Building A Better Red Pill Blogosphere

Chris from Good-Looking Loser has a post that’s required reading for Red Pill bloggers: Why Your Blog Sucks. In brief: The Red Pill community is beset by copycats and clones of two popular blogs: Danger and Play, and Bold and Determined.

On a superficial level, the result is a slew of ‘inspirational’ blogs with the same WordPress theme, layout, tone, and style – short punchy sentences, plain-spoken language, and liberal use of subheadings and paragraph breaks. But the similarities go beyond morphology. The clones re-package the same Red Pill cliches while offering no new perspective, experience, or original research.

As The Huffington Post might say: Here’s Why That’s A Problem.

Design Matters

Low-concept design hasn’t been catastrophic for Roissy, Delicious Tacos, Vox Day, Steve Sailer, Last Psychiatrist, Slate Star Codex, Mencius Moldbug, and a hundred more. If you write good content, your audience will find you. Similarly, no amount of design can make up for boring and unoriginal writing. If you want your blog to succeed, spend 99 hours writing for every hour you spend making your site look pretty.

That being said, design still matters. Good web design is like a nice suit – it tells the world you expect to be taken seriously, and treated with respect. Bad design is like a ratty pair of jeans and plain white t-shirt. If you come to a black tie party rocking WordPress 2012 or the Blogger default template, you’re going to raise some eyebrows.

The design of your site also communicates your goals and priorities. If three-quarters of your front page is cluttered with opt-ins, affiliate links, and calls for donations, I’m going to assume you’re in it for the money. If you use click-bait-y headlines, I’m going to assume you value page views over truth.

There’s nothing wrong with making money and marketing yourself. But if you’re taking your design cues from outside the Red Pill blogosphere, remember this: We’re not playing the same game as everyone else.

Buzzfeed is trying to maximize and monetize clicks from easily-distracted cretins. Sleazy affiliate marketers are trying to scam gullible idiots. The vast majority of internet culture is a pointless, unproductive circlejerk with zero trust and no end goal beyond the liberation of money from fools. And it’s getting worse.

The Red Pill (or Manosphere, or Neoreaction) must transcend this bullshit. We are targeting the best and brightest, and we have to earn their trust. The rest of the internet is focused on building short-term relationships with midwits, and we need to be differentiated from that. Ultimately, our goal is to create a new counter-culture; a generation of strong and resilient young men, a new aristocracy capable of opposing and replacing our current ruling caste of suicidal and/or parasitic elites.

This project will require a community that exists at a higher level of consciousness than the rest of the internet. The rest of the world can degenerate into snark, memes, gifs, and lists, but we’re better than that. We’re building build a City On A Hill.

So with that frame of mind, let’s review some best practices for the Red Pill community:

1) Don’t Be Danger and Determined

I think a lot of young guys get caught in the trap of imitating DP/BD because their writing styles are more accessible. Mike and Victor write in a clear, concise, straightforward style, but the simplicity is deceptive.

Simple writing can be the product of a simple mind, or it can come from relentlessly stripping away unnecessary verbiage until all that remains is the core message. Inexperienced writers see the tip of the iceberg, but they don’t see the knowledge underneath it. They think they can do a comparable or better job of writing DP/BD because their writing style looks easier than it is.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing that young guys are building Danger and Determined clones. Most writers go through a phase of copying their literary heroes, as a step along the path of developing their own voice and style. Building an unoriginal site (of course: unoriginal =/= outright theft) won’t earn these kids money, fame, or respect. But it’s good practice, as long as you recognize that you have to grow into your own voice eventually.

2) Don’t Be Buzzfeed

Don’t write click bait. Make the reader rise to our level. Let someone else appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Moving GIF images have no place in writing aimed at adult men. Static images should be used sparingly. Headlines should be tantalizing and descriptive, but never bullshit your reader.

As an example of what not to do, consider the following links to Return of Kings articles written by the same author:

Why Supplements Are A Waste of Money

Five Men’s Health Supplements that Actually Work

The content of both posts is more or less the same, but the author chose to write an inflammatory (and false) headline rather than something tame-but-accurate such as: “Why Many Supplements Are A Waste Of Money.”

Bold titles are often more immediately click-able, but in the long run they erode trust and authority. Good titles communicate the value of the content, but don’t disrespect the reader with lies and false promises.

3) Don’t Be An Internet Marketer

(Or at least, be a better internet marketer.)

Many new Red Pill blogs are incorporating internet marketing best practices – opt-in forms, CTAs, social icons – and covering their front page with them.

This is great if you’re selling herbal weight loss pills to housewives or financial advice to alzheimic seniors, but it’s not how smart and focused adult men communicate with each other. If you design a site that caters to morons with ADHD, you will build an audience of morons with ADHD.

4) Don’t Be A Part Of ‘Internet Culture’

Different cultures and communities develop their own linguistic dialects. If you spend any amount of time in online communities, you’ll pick up on their slang, social norms, and verbal tics.

The Red Pill subculture has developed an extensive new vocabulary, but the foundation of our language is proper English. We write and speak in complete sentences, use proper grammar, and look down on cute-sy internet slang.

In particular, if you post to the r/TheRedPill subreddit, remember this: you are not a part of Reddit. You are a hostile outpost in a foreign land. You are hated by everyone around you, and you will be banned from their site as soon as an excuse can be contrived. Rise above their mannerisms and lame inside jokes; build your own culture and make it superior.

5) Sing in your own voice

Whether you’re the author of a major Red Pill blog, or just a casual commenter on r/TheRedPill or the Roosh V Forum: Tell us your story. Don’t pretend to be someone else. Don’t write for money, don’t write for attention, and don’t write for your ego. Write because the only alternative is the crushing loneliness of knowing that everyone outside of this community would call you insane if you were honest with them about what you believe.

If you’re just now realizing that your blog is unoriginal, don’t stress about it. Throughout my five years in the Red Pill blogosphere, I’ve produced low-rent imitations of at least a dozen authors: Roissy, Danger and Play, Bold and Determined, James Altucher, Roosh, Jack Goes Forth, Tim Ferriss, Matt Forney. Matching specific posts to their source of inspiration is left as an exercise for the reader.

What’s the solution? It’s simple, but not easy: be self-aware enough to recognize what you’re doing, and make a commitment to be better. Take a step back. Re-design your site. Delete your post draft about Five Mistakes In the Gym blah blah. Write something meaningful, something that scares you. Sing in your own voice.

What’s Next?

The world has enough click bait and workout advice. But what do we need more of?

Well, doing exactly what I suggest isn’t exactly ‘singing in your own voice.’ But if you’re just now coming to the harsh realization that your blog is a derivative piece of shit, here are my thoughts on some fertile areas for new Red Pill Blogs:

  • There’s always more room for honest, self-aware, interesting writing about your own experiences. If you’re under the age of twenty-five, you shouldn’t be writing an “advice” blog. You should be writing a journal. Stop pretending to be Danger and Determined, and start pretending to be 30 Days To X.
  • I’d also like to see more good writing that explores specific topics in-depth. Pill Scout is a good example of this. Rogue Health and Fitness is another health/fitness blog that does a hell of a lot more than regurgitate the same bullet points.
  • Online dating is a vastly under-explored area. If you think you can bring the same level of rigorous mastery to online/mobile dating, as Krauser has to Day Game, the world will beat a path to your mailing list.
  • What would H.L. Mencken make of The Red Pill? Nietzsche? Marcus Aurelius? Buddha? Jesus? I would definitely read a blog that maps the ideological common ground of great historical thinkers and the modern Red Pill.
  • And what about the great minds of the less-distant past? Much of the effort spent writing new content would be better allocated to organizing and cataloging the great works of previous authors like Roissy and Solomon II. Yes, their work is available. But it can be more than available. It can be organized, searchable, easy to browse with an attractive UI.

All of this work is more important – and has more long-term financial value – then yet another motivational click-bait Red Pill blog.

Mea Culpa

The Red Pill blogosphere has been trending in this direction for a while, and I don’t consider Thumotic an exception – as you may have inferred from my cleaner, more content-focused redesign.

Good-Looking Loser deserves a lot of credit for his post. He’s also writing one of the best damned Red Pill blogs out there, and since I wrote this immediately after reflecting on my respect for his writing, you might hear me aping his style *just a little bit* in this post.

(By putting ‘asides’ in brackets with paragraph breaks, for example. Although my font colour palette still has a long way to go.)

This may sound like a negative post, but the existence of unoriginal copycats is actually a very positive sign. ‘Problems’ like this are unavoidable in a rapidly-growing movement and subculture like ours. Smart, ambitious young men are trying to leap headfirst into The Red Pill, even if they’re not always doing the best job of it. These are natural and healthy growing pains.

More importantly: amidst the clone wars, there are dozens of new authors producing high-quality writing in the Red Pill and Reactionary space, while the big guys are upping their game and ushering in a new era of audio and video Red Pill content.

Questions For You:

Want to stay on top of it all? Check out The Red Pill Review for a collection of Red Pill blogs and links, updated in real time.

What do you want to see more of from the Red Pill blogosphere? What do you think is the best way to make this community larger and more powerful?

Finally: Who’s your favourite new Red Pill author? Share a few links to their best stuff in the comments below, and I’ll add them to the Red Pill Review. Self-promotion is highly encouraged.

Create Your Own Monomyth

Every compelling mythic story follows the same narrative structure, and features the same recurring characters. The elements of this universal story are etched into our subconscious, and understanding it will allow you to use the power of narrative to take greater control over your life.

This universal story is called The Hero’s Journey, or Monomyth. it is outlined in Joseph Campbell’s classic work of comparative mythology, The Hero With A Thousand Faces.

According to Campbell, the key elements of the Hero’s Journey are as follows:

Hero Journey

  1. THE ORDINARY WORLD.  The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma.  The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history.  Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.
  2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE.  Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change.
  3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL.  The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly.  Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.
  4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR.  The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey.  Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.
  5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD.  At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.
  6. TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES.  The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.
  7. APPROACH.  The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.
  8. THE ORDEAL.  Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear.  Out of the moment of death comes a new life.
  9. THE REWARD.  The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death.  There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.
  10. THE ROAD BACK.  About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home.  Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission.
  11. THE RESURRECTION.  At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home.  He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level.  By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.
  12. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR.  The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.

(From The Writer’s Journey)

Once you read The Hero With A Thousand Faces, you’ll start seeing the Monomyth everywhere, from the stories of Buddha, Gilgamesh, Perseus, Moses, and Jesus, to contemporary literature, film and TV. Some notable contemporary examples are The Matrix, Fight Club, Star Trek, The Lion King, Harry Potter, Groundhog Day, Lord Of The Rings, and most superhero origins movies.

Since we’re all about the The Red Pill here at Thumotic, let’s use The Matrix as an illustrative example:

1. Ordinary World

ordinary

2. Call To Adventure

Call

3. Refusal Of The Call

Refusal

4. Meeting The Mentor

Mentor

5. Crossing The Threshold

first threshhold

6. Tests, Allies, Enemies

allies tests

7. Approach To The Inmost Cave

Trials

8. Ordeal

Ordeal

9. Reward (Seizing The Sword)

Elixir

10. The Flight Home

road back

11. Resurrection

Resurrection

12. Return With The Elixir

Elixir

Campbell also discusses common story elements (Meeting With The Goddess, Atonement With The Father, Woman As Temptress) and the various Hero archetypes (Warrior, Lover, Emperor, Redeemer, Saint), and other character types that present themselves in mythic stories. He proposes the Freudian explanation that The Monomyth exists deep in our collective unconscious, and the Hero’s Journey is the story of the human race. A Christian might believe that the appeal of the Monomyth is a result our innate familiarity with the story of the Resurrection, and consider Jesus Christ to be the origin of the Monomyth rather than a mere example.

Wherever you land on that, let’s just agree that the Hero’s Journey is the most powerful and narratively compelling story structure humanity has ever developed.

The Importance Of Storytelling

Humans understand the world through stories. We only take action when it makes sense in the context of the story.

Sales, marketing, political campaigns, and corporate communications are all driven by storytelling; everyone whose vocation involves eliciting emotion and behaviour must become either a storyteller or a job-seeker. Also, any job-seeker who is not a storyteller, will remain a job-seeker.

Attracting women also requires storytelling skills, and not just the superficial ability to convey anecdotes.

Most smart people already understand the importance of interpersonal storytelling. But have you ever considered the role of storytelling in motivating your own behaviour? If you’re trying to motivate yourself to get healthy, work harder, be more organized, be kinder to your loved ones, or whatever your goals are – what story are you using to explain your growth and self-development?

The Story Of Your Journey

It’s January. You’ve recently set some goals for 2015. Maybe you want to build muscle and get lean, start making more money, and be more successful with women. But if you want to be effective, you need a story to tell yourself. You need a story in which you are a Worthy Hero.

Imagine that I’m watching a reality TV show about your life. The premise of the show is that you’ve set a few realistic but challenging goals for the next month.

Now, if you spend the next thirty days screwing around, I’m not going to care if you succeed or not. In fact, I’ll be uncomfortable if you do succeed.

But if you spend a month waking up at 6:00 AM, pumping iron, working twelve-hour days, pushing your social comfort zone, taking on new projects, and treating people well, I’ll feel that you deserve to win. I’ll be happy and satisfied when you succeed, and I’ll feel cheated if you lose despite your hard work.

Now, obviously, I’m not actually watching the story of your life unfold. But you are. So ask yourself: Do you deserve to succeed? Are you putting in the work? Are you the hero or the villain in your own life story?

The Benefits of Heroism

Life is easier when everyone is expecting you to win. If you’re working hard, your peers will be cheering for your success. They’ll be expecting it.

More importantly, you’ll be expecting it too. The reality of life is that no one is paying that much attention to you. But it is essential to earn the support of the most important audience member – yourself – in your own life story. You need to look in the mirror in the morning and see a worthy hero. You need to reflect on every day, and see the actions of a hero.

The Danger Of False Narratives

Stories can empower you, or they can enslave you. A good story will lead to good actions and results. A bad story will have the opposite effect.

If you’re genuinely trying to do the right thing and aren’t getting the results you want, maybe you’re being held back by a false narrative:

  • The Nice Guy Gets the Girl In The End
  • The Loyal Employee Gets The Corner Office
  • The Guy Who Eats Healthy Grains And Avoid Saturated Fats Gets Fit

Even Social Justice Warriors are heroes in their own eyes. Before you start your journey as a virtuous hero, make sure you’ve defined virtue correctly.

The Call To Adventure

Are you reading this from the comfort and safety of your ordinary world? Consider this post your personal call to adventure, and start looking at the world as your personal Hero’s Journey.

First, you have to Cross The Threshold. Do something momentous to signify a break from your current life.

You’ll feel an urge to Refuse The Call. Push through the resistance.

In the coming days, you’ll have to find Mentors, Friends, and Allies who will help you. You will cut off Enemies who are holding you back.

You will pass through Trials and Ordeals.

You will do all of this in pursuit of The Elixir, whatever that means to you.

Throughout the course of your journey, you will change and grow as a man; this is your death and resurrection.

The Elixir you return with will not be the same as you thought, or you will experience it differently than you anticipated. But it won’t matter, because you will be the Master of Two Worlds.

Crossing The Threshold

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, but I really hope you use it as a tool to start moving your life in a more productive, more conscious direction. I want you to start seeing yourself as a Hero. When you’re stuck in a rut, sometimes the solution is to just find a new way of looking at things.

Check out Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces. It’s a fun read, and a much more in-depth analysis of the Monomyth than I’ve provided here.

Make sure you’re not poisoning your mind with unhelpful stories by switching off mainstream media and reading The Red Pill Review instead.

Need help crossing the threshold? Complete the Thumotic 30-Day Challenge and start lifting weights to kick-start your life.

If you find this post useful, share it with your friends and tell us about your personal Hero’s Journey in the comments.

How To Cure Depression

You’re laying in bed.

You know what you have to do today, but you don’t have the courage to do it.

You have to go to the bank. You have to pay your hydro bill. You have to buy a Christmas present for your mentally retarded cousin. You can knock it all out in an afternoon. But the first step is getting out of bed, and you’re not ready for that yet.

It’s noon and you’re still exhausted. You’ve been staying up late because you’re afraid of mornings. You’re incapable of the most basic tasks. You’re stressed because you’re falling behind. You’re angry at yourself for being weak, then you’re angry at yourself for being angry at yourself.

Cure Depression

Weeks go by. Clients get angry. Leads go cold. You cancel plans with friends. Opportunities pass you by. You open Word documents and write about how you’re going to get back on track. You start a dozen new tasks every day, and finish none of them. You start planning out new projects so you can avoid working on what you actually need to do.

You’re smart enough to know that to fix yourself, you need to change your mindset, so you start reading books and blogs that usually get you fired up, like Danger and Play, James Altucher, and Bold and Determined. Somehow it seems hollow, like these guys just don’t understand how hard it is to mail a cheque and buy a stuffed animal.

You put on a mask and hide the ennui from people close to you, out of shame, but also because you want to be a leader. You want to be a source of strength to others. You don’t want to bring them down.

Sometimes you forget to eat for a day. Sometimes you eat too much. You waste time on Reddit and Twitter. You jerk off. You watch entire seasons of garbage TV shows.

It’s December, so you go to a dozen parties. You have fun. You think: maybe things are turning around. Then you realize that all the times you’ve felt good over the past month have involved binge drinking and drugs, and that scares you.

You thought you had purged all the fragility from your psyche. Turns out you were wrong. You recognize that you’re going through a rough patch, but you’re still in denial. You start writing a blog post. As you write, you realize that you’re in much worse shape than you thought. You look back at your behaviour over the past two months, and you understand what you need to do.

You need to ask for help

You talk to your father, your sister, and your best friend. You tell them there is nothing to worry about, but you want them to know you’re going through a rough time, and you need their help to maintain good habits and a positive attitude. You tell them that you’re scared. You don’t know what you’re doing with your life. You’re having a hard time bouncing back from failure.

After talking to people you love, you feel better. You realize that you’ve been burning a lot of your energy pretending to be happy. You stop pretending.

You’re still afraid. You’re afraid of failure, and not living up to your potential. You’re afraid of being alone. You’re afraid that you don’t know what to do in your career and life. But at least these are real problems, with real solutions.

You get back to basics

Slowly, you work your way back into the light. The world starts to come back into focus. You’re not out of the woods yet. But you’re on a path.

You go on a three-day juice fast. You shock your system back into good healthy habits. You immediately feel lighter, clearer, and happier.

You start waking up early. You hit the gym every morning, heavy and hard. You look better, stand taller, and feel invigorated by the blood flow and testosterone boost.

You stop wasting time. You block garbage websites, stop watching TV, and limit your personal email and social media to one hour per day.

You clean your apartment and make it a happier environment. You buy more plants. Keep your curtains open. Start making your bed in the morning. You realize there is someone toxic you need to cut out of your life, and do what needs to be done.

You make a plan to get your life back on track. You were in denial. You accept that your twenties were a series of false starts that didn’t work out the way you’d hoped. You accept the fact that you’re almost thirty, and you’re not even close to where you had wanted to be. You forgive yourself.

You realize that maybe, for some stupid and reckless reason, you wanted to be in this situation. You wanted to fail. You wanted the opportunity to build yourself back up from nothing, so you took too many risks.

You make a checklist of good habits and stick it on your bedroom wall:

  • Wake up at 6:30 AM
  • Tidy apartment and make bed
  • Gym and/or yoga session
  • Dress sharp
  • Sit down and start work at 9:00 AM
  • Juice for lunch
  • Finish work at 5:00 PM
  • Do something every evening that is fun, social, and enriches your life.
  • Write in your journal
  • Meditate for ten minutes
  • Plan out the following day
  • Go to bed at 11:00 PM

Every day, you check off each item and congratulate yourself on these small victories. You’re not perfect. But you’re getting better.

You start to regain control over your world. You return calls. You pay your bills and get your finances in order. You stop spending time with people who bring you down. You set goals and make a plan for 2015.

You block off all the negative, distracting, soul-poisoning influences in your life. You spend your down time with Danger and Play Fitness Podcasts, Elliot Hulse, inspiring movies, and quality documentaries.

You do little things that have always brought you joy. You read great books. Play with your dog. Spend time with friends. Listen to happy music.

You still don’t feel good. But at least your actions are good:

  • You’re not bouncing out of bed, eager to start the day. But you are getting out of bed.
  • You’re not strutting into the gym like a beast, excited to crush some personal records. But you are in the gym.
  • You’re not working at full capacity, building your business, finding new clients, and doing great work. But you are moving forward on projects and meeting deadlines.
  • You’re not happy. But you are doing things that you know will make you happy, if you have the will to keep doing them.

You write this post over the course of several weeks. You’re tempted to wait until you’re back to 100% before posting it, so you can give it a nice happy ending. But that would be cheating.

What Is Depression?

Let’s not get too dramatic.

What I’m going through is pretty mild. Almost every man reading this will have a similar low point, probably more than once.

Some people suffer from random, crippling, severe depression that results from maladaptive neurochemical imbalances. Some people suffer from severe PTSD. This is ‘real’ Depression.

But most cases of depression are related to external factors. Depression is an adaptive response that encourages us to slow down and re-orient our lives.

I didn’t just go to sleep one night and wake up sad; the last two months of 2014 were genuinely hard on me. I lost a lot of money. I let my health suffer. I worked long, hard, stressful hours. I was betrayed by someone close. I’m scared of getting older. Whatever the cause, I ended the year feeling pessimistic, lethargic, and alone.

How To Cure Depression

Some people will react negatively to any suggestion that they can control their mental health.

Their theory is that Depression:

  • is a disease over which you have no control
  • strikes innocent people randomly, and
  • there is nothing you can do to prevent or manage it.

I think this perspective is harmful. It allows people to make up stories to absolve them of responsibility. They take the easy way out.

Yes, depression and anxiety are random – to an extent. But they are treatable. Rather than give up and accept mental illness as part of your identity, why not try to build a new identity based on the strength and force of will necessary to overcome it? I think the first step to overcoming depression – or anything else – is to start viewing it as within your locus of control.

This is the approach that has worked for me. I haven’t discovered a ‘cure’ for depression. I think that’s an unrealistic goal. All I can say is that I’ve stopped being self-destructive. I’m not brimming with joy every minute of the day, but I am waking up at dawn and doing what I need to do.

You can’t always control how you feel, but you can control how you behave. I haven’t completely cured myself of depression. But I have successfully cured myself of behaving like a depressed person.

Here are the habits that helped me get back on track. Try them for yourself, and see if they work for you:

1) Free writing

Open up a journal and just start writing. Write about what you think is causing you stress. Write about how you’re going to solve those problems. Once you’re done, keep writing whatever comes into your mind. Don’t stop and think. Eventually you’ll get to your real issues. Do this every day, for at least one full page. In a week, you’ll realize that you’ve been lying to yourself. About what? I don’t know. And neither do you. So start writing.

2) Good habits

You might feel silly using a checklist to make sure you eat breakfast and make your bed every day, but when you’re not capable of winning the big victories, you need to shoot for the little ones:

  • Wake up early
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy
  • Work
  • Relax

Don’t get too ambitious and try to create a daily routine of sixteen straight hours of life-enriching productivity. If you were capable of that, you wouldn’t be reading this article. Start with modest goals and add more as you make progress.

The most important item on this list is waking up early. If you’re out of bed and lifting weights at 6:00 AM every day, you can’t be screwing up your life too badly. There is also evidence that a sleep fast can cure depression. If you commit to waking up early, you will almost certainly subject yourself to a few sleep fasts as your body adjusts to the new schedule.

3) Tell the truth

Most of my fear was tied up in hiding, so I made a rule: No more lying. No more false confidence.

Lying takes energy. When you stop lying, you have more energy to work on yourself.

Lying also makes it easier to lie to yourself. Before I started being honest, I had two separate stories. One was for the rest of the world (“I’m great! Never better!”) and the other was my own private internal monologue (“Boo-hoo, poor me, blah blah”).

Both of these stories were lies. I was lying to the rest of the world about feeling great, and it was emotionally exhausting trying to pretend that I was.

More importantly though, things aren’t nearly as bad as my inner monologue made them out to be. True, life isn’t going exactly according to plan. But I’m still an incredibly fortunate person by any reasonable standard.

Once I committed to honesty, I was planning to admit to friends and family that my life was in shambles. But when I tried to tell people, I couldn’t figure out how to explain it.

Gradually I realized: If I can’t explain it, maybe it isn’t true. Maybe things really aren’t that bad. I’ve had a few rough months, and I have to work hard to get back on track. But ultimately things are going to be OK.

4) Exercise

Regular exercise will make everything better. It’s a cliche for a reason. Building lean muscle will make you more energetic, more confident, and happier.

Lifting weights will also naturally increase your testosterone, which will improve your mood.

5) Juice

Placebo? Coincidence? Maybe. But for me at least, the major inflection point in my mood and optimism was a three-day juice fast.

There is plenty of evidence supporting the health benefits of intermittent fasting, and consuming lots of vegetables.

There’s evidence that a diet made of of fruits, vegetables and protein can prevent depression. Also see: Diet and Depression.

A juice fast also created a memorable psychological boundary between two shitty months, and the future. It created a narratively compelling scene break in the story of my life. Why does this matter? The human brain understands the world through stories and narrative. If you want to change your circumstances, you have to give yourself a narratively compelling reason to do so..

To summarize: lift weights, eat healthy, be honest, wake up early, and keep a journal. These are good habits whether you are depressed or not, and they have been clinically proven to treat depression. You don’t have to cure yourself entirely. Just start acting like someone who has.

Will This Work For You?

I don’t know.

I’m good so far. But this is all new to me, and my story is still being written.

All I can say is this: The habits and thought processes in this post have helped me. If you’re depressed, and your current plan is to wait (and medicate) until you feel better, maybe it’s time to try a new plan:

  1. Wake up at dawn
  2. Lift heavy weights
  3. Drink fresh juice
  4. Keep a journal
  5. Be honest with yourself and others

That’s it. Try it for a week and let us know how it goes. You can start your new habit of honesty by writing about your situation in the comments below.

Further Reading

Here are some links I came across when I started doing my research on curing depression:

Hyperbole And A Half: Adventures In Depression. It’s a much more severe experience than I can personally relate to, but I still found it beautiful and poignant.

Fit Juice: Does Juicing Cure Depression?

Rogue Health and Fitness: Breaking The Depression Feedback Loop

Bold and Determined: Cure Depression The Old-Fashioned Way

Good luck.

I’m Already Kicking Your Ass (Happy New Year)

It’s eleven in the morning on New Year’s Day.

The average people are dragging themselves out of bed and shaking off their hangovers .

Many of them are making promises to themselves; this year they’re going to quit bad habits, get lean, wake up early, earn more money, and be better to their friends and family. They’ve made New Year’s resolutions, because they believe in the symbolic, ritualistic power of a fresh calendar year.

But last night, these average people wanted nothing to do with good habits. They kicked off the year by indulging in all their worst vices. They’ve already taken their first step on the path of stagnation and decline.

“This is my year,” they’re saying. “I’m becoming a better man…”

“I’ll just get started on January second.”

Hangover

I had big plans for New Year’s Eve.

I was going to rage all night, and spend the first day of 2015 in a fog. Then I was going to wake up on January 2nd and probably, maybe, potentially become a better version of myself.

But instead I’m here:

This is the day I’m choosing.

Unless you’ve done something similar, I’m already kicking your ass in 2015. I’m miles ahead of you, and not just because I’ve had one productive day.

The Power Of Symbolism

Humans are not computer programs. There is a spiritual component to getting motivated that transcends SMART goals and Excel tracking sheets. Becoming a better version of yourself requires more than desire.

If you want to change, you need a story to tell.

You need be a hero with a compelling narrative and a plausible character arc. You need iconic moments that create memorable hook points.

The same principles of persuasion apply, whether you’re trying to motivate others or yourself. Stories always stick.

January 1st is an arbitrary day, but I’m choosing to infuse it with meaning. Missing out on the New Year parties and waking up before dawn is a memorable, threshold-crossing, symbolic renunciation of frivolity and idleness. It’s an experience that will stick with me throughout 2015, reminding me that I’ve chosen a path of discipline and commitment.

What Symbolic Action Can You Take?

If you’re reading this and thinking, “Damn, I missed my chance… but that sounds like a great idea to try in 2016!” you’re taking the wrong message.

Yes, it’s too late for you to start 2015 with a perfect day. But January 2nd is still a great day to do something significant, and give yourself a powerful start to the year. What can you do to make your mind see today as a turning point in your life?

Do you want to get in shape?

Go to the gym and commit to having the hardest workout of your life. Load a squat rack with something you can do comfortably for 20 reps, then do sets to failure with one minute of rest until you can’t do a single rep. If you truly give it 100%, I guarantee this is the hardest, most grueling workout you will ever do.

Do you want to make more money?

Call in sick tomorrow and see how much you can earn in a day of work.

Spend a day figuring out how to make money on Fiverr, even if you think you’re “above” freelancing online. Start training yourself to think like an entrepreneur.

Is there a big project that you’re set on accomplishing in 2015?

Stay up all night and work on it for 24 straight hours.

Pulling all-nighters on a regular basis isn’t a good idea, but do it once to give yourself a memorable experience. Take a picture of your haggard self at the 24th hour and put it near your desk. Today is the day you become obsessed to the point of madness.

How You Can Catch Up

If you’ve had a slow start to 2015, you’re probably feeling like an asshole right now. But you shouldn’t. It’s natural and healthy to want to let loose and celebrate the end of a great year.

In my case, I didn’t have a great year. I lost a lot of money, took a painful vacation from the game, and spent the past two months mired in unproductive depression and anxiety, getting absolutely nothing done.

It was a good year overall. The spring and summer of twenty-fourteen brought me unprecedented enjoyment and personal growth. But the tail end sucked a whole bag of dicks, and I have no one to blame but myself.

The result is that I had no desire to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I haven’t earned it. My ascetic New Year’s brought me infinitely more happiness than a night of contrived revelry.

What Comes Next

To my readers who found new heights of success in 2014 – congratulations, friend. Your challenge is to stay hungry.

To those who did not, now is a good time to do some reflection and re-orientation. Did you celebrate last night? Why? How did you feel this morning?

Did you wake up today feeling guilt and shame? It’s probably because you celebrated without having anything worth celebrating. You were going through the motions of happiness, when you should be focused on re-building your life. I know because I’ve been there.

If that sounds familiar, try taking a next month off from drugs, booze, late nights, and Tinder. Join Thumotic as we put our heads down and decide right now that we’re going to earn a debaucherous, dangerous, self-destructive New Year’s Eve exactly 365 days from now.

2015 is The Year Of No More Fucking Around, and I invite you along for the ride.

Be Grateful For This Post

Have you ever had a bad workout? I had a bad workout.

I felt sluggish, tired, and mentally weak. I made excuses and cut it short, heading to the locker room with fifteen sets waiting to be checked off in my training log.

I met Dale in the steam room. Dale admits that he didn’t have a great workout either. He tells me his daily goal is swim for one hour. Today he almost quit at the thirty-minute mark, but barely managed to push himself through.

I realize that I’ve seen Dale many times before, shuffling around in the children’s pool, half-walking and half-swimming from end to end, so slowly it barely looks like he’s moving. I had always assumed that beneath his swim cap and goggles, the kiddie-pool shuffler was a in his eighties or beyond. I remember thinking: I hope I’m still as active as he is, when I’m that age.

But Dale is thirty-eight years old. It’s a miracle he’s alive, let alone walking and swimming. His arms and thighs are thinner than my wrists. He has Muscular Dystrophy, and he might have another ten years if he’s lucky.

Canadian-Paralympic-Committee-Unstoppable-595x238

Sex used to be a joke to me.

I would tell friends that I’m in a stable long-term relationship with a girl named Tinder:

“We see each other once or twice a week, she’s not needy or high-maintenance, and somehow after more than a year, it still always feels fresh and exciting when we see each other.”

I was even planning to take a random from Tinder out for a nice dinner and buy her a fake diamond bracelet for “our” one-year anniversary.

But then the unthinkable happened. Spend enough time at the table, and you’re eventually going to lose.

There are a lot of men have never known the two greatest pleasures in life: the vulnerable, powerless joy of true love; and the vain, prideful thrill of polygynous abundance. There are also men who have always been successful with women, and have never known scarcity. Whenever a man tells you that women shouldn’t be the most important thing in life, I guarantee that they have known one or the other – scarcity or abundance – but not both.

Let me tell you the worst thing about celibacy. It’s not the physical desire. That’s kid stuff. The real pain of celibacy comes from loneliness. Regular human touch is a powerful and necessary component of good mental health, but you only notice how important it is when it’s gone.

When you’re meeting women and having sex regularly, you’re getting all the skin-to-skin contact that you need. As a result, touch has no power over you. A handshake is just a greeting.

When you’re not, you become grateful for every instance of human contact. The casual social rituals of hugs and high fives become your only connection to humanity outside of yourself.

wanderer-above-a-sea-of-fog

I’m twenty-nine.

That’s not old. But it’s also not young.

Have I made the best use of my time? Certainly not. I’ve spent years walking down paths that lead nowhere, only to retrace my steps.

I’ll spare you any false modesty. I’m proud of where I’m at today. Even my most catastrophic failures were calculated risks that I would do over. Yes, I made some mistakes in my twenties, but most were necessary consequences of an ambitious and risk-taking approach to life.

But sometimes I think about what I could have done differently. I lament the time that’s passed, and the narrowing of opportunities that comes with the passage of time. I feel envy towards talented young men, like the 19-year old author of Thirty Days To X, and I’m jealous of the extra decade they have to live, experience, and grow.

The Insanity Of Ingratitude

We all take things for granted.

I am an incredibly fortunate person. Can you imagine how many sick and dying people would kill to have my healthy body? Or how many lonely middle-aged men, who have never even kissed a girl, would trade their problems for mine? Or how many forty, fifty, or sixty year old men would give up everything to be twenty-nine again?

And yet – as the first half of this post clearly demonstrates – I am fully capable of throwing myself a pathetic little pity-party. Everyone is tempted by weakness at times.

Maybe you feel that you have a right to feel sorry for yourself. Maybe you feel that you are always the victim of bad luck and bad circumstances. Maybe you really are. But I bet you can come up with a long list of people who would love to trade places with you.

“Are you just going to stand there and feel sorry for yourself?”

This was the favourite taunt of an old rugby coach, whenever someone looked like they were about to quit.

In his view, the worst thing you could ever do was feel sorry for yourself. He saw self-pity as unproductive and self-handicapping. He was right.

Self-pity is disempowering. When you feel self-pity, you surrender to your environment. You admit your inability to rise above your circumstances, you ask for charity and mercy from the universe. You abase yourself to fate, and make yourself a slave.

Self-pity is the opposite of gratitude. It is an easy escape from any challenge that presents itself, because it absolves you from any responsibility for your condition. Choosing to feel oppressed by circumstances is the favourite refuge of the mentally and spiritually weak, which is why self-pity is the default emotional state of Social Justice Warriors.

Gratitude is power

Cultivating gratitude will cure you of any negative mindset. If you’re depressed, angry, envious, embarrassed, disappointed, indignant, despairing, or insecure – gratitude will dominate that negativity. It’s emotional penicillin.

If you’re struggling to get motivated and improve your life, gratitude will help you.

Are you going to justify skipping workouts and eating junk, while thinking about people with degenerative diseases struggling to live until middle age? No. You’re going to work your ass off to become the strongest, healthiest, most lean and muscular version of yourself possible.

Are you going to feel despair at your job prospects, while thinking about the billions of people in poor countries who would love to switch places with you? No. You’re going to leverage your strengths and build a real career.

Are you going to be satisfied with mediocre social skills and relationships, and make excuses for why you’re not doing as well as you’d like with women? Or are you going to push yourself to the next level and start having the relationships you want?

How To Cultivate Gratitude

Gratitude is a mental state that leads to positive actions, but it also works the other way – positive actions will help you develop a sense of gratitude.

Be honest: Are you a negative person? Do you complain often? Are you depressed? Quick to anger? Cruel? Fearful?

If so, you probably suffer from a lack of gratitude. There are many paths to developing a sense of gratitude , but here are a few habits that work for me:

Keep A Journal

I write a journal. Each entry focuses on two things: what I’m currently feeling, and what I’m grateful for. It’s a calming ritual and it forces me to take five minutes a day to be aware and grateful for what I have and where I’m at.

Physical Reminders

Are you homeless? Are you going hungry? No?

Stick a five-dollar bill to your fridge door to remind yourself to be grateful for the money and financial security that you have. Even if you work at Starbucks, you still have more opportunity than the vast majority of people in the world. You still own a magical device, i.e. the computer or phone you’re reading this article on, which connects you to every piece of art, music, film, literature, and education resources in existence.

Catch Yourself

Decide right now that you’re going to catch yourself feeling negative emotions in your day-to-day life, and respond to those negative emotions by consciously pushing your inner monologue towards gratitude.

Start right now

Email someone in your life and thank them for something nice they did for you. I guarantee that it will make your day better. Tell us in the comments what you did and how it went.

What Is A Social Justice Warrior?

Many readers have seen the acronym SJW (Social Justice Warrior) and have a partial understanding of what the phrase means. The goal of this post is to provide a complete definition, historical context, and some guidelines for how you should treat feral SJWs in the wild.

Executive Summary: Social Justice Warriors are the emotionally damaged and intellectually mediocre outcasts of American society. Roosh has a very good overview here: What is a Social Justice Warrior?

“Social justice warriors believe in an extreme left-wing ideology that combines feminism, progressivism, and political correctness into a totalitarian system that attempts to censor speech and promote fringe lifestyles while actively discriminating against men, particularly white men. They are the internet activist arm of Western progressivism that acts as a vigilante group to ensure compliance and homogeny of far left thought.”

SJWs are easy to identify. They are:

  • Physically unattractive, unhealthy, and unkempt
  • Emotionally unstable and quick to anger
  • Morally bankrupt, untethered by the ideals of decency, virtue, and truth
  • Intellectually mediocre
  • Lonely, socially inept, and incapable of functioning outside of their echo chambers
  • Ideologically left-wing, radical proponents of feminism, identity politics, and other social justice causes du jure

What drives them?

Social Justice Warriors are naturally weak people who crave a sense of power in their lives.

Everyone wants to feel powerful and accomplished; healthy people fill this need by creating, giving, and offering value. Social Justice Warriors are not capable of doing this, so they try to tear the rest of the world down to their level.

Lacking the ability to create, Social Justice Warriors seek to destroy. On the surface, they justify their actions in a garbled parroting of Cultural Marxism, but envy is the emotional animus that gets them out of bed in the morning.

Where did they come from?

Social Justice Warriors were created by the democratization of Radical Academia.

Much can be said against the 1960s/70s Marxist radicals – they were an unprincipled, self-absorbed, and misinformed bunch of crooks who destroyed a great nation – but at least they had competence going for them. They were intelligent and effective in their pursuit of ignoble ends.

This is exactly what you would expect from a bunch of Harvard and Yale high-achievers. The Radical Left started out in elite institutions, and were thus made up of elite people. But since then, their ideas have seeped downstream into our second- and third-tier institutions, with embarrassing results.

The post-war activist generation – i.e. Barack Obama, who worked for Bill Ayres, and Hilary Clinton, who helped defend the Black Panthers at Yale – went on to form the liberal and moderate political elite of the country.

Whatever their crimes, this generation of intelligent and socially adroit radical activists is at least able to eloquently present their flawed worldview. In stark contrast, the current generation of unemployed community-college-educated mediocrities can only rant and rave incoherently on Tumblr.

How do we defeat them?

To defeat them, we must understand them. To understand them, we must sympathize with them, and even love them.

But how do we love people like this?

feminist

We have to recognize that Social Justice Warriors are not intrinsically bad people:

  • It’s not their fault that they are of average intelligence, and were taught by a broken education system to reach beyond their grasp
  • Many of their emotional problems stem from a lifetime of rejection, ostracization, and feelings of inadequacy
  • As broken, evil, and destructive as their actions are, they receive positive reinforcement from authority figures for their behaviour

In a healthy society, emotionally unstable people with average minds would be guided into humble careers and a stabilizing social network. If they had that support, the vast majority of modern-day SJWs would be living productive, happy lives.

Instead, they have been raised to see themselves as a cognitive and moral elite. Their ideology of oppression and privilege leaves them with no moral obligation to society. Post-modern academia has taught them to eschew logic, evidence, and honest discourse. They are monsters, but they did not become monsters all by themselves.

From a practical and rhetorical perspective, your love is a more effective weapon against them than hatred. Your anger will only fuel their passions, while rhetorically elevating them to your level. If you can empathize enough to offer them your honest and effusive pity, you will demoralize them completely.

How can I avoid them?

As a young man in the 21st century, you should make every effort to avoid Social Justice Warriors in your personal life.

Why? Because they are worse than evil – they are losers. The defining characteristic of the Social Justice Warrior is not a political orientation, it is unhappiness. If you let them in to your life, their negativity will sap your life force and leave you less joyful and productive than you otherwise could be. To be a winner, you must surround yourself with winners.

For your own safety, happiness, and peace of mind, you should make every effort to avoid Social Justice Warriors in your personal and professional life. The most effective way to do this is to create a lifestyle that is antithetical to their values. Build yourself into a living monument to strength and achievement:

Work out to become lean and muscular: A healthy body communicates strength and self-respect.

Read great books: SJWs wade in the intellectual shallows of third-rate academia and clickbait journalism. Swim out into deeper waters and leave them behind you.

Don’t Date Feminists: There’s nothing wrong with choosing to be a feminist, but as a man with options, you are free to date women who don’t view men adversarially.

And most importantly of all, you can make a conscious effort to be generous, positive, and joyful in your daily life. Not only will this mindset make you a happier and more pleasant person to be around, it will also repel the negative, angry, damaged sorts of people who are drawn to the Social Justice Warrior ethos.

How To Naturally Increase Your Testosterone

This post is a comprehensive guide for young men who want to naturally increase their testosterone.

There is nothing new or ground-breaking about this post. My goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to take action and start becoming a better version of yourself.

Why Should You Want To Increase Your Testosterone?

Do you suffer from any of the following?

  • Low Energy
  • Low Sex Drive
  • Difficulty building muscle mass
  • Difficulty losing fat
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

These are all symptoms of low testosterone.

Every man – especially men in their twenties – should feel consistently vigorous, energetic, and virile. If you don’t, this is a problem that you can solve. If you want to have more energy, lose fat, increase muscle, become more socially dominant, and be a more masculine man, increasing your testosterone will help you achieve your goals.

The proven benefits of higher testosterone include:

  • Higher energy level
  • Stronger mental focus
  • More physical strength and power
  • More natural social dominance
  • Higher sex drive and better sexual performance
  • Better mood and less anxiety

There is an epidemic of low testosterone in young men – average levels have dropped 20% in the past 20 years – and it is going unrecognized, untreated, and unreported.  Many doctors will label you ‘normal and healthy’ even if you have the hormone profile of an average 80-year old man.

There are many possible explanations for this epidemic. Some of the most plausible are environmental contaminants; regular binge drinking; the spirit-sucking cultural war on men; and a completely broken food and agriculture industry which produces low-quality meat and pushes a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.

We could spend a lot of time going through the possible causes of the problem, but this post will focus on just one question: What is the solution?

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

This post will not address Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).

The most effective way to increase your testosterone levels is through TRT. Lifestyle changes (i.e. the information in this post) will give you an edge, but actual TRT will be far more powerful.

If hormone therapy is something you’re considering, don’t learn about it from me. Read everything in the Danger and Play on Testosterone Replacement Therapy category and then speak to an open-minded doctor.

I have never used TRT. I’m still in my twenties, my testosterone levels are naturally high (~950 ng/dL).  If I suffered from any of the symptoms of low testosterone, or if my natural levels were below 700, I would probably make a different decision.

How To Naturally Increase Your Testosterone

There are a variety of lifestyle interventions that will increase your testosterone levels and make you a more masculine man. Even if you generally feel healthy and virile, these recommendations will make you a stronger, better version of yourself.

None of this is rocket science, and you probably won’t be surprised by any of my advice. Taking action and implementing each one of these suggestions will take about one hour per day, and cost less than $100/month.

So without further ado, here are the five most important steps you can take to increase your testosterone and become a better version of yourself:

1) Lift Heavy Weights

Lift heavy weights, build muscle, and lose fat. This is the single most important action you can take to start improving your life.

If you want to build a great physique as quickly and efficiently as possible, the best resource you can get is Victor Pride’s Body Of A Spartan Program. Don’t be fooled by the sales-y language, Victor has been helping men and publishing great training advice for years, and this book is a great value:

Body Of A SpartanBody Of A Spartan is a complete guide to introductory weight training for natural bodybuilders. It is over one hundred pages of specific instructions and high-quality pictures for the most important barbell exercises that every man should make a part of his routine. It also includes several introductory programs and dietary guidelines. It has everything you need to get started, and get started the right way.

2) Eat Meat, Eggs and Butter

You’ve probably been given a lot of bad advice about diet and nutrition. If you want proof, just look at anyone who follows the standard advice of eating a lot of grains and avoiding saturated fat.

To increase your testosterone and maintain comprehensive good health, you should eat a meat-heavy diet with lots of saturated fat, while avoiding sugar and grains. If you want to learn more about the Paleo/Ancestral Health movement (and you should) I highly recommend you read The Paleo Manifesto, by John Durant, one of the most interesting and prolific contemporary evolutionary biologists. He also likes to make fun of social justice warriors on Twitter, so you can feel good about spending money on his book.

3) Sleep A Lot And Avoid Alcohol

Go to bed early and sleep in a pitch-black room. Melatonin is a useful supplement that promotes deeper sleep.

Alcohol is poison. Worse, it is poison that makes your body produce estrogen. Moderate alcohol consumption won’t have much of an effect (6.8% decrease in testosterone for men who had three drinks/day for three weeks, and you’re probably not going out every night – Sierksma et al, 2004) but binge drinking will definitely sabotage your efforts to increase your testosterone.

4) Take The Right Supplements

Several over-the-counter supplements will naturally boost your testosterone, especially if you’re taking them as part of a healthy and testosterone-friendly lifestyle.

Protein, Creatine and BCAAs will support your heavy weight training and allow you to put on muscle and lose fat, which will promote healthy testosterone levels.

Vitamin D and Zinc increase testosterone in men who have deficiencies. If you have dark skin and live in a northern climate, it’s more likely you are deficient in Vitamin D.

Fish Oil is an important supplement for overall health, and it has been shown to lower Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG) and increase Lutenizing Hormone (LH), which will likely increase your testosterone.

These supplements will not have a dramatic effect on your testosterone levels (and don’t ever fall for anyone trying to sell you a ‘natural’ testosterone enhancer that promised to transform your life) but they will definitely give you an edge.

5) Reduce Stress

Meditation, daily mindfulness practice, keeping a journal, and staying organized will reduce your cortisol levels and promote testosterone production.

Taking Action

If you want to commit to a heavy and hardcore weightlifting routine, the best resource to help you get started is Victor Pride’s Body Of A Spartan. It’s simple, easy to understand, and it tells you exactly what you need to know.

You can use Amazon to get the best price on the supplements that will help you naturally increase your testosterone: Protein, Creatine, BCAAs, Vitamin D, Zinc and Fish Oil.

(Full disclosure, these are affiliate links so I’ll make a few bucks off the sale.)

If you’re looking for a comprehensive plan for masculine self-development, The Thumotic Lifestyle Guide is a collection of all the information you need to embrace the Red Pill, and start becoming the best possible version of yourself.

Further Reading

Nothing in this post is new or ground-breaking. If you want to learn more about testosterone and male health, I recommend the following sources:

Danger and Play

Bold and Determined

Art of Manliness

Rogue Health and Fitness

Pill Scout

Questions and Comments

Post any questions and share your own experiences with natural testosterone enhancement in the comments below.

How To Get Motivated

What’s the biggest obstacle holding you back from becoming the best possible version of yourself?

It’s definitely not a lack of information. Everything you need to know to introduce discipline, pride, and good habits to your life is in the Thumotic Lifestyle Guide.

It’s not a lack of support. If Your Friends Are Holding You Back, cut them off and move on. Problem solved.

And it’s probably not a lack of natural ability. Many highly accomplished men have achieved greatness in spite of crippling health problems and mediocre intelligence.

Your problem is a lack of motivation

All you need is the strength to take action, and you can start solving all of your problems immediately.

For example, if you want to Get Lean and Muscular, here’s everything you need to know:

“Lift heavy weights for one hour at 6:00 AM every weekday. Focus on heavy barbell movements: squats, deadlifts, bench press, rows, overhead press. Do each set to complete failure and move quickly between exercises so you break a heavy sweat. Eat lots of meat, eggs, butter, and vegetables. Go to bed early and avoid alcohol.”

If you actually follow these instructions, I promise that you will make immediate progress and develop a good physique within a year or two. You’ll look great, you’ll have more energy and vitality, and you’ll live a longer, healthier life.

But it’s not that easy. If it was, the average American man wouldn’t look like this:

USA-Frontmanmain.jpg

You can learn a lot more about training, nutrition, and supplementation than the one hundred words I’ve written above. But this hundred-word program will get you 80% of the way to the finish line. A little bit of information plus a lot of action will always beat a lot of information and no action.

Lack of motivation is not a new problem

Better men than us have fought the urge to hit the snooze alarm:

“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’

— But it’s nicer in here …

So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

— But we have to sleep sometime …

Agreed. But nature set a limit on that — as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota.

You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.

Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?”

- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

And we’re not the first generation to wonder if we’re doing all we can, to make use of our given abilities:

“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

- Matthew 25:14-30

The best possible version of yourself does not come naturally. You can learn as much information as you want, you’re still going to have to fight the inner demons of sloth and weakness.

Here’s a personal example. I’m a big guy and I’ve usually been pretty lean, but I had never been able to achieve a truly “ripped” physique, even though I’ve tried a wide variety of diets and training programs: paleo; low-carb; IF; 30-30-40; Tim Ferris’s slow-carb; fasted morning training; HIT; high-volume.

But you know what I had never tried? Feeling hungry a lot and training every day, even when I didn’t have much energy.

It took me years to accept the simple truth that cutting isn’t fun. I spent that time looking for a magic-pill solution that would let me effortlessly achieve single-digit body fat.

But here’s the reality: cutting sucks. Once you get past a certain threshold, your body will fight your attempts to reduce fat. The only way to succeed is to put your head down and power through the pain.

Action trumps theory almost every single time

Stop reading about training routines. Start going to the gym every morning at 6:00 AM.

Stop reading pick-up blogs. Go outside and talk to girls.

Stop reading about starting a business. Register a domain, put up a “Buy Now” button, and figure out the rest as you go.

Stop reading this blog post if you’re only here for the entertainment value. There are more ‘fun’ blogs out there. Thumotic is for men who take action.

What if you want to feel motivated, but can’t?

What if you agree with everything I’ve written in this post, but know deep down that no matter what you promise yourself today, tomorrow will find you sliding back into your old self-destructive habits?

I know that this describes a lot of people, so let’s look at some proven strategies for increasing your motivation and becoming more successful at life.

How To Get Motivated

Making the best use of your life and talents requires a constant internal battle between diligence and sloth. This is the moral and spiritual component to motivation, and it will always be the most important.

But you are also a skin-wrapped sack of chemicals. You respond to stimuli in predictable ways, and you obey the laws of cause and effect. You are a moist robot, and we’re going to re-program that robot, using five interventions that have been scientifically proven to increase your motivation and drive.

1) Increase your testosterone

If you habitually feel lazy, sluggish and unmotivated, there’s a good chance you are suffering from low testosterone.

There is an epidemic of low testosterone in the modern world, which is why Testosterone Replacement Therapy For Young Men is becoming more and more common.

There also strategies you can use to naturally increase your testosterone. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Wake up at dawn and lift heavy weights
  • Eat steak and eggs
  • Supplement with Zinc and Vitamin D
  • Sleep a lot and avoid alcohol
  • Reduce stress, meditate, and keep a journal

Higher testosterone levels will have a powerful effect on your motivation, as well as your confidence, happiness, social dominance, and athletic ability. If you’re still young, it’s very likely that you can achieve higher testosterone levels with a better lifestyle.

2) Create rituals

The easiest decisions are the ones you don’t have to make.

I make the exact same fresh vegetable juice every day for lunch. I never think about it and I never have to “psych myself up” to make it. I just do it. It’s part of my 30-minute mid-day ritual, which includes other good habits like meditating, tidying my apartment, and drinking a green tea.

I also have a morning ritual (lemon water, three minutes of calisthenics, protein smoothie) and a bedtime ritual (brush and floss, review my calendar and goals for the next day). Rituals make my life simpler and more organized, while ingraining good habits into my regular schedule.

I know this is all incredibly basic stuff, but it makes a difference. According to the theory of Ego Depletion, you have a finite reservoir of willpower which you use up every time you make a decision that requires willpower. Putting these decisions on auto-pilot leaves you more energy for other tasks.

3) Nootropic Drugs

Forget what you learned from after-school specials – drugs aren’t always bad. There are a variety of drugs that can make you sharper, more focused, more alert, and more motivated. They are called Nootropics.

The best Nootropic to start with is to start taking 100-200mg of Theanine with your morning coffee. Caffeine + Theanine is a powerful combination that is 100% safe, legal, and effective. If you want to try something a bit punchier, I also recommend Modafinil. You can learn more in my guide to Entry-Level Nootropics.

4) Find your purpose

To perform at a high level, you need to have a clear visualization of the outcome you’re working towards. Unless you have a clear idea of why you’re doing the work, it will be hard to motivate yourself to do it. If you want to get in shape, or make more money, or meet more girls, ask yourself: why do you want these things? Until you can answer that, staying motivated will be an uphill battle.

5) Get better friends

You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.

If your friends suck, get better friends. Surround yourself with smart and ambitious people who share your goals. Man is a social animal, and your brain will always have a “tribe” whose approval you seek. If your real-life tribe rewards you for being lazy and stagnant, that’s what you’ll do. The solution is to immerse yourself in a new social circle with better values.

If you don’t have any high-quality friends, spend your time and mental energy with online mentors who will drive you to be a better version of yourself, such as Danger and Play, Bold and Determined, Good-Looking Loser, and Elliot Hulse. There is no excuse for surrounding yourself with mediocre people in the 21st century.

You can also read the autobiographies of great men like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Cuban, and Felix Dennis.

Your Next Action

Enough talk. Let’s do an exercise together.

I want you to identify an area in your life that you’re not happy with.

Next, I want you to think of one thing you can do today to make a little bit more progress than you did yesterday. Once you complete this action, come back to this post and tell us what you did in the comments.

How Danger And Play Saved My Life

I had suffered the greatest defeat of my adult life.

Vaguely: I was put in charge of a talented team that was responsible for making a very important sale.

The odds were stacked against us. The client had an established relationship with another supplier, and a lot of internal stakeholders were heavily invested in that relationship. But we had a chance. Or at least I thought we did, and I convinced some smart people.

When I learned that we failed, I was crushed. I had put everything into this project. This wasn’t just a professional setback, it was a repudiation of my entire being.

I could have crumbled, but one thing kept me afloat.

I had my foundation.

The week after I got the news, I was in the gym every morning at dawn.

Weightlifting has been a consistent habit in my life since I was sixteen, ever since I learned the rudiments of strength training from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia Of Modern Bodybuilding.

But resistance training is about more than just strength, health, and vanity.

Exercise can be a spiritual and meditative experience. No matter what happens, weightlifting is a centre to which I can always return to. The weights are always there, and they are always fair.

That’s why my first piece of advice to anyone going through a rough spot – myself included – is to hit the gym. No matter what’s going on in your life, if you’re lifting heavy weights every morning at dawn, you can’t be screwing up too badly.

Spartan Socrates

Workouts at dawn were the first habit I imposed on myself in the fallout of my defeat. The second was juice.

Suspend your disbelief; juicing is powerful. The human body requires a much higher volume of vegetables than our diets currently provide, and fresh juice is the antidote to this deficiency. Every day for lunch, I make a simple carrot, beet, celery, apple, and ginger juice that elevates my mood and gives me a calm, stable energy throughout the afternoon.

I didn’t turn to alcohol

I was an alcoholic throughout my late teens and early twenties.

It’s easy to develop unhealthy drinking habits, since our society actively encourages a destructive binge-drinking culture as an essential part of college and post-college life. If Danger and Play hadn’t steered me away from alcoholism, there’s a good chance I’d be doing something as self-destructive and cliched as seeking solace in the bottom of a bottle.

I’m not living on the street.

This recent failure dealt a harsh blow to my psyche, my career – and also my bank account.

If I had followed the standard yuppie lifestyle blueprint, I would be bankrupt right now.

Instead, I’ve always been content to live a frugal lifestyle. This gave me the freedom to do things like spend a year traveling the world, quit a stable job to run my own company, and most recently, invest in a shot at an ambitious goal with a potentially high payoff.

I recognize that failure is opportunity.

The most important mindset that I’ve adopted in life is the recognition that failure is opportunity.

Failure is not desirable. But whenever we fail, the best way to prepare for the future is to focus on the new opportunities that failure creates.This approach to failure is the most conducive to success, happiness and good mental health.

Even when an outcome is overwhelmingly negative, the best practical response is to focus on the new opportunities. Regret accomplishes nothing. Focus on the positive, and you will force yourself to seek out the good from the wreckage of defeat, and open your eyes to the new opportunities that are available.

I’ve never been happier.

That sounds crazy, but it’s true.

There is nothing that compares to the manic passion of war (or at least, a metaphorical white-collar approximation of war).

But once the dust settles you learn what you’re made of.

I learned that I’m resilient to failure. I learned that I don’t need money and professional accolades to be content with who I am. I learned that regardless of my external success or failure, I am happy.

I can rebuild.

The majority of young men in the western world today have no mentors. Many have no fathers. They are adrift in a harsh and unforgiving world, with no one to give them actionable advice that could actually help them turn their lives around.

I’m fortunate that I have a great network of people around me. I have family, friends, and real-life mentors who have taught me so much in life, and still have more to offer.

But when I consider all of the teachers in my life, I can confidently say that Michael Cernovich, the author of Danger and Play, has had the the strongest positive influence on me in my adult life. If I hadn’t had him to help guide me through my late twenties, my best-case outcome would have been a mediocre and unexamined life of quiet desperation.

On a practical level, my weekly routine is replete with tangible applications of habits I learned from Mike:

Most importantly, reading Danger and Play has given me a deeper personal reservoir of strength, willpower, and mental resilience. This is not something that I learned from any particular blog post or podcast; it’s just part of a mindset vibrates from every aspect of Danger and Play.

This strength is what has made it possible for me to take risks, eschew comfort, pursue big goals, and bounce back when things didn’t work out.

Who Are Your Mentors?

Readers: who are your mentors? Who are your heroes? If you don’t have an immediate answer, you are probably stagnant in your life. You are afraid of change, or you are too proud to admit that you have anything to learn.

I’ve written this post partly because I believe in the importance of expressing gratitude (yet another habit I picked up from Danger and Play), but also because you might need a kick in the ass to actually knuckle down and start building a new lifestyle. Stop reading, and start doing. This stuff works.

If you’re looking for a new direction and aren’t satisfied with the current state of your life, spend a week going through the Danger and Play Archives. Read every word, listen to every podcast, and have the humility and willpower to actually start living your life accordingly. Michael Cernovich saved my life. Maybe he’ll save yours, too.

What Really Happened To Tucker Max?

Tucker Max has a new site, The Mating Grounds, which is simultaneously ripping off and attacking The Red Pill/Manosphere.

Here is proof that The Mating Grounds is ripping of Danger and Play.

Here is proof that The Mating Grounds is lying about Roosh.

It’s not all stolen content. The Mating Grounds also published a flagship series of posts about women and dating, the content of which suggests Tucker Max and co-author Geoffrey Miller have never read and understood a single post in the entire Red Pill ouevre.

So truly, I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes at The Mating Grounds. Max and Miller appear to be deriving “inspiration” from The Red Pill, while still not actually grokking any of our wisdom. Is this all a confused attempt to stir up a false controversy? Has Tucker Max actually drank the Kool-Aid, and started to believe his own trite dismissals of the seduction community?

Only one thing is certain: The Mating Grounds is pathetic, and it’s doomed to fail.

So why am I writing about it? Why not just ignore Tucker Max? It is tempting to simply turn away from the dying gasps of Tucker Max’s career. But I’m not, because there are lessons to be learned from the rise and fall of Tucker Max.

The Good

Tucker Max was a hero of mine. I discovered his writing at the age of eighteen, and idolized his literary persona for the next five years. His descent into mediocrity has been painful for me to watch.

Most would say that Tucker Max was nothing more than a brief flash-in-the-pan, a pony whose only trick was vulgar frat boy humour. But the reality is that Tucker Max’s stories were more than just entertainment: They articulated a new male identity that was unapologetically masculine and intellectual.

Tucker Max was the founder of the 21st-century internet-driven masculine renaissance – a movement that we now call The Manosphere, or The Red Pill. His writing and his forum created the first synthesis of traditional masculinity, the seduction community, and opposition to political correctness.

He also founded a community of writers that helped each other develop their craft. Many young male writers today – men such as Ryan Holiday, Aurini, myself, Philalawyer, Ben Corman, and others – were helped and inspired by Tucker Max in their early days.

Tucker Max taught nerds how to be men, but he also taught men how to be nerds. When I discovered Tucker Max at the age of eighteen, I had carved out an identity that consisted of sports, drinking to excess, and chasing girls. I had given up a childhood obsession with reading great books, because I had decided that I was a cool guy – and cool guys don’t read. Tucker Max showed me that a strong masculine identity is compatible with a thirst for knowledge. For that lesson, I will always be grateful.

Max also disrupted the publishing industry with an incredibly prescient understanding of the weaknesses of the status quo in the face of internet-driven decentralization. He foresaw the weaknesses of the mainstream publishing industry, and the coming age of direct relationships between producers and consumers of art.

The original Tucker Max forum was similar to the Roosh V Forum, and I don’t make that comparison lightly. There was a weekly book club that taught me how to actually read and think about great books and authors like Fight Club, Sperm Wars, 48 Laws Of Power, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I discovered the seduction community through the old forum’s discussion of Neil Strauss’s The Game. There was even a community for young writers to submit their own essays and short stories for criticism.

In the glory days of Tucker Max’s career, he was the leader of a smart, loyal, and purpose-driven masculine renaissance movement.

The Bad

In 2007, Max’s nascent publishing empire collapsed. He left his friends and partners hanging out to dry, and stopped paying the salaries of his writers. He released an independent film that lost millions of dollars and earned terrible reviews. The combination of these two failures was too much for his psyche to handle; he took his forum offline, shut down all channels of communication between himself and his readers, and went AWOL for several years.

Upon his return in 2013, his first move was to apologize for his earlier work, and beg forgiveness:

“I was a ridiculous narcissist in my twenties. It’s not even that I didn’t care about other people. It’s way beyond that. I just didn’t even understand that other people even existed or mattered. I do not believe I was a true NPD [narcissistic personality disorder] in the clinical sense. But, dude, I was close.“I ended up hurting a lot of people and not even realizing it. Because of that narcissism, I didn’t connect well to other people. I used a lot of people a lot of times, in ways I didn’t understand.

Then he started The Mating Grounds and came out guns blazing against The Manosphere/Red Pill community:

We believe that most “Pick-up Artists” are sociopathic, bullshit scammers. The PUA scene is not transformational, it’s transactional. Its not about getting to know women, it’s about getting over on them. We believe Mating Grounds is the answer to the PUA strategy for all those men who have nothing meaningful to show for their efforts.”

Fair criticisms can be made of the Red Pill and Seduction communities, but a man would have to be blind (or dishonest) to claim that they are wholly without value.

And here’s some simple logic: Max and Miller claim that “most” of the pick-up scene is garbage, which implies that some pick-up artists are not garbage. So, why doesn’t The Mating Grounds identify which parts of the seduction community are bad, and which are good? Why not separate the wheat from the chaff?

The answer is simple: Linking to other sources of dating advice would be counter to Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller’s business strategy of cashing in on the good will and brand equity they’ve earned with their previous good work. Tucker Max is respected and admired by many, for his early success in articulating a new masculinity to a generation of American men. Geoffrey Miller is respected and admired for his work as a theorist and popularizer of evolutionary psychology and its applications to human mating behaviour.

But today, Max and Miller are unwilling to use the podiums they’ve earned in their better years to do anything more than re-hash the standard politically correct pablum. They are afraid of the backlash that would come if they strayed too far off the reserve of acceptable, politically correct thought. They have no new ideas to contribute, and they know it. Rather than be open, honest, and transparent, they are cynically monetizing their captive audience of men who haven’t yet realized that Max and Miller have very little to offer.

Their cowardice comes through in the quality of their writing, and in their inability to create new content. They are a perfect case study of what Stephen Pressfield in The War Of Art. calls ‘Resistance’. Pressfield defines Resistance as the negative force which stifles our creativity and prevent us from making great art. Resistance is fueled by fear, timidity, shame, and inauthenticity.

With this concept in mind, let’s take a step back and look at the history of The Mating Grounds.

Four years ago, in the final chapter of Hilarity Ensues, Tucker Max announced that he was retiring from Fratire and working on an advice book for young men.

In early 2012, he announced that his personal blog, Tuckermax.me:

“From here, this blog will go onto other issues and I will write about a ton of other things, but I’m going to keep coming back to this again and again:How does someone who has a little bit of talent and a lot of motivation succeed in life?It’s the question I faced and answered in my life, I think it’s the question that a lot of other people want answered, and I have some perspective on that issue that can help other people.”

About a year ago, Max and Miller launched The Mating Grounds with promises of big things to come.

So far, they’ve published a pretty good literature review of health and supplementation advice for men (you can get it here, but Mangan’s is better); a mediocre series of posts about how to succeed with women (read the first one here and judge the quality for yourself), and now they’ve released a series of podcasts. Outside of a few high-quality guests however, there’s very little substance.

So, Tucker Max has been working on The Mating Grounds for five years, and he has hardly done anything.

These are the actions of a man whose spirit has been crushed.

As the Manosphere v. Mating Grounds debate heats up, Tucker is going to have a harder and harder time getting out of bed in the morning. He is going to sit through energy-sucking meetings with some regretful intern whose job is to sift through social media mockery and blog posts like this one. Every time he sits down in front of a keyboard or microphone, whatever remains of his soul will scream at him: Fraud! Phony! Charlatan!

He will look in the mirror and recognize a man with too much fear in his heart to produce authentic art.

The Ugly

The tragic irony is that all this would be painfully obvious to Tucker Max in his prime. Max and Miller still had the talent and to build something truly great. They’re only failing because they’re afraid to try.

(The second greatest tragedy is that Tucker Max went from banging Miss America contenders, to this.)

FireShot Screen Capture #023 - 'Photo by realtuckermax' - instagram_com_p_gPIMY3F9sl

So what really happened to Tucker Max? What happened to his courage? His insight? His willingness to be hated for speaking the truth?

Here are a few theories:

1) Alcohol Rotted His Brain

Tucker Max was superlatively intelligent in his twenties. But what happens to a human brain when you spend a decade getting blackout drunk three or more nights per week? Did alcohol dial Tucker Max down from “voice of a generation” to “still a pretty good writer, but…” ?

We’ll never know for sure. But, it’s worth asking the question of whether or not alcohol is hurting you.

2) Low Testosterone

Tucker Max destroyed his body’s ability to produce testosterone naturally with an X-ray. Did he never fully recover? In his testosterone e-book, he explicitly disavows Testosterone Replacement Therapy. I had just dismissed this as a lie, but if Tucker Max is actually relying on almonds and Vitamin D to restore his testosterone levels, maybe his lack of artistic courage is a result of low T.

3) He Got Tired Of The Rebel Identity

It’s no secret – not even to himself – that Tucker Max is a clinical narcissist. During his five-year hiatus from public life, he seems to have discarded his hard-partying artist/rebel identity, and adopted a new mask of new-age conciliator, a bridge between the new masculinists and mainstream feminism.

This seems like a pretty obviously stupid identity to me, but who knows what went on in those therapy sessions?

4) Regression Towards The Mean

Maybe Tucker Max wasn’t so exceptional after all. Maybe he was in the right place at the right time, did something great, and couldn’t handle the pressure and expectations of having to follow that up with something comparable.

What Are We Going To Do?

 

The Manosphere is a tribe.

Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller have no honour. They are some combination of dishonest and deluded. Maybe they actually do believe their own bullshit about how they are building a completely new resource for young men, or maybe they are pure cynics trying to make a final buck off their following. I don’t know and I don’t care. They have attacked the Manosphere in general. They have attacked (and possibly defamed) Roosh V specifically.

Conflict is inevitable; so is our victory. The Mating Grounds is the opposite of the Red Pill blogosphere. We are anti-fragile. The spotlight is our friend. Conflict is our lifeblood, and direct comparisons will always come out in our favour. Max and Miller are trying to squeeze out a few bucks and another year or two of relevance, before their naive audience realizes what the rest of us already have: They are out of juice. They have nothing more to say. Their muses are crushed under the cognitive dissonance between The Red Pill reality they know to be true, and the pretty lies they cling to in an attempt to stay palatable to the mainstream.

The Mating Grounds is afraid to link to us. We are not afraid to link to them.

They are afraid to allow comments on their site, because they have to control the message. This is a consequence of their dishonesty and disingenuity. Do you disagree with my take on Tucker Max? Tell me so in the comments. Tell us all on the Roosh V Forum, on Danger and Play, or elsewhere in the Red Pill blogosphere. Write clearly and respectfully, and you will be engaged and argued with – not swept under the rug.

The Mating Grounds will collapse on its own. But we can hasten the process by calling attention to its failings. Doing this will help persuade casual readers that we are more worthy of their attention and loyalty, and it will help us dominate search engine results for Tucker Max and The Mating Grounds. More importantly, by calling attention to Tucker Max’s dishonesty and inauthenticity, we will crush his soul. We will make him dread waking up in the morning and facing the blank page.

It won’t take long. He knows that he has created little of value in almost a decade.

His more talented friends are deserting him.

He knows that whatever following he has is a mile wide and an inch deep, compared to the tribal loyalty and brotherhood of his competitors.

He knows that this fans will evaporate the minute they find us.

He knows that he is a broken man: unworthy of the movement he helped create; unworthy of the friends he earned in a previous life; unworthy of whatever temporary respect his name still commands; unworthy even of this blog post, which is as close as the world will ever see to an official biography of his life and works.

Tucker Max knows all of this. And if he didn’t before, he does now.

Your Friends Are Holding You Back

Here’s a story that you’ve probably heard before.

Our generic protagonist is Timmy, a typical beta male, living a fearful and unsatisfying life.

Timmy doesn’t lift weights and get muscular, because he doesn’t want to be ‘gym bro’. He doesn’t hustle to make more money, because he already has a nine-to-five job. He doesn’t approach girls, because he is terrified of being rejected. He doesn’t read great books for men, because he spends hours a day destroying his mind with clickbait.

But then one day, Timmy discovers The Red Pill. He realizes that he has a long, hard path ahead of him. He goes through a painful transition phase of anger, depression, and self-hatred. But Tim is a man now, and he is ready to face his journey.

Tim starts living a Red Pill lifestyle. (If he is a real champ, he will pick up The Thumotic Lifestyle Guide.) Soon, he has started making some radically positive changes. He feels better than he ever has in his life.

There’s just one problem: Tim’s friends are putting up resistance.

How your friends are creating resistance

Tim met every single one of his old friends back when he was Timmy The Timid. Most of them are losers – otherwise, what would they be doing hanging around with a dork like him?

Losers come in all shapes and sizes, but there is one foolproof test that you can use to identify them: Start improving yourself. The losers will be the ones who hate you for it.

Are your friends losers? If you’ve taken the Red Pill and started making positive changes in your life, here are some hard questions you need to ask about your social circle:

  • Do your friends give you a hard time for pursuing your goals? Even in a joking way?
  • Do your friends share any of your self-improvement goals? Do they have any comparable goals of their own?
  • Do you have a gut feeling that your friends resent your attempts to be successful?

The last is the most important. Human social interactions are subtle. Most of what we communicate is sub-verbal. Your friends might be pulling you down, even while their words are full of encouragement.

This is a very subtle form of negativity, but it can cripple your efforts to improve your life. If your friends are losers, you will be surrounded by constant negative social reinforcement whenever you take positive actions, and positive reinforcement whenever you take negative actions. Spending time with people who want you to fail, will make you – subconsciously – want to fail.

And even if your friends aren’t secretly hoping for you to remain a loser: If they don’t want to do anything but smoke weed and play video games, what will you talk to them about? How are they going to help you build a great lifestyle? You only have so many hours in a day; choose to spend them with people who inspire you.

Start building a tribe

Humans are tribal creatures. We crave acceptance.

Sometimes, you have to resist social pressure and be your own man. In the long term however, you cannot resist the psychological drive for esteem in your community. Instead, you must work to be a part of a community worth trying to impress. To succeed in life, you must surround yourself with others who share your desire to become a better man. You must form a tribe that shares your values.

Don’t resist the awesome power of social conformity – use it. Spend your time with great men who inspire and motivate you.

You don’t have to expect perfection from everyone. I have close friends who are incredibly supportive in most aspects of my life, but still occasionally provide resistance to specific goals, such as my choice to stop hurting myself with alcohol. But, I have no friends who are not generally on board with my mission to become a better version of myself.

You need the same support network in your life. You need a tribe of like-minded men. You need to attract winners into your life, and build a gang of like-minded men.

But how do you do that?

The answer is simple, but not easy.

If you want great friends, you have to become a great man

It’s one thing to start reading Red Pill blogs, it’s much harder to actually become a man who consistently puts that knowledge into action.

There are no shortcuts. You must develop the habits that make you a man, and then practice them consistently for years. Until you have done this, you will not attract high-value people into your life, because you will not deserve to have high-value people in your life.

So what do I do until then?

Have you started to recognize that some of your friends are having a negative influence? If so, here are five pieces of advice that will help you build a social circle more conducive to success:

1) Don’t call a press conference

You’ve taken a hard look in the mirror and decided that you have some work to do. You’ve recognized that your current social circle is a factor that’s holding you back. You decided that you’re going to move up in the world – with or without them.

This is all for the best.

But, you don’t have to make a big, dramatic announcement and “break up” with your negative friends. You don’t have to be rude. You don’t have to unfriend them on Facebook, or talk shit behind their backs, or write about them in your Burn Book. Act, don’t talk. Be polite, but be busy.

2) Make a gradual transition

You don’t have to cut yourself off from your old friends completely, especially if you don’t yet have any non-toxic relationships to replace them with. Man is a social animal. Talking about video games (or whatever) with nice losers is better than a life of solitary confinement.

You shouldn’t quit your job to look for a job. Instead, use your current job to pay the bills and allow you to look for a new job without the taint of desperation. Take the same approach to social growth.

3) Give your friends the opportunity to join you

Meeting people who share your goals is great, but nothing beats an old friend when you have to bury a dead hooker at four o’clock in the morning. If you can hold onto some of your old crew, and bring them along on your journey, your life will be richer for it. Some of them might surprise you.

Even if they aren’t immediately ready to join you on your journey, keep them on your radar. Become a city on a hill that they can turn to, if they ever decide that they want more out of life. It might not happen tomorrow, or this year. But it could happen.

Or maybe it won’t. But at least you’ll be able to move forward knowing that you did everything you could.

4) Be ruthless about cutting negativity out of your life

All of the above applies to genuine friends who simply don’t share your goals and lifestyle. Losers aren’t bad people; they just don’t want more out of life, or they want different things than you. Keep these people in your orbit, even if you don’t see them more than once a month.

But when it comes to ‘friends’ who are actively hostile to the new, better version of yourself – cut them out fast.

5) Invest in a virtual social circle

If you find yourself lonely as a result of your new direction in life, start thinking of the men behind your favourite blogs as your surrogate social circle.

Does that sound crazy to you? I don’t think it’s crazy.

I’ve been following The Red Pill and The Manosphere for over five years. I was just a kid this movement got started. Throughout my twenties, I’ve reaped incredible benefits from virtual mentors in this community.

If you feel isolated by your new commitment to a purposeful life free of pretty lies and political correctness, start considering men like Heartiste, Victor Pride, Danger and Play, Krauser, Roosh, and Good-Looking Loser as virtual mentors – older brothers built out of ones and zeroes. Start spending a few hours a week in the virtual company of like-minded men such as Dagonet, Delicious Tacos, Matt Forney, Man Ex Machina, Kid Strangelove, Aurini, and a dozen other talented young male writers who will reassure you of your sanity, and make you feel a bit less alone as a sane man in an insane world.

Your new social circle isn’t even limited to men who are currently living. If you spend enough time reading Great Books For Men, you’ll quickly notice that the greatest minds that have ever lived  share many of your views. The Red Pill will make you an oddity in 21st-century America, but sane and sensible in any previous century. Whose opinion do you think should matter more? Shakespeare, or some three hundred pound felinophile with three Master’s degrees, churning out Gawker articles for free so she can ‘build her portfolio’?

You can also write about your experiences and challenges in forums such as r/TheRedPill and the Roosh V Forum, and connect with like-minded men. Better yet, reach out to men in your community via those forums, and meet up with them in real life. Start a Red Pill blog of your own, and keep an eye on The Red Pill Review for regular updates from new writers in the community.

Forming a tribe of like-minded men in “real life” must remain your priority. But while you’re in the process of cutting off your negative friends, you can build a virtual social circle and use it as a reference point while you start your journey.

Readers:

Have you had to end relationships because of your desire for a better life? How did it go?

Alcohol is Hurting You

I lost my mother to alcohol, and it still wasn’t enough.

She didn’t even die. She just reached a point where drinking became her only priority in life. But no matter how bad it hurt to watch alcohol destroy my family, it wasn’t enough to ever make me question my own drinking habits.

Is alcohol hurting you? It was hurting me. Drinking to excess is one of the Five Mistakes I Made In My Early Twenties. If you’re a man in the process of questioning your longest-held beliefs – i.e., taking the Red Pill – this post will help you make better choices than I did.

Alcohol Is Destroying Your Body And Mind

If you care about Getting Lean And Muscular, alcohol will hold you back from the best physique and performance that you’re capable of.

Heavy drinking will also shrink your brain, weaken your heart, and eventually lead to chronic fatigue and dementia. Think back to the last time you got drunk. How did you feel the next day? How do you feel after a long weekend of binge drinking? A hangover is your body’s way of telling you to stop abusing it.

Sometimes I wonder how sharp my mind would be today if I hadn’t spent all those years in a drunken stupor. Did I sacrifice my greatest gifts in life for the sake of keg parties and dollar-shot nights? If so, can I ever get back what I lost? Who knows.

A young body is capable of withstanding incredible abuse. I used to pride myself on being able to go out drinking all night, then wake up and kick a girl out at eight o’clock in the morning so I could go grind through problem sets in the library.

But what could I have done if I had set a higher goal than being able to wake up and function? What if I had made it my goal to Optimize My Cognitive Performance from a young age? What great things might I have done in my early twenties, if I hadn’t drank away half my time and energy? I’ll never know.

Will you?

Alcoholism Is Real

It’s easy to forget that alcohol can destroy your life.

When you’re in your early twenties, everyone is drinking, everyone feels in control, and everyone feels confident that they’re on a path to success. Then you become an adult, the years roll by, and men start to fade. Everyone has a great stride at the start of a marathon.

Let me tell you about a friend named Ryan.

Ryan had as much potential as anyone I’ve met. After college, he landed a great job, and moved in with his girlfriend.

Then everything went to shit. The girl left. The career imploded. Ryan was no longer the cool, fun, carefree, successful guy who liked to get loose and have a few drinks. He became the aggressive, irresponsible alcoholic who took stupid chances and got kicked out of bars and parties. His drinking increased, becoming sad and medicative.

Everyone loves a happy alcoholic. It’s easy to ignore an addiction when everything is going right. But allowing yourself to become dependent on alcohol introduces fragility to your life. If everything you have starts to fall apart tomorrow, will you have the strength to rebuild from scratch? Or will you seek an escape in the drug that you’ve learned to associate with the better times? You have no idea until you try.

Life comes in peaks and valleys. When you’re brought low, will you give up? Or keep moving? The more dependent you are on alcohol and other easy escapes, the more likely it is that you’ll quit.

The Blue Pill Comes In A Bottle

If you’re reading Thumotic, you’ve realized that our society has declared war on traditional masculinity. The Cultural Marxists in power want to reduce men to soft, weak, compliant, effeminate shadows of themselves.

Binge-drinking culture is one of their tools. They know alcohol will make you stupid; they know alcohol will decrease your testosterone; they know alcohol allows you to thoughtlessly piss away your free time; they know alcohol holds you back from learning, growing, and building something.

Nothing is more threatening to the ruling elite than groups of strong, smart, resourceful men, working together to challenge their power. But we can’t do very much when we’re all sleeping off hangovers.

Worst of all, binge-drinking culture is most strongly ingrained in groups of young men with the greatest potential to lead, such as fraternities and college sports teams. Fraternities could be the most Red Pill institution in America today, if they weren’t in thrall to the red solo cup.

Ask yourself: Who writes and produces the Hollywood films that glorify college drinking culture? Certainly not men who want you to become strong. Who’s interests are served when you make idols of Bluto, Van Wilder, and Frank The Tank? Certainly not your own.

You’ve taken the Red Pill. That means you’ve learned how to doubt what you’ve been taught, such as the idea that you must base your entire social life on an unhealthy, mind-numbing, oestrogenizing drug. Alcohol (and beer especially) reduces your testosterone. It literally makes you less of a man. And yet, we have been taught to associate beer with masculinity:

  • Men socializing? Drink beer.
  • Men playing masculine sports (rugby, hockey, lacrosse) at the collegiate level? Drink obscene amounts of beer.
  • Upper-class men who are future leaders of the country forming brotherhoods in elite universities? Base your entire life on planning to drink beer; procuring beer; drinking more beer than anyone else; and forming an entire subculture based on drinking heavily.

How much of this is coincidence? It’s interesting to note that drugs which make you more confident, contemplative, open to experience, intelligent, and masculine – i.e., Cocaine, Hallucinogenics, MDMA, Modafinil, and Testosterone – are actively repressed, while drugs that make you soft and weak (alcohol and marijuana) are accepted and glorified.

Even if you don’t believe in society’s war on men (i.e, you aren’t paying much attention), The Red Pill is about self-mastery, self-improvement, masculinity, and control over your destiny. Binge drinking is antithetical to each of these goals. It is completely ridiculous to call yourself “Red Pill” and still get drunk regularly.

Being An Alcoholic Is A Choice

You’ve got excuses. I know I did.

I wish I could tell you that it will be easy, and that all your true friends will stand by you no matter what. But I’m not going to lie to you. It won’t be that easy. Turning your back on alcoholism is a choice, and choices come with consequences.

Let me tell you about Steve.

In my first year of undergrad, my friend Steve realized that alcohol was hurting him.

Steve decided that he was going to start drinking less. We were supportive of his decision and we did our best to accommodate ourselves to Steve’s new lifestyle choice. It turned out to be a great opportunity for the rest of us to take a hard look at our own drinking habits, and develop some new common interests that didn’t revolve around alcohol.

(Yeah, right.)

What actually happened: Steve’s entire circle of friends ruthlessly mocked him for not getting blackout drunk. We still considered him a good friend. But, all we ever did was drink, and make fun of Steve for not drinking. Over time, he drifted away.

I’m telling you this story so you know what you’re getting into.

If your crew drinks every night, and you choose to go against the grain, you will lose friends. Maybe not all of them, and maybe not forever. But you will challenge their worldviews, and there will be consequences.

Part of the reason is the crabs-in-a-bucket phenomenon. Your friends will be threatened by your attempts to improve yourself. It would be a like a fat guy in a group of fat guys who started lifting weights.

It’s also a matter of lifestyle. If all your friends are rock-climbers, and you all go rock-climbing together five days a week, and you hang out and talk about how awesome rock-climbing is, and how crazy last night’s rock-climbing session was, and how excited you are about the big rock-climbing event coming up this weekend, and then one day you decide you aren’t interested in rock-climbing – your friends won’t even need to reject you. You’ll just get bored of them, and they’ll get bored of you.

It will hurt. Accept it.

In the end, Steve lost some friends. But he also didn’t fail any more classes, or spend any more nights in jail. We’re still in touch, and Steve is doing great. I know that the first year or two was hard for him, but he’s a better man for it, and I’m a worse man for not having the courage to follow his lead.

What Are You Going To Do?

There will be resistance:

  • As I’ve cut back on my drinking over the past two years, some of my closest friends have pushed back and acted personally offended that I want to drink less.
  • It is much harder to sleep with girls on a first date when alcohol isn’t involved.
  • Sharing a pint with a prospective client is much more likely to lead to business than coffee.
  • My life is full of small pleasures that are enhanced by alcohol: Catching up with old friends; sharing a beer with my father on the deck; weddings and bachelor parties; weekends at the cottage.

I don’t say no every time. But every year, I say ‘no’ a little more often. I haven’t given up alcohol completely, but I do stick to a six-drink maximum on any single day.

Am I ever afraid of missing out? Not at all. I’ve been drunk a thousand times or more in my life. I get it. I know what it’s like. I also know that there are million other things to do and experience, and I have nothing to gain from re-hashing the same self-destructive debauchery every weekend.

If you’re a college-aged man, I’m jealous of the opportunity you have to make a choice, right now, to avoid the same mistakes that I made.

You will have to be a leader

You will have to accept that you will lose friends, and that your life will be full of small conflicts between yourself and the social norms around you. You will have to be prepared for the sideways glances, the pointed questions, the naked mockery that come when you order a soft drink, or serve your friends fresh juice instead of beer.

The younger you are, the easier it is to get caught up in what other people think of you. Trust me: The loss of a few temporary friends is not more important than your health, your time, your intellect, and your self-respect. If you find yourself with some extra free time, Start Lifting Weights, Use The Red Pill To Improve Your Life, and read some Great Books For Men.

The majority of college-aged men will spend the most important four year of their lives drunk or hungover half the time. But Thumotic is a community for exceptional men, who want to do exceptional things with their lives.

So tell me: What are your current drinking habits? Is alcohol hurting you? If so, what are you going to do about it? Tell us in the comments below.

A Boy Is Born

A boy is born.

The first person he meets takes a sharp knife, and hacks off part of his penis. This is the only favour that American society will ever do for the boy: Introduce him to the world with a brutal declaration of its hostile intent.

Third grade

The boy wants to run, play, and wrestle. He wants to compete with other boys, explore, take risks, and get hurt. He wants to test the limits of his young body. He wants to be a boy, but this will not be allowed.

The boy spends the majority of his time in a stale classroom that has been designed by feminist educrats to cater to the needs of young girls. Competition, exploration, and accountability are discouraged. Obedience, order, and effort are elevated as the highest virtues.

The boy is prescribed heavy amphetamines that make him sit still and focus on his busywork. He takes drugs that I, a twenty-nine-year-old man with an interest in biohacking and nootropics, am too cautious to use regularly.

The boy identifies one or more passions which utterly captivate him: books, computers, engines, tools, math, the science of living things – the list goes on. He is permitted a small amount of time to explore these passions, but his new obsessions come second to the finger-painting and scrap-booking activities of his core curriculum.

Eighth grade

The boy discovers girls. He spends the next thirty years obsessed with them. He wants female attention, sex, and love, more than he has ever wanted anything in his life.

When the boy asks his parents and other authority figures how to attract women, he is told to “just be yourself.”  When he points out that all the girls chase after assholes, he is told, “Don’t worry, girls are only like that when they’re young. Nice guys like you will get the girl in the end.”

The boy is inwardly repulsed at the idea of being the ‘nice guy’ and settling down with a thirty-year old woman who has spent her twenties hooking up with the ‘sexy guys’ – but the boy senses that such an idea is so politically incorrect, that expressing it would earn him the hatred of everyone he loves.

The boy is confused. He knows, in a factual sense, that he is a male of the human species. But he has no idea what it means to be a man. His father is either absent or neutered. His pop culture role models are Homer Simpson the doofus; Ray Romano the doormat; Ted Mosby the bitter nice guy.

His teachers begin to school the boy in his culpability, as a white male, for all the world’s problems.

The boy knows he feels attracted to women, but he subconsciously recognizes that heterosexuality is considered boring, uncool, and vaguely immoral, while homosexuality is an easy path to social recognition, encouragement, and a coherent group identity.

The boy decides that life is confusing and ambiguous, and makes his peace with it. He presses on.

Freshman year of college

The boy goes to college, because he is told that’s how you get a good job. He is excited by the opportunity to meet girls who are more intelligent and less shallow than the ones in his high school. The boy takes out a student loan that will eventually grow to six figures.

The boy studies hard, lifts weights, and – acting on the advice he receives from his mother, when he complains to her that he still doesn’t have a girlfriend – he joins a club and an intramural sports team.

The boy is surprised to find that college is a lot like high school. The new cool guys resemble the old ones, and he is not one of them. His coursework is even easier, less practical, and more infused with political correct pablum than it was in high school. Girls continue to ignore him, except for those he helps with their schoolwork.

One girl becomes his ‘best friend.’ She complains to the boy often about the jerks she can’t seem to stop dating.

The boy assumes the girl will be overjoyed when he tells her he is infatuated with her. The boy knows that most girls go after assholes, but this girl is different. She doesn’t want to be with her boyfriend who treats her poorly, she – in her own words – wants to find a nice guy.

The boy makes a grand romantic gesture. He cries for the first time in his adult life.

Senior year

The boy decides that he has had enough. He is nice; he is doing well in school; he is healthy and reasonably good-looking. He doesn’t understand why girls still won’t pay attention to him, but he’s ready to do something about it. He opens his laptop and searches “how to attract women”, “how to meet girls in a bar”, and “why do girls like jerks?”

The boy finds blogs like Thumotic, Heartiste, Roosh, Bold and Determined, Danger and Play, and Krauser. He is horrified. These people are awful, according to everything that he has ever been taught.

But, many of the things that these awful people are writing… they sound accurate. All the men whom he has watched succeed with girls, they seem to be following these blogs’ advice, consciously or not. The boy starts reading.

Several weeks later, the boy tells his friends about his new hobby.

The reaction is volcanic:

“You have got to be kidding me!”

“That is soooo fucked up!”

“Wow. Just Wow.”

“What… the actual… fuck?!?!”

“You can’t actually be reading that shit? They are literally rapists!”

A little voice inside the boy wants to fight back. He wants to shout, “They’re not so bad! They teach men how to Get Healthy, Make Money, Read Great Books, and yeah, they give advice on How To Attract Women that actually works! Why is that so awful?”

But the boy knows: If he doesn’t acquiesce, he will lose everyone that he cares about. He will become a pariah, which is an even worse fate than a sexless ‘beta male’. The boy feels guilty for even using the word ‘beta’ in his thoughts. He apologizes to his friends and makes nice noises about not knowing ‘just how bad those pick-up artists really were.’

The boy graduates

The boy is lucky to get a soul-crushing job that will allow him to pay off 10% of his student loan per year. He goes into even more debt to get a condo and a decent car, because he has been taught that grown women will never sleep with a guy who lives in a shared house and takes the subway to work.

The boy tries online dating and get zero replies to his first 200 messages.

The boy signs up for Tinder and spends a week swiping right on almost everybody, with zero matches.

The boy meets one or two single girls per year through his small social circle, but they always seem to wind up dating assholes they meet in bars.

Something inside the boy snaps

The boy spends his 30th birthday by himself, finishing a bottle of whiskey, staring at a loaded gun, and trying to build up the courage to kill himself. He fails, and hates himself all the more for it.

The boy used to watch romantic comedies and fantasize about finding a cute, quirky girl who would love him and want to build a life together. The boy used to fight back tears, thinking about the girls who rejected him. The boy used to fall asleep clutching one of his pillows, imagining that it was the girlfriend who never seemed to materialize.

But that was the boy, and now we have the man: A cruel, twisted version of what he once was.

The man hates the women who rejected him, and the men who succeeded where he failed. He posts on anti-Red Pill forums such as www.puahate.com, complaining about “jerks” and “players” and “sluts.”

One day, the man tries to sign into the PUA Hate forum and finds that it has been taken offline. The man learns that Elliot Rodger, a bitter virgin who hated pick-up artists and posted frequently on puahate, killed four men and two women in a murderous rampage.

The man understands Rodger, and empathizes with his rage. Like Rodger, the man hates the society that let him down. He cares for nothing and no one. The man keeps his seat on the bus, while elderly women and crippled war veterans stand. Some combination of laziness, cowardice and apathy keep the man from taking the same path Elliot Rodger did. But the man understands why he did what he did. He feels none of the obligation and responsibility that a healthy civilization requires.

Lacking the courage to put a bullet in his brain and be done with it, the man will commit a slower suicide: A lifetime spent eking out ever-diminishing morsels of base pleasure from masturbation, video games, and junk food.

The End

The man dies, forgotten and alone. The boy wanted to be a piece of kindling: igniting from the embers of his predecessors; burning as part of something bigger than itself; and surviving long enough to give light to those coming after him. Instead, the man was a solitary match that caught, burned, and disappeared, all to no effect and little notice.

The boy could have been saved. The tools were there. A few books and a few months of practice were all that stood between him and an active dating life. The boy would have used those tools, if it weren’t for the people who convinced him that wanting to be happy and successful is the worst thing that a man can do.

What is The Red Pill?

The Red Pill is an attempt to rescue the boy.

The Red Pill is a temporary replacement for the missing fathers, role models, and masculine cultural icons – everything the boy needed to become a completely different man.

The Red Pill is an antidote to the anti-male propaganda taught in schools and colleges.

The Red Pill is a movement created by young men to rediscover our natural masculinity, and reconnect with the great minds of our ancestors, from whom we’ve been cut off by a shallow and presentist culture and education system.

At its core, The Red Pill is an attempt to save the broken men of the western world. We are the only community that actually wants men to be successful with women, and in life. We are the only community that puts men’s welfare ahead of political correctness. We are the only community that offers an alternative to spending your life as a slave.

And that is why we are hated.

Caricatures of Masculinity

Men are rejecting the emasculating nature of post-modern western culture. That’s a good thing.

But in our zeal to reject the effeminate zeitgeist, we have created subcultures which elevate traditional manly virtues to the point of excess and self-parody. We have turned ourselves into caricatures of masculinity.

This reaction is understandable, maybe even desirable. In a world gone mad, there is a lot to be said for enthusiastic and reflexive iconoclasm. When you live among creatures who believe that physical beauty is a disease, the cleansing thereof we should celebrate, it is rational to define yourself as the exact opposite of what they say and do. The Red Pill community has rejected the anti-health, anti-strength, and anti-muscle activists completely. The result is our first caricature of masculinity…

The Bodybuilder

In a world of #FatAcceptance and vegan hipster men in size 26 waist skinny jeans, the Gym Rat stands opposed. The official arbiters of culture and taste – whom we can observe to be some combination of evil and insane – are advocating complete and unconditional surrender to sloth and gluttony. In response, the Gym Rat has adopted the inverse of these values. He defines his masculinity and self-worth based on his strength and physique. But too often, he uses the gym as an excuse to avoid further improvements to himself and his lifestyle. You don’t want to be like an (ex) friend of mine who works a crap job and lives with his obese girlfriend, but has an amazing physique that he bases his self-worth on.

Lifting weights is a great habit and one that you should get started on immediately. Getting in great shape will cost you one or two hours per day, and you will probably get those hours back in the form of more energy and focus in your non-gym hours. But once you have built a healthy routine that includes regular weight training and healthy eating, it’s time to add new challenges to your life.

The Pick-Up Artist

The seduction community is another outlet for the misdirected energies of modern men, and the pick-up devotee is another popular caricature of masculinity.

Men who discover and quickly demonstrate some proficiency in the game want to go out every night, test the limits of what is socially possible, and generally revel in the raw power of perceiving and manipulating social dynamics. The result is a critical mass of young men going out with their friends wings to spam approach, turning walkable downtown neighbourhoods into Day Game Carnivals, putting on a dehumanizing, artificial, and – once the calibration clicks into place – ruthlessly effective pantomime of genuine social interaction.

There is great value in the seduction community, and even more in the practical application of its teachings. But the space monkey, crash-and-burn, approach-machine phase that most new converts embrace is not a stable end point. “Pick-up artist” is not an identity, it is a temporary crash course.

The Digital Entrepreneur

In the late aughts, there arose a new class of location-independent online marketers and entrepreneurs, who have now created a viable and lucrative marketplace in which they sell ebooks to each other and their gullible audiences of despairing office workers.

Their goal is the creation of something called “location-independent passive income”, also known as money from thin air. The core belief of this cult is the idea that opportunities for easy money are widespread, and accessible to the masses. Anyone who denies this, well, they’re simply not doing it right.

The reality is that very, very few entrepreneurs actually rely on passive income “lifestyle businesses.” The vast majority of entrepreneurs work long hours, struggle for years before (maybe) having some success. They experience far more stress than any nine-to-five office worker. For a lot of men – myself included – it’s worth it. But it’s certainly not an easy path, and there is nothing wrong with working a nine-to-five if that suits your risk profile and temperament.

The Solution

The best defense against this mistake – the psychological over-investment in vanity, lust, and greed – is a regular effort to create and experience the sublime: Spend time with people you love; read great books; get a dog; do something artistic and share it with the world. Improve yourself and pursue your goals, but do it with a light heart – not the sullen, joyless, grim-faced resolve of of a self-improvement cyborg.

The purpose of this post is not to dissuade you from weight training, approaching women, or entrepreneurship. On the contrary, these are the most essential tools that young men can use to live a purposeful life: I have been lifting weights since I was in high school, and I consider it one of the six habits that have made me a man; I have been studying and practicing game for years; I’ve written the truth about making money online, and I traded the cushiest of cushy office jobs, for the chaotic and uncertain life of a full-time entrepreneur. The bodybuilding, pick-up, and entrepreneur subcultures are valuable and positive attempts at carving out specific facets of masculine identity.

But precisely because these tools are so obviously and virtuously masculine, we are liable to make idols of them, and forget that there are higher levels of awareness to work towards. When we take our reverence of virtues too far, we turn them into cults, and we create caricatures of masculinity.

How To Write A Resume That Will Actually Get You A Job (And A Life)

Building a great resume is a difficult process. If you don’t make the correct layout, content, and design decisions, your resume won’t be looked at twice. Fortunately, this post will teach you everything you need to know about building a great resume.

First: Select a good stock of paper. Nothing turns off a hiring manager like regular computer paper! This is called attention to detail, and it really pays off.

The second step is to take a big, messy shit on that paper, smear it around, and then give it a shake to get rid of excess chunks. Congratulations! You now have a resume that will give you the best chance of scoring call-backs, interviews, and a lucrative and fulfilling career.

yourehired

Resumes Are For Losers

You might ask: How will this resume help me get a job?

The answer is that you will never, ever be tempted to give your shit-smeared resume to anyone. You will know that relying on this resume would be catastrophic for your job prospects, so you will be forced to rely on other job search strategies.

In the modern job market, the hard reality is this: Only losers make resumes. Any decent job that is publicly advertised, unless it requires highly specialized skills, will receive hundreds or thousands of applicants. I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but your bachelor’s degree from a mid-tier school does not qualify as a ‘highly specialized skill.’

Networking Is For Winners

Your resume won’t help you get a good job, but your network will. Every single worthwhile career opportunity that I’ve ever encountered in my life has come through a friend:

  • When I was 14, I got my first sales job and made over $20/hour, because a friend put in a good word for me.
  • When I was 17, I managed a restaurant, because a friend who worked there tipped me off that they had lost two managers in the past week and were desperate.
  • When I was 19, I started a tutoring company and helped rich kids pass their first-year courses. I barely advertised, because my friends and classmates talked me up to anyone who would listen.
  • When I was 22, I got a cool job as a marketing consultant because a friend hired me.
  • When I was 24, I got a lucrative and interesting (though ultimately soul-crushing) job because several friends worked to get me in front of the right people.

I’ve also had a few jobs that I found through the traditional ‘resume’ channel:

  • When I was 12, I delivered papers for three hours every Wednesday and Saturday morning for about $30/week.
  • I had a summer internship after my freshman year of college that sounded good on paper, but ended up being tedious data entry for $14/hour in a city that was not cheap to live in.

Of course, plenty of good jobs are still attainable through the proper channels. If you’re finishing a Stanford engineering degree with a 4.0 and you want to work for Google, it’s probably not a bad idea to go through the standard recruitment procedure – resume and all.

But if you’re not on an elite track with a degree from a top school, you are better off ditching the traditional application channels, and focusing on finding work through your network.

How To Network Make Friends

The ridiculous use of the word ‘network’ as a verb has created a generation of job-seekers who see their personal and professional networks as separate entities.

This belief is false and unproductive. Your professional network and your circle of friends are the same people. A professional connection who is not your friend will not want to help you professionally. A friend who would not help you professionally is not a good friend.

Most jobs worth having are advertised and filled through personal networks. Very few people will ever find a good job by going to special networking events and making it rain business cards, i.e. “networking”. However, many people find good jobs because their friends help them out and make the right introductions. For example:

  • I got my first sales job through a friend who was a senior on my rugby team while I was a freshman.
  • I got a tip about a restaurant management job from a freshman on my rugby team while I was a senior.
  • My tutoring company thrived because I had been “that guy” who was always willing to help friends and classmates when they were struggling.
  • I got my job as a marketing consultant because the guy who hired me was one of my closest friends in college.
  • I got my last job at 24, because I was sleeping with the right girl at the right time.

So forget about networking in the traditional sense.

Don’t ask: How do I get good at networking?

It’s a bad question. Instead, ask: How can I improve my ability to earn good friends?

The (extremely short) answer is that you must become the sort of person you want to attract into your life. So ask yourself:

  • Are you a good friend?
  • Do you like to help people?
  • If a close friend came to you and needed a really big favour, would you help them? Or make excuses?

Stop for a minute and remember your answers.

I will guarantee that 100% of you answered ‘yes’ to those three trick questions. Every man wants to see himself as a good person. Now, here are some real questions:

  • When is the last time you did an unsolicited favour for a friend?
  • When is the last time that you made a point of introducing two friends who would benefit from meeting each other?
  • When is the last time you offered unsolicited help to a stranger or someone you just met, for no other reason than that you saw an opportunity that would be be useful to them?

If you took more than a few seconds to come up with examples to the second set of questions, you are probably a leech. Don’t be surprised that you attract other leeches into your life.

Making high-quality friends is simple, if not easy: Put yourself in situations where you’re likely to meet new people, and focus on helping them and making their lives better right from the start of the relationship. If they don’t reciprocate, stop investing in them.

This is the mindset that successful people operate with. It’s easy to see how this leads to a Nash equilibrium in which value-givers form relationships and help each other conquer the world, while value-takers form toxic relationships with each other and fight over tiny shares of a smaller pie.

What Can You Offer?

When you consider this mindset, it’s easy to see why the typical job seeker is unsuccessful: He is trying to ‘network’ with people who have the power to help him get a job. But the young job-seeker has nothing to offer in return, so he is coming off as a value-taker and turning people off. He will feel like crap throughout the entire process, especially if he naturally has a generous and value-giving mentality in other areas of his life.

This is why networking and job-hunting sucks for most people. It feels slimy, creepy, humiliating, and debasing, because you are going in with a value-taking mindset.

The solution is to start looking for work with a value-giving mindset. Maybe that sounds crazy to you. You’re twenty-three with no work experience and a degree in basket-weaving from Podunk State. What could you possibly have to offer?

The answer – according to the skills and experience you’ve listed on your resume – is “not much”.

But you are not your resume. You have more to offer new friends and professional connections than your proficiency in Excel and PowerPoint. When you reach out to someone who has the ability to help you get a job, chances are that there is not much you can do to help their career immediately. But a connection to a job opportunity is not the only value worth sharing.

If you radiate high status, you add value to those around you by association. If you’re fit, well-groomed, well-dressed, and carry yourself like a winner, people will feel good around you and want to associate with you. Everyone wants to get coffee with a winner. Everyone wants to be seen getting coffee with a winner. Most of this effect is subconscious and irrational, but it is still powerful.

Positive emotions are valuable. Good jobs and money are as common as dirt. A nice chat with someone who makes you feel good about yourself, is genuinely interested in you as a person, and really understands you – that’s rare. Many of the high-level ‘networking connections’ who seem so intimidating, are lucky to have one in a year.

Information is valuable. As a reader of Thumotic, you are privy to a wealth of information that is inaccessible to the majority of modern men. You can help your friends and colleagues improve their health by eating like a caveman, taking the right supplements, juicing, and lifting heavy weights. You can help your friends learn game, improve their focus and productivity, and start saving money.

Of course you’re not going to start quoting Day Bang while having lunch with a forty-year old partner at your target firm. But you know the habits that make you a man, and you can gradually share them with the people around you.

(True story: I once helped a senior manager cure his gout by talking to him about this article, and he took an interest in me and had my back from that day onward.)

Women are another valuable resource that you can offer. Pretty young women are the currency that makes the world turn. If you bring cute girls with you wherever you go, no door will ever be closed to you. If you can introduce friends to cute girls in bars, get your own girls to bring their single friends outs, and generally be a matchmaker to the acquaintances in your circle, men will trip over themselves to help you.

Last of all, you can re-frame your current relationships as a reciprocal exchange of value over time.

You’re young, inexperienced, and unconnected – today. But you are a smart, hardworking, and upwardly mobile young man. Your mentality should be: “I may not be much today, but I’ll be running this place soon enough, and doing plenty of favours for everyone who helped me on the way up.”

Don’t feel guilty about accepting help today, because you know you’ll be able to pay it back tenfold in a few years.

Ultimately, the specific details of how you plan to offer value are unimportant. Think outside the box, identify how you can serve others, and start delivering value to those around you, regardless of their immediate ability to reciprocate. The universe keeps a ledger.

Your Entire Life Is A Job Interview

It makes no sense to get stressed about job interviews. Your entire life is a job interview. The people around you are constantly evaluating the content of your character, your work ethic, and how you perform under pressure.

This is why personal networks are usually a manager’s first place to look for new hires. It’s not because of nepotism or corruption. There is just no better way to measure a man’s character than to watch him perform in a variety of situations, day in and day out, over a long period of time.

So how does a man succeed in the job interview of life? It’s simple. You have to be great, every minute of every day. People are watching you, and their observations will feed into their future decisions to offer you opportunities – or not. Make a habit of excellence, strength, commitment, and generosity, in every facet of your life.

Your college professors often receive calls from employers who ask questions like: “Jim ticks all the boxes on paper, but tell me: Should I give him the nod?”

Professors will make a point of calling friends in their industry and saying: “Hey, I’ve got a few students you really need to take a look at. John for example, doesn’t have the strongest GPA, but the kid’s smart, a hard worker, and a natural leader.”

Every minute of every day, your friends, colleagues, team mates, family, – they’re evaluating you. They’re asking themselves if they would hire you, partner with you on a business, introduce you to their sister, or bring you out with another group of friends.

They’re asking themselves: Is this guy the real deal? Or is he just some poseur? Is he going to embarrass me if I put my ass on the line for him? Or is he going to get the job done?

When a man is generous, honest, trustworthy, and has a strong work ethic, opportunities will rain down on him:

  • “I’ll pass your resume on to my manager.” Turns into, “I will corner my manager and I will demand that he sit down and meet you.”
  • “I’m starting a company, let’s celebrate!” Turns into, “I’m starting a company, and I want you to be a part of it.”
  • A personal network that believes in you will become your own personal sales team for whatever product or service you’re selling.

These sorts of relationships will be more valuable to you in your career than any prestigious degree or internship, but there is no shortcut. You must become a man who deserves the respect and generosity of others.

Conclusion

Clearly, this is a post about more than just resumes. My goal today is to give you an introduction to the practical applications of a generous, high-value, abundant mindset.

I want you to do more than just think about these ideas though, so I’m going to close with three quick exercises that you can do today. Try them out, and see what effect they have on how people treat you, and how you feel about yourself:

  1. Identify two strangers or casual acquaintances from your personal network who might benefit from an introduction. Send them an email and suggest they get together for coffee.
  2. Get together with a friend or acquaintance, and make it your goal to help them solve a problem before the end of your conversation. Find out as much as you can about the obstacles they’re dealing with in their life, and think about what you can do to help your friend overcome it. This exercise will help you be a better friend, and it will make you a better conversationalist (i.e. one who builds rapport on deeper topics, and who doesn’t talk about himself non-stop).
  3. Make a list of famous or semi-famous people whom you admire, and offer them your help and gratitude. This can be as simple as suggesting they check out an article relevant to their work, and expressing your thanks for the effect their work has had on you and your life.

Try each of these small exercises today. They won’t take long.

Further Reading

The concept of abundance and operating from a value-giving mindset are crucial in the teachings of the modern pickup artist movement. Yes, there is a lot of garbage in the PUA universe, but Real Social Dynamics on Youtube and the YaReally archive are both very good.

James Altucher writes: Give And You Will Receive

Danger and Play has a good post on Charisma and Building Rapport, and a podcast on Networking Like A Pro.

Stephen Covey originally popularized the importance of an abundance mentality in The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, which remains a must-read book for any young man hoping to be successful in life.

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Happily employed readers: How did you get your job? What’s your advice to contemporary young job seekers?