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.

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