Why Do People Want To Be Told What To Do?

I remember being in school and studying Islam (no, this isn’t about Islam per se, just bear with me) and how Muhammed wanted to both attract Jews and Christians to the faith and lay down all these new restrictions on those who converted.

At the time, I started thinking, “So you’re going to tell them to stop doing stuff they might like to do, make them pray a good chunk of the day, and this will convert people?” I thought it was a miracle Islam didn’t die right then and there.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed something. People seem to actually like being told what to do.

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You Can’t Control Your Luck, So Control What You Can

Very recently, the lottery jackpot was insane. Something like $1.6 billion dollars was set to go to just one person.

Like everyone else, I spent a fair bit of time daydreaming about what I could do with that kind of money. Yes, even knowing that you’d only ever really see a portion of it, I had lofty plans for so much of it, plans that I’m still kind of impressed with, to be fair.

But alas, I didn’t win. My guess is that you didn’t either. Unsurprisingly, the lottery tickets of everyone I knew came up depressingly short of even a nice fraction of that jackpot.

It’s unsurprising because the odds of winning a jackpot is so astronomical. I probably have a better chance of being drafted into the NBA while accepting an Oscar and being struck by lightning simultaneously. It’s just not realistic to place your bets on something that relies on pure luck.

You can’t control your luck, so it makes more sense to control what you can, like how hard you work.

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Trying To Find One’s Way

In the time that this site has existed, it’s been both a masculinity blog built in part to support a book I wrote on the subject and it’s been a blog dedicated to all aspects of personal defense.

In each case, I’ve intentionally created what the goal is to be. I’ve decided I would write on X topic and only X topic here at the site. This is the standard operating procedure for blogs. It’s what I’d done in the past to varying degrees of success and it’s what all the advice posts on starting a blog tell you to do.

Yet, in the year since I refocused this site, I’ve noticed something. I’ve noticed that I’m not talking nearly as much about some stuff as I thought I would.

Which means that I’m not actually creating the site I intended.

The question is, is that good or is that bad?

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It’s Not The Lofty Goals That Will Change Things, It’s Changing One Habit

Once upon a time, I was the kind of person I didn’t like very much. I was lazy, expecting the world to fall down in front of me despite doing nothing at all to deserve it, and I had a real problem with acknowledging my own screwups.

That last one shouldn’t have been a thing, either, simply because I had so many screwups, I should have been well-practiced in admitting them. But no. I wasn’t.

Then my son was born. Looking down on him, I realized that it was time to get my crap in order. I couldn’t afford to screw up the rest of my life because it was screw up his life too. It’s one thing to sabotage myself, but doing it to another who had no choice in the matter? No, I couldn’t do it.

So that meant it was time to figure out what I wanted out of life. What I wanted to be when I finally grew up….even though I was 28-years-old.

To be sure, I had these lofty ambitions start to form, but things didn’t change. The reason? You have to start small. You have to change the habits.

Continue reading “It’s Not The Lofty Goals That Will Change Things, It’s Changing One Habit”