Last year I started getting on track with daily rituals. Meditation, exercise, writing, and more. Then I decided to stay at home with the kids and leave my job to focus on raising my children and avoid spending my paychecks on daycare while trying to grow my business. Well things changed pretty fast. My daily rituals were thrown out the door fast as I was left scrambling trying to stay on my feet. It’s hard to say this because I used to be homeless and things were pretty tough, but last year was one of the hardest years of my life. Between running the business and maintaining order in the household and keeping my kids safe until mom got home, I nearly lost my mind. Rituals? I had to laugh. Every day I would read a Facebook post or watch a video about establishing daily morning rituals and thought “What the fuck goes on their life that they could do that?” and realized the only way I could set morning rituals and do them was if I woke up at three in the morning everyday. Yeah, right on it.
I understand life is crazy and our schedules flop around so much that setting and sticking to rituals is very hard, if not unrealistic. Especially when there are kids in the picture. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create daily goals and unalterable terms we live by. Below is a list of five things I think all men should do daily. In daily, I don’t mean seven days a week. I mean daily like in “The kids are behaving and allowing me the opportunity to sit down and eat”.
It’s well known that exercise releases a cocktail of feel good hormones that help people live happier, healthier lives. It’s also well known that the need for exercise (movement) is something that is part of our DNA. More importantly, men should exercise daily to help their production of testosterone. Test is linked to many qualities of men’s lives. Testosterone plays critical roles in men’s sex drive, bone mass, body fat, muscle tissue, and physical energy. A man lacking in testosterone is risking problems such as erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, low energy, weakness in muscle and bone, growth of breast tissue, and depression. Along with a proper diet, exercise can help combat these potential issues for years to come.
If you don’t exercise now, you should start and be smart about it. That could be a ten minute walk or a half hour in a swimming pool. The point is to start slow so that you can enjoy the process and make it a part of your daily life.
If you’re like most men you grew up with other men and family members teaching you how to do life. Every step of the way through being a young child until after you bought your first home (or still to this day) we have other men and even women, and now social media, telling us what to think, how to act, how to dress, how to treat women, where to go to school and work, why you should buy a home, what you should do with your money, and more. Nearly everything we do has been either a mirror reflection of the people surrounding our lives or the exact opposite.
Self-discovery is something we should work on each day through the means of learning about who we really are. Whether that is meditation, exercise, reading, listening to podcasts, attending seminars, or simply being, self-discovery is important to your happiness and livelihood. How many men do you know, and it could be you, that are angry at their current life situation? Maybe they followed the advice of their fathers, mothers, or best friends and when it boils down to self, they realize it’s not who they are. With all the input surrounding our lives on a constant basis, the most important information we can use for the best of our life comes from within.
3. Learn Something New
This could be considered part of number two and self-discovery but for this it’s beyond learning about who you are. In a world of abundance there is so much for us to get our hands on and things we can get into that learning should be a part of our daily life. This could be learning how to repair drywall, change the oil in a car, or who Teddy Roosevelt was. Maybe it’s learning how to keep a house plant alive, how to raise chickens on your property for eggs, or how to do a rear naked choke on a Jiu Jitsu mat or in self-defense. Learning something new everyday takes things into a new world and improves our lives in many ways. One of the best results of the continued practice of learning is the increase in self-confidence. In a world where many men are lacking confidence, there is great power in being someone who exudes confidence. By learning and practicing new things we add to power within.
You have kids? Cool, get on the floor and play cowboys and robbers or hide and go seek. Have a wife or girlfriend? Get playful with her by flirting, dancing, doing silly shit that makes her laugh. Have a hobby? Make sure you do it daily or as much as you can each week.
For many men nowadays, especially those with kids and those who grew up in the Nintendo era, play means Xbox or Playstation. Call of Duty or whatever other game is popular right now. That’s cool. Don’t ever listen to someone who says you play too much unless you play more than an hour a day. Playing is important because it crushes the fucker called stress.
Stress will kill you, it’s probably killing you right now- unless you have a way to unload and release the day’s burdens. Hanging out with the family playing games, shooting gamers around the world in your Call of Duty world, or painting your model cars are all forms of stress relief disguised as hobbies. Do it more often.
5. Be Alone
Man, if there is one thing I miss in my life before I started staying home with the kids it’s alone time. When I was at my job I had a half hour commute each way. That was perfect for my alone time. Luckily there was never traffic unless a farmer was driving his tractor down the road, so it was smooth sailing the whole way and the perfect atmosphere for learning something new everyday by listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Besides the commute, I worked from home some days while the kids were in daycare. I was alone and it was quiet and it was joyous.
Extroverts might not understand but I think all men enjoy a bit of quiet and privacy. Nowadays we’re so plugged in with society that nearly every waking hour we’re getting input from millions of directions and sources. We have burdens with finances, job responsibilities, family responsibilities, and society expectations. The phone rings, the emails dings, the kids scream, the wife asks for help, your mother calls, your buddy texts, and the game is on. All of this information overload can drive you bananas if you don’t control it and the best way to handle it…
Alone time in stillness and solitude.
10 Minutes. 20 Minutes. 1 Hour. Whatever it is, find it and learn how to enjoy sitting alone in solitude. Here’s a quote about the importance and power of solitude: “In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.” -Laurence Sterne
It’s easy to say that all men should do these things daily, what’s hard is actually doing them yourself. I truly believe in walking the walk and practicing what I preach and I genuinely try to make all of these a part of my daily life. I have found the harder I work on learning who I am, about the world, the more I try to play and enjoy hobbies, the harder I try to consistently exercise, and the making an effort for a glimpse of momentary solitude, the more I enjoy life and the people I surround myself with. There are absolutely days where all of these things are thrown out the door, but more so than not, they’re a part of who you see when I smile and what you read when I write. Find your daily things to do and help allow them to activate your life.