Why I Stopped Giving My Kids An Allowance

For years, I gave my kids a monthly allowance equal to their age:

Seven bucks for my seven-year-old, eleven for my eleven-year-old, and so on.

I didn’t give it to them in cash form: I kept track of their balances on a spreadsheet, so they couldn’t spend any of it without making a withdrawal from the “Bank of Dad” first.

What’s more, I paid them 10% interest (.83% a month) on their balances.

My goal was three-fold:

a. Keep their money safe so they wouldn’t lose it
b. Minimize rash spending by gating their access
c. Instill a love for saving with that juicy 10% interest rate

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Screw Contentment

Learn to be satisfied

Enough is enough

Be anxious for nothing

Learn to be content

That’s what they told you.

And so you lowered your head in self-chastisement, resolving to be more grateful, more satisfied… to be more content.

Here’s the thing:

You aren’t made for contentment.

You’re wired to STRIVE.

Endlessly.

When you shame the striving out of a man, bad shit happens.

THAT’S when a man’s demons go loose:

THAT’S when addiction blooms: man’s innate striving twisted and suppressed, chewing on itself in starvation, robbed of fruitful obsessions.

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The 4 Worst Things A Man Can Risk

What are you willing to risk in the pursuit of a better life?

If you’re like most men, here’s your list:

1. Time
2. Capital
3. Health
4. Family

Most men happily pour tremendous amounts of time and money into their projects, with the depletion of their health and family relationships as a second-order consequence.

You spend these currencies… put these things at risk NOT because that is what your project requires to succeed, but because these are the currencies you are most comfortable spending.

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Stand And Deliver

“Practice makes perfect”…

“Preparation is key”…

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”…

Yeah fuck all that.

Practice time is over.

Your twilight’s coming. So whatever your craft, project, opus, crescendo…

Whatever it is you’ve been planning…

Whatever it is you’ve been waiting to reveal…

Let it be now.

Not next month, not next week.

Not when the kids are out of diapers, or out of school, or out of the house.

NOW.

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Your Wife And The Other Man

You’ve died.

Your wife and children live.

Somehow, they go on.

In time, without even meaning to, your wife catches a man’s attention.

Whatever his suitedness…

Whatever his similarity or lack of with you…

Whatever his worthiness…

He resolves to love her.

The thought of becoming the man she most esteems… perhaps even, someday, the man she marries… it fills his every waking thought.

He finds himself suddenly capable of unprecedented feats of service, courage, charm, and wit.

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Stop Aspiring

Yes, stop aspiring.

This “elevate your thinking”…

“Set your sights higher”…

“Conceive and believe”…

It won’t save you.

I know it gives us the shivers.

But it’s all wistful grist for someone else’s mill.

We think too highly of high thinking.

For high thinking is easy: men like you and I, we’ve no shortage.

But if aspiring was our true fulcrum, you’d be on your throne already.

Here’s the truth:

It’s not the heights we aspire to but the FLOOR WE PUT UP WITH that determines our place.

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Slavery Is A Choice

In the picture above, we have some “free-range” chickens.

How can this be?

Before I explain, let me tell you a related story about one of the most surreal nights of my teenage life.

It was the summer before my sophomore year in high school.

A buddy asked me if I wanted to make some cash catching chickens that night.

I said I did… clueless to what that entailed.

Before I knew it, I was standing in a commercial chicken barn, ankle deep in a sea of chickens.

My buddy advised I put a drop of cologne in my dust mask to cover the stench.

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To All Men Plagued By Darkness

Years ago, while barbecuing on the back porch, my wife and I heard a scream.

For a moment, I couldn’t tell if it was the happy shout of a child at play or the wild, broken screams of a woman.

Minutes later, I found myself in our neighbor’s laundry room, holding the body of my neighbor up as high as I could to make some slack in the dog chain he had hung himself with.

The man’s wife, who I had heard scream, begged me to keep holding him up, to take the pressure off his throat, to get him down… convinced he was still alive, that her husband’s life could still be salvaged.

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What Happens When Men Flee The Wild

Yesterday, as my kids and I jumped from the polished rocks of the Frio River into the pools below, the music began to play.

Across the river and downstream, someone began blasting country music through their truck’s stereo system, the darker music of the the wild beat back into the shadows.

Whenever I am in nature with crowds, it’s always the same:

Invariably there are those who experience the rustling of branches, the creaking of frogs, the bleating of cicadas not as some feast of sound to be relished, but as a void to be filled with their own noise, the unmitigated wild too much for them to bear.

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Man’s Special Constipation

Warning: scatological material ahead. Reader discretion is advised.

Remember Spitz sunflower seeds?

When I was in high school, Spitz sunflower seeds were all the rage. Buy a bag of those for the game, or the party, or the beach, and you knew you had hours of cracking spitting chewing pleasure ahead of you.

I always thought eating them was rather straightforward, but, as with most things in life, there’s always someone who muffs the obvious to hilarious effect.

As my buddy told it, years ago, some poor schmuck at summer camp challenged the natural order of sunflower seed eating, and paid for it dearly.

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