Antifragile Sex

A few months ago I read a book by Nassim Taleb called “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder.”

Taleb makes the point that institutions, governments, and markets respond to chaos and disorder in one of three ways:

Things that fall apart are “fragile.”

Things that endure are “resilient.”

And then there is a unique, little-understood class of things that actually grow stronger in the face of chaos and disorder. These things are “antifragile.”

What Taleb says of markets and institutions is true of genders as well. read more


Had a lousy, fight-filled date with my wife last night.

Feel like shit today.

I’m angry and repentant and belligerent all at once.

My ground is shot: diet and sleep have been horrendous this week, due in part to travel, in part to stupid choices.

To my eyes, everything looks shit-soaked right now.

My point is this:

I fuck up and am fucked up.

Just like you. Just like everyone else.

None of us is exempt.

I used to think my fuckupery disqualified me from writing a book like LIT, from writing posts like these, from having the audacity to proffer my thoughts and advice on masculinity to other men. read more

Why Fearlessness Is Bullshit

I see a lot of men telling themselves and other men to be “fearless.”

What the fuck does that mean?

You cannot be fearless.

Not unless you are brain dead, or have crawled back into the womb.

Don’t wish to be fearless. Resolve to be courageous.

For they are utterly different animals.

Courage is NOT the absence of fear. Courage is acting boldly DESPITE fear.

Most days I am neck deep in fear.

I tinker endlessly with shit that does not matter, for no other reason than to avoid the thing I fear. read more

Optimize For Courage

Nowadays we are “optimizing” for everything:

We optimize our marketing for higher sales.

We optimize our bodies for greater health.

We optimize our routines for greater efficiency.

But nobody optimizes their life for the most valuable thing of all:


Courage is our most vital possession, the key to all human flourishing and evolution.

We know this.

But we do not follow with action. We do not devote ourselves to the cultivation and amplification of human courage.

And so the most vital thing of all goes unoptimized. read more

Your Kids Are Not Your “Buddies”

Somehow I’ve gotten into the habit of calling my sons “buddy.”

“How’s it going buddy?”

“Hey buddy, how’d you sleep?”

“Love you bud.”

And while the term has a breezy appeal, it sends the wrong message.

I am not their buddy, and should never aspire to be.

I am their dad.

They will have many buddies in their life.

But only one father.

The roles are radically different.

A buddy’s job is to be fun, familiar, easy.

A father’s job is to help his children become capable, principled, thriving adults. read more

How To Love A Liberated Woman

Chances are you’re married to a liberated woman.

A woman who identifies, to some degree, as a feminist.

In my experience, that brings no small weight to the relationship.

Her heart is torn both towards and away from men.

She has many voices in her head, telling her how she should be as a woman, and how YOU should be as a man.

You are bewildered, because so often, the voices are telling her completely different things.

She is bewildered, too.

She wants you to help with the laundry.

She wants you to take turns doing the cooking. read more

The Uses Of Rage

In my early twenties, I worked for a man with an unbelievably bad temper.

I once saw him grow so angry at his nephew he fired a rifle into the air and screamed at him until tears were flowing down his cheeks.

Another time I watched him panic as one of his employees lost control of a wheelbarrow full of wet cement, then literally throw his hat on the ground and stomp on it like a Rumplestiltskin when the concrete spilled out onto the grass.

As men, we tend to believe our anger is a powerful and intimidating tool at our disposal… that our outburst will be “terrible to behold.” read more

Stop Being So Damn Teachable

You want to live an extraordinary life.

Financially, relationally, spiritually, physically… ALL of it.

It’s not easy. You know that. Otherwise “everyone would be doing it.”

So, daunted by the task, you adopt the posture of the humble student rather than that of the master-in-the-making.

Each time you encounter a new webinar, “secret report,” or guru interview, you happily drop whatever you were doing before and sit at the new master’s feet.

You feel DUTY BOUND to consider what he is saying… to be the “teachable student.” read more

The #1 Lie About Finding Your Passion

When it comes to mission, most men I know are on the fence.

They want to take on a bigger, bolder mission than the one they have now (which is often someone ELSE’S mission, or NO mission at all)…

…But they’re “not quite sure” what that mission looks like.

So they wait.

They mull it over.

They BROOD on it.

All the while, waiting for the perfect, fully-formed mission to reveal itself in a flash of light, the clouds parting, angels singing, all doubt and ambivalence burned away. read more

Becoming The Man Who Climbs

You seek the top of the mountain.

There is a trail that leads there, but the way is perilous, and deep in snow.

You yearn for easy transport, for the helicopter to take you directly to the peak.

You want the silver bullet, the magic formula, the push-button solution that will wipe your old life away and replace it with something far removed… something utterly transformed.

But in your heart you know the truth:

The fulfillment you seek comes not from tricks, hacks, or shortcuts, but from taking one step after the other until you stand there, at last, on the roof of the world. read more