Hold Fast Iron

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

Hold Fast Iron is dedicated to sharpening the lives of others.  

Don't Think Like Everyone Else if You want to be Happy

[Editors Note:This post was published August 27, 2014]

According to a video posted by the the Wall Street Journal yesterday (link below), the following are the top five reasons Americans are unhappy (in order of importance).

  1. We're in poor health.
  2. We're too stressed.
  3. Lifestyles of the rich and famous bum us out and make us jealous.
  4. We don't make enough money.
  5. We work too much.                                                                                                                 

I can imagine that most people who saw this list online or watched the video not only agreed with this list, but also felt that each item is the fault of someone else. However, even though I would agree that the items on the list are a problem, I see each of these items resulting from bad personal habits and poor thinking, not bad fortune or a lack of government programs to fix them.

Let me explain by addressing each individually.

#5 - We work too much: I can't tell you how much this one bothers me. I don't care how many hours a week someone works, the fact is that people should be happy to be working and thankful that they live in a country where they have an opportunity to get up and make something of themselves. Most men these days think they all deserve more, but aren't willing to put in the effort or time to earn the things that others have. Remember that work is a privilege, not a right, and each of us has a duty to do whatever is necessary to feed and clothe our families. Men who complain to management and think this way, end up on the unemployment line...trust me. 

#4 - We don't make enough money: It's not that we don't make enough money, the larger problem is what we as men are doing with the money we do have. According to the February 18th report issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Americans owed $11.52 trillion dollars in personal debt. Never in American history have we as Americans spent such a high percentage of our paychecks paying back things we purchased in the past. If we all collectively borrowed less money, bought fewer things and downsized our data plans, we would not be so desperate for raises. I know that minimum wage workers have a different set of issues, but I'm not talking about them. Remember, it is not how much money you make, but what you do with the money you have. Be thankful for the money you have and for having a job, millions of Americans are still unemployed and would love to have this problem. 

#3 - Life styles of the rich and famous bum us out and make us jealous:  Many philosophers and religious leaders have been preaching to men for centuries that jealousy and envy are dangerous. The reason is that this way of thinking destroys the self esteem and leads to a constant pattern of dissatisfaction with life. This is the primary reason that idiots like the Kardashians are so toxic for society and women's perceptions about the lifestyle we are supposed to provide.  If you want to be rich, try emulating the habits of Americans who got their wealth the hard way and not by whoring themselves out on TV, like those who tend to drive these feelings.

If you're interested in learning more, we encourage you to read, A Millionaire Next Door,  which summarizes a very comprehensive study of America's millionaires. In the book they describe how most rich people work incredibly hard for their wealth, live minimalist lives, and avoid debt at all costs. They aren't corporate raiders polluting the world and they aren't murderers slaughtering woman and children in diamond mines in some far off country. There is some truth to the diamond mine thing, but those are mostly tales told by politicians to elicit anger and contempt. If each of us men desire to be wealthy, the only solution is to get up, go to work, and work harder than everyone else. We also need to encourage each other to get out of debt and stop placing so much importance on material shit and living the high life. It is all trash in the long run. 

#2 - We're too stressed:  When it comes to being stressed there is really only one solution, SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE. As working men we are all too familiar with the causes of stress; work, picking up kids, bills, relationship issues, social activities, keeping up with social networking, etc.  Somethings can't be avoided, but we need to realize that we are in complete control of how we think and feel. We are also in control of everything that is causing us stress. For example, if we have too many bills, pay off your debts and close your accounts. If your kids have too many activities, cut back to one. We also don't need to be plugged into the matrix on our phones or ipads 24 hours a day either. In fact, turn off all of your devices. 99% of the time there is nothing meaningful happening on ESPN, Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social network, so turn it off and give yourself a break.

#1) We're in poor health: Like all things on this list, we as men are in complete control of our health. However, unlike managing our money differently and turning off our phones, correcting our health issues requires reprogramming our daily habits in order to develop new positive habits that create an environment within our bodies for good health.  Good health requires intense physical activity, cutting back on empty calories and making sleep and rest a priority. Take the time to educate yourself on the proper way to eat and exercise, and good health will naturally become a part of your every day routine. Even small changes like having a glass of water every morning before your coffee and breakfast can go along way to improving how you feel. However, if you do nothing else, eat more fruits and vegetables, and consume less alcohol, processed grains and dairy. Those things give your body very little and are likely to add to poor digestion and your waistline.

Anyways, don't be like the majority of whiny men who want someone else to fix their problems. Think differently and live differently. That is the only way to truly live a Hold Fast Life.         

Links and Sources: