Swing Through The Darkness

This summer my oldest boy discovered the joys of river rope swings.

The first time he tried it, he fell off into the river at the nadir, when the force is strongest.

The next few tries bore the same result.

Then I told him to grip the rope higher and tighter… that if he could hang on through the bottom of the arch, he’d be able to swing back up and drop off at the top.

Sure enough, on the next swing he held on for dear life through the bottom and earned himself a nice drop down into the river.

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Why The Inspired Shall Inherit The Earth

Here’s the old formula for success:

The one they’ve drilled into your head since you were a boy:

The one that has millions of men scraping themselves out a little more each day, gasping for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow:

work hard -> make money -> get happy

This formula… it bolts so well onto the masculine: feeds our need for epic delay, for long-suffering.

Problem is, the formula is broken.

Most likely in all worlds and all times… but especially in ours.

We live in a super-connected age.

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The #1 Distraction Of Empire-Builders

You friend.

You tweet.

You connect.

You’re digging your well, growing your network.

Because someday—someday soon—you’re gonna build something special.

And when you do, you wanna make damn sure you have an audience to share it with.

But here’s the thing: that problem was solved for you a long time ago.

The internet is one great big distribution machine, and the machine is IDLE.

Every day millions of people spent billions of hours greasing and priming this machine, trying to add to its already gargantuan capacity, when it’s not distribution but SHIT WORTH DISTRIBUTING that is in short supply.

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The Dark Side Of Boundaries

“Bryan, love your writing. Can I interview you on my podcast?”

“Bryan, really digging your shit. Want to come speak at my event?”

As Third Way Man grows, I’m starting to get more and more of these requests.

And while the validation is nice, I’ve more or less viewed them as distractions.

Hence my typical response:

“Thanks for the offer, but I am 100% focused on the small handful of activities I need to do to drive the business forward. Interviewing / speaking isn’t on that list, so ‘no’ for now.”

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When “Just Do It” Fails

You’re five weeks into your project.

Not just any project… THE project.

The one you know is going to break it all wide open.

This project means everything to you. And yet, aside from some “web research,” you’ve done NOTHING to move it forward.

You stare at the grizzled bloodshot face in the mirror and ask yourself “what the fuck is wrong with me? Why can’t I just EXECUTE?”

If you find yourself demoralized at your inability to “just do it,” first and foremost, stop berating yourself.

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Why Men Make Such Good Slaves

I played a lot of video games when I was a kid.

My favorite games were the ones that had “bosses” you had to kill at the end of each level.

Defeating these bosses was fairly straightforward: you simply observed their fight pattern, then maneuvered within them.

Once you cracked the code and figured out their fight pattern, taking these bosses out was a simple, routine process.

Some people want your soul. Some people will happily suck you dry.

But this is the minority.

Most people participate in the enslavement of men completely unaware, cogs in an emasculation machine they don’t even realize exits.

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The Hiker And The Trail

One day, a man decided to build a trail.

He had hiked the trails of others all his life.

Now, it was his turn.

He knew exactly the place: a yet-unmarked climb to a waterfall.

He had been there many times, finding his way by landmark and deer trail.

Now, he would share it with others by making a trail.

The first day, he cleared brush and stones in the hot sun until his body ached.

He went to bed exhausted but happy: he was building a trail.

The next day, he ate his eggs in a rush, eager to hike the first leg of his new trail.

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When Fatherhood Is Hell

After a recent email, a reader wrote back:

“We’ve been having a very challenging time recently with our daughters – to the point where we have both acknowledged that if we had the ability to go back in time and change decisions we wouldn’t want to be parents. It’s a biggy I know, and we still love them dearly, but I would be interested to hear your thoughts in a future email on how to approach this situation.”

In other words, what do you do when the challenges of fatherhood become so crushing and so sustained that you feel your heart going dark to your children?

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The #1 Lie About Happiness 99% Of Men Believe

Someday, you will arrive.

The thing you’ve fought for, slaved for, torn off limbs for… you’ll finally get it.

Then? Then the ecstasy will fucking wash all over you.

That’s how it works, right?

It’s the myth of fell-swoop happiness.

The lie that has you back-loading your life to the point of collapse… pinning it all on this desperate hope that as long you put your time horizons far enough out, somehow, someday, all the shit will finally come together.

THEN you’ll feel alive again.

THEN you’ll wake up without that fear in your belly.

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Take The Damn Vacation (Torture And All)

Who has time for vacation?

No one but losers and slackers! You’ll rest once you’ve “made it,” right?

That’s still the unspoken creed.

You COULD take some time off… but what would your boss think? Your employees? Your business partner?

Besides… family vacations are usually the clusteriest of cluster fucks anyways, a constant juggling of everyone’s needs and wants and vacation fantasy fulfillments. All but your own, that is.

YES, taking vacation is like carving off a chunk of your own flesh: it’s painful and unnecessary and oozes for days.

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