful thought that emerges from the description of the: “SEE_DO_GET Model of Change”. It teaches us that until we truly SEE the world, or our situation, differently we will continue to call upon the same actions, (DO), and keep getting the same results, (GET).  We must alter our belief windows to be able to chart the new course effectively.  

    The skills for the journey are addressed in detail in this section of the book. There are two sets of skills; inner skills and outer skills. The inner skills include things like awareness intelligence, mental acuity or choice,  intelligence, and self-regulation. The inner skills are ways of thinking, raising the level of awareness in assessing situations, all of which are happening inside of your mind and psyche, behind the scenes, that create a response and ultimately a response pattern or habitual manner of responding to stimuli in one’s life. The inner skills are critical as they are the skills that are driving the car as we move down the highway of our lives.

    The outer skills for the journey are similarly important as they are on point in the hundreds of day-to-day, moment to moment relational interactions we have each day/week with our family members, professional associates and our significant others. How we show up and engage with others matters in building trust, modeling integrity and skillful handling of the myriad of communications we have in our lives.  Several of the outer skills include emotional acuity, opening of oneself to another, connecting through meaningful dialogue, and creating psychological safety.  

    The good news about the inner and outer skills for the journey is that they can be developed and improved upon with the proper guidance, training, motivation, and intent on the part of the learner.  Each one is an attribute that is inside of us, waiting for us to call on it to enter into our lives to increase our potential effectiveness.  

    As we exit Stage 3 of our journey, “Charting the Course”, we realize the importance of both setting our goals and intent for change and also the value of investing in upgrading our skills for the journey. The hope is that through these efforts we can create and apply a new and upgraded “operating system” to guide us in our day to day lives.  As men, we have a great deal to learn about relating and opening to others.  The path to well-being is accelerated as we do this learning.  

    In Stage 4 we will zoom in closely to understand the notion of “The Moments of Truth”, that are the most finite and meaningful application point of our new operating system, and that have the potential to transform our lives and create the life we aspire to live.
Moments of Truth
  1. Realizing Your Goals / The Moments of Truth

    There is an abundance of research in the field of personal and organizational change about the difficulty of actually realizing change goals in life. The vast majority of change efforts, as much as 70%, fail to realize their goals. By far the most energy and resources go into the assessment and goal setting parts of change, while the investment in time and motivation wanes greatly in the less sexy, implementation part of change. 

    This stage of The Journeyman Life book is focused on just that! How can we truly realize our goals and sustain them in our life. We spend so much time and energy thinking about our issues. We attempt to determine the  cause of the problem. We set new goals and even set out to learn new skills, only to either lose interest or move on to another thought or “shiny object” thought to be able to be the “magic pill” to fix our life.  

    In this 4th section of The Journeyman Life book, we take this issue head-on! I think of this section as being the most practical, most powerful and most pressing part of the quest that we have to improve our life as men. I have developed a hypothetical notion to do so and call it the “Moments of Truth”, (MOT).  In the book, I share stories about myself and other men as these moments inch into their lives.  I share my faulty reactions and then the potential course corrections and give practical strategies for making this happen, day to day, person to person, moment to moment in our lives.  

    A MOT is any finite outward interaction, or even internal thought process, that we experience in the course of a day / week. Researchers suggest that we have 60k thoughts each day and only 1% are new or different than the day before. This notion is about seeing each MOT as an opportunity to be different, be more skillful, more conscious, more authentic, and ultimately more effective in life.

    Our lives are made up of thousands of these moments and it is the one, or many of them stacked atop of each other that ultimately create our legacy in life. Imagine that you could break your day or interactions down to this finite perception and action, slowing things down enough to respond from the heart, more thoughtfully, more empathically, and with greater love and gratitude to another or others? 

    The book and this section / chapter outlines the concept, and a 5-step process to implement this valuable strategy along with a set of resources and tools to sustain and further develop yourself in this area of the journey of our lives. Breaking down our days, experiences, choices and interactions in this manner provides a practical and powerful method to change the trajectory of your life. While many of the other ideas and tools in this book are critical to the journey, ultimately, it is this finite change and the long-term commitment to it and application of it in our lives that is the difference in the journey to a life well lived.  I for one am dedicated to the 5 step process to change my moment to moment experience both inside my head, and in my outer world of interactions.
  1. The Path Forward

    This final section of the book both brings together the tools, skills and beliefs necessary for the journey, while focusing on the responsibility that each of us have to ourselves, our families, and our communities to shift the traditional model of the masculine. It provides a call to action for the reader to become a “transition person” in his life. It stresses the value and necessity to build and sustain “accountability” muscles, in order to ensure the realization of the change goals that each of us have to improve our lives. This segment of the book then encourages each of us to become a role model and teacher of others and finally to realize the importance of having a growth mindset and commitment to ongoing development via the learning and support of other men. 

    The book outlines a path forward that includes a personal commitment as well as the value of joining a “T-Group” or training group of other men to learn, share, support and develop the skills to teach and be a role model to others. 

    The importance of each man making a commitment to becoming more conscious and open to learning and the evolution of the role, skills and overall view of the masculine archetype in our society is tantamount. This is our chance to change ourselves, change our families, change our leadership and hopefully change the world.  

The book ends with a story of a critical experience that I was fortunate to have in my life.  It describes in detail a visit I had with a skillful intuitive man in Boulder Colorado in 2015.  In that session, it became clear to me that I had worked hard and achieved great growth in my life, especially as relates to the challenging upbringing that I had experienced.  Was I at the end of that journey or learning for myself or was there more that I might commit myself to in my spiritual and psychological growth? The process that ensued over the next 5 years brought me to the point of deeper examination of my life and what the dynamics and path is for men in that process of growth and possible transformation.  This book is yet another milestone in that journey.  I am even more committed to the path and dedicated to helping other men to do the same.  

The quote below summarizes this mission in the call to action to join and even lead in this world-wide movement to deepen and widen the human sense of responsibility each of us have to our families, our communities, our organizations and ultimately and most powerfully, ourselves. 


Thank you for reviewing this book summary for The Journeyman Life: The Not So Perfect Path to a Life Well-Lived

For further questions and if you would like to join or lead a Journeyman Men’s group, please contact Tony Daloisio at:, mobile # 860-483-1015

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