How Far We’ve Come

Then: Strong orators delivering inspiring speeches to stir the collective soul of the populace.

 

“This is a breathtaking pace, and such a pace cannot help but create new ills as it dispels old, new ignorance, new problems, new dangers. Surely the opening vistas of space promise high costs and hardships, as well as high reward.

So it is not surprising that some would have us stay where we are a little longer to rest, to wait. But this city of Houston, this State of Texas, this country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them. This country was conquered by those who moved forward–and so will space.

William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.

If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.

Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it–we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world’s leading space-faring nation.”

Difficult to only choose one section, read this fantastic speech in its entirety here.

 

Now:

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The Worst Reputation A Man Can Have

This article only deals with non criminal actions within small social group settings such as family, co-workers, friends, and school since this is where the majority of men spend their time. Some of these reputations get flipped on their head when you’re famous (or infamous), but that is not within the scope of this article.

1) A known liarYou’re lying out of insecurity and trying to impress someone or you honestly believe your own bullshit and think they’re stupid enough to believe it too. Which ever it is, cut that shit out.

Best case: White lies, chronic exaggerator.

Worst case: Sociopathic levels of lying. Bold faced attention seeking lies. Saying you’ll do something and never following through.

What you think is happening.
What you think is happening.
What's really happening.
What’s really happening.

 

2) A gossipJust remember, it always gets back to them, and the eventual ass kicking will get back to you.

Best case: Harmless infrequent jokes about public information.

Worst case: Betrayal of another persons trusted secrets. Chronic shit talking.

 

Who you think you are.
Who you think you are.
Who you really are.
Who you really are.

 

3) A complainer- Life is difficult, no one cares for you’re complaints. Choose an action and follow through. If there is a legitimate concern by all means address it, if not, stay quiet.

Best case: A funny joke about a shared  group complaint.

Worst case:  Chronic frivolous complaints.

Who you think you are.
Who you think you are.
Who you really are
Who you really are

The overarching value that runs through most of these is trust. That is what keeps small groups humming along and once you betray that the group is splintered and easily destroyed. If you carry one of these sordid reputations there are only two ways to rehabilitate it. The first is to simply move on to another group, but they too will see through the facade eventually. The second is intensive character building and relationship repair. Expect months if not years of constantly working to fix the damage you incurred, but in the end you all become stronger for it.

 

Approachable Adventure: Hiking NY’s Highest Mountain- Mt Marcy

Since I began living in one of New York’s most mountainous regions my friends and I have steadily progressed through higher peaks. Starting at our town’s highest and progressing up the chain, county, state, region, etc… This is my guide for Mt. Marcy, our state’s highest peak, but first some background to the area.

wikipedia.org
wikipedia.org

At only 4-5 hours away from NYC, Mt Marcy and the surrounding Adirondacks make an excellent weekend trip for those seeking an inexpensive adventure. Of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks, Marcy is the highest at 5,344 ft, but far from the most difficult / technical (Gothics, arguably takes the most difficult crown due to the steep ascent).

The region itself is stunning, with breathtaking views in almost every direction. The smell however was the sense that left the most acute impression. The air was and still is the freshest I have ever smelled as fresh pine permeates every breath and reinvigorates you to penetrate deeper into the pristine Adirondacks even before you get near the trail head.

The trail we chose was the well traveled Van Hoevenberg trail which leads through all the major sites and the eventual summit. This trail is of moderate difficulty but the length of the trail itself was the biggest issue I had. It clocks in at approximately 14.4 to 15 miles (range varies by source) round trip over some rough terrain (rocky crevasses, rock scrambles, alpine zone) and is not for the weak willed. As young naive hikers we didn’t pack nearly enough for this endeavor and although we made it, it turned out to be extremely tough (more on this later).

pbase.com
pbase.com

(I skip past the twists and turns and just list the sites, if you want a trail guide I recommend this one, as this is the exact one that got me there and back safely. )Anyways, a few miles in you’ll see Marcy Dam which is the first major site on the trail. Don’t be fooled by the tame trek so far, the trail starts to ascend a bit more around mile 3 and continues to do so steadily for a few more miles. The next site is the Adirondack Loj around mile 5 where hikers congregate to meet each other and swap stories. You can also stay overnight in the Loj if you reserve a spot and want to spend some more time in the Adirondacks. Past this you trek into the alpine zone where there are no more trees and sparse vegetation. The crevasses come into full swing here and in the winter become a real danger.

panoramio.com
panoramio.com

Continuing on you’ll find yourself at  Lake Tear of The Clouds, a serene beauty that provides a quaint place to regroup before you hit the top. This lake was originally (incorrectly) thought to be the source of the Hudson and as New Yorker’s born and raised we drank from it unfiltered, something you cannot do further down state. From there the peak is about one mile up through the rocky alpine zone and a small rock scramble. Luckily the weather stayed clear and we got a phenomenal view of Keene and the surrounding mountains.

Here are the tips I learned the hard way on Mt. Marcy:

-I drove four hours to the mountain, hiked for eight to ten hours, then tried to drive back four hours all in the same day.  We wanted to same day this since we were naive punks at the time. Get a hotel / campsite so you can rest properly and get more than the three hours of sleep I got before this trek.

-If the recommended round-trip time is 8-12 hours, ALWAYS plan for 12.  Bring enough food, water, and painkillers for the upper limit. We all ran out of these things around mile 11 of 14.8.

-That last .1 of a mile is the longest .1 ever hiked.

Use this trail guide.

That’s all folks, I wish I could remember more but this took place 5 years ago and we’ve climbed many more mountains since then. I’ll be writing about New Hampshire’s highest peak, the dangerous Mt. Washington next so stayed tuned.

Manly Book Review: Growth Of The Soil

Welcome back friends for another EaL book review. This time we will be discussing Knut Hamsun’s epic Growth Of The Soil. Written in 1917 this book won the author the 1920 Nobel Prize in literature by relating the fictional tale of hard working settlers in the Norwegian Highlands.

The tale begins with Isak’s humble entry into a wooded valley by the river and his ensuing efforts to settle the area. From there it effortlessly flows through the years to his burgeoning family and community as the wilds become more populated with both man and beast working together to build a life. With great depth and description Hamsun weaves masculine virtues such as honor, respect, patience, and humility into the novel by way of the main characters. Isak himself is the picture of hard work and dedication. Always thinking of the needs of his family, providing for them with only the sweat of his brow and ingenuity. No shortcuts, lofty ideals, or get rich quick schemes here, only conviction to the task at hand whether it be raising a barn or a child. Stolid throughout but in good humour, our protagonist does not utter a word of fatigue or complaint to anyone, a valuable lesson for men everywhere.

Besides these points, this novel has done what many have failed to do of late, and that is put a smile on face. When you read it you will know what I’m talking about. If you’re looking for a novel about family, community, virtue, and a man raising himself from his bootstraps then Growth Of The Soil is for you my friend. 5/5 this is a page turner you will finish quickly and enjoy.

Men Need Lofty Goals

If I could only live to see it, to be there with you. What I wouldn’t give for twenty more years!

-Hyman Roth

The old man provides valuable insight into delayed gratification and effective planning. It made me think of where I would be in 20 years, and if I would I even be alive, much less successful in the goals I’ve set. If I don’t have a plan I know I won’t be.

I don’t know a lot of men with a long term plan. Sure the cops and teachers want to make it through their 20 years and retire, but that boils down to survival more so than dedicated plan. I think with age the ability to plan long term arises, but by then it’s too late. Most of the mid 20’s men I know barely have a 2 year plan, and what they do have only concerns their career. If you ask them where they will be in 5-10 years, it’s the rare man that can give a definitive answer. Of course circumstances change and unforeseen opportunities arise but even a general sense of direction will help. That’s where the lofty goal comes in. Like a far off lighthouse guiding you through the mist and rough waves of life, the goal acts as a beacon. How you navigate the various obstacles is up to you, but the direction is always clear. An oft used example would be Odysseus and his adventures on the way back to his beloved family. Years and thousands of miles separate the man from his home, but possession of self and mental fortitude  forge a rugged attitude, “nothing will stop me from my goal”.

My advice on planning is distilled in a quote spoken by Dwigt D. Eisenhower. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” I know and fully expect for problems to arise. No plan survives first contact and by expecting issues and allotting both time and resources you can effectively overcome them. Think back to when you waited until the last moment to write a paper for school. You find out there’s an extra section to write, the printer doesn’t work, traffic on the road, internet slows to a crawl. You didn’t plan for the problems and paid the price, now extrapolate that for life.

Many men think they have the world of time to accomplish their vision. “Just as soon as I finish school, pay my loans, move, etc…” I’m guilty of it too and I fight everyday to stay on track. You’re mortal, you will die, and you probably won’t see it coming. There isn’t time to reminisce on missed opportunities, neither is there time to drag your feet in fulfilling your goals.

Sit down and write out where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years. Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, where you want to live, where you want your family to be (financially, physically, etc…) I don’t know what diverse goals you have set for yourself but charting a road map is the only way to success.

30775-plan-quote-mike-tyson-qMXC

How To Deal With A Relapse

“Relapse is now seen as the rule rather than the exception in addiction recovery. And it is no longer viewed as a catastrophe but as an opportunity for learning more and better strategies for overcoming urges and for identifying the moods and situations that are likely to be difficult. What is inappropriate is black-and-white thinking about success that turns a slip-up into a disaster and sees it as a sure sign of defeat. The fact is that it takes time to change all the mental apparatus that supports any particular habit-the memories, the situations that trigger craving, and more. Addiction changes brains, and it takes time to change brains back.”

-Psychology Today

*Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, nor should this advice be substituted for professional medical advice.*

Days Without Incident: 0

Look in the mirror, reset the counter, regret the encounter. Whether your addiction is substance related or behavioral, the chance of a relapse is substantial. As I said before, the opioid system and habit cycle in your body are formidable opponents in the face of change. To change engrained systems such as these will take time and effort. This recent foray into addiction management hasn’t been my first rodeo and I’ve come up with a steps that help straighten my mind out. Some might work for you and some won’t, take them with a grain of salt.

– Deal with the immediate medical issues / emergencies (stomach pumped, etc…)

– You feel like dogshit, mentally and physically, accept that you made a mistake.

– Contact your support structure, ideally people that fully understand addiction and relapse and will not judge you harshly such as  Narcotics / Alcoholics Anon, addiction clinics / wards, friends, family, hotlines.

-The shame, addiction, shame spiral is extremely powerful. (You use drugs to ease the pain of shame, then feel more shame after, negative feedback loop.) You must focus on the positive to snap yourself out of it. You have the courage and fortitude to take the first steps toward sobriety and had a small misstep along the path. You have not failed, only faltered momentarily.

-expertinmind.com

– Write down everything that lead up to the relapse. Events, how and what you felt, why you felt that way. Jotting it down will clear up the reasons why and will help you rectify the situation next time.

– Change you state: State dependent memory is real and can sink your boat. Work out and get a sweat going, change your clothes, go for a walk. Learn what moods and situations trigger your addiction cravings and deal with them accordingly. You’re going to have to remove certain people and things from your life, accept that.

-Dr. Gabor Mate’s definition of sobriety: “Sobriety is developing a mind state focused not on staying away from something bad, but on living a life led by positive values and intentions. It means living in the present moment, neither driven by ghosts of the past nor lulled and tormented by fantasies and fears of the future.” Read his book, it changed my life and will probably change yours.

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Share your best tips on how to successfully cope with a relapse in the comments. Good luck and God bless.

 

Live Truly and See Truly: Quitting Porn

“Wanna know how I got these scars?”

 

Want to know how it feels to quit porn completely? Well this post is for you. This is a longer post than usual but well worth the read, here;s the TL;DR version if you cannot:

  • You will feel like shit for a bit (your personal mileage will vary)
  • Set your own limits. Some men do not fantasize, watch nude scenes in films, read erotic lit, or have sex during reboot.
  • Use the YBOP forums and/or RebootBlueprint for support and accountability. Porn blockers are a viable option.
  • Relapsing is common, do not stop the reboot or start to binge after a relapse.
  • Friends and family may not understand what you’re doing or why you’re doing it.
  • The benefits are numerous and real but take time to develop.

On Oct 1 2013 I quit completely on a whim. Things were getting out of hand and I had to make a change. Around the same time I started EaL I also started a Tumblr that focused on tasteful erotic art, which soon spun out of control. What started as tasteful art degenerated into straight up porn, I started receiving unsolicited nudes from women, offers to cyber, and offers to meet up in person. A 19 year old tight bodied Brazilian woman sent a video of herself getting off to what I had posted. Likewise two 22 year olds sent a vid of them fingering each other to my inbox. Not going to lie, I got hooked.

On 10/1/13 I stopped checking, but never deleted it. I still get updates on new followers and reposts every now and then, but ego stopped me from deleting (who doesn’t love unsolicited nudes / msgs from attractive women?) So it’s been a little over 2 months now and I can say I beat the urges and such. Here’s what I’ve learned. Of course every brain is different and you’re experience will vary. *P= porn, M= masturbation, O=orgasm, hence PMO masturbate to orgasm using porn*. –The first few weeks are absolute shit. I was completely miserable for the first 2-3 weeks. Luckily I read several articles on the always excellent Your Brain On Porn forums. Before you make the decision you have to read up and learn what to expect. The dopamine plug of infinite internet porn is pulled and your brain is pissed. Some guys get physically ill and face something akin to withdrawal symptoms from opiods ( I got the flu last year when I first tried this). The only solution is to eat right, work out, and stay busy. Take supplements to balance out chemical deficiencies in your brain and forge onward.

Makeup; Turning albino Scandinavian boys into porn divas in no time.

 

Edging, erotic literature/ art, porn, fantasies… I abstained from M completely for the first month. While I have never had a problem with erectile dysfunction, early ejaculation, or anything like that it still takes time for your brain to re-wire itself. Don’t read erotic literature, watch porn, edge, and sometimes you shouldn’t even fantasize. For those of you who don’t know what edging is, it’s keeping yourself at a state of peak arousal with out orgasm / sex and does considerable damage to your prostate. This is sheer willpower, mind over matter stuff. Some guys M, some guys have sex, some abstain during the reboot. It’s your call depending on where you see yourself. I had sex during the process and I like to believe it helped speed up the process.

Porn blockers and accountability If you really can’t will yourself to stop watching there are resources for you. First off clear your internet history so every time you type in the letter p pornhub doesn’t pop up. While I haven’t used porn blockers, they came highly recommended from the forums. Some of them offer the added option to automatically send an email to someone of your choice if you visit one of the sites on your blacklist. For more accountability use the YBOP forums. There are answers to EVERY concern and question. Men of all ages from 12 – 80 share their experience there and it has helped me substantially. Trust me, when you’re sex drive flatlines and you feel like a eunuch for a week or you relapse it’s important to have that support structure there.

Relapsing is common, don’t beat yourself up or quit. This generation has practically been raised on porn since they grew up with high speed internet. Some have been watching porn since they were 12 or younger and this forms a major habit, coupled with the fact that GUYS IN THEIR TEENS NOW SUFFER FROM PORN INDUCED ED, this was more than enough reason to stop. Obviously the sooner you pull the plug the better, but there are guys quitting after 20 years and the neural pathways are strongly engrained, enabling a relapse. When this happens DO NOT QUIT THE REBOOT AND DO NOT BINGE. Many have fallen to the death spiral of a relapse whether it pertains to behavioral addictions or drug abuse. I know a few guys who relapsed and then rationalized away hours long porn binges. Guess what, you feel like shit for the next few days because you caved. I don’t reset my counter (partly because after day 30 I stopped counting days and count months now) because I know I’ve worked hard and one slip won’t send me into a spiral. I just now suffered a minor relapse and that’s what made me write this.

Don’t expect regular people to understand. Not one of my close friends can comprehend the thought of decreasing porn use. I didn’t think it would be so controversial when I brought it up but most guys have never even thought of stopping. Now I just keep it close to my chest.

Benefits Finally the meat of the issue.

  • First and most importantly you can’t get porn induced ED. If you value having a functioning dick into your golden years cut porn out right now.
  • Save time
  • Less computer viruses
  • You remove the infinite supply of pixelated hot women forcing you to develop yourself enough to pull flesh and blood attractive women.
  • Stable mood throughout the day / week.
  • Masturbation is enjoyable, even energizing again as opposed to leaving you lethargic and weak.
  • You killed one more addiction, making you a better man in the process. This takes an enormous amount of willpower and is something to be proud of when completed.
  • Paraphrase from a Heartiste commenter on porn; “In gorilla troops the alpha fucks the female while the betas watch and masturbate. By watching porn you’re relegating yourself to beta by watching an alpha fuck a chick. If you’re going to watch anything, watch two chicks at least, then your half-way to alpha”. Don’t know if it’s true but it’s something to think about.
  • These 92 other benefits.
Morning after pill? Try morning after lawsuit, I’m suing your ass for deceptive advertising and bait and switch.

 

I’m going to start looking at these before I hit the bars from now on.

For your reading pleasure: Why Men Should Sexually Discriminate

Know That You Are Invincible

Live Truly and See Truly: The Super Spartan Race

“Live truly and see truly” is a fantastic quote from Emerson’s essay Self-Reliance, which is worth a post itself. This quote will be attached to all further experience related posts for the simple fact that men must forcibly forge and temper themselves through the myriad of life’s of events and encounters. Until you live that way you will see only bullshit and spout excuses.

The Super Spartan Race is the second level race in the Trifecta. Longer than the Sprint (3-4 mi) but shorter than the Beast (13-15 mi) the Super clocks in at roughly 8 miles and provides you with you’re blue medal to accompany the previous red from the Sprint. Competitive times were in the 1:45 hr range, average around 3:30

20131008_205611

The Super is provides a steeper challenge than the Sprint not only because of the distance but the added obstacles and weather. We ran the Sprint in balmy June with 90 degrees of sun at our backs. The Super instead was ran in early September with a slight chill to the air, needless to say our attitudes toward the water obstacles took a turn.

The pre-race procedure stays the same as the Sprint. Bib numbers, ID’s, and waivers. Put on the waiver and headband then stretch. Approach the pen and wish your fellow racers good luck, the next few hours are going to test you all. In Spartan fashion the race starts with a one mile slog up the mountain that will make a few lose their lunch on the side of the trail. It is important to pace yourself for the distance, and will not necessary we recommend some sort of hydration device whether it be a CamelBak or fuel belt. All of the obstacles from the Sprint are back such as the vertical rope climb (25 ft ish), sandbag carry, rock pull, Hercules Hoist, and the death of all things sacred Spear Toss. A new addition was the Atlas Carry which consists of picking up a 60 lb block, carrying it about 20 ft, dropping it to do 10 burpees and carrying it back. The obstacles that bested me this time were the traverse wall, spear toss, and uneven wood blocks.

Overall a fun race which helps you prep for the Beast but still remains in a completely different league from it. We ran the Beast two weeks later, and you will soon see why we say that. Until then keep looking for challenges to best, whether they be professional or personal, never give up the fight. Riches and bitches await the few who persist but the road, like the treacherous terrain of the Spartan races best the unwary.

Welcome Home Friend

You’re family has disowned you. Friends have abandoned you. Teammates have forsaken you. The seemingly never ending death spiral has finally ended at rock bottom. Alcohol and narcotics ease the pain for a short while. Self-harm makes you feel something again, even if that something is pain, and for that brief fleeting moment everything is right with the world. We know you’re pain, you are not alone. Whether it be a soul shearing divorce at the hands of you’re ex-wife, and you’re ensuing introduction to the demonic secret family courts. Or a false rape charge by a drunken slore. Maybe it’s a sexual harassment HR scandal or one of the other myriad minefields men face in the corporate battlefield day to day.

Regardless of you’re situation you can turn it around, and we will help you brother. As bad as you’re situation may seem, you are not the first to navigate through it. Both Jordan and Afor have survived toxic marriages, continuing to rebuild their lives while sharing their experiences with us. GBFM lays the blueprint for living a life of integrity and honor in an age of widespread deceit and decay through the great books. Victor Pride not only motivates but actually shows you how to build location independent passive income streams so you can reclaim you’re freedom. The list goes on, but I dare you to visit those sites and still feel despondent.

Wasn't joking about the classics. NIV version is lacking though.
Wasn’t joking about the classics. NIV version is lacking though.

This site extols the virtues of those mentioned. As I’ve previously stated, everything I do and everything I write is meant to help you navigate this life. True there may be some filler, but never any lies. I own my mistakes, as painful and embarrassing as they may be  More real-life experience posts are planned for the near future. Sky-diving, ocean kayaking, hiking the highest mountains in the Northeast U.S., how to navigate Vegas, realistic experiences with drugs and other vices, successful public speaking and much more. This life is not easy, but there is help from you’re brothers.

 

Accept The Help of Men Wiser Than Thou

Choice Quote: “The hierarchy of your values dictates your financial destiny”.

 

Choice Quote: “We are living through the humanization of business”.

 

Fitness and Health

Choice Quote: “It’s like a drug guys, Success is as addicting a drug as any chemical drug. It’s a high, it’s your endorphins released, naturally. You don’t need to shoot up for it, you don’t need to snort it, you just gotta sweat for it”.

Watch the rest of the Quotivation series.

 

Motivation

“I need to get stronger”.

“No, I can do more”.

 

No quotes, just the baddest man on the planet dismantling every obstacle in his way.