7 Tips to Shut Down That Negative Inner Voice

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A negative inner voice can prevent you from reaching your potential. It can talk you out of starting a business or talking to an attractive woman or otherwise just make you miserable. Here are 7 things you can do to tame that negative self-talk:

  1. Learn to meditate. Meditation is a great way to pause and remind yourself that the nasty voice in your head is not helpful and not telling the truth.
  2. Build a spiritual practice. This is crucial for EVERY HUMAN. So many men are resistant to religion preferring to be ruled by “reason and logic.” This is total nonsense, of course. A spiritual practice grounded in gratitude IS the foundation to a healthy life.
  3. Forgive yourself. We all screw up. Some of us quite badly. But no one is beyond redemption. All of us, even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is doing the best we can with the information we have.
  4. Tell that voice, “Go f*ck yourself. Not helpful.” Bill Burr has a great rant about depression. In short, he argues that depression is something you have to keep at bay with anger.
  5. Try to identify it or the source of it. Give it a name. Sometimes it’s a parent. Or a mean authority figure. Try to figure out whose behavior it is modeling. This may help you realize how mean and nasty you are to yourself at times.
  6. Think about the advice you might offer a friend in your shoes. Write it down and read it back to yourself. Would you berate and abuse that friend and tell him what a worthless person he is? No!
  7. Distract yourself with music or a podcast or another mood changer. Sometimes you need to shake things up and change your mood. Music, a podcast, or an audiobook can all help to focus your attention away from that hateful voice.

5 Things to Do When You Feel Stuck in Life

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From time to time each of us gets bogged down in negative thinking. It’s inevitable. We may be sick of our job or in a dying or stagnant relationship and uncertain about the future. Here are 5 things to do when you’re feeling stuck:

1) Go on a retreat. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia used to advise harried people to go on a retreat annually to make time to reflect and step out of the rat race.

2) Travel. It never hurts to get a change of scenery for at least a few days to get you out of a negative pattern of thinking.

3) Talk to a therapist or a life coach. Men tend to be hesitant to do this. It is expensive and it can feel like a waste of time, but it’s important to check in with a professional from time to time.

4) Take some tests. Aptitude tests and personality tests can help you figure out what is holding you back. A few that I’ve benefited from over the years are:

Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation-
http://jocrf.org/
Jordan Peterson’s Self-Authoring Suite-
https://selfauthoring.com/
The Enneagram Institute-
https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/
Myers-Briggs-
https://www.myersbriggs.org/

5) Try to remember what truly motivates you. I always come back to this. The things that interest you and motivate you are often consistent over time. If they’re not, you may be depressed (see above).

5 Reasons You Should NOT Telework

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Telework sounds like a lovely idea. It’s not! It’s just another way the Cultural Marxists are undermining norms in the western world. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that, but here are #5Reasons I suggest that you NOT telework if you have an office to go into or if you are debating about whether to rent one of those co-working spaces:

  1. Screws up your daily routine. Switching up your routine is great from time to time, but when you’re going into the office on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays it really messes up how you prepare for each day.
  2. Destroys the workplace esprit de corps. My office is now a ghost town every day except for Wednesdays. It’s a shame. It used to be a fun place to work.
  3. If you struggle with self-control, working from home can very easily worsen some already-bad tendencies like drinking during the day, smoking weed, and gambling online.
  4. Destroys the “specialness” of the weekend. If every day is kind of like Friday or Saturday, how do you really know the difference. This is also true for people who work unusual schedules. Someone’s got to do it, but there is a wisdom in the routine of Monday through Friday followed by the weekend.
  5. Overall, just undermines the discipline that humans need to flourish. With 1 day off out every 7, including a day filled with family activities, a person can recharge to be productive once again. Spend 1 day per week at home, maybe 2, but not 5 or 6. We need balance, but not that much work-life balance.

In fact, a much better way to telework is to do a few extra bits of work from your home office occasionally, like when you need to “work late” or take care of a sick kid. Not for full days and definitely not every day if you can avoid it.

5 Reasons You Should Get a Dog

My recently-adopted dog, Harper.

Dogs require a lot of work. You have to take them for walks daily, usually 3 times at a minimum (this post is primarily for urban dogs). They’ve got to be fed 1-2 times daily, groomed occasionally, trained if they act out. They can be a huge pain. Make sure you are up for it, but in most cases adding a dog to your life is a win-win for everyone. Below are 5 reasons you should get yourself a dog :

  1. You’ll never experience such unconditional love from anyone else. Your spouse might visit you if you went to prison but you can be sure your dog would.
  2. Humans, especially men, need a safe, comfortable outlet for showing affection for others. It’s not always easy to show affection when you’re a man. We all know this. It doesn’t turn us into incels or serial killers, it’s just more complicated than sobbing at a moment’s notice.
  3. Having a dog adds structure and discipline to your life. Discipline is the key to success in the future. 
  4. It’s the BEST protection for a home. I live in the city in a good, but formerly somewhat crappy neighborhood and I leave my doors unlocked all the time. Even at night.
  5. Connects you with neighbors. It builds community, gives you something to talk about with your neighbors and fellow dog owners, and helps you truly get to know your neighborhood. I remember living in downtown DC in my early 30s and not knowing ANY of my neighbors, until I got a dog. Suddenly everyone became so much friendlier.

There are all kinds of benefits. Go for it!

7 Tips to Shut Down That Negative Inner Voice

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

A negative inner voice can prevent you from reaching your potential. It can talk you out of starting a business or talking to an attractive woman or otherwise just make you miserable. Here are 5 things you can do to tame that negative self-talk:

  1. Learn to meditate. Meditation is a great way to pause and remind yourself that the nasty voice in your head is not helpful and not telling the truth.
  2. Build a spiritual practice. This is crucial for EVERY HUMAN. So many men are resistant to religion preferring to be ruled by “reason and logic.” This is total nonsense, of course. A spiritual practice grounded in gratitude IS the foundation to a healthy life.
  3. Forgive yourself. We all screw up. Some of us quite badly. But no one is beyond redemption. All of us, even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is doing the best we can with the information we have.
  4. Tell that voice, “Go f*ck yourself. Not helpful.” Bill Burr has a great rant about depression. In short, he argues that depression is something you have to keep at bay with anger.
  5. Try to identify it or the source of it. Give it a name. Sometimes it’s a parent. Or a mean authority figure. Try to figure out whose behavior it is modeling. This may help you realize how mean and nasty you are to yourself at times.
  6. Think about the advice you might offer a friend in your shoes. Write it down and read it back to yourself. Would you berate and abuse that friend and tell him what a worthless person he is? No!
  7. Distract yourself with music or a podcast or another mood changer. Sometimes you need to shake things up and change your mood. Music, a podcast, or an audiobook can all help to focus your attention away from that hateful voice.

#7BadIdeas #1- Atheism

“Religion is a bunch of bullsh#t.”
-all of my liberal friends

ATHEISM. Yes, it’s difficult to believe in someone or something that you cannot readily observe or touch or communicate with. I, for one, have a personality rooted in what I can see, feel, or read about from reputable sources. I don’t automatically trust what people say. I assume a lot of it is nonsense and am correct 75 percent of the time. I only like to read nonfiction books, I don’t believe in ghosts, am most influenced by cold, hard facts, and don’t even trust my mirrors when I’m driving. I’m not too lazy to turn my head. Data and information that I (or more accurately, someone whom I trust) can measure is what I usually invest my faith in. That’s why the idea of God has always been so hard for me to imagine.

Further, religion seems so quaint and old-fashioned in our hyper-informed modern world. It made sense for folks living on the prairie in the 19th century or in small towns or ethnic urban neighborhoods until the 1960s. But nowadays, we live across the country and all over the world. We have never been more disconnected from our family members geographically. “Community” is a dying phenomenon.

“Religion seems so anachronistic. It reminds me of a t-shirt I saw a college kid wearing in the 2000s that said ‘VOTING is for old people.'”

So why not just stick with atheism? Why not proudly proclaim to be ruled by reason and logic? Well, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to look at life from a more pragmatic perspective. And I’ve found atheism to be deeply lacking. Specifically, I’ve struggled enormously my whole life with existential angst- frequently stewing in anger and depression- and during those times, atheism had nothing to offer.

And so, the pain of struggling to understand why the world is the way it is led me on a search for meaning. The hellish battle in my head for why we’re all here has long tormented me. Specifically, for decades I’ve been trying to figure out how an atheist makes meaning out of the world. And through that search, I came right back to religion and the Catholicism of my grandparents. I concluded that, generally speaking, when a person does not center his life around a concept like God, he inevitably fills that solipsistic worldview with self-interest or what he perceives as self-interest. His moral compass inevitably gets hijacked by the ego. From a practical standpoint, I came to the conclusion that atheism, agnosticism, and generally just checking out from religion are pretty terrible ways to live. I know. I did it for 40 years.

In the absence of a religion to frame how you look at the world, a person will inevitably succumb to the influence of the ego. It’s natural. It’s normal. And it may well ruin your life. Atheism or godlessness- in other words, not recognizing something greater than oneself- is a direct path to self-worship, narcissism, nihilism, depression, and ultimately, suffering. 

I’m not saying I don’t struggle with faith. My idea of God has evolved though. It’s something akin to the spirit or impulse of love for and kindness to others. The universal connection of every human being (love your neighbor) and the sense of fellowship with other humans that says we’re all children of God and we’re all in this together (love your enemies). What an amazingly brilliant idea. How could it have come from man?

I’ve also been doing something of a 40-year study comparing the lives of a large group of Catholic men and a large group of “secular” men. The Catholic men are all doing dramatically better than most of my lifelong friends who reject religion. They are generally married with good careers and stable families. After decades of observing these men, it’s clear to me that believing in God and ordering your life around God is a beautiful way to live. Religion offers structure, motivation, focus, an identity- important things you need to live a good life.

After all, what has gotten us to where we are as a society? What traditions, values, and institutions have enabled men and women to flourish like never before? Religion, Christian values, the nuclear family, marriage before children, basic common-sense concepts like these are scorned and undermined by the left at every opportunity. So much so that many of us have internalized that scorn and have an almost knee-jerk reaction to religion, viewing it as “a bunch of bullsh#t.” Not helpful.

And if the positive case for religion, and by this I generally mean Christianity, doesn’t convince you, how about the negative one? Where has atheism and more broadly, secularism, taken us so far? Low birth rates, high divorce rates, relentless competition between men and women, contempt and scorn for Christian values, a general erosion in confidence in all of our institutions, and loneliness, suicide, misery, at shockingly high levels in the West. Enough said.

To get by in life, I say whatever works. But it’s pretty clear to me, #AtheismHasFailed.

NOTE: This is the first in a series of ‘7 Bad Ideas That Will Ruin Your Life.’

7 Tips to Manage Anger

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All of us struggle with anger to some degree or another, however, the feminization of society is making all anger- even the anger of hockey players- increasingly unacceptable. Here are 7 tips to help you manage anger in a soft, feminine world:

  1. At the moment of anger, meditate, say a prayer, and take a few deep breaths. This can save your hide and perhaps the life of someone else.
  2. Exercise regularly and consider an outlet like martial arts or boxing. Men were evolved to have the capacity for violence and yet we have so few acceptable outlets for it in today’s world. I recently started a boxing class and I’m having a blast.
  3. ALWAYS get enough sleep. I think for most people this is a necessary condition for decent behavior. I know that my anger is like a Porsche versus a Volvo when I’m not well rested.
  4. Get to know any other triggers. Self-awareness is so critical to growth. There are many ways to do it, figure out one that works for you.
    There are a number of tests you can take to get a better understanding of yourself- Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, Jordan Peterson’s Self-Authoring program, and Myers-Briggs are some of the countless options out there. 
  5. Leave the room, take a walk. With some people you just have to do this.
  6. Splash cold water on your face. This is known to work, but requires extracting yourself from the situation somehow.
  7. Try to remember your values at all times. If you are a Christian, try to see the face of Jesus in your enemy or if not or you prefer, the Buddha or Gandhi or MLK.

A mindless moment of anger can ruin your life in 2019, seemingly like never before. Protect yourself.