Today, men are lazy. And they’re becoming more and more sedentary.

Thanks to modern advancements, cutting down a tree takes almost no effort.

Most men today spend their lives in boxes. Working careers sitting at a desk staring at a lit-up box with buttons. They may stand up, walk to the break room, poor some food out of a box, return to their box, watch the hand on the wall waiting for work to end. Then they climb in their box, drive home to their big-box only to sit and watch more lit up images on a different box with moving pictures. Sometimes playing Xbox before acknowledging their wife. We live in a world of boxes.

“The pursuit of easy things makes men weak.”

If you seek the easiest path, life will be hard. If you do hard things life will be easy.

Do Hard Things

People go to and from work without a purpose in life. They wonder why they’re depressed. Why their health isn’t as good. And why they don’t have the energy to do things.

Newton’s First Law says:

“An object in motion tends to stay in motion.”

The more you get out and do the more you’ll want to do. 

A few days ago, I volunteered to chop down a tree. Rather than borrowing a chainsaw or renting one from the local home depot, I decided to use my own ax sharpened by a nearby rock.

Swing after swing after swing, I realized how difficult it is to cut a tree with an ax and how physically demanding it can be. As I was chopping, I thought, I don’t need a gym, I just need to start chopping more trees down.

It would save me $9.99 a month if I chopped trees for a living. 

I couldn’t help but think that this was the only way men back in the day could move a tree. And they were probably jacked because of it (Paul Bunyan style) and were probably super healthy because their self-planted garden was nearby. 

In the past chopping down a tree and slicing it into firewood was a mans job. It really is difficult and takes a lot of stamina. Because men could chop down a tree they were compensated for the difficulty of their work. Men don’t have to do this anymore.

My point is we don’t have to do anything hard anymore.

We could go months without expending a good amount of energy doing something difficult. I don’t understand why a man working at a computer job would be getting paid more than a woman doing the same thing. But for a task that is difficult and is typically done by men I can see why they would get paid more for the difficulty of their work. 

The Psychological Benefits of Doing Hard Things

[Photo Credit: Hailey Henderson]

If the NBA playoffs are pissing you off and you want to let off some steam, go chop a tree down. If you can’t understand how the Utah Jazz could blow a 25 point lead in game 5, go chop down a tree. If your wife is upset with you, go chop a tree down.

I promise you’ll feel better. There’s something about swinging an ax that makes you feel tough. It’s one of the manliest things you could do. Watching the heavy sharp blade pierce the softwood as is starts to create a V shape in the side of the tree. Watching wood chips fly because of the force that you are delivering. And getting to the point that the tree is so small that you could push it over with your pinky. I’ve always liked wood and it’s fascinating to observe the wood grains in the tree as you cut in deeper and deeper. If you feel the core of the tree it is warm. I don’t know if it’s just naturally warm inside the tree or if the friction and force of the ax blade heat it up. You don’t get that with a chainsaw.

Great satisfaction comes from using an ax and chopping down a tree and digging the root out.

So What?

Why am I talking about cutting down a tree on a personal finance blog? These blog posts are not only about money, they’re about how to optimize your life. I’m not saying you always have to use an ax to cut down trees or only use a shovel to dig holes. It really becomes a question of whether or not you have time. I appreciate the advancements in technology that make life easy. But if we always seek the easiest route life will be hard. 

Budgeting and decreasing expenses is a simple concept. But, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not difficult. We all know we should exercise and eat healthy, so why don’t we do it? Because it’s hard and it requires discipline and consistency. The next time you’re faced with an easy or difficult option go with the hard one and get use to doing hard things. 

Regain your manliness. Do something difficult. It will make you feel better and I promise it will make your woman proud.

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