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).

Last Night (4/20/19) I Became a Catholic

After 40 years of searching for meaning everywhere and anywhere else, I finally found it. It was right there alongside me the whole time in the form of my many family and friends who have modeled Catholicism so beautifully. Thank you and God bless you all. Happy Easter!

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.

7 Tips to Enjoy Exercise

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I’m not a fan of exercising. I pretty much hate it and then I kinda hate myself for hating it. So I try to make it fun. In fact, I try to make basically everything fun. And I find I can really enjoy exercising when I incorporate it into other fun activities.

Long dog walks. When I have the time on a Saturday morning and the weather is nice, I’ll take my dog on a 3 or 4-mile walk. As the Dog Whisperer says, a tired dog is a good dog. He enjoys it, I do, and everyone is better behaved.

Biking to work. Another way I incorporate exercise into my daily life is by biking to work during the spring and summer. It’s an invigorating way to start the day and fantastic exercise if you can manage it. It requires a lot of complicated gear and clothing transfers so it’s best to join a gym near your office with lockers for storing clean clothes.

Playing pickup basketball. Hoops is one of the best ways to stay in shape. There is the chance of the odd ankle twist and finger jam, but the consistent effort works out virtually all of your body. I try to play basketball one night per week at a nearby gym. It’s one of the few remaining bastions for male bonding in my community and a hell of a good way to stay in shape.

Getting out in nature. Hiking or taking a long walk in the woods- unless you’re in a rapey urban park- will do wonders for your spirit. If you have time, get well out of the city.

Swimming. I know it sounds boring, but I try to swim weekly by viewing it as a sort of meditation practice. I find that once I’m in the water, and especially when I’m underwater, I reach a deeply meditative mental state. It’s great when you really need to work through an issue you’re grappling with.

Find a partner. It always helps to have the accountability of friends. 

Build the habit. Once it’s a habit it becomes a lot less painful. Make time for exercise in your life and make it fun.

There are ways to make exercise a lot less unpleasant. Try them.

5 Reasons Men Should Do Yoga

group of woman in yoga class

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There are many, many benefits to yoga, but here are a few in particular that men should really take advantage of-

  1. Meeting women. The first and most obvious reason to do yoga is the opportunity to meet lots of women. Every yoga class I’ve ever taken has had a ratio on the order 3 or 4 women per male yogi. This is kind of a joke. Don’t take this too seriously.
  2. Real estate insights. There is some evidence that the presence of yoga studios correlates to rising real estate values. When a yoga studio comes into the neighborhood, young folks with money follow.
  3. Strength & flexibility. Of course, there are many, many benefits in the form of improved strength and flexibility. Men with back problems should be careful, but if your doctor says okay it can really make a difference in your life.
  4. Stress reduction. A yoga class can be a calming, meditative refuge from the outside world. Men REALLY need that.
  5. An ethic of self-care. There are countless support groups and activities available to women to assist with self-care. Men rarely take advantage of these opportunities and it comes at a major societal cost in the form of stress, illness, and bad behavior. It’s time for men to do better about this. We will ALL benefit.

5 Reasons to Make Yourself Useful

Spring is a time of renewal not just for nature, but also for humans. It’s a time to shed old habits and develop new ones like volunteering or serving your community or being a better father.

I started coaching baseball again this spring. It’s a blast! Here are 5 reasons to make yourself more useful:

  1. People need role models. Not just kids, grownups do, too. The world needs ’em! Be one.
  2. Karma exists. Sometimes being a good person can get you in a lot of trouble. But generally speaking the more good you do, the more you are rewarded in life in terms of opportunities and kindness. 
  3. Connects you with others. Too many of us are shut-ins hiding behind devices, afraid to make eye contact for too long. Talk to people. Look them in the eyes. Get to know them.
  4. Strengthens your community. This country is fraying right now. But there are so many things we can agree on like serving our communities in some capacity. Build community wherever you are.
  5. Feeling useful and purposeful builds confidence which will make you more attractive to your spouse or potential target spouses.

5 Reasons You Should Swim

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There is a ton of advice out there. This bit REALLY works. Here are 5 reasons you should swim regularly:

  1. Your body will never feel better. Swimming utilizes your entire body and the repetition creates enormous flexibility and strength in your neck, back, and legs.
  2. It’s great for the mind, too. Swimming is extremely calming, even meditative. At the same time, it can help you focus your mind if you need to delve into an issue. After I swim, I’m usually unflappable for the remainder of the day.
  3. Beats a chiropractor. I used to have constant pain in my left shoulder blade stemming from an injury that occurred while moving furniture over 10 years ago. I would occasionally go to a chiropractor who was able to make the pain go away… for about 45 minutes. It wasn’t until I started swimming regularly that the pain finally went away.
  4. Lets out aggression. Like punching a pillow, swimming can be a safe outlet for expressing your frustration, even pretending to take a few swings at some imagined underwater foe. I’ve been known to let out a roar underwater from time to time and I urge others to do the same.
  5. It’s a good discipline. In addition to all of the aforementioned benefits, swimming, like running or bicycling, builds discipline that carries over into other areas of life.

If you knew something would take away your back and neck pain AND put you in a relaxed mood for 12 hours or so, why would you NOT do it?