Man relaxing reading a book

Dude Skill #4: GROW – Part 2


Grow Intellectually – Develop Your Mind

I wouldn’t say that I was discouraged to write a book for men about marriage, but I wasn’t exactly encouraged. I spoke with several people in the publishing world, and almost to a person they asked why I would write a book to men when men don’t read books. I used to be one of those men. Growing up, I was the quintessential dumb jock. I made it through high school without having to read an entire book. Only in college did I start cracking the books. I bet you read a book or twenty in college. But I would also bet that you haven’t read much since then.

Why Men Don’t Read

  • “I don’t have time” — You make time for what is important. Men read and study for hobbies and work and information on how to fix stuff around the house.
  • “I don’t know where to start” — As you read this book, identify which chapters reveal. your weaknesses. Start reading there.
  • “I don’t want to” — You do plenty of things that you don’t want to do, and you learn to love many of them. Some of them, you don’t. Discipline is important no matter what.

President Harry S. Truman once said, “Not all readers become leaders. But all leaders must be readers.” To grow intellectually, you are going to have to develop. your mind by reading. I am not encouraging you (at least at first) to read about things in which you have little to no interest. My guess is that you could learn more about many things of interest to you.

Someone asked me a few years ago about my hobbies. I replied, “Hobbies? I don’t even have a hobby.” Back then, I felt sorry for people who had to have a hobby. I thought if my work fulfilled me, and I was investing adequately in my family, I wouldn’t need a hobby. Now I know how stupid I was. The desire to pursue a hobby sprung from a desire to quell the boredom and obsession with my job. I needed a new challenge. So I started rock climbing. There is nothing like realizing that the weight of your entire body is literally at your fingertips.

Rock climbing demands complete focus, which is just what I needed to forget about the stress of my job. My mentor owned a gym and led outdoor tours. He taught me technique and suggested I buy special pointed-toed shoes that helped me climb like a goat. On my own, I purchased books and magazines and watched countless videos to stoke the fire of my new hobby.

Man relaxing reading a book

It is likely that you can find books, periodicals, websites, or podcasts related to you work industry. Maybe you are bored with you industry, and you should research another one that might appeal to you. Maybe something in world history grabs you. Perhaps economic challenges spark your curiosity. A friend got interested in microeconomics and has become an expert in the field. He spent time in China while he was working on his MBA and was fascinated by the Chinese economic system. He used this newfound expertise to think through a business venture that he now leads with a dozen employees.

Someone once said, “You cannot parent your children. You can only parent each child.” If I am going to be the best parent I can be, I have to discern what each child needs in a given situation, adapt my parenting style to meet those needs, and do all this while controlling my emotions. That is why I’m always reading about parenting. If you’re married, you should keep reading books about marriage.


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