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Living a Barbarian Life: Don’t Settle for the Mediocrity of the Minimum

November 6, 2016

We, as products of western civilization, tend to hold the view of “barbarians” as uncouth, slovenly, unindustrious hillbillies. This, despite the fact that there are artifacts of the barbarian past that we still cannot explain the construction of, outside of attributing it to “space aliens.” Yet, without the specialist divisions of labor inherent to civilization, our barbarian forebears managed to not only feed and clothe their families, they managed to develop their mental faculties to a degree that allowed them to develop many of the cultural values we tend to hold dear even today (because, as I pointed out in Forging the Hero, the values we tend to hold up as the most cherished of “American values” are NOT Roman, but were originally Celto-Germanic tribal traditions that survived the Imperial period).

The fact is, those ancestors of ours were very industrious and productive…they just didn’t produce the same things, in the same industries that the urban civilizations did. That doesn’t make their contributions less valuable, unless your metric of value is how long a relic lasts, even after it is no longer useful.

I had a conversation with an acquaintance the other day, whom we will refer to as Bill, that led to some startling revelations for me, about my own world views, and the vast gulf that apparently exists between exactly how barbaric (by which I mean, “foreign,” rather than “vicious”) compared to most people in contemporary American civilization. It was ironic, because this conversation happened shortly after I had seen a meme on social media that said, “My goal is to create a life a I don’t need a vacation from.” I HAVE a life I don’t WANT a vacation from…and that is pretty damned foreign to people, apparently, So, this article is a brief discussion, based on the conversation I had with Bill, about how I’ve gone about creating that life. Best of all, it’s a life that I can continue, regardless of what happens in International Geopolitics in the coming days, weeks, and months.

Bill works, like most people, 40 hours a week, at a relatively stress free job. He’s not in a management position, and his job, while mildly physical, is not particularly strenuous. It’s not like he’s digging the Erie Canal with a spade and a wheelbarrow. He’s not logging virgin old-growth forest with a two-man crosscut saw and a fucking ax. He’s in a climate-controlled building, and isn’t expected to life more than about 50 pounds.

Despite that, he claimed—and his wife verified—that he is “so exhausted’ when he gets home, that he can only spend an hour or two with his kids before he goes to bed for the night.

If a person “has” to work forty hours a week, “for the man,” to pay their bills, I get it. We all got bills t pay, and not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship. I’ve had regular day jobs in the past (although, to be honest, I’ve NEVER had a 40-hours per week job, except in high school. I’ve always worked a minimum of 50-60 hours a week, when I worked for wages). I even have a “regular” job now, although I do work for myself (I don’t make a full-time living as a writer or as a trainer, and I’m not interested in doing so in either case). The difference between Bill and I—and all of our successful ancestors throughout the past—is that I don’t stop at 1700.

I started writing this blog while I was working a 70-80 hours per week job, that had me outdoors, summer and winter, in Wyoming, doing hard physical labor. Lifted loads could go as high as 100+ pounds, even in the middle of the night, in a snowstorm. The blog of course, resulted in teaching some classes on the side, followed by THREE books, all while working a regular, “real” job at the same time. While neither the blog—which I have never monetized—the books, nor the classes have been profitable enough to provide a sole income, they have offered enough extra to allow me to take the risk to go to work for myself, doing something that I really enjoy. It certainly didn’t reduce my working hours though.

I have another acquaintance, that I know through my clan, who is in his mid-50s. His name is Bob. Bob was recently bitching to me about how he’s worked “hard” all his life, and wants to retire, because he “deserves” it, after working so hard all of his life. Here’s the catch though, Bob doesn’t have any retirement savings. Without delving into the lack of providence and good judgment THAT implies, the fact is—and I’ve known Bob since I was a kid—the dude, in point of fact, did NOT “work hard” his entire life, by any objective metric. He worked 40 hours a week, sitting on his ass, and took his two weeks of paid vacation every year. If he wasn’t at work, he was sitting on is ass, watching television and drinking cheap beer. He and his wife collected food stamps and every other source of welfare aid they could finagle out of the government as they “raised” four children.

I’m gonna tell you right now, if you consider working 40 hours a week as “working hard,” don’t look to me for sympathy at your life failures. Don’t look to your ancestors for sympathy. Don’t look to the Founding Fathers for sympathy. In that case, the only place you’ll find sympathy is in the dictionary. It’s right between “shit” and “syphilis.”

I’m not saying a dude has to go out and get a second job for wages, but if your metric of “success” in life is being able to come home, after working an eight hour shift, and sitting on your couch, eating pretzels and drinking a case of beer, you DESERVE to live in the shitty trailer you live in.

The third problem that Bill brought up, before I got sick of listening to his bitching, and told him to shut the fuck up, he didn’t recognize as a problem either. He thought he was doing “good.” I was trying to help the dude out, to figure out why he was stuck living in a shithole duplex that was falling apart around his family, despite “working hard” at his 40 hours a week job. So, I asked how much they were paying for rent. When he told me, “$500,” and I knew he clears close to $30K a year, I just about choked on my Copenhagen. I mean, I was legitimately confused. How can you bitch about being broke, when you make over $30,000 a year, and only pay a fifth of it, per year, in rent? That doesn’t add up, at all.

Well, it turns out, when you pay over $1500 a month to the local Rent-To-Own joint, in an attempt to “build up your credit,” making ends meet at the end of the month gets a lot more challenging. I bought my wife a television a few years ago. It’s the first television I’d ever owned in my life. As I recall, I paid right around $700 for it. 60” flat screen, new-in-the box. Well, as it so happens, Bill and his wife “own” the exact same model of television…they’ve paid $150 per month, every month, for the last two years, to pay it off, and they still owe money on it. Now, mathematics was never my strong suit in school, but…

My wife found a beautiful, all leather, five piece living room suite of furniture a couple years ago, on Craigslist. We paid like $400 for it. Meanwhile, Bill and his wife “bought” an upholstered, three cushion couch, at the RTO store…they pay $250 a month for it…and have been paying for it for the last eighteen months (and his wife told me, they still have to pay for another year!). When I asked why the fuck they were paying that much for so little, I got the typical lower-class response of, “Well, we’re trying to build up our credit scores!”

Aghast, and more than a little sick to my stomach at their utter stupidity, I hastened to point out three things to Bill and his wife, that I had assumed were common knowledge among everyone over the age of, I don’t know, twenty-five?

  1. Most Rent-To-Own places do NOT report to the credit bureaus, so even if you do make your payments every month, it doesn’t do fuck all for your credit score.
  2. The last time I financed anything was a pick-up, in the mid-1990s, when I was a young NCO. Seriously, I’ve never financed ANYTHING since, until my wife and I bought land (more on that later). Despite that, when we started looking at property, I got a credit report. My score was well over 700. See, as it turns out, while the Rent-To-Own places, like the Buy Here, Pay Here used car lots, do NOT report to the credit bureaus, the utility companies actually do…so, if you pay your bills on time, you end up with a good credit score, even if you’re not buying a bunch of shit on credit. Since I’m not throwing my money away on finance charges for overpriced bullshit, I can manage to pay my bills on time.
  3. Why exactly are you trying to “build your credit score?” Bill and his wife claimed they might want to buy property, or a house, or a car, in the future. What I can guarantee, is that, at the rate they’re going, they will never be purchasing real estate, period. They’re not going to be able to come up with the money for a down payment…

So, let’s analyze the situation Bill and his wife find themselves in, and I’ll offer some tried-and-true, apparently VERY barbaric solutions to them…

First of all, we’ve got a dude, in his early 30s, with a fuck-all easy job, working a mere 40 hours a week, who needs in excess of 13 hours of sleep every night. I get needing to sleep in occasionally…like once a month…maybe even once a week, even, but if you religiously need more than eight hours of sleep every night, in your 30s? You need a fucking doctor’s appointment, because you are ill. I—and most of the successful people I know—average between 4 and 6 hours of sleep most nights, with the occasional eight hour night, once a month or so. If I sleep ten hours, I wake up feeling like shit, because I’ve slept too much and dicked up my diurnal rhythms.

Fixing this is going to be a three-part task for Bill, or anyone in the same predicament.

  1. Start eating healthier. This isn’t about “eating Paleo,” although that’s a damned fine idea, cheaper than the processed “meals” and fast-food he is currently surviving on, and generally helps a lot. Every time I go off Paleo, even for a meal, I pay a heavy price for it in physical and mental sluggishness, intestinal distress, and lost productivity, sitting on the toilet, shitting my brains out.

    This is about eating real food. Granted, his wife will probably have to learn how to cook. Simple enough, she knows how to read, at least at a high school level, and can presumably do basic mathematics. Look up some recipes, and get to it. It’s not like she’s got a fucking job anyway, in today’s shit economy. It will also require retraining their children to eat real food, rather than the shit they’ve grown up with. Here’s the thing though…Even buying grass-fed beef and farm-fresh, free-range, organic eggs (the latter from a neighbor until our new batch of hens start laying), we can buy a week’s worth of Paleo diet groceries for less than $150, for our family of four. If we eat out, at any place that is NOT fast-food, we’re looking at $30-40 per meal, minimum, and even fast-food is anywhere from $20-30 a meal.

  2. Start doing some PT. I’m not talking about some sort of hard core, John Mosby, The Reluctant Partisan PT regimen. I’m not talking about Forging The Hero stuff here. I’m talking about being fit enough that you don’t need to sleep thirteen-motherfucking-hours a night! Most of the people I know who are even remotely physically fit find six hours of sleep a night ideal, and only push it to eight hours a night if they are in the midst of a particularly grueling training cycle, and need it for post-workout recovery. How much more could you accomplish in your life with an extra SEVEN hours per day? Dude is wasting that much, being so unfit that he needs 13 hours of sleep every night…
    Even if he just walked to the park with his kids, and played on the monkey bars and slides with them, he’d get physical benefit from it (and for the record, Bill is not overweight, let alone obese. He’s just unhealthy unfit.)
  3. Practice a little self-discipline. Initially, coming off a too-long sleep cycle is going to be a pain-in-the-ass. It’s really easy to roll over and slap the snooze button a dozen times, or to just turn the alarm clock off. It’s too easy to decide, “Oh, I feel a little, tired. I’m gonna go to bed early tonight.” Don’t succumb. Live up to the gifts of the past and practice a smidgen of your ancestral self-discipline. If you go even a week, forcing yourself to only sleep 6-8 hours a week, while eating healthier, and doing a little bit to get yourself fitter, you’re going to find it easy after that. Just do it.

Second, we’ve got a dude who thinks 40 hours a week, at a stress-free job, is “working hard.” Fixing his health and fitness will go a long way towards remedying that. Then, he’s got to decide what to do with that extra time he’s created in his day. Civilized people, of course, according to modern civilized values, would choose to watch television, surf the Internet, or go drink beer in the yard with their buddies.

The barbarian answer is different: create something of value for your family and tribe! Maybe Bill could find a second, part-time job. Better, he could find something he either enjoys—or even hates, but is good at—and create a side business. It might not pay much, especially initially, but even a little bit is better than nothing—which is exactly how much you make, sitting on your ass, watching television, while drinking beer.

Don’t settle for the mediocrity of the minimum. Raise your own stature within your tribal community. Working forty hours a week should be seen as a minimum. This doesn’t mean you HAVE to go find a second job though. Anything that creates VALUE for your family counts. Remember? “Who does more is worth more!” If you put in four hours a day, after work, in the backyard with your kids, planting and tending a garden and some backyard livestock like rabbits, how much value would you add, through additional savings on your grocery bill?

Or, create your own side business! Look at your skill sets, vocationally or avocationally. How can you leverage those into some additional income? Bill likes doing mechanic work. He loves tinkering around in engines (I don’t get it. I hate that shit, but whatever…). I suggested to Bill, “Call the RTO store, and tell them to come take this shit back. Take the $250 you spend on your couch payment, and go to Goodwill, and buy a fucking used couch. Hell, the one you’re buying is used anyway, now. Take the television payment, and if it is really important that the kids get to watch cartoons, go buy a little television and a DVD player, and let them watch that. Take the money you’ve been spending on that overpriced shit, and set it aside into savings. In a month or two, go buy a piece of shit, beater car. Clean it up, tune it up, fix any broken shit, and then resell it.” Even if the profit is only a couple hundred bucks, you’ve created new value! Better, since he could be doing it in the backyard or garage, he could be spending time with his kids, and teaching them a valuable skill at the same time! Is he going to make a living off of it? Probably not. He is going to get to spend quality time with his kids though, and create value. Doing so will require not sleeping thirteen goddamned hours a night though!

Maybe you don’t have any hobbies or skills though. Maybe you went to college, got a useless degree in some stupid shit like “Underwater Basket Weaving of Lesbian Afro-Asian Cultural Groups,” and you’ve spend your entire “adulthood” in your parents’ basement, watching television and playing video games. Now though, you recognize that you need to do something, and you’d like to not live in your parents’ house anymore, because it is cramping your dating life (I’d offer that unemployment and a total lack of conversational skill about anything other than television and video games is more to blame…).

Think of something that you’d like to try, or something that might be useful later in your life. Your degree is in “Underwater Basket Weaving of Lesbian Afro-Asian Cultural Groups?” Great! Start weaving fucking baskets, and see if you can create a market for them. Yuppies are all kinds of into handicrafts and shit, right? You want to move out of your parents’ house, but cannot imagine being able to afford a house on your convenience store clerk wages? Great, do what a friend of mine did, with zero previous experience…go spend a couple hundred bucks at local pawn shops and thrift stores, and pick up some used tools. Go to the lumber store and buy some lumber. Go watch a metric fuckton of YouTube videos, and get to it. Sure, trial-and-error is a hard way to learn, but it is possible.

I know a dude who had zero woodworking experience, and is now in the finishing stages of building a timber-framed house, from the ground up…including a native stone foundation! He worked in the evenings and his days off, simply because he wanted to, and was willing to do the work, to give his family a nice home that he knew he couldn’t afford to have someone else build for him. I know a couple of different dudes who have built log houses that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to have built, by themselves, with no previous professional carpentry experience. They were just willing to do the work, and they didn’t believe that the day ends at 1700.

It’s not just about saving money—although you might learn to make a lot of stuff you would otherwise buy, and you’re not spending that money on stupid shit like crappy “food,” and finance charges for televisions—but you might actually be able to turn it into a profitable side business that creates added value for your family and clan. My buddy the new timber-framer has already started about building small timber-framed outbuildings and guest cabins for sale…and there’s apparently a market for them, no less. Bill, that inspired this post, could be selling a car or two a month, even at a small profit, in the shit-hole economy we are in, by selling below what a dealership has to sell at to make overhead.

Third, we’ve got a dude—or a couple, actually—who has bought into the consumer materialism of contemporary civilization, and believes they have to have all this “stuff,” so they won’t be embarrassed when people come over to visit. That requires more effort than the other two, but it’s really all mental effort.

Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle! It’s environmentally friendly, no less! The crass, mercantile materialism of contemporary civilizations makes it really easy to partake of instant gratification, and all you have to do is pay far more than the products are worth! That’s something our forebears didn’t have, most of the time, and I would argue, they were far, far better off because of it. If you want a television, so you can watch The Voice? Fine. I think it’s retarded, but my wife likes to watch that show, so whatever floats your boat—Hell, I’ll even admit that I like music enough that occasionally one of the performers will make me look up from my book, when they perform well on a song I like. Don’t finance a fucking television though. Set money aside and wait until you can pay cash for it, buy a cheaper, used television, or—best of all—do without. It’s nothing but a productivity waste (in our house, I’ve found we basically have to establish rules that forbid turning it on during daylight hours, or keep everyone outside doing things, or we get sucked into it. If it hadn’t made my wife happy to be able to watch movies, I’d regret ever having bought one.)

Our truck has over 400,000 miles on. We still drive it across the country for teaching classes. Unlike Bill, I don’t like mechanic work. I actually detest it. I do it though, because we can’t afford to buy a newer vehicle, and I’ll be damned if I will finance one.

One of the big complaints I see a lot, in the whining over the state of the world, in preparedness circles, is bitching about evil bankers. Here’s the thing though…if you’re bitching about evil bankers, and you are currently paying interest payments on (almost) anything you’ve financed, you’re full of shit.

The “(almost)” is legit. I see a lot of people bitch about “owner financed properties,” but those complaints originate with the banks and realtors, because they are losing out. If you believe in “evil bankers,” but you’re opposed to “owner financed” real estate, you’re full of shit…or dumber than a box of shit. You might pay a little bit more in interest rates—or not, if you do your homework, and haggle well—and if you miss a payment, there might be less wiggle room for forgiveness than with the banks, but you’re paying that interest to a person, rather than a bank, and you have a lot more room to haggle on price than you do with a real estate agent looking for a bigger commission, or a bank representative with a board of directors to answer to.

I understand financing real estate. It’s the only thing I’m even willing to consider financing, and we did. We also got a ridiculously low interest rate, despite owner-financing, negotiated a sale price well below market value, pay a little extra every month, so we will be paid off in 2/3 the length of the note (further reducing our interest costs….), and always make our payment at least a week earlier than the due date. As a result, the seller has put in writing a change to the contract that gives us more leeway, in case we are ever late on our payments. It’s very barbaric—again, as in foreign—to modern civilization, but that is called “being responsible,” and it’s something our barbarian ancestors were intimately familiar with.

Conclusion

Seriously, quit your bitching and whining. Are the politicians, bankers, and the rest of the oligarchic class working contrary to your interests? Of course they are. So fucking what? They’ve always been doing so. Even George Washington, the patron fucking saint of America and the constitution, sent the Army to fight the agrarian yeoman of Jeffersonian Democracy during the Whiskey Rebellion. You can remain a “civilized” peasant, and bitch and whine about how unfair it is, or you can say, “fuck it!” step outside the boundaries that contemporary civilization is trying to restrain you within, and go full-on barbarian, to create your own definition of success—by being your own man—or woman—and doing what you need to do to create the life you want.

Anyone who has taken my advice to read Glubb, and Toynbee, and Spengler, should have at least begun to brush away the cobwebs of cultural myopia, and recognized, this election really doesn’t mean a damned thing. The empire IS in its death throes. Remaining a peasant, hoping the aristocracy will wake up and do the “right” thing, as you define it, is one potential path. Saying “fuck it,” following Jack Donovan’s advice, and “learning to love the battle ax,” and creating your own innangarth of shared values, customs, and traditions, with like-minded people, by forging the life YOU want, is another.

Only one of them allows you and your people to survive the death of the empire though.

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32 Comments
  1. Ramsey LeBlanc permalink

    Thank you for sharing
    I highly suggest because of your Toynby
    Spengler references you check out Daryl Cooper , Decline of West podcast and Martyermade podcast .
    I have and lice traditional family values – family of 4, man-wife-daughter (4) son (17 months).
    2 income household , blah blah
    1. I really liked most all of Jack Donovan’s stuff and still do , however – he has honor tatoo
    on his abs but had left out the fact that he is Gay. I can assure you the 10’s of thousands
    of the men following him on IG or FB have no idea he is a homosexual . What’s your take o that ?
    2. I bought Forging the hero and loved it , any other ways to support your contributions other than your seminars -please send my way .

    Thank you ,

    Ramsey

    • h in australia. permalink

      hi ramsey, with regards to point 1. i’m not john, but can I pose a few questions to inspire looking at you new found knowledge in a different light.
      have you learnt from reading Jacks work? are the lessons you learnt any less valid now, now you know a little more about him? he hasn’t changed from when he wrote the pieces that you learnt from, the only difference is you know about another aspect of his life.

      I also think “sexuality” is really over emphasised. sure, with a little luck, quality time with your partner is part of your life, but for most it isn’t the major definer of who we are.
      I bet if I asked you to give 10 short descriptions of who you are: I am a…… or, I like….. , you wouldn’t say “i am a hetrosexual” or “i like women sexually”
      I expect you would say “i am a husband” & “i am a father (parent)” possibly “i am a (your job/career), probably “i’m a (your religion if you are religious)” and “i like (your favourite hobby/past time)”, “i like (your second favourite hobby/past time)” etc. once we are a bit settles in life sexuality isn’t really something important and it isn’t something we generally choose to put out there.

      I know my colleagues know i’m married (and can therefore realize i’m straight), but they don’t know the intimate details of what my wife and I get up to. I’ve got a fair idea who’s married, in a relationship and single, but again I don’t know intimate details and REALLY don’t want to know. with a couple of the guys I get on with well, we do brag a bit when we get some, as we have all been married for a while and have children so it isn’t as frequent as it used to be.

      I try hard not to judge someone on a singular aspect of who they are (be it age, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual preference, etc) as these things don’t make you a good or bad person. to me it is how someone treat others that I see as the most important trait and that is how I judge people.

      with regards to honour, another question, is it more honourable to live true to your self and those you choose to spend your life with or to live a lie (lying to yourself and those who love you) so you can be seen to fit in society?
      plus the concept of honour is totally subjective.

      h.

  2. Calsdad permalink

    Awesome post. I live in MA – and I am surrounded by by people like Bill. I COMPLETELY agree with what you wrote in this – creating value doesn’t consist of just sitting at work for 40 hours a week. I’ve lived the life you described – I work a job – and in my “spare” time – I built a house. I’ve been at it for 17 years now. During certain periods I worked my day job for 11 hours a day – and then would be up until 10pm working on the house – go to sleep for like 6 hours a night – and then get up the next day and do it again – for months and years on end.

    And when I say ‘built a house’ – mean every single damn shingle and every single damn nail. I’ve seen a lot of “Bills” – who will say ” I built a house ” – when what they really mean is they hired a contractor and checked in every week or so.

    When I first started this project – I had a co-worker tell me ” you can’t do that ” – as if the whole idea was so foreign to him that he simply could not fathom it. The thought that I would build a house myself seemed to actually piss him off. I guess he thought they were created by magic or something.

    I have to say though: It takes some real discipline to not let the retards get you down. After 8 years of Oblowme and a potential Killary administration, I’ve gotten to the point where having it ALL burn down is not something I would regret seeing happen. If for no other reason than to get the satisfaction of seeing a whole bunch of Bills starving to death by the millions.

  3. James permalink

    I agree with this article(one niggle point will hit at end).I am serious when I say that if you have patience you can in New England furnish/appliance a home from Craigslist for free,yep,not a penny.I have come across all working kitchen appliances for free from folks remodeling/furniture/dishes/ect.I would say if i wanted could get free tv’s,just don’t have one,computer distraction enuff!

    I will say love splitting/using firewood,get a great workout and warms you 3 times/splitting it/stacking it/burning it.I do get a load of 10 cords long log length delivered green,do not have a pair of heavy horses nor a grapple truck,but,from there on me own,even cut some by hand but then cheat and use chainsaw,all splitting by hand but cheat again,wait till hard frosts and wood if on side cut is so frozen just upright and opens like a book with axe(I am making next years wood this winter).I find it very satisfying though have a heating system just most of time for hot water(working on a solar for that).

    I feel the more we are self sufficient the better we are,I do trade carpentry skills with electrician/plumber and am helper on the home for them and vice cersa,win/win.

    I would say beyond paying the bills as soon as possible work a job you enjoy,a job is just that,not a prison sentance.Even if a job is not physically demanding you do not like it still saps the life out of you mentally,change job/learn new skills.

    Mi only issue with this article is,well…….” “Underwater Basket Weaving of Lesbian Afro-Asian Cultural Groups?”

  4. I’m proud to be a Barbarian!
    I am a rich man because of it.
    It is a great and noble life.
    What’s not to like about it.
    You are the honorable resistance.
    Where self determination and individualism is not an idea, it is a way of life.
    Where family and tribe, having skills, where craftsmanship and ingenuity are the resources, the tangible assets that create a rich life.
    The rest of the world could go down the crapper tomorrow, and you are hardly effected.
    Because you are tomorrow, you live a legacy, where you create tangible assets.

  5. Same thing I’ve said all along-success is a lifestyle.

    Work a LOT harder, longer, and smarter, than the guy next to you.
    Don’t ever blow your $ on stupid shit.
    Even if you don’t get rich, you’ll never be anyone’s bitch.
    Stay healthy, free, and alive, and you will win BIG in long run.

    Be a MACHINE.

  6. Doug D permalink

    Great, what used to be, common sense advice. A good kick in the butt as well. Thanks for all you do.

  7. Worker permalink

    It seems to me that at least in this country, the mass’ have been somewhat ‘programed’ into their stupor – I clearly remember that at one point in time, the mantra was, ‘it’s American to consume’ pushing using credit to purchase whatever – I agree with the author that, call it ‘going backward’ is clearly a forward move. We live by choice in a very out of the way, fertile area with permanent water: it only took twenty-five years of working 60-70 hour weeks (a good ‘job’ by the way that we both enjoyed) with NO vacations to get to this point. No debt, everything fee and clear and living a life that some can only imagine. To that end (at now 70), get off your ass, chuck the relaxed life (ditch the TV), learn something new (begin by making your own bread and go from there) and realize that each and every day is a gift – don’t fuck it up ………..

  8. wunhunglo2 permalink

    One more time, I find myself nodding in agreement throughout your rant. Until we retired to the mountain property we own I never worked a mere 40 hours a week in my life. Now, with 100+ acres, a small orchard, a couple thousand square feet of raised bed garden, and the infrastructure to support it… well it’s all bon-bons, beer and TV with my feet up. (No sarcasm there, HA!) Unfortunately, the lost souls who need your input the most will likely never read your stuff.

  9. Stan Mcmonkey permalink

    “or you can say, “fuck it!” step outside the boundaries that contemporary civilization is trying to restrain you within, and go full-on barbarian, to create your own definition of success—by being your own man—or woman—and doing what you need to do to create the life you want.”- I believe this is the best statement someone could make. This is the whole reason America IS the land of the free….we can CHOOSE to do with our lives what we want. The “choice” of some people to follow the main stream, and then complain about how it is run, is THEIR fault. You don’t HAVE to shop at a certain supermarket, because you dont like their prices. You CHOOSE to go there because of it’s convenience. There are other options…

  10. Bravo!

    I wrote a short piece about this sort of thing:
    http://strike-the-root.com/how-i-got-job

    It’s interesting to read things written a hundred years ago; one fine example is the “Little Britches” series (like “Little House on the Prairie” but more for boys). These books are very readable for adults too. Those people were amazingly self-reliant, real go-getters, even when they had almost nothing. No setback ever kept them down for long. The interesting thing is that they seemed happy even as they were working their asses off. They had very full lives, it seems.

    Interesting footnote: I know a man, an old cowboy, who actually knew Ralph Moody aka “Little Britches”.

    • Moody’s Little Britches books are some of my favorites, and I never even heard of them until I was in my 30s!

    • Roseman permalink

      Another book I found informative for both kids and adults is ‘The Diary of an Early American Farm Boy’ by Eric Sloane.

  11. parapearce permalink

    Dave Ramsey is that you , is this me?

    • LMAO. I’m no Dave Ramsey. I’m really just a lazy fucker who doesn’t like working for other people. When I’m working for myself, if I decide to take a break, I can.

  12. Crosby permalink

    If you reference to Copenhagen is more than a literary flourish, I encourage you to stop.

    • So does my mother, my wife, and my physician.

      • Crosby permalink

        I just don’t want your relatives to miss having you because of tobacco. I miss mine a lot.
        Besides, isn’t a chemical dependency like this something you oppose?

  13. sabasarge permalink

    Great post John. Meanwhile, I am still trying to remember the last time I got 8 hours of sleep.
    Hell, I’d like to remember when I last got 6. Oh yeah, now I remember…….it was when we were doing maneuvers with some American Marines.😉

  14. Chris permalink

    This is all very encouraging. I catch a lot of shit from friends and famlily because I don’t have “work/life balance”. Fuck them. I told my wife and kids that works comes first. It has to – no work/no family (if I can’t support them, I am the worst of the worst and they should leave me).

    The men in our country who work their 40 (if even that), never try to advance in their career or learn new trades/skills, and who spend their non-work time watching television are pussies.

    • It’s not about putting work first, for me. It’s about putting my family first. If my work interferes with that….if I have to work 80 hours a week, at out-of-the-house jobs, I’m doing it wrong. It is far more quintessentially American to figure out ways to either a) work for yourself, at least part of the time (thus, being able to work from home, or bring the wife/kids with you), or b) reduce your consumption rates, so you can get by with less outside income.

  15. Martin permalink

    I really enjoyed this post. I have gotten a lot of this midset from this guy http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/08/01/a-millionaire-is-made-ten-bucks-at-a-time/
    and it really has allowed me to make much better money decisions that really start to add up. He stresses how doing things for yourself can result in big savings.

  16. Thanks John, again you are right on. I’ve been in my own business for years, is it easier, hell no, but way more rewarding. We did owner contract for our property and I worked for 3 months for a trade with my friend to bring in his D7 and start development of said property. I also just purchased an old D7, 60 years old, could pay cash for it and it will do anything I need, don’t need the latest and greatest. The wife and I are debt free (been that way for years) and have 2 older pickups I maintain and I aint buying anything new with payments, fuck that. While all this is going on I just ran for county commissioner of the county I live in. Fuck all you lazy assholes, I’m 60 and still going strong, if its to be its up to me. Rick

  17. Bill Quantrill permalink

    I enjoyed that as i do many of your articles. I live on the outskirts of a town in Arkansas of about 6000. And the majority of the people in this area remind me of bill..They are ate up with the shit. Many of them are on welfare and live in subsidized housing. I work in maintenance for my primary job working on these shitheads problems and Ive learned something. Welfare/ H.U.D/ Ebt has not just made these people financially dependent but has literally made them stupid. There are generations of young people growing up in these structures that will not know how to change a light bulb because daddy lays up on his ass and has the maintenance guy to change it because hes to fucking lazy. So his reward is his offspring becomes lazier, fatter, and more dependent. I know your aware of this but my point is bill is not just hurting him and his family but is harming generations of his tribe/lineage. It makes it much clearer to realize why other tribes were defeated in history past…Thank you for your articles and books… Eric..

  18. Jack permalink

    We all probably have a “Bill” or two in our lives somewhere. The one that came to mind for me is a decade younger, has two car notes (Challenger and a Caddy) and will tell anyone who’ll listen about how the system is screwing him over. The system? The system has nothing to do with it, there’s an old saying from a hard country about his problem, a man who buys what he does not need is stealing from himself. My “Bill” also kicks and screams to keep from doing any overtime. On the other hand guys my age and a decade older are volunteering for 2 – 4 OT shifts or an extra day and driving cars that were paid off long ago or bought with cash. It’s like another saying, there are too many people paying too much to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t really like. It’s hard to pass that value system on to some folks but I hope my kids will learn it the easy way, from me not from a life made harder than it had to be.

  19. Sideliner 1950 permalink

    Good article, worthy and straight-talking. I appreciate and respect that about your writings.

    As you briefly describe him, “Bill” may be quite literally unhealthy, that is to say, suffering from some significant underlying pathology, like heart disease or a blood disease like anemia or possibly leukemia, or a host of other pathologies. Or he might just not sleep soundly enough, due to sleep apnea. There are many causes of sleepiness and/or fatigue.

    Whether it be “sleepiness” or “fatigue” he is experiencing (and there’s a difference), his problem needs to be addressed and diagnosed by professionals. Chances are that he can be helped. In spite of his relatively young age, in order to rule out some of those problems and/or identify what ails him, this fellow should undergo a complete – and I mean COMPLETE – physical workup with a complete medical history, complete physical exam, extensive bloodwork, stress EKG, etc.; and he should not delay in doing so. Unless of course he hates his life so much that…well, enough not to care whether he lives or dies.

    If, as he should, he respects you and if he’s someone you really care about, your straight talk might be enough to nudge him enough to take that possibly lifesaving step.

    • I don’t doubt there are some health problems present. Nothing that requires a doctor to fix though. Getting off his ass, doing things, eating healthier, and etc would do far more to benefit him that paying a doctor to tell him to do those things.

      • Sideliner 1950 permalink

        All righty, then…

      • Do you disagree?

      • Sideliner 1950 permalink

        With respect, I meant what I wrote…but you say you are acquainted with “Bill”, whereas I know nothing about “Bill” except for what you wrote about him. That said, if someone I cared about exhibited the symptoms you described, I would urge and/or help that person to obtain competent medical attention, and sooner rather than later. Maybe there’s a simple, permanent fix for his problem that can give him his life back…I would hope so. IMHO, knowledge is power; and Step #1 for “Bill” is to find out for sure what ails him and address his situation armed with that knowledge. Just sayin’.

        Thanks for all you do, and of course I wish both you and “Bill” the very best.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mosby: Living a Barbarian Life – Don’t Settle for the Mediocrity of the Minimum | Western Rifle Shooters Association
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