How to improve as a man – Accepting an unpleasant reality

Society has come a long way in terms of equality. It is true that at many points in the past there was gross inequality in nearly all aspects of life. Are things perfect? No, are they better? Yes. As a man you have a very unpleasant reality staring you in the face. At one time men enjoyed the fruits if in-equality. Maybe you were alive for that, so you think it doesn’t apply and that’s largely true but society has evolved to the point where it is now common place to shame/cancel people for things that happened decades prior.

That’s an unpleasant reality for everyone. What is the unpleasant reality for men that we have to accept? That Women, Pets, and Kids are loved unconditionally, and a man is loved only when he provides something. Of course this isn’t an absolute, it’s not 100% of the time but you look at the current cultural and social norms and this is a truism. Is it right, wrong? I’m not here to debate that or get into an argument over men’s rights or feminism. I am here to help men improve and for today’s lesson on improvement, men have to accept this reality.

There are organizations all over the world that help women, children, pets. When was the last time you saw an organization that was dedicated to helping men exclusively? I’m betting it’s not often at all, and are you a white heterosexual male? LOL good luck…

Don’t fight battles you know going in you can’t win.

How we improve here is by accepting this social dynamic reality. Fighting against it is wasted energy at this point you will be overcome by wave after wave of individuals whom want you silenced. I’m not here to discuss their motivations or why we are where we are but to offer you a way to excel in this reality. Embrace the notion that your value will be based on what you can provide to others. It is not and never will be unconditional like women, pets and children. As a man you will be measured by what you offer, for now anyway.

If you can accept that, then you can begin the process of building the basis by which what you are offering is in demand. That is the secret here, understanding the social dynamic and creating the conditions by which you “fill the bill”. Maybe you want to fight against this and find it hypocritical and detrimental? I would recommend you research MGTOW if that is the case. If you want to prosper as a man in the 2020’s what you offer to others will dramatically increase your value.

Examples of “offerings”

  1. Financial stability
  2. Good moral compass
  3. Physically fit
  4. Great hygiene
  5. Leadership
  6. Willingness to do the work others wont
  7. Honesty

I am not suggesting this is a great situation at all, its problematic for everyone because in the end what happens is resentment. Resentment is the poison that kills relationships. You’re going to resent people because you have to deal with this reality. Meantime something happens to a female and there are 800 different resources for them to draw from to recover. You? You’re on your own. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you will become stronger and have more to offer.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here. 

How to improve as a man – 4 points of clarity you must have in your 40’s

Ah, the 4th decade. It was a good one for me I hope it will be spectacular for you. This is the latest post in my “better man” series and on many of them I like to start with a disclaimer. This post is written from the point of view of a heterosexual man. I simply can’t proclaim this post will apply to other sexualities or genders because that is not where I am at. If you get value from it, that’s fantastic. Please take it in the context it is written, to help heterosexual men improve.

So the 4th decade is interesting because you aren’t old, and you aren’t young. People will start calling you “Sir” more often. You likely have some grey hair and are balding to some degree. You likely have smile lines as well and a dad bod is probably what you are rocking. Hormonally things really start to slow down. Additionally, you might start to develop your first “condition”, chronic pain, skin ailment or worse.

40 Something? Welcome to the start of the 2nd half.

By your 4th decade things should be much clearer for you in terms of your life, where you have been and where you are going. Here are the 4 “must have’s” of clarity in your 40’s.

  1. Career: You should have been working in your chosen field for a decade, in most cases more. You should know what the end game is, your earning potential through the rest of your career and exactly what it is you want to do. You should be beginning to think about what companies you want to do that for, not what role you want as your experience should already dictate that outcome. Simply put, your 40’s should be spent getting to the position and company you think will maximize your earnings and contentment with work.
  • Kids: If you haven’t already had them, this is the decade to have them. Children’s formidable years, where you can influence and participate the most is 3-13. Once they get to high school you are still in the picture but you are needed (and wanted) less and less. Having young kids in your 40’s is great, you’re healthy, they are learning and you have enough comfort with yourself after 4 decades you aren’t spending most of your free time figuring out your life.

  • Life Partners: This may, or may not be a spouse. This may or may not be a romantic partner. In your 40’s you should be able to identify who your life partners are going to be. These are the people you will still be talking to and engaging life with until you die. Siblings, in-laws, old friends, lovers, Ex’s…. The list needs to be clearer for you so you can focus on the critical people. One night in the future when you can’t sleep, think for a minute who are the most important people in your life. The ones you can’t live without, if its more than 10 you have to many. Focus on 1-10 these are your ride or die partners for life.
  • Family: not your spouse/ex & kids but your extended family. This overlaps somewhat with “Life Partners”, but remember many people in your extended family will not be around for the later part of your life. Your grandparents if still alive are likely 80+ your parents probably retired or are getting there. Family can be both a blessing and a curse. At some point one of your older family members will need help. It could be financial, emotional, physical you simply don’t know. As you age things can happen quickly. Imagine your mother gets very sick with Cancer has 2 years to live and your father is out of the picture. Will she live with you? A sibling? Have a plan for aging parents and extended family if they are part of your current life. Issues here can wreak havoc on your life in your 40’s.

Your 40’s are a great decade. Mine was great my kids came of age, my relationships got stronger. However, my mother got to a point she could no longer live alone. My siblings and I had a plan, it worked and she is doing very well now 6 years later. You are getting older, your 40’s is the start of the 2nd half (in football terms). There is a lot of game left to play, but the first half has shaped the 2nd half start. Maybe you are banged up? Maybe you killed it in the 1st half? Buckle up, the 3rd qtr. goes by quickly. Before you know, you’re going to be 50…..

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Dressing to feel good !

How to be a better man – Be direct, not for her, for you

This is going to be a very quick post but it might be the most important post in the “better man” series I am producing. Once again I need to be clear here, I am speaking to heterosexual men. This might be applicable to all sexualities I simply don’t know. For heterosexual men, let’s be very clear, it’s okay to flirt, it’s okay to ask women out, it’s okay to desire females. It is not okay to pursue a woman on any level after she has been clear she isn’t interested.

This isn’t a 1980’s ROMCOM, its 2022 and the world has changed for heterosexual men. No means no, not “I can try again later”. You also have to be astute about picking up uncomfort. You go to the woman’s desk at work and start talking to her about non work related things. She folds her arms and starts looking at the floor, why do you think she is trying to convey?

Be concise fella’s, you like a woman ask her out. Be direct, it’s the best way to know as quickly as possible if there is any hope. The games are over, the nuances of prior courting rituals are now blurred, you have to be very careful. One complaint from a female that you are harassing them and your world can change forever. Females don’t know what you are thinking, they don’t know your intent and now more than ever they are empowered to act in their self-interest regardless of how harmless you believe yourself to be.

Some females use this new social construct to harm men. They are out there, do not delude yourself. Be respectful, be kind, be direct. The clearer you are; the more clarity you will obtain.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

How to improve as a man – Accepting an unpleasant reality

Society has come a long way in terms of equality. It is true that at many points in the past there was gross inequality in nearly all aspects of life. Are things perfect? No, are they better? Yes. As a man you have a very unpleasant reality staring you in the face. At one time men enjoyed the fruits if in-equality. Maybe you were alive for that, so you think it doesn’t apply and that’s largely true but society has evolved to the point where it is now common place to shame/cancel people for things that happened decades prior.

That’s an unpleasant reality for everyone. What is the unpleasant reality for men that we have to accept? That Women, Pets, and Kids are loved unconditionally, and a man is loved only when he provides something. Of course this isn’t an absolute, it’s not 100% of the time but you look at the current cultural and social norms and this is a truism. Is it right, wrong? I’m not here to debate that or get into an argument over men’s rights or feminism. I am here to help men improve and for today’s lesson on improvement, men have to accept this reality.

There are organizations all over the world that help women, children, pets. When was the last time you saw an organization that was dedicated to helping men exclusively? I’m betting it’s not often at all, and are you a white heterosexual male? LOL good luck…

Don’t fight battles you know going in you can’t win.

How we improve here is by accepting this social dynamic reality. Fighting against it is wasted energy at this point you will be overcome by wave after wave of individuals whom want you silenced. I’m not here to discuss their motivations or why we are where we are but to offer you a way to excel in this reality. Embrace the notion that your value will be based on what you can provide to others. It is not and never will be unconditional like women, pets and children. As a man you will be measured by what you offer, for now anyway.

If you can accept that, then you can begin the process of building the basis by which what you are offering is in demand. That is the secret here, understanding the social dynamic and creating the conditions by which you “fill the bill”. Maybe you want to fight against this and find it hypocritical and detrimental? I would recommend you research MGTOW if that is the case. If you want to prosper as a man in the 2020’s what you offer to others will dramatically increase your value.

Examples of “offerings”

  1. Financial stability
  2. Good moral compass
  3. Physically fit
  4. Great hygiene
  5. Leadership
  6. Willingness to do the work others wont
  7. Honesty

I am not suggesting this is a great situation at all, its problematic for everyone because in the end what happens is resentment. Resentment is the poison that kills relationships. You’re going to resent people because you have to deal with this reality. Meantime something happens to a female and there are 800 different resources for them to draw from to recover. You? You’re on your own. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you will become stronger and have more to offer.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here. 

The Military Press – Why?

So this is what is called a “compound movement” let’s get the definition of that out of the way first.

“Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work groups of large muscle like squats, deadlifts, and push-ups. These movements elicit a greater energy expenditure (they require more energy to perform) and as a result, your body burns more calories and fat. The more muscle groups working at once, the more energy you will expend, which means the more calories and fat you’ll burn.”

Source: https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/What-Compound-Exercises-45352697

Compound exercises engage large muscle groups which trigger multiple support systems in your body, specifically your endocrine system. This increases hormones based on system need, meaning if your body is lifting heavy weights via compound exercises, for men this means Growth Hormone, Cortisol and Testosterone.

So what is a Military Press? Its pressing weight over your head. It’s different from a shoulder press in the sense that your heels are together, with no pre movement momentum (you don’t swing your hips or bend at the knees). The bar starts at your chest and you press it up over your head and you push your head forward for the final deltoid squeeze. You do this standing up, and when you have your feet together you naturally contract your core, this is the secondary benefit of the press.

This mainly hits the deltoids (shoulders) and triceps. The core work is exceptional too but what you begin to see is the optical illusion of your body. Your body is an upside down triangle, so the wider your shoulders are, the slimmer your waist looks.

Start incorporating military presses into your routine, they are challenging and its likely very few people in your gym are doing them.

It’s your face not mine.

Skin care has become something that is much more acceptable to talk about as men. When I was growing up as a real little kid in the DARK AGES of the 70’s (lol) and as a preteen and teen in the 80’s you never saw skin care for men. Sure there was old spice commercials, BRUT (I’m aging myself I know) but those were colognes. You got your information from the men in your life, for me that was from my father. A Korean war veteran who’s answer to almost everything was “rub some dirt on it kid” LOL. Miss ya dad.

So as men we have most if not all of the same skin care needs as women. We need to avoid excessive sun, we need to be mindful of blemishes and wrinkles many of us have Tattoo’s. What we have that women don’t have is beards. It’s very important to care for your beard, not only for its appearance but for the skin underneath. First thing we need to do is distinguish the type of hair in a beard.

Men’s beards are comprised of “terminal hairs” these are a result of puberty. Basically what happens is as your body begins to increase androgenic hormone levels which essentially “thicken” your facial hair. This is different than pubic hair which is called Axillary hair. Terminal hairs are thicker and more wiry than any other hair on your body. This means we need to care for them a little differently.

So this means we need to care for our faces a little differently. Below are the steps I take and its worked very well for me.

  1. An all-natural soap: I know “what the hell does all natural mean” so you look at the ingredients, can you pronounce them? Look for soaps that are not filled with chemicals and “scents”.
  2. 3 times a week use a gentle exfoliate product. This is a scrub and what it does is it helps you to “rub off” dead skin cells from your face so you are constantly regenerating skin cells.
  3. Conditioner: you have to use a conditioner on your hair to help restore nutrients into the actual hair and hair follicles.
  4. Moisturize: I know, but you have to do this. Morning and before bed. Again natural products here. There are so many products on the market and many of them have chemicals that have been tested but I don’t trust them.
  5. Beard oil: This is optional but this is a great finisher IMHO. This really makes a huge difference on your beard hair.

There are a number of products on the market. You really do need to shop around and find out what worked for you. Don’t skimp here, make sure you really take the time to learn what is in the products you are putting on your face. Avoid chemically based products and gravitate more toward natural oils and plant based products.

I have been using one company for all my face products. I get my soap, scrub and beard oil here. They also sell shampoos and conditioners along with Tattoo balms.

The mad Viking beard company: https://madvikingbeard.com/

Tea tree oil restored my gums.

So like many people I have issues here and there. Fortunately I and the people I love the most in the world don’t have any severe issues. It must be very challenging for people to deal with severe disabilities and mental issues so this is by no means on par with that kind of issue. At one time in my life in my early 30’s I had some serious problems with my gums and mouth. I used to get canker sores, my gums were bleeding and my teeth were yellowing.

I concede fully that my diet was not great back then, but it wasn’t horrible either. I’ve always eaten well, but for some reason my body was not happy and it was manifesting itself in my mouth. I was having bad breath as well and ya, it was nasty LOL. I brushed, I raked my tongue I did what I could and to no avail. I tried several mouth washes which were basically horrible they were antiseptic tasting and just burned my mouth.

I then found tea tree oil. Now this product has been around for a long long time. “Tea tree is a volatile essential oil derived mainly from the Australian native plant Melaleuca alternifolia. It’s been widely used throughout Australia for at least the past 100 years and for over seven decades, it’s been documented in numerous medical studies for its ability to kill many strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.” Source: https://draxe.com/tea-tree-oil-uses-benefits/

I started using mouthwash with tea tree oil, I had to go through several different products at first. This was not mainstream at the time, AMAZON wasn’t really a thing yet. I was fortunate to have a health food store in the town I lived in and the guy was able to obtain it for it. He got it from someone in Australia. Remember this was 1998, 2000 ish.

I now use this product:

My gums immediately responded when I started using tea tree oil. No more bleeding gums, no more bad breath and no more canker sores. It took a few weeks but the difference was remarkable. I drink coffee every day, my teeth aren’t as white as they could be but I haven’t had a cavity or any notable issues with my gums or mouth since. I use tea tree oil now on cuts and I use a tea tree oil based “acne pad” as a face wash before I go to bed every night.

Tea tree oil is a safe organic substance that is very effective for any type of “wound” or irritation you might have. Its antiseptic properties are well documented, if you use mouth wash I would urge you to give this product a try. It really helped me revitalize my gums and mouth. It’s not cheap, but when it comes to your body that’s one area where if you’re going to spend money you should get the best you can.

Don’t go into the light !

This isn’t a religious post LOL. So you have heard about pollution have you heard about light pollution? Light pollution the use of excessive artificial light. One of the boons we have had from technology is the ability to generate light from various energy sources. It wasn’t too long ago in our history where generating artificial light was in fact a monumental task. Sure our ancestors had fire places and pits (think 1580, not so long ago in the history of humans) but that was about it.

It was a darker time ! (Pun intended) so we now have artificial light everywhere. As you read this you are looking at a screen that is generating artificial light. In the room I am producing this post here are the sources of artificial light I have:

  1. An office phone which is illuminating a screen with previous calls.
  2. The screen on my PC
  3. My IPhone that I am recharging
  4. The light on the PC that tells me it’s on
  5. 4 lights on the ceiling
  6. A small blue tinted light on my office door that tells me it is unlocked (its red when locked)

6 different light sources. I know “but some of those are pretty small and insignificant” indeed, however cumulatively they produce a lot of unnecessary light. I have a window in my office during the day this produces enough light to see. So why is artificial light such a big deal?

The main issue is your Circadian rhythm “The 24-hour day/night cycle, known as the circadian clock, affects physiologic processes in almost all organisms, including humans. These processes include brain wave patterns, hormone production (melatonin), cell regulation and other biologic activities. Disruption of these rhythms can result in insomnia, depression, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. In 2012 the American Medical Association has recognized light at night as a carcinogen and a health risk.” Source: https://futurism.com/light-pollution-how-does-it-impact-people

The simplistic answer is excessive light creates an unnatural state for the body. Your body is biologically disposed to having an “on and off” switch. When the sun sets, we are meant to “wind down” and begin the rest and sleep cycle. Excessive artificial light creates the conditions by which we fool our bodies into thinking that the “wind down” period is to be put off. The result is less sleep, but more importantly we tax our bodies and mind more by conducting tasks that would otherwise be conducted during natural light hours.

One of the hormones we all produce is melatonin, it is produced by the Pineal gland and it is released by darkness and inhibited by light. Its main function is to regulate your sleep patterns. However the more artificial light you are exposed to once the sun goes down the less melatonin you produce. Are you tired or run down? Perhaps you have to much artificial light. What to do:

  1. Establish a regular sleep pattern. In bed at 10Pm up at 6AM (as an example). Even if you stare at the ceiling all night, establish a pattern.
  2. Eliminate artificial light in the bedroom. Cell Phones off, Screens off (not in sleep mode, we don’t even want the little blue light in the corner on) get TV’s out of the bedroom and have all lights near the bed room off.
  3. Consider a sleep mask. You know the ones you pull over your eyes? You want no light if possible.
  4. Reduce the glare from the street or outside by investing in good shades. I have street lights near my house.
  5. shut off screens 1 hour to 30 min before bed time if you can. Now I know this isn’t always possible, I fail on this one a lot. Minimally though no phones in the bed room. If you HAVE to look something up, do it elsewhere.

Interesting read

Work Cocoa Nibs into your diet

So this is another “super food” that I now consume. As I have said in other posts the older I get the more effort I put into eating good food. My personal goal is to eat the best food I possibly can. In my humble opinion the only better investment is buying time (a post on that another day). So does that mean giving up taste? The honest truth is in some cases yes. As an example Cocoa Nibs are bitter, these are not small pieces of your Hershey’s bar broken up into little pieces. These are the beans of the cocoa plant cut up into small “nibs” or bits.

Cocoa nibs are extremely “nutrient dense” so you won’t need a lot of them. The nutritional value for 100 grams (approx. ¾ of a cup)

Amount (kcal/grams)
Calories 228 kcal
Carbohydrate 57.9 g
Fiber 37.0 g
Sugar 1.75 g
Fat 13.7 g
Saturated Fat 8.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.44 g
Protein 19.6 g
Amount (% RDA)
Vitamin B2 18%
Vitamin B3 13%
Vitamin B6 9%
Folate 8%
Vitamin B5 5%
Vitamin K 3%
Vitamin E 1%
Amount (% RDA)
Copper 426 %
Manganese 239 %
Iron 173 %
Magnesium 125 %
Phosphorus 105 %
Zinc 62 %
Selenium 26 %
Calcium 13 %

 WOAH that’s a lot of carbs dude. It is but take a look at the fiber to sugar ratio. So this is a “good carb” as its mostly derived from fiber. What drew me to this product was the data on the minerals. Getting that many minerals from one food source is pretty incredible. Again I am not a Dr or a dietician, so I don’t know what you need or what is the “right” amount of vitamins etc. For me this achieved my goal of eating the best food I could find that provided the best benefit.

A few things of note:

  1. Cocoa nibs do contain caffeine. It’s not a lot but it’s there so if you area already consuming coffee that’s a consideration.
  2. Great source of Iron. Most iron sources are meat based so this is a good substitute for non-meat eaters.
  3. Cocoa nibs contain Theobromine which is a benefit of dark chocolate as well. This is a stimulant but there is ongoing research on its benefits. https://www.nutritionadvance.com/theobromine-benefits/
  4. Cocoa nibs contain Polyphenols. These are still being studied in clinical tests so I can’t say definitively what benefits they provide. The evidence so far suggests they help blood flow and act as a natural anti-inflammatory.
  5. They taste  bitter, slightly earthy, and are not sweet. They have an over powering chocolate flavor.

So how do I eat them? I throw them in yogurt, but I mostly get these as part of my homemade trail mix. So get some nuts, dried berries, and Cocoa nibs throw them in a bag mix them up enjoy.

Source data: https://www.nutritionadvance.com/cocoa-nibs-health-benefits/

Work Goji Berries into your diet

The older I get the better quality food I consume. It’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle change, I’ve made it and you can to. Eating the best food you can is the basis for the lifestyle, there are huge benefits to nearly every aspect of your health. My personal energy has increased tremendously as well as my mood. I have made a lot of changes, I will reveal some of them in future posts but the one I’m going to talk about today is Goji Berries.

https://www.ecowatch.com/health-benefits-goji-berries-2346310840.html

Dried Goji berries specifically, so here is what you get out of a ¼ of a cup:

¼ cup (85 grams) of dried goji berries has about:

  • Calories: 70
  • Sugar: 12 grams
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Vitamin A: 150 percent of the RDI
  • Copper: 84 percent of the RDI
  • Selenium: 75 percent of the RDI
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 63 percent of the RDI
  • Iron: 42 percent of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 27 percent of the RDI
  • Potassium: 21 percent of the RDI
  • Zinc: 15 percent of the RDI
  • Thiamine: 9 percent of the RDI

In addition, they are packed full of powerful antioxidants, including carotenoids, lycopene, lutein and polysaccharides. In fact, polysaccharides make up 5–8 percent of dried goji berries.

The sugars are a little higher than what I would like but in terms of “bang for the buck” it’s totally worth it. The antioxidants are really the main benefit here. Many diets today lack these and they are critical as we age. There was a study in mice that showed that goji berry extract inhibits glycation which ages skin. I’m unsure of dosages and amounts but here is a berry that has a good amount of protein, has huge amounts of antioxidants, has, by volume, a competitive amount of Vitamin C and also gives a good chunk of Iron (critical for women).

I’m not saying you should be eating these with every meal but here are two meals I use it with. You can just eat them on their own they don’t taste bad but I usually throw them into a “carb load meal” for extra punch.

                              Carb meal 1 – I eat this when I’m on what I call a “long haul” so as an example on Sunday I am taking a long car ride. I could stop and eat but I will consume this meal around 8AM and I won’t eat again until 3 PM.

  • Oatmeal (you decide the portion) I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Steel Cut Oats. You can find these at almost any supermarket
  • Fresh Cream. I live by a dairy farm, I can get fresh milk, cream and butter. I use the cream to add a little fat into this meal.
  • Goji berries.

                              Not to complex, shouldn’t take you long to prepare. Very high carb meal but the SOURCES of the carbs are of the best quality

                              Carb Meal 2 – This one is even easier. I use this for a quick carb load. Example I am going to mow the lawn which takes me 2 hours. Most of my diet is protein and fat, I have a push mower and this will be a lot of cardio.

  • Best organic Greek yogurt or cottage cheese you can find. (I use Chobani products
  • Goji berries

                                        Mix and consume

Goji berries are a nice addition to your food intake, you can throw them into a homemade trail mix, put them in pancakes and many other foods. Try them and decide for yourself.