The Grey

“Life is not a game, it’s a song.”

-Five Finger Death Punch, “Brighter Side of Grey”

The cold desert morning cut through me as I pulled out of the parking lot. I signaled right, even though I knew not a damn soul was out at this hour.

Just my own nervous habits, I guess. Making sure everyone knew where I was going, even though I didn’t want to leave.

My rental car cut through the chill in the air as I merged onto a desolate I-10 on my way back to Phoenix, on the way back to my old life, on my way back to my own reality. As I drove in silence, I realized what I had been dreading for the entirety of this trip was finally happening.

There were three things that I knew I couldn’t avoid and I knew were the honest truth of my current situation.

  1. I had to leave.
  2. I wasn’t coming back.
  3. I was never going to see her again.

We had shared our goodbyes in the early hours and we both knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But we both knew it was coming. We knew this wasn’t going to work, it never works, and with each of our situations, there wasn’t a chance in hell we were going to be different.

It seems exceptions only work for exceptional people with exceptional resources.

So I drove. The traffic was slowing as the sun rose on this picturesque scene in the middle of the Arizona desert.

Regardless of how it worked out, I still had a flight to catch, a life to go back to, and a world that wasn’t going to have her in it, no matter how many stars I wished upon.

Silence, sweet silence, gave me pause to think about what I had just experienced, the fun times, the great sex, the amazing people, the venues, the food, the weather, the world that I had a chance to broach for 6 wonderful days.

But I also knew that I was kidding myself if I was going to bring any of it back with me.

This isn’t Hollywood. I wasn’t riding off into the sunset with the woman I love after saving the day, I was riding off into the sunrise alone, heading back to my life.

With a heavy heart, I boarded the plane. I was never coming back here again.

“She’s only yours for a limited time.”

This is the struggle many men and more recently, myself, has had to come to grips with. There are certain things that float around the ‘sphere that we tend to make fun of as cliche, but when they boil down to it, they are correct.

This rings very true for many men. My last few relationships haven’t been relationships as much as they’ve been a quick window into what could be if circumstances weren’t working against me.

But that nasty word, “reality”, intrudes all too often to men who think romantically and not pragmatically. This is a red pill truth that is all too often beaten up because it is used in a way that tells men that they shouldn’t even try to have her in their lives.

Because indeed, it’s better to have her for the time you have her than to never have her at all.

This is all too often an excuse for men to avoid women, go MGTOW, and admit that Hypergamy, that horrible boogeyman to men, is an unstoppable force that men cannot overcome. She’s always going to be looking for a better dude than you, right? She’s always looking for another option, right?

The black and white that red pill purists are trying to have doesn’t work when you throw in the grey. It works in theoretical work, but when in the field, it tends to be determined differently in different situations. There are men on this side of the world that have been in long term relationships and marriages for a while now. But what makes them different is the fact that they’ve entered into it on their terms, under their own frame, and with the guidelines of a “REAL” reality that she can be there with them for the entirety of their lives.

The problem is that men need to be able to ascertain that regardless if she’s only going to be in your life for a short time is that your life is better when she was in it than when she wasn’t. Women in general fulfill men’s lives if men understand exactly why women do what they do.

The reason I traveled to Arizona was to have a vacation by myself, she was the very good icing on the cake, but I let myself get sucked into the mantra that “anything is possible” even when it most certainly wasn’t. Her life was in Arizona, mine was in Indiana. There wasn’t anything that was going to change that. She knew it and so did I.

But the “grey” I can take from the black is that at least I got to spend that time with her. I’ll probably never see her again, and that’s okay. Because I made the most of the time I had with her. And that’s where the pragmatic needs to show itself to men.

Men will try to move hell and Earth to make something happen romantically that shouldn’t. They’ll travel hundreds, even thousands of miles, rearrange their lives, and forgo things they shouldn’t because of the “special” times they have with a girl they connect with, never questioning if they should just chalk it up to a great weekend, week, month or year of having fun with a woman whom he connects with.

And while having to leave is certainly depressing, it helps to be grounded in a reality (especially mine), where the chances of anything happening past a great experience are nil. I have two kids, I have a business, I have a life of my own in my own state. I’m not going anywhere, nor would I want to. Even if I didn’t have my reality and was single, I wouldn’t change my entire life to pursue a woman, because there are many more important things going on that I’m building.

But it still doesn’t mean you, as a man, should avoid meeting women and experiencing all that life has to offer.

You can’t let the prospect of you potentially falling for a girl dissuade you from wooing her. You have to be able to disconnect, but you also have to remember….

The roller coaster of life is worth experiencing.

Women love and leave you and you MUST feel those feelings. It makes you a better, more lived, well rounded person. A tree that’s been through hell and back has the rings to prove it. It’s lived a life worth living. Are you going to look back with regret that you didn’t take that trip, meet that woman, have awesome times? No one wants to be regretting on their death bed.

It’s why I had to feel the gut punch as I left Arizona that day. If I hadn’t done everything I did, even knowing I wouldn’t see her again, what kind of life was I living?

The pain was worth every part of the pleasure.

Who wants to live a life that avoids living?

“Long Distance Relationships Don’t Work.”

Depends.

This is another manosphere mantra that for the MOST part is correct.

I’ve met a few couples who have managed to make it work, but knowing that one or the other was going to move (in most cases, her to him, him to her very seldom works out for anyone), they made plans. They have to not be too attached to their locations, but they would have to be committed to a life with you, and many women won’t or in my case, can’t, do that. They have families, they have roots, and so do you.

Men make the mistake of trying to make a long distance relationship work, especially with a woman who has many options around her that she doesn’t have to work for. Regardless of how much fiction I wanted to believe, there wasn’t a snowflake’s chance in hell that anything was going to happen that would’ve changed this. She doesn’t have to move, she has a ton of other options closer, and I knew this.

It still sucks, though.

I’m not saying it doesn’t. I’m just saying that when you get attached to a girl, especially one that lives far away from you, you have to be realistic about what is going to happen. You can’t rearrange your life for her, she doesn’t want that and you shouldn’t either. Enjoy the moment for what it was and move on to another moment.

There will be other girls, I promise.

But don’t kid yourself about making an LDR work. It’s a correct assumption that a majority of them don’t work out, either by hook or by crook, you’ll have to make that decision sooner rather than later, so get it out of the way. The longer it festers, the worse your recovery will be.

There are too many options around you right now that are both more advantageous by location, as well as financially beneficial. You can’t be flying back and forth from distant locations hoping to make it work when another dude can be in your lady’s house in 5 minutes. You have to think logistically.

I knew, quite accurately, that as the feelings subsided on that cold morning as I was driving away, that nothing was going to come of this. There wasn’t a magical ending that was going to bring her to me, or me to her. And there wasn’t anything that the mileage between us was going to solve, it was just making the truth that much easier to see.

But you can’t tell a guy in love this. He sees only the Hollywood ending, when he moves to be with the woman he loves, only to see her resent him the minute his plane touches down. She doesn’t WANT you to be with her, because if she did, she would be on a plane to see you. Guys have to realize the moment is just that, a moment, and if she wants anything more, SHE has to make that move.

When the guy makes the flight, the move, the life change, the timer is ticking on the end of the relationship.

I’m not saying never, but I’m saying it enough that men should avoid it.

You can’t force anything if she won’t make the move. Stop trying to force something that isn’t there.

Gotta Feel It

It blows.

The gut feeling that I felt as I drove away. The certain truth that I wasn’t ever going to see her again, the fact that I had to leave to go back to my life, and that she wasn’t going to be a part of it in any way, shape or form.

But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Because the feelings I had when I saw her in person, all the great times I spent with her, the feelings we shared, the times we had, can’t be matched.

She’s an amazing person and I hope she can find a guy that will make her happy, but she and I aren’t it. I had a hope, but with all the available evidence and with everything that I already knew, there wasn’t a chance.

Hope can be an effective tool but it can also be a damaging self immolation and skewing of reality.

So we’ve moved on.

But you can’t be afraid to feel. You can’t be afraid to put yourself in situations where you’ll feel a plethora of different emotions. That’s life, that’s the reason you live it.

I’ve had a large amount of different feelings in my life, from joy during the births of my kids and my wedding, to defeat when I was struggling with depression during my divorce, to sorrow when I lost my friend who killed himself over his ex-wife, to hope when I log in and see a man’s DM to me saying I’ve helped him overcome something in his life he wouldn’t have without me.

But I do what I do, I go where I go to meet new people and experience life with others. There are always going to be peaks and valleys, but avoiding them altogether to avoid pain is a life not lived. Pain helps us grow. Pain helps us appreciate the times we didn’t feel pain. Pain helps us prepare for the good or bad times awaiting us in the future.

You can’t avoid it, so accept all the feelings in your life, because this is life.

Stop being afraid of everything hurting you and start preparing yourself for experiences you can tell your grand kids about, experiences you can use to fuel your life, experiences that fill the photo album of your mind and heart.

But most of all, stop avoiding your own reality. It’s good to escape to another world for a while and have some fun, but realize that you have your own life and there are many women out there who are clamoring to be a part of it. Women who are in your town, your church, your local area that are attractive and wanting a dude just like you.

Regardless of how I felt on that morning, driving back from a life that I couldn’t have, I got on the plane, and flew back home.

My life is here. I got off the plane, got home, hugged my kids, dried my eyes, and focused on the fact that there are many women who want to be a part of my life, and they don’t have to uproot their own existence to be there.

So my journey continues….

And to my beautiful Arizona woman, I want you to know that I cherished all the times we spent together, the talks we had, the moments we shared.

You are indeed a very special person, and I can’t thank you enough for making this time one of the most amazing times in my life.

I wish you the very best.

Stop being afraid to live you lives, men. You have a whole world out there to experience. Stop being afraid of pain, hurt, heartache, or disappointment.

It makes the times you succeed, truly fall in love, smile, and laugh much more enjoyable.

Never be afraid of the pain of getting burnt by the fire, because all the other things the fire brings you are more than worth it.

I still referred to this quote as a reason men need to face life with their chest out:

Never be afraid to feel.

There’s always a brighter side of grey.

I’m writing this in case I’m gone tomorrow
I’m writing this in case I’ve moved along
There’s something that I hope you’ll remember
That life is not a game, it’s a song

So take the best parts of me
Locked away without the keys
And know that I’m forever by your side

When the lights go down
Know that I am never far away
When the sun burns out
I’ll be waiting on the brighter side of grey

If you’re reading this, I know you’re feeling sorrow
If you’re hearing this, I know you’re probably scared
Just know that all the things you want are borrowed
And all you get to keep is all you’ve shared

So wipe away the tears for me
Know that we’ve made history
Remember no one ever really dies

When the lights go down
Know that I am never far away
When the sun burns out
I’ll be waiting on the brighter side of grey

When the lights go down
Know that I am never far away
When the sun burns out
I’ll be waiting on the brighter side of grey

Bring It In

Photo Credit: LittleLeague.com

When I was a kid, I played a ton of sports including soccer, baseball, and football. And I’ve coached my fair share of sports with my two daughters. One of the things that you experience in these environments is the thrill of competition, the camaraderie of the team with its different strengths and weaknesses, as well as the personalities that permeate the team to try to make it a cohesive, successful unit.

Before and after each practice as well as before and after each game, I would remember the coaches yelling to all the kids “BRING IT IN” when they had something to discuss with the team. And as I grew into coaching my youngsters, I did the same thing. When you bring the team in, you have them huddle around you for some advice, some strategy, some wisdom, and some planning. Everyone on the team comes in close, watches the coach and listens. This is the main time that a coach truly bonds with his team as well as the time the team gets the coach to have a good discussion about why they’re all there, and what they all must do to succeed. Unless you’re coaching toddlers, then they are eating bugs, crying, or picking their noses. It’s really like herding cats.

The whole point of the gathering on the field, sidelines, or in the dugout, is to get the team focused, either assess or re-assess the situations and identify problems or issues during practice to work on, as well as getting all the team to understand concepts that they’re either to work on or did well.

It’s a tiny lecture hall outside that everyone can get on the same page, pull back from the action of practice to have an honest discussion about what worked, what didn’t, and how to move forward. It gives the team and coaches a chance to reflect on practice and games and what they did well, as well as what didn’t work. Each player takes time to assess their own strengths and weaknesses all while analyzing what takeaways there were from each play. What were the key plays? What hurt us? What helped us?

Today’s blog entry is about “Bringing It In”. What does it mean in context to you trying to get control of your life? Read on to understand.

Credit: soccertoday.com

Simplify, Don’t Overreach

So what does this have to do with life in general? Well, in my life, I had to assess my current situation. I was a mess. All over the place. Many things are unfinished not only in my home and my work but also in things that were undone in my side hustle. Podcasts, interviews, writing my book, I needed to focus. My finances were a mess as well. Everything wasn’t completed, laying about and I was flailing. So I decided to take control.

First were my finances. What are you paying for that you don’t necessarily need right now? Subscriptions that you have for stuff you don’t watch. Paying for games on your phone you don’t play. Services you don’t use.

Get rid of that stuff. Then, when you get your finances back, you can then truly identify good services versus bad. What are you using? What can you live without? There are short term cuts I made as well as long term cuts that will save me more money. My debit card got stolen so as I was looking at my figures, I truly realized it was death by 1000 cuts in terms of expenses. Strangely enough, thinking all of this clearing would be difficult, it only took a 20-minute assessment and a few phone calls and clicks of my mouse to be cleared of some much needed monthly revenue that I could use to pay my debt. Clear the clutter.

Then my job. So many unfollowed leads, so many unanswered emails, so many voicemails. Get to them all and get them out of the way. Then, when your phone rings, answer it. When you get an email, reply promptly. Get rid of all of your junk mail. Drop your to-do pile in the dust and fix the other piles on your desk. Clear the clutter.

Next was my home. So many projects undone, clothes piling up, dishes, errands that had to be run. I had drywall to repair, toilets to fix, lights to install, and other items. When I first moved in 4 years ago, I let the stuff sit while I hoped my life would get better. All of a sudden, one day, I decided to get up and get it done and my life, surprisingly enough, got better. Less to do when I got home meant more to do on things I loved. Clear the clutter.

My side hustle has been a mess. Keeping up on podcast episodes I didn’t feel were meeting the standards meant shutting it down to re-tool. I stopped writing for Youtube, Twitter and other aspects, when what I really needed to do what write and write a lot. I needed to clear my head and focus on what was really important to me, the written word. I have a book I’m working on, so I needed to drop back and punt on all the other crap I was trying to take care of. Clear the clutter.

Jordan Peterson’s first rule is “clean your room”, and it really hits home how much it really does help you clear not only the spaces in your life but also in your mind. It’s amazing how many things can get built up, not managed and can just flat out overwhelm you. Powerlessness is never a good feeling and if there is one thing I mention over and over again in my blogs and on my Twitter (@TW_Beckett) is that to truly start to improve your life, you need to have your finger on every button in it, watching it carefully and making sure you are making moves with nothing hindering you.

So I’m bringing it in. I’m hitting pause, stepping back, assessing my goals, strengths, and weaknesses and then moving forward in a direction that I know will be the most beneficial for me.

Always Be Recalibrating

Life can get out of control. You can spread yourself too thin. Your expenses get out of control. You have too much on your plate. Too many irons in the fire dulls the heat.

One thing that I was guilty of was always diving in headfirst before figuring out if this particular path would be a good idea and how would it be beneficial to me. As a recovering nice guy, I would plow forward to help people without regarding my own feelings. This was a recipe for disaster. I sometimes slip back into that thinking, but with my new conditioning, I tend to catch myself very quickly before falling back into old ways. But it still does happen. You have to always be recalibrating your life to make sure you are getting the most out of it and doing the most to try and improve it. The problem? Most men don’t do this and when something bad happens, they look around for organized mobility and get nothing but a crap sandwich. Don’t get caught with a mess on your hands.

As many of you know, my current life path reflects this blog and my thoughts are written down as quickly as I can get pen to paper. This was on my mind last night and this morning I have taken steps to unclutter my life and prepare for a better future.

Many men feel the task of cleaning up is so daunting that they leave the mess and you see it from the way they carry themselves to the way they work to the way they live. They are suffering from this heavy burden of not doing the work to get things cleaned up and it weighs them down. I know because I was one of those men. After things out of your control destroy your life, the only thing many men do is just look around, survey the damage and say “fuck it” and either move on or stay stuck. The men who prosper are those who refuse to let any setback define them. Clear the clutter.

Like a coach at the end of practice asks the players to “bring it in”, you must stop all the business and activity to assess your own life. Take all of it in. Remove that which weighs you down. Is this adding value to my life? Or is it an unnecessary burden? Addition by subtraction.

So get to work clearing the clutter of your own life.

And always stay vigilant to how you can continue to improve your life all while clearing the clutter and making moves to establish yourself.

It’s your life, clean it up.

The Unending Journey

Scene from “Parenthood” – 1989

One of my favorite all time movies is a show from 1989 called “Parenthood”. This movie, which spawned a series in the past decade of the same name, deals with many issues that we still face in our lives today, and the comedic spin on the whole story of life is one I love to re-watch over and over.

In the movie, four sects of the “Buckman” family live the trials and tribulations of life with all of the classic struggles that families get to experience. From birth, to mental illness, to teen pregnancy, to relationship issues, it covers a wide swath of things that every family deals with, and more often than not, overcomes and grows from.

There’s a particular scene in the movie that I love. It’s a scene where Steve Martin is about to coach his son’s last little league game. His son has been struggling with mental illness and anxiety, and has been the goat each game as he can’t catch a fly ball. So Steve Martin has been practicing with his son, as well as absorbing some of his stress, and has been having problems coming to terms with his son’s issues. Along with those issues, he’s quit his job, has two other kids to deal with, and has just found out that his wife is pregnant with their fourth child.

So, in the midst of all of this crisis, he reaches out to his father, Jason Robards, for advice. And the advice he gives is incredible, and the subject of this blog post.

“It Never Ends.”

The scene in question is a conversation between father and son concerning life’s moments, including joys and crises. Steve Martin wants to know when all the craziness will stop, but Jason Robards tells him it doesn’t.

“It never ends. There is no end zone. You never cross the goal line, spike the ball and do your touchdown dance. Never.”

This one quote, this one snippet, tells you all you need to know about life as a man in general.

This is what unplugging is all about in terms of your life. There are millions of blue pilled men out there that have given up on being prepared for life and accept their mediocrity as a life sentence for not exploring and proliferating their own goals. They want to relax, be safe, be comfortable, and be “themselves” in a fat, oafish shell, just waiting for the next ball game or Netflix series to come out. What they don’t understand, or maybe don’t WANT to understand, is the journey is the goal.

It’s taken me years to figure this out. I was one of them. I was comfortable letting my ex run the show. I wanted to stay out of the fire. I hate getting burned, the pain was unbearable, and the best way out was to avoid the pain.

But then I went through the agony of divorce. The uncertainty of it all, my finances in disarray, the toll on myself and my kids. I’d avoided the fire my whole life only to voluntarily set myself and my life on fire. Why? Because it wasn’t my life. I was living someone else’s life. All the sacrifices were for the betterment of someone else. So, I decided to watch it burn and rebuild a life that I could be proud of.

The most important thing I learned was I could no longer sit this one out. It couldn’t be done. The price of turning my fake life into ashes was I had to build a new life with blood, sweat, and tears. A car can’t drive without someone at the wheel and I was at the wheel now. Any weave, swerve or jive was on me. 10 and 2, seat belt fastened, watching others and keeping myself safe, yet on a journey. But always aware.

So How’s It Gonna Be?

So, now you know the secret of life. The big key to everything and being a high value, high experience, high octane masculine figure in 2019. It’s being present for your life.

I now understand that there will be men who don’t take this mantra personally and up their game in their life. It took me a while to understand that not everyone can or wants to be saved. There are men who won’t wake up, won’t realize what they have to do, and will sleep walk through life. They have that luxury, but I don’t have to agree with it.

So what’s next. Now that you know you have to be present in your life, what do you need to do? Well, a man has to increase his strength and fortitude to be able to manage this Herculean task. A body and mind that are constantly challenged gain in strength. So you have to strengthen your mind, body and spirit. The first and most obvious thing that I always tell a man who wants control of his life is to get control of his body.

Your body, spirit and mind must be melded into a frame that can withstand life’s snakes and arrows (h/t RUSH). Your body reacts to stress on itself by getting stronger and being able to carry heavier loads. Your mind becomes sharper when you throw different perspectives and ideas at it. Your spirit becomes greater when you live outside of your box and appreciate the world around you.

These things MUST to occur in order for you to any say in your own life. You can’t half ass your life. You need to whole ass it. What kind of a person only takes their life seriously part of the time? Answer? One who doesn’t take any of it seriously.

So, remember the words of Frank Buckman well. It never stops, it never ends, you just get stronger.

When you heed these very important words, you understand that you will be a better person for it, and be able to live your life with no regrets.

And all because you didn’t stop. You were making your life happen.