Rise

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

5 months ago, as 2020 was turning into the dumpster fire we see today, I made a decision that would change my life.

I decided to change my life.

I had been tripping around America for almost a year, meeting new people and wonderful women, exploring, going on excursions to new cities by myself, enjoying the new life that I had yearned for for so long.

But a funny thing happened as I was doing this…

I realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Not in terms of location, mind you. I saw much of the US that I’d never seen and was doing it alone, for the first time in my life.

But the base, the home, the foundation of myself wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

I was making major strides with women, a weakness I had vowed to correct. My game was getting better, and I was meeting and enjoying beautiful women all over the country.

I had met the men of FoE and forged tighter bonds with them.

I had met Twitter people who became friends and more. Great folks who I truly thank for having in my life.

New things started occurring when I came back from my last trip. And no, it wasn’t COVID, but the timing was the same.

Hard Realizations

It was time for a good ol’ fashioned self imposed time out.

It was time to get the sectors of my life in order, starting with finances, fitness, mental health, my kids, and my home base.

This base to which I tethered to was not what it should have been. It was rotting from the inside out.

My finances were suffering, I was increasing my debt after I had just spent 3 years whittling it down from $75,000 to just under $23,000. But I was racking up credit card debt with my traveling, wining and dining women, and spending money on meetups with new friends. Something had to give, and it was my wallet.

I had never fully committed to doing all I could to get my debt down. I had hoped I could just wing it by half-assing it, and it didn’t work.

The debt principles I’ve lived with my whole life were being ignored in the pursuit of a good time, and while I had a lot (a whole lot) of fun, when I got back to see the receipts I was writing checks my ass couldn’t cash.

My kids were suffering from my absence. My oldest daughter had a panic attack in November and was going through the teenage angst a bit early, and with me not there to help her, it was left to her mother, who tried her damnedest to carry it, but ultimately couldn’t. She needed her dad. She needed the calming presence that I had become to her, but I was gone a lot. She couldn’t keep it in line.

We ended up having to work with my daughter in therapy, and had I not been here for any of that, I don’t think she would be where she is now. But more on that later.

My home was being neglected. For four years I’ve lived here and not once have I made an effort to really take back control of my house. Landscaping, keeping it clean, minor repairs, all left undone while I tromped around not caring if they ever did get done. I didn’t have a nice place that I could call my home, it was a pit where I threw my shit in between airport visits.

My work was suffering. As an owner of a small business, I had to step away time and time again, leaving others to handle issues that should have been handled by me. Important, company changing issues that need my attention. It was only after COVID hit that I understood the scope of what my company was dealing with, and if I wasn’t there to face it with the other owners and employees head on, let’s just say we’d be on thin ice.

And finally, my mental health needed a reset. I was constantly traveling, driving, eating out, staying in Airbnbs and hotels, all over the place. I was tired, burning the candle at both ends at times, meeting new people but never having time to really get myself right. Vacations weren’t vacations, and it was becoming difficult to balance it all.

So, against everything inside of me that was saying keep going, let the world sort itself out, I stopped and held up. I was planning trips for April, May and June, and then COVID hit. I still could’ve gone, I thought. Rack up some more debt but then be done and take the winter to catch up.

Wasn’t happening. Not even close.

Presence Required

When COVID hit in March, the uncertainty of it all hit my life like a ton of bricks. My business started to suffer due to closures of customers, trucks backed up, and we were left to scramble to figure out what to do. Had I not been there, I don’t know what would’ve happened. But the team all got together and after having to furlough several employees and part ways with a couple of others, we had stabilized in May. Small business has been kicked in the nuts during this pandemic for sure, and my team made it happen.

My daughter, after having multiple panic attacks and increased anxiety, went to intense therapy with me at her side. It was a struggle at first as she did not want to talk about what she was going through, but with our family together again, my ex and I co-parenting strongly with my presence there, she started to improve little by little. She was put on medication after seeing what a small dose did to improve her mood. She was put on the same medicine I am on, Zoloft, and we’ve seen her life improve this summer and do a complete 180 in terms of her outlooks on life.

My attendance in her life at this crucial moment was imperative. She needed the calm, guiding, levelheadedness that I provided, as well as her mother’s staunch work to keep her calm. Our whole family came together and broke through. It would not have happened unless I hit the reset button.

After gaining 15 lbs over my travels, I had to take care of my fitness once and for all. I hired a personal trainer to help me get to my goal, life goal of 15% body fat. I knew I was headed back down a road I didn’t want to go to, and while in decent shape, I wasn’t where I wanted to be. So I dropped everything and started to seriously take my fitness into account. I threw out all the old, bad food. I started getting to sleep at 9-10pm instead of 1-2am. I had already stopped drinking, but I took more steps to remove bad food from my life. No more eating out at fast food, no more carbs. The time to fuck around had passed.

And with that, I decided to completely renovate the outside of my house. I started by tearing out all the old landscaping and redid the entirety of my home in new mulch, landscaping guard, and decor. New hose reels, siding repairs, wood trim replacement, chairs, tables, and power washing. I was determined to get control of my home again.

My debt needed to be reigned in. I cancelled all credit cards except my business one. I started to throw entire paychecks at my bank debt from my divorce. I then chewed through my credit card debt. Knocking out over $14,000 in just 4 months, I currently sit (as of this blog post) at $8000 left to pay my ex-wife for my settlement. And I’m not looking back.

All of this combined has improved my mental health. I joined a men’s group to continue to improve my mind as well as help other men try to work on their lives. My home, now handled, became a place of peace, where I could work and live without stress. As of this writing, I’m sitting on my improved back porch typing, with everything cleaned, fixed, and improved.

The Goal

So what’s the point of this self imposed exile?

It was and always has been about getting better.

When you feel like you’re the best you can be, you don’t see that there are ALWAYS areas you can improve.

My whole life has been 75%. I would do up to about 3/4 of the improvement then stop and do something else.

Not this time.

This time, I will see it through. This is my future. I’m trying to shape my life the way I want it, and half to 3/4 ass isn’t going to cut it.

It’s time to stop playing games and start pushing through the tough bits to get to where I want to be.

Debt free except the house.

15% body fat.

Stress reduced living.

Making moves in my side hustle.

Continuing to help men get through their lives.

Monk mode is needed for you to get better.

Take the time to work on yourself with no distractions, no apologies, and no bullshit.

You have the keys to it, you just have to cut out the meaningless crap to get through it.

And it never stops.

My self imposed exile will end at the end of this year. At that time, I will have:

  • Lost almost 100 lbs
  • Paid off over $75,000 of debt
  • Created a safe, healthy mental environment for myself and my family
  • Made my home a better place to live

All of this to take off into 2021. Regardless of what happens, I’ll know that the steps I took this year put me ahead for good, and I’m not looking back.

Driven

When I was younger, I used to drive. And I mean drive. When I was in the midst of thought about my purpose, my meaning, and in those years, my unhealthy continued pining for a girlfriend, which I specifically thought was my purpose.

Damn, how far I’ve come.

Those days, living in my two bedroom apartment in Indianapolis, IN, with my two best buds and immediate family as the only outside contact for me, working 14-18 hour days on a cold dock, I had to wonder what the hell my life was going to become.

Dealing with eternal anxiety, with OCD thrown in to boot, I had just struggled through 4 years of college with no clue on how my life was going to go. Terrified to go anywhere, relapsing my senior year of college, still a virgin, I was told to go to work, get a car, get a job, and the wife / kids thing would come into place. I was at an impasse in my life, but really? I wasn’t. I was at an imaginary wall. A point that didn’t even exist but for in my own fucking cranium. I was to grind eternally at work until I was ready to have a family, and then I would find a wife and do the life thing.

Except, I was struggling with finding a girlfriend. My horrible social skills had culminated at that point in my life with just 5 dates, several kisses and an impromptu blowjob for hanging a girl’s vertical blinds. I was 23 years old.

So, in the midst of this “pretend” crisis in my life and it was a “pretend” crisis, because I didn’t see what real crises people were going through. In my shitty little world, it was all about me and my “pretend” crisis, but it led me to a tactic that has helped me sort through the difficult issues of my life, more difficult than this minor bullshit, and it is, driving.

I used to saddle up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, get into my GMC Truck, and drive. I drove for hours. For a few years, it was on I-465 (the loop) around Indy, then in the boonies around my stomping ground near Greenwood, IN. I would just drive. A full tank of gas would drown out the anxiety. One night, I drove to Fort Wayne and back, a 3 1/2 hour jaunt, and my longest drive was in the middle of the night on a Saturday night to Chicago and back.

I just drove. Why? Because it cleared my mind. It allowed me to make sense of the senseless. And with the growth of my own character, it has become an indispensable asset in my quest to seek truth in my own life as well as take real time to make real decisions that I know need time to simmer.

Alone With Thoughts

What many people don’t understand, especially people who believe that they don’t need it, is that time alone is one of the most valuable things you can possess. With men these days, they barely have enough time to process everything in their lives, let alone taking an hour a day to get the fuck away from it all. Wife, kids, job, family, bills, etc, it all coalesces at their front door and won’t go away. So he copes, deals, and but never fully exorcises those demons. And they don’t go away…

The only way many men could and should cope is by having a healthy amount of alone time.

When I was single in my 20’s, I pined for a woman because I felt very alone. And I was, I didn’t have many friends, and only in 2003 (5 years after graduation from college) did I finally start to understand that that alone time I so foolishly squandered pondering for a girlfriend was and should have been used to get to know myself, travel, explore, and understand what I wanted. I was so focused on getting to the goals set for me by others that I completely forgot to set goals for myself! My life was being lived for others.

So I drove.

Between 1998 and 2003, I easily logged 50,000 miles on my truck just driving. Two – three times a week I would drive. I would drive, and drive, and drive. And it was invaluable to clear my head.

As 2003 ended, when I was lost at the beginning of the year, I had a girlfriend and was headed to marriage in 2005. I was still lost, but I felt that at least I had some kind of direction, even if it was the direction that I truly, deep down, thought I didn’t want to go, at least I had accomplished what my family and others were wanting me to accomplish.

It would be a decade before I finally got the hint that my life needed to change.

As my decision to divorce in 2015 finalized with my official divorce almost 4 years ago, I was again on the road in my Jetta. The drive has been indispensable to me as an effective means of getting my mind right and clearing out so I can make good decisions about my life.

But now, instead of having to make decisions based on what everyone else wanted of me, I now make them for me.

Being Alone and Being Lonely

There are vast differences between the two. Being alone is a vital part of a person who is mentally fit and healthy’s life. It is an important aspect that many millions of people don’t use as an effective way to stem the tide of anxiety and depression. Instead, they hope for a pill to make them all better. And that mentality has us where we are today.

Being lonely was a big part of my life. I wanted to have folks in my life. But make no mistake, being lonely was a “me” issue. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault. You can be alone and be completely happy. And you can be lonely and be terribly unhappy. The tie that binds is the fact that both are completely your issue as well as how your perspective runs. It’s all internal, it’s all manifested in how you are able to process your time by yourself. Many people feel sorry for themselves. Many struggle to take the time to understand that their alone time isn’t a time to pine for what they don’t have. It’s a time to appreciate what they do have, who they are, and how valuable they are to themselves.

Alone time is a REQUIREMENT. You cannot function as a person unless you have time to decompress. Whether it be meditation, breathing, or just 10 minutes of quiet, you have a choice to make yourself a priority in your life, and alone time does just that. As I often say, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.”

So I drive.

The miles of pavement, the lights, the quiet. The stop signs, the horizon, the clouds, the sky. The potholes, the road hazards, the other drivers. The world without physically touching the world. I let my mind wander and contemplate. I need to process my thoughts, my emotions, my world.

So I drive.

Snow, sleet, rain, fog, day, night. Headlights gleaming through the night, or reflecting on the other passing cars. The shadows of buildings, the neon lights of 24 hour joints, the letters on a sign falling down. The places still in business, the places out of business. I have to figure things out, but I have all the time in the world because, as the world goes, I drive through it. Time stops when you’re driving. Night becomes forever. Yellow lines pass into infinity under your tires. I have to figure things out.

So I drive.

You have to let yourself be with yourself, by yourself. People that don’t give you that time are clingy, needy people. There has to be boundaries for you to have this time. There have to be lines people can’t cross where your self care trumps everyone else (and it does). My self care was non-existent for over 20 years. I had to get away from the world to get myself right. I had to escape to have some time to figure things out.

So I drive.

Last night, I was driving in Phoenix, AZ. I decided, with a bit of excitement, to take a lesser route back to Tucson. I wanted to go away and be by myself deep in the Arizona desert. So I got on US 60 and took off east towards Tucson. I was in nothing but desert, with only the mountains and brush for company. I needed to see the desert, the real desert, not the I-10 passing by desert. I got out of my car on several occasions and took pictures, but I noticed one thing….silence.

The desert is so quiet. Many folks would be unnerved by the silence, even being afraid of being out in the middle of nowhere at night in the desert. But not me. I had to think. I knew myself, and I knew that I was okay. I wasn’t concerned about anything but getting my thoughts out and being content with this world. And I smiled, knowing this part of my life, this world I’ve created for myself, is the most contented I have ever been. It’s amazing what a good drive in an amazing world can do for a person.

So, if you find yourself wondering about yourself, wondering about your world, may I recommend a drive. As the song below states, a song I’ve loved since college “The road unwinds towards me, What was there is gone, The road unwinds before me, And I go riding on”.

Take a drive. You’ll be thankful for that time to unwind and be alone. It’s not only therapeutic, but it’s a requirement. Alone time. Try it sometime.

Driven up and down in circles
Skidding down a road of black ice
Staring in and out storm windows
Driven to a fool’s paradise

It’s my turn to drive
But it’s my turn to drive

Driven to the margin of error
Driven to the edge of control
Driven to the margin of terror
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole

Driven day and night in circles
Spinning like a whirlwind of leaves
Stealing in and out back alleys
Driven to another den of thieves

It’s my turn to drive
But it’s my turn to drive

Driven to the margin of error
Driven to the edge of control
Driven to the margin of terror
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole
Driven in, driven to the edge
Driven out on the thin end of the wedge
Driven off by things I’ve never seen
Driven on by the road to somewhere I’ve never been

Driven on, driven in on the thin end of the wedge
Driven out, driven to the edge
It’s my turn to drive
But it’s my turn to drive

The road unwinds towards me
What was there is gone
The road unwinds before me
And I go riding on

It’s my turn to drive
But it’s my turn to drive

Driven to the margin of error
Driven to the edge of control
Driven to the margin of terror
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole
Driven to the edge of a deep, dark hole

Diary of the Despondent

One of my favorite bands is Breaking Benjamin. I discovered them in 2005 after a sales symposium I went to and a colleague from Pennsylvania mentioned his close to home town band had hit it big with primal screams, towering riffs, and ice-cold lyrics.

And as I grew fonder of them, one of their songs, with probably nothing to do with the subject, hit home as an anthem for the forever plugged in male attitude that I’d experienced for the vast majority of my current adult life.

“The Diary of Jane”, which officially has something to do with a movie star from the ’40s, I think, had lyrics that screamed through my head as the forever hopeful beta man who’d prayed, pined, and yes, even wept over that “perfect” girl for him, the girl that he loved that didn’t love him. The lyrics tell the tale…

“If I had to I would put myself right beside you
So let me ask you,
Would ya like that? Would ya like that?
And I don’t mind If you say
This love is the last time
So now I’ll ask,
Do ya like that? Do ya like that?

Something’s getting in the way
Something’s just about to break
I will try to find my place
In the diary of Jane
So, tell me
How it should be?

Try to find out
What makes you tick As I lie down
Sore and sick
Do ya like that, Do ya like that?
There’s a fine line
Between love and hate
And I don’t mind
Just let me say,
That I like that, I like that

Something’s getting in the way
Something’s just about to break
I will try to find my place
In the diary of Jane
As I burn another page
As I look the other way
I still try to find my place
In the diary of Jane
So tell me
How it should be?

Desperate I will crawl
Waiting for so long
No love, there’s no love
Die for anyone
What have I become?

Something’s getting in the way
Something’s just about to break
I will try to find my place
In the diary of Jane
As I burn another page
As I look the other way
I still try to find my place
In the diary of Jane”

Such was my lot in life throughout my 20’s and briefly after my divorce before I truly became knowledgeable about the ways of things.

Rationalizing Dust

As with most times in the lives of our current modern men who are lost, I call the 10 years between 18 and 27 of my life the “lost decade” simply because I felt I squandered my youth on the fruitless pursuit of true love, passing on from one female crush to the next, desperately hoping that this girl would love me. I didn’t have sex, I kissed four women, I rarely dated, hung with friends, played a shit ton of video games, and generally went from woman to woman like some damn episode of Quantum Leap, hoping that my next crush would be the one that set me free, that this love would be “the one”.

Pathetic? Sure. But when you see that many men are taking this path these days, it’s becoming more problematic seeing men, young men, believe the lies that I believed, and be balls deep in the fiction. My lost decade involved crushes on 5 girls, each who came into my life on more than one occasion, and each time, I was convinced fate, more than anything else, would show them that I was the guy for them.

But fate, or as I now prefer it, “rationalizing dust” is a losing and sometimes deadly game for men.

Fate, hope, and destiny are banners for the weak. I firmly believed, at my young age, that I only had partial control of my life, and these three magic words above were truly in control. So I lived my life on these as fuel. If I truly wanted, yearned, and pined enough for a girl, that she would be mine. I would use any sign, any small gesture, even her talking to me, as a rationalization that “this is why we’ll be together, this is fate taking the wheel.”

Absolute madness.

But the harshest truths are the ones that we refuse to accept, simply because it goes against all we think we stand for, all that we were told we believe. And we as men don’t want to believe such things, because not only does the truth not spare our feelings, it kicks the living shit out of us and then makes us get up for more. We want the feel-good story. We root for the underdog. But as you know if you’ve done any gambling, the underdog seldom wins. And consistently playing that role as a man looking for a woman will yield terrible results, not because of fate, destiny, or magic fucking words, but because of brutal, cold, real, reality.

Call it a pill. Call it whatever you want, but it’s the hardest, most real, most unfortunate truths about women that I didn’t, nay, refused to recognize in my gumdrop, lollipop, unicorn world of hopes and dreams. And these truths are what make or break men in their dealings with the opposite sex.

  • Fate is fantasy. It’s the belief that something will happen, and when fleshed against the rigidness of reality, it buckles like a belt.
  • The girls that I fell in love with never cared for me. In fact, more often than not, I was a nuisance to them. And, as the lyrics above opine, most, if not all of the time, I didn’t even register in their psyche. No pages in their diaries for me. None. Zip. Zilch.
  • Years of my life were wasted on girls who didn’t give two shits about me and never would. I should’ve done more, been more, worked on myself more. Regret is a bitch, and you can’t get those years back. “Die for anyone, What have I become?”
  • Women who did like me weren’t the ones I wanted. And the ones I wanted would never return the affections in the way I wanted.
  • Romance isn’t dead, it’s just misplaced and misused by men desperate to prove something to women who don’t care if he proves anything or not.
  • There are always other dudes. And until you can prove you have better value than the majority, there will always be other dudes. Pragmatism trumps idealism every damn time.
  • Nothing you “do” will make her like you. She’ll find an attraction to you in how much you invest in yourself
  • Women are emotional creatures. That doesn’t make them bad, in fact, it makes them the exact opposite, but you have to know what to expect, how to deal with them, and their chaotic and unpredictable patterns that seldom side with logic. Men and women really are different, but that’s a good thing.
  • Hating women for being women is misogynistic. You believe that they are operating in bad faith. And while some of them truly are, many of them don’t realize they are, nor do they care to understand if they do. Hate the game, not the player. Societal advantages for women have been around for eons and will continue because they outnumber men on this planet. Majority rules. We can still rail against these disadvantages men face, but it won’t change the big picture.

With these truths in tow, many men need to move forward to their new lives under these truths.

But many men just can’t. Hence the title of this post.

The Six D’s of a Man’s Life Realization

Photo Credit: Intellectual Takeout

I was there. I didn’t want to believe any of this. I still fought every day to believe the fairy tale, but it didn’t matter. The plug was pulled and I was out there floating. Many men will just float for decades, hoping to find that the dream really was true, many others will just continue to live their lives as if they weren’t aware and be disappointed. Still more will try to rationalize the irrational, stretching their beliefs into taffy to justify the behavior of others. And unfortunately, many won’t either unplug fully or those that do end their lives because they can’t believe that they were so wrong.

They feel they’ve wasted their lives on a narrative that wasn’t true, not even close, and rather than accept the hard work needed to pick back up, they won’t. They let go.

However, I, among many other men in this sphere that have all unplugged (yes, they all have), are living proof that there is life after death. The old you dies with all of the false knowledge you had and the new you arises equipped to deal with this new reality. It’s harsh but one thing that I can say is that you can be stronger. You can survive this new environment with renewed hope because the hope now comes not from outside forces, but from within yourself.

Self-empowerment and improvement is a cornerstone of this new reality. Faith is put into yourself which makes you more able to survive and thrive.

Here’s the six D’s I used: Denial, Disappointment, Despondency, Discovery, Drive, Domination

My message is simple. It’s never too late for you. I don’t care if you’re 20 or 80. You take responsibility for your life, your beliefs, and your knowledge at the age you do and you then grow with it. The bitter pill isn’t bitter, it’s only bitter for those that refuse to understand that the bitterness is a phase on your journey and it too will pass.

I want to show men that even after the harsh truths above, the six D’s that they go through in this process. I’m writing about this very issue in my book. The seventh D, divorce, is in some men’s lives as well as a phase of discovery.

This isn’t self-help as much as it is self-information. Men need to be aware of all of this crap because I sure as hell wasn’t and I can tell you my father nor my grandfather was either. And with masculinity under attack, the numbers of single mother households growing and the daily messages I get from men struggling, it’s only going to get worse before we can stem the tide.

We’ve lost too many good men to their own weaknesses. We can’t lose any more. The message needs to get out and it needs to get out in a big way.

Women aren’t your problem. You are. Your pining over women is wasting your resources. You’ve forfeited your life direction for a fiction. Something that you can’t control. But you can control this. You can control what you do.

That’s why I’m here. That’s why I do what I do.

It will never change the fact that there will always be men that need help getting out of this morass they are currently stuck in because of society telling them what’s best for them rather than looking inside themselves. Weak men will always be a battle that needs fighting. But the real fight is getting this information to these men without it being attacked as being anti-female or misogynistic. It isn’t and never was. Male empowerment isn’t taking anything away from women, it’s sharpening the roles of each sex and playing to strengths that have been around for thousands of years and aren’t going to go away because of “feelings”.

So stop pining over a woman, deriding your despair into victimhood, and trying to justify the lies that have been told to you. Get out of your own head and get your ass to work. You’ll thank me when you get to the other side and see how fucking awesome it is.

Open your eyes and live. Your best years are ahead of you.

Standards

As I was growing up and getting into the dating pool, two sentences resonated with me that I was constantly told by family, friends, and other acquaintances.

“Don’t be picky. You’ll die alone if you are.”

I was equipped with these sentences for the entirety of my early dating career in my 20’s. I lowered my standards and really tried to get out and date people because I was told this was the case. Despite their flaws, I tried to see through them. I usurped my personal preferences for believing I would be sexually attracted to people regardless of their physical appearance. Needless to say, I was disappointed early and often.

So, I went out and tried to date different women (and failed), culminating in a marriage to a flawed, but beautiful human being who I truly loved. She was awesome and I thought she was the one for me. I was wrong. And I found out the hard way that my lack of good vetting and dating turned this into a dead end marriage, which ended after a decade.

So what happened? Well, as I’ve said countless times on this blog, I didn’t do what I needed to do to truly find the person for me. I would marry the first woman who could stand to be in a room with me for a few minutes straight and that would be it. Sex would be great, until it wasn’t, but that’s okay because she said yes. I was desperate and desperation never leads to anything good.

But the attitude that led up to my divorce was what truly changed in me. It was time for me to accept the fact that it was my way or the highway.

What’s Important

The one thing that really started my turn around was realizing the fact that this was my life and I was going to live it my way. Regardless of what other people said, I had to break free of what others were projecting on me about what THEY thought was best for me. I needed to have standards for who was going to be in my life. So, as I was mired in my divorce, I started to check people off of my list from those who supported me to those who didn’t. I was so afraid to lose people that I would keep people I knew weren’t good for me in my life. So, I had to let those folks go.

I wasn’t going to live by their standards. I had my own standards to develop and grow. And as I developed these standards for friends, family and potential love interests, I knew what to look for.

I was told countless times that my standards were too high and that I was never going to get a girlfriend if I kept such high standards. “No woman can reach those standards. You can’t have the perfect woman. Women have imperfections just like everyone else.”

I agree. But I also believe in my own self worth and my value on the sexual market place has skyrocketed since I became a better version of myself.

And I don’t care if I die alone. Loved ones want to put the fear of God in you by telling you that you’ll die alone and it’s a huge fear for many men who are my age. So they jump on the first thing that makes them feel like they won’t die alone, and make a huge mistake in the process, costing them countless years and dollars to get out of yet another marriage they didn’t think through.

What’s scarier? Dying alone or living in poverty paying multiple women alimony and child support because you didn’t do your homework on what you wanted?

First step first. You need to have standards. First? Standards for yourself. Self confidence and self love are imperative to you growing and developing standards for your life.

So if you’re going to date, you better damn well love yourself and have your stuff locked in before you go imposing standards on who you’re dating.

This is a step that cannot be skipped and has to be done in order to move forward in your dating life. And no matter how long it takes, DON’T compromise your standards for any woman, regardless of how attractive she is. Many men will drop their list in 5 seconds when a hot girl starts to show interest. These are iron clad standards, convictions and missions that you must stick by, regardless of any woman and her attempts to subvert them.

That’s the main difference between the me now and the me then.

I now have a choice to let women go when I see fit if they don’t play by my rules (or my frame). And that means that they have to work to get my attention.

As Rollo Tomassi says, “you are the prize”. This is primary in your thinking on your standards.

Many men don’t think this way in this day and age but it’s time they did again.

The Dating Scene and Your Worth

One thing you will start to see as you assert your new found worth is that the dating scene will be a fun game for you. You will be able to firmly stand by your standards and vet women with more accuracy.

When you aren’t under any pressure internally from “dying alone” or settling for something you want, you have all the power in the world.

You can make decisions without the clouded judgement of others watching you or your own thirst for women making a decision you will most certainly regret.

When you control yourself, you control your world. And that’s an amazing thing.

So you’re out there and like me, you aren’t getting hits or you aren’t getting any dates. You increase your pool you pull from.

You meet and date as many women as you can and apply your standards to the best and brightest.

You are your own episode of the Bachelor, dumping and promoting women as you see fit. But you have to get out and get them, and you have to maintain your high quality or you can’t move on.

But, like me, you’ll have times when it’s dry. So you either make things happen, or you push and develop your own interests into something tangible and real that enhances your persona.

Take up dance, boxing, hell, even knitting. SOMETHING to make you more interesting and something to make your life worth living. Something you enjoy. Don’t do it just for the girls, do it because you want to.

Here’s the deal. Before, I was just a dude with a job. Now?

I’m a writer. I own my own business. I enjoy off course racing and obstacle courses. I enjoy being a good father. I work out. I hike. I love the outdoors. I’m a dog lover. I’m a podcaster. I have my own recording studio. I’m learning how to box.

See what I mean? See how interesting your life is without having to make it about a woman? It’s really that easy.

But you have to own it. Everything you say, you do. Don’t try to pretend and make your life something it isn’t. It’s yours and yours alone, but it has to be real. You can’t fake it. You have to live it.

So there you are. It’s okay to have standards. It’s okay to live your life your way.

It’s okay if you have standards. You have to. If you don’t, you get into big trouble.

Hold yourself high, make yourself a better person, and make people rise to you.

The Waiting

Photo Credit: “Hard Promises” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1981

One of my all time favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers albums is “Hard Promises”, an album that really took TP and his band new and amazing directions. Stevie Nicks makes a guest appearance on the album, and this album was the same time the smash hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” was recorded on Nick’s album “Bella Donna”.

When the album came out, I was 5 years old. One of my first vivid memories was driving to visit my grandparents and listening to “The Waiting”, one of my all time favorite songs by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I remember driving down to Franklin, IN on a warm, crisp autumn Sunday, listening to the radio. I remember hearing my mom and dad talking, being in the car with my brothers and older sister, all making our way down to visit. We would always hit the Jerry’s restaurant on our way back up from the visit. It was a knock off of a Frisch’s Big Boy, but it was locally owned and was a great place for families to gather after church or visits to family on Sundays. I just really remember the song, the feeling it gave me on that day, and what it meant to me, then and now, which I’ll be sharing today in this blog post.

“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part.”

That song, for some unknown reason, really stuck in my mind. This was about two people who were in love but had to wait to realize this love. For me, it seems every time I heard this song, I was in a holding pattern always hoping to be somewhere new, but never, ever going out to get to that new place. Hope and faith are only as good as the person who makes them happen.

What Do You Do When It’s Not Happening?

I’ve been contacted in recent days by no less than half a dozen men, telling me their stories about how they are working to turn their lives around. Several have inquired about my 31 Days To Masculinity journey, day 26 as of this writing, and how I’ve managed to swear off of porn, alcohol, and other vices in my quest to become a better me.

Yes, I’ve had many successes, however, my goals are still not there yet. I want to reach 15% body fat. I want to do Spartan races next year, I want to continue to grow my side hustle and start a new YouTube series (Journey’s Edge with Tim Beckett, stay tuned for details). I want to continue to help men in their individual journeys while showing them mine and what they can accomplish when they put their heads down and work to make their life theirs again. I want to be debt free except the house and be financially independent. I want to date around and continue to hone my approach game as well as get into an LTR with a woman who supports me and my mission.

While some major things have been checked off my list, look at all the things I still have to do! And even when I write this, I’m overwhelmed at all that I want to accomplish. I can tell you that over these past three years, I have developed several key talents that have made it better for me. I have developed perseverance. I don’t give up as easily as I used to. I have developed being humble and taking the losses to learn what I can do better.

But one aspect that I haven’t been able to get control of is my impatience. And this is the heart of this blog post. I’m terribly impatient and I want to achieve my goals immediately because if I do, I can move on to the next goal. I fall back into an old mindset that if I get to my goals I can either relax or be happy. “If I get there, I’ll be happy.” It’s words I’ve uttered more than once in my life and it most certainly has been uttered by millions of men when they try to change their lives.

But here’s the deal. I was always concerned with “The Waiting”. It wasn’t happening fast enough.

When you are sitting home alone because you’re broke and can’t go out to meet women, what are you doing in the meantime? When you are sitting around watching TV, what could you be doing instead? My impatience has been preempted a bit by my work on other goals. This is the mindset I’ve been trying to have and while effective, it can escape me sometime and I can fall back into the “when will this happen?” routine.

Many men have come to me in the midst of their fasting, no porn, no sugar, etc, points in their life and are wondering if it all is really worth it. They are struggling with this dramatic change in their lives and many men fall off within 2 weeks of making the change. They sit and just wait for things to get better, as opposed to going out and making other aspects of their lives good. Or like I did, they won’t do anything and HOPE their lives will turn around, and the waiting absolutely destroys their minds. It isn’t easy. I never said it was.

But recently, I’ve really been noticing these spells of impatience that I have, especially with 31 Days to Masculinity running in my background. I haven’t approached as much as I wanted to, simply because I was involved in other things. I’ve been focusing on myself, my physical shape, my daughter’s health, and my finances to try and get my life to where I want it. So when I’m not seeing as many girls as I’d like or approaching as much as I’d like, I get down on myself and then I get impatient.

So I have to say to myself, “Tim, shit’s not going to happen overnight. Things take time to develop. Work on other aspects and address those as you wait for this part to take shape.”

It’s difficult dating being a father of two, business owner, and entrepreneur, but that’s not an excuse. I own my life and when I do things I’m not happy with (or in this case not doing things) I get down on myself. The pity party starts. The good news? I know when this feeling comes I have to chin up and get to work on other aspects of my life, even when this aspect isn’t where I want it to be.

Keep in mind also, with dating, my standards have risen. With many women waiting in the wings who I could sleep with and I’ve chosen not to (ham planets, psychopaths, or girls with no direction or intelligence), I can say that my lapse on the dating path has been self induced. Is it a lapse though? Or is it a move to vet better knowing that I’m a better product? I think it’s the latter and it makes me feel better about my direction.

Get Through It

One of the main things I tell men is that the best way to get through any addiction is to just tough it out. It’s what I did and I feel better for it.

There are no tricks, there are no shortcuts.

If you want to stop porn, you have to stop it and get rid of all the catalysts for your masturbation habit. Trash the skin bin, trash all of your bookmarks, get rid of the stuff that tempts you.

I didn’t like myself when I masturbated. I was slave to something that I thought I couldn’t control. But guess what? I could and do control it now.

I go to a bar and order a WATER. Wanna talk about self control? I get weird looks but I also get resounding thanks when I escort dumb shits out of the bar who have had too much. I saw how I was when I had too much to drink. I saw what I became. I didn’t want to be that person anymore. So here I am.

But guys….IT’S DIFFICULT.

It’s supposed to be. If it wasn’t worth it, it wouldn’t take this work to get there. My shoulders wouldn’t be on fire every time I get down to do my pushups. My stomach wouldn’t hurt in the midst of a 20 hour fast. My brain wouldn’t fire while I’m waiting for all of the good shit to happen.

But the good shit is already happening! I can take my shirt off without feeling embarrassed. How awesome is that?

The “waiting” in my case, is the best part of my life. It’s what you’re doing while the good shit is coming that truly defines your life.

Which is why Tom Petty says “Oh baby don’t it feel like heaven right now
Don’t it feel like something from a dream.”

It’s because the dream, the thrill of living, beats the thrill of getting something you want everyday and twice on Sunday. You have to get used to loving the journey and not what you get at the end of that journey.

It’s like at Christmas. I love the presents I get, but I really love to spend time with my family, because you never know when you’ll not be there to see them.

This is why it’s important to take the impatience you’re feeling, the waiting, and continue to enjoy the mission that you’re on. Continue your work and enjoy the time you are using to grow and mature yourself.

I always say to every man that comes to me, struggling to take control of his life:

“It gets better.”

It does. I can attest to that.

So the next time you have time to be impatient about things not happening as quickly as you want them to, try to push through and realize just what you are doing, or how far you’ve come, or where you are going.

Look around at all that you are doing RIGHT NOW and realize that good things are happening, even if you don’t see them.

Be patient. It’s a process that will reward those who follow it with an amazing journey, not a destination. Just remember:

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

There Is No Chad

Chad Thundercock, the famed internet meme and PUA boogeyman for nearly 2 decades, has been the stuff of blue pill beta nightmares.

He’s the dude that makes all of your wives or girlfriends wet with just a single smile, the guy who lives in the gym and fucks your girl.

He’s the “dream” for any woman who’s looking for that quick score, the guy on Spring Break in Cancun who hosts the wet t-shirt party, the guy who smashes the beer can over his head, the guy with confidence for years.

Here’s the issue: He doesn’t exist. He’s a figment of an imagination of guys convinced that hypergamy is an immovable object and Chad is the unstoppable force. He’s painted as the main villain to guys who don’t do enough in their lives to lead their wives / girlfriends.

“Chad” lives in the minds of terrified men.

“It’s Not My Fault”

Men are lost in these troubled times.

But what’s worse, men aren’t taking responsibility for being lost. In our current climate where victimhood is rewarded with attention, men would rather blame some faceless meat head than admit they have work to do. They’d rather fire off the “hypergamy doesn’t care” trope than look at the dude in the mirror and realize that maybe, just maybe, he’s responsible for his own life, and not some steroid induced alpha trying to spread his seeds all over God’s green Earth.

I’m here to break it to you, guys. “Chad” doesn’t exist. He’s just a dude who outworkes, outshines, or out-talents you in a certain aspect of your life. That’s it.

Men, you have a responsibility to yourself to make strides and improvements in your life.

Nowadays, men instead settle for the fact that they must do things to gain intimacy with their wives, high fives for eating a whole pizza (I’ve been there), watching porn, cheering on other guys playing sports, playing video games, and generally not doing anything to improve themselves or their relationships with their significant others.

They allow themselves to get fat, destitute, and slovenly, as well as refuse to work towards any kind of self improvement.

So imagine their surprise when their girlfriend or wife sleeps with another man. Instead of facing the potential embarrassment of realizing the issue was possibly their fault, they rely on “Chad” in all of his perfection, to come to the rescue and keep their pride intact just enough to push off any doubts that he was the “loving husband” and supportive man.

“How dare she sleep with another man? She’s obviously letting her hypergamous nature off the leash and Chad Thundercock was the right man at the right time for her.”

See how it works? He’s let off the hook for his actions, and hers are absolutely abhorrent. “Chad” saves the day again, and saves the man’s face.

The cycle repeats. “Chad” is both a villain and a hero.

“It’s Hard to Take Responsibility for Yourself”

So why does “Chad” exist?

Because it’s hard to admit fault. It’s hard to take responsibility for shitty choices in life. It’s hard to get rid of destructive habits.

It’s hard.

People don’t want to accept they’ve made a mistake, especially men. It’s emasculating to men if their significant other cheats on them, especially with another man who they may deem “less” of a man than they are.

So “Chad” is invoked, and it makes men feel better.

“I couldn’t possibly competed with this dude, he was jacked, runs a million dollar business, has a nice car, etc.”

What they don’t want to admit is that their wife / girlfriend cheated with Rob in accounting or Dave who buses tables at the local pub.

The point?

“Chad” exists because men allow him to, rather than becoming their own version of “Chad”.

Self improvement is hard. I know. I’m living it. I make mistakes daily. I admit them and sack up and move on.

But is it so hard to try and make a better product for your wife or girlfriend so that “Chad”, evil “Chad”, doesn’t take her away from you?

Apparently, yes. Men no longer challenge themselves to be better, instead opting for victim hood and the prize of sympathy. “Chad” cures a lot of ills, especially any indication of a man’s lack of character, strength, sexual prowess, and leadership in a failed relationship.

Men don’t want to be seen as weak. We don’t like showing our deficits.

But here’s the thing.

If we’re going to grow up and get out of blaming “Chad” for everything, we need to start by owning it. Every fucking ounce.

“Kill Your Beta and Kill Your Chad”

Just like a blue pilled beta, the “Chad” crowd likens him to an untouchable man, someone so perfect that no one could compete. Six pack abs, football star, killer smile, the woman getter, etc. You have to kill the “Chad” fantasy. It doesn’t exist.

So what’s the quickest way to kill “Chad”? Well, start by acknowledging that he never existed, and that only you and your situation exist.

Acknowledging that you made mistakes and failed in your responsibility of a doomed relationship is the first step in getting rid of “Chad”.

Seeing your faults and weaknesses and working on them is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of growth and strength. Make this mindset the cornerstone of your new outlook, and Chad continues to fade away.

Look at ways your life is below average. Do a self evaluation about what happened to your relationship. The only thing you can control is how you act, react, and contribute. That’s it. What shortcomings did you have? Get them all out on the table and work on every last one of them.

Can’t talk to girls? Learn game.

Fat? Work out.

Crappy clothes? Style.

Carry yourself better, work to improve, and all of the sudden, “Chad” is gone and the real world “Chad” that is you emerges.

You’ve become “Chad”. What a fucking concept.

But you’ve got to want to do the work.

Most men wait out their self improvement phase until something bad happens in their life. Stop waiting.

The more you work, the less you’ll tend to blame “mysterious” outside forces beyond your control, “Chad” included. He’s not to blame. You are.

The red pill’s primary goal is to get men to take responsibility for their own lives, and stop living under the guise of not having control over yourself. “Chad”, just like being blue pilled, is another mechanism used to try and push blame away from ourselves and onto another entity. It shows that we lack control. It shows that we’ll gladly preempt responsibility for anything else. It shows laziness and lack of self esteem. It’s the easy route, it’s the comfort zone. That line of thinking sucks.

Blue pilled men who take the red pill try desperately to avoid the hard truth. And one of those hard truths is that you alone control your destiny, not imaginary dudes with a six pack. Your failures, your setbacks, your disappointments, your lack of control, your general lethargy to your own life are all yours.

Stop blaming “Chad”.