Back to Basics

Back to basics. This is one of my all time favorite sayings. It just boils down my happier man philosophy to it's core.

When life has got you down and you don't really know what to do, just get the basics taken care of. You will start to feel better and life will not look so rough.

Instead of pushing ahead with things that are not right for you, or are not right for you right now, step back and take care of what needs to be taken care of.

You cannot save the world every day or even make gigantic leaps forward in your own life every day if the normal day to day is dragging you down. Sometimes you just need to get the basics cared for and make your life a little better.

Go back to basics and concentrate on your basic needs first.

Simple Back to Basics Things You Can Do

Start with the simplest, easiest back to basics things.  Do them, get that part of your life under control and then move on to the next higher level.

Here is a short list of simple things that should be an easy to accomplish but many people struggle with. 

Do This First

  • Do your laundry
  • Sweep the kitchen floor
  • Change the sheets on your bed
  • Clean your bathrooms
  • Pick up and straighten your home
  • Find something obvious to throw out
  • Make a list of things you'd like to make your life easier.
  • Make a list of things to make your life better. 
  • Make a list of things you have put off for a long time.

Some of these are simple actions that must be done anyway. Instead of laying around and feeling sorry for yourself and getting further behind, help yourself. These are good things you are doing for you.

Some of these are just simple list making, with pen and paper.  This is not novel writing or complicated action plans.  Just lists.

Take care of the simplest things first.  Simplify your life then move on.

If your life is totally out of control, getting these simple things done may take a long time to accomplish.  It shouldn't, but it may.

For some reason, many of you cannot take out a piece of paper and pen and make a frickin list.  I've seen some people who are so out of control they cannot put their hands on some paper and a pen.  This is not hard.  You can get pens free at your bank and scrap paper is free too.  It's also at the Dollar Store.  $2 and you have enough supplies of back to basics list making material for a year.

For example, an organized person would be able to to the above list in an hour.  A very disorganized person, it may takes weeks, if they can even get going at all.

So, get busy, get going and do it.  Your life will improve.

Next Back to Basics Step

Once you have taken care of the simplest back to basic actions, you can then move on to 3 more high level action that hold people back from having the better life that should be our highest priority.

If you cannot get these areas handled, you have zero chance of having a good life.

Zero chance.

Here are the 3 Next Level Back to Basics Steps

  1. Deal with Too Much Stuff
  2. Get Enough Sleep
  3. Get Control of Your Money

Let's break these down.

Deal with Too Much Stuff

Excess stuff will overwhelm your life and make it impossible for you to have a good, easy life.

You can enjoy clutter free living and a simple, easy life.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate clutter and time consuming activities out of you life so you are left with just your most important items and activities.

Cutting activities is as critical as throwing things out because it is so easy to get wrapped up in all kinds of activities that you have no interest in or have nothing to do with your life.  The excess involvement sucks your time and energy leaving you no time and no energy.

I got caught up in life the way the vast majority of people do. You just keep doing the same old things over and over. You let others tell you what to do, how to do it and when. You think that you should do this and we should do that. Others control you with guilt and manipulation.

Back to basics effort, energy and time is needed but it is not struggle. It is gentle work and not that difficult. It should be easy and rewarding.

Get Enough Sleep

When I was married I never slept enough.  My wife kept me up late every night.  Not having wild sex either.  Just working on stupid stuff around the house.  Folding the laundry.  Working in the yard in the dark.  Remodeling the house.   Organizing and reorganizing all the stuff.  Driving back from a too long family gathering.

I had the classic look of a sleep deprived person.  Big, dark bags under my eyes.  A huge belly.  Feeling unwell and lethargic most of the time.  Needing continuous doses of caffeine and junk food to keep alert.  Nodding off whenever there was a moment of quiet or a lull in the chaos.

Me, about 2003, tired enough to fall asleep at a Pro Baseball Game

This was years of my life. 

Hard times for sure.

When I left her I spent the first few months just sleeping more.  I went to bed early.  I slept in on weekends.  I took naps when I could.

I finally became well rested enough to feel good again.  But it took months.  Who knows how this will effect my long term health.  I would think, not well.  There is nothing I can do about this now except take care of my health better now.

You don't want to live this way.

The only time you should lose your precious sleep is occasionally for good reasons that YOU decide.

Get Control of Your Money

If you cannot pay your bills on time, you are out of control.

Never mind the sky high interest rates, overcharges, fees, scams and frauds that our friendly lenders use to fleece us from our toil and creativity.

You have to be able to manage to pay your bills when due, or earlier, every month of every year, to have control of your spending.

You are in serious trouble if you can't.  I know, because I spent years in this vicious cycle.

Dramatic, drastic, persistent action is needed.

Once I left my wife I finally regained control over my spending.

Not right away of course.  Years of out of control spending take just as many, if not more years, to correct.

It took years of being divorced to do this.  In some ways the years after the divorce I was even more out of control.  Now I had the huge monthly court ordered child support and alimony.  Plus I had an out of control ex-wife demanding extra money all the time.

So it was not an easy road. 

But I did it and it was worth it.


From Business Insider

A Quarter of Americans Cannot Pay Their Bills On Time

I used to be among this group.  Continuously agonizing over and juggling the bills.  It is so frustrating and demoralizing to live this way.  By the way, I'm sure it is more than a quarter of Americans.  Most people who are out of control in their spending are going to be too embarrassed to talk about just how bad their finances are.

From Black Dragon

Being married is very expensive

It seems like it may be impossible for a man to have control of his most important asset, his money, if he is married. She, with Uncle Sam's help and the rest of the world, are going to do everything in their power to ensure that as much of your money is spent on anyone else but you.


Last and Most Important Back to Basics Steps

It's tempting to jump to the step first.  The evidence of people living fantastic lives is all around you and you want it.

Healthy, fit, wealthy, happy people exist all around you.  You want what they have.  You'd like to get to this level right away.

Probably won't happen.  I'd be cautious about trying to get to the rewarding areas too quickly. 

I kept trying to get to the rewarding stuff  before handling the 3 critical areas.  But they kept dragging me back down until I was forced to deal with them.

Once you get the back to basics normal things under control, and the 3 critical areas handled, then you can move up. 

This is where you accomplish all the things you want to do.  Your life starts firing on all cylinders.  You have the fun, excitement, satisfaction and happiness.

This is where you want to be.

More Advanced Back to Basics steps

  • Buy the things you really want
  • Take care of yourself
  • Do most of the things you want

Let's break these down some more.  Some of you will have no clue what this is like.

Buy the Things You Really Want

How will you have any type of life if you never buy anything you want?

You can't.

It's impossible because money does buy happiness.

You have to buy what you want with the money you earn.

When I was married, there was not any money that I earned that I could spend how I wanted.  None.

The bills were overwhelming.  My wife's spending was out of control.  My ability to stop her was nonexistent. 

It was not until I left her that I could wrestle back a tiny share of my money for my desires.  And it was not until years later that I could get full control of my money.

I buy mostly what I want.  There are some restrictions.  I'm careful.  I have responsibilities..old bills, new bills,frustrations and problems to deal with.  But I have control of all my money.

Take Care of Yourself

Most married men don't.  I didn't.  Many single men get caught up in an unhealthy lifestyle too mimicking the married man lifestyle that is shoved down our throats by society.

See if You Are Living the Married Man Unhealthy Lifestyle:

  • Get up early and stay up late to work hard at work and home
  • Spend a lot of time with people you don't want to spend a lot of time with
  • Asking for permission to make any change in how  you live
  • Your ideas are ridiculed
  • Sleep too little
  • Eat too much of the wrong food - soy, carbs, sugar, fruit
  • Spend a lot on doctors, dentists, prescriptions, food, supplements, comfort and convenience.  But not for you.  For your wife and children.

You have to flip that fn script.

All people, including YOU, need to take care of themselves.

Back to Basics Needs

  • To see the doctor for check-ups and especially if you have a health issue.
  • Your teeth cleaned and examined and your teeth issues corrected.
  • Comfortable shoes and an updated wardrobe.
  • To get to bed early
  • A newer, safe vehicle
  • The proper food for your health
  • To relax and have fun
  • Time to rest and recharge in comfort

YOU.

Most men do none of this.  And the ones who do are ridiculed and put down until they eventually give up and settle in to the demands of our wives to work like a dog for them and ignore our aches, pains, health and well being.

Do Most of the Things You Want

This is where it gets the best

You get the job of your dreams and work on your part-time business. 

You get a gym membership, lift weights, track your workouts, and get stronger, more muscular and fit.  You care about your health, your body and your looks.

You want to remain muscular and strong for the rest of your life.

Me benching at the gym. I'm stronger and in better shape than in 25 years

You go out for breakfast, lunch, coffee, dinner, desert and drinks whenever you want.  You go and see the things you want to see.

You travel where you want and have the best summer ever.

You laze around in your comfortable surroundings as much as you want.

You get busy doing what you truly want to do.

Sadly, most people will never get beyond back to basics.  They will stay stuck in a never ending cycle of lack, chaos, drama, problems and frustrations.  They will never enjoy the freedom from the basics to truly have a good life.

But that does not have to be you.

› Back to Basics