I am proud of my bona fides on supporting the advancement of women. It angers me to think how slow executive suites and boardrooms are to welcome more qualified females. Stubborn gender wage gaps for comparable work are unacceptable and must be closed.
However, with all of the attention and focus on supporting equal opportunities for women, we have taken our eyes off an alarming trend. Young men in the US are in trouble by any measure of educational attainment. It’s a big deal and, for reasons of political correctness, we aren’t talking enough about this growing national problem.
I refuse to believe the support of young American’s progress is a zero-sum game – that somehow if we call attention to the problem and take a different approach to improve the experience and outcomes of boys it would come at the expense of celebrating and enabling continued advancement of girls. We can and must recognize the unique challenges of young men and we had better start doing something about it now.
Have you taken a stroll on a college campus recently? Where have the men gone? In the latest census, males comprise 51% of the total US population between the ages of 18-24. Yet, just over 40% of today’s college students are men. In fact, in each year since 1982, more American women than men have received bachelor’s degrees. Over the last decade two million more women graduated from college than men. And the gap continues to grow. Michael Thompson, author ofRaising Cain, a great book on the plight of young males, illustrates the path we are going down with a startling extrapolation. He notes that if today’s trends continue unaltered, the last young man in the US to get a college degree will do so in 2068. Scary stuff.
The gender achievement gap is astounding. The average 11th grade boy writes at the level of the average 8th grade girl. Men are significantly underperforming women. According to a recent NBC news report, women dominate high school honor rolls and now make up more than 70% of class valedictorians.
Again, I am happy to see women succeeding. But can we really afford for our country’s young men to fall so far behind? A growing education attainment gap has profound consequences for the economy.
It mattered far less during the industrial era when young men in this country could find good high-wage jobs in the manufacturing sector without a college degree or post-secondary credential. In a post-industrial economy, the social contract has changed. The deal used to be that college was only for a narrow segment of our population. Everyone else willing to work hard could make enough money to raise a family and achieve the American dream of owning a home, without higher education. With the disappearance of those industrial era jobs, the rug got pulled out from under that assumption. We replaced it with a new social contract by which a college degree, or at least some form of post-secondary credential, was a necessity for anyone hoping to make a decent living. The numbers on this are clear. According to census data, annual earnings for high-school dropouts average $18,900; for high-school graduates, $25,900; for college graduates, $45,400. Add up those numbers over a lifetime and the importance of education comes into focus.
And that’s if there is a job at all. Take a look at how hard the current recession has hit men. Of the jobs lost over the last four years 78% of them were held by men. That leaves 20% of working age men out of work. These jobs are not coming back and men are ill prepared for the 21st century workplace.
Read the rest of… Saul Kaplan: Plight of Young Males
One of the first things women notice on men is their shoes. No, really. Below I take you through the main categories of boots and explain what to wear with each and address the tuck-or-not question. (Hint: it has nothing to do with whether or not you have nice ankles.)
The Work Boot – Utilitarian and rugged in feel, but handsome nonetheless, the work boot is best worn casually. It’s often water-resistant with a warm lining and therefore great for negotiating snow drifts. And besides, if there’s any falling timber on the Upper East Side, you’ll be ready. Note: this boot looks better when it’s a little beat up.
Tuck? Yep, especially when there’s a layer of slushy muck along the sidewalk. You might need to cuff your pants once or twice for this, and you can also try leaving your boots untied or loosely tied (depending on how long your laces are – you don’t want them dragging through black puddles) and pushing your pants easily into the tops. Don’t worry about making sure each pant leg looks exactly the same. It should be a little undone.
The Chukka – Originally worn by polo players (the name is derived from the word chukker, the playing period of a polo game), the Chukka is now worn by all men, regardless of whether they carry a mallet. This low-style boot can be dressy or casual, dictated by the material it’s made from – usually suede or leather. Wear them with jeans, chinos, dress pants or a suit, depending on how refined the boot material is.
The Lace-up Boot – These boots are your most versatile option and come in a range of heights. Pull them on with jeans and a leather jacket (make sure the shade of the jacket leather is the same as that of your boots). Or wear them with a suit for a sharp-dressy look that also keeps your ankles warm as you power across town during an arctic blast.
The lace-up boot is a candidate for one of my favorite fashion moments: the nonchalant half-tuck. While you’re welcome to play it safe and wear your pants over your boots, why not show a little lace and let the bottoms of your chinos or jeans – cuffing or rolling optional – fall casually into the tops of your boots? Don’t make it too perfect. Note: if you’re feeling noncommittal (or are short on time), lace them halfway, then wrap the laces around the tops of your boots a couple of times and tie them, as in the image below.
Tuck? See above.
The Chelsea Boot – Formerly reserved for riding your scooter around London to visit your favorite Beatle, the Chelsea boot now gets a lot of airplay in mainstream menswear. This style is often characterized by an elasticized side panel that makes it easy to pull on and off – great for zipping through airports. Wear with dark jeans for a night out or with your suit for an effortlessly sleek look.
Tuck? Don’t even think about it.
So that covers my general rundown on boots. For specific boot suggestions, please contact me directly. And, as always, I welcome your suggestions and comments.
I have a few people request nutritional advice and/or grocery store lists. Using my Exercise Nutritionist certification from Precision Nutrition, I have compiled the best damn grocery store list I could compiled. These are only items you will see in a big box grocery store, some local farmer’s markets or Whole Foods may have a wider variety, but I wanted to keep it to things you could find where you shop now. I also didn’t want to link it to anything, so that you would have all the information in this email for you to print off and go to the grocery store.
Aspire Fitness Supermarket Survival Guide
Hit the grocery store prepared with our handy Supermarket Survival Guide, which will help
• navigate the supermarket like a pro;
• shop as efficiently as possible;
• reduce temptations and distractions; and
• ensure you get all kinds of healthy foods!
A few notes:
These shopping lists are to give you ideas. You don’t have to buy everything on the list! We suggest you start with a few of your favorites from each group. For example:
• 3 veggies: spinach, carrots, broccoli
• 3 fruits: blueberries, oranges, grapes
• 3 proteins: extra-lean ground beef, salmon, lentils
• 3 fats: coconut, avocado, almonds
• 2 grains: oatmeal, wild rice
If there’s something we’ve missed that fits the criteria, please feel free to try it. For instance, you might find other fresh fish than the ones we’ve mentioned, or another fruit or veggie.
Always shop with a list, whether that’s ours or your own. If it’s not on the list, you don’t buy it.
That saves you time, money, and having to throw out impulse buys.
Most supermarkets are laid out the same way: Most of the healthy stuff is around the edges.
Most of the stuff to avoid is in the inner aisles.
Here’s a sample supermarket layout to help you plan your attack. Stick mostly to the perimeter, where you’ll find lean protein plus fruits & veggies. Areas to avoid
or visit sparingly are orange. Be especially cautious around the cash register and ends of the aisles, where there are often eye-catching displays of
Fruits & vegetables
Look for colorful fruits and veggies and much as possible. Eat the rainbow!
Look for what’s in season and/or local. It’ll be fresher, cheaper, and tastier.
Purple & blue
Blueberries, blackberries, lingonberries
Beet greens (the tops of beets)
Any other dark leafy green (e.g. turnip
greens, collard greens)
Fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, basil)
Green beans, green peas
Zucchini, cucumber (if you eat the peel)
Red & pink
Red lettuce, radicchio
Onions, leeks, shallots
Lean/extra-lean cuts of beef
Lean pork (e.g. pork tenderloin)
Wild game (e.g. venison, elk)
Eggs & egg whites
Smaller fish like herring and mackerel
Remember, you want whole grains. The whole thing.
Oats (steel-cut or oat groats)
Wheat berries (whole wheat kernels)
Label reading checklist
No more than a few ingredients
Food that is close to what it used to be
Organic if possible
Local if possible
Minimal or no packaging
Sugar (look for trick words and phrases)
Hydrogenated and fractionated oils such as
corn or palm oil
Additives, preservatives, and colouring
Any other ingredients you don’t recognize
More than a few ingredients
Trick words & phrases
“Syrup” – corn syrup, brown rice syrup,
agave syrup, etc.
Words ending in “ose” – sucrose, glucose,
Words starting with “malto” – maltodextrin,
“Made with / contains real fruit”
Don’t be fooled!
Ignore what the front of the package says. Look at the back of the package. Remember, if a
packaged food claims to be “healthy”, it probably isn’t. “Organic sugar” is still sugar.
By Lauren Mayer, on Wed Feb 25, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
One of a mom’s primary roles in life is to embarrass her children, and my sons would be the first to tell you I’ve done a great job in that capacity. And while I don’t think I fit the cliche of the overbearing Jewish mother, I have been known to nag them about eating, and of course like any good Jewish mother, I secretly yearn for a gay son (because he’d never leave me for another woman . . . cue rim shot), although both my boys have had to tell me, “Sorry to disappoint you mom, but I’m straight!”
When I started doing these weekly videos, my younger son was 16 and pretty plugged into social media (for example, he saw the “Gangnam Style” video before it passed 100,000 views!) He cautioned me against expecting too much, because as he put it, “Mom, anything over 100 views is viral for old people.” And of course he threatened to disown me if I ever attempted to do anything as daring as a rap.
However, last week’s MSNBC interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a great reminder that not only is she incredibly smart and well-spoken, she’s also become a hip cultural phenomenon. So if an 81-year-old Jewish mother can be re-invented as a meme, this middle-aged Jewish mother can become a rap star to salute her.
By Erica and Matt Chua, on Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
hort-term travelers often curse the idiosyncrasies of foreign destinations such as strange toilets and unidentifiable foods. Being long-term travelers, we had no choice but to accept the local choice until we found we actually loved these options. Here are a few of the things that shocked us:
I love the conveniences and consistency of the developed world. I love that I can get the same cup of Pike Place Roast at every Starbucks globally. I love that I can get an Egg McMuffin in every McDonald’s I find. Knowing what I’m going to get removes a lot of anxiety and, sadly, thought from my daily life. Life on the road though requires me to see the many ways people attack the same problems. Here are a few that I’ve come to love.
I love shopping malls!?! Wow, I can’t believe I just said that, let alone in public…that’d be like me saying I’m listening to Taylor Swift as I type this, and, well, I wouldn’t admit to that, because of course that would never happen! OK, here’s the thing about malls, they aren’t the derelict, soul-less, institutions filled with mallrats considering their next hairstyle at Hot Topics like at home. Malls in much of the world are classy, air-conditioned, filled with great food options, and a window into the lives of a country’s wealthy. Did I mention they have free, clean bathrooms (I loveneed these). I decisively argued my case in the He Said-She Said: Malls vs Market post last year, but I’m still in awe with the fact that my love has only grown.
Malls, a great place for anything…even a nap!
I wish I could turn water into wine…if I could I would “bless” everyone on the Mississippi south of Minneapolis… Short of that superpower though, I love turning water into a delicious meal. All I need is some boiling water and I can whip up a delicious ramen dinner, because ramen noodles are delicious. In Asian supermarkets there is often an entire aisle of delicious ramen flavors, all of which will hit the spot for a filling dinner. I may have knocked the fact that I’ve been eating ramen here, but in reality, it’s #1 on my list of easy food.
While many travelers collect souvenirs on their trip, I like to bring home ideas and new ways of doing things instead of just trinkets. Sometimes these things are simple changes to the way I look at something and other times they are huge mental shifts. Here are a couple things that I have grown to love on our world tour and I hope won’t go away once we’re stationary.
Seeing a clean squat toilet like this as the public restroom choice always makes me smile.
On the short list of things I hope to incorporate into my life are squat toilets and communal living. These things may not seem very travel-centric, but this trip has given me a fresh perspective on each. First of all, without going into too much detail, squat toilets have become my first choice when it comes to doing my business, particularly if I’m at a public restroom. The squatting seems to make everything go smoother. There’s nothing like needing to make a deposit only to find the toilet seat covered in someone else’s mess, which requires you to give your quads a good workout while you try to hover over the hole and hold the door shut.
Communal living has become a way of life as we move from hostel to hostel and country to country. While I can’t say I always want to have to wait in line to use the shower there is something magical about sharing space with strangers. Soon those people aren’t strangers and you have a whole new set of friends and perspectives to enjoy and ponder. The power of community and the benefits of shared living are huge. So, when I go home I’m looking to establish a communal living situation with squat toilets. Let me know if you’re interested, we’ll serve ramen and have regular trips to the mall.
Beware of random collisions with unusual suspects. Unless, of course, if you want to learn something new. In that case seek out innovators from across every imaginable silo and listen, really listen, to their stories. New ideas, perspectives, and value creating opportunities are in the gray areas between unusual suspects. It seems so obvious and yet we spend most of our time with the usual suspects in our respective silos. We need to get out of our silos more.
It’s human nature to surround ourselves with people exactly like us. We connect and spend time with people who share a common world-view, look the same, enjoy the same activities, and speak the same language. We join clubs to be with others like us. I want to belong to the non-club club. The only tribe I want to be in is a tribe of unusual suspects who can challenge my world-view, expose me to new ideas, and teach me something new. I founded the Business Innovation Factory to enable random collisions of unusual suspects.
I am reminded of the power of this simple idea as my friend Bill Taylor launches his new book,Practically Radical (a must read for all innovators). Bill is a magnet for innovation stories and a master storyteller. I’ve been a Bill Taylor fan since he founded Fast Company and was surprised when he showed up at BIF-1, our very first Collaborative Innovation Summit, back in 2004. I shouldn’t have been surprised. Bill loves searching for compelling innovation stories among the unusual suspects. He has attended all but one of our six annual summits to-date including co-chairing several of them. There have been countless random collisions. As I started reading Practically Radical I was immediately hit with a powerful reminder.
Read the rest of… Saul Kaplan: Practically Radical
Learn exactly how to approach social and dating skills in a way that gets results.
Even though natural attraction may sound like an inherent gift — that you’re either born with or not — it is no such thing.
The truth is that like anything worth building, natural attraction is simply a skill.
I have found that when men develop a strong and benevolent sense of self, they can’t help but attract women who are a great match for them.
I’ve seen it over and over again, with men who didn’t think they could even get themselves out of the work-home-work cycle, much less attract a beautiful girlfriend.
By following the steps I’ve outlined for you below, men consistently defy the supposed odds and attract amazing women.
So how do we get YOU attracting women naturally and successfully?
Whether you want to have more light and fun dates, or whether you’re on the search for a beautiful, inspiring woman to partner with, there are three steps you need to take in order to become a naturally attractive man:
Step One: Discover Your Vibe
Since you’re in Julie’s community, you already understand the importance of how you come across in terms of your dress and presentation. That gives you a huge amount of leverage in social and dating interactions.
That said, are you aware of what makes YOU uniquely attractive as a man?
That’s something that not a lot of guys know about themselves, and yet it is the fundamental starting point for attracting women naturally.
This is because once you know what makes you a wonderfully attractive man, a few things happen:
First, you instantly have more natural confidence around women.
Second, you know what your strengths are, so you can style yourself and your conversations accordingly, all while being 100% authentic.
Third, you’re able to recognize and receive women’s respect, attraction, and eventually devotion.
Once you have a core understanding of who you are and why a woman would love you for you, you can finally discern and receive a genuine sexy romance when it comes your way.
Step Two: Develop Core Skills
Once you’ve determined what’s sexy about you, it’s time to build your core skills.
This starts with the basic skill of confidence: an assurance within yourself that gives you the strength to become more of the man you want to be every day.
With confidence comes the ability to build key social skills, dating skills, sexual skills, and partnership skills.
That’s all it is – skill-building. Your current level of skill is in no way a personal reflection on your inherent worth. It is a linear, logical skill to be developed.
This is often the biggest mindset shifts my clients experience.
Step Three: Find Your Flow
You’ll know you’re pretty well in your groove when you’re enjoying genuine comfort with yourself, others, and beautiful women.
You’ll know you’re REALLY in your groove when you’re comfortable being intimate with beautiful women and being in close relationship with gorgeous women who deeply inspire you and are deeply inspired by you in turn.
That sounds amazing, right? If you’re wondering whether you can actually do that, it would be understandable. Many men have asked the same.
I can tell you right now that after working with dozens and dozens of men 1:1 – you CAN.
You absolutely can.
Once you discover your vibe, develop core skills, and find your flow, you can’t help but attract women naturally.
Sarah Jones is the founder of Introverted Alpha, where she helps smart introverted men attract women naturally by building core skills and confidence. Learn more and download her Free Welcome Gift at Introverted Alpha.
One of my secret weapons for up-leveling a guy’s style is to mix in new colors, textures and patterns. With the cold weather upon us, now is an excellent time to do this because there are natural ways to change up your style — and do it well. Below are some of my best tips for how to do this.
How to Turn Heads
To get the women around you to take a second look, you need to change up how you dress. If others are used to seeing you in solid blue shirts day after day, and you all of a sudden show up in a purple check, it’s going to make a real difference. (Now of course, not everyone wants their style upgrade to be immediately noticeable. If that applies to you, go for a subtler change, say a switch to a blue check.) Certain colors, textures and patterns are more seasonably appropriate than others, and that’s what I’m going to tell you about today for Fall and Winter clothing. I’ll break this down for you into three main categories: color, texture and pattern.
Fall and Winter is the right time to start incorporating darker, richer colors like olive green, bright red, deep purple, royal blue, chocolate brown and rich navy. Think about these tones for sweaters, pants (like the green AG cords above), shirts and sportcoats. These are the colors we typically associate with cold weather, so it makes sense.
Thicker, heavier textures like in my client’s jacket above are also more appropriate as the weather cools down. These include flannels (for dress pants, suits, sport jackets and also shirts) tweed, corduroy, suede, quilted outerwear and thickly-knit sweaters.
In these thicker fabrics, Fall and Winter-friendly would patterns include houndstooth, windowpane, glen plaid, and regular plaid.
The beauty of cooler weather is that you get to incorporate more layers as the weather cools down, which in turn means more of these colors, patterns and textures can become part of your outfit. And as a result of that, your outfit becomes much more interesting.
How do you plan on mixing up your wardrobe this season?
It is time to get to work. Most everyone has fitness on their mind when discussing their plan for 2015. Hell, even I have fitness related goals I would like to focus on for the next 360ish days. Most of my goals have a common theme and today when discussing 2015 with a client something hit me like a ton of bricks. It was an epiphany of sorts. While trying to simplify the process, I discovered the most important word for the the process, consistency. Without it, there is no workout plan, juice cleanse, yoga retreat, treadmill known to man that will create the results MOST are seeking out. Consistency is everything when discussing fitness. Those that do not have consistency have no results. Its a fact.
“So specifically what are you talkin bout JB?”
Most everyone would agree true, long lasting results take time. Even the the January resolution crowd that is showing up at your neighborhood gyms know that results take a while. So what are the keys to results? In my opinion it falls down to consistency. Those that are consistent in their workouts, eating habits, keeping stress low are more successful than those that are sporadic. Lets simplify this even more:
Here are the four areas I see where the results start to wane and frustration starts to set in because of lack of consistent habits.
Plain and simple, if you do not work out on a regular basis you are not going to achieve the maximum amount of your goals. Start small, commit to 3 days per week to go workout (whatever combination you would like) and be consistent. You do not have to have the craziest of workouts every time you workout (leave those to me) just be consistent ( are you tired of reading that word yet?) Side note: Do not cancel on your trainer unless you absolutely have too. If you book an appointment, keep it. You will not be disappointed.
A huge gaping hole for most people is how they eat. Most are neither consistent nor nutritious which leads to no results. We may need to start small by simply making it a priority to prepare our lunch every day. It literally could be the same meal all week if you would like. Any thing to start a consistent behavior pattern.
I do not sleep enough some days. It is a goal of mine to achieve at least an average of 7 hours of sleep a night. My body needs and your body needs it. There is a correlation with happiness and the amount of sleep one’s gets. Let that sink in.
Huh? Yes I am going there. If you have negative people in your life, get rid of them. They are detracting from what you are trying to accomplish. They are in your way, consistently. It is preventing you from reaching your full potential. Say goodbye!
Resolutions are great, declarations are better. Declare 2015 as your year and keep the theme of consistency in the forefront of your mind as we process through this new year. Victory will be yours.
By Lauren Mayer, on Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 8:30 AM ET
Not only is E.L. James’ fan-fiction’ trilogy a runaway success, the movie version is also setting box office records. Meanwhile, critics, literary analysts, BDSM experts, and all of us with any basic sense of logic and writing are scratching our heads. How on earth could so many people embrace soft-core porn that expects us to believe a beautiful 21-year-old English major has never been kissed, has never thought about sex, and has never decided to use her supposed experience reading Thomas Hardy novels to update her vocabulary from “jeez” and “triple crap”?
Since women are the bulk of the audience (including those of us who read a book or two ‘just to see what all the fuss was about’, honest!), it’s easy to dismiss the whole phenomenon as an illustration of suburban sexual frustration, of lonely moms yearning for some kink in their lives. But I’m firmly convinced it’s really because the books tapped into the suburban mother’s deepest fantasy – of having someone ELSE take charge for a few hours.
For that we’d put up with awful writing, a hero who is more abusive-stalker than charming, and a lousy representation of consensual sexual experimentation. Just think how successful we’d make any example of ‘mommy porn’ that skipped the contract delibrations and references to “my inner goddess”?