Craft the Life You Want: Gathering Your Tools

by Brett & Kate McKay on February 22, 2011 · 43 comments

in A Man's Life, Personal Development

Image from Shutterstock

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Welcome back to our three part series on crafting the life you want. In this series of articles we’ve explored how the different aspects of a traditional craftsman’s vocation can be applied by every man to the task of crafting a remarkable life. In part one we outlined how to create a blueprint for your life. In part two we covered “setting up shop” or the importance of where you live. In this final installment, we’ll be gathering the tools we need to craft a life that’s in line with our goals, dreams, and values.

Every craftsman has a set of tools that he uses to shape and build his wares. Woodworkers have a selection of chisels and planes that enable them to sculpt their medium. For the blacksmith, the hammer and anvil allow him to complete his work.

Just as artisans need the proper tools to fashion their masterpieces, we need the right tools in our quest to craft an extraordinary life. Below, we’ve gathered a list of tools and resources to help you build a legacy and claim your place in the Guild of Greatness.

A Mentor

A young craftsman beginning his trade education would seek an apprenticeship under a master craftsman. Young men would often leave their own home to go live under their master’s roof. For the next several years, an apprentice toiled for free in the master’s shop. In return, the master craftsman passed on trade secrets and lead the young man on his quest to become a master craftsman himself. In many aspects, master craftsmen were more than just teachers, they were also mentors that guided young men through a rite of passage into manhood.

Today, many men have gone through life without a mentor of some sort, which is a shame, because mentors can be a valuable tool in crafting the life you want. Mentors have the experience and wisdom to give us sound guidance, direction, and advice. Mentors can also help us expand our point of view in a particular area in which we lack wisdom and expertise. Moreover, a mentor can become a good friend and confidant during times when we struggle and falter.

If you don’t have a mentor, I challenge you to make it a goal to find one today. Don’t know how? Well, you’re in luck. We’ve actually written a handy guide on completing this crucial task.

If you’re an older man, I challenge you to go and find a young buck that you can bring under your wing, err… I mean hoof, and provide some guidance.

A Mastermind Group

A craftsman often belonged to a guild where he found a vast resource of collective knowledge that he could tap into to improve his skill set. The guild offered an important sense of solidarity and camaraderie with other men. The modern man can imitate the craftsmen of old by forming his own guild of like-minded men who are also interested in crafting a remarkable life and mastering the lost art of manliness.

A few months ago we wrote about the modern day equivalent of the ancient trade guilds: the Mastermind Group. Mastermind groups consist of a few like-minded individuals who get together for the purpose of mutual improvement. In a mastermind group you can throw around ideas, discuss and debate, and receive both criticism and inspiration.  In short, it’s a place where you can safely get feedback and support as you grow and develop as a man.

You can start and belong to mastermind groups for different parts of your life. If you’re interested in starting your own business, you might look for other entrepreneurs who have the same interest and start an email group where you can bounce ideas off each other or help one another with business networking. If you’re a writer, you can start a group like The Inklings, the mastermind group of literary greats like CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield.

Or if you’re just looking to improve yourself as a man overall, you can start a mastermind group dedicated to that vital purpose. Get a few men together who you think have the same interest in manly self-improvement. Meet once or twice a month over some drinks and food. Share your goals and get accountability from the other men. Perhaps every meeting one of the men in your group can teach a manly skill that he’s knowledgable about to the other men or each man can share a poem, piece of literature, or section of scripture he’s been thinking about. I guarantee that finding a core group of men that you can trust and respect will help you think of new ideas,  refine your existing ones, and keep you traveling down the path to your goals.

Journal/Pocket Notebook

When in comes to crafting a remarkable life, two of the most useful tools for me personally are my journal and my pocket notebook.

I use my journal to work out the big issues in my life. It’s my sounding board where my audience is my psyche. I have journal entries where I try to hone in on my life’s purpose. Other entries are dedicated to fleshing out solutions to problems I’m facing. Oftentimes, I’ll journal just to empty my mind and soul of the emotional or mental burdens that I’m experiencing at a particular time. It’s amazing how much better I feel after those psychic dumps.

Read our article on how to start a journal for more information on why and how to get into the journaling habit.

My pocket notebook has been an invaluable tool in my life as well. I really don’t have a dedicated purpose for my pocket notebook; rather, I use it to collect ideas, do calculations, write down interesting quotes I want to remember, keep track of my to-dos, write down my daily goals, and doodle when I’m bored. Everything is jumbled together in a chaotic and yet oddly effective fashion.

How does writing random stuff down in a notebook help craft the life you want? You never know when you’re going to get a million dollar businesses idea or an insight on how to improve a struggling relationship with your wife or girlfriend. We often think that we can remember these strokes of inspiration on our own, only to find that we have trouble recalling them later on. Don’t let the muses escape you! Write down any and all insights that come to you, as soon as they flash across your mind.

Also, writing down and reviewing your goals each day will keep them fresh in your mind and subtly shape your daily behavior so you stay on track.

Online Tools

Several online tools exist that are designed to help you craft a remarkable life. Here are a few of our favorites.

Stephen Covey’s Mission Statement Builder. This is a fantastic tool to help you create a blueprint for your life. It’s based on Stephen Covey’s system as laid out in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It takes you step-by-step in establishing and defining your life’s roles, purposes, and goals. When you’re done, you can print off your life’s mission statement for future review and re-drafting.

Achievr. A free tool that guides you in establishing S.M.A.R.T goals; goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. After you’ve established your goals, Achievr will help you track your progress with a daily diary.

Weekplan. In our article on creating a blueprint for you life, we talked about the importance of weekly reviews in crafting the life you want. The weekly review is a time for you to evaluate your progress as a man during the previous week, and establish your action plan for the coming week. Weekplan is a free online tool that helps you plan your week out using the roles and goals you’ve established in your life plan. I can’t recommend this tool enough. I love Weekplan because it does what I’ve been doing with pen and paper for years and puts it in an easy to use, well-organized online format.

Don’t Break the Chain. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Men who leave behind a legacy have forged positive habits that carry them to greatness. My favorite tool to help me form good habits and break the bad ones is Don’t Break the Chain. It’s based off of Jerry Seinfeld’s personal system of getting into the writing habit.

Seinfeld would hang up a big yearly calendar on the wall. Every day he sat down to write, he would make a big red X over that day.

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day,” Seinfeld said. “You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

It’s simple to use and free.

Joe’s Goals. Joe’s Goals is another goal/habit tracker. It’s very similar to Don’t Break the Chain. A nice added feature is you can easily share your progress with a friend for extra accountability. Joe’s Goals is free.

Suggested Reading for Crafting the Life You Want

There are mountains of books out there on the subject of crafting the life you want. Here are a few of the books that I have found to be the most helpful in my journey in discovering my life’s purpose and achieving goals. I’d love to see your suggestions, so please share them in the comments.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. No book has helped me more in discovering my purpose as a man than Man’s Search for Meaning. Written by Viktor Frankl, a Jewish psychotherapist who survived Auschwitz, Man’s Search For Meaning starkly lays out the vital importance of having a purpose to live for and the ability to find meaning in life in the harshest of circumstances. If you haven’t read it, read it. If you’ve read it already, re-read it.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. This book has been a business bestseller for nearly three decades. And for good reason. 7 Habits not only explains the theory behind a purpose driven life, but also provides tools to help you put theory into practice. My planning and goal setting methods are heavily influenced by this book.

Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer and Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Levoy. Do you feel like you’ve found your calling in life? Are you just working at a job or are you fulfilling your vocation? These two books aren’t perfect but are the best that I’ve come across on the topic of finding and living your calling.

Getting Things Done by David Allen. I’ve incorporated several of the principles and methods in Getting Things Done into my personal planning system. While 7 Habits of Highly Effective People does a good job of helping you plan long term, it doesn’t really focus on how to plan and handle small, yet essential tasks. Getting Things Done fills that gap. I wouldn’t have made it through law school without this book.

Goals! by Bryan Tracy. My goal setting philosophy is greatly influenced by this book. Bryan Tracy lays out a step-by-step method that will help you create effective goals in your life.

The Most Important Tool of All

You can find a mentor and join a mastermind group. You can write down your goals and read a million books about how to fulfill them. But if you lack one thing, you will never, ever go anywhere in life; without this tool you are destined to live out a life of mediocrity. This essential tool? Discipline. Without discipline your dreams will never move from intention to reality. Making goals for yourself is the fun part. Reading books about your goals is the fun part. But then you need to take action, embrace no, focus, hustle, and push through any obstacle you encounter.

Readers often ask me, “But, Brett, how do you become disciplined?” You just do. You decide you want something bad enough to do whatever it takes to get it. There are no easy short cuts or formulas. When part of your brain wants to mindlessly surf the internet, there needs to be another part of your brain that shouts, “No! Keep working.” When one part of your brain hits the wall, whether you’re writing a paper or running a marathon, there has to be another voice in your head that yells, “No! We are not giving up. Keep pushing until you break through.” You build discipline in the same way you build a muscle; you start by being disciplined in the little things, and in that way create a reservoir of strength to meet the bigger challenges that test you as a man.

That’s it men. Let’s roll up our sleeves and unroll our blueprints; pick up our tools and swing down our hammers. Let’s work each day on crafting a remarkable, extraordinary life.

It’s your turn now. I know you all have tools that you’ve used in crafting the life you want. Please share any online resources or books you’ve read that have helped you in defining your life’s purpose and fulfilling your goals.

Craft the Life You Want Series:
Creating a Blueprint for Your Future
Setting Up Shop, or The Importance of Where You Live
Gathering Your Tools

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Antonio Centeno February 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I hope she doesn’t get upset with with being listed under tools, but I have to say my wife has helped me craft my life for the better for a decade now.

I also have to say a tool that’s underrated is setting up blinders so you can focus on work. For me, the internet can be very distracting. To better manage my day I have removed the news from my feed (I used to spend an hour reading about events that for the most part did not affect my life) and find a quiet place free from distraction where I can work uninterrupted.

Great post Brett and Kate!

2 NomadicNeill February 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Good list.

I would also add being clear about your values. They can help you choose amongst several paths and types of action.

Although you have to be mindful that values change so you need to periodically re-evaluate them.

3 Strong Man February 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Excellent List. and I love the resources. As I suggest in You’re the Man! Don’t Whine., we men need to keep in mind that we have the freedom to make our own choices and shape the life we want.

We’re in the driver’s seat for our own life, and we will face challenges, opposition, and unfairness, but we choose how we move forward and overcome those challenges.

4 Sam Mullen February 22, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I would also suggest the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. It is a Christian book and teaches how to be a good man, husband, and father, and is probably one of the best books I have ever read. I would recommend it for anyone, even if you are not a Christian.

5 JB February 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I get together weekly with 3 other men and we have a Bible study. We’re going through books that deal with great men of the Bible. It’s been really nice to talk about not only each other’s lives and hold each other accountable but also the lives of this biblical men who we can see grow, fail, and grow again with the turn of a page.

@Sam

Wild at Heart is seriously an amazing book. It has so much knowledge for becoming a man contained in it. Good suggestion!

6 amjad February 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Really like the 3 segments of this article, I have a clear outline of the life I want, currently isolating myself in my bedroom for mental rejuvenation purposes should be out in less than a week, and soon enough start filling in the outlines.

Nice one Brett.

7 Ken Jenkins February 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I submitted my idea. I want to open a gym for uniforms. Military, LEO, fire fighters, EMS. I’ve been developing a highly unorthodox approach to fitness and mobility over the last few years, drawing on MMA, kettlebells, body weight, balance, and plyometric work. I’m going to American Ninja Warrior this summer to test it out and demonstrate the efficacy. Then I want to share it with the people that keep us safe.

8 Joel February 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Amazing how just a little discipline can help accomplish so much. Great stuff as usual here.

9 Claude February 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Great article. Especially important is the discipline part and it cant be emphasized enough. I get so sick of hearing “i dont have time to ___” or “i just cant ___” or “i just dont have the will power”.

Its crap. You can find time, we all have the will power if we exercise it, and the only reason you can’t is if you don’t try.

@ Ken Jenkins
Unorthodox usually means effective when it comes to workouts. Sounds like a great idea. Best of luck.

10 Josh Knowles February 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I am so thankful to have had a couple of older men who mentored me during and continue to do so.

One was the residence director of my dorm and the other was the professor I did my internship with in my senior year of college.

Although the formal portion of the relationship has been past for a few years now, I still regularly get together with both of these men. I know that I can get advice for my life, rant about what’s frustrating me, share new things I’ve been learning, or just hang out and joke around.

I don’t pretend that I’ve got being a man all figured out, but I shudder to think where I’d be without both of these great men to coach me and point me in the right direction.

11 Rob February 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Crap, now I have to go out and do it…
Reading is a lot easier than getting this all together. Can’t I just be a lout?

12 Sean Mathena February 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Great list! I totally agree about the notebook, I carry one with me always. Even with all of the digital tools out there, nothing beats actually writing stuff down.

I write a lot about goals and how to achieve them on my blog, but this list has given me some great resources!

Thanks!

13 Michael February 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Another great article in the series, Brett. One thing though: the link to the article about finding a mentor is broken, and I’d like to see it.

14 Dan Smith February 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I have written a lot about mentoring, and the truth is that I think mentoring is the key to discipline. I am far more disciplined when I am being actively mentored and when I’m mentoring someone. There are several reasons why, but it is definitely the case that I’m more on top of things, including my weaknesses, when mentoring is involved.

15 Adam February 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Hey Brett,
Just wanted to take a second to thank you for this series of posts. Discipline is something I lack and the last couple paragraphs was something I needed to hear. This series has been timely for me at this stage in my life. Thank you!

Keep up the great work!
-Adam

16 Matthew Del Rocco February 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

@JB,
That’s great. Living a real, dedicated Christian life has been the most important thing in shaping my life. Reading about real men in bible times like David and Moses and Abraham show you what it really means to be a man; honor God, honor others, and love your woman.

17 Matthew R Jones February 22, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I would HIGHLY recommend anything by Jim Rohn. I enjoy listening to the audio from his seminars. I know what you’re thinking – Tony Robbins – but this guy is different. I feel like he is my mentor. The way he talks is so conversational, straightforward and down-to-earth. I truly wish I could have met him before he passed away. The things he talks about are all the things I wish my father would’ve taught me, but I know now my father didn’t teach me those things because he didn’t know. So, I’ve been slowly trying to teach my father about some of the ideas Jim Rohn covers in his lectures. If you want to live a better life, achieve the goals you set for yourself, become more than you are today I would suggest you find material by Jim Rohn.

Some of his thoughts:

“What you have at the moment, you have attracted by the person you’ve become.”

“Success is something you attract by the person you’ve become.”

“Choose goals that will make something of you to accomplish them.”

This last one he uses the example of becoming a millionaire. Why not set a goal to become a millionaire? You may be thinking, “that would be nice, think of all the things I could do with $1 million?” But Jim goes on to say that the money is not what is important, but what it will make of you to become a millionaire. You will have to, out of shear necessity, change who you are to achieve a goal like becoming a millionaire. I hope someone who reads this will take the initiative and look for Jim Rohn. I started on youtube. While you’re at it, get yourself a copy of the book “The Richest Man in Babylon.” Thanks for reading.

18 Swimmerman February 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Consistent Excellence Demands Constant Discipline. That is the saying that I have used to guide my life, as well as as the life of many swimmers who have swam for me.

Also:
“We are what repeatedly do: Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Just to fill out the Aristotle quote.

Great post Bret!

19 Keith Brawner February 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Discipline and promise-keeping are, as always, summed up by Franklin:
“Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”

You’ll quickly find two things if you force yourself to do everything that you say you will:
1 – You will be honorable, respected, and productive.
2 – You will be very careful in what you promise.

20 GW February 22, 2011 at 10:54 pm

This was a good series. I am going to apply it; having said that, knowing my weaknesses I get easily distracted. Next article “How To Overcome Distractions”

21 Oscar February 23, 2011 at 12:10 am

Great article as always. I was jazzed to see that I own 3 out of the 5 books you recommend.

22 Alan February 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

Suggested reading should also include the classic ‘Self culture through the Vocation’ by Edward Griggs.
See:
http://edutoearn.com/?p=718
for free edited copy.
The articles on vocation on this site that are based on that book are really good.
Also, ‘The Element’ by Ken Robinsion is good. Robinson uses the term ‘Element’ to describe your ‘calling’ or ‘vocation’.

23 Joe D February 23, 2011 at 9:07 am

The conclusion of this feature is painfully true. I have made any number of action plans and goal lists, ultimately with no affect. More often than not it amounts to nothing more than navel gazing, followed by discouragement, and eventually falling back into old patterns.

Enthusiasm is great. It motivates and gets you moving. But discipline is the key. When the grind begins and you have to actually match your words with deeds, the enthusiasm will probably run out. That is the precise moment when discipline needs to kick in. It’s easily the one thing I’ve struggled most with over the years.

Great job once again Brett and Kate.

24 Mastermind Group February 23, 2011 at 9:40 am

No matter what you are or what you are looking for, you can discover the how important & helpful Mastermind group at the very first step after joining here.

25 Patrick Dwyer February 23, 2011 at 10:33 am

I love the website and book. I have been reading through old posts and just caught up. One way that’s worked for me on improving discipline is to troubleshoot a specific area in which you feel undisciplined rather than trying to tackle it in general. General is too nebulous and too much to try to change at one time. For example, if you’re having trouble with achieving diet goals, reevaluate if health is one of your true values. If yes, are you confident that you can lose weight and keep it off (this was my biggest problem that I had to overcome)? How many people are “trying diets”? Are they trying the diet or trying to convince themselves whether or not they can lose weight? Without confidence, all the tools and mechanics are worthless. And finally, re-examine you’re habits. In my case – self discipline on a choice by choice basis is nearly impossible. I have to remove temptation and the option for self sabotage to the full extent possible ( in other words minimize the willpower required). Are you overeating because you are constantly faced with unhealthy / too many options to chose? Limit your choices. This has worked for me in other areas of self improvement so I hope it can help others too.

26 Harry February 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Great post.

You may want to check out http://www.GoalsOnTrack.com, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.

27 Gabe Keway February 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm

It is interesting how these three articles parallel my path; often more literally than for others. I am indeed a craftsman… a carpenter by profession. But my plan has changed over the years. Originally I crafted my life to be an architect. I mentored under a master carpenter and later under a master cabinetmaker. Then I went to university for my architecture degree. I have designed and built professionally as a freelancer for years now. But with the change of now having children, I have decided to move in a different direction; I have set up my garage as a woodshop (and manspace) and I plan on building cedar canoes and kayaks in the native american tradition that is my personal heritage. I recently entered the “Dockers: Wear the Pants” competition to more quickly fulfill this dream but I currently don’t foresee winning the prize. Still, my ‘man path’ dictates I keep moving in that direction with or without assistance. Thanks Brett.

Help me out by voting for my Man Plan:
http://apps.facebook.com/dockerswearthepants/entries/8431

Thanks guys!

28 A J Finch February 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Great article.

Other resources:
-The classic book on vocation is ‘Self-Culture through the Vocation’ by Edward Griggs. It is available here for free download in edited version
http://edutoearn.com/?p=718
-The articles on vocation on this website are a must read. They are inspired by Griggs book.
-’The Element’ by Ken Robinson is very good on finding your vocation. Robinson calls vocation ‘the element’.

29 Carter February 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Thanks again, Your posts are always so inspiring! I have changed many things in my life already just from reading them over the past few months.

30 Howie February 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I would also reccommend joining a faternal organization like the Masons!

31 Core February 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

The handy guide link for finding a mentor seemed to 404′d.. or something. Its not working.

32 Core February 24, 2011 at 8:08 pm

“Readers often ask me, “But, Brett, how do you become disciplined?” You just do. You decide you want something bad enough to do whatever it takes to get it. There are no easy short cuts or formulas. When part of your brain wants to mindlessly surf the internet, there needs to be another part of your brain that shouts, “No! Keep working.” When one part of your brain hits the wall, whether you’re writing a paper or running a marathon, there has to be another voice in your head that yells, “No! We are not giving up. Keep pushing until you break through.” You build discipline in the same way you build a muscle; you start by being disciplined in the little things, and in that way create a reservoir of strength to meet the bigger challenges that test you as a man.”

Best part.

Also, one of the books, I have used, was “Rich dad Poor dad” by robert kiyosaki, it really changed my view of the whole world. And then I started reading mises.org…
Now while this book, of many I might add, and the website might not be anything to help you plan your life or job out. They do change your mindset and let you know what type of quest your running head long into.

33 Brett McKay February 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Mentor link has been fixed. Sorry-that wasn’t very handy, was it?

34 Shitikanth February 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Thanks for another wonderful article.
I noticed that the “handy guide to completing this crucial task” link is broken, so I thought I would bring that to your attention.

35 Andy February 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Hey every body. I am pretty new to this site, but I have really enjoyed the posts.
I would like to recommend a book called Don’t Waist Your Life by John Piper. It to is a Christian book, and it deals with the idea that we can be “disciplined” and have good “goals’ but still wast our life. I am doing it with my mentor group and I am learning a lot, and becoming a better man in the process!!!

36 Jason Batt February 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm

A great tool of businessmen in the past was the Robinson Reminder system. This was a simply journal that had four perfs on inside pages enabling quick removal of ideas and thoughts — to keep a fresh notebook/to do list. These are completely out of print (I’ve looked everywhere). So, because I loved the idea so much, and I love having a simply pocket notebook that I can grab and keep notes on, I created my own version (with enough variation to make it unique and modern): Scape Task Leafs (http://jbatt.com/wordpress/featured/scape-task-leafs) — a modern leaf pocket notebook for the active man. This site inspired me and this is the result. My apologies if this sounds like a plug — not desiring to do that, just pass on an idea. Thanks!

37 Brooks Martyr February 28, 2011 at 3:42 am

I just posted my plan. Im graduating next spring and getting married. For our honey moon she and I are going to walk, yes walk (and boat where necessary) from Tokyo Japan across Asia, Africa, and Europe finishing in London. For a minimum of 2 years we will be living on the move going to missions, churches, NGO’s, basically anywhere purely for the sake of helping others. Anything from digging wells, building homes, helping the sick, planting fields, to simply being a friend to everyone we meet. We will stay as long as we can help in exchange for nothing more than a place to sleep and food. We are dedicating our lives to the service of others so that we might help and save some.

38 Derek D. February 28, 2011 at 11:20 am

Brett, I agree with what you are saying here. You don’t just become disciplined though. Discipline is just like a muscle. There have got to be more tools and exercises that will help build your discipline, though. Just go do it and be enthusiastic just doesn’t seem to cover it. I think that part of why the Mentor and Mastermind is so important. It isn’t just the feedback and ideas sharing. They will help hold you accountable to things. That’s the main idea isn’t it? Discipline means that you are being accountable to yourself. If you haven’t been accountable to yourself before, why should you trust yourself now? There has got to be some trust and some momentum. That’s what having outside influences are really about.

39 Nathan March 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I think all men (and women) should watch the show Californication. In case you don’t know the plot, the main character, Hank Moody (played by David Duchovny) screwed things up with his woman, with whom he has a daughter, and the show displays his efforts to fix things, but Hank seems to just dig the hole in his life deeper and deeper. He loves women, loves his ex and loves the crap out of his daughter, but the evils that persist in the mind and hearts of men continues to inhibit him from fixing his life. It really makes you think about how you want to live your life as a man. Here’s a solid quote that perfectly sums up the sentiment in the show:

‎”It sure the fuck isn’t about one-way pussy; it’s about a guy trying to keep it together while falling apart. It’s about life, love, sex, and the ever-looking presence of the grim-fuckin-reaper. It’s about men, husbands, wives, daughters and fathers. It’s about the mother fuckin dark side.”

In addition, the show is freaking hysterical and very entertaining.

40 Blythe March 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I’m so impressed! As a single mother of a 100% Boy kind of boy, this website is going to be my reference for manliness related subjects for him…my “daddy” hat just got a little lighter…thank you for amazing content!

41 Bezzel January 1, 2014 at 5:29 am

thanks Brett,every time i ready these articles i starts to feel a change within.

42 Michael February 11, 2014 at 8:29 pm

First time commenting, but I must say I always enjoy reading these articles. I also wanted to say that Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is the most influential book I’ve ever read. I’ve read it several times and referenced in countless essays. I really do think everyone that is taking the time to read into a website like this should take the time to read it.

43 Peter February 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm

I just want to thank Brett and Kate for putting this series up. I turned 21 today and have yet to determine where my life is headed. I’ve been telling myself that it’s OK to just be floating aimlessly cause I’m young but aimlessness doesn’t make me happy. This site has been a valuable tool and I hope I can have the discipline to use your words to make a life worth living. Thank you again.

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