Pioneers and Settlers

If you think about those words, Pioneer and Settler, the distinction comes into focus. Far from being synonyms, they are opposites. Pioneer is one who “helps open up a new line of thought or activity,” according to Merriam-Webster. Settler on the other hand is “one who settles.”

Think about which one you are. Are you exploring? Are you pursuing? Are you venturing into new territory even though it’s a little scary and there are no promises of a matching 401k? Or have you settled in a place that is slowly sucking the life out of you?

In The Last Arrow, Erwin McManus asks an essential question, “If you are not where you want to be, why do you keep choosing to stay where you are?”

Many men settle after they retire or achieve an easy job that provides financial security. But this is the very best time to pioneer! (You can even be a weekend pioneer!) Imagine the impact retired men could make in the world if they pioneered into helping orphans, widows, and homeless, instead of settling for the golf course.  

Point your compass towards a cause that you’re passionate about; it’s never too late to become a Pioneer!

Do Hard Things

Michael Hans    has done a few hard things.

Michael Hans has done a few hard things.

Want to know the secret to happiness?  Do hard things. When we do hard things our brain releases endorphins that elevate our mood and make us happy.

Accomplishing a difficult challenge like restoring an old car, building a wooden picnic table, or yes, even running a marathon will produce a lasting pleasure that laying around watching Netflix can never deliver.

When a project that you’ve started gets harder than you realized you can either quit or stick with it. It’s going to be hard either way. The difference is hard now or hard later. If you decide to finish then it’s going to be hard now temporarily, but if you decide to quit you’ll be disappointed in yourself forever.

If choosing the easy way out brought happiness then no one with a couch and a pizza would ever be depressed. We essentially need challenges in our life. We’re designed to do hard things.

The world is full of sad, depressed people who fell for the lie that comfort would make them happy. Don’t fall into that trap. Do hard things.




Own Your Mistakes


All men have things in their past they wish they could change. Anyone who says they have no regrets is either lying or a fool. Learning from our mistakes, from our failures, and our sins is a vital part of growth and maturity.

I have lots of regrets and I’ve learned from each of them. I’m a better man as a result of the process.

Tragedy occurs when a man attempts to cover up his flaws. Hiding our regrets in the dark allows them to grow. It allows them to haunt you. Shame thrives on secrecy, and it can grow to epic proportions when we pretend it’s not really there.

Own your story. Whatever it is, whether it’s noble or shameful, tragic or heroic, it is your story. It’s a part of the narrative that shaped you into who you are today. Own your story; pass it on to younger men so that they might avoid similar pitfalls. No one benefits when you pretend to be perfect.

If you love your sons and daughters you’ll shine your light on the hazards that caused you to wreck. To do otherwise would add another regret to your list.