Here's our free 31-day masculinity course
It's almost a new year, so here is our 4-part, 31-day masculinity course.
It’s not on Gumroad or behind a paywall.
You can do this easily in January to become a more masculine man, get better at exercising dominion over your world, and be a more capable husband, father, and leader.
Here it is:
Read one chapter of Proverbs each day.
Pull out one actionable idea from that chapter.
Ask God to strengthen you to act on it.
Act on it.
That’s it. End of course.
OK, less of a course and more of a challenge.
On our private members’ Discord server, we’re going to be opening a channel dedicated to this Proverbs Challenge during January.
Members will share what they have learned in each chapter of Proverbs, and how they are acting on it. Bnonn will be leading by example.
Some men on Facebook mentioned they’d like to be part of this. So until January 1, we’re offering a discount on our membership—just twelve bucks a month, instead of $19.
Obviously you get much more than just a channel for the Proverbs Challenge. We have 22 topical channels ranging from #sex to #fatherhood, #culture to #church, #manly-skills to #marriage, and everything in between.
This is where you can see Bnonn and Michael speak more candidly—and you can get counsel from a community of men who are working at exercising dominion on Christ’s behalf.
You can, of course, cancel at any time.
But this offer is only for the next 3 days. It goes away on New Year, because that’s when we start the Proverbs Challenge.
How to solve most of your solvable problems
After several years of 100s of hours of counseling men, we can tell you that most of their solvable problems are tied to a lack of healthy routine.
It takes a growing self-discipline, which in turn just takes time, to establish healthy routines.
The problem is, many men are looking for a silver bullet, or a key, that triggers a personal breakthrough in a single flash.
Breakthroughs that last don’t usually happen like that. There is no one transformative moment.
Transformation is a process, not an event. A transformed life is a life of daily discipleship.
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
These things come through through the faithful grind of daily life.
Mundane. Routine. Boring. Predictable.
These are the sort of habits that make the most difference in the long run—and create lives that make the most difference in the long run too.
You just have to act every day to establish such habits.
If transformation is the destination, you have to keep walking there. God doesn’t provide a teleporter.
This is part of our what our Proverbs Challenge is about. Starting the year well by establishing a daily habit of scripture reading, with concrete action items directly derived from God’s manual for exercising dominion.
There’s no blueprint to our challenge for the same reason that Proverbs isn’t what most people think of when they talk about a manual.
That’s not how wisdom works.
It’s not a map. It’s a compass. A framework for taking your own action.
But of course, if you want some guidance and direction, and to see how other men are doing it, you can get that too on our members’ Discord.
It is common—and a good practice—to create a to-do list of goals and tasks, even entire new systems, for the new year.
But before you create your to-do list for 2023, we suggest creating a to-cut list first.
What activities, habits, and perhaps even people are you going to cut out your life next year?
You can only do so much. You need to create space for the right things. That requires intentionality.
Consider everything you did last year, especially in terms of regular tasks and patterns.
Which ones were really high-leverage, and which ones were really time-sucks? Usually, 20% of what you’re doing gets you 80% of your results.
So you really want to increase doing that stuff. You want it to tend toward being 80% of what you do.
On the other hand, 80% of what you do generally only produces 20% of your results. So by the same token, you want—as much as possible—to cut that out.
Obviously not everything can be cut. But thinking in these terms can be helpful for deciding what to focus on, and what to eliminate. A lot of the work we do just produces churning water rather than forward momentum.
Think in terms of increase, decrease, stop, and start.
To give a concrete example, most men could benefit from simply cutting out news or podcasts about current events outside of their local communities.
Not only do we not listen to news about other countries, we don't listen to news about our own countries.
Neil Postman put it well in Amusing Ourselves To Death:
How often does it occur that information provided you on morning radio or television, or in the morning newspaper, causes you to alter your plans for the day, or to take some action you would not otherwise have taken, or provides insight into some problem you are required to solve? For most of us, news of the weather will sometimes have consequences; for investors, news of the stock market; perhaps an occasional story about crime will do it, if by chance it occurred near where you live or involved someone you know. But most of our daily news is inert, consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action.
If you want to have maximum effect in your life, learn to care almost exclusively about actionable ideas that are meaningful to your local situation.
Btw, social media is not local.
We are probably going to see a lot of fallout from the ”great resettlement” in ’23.
There will be a lot failed homesteads.
Marriages where one spouse drove the relocation at the expense of family and friends will be greatly tested.
There will be a lot of disillusionment with the “bold churches.”
A good way to buffer yourself against this is establishing good routines based on God’s word. Hence our Proverbs Challenge for January.
Michael’s favorite book in 2022 was Greg Mckeown’s Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.
His 2023 plans are my attempt to implement this book’s key principles across the whole of his life.
A few quotes to whet your appetite…
Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.
We need to learn the slow “yes” and the quick “no.”
If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.
The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default.
Of course, nobody likes to be bored. But by abolishing any chance of being bored we have also lost the times we used to have to think and process.
You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.
Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.
Essentialists see trade-offs as an inherent part of life, not as an inherently negative part of life. Instead of asking, “What do I have to give up?” they ask, “What do I want to go big on?”
Today, technology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It is not just information overload; it is opinion overload.
This was published 65 days ago now:
Articles like this have been published over and over again for the last two years. And of course, similar articles about climate change have been published for decades.
It’s starting to remind us of all those people who predicted the rapture back in the 80s and 90s.
We’re not saying dystopian predictions are necessarily false. But they are usually false—while also being very appealing.
Why? Because they can justify or validate certain type of cynicism and escapism.
Why try to establish a predictable routine of productivity if the world is so unpredictable, and the routine will just come to naught when everything suddenly implodes?
Of course, the more people establish faithful routines of dominion, founded on wise anticipation of the future, and shrewd discernment of God’s patterns of providence, the less likely any kind of implosion becomes…
So why not join us for January in working out such a routine in your own life, founded on God’s own wisdom for faithful dominion in Proverbs?
Become a member before January 1, and it’s 33% less for the first 12 months (cancel any time).
Talk again next week
Bnonn & Michael