Marko Mirceski, 2021-07-05
Let's say, you are the average man. You spend a lot of time on the internet, playing video games or watching porn. Are you happy? I don't mean do you feel good right now, I'm talking about true happiness. So, let me ask you again: Are you really happy? If your answer is yes: Congratulations, you are a liar. If it is no, let me tell you something:
I was there once. I know what it feels like to be deeply unhappy. Rotting away in a smelly, messy room, with no work to your name, no apparent purpose and using porn and videogames as a crutch. In fact, I still do. It's been quite a while since I discovered self-improvement, but only recently did I decide to take it seriously.
In this article, I wanna stray away from the usual technical things, and I wanna focus more on helping men build the best version of themselves, independent of societal expectations.
The 2 pills
There is a famous scene in the movie "The Matrix", where the main character, Neo, gets offered a pretty significant choice: Either he takes the blue pill, going back to his average 9-5 life, or he takes the red pill, and, as Morpheus put it, "stays in wonderland, and he shows him how deep the rabbit hole goes".
In self improvement, this concept comes up right at the beginning: Do you want to stay who you are, average and miserable, or do you want to rise above yourself, find true purpose and meaning in life? And I see the misunderstanding that could arise from this: Self improvement is not about losing some arbitrary old self, but rather about finding who you truly are, and who you can be with enough effort.
"Marvel vs DC"
"Republican vs Democrat"
"Pepsi vs Coca Cola"
"Windows vs Linux"
It is truly maddening to see how many people fall for pop culture, politics, and all the other instruments of division that can be used to split the people of the world into groups that despise each other. It also makes me sad that so few people realize the impact that this has on us. We are literally taught to hate the opposition, and to not interact with outsiders. And who taught us this? The internet, politics, anyone who might profit off of division.
The best, nay, the only right choice in this modern era is to say "no". To reject societal norms, to reject the people's obsession with politics and popular culture. To reject all the activism, all the economical and political strides made to harm you as a person, and us as a community. Independence as it stands is the only way for a person to thrive.
Of course, on can't just go out and shit on someone's car and say "It's okay, I reject society". All rules of engagement still stand, and should be followed to the smallest detail. "Rejecting society" just means the above: not falling for the traps that have been placed to ensnare every person on this planet.
Brotherhood and Community
Self-Improvement isn't a "lone wolf"-type ordeal. Everything you do will be representative of others that follow the same path as you do. Therefore, the next conclusion is to walk the path together. Be it as friends, as colleagues, or as a tribe. Brotherhood and Community is an important step in this journey.
But why is that? Can't I just walk for myself, by myself, and attain greatness that way? The simple answer is no. The complex answer is also no, but with context. When you go on this journey, you are prone to making mistakes. If no one calls you out on them, in a civil and brotherly manner, you will, unknowingly, repeat these mistakes. And when you notice it might already be too late, and you might be prone to fall back to your old ways.
The best friends, brothers, and comrades you can have are the ones who call you out on your bullshit.
Jeffrey versus Adonis
And your brothers are the ones you need to be able to rely on in times of need.
Jeffrey condemns brotherhood. He claims it as toxic masculinity, men banding together, bonding over their achievements. He thinks the strive to be a better version of yourself every day is a waste of time, and that you should enjoy life. Of course, his enjoyment stems from masturbating to porn, and over-indulging in video games, wasting his time and subsequently his life.
Adonis. Adonis doesn't care about Jeffreys opinion regarding masculinity. Adonis takes one look at Jeffrey and pitys him, since he always takes the easy way out. He thinks that every man should strive to be better, he encourages his community, his tribe, to spend time on rich, fulfilling things, not to indulge, not to consume mindlessly. Adonis teaches gratitude, a concept most important on the way of becoming your best self.
These rather overdone texts are here to highlight two archetypes in self-improvement. The "Jeffrey", and the "Adonis". Both show extreme tendencies in their respective side, and are, on one side the worst case, and on the other nigh unachieveable.
The Jeffrey (name as a stand-in, you can use whatever normie name you like) represents modern society. He is a constant victim, always looking for reasons why he can't (or won't) do something. A loathsome person, he is unwilling to change, to learn or to even reflect on himself. Jeffrey can't take advice, he always has to know better. Being a Jeffrey is the worst thing that can happen to you, and quite a lot of men are already there, or on their way to becoming a Jeffrey.
Adonis is an unachieveable concept of a man. He is the ultimate tribe leader, someone who always takes the hardest path because he knows it will be better, he is the polar opposite to Jeffrey. He knows that he is the master of his own decisions, and stands by them. He learns from his mistakes, he learns from the mistakes of others, and he isn't afrait to take criticism. He never acts in pure self-interest, and will always step up to choose what's best for his tribe.
In modern society, it is infinitely easier to become a Jeffrey than Adonis. This is because we over-indulge and overstimulate to the point where we're damaged almost beyond repair. Breaking our curse requires a lot more than just a few good words.
Do the hard work...
To fix our problem, we require a lot of work. A lot of hard work. This consists of starting your journey, falling, getting up, falling, getting up again, etc. Journaling, working out, meditating, following a fulfilling passion that doesn't harm you is a lot of work. Creating small habits is a lot of hard work.
And most won't do it. Exactly because it is hard work. It isn't easy, and it never will be. The thing about this journey is that you get used to hard work, and you start to be grateful about it. Because most of the time the harder thing is the one with the greatest long-term benefits.
...especially when you don't feel like it
Go. Fix up your bed. Go clean your room. Go dust off your shelves, vacuum your place. Go take a walk without your phone.
If you said no to all of these, you are a victim of comfort. If I ask you why you won't do these chores, you'd probably say something along the lines of "I don't feel like it". This is the trap of comfort, of the easy way. The reason why you don't do it is because you think that easy comfort is more important than putting in the work to make something better.
You probably expect things to fall in place eventually, which is a bad line of thought. You may wait for the world, but the world won't wait for you. And that is the problem with comfort. You'll always be behind, because you chose to wait.
We should strive for discomfort. Only through doing the things we don't feel like doing can we grow as men, even through the smallest things, like fixing up your bed.
This is just the end of the text. But what I expect it to be is the beginning of your self-improvement journey. So many before us managed to be the best versions of themselves. So many before us managed to find purpose in life.
And if they managed, so can we. So will we.