A few weeks ago, I decided that I needed to re-caulk the bathroom sink. The silicone around the edge of the porcelain had deteriorated, and so it needed to be scraped out and replaced.

It was actually my second time doing this, so it should have been no big deal (the first time, it didn’t set long enough before being exposed to water). I already had the caulk, I knew how to do the job, and I knew that it would take about five minutes.

Even though it would have been easy to knock it out and be done with it, I put it off for more than a week. I just felt like I was too busy.

Granted, I was busy. I have a number of different things I’m working on, and a few more on the waiting list. But there was no reason I couldn’t take five minutes and just be done with this. After all, I was more than happy to spend five minutes checking Twitter.

This situation is not unique to me. From time to time, it seems like almost everyone gets stuck on simple tasks that would be so easy to do, and yet don’t get done. We just feel too busy to stop, focus on this one thing, and knock it out.

So these little, unfinished tasks stay in our heads and nag at us every so often. They take up valuable mental space, and add their own weight to the feeling of being too busy.

Before long, you can start to feel overwhelmed. You might even start to feel “too busy” to get anything done. Your mind starts to look like a traffic jam, with so much going on that no progress is made anywhere. I’ve been there too many times to count.

And all the while, we’re aware that we can’t stay like this. We know that we still have to get everything done.

At this point, most will use things like TV, the internet, junk food, or games to fill the brain with enough feel-good chemicals to dull this sense of responsibility, and stop it from becoming too urgent.

And unfortunately, it often works, at least to some extent. So important tasks keep piling up, our brains become more and more congested, and real life feels more and more overwhelming.

And meanwhile, the nasty silicone around the bathroom sink is deteriorating more and more every day.

So what do you do?

You kill the nags. All those little things that are easy to do. Anything you can knock out quickly.

Forget about anything else. Pick one task and eliminate it. Congratulate yourself and move on to the next one.

Chances are, it’ll feel good and you’ll start picking up momentum. Each task you complete takes a little bit of weight off of your mind, and frees up a little more mental energy for the next thing. You start to feel sharper, and the next monster on the list shrinks and starts to look more manageable.

The traffic in your mind starts flowing again.

You work on the next task, then the next one, then the next one. You’re not overwhelmed anymore. You feel good about what you’ve done, and you go to bed feeling good about what you’re going to do tomorrow. You feel better about real life, and you don’t feel such a strong need to drown it out with the easy feel-good activities so much.

Last Saturday, I decided to just go ahead and caulk the sink. No need to think about it anymore. Saturday wasn’t a better day to do it. It was just the day I made up my mind to start killing the nags.

So I did it, and it was done. My mind was clearer. I felt more energetic, and I could focus more easily on the rest of my work.

I learned that, just because you’re not thinking about something this second, doesn’t mean it’s not taking up mental energy. In some strange way, it is draining you, even if you don’t realize it.

These little tasks will keep nagging at you and stealing your focus until you kill them. And when you do, the noise will quiet down. You’ll be able to think. And your energy will be freed up for the big stuff that you really want to do.

So wherever you are, whatever you have to do, however much work you have piled up, start by killing the nags.

See what happens.



“Everything in moderation.” That’s one of the many mottoes of the modern age. It contains important wisdom, but when misapplied, it can become particularly counterproductive.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with things like playing video games. Or eating a little junk food. Or skipping a workout. Or having a couple drinks.

These are indulgences that we’re often willing to make deals with, for the sake of fun, or gratification, or comfort. In return, we sacrifice a little time, or a little money, or something else relatively small.

And normally, we make these small compromises with the understanding—implicit or explicit—that our sacrifices will not be too great. “It’s okay if I play a little, it’s not going to take up too much time.” “Having a few donuts every now and then isn’t going to make a big difference.” “I can take extra rest days without falling out of shape.”

And as long as things stay properly moderated—as long as they don’t start snowballing out of control, and don’t have unexpected, disproportionate consequences—then everything is fine. Some people play video games every day and still maintain excellence in their spiritual walk, family life, and business. Some folks eat a pretty decent amount of junk food and stay in excellent physical condition. Some people rarely work out, and yet remain strong and healthy.

That’s not the case for everyone though. Life’s not fair, and when different people do the same things, they often get somewhat different results. Beyond that, some people simply have trouble moderating certain actions, period.

In such cases, our little indulgences end up having greater consequences than we anticipated. Perhaps greater consequences than we would have accepted if we knew about them in the first place.

What if you treated your “deals” with these indulgences the same way you would treat any other deal? What if you decided that there were non-negotiable items that simply were not on the table? And that if your indulgences took more than they were allowed to, the deal would be off and they would be duly removed from your life?

You could decide, “Okay, I’ll play video games. But it’s not allowed to cause me to fall behind on my projects, or make me feel like spending less time with my family. If this happens, the deal is off.”

With these terms in place, you’re more prepared to take decisive action if the activity starts to encroach on your non-negotiables. In the meantime, you don’t have to worry so much about how much is too much, or whether you’re keeping things balanced, because you’ve clearly defined the line that shall not be crossed. This is both easier and more effective than trying to measure some vague idea of “moderation”.

And this isn’t a strange concept. It’s the same thing you would do in any other deal. Let’s say you’re making an agreement with a phone service provider. You won’t sign a contract that says you’ll be charged “a moderately reasonable price.” You want to know the numbers! So you get the exact cost, and then if they try to take something you didn’t agree to, you (hopefully) will cease doing business with them.

It should be the same with our habits, hobbies, and so on. By all means, let’s have some fun. Make deals. But draw the line somewhere. Keep some things off the table. Set non-negotiables.

As long as things stay balanced and moderated, enjoy them freely, without guilt or worry.

And if these indulgences take more than you agreed to, cut them out without a second thought.




Growing up, I had a paralyzing fear that often kept me from maturing, building important relationships, or even making small changes to my lifestyle.

Like many fears held by people living in the first world, it was completely irrational. I always liked to think of myself as a pretty logical person, but even so, I allowed myself to remain firmly in the grip of this fear for years.

It’s not a fear I’ve heard talked about before. I have no idea how common or rare it is.

Maybe it’s one of those things that lots of people have, but nobody puts to words. Or maybe it’s just me.

Or maybe I’m just not using the right search terms.

On the surface, it may have looked like I was simply afraid of change. But I wasn’t; I wanted to make the changes I was afraid to make. And besides, I was already used to dramatically changing circumstances, having lived in four different states before I even made it to middle school.

This was something different. I was not afraid of change itself. Not at all.

The easiest way to put it, is that I was afraid of being perceived to have changed myself.

I was afraid of people thinking I was doing something I “wouldn’t normally do”.

It wasn’t just negative judgment that I feared either. I was afraid of making an unexpected positive impression too.

I had a mental picture of what I thought others perceived me to be. And I was terrified of being seen to deviate from that picture.

This was, without a doubt, the biggest fear that held me back while growing up.

In the video below, I go into more detail about my experience with this fear.






In September of 2017, I finally made the jump. I quit my job and went fully into business for myself.

I had figured it would probably take a couple months to really get into the swing of things and replace my income. I was mistaken.

Over half a year later, I still wasn’t doing well. My savings were bleeding out. I wasn’t hitting my goals. I still had time, but I didn’t have any firm indication that I was really on my way to true, gainful self-employment.

The entire time, it felt like there was a mental and emotional barrier stopping me from getting into gear and taking myself seriously. But I couldn’t quantify it or figure it out. I felt like there was just something wrong with me.

One day, it finally hit me. I was carrying an old weight from my childhood. I was still blaming myself for something that I had already walked away from years ago.

If I felt like I was “in the dark”, it was because I was living in a shadow of the past.

In this video, I talk about how greed poisoned me as a child, and how the after-effects of that poison continued to hold me down well into my adulthood.

Then I’ll talk about how I finally confronted my past and forgave myself, allowing me to work more confidently toward the life I’ve wanted to live.





From time to time, I’ll speak with men who have reached a discouraging point in their battle against some vice, like porn.

I’ve been at this same discouraging point myself at times.

It’s best described as, “feeling guilty for not feeling guilty.”

We fail. Over. And over. And over again.

At first, we feel guilt for our failures. And it is fitting that we do.

After all, we’ve betrayed God. Right in front of His face, no less.

We have—even if in secret—let down the people who look up to us.

We’ve failed our current or future spouses.

We sabotage ourselves, and slowly kill off the person we were created to be.

And so we feel guilt.

But, eventually, we grow numb. We get used to the sting of failure. And our feelings of guilt cease.

This can be alarming and discouraging. For some of us, guilt was a key driving force behind our efforts to change. What will we do without it?

The video below explains how to handle this situation, as well as the overall role of feelings (like guilt) in your life as a man.





It’s natural to feel a sense of shame when you fail and relapse into sin.

But when this shame stops us from immediately turning to God in repentance, it becomes an enormous problem. When we feel like we can’t return to God until we straighten out our behavior on our own, we become trapped.

That’s because we could never free ourselves. We need God to wash us clean.

In this video, I talk about escaping this shame and running immediately to God, as well as the magnitude of God’s love for us and what Christ really has accomplished.





You are different from me.

I don’t know who you are, and I know you’re probably not the only one reading this. But I’m talking to you specifically. You are different from me. Your life is different. Your mind is different. Your desires, weaknesses, strengths, motives, experiences, and knowledge are all different from my own.

There is a theory that language by itself is not very effective at conveying completely new ideas. That the best it can do is direct your attention to something you can perceive yourself, or draw a comparison to something you’re already familiar with.

This is more or less true. It’s why real-life experience is a better teacher than a book, and it’s why analogies are often so much more powerful than raw, factual descriptions. It’s why a blind person can study and learn all about the color red, and still not know it as well as someone who has seen it.

Another example: Last year, as part of December of Discipline (AKA 31 Days To Masculinity), I ran without resting for as long as I could, right up until I collapsed onto the ground.

I could go into great detail describing that experience to you, but you still wouldn’t really know what that’s like unless you’ve done it yourself.

Experience is simply the best teacher out there. You can learn from others, and they can even give vital input by drawing connections or pointing out details you missed. But ultimately, first-hand knowledge is the easiest to understand, apply, and remember. And it is the basis for all further learning.

This rang true during my experience quitting porn. Along the way, I did learn and benefit from the insights of others. But the major breakthroughs occurred while taking time by myself and doing some real thinking.

After a failure, I had to sit down and figure out what went wrong. I had to personally and honestly analyze the thoughts and events that led to relapsing. I had to take time to think about how my own experiences were related to the lessons I had learned elsewhere.

I had to take the second-hand knowledge from others and turn it into first-hand knowledge.

There is no substitute for this. You yourself must learn. While teaching is good, no amount of teaching can make up for a failure to learn.

Thinking On A Stump
You should occasionally spend some time away from everyone and everything else. Hopefully in a more comfortable position than this.

Take time by yourself. Turn off the music, walk away from the computer, put down your phone. Think. Pray.

Dissect your mind and your behavior. Dismantle your excuses and self-deception and get to the true heart of your thoughts and actions.

This is something that must be done, and nobody else can do it for you 100%.

Other people can help expose the lies you tell yourself and give you shortcuts to finding the truth. They can give you hints and reminders and explain things you haven’t put together yourself.

But you still have to find out how the truth of these lessons manifests in your own life so you can put them to work. Sometimes this is quick and easy. Other times it takes hours of intense introspection. Either way, you have to take the time to feed and train your mind.

I’ll close with an analogy to drive the point home.

You could assemble the best physical trainers in the world and they could tell you what workouts to do, the best nutritional plans, how to exercise with the best form, and give you all the information you would need to reach any fitness goal as quickly as possible.

But they can’t go to the gym for you. You have to do that.

So do it.