On ManMade, we've always made the argument to buy high-quality goods made with reliable materials, even if it means you ultimately end up being able to afford less. This applies to men's clothing and style items, which will last longer and be more versatile, and all kinds of quality goods created by skilled workers and artists.
But beyond the ethical and aesthetic reasons, spending a little mre also makes financial sense as well, and will most often end up saving you money in
Time management is unbelievably important essential for any man trying to be his best. That doesn't mean you have to fill your day with as many tasks as you can or build out your schedule with nothing but hustle. It means that in order to be the guy, the husband, the friend, the father, the boyfriend, the employee, the maker, the athlete, the citizen, the artst, the buisness owner, the scholar, the volunteer, the brother (you get where I'm going...), you've got to create the balance that allows you to fit in all the tasks and roles you've incorportated into your life.
And a great way to create that balance? Be mindful
I don't think I ever officially announced this on ManMade, but one month ago today, I turned 30. I won't bore you with reflections (but if you wanna know how I feel about it, feel free to email me), but it certainly makes articles such as this great piece by Alex Williams much more engaging.
In "Friends of a Certain Age," Williams seeks to explore why it be tough to make new friends - real friends, confidants - after you leave college and other proximity-based experiences of early adulthood (roommates, casual dating, etc).
Be a good man.
For many guys in the twenty-first century, aspiring to the "good" part is easy...it's the man part that seems tough. Those who've never been much moved by abstract virtues that aren't sensitive to one's specific context can find it tough to embrace their masculinity without becoming an arrogant jerk.
Actor Nick Offerman has written a evocative meditation on his first passion, fine woodworking. "The list of useful implements that can be crafted from wood is infinite and amazing, and I am spellbound by the ancient practice of woodworking,
"Productivity — the amount of output delivered per hour of work in the economy — is often viewed as the engine of progress in modern capitalist economies." But, what if, our drive to be more productive, to generate more output with fewer people, actually has met its ilmitations. What if it's time to actually shoot to be less productive? What if we can actually improve the quality of our lives, the professions of others, the economy, and our relationships, by seeking to be less efficient?
There's a current micro-meme that's found its way all over Facebook and the blogosphere, in which there appears a relatively generic alphabetical list of somewhat less-than-dominant foods with the title, "The 100 Foods You Should Eat Before You Die."
In the words of Time magazine's Josh Ozersky, the list "looks like it took about six minutes to think up. You could have created the whole thing while listening to 'Aqualung.' It’s simply a bunch of unconnected foods, listed alphabetically, without any kind of qualifier.
Usually, I don't care much for things that are full of what they are: Hollywood movies about Hollywood, hip-hop songs about being a rapper. But, I have a soft spot for all the great type-based 'motivational' sayings that have all over the design blogosphere. I think it's mostly because I'm surprised that I can be moved by such visuals, actually inspired, certainly more than cheesey script-y phrases from the craft store or those photos of mountains with some definition that hung in everyone's office in the 90s. (Okay some of these have mountains too, but they're awesome mountains.)
Sometimes, being a grownup means you have all kinds of additional opportunities. Sometimes, being a grownup means you have all kinds of additional responsibilities. But, most importantly, being a grownup means you get to learn some basic truths about how the world works and the nature of the human condition. Like:
I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computers history if you die.
There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
I'm not really a "quotes" kinda guy. (See what I did there?) I don't have a phrase in my email signature line, and I struggled every time when I was in a small group in grad school and we had to choose a quote or phrase that best describes our outlook. (You'd think I'd just have picked one to make those [twenty-four!] first days of class easier...note to 22-year-old self.)
If you ask me, there are few better examples of the quintessential man than Ernest Hemingway. Sure, he had some flaws, but damn, he was a cool dude.
Last summer, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Hemingway's passing, the good folks at 1000memories created this great poster titled Live the Hemingway.
Perhaps it's the end of the year, and you're searching for a resolution of sorts. Maybe you've noticed you're not using your time as well as you used to. Or, most likely, you're a productive, creative person, and you're always looking to find the best ways to do what you do best: create.
On this dark, rainy fall day, I'm feeling all warm and gooey inside having spent the morning with This is Indexed, a project by Jessica Hagy in which she catalogs life, relationships, and culture in line graphs and Venn diagrams, which she draws each morning.