229 – Living A Half-Assed Life

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Living A Half-Assed Life…

You have arrived at the podcast devoted exclusively to the topic of the character of men.  We don’t talk about sports, or politics, or dating or fashion.  Here we talk about the nuts and bolts of what it means to be a man in today’s world, we talk about living with character and purpose.  We do this, so that you can apply it to your own life and become a better man today than you were yesterday.  I am the host and creator of this show, my name is Alf Herigstad.

We are very fortunate to have a sponsor of these Friday episodes.  A company I have partnered up with that helps me keep this show in production.  That sponsor is Stump Town kilts.  They are an American company located in Portland Oregon and they have the distinction of making the finest, most versatile, durable and attractive kilts on the market.  I know—because I own three of them and have been a customer of theirs long before I even had a podcast.

I approached them to become a sponsor for that reason, because I wanted to represent a company and a product that I believe in 100%.  Stump Town kilts have several features that other kilts just don’t have.  Like the huge hidden pocket, the adjustable sizes, the snap on accessories, and because of the way they are made you don’t have to iron them.  They also come in a variety of colors.  I have a black, gray, and a green one, the next one I get will be brown but they also have a camouflage one.

I wear mine for every occasion from shearing sheep and chopping wood to fancy diners and officiating weddings.  They are the perfect garment for any occasion.  Right now, as a listener of this show you can get your very own Stump Town Kilt for a substantial discount.  Go to stumptownkilts.com and do all your shopping.  When you are checking out remember to enter the special code to get your discount, that code is:  betterman.  All lower case, all one word.  Do that and you will receive your discount and also let them know you heard about it right here.

Today I’m going to talk a minute about someone I actually know.  I won’t use his name and I’m sure he doesn’t listen to this show but I want to talk about him because he is a perfect example of something I call; living a half-assed life.

So this guy is in his mid thirties and I have know him for a few years, several in fact.  We met by way of an organization we were both involved with that dealt with a shared interest.  Pretty quickly I noticed that he only did things half way.  He did just enough to survive and would do no more.  Through the years I have witnessed this guy go through his life and the more I got to know him, the more I realized how deeply his culture of being half-assed went.

I watched him lose many jobs because most employers frown on people being half-assed at work.  I watched him go through several relationships and then finally get married.  Problem with that was, his marriage was even done half-assed.  Not the ceremony itself, I wasn’t there…but how the relationship was structured, the level of commitment, everything was done half-assed so it was no surprise to me when it quickly fell apart. 

I came to ultimately realize that literally everything in his life, his relationships, work, physical fitness, domestic situation, even his hobbies were all done with the same half-assed approach.

This all fascinated me.  I spent a few years trying to figure it out, I even talked with him about it on a couple occasions.  It fascinated me because he is not a stupid guy.  In fact I liked him, he has a decent sense of humor and can carry on a good conversation.  I kept waiting for him to wake up.  I kept waiting for him to realize the consequences of living like that and have some sort of revelation, but he never did, even to this day.

There has not been any contact between he and I for several months but today I was talking with someone who has and I was sad to learn that nothing has changed.  In fact, it has gotten worse.  Now on top of everything else he is having horrible financial difficulties, no doubt a result from only being employed sporadically.  So it seems the result of living a half-assed life, is that you wind up with a half-ass life.  A Life that is only half as good as it could be.  The next logical question in my mind is why would an otherwise intelligent person choose that for themselves?

I was venting about all this to my wife earlier because it boggles my mind.  Almost every bad thing that has happened in his life was totally preventable.  As my wife and I were talking I mentioned that I have known other people similar to this guy who eventually had a revelation, and turned their life around.

My wife said she had never known anyone who did that.  She was of the belief that there are some people who are just born a certain way, and that is the same way they will die.  She said they might be doing their very best, but to other people their best appears like a half-assed effort.

I thought about this for a minute.  I rolled it around in my head.  After some deliberation I decided that I just don’t agree.  I can’t buy it because I have witnessed change in people.  I have seen people do a complete 180 and through effort and focus turn their life into something good.

Granted, there are many people who suffer the consequences of their own actions for years and never pull out of it.  They numb their pain with drugs or alcohol as their life slowly circles the drain and they feel like a victim the entire time.  However, at the same time, there are other people who realize that every bad thing that ever happened to them is their fault.  They decide they want to live and live well, they start making choices that will effect that outcome.  They surround themselves with people that will be good examples, they abandon people and behavior that have been pulling them down.

Look I do not have all the answers.  I’m on the same journey you are, trying to be a better man every day.  Maybe my wife and I are both right?  Maybe both kinds of people exist; those who can change and those who are incapable of it, I don’t know.  What I do know is that there wouldn’t be any reason for me to do this show if I believed that everyone was destined to any particular lot in life.  I believe that when a man becomes fed up with the consequences of his actions or lack of actions, that he can make a decision to improve his life. 

Maybe there are some people listening like this guy I know, maybe you do everything half-assed and then wonder why your life sucks.  There are probably a lot of guys listening that just do some things half-assed, and some guys that don’t do anything half-assed at all.  What you should all do is determine where you are on that spectrum.  If your life sucks right now maybe there is something you could do about that. 

What if you approached everything in life with your full abilities, expecting to succeed and not ever settling for less than your best effort?  I bet if you did that, no matter who you are, your life would improve.  In fact if you did that, you would become a better man than you were yesterday. 

Now head out into the world and realize that it’s all up to you.  It’s your choice.  You can choose to live a half-assed life, or you can choose to be a better man.

Hey remember to to check out my new book, Forging A Man, available right now on Amazon.

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