No, this is not a post about women pursuing men.
Instead, this is a post on men pursuing The Man. Rather, about Men pursuing the idealized version of ourselves.
The Ideal Man
We all have images in our heads of who we want to be. They vary from person to person. We want to be a physically fit, physically attractive man. We want to be a good partner dancer. We want to master a martial art. We want to write. To Draw. To be an artist. To be a voice of reason for change. To own a business. To learn a language. To give ourselves a self taught education of the classics and philosophy. To be well dressed. To Lead. To travel. To be charismatic. To be financially stable. To be self sustaining in power, food, water.
Some people might want to be this guy:
Or this one:
Or this one:
There are many other options for what you can want to hold within yourself as your own ideal self.
There are just as many reasons for why we might choose the ideals we desire to see in ourselves. And even the different parts of that image might be drawn from different desires. Shits and giggles. Desire to achieve a goal. A career. Happiness. Family. Stability. Safety. Health. A desire for long term relationships/marriage. A simple, masculine desire for competition. Because society told you so. Because religion told you so. Because a woman told you so. Because a role model inspired you to do so.
Some of these are healthy. Some are unhealthy. Some are one or the other depending on the situation, or both at once.
Many people chose who they want to be almost on a whim, or simply because one of the above told them to. Here in the manosphere, we put more thought into it. We look at life, our own individual abilities, our environment, and we make a choice for what we want to achieve of the options available to us. We look at men who have the kind of life we want, and we imitate the parts we think are relevant to their success, or the parts of their success we want to achieve.
So We Create Programs
Which is natural. Others may delude themselves that they can just wake up a changed man. We know better here. We know that fitness, education, leadership, charisma – really any self improvement – is a life long commitment. We create short term goals, that lead to mid term successes, that will set us up to achieve life achievements and improvements of our quality of life. Roosh put it great in his description of campaigns. We set goals, we dedicate ourselves to that goal by making willing sacrifices in other parts of our lives (sometimes temporary, sometimes not), and then we reach it. We either make sustaining it part of our routines or we smile, bask in a short sense of satisfaction, and move to the next chapter.
Yet sometimes we fall off the horse. We fail because we’re human. Because of circumstances outside of our control involving health, career, finances, legal issues. Because we’re too reckless, too wild, or too overconfident in our abilities. Sometimes we self sabotage.
Enter Self Shame and Getting Stuck
I’ve already posted a great deal of my new knowledge and viewpoints on shame vs guilt and how it has affected the hindsight view of my road to alpha. However there was something else I wanted to explore, and I think it is immensely important to those of us within the manosphere focusing on self improvement. That is how our ideals and goals can hurt us irrecoverably if we come from a place of shame. I didn’t expect to find the answer where I did, but when I wrote the original Shame Vs Guilt article I emailed Ricky Raw. The email exchange gave me the answer I was looking for:
The simple and short email exchange showed how if we hold up an image of our Ideal Self we can be blinded by the perfection of the image to the dangers and realities around us or begin unknowingly using the image to put ourselves down. Sometimes our ideals are simply too perfect for a human to achieve. To say so at the start is a cope out for haters, under achievers, for those too scared to dream. To continue believing when evidence is overwhelming that you won’t be able to achieve your ideal – for any reason outside of your control – is delusional. To continue believing and hurting yourself is coming from a place of shame.
Additionally, feeling like you are a horrible, shitty, lazy, etc. person for not going to the gym, going to the bars, reading a book – whatever, can be unhealthy. Becoming obsessed over your short comings will lead to a mindset of shame instead of one of guilt. Plan out your day to overcome the issue. Think of a way or method that can help you do what is needed and fill in for those short comings.
Don’t obsess over your short comings
If you let your mind tie in a feeling of shame with not doing an action the simple thought of correcting your mistakes becomes painful. This is unhealthy and will never let you correct the mistake
Don’t feel shitty that who you are isn’t who you want to be, nor that you can’t instantly become an idealized version of self. Life is a journey and a process, you will fail, fall, hurt, and overcome. Just as with lifting at the gym, if you never feel pain you’re doing something wrong. The only reason someone would never fail is because they set themselves mediocrity as a goal, not because they’re amazingly talented. Same for game, charisma, leadership – any goal.
Dust yourself off, adjust, and keep hustling.
Don’t be Icarus – a complete wreck and loss of life in pursuit of a blind, out of reach, unrealistic ideal.
Don’t be a slug satisfied with whatever damp moldy hole you find yourself in until a boot comes along.
Find your life as a man.
And own it.