A Man’s Life

Thumbnail image for The Power of Ritual: The Rocket Booster of Personal Change, Transformation, and Progress

The Power of Ritual: The Rocket Booster of Personal Change, Transformation, and Progress

by Brett & Kate McKay

Welcome back to our series on the nature and power of ritual. So far, we have talked about ritual’s ability to carve out pockets of the sacred in an otherwise profane world, as well as the way it can create group identity and solidify bonds between people by building shared worlds of possibilities between them. […]

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Thumbnail image for John Boyd’s Roll Call: Do You Want to Be Someone or Do Something?

John Boyd’s Roll Call: Do You Want to Be Someone or Do Something?

by Brett & Kate McKay

According to his biographer, Robert Coram, John Boyd made “more contributions to fighter tactics, aircraft design, and the theory of air combat than any man in Air Force history.” As a fighter pilot, he was undefeated and earned the nickname “40-Second Boyd” for his ability to win any dogfight in under a minute. Unmatched in […]

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Thumbnail image for Attention, Please! What Every Man Ought to Know About Focus

Attention, Please! What Every Man Ought to Know About Focus

by Brett & Kate McKay

“Pay attention!” “If you just focused more, you’d be more successful!” We’ve all probably heard these kinds of admonishments from a teacher or a parent. And most of us probably castigate ourselves on a daily basis for our inability to concentrate on the task at hand. It seems in our distracted world of texts, tweets, […]

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Thumbnail image for 20 Aphorisms That I Thought Were Dumb as a Boy But Now Appreciate as a Grown Man

20 Aphorisms That I Thought Were Dumb as a Boy But Now Appreciate as a Grown Man

by AoM Team


This post brought to you by Old Spice. Use new Re-Fresh body spray and spray goodbye to your boyhood.. 20 aphorisms and sayings that I thought were lame as a boy, but now appreciate as a man.

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Thumbnail image for The Power of Ritual: Building Shared Worlds and Bonds That Transcend the Everyday

The Power of Ritual: Building Shared Worlds and Bonds That Transcend the Everyday

by Brett & Kate McKay

In advance of a series of articles we’ll be doing this year on some of the rites that have been central to manhood, we have recently been discussing the nature of ritual and its several benefits. In the last post, we explored ritual’s power to carve out pockets of the sacred in an otherwise profane […]

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How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

by Brett & Kate McKay

Editor’s note: As you look back on the year that has just past, do you feel as though you spent another 12 months merely existing instead of truly living? Do you often go to bed at night with an anxious, sinking feeling that you wasted away another precious day of your limited time here on […]

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Jumpstart Your Journaling: A 31-Day Challenge

by Jeremy Anderberg

There’s been plenty of talk on AoM recently about journaling with our articles on The Diary Habit as well as 9 habits young men should adopt. Seeing a few of the comments confirmed a notion I already had about the practice of journaling: many men would like to, but few men do to the extent […]

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Thumbnail image for Be a Scrooge This Year: Reflections from A Christmas Carol

Be a Scrooge This Year: Reflections from A Christmas Carol

by Jeremy Anderberg

The name of Ebenezer Scrooge has become synonymous with miserliness, greed, grumpiness…all those things you don’t want to be. It’s really too bad, and Scrooge gets an unfair treatment in my opinion, because at the end of A Christmas Carol, he’s changed his ways and become a whole new man. The story should be remembered […]

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Thumbnail image for The Power of Ritual: The Creation of Sacred Time and Space in a Profane World

The Power of Ritual: The Creation of Sacred Time and Space in a Profane World

by Brett & Kate McKay

Earlier this week we explored the nature of ritual and posited that its current scarcity may be at the root of the restlessness, apathy, alienation, and general boredom many modern day men experience. It’s our determination that without ritual, life often seems flat and devoid of rhythm and texture. Now, we are not suggesting that […]

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Thumbnail image for The Rites of Manhood: Man’s Need for Ritual

The Rites of Manhood: Man’s Need for Ritual

by Brett & Kate McKay

Does modern life ever feel excruciatingly flat to you? A bleak landscape devoid of layers, rhythm, interest, texture? Are you ever haunted by the question “Is this all there is?” Have you ever looked at an old photo and felt that the scene held such an inexplicable richness that it seemed you could practically step […]

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Thumbnail image for Manvotional: Man’s Chief Purpose

Manvotional: Man’s Chief Purpose

by Brett & Kate McKay

From Faith for Living, 1940 By Lewis Mumford Man’s chief purpose…is the creation and preservation of values, that is what gives meaning to our civilization, and the participation in this is what gives significance, ultimately, to the individual human life… The individual contribution, the work of any single generation, is infinitesimal; the power and glory […]

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Thumbnail image for Beyond “Sissy” Resilience: On Becoming Antifragile

Beyond “Sissy” Resilience: On Becoming Antifragile

by Brett & Kate McKay

What’s the opposite of a person or organization that’s fragile? If you ask most people this question, they’ll likely say “robust” or “resilient.” But philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb would say that’s not the right answer. He argues that if fragile items break when exposed to stress, something that’s the opposite of fragile wouldn’t simply not […]

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Thumbnail image for Manly, Manful…Man Up? The Language of Manliness

Manly, Manful…Man Up? The Language of Manliness

by Brett & Kate McKay

Unless you regularly read this blog, you may never have heard someone use the word manliness in writing or conversation. Ditto for manly, unless it was said a bit in jest and with the requisite eye roll. And you almost assuredly have never complimented another dude on his manful effort. These days man is generally […]

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Thumbnail image for A Case Study in Charisma from Tender Is the Night

A Case Study in Charisma from Tender Is the Night

by Brett & Kate McKay

Editor’s Note: Though the character falls apart in the end, at the start of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel Tender Is the Night, Dick Diver (and his wife as well) is described as the very embodiment of charisma. Having finished up our series on the three components of personal magnetism yesterday, we wanted to offer some […]

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Thumbnail image for The 3 Elements of Charisma: Warmth

The 3 Elements of Charisma: Warmth

by Brett & Kate McKay

For the last few weeks we’ve been talking about the three components of personal charisma. First we explored the importance of Presence – giving people your full attention. Then we covered Power – demonstrating confidence that you can affect the world around you. Today we will discuss the last element of magnetism: Warmth. When you […]

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Thumbnail image for David Foster Wallace on Finding Meaning in the Mundane

David Foster Wallace on Finding Meaning in the Mundane

by Brett & Kate McKay

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from a commencement address author David Foster Wallace gave in 2005 to the graduates of Kenyon College. Wallace talks about finding meaning in the mundane by choosing to look at things differently. While he denies he is talking about compassion, he argues that the way you construct meaning from […]

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Thumbnail image for Lessons in Manliness from Andrew Jackson

Lessons in Manliness from Andrew Jackson

by Brett & Kate McKay

“I was born for a storm and a calm does not suit me.” While his countenance graces our $20 bill, many Americans do not know much about the life of Andrew Jackson. He is often remembered as the hero of the Battle of New Orleans or condemned as the man responsible for the Trail of […]

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Thumbnail image for The 3 Elements of Charisma: Power

The 3 Elements of Charisma: Power

by Brett & Kate McKay

According to Olivia Fox Cabane, author of The Charisma Myth, there are three components to charisma: Presence, Power, and Warmth. Last week we talked about the nature of real Presence and how to develop this vital quality. Today we’ll tackle that second element: Power. Charismatic individuals are powerful people. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re […]

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Thumbnail image for This Veterans Day: Many a Man is Free

This Veterans Day: Many a Man is Free

by Marcus Brotherton

Picture freedom. What image comes to mind? When Sergeant Shifty Powers, one of the original Band of Brothers, returned to England for a brief reprieve after fighting in Normandy during WWII, his fellow paratroopers Donald Malarkey and Alton More scrounged up a U.S. army motorcycle and sidecar to go for a ride. Ahead would come […]

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