Hard Things For Us

just do what it takes

Nobody but me.

It strikes me as incredibly funny that a Viagra commercial is so completely able to sum up one of the basic tenants of manhood: “Men are fixers. They see something that is broke and they fix it.”

The very first step in becoming a man is all about realizing that I am in charge of me and that nobody is going to stop me from doing stupid things but me.

Being a man is taking responsibility for myself. Nobody but me will stop me from looking at garbage on the Internet. Nobody but me will fix my finances. Nobody but me will get me into shape so that I can care for my family.
Nobody is going to fix things in my life for me.
Nobody but me.

I often tell my boys that the best type of governance is self-governance. Governing yourself isn’t the most fun but it is less fun having someone else govern you. If I don’t govern my speed on the highway, the fine folk in the Highway Patrol will govern my speed for me. If I do it, it is free. If I need them to do it for me then it is considerably more expensive.

I have struggled with creating and sticking to a budget for a while. I have ‘hoped’ that things would just work out but that is obviously  a poor tactical plan. If my finances are going to get fixed then it is me and only me that is going to do it.

On the upside, my morning routine is finally starting to take shape. I read about journaling over the past week and have developed a plan that involves an evernote template and the need to get up at 6am instead of 7am. One of the keys to having a good morning routine is having a good night routine. It is so easy to just stay up late working on a project or just catching up on some TV. This sabotages my morning. If I want to be successful in the morning then I need to be successful with the things that come before.

The key is to live intentionally. I googled intentionalism and intentionality but those do not apply. You can google them if you want some interesting reading. Google volunteerism while you are at it. It is also an interesting read.

It is MY job to fix my finances, habits, sleep routines. No one else can or will do it for me.

Nobody but me.

Smithsonian Ad about our dear friend, Teddy Roosevelt

Smithsonian Teddy Roosevelt Ad

Who will I be in 10 years?

A good friend once told me: “The person that you will be in ten years is a mixture of the books that you read and the people that you spend time with.”

He is so right. I am not sure what else comes into the mix but I can state that my experience says that he is correct.

Reading List for my Kids

I have a deal with my kids that if they read the following books (and write a one page ‘highlights’ paper on each) then I will buy them their first car. I intend to give to each of my children at the age of 14. I was a little late to the game with my first son and he got it when he turned 15.

This list will probably change as I learn and grow. This list is my attempt at preparing my kids to learn and grow.

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First Hard Things

Hard things help you grow. That is why we lift weights to grow muscle. We require pressure to develop. It is a simple fact of how we were created. Oak trees must burst forth from an acorn. Birds must bust through their shells. We all must push beyond our comfort-zone to gain things that are worthwhile. It is those who never learn to love that (good) stress and pressure that end up never developing themselves into mature adults.

Don’t wait for the perfect thing before you start trying. Just do something. I find that I want to get the perfect idea before pouring resources into it. Perfect isn’t how things start; it is how they end.

I am not recommending that you waste time rather look for your best option at doing something beyond your current ability. Just try. If you grow just a bit then you are better off than you were when you started.

Few things will be a greater waste of time than watching TV or fooling around on the Internet.

  • Write a book (or a blog) — increase your written communication skills
  • Learn a foreign language — increase your world
  • Learn Linux — increase your business opportunities
  • Reconnect with old friends (or intentionally connect with new ones) — increase your connection with your world
  • Drink some tea with your spouse — increase your connection to your special someone

It is just too easy to do the same thing over and over. Ruts are comfortable. They have been smoothed down by countless hours of repetition.

It took a bit of learning and growing to get to this first post:

  • Bought this domain
  • Dug out an old Foxconn NT-525 Nettop Atom mini-computer
  • Installed Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS)
  • Installed WordPress
  • Figured out how to forward TCP 80 and 443 packets to that old Foxconn

It would be far easier for me to watch some Walking Dead but I am writing this instead. Maybe it kicks someone else in the butt. Maybe it just grows me. I am OK with it just growing me.

Failure only matters when it costs you more than you gain. 



Theodore Roosevelt

Speech delivered at the Sorbonne

Paris, France

April 23, 1910


The Famous Quote (“The Man In The Arena”):

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

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