How To Be Happy

How To Be Happy
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi

If somebody had told me what I’m about to tell you when I was a teenager, my life could have gone down a completely different path. Recently I received a message where I felt it necessary to reveal some of my life’s struggles in order to help nail home some serious points. My response became lengthy in an effort to address the question, and resultantly, this article was born.

Question: “How do I become happy?”

Happiness comes from earning (and it must be earned) the privilege of thinking positively about yourself. People are oft unhappy because they are mad at themselves for being undisciplined, or because they aren’t succeeding as much or as quickly as they believe they should (an ambition-success mismatch).

I’ve been depressed on and off numerous times in my life and the root of said misery derived from two core character flaws:

– A lack of self-discipline:

Self-discipline never came easily to me because my attention span sucked and I didn’t have a strict upbringing. By being allowed to do what the hell I wanted as a kid, I formed into an adult with an ingrained lack of self-discipline. My training (or lack of it) meant I’d almost always default to the path of least resistance.

Of course parents who don’t provide an orderly upbringing suck, but blaming their inadequate parenting for your faults doesn’t achieve anything actionable. As an adult, you have to take responsibility for disciplining yourself.

Why is discipline so important?

Self-discipline is essential if you want to be somebody worth a fuck. If you lack it, this should be the very first thing you work on. Nothing else can fall into place without it.

There are a million and one bullshit seminars and books out there looking to make money out of your insecurities by promising to make you confident. 99.9% are nonsense. As P.T Barnum said “there’s a sucker born every minute.” (the relevant law of power can be found here.)

The truth: only you can make you confident.

Disciplined people are confident people (not necessarily egotistical) because they’re proud of what they do. When you know you’re putting the work in, a by-product of your efforts will be pride. Pride translates into self-confidence, confidence translates into charm, and it’s an upward spiral from there on. But everything starts with discipline – everything. Discipline is the root of success as much as 3 is the root of 9. If you are not someone blessed with a natural irrational confidence, this is how you get confident.

– Being overly analytical:

I’m naturally prone to analysis paralysis because I have an analytical nature. Once you achieve a reasonable amount of self-discipline, you can catch yourself in the act of procrastination and force yourself to act.

Other than procrastinating, the other problem with being overly analytical is it allows you to see all the negatives in the world (there are many, everywhere, daily) and the sheer volume can will bog you down if you’re not careful.

If you are intellectual, your analytical faculty will apply a negative filter to life because you are prone to cynicism, over-thinking, and in turn, inaction. These traits are a hotbed for depression, and depression destroys productivity. I think I just described every intelligent underachiever that ever lived – knowing so much, yet doing so little.

I had to find my own way in life like most dudes who didn’t have a firm hand to guide them in their youth. I was devoid organisation, impulsive. I’d cram my studies in near the deadline instead of starting 3 weeks in advance and going at a comfortable pace. I’d bum around with “friends” (other directionless “average people” looking to fill their time) instead of taking up meaningful hobbies: a sport, instrument, foreign language or martial art. This is a mistake I will never let my own kids make.

I had to waste a lot of time to figure out it was precious, because when you’re a directionless loser you don’t value yourself nor your time. You’re always trying to find new ways to squander it on meaningless crap because you have no goals. And if you have goals, you lack the drive that comes from discipline to stick with the regime needed to make them reality.

I was one of those guys who dreamt big, but held myself back. And through repetitive complacency, a most irrational fear took root. Inaction would breed fear until I had lost all momentum. And without momentum, you’re at risk of depression. In the words of Einstein:

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

I’ve always known what I’ve had to do, come to think of it nobody has actually ever told me I’m stupid, but intelligence isn’t enough. Intelligence doesn’t make you immune to character flaws, it doesn’t guarantee work ethic (discipline does) and it threatens happiness (stimulus overload.) An idiot who attacks life reaps more of its rewards than an idle intellect spectating from the sidelines.

My laziness made me unhappy; I had become my comfort zone’s prisoner.

Upon introspection, I eventually came to realise everything I’ve just said. The analytical ability came in useful for something, it allowed me to psychoanalyse myself and determine cause and effect. My weakness became a strength, alongside what I learned from the red pill, it allowed me to make the mindset shift necessary to reprogram myself.

I was unhappy because I knew I wasn’t living up to my potential. The source of my unhappiness stemmed from the anger and discontent I harboured for being less than my best. The chasm between who I was and who I thought I should be was vast. But for a long time I wasn’t cognisant enough to realise that this was the source of all my woes, including brief bouts of depression.

It’s great that you’ve found the red pill, but if you’re stuck in your head and you lack discipline, you’ll never go beyond reading. And when your life doesn’t improve, if you’re not self-aware of why it hasn’t, you’ll blame the red pill for your lack of success rather than take responsibility for your own (lack of) success.

The red pill will not fix your life, it is just a tool. How you use it will determine if you manage to refashion your life into something you can be proud of. How does the saying go? “A good workman never blames his tools.” The red pill is only a tool. Knowing isn’t enough, you must do. And where you fail, you must take responsibility for your failures. If the red pill isn’t working for you because you haven’t changed your approach to life, that’s your fault, nobody else’s.

To get ripped, you actually have to lift. To earn more money, you actually have to work your butt off. To get girls, you actually have to approach (or put pictures of yourself ripped on Tinder.) But you get my point. Knowledge is pointless without application, if you have to repeat one phrase from the entire article to yourself, it should be this. If you are too scared to do new things, you’re a prisoner of your comfort zone like I was. And if the timid body language I spot in my day-to-day is indicative of anything, I think a lot of you are in this situation. You’re just silently ashamed of it.

So how did I find happiness? I accepted myself in spite of myself. And this is how people who realise they’ve fucked up find happiness. The problem with unhappiness is it destroys your productivity and sociability. Miserable people are nihilists that don’t see a point in doing anything. They don’t attract people who could improve their lives because their negative energy acts as a repellent.

If you are depressed, you don’t sleep well and you don’t have the energy to do anything. You don’t want to socialise and you bomb social interactions because your energy level is in the gutter; the whole world feels like a chore. And when the world feels like a chore, you can’t build the life you want to have for yourself.

I found this first step crucial to overcoming unhappiness. Let me say it again:

I accepted myself in spite of myself. I stopped beating myself up for being a loser and started praising myself for doing what I could to build myself.

Even if I don’t have the level of success/stature the ridiculously high standards of my ambition demand of me, I accept what I have and who I am as long as I do my best. Because your best is all you’ve got, to demand more than that is to dangle yourself a carrot that is constantly snatched away.

I enjoy the journey of becoming slightly less shit everyday, I enjoy the grind, the struggle, the hustle. You have to in order to get anywhere. And if my best isn’t enough, so be it. I will try something else. I’m fine with being imperfect.

I accept failure as an inevitable part of life, it’s better to fail because you’re not good enough than fail because you’re scared you won’t be good enough. Anything is better than giving up. To quote Winston Churchill:

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Ambition is useless if it serves to depress you for not achieving it. Ambition (goals) need incentive (to avoid being a loser.) Most people think that the goal will bring happiness. And it does when you first achieve it. But that doesn’t last. Lasting happiness lies in self-acceptance, all other forms of happiness are fleeting.

A clever thing I did was turn my fear against itself. The fear that used to imprison me is now the same thing that drives me. I never got rid of my fear, I just inverted it. Rather than let my fear of leaving my comfort zone destroy my potential, I used my fear of being a loser to motivate myself and start taking action where I was once avoidant. I’m far more scared to be a loser than enter conflict or experience an awkward social situation. Making fear work for me, works for me.

Most people are unhappy for one of two reasons (possibly both):

– They’re slobs squandering their best resource, their time. If you slob it up for a month you may be happy because you enjoy the moment’s pleasures. But when a year passes, then two, and you catch even a moment to look back and compare yourself now with who you were then – and you’re not better than that guy – you’re the same guy or worse yet, you’re inferior to him, that shit is going to hit you like a ton of bricks. You are going to be miserable because you’ve let yourself down.

– Their ambitions far exceed their stature and their lack of status causes them to put so much pressure on themselves that they can’t even breathe and just enjoy the simple things. The sun on their face, the air on their nose etc.

I was afflicted by both. You may be afflicted by either. If you are afflicted by neither, yet you’re still unhappy, you’re either surrounded by toxic people or lonely.

If you’re unhappy but you’re not a loser:

If you are successful yet still unhappy, there’s a good chance you’re an overachiever who feels like nothing is ever enough. Your ambitions are undoing you. Your dissatisfaction means you’re always in a hurry, instead of enjoying the grind.

The problem with that is once you get “there,” it won’t be enough. Because you haven’t learned to be happy, you’ve only learned to be successful. If you can have money, independence, a decent body, high IQ/skills and a good job yet still are miserable – it’s because you haven’t learned to accept yourself. Success isn’t the problem, you have plenty of it, a lack of self-acceptance is at fault.

One has to accept their efforts, that they’re doing what they can. That doesn’t mean get lazy. You’re “only” human, not every minute of every day is going to be 100% productive. You are not perfect, just because you are successful, you’re not perfect. If you hold yourself to impossible inhuman standards, you will always hate yourself (whether you realise that or not) and as such you will be unhappy at your core. Forgive yourself for your weaknesses and work to overcome them rather than hating yourself for having them.

If you’re successful and comfortable with yourself, yet still unhappy, you’re probably lonely or surrounded by terrible people.

Look for good friends, they make life less shitty. Everything is better with good company, loneliness can be just as debilitating as laziness. If you are prone to loneliness, I’d caution against going full monk mode, it will only make you worse. Take 2 days off a week to socialise and recharge.

Many men waste their life looking for the right woman, but whilst good friends can last a lifetime, women rarely do. True friends look out for your interests, women look out for their own. True friends are rare, as most are only interested in what they can get from you or use you for. A true friend is a family member who doesn’t share your blood, is loyal, cares about your progress, and is there for you in tough times.

Do they care about your problems? Do they make time for you in your time of need? No? Not a friend. Everybody else is an acquaintance regardless of what they call themselves.

Relevant Reading:

Monk Mode
Books For Men
Discipline Equals Freedom
Extreme Ownership

SIDE NOTE: I keep getting asked to list the books on my “Books For Men” page in order of importance. I can’t do that because the order of importance depends on the individual person’s weaknesses.

You need to be able to identify your weak points, and prioritise improving on them first.

For example, should you be exceptionally scrawny or fat, you should buy Starting Strength. If problems at work are getting you down, The 48 Laws of Power is what you want. If you are a timid guy who doesn’t know how to assert himself, you’ll want No More Mr. Nice Guy.

If you have a problem you wish to discuss with IM, you can [seek a consultation here]

43 thoughts on “How To Be Happy

  1. You just described me perfectly. I know this of myself too, but that’s the thing, knowing don’t mean shit when I want to mean a fuck to the world as you stated! I’m an intellect to the core. Ever since I was a little kid. It’s one of my most powerful assets but it can hold me back more than I’d like it to because I do tend to see more of the negatives in everything. I’m an overly optimistic/positive person because I’ve changed that about me, but maybe it is the people around me (family) thay are toxic. I know my call to adventure is begging me to leave the nest.

    I’ve done massive internal changes in 14 months time. Who I was a year ago doesn’t exist anymore and I’ve slapped the beta bitch out of me in so many ways and from so many angles it was sickening to say the least. I am an over achiever but sometimes I do have to take the time to enjoy the small things.

    I just shared this article on my Facebook and I’ll be sharing it on my Instagram because it hit home on so many levels that other people just HAVE to know about this.

    Thanks IM!

    1. Self-acceptance and good friends are the cure to most of life’s ailments. Worded like that it sounds so simple, yet most people don’t have a life that resembles anything close to that.

      Good to hear you’re making progress Apostle, I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      1. TRP is only a tool. “Knowing isn’t enough, you must do.”

        Hey man idk if you even read these comments anymore, but this is the central essence of Aristotle’s Ethics, that knowledge and action are inherently linked and one is useless without the other. For example, nowing how to be healthy and actually doing it are vastly different yet necessary to truly be a healthy person.

      2. I have been unplugging for a while…I have this woman for a while she had been dating my friend for 2 years before she cheated on him with me…we fucked good but she didn’t leave the guy.he was abusive n have her money n other items…later on me n her were driving N met the guy n get snapped n pulled the chick frm the car..I stopped the fight n we all stood along the road for a while. this time she had an abortion 5month old …also in the 2 years she dated the guy she n the guy told me that they procureed an abortion 2 months old….along the road she got slapped N abused n she sided with the guy n dumped me infront of him…I dint hustle n left peacefully N told her to never call me ….. 4 months later she came looking for me n dumped her bf me still the beta I was fucked her again n kept doing so for an year till later last week…..I had been using her as my puppet to learn the female N over the year she told me she did lesbian orgies …used dildos n fucked guys…..N told me who has best was n I seemed to appear 2 nd in her list…..she is pregnant n won’t procure an abortion ….but I can try marriying her…since we even fought at the dad during my drink episodes ha..ha… I dumped her 2 days ago… since she is mentally deflowered n my worry is the baby she hasn’t talked to me bcs I cnt stand her ….she lied to get pregnant of me…..what should I do…

  2. Thank you for this important essay. I’ve experienced a similar journey and am beginning to put myself on the right path. The most important thing I’ve done in the past few years is eliminate toxic people and false friends. I have four people left in my life that I consider real friends, people who I could turn to for help if I woke up in a hotel room with a dead body next to me. From what I can tell, that’s two or three more friends than most people really have.

    As for self-acceptance, that remains my biggest issue. I’ve been an over-achiever all my life and no matter how much I accomplish, I revert to self-loathing by holding myself up to some impossible ideal. I still have a ways to go toward healthy self love, but I’m at least aware of the issue now.

    Your blog remains one of the most important self-improvement resources for men on the internet. Please keep it coming.

  3. As you opened up and got personal, I shall do the same.

    People always have excuses — upbringing, society, if your in Europe – class system, now feminism. You described an older family member absolutely perfectly. He/She is wealthier than 80% of the population, in a highly respected Academic based profession but relative to me He/She is jealous and I consider them lazy. He/She gains satisfaction from perceived success/status instead of actual success/competence and blames the whole world.

    As a young up and comer, I can quite frankly say people do not understand this one simple statement — Discipline and Sacrifice are the root of unhappiness until you have mastered them and satisfied basic human needs (Maslow), which can take 15+ years depending on your goals and starting position in society.

    Quantitative Examples:

    People want to be in great shape. Solution: You have to count your macros, and lift 5x a week (which I do). Time: 2+HRs a day depending on starting point. Problems: Oh and you will get injured if you actually lift properly.

    People want to be wealthy/improve their business: Solution: There are no tricks, a STEM degree(s) won’t solve your issues. Time: 13+ hours a day, 7 days a week You have to learn to do what you don’t want to — driving trucks, cleaning toilets, get physically robust for manual labor, learn to hire software developers on a budget (which I do). Problems: You have to become a jack-of-all trades (if you never want to starve) and do embarrassing stuff you don’t like even though you are overly qualified. And your work consumes more time than you would like in the first 6-9 years.

    People want happiness and peace of mind whilst pursing success/competence. Solution: You have to meditate, read a ton of books, do visualization. Do all sorts of training for your mind. Time: 1-4 hours [note this is the lowest number – self help books only focus on this] Problems: When you are trying to feed yourself and succeed, you will find you have no time for this. Literally, not hypothetically. You have no time for this. Sink or swim. If you are actually trying hard, you will have panic attacks and all types of issues while trying to succeed. Doctor says my blood pressure is insanely high for example.

    Now add 5-7 of these things and a 24 Hour Time period, and you can see why it will take the average person (assuming they start at age 16) at least 15-20 years to be a Top 1% individual at life.

    Ask most people — are you in? Do you actually want a Top 5% physique? Do you actually want to increase your income, by driving an uber on the weekend? Do you want to go back to college to get a STEM degree? Do you want to sacrifice entirely for your kids so they are successful? Do you actually want to be a good friend and family member to those you care about.

    Most people the real answer is no, when you give them how much time it takes.

    And this is why most people are average and unhappy.

  4. Great article. Thank you but of course it is a complex discussion. First look to the definition of Happiness in Google: “noun “he state of being happy, synonyms: contentment, pleasure, contentedness, satisfaction, cheerfulness, cheeriness.”

    How can you be in a state of pleasure/cheerfulness most of the time?

    Statistically speaking if you live in the Western World, and in a democracy, most of your basic needs will be satisfied. You should be happy by default even if you have a job at McDonalds.

    But where does the problem exist — 1. Mentally we start to create constructs of what we need to be happy (status based happiness) 2. Perhaps genetically for young men with high testosterone, there is an innate desire to exert your force on the world (power based happiness) 3. We conflate achieving goals with achieving happiness (goal based happiness).

    We effectively are programmed from a young age, through a combination of genetics/society to only allow ourselves to have happiness based on 1. Status 2. Power 3. Achieving goals.

    And wait for it – the big 4. Uncontrolled circumstances; You end up having to spend most of your time 14+ Hrs of your day, doing a job you don’t want to do, genetically with average ability all around (thus reducing your sexual selection etc), genetically average intelligence (thus reducing what jobs you can do), and then you will likely have unhealthy family/friends who you will have to tend to from a young age (death of a grandparent/parent, having no parents etc).

    *** So add 1-3 (programmed based happiness) with 4. Uncontrolled circumstances, and you ultimately losing the happiness game from day one. 4. Uncontrolled circumstances affects people far more than people realise. If you are dyslexic, you were born in a foster home, and are pre-disposed to have depression genetically. You are not going to be happy person.

    For this reason, it will take most people an inordinate amount of time and effort to overcome to be in a state of “contentment, pleasure, contentedness, satisfaction, cheerfulness, cheeriness.”. Most people won’t be willing to fight against life just for 1-3 and most won’t genetically won’t have the energy levels and genetic enthusiasm required to overcome 4.

    Solution: 1) Sit at home and have peace in your mediocrity and uncontrollable circumstances like the Stoics. 2) Spend 2 Decades trying to overcome the system that was against you by default through mainly genetics and poor circumstances you couldn’t control.

  5. Hey!

    Just like the person commenting above, I could see myself in alot of the things stated in the article. The thing that has been bothering me the most must be that I’ve always been quite sceptical and Im always critically analyzing most things and people I encounter. And just like you described, I have often been quite negative in the way of seeing things… Even to the point when people call me a pessimist, while I would rather call myself a realist in most of those cases but they are just too ignorant to see the real picture. Some people I hang out with are just over optimistic about everything. It’s just hard to hang around people that have that mindset towards everything. As long as you never see anything from a (as they would call) negative point of view everything will be good, while in reality it might just actually be something totally different if you understand what Im saying.

    Of course Im not the sort of person walking around hating on people being positive, I embrace positivity but I despise people pissing on the well drawn line between optimism – pessimism and realism – irrationalism. (might not be the right word in this case, but english is not my first language so i get a green card. 😉

    What Im really trying to say here is that it’s good to see that my way of thinking can be recognized by others and vice versa. I also want to thank you for creating this blog along with carrying on TRP philosophy like you do.

    Cheers /JG

  6. IM,

    What made this work for me unlike much of the text I’ve been reading lately was the loose vulnerability you decided to share. This post helped re-solidify a frame that started dwindling towards the wrong direction after a series of unhelpful social goofs. I truly hope you’re able to extract some sense of qualification from the knowledge that your posts have had real* tangible ramifications in motherfuckers all around the world. Conceptions that your* mind has outputted have caused other humans to act differently. You have caused men to act against their nature.

  7. I just read this in its entirety. This article was “tailor made for me”. Describes me to a T. Like you’re in my head. I know what I have to do, I’ve known FOR YEARS, but that’s not the issue, I have to DO, now.

    This article sir, has woken me up from my day to day coasting in my comfort zone. The depression, everything you speak of is SPOT ON. It’s my lack of discipline. Anger with myself for not having the *Discipline and *Drive to ACT. It’s a mental prison, it really is, and I’m ready to escape now. I am one powerful MFer that can take on anything. No more fear, no more doubts, no more holding myself back from growing as a person. Fuck Fear. I’m going to be the BEST ME I can be. It’s time to stop existing, and start living.

    Thank you so much for this “tailor made” article that has changed my outlook. I am saving it and printing it to keep.

  8. Thanks for article, it is refreshing and very informative. Although i have one question related to it – how does one becomes more ambitious? In my case i have no long-distance dreams or goals, everything is usually planned only for short period (like finish uni and later find a job). It’s kind of hard to apply discipline when there’s no end-goal.

  9. I read the article while I’m at work and I teared up multiple times. It was as if I was reading parts of my life from a couple of years ago. I have only recently managed to get some action going, I’m still having hard time being consistent with it but I forgot how to feel proud of the fact that I left my loser, complacent and weak self behind. I fell victim to the “I cannot feel good enough of the fact that I’m improving” trap and it felt kinda “meh”.

    I should remind myself that I’m better than who I was before, every day. I should learn to celebrate the little victories. There cannot be a behavioral shift otherwise.

  10. Ill make this short. Thank you for this amazing essay. This is the best post I’ve ever read on a RP Site.

    1. I hold myself to extremely high standards when it comes to accomplishing things. I’m a total shoe-in for the ‘I want results, and I want them yesterday’ type. I beat myself up on the regular for not accomplishing things quickly enough, or pushing myself further.

      These days, mental exhaustion is part of a normal day. I don’t really mind it, since it’s a byproduct of hard work. I feel that many people are afraid of that, and would rather deal with the daily physical exhaustion of doing nothing. (It sounds counterintuitive, but I feel energized after doing shit all day, and exhausted when I waste it playing videogames or sleeping in.)

      Another aspect of being happy, as you touched on, is having great friends. Part of me is bent out of shape because my buddies from high school are too busy working the same job, pandering to their girlfriend, or getting addicted to cocaine to hang out every once in a while. I’ve come to realize that it’s not my fault that we’re going our separate ways – it’s a fact of life. The few of them that I see on a regular basis are actually out to make something of themselves. We never hang out idly – we’re always planning something cool or thinking about the future.

      Like I said, there’s a lot going on. I could write for a while. Again, great post. I love reading your personal insights.

  11. “Of course parents who don’t provide an orderly upbringing suck, but blaming their inadequate parenting for your faults doesn’t achieve anything actionable.”

    People get stuck on that, even those that claim, sounding sincere, that they want to change things. Yes, parents play a big role in what you lacked as far as self discipline. But the redirecting or fixing things is on you as the adult.

    And many cases, if someone even claims that they realize that and are going to start looking at things that way and no longer put the blame on what their parents lacked, what they really want to do is stay with blaming the parents with whatever setbacks or difficulties they encounter when they attempt to change things.

    And if you look, you’ll probably find that it’s really half-hearted attempts to change things so that they’ll be able to bring up what their parents did or didn’t do.

    Or I should say go back to the parents, or whatever they can find in their past.
    Haven’t even read the rest of this. You gave me an idea already.

  12. (1) you should know by now, that paradise isn’t real. that’s the problem with it.

    (2) you should also know by now, that emotions are outputs: results from action weighed against framed expectation. to use them as inputs to go or to stop is therefore choice.

    (3) lastly, you should know, by now, to laugh at them, especially in those extended hauls, whereby reduced cognition (prediction) renders you more emotionally labile. these limitations of current design, be aware of them.

    now stop dreaming of what isn’t, start building what is and what will be, and get back out there and fight.

  13. Your path is almost similar to mine. I reached the point of ditching my loser buddies half a year ago, when I decided to share with them my progress in doing programming. One of them responded “so I guess now you feel better than us, huh?”. That phrase hit me like a ton of bricks because it was true. I did feel better than them.

    And yet I chose not to admit I feel like that. Instead I told them that “you people always think that it’s all about you” and ditched them on the spot. Deleted them from every social media and called it a day. Some of them attempted to throw me a bone to reconnect by pointing out a funny picture or a good video game that just came out but I gave them the ignore button.

    My question is: I do feel a bit (A TINY BIT) proud of where I am right now. That I made small progress at gaining habits that worth a shit and can result into long term results worth having, like lifting, reading, getting a fresh start in my career by doing something I enjoy doing (programming and mathematics are the fields where I apply my analytical thinking nowadays).

    But when I see the sum of my previous self on others, (who wasted time feeling bad about himself while doing things that made him feel temporary good, like the fat girl that’s sad for being a landwhale while shoving another pig down her throat), I can’t help but feel superior to them.

    I feel like reminding myself that I am “unlike them” is one of the sources of pride. It’s similar to the RP/BP comparison in a sense – for example, I feel better when compared to someone who has zero respect for himself to the point of being used by his oneitis, because I’m better than that, more knowledgeable and able to avoid such situations.

    Yet people tell me to avoid comparing myself with others because sooner or later I’ll start doing it upwards – compare myself with people clearly better than me to heights that I may never be able to reach, and because “true nobility is being superior to your former self”.

    What’s your opinion on this?

  14. Mr.Illimitable Man,
    I don’t think you realize how much you’ve helped me and men in general. Thank you, once again my brother. There is another reason to be happy. Helping people , which you do it most remarkably. Hope you write a book & I’ll be the first one to buy it.

  15. Great article. It did distill different bullet points I’ve had down to two to advise other people.

    I think self-compassion is a more accurate term than self-acceptance. It is what the Charisma Myth book uses. “Acceptance” is pretty vague, compassion over shortcomings or your current state has shown improvements in personal responsibility.

    Interesting how similar archetypes end up following such similar roads; it feels like such a divide between those that can get out of the comfort zone trap and those stuck in it. I would recommend the activities in the Charisma Myth book in getting out of your head.

  16. Diagnosing the need for self-discipline to be successful is the first step. But, to be self-disciplined you need to be motivated, and to be motivated you need to find a craft that you want to dedicate the rest of your life to becoming the best at. For me, that’s electrical/electronic engineering because that’s what I ‘buy into’ (i.e. I believe that those are the skills that will make you indispensable in the every increasingly high-tech world we live in).

  17. Wow. I had to come to these truths myself but I’m almost amazed at how perfectly your conclusions match what I’ve learned too. This is all stuff I learned in the years after college.

    When it comes to self-discipline and confidence: 100% true. Usually when you’re stressed, anxious, or depressed, it’s because you want something or are afraid of something, but you know that you’re not doing what it takes to solve the problem. You’ll go into the situation unprepared and you’re not confident because at bottom you know you’re full of shit. If you put in a full day of backbreaking work, it won’t matter what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day (although in the long run it is virtually impossible that you won’t accomplish something great). You will feel amazing no matter what happened that day. The unconscious is incredible. It often tells us things we barely understand rationally; above all, when we are lying to ourselves.

    The thing about over-analysis was the second big thing for me too. It was super-hard for me because I’m a smart guy and I used my intellect for everything. But life is not an intellectual puzzle. Most problems in life cannot be solved by thinking about them. Often the more important it is the less useful it is to think about it. I discovered this through experience. I tried to find career advice. Romantic advice. Advice on all the big questions. I asked all the right people, looked at all of the most esteemed sources. Nobody had anything to say that was worth a damn. Literally no one. That’s when I realized I had no choice but to sack up, try something, and then fail. And then learn for myself what the answers were through trial and error. And that is exactly what I have done. It took me a long time to build up that propensity for action — that will not to waste a moment, to bolt out of bed the moment I came to consciousness, to eliminate idle thoughts, to keep myself focused on action that served the bottom-line of my goals.

    Like you say, that analytic ability eventually leads people like us to the right conclusion, as long as the underlying will to succeed is there.

    Brilliant stuff.

  18. Pure. Fucking. Gold.

    This absolutely describes what I’m going through. I’m (1) overly-analytical, (2) ambitious, and lack (3) discipline.

    I’m solving (1) by actually utilizing it. I find that if I plot out “contexts” for when it’s appropriate to be analytical, I can leverage this tendency for productive uses instead of being hindered by it. Simple example: When chatting it up with strangers or people I’ve just met, there’s no need for systematic analysis (which affects social presence). Afterwards, I can allow myself to analyze the convo and determine if there’s anything I can learn from it. (I don’t actually struggle with this example in real life; I just wanted to illustrate the point)

    (2): Like you said, acknowledge and appreciate small wins/gains, and forgive yourself for not being Mr. Perfect.

    (3): Your tips are solid as fuck. Broadly speaking, fear of being a loser seems to be what motivates me. Just recently, I had an experience where I failed to pull the trigger on asking a girl out. The reasons were simple: I lack social capital. Ever since I went into “Monk Mode,” my social skills have atrophied. I’m so weighed down by the pressing need to gain discipline that I feel like I wouldn’t be able to have fun on a date. Hell, even if I did go out and get her in bed, I’m out of shape to the point that she’d probably get turned off (I hide it well when clothed, but that all ends when the clothes come off).

    Consciously taking note of these factors made me realize how absolutely shitty I’d let myself become over the past 2 years. This is now motivating me to get it together (and it’s not just the girl either — it’s the possibility of losing out on other opportunities because I’ve been slacking at my goals).

    Great post.

  19. “It’s great that you’ve found the red pill, but if you’re stuck in your head and you lack discipline, you’ll never go beyond reading.”

    Well said indeed. And there is such a thing as reading too much. Two important aspects of discipline are 1) knowing how much time and energy to spend equipping yourself for a task, and thus follows 2) knowing when you’re properly equipped and then moving forward to tackle said task. Spending forever preparing and not executing is usually caused by fear and/or paranoia that leads only to procrastination and then? Well, you’re missing opportunities that won’t come around again for awhile if at all, and unless you’re an idiot, you’ll know you missed them and that will make you depressed.

    I think this ties in with your post about boldness. I was a terrible procrastinator and hated myself for my lack of action. I was all properly motivated by all sorts of grandiose ideas, but just sat around playing video games instead. Those games were keeping me happy but only like a junkie and their heroin is happy. Once I started finally taking action (and working on my posture!) I was able to not only exude an air of confidence, but actually become more confident. And my confidence was noticed by many: I was complimented, given praises and rai$es. This of course has only strengthened my resolve to continue on.

    In my opinion, it comes down to a choice between the vicious downward spiral of inaction and depression, or the glorious ascent of action and happiness.

  20. I am so glad I found your website. It has completely changed my life for the better. I am 25 now and have finally realized what life is really about. I’ve been searching for so long and have made more progress in the past 2 weeks since I’ve found your website then years of “soul searching”. I now know where all my struggles have come from and how to fix them. This is the only tool I needed to take everything I’ve learned and shape me into the man I am supposed to be. Thank you.

  21. Great article.

    What would your advice be to specifically those suffering from cynicism/negativity? One of the aspects of swallowing TRP,for me, was further amplifying my cynicism about those around me and the world, turning me into a cynical bastard who has no trust in others goodwill.

  22. “If somebody had told me what I’m about to tell you when I was a teenager, my life could have gone down a completely different path.”
    My thanks to you is insignificant in comparison to the knowlage you have provided me with in my teenage years. Will never forget your service to men of which i was but a beneficiary of.

  23. Self discipline makes sense, what about clarity? Clarity to where one would like to see oneself. Too many options makes picture blur.

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