A man is what he does, not who he is.
It is a cruel idea to know all your good qualities have no value in the marketplace of people.
A devotion to a relationship kills it with the weight of attention.
These dichotomies are bitter medicine, but there is, if not a cure, then an antidote to the worst side effects.
An interest, a goal which you have outside of your relationships and hobbies.
Owning your own business.
Becoming a doctor or a lawyer.
Becoming a published writer
Releasing and playing music to audiences you’ve written and performed.
You should set yourself the goal of finding one, and soon. Make it align with your values and aptitudes then set yourself to achieving it. Be passionate about it, have it occupy your thoughts when you’re not doing it. It is the difference between having a job and a career as Chris Rock said.
Having and maintaining this will provide you with a source of character and meaning which will resist the vagaries of other people. It will teach you a valuable lesson: responsibility for meeting your own needs.
So if you’re a writer, don’t call yourself ‘aspiring’. Write. If you’re a musician, practice and write music, get out and play with better musicians than you. Study people who have excelled in your field and ask yourself how they did it, and what you can borrow from them.
Be excited about yourself and the things you do.
‘Just be yourself’ is common advice.
It is well-intended, and avoids making any accurate, or challenging observations about where you need to improve as a person. If someone says it to you, and you breathe a sigh of relief or feel confused, then it is the latter feeling which is the honest one.
What if you suck?
So, no, don’t ‘just be yourself’. It is a lazy cop out and if it got you women in the past, then you wouldn’t be here reading this, would you?
No, as men, we should work on being the best version of ourselves. It is unnecessary to set impossible goals, but the higher you reach, the better place you will land if you don’t quite reach it.
Give yourself someone to aspire to.
The routines and basic psychology of game are useful in so much as you can, with practice and application, get any girl. However, as the French say:
There is one thing worse than not getting the girl.
Getting the girl.
If you lack character, principles, boundaries then you are at risk of being unable to screen for people in your life who may not want what is best for you. This is not an idealised screening process, but if you understand yourself, then you can see whether someone is the best person for you. I offer the tools to allow you a clear consideration of whether it is a place you want to be in your life.
It starts from the most dangerous, uncertain territory.
Inside your head, looking out.
How do you separate you from yourself? It is difficult to figure out how and why you do things, including those things which keep you from your goals, but there have been tools to achieve this and I will share them with you.
Diaries are for teenage girls and Boomers who don’t know how to use their phones.
You are going to journal.
Write each day about how you are feeling.
There are variations on this, which I will share with you and these depend on what sort of person you are, in terms of whether you ‘move towards’ or ‘away from’ things in life.
Before coffee and after scratching your balls, write your goals and tasks for the day. Include something you can do with ease or have already done, which you can cross off as soon as possible.
Go to gym
Say hello and make eye contact with five strangers today.
See, it is not so much simple as elegant. You become accustomed to setting yourself small goals each day and making yourself accountable for them. Check off what you did and move to tomorrow what you didn’t.
I recommend pen and paper, a hardbound book and a good pen. Pencil fades but it is convenient in a pinch, but whatever you use, write things down.
To write what you are feeling, borrow this maxim from Joe R Lansdale:
‘Write like everyone you know is dead.’
Use I statements when you write what you are feeling.
I felt frustrated when David asked Simon to stay and do the overtime at the store today. I am a good worker, but Simon spends time with him away from work.
You have an issue, but you control your feelings and providing the means to a solution in assessing the situation.
Pen and paper is important. It combines physical activity and is low-tech enough to avoid you sharing it on social media. Keep it private as something you do for yourself. Later on, when we get to the performative aspects of masculinity, then we can talk about what you share with others.
Your journal is your portable father if you don’t have one. It is also your private mentor and harshest critic.
Write what you think and feel there. Be fearless about yourself, and it will repay you as time progresses.
Start with 30 days of entries. Make each one as minimal as you need to, to get it done. Accomplishing anything for this time period creates neural associations, like a groove which you fall into.
If you feel any residual embarrassment, remember you’re leaving your wisdom and experience for future generations and let other people blunder around in unguarded and blithe ignorance.
We are learning machines. With modern life, it is difficult to focus on what is important and stick to it. The ever-present fear of missing out has us chasing novelties which fit Oscar Wilde’s description of smoking as ‘exquisite but unsatisfying.’ Our relationship with news is akin to escorting a shrieking friend from a bar before they get you both killed. We are supposed to maintain, or even put forward a genuine version of masculine identity to gain and maintain the interest of women so how we reach the state of inner calm without drugs or neurosurgery?
There used to be a stigma attached to it as a practice. It carries connotations of narcissism projected as spiritual depth when it is one of the fundamental tools with which to address core concerns and issues within yourself.
It allows you to separate from your thoughts and feelings. Distance lends perspective and from there, you can see how and why you do things. To deal with the traits and habits which hold you back, this is invaluable. However, it is important to see the qualities which you like about yourself.
- Find a quiet room and make sure you won’t be disturbed.
- You sit or lay down, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
- One inhale and exhale counts as one repetition.
- Carry out eight repetitions.
- As you do this, your thoughts will take on a pace which can unnerve at first. Suddenly, you are preoccupied with what rhymes with orange but you need to just breathe through it and keep going.
- If you lose your place, then you start again at one and keep going until you get to eight repetitions.
- There may be points where one repetition is enough, then it is enough. However, commit to this practice for thirty days and do so without announcing it to anyone.