We spent the last nine days in the woods.
It felt good.
We don’t vacation on Glutton Island or Voyeur Beach. No, our time off is a sacred time to refresh, refocus and relax. We go off the grid and get the heck out of the everyday world.
We’re outside when the sun comes up and outside when the sun goes down.
No phones… no TV… and no news.
It feels good. It’s healthy.
It reminds us why we do what we do. It reminds us again why we launched this project with such passion and fury.
That’s especially true as we meander back into the “real world” this week. (Although we argue the real world is back under those trees.)
We picked up the paper to read of another attack on innocent lives… and another… and another.
Yet again, a disconnected man turns his self-loathing into death for others.
And just below the main headlines, we see the lines of Hollywood, politics and immorality getting blurred. Men across the world are losing jobs and losing face as they’re accused of sexual crimes ranging from improper to downright heinous.
What Happened to Us?
When we’re constantly connected to the 24-hour mainstream news feed, the bad news simply strings from day to day. Each sound bite leads to the next. Our minds push out the old to make way for the new.
We become numb to the pain.
But when we’re disconnected from it all – when the mind is fresh and open – the pain is intense and sharp.
It’s the way it’s supposed to be.
But something in our culture has snapped. Something is broken.
There’s a war against man. And he’s his own worst enemy.
He’s fighting himself.
We’ve long argued there are just three things a man needs to be healthy, successful and fulfilled. They’re the things we don’t just seek when we go off the grid and into the woods… they’re the things we depend on.
When just one of the three elements is missing, all hell breaks loose.
It’s how we get the headlines we got this week… this year… and this generation.
The first of these three ideas, as you likely know, is Liberty.
This is a tough idea for many folks to wrap their minds around, especially these days. But it’s critical to understand that Liberty is not freedom.
Our culture tends to think the two terms are interchangeable. Really, they’re not. There are critical differences.
Freedom is a word of German origin that simply means the ability to make decisions or perform actions without external control.
But liberty, with its French roots, means freedom that has been granted by some sort of external element, typically our society or government.
Boiled down… freedom is something we are born with. Liberty is something we must fight for.
But when we look at the headlines these days, we see a dangerous blurring of the lines between politics, Hollywood and, well, reality.
For most folks, movie stars have as much clout as our politicians.
It’s antithetical to Liberty. It creates a dangerous mindset that warps our choices, degrades our morals and tears down the oh-so-thin wall between right and wrong.
Do It for Yourself
The second key element, of course, is Know-How. This one’s obvious, but its importance is often overlooked.
Too many folks are good at just one thing. That’s why our careers become our identities.
“Hi, I’m Joe… the plumber.”
We spend our adult lives mastering just one skill. Most often it’s a skill that’s only truly useful to the person employing us. And while we spend years mastering it, we overlook the key skills that make us feel complete.
That’s why we recently taught a roomful of folks how to pick a lock. Sure, the skill is mildly useful, but it’s the feeling folks get when they have the ability to fend for themselves that we’re truly after.
It’s powerful stuff… and it’s why Know-How is so critical to our overall health.
And finally, we must have solid Connections.
We’ve said it before to great controversy, but what’s the common denominator behind all these bastards shooting up innocent people? You’ll hear it on the mainstream news. “He mainly kept to himself,” the unknowing neighbor will say. “We hardly ever saw him.”
It’s a red flag.
Man needs to be connected. Without healthy relationships, we will never thrive.
We must put as much emphasis on building our Connections as we do looking after our overall health. It’s just as important.
If you’ve been a longtime reader, you know we pull these ideas into something we simply dub our Triad. Our Liberty… our Know-How… and our Connections are what make or break us.
We don’t put the pen down for a week to sip drinks on the beach and stand in line at a buffet table. No, we pack our bags, light a fire in the woodstove and spend the time focused tightly on the Triad.
We come back a refreshed – and happy – man.