3 Second Rule Your Life

Back in the day, days long before co-sleeping and proudly showing off pictures of my son’s teeth, I dabbled in the dark arts of Pick Up Artistry (PUA), a strange subculture made famous by Neill Strauss’ book “The Game.” For those unitiated, “The Game” showed Strauss’s evolution–or  devolution depending on your perspective–from interested journalist to fully certified pick-up master–from gameless tool to lothario extraordinaire.

The book was filled with specific and effective tactics for meeting women, something I desperately needed at the time. I was pretty lousy at meeting women, and the ones I was meeting were pretty lousy. The book and some subsequent study provided a much-needed lesson plan for my theretofore elementary understanding of the courting process.

I never incorporated most of the tactics because they were so certifiably sleazy: Carrying bags filled with magic tricks to entertain women (aka “Demonstrating High Value” DHV), wearing outrageous clothes (“Peacocking”), etc. But there was one tactic that could have easily been taught by a Zen master as some guy with a feather boa teaching dorks how to pick up drunk coeds. It was the 3 second rule.

The 3 second rule says that if there is a girl that you are attracted to, and assuming there are no boulders or other legitimate obstacles in your way, you should approach that girl within 3 seconds. The reasoning is that the longer you think about doing something, the less likely you are to do it. Don’t think, act.

I met my wife using the 3 second rule, though I didn’t know it at the time. After giving her a protracted stare on the L-train, I started to talk to her. For whatever reason (I probably didn’t want her to think I was a perv), I did not think about talking to her. I talked to her. Had I rehearsed what I was going to say, had I thought about what could have happened if she was unwilling to speak to me, had I thought about anything, I probably would have not talked to her. No wife, no proud papa.

This act, like many throughout my life, demonstrates the counterintuitive phenomenon that action, often with little or no thought, is the gas in our lives’ motors.

Most of us overestimate the merits of thinking. We believe that if something is subjected to enough mental scrutiny and rigorous argument, we will somehow arrive at the right answer.

Let’s not confuse thinking with meditation. Thinking is not getting quiet enough so a natural answer can arrive. Thinking is usually a bunch of words constructed in such a way as to provide reasons why not to do something or why something can’t be done. By the time the analysis is over, minutes, hours, days, often years, have elapsed. Good thinking!

What many of us thinkers tend to miss is that real knowledge is acquired in the doing, not the thinking. For example, we can think that touching an open flame is dangerous, but taking the action of touching a flame will teach us forever (lots of flame references here).

Today, consider using the 3 second rule. Whether you want to talk to that girl or guy, try something new, take a risk at work, try to do the thing within 3 seconds, before thought sabotages forward progress. 

Letting Out a #2

There are two main urges that drive the need to create and share what we create:

  1. We are driven by muses whispering or shouting in our ears, urging us to craft our crafts. To not create, write, paint, cook, to not fill-in-the-blank is a treasonable act to whoever our Divine intervener may be.
  2. We are driven by the need to be paid attention to.

Taking a #1 out is a noble act. We stand with dignity because we are performing humble service to greater gods. If anyone charges us with vainglorious motivations, we can say “Don’t blame me…twas the muses that made me do it.” Taking a #1 is the right reason to create.

But for many of us it’s not the truth. Sure, the muses speak to us, but that’s certainly not the only reason we create. We create because we want people to notice us for our special snowflakeness. We want to lather ourselves with the warm bubbles of attention. We are driven by the need to take a #2.

#2 is not noble. Rather than standing with dignity, we squat with our asses out. The main god involved is us–we pay homage to our own (usually mistaken) godliness.

Many people have no compunction about their #2’s, as any reality TV show will attest. Like the boy who hits his brother to direct his parents’ gaze toward him, any attention is the right attention.

But there are those of us who feel shame about our #2’s. We don’t think we should want attention. People driven by #2 are not expressing a very human desire–they are broken, desperate and pathetic. They are the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boos of the world. That’s not me, we say.

We deny our #2. We pretend it’s just #1. We invoke faux-muses and throw around words without action.

Rather than confessing our desires, we cling to the delusion that the urge is just a #1. But the urge is inauthentic, or at least incomplete, and as a result we end up moving slowly or, more often, doing nothing at all. We keep quiet. We don’t write or paint or cook or sing or dance or…you get the idea.

What I propose today is that creativity is not motivated by #1 or #2–that most creative expression starts with a trickle of #1, but is then followed by a big #2. Whether this okay or not is irrelevant. It just is. And the more we deny our need to let out our #2, the more uncomfortable we become.

If you’re concerned about becoming a Kardashian, remember the words of WB Yeats: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.” The Kardashians, teeming with passionate intensity, are popular because they are unencumbered by #2 shame. Attention is not a problem for them so far as we can tell. What if we exhibited a little more of that freedom, mixed with a little more #1? Might the world be a slightly better place?

Today, do not deny your #2 urge. Welcome attention.

To The Man Who Didn’t Lie

This is a eulogy I gave July 29th for my father, Dan Friedlander. My father was–and, I suppose, still is–a man of convictions and action; an artist, poet, activist, businessman, father. I miss him dearly.

So my dad and I are in the Toronto Airport in 2001 returning from a week biking in Cuba with Ed Groark, Steve Harmon and Lee Greenhouse. US customs are in the Toronto airport and my dad, Lee and I had to sufficiently cover the tracks of our Cuban trip. This was a tricky proposition as we were 3 suntanned men without winter coats in Toronto in February. Our plan was to divide and conquer, believing that it would look far less suspicious if we went through the checkpoint separately.

I went first. The intimidating customs agent started grilling me:

“Have you been any other place besides Toronto”?

It was a tough question. He seemed to have a built in lie detector. Yes, I had. He’d find those 4 cigars and 2 bags of coffee. I was screwed.

“No,” I replied.

“What was the purpose of your trip?”

“Vacation,” I answered nervously.

“Where were you staying?”

“Friends.” I didn’t know a soul in Toronto.

He looked at me, assessing whether it was worth his time to bust my perjury. He decided it was not and waived me on.

A few paces behind me, my father and Lee meet the same customs agent.

“Have you been any other place besides Toronto”?

My father, in his perpetual guilelessness, gave the brilliant answer: “Cuba.”

An hour and a half of interrogation and a threat of a $5K fine later, I met back up with my dad and Lee.


My father did not lie. He could not not be himself.  It was a trait held us up in Toronto, that got him fired countless times, that earned your love and admiration.  You could count on him. I counted on him. I never wondered if the weather or popular opinion was going to change his mind. When I sought his counsel, he never pulled punches.  He told me more about myself than I was willing to honestly confess. He did so consistently, compassionately.

I would like to say that he gave me permission to be myself, but I don’t know if that’s true. We both knew the dark side of being yourself; depending on the audience, it can engender respect, scorn, dismissal or trust. It wasn’t until recent year that I observed him finding real ease and approbation stemming from the trait—this crowd is a testament to that.

What he gave me—among many other things—were honest reflexes. As James Baldwin wrote, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” My little fib in Toronto took every bit of willpower to carry off. He gave me a constitution that rejects dishonesty, and I have striven to create a life that is congruent with who I am. In the long run, it’s the only way to go.

Some of you know my wife Jacqueline and I had a son less than 2 weeks ago. His name is Finn Daniel Friedlander.

Fatherhood is a humbling role. I want to be the best father possible, yet there are infinite unknowns. And sometimes I wonder whether parents have any control of who their children become anyway. All they can do is permit their children to be who they already are.

I wish my father were here to help me give my son unlimited access to himself—he was better at it than I am, and most everyone I know for that matter. But seeing as his body is not up to the task any more, his spirit will have to do.

Dad, I love you. I miss you. And I thank you for being yourself. For giving me access to that gift myself. For allowing me to continue to pass this on to my son. And lastly, I thank Diane [my stepmother and dad’s wife of 30 years] and all of you, for really getting who my father was, for loving him just as he was and just as he was not. It is the greatest gift you can give anyone.

4 Steps in Perfecting the Art of Being Wrong

The other day, my wife asked for some bandaids to put on some blisters she got from her flipflops. I keep a private stash of super-adhesive bandaids for my frequent run-ins with the ground and other unforgiving surfaces. I got them from one of my drawers. I gave her the bandaids and told her to keep them, because I knew the blisters wouldn’t go away in a day.

The next day, she asked me where the bandaids were.

“I gave them to you,” I replied.

“Well, I don’t have them.”

“I distinctly remember giving them to you yesterday. I knew you’d need them, so I didn’t put them back.”

“Whatever…I don’t have them.” She ended up putting some major-surgery-sized bandaids over her tiny cuts.

I was slightly annoyed.  I vividly remember giving her the bandaids. I remember saying, “you take them.” I remember not taking them back. I remember the logic of not taking them back.

I am not a flake. I have a great memory. I remember peoples’ names at parties. I was not mistaken: I had given her the bandaids.

The next day I was looking through one of my drawers. I found the bandaids. I had not given them to her. I had not said “you take them”–or if I did, I had not given them to her. My memory had failed me. I was mistaken about what I was so certain about.

With this in mind:

  1. What are you so certain about? This could be any belief: that something is not going to work out, perhaps it’s something that caused an argument, where you placed the bandaids?
  2. Is it possible you are mistaken? Is it possible you memory, feelings, intuition, knowledge about this situation, might be failing you?
  3. How might you act if you weren’t so certain? Might you listen a bit closer to the other person? Might you entertain other possible outcomes to a situation? Might you ask for help should that be the case?
  4. Allow for the possibility of being wrong. If you find yourself getting defensive of defeated, ask yourself throughout the day, “What if I were wrong about this situation?”

Happy Father’s Day

For fear of getting too meta about my post today, I’m writing this text inside a program called “Write or Die.” The program asks you to enter a word-count and a time in which you want to write those words; e.g. I entered 300 words in 20 minutes. If you don’t meet your word-count in the allotted time, you are punished in several different ways depending on the setting you choose. In the setting I am using, when I stop writing, my words are cannibalized–i.e. one-by-one, the cursor gobbles up what I wrote.

I think the name of the program should be “Write and Die.” Even if we keep writing, even if we make our word-count (I hit mine a while back), we still die. The only difference–should we reach our objectives–is there might be a record, albeit a brief one, of our existence.

It’s a strange father’s day for me. I am going to be a father in about 5 weeks. My wife and I are readying ourselves for an amazing journey. At the same time, my father is dying. Complications from cancer are rapidly eating up his body. He is considering letting nature take over. He’ll stop eating and drinking until his body completely shuts down, not unlike closing down programs before a computer shuts down. This may happen in the next week or two.

I am one of many things my father made in the countdown timer of his life. He also made another son. He made a wife happy. He made a stand for the environment. He made an army of friends. He made lots of art (you can check it out here). These are the records he is leaving before his timer runs out.

About 8 months ago, I helped make a human. In about a month, I will make a son (he will make a father). I plan to make many more things before my timer runs out.

And perhaps the only thing we can do in the interval between birth and death is write our stories, craft our art, sing our songs, make our families, to leave some record of how much we cared and loved.

Happy father’s day dad.

You Don’t Know the Ending To Your Story (Part II)

[Apologies for the delay. Heroic circumstances I won’t bore you with–or, more likely, I will bore you with at a date in the not-so-distant future.]

Given Jacqueline’s lack of communication I decided that if I couldn’t live with the one I loved, I would love the one I was with, who, unfortunately, was Mary.

When people break up once, it can be chalked up to momentary insanity. Many relationships mend and even improve after one of these meltdowns.

When people break up twice or more, the situation is usually irreparably fucked. It shows that the first time wasn’t a mere cloud in the sky, but a permanent climatic condition.

Mary and I would break up 5 times before the final one stuck. The reunions looked much the same: I would feel lonely and low, she would suggest we hook up for “sex only,” we would enjoy about 10 minutes of pleasure before finding ourselves entwined in the same dynamic.

Casual sex is like casual murder or casual cancer. The delusion that sex is, or could be, casual, I suspect, is the root of many relationship problems. Many of us not only have sex with people we wouldn’t consider having a child with, but we have sex with people we don’t know or like.

I definitely didn’t know Mary before I slept with her. And though I liked Mary, I “liked” her in the sense of, “that was a really nice customer service representative,” not “I want to spend my life and have children with this person.”

When I have sex with someone, the relationship ceases to be casual. I suspect biology is involved, but I can’t say for sure.

When this happens, there are a few common ways to deal with it:

  1. Detach emotionally. This is typically, though not always, the guy’s plan of attack. His sexual conquest led him to emotional imprisonment. After his psycho-sexual needs are met, he realizes there is another person in the room with her/his own needs, which are often quite different than his. Rather than addressing these needs–ones he never had plans to fulfill in the first place–he detaches and generally flees.
  2. Establish false attachment. This is typically, though not always, the woman’s tact. She idealizes a situation. She equates sex with love and brands her sexual partner as a lover. She makes her happiness and security depend this person she might barely know.
  3. Turn your hookup into a relationship. Don’t call a mistake a mistake. Don’t admit you don’t know or like your sexual partner. Assume you’ll eventually get to know him or her. Let the initial dishonesty blossom to such an extent that your whole life feels like a sham. Wait until your body can no longer handle your fraudulence and explode at some unexpected moment.

I chose option 3. It wasn’t pretty. The last time I saw Mary, she had cornered me at my gym and spat in my face. I’m sure I deserved it.

Single again, I wasn’t sure what was next. I had my fill of crazy, but I was unsure how to attract sane.

I went on a relationship fast. I resolved that until I got to the heart of the problem–i.e. me and my willingness to engage in messed up relationships–me and the female sex were better off being single.

I went to work on myself. I took workshops. I cleared up stuff with my mom. I made a female friend who taught me a great deal about being comfortable with women.

2003 ended up being a really amazing year. I had made major emotional strides and at the end of the year, I decided to write an email to acknowledge all the people who had made it so great. I expressed my gratitude for the past year. Even though hard as hell, it was great.

As I finished putting my send-to list together, I came across Jacqueline’s email address. I was still a bit resentful that she never returned my previous emails, but I figured why not add her. She was hot.

Less than a day later she replied to my email. She loved it. She complemented my openness and gratitude. Game on.

Then she told me she had moved to Chicago. Game off.

You Don’t Know the Ending To Your Story

I met my wife Jacqueline 10 years ago on the L train. I gave her a long look, thinking she was a girl I had gone on a date with recently (Jacq still doesn’t believe me, but I swear that’s what happened). My too-long gaze compelled her to ask what I was looking at.

I replied that I thought she looked like someone I knew (whose name is Jen and lives in SF now…I swear), but that she couldn’t be Jen because we were on the L train and Jen lived in Park Slope. Jacqueline remarked on my lack of sound reasoning (the first, but far from last time); she said people show up in unlikely places all the time. She told me how she ran into someone she went to school with in upstate New York while visiting Masada in Israel. People show up in the unlikeliest of places. She was right (the first, but far from last time).

We proceeded to have a long conversation. I remember little about it other than being totally smitten. Here was a girl who was intelligent, spiritually centered, well-traveled and smoking hot with pale blue eyes, paler skin and an awesome body. She was the whole package.

We got off at the Lorimer stop–I lived around there and she was transferring to the G train. With such a powerful connection, I didn’t hesitate asking for her phone number. She gave me her email address. I was pretty certain I had met my wife–the lack of phone number was of little consequence.

Let me backtrack some. At the time, I was relatively fresh to the city. I slept in a windowless bedroom in an illegal share with 4 others in Williamsburg–our heroin addicted, 12-hour-a-day-Doom-playing roommate’s cat had recently given us all flees. I worked as a cater waiter, while I wanly pursued affirmation through acting and modeling. And I was involved in an every-other-month-breakup relationship with a woman I’ll call Mary. She was 10 years my senior, a career stripper for 12 years and had a hyperactive adolescent son for whom I became a proxy father.

Thing were going pretty swell.

Meeting Jacqueline made me certain my fortune would soon turn. Mary and I were technically broken up. If I went out with Jacqueline, it wouldn’t be cheating. We would fall in love, I wouldn’t end up hooking back up with Mary. With the backing of a good woman, I’d get my shit together. The future looked bright.

What was most significant about meeting Jacqueline was this: I didn’t believe it was possible that a woman could hit me on all levels–mentally, physically, spiritually. The reason I knew I didn’t believe this was because I had settled for someone so far from that mark. Mary was a good (and hot) woman, but we had almost nothing in common. Then as now, my spiritual life was very important to me, meditating, visiting ashrams and the like. Mary had no particular spiritual bent. I had traveled the world for several years; Mary had never obtained or used a passport. Let me be clear there was nothing wrong with her, just something wrong with us.

Jacqueline was a walking contradiction to the belief that there was no one out there for me.

I wrote her an impossible-to-ignore invitation to our future with proper diction, punctuation and compete sentences (things that have long vanished from my emails). I entered her Yahoo address and pressed send to wait for my destiny.


Second email. Nothing.


I was crushed. Her lack of response created a new possibility: That there are women out there who have it all, but they won’t give me the time of day.

[More soon]

Are You Trying to Win Someone Else’s Game?

In my late twenties–days long before marriage, babies and persistently creaky joints–my friends and I would go out on weekends to meet chicks.

Around that time, I had returned to school to finish my bachelor’s degree (in the very practical arts of English). I was working as a head waiter for a catering company–technically a “captain” in the self-important language of cater-ese.

When we went out, I dreaded the “what do you do?” question. I lived in New York City, and thought what I did was not very age-appropriate. 27 year-old’s did things like work at branding firms and develop iPhone apps.

When asked, I would say something like, “Well, I went back to school to finish my bachelor’s degree in English, because I want to be a writer. I dropped out when I was younger. It’s really cool because I appreciate the chance to learn so much more than when I first went to school. And I work as a head waiter–well, a ‘captain’–at a catering company. It allows me to go all over the city and see cool places and go to fascinating events.”

My voice must have acted as a diuretic because women instantly had to go to the bathroom after I started talking.

There were a couple reasons I was exciting bladders:

  1. I was selling myself. Implicit was that who I was had no self-evident value. If it did, I wouldn’t have to sell it.
  2. I was trying to win someone else’s game. I tried to create a compensatory value for who I was in relation to what I thought 27 year-old’s should be doing–making money, having a career, whatever. In other words, my life + lengthy explanation = lawyer.

These oft used-strategies keep us in the middle management of life–sucking up, hoping for a promotion from our boss, who is often someone we don’t want to be anyway.

After a good spell of swinging and missing at the bars, I realized I was losing hard. I realized that if I wanted to start winning, I’d have to play another game. So I picked the only game I was good at: mine. I looked at what was important to me: my personal evolution, relationships, spiritual life, health, etc. With these things, I was valuable. I was a winner.

When women asked what I did, I started talking about my games, inviting them to play. A funny thing happened: women started holding their bladders. They started selling themselves. They tried to get on my team–telling me how much they do yoga or something (of course, I found these things unattractive).

Sure, many women couldn’t give a shit about meditation or the healing I had done with my mom, but those weren’t the women I wanted to play with. I ended up marrying a chick whose values were aligned with mine–one who would have had nothing to do with the self-justifying loser I used to be.

With these thoughts in mind, consider:

  1. Pick an area of your life where you lack power that involves other people. It could be meeting a partner, your work, athletics, etc.
  2. Where do justify your existence in this situation? Where are your explaining your value rather than being valuable?
  3. Is this situation your, or someone else’s game? Where do you lack ownership of the your life? Keep in mind, even if we’re doing things that seem like someone else’s game, e.g. making a family or practicing medicine, we can make these things ours.
  4. For the day, stop justifying yourself. Stop explaining why you’re valuable. Look for and cut out the self-diminishing things you say to yourself and others. Be valuable, don’t explain it.
  5. Focus on winning your games, not others’. Decide what’s important to you and align your life with those things. Talk about and share those things. Look how it changes your interactions with others. Remember, if it’s not your game, you will fail.

You’re not a Champion Because You’re Unwilling to Suck

I am not seduced by learning curves. I want to be good at everything–immediately. When I play golf, I should swing like Tiger Woods. When I do public speaking, I should orate like Honest Abe. When I meditate, I should focus like the Dalai Lama. It’s a phenomenon I call the “instant expert.”

Oftentimes, experience supports my delusion. For example, as someone who has never played gold, I imagine I would demonstrate exponential growth my first time out–mainly because I would go from zero skill to some.

This growth might continue for a few outings. I’d feel pretty good about myself. I’d buy a punch-card at a country club (or whatever golfers do).

Then my learning curve would start to plateau. Gains would come with great difficulty. I’d start thinking, “Golf is lame. All the resources used for maintaining a patch of land for the 1% to tread upon…I’m too disgusted to play.” The punch-card would expire and I’d return to the things I do with a semblance of competency, like flossing my teeth.

Most of us make poor skill mean we aren’t good at something. Quitting means that we have determined that we will never be good, like it’s an immutable law.

More pernicious is this: we conflate what we do with who we are. If I suck at something, it means I suck as a person. If this is true, we must find things we are good at and avoid those we are not. This is why TV and the internet are so popular: they allow us to be instant experts. I was good at watching TV almost from the first time I watched it.

Like many people, there are things I want to do beside web-surf, watch TV and floss. Of those thing, I suck at many, if not most of them. Or I am transitioning from suckiness to passable competency.

I write, but my words are often meandering and vague. I ain’t got a book deal. I am an employee, but sometimes I can be a dunce at work. I am a husband, but I can sometimes be a total dick (sorry babe). I am going to be a father, and though I’ve pre-ordered my “Dad of the Year” t-shirt, there may be a period where I am not the most expert father.

Of this situation, I think of an Ira Glass quote:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners…For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good….A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. [Full quote here].

The gap between what we know we can do and what we’re doing can be frustrating. But we’ve got to know it’s an intrinsic part of the process. There was a time when we all of us sucked at walking. Now we’ve attained some level of mastery. It’s not magic. It’s a function taking consistent action (i.e. walking).

What if sucking at something didn’t mean that we, as people, sucked? What if it just meant we lacked a particular skill-set–one we could learn? What would that make possible?

Manhood 101

Understanding that I might court controversy, I feel obliged to spout a crazy theory about how–if you find yourself a man–you might optimize your manhood (from an emotional, not anatomical, perspective).

I give the disclaimer that I am not, nor have been to the best of my knowledge, a woman. My manly mandate may apply to women as well. To what extent, I can only report second hand.

But here it is, one of the most basics of basic manhood. Ready?

Men keep their word.

In the original “Godfather,” Vito Corleone talks to Michael about managing the Family and says, “Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men.” The Godfather might seem like a specious source of spiritual wisdom, but his remark has been borne out in countless situations in my life. A man has a special bond with his word that, if not treated with great care, has the capacity to unravel everything about him.

This is not to say that women are immune to the impact of not being word-as-bond. But it’s a different–not quite as hardcore–relationship. They can say things that, if said by a man, would be unforgivable. To illustrate: If a girlfriend says she hates her boyfriend, he’s expected to shrug it off. If he said that to her, the remark would never, ever, ever be forgotten or forgiven.

If a man is 2 hours late for an appointment, he won’t be forgiven because he looks nice in a sundress. He broke his bond. He’s a punk and a flake. Many women can glide through the same situation and be labeled “mysterious” and “ethereal,” rather than “weak” and “unreliable.”

It’s different.

One possible explanation for the difference lies in the David Deida idea that masculine energy manifests as steadiness and integrity, while feminine energy manifests as flow and change. The caveat is that some men have feminine energies and vice-versa, but that’s the general idea.

The feminine works best when grounded by masculine integrity and direction; without that energy, her behavior is like one of those sprinklers with the spaghetti hoses, shooting and spraying everyone in sight. Alternately, she might take on the role of the man, protectively shutting down her emotions so she can enjoy the emotional constancy she longs for.

The masculine works best when it is charged with the feminine’s ability to connect with emotion and feeling; without that energy, he is dead to the world, an emotionless automaton doing shit for the sake of doing it. Alternately, he might be a hyper-sensitive wuss, a self-medicating strategy for treating his feminine energy deficiency.

In relationships, when the man–or the masculine partner if same-sex–is not careful with his word (i.e. his integrity), the feminine partner feels unsafe. She becomes anxious and/or erratic in her behavior. Rather than looking at his part in the situation, a man might say something like, “Women are nuts.” While it’s hard to argue that some women are nuts, most men don’t do much to improve that situation, demonstrating the reliability of the Greek stock exchange.

Men will perpetrate this same blame-shifting on other victims: their bosses, governments, etc. Rather than looking at their carelessness and lapsed agreements, they’ll declare the other party FUBAR.

Are you a guy or someone looking to be more manly? Having issues in your relationship, work, dealing with the Man? Consider:

  1. Where are you not keeping your word? Broken agreements, unkept promises, etc.
  2. Where are you not taking responsibility for your carelessness and lack of integrity? Are you blaming your woman, your guy, your boss, Mitt Romney, etc. for all of your woes?
  3. Write out a list of all your lapsed agreements and broken promises. It doesn’t matter how long the things are outstanding. Maybe it’s something you said you would do last year and never did. Late is better than never.
  4. Do one thing from the list immediately. It could be doing something for your woman, guy, pet, boss, standing up to the Man, etc.–something that you said you were going to do and didn’t do for some lame reason.
  5. Pay attention to how your perspective on that situation changes. You are responsible for your life and how it turns out.