Lessons From A Failed Marriage

Photo credit: Huffington Post

“The lesson divorce teaches you isn’t to not get married, it’s to not get divorced.”

The lessons. So many, too many to count. But I’ve managed to boil it down to 20 lessons.

I’m still learning, every day.

But I’ve honed these lessons to make sure that when I get married again, it won’t end in divorce.

Because, as bad as divorce is, it’s worse the second time.

My experiences are lessons that I can share with those willing to understand their own fallacies as well as understanding that they control who they marry, who they sleep with, and who they allow in their lives.

You control it. You have the keys. The system is unfair. It won’t be changing anytime soon, but you still have control. Stop listening to those that tell you that you don’t. Because they didn’t and don’t have control either.

I’m not a relationship expert, I’m a “what not to do in a relationship” expert.

So, without further ado, here’s my list. Enjoy and learn from my mistakes:

Lesson 1 – If You Don’t Know Who You Are and Love Yourself as Such, You Cannot Marry Someone Else Without Encountering Major Issues

I didn’t know who I was. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. And it showed in the marriage. The baseline, foundational things that you need to be in order to love someone else must be there. Your convictions, beliefs, purpose, and boundaries must be there in order for you to make good on your promise to love, honor, and cherish.

How can you marry someone when you don’t know who the hell you are? If it’s checking a box, it’s wrong. Marriage is for good and you better damn well know who you are, your likes and dislikes before you walk down the aisle. And if she can’t respect any of it, she doesn’t get to be your wife.

Lesson 2 – Stop Escalating and Start Connecting

In the heat of an argument, the best thing you can do is stop letting emotion dictate your response. Her emotion is boiling over and she needs to know you’re there to stop it from completely spilling. She wants to vent, not argue, many times over, because women are emotional creatures. She needs to feel you there for her, your strength, your control over yourself and the situation. Sometimes, she just needs to let emotion take over. Nothing may necessarily be wrong, and if it feels like she’s picking on you, sack up and understand that this is something she does to make sure you are there for her.

She values you as her husband and values that you take the time to connect with her, listen instead of dictate, as well as understanding her and what she’s going through.

Lesson 3 – She Won’t Love You Unconditionally, But She Will Love You

The biggest issue that men have to deal with is that they won’t get love the way they want from a woman. She will not love unconditionally, but neither will you for her. It doesn’t work that way, especially for a man and a woman, as conditions do dictate love. So provide conditions that you are happy with. Men have to provide, it’s what we have to do. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can have it your way. But she will love you, but you have to give her something to love and adore. You are the key to all of it, be it your own self love and what you’ve built in pursuit of that love, for her to truly love you for who you are and what you stand for.

Lesson 4 – Vet and Vet Often. You Can’t Prepare for Every Eventuality, But You Can Have A Damn Good Idea of Who You’re Marrying

Take as much time as you need. The honeymoon phase in a relationship over, time to start vetting her. Put her in as many situations as you can to see how she handles herself. That will tell you all you need to know about her. You can’t prepare for everything, but you can have her in enough situations to see how she’ll do when the real deal is upon you. This is good, bad and neutral situations. Get experience with her, gain knowledge about her faults, bad habits, and general demeanor. If she greets you with an ultimatum, walk.

Lesson 5 – Neither Person Gets to Dictate Terms

Terms are agreed upon and negotiated.

Both parties understand what they bring and they bring it.

You want contractual obligation? The State wants marriage in those terms, but you aren’t the State, nor are you a monolithic organism. You’re a human being and so is she. If either side starts dictating, the other side needs to walk. There has to be compromise and agreement on principles in the relationship. Know your roles and be comfortable playing them because it’s who you are. Be prepared for quick negotiations or unforeseen disagreements that must be hashed out. But do it together, and in ways that both of you are comfortable with all that each of you are doing.

Lesson 6 – Communicate. You Can’t Read Minds and Your Partner Can’t Either

Talk early and often and your marriage will be solid as a rock. Get to know each other by talking to each other, early and often, over anything and everything. Know where each other stands on things that confront the marriage and overcome them. Communicate how your partner made you feel, good or bad, and face those issues head on, together. You don’t get to not engage, especially when it may be important to her. If it was important to you and she walked off, you’d be pissed.

Lesson 7 – Sex is Critical

No sex is a deathknell for any relationship. If you’re not having sex in your relationship, it’s dead and needs to be revitalized. No sex is a critical problem that many marriages cannot overcome. Because without sex, she’s just a roommate who helps you with the bills. Your intimacy is of the utmost importance in your marriage. Take it from a guy who didn’t have much sex in the dying days of his marriage, you need to be having sex, but also, having fun with your partner. Try new things in the bedroom, be adventurous, and be aggressive towards each other in the bedroom. You both love each other, so show it, dammit.

Lesson 8 – Better People Make Better Marriages

The bitter truth that most people don’t want to hear is that when you and your spouse are striving to be better, it improves your marriage significantly. Because you are a better, healthier person, you can have a good, strong, solid marriage when you and your partner have boundaries, share in triumphs, regroup after setbacks, and have each other’s backs. The proof is in the pudding, for take a sputtering marriage and add two people trying to get better either physically, mentally, spiritually or all three, and see the infusion of that energy revitalize that marriage. I’ve seen it happen so many times with men who weren’t motivated in marriage suddenly turn things around to the point where everyone associated with the marriage is re-energized. Kids, wife, everything starts to level up as the man rebuilds himself.

Lesson 9 – It’s Okay to Be Wrong. Own It, Fix It, and Move On

Yes. It’s okay to be wrong. But you have to do the one thing you don’t want to do. Swallow your pride and own the fuck up. You aren’t infallible, and neither is she. But you are capable of being an adult, and that means taking the heat when you screw up. The heat is the easy part, because you then have to fix your fuckup to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Because you’re a functioning part of this marriage, your humility will be mirrored by her, because when she sees you screwed up, when she does it, she’ll want to show that she’s human too. If she doesn’t, you still take the L and move on. Because you are the lead in this relationship, you will hold yourself to a higher standard. And with that higher standard comes her having to raise her standard as well. You set the tone, regardless of what you do, be it right or wrong. Learn from it and move the fuck on.

We get wrapped up in the State and why they get involved in the institute of marriage. If you don’t want the State involved, you can most certainly choose other options. But as of right now, this moment in time, and for the foreseeable future, your local government is involved. That means that in the eyes of the State, you are in a contractual agreement with your spouse. And depending on the state that the marriage occurs, you may or may not be able to draft a prenuptial agreement. All the more reason for the man to know who the heck he is marrying and the woman to take her time to make sure that this is the real deal. But never, ever does the State get to be involved in the spiritual aspect of your marriage. If you are religious, the church has that on lockdown, and so make sure you aren’t losing the real reasons for marriage in a myriad of tax implications. The state only matters when you get married or when you get divorced. Kick those fuckers out of the bond.

Lesson 11 – Do Things, but Do Them With Meaning and Purpose – Enjoy Each Other on Purpose

The issues I had with our marriage was that my wife was always goading me to do “something” instead of what I was doing, which most of the time was playing video games or watching TV. She wanted me to go experience life with her, and that isn’t an inconvenience. It’s a necessity. Enjoy your spouse by enjoying your life with her. Cherish the things you do (active or passive things) and share that with her, as well as her with you. Try new things with her, be adventurous, solve problems together. This will only strength the bond between both of you. Then, as you do these things, you become better together and start to enjoy more. The snowball gains momentum and gets bigger. Enjoy your marriage by doing things together that you love.

Lesson 12 – Be Her Biggest Cheerleader, and She’ll Be Your Biggest Fan

Support in marriage is one of the biggest deficiencies for men. They are looking for loyalty and a support system, but you have to do the same. She needs to know you’re there for her to support what she wants to do as well. Keep cheering her on what she wants to do, and you will see a woman ready to support her man with anything he’s doing as well. But you gotta show up in her corner, every time.

Lessons 13 – When Your Values Align, You Both Win

When vetting for a woman, pay close attention to her values. If they are radically different from yours, you will have an issue that will be a killer for the marriage. You have to have a partner that is paddling the same way you are, because if you don’t, the boat spins. And you want to move forward and beyond, not stay stagnant. So watch how she conducts herself. Does she hate kids? Then why try to make her a mom?

Does she have liberal values? Then why marry her if you’re a staunch conservative. Does she have issues with her family? Then why try to bring her into yours if she can’t have a healthy attachments to her own kin (save for extraordinary circumstances). You wouldn’t buy a dog person a bunch of cats so stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Lesson 14 – Your Kids are Neither Conspirators Nor Accessories to Either Parent

They’re kids, and they function best in peaceful settings. Your kids are the souls you are raising. Stop trying to weaponize them against your spouse in the hopes of them proving your right or wrong. It’s not fair to them for you to put them squarely in an adult situation when they are anything but adults. You are acting like a child if you are using kids to exert power over your spouse. These aren’t chess pieces, they’re your flesh and blood and they need parents who are adults.

Lesson 15 – She Doesn’t Owe You Anything, Nor Do You Owe Her

The concept of entitlement should not exist in marriage, especially not one way and not the other. No one owes anyone anything when it comes to marriage, but you both owe it to each other to be present and engaged in the marriage. She doesn’t owe you sex because she’s your wife, and you don’t owe her money to pay off her loans because you’re her husband. You both are giving because you are both getting reciprocated by being this way. Stop hanging expectations on someone with no intention of holding them up.

Lesson 16 – Alone Time is Important; Never Underestimate the Importance of Spending Time Away From Each Other

You need your alone time. You need time to decompress and get yours. Refilling your energy meter is important to every person in your life, because you can pour from an empty cup. If your significant other is trying to monopolize your time, it’s because they don’t value your alone time. You have to be able to get away to get right sometimes, and they have to respect that. As a matter of fact, alone time is essential in a marriage because if you were around your spouse 100% of the time, you’d cease to exist as a person. You both were separate people before you got married, and you remain that way even after. Your alone time is golden to do the things you like to do to relax. And if your partner loves you, they’ll respect that time and take some of their own.

Lesson 17 – The Work Doesn’t Stop When The Honeymoon Ends

Never stop working to be a better person, regardless of marital status. You set the standard and you keep improving each week, each month, and each year. Bring it, and she’ll bring it as well. But you have to keep dating your spouse, you have to keep working to be a better person, and you both will revel in the rewards as you continue to grow as a couple and individually. There should be no let up for either of you after the wedding cake is eaten. Too many folks suffer from “get married and let it all go” syndrome. Don’t be that person. Cherish yourself and your significant other by getting after it every day.

Lesson 18 – You’re A Team, But You’re the Leader

Men lead, women follow. The traditional roles may be the new bad words of the 21st century, but it still holds true. You are the leader, you set the tone, and you protect the clan. You’d better be ready to lead, because she’s counting on you. Just as I have said men are the frame while women are the painting, it falls to you to be the foundation on this marriage. The strength and protection you provide is what she needs in order to do her thing and assist you in yours.

Lesson 19 – How You Handle The Hard Times Will Make The Good Times Better

Hard times make better marriages. How you both overcome obstacles says a lot about the health of your marriage. Blame, guilt, and shame have no place in a marriage, when you can replace them just as easily with strength, fortitude, and perseverance. See the tough times for what they are and work through them, never blaming each other for anything out of the other’s control. You can’t be resentful of someone because something happens to them or someone they love that isn’t in the cards. Even when you or your loved ones make critical mistakes, stop, listen, and connect then fix it. Seeing through these times will strengthen any marriage more than anything.

Lesson 20 – It’s Marriage, It’s Messy, It’s Difficult, But It’s Worth It

Marriage is work, but it’s also a teammate for life that supercharges your life. It’s nitrous in your engine, and when you have a committed and dedicated person to your cause, your goals get that much more attainable. But also, you get to share a life with someone you care about, someone whom cares about you, and together, you dominate and build an empire. That’s a “Ride Or Die” to me, and the most successful people in history have had a significant other who watches their back.

I don’t have to tell you that these lessons will work for everyone all the time, but through my trials and tribulations with my marriage and divorce, I can tell you that doing them will only help you and your spouse grow a stronger, more loving bond.
Be the man that she wants to follow. Be the woman that he wants to protect and nurture.

But do it together, and do it for each other.

I hope that I get married again someday. And following these lessons, I know my second marriage will be my last.

And there won’t be a second divorce.

The Almighty Notch

I was as bad as you can get with women.

Kissed the first girl at 18.

First date at 19.

Lost my virginity at 27.

My social awkwardness and ineptitude shown through every time.

At 22, I took a first date to dinner and then to my new home being built. That was my plan, and she silently seethed as I told her the layout and how I was so proud.

“Take me home, okay?”

Dated a bigger girl just to try and lose my virginity because my friends ragged on me. Got cold feet after taking her to a friends wedding and had another friend do the deed and take her home because I couldn’t bring myself to have sex with her.

Went out with a girl 4 times and we never even kissed, just did awkward things and chatted as friends over dinner until I invited myself to her house and ghosted her before I came over.

Embarrassing fails, then came my ten year marriage and the trials and tribulations with 4 of those years being nearly sexless (1-2 a year) and my continual struggle with women, as I saw it, was the cause.

During and after my separation and my divorce I stopped giving a damn. Broke, depressed and downtrodden, I let any girl with a passable face and a penchant for saying yes in my life, and these broken women made it even more miserable.

But hey, at least I was getting laid?

Then, I discovered the Red Pill, and Pick Up Artistry.

As I got better with, the women got hotter, but also more fucked up.

My definition of success was to “get good with women”. I had no other goals beyond that. I had no aspirations for a healthy relationship because I honestly thought that just be getting good with women, all the other things would take care of themselves. After all, it wasn’t me, it was the women I was meeting, right?

Tried to fake it at first. Faked my way right into the friend zone in LA. Then back to the dead zone for having the temerity of being a player with multiple leads.

But I was having a blast, and enjoying something that had eluded me for my whole life, the experience of dating multiple women.

So, consider it a checkmark on a box that I had set out with long ago.

But it’s not, and will not be for me, considered a success.

Because all it did was bring on more problems, bigger problems. The short term brought me more sex, more women, but in the end, it brought me no closer to a long term relationship. It merely told me that I could have as many short term flings as I wanted, but that I wasn’t going to be loved, nor would I love anyone, because love is weak. Love is for men who have feelings, who have emotions, and who are simps.

And for as much fun as I was having, this was the bottom line. You have to always be hard, emotionless, and use dread game to keep your woman in line, because “all women are like children”, and they need to be in the “presence of someone who can tell them what to do”. “They won’t ever love you the way you want”, nor will they give you the deep, meaningful love you seek.

As I’ve found, PUA and LTR are incompatible terms.

In PUA, you get what you wish for, but you also get dead ends that don’t lead to anywhere good, because it all boils down to playing the game in the shallow end, when really what you need to learn is to swim in the deep end, and then you get to jump off the diving board.

As part of my journey, I’m having to deprogram myself from PUA thinking and it’s been incredibly difficult. With every passing day, I still catch myself using pick up terms, lines of thinking, even trying to be mindful on how I’m communicating to women because many of the ones who I would be willing to have a LTR with are turned off by these statements.

“The NOTCH is the GOAL”

PUA thrives on escalation, quick and extensive, in order to get to the almighty notch.

And it doesn’t matter HOW or WHO you get it with, just that you get those numbers.

And this goes with everything, approaches, either cold or lukewarm, day game, everything, because the bottom line is hasn’t changed, it’s not about getting you comfortable with talking to women, it’s about getting you comfortable talking to women then sleeping with women.

Because it’s really all about the notch.

When you get the notch, you can brag to the community about it, because you’re doing hard things. And they pat you on the back and you go out and do it again and again. But notice when they get the notch, notice how it doesn’t fulfill anything but going out and getting another one.

The beautiful unicorn is the goal, but it isn’t having a relationship with her, it’s about landing her for even a brief moment (she’s not yours, it’s just your turn) and moving on to another one.

If you’ve read “The Game” by Neil Strauss, he got so good at picking up women that it became nothing fulfilling in his life. Only when he started to have feelings for women did he start to understand the consistent dead end of this lifestyle. And by that time, the damage was done. Many PUA’s have had horrible relationships, including Mystery, because they didn’t understand that simping doesn’t die simply because you said it does. They didn’t understand that self mastery and “fake it until you make it” don’t jive in real life. They became personas, never found the real “them” and tried to apply that to all parts of their lives, with horrible results. So now it’s “don’t catch feels” and everything is cool. And it’s led to an absolute mess of a dating scene.

Look, I get it, some guys want this lifestyle and die with a smile on their face after climax. But it isn’t realistic, nor is it sustainable. Which is why many of your gurus are happily married (or at least pretend to be) with one woman. If you can pull of haram game go for it, but a majority of guys just want a ride or die to support them, love them, and be there for them. We can argue all we want about monogamy being a broken concept, but the fact remains that a majority of this world still believes in it, and as a man who didn’t believe after his divorce, I am a believer too.

Quite simply, the long term love of one trumps the fleeting love of many. It’s shallow, empty, short lived and transparent. And it gets old. You’re the dude in the club at 55, with the pony tail, who fucked his way through the city in the early 00’s, and now you’re hoping for that magic to rub off. But all you’re getting are ladies from the retirement bus, because you never bothered to make a life for yourself, a real life, and lose all the other bullshit that worked for a while, but has since stopped. There’s only one Hugh Hefner, and you ain’t it, and even after that, man made it seem as if this was the life, the world that every man wanted, even as Hef bungled his way through different marriages and arrangements.

“But at least he was getting laid by beautiful women.”

Men consistently have trouble getting laid, and this was the deficiency that PUA was supposed to eradicate. But it took the feels from the game, and it took the reason for being and boiled it down to whether she spreads her legs for you on the first date, whether you’re getting that girl in accounting to go down on you after a meeting, or whether that girl you approached on the street is a “good girl” that you have no shot with. It’s a “Dear Penthouse” that men dearly want but can’t get. It tried to quantify EVERYTHING, so that you can just look at the numbers to see what women are doing, how they act, and how a majority of them believe in “monkey branching”. Hypergamy doesn’t care, until you realize that the majority of women who we blame for hypergamy were broken human beings in the first place, with either bad upbringings, domineering or no fathers, and have no interest in taking responsibility for any of it.

And if you dare to believe in monogamy, you’re labeled blue pill and you’re doomed.


I’ve seen, in person, many men who have good women in their lives, and I see what it can do for them.

With some PUA, dishonesty was a hallmark. “Don’t tell women anything you’re doing” was the go to. Then, it was “you spin multiple plates and tell them up front what you’re doing”, but brutal honesty only works in a progressive, dystopian dating market where everyone’s trying to fuck everyone else.

You may win in the meat market, but you lose in the life partner game.

And I want to win in that game. Because it’s what I want to do.

The Reality

Nothing punched me in the face more than when I was trying to get into a real relationship and the reality of my PUA programming came up.

Women looking for a relationship don’t want to hear that you’re fucking other women and they can just take that to the bank.

And why would they?

I consistently say to men that if they found out a woman they were dating was screwing other dudes, they would be a bit concerned. And yet, many modern women do just this, and get upset when men do it as well. But it’s not ideal whoever does it, and while it shows disastrous double standards in dating, it also shows how detached we all are over sex and healthy long term relationships, and how the lines have blurred for everyone.

But the reality….the reality is much better than what the gurus tell you or want you to believe.

The Notch you get from strange women is much worse that the sex you have in a relationship.

Why? Because in a deep, committed relationship, you and your significant other open up sexually, and sex can be anything you want.

But they don’t want you to know that. Why? Because hate and anger sell. It’s easier to blame others for your lot in life than to take responsibility for yourself.

But more, it’s easier to sell gimmicks to guys who don’t want to do the work.

If you read “The Game”, you saw that in Los Angeles, when hundreds of men tried to get some of that genie in the bottle that was released, women started catching on to the ruse. Men who had used old time favorite pickup stuff like “The Cube” were suddenly being outed by women they were trying to hit on.


It’s cliché, but it’s true. We see men dropping out of PUA and the old guard weeps not because guys are doing what’s best for them, but because they miss the old days when they were hitting up models and actresses in the streets of the cities they haunted. Guys understand there are useful things in both PUA and the red pill, but it’s not a place they need to stay at for long. Because time doesn’t stop in those worlds, and eventually it becomes old, boring, and less important that a man getting on with his life.

“Get good with women” is and was the only end game, and once you get there, you’re adrift again because you’ve hit the mark and now you have nowhere else to go. You see men who in their prime were the best PUA’s ever, now reduced to shells of men talking about the days of game like a 43 year old over the hill dude talks about his 4 TD passes in the high school state championship.

Men have to have forward motion, they can’t just rely on inertia or momentum, because it ensures they’ll be stuck forever. Some guys can pull it off. But most cannot.

And instead of giving them consistent tools for building and growing a good life, they give them tips and tricks to get to that next phase, and drop them off like a bus stop. And we wonder why many guys are bitter about what’s happened to them.

You have to think past the notch. The best notches come at the hands of a woman who loves, supports, and is there for you. Men, married men that I know, that have taken control of their lives and become patriarchs, are having the best sex in life. Because they have a trusted person whom they break bread with every day, and they have someone who believes in them and what they are doing.

They’re having hot sex after breakfast, instead of hoping the fat girl at the end of the bar at last call is drunk enough to go home with you.

They’re going on amazing trips and doing fun things with their families, instead of getting high at a friend’s house before going out to the club to see if you can pull some girl younger than 35 tonight.

They’re having children, instead of pulling out and hoping that next phone call isn’t the girl you had sex with saying she’s late.

They’re living their lives, moving on and growing in other directions instead of harkening back to the halcyon days of when they had a threesome while high on cocaine.

I choose the group who’s creating more in the present, instead of remembering the good times, and I won’t apologize for it. It’s my choice to move forward and be more than I could have ever imagined, and there are women, many women, out there that I don’t have to dazzle with a card trick or a palm reading to get them to look. I am the game, and many women are eager to play.

Get out of the past, get passed the notch, and get on with your life.

Or be doomed to stay in the same place, in the same world, in the same dull life, forever.


“Sometimes, the best thing you can do to those that don’t understand or accept you for who you’ve become, is walk the fuck away.”

-Me – about 7 month ago

The hard truth to being yourself, really being yourself, is the fact that at some point, you have to say goodbye to those who won’t accept the real you. It’s a fact of life, especially for a life lived with a full set of boundaries, convictions, and beliefs intact. There will be those that seek to change you for their own purposes, your job is to say “no”.

And many people can’t say it. The mere utterance of the word terrifies most, with social repercussions on tap, when dealing with family, friends, and relationships.

And these days, with cancellations abounding on social media, standing up for yourself is very dangerous, especially economically, because the backlash of the mob will leave even the most seasoned, principled person gasping for their social breath.

Apologies fly after boundaries are set and enforced, showing those that tried to broach those sacred lines that it was all an act, that they can guilt and shame their way into bullying you however they want, whenever they want, and you’ll buckle like a belt.

Gone are the days of standing your ground, even if alone, for fear of retribution, humiliation, financial ruin, and castigation.

Those that do it have nothing to lose, or if they do, they’ve already lost it. That spirit needs to come back and there’s a reason it’s having a hard time right now.

But even in this time of crumbling morals and inabilities to stand up for oneself, there is something to be said about any man that can walk away from anything that doesn’t serve his interest. It’s a lost art that has been negated by the on-line experience, when words really don’t matter, actions can’t be seen unless someone’s recording, and the faceless mob either supports you temporarily or summons the torches and pitchforks for something you said years ago.

People these days are too scared to walk for fear of loss. Which means that they either don’t think what they gain from leaving is worth it, or they’re scared to leave because of what they would lose. But the people I’ve known who’ve braved the dreaded walk and do it over and over again know instinctively that they ALWAYS gain from walking away, because anything toxic in their lives is not worth keeping.

And it’s that mindset that has served me well for many years.

“I Never Said NO”

I didn’t know how to walk. For much of my life, I had been a people pleaser of the highest order. I would be shamed and guilted by those that loved me most, only because they knew they could get away with it.

My mother and I joke about this at times because when she wanted something from me, she would just give me “the look” which was a sad face with puppy dog eyes. All she had to do for years was flash that face and I would melt, giving in to any demand she had, be it homework needing to be done, chores, helping her with something, or even some trivial thing, all she had to do was the face and I was done.

It didn’t help that she’s a damn fine negotiator anyway, so I was at a disadvantage already, but she had this magical way of getting her way, and it worked whenever she employed it.

It didn’t get any better as I grew up and I would seldom stand up for anything for fear of bringing disdain from my family and friends. I lied so much to my friends if I didn’t want to hang out because I didn’t want to tell them “no I didn’t feel like it”, because I believe “no” was a bad word. This wasn’t manifested anywhere but in my own brain, so I continued to bend like a pretzel every time I was trying to make everyone happy.

So, I never said no. I would either lie, delay, come up with excuses, or just do it. My father would watch me in an uncomfortable situation and call it “dancing”, because all I would do was try to avoid the main issues to avoid the confrontations. And it seriously affected much of my social life as well, even in to my early 20’s, I had not dated much, and when I had, I was a sheepish, clumsy, people pleaser, not worried about my own needs, but the needs of my date at the time. No wonder I was terrible with women.

It continued to come increasingly give me stress in my life when I got married. I had three women that I was trying to please. My wife, my younger sister, and my mother, and most of the time, they were all in alignment, and I did what they needed me to do. I thought I was being a good husband, brother, and son by doing whatever they wanted. It was only when all three of them became diametrically opposed that I started to have major issues in my life, culminating in several angry outbursts at work and several sessions with an anger management counselors.

Tough situations at work with customers, clients, vendors, bosses, and co-workers was met with angry outbursts, punching walls, and pent up frustration, all over avoiding conflict, confrontation, and resolution. And the avoidance, the “dancing” was killing me from the inside out…

The build up was so stressful, I had to take on a full time therapist to start parsing through all of the issues I was having.

And while it helped, the one thing that my therapist told me that stuck with me was a question he asked one morning…

“Have you ever said no?”

It was a question I had never been asked.

And I didn’t have an answer, because deep down, I knew the answer. That answer was…no, I had never said no.

And a light went on, albeit 20 years too late, but it came on, and the wheels started turning, finally, mercifully, towards finally resolving my anger issues in the short term, but setting off a bomb in the long term, a bomb that needed to be set, the bomb of me finally becoming aware of my boundaries, what I wanted in my life, and what it was going to take to find myself. And it wasn’t going to be easy.

“Something Happened, Something Clicked”

On that cold ass December morning when I got asked that question, I started to really search for why the answer was what it was. And I got very surprising answers. People weren’t taking advantage of me over my life for being a people pleaser on purpose, they were doing it because I was allowing them to do it. This revelation started a domino effect for my job, my friends, my family, and my wife. I started to question everything that was in my life and why it was there….and more importantly, whether it needed to be there. Every session with my therapist continued to reinforce the fact that I had been living a lie for much of my life. A life that was supposed to be mine was being used to please others with no end in sight.

I had to really question why the hell I was doing all this because none of it was benefiting me. Which is when I made the fateful decision to file for divorce from my then wife. I wasn’t living MY life, I was living another dude’s life, and none of this was what I wanted, none of it.

The decision to divorce was the first decision I had made as ME. It was the first decision I had made as a man in control of his own life. And it was my first “NO” in my life to those that would want the opposite.

I took a ton of heat from friends and family from my decision. But there I was, standing up for myself, saying NO in the face of those who wanted different.

And my divorce was a sad event, it and the events leading up to it was the catalyst for who I have become today. Because I knew when I got divorced, on the other side was the person I truly was, and I knew that everyone in my world would come to accept my decision when they saw what it did for me.

For that one moment, because I chose to WALK away from something that wasn’t good for me, it empowered me to make more decisions for my own development. It taught me to not seek conflict, but not to be afraid of it. It showed me that the world wasn’t so bad when you stood alone for something you believed in, because you believe it’s right.

And, finally, after 40 years, “My Best Interest” became the guiding light of my life. There’s nothing selfish or wrong with pursuing your best interests because, as I’ve always said, you can’t pour from an empty cup, and pursued self interest, hobbies, convictions, purpose, and belief fills that bad boy up every damn day.

Now? I say no. A lot. And it’s not because I do it just to hear myself say it, although that was absent for the first 4 decades of my life, but it was because if it doesn’t align with what I am doing in my life, with the things that I want to accomplish, or takes away from my momentum, goals, and life choices, then it doesn’t get to be a part of it.

And that’s what Captain American says in my favorite quote. No matter what, believe what you believe, stand up for your convictions, and put what you feel is right ahead of all else. No wonder I love that damn quote so much, because it reminds me of me during my struggle to walk away from shit that doesn’t work for me.

No matter what, stand up for yourself, whether it be in politics, religion, social media, anything.

You stand for who you are, you stand for what you believe, you stand for your morals and convictions. And if they don’t like it, walk. You don’t have to tolerate anyone who won’t tolerate you.

We need a world that can grow a pair and use them to get shit done. Stop kowtowing to people just to please and avoid a conflict. You matter and your views are yours. Never forget that.


For 24 years, I’ve driven the same way to work.

11 miles of the same telephone poles, the same asphalt, the same houses, and the same blades of grass.

Every year, the seasons change the colors, but the objects remain the same.

The wind swept fields, the rainy roads, the sunshine blessed treetops, all of it stands the test of time. I notice many of these things every day, during shorter days, longer nights, dark mornings and sun drenched afternoons, but they all stay the same.

The rainy days are just as grey as they were nearly a quarter of a century ago, when, at 22 years old, I decided to go and work for my dad after college. The job offers were many, all over the country, Chicago, Philly, Houston, but I decided to go home and work for the family business.

I could’ve done anything. I could’ve gone to Argentina to get my major in Spanish. I could’ve gone to a big city and rode out my 20’s in an exciting, albeit, broken world.

I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, depending on who was asking. So why would a guy fresh out of college decide to work for the family business when he had a chance to make his mark on the world in other ways?

Because sometimes, it’s not about the glory and excitement of new avenues, it’s about the joy and satisfaction that comes from building something up and succeeding through long hours of toil.

As I traverse the multitude of left turns going to work, then the multitude of right turns coming home, it reminds me of the stability that I have had in my life.

It all stays the same, but it’s all wonderful to see for me everyday.

Boring? To you, maybe. To me, it’s the world I’ve helped build and it stands on my untiring effort everyday to chisel a world out of the world just for me.

Legacy is built one brick at a time, over time.

“Show Up”

We crave stability, but we don’t crave what it takes to create or sustain it.


One of my favorite speakers this past year at CME (The Conference of Masculine Excellence) in Las Vegas was Hotep Jesus, who’s number one quote in his presentation was “Show up.”

He specifically talked about being the man who just showed up and made things happen. And when you show up, things happen.

Showing up is the start of consistency and gets you there 100% of the time when you’re present.

Out of these years I’ve been working at my own business, I’ve been absent less than .1% of the time. And it’s because I love my job and know that there are people that count on me daily to “show up”.

Which is how I’ve had to approach my life, especially recently. While I was showing up at work, I wasn’t showing up in my life.

I would be there for everything at work, but in my life, especially when I was married, I wasn’t there for my wife at the time, my kids, or myself.

My fitness cratered and I ballooned to 308 lbs. My wife and I divorced. My kids and I were distant, and I wasn’t showing up, I was merely a ghost, a place holder pretending to be a father, husband and man.

I was practicing consistency at work, but I wasn’t bringing it to my personal life, and it showed.

So, on my 40th birthday, sitting alone at a bar, drunk, I had to make a decision.

Nothing was working out in my personal life, but my career was going well.

I was tired of seeing success in one area and no success in everything else, because I wasn’t SHOWING UP in those other areas. So, I decided, each year, to add these areas to my consistent effort and get my weaknesses handled. I took one – two areas each year, for the last 5 years. My first goal was getting my weight down and getting better with women.

So I got 80 lbs off and I got decent with girls. It was the start of an amazing transformation that is still taking place to this day, in my life.

I found a passion, helping men through my own experiences, so the next year I decided to get my blog going, as well as be on Twitter and IG as a man who was living his journey and sharing his experiences with other men. And I have grown this blog and twitter to over 11k people.

The next year was traveling to meet people that I had met as well as getting out of my shell. I overdid this, traveling so much that I was neglecting time with my kids. But I consistently traveled and got better socially. But I realized I was drinking way too much, so I also decided to get sober, which I have now been for 2.5 years.

In 2020 and 2021, I used the pandemic to get consistent on the home front, getting my home in order and get closer to my kids, I needed to be a better father, but I wasn’t showing up with them as much as I needed to. I’ve been learning to be a better dad as well as understanding that my connection to my kids is extremely important to their health and well being. I’ve been working in the Fraternity of Excellence to get better as a father and a man.

And now, in 2022, I’m dialing my fitness into the next level. My fitness goal has been to always look sexy naked, and with my trainer Phil Foster, I am pushing myself and establishing new consistent boundaries on how I work out and how I look. And, mercifully, after a year, I will be getting my finances in order and will be debt free except the house in a little over a week of this writing. Then I get to pay myself and spend my money on savings, investment, and college for my children.

I’ve also brought my consistency to my relationships. I’m reaching out to old friends I left on hold. I’m learning how be better with women in my work with Dr Taylor Burrowes. Before it was just pickup and sex, now it’s something more I’m looking for. I’m learning to vet these women, consistently and with consistency in my own values, boundaries, and behaviors.

All of this, every aspect of my life, has been addressed. All because I decided to show up. Sure there are important things that take precedence at this moment, but in general, I’m raising the level of my life and as a result, the level of those around me. People can count on me again, because they know I’ll show up.

My meetings, I’m there. My kids, I’m there. My fitness, I’m there. My friends and family, I’m there.

There’s something to be said about knowing someone will always be there.

And, when you can look into the mirror and know that you are bringing it everyday, the most important person that knows you’ll be there is…well….YOU.

But I’ve hired good people to help me get there. When you have the people to help you and you are willing to “show up” and help yourself with their tutelage, the sky’s the limit.


Going into 2022, I had several resolutions that I had been working on since Sept of 21. Guys have asked me how the hell I can get behind all of these resolutions and, you know, actually “DO THEM” but it’s become so ingrained in my mind that I need to get better everyday that many of these resolutions have become commonplace.

In order to get to your goals, you must “show up”, so I started the First of the Month Challenge to motivate people to take the same steps I took, the same consistent baby steps to get to their goals.

One of the things many people have stated about me is that my consistency is top notch. It hasn’t always been that way, but the way that it started was through my New Year’s Resolutions. So, I took it upon myself to show folks through the first quarter of this year, that 30 days becomes a habit, 60 days becomes a pattern, and 90 days becomes a lifestyle. Whether it’s fitness or something else, it will behoove you to follow through and be consistent in your goals. Just do one thing, one, for that amount of time and watch as you are able to apply that to other aspects of your life.

You’ll become unstoppable because you bothered to “show up.”

The stat that really stood out to me was that after the first month 80% of people quit their resolutions.

And I see it every year. The gym is packed the first two weeks of January, then people leave in droves and it’s back to the usual folks in February.

But, as I’ve seen year after year, there are the 20% that show up when the gym opens or are there when it’s about to close. It’s the 20% that push themselves to be better by “showing up” every day to get to their goals. It’s time to increase that percentage and hold folks accountable for their proclamations. And to hold them accountable, I want to be there with them as they take these steps to break out of their own dead end cycles.

So, if you’re looking for the magic code to be consistent, it’s nothing else but showing up when no one else does.

And it’s certainly not magic, just a sense of personal discipline ingrained in yourself by yourself to forge ahead and get what you truly dream of in life.

The magic of consistency is created by the commonplace activity of attendance.

And being consistent will bring that dream to a reality.


“Some of the best years of my life were some of the worst. If you know, you know.” – Tim Hicks

No time is worse than rock bottom. But no time is better to learn than in that time.

6 years ago, I was there, I was at rock bottom.

And as I sat alone in my gigantic empty house, devoid of furniture, working my ass off to get it ready to sell, in the middle of divorce, work issues, and personal problems, I had a choice. I had to either get up and fight, or lay down and die. I was fighting for my new life, not suffering from one disastrous choice after another.

The bottom line: I had to choose to OWN my life.

So, I picked myself up and I decided to do just that.

Every year since, I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and decided to do something that would improve my life.

People make broad resolutions based on what they think they want, what society tells them they should do, or what their friends or family are pointing towards, but very rarely do these folks ever truly look internally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally and do what’s best for THEM.

But I’m here to tell you, not only are resolutions important, but they should be a regular part of your daily life.

Small goals add up to bigger dreams. And there’s no better time to start than now.

You don’t have to wait until the calendar strikes the next year to truly take control of your life. You learn hourly new things you want to achieve, ideas that you want to implement, and challenges you wish to tackle.

And that is the key to all of this. What are YOU doing to make yourself better?

Utterances as the ball drops are just that. It’s why you see an empty gym in February, after the potential go getters get got.

So many people don’t want to make bold proclamations because there will come a time the rubber will have to hit the road and they won’t be ready.

So they chuckle to themselves, laugh out a “maybe next year” and fall back into the inevitable rut they figure they’ll be in until that day again comes around when they look at themselves in the mirror and say, “Let’s try this again.” Same song, same dance.

But there are the determined few that understand what resolutions actually mean. They mean an end to “normal” and the beginning of “work”.

And that simple fact terrifies the normies.

But it emboldens the strong willed. And makes them the people that lead their lives in quiet determination, confidence and consistency.

In short, they do it because it’s hard.

My years leading up to Twenty Twenty One have been a long journey to discovering who I am, who I was, and who I want to be. It’s been a series of forward progress, devastating setbacks, and small wins that has propelled me to the person I am today. It’s been acceptance of my past indiscretions, my current faults and flaws, and my boundaries, convictions, and beliefs as they’ve manifested in these past years.

I made resolutions in each of those years. Not only yearly, but monthly, daily, and hourly, to improve my worth as a person and become the man I’ve always wanted to be.

I’m not there yet, and of course, the tough part? I will never be. I will never get to the heights I want to, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

My weak points are many. I am addressing them one at a time. Sometimes my convictions wavered, which shouldn’t be up for discussion. And that exposes a weakness in me that I don’t believe my own words, that there will always be an exception to my declarations about myself. If a man can’t hold to his convictions, he’s a shell of a man.

So I made resolutions, daily, and put up. And I’m still doing it, at this particular moment, with my health and fitness. But even with my yearly proclamations, I still, daily, make sure I’m still on course with what I’m doing. My history has shown that my dedication to these changes will be consistent.

Last year, it was relationships. I had to finally come to terms with the very blatant fact that long distance relationships don’t work for me, they never have, regardless of the hope I had in the women I dated. I had two women that I had to let go of, two very awesome women, because the distance can’t be overcome. I’m an Indiana boy, always have been, and my life, my kids, and my world is here. Many things are unmovable, others are flexible, but the bottom line is my core values have evolved into a solid line of what I want in my life, and with these in hand, I vet and date with a purpose now.

Two years ago, it was my ability to be a father. I left my kids on auto pilot while I decided to jet set. And it came back to bite me in the ass. I needed to be a father first and foremost. My kids were suffering because I was there but wasn’t really there. So I made it so I was there.

Three years ago, it was my identity. I wasn’t the jet setting, red pill, tall, dark and handsome “playboy” that met beautiful women around the country in an attempt to bring one back for a relationship. I was the father of two girls, business owner, no nonsense man who wanted a simple life with no drama and no frills.

And slowly, over the years, with these resolutions, I’ve solidified many of my core beliefs. I stand for what I stand for, more and more things fell into place, and as I’ve learned from experiences, my stances have hardened into what I won’t and will tolerate.

As I’ve surpassed more and more resolutions, committing myself to being a better man, better person, and having more convictions and standards, my list of preferences for who gets to be in my life have changed as well.

2022 brings new resolutions that already began and have worked in perpetuity in from the last 6 year.

  • Fitness and Health – I’m in the best shape of my life and getting better. New personal trainer Phil Foster has helped me dial in my macros and I’m working on getting my abs I’ve always wanted.
  • Taking a fighting class – My kids and I want to take a fighting class and get better at learning basic fighting skills
  • Contacts – One of my biggest things to overcome is “touching my fucking eye”. I want to get contacts and work on being able to touch my eye and handle contacts with my hot dog fingers
  • Become more handy – I am going to make a concerted effort next year to be more handy, taking better care of my house and understanding basic fixes for my home
  • Debt – I will be out of debt in 2021, and my finances will be better and will continue to grow in 2022.

These are all big time goals I want to set and hit for myself. I may not hit them all, but I will sure try.

And that is the bottom line: You have to try.

Make a resolution, right now, today, to make yourself better.

Make a change, however small, right now. Drink more water, don’t eat out as much, go to the gym, start a small side business, write, take on rock climbing, shooting, bow hunting, etc.

But don’t wait until after the decorations are down.


I’m telling you through my experiences, TODAY is the day.

For nearly 20 years of my adult life, I stood still and let life happen to me.

Then, on my 40th birthday, I made a resolution that I was going to be a better man.

And that resolution has come true today, 5 years later. But it’s only the first step….

So get on board on your own life.

Make shit happen, with or without a proclamation.

This should be your daily resolution.

Relationship Lessons – Part 3: She’s Not Your World, Just a Part of It

For every girl that you unfairly appoint as your “one”, you lose her before you even had her.

For every girl you spill your guts out to, you lose a small shred of respect she might have had for you.

For every girl you let drive the bus, the more contempt she’ll have for you.

For every girl that you show you’re much too eager to please, she’ll resent you more and more.

For every girl you put on a pedestal, she’ll put you on the chopping block.

You don’t have to explain yourself all the time. You don’t have to justify everything to her. It’s a dance, and you’re doing the Seinfeld Elaine Benes “little kicks” and she’s cringing with every jive.

In the relationship world, one of the hardest things for men to do is to understand that she isn’t the goal, she’s merely a piece of the whole puzzle.

Too many times, myself most definitely included, we jump the gun with the girl who we want, we get too excited, we over-commit, over-engage, and over-explain.

When I was deep into dating in 2016-2019, at the beginning, I was outcome dependent. Each date with a girl would be the setup I needed to get back into a relationship. I put too much pressure on her. I said and did too much.

Three months. Poof. 6 months. Gone. Too eager to start a life she didn’t want me in. Too ready to say “I love you”. Too much jumping the gun. Too much romance and too little mystery. I was an open book, and she didn’t want to read me.

When I became a bit jaded after failing relationship after failing relationship, I stopped and just started fucking.

And it became easier because I didn’t have to care about the woman I was dating. I didn’t have to care because I knew it wasn’t going anywhere.

But after nearly two years of strange bedfellows, I had resigned myself to be a better person. So I worked and fought, and the class of women I met and dated improved. But with that, the clingy, cringey old me started to show his face again, overdoing everything.

Can there be a fucking middle ground here? Why, when a potential life partner comes into play, do I start my word salad, mouth breathing, full court press of said woman? Because of many things. But mostly because of scarcity. You worry that this girl might be someone you can have as a woman, as we hear, someone who “completes” you.

So what’s the play?

It’s Not About Her

My job has always been, and always will be, developing a life of success and happiness for myself.

Full stop.

Notice, if you will, that I didn’t say having a woman is required. It’s not a barometer for success. And yet, we try so hard to do it, get the house, the car, the girl, the kids, the white picket fence.

But we really, really, really don’t get at the guts of what we want from a partner, but more importantly, who the hell we are and what we represent to a potential love interest.

It’s not about her.

It’s about you. Who you are. What your life goals are. What you want out of your life.

Have you truly thought about these questions?

What do you want? Who are you? What are your life goals? What do you want to do with your life? How do you want to build your world?

Again, none of these poignant questions have anything about a woman or significant other in them.

This is ultimately about you, who you are, what you do, what your world is and dreams are, convictions, motives, beliefs, and purpose.

But men, especially modern men, fall into the trap of being too flexible on the above questions.

Scarcity mindset drives this. They’re too anxious to get into relationship mode. They feel like they have to push because they won’t get another woman who checks the boxes they need.

And this is why we say “You Are the Prize”. It’s not someone’s value in a relationship superseding someone else.

It’s you cultivating value in yourself through self esteem and confidence. Confidence in you and who you are. Confidence in what you provide as a partner. Confidence knowing that whoever gets you, gets the full you, the real you, the complete person for which healthy relationships are built off of.

If any woman or possible love interest is going to feel satisfied and content in a relationship, you need to have your shit on point. That means holding true to the person you are, regardless of missteps, screw-ups or falls in your past. That means working everyday to be the man you want to be, not the man a woman wants you to be.

She decides if she wants to be a part of your world. This is too important not to mention again.

She decides if she wants to be a part of your world.

If she doesn’t want to join your world, i.e. she wants her world, then she will have to find a partner that wants to submit to her world. That may be a man who wants to join her and take on a more submissive state. If it works, it works.

But for this conversation, and in general, my goal and men’s goals should be to build the life, and invite her to it.

If she declines, fine. It takes a special woman to want to join your world. She has to align with you on the important things. It doesn’t mean she has to align on all things, just the big ones. But it will ultimately be you inviting her to your life, and her accepting that role. For a man who wants to lead, it can’t and won’t work any other way.

If you build it, she will come.

But you also have to do the work to vet her and make sure she is worthy to be a part of your life. This is where men miss the boat, and where I’ve missed the boat dozens of times. You can’t just let her in because she makes your dick hard.

Is she supportive to your mission?

Is she a teammate that brings you joy over grief?

Is she dedicated to you and what you’re doing?

Is she aligned with your core values, your goals, your beliefs, your convictions?

Look for red flags. Always keep in mind that if you are consistently showing up, she needs to as well.

You lead, she follows. If a man decides to follow a strong woman and it works, then fine. But for this and other examples, a strong, leading man is an attractive trait for many women looking to secure their feminine.

And patience, wonderful, agonizing patience, is the key in setting up a long term relationship with anyone.

Rushing anything, especially when you are trying very hard to vet and get to know someone intimately, is relationship suicide. Pushing doesn’t help at all, in fact, it only exacerbates the situation and guarantees death by a thousand cuts through anxiety, worry, questioning, and general uncertainty about a relationship.

If you have to wonder if she’s into you, then she’s not into you.

If you don’t know where she stands, she’s not standing with you.

This is potentially months of vetting and getting to know her to find out where she stands. And she’ll be very clear when the time comes on where she stands and if she truly wants to be a part of your life.

And that’s the rub here. You, as a man, must maintain unshakeable patience, resolve, and drive when it comes to making your life what you need it to be, and only then can you invite a woman in. If there is any semblance of chaos or disorder, especially when dealing with when the shit hits the fan (and it will in one for or another), she’ll not truly be ready to let you lead.

And that is what she wants. For you to take charge and lead so she can play to her feminine strengths. That bubble she is in must be unbreakable, a FRAME, for her to paint a beautiful picture.

The “ME” Factor

I’ve failed many times in the past with relationships because I haven’t been rock solid on my life and what I wanted, what I was doing, and what my frame was. I’ve had to learn the hard way that things must be settled in my life, be it career, fatherhood, beliefs or fitness to truly attract a woman who wants to be a part of it.

But I must also be clearer on setting my convictions and not letting boundaries slide because I want something to work. I waffled so much when it came to things that I needed to be solid on that it’s been an ongoing problem with potential relationships.

So, I fall back to square one again, but this time, I MUST be honest with myself about who I am, what I want, and who I intend to share it with.

I’m a good man. I know this with all my heart.

It’s just time for me to accept that, smile in the mirror, and realize that my world is worth sharing with someone, but that someone needs to be a person who can fulfill what I need, not just because it feels good.

So I have to be honest with who I am, what I want, and what I’m willing to work with.

And, especially in many of these writings, I’ve stated that time and time again, but when the chips are down, with a chance at commitment staring me in the face, I buckle like a belt. The beta I’ve tried so hard to kill sees a chance for love and falls face first into it.

So it’s time.

And only time will tell if I can recover from these spin outs.

The Box

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Third game of the young baseball season. Double, standing at second in the bottom of the third inning.

The adrenaline of the young season already pulsing through his veins. He had scholarship offers from three D-1 schools, but this season was going to put him in the elites. The team was eliminated in Semi- State last year, but the championship would be theirs this year.

Single. He comes around easily to score. This was going to be his year.

Bottom of the ninth. He walks. He’s already scored three times, but their bullpen had issues and gave up a two run homer. Game was tied. He’s 264 feet from the sweep.

Bunt drops. He dives for second. Safe. One step closer.

He’s been giving it his all, not just for the offers, but because, he believed, he was the best on this team. And of course he was. Led in most catagiries, defensively good in the outfield, and brought it every game. Great teammate, and this was going to be his year.

Next batter. Shallow single, but not shallow enough. Give him the sign as he rounded third to hold. Fuck that. He picks up steam. He slides focusing on the plate, and the catcher has the ball. Time to collide.

He hits the catcher full speed, ball drops out. Game won. But in the commotion, in the heroic act to win the game, he comes up wincing.

“Probably just a sprain…”, he thinks. Then he feels the sharp pain in his knee. He drops. The team, in their celebration around him clears for the trainer and coaches.

He’s sure it’s not serious. But damn it hurts. He goes for X-rays. Torn ACL, sprained MCL, the blood drains from his face. There it goes, the offers, the state championship, all of it.

This was supposed to be his year.

Sometimes, we’re so focused on checking the box, pushing so hard to get it done, that we destroy everything else around us in this singular focus.

The idea of hitting a goal, at whatever cost necessary, sets us back further on other, more important things.

Instead of losing one thing, we lose everything. In the example above, the best player that the team needed, pushed when he didn’t necessarily have to. And in his push, it cost him and his team the championship. It cost him offers. But most of all, it cost him himself.

Sometimes, playing smart means taking the short term L for the long term W.

Blazes of glory don’t do you any good when you’re dead.

Injuries don’t help you because you can’t play.

We give people shit sometimes for not going 120% all the time, because we think they aren’t trying hard. Whereas, many of them are playing the long game, understanding that it’s difficult to go undefeated if you don’t have your best on the field.

The goal of fixing the light socket doesn’t really matter if the house is burning down around you.

For a long time, at my job, I have two chess pieces in my office. A king and a queen. I knew I had to be a king to get the queen. But for years, and even recently, I’ve been caught up in checking that damn box and getting a woman that I could call mine.

I’ve written so much, so many times about how a woman shouldn’t be your focus, and here I was, making it that, trying to check that damn box, because I thought, after years of frustration, I had finally gotten to the relationship I wanted.

Nothing else mattered, no how she felt, not the timing, not the whole situation. Taking my time wasn’t in the cards, because I had to check that box.

So here I am again. I won a battle, but lost the war. I focused on home plate, but wasn’t concerned with this woman’s reaction to all of it. It wasn’t fair to her. She didn’t get a say. And that wasn’t right.

We, as men, are taught to lead, and they will follow. But we also can’t go off half cocked, shooting from the hip, especially when there are other people involved. It does zero good to build a life with someone by smothering them in your plans, aspirations, and goals without talking to them.

Assumptions are the mother of all fuckups.

If you want a “Ride or Die”, she has to be holding onto you right on the bike, not being dragged behind by a chain.

All because I wanted to check that box.

All because the idea of a significant other overrode all other scenarios. I didn’t make her a teammate, she was a subject, an object that I gave no mind to, all for trying to check that box.

It hurts because it was an unforced error.

It hurts because it could have been prevented.

I was too selfish to see that the plate was blocked, and I was going to get hurt sliding in.

Many of the lessons I’ve talked about in my past posts on this blog have only been given lip service to me and I haven’t truly lived some of them, especially in relationships.

It’s very humbling to have your words used back at you to tell you you haven’t been true to who you say you are. It’s mirror work that needs to happen, and as strong as I am in many aspects of my life, my relationships with women still need a ton of work.

And that starts with me. It starts with applying the lessons I’ve talked about, but apparently haven’t fully grasped.

It’s leading, not dictating. It’s strength, not dominance. It’s empathy, not stubbornness.

It’s confidence, not desperation. It’s abundance, not scarcity. It’s outcome independence, not hanging my hat on a star.

It’s patience, not pushing. It’s understanding, compassion, and humility.

A man who is measured, strong, and content in his life won’t be eager to check a box. He sees home plate and a shallow single, but also sees the hold sign at third. He knows that he’ll still be playing in the next series, win or lose, because he listened instead of busting ahead haphazardly.

I wasn’t ready. I was only ready to check the box. And checking the box doesn’t mean shit if the whole world is burning around it.

It does you no good to be sitting out injured while your team goes on without you when they didn’t have that choice. You made that choice when you rounded third, and you hurt those who depended on you, who loved you, and who believed in you.

But most of all, you hurt yourself. You made choices that you know weren’t right in order to justify checking that fucking box.

This blog has always been a journal for me, taking the lessons in life, the experiences that have shaped me, and applying them and learning from them. But there are still lessons I haven’t learned. Still things I have to apply. Still places where I’ve fallen short, merely pretending to learn while not truly grasping these situations.

This isn’t a simulation. This isn’t a sheet of paper with boxes to check off. This is real life, love, and other people with feelings, goals, desires and aspirations. They matter too, and in the quest to find a quality LTR, they have a say. They’re your teammate. They’re your lover, they’re your friend. They aren’t a mark on a paper, a post on social media, a trophy that you can add to your mantle.

I have work to do. I’m still trying to be the best man I can be, I’m working everyday to put what I preach into practice. But there are still blind spots that I need to address, especially when it comes to relationships.

But as I’ve always said, and recently forgotten: “You can’t have a quality relationship until you love yourself.”

Everything about you has to be sincere, honest, and representative of who you are striving to be.

I’ve forgotten some of that, and those closest to me have made it very clear that this is a pattern I need to correct. And I intend to.

Time will tell.

The Story

“We tell stories about ourselves because we think the truth isn’t impressive enough.”

-Tim Hicks

I admit it. I made shit up. I lied, cheated and stole. A lot. Especially when my life wasn’t much to speak of.

I failed to be congruent with who I really was. And it sucked when I finally started to think about how to circle the square in my life.

I thought my life wasn’t exciting enough. “How can I get clicks? Hits? Attention?”

So I made some shit up. As an semi-anonymous Twitter dude in the fall of 2018, I needed the dopamine. I needed to rush. So I put shit out there.

As I matured, I slowly realized that my reality, my true reality, wasn’t as lame or bad as I made it out to be. So I started sharing more of my world. I went with my real name. I shared painful stories of my past that I thought would help men struggling with their own demons.

And, you know what?

All the sudden, my real, true life was something to be proud of. All of my accomplishments and failures became bricks to build on. It was real for me, because it was me.

So often, we on social media, are trying very hard to pretend to be something we aren’t. And it gets people to love the person we’re not. And eventually, they find out and are disappointed because we aren’t that person.

Rinse, repeat.

How are you going to truly affect any change, help any person, if you consistently are not yourself?

Social media hits different. People are afraid to share their world for fear of scorn, mocking, or reprisals.

But you can’t be afraid of it. You have to be who the hell you are because that’s all you’ve got.

You have to truly build honestly, being who you are, no apologies.

And that’s where I’ve been working for a while now. At some point in early 2019, I decided to give up the moniker of my fantasy and try to share REAL events that occurred in my life. And these events and the people that responded by my sharing of them became more and more touching that I could’ve ever imagined. All because I decided to drop part of my charade and be real, be able to connect with people and have people connect with me.

So many have asked me to share my stories. And they’re all here, in my blog. It’s the one place that I can go to truly be me. I don’t have followers who I have to try to impress, or analytics I have to hit. No, this blog is my journal, a journey into my mind and my world. And it, to this day, is where I can share my truths, my pain, and my triumphs.

Many men have asked me to give them the whole story, in one post, detailing how I got to be Uncharted Father.

So here it is, the story of me. Abridged, but this will still be my longest blog post ever.

My Story

I was born in Indianapolis, IN on, yes, April 20th, 1976.

I have three older half siblings, two brothers, and a sister, and a younger full sister.

I have two daughters, 14 and 12.

My parents are awesome, my father has run three successful businesses that he either started or helped start. He was a strict disciplinarian, but a loving father who cared for his family and taught me amazing life lessons.

My mother worked for a large pharmaceutical company for 30 years. She’s the epitome of a loving, caring mom. She’s always been there for me, whether up or down, even if she disagreed with my actions and motives.

I had a very loving household growing up

We moved around a lot when I was a kid because my father was in trucking, and like other industries, it’s uncertainty was seeing him constantly trying to find a good company to work for, until he decided to start his own part of a company.

We settled in Indianapolis and from third grade on, we had some stability. We did what normal families do. We took amazing vacations with just a van and a cooler full of bologna and cheese and Pepsi. We were very close knit.

Aside from the vacations, one of my favorite past times when I was a kid was either riding my bike or playing basketball. I would also go to small creeks and pull out crawdads or turtles or just play in the damn mud.

I loved to play outside, and myself and the neighborhood kids would hang out, play sports and video games, but I really only had two close friends until late middle school or high school.

I did stupid things as a kid. I was a latch key kid in 3rd grade, with both of my parents working, so I would goof off at the house with no supervision, until one day I lost my key and used my kid butt to bust down our front door. Not wanting to get in trouble, I lied when my parents called the cops to report a breaking and entering mystery. (Yes, Mom and Dad, I admit it, I lied to get out of trouble.)

As I grew up, I took to music, and started to play the trombone. I learned Spanish, but never immersed myself in a foreign country so I’m not quite the expert I used to be.

I was bullied a lot, starting in middle school. I’d get into fights with kids at school who called me fat and a nerd, and why not? I was 5’7″, 250lbs and wore glasses. I enjoyed all the nerdy stuff, like video games, board games, and band.

My mother was especially strict when it came to grades, and my father was brought up by his parents to not be very supportive or give positive feedback, so I was always trying to get approval and wouldn’t get it very often, (i.e. “You got an A-? Why not an A?”).

But I managed. I had two friends and they had no friends, until I reached high school and got into marching band. I started to lose the fat and get taller, topping out at 6’4″. The bullying stopped after that growth spurt. And I poured myself into band, playing in 6 bands and becoming one of the best trombone players in Indiana.

At this point, I was utterly backwards socially, even as I got out of my shell a bit in high school. I didn’t kiss my first girl until my senior year. I went to dances and socials but it was with a group of friends. I went grunge and was considered part of the nerds or outcasters, and it didn’t bother me one bit. I used to write funny stories and show them to my friends about hot girls in high school we’d love to date, or what teacher was a fucking douche, etc.

I worked my first job as a busser and dishwasher at a regional family restaurant who’s primary sell was unlimited popcorn (The Ground Round), and really got the job because my older sister worked there as a bartender and my older brother was a cook. But it was a great learning experience. I tried out grocery bagging for a bit at the local Mr. D’s, and even showed up for my interview in my full suit, but still didn’t get the job even after the working interviews.

As I transitioned to college, I became a pothead. My grades didn’t suffer, but I needed the weed because of my hideous social anxiety.

For the first semester of my freshman year at Indiana University Bloomington, I didn’t eat in the cafeteria. I stayed in my room and ate Hormel Chili microwave cups. My roommate, an asshole from Long Island, met friends and they made fun of me for being so backward and anti-social.

Eventually he moved out, and my new roommate, a really cool player from Fort Wayne, moved in. He would have no qualms about bringing girls back to our room and fucking them while I was sleeping on the top bunk. “No shame in my game” was his motto, as he banged every girl from 3-8 on the hot scale. I was jealous, because my crippling anxiety precluded me from having this success, and would for the better part of the next 7 years.

But, eventually, I got over my anxiety with people in general and got some friends. But I dated very little in college. I got my first blowjob from a girl I was dating my junior year, but that was the best I was going to do.

I worked two jobs my junior year at Eli Lilly and Ground Round to save up for room and board costs in college. It was a good experience.

I graduated from IU with a BS in Business Management and a minor in Spanish.

I had scant choices in terms of employment, with the idea of having to relocate to BFE or some blue city living with 6 other peoin a one bedroom studio. My father approached me and offered me a position at his company for more than the others were offering, so I took it. Little did I know, my foray into trucking and logistics would be one that would last 23 years and counting. So, January 1998, I started for my father and worked on the dock for a year, then went into the office and did so poorly, I got kicked back out for another six months.

I trained as a dispatcher and worked in the office for 10 years, often moving loads in the morning, going out to the dock in the afternoon to load the trucks, then billing in the evening.

14-16 hour days were the norm, and once again, I wasn’t meeting any women and I was still awkward, lightly dating and going on forgettable first dates that a relative or family member set me up with.

I was getting chunky, eating like shit every day, and at 6’4″, I was topping out the scales between 290 and 310 most of the time.

Still, I hung out with my friends and played video games or board games. It was the life I was living.

My goals had always been spoon fed to me, with my father particularly telling me the boxes to check: car, house, wife, kids, job.

I had three on lock down. I got my first house not a year and a half after I started my job. It was a proud moment for me, because I had something to show for my work. With a new leased truck and my house, I thought I was going places. But my anxiety and terrible ways with women would preclude me from the other two “goals” I was supposed to achieve.

So, I started online dating. Between a friend’s wedding where the woman I was dating became hysterical because I wasn’t into her and women not being what they said they were online, it was a terrible situation.

And to be honest, I wasn’t putting out a very good product. 300lbs, glasses, cargo shorts, frumpy, not confident.

I was the epitome of a blue pilled beta male, including the soy face.

So after the dumpster fire of my preliminary dating life, I joined eHarmony, with the promise of finding my soul mate.

And I thought I did, when I met my future wife. Oh, by the way, she was going to be my future ex-wife as well.

She was fine. We fell in love. And yes, she took my virginity at 27. She moved in with me after 6 months, and after a year engagement, we were married in October of 2005.

We had two children. Life was going well, with everyone telling us that married life would become boring and bland. And it certainly did. We both became slaves to the relationship, making sure that everything was fine on the outside while it started to chip away on the inside.

We both played our roles, and as the sex diminished to a trickle and then to nothing, I did nothing but blamed her.

Instead of looking at myself, I lashed out. Part of it was certainly her fault, but I was doing nothing to help the situation.

Work was a bitch, I just wanted to come home and rest, but my wife would passive aggressively shit test me by protesting when I went out to entertain clients, saying that I didn’t want to spend time with her and the kids. And she was half right. I didn’t want to go home. It was miserable there. She and I didn’t have many friends, and what ones I did have, I joked that I had to have documentation turned into my wife in order to hang out with my friends. It was just me being a passive aggressive bitch back to her.

We tried to fill our lives with “things” to make us happy. We bought a giant 4300 square foot house with a pool and 4 car garage. It only served to make the fire more out of control.

We both grasped for answers. There were none. The problem was we were both people who weren’t who we said we were.

So I became more distant. I dove into porn. Yes, the story where I asked my wife if I could pay for porn is true. She allowed me to do it and with it, our relationship really started to go downhill.

The last two years of my marriage, I had sex twice. Yes. It was crippling. And I started to have anger issues at work, lashing out at people. So I went to therapy. It took me three years of weekly therapy to really find out that my relationships with women were suffering because I was a boundary-less people pleaser who couldn’t deal with conflict.

In essence, I had three women in my life telling me what to do. My mother, my younger sister, and of course my wife.

And when they were aligned, I was a good little boy. But when they weren’t, I was conflicted. I was so afraid of letting any of them down, I would lash out when their orders conflicted even a little bit. And they were conflicting more.

It wasn’t their fault as much as it was mine. These women were doing this because I was allowing it. My boundaries were shit.

Not to mention the lack of sex and emotional intimacy. With the lack of sex I reached out to other women, eventually cheating on my ex while speeding into separation and divorce.

The contemplation was hitting a fevered pace as my therapist and I discovered that the real source of my misery and anxiety was my crumbling marriage, and more so, my inability to find out the person I was.

So, in February of 2015, I woke up in the middle of the night to tell my wife I wanted a divorce. She was shocked, but only because she really hadn’t seen the writing on the wall for so long. We were playing parts, not really married. We portrayed people who were supposed to be happy, and we hadn’t been for a long time.

She wanted to do counseling. But it was way past that for me. We tried a few sessions, but it was futile. I had made up my mind.

This was the first time in my life I had made a decision for myself and my best interest, sans the control of women I was seeking approval from.

So I filed.

My Divorce and The Red Pill

My divorce, surprisingly, went very well. We hired a mediator to help us parse through the assets.

We tried living on separate ends of the house while separated in 2015, but the in-fighting and stress on our kids told me otherwise. I helped my estranged wife move out of the house and into a place of her own and I helped her furnish it.

Even though we were divorcing, she was still my kids mother. And they were watching me. I could’ve fought with her or bit the bullet and spend the money to help her transition.

I ended up keeping the giant house. She took most of the furniture.

So, between September 2015 and May 2016, I was in a very dark place. My divorce wouldn’t be finalized until April of 2016, and so I took to drinking and reckless dating in order to fill the void.

I dated some really fucked up women.

Yes, I dated a dominatrix who tried submission on me. I didn’t much care for it and she was toxic as hell.

I started online dating to fill the void, also hit on women during football tailgates.

The parade of damaged broads that I slept with during that time was rough. Most of them were slump busters that I thought were the only ones I could get. And to be honest, once again, the product I was putting out was terrible. Drunk, fat, and a bit lost and depressed. But I knew that I had put myself there, because I knew that all of this struggle was better than being in a loveless, sexless marriage. So I trudged on.

I was suicidal, especially in early 2016.

I was trying to get my house ready to sell because I could not afford to stay in it.

I was working a ton, broke so I had to take my kids to my mother’s for dinners a lot.

My mother and sister were upset with me because I had chosen to divorce, and they thought it meant terrible things for my kids.

I had two people I really leaned on during this time, my older sister and my best friend.

I had to pack up my house alone, but they came to help me take up carpet and get things moved around.

My mother and sister eventually came around when they realized why I did what I did, but it took time.

They still loved me very much and I loved them too, they just didn’t know how to feel.

I lost a couple of college friends in 2015, one to suicide, the other to heart attack.

I lost my dog to diabetes in February in 2016. I was downing an equivalent of a 12 pack of beer a night.

I was shelling out thousands to update my house, going almost $75,000 into debt over it as well as trying to put a down payment on my future house and hold up my end of the divorce settlement.

So yea, it was rock bottom, and I contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. Meanwhile, women came and went, literally and figuratively. One night I’d be having sex in my pool while drunk, and the next I couldn’t remember who I’d slept with and who I hadn’t.

My life wasn’t very good at that point. So, in an attempt to try an wrest control and keep it from spiraling out of control, I decided to change course a bit. I started doing Spartan races. I trifectaed in 2016 with a Sprint, Super and a Beast. And in May, 2016, after several tough months, I finally got into my new forever house that was mine. The divorce was finalized and I had my debt to get out of the way. So slowly but surely, I started to try to dig out.

I had a few relationships that ended after 3 months or so with different women (See blog post, The Three Month Itch).

I red pilled in 2018, when I started this blog and called it “The Red Pill Dad”. I got on to Twitter with the same name and became an account spouting mantras and red pill ideology because I had been unplugged. I started to dabble in pickup, and read game books from Alan Roger Currie, Mystery, and Rollo as well as So Suave and Pook. I did reports and started doing business networking as an owner of a company and terminal manager at my work to meet women. I hit on girls whenever I could and managed to knock down some notches of some better looking girls.

I was getting better, but then, I made a very big decision at the end of 2018.

I decided I was done being fat.

Choices: 2019 – 2020

My first choice was to lose weight. I hired Alli Covington and got to work. I had already scaled back about 30 lbs on my own, but with fasting it melted away quickly. Before I knew it, in August 2019, I was down to 228 lbs, after starting at 308 in mid 2018. Alli has been instrumental in getting me in shape, I would not be where I was if not for her unwavering support.

My second choice was to travel and meet hot women. Which I was doing in 2019, whether it be driving or flying, I would meet up on social media, then I would be on a plane or car to a destination scoping for tail, and eventually hoping that the said woman would leave her life and come back with me to Indiana.

But I was neglecting my kids. And they were struggling. My youngest was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2018 and my oldest had the same crippling anxiety that had plagued me through my whole life. And I was jet setting off on trips to get pussy.

My priorities were out of fucking whack.

I had changed the Red Pill Dad to my second pseudonym of Tim Beckett, and after some soul searching in 2019, I decided to change course and really focus on my adventures, my fitness, my fatherhood, and my life. But it wasn’t as exciting if I wasn’t flying and driving around getting laid, because I thought it had to be fun. So as 2019 ended, I was dating a ton. Not because I wanted to, but because I thought I had to sell this father by day, playboy by night image to my followers. Fatherhood was clearly taking a back seat, and it was taxing me to the breaking point. Worst of all, it was costing me dearly with my kids.

As another failed trip in 2020 with a woman I really liked (see post: The Grey), and a life altering trip with FoE, Covid hit.

With being grounded as a sign from a higher power (I am not religious but damn), I decided to go monk mode for a bit and really focus on becoming a better father for my kids. And that involved really focusing on what I was doing in my own life that was weighing me down.

I stopped drinking alcohol in September of 2019, seeing what that had done to affect me, my health, and my goals. I focused more on being present with my kids, securing a stronger homestead, making my job a priority as I hadn’t with all the vacation and travel I had done.

I pushed myself to get out of debt, which I did in mid 2020. I started to really work on my house, after 4 years of neglect, to make it a home for my kids to feel safe and comfortable in. I was insistent on hitting on women who were far away from me, hoping that they would be able to move to me if we hit if off. I met up with Dr Taylor Burrowes, who has been instrumental in helping to make me the man I am today with the help of her and her Ideal system.

I also leaned into Fraternity of Excellence, of which I’ve been a member since 2019. It was invaluable in pulling my head out of my ass and getting me some accountability for my actions.

2021 and the Future

What I lacked in 2019 – 2020 was consistency. I had networks that were available to me that I failed to utilize. I thought I had to do it all on my own in order to get to the place I wanted to be. But what I needed was a tribe of people, especially men, that could help me to hone my skills and level up in life. Sure, I could get much done by myself, but to really level up, I needed to ask for help.

And in 2020 and 2021 I did.

As a result of leaning in and taking responsibility for myself, I have started to have success.

After a struggle with Covid restrictions last year, my business is back to it’s pre-Covid surge.

I got Covid this year, but instead of feeling sorry for myself, I pushed through and it was a light illness. My kids and I have grown closer, and I’m working with Anthony Migliorino on being a better, more peaceful, father. It is paying dividends.

I am now working with Phil Foster to level up my workout game. My goal? Six pack abs, look good naked, and be able to out run my kids, my kids’ kids, and my kids’ kids’ kids.

I’m now 2 years sober. I won’t be getting drunk again in my life.

I’ve taken the role of the patriarch in my family. And after years of letting the women in my life dictate how I run my life, I stood up and said, “No more.” I call the shots on my life.

My ex and I get along great. She’s an incredible mom and person. She’s getting married to a great guy and I couldn’t be happier for her. For all that we went through, she is still the mother of my children and we will continue to work together to raise amazing kids.

I’ve had two very tough breakups this year. But the reason for the breakups was because I wasn’t being true to myself.

I have said many times that long distance relationships are not good, especially for me. My plane hopping to distant locations to try and find a relationship has led to broken hearts way too many times. And I was acting with reckless resolve over trying to create a relationship instead of letting one grow. And believing in circumstances that weren’t happening in reality with these women.

Both women are amazing people. And I know they will both find love. They both meant a lot to me.

If I want a woman in my life, she will have to be in my area, or be willing to live in my area. I can’t ask any woman who has her own life in another state to move here. It’s not fair to her.

I am established in Indiana. This is my life, it’s here. My kids are here. And for the foreseeable future, that is where I will be.

My future is something I’m contemplating.

A big question for me is if I want kids still. I would love to have a son, but I also want to travel. I have to think on it more. I love being a Dad, more than anything in the world.

I will continue to write, and get my book done someday soon.

The blog isn’t going anywhere. And neither am I.

My life has been an amazing ride, and at 45 years old, I’m not stopping anytime soon. And I’ve stopped pretending, because the real me is an incredible man who is going to continue to take on challenges in my life.

And through my writing and taking on these challenges, I sincerely hope that I can help other men to navigate the pitfalls in their lives by showing them what I went through.

My logo, a lighthouse, has been the inspiration for me to continue to share my struggles and triumphs, my wins and losses, my growth and regression, and my reasoning or lack of for the choices I made. And one thing stands out, I own my choices even if they aren’t popular.

And that is what men have to do. Life is uncharted. Just like in the old video games like Civilization, you have to explore to win the game, by finding new lands and risking yourself to try and get better.

The future is uncertain. But I will continue to forge myself into a better man, learn from the lessons when I stumble or falter, and continue to face the world with my chest out and my chin up.

Your love and support have been amazing and I can’t thank you all enough for letting me come into your world with my writing.

I will continue to provide my unique perspective with other things coming down the pipeline in 2022 and 2023.

I am The Uncharted Father.


Nothing fucks with your head more than walking through Las Vegas at 5am.

The long faces, the worry, the fear, the toil of a long night spent living in Sin City with the hopes of that good roll, that last pull, the last hit, the one that made it.

Sure, you heard people cheering earlier, they were the lucky ones. They picked the right machine, the right table, and got hot. Now they have hookers and blow in the penthouse suite. Now they can make their mortgage this month, now they can qualify for another card game, they can smile for another day, they can breathe easy.

Until they have to go back and do it again tonight.

The visible frustration of watching someone else win as you are losing your ass is palpable.

The desperation, the despair as each pull, each click, each button press drains your total. The chance of hitting it big, in the casino or even in life, keeps us putting the bills in the changers.

What we don’t realize? The ease that we see of hitting it big isn’t easy, it’s kneecapping us in so many ways. We are exerting minimal effort for a overwhelming return. When we hit it big, then we’ll fix everything. Because we got lucky.

But is it really luck if you just wasted your time?

Is the payoff really worth the lack of effort?

Will hitting it big really change you, or are you just going to not cash out and keep pumping bills for a BIGGER return?

Or is it all a pariah? Is it an oasis that you see but vanishes after you trudge through miles of heat and sand? Or was it the time you spent getting there that you wasted, only to come up empty handed, bitter and disappointed?

The presence of virtue in Sin City is negligible. And the people who accept the natural motives of “letting go” in Vegas are too numerous to mention. The problem is that too many times, too many people have too little self control.

And seeing the faces all over this city that never shuts down was enough to show me that self control, principles, and beliefs are left on the tarmac getting off the plane in the desert.

“Why can’t you just enjoy yourself? Let go, let your hair down.” It’s fine. Do that. The problem lies in all of the issues that arise when folks turn off their common sense and turn on their consequence free thoughts, with just living and having fun in the forefront and serious consequences that come up after.

I’ve never heard anyone who lost in Vegas say they wish they could do that again. What I have heard is that people say Vegas is a blast if you play responsibly, that is, think with your big head versus the little one.

How many people put their head in their hands when they’ve been let off the leash only to make horrible mistakes that cost them in time and life?

You have to maintain control. Too many times, peer pressure puts guys to do things they shouldn’t or wouldn’t, but because of “YOLO”, they do it and fuck up things.

You needn’t believe a pariah that everyone else follows.


“Why did you go to Vegas if it wasn’t to drink, gamble and fuck?”

Because I’m not these people. The old me would’ve. Shit, the old me would’ve blown my savings on hookers, games, and drinks.

But the old me was also a stupid fuck.

The minute I started prioritizing myself in my life was the minute I understood that my time was valuable. The minute I started caring about the man I was becoming was the minute I understood that my actions have consequences. Was I going to drink, act like a drunk ass, snort lines, blow hard earned money that could be used to enrich my life, instead of pissing it away for mere minutes of imagined pleasure?

Not trying to be a buzzkill. I’ve been there. I’ve blown a shit ton of money trying to woo girls, drinking, and generally making an ass of myself.

The bottom line: I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror.

I didn’t like the man my kids saw.

But most of all, I realized that what everyone was telling me I was supposed to do was not what I wanted. If you want to be you, you gotta go against what everyone expects of you.

“Why can’t you have fun in Vegas?”

My new idea of fun is self improvement, empowerment, and helping others while I help myself. This isn’t some noble trad-con LARP, this is real life perspective shifts that take into account how I’m coming off to myself and others. How am I progressing to make myself a better person, better father, better man?

How can I try to prevent another dude from blasting a bullet in his mouth if I’m out here getting shitfaced, plowing the strip, or dropping my retirement on the impossibly small chance I actually get more?

Why roll the dice on a pipe dream when I can develop myself physically, mentally, hell, even spiritually if I fucking want and up the odds I’m going to take life by the tits?

This isn’t a fucking moral crusade to save mankind. We may already be fucked. This is an opportunity to leave a legacy to the people in my life that I love most, my kids. This is an opportunity to save the lives of men who only see the spend in Vegas, the long shot wins, the dreams come true and say, “I’ll do it that was instead of doing the work.”

Your savior isn’t digging a deeper hole hoping it rains manure at some point.

The False Flag

Why did this tweet cause so much vitriol?

What’s wrong with being free to make this choice?

Because it goes against everything that everyone says you should do.

It rides against the grain.

It pushes back against what people think.

And it challenges people’s perceptions on what you should do when you are in a particular situation.

There are people that let their environments and circumstances chart their self determination, then there are people who refuse to let outside forces deter them from being the best person they can be.

I went to Vegas knowing I wasn’t going to partake in the fun, because I had already done that. I spent a better part of my post divorce years fucking anything that moved, drinking, and generally living what everyone said to “live a little”.

But as with myself and millions of others like me, I couldn’t control myself. We are a society of excess, we are encouraged to burn the candle at both ends.

Work hard, play hard. What about work hard, play hard, learn hard, and better yourself harder?

This isn’t a religious thing. This is a personal choice to partake in things that will make me better, not drain my bank account, dick, and energy.

I choose this because it’s best for me. I choose this because I’m trying to control my rise and don’t want anything putting me back after all I’ve been through.

Dave Ramsey has a iconic saying: “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.”

I have taken this strategy to heart, keeping my eye on the prize even if everyone is telling me to stop.

Drinking water at the bar even if everyone is drinking around me.

Passing by the hookers while other dudes fork over their cash for them.

Walking past the slot machines that I know will take my money.

Eating a piece of grilled chicken instead of that Twinkie.

All in the knowledge that if I keep pushing towards my goals, I will get there and then keep going for more.

Life is the pursuit of something that you will never get. But the pursuit is what you want. It’s what makes life worth living.


I was fucking pissed.

The freight wasn’t going to fit, and I knew it, and my boss knew it, and he called me on it.

It didn’t help the sting of all the effort I put into the truck, nor did it help the fact that I was convinced it would fit but didn’t. I didn’t want to admit I was wrong, so I spazzed out at my boss when he called me on it.

I raised my voice. I punched the wall. I threw a fit like a fucking child.

My boss, my best friend at the time, should’ve fired me on the spot. He was right. He knew what I was doing wasn’t going to work, and even after he told me several times, I still fucking tried to prove him wrong.

And I failed miserably. And rather than take the correct approach and understand that I had miscalculated the load fitting in the truck, I instead punched the wall and threw a tantrum.

And it wasn’t the first time. I think if I had been in any other job, at any other time, my ass would have been unemployed faster than you can say “inappropriate conduct”. But because it was my family’s business, I got a pass, and continued to get a pass, all while knowing that even if I was frustrated and acted like a little kid, I’d not face any major implications for that behavior. So I never really learned how to handle criticism properly.

It happened throughout my life with the same results. I didn’t believe that I needed to learn anything, I thought I knew it all already (many times a symptom of just being young), but it was also how I was raised and taught in school that really got me into trouble for later in my life.

I was a rule follower. I rarely got into trouble in school, and when I did, it was so stressing and disastrous to me, that I swore I wouldn’t ever do it again. So I stayed on the straight and narrow, doing so well that I really never needed to be corrected, to the point that when anyone tried to correct me, I got upset and shut down.

And the monster it created was one that I didn’t like to show, but was forced to often when I was challenged later on in college and at my job.

But why the fuck did I go into a rant every time someone tried to give me any type of criticism, warranted or otherwise?

Why did I consistently put up my defenses when anything regarding me was questioned or criticized?

And why, in today’s society, is this the default reaction to anyone who has valid criticisms about us?

Why Don’t We Like Criticisms?

Why do we take on a defensiveness whenever we are criticized?

It’s a natural reaction for humans to react to any type of criticism with a defense mechanism to try and either disprove or attack the offending party.

We tend to take everything personal. And anything, from our work, to our bodies, to our attitudes, to anything that involves us, is fair game. We feel it hurt when someone criticizes us. Just like getting rejected, we take is personally and it makes us rethink our own attitudes about ourselves.

And if we continue to hear bad things about ourselves, we tend to dwell on those things and give them validity though, many times, they don’t have any.

We seldom get criticized by people we love, but when we do, it tends to hurt more than if it were just a stranger.

And these days, we are surrounded by people, especially on the internet, that use an anonymous mask to throw insults that we all take way too seriously.

When I first started on Twitter, I would let complete strangers tell me how I did things and criticize me, and I would let it affect me. So just like at my job, I would lash out and call these people names, not even knowing who the hell they were.

All because I thought it hit close to home even when it didn’t.

So that day, and the many days before, that I had gotten into trouble for doing something that I thought was right, only to be corrected by a boss or co-worker, built up and got me more and more defensive, turning a fit into a tantrum and a punch to a wall or fight with another person.

If I was ever going to master myself, I was going to have to understand that taking criticism, especially from people who are trying to help you, is a sign of maturity that people need to have in order to grow.

So I had to relearn this lesson, starting with taking criticism and understanding good criticism and bad criticism.

Maturity And Accountability

So, I had to hear things.

And I had to put myself around people who were concerned with me being my best.

And I had to understand that when I was wrong, I needed to own up to it and try not to do it again.

But it took a dose of growing the fuck up to understand that I needed to take criticism to be better. But I also had to identify which criticism was valid and which was just bullshit. I had to know who I was and be around people who were interested in seeing me as a better person to understand which criticism was truth and which were lies.

It all started with me being comfortable with myself and finding a tribe of people, friends, and family, that were interested in seeing me grow.

I didn’t need people to spare my feelings, I just needed people to tell me what I needed to do in order to improve. And I had to take their comments with a chest out and a chin up. It wasn’t ever personal, it was trying to help me improve.

But most of all, I needed to be held accountable when I fucked up. And I needed to understand that when I fucked up, the best approach was to admit to it, find the fault and correct it so it didn’t happen again. I wasn’t infallible, no one is.

How did I respond to criticism after understanding that it was being used to help me minimize my flaws and maximize my strengths?

I responded by understanding that my goal was to improve myself. When I finally understood that criticism was REQUIRED for me to become the best version of myself, it became easier to take and also was used to help me.

I understood that criticism was really “feedback” from those who wanted to see me at my best.

And as I developed a sounding board that would help me be my best, the ability to take and use criticism became a superpower that I used whenever I had a setback.

I needed to have it to see my faults and fix them.

I needed to have accountability so that I could stop fucking up and get my shit together.

Taking criticism is a necessity for anyone who wants to get better.

Just find a group that wants to see you succeed, a mentor who wants to see you better, and ignore the anonymous haters who throw bombs just to throw them.

You will be a better person when you accept you have things you have to work on.