DISTRACTIONS & DOUBT: A Case for Silence

LLet me tell you about my day. I know that is a sentence that, coming from anyone but a girl you are actively trying to sleep with, instantly kills any desire to keep listening, but I promise that it’s relevant to your happiness, self confidence, and future development as a man.


I woke up on a cold Saturday morning at 6:30 AM confused as to why I was already awake. Considering I had been up until 1:30 AM the night before playing video games with my roommates, I had assumed I would be sleeping in. Normally, I wake up just in time to shower, brush my teeth, and comb my hair so I can be late enough to work that my day feels shorter but not so late that I get in trouble with my boss. Luckily, I work hard enough at a flexible company that I can get away with it, but that’s besides the point. Seeing as I had “time to kill” on a day where I really had nothing planned, I grabbed my phone off the pillow and opened YouTube to continue the video I was watching as I fell asleep. My earbuds were still in my ears from the night before.


A mix of YouTube, TikTok, and Podcasts I listened to while playing games kept me entertained until I finally got out of bed at 9:30. I took a quick shower, my phone resting in the shower caddy so I could keep watching YouTube, brushed my teeth, and drove to grab breakfast. On my drive, I relistened to the 5th book of a LitRPG series I have listened to 4 times already. There are 3 different series that I listen to in a rotation, each with between 8-11 books that are anywhere from 15-25 hours long. Over the past 2 years, I’ve probably listened to the same 30 stories 3 or 4 times and can nearly recite entire chapters. After I got my breakfast (Krispy Kreme doughnuts), I drove home to relax and play some video games. I definitely needed to relax after my arduous morning of watching videos and driving 30 minutes. Since none of the 100+ games I own on my computer looked particularly interesting (of which I have completed maybe 20), I bought a new game and watched more YouTube while I waited for it to download. Once it did, I played until 1:30 while continuing to watch youtube on my second monitor. I had been hungry since noon, but didn’t want to go make something for myself. Once I was “too hungry to cook,” I told myself I could eat out for lunch as long as I finally got a haircut while I was out.


The hairstylist was surprised at how long it had been since I last got it cut. It had grown to the point it was impossible to make it look good, so I told her I had just been wearing a hat to work every day to delay getting it cut. That 20 minutes was the first part of the day that I didn’t have some form of entertainment in my ears, and as soon as the harrowing experience of making small talk with a stylist was over I immediately put earbuds back in, grabbed a sandwich, and drove home to play more video games.


The one positive I can say is that I went to the gym and got a good back and biceps day in (while watching another YouTube documentary). Now I am finally getting around to writing the blog post I have been thinking about for the past 2 weeks, and it’s taking a lot of self control to not put on one of the Focus playlists on Spotify. Considering I got a haircut, worked out, and am doing some writing, I would say today was a pretty productive Saturday!


Now if you’re a man in your 30’s or 40’s with a wife, kids, and a good career you may be thinking, “Why the hell do I care that some 23 year old is wasting his day off?” If you’re in your teenage years or early 20’s like myself you’re probably thinking “That’s a pretty damn good day.”

The point of this all is that at no point in my day did I voluntarily choose to take the headphones out, look away from the screen, and sit with my own thoughts. Why? Because I don’t like what I have to think about. Confronting my own mind means thinking about some uncomfortable things.


I have an amazing job that I actually love doing, and I have the added bonus of being good at it. I can honestly say that I work for the best company in Las Vegas and am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to work there, but creeping in the back of my mind is a healthy dose of doubt and discomfort I don’t want to process.


I ask myself questions like…

  • Am I just in the honeymoon phase of the first year at a new company?
  • Do my coworkers actually like me, or are they just being nice because we have to work together every day?
  • Do I really have what it takes to turn this into a career?


Even when I meet every KPI goal that I’m given, create new tools and processes that have been proven useful to my entire department, and have made profit for the company that covers my salary dozens of times over, I still get anxious. Instead of worrying that I am not good enough, I worry about setting too high a bar that I might not be able to beat next year.


I also just broke up with a girl I had been dating for 9 months. The breakup was amicable and a long time coming, but you always have that doubt on whether making the decision to end things was the right call.


  • Was she the best I was ever going to get?
  • Should I have given more time to try and make the relationship work?
  • Am I a horrible person for hurting her feelings?


When you take the time to address these doubts, things start to clear up and you realise your problems are a lot smaller than you think. When I take the time to sit in the discomfort of my doubt I can answer every question nagging me, and once I do I begin to feel secure, self assured, and ready to tackle the real obstacles ahead of me. I can take the constant buzzing in my head and filter it out, blessing myself with a clear, focused mind. It usually takes less than a half hour of quiet discomfort, but instead of working through my doubts I dam them up behind endless hours of noise and distraction. The river of ideas moving through my brain is stopped by YouTube videos, podcasts, video games, work, and audiobooks until the dam breaks and what would’ve been minor stress turns into a nervous breakdown.


The sad part is, most of these distractions are sold to me as things I am doing to become a better man. I’ve listened to the library of “manosphere”, alpha, self-help books enough times that I could teach a course. I listen to podcasts that teach me about business, finance, psychology, biology, politics, and economics. My case for the time spent gaming is less convincing, but none of this time is actually ever helpful because I don’t take the time to listen to understand, learn, and apply the words I am hearing.I am listening to distract instead of listening to understand which makes all that time nearly useless in the long run.


This is a phenomenon I see in a lot of the men around me, and I think we are doing a disservice to ourselves. Almost everyone I see either has headphones in, is scrolling through social media, or playing games every waking minute not spent working. Even when we spend time with our family, the majority of us are doing something on our phones. If we can learn to love our own minds and be comfortable with only our thoughts to entertain us, we can learn to attack the negative and strengthen the positive in the stories being told between our ears. When we disconnect from our distractions and partake in the voluntary discomfort taught by the Stoic philosophers of old, we free our minds to attack life instead of defending our ego from our doubts. We obtain clarity, and are able to take all of the valuable words taught in books, podcasts, and music and actually use them to improve our life. We free our hearts to make meaningful relationships with the friends and family who bring lasting joy into our hearts.


I know that my constant need for noise is just a band-aid that I am going to have to rip-off if I want to Alpha Up. I am committing today to put an end to the endless distractions, and I hope you take this same opportunity to rejoin the world that exists outside the space between our earbuds so you can Alpha Up with me.

Alphas Know How to Love

Alphas Know How to Love

There are many contributors out there in the manosphere. They preach messages about six-pack abs and the ability to use a bow and arrow and they portray images of themselves in front of their Lamborghini’s and jets. That’s not necessarily our brand of #masculinity.

An Alpha knows how to love.

First, he understands what love is. Mature love is a relentless pursuit of meeting the needs of those in his circle, including himself. It is not merely the passive feeling that one has in relation to the lover, the child, the friend. It is active effort toward meeting the needs of other people. Love is a verb and requires your self-affirming, yet selfless, actions.

Love is an understanding of himself. An Alpha knows who he is at the deepest level and is confident and secure in himself. He is unwavering in his acceptance of his distinguishable qualities and he appreciates who he already is and knows who he can become.

An Alpha understands the specific needs of those to whom he attempts to extend love. He knows how to speak their language. He knows how to forgive those who may not even be deserving of forgiveness. He understands that, above all, love is sacrifice.

Love is sacrificing the self. After understanding his own value, he appreciates and respects value in others. He knows how to make sacrifices and is willing to lay down his weapons against others and fulfill the needs of those in his tribe. When he has wronged another, he promptly admits it. He makes amends and seeks to show, after his genuinely appropriate rebukes, an increase of love.

Love is giving. He responsibly meets his own needs without taking away from the resources of time and energy that he might reasonably give away. He seeks out the downtrodden and brokenhearted and makes every possible effort to comfort the weak, the weary and even the wayward.

Alphas epitomize love in their attitudes, actions , and attributes. Who do you need to extend more love to: yourself, the most significant people around you, the stranger? Engage with a tribe of capable men so that you can learn how to love.



What’s your job right now? What business do you need to be handling? Focusing at work, playing with your kids, getting the bill payments sent out? Dude, you have to be serious and intentional with every moment of your time. Get your $#!+ done. The substance of stress is unfinished WORK. .
That will never change. The work will NEVER be done. But it must be done. We want to follow the path of least resistance…it’s wired into us to be that way, to preserve our resources and “save” our energy for when bears attack. .
But there aren’t any bears. Today it is heart disease. Unpaid taxes. Trash cans that have to go to the curb. A sink load of dishes. A problem to solve with your significant other. Getting a grip on your addiction or other compulsive behavior. Helping a friend. Saving for a vacation with your kids. CHILD SUPPORT. .
Whatever your business, handle it bro. You’re a frkng WARRIOR and you were made to win. You have power you dont even know exists yet. Find it. Pray for it. Strengthen it. Need some help? Contact us so we can set you up with a coach, resources, and people who can help you understand who You. Really. Are.

The 3 Options You Have When You’re Angry

The 3 Options You Have When You’re Angry

As I have worked with people over the last 20 years in a coaching capacity, I have found that one very common issue underlies people’s pain, stagnation, worry and failures: anger.

I’m not talking about the kind of anger where you are throwing things around you too make people feel scared or relieve some intensifying arousal based on momentary hatred or rage. I’m talking about anger that you don’t even realize is anger.

The Freudians would say that depression is anger turned inward. I find that to be so true; low energy, sadness, feelings of worthlessness, and lack of motivation are often really just anger in disguise. Conversely, much of anger is merely a masking of sadness.

What gets us angry in the first place is often the unrealistic expectation that people must meet our demands. We don’t consciously march around with this kind of demand, it’s just an internal system of beliefs where we maintain that we must get our way. So we expect others meet our selfish demands and we demand that we are to be successful, respected, and given breaks.

So we become entitled and feel that things in life should fall into place just as we planned, and then when reality clashes with the fantasy of smooth simplicity, we get angry. The experience of anger is, again, not always the raging type that we think of when we talk about anger management classes and violence, but it can be passive in nature as well. How we feel anger is often in other forms, not just the classic fist banging, hollering and swearing we do when we lose control.

So what can we do when we’re angry about how something has happened, how we’ve been treated, something we have done ourselves, or the encounter of some other triggering event or adversity?

I love to use the acronym A. C. E. which which symbolizes the only three realistic options we have when we are angry.

  • A. is for adjust
  • C. is for complain
  • E. is for escape

ADJUST. Is something you are doing accidentally making the situation worse? Are your expectations unrealistic? Are you misinterpreting aspects of the situation? In general, adjusting or adapting is the only viable option with anger.

COMPLAIN. This is to confront the person or the issue with an explanation of why what is happening is not okay with you. So if someone is being rude, we can complain and tell them that they’re being rude and that we expect more appropriate interaction. What I have found, though, is that complaining or confronting people never really works. Those who would respect your complaint are usually so agreeable that they’re not causing you a problem in the first place.

That’s not always true, however. Sometimes people are unaware that their words or actions are offending you, and they just needed to be brought to the awareness of it in order to change it. But typically, complaining just doesn’t work. People either don’t care, or don’t want to make the changes necessary just to keep you happy.

ESCAPE. Sometimes the only option is to escape the situation or the relationship. For example, if you are in a public setting and become overly irritated or frustrated you have the ability to leave. Sometimes that’s all you can do. If you’re in a failing relationship and the other options haven’t worked after a long and diligent effort, escaping or leaving the relationship maybe your best response to what has been going on. If you are in the presence of fools who just don’t understand your vibe and you are becoming angry with theirs, you can always get away from them.

But many times, you cant escape. You need to stay at the job you hate because there are no other options. You have children and don’t want to be divorced. You are on a vacation and cant exactly leave the company you’re in for 10 days. Here’s where you go back to the other options.

Can you Complain? Will that work? No? Already tried that?

Now you’re back to adjusting YOURSELF. What this means is to take a look and see if anything you are doing is accidentally making it worse. Are your expectations unrealistic or selfish? Are you interpreting things to mean something they don’t? Chances are, maybe both of those are true.  Alpha up👊💪

When You Should Never Say “I Don’t Know”

When You Should Never Say “I Don’t Know”

It happened again today–twice–by two different people.

There is no more counterfeit humility known to man than the use of the easy-out reply “I don’t know” when asked for an opinion.  Two men did this today in my office and it put the nail in the coffin for me for my theory that this is one of the most likely of indicators that a man has become weak and lazy.

In the first incident, it was a man of maturity.  A former engineering professional who is struggling in his marriage after impulsively quitting a career of 35 years due to a new female manager’s bossy ways. This reactive move put he and his lady in a bad spot, first financially and now emotionally

This man is a former soldier who had spent time abroad serving in the United States military. He had been an avid runner, even completing marathons, I believe.  Today, the flashing red warning-light buzzing about my office was his frequent use of the escape-artists most elementary tool:  “I don’t know.”

When we are asked about matters of fact or of information that we simply do not have, the best and most honest answer may indeed be an admission of innocent ignorance.  I’m not talking about never being able to admit your lack of knowledge on a subject.  I’m talking about your opinions.

In this case, his wife asked, “what can I do to be more supportive?”

Maybe that’s a tough question.  Maybe that requires some contemplation and brainstorming. I triangulated the dialogue by suggesting he instead say, “let me think about that one, Babe.  I need a minute to just work on that question.”  That’s a pause button on the football game while you go take a piss, instead of abandoning the whole televised 4K event.

Give yourself a minute, dude.  It’s normal to need to think for a moment. Or a day. Or a week.  But to follow a request for an opinion with I don’t know is just pure and simple indolence.

The other fellow that did this today was a teenager.  He was nervous about being in a therapists office and wasn’t sure what it was all about since his mother brought him in without much explanation about this encounter with me.  But he had been playing a particular musical instrument for 5 years and when I asked what his favorite musician was, he did it, too.  SMH.

Really, bro?  You’re in an advanced performing group with this specialized instrument you play and eat, sleep, and breathe this thing and you can’t tell a fat, bald stranger your favorite artist?  He really froze up!  Surely for him, there is some anxiety or some other deeper issue going on that we will address as part of our work together.  But this is an everyday deal for me as I coach and counsel men and young men in all kinds of situations, seeking help for a wide variety of difficulties.

The principle I am trying to teach here is that of discernment.  We must decide.  Perhaps ALL of our thinking is judgement in which we must figure out between options.

  • Am I too close to this car in front of me?
  • What time do I need to start getting ready to be on time?
  • What is the most appropriate thing to wear to this important interview?
  • What do I want for lunch?
  • What can my wife do to help me?
  • What is my favorite _______________________?


Discernment is one of the Red-9:  the nine attributes of an Alpha.  That characteristic means many things and part of that is to “have my own opinions and assertively express them, even if they are unpopular.”

Sometimes you won’t know.  Sometimes you need more information.  Sometimes it isn’t convenient to discuss.  Sometimes you don’t want to cast your pearls before swine.  Sometimes, you’re being a chicken shit and you need to decisively figure out your opinion and express it.  To me, that is one mark of a strong man: he can easily express his opinion on a variety of topics, especially of ordinary, every day matters that he won’t first need to do a book report on.

Carry on, brothers. Try to never say you don’t know.  Go get your Alpha game on.

How Not to Be a Typical Man

How Not to Be a Typical Man

You’ve heard it before. The sarcastic-toned critique from someone who is sick of your $#!+. After some discovery of you failings, the trash you didn’t take out, the birthday you forgot, the overspending on some self-absorbed purchase–you get what many men get, the dreaded T-Word a comment about you being a “typical man.”

It’s like a gender slur. Some unfair assault on you regarding your gender. But it isn’t so much your gender this person is attacking. It is your perceived failure to fulfill some kind of contract that you may or may not have even agreed to.

Let me just say this, men. You don’t want to ever be considered typical. To be called a “typical man” should be an indicator that you have work to do. Unless of course the person slinging that mud is perhaps a “typical woman.” But that’s a whole ‘nother blog article.

What is a typical man?

I guess, like so many things, this disparaging label gets it’s meaning from the beholder of such typical behavior. But in my 20 years of counseling men and their families, I have found a few common characteristics of this sub-par sub-species:

  • They are selfish.
  • They are irresponsible.
  • They are undisciplined.
  • They are hedonistic.
  • They are aggressively immature.

Some of what others see in you to call you typical in the first place is filtered through unrealistic expectations and the false hope that you’ve read their mind about what you’re supposed* to be doing.

But sometimes, dude, you suck. Sometimes I suck. And I’m here to shoot you straight about how not to be a typical man.

  1. Have an opinion. I can always tell how mentally lazy a man is by the amount of “i don’t know’s” he uses in conversation with me. To me that is simply a shutting down of effort and a refusal to engage. Yes, decisions take brain power, and that is difficult, metabolically. It takes calories to think and we men have perhaps evolved too far when it comes to preserving caloric resources and avoid having an opinion or ,making a decision. Know what you want for dinner. Know what your dreams and goals are. Know what you want to do this weekend. If you don’t know, simply say, “give me a minute, I need to think about that one” and sort out your thoughts.
  2. Use your voice, assertively. In working with men for a month-shy of two decades, I have discovered that most angry episodes are sparked by previously unspoken passivity. Go into an anger management class and you will find a room full of “nice” guys who lost their cool after too much passive avoidance of communication. Speak your mind. Tell the truth.
  3. Do it yourself. Don’t let someone serve you. I don’t mean when there’s been a death in your family and people bring scalloped potatoes. I mean when you’re in the recliner and you ask for someone to bring you a beverage. Some people’s “love language” is acts of service and they feel very loved when people DO things for them. But far too many men have become so dependent on people waiting on them that they have come to expect service with a smile and never return the favor. A few years ago my friends step-mother died and one of his father’s first remarks was “who is going to fix my dinner?” I was shocked. Do it yourself, bro. Get out of the habit of asking, especially if you do it all the time.
  4. Be consistently reliable. We can’t just say here to “be consistent” because for too many men, consistent means you consistently suck. You are consistently UN reliable. Do what you said you were going to do, or stop saying you’re going to do it. The worst example of this and the ugliest form of unreliability in the world is the divorced father who promises he will be there to pick up the kids and never comes. Don’t be a flake, man. Do what you said you were going to do. Sometimes things get in the way. Sometimes your job, your vehicle, your new wife, your stomach flu, your headache WILL get in the way. Even if you claim a 20% error rate…be 80% consistent. Eighty percent of the time, follow through and be there. Show up.
  5. Find ways to selflessly serve. We are naturally lovers of ourselves. Maybe all human beings, but particularly men. Here’s how you fix that. Feed the homeless. Visit with your widow neighbor who NEVER knows when to stop talking. Volunteer for two hours once a month. You have exercise the selfless muscle or you will be ripped with ego, and alone.
  6. Overcommunicate. There is a professional here in Vegas that I have had to work with a few times and I just can’t stand the guy. He has personally insulted me, caused major upheaval in some of my plans, and is generally a total douche bag. But about 2 years ago I had reason to coordinate some client care with him. I was stunned by the positive way he communicated with me. It was like he had just attended a customer service seminar recenlty and was being observed by headset by the owner of the company. Here is what he did: He answered the phone and I shared the need for this client. He told me he was going to transfer me to so-and-so and that explained what their role was, and right before transferring said “ok, i will transfer you now.” It was SO helpful to know what he was doing to handle this call. HE told me what he was ABOUT to do and it really changed some of my opinions of this guy. He overcommunicated. I knew exactly what to expect. I would say that men need to channel their inner flight attendant when it comes to communication. Tell them what you’re about to do. Ask what they need from you. Before delivering it, be sure you have it right.
  7. Be disciplined. SO much our bullying comes from feelings of inadequacy in ourselves. We pick on fat people most when we ourselves are so undisciplined. We complain about others’ lacking when we are hiding from our own guilt and shame about what we aren’t doing so well. I remember at one of my heaviest times I was having a meal with a group of people, and one of them was a police officer. I asked if he was finished eating and if he wanted or needed more food and he said “I’ve had enough food.” I was so impressed because I probably had already “had enough food,” myself, but I’m sure I continued eating. This man has maintained a health body and didn’t fall into the kinds of destructive indulgences I did, and I think that is all about his discipline and my lack of such. Perhaps our toxic tendency to control others in unhealthy ways stems from our inability to control our own appetites and habits.
  8. Act your age. Many times, I have told the overly serious man that he needs to get in touch with his “inner Jack Black.” Sometimes we need to be silly and let loose. I write about this in my upcoming book, but here, I want to address the need to understand appropriate behavior. Sometimes we need to be goofy and have some fun. But I think the “typical” man overdoes this and can’t really be on the same page with the vibe of the experience. Grow up, bro. Your “that’s what she said” jokes stopped being funny 40 minutes ago.

I could go on. And I have so much more to say, which I will in the form of podcasts and my other articles and upcoming book.

In the meantime, do whatever it takes to not be “typical” because there is no honor and dignity in the that. For me, that’s the worst insult that can be spoken to me, the T-word.