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As another year draws to a close, we’ll be taking the next week off from publishing new content to enjoy the holidays and catch up on all the behind-the-scenes tasks that go into running a website and podcast. While we’re away, check out some of our best and most popular content of the year.

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Most Popular Articles of the Year Based on Traffic

The Groundhog Day Diet: Why I Eat the Same Thing Every DayYour No-Nonsense Guide to Choosing the Right Beard StyleThe Steve McQueen WorkoutHow Long Does It Take to Put on Muscle?The 10 Best War Movies of All-timeWhy Every Man Should Have 3 Signature DishesThe Least Interesting GenerationHow to Pack a Backpack for BackpackingAre You Suffering From Soft Suburban Dad Syndrome? 50 Questions for Self-ExaminationEverything You Didn’t Know About the Trusty Tape MeasureThe 6 Fire Lays Every Man Should Know3 Things No One Ever Told You About Making Friends in AdulthoodHow to Grow Your Hair Out Long (For Dudes)

Our Personal Picks

(Some of the most popular above would be included in this list as well):

How to Create a Soundtrack for Your LifeYour Three Selves and How Not to Fall Into Despair4 Key Insights From the Bhagavad GitaAre You Disciplined or Just Self-Disciplined?Curbside Pickup and the End of Peak Consumerism3 Essential Books for Understanding Our Disorienting Modern WorldWhat Gandhi and a 19th-Century Prussian Prince Can Teach You About Making Unbreakable ResolutionsThe 10 Best Biographies of American PresidentsHow Saunas Can Help Save Your Body, Mind, and SpiritLooking for a Daddy, in All the Wrong PlacesNietzsche’s (Surprisingly Sound) Advice on Choosing a SpouseAre You Prepared for the Coming Existential Crisis?

Sunday Firesides Favorites

Don’t Adopt Ideas Based on TrendsDie RedThere Are No Second ChancesThe Cult of Personality in a Small-Minded SocietyWhat’s Happening Is . . .Be Not a Consumer of LifePermission to Be Wholesome, GrantedDespise Not the Thing That Would Save YouWant to Solve Your Social Problems? Get Over Your SelfThe Cost of a ThingDisappointment, The Emotion of ChildrenA Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Podcast

Most Popular Podcasts of the Year Based on Listens

Physical Benchmarks Every Man Should Meet, At Every AgeHow to DecideEmail Is Making Us Miserable — Here’s What to Do About ItThe No-Nonsense Guide to Simplifying Every Aspect of Your LifeOvercoming the Comfort CrisisHow to Make Your Life More EffortlessThe Psychology of Effective Weight LossWhat a Man With 60,000 Books Can Teach You About Lifelong Learning and Building Your Home LibraryThe Character Traits That Drive Optimal PerformanceA Surprising Theory on Why We Get FatThe Rise of the Religious “Nones” (And What It Means for Society)How Testosterone Makes Men, Men

Our Personal Picks 

(Some of the most popular above would be included in this list as well):

Cormac McCarthy, The Road, and Carrying the FireWhy We Get SickRewild Your LifeThe Hell-Raising Leader of WWII’s Filthy ThirteenMen Without ChestsThe (Non-Cliche) Life Lessons of Fly FishingThe Best Tools for Personal ChangeHow to Keep Your Edge as You Get OlderTheodore Roosevelt, The Last RomanticStop Living on Autopilot and Take Responsibility for Your LifeThe Complex Coolness of Steve McQueen

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the Art of Manliness podcast. It’s a great way to get your AoM fix while commuting or working out:

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Toscano Master Aged 4: American/Italian Blend Cigar Review

Toscano Master Aged 4 Cigar Review

Toscano Master Aged 4 Cigar Review

My journey through Toscano’s Master Aged series culminates with this Master Aged 4, which, through this process, I’ve learned has a few secrets up its sleeves.

While researching this particular blend, I saw it advertised as an Italian wrapper with a 50/50 Italian and American filler, which sounded identical to the Master Aged 1. To get clarification, I contacted Michael Cappellini, the US Toscano brand ambassador.

He kindly informed me that the wrapper on the Master Aged 4 is micro-fermented. This particular treatment, conducted at higher temperatures, is designed to enhance flavor complexity without intensifying the strength.

This is rather intriguing, and I’m eager to put the Master Aged 4 through the Bespoke Unit Cigar Matrix:

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Download the Toscano Master Aged 4 Cigar Matrix as a PDF.

Toscano Master Aged 2 Cigar Review Formula JPG
Learn more about the Bespoke Unit Cigar Formula

Toscano Master Aged 4 Cigar Details

Brand: ToscanoRange: Master Aged 4Reviewed Vitolas: 6.3 x 40 “Double-Truncated Cone”Wrapper: Italian Micro-FermentedBinder: N/AFiller: 50% Italian / 50% Kentucky Fire-Cured TobaccoFactory: Lucca (Italy)Handmade: YesBody: FullEstimated Smoking Time: 90 MinutesPricing: $225 / Box of 30 [Buy On CigarPage]

Despite employing a sophisticated micro-fermentation process that enhances its flavor complexity, the Toscano Master Aged 4 remains competitively priced. It is available for $225 per box of 30, which breaks down to $7.5 per cigar. This keeps it aligned with the rest of the Master Aged cigar collection.

All Toscano Master Aged Cigars Together

Toscano Master Aged 4 Cigars

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Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/podcast-1007-the-5-mountains-of-personal-development/

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Podcast #1,007: The 5 Mountains of Personal Development

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It can be difficult to visualize the journey towards personal development and becoming an exceptional individual. It’s easier to visualize it like Mark Divine, who sees it as five mountains to climb.

Mark is retired Navy SEAL commander, professor of leadership, yogi, creator of fitness programs and mindset programs such as SEALFIT, Unbeatable Mind and an author. His two decades of military experience, combined with his martial arts training and Zen meditation, have led him to develop the holistic warrior monk philosophy, which informs all of his work including Uncommon: simple principles for an extraordinary life.

Mark is your guide today on the show as he explains the topography and daily practices of the five mountain ranges of personal growth. We discuss why the physical mountain is the first to master and the intuitional one the fourth. We also talk about the Navy SEAL breathing technique that helps you develop metacognition.

Podcast Resources

Mark Divine’s previous appearances on the Art of Manliness Podcast: Episode #60 – The Way of the SEALBox BreathingUnbeatable Mind: Mark Divine Staring Down the Wolf: Mark DivineAoM article: 4 Key Insights from the BhagavadgitaAoM podcast #616 – A Guide for the Journey towards Your True CallingSunday firesides: You don’t have the time, not to take the timeF3 NationIkigai

Mark Divine: Connect with him

Uncommon Website Mark’s Mark on IG

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Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/getting-over-the-indignity-of-baby-steps/

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Getting Over the Indignity of Baby Steps

Bill Murray stars as Bob Wiley in the 1991 comedy What About Bob? He is a neurotic, anxious man who seeks out the help of Dr. Bob Marvin, an ambitious and egotistical therapist played by Richard Dreyfuss.

Dr. Marvin wants his name to become the next Dr. Spock, a psychologist with a worldwide reputation. He believes that his newly published book, Baby Steps is the key to fame and fortune.

Bob’s numerous psychological problems are discussed with Dr. Marvin. Dr. Marvin then gives Bob a book called Baby Steps. Bob adopts the Baby Steps Philosophy and takes literal and figurative steps out of Dr. Marvin’s office. Bob’s comedic antics are heightened when he crashes Dr. Marvin and his family’s vacation.

While What About Bob? While the film pokes fun at therapy by using the phrase “baby steps”, it captures an idea that may sound cliche, but is nonetheless true: Small actions taken consistently are the most effective ways to make big changes to our lives.

You should know that

Kaizen.

Little strokes fell great oaks.

Pound the rock.

Even though I know that the best way to change is through small steps, I often struggle with taking them.

You’ve probably all experienced something similar.

Today’s article will explore why we hesitate to take small steps and how we can embrace them.

Why We Stop Taking BabySteps to Change

Two main reasons are why we often hesitate to take baby-steps towards a goal.

The “This Makes me Feel Like a Dumb Baby” or “Sense of Inadequacy” Effect

We may be reluctant to make small changes because we feel insecure.

In his book, How We Change (And 10 Reasons Why we Don’t), psychologist Dr. Ross Ellenhorn discusses the humiliation of baby steps. Ellenhorn says that taking small steps can be demoralizing because they remind us how far we are from our desired goal. Each baby step may feel like a mini disappointment that emphasizes the work still needed to reach our goals, amplifying feelings of inadequacy. You’ll have to face the reality that you are not where you would like to be if you keep taking baby steps.

We stop taking baby steps altogether to avoid the mini-deafness that comes with them. We avoid taking baby steps because they make us feel bad.

This is something I’ve seen in my life.

I tend to over-analyze things. I can be Eeyore like because of my negativity bias. Since I didn’t like this, I have tried to control my Eeyore tendencies for the majority of my adulthood.

Cognitive behavioral therapists suggest that you catch yourself catastrophizing and then spend a few minutes questioning the assumptions that contribute to your negative mood.

But I have a hard time putting it into regular practice. Why? Why? It makes me stupid to have to constantly question my overly pessimistic, erroneous assumptions. It reminds me of my melancholic mindset every time I question my pessimistic view.

This is the inner dialogue I have when I begin to question my negative assumptions, and am grumpy.

Look at how stupid I am. I have to look at this list of questions and see if my negative bias is accurate or not. I feel stupid, because the answers to these questions are usually that my assumptions have been distorted. Others I know do not have to. Why am I doing this? “Oh yeah, my brain is damaged.”

I spiral into doomsday and despair. I feel bad for feeling bad because I have taken the baby step to question my cognitive distortions.

The baby step of re-examining my distorted view makes me feel bad.

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/podcast-1006-stop-drowning-in-tedious-tasks-by-taming-your-life-admin/

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