Why Dads Shouldn’t Think Of Themselves As A “Family Man”

You aren’t a “family man.”

You’re a man with a family.

Here’s why that distinction matters:

You were taught to think of family life as a promised land; a blissful state wherein, once won, you collapse into the arms of an all-loving, all-sustaining woman, carried along in a nirvana of procreation and whelp-tending…

That once you enter the paradise of marriage and family life, the need for seeking and striving and straining and proving will at last be behind you…

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Why You Should Procreate: An Open Letter To Every Smugly-Childless Man

There’s always one.

Some smug prick at the dinner party who announces he will not be having children.

Because, overpopulation.

And “man as disease.”

Not to mention the mess, and the work, and the annihilation of one’s personal life.

The subtext being that having children is an “indulgence,” a surrender to base, unenlightened instinct, an act both unconscious and unconscionable.

Three things, asshole:

1. Population Winter

We do not only proliferate.

Winter is coming.

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The Ugly Truth About Haters (How To Stop Waiting)

I need to show you something.

It’s ugly and crass… but you need to see it.

If you have things to create… if you wish to share your thoughts, ideas, products, services, artworks on a public stage…

Then truly, this may well save your creative life.

Dabbling at creation in private, when there is no risk of critique, is easy.

But the moment you ship…

The moment you pull the trigger and put your creations out into the world…

That is when you expose yourself not only to the fans you seek, but the haters you dread.

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How To Change Your Game (Move Or Die Part 2)

After last week’s Move Or Die message, a reader wrote me this:

In other words… what are some practical examples of move or die in action?

So, game on.

If you know the life you want DEMANDS bold moves…

If you know it’s move or die time but don’t know WHAT or HOW…

Let’s get in the shit.

I’ll start with a personal example:

Death by a Thousand Google Campaigns

As I’ve shared before elsewhere, I was stuck in marketing purgatory for years.

I’d become very good at specific form of affiliate marketing called “direct linking.”

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Move Or Die

Stay the course.

Double down.

Hold the line.

Press on.

Those are the words you console yourself with.

The bandied sayings of the grimly perseverant male.

And while they are, for some men, the right admonition… for most they merely excuse a particular form of dying.

For here’s the problem:

You love the slog.

You crave the long, endless night… the slow, tolerable gnaw.

After all, you are a man. You, like the rest of us, are hardwired for suffering.

But there are two kinds of suffering:

Suffering long and mild, leading nowhere of consequence…

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How You Rise

Lost.

Ruined.

Destroyed.

That’s what they said about Chernobyl in 1986, after the worst nuclear accident in history spewed thousands of tons of radioactive waste into the surrounding forests.

When scientists returned years later to inspect, they braced themselves, expecting some nightmare carnival of two-headed frogs and tumor-riddled deer… of an animal population rendered freakish and frail.

Instead they found paradise.

Wolves.

Bison.

Boar.

Elk and red deer in hearty abundance.

They even found a species of bear not seen in those parts for over a hundred years.

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The #1 Sign Of A Stalled Life

I wake from a shitty night’s sleep, eyes glaring.

I feel it in the tightness of my chest, in the itch of my own flesh:

Today I’ve no strength for disorder, fixing, or bullshit of any kind.

In fact, I’m up for no problems whatsoever.

And so I go into the day barking and bud-nipping, ripping thorn from rose before it can tear the skin:

Hounding the kids to pick up every foot-bruising lego, wipe up every counter-staining spill, pick every wet towel up off the damn wood floor.

It FEELS like power: like man laying down law, carving order from chaos.

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How Man Kills The Dream

You see your severed arms and legs on the floor.

You crane your head to look: only stumps remain.

Your nose fills with the stench of copper and rheum.

You slowly lose consciousness, your flesh gone grey as blood dribbles out of your mutilated body in steady four-limbed pours.

Such was the fate of Procrustes’ victims.

Procrustes, if you’ve not heard the Greek myth, was a thief who enticed travelers to his lair, where he then tied them to an iron bed for torturing.

Captives longer than the bed he cut to size by hacking off their limbs.

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Why You Hate Everything

You hate everything.

* That shirt she bought you
* The new movie your kid thought was “amazing”
* The new must-have smart phone
* The book your friend Chuck is raving about
* That “incredible” new show on Netflix

Everyone around you has lost their minds: unhinged and adoring, singing inane praises.

You?

You hate it all.

No matter how much you try, you are utterly, offensively unimpressed.

When did you get so jaded?

When did you become so hard to please?

As your wife’s no doubt wailed on numerous occasion… what’s WRONG with you?

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Tune Your Animal

I should have turned back when I saw the first skier.

I was just minutes up the Elfin Lakes trail in BC’s Garibaldi Provincial Park, ecstatic to have embarked on my first backpacking trip of the season.

It was still early Spring, but the trail was free of snow, so I was surprised to see the first return hiker balancing skis over his shoulder.

The next hiker was hoisting a pair as well.

Then, just a quarter-mile into the hike, I hit the snow line.

I told myself it was just a rogue patch. I told myself I’d find the alpine meadows my winter-addled mind had conjured just on the other side.

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