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. read more

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? read more

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. read more

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.” read more

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. read more

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 read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more