The Ugly Truth About “Charitable Giving”

There once was an aspiring chef named Richard.

After years of training…

After countless, heartbreaking setbacks…

At last, he clawed his way to the top of the culinary world.

With the success of his restaurants and books and licensing deals came overwhelming income.

As his banks accounts grew larger, a cold ball of guilt grew in his chest.

With each extra zero, the discomfort intensified.

Finally, desperate to find some relief, Richard dropped by a local soup kitchen, driven to “give back.”

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Bring The Magic: How To Be Independently Happy

You wake to an even playing field.

But then, as the day unfolds, it happens.

The words of praise you speak to your wife are met with silence.

Or the coffee you brewed for her, with the cream and sugar just the way she likes it, went unthanked.

Despite the extra help around the house you did in preparation for your “ask,” she still turns you down… and to add insult to injury, she’s offended you’d even ask.

And so the day sours: your acts of service and words of affirmation glaringly unreciprocated.

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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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