Discover the power of self-determination, self-acceptance and self-reflection. 

The HeartRoads manpower-model


The manpower model is composed of three elements that I have applied at different moments in my life, with varying results. Self-acceptance is fun for a while, but without the capacity to put it in the right context, it quickly becomes an excuse not to set limits or to take action. Self-determination is very important to be able to achieve something and live from passion, but without being able to put it into context, you run the risk of blindly kicking at things and forgetting why you started in the first place. Self-reflection is widely praised, and rightly so, but thinking too much about your own behavior and situations will also get you further away from real life.

In short, there is a time and place for all three. Each one of it's own, self-determination, self-acceptance and self-reflection, can help you break patterns, achieve new things, and be happy. For a moment. But life needs more than men with only 1 of these skills. To be complete as a friend, father, man and individual, we need to learn when we use which skill and when not.

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The courage of the lion

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~ I stand for my truth and take responsibility for my own happiness.

King of self-determination is the lion. He is not afraid to make choices and take the responsibility to act accordingly. When he finds himself in a minority position, he does not let himself be chased away, but remains true to his goal: to protect his kingdom. That is why the lion also stands for courage, responsibility and acting.

A man who liberates the lion in himself takes responsibility for his own happiness and is able to take action when the time comes. He dares to fight for what he believes in, even when he has to stand alone. As he is king over his life, he leads by example and brings order and prosperity.

The interconnectedness of the whale

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~ I dare to see who I really am, knowing that I can only move forward when I embrace myself.

Self-acceptance is the domain of the whale. To see who we really are, we need to be aware of our relationship to the bigger picture and our mission. For the whale, there is no difference between what he sees around him and what is inside him. Where does the whale begin and the sea end? He glides through the water as a model of self-acceptance and thus of his mission.

A man who embraces the whale within himself is aware of his relationship to the greater good and the world. A whale is often lonely but because he knows and accepts both himself and his place in the world, he has a connection with everything he sees around him. His connection with himself is a gateway to the one with others.

The wisdom of the owl

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~ I take enough distance to enable myself to come closer.

We know the owl as the wise bird who knows more than meets the eye. Because the owl can fly, he can distance himself from worries and acts from an overview position. Yet we often see him sitting with his eyes closed on a branch. He is wise because he cannot only take distance but can also look inside. That is why the owl symbolises self-reflection.

A man who can integrate the characteristics of the owl has access to introspective power, overview, can act independently of his emotions and is able to place situations in perspective. He knows when he needs to break free from his environment (flying) and when he can relax.

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More than the sum of it’s parts

Don't be a lion on three legs, a whale washed on shore or an owl who is afraid of flying.

Working together to get ahead


The lion has many beautiful qualities, but remember, even the strongest king needs others around him. All animals from the manpower model need each other to be fully expressed. Without the overview and self-reflection of the owl, the lion can become entangled in fighting for the good cause, not always seeing the most effective solutions. The whale helps the lion to discover his relationship with his kingdom, because he must not forget that a fertile land needs both sun and rai, water and fire. The latter is something that Mufasa forgot when he said to Simba, "All that stirs the light is our kingdom, we don't come into the realm of the hyenas."


Although an owl is wise, it is often seen alone and in the dark. His timidity makes him a standing a little farther away from life than he might want to. Because he knows the value of oversight, he sometimes flies a little too long instead of seeing what the forest-ground has to offer. It won't surprise you, but the owl also needs help from time to time. To be in balance, as a man, the animals from the manpower model must work together. Then we can really come home. Without the lion and whale he will soon be inclined to watch from above how others take action, without ever really knowing what it is. It is the acceptance of the whale that makes him realize that flying birds also have to land, and that pleasure can't be experienced by just sitting in his head. The lion's courage helps him to land on earth.


The whale experiences life very directly, which is his great power. This requires a fair amount of courage which the lion will respect 😉 Yet the whale also needs help to be in his element; the lion can help him go straight ahead and take action instead of engaging in his emotions too much. The owl can help the whale understand what emotions have to say and how they relate to each other. And then there will again be a time where there has been enough thinking and analyzing; here the lion will indicate that it has been enough.


In short; The animals from the manpower model, the different sides in you, need each other to be fully expressed.

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