My gym buddy Tom appeared to be feeling a bit down lately, and I noticed he wasn't pushing himself as hard as he used to during our workouts. I thought something was going on, but I wasn't sure what it could be.
After our workout one day, Tom opened up to me about feeling off lately. He was experiencing mood swings, low energy, and trouble sleeping. I realized that Tom might be going through andropause.
Andropause is a condition that affects men as they age due to a decline in testosterone levels, which can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, mood changes, and a decreased sex drive. Unlike menopause, there aren't treatments commonly used, such as hormone replacement therapy.
Tom and I chatted about how he was feeling and thought about some strategies to help manage his symptoms. We also explored the concept of ikigai, which is a Japanese idea that helps people find their purpose and motivation in life.
Thankfully, Tom understood the idea of ikigai and found it interesting. So, we talked about how he could incorporate it into his life. I asked him what his passions, skills, and purposes are, and how he could use them to create a sense of motivation and purpose.
A couple weeks later, Tom told me that he had always enjoyed cooking and had even considered becoming a chef in his early 30's. With this sense of purpose, he enrolled in a cooking course at Sur La Table and began experimenting with new recipes at home. One of his favorite dishes was a spicy pasta dish called arrabbiata.
Now cooking became Tom's new passion, and he even started hosting monthly dinner parties to share his creations with friends. By focusing on his ikigai, Tom found a new sense of fulfillment and energy, even as he went through andropause. His mood swings and fatigue began to lessen, and he started feeling more like his old self.