People think others are lucky. No one ever thinks that they are the benefactors of luck.

It’s a worldview that leads to envy and even depression.

We see our own lives as a series of blessings and curses. Rarely does anyone say I’m one lucky dude. If we get something we usually pat ourselves on the back, thinking we earned whatever we got. Other times we thank someone else for helping us out of for the blessings we’ve been given.

We don’t, however, attribute the good things in our lives to blind luck or fortune, but it’s not a bad thing to do or a bad way to think.

A buddy of mine genuinely thinks he’s lucky, and when you look at the myriad of odd, fortunate events that have taken place in his life in the past decade, you’d have to agree with him.

What is it, though?

Is it pure luck, or is it the belief in his own luck that consistently leads to endings that no one saw coming?

The Chicken or The Egg?

I know it’s his view, not the event.

Most people have lucky or fortunate things happen to them, or almost happen to them, but they’re too busy, too stressed and worried and afraid to recognize the horseshoe nestled in their butt – they (we) continually walk by opportunities and then see our lives as rough, unfortunate, lacking all luck or fortune.

As a case-study, my pal has an upbeat attitude on life. He’s always up for a good time, game to party or work hard or take a meeting. He’s made some odd moves that should have hurt business, but ended up compounding his business.

An open mind with a smile attached to it is nearly impossible to defeat.

The Take Away

I’ve seen the effects of the mindset that you’re lucky versus the effects of the mindset that you’re unlucky – the results are the result of the mindset, not of the circumstance.

If you think you’re lucky, you are lucky.

A quick exercise:

Write down 5 lucky things that have happened to you in the last month.

You could have had a role in making them come to fruition, but recognize the fact that good things tend to happen to you, and always be open to opportunities for other good things to come into your life as well.

It’s a simple mindset change that you can carry with you in your life if you choose. (Read This: 3 Things You Need to Become a Great Man)

This is something I’m actively adopting. I’ve seen its effects.

Work your ass off. Create your own luck, but see life with open eyes and a smile on your face knowing that, no matter what happens, the result will be a fortunate one.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –



Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it. ~ Viktor Frankl

Don’t chase success, be successful.

Don’t aim for success, let it hunt you down.

Simple, be great. Be better every day. Live stronger.

What you’ll inevitably realize if you chase success is that there’s never enough of whatever you’re aspiring to have – and what you own will, in the end, own you if you place all of your wants and desires on symbols, things, and stuff.

Success isn’t the aim, it can’t be. (Read This: How to Define Success)

To be successful is something you either are or aren’t. You control this every time you wake up with purpose or with the stress of trying to find something that you do not control.

You control your emotions, you control your decisions.

Make decisions based on what you think – deep down – is good, right, and best.

Have the guts to make your own choices, see them through, and do your best at being your best, and success will hunt you down like a lion does a wildebeest.

Don’t chase success, be successful.

Stop worrying about what you’re going after. Stop caring about awards and accolades.

Stop caring about what other people think and simply be the best man you can be every day.

I’m serious.

Most will write this and then move on to some other article that ‘inspires’ them to hustle and get after this all-elusive success.

They’ll ignore the warnings of men like Frankl, and chase what they think they should chase instead of being who they have the potential to be.

Read the quote above once more.

Remember it. Recite it daily. Figure out who your best is, and be him. Stop caring about the destination; focus on the process.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –



Right now I feel useless.

I’ve dramatically changed my macros after having eaten relatively unhealthy for a few months, and my body’s taking its time adapting.

My energy levels aren’t horrible, but my ability to focus is useless. I have no oomf today, no get-up-and-go, but that’s exactly what has to be done.

Action creates motivation.

Today’s a writing day. I have the whole day dedicated to writing articles for both web sites. Coming up with ideas when your brain isn’t responding is difficult. Writing creatively is nearly impossible. That, however, is what I have to do.

I cannot let this day become a waste. I have the power to change the trajectory of the day, and that’s what I’ve done.

So, what did I do… and what should you do?

1. Take a cold shower.

Cold showers are awesome. For one, cold increases your body’s brown fat, which burns white fat. Second, they can boost your T levels by lowering your cortisol levels.

Cold in general can also boost your metabolism and your immune system. When you’re in a funk they’ll wake you the hell up too.

2. Juice.

Veggies and fruits, not steroids.

A surge of nutrients is always beneficial. To compound the effectiveness of this juice that contained 2 beets, 2 leaves of kale, 2 stocks of celery, 5 strawberries, and one apple, I took 5 grams of fish oils.

3. Feed your brain.

Our brains, when dried, are 60% fat. There’s also a lot of evidence that suggests that the reason the human brain evolved and grew was because of our consuming fatty acids. (Check This Out: Essential Fatty Acids and Human Brain)

We find fatty acids in some nuts, fruits, and mainly in fish. Feed your brain by eating these fats in abundance.

4. Lift.

Muscle is your best friend as a human. You want to become stronger. Muscle improves your posture and it helps you live a more powerful life.

If you’re struggling, trying to figure out the best way to train to get stronger, leaner, and more athletic – check out this article.

Lifting will get your blood flowing.

I woke up in a funk, had coffee, made the juice, had the cold shower, read, then got to the gym at 6am.

5. Work after the lift for 45 minutes.

Immediately after the gym I wrote. I was useless. I got nothing of value done, but I still did something, I didn’t just let my uselessness run my day.

Do the same. Even though you may be unmotivated, in a rut, or whatever, still do what you do. Don’t take a day off.

6. Move outside for 30 minutes.

Have active work breaks that are outside.

I’m lucky enough to have a dog that likes to be outside more than he likes being inside. I also have a Provincial Park next to my house. So right after the work session, I got outside for a walk in the cold, sunny atmosphere of Calgary in May.

7. Repeat 

Keep your work sessions timed.

As soon as that time is up – regardless of whether you’re finished or not – stop and get outside.

It’s actually better to not finish something when your break comes, that way when the break is finished you’ll have something to complete rather than having something new to start.

It’s easier to complete an already started task than to begin something new all-together.

You can do this every day, this routine.

It becomes even more important when you’re feeling lazy and un-motivated.

Stick to it.

Do what you do regardless of whether you feel like it or not.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –



A Man’s Guide to Cigar Smoking

So many things in life that we grow to love and enjoy, we begin without truly understanding why we’re doing it.

As a younger man I watched the Sopranos religiously. I also read books about Winston Churchill and by Ernest Hemingway. Every one of those men – both the wiseguys in the Sopranos – were repeatedly seen with a stogie in their mouth, hence, why I first wanted to smoke a cigar to see what it was all about.

I began smoking very infrequently – usually only on special occasions or with the fellas or on a rare round of golf – when I was in my mid twenties.

Slowly I began to form a palette.

The CAO Sopranos Special Edition was an early favorite, and not just because of the sly marketing, but because of the full-bodied taste. A buddy of mine got me the set for my birthday one year – good pal, good gift.

Torano cigars were the first cigars I smoked regularly because a pal of mine owned a cigar shop and got great deals on Torano’s. They’re great cigars. I had one last week that was just delightful.

As I’ve aged I’ve smoked more, and I’ve enjoyed it more. I’ve figured out what I like in a cigar, so when I try something new it’s with a wee bit of understanding as to what I’m looking for in a cigar.

How Often Should You Smoke Cigars?

A buddy of mine went to a throat and sinus specialist – or something along those lines. He went for some odd thing, but while he was there he asked about the health effects of smoking a cigar a week.

The specialist, who’s highly regarded, kinda chuckled, then said that’s nothing to worry about. The chuckle was a scoff as if such a little amount of smoke (non-inhaled, obviously) wasn’t worth caring about.

Since then, I’ve been smoking a tad more. It was permission to do something I love to do.

I don’t smoke once a week. More like 2-3 times a month. But I love it. It’s relaxing. It’s repetitive. Sitting out front on my porch on a sunny day, reading, writing, or working, while smoking with Jamey Johnson and Willie Nelson playing in the background, is heaven.

Time stops. Worries and stressors are forgotten. It’s just the stogie and the scotch accompanying it. It’s the words you’re writing or reading, the stories you’re telling or hearing, the landscape you’re appreciating.

Cigars aren’t good for you. In life, however, we have to decide what we’re wiling to give up in the name of better health, and what we’re not willing to give up.

I give up comfort.

Every day I put my body through pain in the gym or at the hills or in the mountains. (Read This: Pain Is Your Friend and Ally)

I give up junk. I eat healthy. I drink a lot of water.

I won’t, however, give up my cigars. I smoke them infrequently enough that every time I smoke it’s a treat. I believe that’s how it should be. You can think differently. What you cannot do is not smoke one of these fine cigars before you’re in the dirt where the tobacco tree takes root.

As a side note, I prefer full-bodied, spicier cigars. Thus, you’re not going to find many – if any – Cubans on this list. Cigars are like Scotch and red wine, we all taste things our own way and have our own preferences. Include yours below.

In no particular order…

Ashton VSG

This was my favourite cigar for a long, long time. Frankly, I don’t really have a favourite cigar. I have a group of 5-7 that I love equally, like a father of 5-7 kids.

Padron 1926 No. 90

Padron’s are arguably the best cigars around. They have a number of stogies you’ll enjoy. The first time I had a Padron cigar I was in Key West, the home of Ernest Hemingway. I bought one, grabbed a book, sat, smoked, and lived.

Liga Privada No. 9

This is an incredible cigar, maybe the best I’ve smoked. It’s smooth but full-bodied. My goodness. They’re tough to find where I live, so every time I head to the States I pick up as many as I can.

Smoking this cigar you wish the cigar would never end.

Arturo Fuente OPUS X Perfecxion No.2

I’ve had these a fair bit since moving to Calgary. They’re smooth but full-bodied, and they’re always available at the store by my house. Any Fuente is worth a go.

Rocky Patel Vintage 1990

I had one of these down in Key West on a different day than I had the Padron. Both were incredible. I’ve had this more often since, but because of the price point in comparison with that lovely Padron cigar.

Sometimes a cigar is wrapped a certain way and the air flows steadily through that makes it more enjoyable. The Rocky Patel 1990 always seems to be wrapped perfectly.

Kentucky Fire Cured Cigars

A buddy of mine has these frequently. It’s an American cigar, so I was skeptical (out of ignorance, for no good reason). What an incredible smoke. The flavor is incredible. It tastes like a fire out in the woods.

They’re pricey, as are most cigars on this list, unfortunately. But for a list of cigars you should have before you die, it’s expected. If you like strong tastes, be it in cigars, wine, or scotch, give this a whirl.

Italian Smokes

This is by far the most unconventional cigar on the list. In fact, I’m not even sure they’re really cigars.

I had them a lot when I was in Italy, but I haven’t been able to find them since, until I – in a moment of genius – googled ‘italian dry cigars’ and found

You’ll see these cigars in old cowboy movies. They’re actually an American tobacco, and although they’re dry, you need to keep them in a humidor just like a normal cigar.

They smoke slower than a normal cigar. And they’re smaller than a normal cigar. But my goodness, they’re deliciously powerful and spicy.

I love these. You can walk about with them in your mouth, unlit, and then spark them whenever you’re ready. They’re not typical cigars, but they’re awesome nonetheless.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –




Motivation is a prick. It comes and goes. It’s unreliable. It cannot and should not be depended on.

Motivation is like an emotion in that our surroundings, our lives, our brains, they all give us motivation or can take it away. It’s our choice, of course, whether or not we’re motivated. Few, though, create motivation. Few create scenarios where they can’t help but be motivated. Most sit and wait.

They perform great when they’re motivated but they’re so seldom motivated that they don’t often perform up to the standard that their potential could have them perform.

You should not aspire to be more motivated. You should aspire to create motivation.

1. Practice positivity.

Actively find things that you appreciate. Every day write down 3 things that you appreciate that have happened within the last 24 hours.

It’s the act of training your brain to find opportunity. Most people dwell on despair, winners actively find and act on opportunity amidst crisis.

2. Plan your day, week, year.

Being motivated is more about habit than emotion. In The Power of Full Engagement, Tony Schwarz and Jim Loehr delve into how our brains can be programmed to create motivation and energy.

When we habitually do the same thing we get programmed to ‘get up’ and ready to do the task. It’s like waking up at the same time every day. At first, we need an alarm. After a week or so – or more – we begin to wake up at (or earlier) than the time we once set our alarm to rise at.

This is no different with working out at the same time than with waking up at the same time. Have a consistent plan to your day. Write at the same time every day and the muse won’t be something you have to chase, but something that meets you when you sit down to tell stories.

3. Read history, not self-help.

History provides proof about what can be done. It’s evidence of possibilities. It’s also a guide to what to avoid, how men in the past have made their mistakes, and where opportunities lie.

History repeats itself. It’s incredible how true this statement is. No matter the period, humans have won and lost due to similar circumstances. Knowing how to win, knowing how big-thinkers created something from nothing isn’t just motivating, it’s inspiration based on fact, not on weightless sentences that provide brief instances of inspiration.

4. Get 8 hours of sleep.

Being sleep-deprived is akin to being drunk. We perform at about the same level. Now, eight hours isn’t a must, some can go off of 6 or 7, but knowing how much sleep you need is important. Get it. Get enough sleep so that while you are awake, you can focus and perform at your best.

5. Be in peak physical condition.

It’s difficult to be motivated when you’re not healthy. Too many ignore the health aspect to being an optimal performer – and that’s what you’re trying to be. It isn’t a motivation, per se, that you’re after, but the ability to perform at a high level.

If you’re fat and out of shape, you’re putting one more barrier between you and what you want to accomplish.

Habits are also important. If you don’t workout, if you don’t eat right, how do you expect to do the right things in your other endeavors?

6. NEVER stay safe.

Excitement, more than motivation, will give you the energy you need to do great things. It’s excitement that most of us lack, and we think that we’re not motivated.

You cannot be excited about safety or ease. You need to push yourself, to set higher goals to be excited. When you’re excited about the possibilities of what you’re aiming to accomplish, you’ll feel more motivated than ever.

7. Know exactly what you’re doing in every moment.

Before I go to the gym every morning I start something. In the past I’ve come back from the gym and wasted time not knowing exactly what I should be working on. By starting something before I go I come back and continue doing what I was doing before I left.

It isn’t motivation, necessarily, but it’s motion.

Stagnation is a killer. That’s how we open our internet browser and begin wasting time. That’s how we lose an entire day in our quest, which eventually leads to a life wasted.

8. Be disciplined.

In The Lost Art of Discipline, we go over how discipline removes barriers and how a lack of discipline puts more barriers between you and who you need to become to reach the goals and dreams you want to accomplish.

Discipline is avoiding things that pull you away from your potential, and adopting things that bring you closer to realizing that potential.

Those who are supremely motivated know what they want, they aspire for greater things than the average fella, but they’re also supremely disciplined. They know that to rely on the feeling of motivation is a horrible way to live, and that creating the habits and the lifestyle that fosters motivation is a far better way to be.

9. Review your biggest goals every day.

Back to being excited…

When we set a big goal, we get excited, but we lose that excitement a couple weeks after when what we do has become routine.

Set massive goals, but keep them close, keep them in mind, continue to feel the energy that comes from possibilities.

10. Track everything.

Know exactly where you are in relation to where you want to be at all times.

Too often we lose motivation because we feel like we’re not doing well enough. Feelings don’t matter. Numbers matter.

Know where you want to be. Figure out how to become the man worthy of that life, job, degree of excellence. And then keep track of how you’re doing. Know how much you spend, save, invest. Know how many words you write a day. Know how much more business you’ve created this month versus this month a year ago.

I’ve seen this first hand. I’ve thought I was doing a lot worse than I really was simply because I wasn’t measuring what I was doing.

11. Never envy. Never compare yourself to someone else.

Your path in life has to be your own path. You have to focus on your own shit. Someone else’s path cannot be your focus. It pulls you away from what you’re doing and it removes any possibility of having the positive, alive, motivated mindset you need to win at your idea of success.

NEVER look at someone else, at what they’re doing, and get down on who you are or what you’ve accomplished.

Make a point to not even think about what others are doing, not even your competition, nor your allies.

Do your own thing. Live your own life.

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –



Can Depression Be Conquered?

Depression is seen as something that happens to you, thus, we see it as a curse. Can we, then, work at enacting some power or control over this evil?

The following books will help you do just that.

The purpose of a ‘self-help’ book is to show you how to help yourself. Too many such categorized books, don’t do this. I’ve read books from the self-help section in the book store that don’t in any way deal with reality.

They’re filled with fluff and nonsense. They’re written to make you feel good so that you’ll buy another one of their books, but they don’t actually give you any guidance to solve your own problems.

The truth is, we have far more power and control over our lives than we realize. We think things happen to us, neglecting to see our role in how we respond to the event.

The goal of every man should be to live a good, flourishing, powerful, audacious life. We should all aspire to be of value. If you’re down in the dumps, depressed, surrounded by darkness, by all means, talk to someone, seek help, but, as a man, also aim to figure things out for yourself.

No matter the problem, you can be the solution.

The following books aren’t filled with the aforementioned weightless, feel-good nonsense. They’re rooted in logic, science, and truth.

To be at your best you have to see your life as it is, not as you wish it to be, nor as you perceive it as, but how it is. From there, from a place of reality, where you see the good, appreciate what you have and work to get what you don’t, you can begin to rise.

1. The Depression Cure

I was sceptical about this book because of its title. When I started reading, however, I was proven wrong.

The premise of the book is that depression isn’t a natural human state, but a construct of our only recently ‘modernized’, industrialized, technological society. It wasn’t a premise that was born and then sought out to be proven, but one that came as the result of an interesting finding.

The research found in the book focuses on modern hunter-gatherer societies, where the scientists found no cases of depression. Studied for up to a decade, none of these societies in Africa, New Guinea, and elsewhere, who have to hunt their food, who have no money, no technology, and live in huts and tight-knit communities, suffered from depression.

Compare that to the most affluent areas in our biggest cities, where everything that one needs is within the click of the mouse or a quick drive, where depression is rampant.

It appears that we’re still genetically programmed to live like hunter-gatherers. That is, we need the high amount of omega 3’s found in game meats. We need the close connection of a tribe. We need the struggle of surviving in rural parts of the world. We need the daily exercise we get from hunting and fishing with primitive tools.

Technology is great, but it allows us to avoid what we need to do to live a mentally healthy life.

The book isn’t just findings, but solutions as well.

It gives you things you can do to climb out of the depths. The tough part is actually doing them, but that’s where we separate the men from the weak. It’s when you’re at your darkest that you have to stand up and move.

Click here to buy The Depression Cure

2. Man’s Search for Meaning

If men can find meaning in the darkest, most evil place the world has ever seen, then we have to be able to find meaning in our own suffering.

Viktor Frankl formed his ‘logotherapy’ in the Concentration Camps of the Second World War, where men and women and children were imprisoned and tortured and murdered for their race and ethnic background by the millions. There’s no sense or logic to such evil, so quitting, giving up and throwing your hat in amidst such evil actually makes sense.

Some did, many did. Frankl saw others, however, who – even within such darkness – found meaning. Rather, they created meaning.

Everyone should read this book. No matter what evil has happened to you, you still have the power to choose how to respond to it. There is no circumstance where you’re powerless.

Click Here to buy Man’s Search for Meaning

3. Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot

James Stockdale was a fighter pilot who was shot down during the Vietnam War and placed in a torture camp. These guys didn’t treat prisoners of war like they do in America. They were subjected to mental and physical torture that Stockdale talks about in the book.

The beauty of this book is how it shows the reader how to endure. It talks about truth and how to find truth when the lines between right and wrong are incredibly difficult to see.

Do you do as your captures want you to do and get fed, clothed, and cleaned? Or do you stand by your values and continue to get tortured?

How does someone know what’s right when pitted with decisions like that?

Incredibly, there’s clarity, and Stockdale helped other prisoners of war find said clarity.

If they’re able to find clarity amidst the blur of a torture prison, how can we not find clarity in our daily lives?

Read this book.

Click Here to buy Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot

4. Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius

If Stoicism could be confined to an idea, you could say it’s the ability to determine what demands your attention and thoughts, and what doesn’t.

How should you respond to crisis? What’s under your control and what isn’t and what can you do about what’s under your control and what should you do about what isn’t under your control?

We spend so much time focusing on things that we shouldn’t focus on. We fret over things we don’t control and ignore our role in events.

Choose all of or one of the following books and set out to read just a few pages per day. Read, then give what you’ve read the time and respect needed to mull it over, contemplate what it means and how to enact it in your own life.

Meditations – Marcus Aurelius 

Art of Living – Epictetus 

On the Shortness of Life – Seneca 

5. Unbroken

One thing we each have to realize is that we can endure far more than we can even comprehend. Each of us are survivors, and each thing we push through, break through, and survive strengthens us.

Unbroken is an example of a man who endured senseless torture, who was targeted by an evil bastard in the Japanese prison camps of the Second World War, and yet came out of his years-long ordeal, as a better, kinder man.

Louis Zamperini is one of the greatest men you’ll read about, and we can all benefit from having models who’ve gone through far worse things than we have but found a way to rise out of them with a positive attitude.

Click Here to buy Unbroken

6. The Obstacle is the Way

Sometimes the thing that brings us the most grief is the solution. Sometimes our greatest obstacle, very thing we think is preventing our happiness, can get us closer to peace and meaning.

Ryan Holiday, the book’s author, does a great job of bringing timeless ancient wisdom and presenting it in a way that the reader can immediately implement.

When we can begin to see the route to what we want through the obstacles that we think we’re cursed with, clarity ensues, and we’re able to truly take control of every aspect of our lives that we can possibly have control over.

Click here to buy The Obstacle is the Way

About The Author

Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live.

You can contact him at –