The Anti-Self-Loathing Manifesto

People hate themselves. 

It is now a big part of my mission to help end self-loathing. Not just in me, but in others. As an idea or a way of life.

Self-loathing is at the root of many societal and cultural problems we have today. And I do not understand it.

So what happened?

A part of it seems to be the Western Enlightenment tradition of questioning everything. The endpoint of this, with no objective truth to ground this search, appears to be “Well, we’ve run our course lads. We’re uniquely evil upon the world. Let’s all die!”

This is bad. 

Another aspect seems to be subconscious boredom. When you’ve reached the top and live in peace and comfort, there’s nothing left to do but tear it all down and start over. Instead of starting a new project, we seem hellbent on wrecking the one we’ve built over the millennia.

And of course there are the enemies of civilization who foster and actively work towards this. 

But this is societal self-loathing. And societies are made of individuals. Individuals whom have that fallen, common, all-too-human tendency towards self-destruction.

I cannot change society myself, but it makes me sad to see my fellow humans, in real life and online, hate themselves. If my words can make anyone reconsider this course, I’ll consider all of this blogging a success. 

But what to do? What authority do I have?

Let me tell you: I have been there. And it’s still a struggle. But I’ve learned to not hate myself. It can be done. You don’t have to become an arrogant, selfish psychopath…but a little swagger never hurt anyone. 

Below I humbly declare my Anti-Self-Loathing Manifesto! Continue reading “The Anti-Self-Loathing Manifesto”

One Year of Failure

Oh my goodness I’ve been writing on this stupid blog for over a year.

My first post was published on May 14, 2016. So I missed the official one-year anniversary. So I failed at commemorating the occasion. Big deal.

Here’s how I opened that post:

Hello. My name is Alex, and I’m a failure.

And that’s okay.

If you’ve never failed at anything, that probably means that you haven’t tried anything.

So you see? I’m merely living up to expectations.

All kidding aside, it’s always cool to look back and see that you’ve been doing something consistently over a long period. I’m going to claim victory on this one, since it’s the longest I’ve ever kept a blog.

And you know something? I’ve actually learned a few things during this time. Things I’m gonna go share because this is a blog and pompous, long-winded explanations are what people do: Continue reading “One Year of Failure”

Eat A Rock

There’s something floating around the zeitgeist holding that failure is not the end of all things, but the beginning. 

“Fail forward.”

“Have a system.”

“Keep grinding.”

“Failure makes you stronger.”

It’s an idea that’s gaining a lot of traction, it’s proponents now looking like geniuses (Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Scott Adams come to mind).

My high school music teacher–the best teacher I ever had–used to say something to us before every performance: “Eat a rock.”

As in, go out and do something bold. Impossible. Dumb, even. But also glorious. And in order to eat a rock–and here’s the important part–you can’t give up or let up, not even for a second. Because if you do, you’ll never finish. 

It’s a silly metaphor, and it conjures up all sorts of interesting visual imagery, but it’s stuck with me all the same ever since. 

Eat a rock. 

I had a big failure recently. Like, a massive one. But something strange happened when I got the news. I wasn’t angry, or worried, or filled with self-pity. I felt–and this is where it gets weird–empty. Numb. 

Though this is the kind of thing that would make most wail and gnash their teeth, it didn’t move the needle for me one way or the other. It was just a thing, another thing in life that needs to be dealt with. 

Maybe I’ve been internalizing these messages. Maybe saturating myself in the world of self-improvement, systems-thinking, philosophy, and brotherhood so much these past two years is actually rubbing off on me. 

In truth, things will get worse before they get better. Life will get more difficult. But once the numbness wore off, felt oddly exhilarated. I went into my room, hit the knees in prayer, and when I got up, I felt a sense of resolve. 

I have a responsibility and a duty. To my family and to myself. 

There are things, like my thoughts and my health, that I can control. 

And nothing, not even failure, lasts forever.  Continue reading “Eat A Rock”

Living for Dying: No One Said Life Has to Make Sense

Kandili.JPG

It’s can be frustrating, can’t it? The ambition inflation of a certain generation weaned on the belief that it could do anything, be anyone, all because you were you? Both being of and dealing with this generation.

The truth is, you can do nearly whatever you want in America. But it’s not because the world owes you anything. In fact, it owes you nothing (or, as my grandfather used to put it, “The world doesn’t owe you shit.”) You have to go out and grab it.

But if you were raised in a cage of safety, affluent, and never facing any hardship, you likely don’t have that drive. It’s a strange paradox.

So your life sucks and it’s entirely your fault. What are you going to do about it?

My life doesn’t suck, but it hasn’t worked out as I planned it. This is for two reasons:

  1.  Life rarely, if ever, works out how you plan it; and
  2. I failed to go all-in on the things I should have gone all-in on.

Things didn’t work out as planned–who cares?

I don’t! I enjoy challenges, and life is a challenge.

When you’re 18 or 20 and you’re making plans, it’s delusional to think they’ll pan out to the letter. Unforeseen things pop up. They always do.

With the right kind of plans–that is, overarching visions and systems to achieve them, as opposed to nothing more than concrete goals–one’s younger years can be better served achieving some level of fruition later on.

If you tell yourself “I have to be X by this date,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. 

Far better to tell yourself “I shall do X every day so that I’ll put myself in the best position to achieve Y.”

This requires being comfortable with ambiguity. Many of us aren’t comfortable with this when we’re younger, but the older you get and the more you experience, the more ambiguity becomes a puzzle to figure out than a scary monster to run from.

That said, ambiguity can have its drawbacks. And yet, aside from things like career and where you live and family composition, it can seep into other areas of your life. Things like:

I’m going to dive deep here, so hold on. You have been warned. Continue reading “Living for Dying: No One Said Life Has to Make Sense”

The Paradox of Manhood: Thoughts on “Red Pill,” Mastery, and “Being a Man.”

Men: Are you a “cuck”? Are you a “beta”? Does the life you’ve been living got to go?

Have you been “red pilled,” or are you still “blue pilled”? Is our increasingly feminized society beating you down? Are you a victim of circumstance? Do you even know what the hell it is I’m talking about?

I described the “red pill” in my post “World of Illusions: 5 Lies We Tell Ourselves (And What to Do About Them)“:

[“Red pill” is] named after a scene in the popular sci-fi movie The Matrix, which came out when I was still in high school and good God do I feel old. Anyway, the idea is that everybody else is duped and that you are not.

Being “red pilled” isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my opinion, but it can lead to blind spots because

it creates a false sense of security whereby one thinks they are always right. Since few things are “always right” except for the fact that nobody is ever “always right,” this creates dangerous blind spots. You might reject, or not even seek, evidence, or take potential risks seriously, because you already have The Answer.

Lots of men–especially younger men and those burned by divorce, infidelity, or the law stripping them of their rights to see their children–describe themselves like this, seeing the “true” nature of women and the system, and acting accordingly. They also tend to wear fedoras and–

All right, enough snideness. I’m not going for the low-hanging fruit. You might think it hypocritical that the guy who wrote about men being trapped in a cage of safety or being afraid to take risks is poking fun at the men’s right movement or whatever you want to call it.

morpheus-the-matrix-red-pill-and-blue-pill

Well, for starters, I sympathize a lot with these men and their movement. It is a rational, foreseeable reaction to insane third-wave feminism run amok. So I hope that they take the jokes in the spirit in which they are intended.

Second, I’ve never accused women as a whole of being responsible for the degradation of manhood, or the ruination of Western civilization. After all, a lot of men have a vested interest in this as well. Divide and conquer so you can grab power, whether it’s by race or by gender or any other way we distinguish people and pit them against each other. The kicker is that the people who push these destructive ideas and foster animosity and distrust between men and women usually don’t even live the way they expect us to. What hypocrites.

But I’m going to speak to the men, because it is a gender I have more experience being. And while I have some sympathy with men’s rights activists and the MGTOW (men going their own way; that is, men foregoing women, sex, and reproduction as a way of protest) movement, on the whole it makes me sad.

Yes, a lot of laws and societal norms are stacked against men’s interests, but this is not the work of womanhood as a whole. It’s the work of activists, men and women, who want to reshape society into something more in tune with their personal political beliefs, many of which go against human nature. And second, I feel for guys that have had a bad experiences with women–we all have–but it makes me sad because to give up on a relationship and potentially having a family is very tragic indeed.

Also, it’s sort of the thinking that the stereotypical man-hating bull-dyke radical lesbian feminist decried by the men’s rights crowd is presumed to think, turning to that life due to bad experiences with men.

Anyway, as somebody who has teetered on this edge of “going his own way,” only to reclaim himself, and also as an older member of a generation struggling to know and understand what “being a man” means, I’m here to share the insights I’ve faced in my struggles. And I can boil it down into three key points:

  1. Don’t be a pleaser
  2. Become a master
  3. Women are not your enemy

Continue reading “The Paradox of Manhood: Thoughts on “Red Pill,” Mastery, and “Being a Man.””

How I Get Work Done while Working from Home

I’m lucky enough to have a job that allows me to work part of the time from home. Due to some difficult family circumstances, this has been a blessing despite the wear and tear on my body, soul, time, car, and wallet. 

I’m getting through it by changing my mindset, creating effective systems, and good-old-fashioned faith in God. And while working from home is incredibly convenient given today’s technology, it has some drawbacks as well. 

I’ll go over these drawbacks and some steps I’ve taken to overcome them.  Continue reading “How I Get Work Done while Working from Home”

Book Review: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

I never “got” Dilbert until I started working an office job. And then it all started to make sense.

Dilbert comic strip
Copyright Scott Adams. Used without permission. If Mr. Adams wants me to take this down, I will do so without hesitation.

In just a few panels, creator Scott Adams is able to get to the heart of the workplace absurdity in corporate America. Adams brings this same clarity of thought to his political analysis, being one of the few people to accurately predict the course of the 2016 presidential election.

Whether it’s because of his persuasion and hypnosis training or just an inborn way of looking at the world, Adams provides a fresh perspective and a clarity of thought to everything he writes about.

Oh, and in 2013 he also published one of the best “self-help” books you’ll ever read.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life is, by Adams’s own admission, “not an advice book,” cartoonists being notoriously unreliable role-models. Instead, Adams catalogs all of his life’s failures and explains the lessons he learned from them, suggesting that the reader “compare[s] my story with the stories of other people who found success and see if you notice any patterns.” (p. 1)

This sounds funny, and it is. Adams has a way with words. But aside from making you laugh, you’ll be blown away by the insights and just how practical Adams’s advice is. Here’s a big piece, for you:

Systems are where it’s at. Goals are for losers.

There. Now you don’t have to read the book. I saved you $10.00. You’re welcome.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams
Scott Adams

That was a joke. I highly recommend you give Adams your money in exchange for his book. But I’ve made my point: Although he illustrates his lessons through the use of stories, Adams doesn’t play games and he doesn’t hide the ball. His descriptions of things that have worked for him in his life are direct and incisive, and he provides practical tips on how to incorporate these lessons into your life. Even better, he uses his persuasion techniques to plant the seeds in your head in a memorable way so that, months after you finish the last page and put the book down, the lessons still percolate in your head. Continue reading “Book Review: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams”