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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

The #1 Reason Entrepreneur Dads Burn Out

We’ve been taught that it takes, at minimum, 50+ hours of work each week to successfully start or grow a business.

This belief (what I call the “myth of hours”) sets up entrepreneur dads for failure and burnout.

For if business success truly does depend on you working that minimum 50+ hours, then every request your wife makes for you to grab milk on the way home, or work less hours, or take Friday afternoons off is a direct assault on your business… robbing it of the hours it MUST have to succeed. read more

OWN YOUR ONE

You look at your life in dismay:

How are you supposed to know health and vitality with THIS body?… this body that is so quick to fatten and so slow to muscle… this pale, short, flabby monstrosity that fills the bathroom mirror each morning?

And how are you supposed to know abiding love and passion with THIS marriage?… this wife that is so quick to scorn and so slow to affection… this grim, utilitarian, logistics-filled marriage that is so far from what you both imagined on your wedding day? read more

What This Strange Autocorrect Taught Me About Marriage

Years ago after buying my first iPhone, I fat-fingered an “I love you” text to my wife, which my phone promptly autocorrected to “I live you.”

I thought it was funny, so I left it unchanged and hit send.

Now, years later, when I mis-type an I love you text, my damn iPhone is still as likely to autocorrect it to “I live you” as “I love you”… thanks, no doubt, to that confirming send all those years ago.

On the surface, it’s a trifle: one of many humorous yet meaningless quirks of modern life. But I’ve come to see in that nonsensical turn of phrase something unwittingly profound: read more

Find Your Edge

Any biologist will tell you:

It is not deep within biomes that life proliferates, but at their points of overlap.

Whether it be the trout feeding at the lake’s surface, or the deer grazing where field and forest meet…

Life abounds at the edge.

It’s the same with your work.

The greatness, the largess, the kingship you long for will NOT be forged deep within your industry, safely ensconced:

It happens on the edges.

Until you push your craft to the far reaches… until you walk to the cliff edges of your own knowns… your life will never yield the transformations you long for. read more

Bang Your Drum

You slide into your chair alert and nauseous, with bile in your throat.

All week you’ve waited for this moment… the beginning of your witching hour.

Whether if be the book you’ll write, the album you’ll record, the startup you’ll found… this is the time for creation you woke at dawn for, traded favors for, said no to House of Cards for…

The hard-won space in which you’re determined to establish a beachhead of freedom and impact and legacy… the hour in which you’ll finally crack your life open to the possibilities inherent within. read more