An Honest Review Of Gorilla Mindset

Who is Mike Cernovich? What is Gorilla Mindset? Is it worth ten bucks and two hours of your time? This review will answer these questions in reverse order, starting with the last.

To wit: yes, you should order Gorilla Mindset (Amazon). If you’re in a rough spot, Mike’s ideas might save your life, just like they saved mine.

More importantly, Gorilla Mindset is an important milestone in the ideological development of the Post-Post-Modern Neoreactionary Neomasculinist Manosphere Traditionalist Anti-SJW Western Renaissance, or PPMNNMTASJWWR (admittedly it’s time for a re-brand).

But we’ll get to all that. First, an answer to the most important question:

What Is Gorilla Mindset? How Can It Help You?

Gorilla Mindset

Gorilla Mindset is a guide to self-mastery, written primarily for young men, with a specific focus on mindset. From the Amazon description:

Gorilla Mindset is an entire system that, when coupled with specific mindset shifts and habits, will change the way you think, feel and live your life.

Gorilla Mindset is not a book of theory. These are all practical steps – mindset shifts you take or habits you form – that will change your life.

There are chapters on routine, self-talk, frame, focus, state/mood, mindfulness, and body language. Each chapter contains techniques, mindset shifts, and habits that can be applied to your life.

Gorilla Mindset is classified as Self-Help, but it could be more accurately described as Meta Self-Help. While it occasionally teaches you how to change, the book’s real strength is its ability to teach you how to want to change. Gorilla Mindset has a good amount of practical nuts-and-bolts advice, but its real purpose is to teach you to re-wire your brain. It’s full of full of small, subtle mental exercises and re-frames that will re-orient your thoughts and behaviour toward virtue:

On reframing self-talk, and becoming a good friend to yourself

Imagine that a friend of yours came to you for some advice. Perhaps he had lost his job or his wife left him. Imagine he was facing a real crisis and turned to you for help. What would happen to your relationship with this friend or loved one if your response was, “Your life is over!” You probably wouldn’t have that friend for long, would you?

On mindfulness and good workouts

I later realized boredom is the result of not being in the present moment. Turn off your cell phone. (Even better, leave it in your car or gym locker.) Get on a treadmill, exercise bike, or stair climber. As your body starts moving, focus on having good posture. Begin at a slow to moderate pace. Ask yourself, “Why am I here? What do I expect to accomplish today?” Begin to feel your blood circulating, your respiration increasing, and sweat forming. Tell yourself that you are at the gym as you will feel better after the workout, and that going to the gym benefits you, as it improves your clarity of thinking.

On mindfulness and social interaction

Notice the eye color of every person you interact with. Most people are either too busy looking at their computer screens or they lack the self-confidence to make eye contact. 2. Count the forehead wrinkles someone has in his or her forehead Humans make facial expressions, leading to wrinkles. You can also tell how much time someone spends in the sun and whether they wear sunscreen. 3. Watch a person smile. Do the cheeks move or does the area around the eyes crinkle (the so-called “crow’s feet”). 4. Look at the person’s shoulders. Do they slump? Do they protrude forward? 5. Look at a palm reading chart. Read your own palm. Is this arbitrary? Sure. There is nothing magical about reading your palm. There is something magical about learning how to start noticing details others don’t see.

The strength of Gorilla Mindset’s practical advice is not a single revolutionary new ‘life hack’, but rather a hundred old ones, explained in a way that makes them easier to apply. For example, there is no practical difference between the two pieces of advice ‘make better eye contact’ and ‘note the eye colour of people you talk to’ but the latter is much more powerful than the former, and more likely to lead to actual behavioural changes.

Unlike many books that aspire to teach you self-mastery, Gorilla Mindset is difficult to read. While the prose is clear, efficient and conversational, the content is hostile to any reader expecting a passive feel-good experience. Instead, it guides you through frequent exercises in self-reflection, forcing you to retain and implement what you’ve read. The book presents information, but it places greater emphasis on helping you act on it.

Lack of information is not holding you back

Most of life’s problems are not particularly complicated, and solving them requires no great hidden knowledge. Consider the topic of health and fitness.

You don’t need to be an expert in training and nutrition to be in better shape than the vast majority of your peers. In fact, here’s everything you need to know to develop a great physique:

  • Lift heavy weights with intensity
  • Eat animal protein and vegetables
  • Rest

Follow these three steps consistently and I guarantee you’ll look and feel great. Don’t stress over the best foods, exercises, or supplements. Just do the basics, and do them right.

But everyone knows this already. So, why is actually doing it so difficult for the lost young men of this generation?

Similarly, why do men struggle to implement other basic good habits like talking to women, studying for their classes, working hard in their careers, and reading great books instead of playing video games? Why does our generation of men find it so difficult to actually do the things they know they should be doing?

The problem goes deeper than a lack of information; it is a failure of will. It is a spiritual deficiency, a lack of Thumos, and it will not be cured with a new e-book or blog post about training splits or Tinder text game. If you’re fat, poor, antisocial, easily distracted, or suffering from the myriad other self-governance failure modes afflicting this generation of young western men, you will not change your life by learning more about the areas of life in which you want to improve.

Using myself as an example: readers of this blog will know that I have spent many hours reading and synthesizing the best information I can find on topics like men’s health, making money, and attracting women. I am stuffed to overflowing with ideas about men’s lifestyle design. For the most part, this knowledge helps me live a better and more productive life. But I’ve also gone through periods of mediocrity, spending months idling in akrasia while life and opportunities passed me by.

The waxing and waning of my thumos does not correlate with my level of knowledge. Whether I’m in the gym at six AM every day, or I skip every workout for a month, I always know that I should be lifting weights. Information doesn’t help us, unless we also have the will to act on it.

Gorilla Mindset is a self-development book that surpasses the casual trivialities of what you should do, and instead leads you along a personal journey of figuring out why you want to do it.

Take a moment right now and think about all the challenges you currently face in life. Now answer this question honestly: is there a single one that you don’t already know the solution to? Is there any goal for which you don’t already know the way forward? Once you answer this question, you’ll know the precise value of all the life hacks in the world, compared to the value of actually achieving self-mastery.

The true product of the men’s self-help industry

The Men’s Self-Help genre has exploded in recent years. Almost all of it is garbage, from fitness bloggers pretending they aren’t on PEDs, internet get-rich-quick pyramid schemes, and pick-up artist bootcamps that sell dreams to the weak and gullible.

Why are young men spending hundreds of millions of dollars on six-pack ab programs, make-money-online information products, and weekend pick-up boot camps taught by broken men?

All of this comes from a vast social and spiritual vacuum, a gaping hole where nations, churches, tribes, civic organizations, and strong fathers used to exist. We’re a generation of men with no purpose, no one to follow, and no great crusade to pledge ourselves to. The opportunity to live and fight under a worthy banner is a natural masculine impulse, and it’s been denied to a cohort of young western men indoctrinated to hate their nation, their blood, and their ancestors’ traditions. The result is a broken generation, scrambling for purpose.

This has been a golden opportunity for scam artists adept at parting young men from their money by creating short-lived personality cults, strong-sounding online personas, and the illusion of easy riches, women, and six-percent body fat. But such men are not actually selling solutions: they’re selling the opportunity to feel, briefly, like your dreams are realistic; like you’re destined for a better life than you currently live; like you’re part of something larger than yourself.

What man, confused and alone in a world he doesn’t understand and which seems to hate him, could possibly say no to that offer? Such a man doesn’t truly need to learn the easy specifics of weight training regimens, internet marketing, or basic social skills. But if you can make him feel like a loved and included member of your tribe for as long as it takes to enter his credit card information, he’ll consider it cheap at any price.

This is the current state of the larger masculine self-improvement internet subculture: the blind lead the blind, and the cynical lead the callow. Some do it for money, others for the status thrill of writing in an authoritative tone and watching others treat their words with reverence. A few are cynically self-aware, but most deceive themselves with delusions of their own righteousness.

Who Is Mike Cernovich?

The vast majority of self-proclaimed internet self-help gurus are frauds or scam artists. They want money or attention, and don’t care who they have to rip off to get it.

If you’ve only recently came across Mike Cernovich, you might be wondering: Is this guy for real? Or is he just another opportunist, profiting off the spiritual void in the hearts and souls of young western men?

I can’t reach through my computer screen and convince you of anything. From where you’re sitting, I’m just words on a screen.

But if it’s worth anything to you, here’s my opinion: In the fetid landscape of halfwits, sell-outs, frauds, and cynical profiteers, all seeking to lead the lost sheep amidst the gathering chaos of a decaying society, Mike Cernovich is truly a rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno – a man motivated by empathy, virtue, and the pursuit of truth. A man worth following, in a world where few such exist. Gorilla Mindset is a worthy introduction to his works, and it is the first book you should read on your personal journey of growth.

The Next Step

Neoreactionaries have some interesting ideas about the end game of the internet samizdat community. Relevant reading is here and here.

Basically, they believe that we are in the process of creating an alternate source of trustworthy information, an institution that will eventually challenge and defeat The Cathedral for ownership of the western democratic mind. They call this hypothetical institution The Antiversity.

I’m fond of the Neoreactionary community, but its present incarnation (re-hashing examples of progressive idiocy, mixed with insular nattering about the finer points of political design theory) is a dead end. It’s not without value, but neither is it the stuff revolutions are made of. Real political change can only come from a strengthened and weaponized cohort of Europe and America’s best and brightest, successful as individuals, and loyal to each other as a tribe.

The Manosphere (i.e, the explicitly anti-SJW men’s self-improvement community, call it what thou wilt) is the most important arm of the crude extant Antiversity prototype, because it has the greatest potential to recruit new talent and improve the quality of its existing human capital. The Manosphere is what attracts ambitious young men, forges them into useful weapons, and opens their minds to the possibility of doubt.

The publication of Gorilla Mindset is a historically important milestone, because it marks the day the Manosphere went from a loose collection of like-minded blogs with a smattering of good information, into a true Red Pill that any man can use to immediately start down a path towards becoming the best possible version of himself. Gorilla Mindset is a mind-virus with the potential to spread rapidly through the western consciousness. It is a sophisticated entry point for young men who’ve never before considered rejecting their liege gods of political correctness, and it will transform them from obedient slaves, into strong-minded masters of their own souls.

Such men will be free to ask the forbidden questions; free to recognize that just because something exists doesn’t mean it has to exist forever; and free to devote their lives to a cause larger than themselves, and so perhaps cause all sorts of mischief.

Buy Gorilla Mindset for $10 [Amazon]

The Concept Of “Psychopathy” Makes You Weak

Spurred by Mangan’s recent post on Avoiding Psychopathic Predators, and Heartiste’s on How To Spot A Psychopath, I’ve some thoughts to share on psychopathy. To wit: the entire concept of psychopathy is a flawed and harmful belief.  “Psychopathy” conflates positive and negative traits and assumes they are naturally linked. This flawed (or perhaps, ruthlessly effective) definition of psychopathy is making you weak, and holding you back in life.

What is psychopathy?

“Psychopathy” is just a word.

Words are not handed down to us from the gods; they (the words) are invented by imperfect humans. Usually, we invent useful words that help us clarify and explain concepts, but sometimes we screw up.

The word “Psychopath” as a signifier for a mental disorder of immorality, criminality, and Machiavellian behaviour dates to the early twentieth century. Our modern conception of psychopathy was laid out in 1941 with Hervey Cleckley’s Mask Of Sanity. A more recent airport book on modern psychopaths is Paul Babiak’s Snakes In Suits. I recommend both if you’re interested in the subject.

The definition and diagnosis of psychopathy uses the Hare Checklist of sociopathic behaviours:

  1. Glibness/superficial charm
  2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
  3. Pathological lying
  4. Cunning/manipulative
  5. Lack of remorse or guilt
  6. Emotionally shallow
  7. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  8. Callous/lack of empathy
  9. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
  10. Parasitic lifestyle
  11. Lack of realistic, long-term goals
  12. Impulsivity
  13. Irresponsibility
  14. Poor behavioral controls
  15. Early behavioral problems
  16. Juvenile delinquency
  17. Revocation of conditional release
  18. Criminal versatility
  19. Many short-term marital relationships
  20. Promiscuous sexual behavior

Each factor is assigned a point value of 0 (does not apply), 1 (partial match) or 2 (reasonably good match). The official cut-off for a clinical definition of psychopathy is a score of 25 out of 40 possible points.

Most people – to put it mildly – do not attach any positive connotations to the word “psychopath.” But within the pick-up/Manosphere/Red Pill subculture, there’s a trend towards festishization of Dark Triad personality traits. Quoth Heartiste in an earlier post:

What is it about psychopaths that women can’t get thoughts of them out of their heads? Besides their evocation of high status shamans and warriors of EEA yore, psychopaths bring one big advantage to the mating arena that quickly propels them to the top — fearlessness. That dead zone in their prefrontal gray matter means that psychopaths don’t feel much when women reject them. No hurt, no guilt, no shame, no doubt, no anger, no nothing. Imagine the power at your fingertips if you had the ice cold stones to approach thousands of women nonstop without suffering even the slightest ding to your emotional state from any rejections. Imagine that, coupled with this exotic imperviousness, you impulsively hit on any woman who piqued your interest. I don’t think you’ll need a calculator to figure out how fast your notch count would rise given these personality priors. Chicks dig a go-getter.

See also, from How To Spot A Psychopath:

Perusing that psychopath trait list, I can’t help but notice at least a few of those traits are distinctive of successful, and psychologically healthy, womanizers who simply love the romantic company of (a variety) women. There’s a fair amount of overlap between psychopathy and tight Game. For instance:

glib and superficial charm
grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
need for stimulation

As any good player knows, chicks dig overconfident, charming men with exciting lives.

cunning and manipulativeness

Players can be manipulative, but so can women in their own ways. It’s fair to say a little bit of manipulation is normal and healthy in seduction. Legit psychopaths take that talent for manipulation to levels that would dismay even lifelong womanizers.

Can you hear the cognitive dissonance? Heartiste (and the Red Pill community in macrocosm) abhor psychopaths and urge you to keep your distance. But, we also say you should incorporate psychopathic traits into your personality. The Manosphere tacitly recognizes the value of certain psychopathic traits (who can argue with charm or high self-worth?) but we can’t whole-heartedly endorse psychopathy, because, well, I don’t really need to finish this sentence.

But in case I do: the above definition of psychopathy describes a man who burns his friends and family for short-term gain; lies frequently and when there is nothing to be gained; and is generally not worthy of your trust and affection. People (high-value people, at least) eventually catch on to malignant psychopathic behaviour, and excise such people from there lives.

Even if we put aside the moral dimensions of screwing people over: psychopaths eventually find themselves alone, friendless, unloved, untrusted, and unsuccessful. It’s just not a good life strategy.

The result of this confusing definition of psychopathy as a mish-mash of positive and negative traits, is a Red Pill community that struggles with cognitive dissonance. On one hand, the ability to understand and influence social situations is a good thing. But, you don’t want to be a guy who would sell your brother’s kidneys for money to buy a new juicer.

And it’s not like you can do one but not the other, right? This is a package deal! It’s all right there in the checklist.

Why the definition of psychopathy is making you weak

Let’s invent a new mental illness. We’ll call it Caninophillopathy.

Symptoms of Caninophillopathy include:

  • Inability to pick up on social cues, read others’ body language, start or maintain a conversation
  • Dislike changes in routines
  • Appear to lack empathy
  • Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech
  • Avoid eye contact or stare at others
  • Have unusual facial expressions or postures
  • Loves dogs

You probably recognize these symptoms as Asperger’s Syndrome, plus the last one. (I had a hunch that people with Asperger’s had a special affinity for dogs, and a bit of Googling suggests a few other people have made this connection, so there’s probably some correlation between liking dogs and the autism spectrum.)

But, does a love of dogs actually belong in our definition of Asperger’s/Caninophillopathy? Is it a defining feature of the illness? Is the symptom even pathological?

Of course not. By conflating the symptoms of Asperger’s with other neutral or positive traits, we have pulled off the neat rhetorical trick of pathologizing a love of dogs.

I suggest that our working definition of psychopathy does something similar, by forcing an association between negative traits (criminality, cruelty, poor impulse control, maladaptive lying, short time horizons) and virtues such as cunning, charm, a working knowledge of social dynamics, and goal-oriented social behaviour. This muddled definition has two harmful effects on our minds.

The first is the stigmatization of healthy, adaptive behaviour that gets labeled sociopathic. For example, if you explain to people (average people) the concept of goal-oriented communication – i.e, the ability to consciously interact with people in a way that advances your interests – their reaction will often be “OMG you’re a psychopath.”

To such people, considering what you’re about to say before you say it = Hannibal Lector.

On the other side of the coin: by linking pathological behaviours like cruelty, shallowness, and pathological lying, with virtues like  cunning and social savvy, the word “psychopathy” elevates those negative behaviours and causes impressionable young men strive to aspire toward “dark triad” personality traits. Men who simply want to exercise control and agency in their personal lives are tricked into believing that the only way to do so is to become a psychopath who lies, screws over his friends, has no concept of loyalty, and tries to condition himself to enjoy causing pain in others. Psychopathy connotes evil, but also strength. The result is a case of linguistic stolen valour – young men come to implicitly associate strength and evil.

Most men have some cruelty in their soul – the Cult Of The Dark Triad gives them a reason to nurture it. Other men, of a more sensitive disposition, are forced to wear a hat that never fits right. Neither type will ever be as happy and successful as they could be, if they just learn to annihilate the idea of psychopathy from their model of the world.

Cui Bono?

What’s the point of this nonsensical and harmful definition of a non-existent mental condition? Maybe I’m crazy, but I find the world starts to make more sense when you view our culture as a consciously designed tool to weaken and destroy us. Looking through this lens, the concept of Psychopathy serves two purposes:

  1. “Psychopathy” stigmatizes behaviours and mindsets that lead to wealth, power, and success.
  2. For those men who recognize (1), “Psychopathy” suggests that the only alternative to weakness is shallow, egotistical, lone-wolf cruelty.

The Psychopath/Non-Psychopath dichotomy suggests that people are either good and weak, or evil and strong. From the perspective of an elite that wants to remain in power, both options are acceptable: weak men can never accomplish anything; evil men will never develop lasting bonds to their friends, family, and nation that might inspire them to offer coordinated resistance.

The elite’s worst nightmare is a generation of men willing to discard a self-handicapping slave morality, and coordinate their newfound power to impose their will on the future. The concept of psychopathy funnels men into the individual weakness of anti-psychopathy, or a malignantly psychopathic inability to form cohesive social bonds.

Banishing Psychopathy

The literal meaning of psychopathy is broad: psycho-pathy means mind-disease. Many symptoms in our current definition of psychopathy can be characterized as mind-diseases:

  • Taking pleasure in unnecessary cruelty
  • Pathological lying
  • Failure to plan
  • Self-destructive impulsivity and thrill-seeking

These traits are generally self-destructive, anti-social, and maladaptive. But other aspects of our popular and clinical view of psychopathy – charm, social cunning, the ability to endure emotional circumstances without bawling like a toddler – are virtues that we should aspire to, rather than a sickness we should pathologize.

Am I a psychopath? It would appear so. I took the test above, and scored a clean twenty-five. Any man who writes about social dynamics, Game, NLP, and the commonalities between pick-up artists and SEOs, must have traits that the world defines as psychopathic.

But at the same time: I am deeply loyal to my friends and family; I recognize the value of my word and a reputation for honesty; I am not cruel to people for fun and amusement; most importantly, I have plenty of ambitious long-term goals – one of which is to help young western men escape the self-destructive beliefs that are keeping them atomized and weak.

So from now on, I suggest you banish the concept of “psychopath” from your vocabulary and mental model of the world. Don’t let the linguistic conflation of virtue and vice weaken your mind. You don’t have to choose between being strong and evil, or good and weak.


Throughout history, ruling elites have always created narratives to justify their authority.

The human ego is allergic to the honest expression of arbitrary formalized status hierarchies, so power generally requires myths and stories to support itself.

For example: the power of monarchs was justified as the divine right of kings. Kings were viewed as God’s legitimate appointed rulers on Earth, and disobeying them was a sinful rebellion against God. Why should you obey the King? Because God said so. End of discussion. Eat your vegetables and go to bed.

Republican governments eschewed God as a source of sovereign authority, and substituted the myth of The Will Of The People. The republican government’s duty is simply to make policy decisions that reflect the will of its citizens, and God never enters the picture. Republicanism gradually devolves into Democracy, as the duties of citizenship are stripped away.

At the far end of the spectrum of legitimacy, there is authority derived from itself – Power qua Power. This myth of sovereign authority is actually just the absence of a myth, and it characterizes the most brutal and tyrannical expressions of power.

It’s a fun exercise to read through history and consider empires from the perspective of: who rules whom? And what myths do they tell themselves, masters and slaves alike, to justify that distribution of power. It’s even more fun to play that game with our own empire.

Here’s a thought experiment: imagine an Alien visits America in 2015, and wants to figure out who’s in charge. He spends some time following our news cycle, our pop culture, and observing social interactions. In his report, he notes that:

  • Straight white males (SWMs) are subject to legal discrimination in hiring, promotion, and academic admission
  • SWMs are fair game for mockery and derision, while mockery of non-SWMs is socially unacceptable
  • SWMs are portrayed negatively in pop culture and in the news. Whenever a SWM commits a crime, their status as a SWM is a major feature of the story. When a non-SWM commits a crime, there identity is deliberately hidden
  • There seems to be a complex system and ranking of the various non-SWM classes. The Alien is still unsure of the exact delineations – does a black lesbian trump a chinese MtF transexual in a wheelchair? – but SWMs are clearly at the bottom of the totem pole

And here’s the most interesting part: despite all the legal, social, and cultural prejudice against SWMs, the pervading belief in our empire is that SWMs are actually in charge and are running things for their own benefit. SWMs are consumed with guilt, and have convinced themselves that they’re responsible for everything that’s wrong with the world.

At first the Alien is confused, but then he realizes: twenty-first century America is a historically unprecedented phenomenon. It is the world’s first Victimocracy.

What Is A Victimocracy?

A Victimocracy is a society in which the ruling class justifies its position through a mythos of victimhood.

The master morality of the ruling class is: “We are oppressed by the other class, and we continue to suffer from their historical and ongoing domination of society. To rectify this oppression, we must create a legal and social framework that elevates us above the other class, in order to close the gap and repay them for their wrongs against our class.”

The slave morality of the ruled class is: “We are the privileged group in this society, so we must submit to legal and social disadvantages in order to level the playing field and make reparations for our oppression of the other class, to whom we submit entirely.”

Our culture of victimhood and constant privilege-checking may seem silly and stupid, but this is a dangerous underestimation – the Victimhood Mythos is a ruthless justification of raw power, the goal of which is to make you accept your lower station in life, and quiet the doubts of any Social Justice Warrior still human enough to hear whispers from their conscience.

How To Recognize A Victimocracy

If the purported ruling class in your society is actually subject to a wide array of legal disadvantages, they’re either very benevolent rulers, or you’re living in a Victimocracy.

I.e, if white privilege was real, you’d think white people would stop passing laws making it harder to hire and promote white people, increasing penalties on crimes committed by white people, etc.

If you’re frequently told how awful your ruling class is in the most powerful schools, universities, newspapers, TV stations, and other media outlets, you’re probably living in a Victimocracy.

If the dominant narrative in your media and pop culture is that the current oppressors are not long for this world, and the tides of history are about to wash them off the face of the earth, you’re probably living in a Victimocracy.

Bottom line: an actual ruling class doesn’t allow itself to be blatantly sabotaged and attacked.

How To Defeat A Victimocracy

What is to be done?

First, realize: you’re not actually in charge. You are a slave, and so far you’ve been a good one.

Next, practice psychic self-defense so you don’t succumb to the slave morality of Victimocracy. Stay away from pop culture, most of which is infused with the Victimhood Mythos. Get healthy (1), make money (2), read great books (3), and learn to have good relationships with women (4). Take care of the basics before you worry about the big picture.

After that, the key to good psychological health – and effective resistance – is to save your anger for those who deserve it. That means keeping a clear head whenever the next SJW rank-and-file grunt hits the national spotlight, portaging their mattress to graduation, looting a convenience store because why not, or posing for a selfie with a body that looks like a beige garbage bag filled with gravel. These sad, broken people aren’t actually your enemies. They’re just tools.

The real problem, and the real solution – that’s a much bigger question. For now, let’s start with the recognition that you are a slave, you have been thoroughly pwned, and you are surrounded by a culture that seeks to reinforce this myth, so you don’t get… uppity.

The Alternative MBA: How To Actually Make Money In The Real World

You’re a recent high school graduate with acceptance letters from second-rate colleges.

Or you’ve just finished a worthless degree with no career prospects.

Or maybe you’re an older fella, drifting through life and haven’t yet found a calling.

You don’t know what to do. You don’t have a clear path in front of you. You know that easy middle class careers don’t grow on trees. You’re smart, ambitious and willing to put in the work, but you have no idea where to start.

If any of this sounds familiar, this guide is for you. It’s a one-year blueprint and curriculum that will teach you the basics of business, finance, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Its goal is to provide a superior (and free) alternative to conventional undergraduate business and MBA programs.

Why not study business at a real college?

The average college business program is a complete waste of time. You won’t be challenged, there’s no risk of failure, and you’ll have enough free time to spend half your waking hours perfecting your game on the beer pong table.

Beer pong

For those who have the opportunity to go to an Ivy or equivalent: go for it – the prestige alone is worth the price of admission. But if we’re talking about a more typical option for the modern young American man, i.e. a mediocre degree from Podunk State University, here’s what you’re signing up for:

  • Professors who have never actually earned a dollar in their lives and are completely out of touch with the modern business world
  • $40,000+ of debt and four years of your early twenties wasted with no actual experience to show for it
  • You may get lucky and meet some awesome people, but the majority of those around you will be painfully average
  • A mind-numbing environment of political correctness and anti-white-male resentment
  • A degree which confers no real benefit to your life and career

If you’re a young man contemplating higher education (or a parent of same), here is some required reading: Worthless, by Aaron Clarey, a comprehensive fisking of the outdated idea that college degrees from average schools are in any way a good investment in the modern world. If you’re on the fence, this book could save you from a costly bad decision.

On a personal level, I’m advising you not to study business at an average school because that’s exactly what I did. Yes, it worked out well for me. I had a full scholarship, worked 40+ hours/week year-round, and started a successful business in my junior year. I also met some great people and had a lot of fun – too much fun, at times. But even though my college experience was far better than average, I still consider it one of the biggest mistakes I made in my early twenties. Why? Because of the opportunity cost:

I suppose I got something out of my education, and it definitely opened up doors for me, but what about the opportunity cost? What else might I have done with those five years? At the ripe old age of twenty-eight, and after having made a career change into a completely unrelated field, I think I would have been better off if I had skipped college entirely.

Young men, the world is full of opportunity. Not much of it can be found on the politically correct and bureaucratic diploma mills that litter the American continent. Unless you’re earning a marketable degree from a top school, skip college and go do something real with your life.

If you’re halfway intelligent, studying business at an average school will be utterly unchallenging. Most of your peers will be mediocre. Your professors will be sheltered academics, ambivalent to your studies. The environment will be stiflingly repressive and hostile to you.

Who should not read this

This is a guide for smart people who are not currently on an elite track. If you’re moving toward a lucrative career in medicine, wall street, consulting, law, tech, or whatever – stay on that track. If you have the opportunity to study at an Ivy or equivalent, take that opportunity.

If not, let’s get started.


Before we get to the meat of this MBA, we need to figure out how you’re going to keep the lights on. Everyone has to pay bills.

Conventional wisdom says you should go into student loan debt, but that approach is a) constraining, and b) not really an option when your education is entirely self-directed. So: here are three strategies you can use to make money while you finish this program, without going into debt:

1) Pay for your car with Uber

Uber is a godsend for a young man in your position. It pays reasonably well and your hours are completely flexible. You’ll never have to worry about missing rent or not being able to afford something you need. If you need more cash, just get out and drive.

If you haven’t already signed up for Uber as a passenger: help a friend out and use the Manosphere coupon code.

The best part about driving for Uber: you can use the time you spend working to grow your skills and network.

Consider the sort of people who take Uber. They are more successful and forward-thinking than the average schlub, and you are getting paid to meet them.

Each time you pick up a new passenger, make it a game to strike up a conversation, make them like you, and quickly learn if there are any opportunities for you to help them achieve some goal in their life or vice versa. You can even get some business cards printed for when you meet people you want to stay in touch with. Try out different “scripts” with your passengers to see what behaviours lead to the best impressions and interactions. This experience alone will teach you a lot about sales and networking.

2) Pay for your apartment with AirBNB

The best place for a man in your situation place to live is a second-tier city. Realistically, you can’t afford to live in NY, SFBA, London, etc unless you’re already making good money. On the other hand, you aren’t going to grow as a person living in the middle of nowhere. Second-tier cities are the golden mean.

If you live in a nice, central one-bedroom in a decent city, you should be able to earn ~10% of your monthly rent per night on AirBNB. Coordinate with a friend to couchsurf on nights when you have a guest, or just pull off the 21st century sharing economy trifecta: rent your place on AirBNB, then call an Uber to spend the night with a girl you meet on Tinder. For bonus points, get a Homejoy maid to clean your place after the guest leaves.

The primary benefit of earning side money with AirBNB is that it will allow you to live a better lifestyle than you could otherwise afford. Just as Uber justifies and pays for a decent car, AirBNB requires that you live in a grown-up apartment in a good area.

3) Bartending

If you can get work at an upscale place that doesn’t keep you at work until 4am and ruin your mornings, bartending is a great way for a young man to earn money, learn about the world, and meet interesting people. Just don’t get caught up in non-stop partying, burning cash on booze and drugs, and letting yourself lose sight of your mission.

* * *

Between these two or three sources of income, you can easily afford a modest but professional lifestyle that won’t interfere (much) with your studies.


This program is demanding and difficult (much more than any regular undergraduate business program) so you’ll need a strong foundation before you begin. This foundation will keep you healthy and productive and give you platforms to synthesize everything you’re learning.

1) Build a productive routine

Routines and rituals impose order on your life and schedule. The more aspects of your life you can relegate to autopilot, the more mental energy will be free for important tasks. Your goal is to lock in a healthy sleep, exercise, relaxation, and social schedule so you’re free to focus on your work and studying outside of those time blocks.

Going against conventional wisdom: I think 50-60 hours of hard focus work is the upper sustainable limit. If you’re sleeping enough, exercising, eating well, and not being a complete hermit, 80+ hours/week of real work (as opposed to facetime at an office) isn’t realistic for most people. If you can consistently work 16-hour days and function at your peak, go for it. But don’t get discouraged or burnt out if you can’t.

You can get a lot done in a 50-60 hours if you use your time wisely.

There are hundreds of books on performance and productivity, and I’ve read most of them, but here are two that stand out: Getting Things Done, by David Allen and Getting Results The Agile Way, by JD Meier.
Getting Things Done

Both of these books are essential for anyone who cares about getting the most out of life.  Getting Things Done is a classic that has been used by countless high-performing people to create productive and stress-free routines.

Getting Results The Agile Way is more obscure, but I found it even more valuable than GTD. Fortunately the systems and advice are complementary, so you don’t need to choose one or the other.

Read them, implement their systems, and keep them on hand to use as a reference throughout the year.Getting Results Agile

Personal productivity and self-discipline are the most important skills you will need to get through this one-year program. If you don’t learn these skills fast, you’ll quickly find yourself spinning your wheels and looking back on days that felt busy but actually didn’t create any important outcomes.

2) Build a website

A personal website with a blog is a valuable tool to  organize your thoughts, practice writing, take notes on what you’ve learned, create a personal brand, and connect with like-minded people.

Building a personal website will also force you to get comfortable with basic web design. If you find that you really enjoy this, keep pulling on the string – learn more about web development, and consider studying one of the more marketable programming languages – Ruby on Rails, for example.

Even if you don’t naturally take to programming, you’ll learn how to build basic WordPress sites, manage a mailing list and social media presence, and understand how search and online marketing work. These are valuable skills, no matter what field of business you eventually get into. If you don’t have a natural aptitude for programming, don’t force it beyond a certain level. There isn’t much money out there for bad hackers, but there is plenty for hustlers who know enough to have an intelligent conversation with technical guys.

How To Get Started

Creating a simple website is easy and cheap: Sign up with Dreamhost with the coupon code THUMOTIC (25% discount) and follow the instructions for a one-click WordPress installation. Use the free WordPress 2015 theme to get started, and figure the rest out as you go.

Reading and Lectures

The first four months of this program are devoted entirely to reading and lectures.

During this period, you should be able to put in 40 hours/week of studying, while driving for Uber and renting your apartment on AirBNB to pay your bills. You’re also going to make excellent use of your time, because you’ve read and implemented Getting Things Done and Agile.

Unlike a mainstream undergraduate business program, we’re not going to focus on the nuts and bolts of running a business (accounting, law, structure) since these are easy for smart people to figure out on the fly.

We’re definitely not going to waste time learning airy academic theory-masturbation: organizational behaviour; Keynesian economic models; marketing practices that are completely irrelevant in the 21st century; or other assorted time-wasters with which most colleges fill their lectures.

Basically: we are not going to learn about business from slouch-backed academics making 40k/year working 80-hour weeks as adjuncts at the age of thirty-five.

Instead, we’re going to learn from people who have actually become successful, who are successful today, and who are teaching the smartest people in the world. The internet makes this possible, the world just hasn’t caught on that it makes zero sense for  anyone to pay for a lecture about business from some washed-up academic at Podunk State, when you can watch lectures online (for free) taught by Paul Graham, Sam Altman and Peter Thiel. But we’ll get to all that below.

Right now, here’s an outline of your intensive reading and lecture schedule for your first semester:

  • Month #1 – Soft skills: Networking, sales, making friends and influencing people
  • Month #2 – Mindset: Giving yourself permission to make money
  • Month #3 – Business Basics: Classic texts on business and entrepreneurship
  • Month #4 – Thinking like a Startup: Studying the most successful businessmen of the 21st century

Below are your detailed readings, lectures, and practical assignments for the semester.

Month #1: Soft Skills

Many smart people take a haughty attitude towards social skills, but social behaviour is a system like any other. If you’re smart, you can get good at it. If you’re good at it, you can accomplish more than you would otherwise. So: let’s get good at it.


The Curmudgeons Guide To Getting Ahead, Charles MurrayCurmudgeon

If you’re young or have never worked in a professional environment, there are a lot of arbitrary social norms that you’ll need to learn and implement in order to appear ‘professional.’ The Curmodgeons Guide To Getting Ahead is a comprehensive guide to understanding those norms and succeeding in a business environment run by ‘curmudgeons’, i.e. old successful people.

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, Keith Ferrazzi

Never Eat Alone is the best book on networking and relationship-building (also known as being a good person and making friends) I’ve ever read. It seems to be out of print so you may have to get creative to get your hands on a copy.

How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale CarnegieWin Friends Influence People

In 2015, someone publishes a new book about networking and success every five minutes. How To Win Friends and Influence People has stood the test of time and is still used often in corporate training today.

The Mystery Method, by Erik von Markovik

Here, we aggressively depart from any standard business curriculum in existence. And why not? Sales is seduction, and seduction mystery methodis sales. The pick-up artist’s approach to social behaviour (i.e. treating it as just another system to be understood) is the most useful frame for intelligent, analytic men. PUA culture gets a bad rap because it seems incomprehensible and vaguely unfair to socially adroit midwits.

* * *

As you read these books, write up a separate blog post for each one. Include a summary, the notes you took, and any key takeaways that you were able to apply to your life. Don’t worry about making this summary useful to other people; the purpose is just to force you to read each book critically, take notes, and retain what you learn. Continue this habit for every book throughout this program.


Your first month’s lecture series is the Tim Ferriss Podcast archives. Listen to every single one. These podcasts are not directly related to sales and networking. Rather, each week is a new guest who is either a very successful person, or an expert in some field you can use to improve your life. Tim Ferriss always asks good questions and keeps the podcast dense and information-rich.

Practicum Assignment

Each month will include a practical exercise designed to test and reinforce what you’ve learned.

This month, your practicum is simple: have 100 positive interactions with strangers.

These can be cute girls in a nightclub, strangers in a coffee shops, Uber passengers, or anything else you can imagine. Keep a journal of each interaction and make a note of why each interaction went well, and what elements of it you can reproduce and make a part of your natural personality.

Once you finish this assignment, write another blog post with your results, but try to make it much better than your rough book summaries. Put effort into making this one interesting and readable to an external audience, and try to share it with other potential readers on social media.

Month #2: Mindset

The goal of your second month is developing the right mindset to be successful in work and life: learning to be positive, giving yourself permission to make money, and overcoming self-limiting beliefs that might hold you back. We’re not going to go too far off the edge and adopt the saccharine feel-good positivity of internet marketing scam artists, but you’re going to learn that making money through entrepreneurship is something that smart people can do fairly easily.


The Four-Hour Work Week, Tim FerrissFour hour work week

This book will change the way you think about work and life. If you are interested in making money online, living a location-independent lifestyle, and long-term travel – Tim Ferriss is the man who taught a generation what is possible in a globalized, digitally connected world. Much of the practical advice in 4HWW is out of date, but this book is still the definitive introductory textbook for the location-independent entrepreneur.

Choose Yourself, James Altucher

Choose Yourself is a good book about charting your own path in a world without job security and stability, and a meditation on the importance of openness and honesty for happiness and good mental health.

Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hillthink and grow rich

The original and best book on the mindset, attitude, beliefs, and habits that lead to success. The author researched the book over twenty years of studying highly successful people, watching what they did and identifying their common traits.

The Seven Habits Of Highly Successful People, Stephen Covey

Personal development classic and essential reading for anyone interested in getting more out of life.


The Danger and Play podcast covers a wide range of topics including physical fitness, performance-enhancing drugs, marketing, writing, conquering anxiety, and mindset training. It’s impossible to summarize the scope of D+P, and most of the early podcasts focus on health and fitness, but it’s all essential listening.

Practicum Assignment

In the Four-Hour Work Week, each chapter closes with an exercise designed to get you out of your comfort zone. Do those exercises.

Also: I’ve written previously about NLP Exercises. This one is called The Switch:

Choose someone you admire and respect, either a real-life mentor, a famous person, a historical figure, or even a fictional character. Let’s use Elon Musk as an example.

Now: close your eyes and imagine you and Elon Musk magically swapped bodies, resulting in two new people. One of these is in a bad situation that will end with SpaceX early adopters dying horrible fiery deaths, but forget about him right now.

What happens to the mind and soul of Elon Musk in your old body?

Chances are, Elon is not impressed with the situation he finds himself in. He gets up from the couch, brushes the potato chip crumbs from his chest and does a quick tour of his apartment, piecing together various aspects of his new life. He asks questions like:

  • Is my living space clean, organized, and conducive to productivity?
  • What does my body look like? What food is there in my fridge? Am I a healthy man?
  • What books am I reading?
  • Do I live in a city where I have opportunities to actually do something interesting with my life?
  • What’s my cashflow situation? Do I have the financial cushion to pursue interesting new ideas, or am I broke and living paycheck to paycheck?
  • What is the most important thing that I should be doing right now, to get my life back on track?

The purpose of this exercise is to make you look at your life through fresh eyes. Forget how you see your life, and focus on what Elon Musk would see. More importantly, think about what Elon Musk would do.

I can’t answer this question for you. Maybe it’s as simple as getting off the computer, doing the dishes, and going to bed at a reasonable hour. Maybe you just realized you need to save some money and get out of your Podunk town. Would Elon Musk be stressing over how long it’s taking some girl he hasn’t even met to message him back on Tinder? I don’t think so.

The point is that if Elon is reasonably impressed that you’re making the best of your current situation, you’re probably on the right track. If Elon (or whomever) is shaking his head at what a self-destructive twat you are… well, go ahead and ask your projected simulacrum what lifestyle changes he would recommend.

Your second assignment is write a short story in narrative form, about Elon Musk (or some other high-performing hero of yours) waking up in your body. What does Elon Musk do with your current situation? To make this exercise more useful, you are free to impute your own desires and values on Elon-as-you. For example, if your goal in life is to be a professional actor, Elon-as-you can wake up with a strange new yearning for the stage.

Put some effort into this story and try to make it as readable as possible. Publish it on your website and try to get as many people as possible to read it.

Month #3: Business Classics

The books in this selection have been selected partly on the basis of quality, but also because they will give you a well-rounded overview of everything you would have actually learned in business school.

Will this be useful for an actual career in business? Yes, absolutely.

But as a bonus, these books will also make sure you always have a basic idea of what everyone else is talking about in a room full of business school graduates. Depending on where your career ends up taking you, this might be among the most useful skills you learn.

Good To Great, Jim Collins

The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker

Security Analysis, Benjamin Graham

Competitive Strategy, Michael Porter


The James Altucher podcast

Like Tim Ferriss, James Altucher is a smart and interesting guy who gets impressive guests on his podcast and tries to figure out what makes them tick.

Practicum Assignment

Reach out to five successful business owners and try to learn what made them successful. Develop a few interview-style questions and try to make them interesting and creative. You can tell them it’s for a class project, which isn’t entirely untrue.

Compile your answers into high-quality blog post and try to share it with as many people as possible.

Month #4: Thinking Like A Startup

You’re (probably) not going to start a $50B company while completing this program. If you have the brains and the opportunity, by all means go for it – create Uber for strippers, LinkedIn for pets, or Tinder for people who want to get in a fight. Work hard and toss a few points my way when you hit the big time.

But whether you’re working on a sexy new app or a more traditional brick-and-mortar business, the fundamentals of entrepreneurship remain the same: creating value, finding customers, capturing some of the value you create.

So: in the final month of the first semester, you’re going to immerse yourself in the culture and best practices of the smartest and most accomplished minds in Silicon Valley.


Hackers and Painters, Paul Grahamhackers

This collection of essays is far-ranging and not always directly applicable to succeeding in business, but it is an entertaining look in one of the greatest minds alive today. It will also help you develop a passing familiarity with  hacker culture and how technical people view aspiring pointy-haired bosses like yourself.

Zero to One, Peter Thiel

If the United States of America appointed itself a CEO tomorrow, Peter Thiel would be my first choice. Zero to One is based off his lectures at the Stanford How To Start A Startup course and it is short, dense, and practical. The most important theme of the book is cultivating the ability to recognize opportunities and gaps in the market.

Steve Jobs, Walter IsaacsonSteve Jobs

Steve Jobs may not be a great role model in all respects, but he might be the most impactful CEO in the history of business. Whatever else anyone might say of him, he got results. His biography is a fascinating portrait.

The Lean Startup, Eric Ries

My main takeaway from this book: whatever business you’re in, it’s easy to get caught up in endless development of your product or service. In most cases, the best thing to do is just get out there, start selling, and figure out what your clients want and how they want you to sell to them.


This month, you’ll complete the YCombinator video and reading series: How To Start A Startup.

The course is geared towards high-tech startups working on world-changing technologies, but the majority of the course is directly applicable to smaller and more traditional businesses:

  • Identifying opportunities
  • Identifying target users (i.e, customers) and getting feedback from them
  • Choosing cofounders (i.e, partners)
  • Factors that separate successful businesses from unsuccessful ones
  • Common pitfalls of new business
  • Sales and marketing

Some parts of it won’t be directly applicable to more traditional types of businesses (you probably won’t be raising money from VCs) but the majority of the content applies to any type of business, and the teachers are some of the smartest and most successful people in the world.

Practicum Assignment

For this month’s practicum, you’re going to find a mentor.

How do you find a mentor?  This is a big topic that deserves a post of its own, but in brief:

  1. Be someone worth mentoring
  2. Reach out to people you admire and offer value in the form of ideas, introductions, and articles relevant to their interests
  3. Ask for advice, then implement it and tell them what happened
  4. Follow up, be grateful, keep offering value, keep taking their advice, and always look for opportunities to help them achieve their goals
  5. Tell your mentor about what you’re reading. Offer to lend him books after you’ve finished them, and send him your summaries and notes
  6. Make a commitment to look for opportunities to pay it forward when you’re at a more advanced place in life

You can learn a lot from books, blogs, videos and tutorials, but there are many problems that you can solve in one minute by asking a real-life mentor that would take you a day of solo research.

Phase Two: From Theory To Practice

You didn’t think we were just going to sit around and read for a year, did you?

At this point in the program, you’ve learned more of value in four months than a typical undergraduate business student will acquire in four years. We’re going to keep reading and learning over the next eight months, but we’re also going to start putting what we’ve learned into practice.

The next eight months are going to be less structured, since there’s only so much a structured program can do once you’re on your feet and moving. Once you actually start your own business, everything you’ve studied will become tangible, and you’ll find yourself revisiting the books and lectures you’ve absorbed, but this time with fresh eyes and hard questions that you need the answers to. This is what real learning feels like.

Starting your first business

What kind of business are you going to start? Easy question.

Business-to-business services is where you want to be, partly because it’s where the money is, but also because it will force you to learn how companies operate and how to pitch to them. Selling to business owners will elevate you and make you smarter; selling consumer products to bored housewives and gullible idiots (i.e., most internet marketing) will have the opposite effect.

The best way to make a million dollars is to help someone else make a billion dollars. This applies on a smaller scale. If you want to earn $100,000, find a million-dollar business and help them increase their bottom line by 10%.

So: What are you good at? what can you do that other people will want to pay you for? This is a question only you can answer, but here are three possibilities:


Read a few books about basic accounting and learn a small business accounting program backward and forward. Now you can approach business owners and offer to set them up with a new accounting system that will save them X dollars and Y hours per year. The better you get, the more value you can deliver, and the higher of a rate you can charge.

Digital Marketing

How many local companies can you identify that have terrible websites and a poor online presence? How much more business would they earn if they got that fixed? The answer to both questions is: a lot. At this point you’ve already taught yourself how to build a website, so start doing that. Then you can branch out to other digital marketing services: PPC, analytics, content, email, SEO. As you learn more, you’ll get a better sense of how much value you’re providing.

CRM and Sales Funnels

Most businesses do a sub-optimal job of collecting client information and following up with them for repeat business. if you learn everything you can about customer relationship management (best practices and software) and offer to implement a CRM that will increase a company’s lifetime customer value XX%, you can do very well for yourself. A good extension from this is to study sales and call scripts, so you can offer sales training as well.

Whatever you choose, there are just two things that will determine your success: 1) get really, really good at what you do, and 2) get really, really good at sales.

These three examples above are off the top of my head. There are a hundred ways you can help a successful business perform even better. Find one that matches your interests and talents, start getting really good at it, and start closing deals.

Getting started will be hard. People will be wary to hire an inexperienced kid to play with their core business tools. That’s why you’ve got Uber to keep food on the table while you grind: work for free, tap your personal network, work ten hours for every one you actually bill, and generally put in the sweat equity until you get to a point where you can deliver an insane ROI while charging a high rate for your services.

Building a business will provide context and real-world reference points for everything you’re learning in the lectures and reading. You will have countless moments of “Ahh, that’s what he was talking about when he said…!” Books and lectures are valuable, but ultimately business is like sex: you’re not going to learn it from a book or a blog post.

Keep Reading

Just because you’re working non-stop building a business doesn’t mean you get to stop reading.

You can’t grind in a state of hard focus every waking hour without sacrificing quality. When you need to unwind, pick up one of the books below for some education and inspiration. These are some of my favourite biographies of successful businessmen and I’ll add to this list over time as I find more:

Losing My Virginity, Richard Branson

How To Win At The Sport of Business, Mark Cuban

How To Fail At Everything And Still Win Big, Scott Adams

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Ben Franklin

Education of a Bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Winning, Jack Welch

How To Get Rich, Felix Denis

Keep Writing Your Blog

Your blog is not a business. It is a personal journal and a tool for self-development. Maybe one day you can make a living by creating web content, and your current blog will be good practice for when that day comes. Right now though, you’re focused on a real business that provides value to people in the physical world.

That said: keep using your blog to record summaries of books you’re reading, mind-dumping thoughts and experiences on your journey, and demonstrating to the world that you’re not just another schmuck playing video games and jerking off in his mom’s basement. Build a website that portrays you to the world – accurately – as a smart, hungry, knowledgeable hustler.

You’re also going to continue to elevate the quality of your writing. The ability to communicate clearly and quickly in writing is invaluable, and a personal blog is the best tool to develop that skill. Most of your growth in this area will come with practice, but here are a few excellent books about writing to help you refine your craft:

Bird By Bird, by Anne Lamott

On Writing: Memoir Of The Craft, by Stephen King

The War Of Art, by Stephen Pressfield

The Elements Of Style, William Strunk


One year from today:

  1. You will have at least as much money in the bank as you do right now.
  2. You will have ingrained productive work habits, self-discipline, and the ability to focus.
  3. You will be healthy, happy, and in good physical shape.
  4. You will be an expert in a specific field of B2B consulting, or whatever else you’ve chosen.
  5. You will own and operate a profitable business.
  6. You will have a powerful and successful mentor who can help you navigate your next steps
  7. You will have far more practical and theoretical knowledge of business and entrepreneurship than business school graduates from everywhere but the top business schools in the world.
  8. You will be a fast and eloquent writer.
  9. You will have a written record of your journey, and an easy-to-reference collection of notes you’ve taken along the way.


This program is far superior to 90% of undergraduate business educations available in the USA, most of which are run by professors who have never actually worked for a business and are entirely focused on churning out research papers and selling you a new edition of their $200 textbook every semester.

This program is also much cheaper, and it will only take you one year.

Perhaps most importantly: this program doesn’t support a corrupt academic establishment run by Social Justice Warriors who are actively hostile to your goals in life. If you feel revulsion at the sight of these people in positions of power in the world, eschewing their diploma-mill institutions for the program above is a small but significant act of rebellion.

A friend recently asked me what I would do, if I were eighteen years old today. This program is my answer.

Maybe you’re not looking for an opportunity to completely reboot your life. If so, I hope this page provides some valuable resources for your ongoing self-education and growth. Maybe you really do need a reboot, but you’re afraid to take the leap right now. If so, keep this page in mind and return to it when it’s time.

But if you’re a young and intelligent American man and you’re up to the challenge, take a year to give yourself a comprehensive education in business and entrepreneurship. Set a starting date, order your first month’s reading materials, and get moving.

How To Start A Revolution

Imagine you live in a town with only one widget factory.

One day you go on a tour of Widgets Inc. and realize their entire business is terrible. The equipment is falling apart, workers are asleep at their posts, and the floor manager is in the back room snorting cocaine off the secretary’s taint.

Most people would ignore an experience like this, but a savvy businessman would recognize the looming failure of Widgets Inc. as a massive opportunity. No matter how big and secure the company may seem today, their position is fragile. Someone is going to come along and eat their lunch.

This is how Americans should view their current political elite.

What Is A Revolution?

Revolution seems like a big, scary word. It shouldn’t. Political revolutions occur often throughout history, and they don’t necessarily involve violence.

Revolutions occur when influential people are disappointed in the quality of their government, and start working to transfer stewardship from one ruling class to another.

The goals of a revolution are broad and far-reaching. At minimum, a true revolution will require the complete liquidation of the Democratic and Republican parties, and massive reforms to every branch of government, our financial system, academia, and mass media.

Who will benefit from a political revolution in the United States?

Revolutions result in winners and losers. Some people and groups will find their status elevated, others will not.

The people who stand to gain the most from a changing of the guard in Washington are flyover Americans: white, middle-class, Christian, Republicans, i.e. the most hated and shat-upon people in America today, who nonetheless are her most avid supporters. Middle America has been reduced to a spiritually empty shell of itself, and members of this Vaisya class are almost completely powerless in the modern world. A just revolution would elevate their position to one of basic respect.

Young Americans, awash in student loan debt, unable to afford middle-class lifestyles, and doomed to pay the financial and spiritual debts of the Baby Boom generation for the rest of their lives, are a likely reservoir of support for a political revolution.

The elite of Silicon Valley, as the most likely candidates for our next ruling class, are also likely to benefit from revolution.

The armed forces, disillusioned with a decade-plus of watching their friends die in utterly pointless wars and primarily populated by the Vaisya class, probably wouldn’t stand in anyone’s way. N.B., the United States Armed Forces officers have sworn an oath to defend the formal Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This probably justified a legal military coup in 1933, and certainly could justify one today.

And who would lose? The Washington-based political establishment; the academics and journalists who make their living reinforcing its legitimacy; the freak show social justice warriors and protected fringe classes terrorizing the kulaks on their behalf. Certainly no one whose career prospects are worth losing any sleep over.

What Would A Revolution Look Like?

It’s 2015, so forget about storming the Whitehouse with brickbats and torches. An ideal revolution wouldn’t require any violence at all. It’s possible that pre-revolutionary conditions could be established entirely through the internet.

Consider: what would happen if 75% of property-owning Americans verifiably supported an online petition requesting the federal government to abdicate all power and revert complete sovereign authority to each of the fifty states? There are other options. We could nominate a worthy man – say Peter Thiel, or Arnold Schwarzenegger – to the position of absolute monarch. We could choose declare war on an absurdly well-governed sovereign, like Switzerland or Lichtenstein, and immediately surrender, inviting them to conquer and administrate us.

Personally, I like all these ideas, but the simple dissolution of the USA into fifty independent nations is my favourite. It’s a simple, clean, humble admission of the complete failure of the American experiment, and it provides a nonviolent resolution to the Red/Blue conflict, letting each state’s population govern themselves as they see fit.

Would the armed forces stand in their way? Would Washington march against state militias, dissident army factions,  and citizens across the country, annihilating tens of millions of Vaisya Americans in a new civil war bloodier than any the world has ever seen? Maybe. But if so – if the ruling class would actually wage this war, commit a genocide against people who just want to be left alone, to go their own way, live their lives, and be free of their coastal overlords – well, then we’re probably fucked anyways.

In the absence of a revolution, here are the people on track to inherit power:

These people – and of course, those who actually control them –  must be stopped. That is our generation’s burden, and it is our great opportunity.

How To Prepare For A Revolution

Arguably, a revolution is already occurring in the American mind. People are losing faith in the status quo. By reading and sharing this post, you are already contributing to a pre-revolutionary environment. The only question is: will you be a part of what comes next?

The success or failure of any revolution will be a function of the quality of people supporting it. A revolution led by healthy, successful, intelligent, disciplined men will win. If you want power, become worthy of it.

If you believe that America in 2015 would benefit from a peaceful revolution – and quite frankly, between unnecessary wars, mass surveillance, population replacement, fiscal insolvency, the breakdown of family and community, a vanishing middle class, and the widespread elevation of depraved lunatic social justice warriors to positions of power and influence, you’d be crazy not too – the best thing you can do is work on becoming the best possible version of yourself.

Then wait.

An Introduction To Evolutionary Psychology

As more and more men find this blog and the larger Manosphere community, I’ve noticed many young guys are learning the conclusions of Red Pill theory without actually piecing together the “Why?” behind it all.

For example: why do women chase sex with assholes, but want to settle down with nice boyfriends? Why does acting aloof make you more desirable? Why are men who dress with a bit of flair perceived as more attractive? You know these observations are true, but can you explain why they’re true?

It can be useful to read superficial advice about tactics, i.e. how to look and act like an alpha male, but I believe it’s more valuable to internalize the scientific and logical foundations of Game and The Red Pill. You’ve been raised with self-sabotaging beliefs about how men should think and behave, and those beliefs are hard to just shake off on a whim.

What you need is a completely new understanding of the rules governing social behaviour, a new mindset, and a new paradigm through which you can interpret sex and dating: the paradigm of Evolutionary Psychology.

A Brief History Of Evolutionary Psychology

Once upon a time, some smart people realized that typical human behaviour may have been partially shaped by our Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation (EEA). Much like, you know, every single other organism on the face of the Earth.

Early pioneers of what was then called Sociobiology were harassed, intimidated, shouted down in lectures, and had fire alarms pulled at their conferences by proto-Social Justice Warriors infuriated at the crimethinkful implications of this new idea.

The battle raged in academia for decades, but as evidence and good arguments mounted, it became impossible for all but the most stupid and/or disingenuous academics to ignore it. By now, a truce appears to have been signed in which the core precepts of Evolutionary Psychology are accepted as too obvious to deny, but gauche to bring up in polite company. The early pick-up artist movement adopted Evolutionary Psychology as one of its foundational pillars, furthering the deeply uncool reputation of the field.

The purpose of this post is to offer an introductory reading list on the subject of Evolutionary Psychology. I recommend you work your way through it from top to bottom; the order is based on a combination of quality, importance, and accessibility.

Sperm Wars, Robin Baker

Sperm WarsSperm Wars is a fun and accessible book that explores evolutionary theories of human sexual behaviour through narratives paired with short explanatory chapters.

I often recommend this book on my blog, for a few reasons. On a personal level, it was one of my first introductions to the subject, so I will always gratefully associate it with that crucial mind-altering explosion of clarity I experienced while reading it as a clueless teenager. More importantly, I think it’s the most effective book for enticing men to start a lifelong habit of reading great books. If your mind isn’t currently open to knowledge (when’s the last time you read a real book?) Sperm Wars is a crowbar that will open the first crack in your willful ignorance.

I guarantee you will not get bored reading Sperm Wars, and you will get tremendous value from it if you aren’t already familiar with the many ways evolutionary psychology can enhance your relationships with women.

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The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins

Selfish GeneYes, I know Richard Dawkins turned into a bit of a poof, Speaking Truth To Power by making fun of conservative Christians and jumping on the New Atheism bandwagon.

But the man used to enjoy a good street fight, and The Selfish Gene is a brilliant exegesis of the theory of evolution at its most foundational level. The Selfish Gene transcends the unscientific navel-gazing just-so stories that characterize EvPsych at its worst, and delves into a unified theory of replication, reproduction, and descent with modification, taking the theory of evolution as far beyond mere biological organisms as you care to go.

Anyone interested in the ideological evolution of our society, and the political implications thereof, would do well to think hard about Dawkins’ infamous final chapter on memetic evolution. This may come as a surprise to younger readers, but the word “meme” can be applied to more than just silly kitten pictures and unclear photos of blue/gold dresses.

If you’re a natural reader with no shortage of focus and willingness to push through some occasionally dense (though always fascinating and articulate) prose, I recommend you start with The Selfish Gene, as it lays a theoretical foundation that every other book in this list builds upon.

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(Aside: Below is an excellent video which avoids the use of Dawkins’ coinage, probably because he’s speaking to a generation that associates ‘meme’ with cats and dresses, but nonetheless does an excellent job of describing the concept. I find it gloriously appropriate that the word Dawkins invented to describe the evolution of ideas, has itself evolved into a horrific and shallow version of itself.)

The Moral Animal, Robert Wright

Moral AnimalThe Moral Animal is one of many fine pop-science books that explore the implications of evolutionary psychology for human behaviour. It’s a very good popular introduction to Ev Psych and I’ll always have a fondness for it since it was my first introduction to Evolutionary Psychology as an academic discipline, after reading the mostly-narrative Sperm Wars.

More than any other book on this list, The Moral Animal covers the ethical implications of our primal nature, and the origins of morality as an adaptive construct. Basically: if our conception of morality is just a fitness-enhancing tendency to conform to group norms which ultimately has no basis in objective morality, why shouldn’t I go kill a nun right now?

The Moral Animal didn’t offer anything I took to be a satisfying answer – just some hand-waving and nice feelings – but it was nonetheless interesting and well-written throughout, hence it’s place in the top three of this list.

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The Mating Mind, Geoffrey Miller

Mating mindWhy do humans have such big brains? Our over-sized skulls make childbirth dangerous, use 25% of our bodies’ energy, and generally force humans to be soft, slow, sensitive, poorly-armed prey in a faunascape of much tougher competitors. Intelligence can be useful, but only to a certain point. It’s not like we need brains capable of writing sonnets, composing symphonies, and covering chapels with photo-realistic frescoes.

The human soul, from a survival perspective, is a complete waste of resources. The lion has her teeth, the cheetah her speed, and the turtle her shell, but mankind seems to have dumped its biological character points in a costly but mostly useless gaming console.

In The Mating Mind, Miller argues that humans evolved our big, impractical, calorically expensive brains for reasons unrelated to survival. Rather, our brains serve the same function as male peacocks’ tail feathers – counter-signalling. Basically: only a strong and healthy peacock could possibly survive with such a big, useless tail. So, female peacocks who desire the best mates will pursue the most encumbered, whose survival in spite of themselves is a credible signal of underlying genetic fitness.

Miller argues a similar mechanism is responsible for the existence of brains capable of humour, art, music, rhythm, and complex thought. Our brains are the result of sexual selection, which can be completely arbitrary, rather than natural selection, which is concerned entirely with our actual ability to survive and reproduce. Our brains, like the peacock’s tail, exist not in spite of their high cost but because of it.

In humans, unlike peacocks, the sexual selection effect cuts both ways. Rather than a simple Males Compete Females Choose (MCFC) dynamic, both human sexes are obligated by our evolutionary signalling equilibrium to dump resources into their mostly ornamental brains. This paradigm is called Mutual Mate Choice (MMC), and it has some interesting implications. Here’s Geoffrey Miller in a short publication, Mutual Mate Choice Models as the Red Pill in Evolutionary Psychology:

Thus, MMC usually maximizes variance in “mutation load” across individuals, and maximizes the strength of the general genetic “fitness factor” that seems to underlie some of the variation in intelligence, personality, moral virtues, mental health, and physical health across people (Arden et al., 2009; Prokosch et al., 2005). The result of MMC is that we end up living in a species with the lowest level of genetic equality that any mating system could possibly produce (Miller, 2010).
Ideologically, MMC models can sound like they naturalize neo-Victorian family values of slow courtship, careful mate choice, voluntary eugenics, long-term monogamy, sexual fidelity, and paternal duty. Thus, MMC threatens to impose a sort of puritanical buzzkill on the pop psychologists devoted to the MCFC “men are promiscuous, women are monogamous” mantra, and on the pop anthropologists who champion the “people are bonobos” mass-promiscuity model. They might not wel-come such a stern Galtonian party-crasher.
MMC is the toughest Red Pill to swallow because it leaves us stuck right here in the same old monogamous Matrix, with no sexually liberated Zion in sight, and no consolation other than a deeper understanding of how we came to be here.

[MMC]will also require the ideological maturity to accept that heritable individual differences have been important targets of male and female choice for a very long time, that some current inequalities arose as unintended genetic consequences of our ancestors’ mutual mate choices, and that such inequalities might persist as long as human mate choice remains consensual and free.

This Geoffrey Miller sure does sound like an interesting fella!

So what’s he up to now? Unfortunately, he’s taken a leave of absence to focus on a very promising side project: Ripping off the Manosphere, watering it down to PC-pablum, and partnering with former author Tucker Max on The Mating Grounds, a dating advice website for the mass* market.

(*Current stats for The Mating Grounds as of this writing: 268 Facebook Likes, 178 Twitter Followers, 98 YouTube Subscribers.)

Whatever he’s doing now though, Miller has nonetheless produced and popularized some interesting and important ideas in his earlier years, and The Mating Mind is an excellent book. Check it out.

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The Red Queen, Matt Ridley

Red QueenThe Red Queen overlaps with both The Moral Animal and The Mating Mind, but takes a much more speculative approach to the links between our Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation, and modern-day manifestations of behaviour. Ridley incautiously and aggressively posits theories about how natural and sexual selection has shaped human behaviour, as if he just dropped a few tabs of LSD and started writing down whatever came to mind.

This may sound like criticism, but it’s not. The Red Queen is upfront about the speculative nature of most chapters, and Ridley specifically claims that, in his estimation, half the theories in this book are wrong. The result is a book that is refreshing in its willingness to throw ideas around.

The Red Queen is best read (as its position on this list suggests) after you’ve had a good introduction to the theoretical background of Evolutionary Psychology. Treat this book like a conversation with a friend and evaluate some of the more far-fetched “just-so” stories on their merits, and it will be an enjoyable, informative, brain-stretching read.

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The Paleo Manifesto, by John DurantPaleo Manifesto

I’ve read a dozen books about Paleolithic health and nutrition, but The Paleo Manifesto is by far the best. In addition to being a fine introduction to the theory and practice of Paleolithic health, it also outlines a fascinating interpretation of The Old Testament as an allegorical history of mankind’s transition from hunter-gatherer tribes to agricultural civilization:

 Like a dream upon awakening, we struggle to remember life before literacy, life before herding and farming, life before the Fall. But if we step back from the fine details and take in the broad contours, the biblical memory of the Fall has the following arc. We lived in the Fertile Crescent (Genesis 2:10–14). We lived in harmony with our habitat (Genesis 2:8–25). It did not require much effort to procure food (Genesis 2:8–9). We didn’t wear clothes (Genesis 2:25). Then we did something wrong (Genesis 3:6). As punishment, men had to start farming, which was hard (Genesis 3:17–19). We had to eat bread (Genesis 3:19). As punishment, women had to bear more children, childbirth became painful and dangerous, and women fell under the dominion of men (Genesis 3:16). We built the first cities (Genesis 4:17). Our nature now clashed with this new habitat (Genesis 6:5–7, 6:11–12). Agrarian civilizations struggled with famine (Genesis 41), lawlessness (Exodus 20), large-scale warfare (Numbers), and disease (Exodus 7–11). Over time, urban farmers eating plant-based diets displaced hunters and herders eating animal-based diets (Genesis 3:17–19; Genesis 4:2–17; Genesis 25:23–34). Step even further back, and these early herder-farmers had a memory that goes something like this: Life was good. We ate something we shouldn’t have. Now life is bad. It would be a decidedly brilliant set of cultural rules that would help a tribe of herder-farmers adapt to life in the early Agricultural Age, and its most important new habitat: the city.

Durant also interprets the Mosaic precepts of cleanliness as instructions for avoiding food poisoning and microbial infections, far in advance of our overt understanding of the germ theory of disease. Mosaic Laws regarding hand-washing, food preparation, burying the dead, monogamy, and sexual restraint during menstruation may have helped Israelites succeed and thrive in post-agricultural close-quartered urban settings throughout recent history. Strident atheists like Richard Dawkins would presumably scoff at the silly Jews washing their hands and burying their dead, simply because a magic sky fairy (snort!) told them to, but The Paleo Manifesto transcends the contemporarily fashionable disdain for all things biblical, and the result is the most interesting book in the genre from the past decade.

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Why We Get Sick, Randolph Nesse and George Williams

Why we get sickIf our bodies have been fine-tuned by millions of years of evolution, why do they consistently fail us in horrific ways? Why do we degrade with age and develop acute conditions that cripple our ability to survive and reproduce?

Why We Get Sick is a fascinating exploration of the evolutionary rationale for illness and disease. The common principle throughout this book is that everything our genes do requires tradeoffs between various evils, and risk-reward calculations by self-interested genes unconcerned with our happiness and quality of life.

One example: Sickle Cell Anemia (SCA) occurs when a person is born with two copies of a certain gene, and the result is an early death and very little chance of reproduction. So, why does this particular gene exist at all? The answer is that one copy of this gene actually confers a survival advantage in the form of increased resistance to malaria. The result is that rather than dying out, the frequency of this gene strikes an equilibrium in which the expected survival benefit of increased malaria resistance is equal to the expected reproductive cost of an early death from SCA.

I’ve previously written that similar processes may underlie the link between Autism and spatial reasoning skills, which would explain a non-causal link between Autism and delayed fatherhood.

Why We Get Sick is not a book with a lot of practical applicability to your life, but it you’re the sort of curious person who finds these topics interesting, Why We Get Sick is a must-read.

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The Evolution Of Desire, David BussEvolution Of Desire

The Evolution of Desire is the most practical popular book on evolutionary psychology for men who wants to have more success with women, covering many of the common Red Pill paradigms such as dual mating strategies, lover/provider roles, and what cues women follow to classify men as one or the other.

It’s not one of my top recommendations, but it’s definitely a worthwhile addition to your library once you’ve made it through the rest of this list, especially if you’re struggling to understand women and dating.

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The Mystery Method, Erik Von MarkovikThe Mystery Method

In the late 20th century, groups of men on primitive internet message boards discovered evolutionary psychology and its applicability to the seduction of women. They called themselves pick-up artists, and if you’re not interested in their findings, you are simply not a curious person.

Erik Von Markovik (aka Mystery) was one of the most prolific and respected members of the early pick-up community, and The Mystery Method was his Magnum Opus. If you can overlook the occasional anachronistic reference to the pre-internet dating landscape (printed photographs, using telephones for voice chat, and not a single reference to Tinder) this book is a comprehensive and still-relevant breakdown of the application of Evolutionary Psychology to practical seduction and dating. It’s also interesting [like Neil Strauss’s The Game (Amazon)] from a historical perspective, as an insight into the origins of the Pick-Up Artist community, from which the Red Pill/Manosphere is a descendant.

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If you want to be more successful with women, and people in general, you need to do more than memorize lines – you have to develop a more complete understanding of what causes human behaviour. You will never find this knowledge if you only look for it in shallow waters – blogs, Twitter, internet forums.

Learning tactics has its place, but a few good pick-up lines will never replace a lifetime of de-masculinizing indoctrination. If you don’t understand the true foundation of human psychology, you’ll always be a confused imposter doing his best impression of an alpha male.

The nine books in this post will teach you to discern the logic behind male and female behaviours which currently strike you as confusing, irrational, self-defeating, and counter-intuitive. They will give you the tools to minimize unpleasant surprises, and steer social interactions in your preferred direction.

If you want to be more confident and successful in your social life start from the top and work your way through this list. As a bonus, you’ll be a wiser man, with a better understanding of the world around you, and a bit more fun at dinner parties.


Readers: How has reading about evolutionary psychology improved your life? What are the most important unanswered questions in EvPsych right now? Can you suggest any other books deserve to be on this list?

NLP Exercises That Make You A Better Version Of Yourself

The human brain can be a real asshole sometimes, holding back motivation, social courage, or mental clarity right when it’s needed most. Somewhere inside your psyche is a version of you that will nail that presentation, approach that pretty girl, or snap your fingers and instantly get over a period of depression and ennui that’s holding you back, but something is holding you back from being that person.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to unlock all of your best qualities at will?

Below are three simple exercises that (weird as it may sound) can help you visualize your way into a more powerful mindset and unlock the best possible version of yourself. These exercises can only work if you truly invest in them and actually devote a few minutes to vivid imagination for each one. Try them out, and see if they work for you.

Exercise #1) The Switch

Choose someone you admire and respect, either a real-life mentor, a famous person, a historical figure, or even a fictional character. Let’s use Elon Musk as an example.

Now: close your eyes and imagine you and Elon Musk magically swapped bodies, resulting in two new people. One of these is in a bad situation that will end with SpaceX early adopters dying horrible fiery deaths, but forget about him right now.

What happens to the mind and soul of Elon Musk in your old body?

Chances are, Elon is not impressed with the situation he finds himself in. He gets up from the couch, brushes the potato chip crumbs from his chest and does a quick tour of his apartment, piecing together various aspects of his new life. He asks questions like:

  • Is my living space clean, organized, and conducive to productivity?
  • What does my body look like? What food is there in my fridge? Am I a healthy man?
  • What books am I reading?
  • Do I live in a city where I have opportunities to actually do something interesting with my life?
  • What’s my cashflow situation? Do I have the financial cushion to pursue interesting new ideas, or am I broke and living paycheck to paycheck?
  • What is the most important thing that I should be doing right now, to get my life back on track?

The purpose of this exercise is to make you look at your life through fresh eyes. Forget how you see your life, and focus on what Elon Musk would see. More importantly, think about what Elon Musk would do.

I can’t answer this question for you. Maybe it’s as simple as getting off the computer, doing the dishes, and going to bed at a reasonable hour. Maybe you just realized you need to save some money and get out of your Podunk town. Would Elon Musk be stressing over how long it’s taking some girl he hasn’t even met to message him back on Tinder? I don’t think so.

The point is that if Elon is reasonably impressed that you’re making the best of your current situation, you’re probably on the right track. If Elon (or whomever) is shaking his head at what a self-destructive twat you are… well, go ahead and ask your projected simulacrum what lifestyle changes he would recommend.

2) The Board Of Directors

Imagine sitting down at a table with your personal heroes. Living or dead, real or fictional – The sames rules apply as above. This is your board of directors.

Now: close your eyes and imagine explaining to them the pros and cons of an important decision you have to make. Prepare some notes and write out your arguments in advance, making the best case for each option. Try to imagine what each member of the board would say. What questions would they ask? Would they call bullshit on anything?

You can refer to the board and it’s members throughout your day-to-day life. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. Just take a few seconds to meditate on the imagined presence of people who inspire you, and consider how they would judge your actions and decisions.

The purpose of the virtual board of directors is to replace the negative social pressure of average people with social pressure from great men. No matter how well you structure your life, there will always be negative influences leaking into your mind from people and pop culture you interact with. The cliché response to this problem is that you should be your own man and answer to nobody, but ultimately this is a) impossible, and b) probably not desirable. Man is a social animal; it’s not healthy to fight that instinct. Instead, make it work in your favour – seek approval, but fill your life and thoughts with people whose approval is worth seeking.

3) Method Acting

Are you nervous when you approach girls? Approaching takes a lot of social courage, which most men simply don’t have.

But imagine you signed up for an improv acting class and the instructor told you that in your next scene, you have to play a confident and charming James Bond-type character. Not only would you be much less nervous about approaching girls in that scene, you would probably do a very good impression of how a confident man would act.

So: what’s the difference between doing an impression of a confident person, and actually being confident? Could you do an impression of a confident person every single day for the rest of your life? I bet you could. As an added bonus, developing the ability to perceive life as theatre is a good way to stop taking everything so damn seriously. In “real life” your ego is in control. On stage, there’s nothing to do but play the character you’re assigned and enjoy the show. You have the freedom to define every aspect of who you are and how you behave. There is no spoon.

Why Does This Work?

I don’t have a definite answer to this question, but I will speculate: most people are held back by feelings of inadequacy and imposter syndrome.

In hunter-gatherer tribes, lower-status men who aspire to be the top dog are swatted down hard, so we evolved a mental handbrake that keeps our ambitions in check. In the modern world, no one is going to rip off your testicles for trying to become a better man, but try telling that to your shitty brain. It’s like how morbidly obese people inhale sugary snacks out of a misguided terror of starving to death.

The exercises in this post bypass the self-destructive instinct to rein in your ambition, and reduce feelings of inadequacy. You may not feel like you deserve the life you want, but surely if Elon Musk had to suffer the indignity of building the best life possible from your current situation, he deserves all the good fortune as he gets. An imaginary board of directors mentoring you suggests that the tribe is deeply invested in your success, and so won’t punish your striving; method acting removes your ego from the equation and puts your actions in a context that allows ‘make-belief’ ambition.

An alternative explanation is that everything above is feel-good nonsense and Ev Psych just-so pseudoscience. Whatever the case though, I find these exercises helpful in finding motivation and clarity of purpose in my life. Take a few minutes, try them out, and let us know in the comments if they lead to any interesting revelations.

Further Reading

If you found this post useful and/or interesting, read NLP: The New Technology Of Achievement for more exercises and tools for overcoming phobias, anxiety, and other mental hurdles.

The Secret

Today I’m going to tell you a secret; it’s called The Secret.

Successful people don’t want you to know The Secret, but I’m going to share it with you. Once you know The Secret, you’ll have everything you ever wanted in life – money, love, success, fulfillment – in the palm of your hand.

Are you interested in a life of wealth and love and abundance? If so, here’s my offer: for just $2,400, I’ll give you access to the Thumotic Life Transformation Program, which consists of four Webinars, an ebook, and a one-hour Skype coaching session. You’ll also gain access to the exclusive TLTP Membership Site For Winners. This is such a valuable opportunity, I can’t believe I’m giving it away for such a low price.

Here’s the best part: Once you complete the course, you’ll be authorized to market your coaching services as an official Certified Thumotic Life Coach. This is a business opportunity that will generate millions of dollars in passive income for the rest of your life, as you certify new CTLCs and empower them to change lives with the TLTP.

This is an amazing opportunity. It’s the chance of a lifetime. I’m just a generous fool for making it available at this low price. Are you ready to sign up? Just enter your credit card information below and we’ll get started:

Name____________________ # ________________ Exp Date ___________

This is a real pitch that people actually fall for. I know, because I watched it happen.

Debbie the Success Coach, in a $100 pantsuit and JC Penney jewelry, is delivering a presentation on The Secret To Unlimited Wealth to a rapt audience of a hundred or so. Debbie is here to share her story and some teaser content from her program, but this is just an introduction. True Enlightenment requires access to Debbie’s Webinar series and ebook.

So who is Debbie? Let’s rewind a bit.

The year is twenty-twelve. Recently divorced and unemployed, Debbie had no money and was on the verge of bankruptcy. She was sick. Her credit was shot. Her dog died. She kept trying new business ideas and failing, as if held back by some invisible force. Then one day Debbie finally decided she’s ready for success, and so spent $7,000 on a coaching program with her new mentor, also a Success Coach. Debbie has no idea how she’s going to pay for it, but she maxes out her credit card and has faith that everything will work out. Lo and behold, Debbie believed in herself enough, and she’s now the proud and wealthy owner of her very own Success Coaching business.

Debbie knows what it’s like to feel lost and afraid, but she encourages us to keep our spirits up:

“Often it’s darkest right before the dawn. When I signed up for the program, I didn’t have money to pay rent . But I believed in myself. I believed in my own success.”

Debbie half-laments, half-brags that she’s drifting away from her family and friends, as a necessary step in her adoption of a Success Mindset. Her loved ones are nice people, Debbie assures us, but they’re caught in the negativity and self-limiting beliefs of mainstream society.

At one point Debbie literally pulls out a few $100 bills, spreads them into a fan, and brings them to her face while making kissy-kissy sounds: “Part of a Success Mindset is admitting to yourself that you love money.” The rest of the audience seems to lean forward, hungrily eyeing the three-figure sum.

Debbie’s Webinars feature, as far as I can tell, a whole lot more of Debbie talking about Success. The Webinar is much better than the fifteen-minute appetizer she’s delivering tonight, she explains. It doesn’t matter if you’re broke, jobless, in debt – this program is the way out.

Debbie’s performance is theatrical to the point of absurdity, but there’s not a trace of irony in the building. She closes with an emotional crescendo:

“I know some of you here today are on the verge of incredible success. I can feel it. You just need to purge the doubt, believe in yourself, and adopt a Success Mindset. If that’s hard to do, just remember where I was. I had no money. I had no plan. The people in my life didn’t believe in me, and tried to hold me back. I could have given up, but I didn’t, and how here I am.”

Confederates start walking down the aisles, distributing pens and sign-up forms on high-stock paper. Debbie continues, overcoming unvoiced objections:

“You need to believe in yourself, and believe in your inevitable success. There will always be friends and family who aren’t ready for a higher form of consciousness. I know it hurts, but if you want success, if you want wealth, you can’t let them influence you.”

Debbie scans the room, confirming that everyone has a pen in hand. She smiles and presses on: “Now, let’s all do an exercise in Success Visualization. Even if you’re not going to sign up for this course right now, I want you to write your name and payment information on the sheet and imagine participating in this course, The Secret To Unlimited Wealth. Even if you don’t have the money right now, don’t worry, this simple visualization exercise can still have an amazing effect.” In the end, I count at least seven people hand in their forms.

Debbie is the closing act. We also heard pitches from an herbal supplement pyramid scheme; an obese woman with a self-published book on visualization, manifesting, affirmations, and learning how to love yourself; an unemployed single mom who wrote a book about self-acceptance and finding happiness despite whatever trials of poverty and bastardy you may face. We closed with a guided meditation session led by a local spiritual wellness coach. She also has a Webinar.

As Debbie wraps up, the seated audience disperses for hor d’oeuvres and mingling. Vendor booths (from which vantage point your correspondent has been observing this show unfold, hoping that you, the reader, will have given me enough credit to wonder what circumstances led me here) line the outer perimeter.

In the booth next to mine is a shameless and well-known herbal supplement pyramid scheme staffed by a pair of sharply-dressed middle-aged men. A third man approaches the booth and is invited to sit down. The mark is a middle-aged African wearing a cheap black suit, brown loafers, aggressively non-matching shirt and tie, and a fedora, worn indoors, that looks like it came with a toy gun and Sherrif’s badge in the Wal-Mart toy aisle. He’s leaning forward, nodding obsequiously, taking notes. The effect is as cartoonish as it sounds.

The two sharks deliver a well-polished pitch, handing off to each other with the easy timing of television news anchors. They use the word ‘opportunity’ a lot. The mark explains in broken English that he’ll be the best supplement and vitamin-shake salesman the sharks ever saw, and he’s so grateful for the chance to join their team. They shake hands, a credit card comes out, and paperwork is signed.

In case you’re not familiar with pyramid schemes, here’s what happens next: either a) the hapless fool will waste money he can’t afford on an expensive lesson in how to protect yourself in a low-trust society (likely) or b) he’ll be a quick learner, and make a career out of selling dreams to people who trust him. If the latter, he will not only learn but internalize the positive-thinking, feel-good, ‘opportunity’-laden tropes of the Success Cult, partly because it’s in his sales script, but also because he genuinely believes it. Why wouldn’t he? It worked for him.

For the visual learners, here’s an example of how these businesses operate. Watch this video and look into the owner’s eyes. Do you believe that he believes himself? The best liars always do.

This is the sad world of America’s most promising high-growth industry: the formation, management, and liquidation of quasi-religious movements designed to transfer wealth, status, and social capital from the naïve to the cynical. Debbie’s event was my first close-up look at the Success Cult sub-culture, an insulated world of gullible and unsuccessful losers, buying and selling each others’ books, webinars and live conferences.

The actual products aren’t important. Diet supplements, money-making schemes, and exploitation of wannabe-entrepreneurs are the most common. What matters is the common dream they sell: happiness, financial security and a flat stomach. Humans aren’t complicated.

The most successful of these schemes appeal to more than the victims’ greed. They must, because greed is rational. A truly effective get-rich-quick scheme has to provide a quasi-spiritual cognitive framework which allows member to rationalize their indoctrination as something greater than commercial interest. That’s how you create a truly powerful money-making movement. That’s how you create a cult.

A Memetic Exegesis Of Cults

Are you a member of a cult? Of course that’s a silly question. If you knew, you’d recognize it and leave.

Cults are designed to minimize the ability of followers to experience such epiphanical moments of clarity. Consider how specific tenets of a cult-like memeplex can wall off avenues of likely exit. For example: friends and family are a common vector of doubt, thus the frequent exhortations to be cautious of their negativity as memetic vaccination. Debbie’s Success Cult warns members to resist the pernicious influence of low-consciousness friends and family who might try to lead them astray.

Another example: the general lionization of Positive Thinking as a broad-spectrum antibiotic against any loss of faith. If you doubt Debbie for any reason, you’re merely trapped in a self-limiting belief, which you must learn to overcome, no matter how many Webinars it takes.

Yet another: you must demonstrate your faith in yourself, by making hefty investments in your self-development (i.e, purchasing expensive motivational conferences and ebooks) or else you don’t have a Success Mindset, you don’t truly believe that you’re destined for wealth, and you will remain poor indefinitely.

The cruelest epi-meme, anchored so effectively by Debbie’s story of debt and redemption, is that It’s Always Darkest Right Before The Dawn, and you really should max out your personal line of credit at 20% APR for all of this.

As I’m watching the carnage unfold, I try to take comfort in the knowledge that I don’t belong here. I’m not one of these people; I just signed up for a booth at something billed as an entrepreneurs networking event, to sell some legitimate business services (N.B., which reasonably-priced services none of these entrepreneurs can seem to afford, Success and Abundance Mindsets notwithstanding). But as much psychic distance as I put between myself and the audience, I’m still deeply ashamed to be here. It’s more than just an empathic cringe of compassion. A man is defined by the company he keeps, and I’m spending this afternoon with some of the most intellectually and spiritually desolate human beings in the history of our species.


You can learn a lot about people by watching how others communicate with them. Debbie’s carefully-crafted presentation implicitly tells us everything we need to know about how she perceives her audience. For example, here are a few assumptions implicit in various aspects of Debbie’s sales pitch:

  1. The audience is impressed and enticed by the physical presence of the few hundred dollars cash Debbie uses as a prop.
  2. They are impressed by Debbie’s bragging about recently purchasing a house (of unspecified size, location, or value) as if entering the propertied class is proof of uncommon riches, rather than a token available to your typical Burger King assistant manager with good credit.
  3. They are not savvy enough to experience any cognitive dissonance between Debbie’s claimed ability to manifest unlimited wealth, and her middle-class lifestyle, Powered By Wix™ website footer, and sartorial misfortune.

On the surface, Debbie is all about Positive Thinking and The Success Mindset. She approaches her audience like a good friend and caring mentor, excited to help guide them through whatever temporary darkness they’re trapped in. Debbie loves each and every person in the room, and she knows deep down they’re all special people with unlimited potential. But her presentation accidentally reveals her true estimation of them, which is that they’re a bunch of complete fucking losers.


Only an idiot, or a smart person in a temporarily idiotic state of mind, would ever sign up for a cult like this. Cult leaders know this, and they tailor their communication accordingly.

Have you ever received an email regarding a trapped Nigerian prince, hot sexy single ladies from your neighbourhood, or an exciting new pill that will add six inches to your dick? These well-known scams are often riddled with obvious and deliberate spelling and grammar mistakes. They are literally incredible, because they are designed to appeal to the credulous.

It would be trivial for the spammers to hire someone on Fiverr and make their emails ring true. So why are they written in a way that makes intelligent people recognize them as bogus? The answer is that professional spammers want to drive away everyone but the dullest and most credible of mooks. Midwits might pry for more information, talk to saner friends, and come to their senses before pulling out a credit card. By sending out an initial email that’s as stupid as possible, spammers ensure they only invest time in patsies foolish enough to make it through to the end of the sales funnel.

Another example of marketing aimed at the lowest common denominator is the sort of ad generally found on populist conservative news websites (Warren Buffet Predicts Economic Collapse; Five Signs Cancer Is Growing In Your Body; GNC Approves All-Natural Testosterone Booster; etc) which are clearly targeted at clueless and senile older folks. If curiousity compels you to click on ads like this, you’ll find yourself in a funnel of emotionally-charged squeeze pages designed to separate lonely, demential retirees from their fixed incomes. The products themselves (usually over-priced ebooks rehashing the most generic of investing, dietary, and cancer-prevention advice) barely matter. The real art is in the elaborate and ruthlessly optimized content funnel leading up to the paid product.

Condescension As Design Aesthetic

The commonality in all of these examples, and perhaps in all communication whose goal is to manipulate rather than elevate and inform, is condescension. Cult leaders and marketers with no respect for their clients all adopt the same tone of talking down to their audience. Commercially-motivated condescension is the most meaningful of insults, because it cannot be motivated by a desire to hurt or score rhetorical points. It can only be genuine.

This is what really irks me about listening to Debbie and her ilk. It’s not her crappy product or grating personality. It’s her condescension to the audience, of which I’m a member, and the implicit insult to my intelligence. She’s addressing me like I’m half-retarded, and by standing here and listening with a blank face – whether out of politeness, lack of courage, or because I also want to make some money off these people and I’m willing to play along if that’s what it takes – I’m complicit.

Here’s an exercise for the reader: Are you confident in your ability to recognize when you’re being condescended to? Can you think of any other communities or subcultures that have adopted the marketing tactics and communication style of the Success Cult?  You’re probably sharp enough to see through Debbie, but what if you’re a sucker for some less-obvious charlatanry?

Have you figured any of this out yet, or am I going to have to sell it to you in an ebook?


Thesis: The Red Pill blogosphere has been taken over by shallow internet marketers who are, at best, indifferent to any of its sociopolitical foundations.

Some think this is a good thing, that the Red Pill is outgrowing its vestigial association with alt-right politics, and is now free to reach its true potential as an apolitical community of autistic bodybuilders endlessly discussing the relative merits of Being Motivated Vs. Not Being Motivated, communicating exclusively in list format, and selling each other ebooks. These blogs are written by smart, cynical men with an internet marketing background, who recognize the Red Pill community as a massive potential cash cow.

Here’s one example: How To Beast

The author is a smart guy. If you’re interested in copywriting and content marketing, his site is a well-executed case study. But the goal of his site is not wisdom or artistic worth, it’s the prompting of an emotional high that leads to clicks and purchases. It’s Buzzfeed for men who lift weights and talk to girls, written and designed for the meaty middle of the bell curve.

There’s nothing wrong with creating for the masses, but doing so is ultimately incongruous with any pretense of the Red Pill being a community of men aspiring to greatness. How To Beast is a great site for men who lack the depth and focus to acquire knowledge unless it’s gift-wrapped and spoon-fed, but it has no place in a community of men seeking to elevate themselves.

Here’s another: Freedom and Fulfillment

Freedom and Fulfillment gives his readers more credit than most. I hesitated to call him out here, because his blog is smart, he covers a lot of topics that I’m interested in as well, he is honest and forthright about his affiliate relationships, and I think he might really be interested in writing a blog that helps people.

But (of course there’s a but) he’s also trying to sell you a $1,000 membership site about building a drop-shipping business. He might claim the product is worth every penny. He might even believe it. He might tell himself a little story before he goes to bed every night about how he’s not actually selling his soul every time he cashes in a new affiliate commission. But his sales page tells me everything I need to know about his character, and how much he respects his readers:

Throughout university I had always been interested in making money online. I had experimented with different things but it had never really gone anywhere.

After I graduated I was set on generating an online income for myself, but didn’t know how to go about it. The problem wasn’t that I wasn’t willing to work hard—it was that I didn’t really know where to put the effort in.

I wished that there was some sort of structured opportunity to make money online that I could just “put the work into”.

I then heard a podcast featuring a guy who was living in Thailand and living off his eCommerce business. He had learned about eCommerce through an online course called Dropship Lifestyle. I visited the DSL website later that day, and I had a feeling that this was the opportunity I had been looking for.

In truth, I had more than just a feeling. It might sound crazy but I actually knew for certain that this was my path to online income. I was 100% sure that this was my “ticket” to making money online.

I wanted to register right away, but was hesitant because it was a big purchase for me at the time. I was a broke student and the only money I had was left over from student loans. I decided that I would sleep on it and decide the next day.

The next day, I remember I was walking back to my apartment after playing soccer with some friends and actually thinking to myself: You have to do it.

This was a big moment in my life (having just graduated university) but I somehow knew that this was the right step to take. Not only was I fully convinced that I needed to register for the course, but more importantly I was certain that I needed to work on it as hard as possible to become successful with it.

(Do you immediately recognize this sort of language as a blatant attempt to win your trust, relate to you, and sell you something you may or may not need? If not, chop your credit card in half and stay off the internet for a while.)

Freedom and Fulfillment is an instructive example because, unlike the other two, he does a very good impression of a decent guy. It’s the Law Of Sewage: A drop of wine in a barrel of sewage makes sewage; a drop of sewage in a barrel of wine also makes sewage. F+F ultimately shows how one small decision to cash in on gullible readers can poison the well of trust.

Lastly: see this Return Of Kings Sponsored Post, in which the owner of an online fitness empire reveals that he’s just a regular fella, Red Pill devotee, student of the crimson arts, long-time-listener-first-time-caller, who just happens to have a $100 upfront / $60 per month membership site teaching gullible high school outcasts the secret to six-pack abs:

You might know me from YouTube as the #1 most subscribed fitness trainer. Or you might have even watched a video on my sixpackshortcuts channel.

But here’s what you probably DIDN’T know…

I’ve been a daily reader of Return Of Kings since 2012. Before that, I used to be your average frustrated blue pill chump. I was actually on track to get married and to have kids with the crazy girl I used to date…lol.

But (thankfully) in 2012 we broke up, and that led me to finally question everything I’d been taught about women, masculinity, and the world. That led to me discovering ROK and finally taking the red pill.

I’ve personally learned a ton from ROK, and I think it’s safe to say I’ll probably save over a million dollars over my lifetime from learning not to spend ridiculous amounts of money on WOMEN. So I contacted Roosh to see if I could use my expertise to help fellow ROK readers…

I recommend you check out the sales page and video for the fitness program which Mike Chang, philanthropist, has been given the opportunity to promote on Return of Kings.

Am I worked up in a moral lather over Chang’s cynical exploitation of gullible young men? Not really. My point is that any self-respecting man should feel embarrassed to associate with this kind of sales pitch, or anything that even faintly resembles it. It’s low-consciousness, it insults your intelligence, and if you don’t recognize the insult, it’s because you deserve it.

And this problem isn’t limited to entryist new blogs. Even among Red Pill writers with a nobler raison d’etre than selling ebooks and get-rich-quick schemes, there’s been a shift toward shallow, simple, monetizable, lowest-common-denominator pablum. The Manosphere has become a commercial rather than artistic enterprises, and many of our blogs became stylistically indistinguishable from get-rich-quick scheme hucksters and hundred-dollar six-pack abs products. Thumotic was one of the worst examples, hence the guilt and self-loathing fueling this sprawling five-thousand word post.


Condescension manifests in more than just text; just as Debbie sub-communicates her disrespect for the audience via a sales pitch that a twelve-year old would roll her eyes at, a blogger’s design aesthetic says a lot about the type of reader they’re speaking to. Consider a few examples of stylistic decisions, and the beliefs they imply:

  • Aggressive and omnipresent email opt-ins -> “You’re too stupid and unfocused to remember to come back to my site, so I desperately need to get your email address, lest you click away and get lost in the attention-sapping vortex of Buzzfeed and Tumblr. ”
  • Prominently-displayed ads to affiliate links and the authors’ own books -> “I want your money. Also, you’re a child, so I have to dangle something shiny in front of you to get your attention.”
  • Elaborate long-form squeeze pages with emotionally-charged language -> “I want your money. Also, you are foolish and impulsive, so I must sell to your fears and insecurities rather than earn your trust and make a logical case for the value of my product.”
  • Short articles broken up with excessive paragraph breaks, sub-headings, and bullet-point lists -> “You are functionally illiterate. I must hold your hand and walk you through my thoughts, or you’ll leave my site to read something with animated gif images.”

Jennifer-Lawrence-ok-thumbs-upIn the special case of bloggers who write about internet marketing, there’s a level of irony that softens the blow. An internet marketing blog (such as Copyblogger) must conform to its own stated best practices, and serve as an example of the techniques it advocates. The result is a layer of wink-nudge irony that acknowledges the readers’ savviness and insusceptibility to the hard sell, while still making the hard sell. “I know this sales funnel is condescending, and I know you know it, but we’re talking about the finer points of building condescending sales funnels, so let’s just play along.” It’s similar to how movies like Pacific Rim can be appreciated as effusive character-driven robot opera by the hoi polloi, or irony-laden self-parody by self-identified sophisticates.

Anyways. These stylistic decisions all show the author’s disdain for you, the reader. They also show the author’s disdain for himself, and his estimation of his ability to hold your attention in long-form prose. I don’t think this is necessarily a conscious decision writers make; the mediocre always outnumber the exceptional, so writing more accessibly (i.e, stupidly) tends to move the needle in terms of pageviews and conversions. Writing for the average is easier, more profitable, and (because the average are more prone to obnoxious hero-worship) more ego-boosting for bloggers. It’s no wonder many take this path.

“But it works!”

This, the appeal to efficacy, is the ceterum censeo of internet marketers: squeeze pages increase conversion rates; pop-up forms increase newsletter sign-ups; short, simple posts with lots of sub-headings increase time on page. It’s all true.

But maybe there are better goals out there than views and affiliate commissions. Maybe the best practices of an industry built on shallow exploitation of transient dimwits aren’t always applicable to a social and political movement composed (ideally) of the most intelligent, literate, introspective, politically conscious men of our generation. Maybe we’re playing a different game, with different rules.

How to save yourself from a cult

Here’s a quote I truly believe has the power to change your life:

Let the youthful soul look back with the question: what have you truly loved up to now, what has elevated your soul, what has mastered it and at the same time delighted it? Place these venerated objects before you in a row, and perhaps they will yield for you, through their nature and their sequence, a law, the fundamental law of your true self. Compare these objects, see how one complements, expands, surpasses, transfigures another, how they form a stepladder upon which you have climbed up to yourself as you are now; for your true nature lies, not hidden deep within you, but immeasurably high above you, or at least above that which you normally take to be yourself.

Nietzsche, Schopenhauer As Educator

I wrote this post because I realized that at some point, Thumotic stopped being something that elevated me. None of the people I consider heroes would be impressed with what this blog has become: generic ‘life-hack’ advice; affiliate links plastered across every page; emotion-priming sales copy designed to elicit purchases from naive teenagers, who came here looking for a masculine role model, and left with an ebook I made a 75% commission on.

This blog – and the Red Pill community as a whole – is at it’s best when it aspires to novelty, depth, and artistic grandeur. It recedes into mediocrity when it tries to compete with internet marketing scumbags for the cud-chewing masses. We exist because young Western men need a smarter, better alternative to a mainstream culture that’s trying to destroy them. That’s one hell of a mission, and it’s time we became worthy of it.

What Do SEOs And Pick-Up Artists Have In Common?

What do SEOs and Pick-Up Artists have in common? More than you might think. Both exist primarily on the internet; both make a living by exploiting the flaws of sub-optimal search tools; and both are on the verge of being made irrelevant by social and technological advances in the world of search.

This article explores the future of SEO and Pick-Up Artists, and the only strategy both groups can adopt to have a chance at long-term success. If you’re interested in one but not the other, stick around – I promise you’ll learn something.

Let’s get started.

A Brief History of SEO

Years ago, search engine optimizers tweaked web pages to take advantage of flaws in Google’s algorithms. SEO wasn’t about creating great content, it was about finding loopholes.

Here’s an example. Google’s early search engine assumed pages which contained the keyword ‘sex’ multiple times, were more likely to be relevant to users searching for ‘sex’.

Sounds reasonable, right? But SEOs responded by writing content like:

“Sex! Are you interested in sex? Sex is the sexiest sex that sex can be. Don’t miss out on sex!”

Inbound links with the word sex in the anchor text were also crucial, which incentivized the creation of huge blog networks existing solely to boost search engine results for pages the owners actually cared about. The early proto-Google was too dumb to recognize it as bullshit.

But as Google evolved, many of these tactics started to get hammered by major updates to their algorithm. Keyword stuffing, duplicate content, link spam, and other SEO tactics started to harm webmasters who used them.

So why did Google crush the old school SEOs? Well, Google’s mission is to solve the Problem Of Search. Google wants everyone who uses their search engine to get exactly what they want. Keyword frequency and inbound anchor text are crude, imperfect correlates of page quality. Today, Google looks at a much wider variety of reliable signals:

  • Social shares and comments
  • Time on page and other measures of user engagement
  • Tone, grammar, spelling, and readability
  • Likelihood of the user making a purchase or other transaction

Most importantly, Google hires people to browse and rate thousands of pages. Those ratings are fed into machine-learning algorithms which develop an intuitive sense of which pages are high-quality, and which are garbage. The end goal is a perfect correlation between page quality and search engine results.

Google hasn’t made old-school SEO tacticians obsolete. Not yet. But there has been a seismic shift in the world of SEO away from cheap tricks and toward the creation of high-quality content. This trend will continue. We are approaching a world in which the only way to get a high search engine ranking is to earn it with valuable content.

My opinion (shared by any decent SEO) is that unless you’re after some very competitive key words, the best SEO strategy is to focus on keyword research, authentic inbound links, and most of all, creating high-quality, evergreen, user-friendly content. Google is on a mission to help users get the content they want. Make sure you’re on the right side of things when they inevitably succeed.

Game Versus Lifestyle

SEO is a lot like picking up women. Men are web pages. Women are users. In the Seduction/Manosphere community, there are two schools of thought on how to earn “traffic”.

The Pick-Up Artist School believes the main determinant of your success with women is the quality of your social skills, i.e. Game. Thus, the pick-up artist spends the majority of his time studying routines, rehearsing stories, and practicing approaches at the club. He argues that your physical fitness, style, career, social circle, and other aspects of your lifestyle are of secondary importance. Their creed is Game Uber Alles.

Proponents of Lifestyle Game believe the opposite: If you look good, have money, an interesting social circle and a cool lifestyle, pick-up tactics are less important. More importantly, if you have neither game nor a cool lifestyle, you should focus on lifestyle first.

Pick-up artists are like old-school SEOs. Neither pick-up artists nor SEOs are concerned with building actual quality. Instead they study its characteristics, and practice imitating it. They learn by rote the signals of quality that users rely on, and reproduce a contrived version of them.

Lifestyle Game is like creating high-quality content. Lifestyle Game means becoming a man women want, rather than learning how to act like one.

As you can probably guess, I’m an advocate of Lifestyle Game. It’s a better path to a fulfilling life, and it’s a better long-term investment in yourself and your future. The advantage of actually becoming a high-value man, as opposed to learning how to play one on stage, is that your success with women will be robust. Your core of value and feelings of self-worth will stay with you across cultures, ups and downs in your life, and throughout long-term relationships. The depth and satisfaction you experience in relationships will be far greater. You will be able to relax and enjoy your life, rather than feel like you’re in a constant struggle to avoid being found out as a fraud.

But that’s not all. Just like Google is chipping away at the effectiveness of SEO, new technologies and social conventions are starting to make traditional cold-approach seduction obsolete. In the near future, traditional cold-approach pick-up won’t be an option. Lifestyle Game will be your only option.

Search And Matchmaking In The Sexual Marketplace

Matchmaking is the problem of search applied to sexual relationships. Men and women are like web pages and users. Women have an imperfect idea of what they want, and an imperfect set of criteria they use to narrow their search. Until recently, this was a random, inefficient process. The average person dated someone they met through their social circle or woke up next to after a drunken night out.

The inefficiency of social search is particularly acute in a post-western society where the traditional fabric of community no longer exists. Young people no longer have Church youth groups and meddlesome parents matchmaking their sons and daughters. Even if they did, lifelong marriage is no longer expected or even common in a person’s twenties. The result is a chaotic Wild West reminiscent of the pre-indexed internet; either you blindly stumble across the best URL, a friend refers you, or you’re out of luck. Even with the increasing popularity of social matchmaking companies like Tinder, Plenty Of Fish and OKCupid, most social connections are still formed via the inefficient pinball machine of real-world interaction.

The Future Of Search

Just as Google is bringing order to text-based search, new technologies and social norms are bringing efficiency to the search and matchmaking process in the mating market.

First we’ll consider the technology. In 2015, every savvy single young person in the western world has a few dating apps on their home screen. Cold approaching is as irrelevant as landline phones and Why would anyone go to the trouble of talking to a woman on the street when they could just fire up Tinder?

Older men and pick-up purists will recoil at this, but it’s how the majority of Americans born after 1990 think. The ubiquity of mobile dating has made cold approaching unnecessary, and thus odd. Girls are growing more comfortable with online dating, and less receptive to cold approaches.

Part of the reason is our gradual decline into a culture of mindless iPhone zombies, but the larger reason is that online dating offers women a greater opportunity to refine their mate selection algorithm. The modern woman can instantly narrow her search down to (for example) men between 24 and 28, who are over six feet, who make $100,000 a year, who are white, who like dogs, and who have professional degrees. Of course they prefer this to the crap shoot of meeting men in clubs or on the street.

The next generation of social matchmaking companies will do an even better job of improving on the inefficient search algorithms of the meatspace dating market, by facilitating the natural desire of high-status people to self-segregate. Hinge relies on introductions based on mutual friends; The League limits membership to individuals with high-status jobs and education credentials. New apps will come out that will make the sorting and matching process even more efficient. Social matchmaking will do to the sexual marketplace what Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird did to SEO.

Simultaneously, America is developing a stronger social stigma against cold approaching. We’re already in the midst of a social and legal backlash against cold approaching, under the guise of the vaguely-defined epidemic of street harassment.

But precisely what sort of behaviour constitutes street harassment? No doubt the standard applied will be the same that we use for workplace harassment. The actions of the accused will be irrelevant; if she felt harassed, she was harassed:

Is this fair? Of course not. Welcome to real life. Good-looking and high-status people have a hundred advantages over the hoi polloi. Pretty girls cut lines. Attractive people earn more. Cute babies are better-cared for. Handsome men can get away with being more forward than average guys. That’s just how the world works.

The idea that low-status men should be allowed to approach high-status women in public places and try to seduce them is a historical anomaly. Veteran pick-up artists will defend the cold approach, because cold approaching is their greatest strength. From their perspective, if cold approaching and “the numbers game” have made public spaces less inviting to attractive young women, so be it.

But cold approaching is the internet marketing equivalent of spam: it’s effective on a mass scale, but imposes a cost on the uninterested recipients, whose inboxes and lives are clogged with unwanted solicitations. When low-value men swarm nightclubs and malls to practice their game on every pretty woman in sight, they inconvenience a hundred for every genuine connection they make.

This isn’t me trying to shame you. I’m just explaining where we’re headed, and advising you to prepare for a world in which spam approaching women in public places is no longer an option. Mobile dating and face-controlled social circles are the future. The only way to succeed in this future is to actually become a man that women want to pursue.

An unattractive and low-status man might ask: “So how the hell am I supposed to meet women? I never get matched on Tinder, and I don’t have access to high-status circles where it’s socially appropriate to meet quality women. What the hell am I supposed to do? Don’t I deserve love?”

The harsh answer is that you don’t deserve anything. There is nothing you can do, except become a better version of yourself.

Next Steps

Whether you are a single man or an SEO professional, my advice is the same: Prioritize the user experience. Create genuine quality. Search is only getting better, so become something worth searching for.

What does that mean? Well, as a man who desires attractive women, it means doing everything we talk about here at Thumotic:

  1. Get healthy and lift weights. This is always step number one and you can’t skip it. Build a body that sends a message to the world about what sort of man you are.
  2. Build a career and get your finances in order.
  3. Earn good friends and an exciting social life.
  4. Read great books. Become a Renaissance Man.
  5. Find your purpose in life and pursue it with inspiring passion.

As you’re doing this, feel free to read a book or two about pick-up tactics. But the vast majority of your focus, especially in your early twenties, should be on developing a lifestyle that will build you into a high-value man. The alternative – allowing your lifestyle to atrophy while you devote your formative years to the social equivalent of keyword stuffing and link spamming – is a path to disaster and regret.

Are You Using “Monk Mode” To Avoid Discomfort?

Here’s a simple test to determine whether Monk Mode is helping or harming your life: Was the choice to enter Monk Mode easy, or painful? If it’s painful, you’re on the right track. If it’s easy, you’re probably making excuses to avoid working on your flaws.

What Is Monk Mode?

Monk Mode is a euphemism for an extended period of isolation and asceticism, undertaken with the goal of rapid and transformative self-improvement. A man in Monk Mode has a simple and productive daily routine dedicated to getting healthy, making money, and reading challenging books.

As you can tell from those links, the Thumotic ethos is very much in line with these goals.

But here’s the problem with Monk Mode: it gives introverted men a virtuous-sounding rationale for their self-imposed isolation. If you’re an introvert with social anxiety, Monk Mode is more than easy – it’s comforting. It’s an opportunity to continue doing exactly what you’ve always done (i.e, stay at home) while pretending to make progress. You’re writing your personal Hero’s Journey Narrative, but skipping the part where you actually subject yourself to trials and ordeals.

Even more importantly: social isolation will deprive you of the most important asset a man can have for a successful and good life: a worthy tribe.

The Importance Of Building Your Tribe

Most actual monks don’t live in solitude. They live alongside other monks with similar goals and habits. Purging your life of distractions and frivolity is virtuous, but not all social relations fall under the category of ‘distraction.’ If you associate friendship with wasted time, you simply need to do a better job of building and managing friendships.

Better men than us have wrestled with the question Monk Mode, and how to strike a balance between an active social life and isolated self-reliance:

Ancient philosophy – especially after Aristotle – largely focused on how to achieve self-sufficiency on the one hand, and peace of mind on the other; it thus became fundamentally therapeutic, in nature and goal. Though ancient philosophers are generally known for their praise of friendship, there is an evident tension involved in these positions: the possession of friends seems almost unhelpful, nearly inimical, to self-sufficiency and peace of mind. As fulfilling as friendships generally are, they often lead to mutual dependency and a loss of the tranquility thought to accompany solitude.

So how do we resolve this tension? Only a fool would suggest that all friendships are worthwhile, or that none are, so our challenge is learning to recognize and pursue virtuous friendship, while avoiding the rest. So how do we tell good friends from bad?

In the Nicomachean Ethics (get it on Amazon, or free online), Aristotle describes three categories of friendship:

  1. Friendships driven by pleasure
  2. Friendships driven by usefulness
  3. Friendships driven by recognition of goodness in the other

Examples of pleasure-based friendship activities could be: children playing together; teenagers getting high and playing video games; college students getting drunk and going to the same parties over and over again; work colleagues complaining about their boss; a man and a woman casually sleeping together regularly.

Aristotle describes utility-based relationships as shallow and short-lived: business associates, work colleagues, other short-term friendships of commercial necessity.

The highest level of friendship, according to Aristotle, are those based on the mutual admiration, and recognition of virtue or ‘goodness’ in the other. Such friendships are rare, difficult to form, and among the greatest gifts available to us in life:

Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in virtue; for these wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good themselves. Now those who wish well to their friends for their sake are most truly friends; for they do this by reason of own nature and not incidentally; therefore their friendship lasts as long as they are good–and goodness is an enduring thing.

And each is good without qualification and to his friend, for the good are both good without qualification and useful to each other. So too they are pleasant; for the good are pleasant both without qualification and to each other, since to each his own activities and others like them are pleasurable, and the actions of the good are the same or like.

And such a friendship is as might be expected permanent, since there meet in it all the qualities that friends should have. For all friendship is for the sake of good or of pleasure–good or pleasure either in the abstract or such as will be enjoyed by him who has the friendly feeling–and is based on a certain resemblance; and to a friendship of good men all the qualities we have named belong in virtue of the nature of the friends themselves; for in the case of this kind of friendship the other qualities also are alike in both friends, and that which is good without qualification is also without qualification pleasant, and these are the most lovable qualities. Love and friendship therefore are found most and in their best form between such men.

But it is natural that such friendships should be infrequent; for such men are rare. Further, such friendship requires time and familiarity; as the proverb says, men cannot know each other till they have ‘eaten salt together’; nor can they admit each other to friendship or be friends till each has been found lovable and been trusted by each. Those who quickly show the marks of friendship to each other wish to be friends, but are not friends unless they both are lovable and know the fact; for a wish for friendship may arise quickly, but friendship does not.

There are no hard rules to separating the wheat from the chaff in your social circle. As I reflect on my twenties and the paths taken by the people I’ve known, my gut has been right almost every time. The strong got stronger; the weak remained weak. Consider your friends and acquaintances: who elevates you? Who makes you a better version of yourself? Whose goals and outlook align with yours?

Who Can Actually Benefit From Monk Mode?

The best candidates for Monk Mode are the naturally social and gregarious, for whom social exploration comes easily. If you’re caught up in a fun social routine of partying, meeting girls, and hanging out with friends, giving up part of your social life to focus on self-improvement will require sacrifice. You’ll be turning down invitations to events you want to attend and avoiding people you truly like. It will be painful, and pain implies growth.

How To Build A Network Of Virtuous Friends

Socializing can be productive and uplifting, but only if you consciously work to build a social life that elevates you. Here are a few suggestions for building a virtuous social circle:

  • Schedule a weekly one-on-one breakfast with a like-minded friend to review your goals and actions for the week
  • Get a training partner
  • Start playing a team sport
  • Reach out to someone you admire and invite them for coffee

These activities won’t eat into your time. You’ll maintain your social skills, and nurture friendships that will grow and stay with you throughout your life. You’ll me more likely to succeed at whatever you’re trying to accomplish, since you’ll have smart people around to give you reality checks and keep you accountable.

The Bottom Line

The right path is neither the Charybdis of self-exile nor the Scylla of complete surrender to mindless extroversion. Don’t use Monk Mode as an excuse to avoid building your tribe and fixing your social skills. On the other hand, don’t use this post as an excuse to get drunk every weekend with the same stagnant people.

Instead, find a balance. Moderate the time you devote to social interaction; be selective about how and with whom you spend that time; most importantly, focus on being a good friend, so that you can earn the respect and loyalty of other high-quality people. This is the path to a masculine and virtuous approach to friendship and life.


Nicomachean Ethics

The Hero’s Journey

Way Of Men

Nietzschean Wisdom For Digital Entrepreneurs

Most people associate Fredrick Nietzsche with his philosophical writings, but did you know he was also an early pioneer in the field of digital entrepreneurship?

I guarantee – and hear me without irony – you will get more benefit from Nietzsche’s teachings, than from any other information product that purports to teach you the secret to making money online. So without further ado, here are Nietszche’s nine pieces of advice for the 21st-century man choosing digital entrepreneurship over the relative comforts of a nine-to-five office job:

1) Understand that you are taking the harder of two roads, and there is no turning back:

Few are made for independence – it is a privilege of the strong. And he who attempts it, having the completest right to it but without being compelled to, thereby proves that he is probably not only strong but also daring to the point of recklessness. He ventures into a labyrinth, he multiplies by a thousand the dangers which life as such already brings with it, not the smallest of which is that no one can behold how and where he goes astray, is cut off from others, and is torn to pieces limb from limb by some cave-minotaur of conscience. If such a one is destroyed, it takes place so far from understanding of men that they neither feel it nor sympathize – and he can no longer go back! He can no longer go back even to the pity of men!

2) If you never take the leap, you will live with regret:

There is no drearier and more repulsive creature in nature than the man who has evaded his own personal destiny, his eyes squinting left and right, behind him, everywhere. We are accountable to ourselves for this existence of ours; and this is why we want to be the real helmsmen of our lives and keep them from resembling the mindless result of chance. … All this is not yourself, the young soul says to itself. Nobody can build you the bridge over which you must cross the river of life, nobody but you alone. True, there are countless paths and bridges and demigods that would like to carry you across the river, but only at the price of yourself; you would pledge yourself and lose it. In this world there is one unique path which no one but you may walk. Where does it lead? Do not ask; take it.

3) Choose the right niche:

Let the youthful soul look back on life with the question: what have you truly loved up to now, what has elevated your soul, what has mastered it and at the same time delighted it? Place these venerated objects before you in a row, and perhaps they will yield for you, through their nature and their sequence, a law, the fundamental law of your true self. Compare these objects, see how one complements, expands, surpasses, transfigures another, how they form a stepladder upon which you have climbed up to yourself as you are now; for your true nature lies, not hidden deep within you, but immeasurably high above you, or at least above that which you normally take to be yourself.

4) Persevere in the face of adversity:

The most fulfilling human projects appeared inseparable from a degree of torment, the sources of our greatest joys lying awkwardly close to those of our greatest pain. Why? Because no one is able to produce a great work of art without experience, nor achieve a worldly position immediately, nor be a great lover at the first attempt; and in the interval between initial failure and subsequent success, in the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at present, must come pain, anxiety, envy and humiliation. We suffer because we cannot spontaneously master the ingredients of fulfillment.

5) Have a clear vision of your end game:

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.

6) Run towards challenge and adversity:

To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures.

7) Cut yourself off from any people who aren’t helpful to your mission:

We were friends and have become estranged. But this was right, and we do not want to conceal and obscure it from ourselves as if we had reason to feel ashamed. We are two ships each of which has its goal and course; our paths may cross and we may celebrate a feast together, as we did—and then the good ships rested so quietly in one harbor and one sunshine that it may have looked as if they had reached their goal and as if they had one goal. But then the almighty force of our tasks drove us apart again into different seas and sunny zones, and perhaps we shall never see one another again,—perhaps we shall meet again but fail to recognize each other: our exposure to different seas and suns has changed us! That we have to become estranged is the law above us: by the same token we should also become more venerable for each other! And thus the memory of our former friendship should become more sacred! There is probably a tremendous but invisible stellar orbit in which our very different ways and goals may be included as small parts of this path,—let us rise up to this thought! But our life is too short and our power of vision too small for us to be more than friends in the sense of this sublime possibility.— Let us then believe in our star friendship even if we should be compelled to be earth enemies.

8) Hurting people’s feelings is an essential consequence of single-minded devotion:

Who will attain anything great if he does not possess the strength and the will to inflict great suffering? Being able to suffer is the least thing: weak women and even slaves often attain mastery in that. But not to perish of inner distress and uncertainty when one inflicts great suffering and hears the cry of this suffering—that is great, that belongs to greatness.

9) Limit your information inputs to what you can act on:

Moreover I hate everything that merely instructs me without increasing or directly quickening my activity.” These words of Goethe, like a sincere ceterum censeo, may well stand at the head of my thoughts on the worth and the worthlessness of history. I will show in them why instruction that does not “quicken,” knowledge that slackens the rein of activity, why in fact history, in Goethe’s phrase, must be seriously “hated,” as a costly and superfluous luxury of the understanding: for we are still in want of the necessaries of life, and the superfluous is an enemy to the necessary. We do need history, but quite differently from the jaded idlers in the garden of knowledge, however grandly they may look down on our rude and unpicturesque requirements. In other words, we need it for life and action, not as a convenient way to avoid life and action, or to excuse a selfish life and a cowardly or base action. We would serve history only so far as it serves life; but to value its study beyond a certain point mutilates and degrades life: and this is a fact that certain marked symptoms of our time make it as necessary as it may be painful to bring to the test of experience.

Nietzsche died a virgin, and so makes an unlikely hero for the Red Pill blogosphere. But the majority of what we believe and teach can be found in his writings.

If you’re new to Nietzsche, the best place to start is with Beyond Good and Evil. Grab a paperback for seven bucks on Amazon, or read it free at Gutenberg. Alternatively, you could skip the Nietzschean oeuvre, and spend a few hundred bucks on ‘make money online’ ebooks and webinars instead. No doubt this is what the majority of people will do; Nietzsche would be disappointed to have it any other way.

Building A Better 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


2. Call To Adventure


3. Refusal Of The Call


4. Meeting The Mentor


5. Crossing The Threshold

first threshhold

6. Tests, Allies, Enemies

allies tests

7. Approach To The Inmost Cave


8. Ordeal


9. Reward (Seizing The Sword)


10. The Flight Home

road back

11. Resurrection


12. Return With The 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.

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.”


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.