My quote, unquote “self-improvement journey” began when I was 14-15. At the time, I felt powerless in absolutely every domain of my life. I was the spineless hopeless romantic “nice guy” with every girl I liked. I hated my schoolwork. I’d get paralyzing anxiety when chatting up new people and have a very shite time making friends…
Then I stumbled upon this little piece when I was internet binging one night, and something clicked inside my balding teenage head. The reason my life sucks… Is because I SUCK. I’m not taking enough responsibility for my circumstances. I’m miserable because I’m NOT TAKING ACTION to change my circumstances.
And that’s how it went for the rest of my teenage years and early young adulthood. I got into lifting and sports, slowly improved my fashion sense, started dressing less like a dad and more like a Chad, explored other productive hobbies and interests, took action in the social world, refined my game and social skills with a lot of trial-and-error, and made my ambitions my identity, rather than the victimhood and consumption that it had used to be.
The harder I was on myself, the more I pushed myself to be better, the better my life got.
Yet a huge part of me was still miserable, thirsty, and dissatisfied, not simply hungry. Hitting a PR in the gym never satisfied it. Getting a girl in bed never satisfied it. Creating something cool never satisfied it.
I tried to soothe it with porn, drugs, alcohol binges, parties, chasing hoes, and dissociation. But that never worked.
At a certain point, the ambitious, self-improvement oriented side of me made me feel even more trapped than the irresponsible degenerate side of me did. Sure, the gym seshes, the creative work, and my social life made me feel like a man, but I sure didn’t feel like MYSELF.
I didn’t yet know…
Self-improvement is a step in your journey, not the end goal of it
My fatal flaw during all those years of my life wasn’t my looks or my life inexperience.
It was my mindset, my wrongful assumption that…
My life will begin in the future, when I will have reached X milestones of personal development.
“I’ll feel like myself when I put on 10 more lbs of muscle”
“I’ll have a real lifestyle when I make 10k a month”
“I’ll be confident in my sexuality when I bed 10 girls or get a 10 as a girlfriend”
See the shitty reasoning there? According to my past self, my value as a man and as a person in general was CONDITIONAL. I had to do X thing to earn my worth in this world. If I wasn’t performing at my absolute best… When I didn’t measure up to some standard of achievement… bye bye self-esteem!
Now, this conditional mindset works for some men, even better than teaching them to unconditionally love themselves.
Yeah, I get it. Keep reading.
For men who live with a fixed mindset, in a sense of powerlessness and/or victimhood, basic self-improvement shit like “lift weights, work hard and smart, quit porn, get sober, read these books, talk to new people, clean your room…” is POWERFUL and LIFE-CHANGING.
The generic, formulaic, dogmatic self-improvement space is a valuable part of the online “manosphere” ecosystem. It gives hope and direction to many lost men.
These men are in dire need of this shift from powerlessness to courage and action. Even something as simple as making their bed in the morning will give them a sense of power over their life they’re not used to having. Hell, that used to be me!
(why did i ever tolerate leaving my bed messy every day in the first place?)
For these men, being hard on themselves, seeing their own self-worth as conditional WORKS. Because they ALREADY see it conditionally. These men will only dismiss unconditional self-love and self-respect as fake feel-good mumbo jumbo. They need to shift from assuming they’ll never meet the world’s conditions no matter what – to assuming they’re fully capable of doing what it takes to be worthy. This is a powerful mindset shift for them that makes life a lot more fun, incomplete as it is.
This self-improvement way of being has an expiry date however, which took me a few years to fully accept.
The way forward for men trapped in self-improvement
First comes the mindset of “I’ll never be worthy to the world because I’m innately flawed.”
Then comes “I can do what it takes to be worthy to the world. I will earn my worth through taking action.”
After that, “I do what it takes because I’m intrinsically worthy. I’m worthy to the world because I’m worthy to myself.”
(does “worthy” not seem like a word anymore?)
A man can’t simply go from the first mindset to the third, because that would mean missing a crucial stage of self-development. He needs to fight against his demons and know firsthand how futile the fight really is, before he can transcend them.
And look, I’ll admit that transcendence has been hard for me. Even as recently as last year, I was stuck in many transactional mindsets. I’d get pissed when I’d go out to daygame and not see any girls I was interested in approaching. And when I’d get a girl’s number, I still stressed over exactly how to game her and get her out. I was obsessed with understanding all the intricacies of human biochemistry and constantly be searching for the next big niche thing to boost my testosterone. I was a dogmatic semen retentioner and would beat myself up whenever I’d give into the horny and blow a load. And I’d be very hard on myself with my work. I’d write many posts and work on a few projects that ultimately added no value to my work just for the sake of doing something productive with my time.
That’s the nature of life. We’re all constant works-in-progress. You and I both need to learn to appreciate the stage of development we’re at. Waiting for your life to truly begin “someday” just kills the beauty of your life, it kills the beauty of YOU. Pain and incompleteness are half the fun of living. Your journey as a man is never over. There will never be an arbitrary day in the future where you have it all figured out. You’ll never stop having problems. You’ll only trade certain problems for better ones.
So brother, learn to love where you’re at. However non-ideal it is. You’re at a necessary step in your journey. You need to allow yourself to make mistakes and be imperfect. The burden of perfection was the true cause of my past spiritual malaise, not any of my objective deficiencies.
When I was 16-19, the gym was the #1 thing in my life. Constantly on my mind. Most things in my life revolved around developing my body. I made my fastest, most prominent gains when I was 18-19. Then at 20-21, it took a backseat to my other aspirations. Still more or less “my thing”, but not quite in that #1 spot. Then at 22 onward… I barely think about the gym anymore. I still go, but I’m very much on autopilot when I do. I still make a PR almost every workout and feel most like myself when I feel jacked, but I’ve truly “maxed out” when it comes to understanding myself in that domain. Making the gym the #1 thing in my life again would mean me going very backwards in my personal development. That would push me down more than it would lift me up.
As for biohacking, that was a very important part of my life last year because my endocrine system was damaged from past drug use. This was literally the difference between me feeling like a man or not. My body wasn’t producing or using testosterone like it used to, and I was having serious difficulties with my sleep. Back then, learning all the niche T-boosting hacks, sleep-improving supplements, and stuff was life-changing, but now that my biochemistry is back to normal, I have no use for anything but the absolute fundamentals anymore.
There’s so much more here I could get into about girls and friends and work and stuff, but you get the point. What works wonders for you at one stage of self-development needs to be left behind and transcended for you to reach the next level.
Reading books and self-improvement advice may have helped you understand yourself and the world just a bit better so far. But your biggest, fastest, strongest spiritual gains will always come from two things: 1. Taking real-world action and letting yourself be imperfect with it, and 2. Having mentors who already GET IT.
My clients make massive gains in their understanding of sexual energy after only a month of working with me, or even after just one hour-long call.
If you’re ready to take action with the ladies, let go of the burden of perfection, make your fastest sexual gains yet, and be a step above the next step…
Chase the bag, not the hoes,