I am curious to hear what out of the ordinary things people do to improve their lives. This is a bit of a vague question I know, but there are things in my life that I suggest to people or feel that the average person probably doesn't know about that make my life better. I'm sure that there are a lot more that I could be doing, if I knew about them, so I would love to hear what others do.
Here are some of the things that I do:
- Shave with a double edge razor (thanks AoM forumers). A lot cheaper than most razors, gives a great shave, and doesn't irritate your skin (Merkur DE razor; 7 a.m. razors)
- Order MTM (Made to Measure) shirts (e.g. Spoon Tailor in SF or ModernTailor online). Looks vastly better than anything I've found OTR.
- Don't use soap in shower/washing face. Improved my skin/reduced breakouts/feels less dry.
- Use a specific lotion for my face. It has sunscreen in it, doesn't feel oily, and seems to help my face feel good (Jack Black Facial Moisturizer)
- Keep a strict exercise/diet routine. This helps a lot with staying healthy and seems almost essential for gaining muscle. I keep one in a spreadsheet with my carbs/fat/protein broken down within.
- Follow the "zero inbox" strategy of keeping only email I have to act on in my inbox. Helps lower my stress considerably having to remember what all I need to respond to, since I get a large quantity of email everyday.
- Change my lights. I use "natural spectrum" lights at home, which make me feel a lot less lethargic than the normal yellow lights. I also keep a HappyLite around in the winter (more-so when I lived somewhere cold and couldn't go outside as much) to boost my energy and ward of depression when there wasn't much daylight to be had.
On a related note, does anyone have any good suggestions for self-improvement forums or sites? I feel a bit off topic here, even though it's still part of "A Man's Life." I'd be interested in hearing about what books people like, too.
I went back to college at 36, now 37 starting semester 4 of 8.
Fishing. Mostly being at the coast, just me, the ocean, the waves, the birds, and those damn fish that won't get themselves on my hook, or those days where I am catching non stop. Also the 5am, backroads pitchblack drive, blaring good music
I write letters and use a journal.
I like to read for about 30 minutes each day. I'm also not talking about commercial fiction books like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter. I actually prefer classic literature like Hemingway, Shakespeare, Dante, etc.
This may be one of the most unorthodox options on this thread, but I also enjoy playing about an hour of some sort of strategy video game like League of Legends, Starcraft, or Command and Conquer. It boosts your critical thinking skills, and it's a great stress reliever, at least for me.
Try to help people, possibly make a better future. Thats what its all about, right?
Double check your happy light that it is filtering out a section of the blue spectrum. I am not sure which wave length is the problem of the to of my head. It fries the eyes over time. Early adopters of light therapy have started going blind because of that.
Taking Karate with my 5yo son. He tests for his first belt (first stripe) and I test for my green next month.
Interesting post (thanks for the modern tailor reference, never heard of them before) and I like the reply's so here is mine.
1) recently started shaving with a DE razor, which has been amazing.
2) Drive. I love driving, it calms me down and its just something I need to do from time to time.
3) Play with my dogs. While this may seem really weird, its nice to just spend 5-10 minutes of my day running around like a crazy person in the yard. My dogs love it and I like getting them all tuckered out as well.
4) Have a project. No matter how big or small, when you have some free time. I wrench on a car but it can be anything from reading books, to making something. I know lots of people my age that sit and play on the xbox, and accomplish "nothing." I like being able to point at something and say I did that.
Had a extra coupon for ten dollars off groceries. Gave it to a lady at the deli counter. She was happy.
Organize your time.
Be aware of what you are doing, and what time it is. Always try to be engaged in anything beneficial to you, whether it be reading, or exercise, or work. Never be engaged in anything that doesn't strengthen you.
Get done what needs to get done. Have a strategy for the day, a mental map in your mind of what to do and in what order.
Be energetic. Work on productive activities, fix, repair, sell things you don't need anymore. Tiredness and sleepiness are usually just illusions. As long as you are getting your 8 hours, you should be good and ready revved up for the other 16.
This is a rather complex question, I want to point out that the most mundane answers, the ones dealing with utilitarian practices, i.e. shave with a straight razor, french press & tea kettle are on everyones list. I think of myself as rather utilitarian, it seems that some men are once again finding pleasure in archaic practices. I think we should all pursue them, we get so wrapped up in the next hottest thing, something stupid like an electric razor, in order to "save time", and yet at the end of the day too many of us put our faces into television sets, and electronic games, both a great waste of all that time we saved. Anyhow...
I don't get to spend much time in the states, I am deployed more often then not, but when I am home its the simple things I enjoy most. I'm a single father of a six year old boy so my interests have to involve him, I try my best to get him involved. We spend a lot of time outside, my son loves geocaching, if you have children and you havent tried this, you should, they will remember "treasure hunting with dad" for years to come. I,like many men, love projects, I am sometimes working on two or three at a time. I recently inherited my grandfathers boat that last touched water in 1965, it took 2 months to restore both the boat and its original trailer but it was very satisfying to see it launched for the first time in 50 years when all was said and done with. I like vintage motorcycles, I like working with metals, tools, leather, taking things apart and putting them back together. My "73" Ironhead Bobber, My Royal enfield 500, or my 1965 Chevy stepside, real machines, built by real men.
I keep an eye out for things in need of attention, wether that be an old ax or kerosene lantern from the flea market, I restore it to better then new condition, and if you dont need these things in your life, they make great gifts.
I read a little every day, the classics, I find it hard to pick up a new book, when there are so many greats from the past waiting to be held again. I write letters, I find hand written correspedence to be intimate and fulfilling, I prefer it over a phone call or email. Who doesnt like getting real mail?
I seen a lot of replies about Churches, I don't belong to a church, nor would I want to outright give my money to one, but Philanthropy always makes me feel better, I realize not everyone has extra income to spare, but maybe you have the time. I just like to knock out a good deed a couple times a month. Donate to a cause, I like childrens charities like "my stuff", or drop 250$ once a year to pay for a cleft lip surgery, Karma man, something everyone needs to be aware of.
I try to nurture my sons interests as often as possible. Its the greatest thing a man can do, is being a father. Archery, shooting, fishing, paddling, I teach him the right way to do it and watch him learn.