It’s 3:30 AM as I finish writing this after a 14 hour work day. I’m looking at 5 hours of sleep (maybe), but had a need to explore this idea. It’s rougher around the edges than the last few, but I needed an outlet tonight and I wouldn’t have time to proof read it for a week. Which I hate. So let me know if this makes any god damn sense.
I’ve been fairly lucky lately with how my fortunes, or the act of overcoming my misfortunes, have timed out. I don’t know if they will continue to be good fortunes for myself…. I’m enjoying the benefits and excited about the possible opportunities and growth as I learn from my mistakes and correct them. Some of these are fairly quick changes, while some will take hours, days, or possibly months of introspection. These opportunities all sprouted from various physical, emotional, or spiritual injuries caused by one thing. Actually, from what I can tell of most of the pain and disappointment men experience in the world, much of it can be attributed to the same factor I experienced in one way or another.
It All Starts the Same
As men, we often set goals for ourselves. If we’re smart, we plan and track out paths for how we will attain these goals. We create game plans for how we will crush our enemies, crush our bodies to make them stronger, or crush some women we find attractive.
Cause that’s what life is, right?
Just crushing a bunch of pussies in one form or another, hah!
For those of us smart enough to plan out a game plan for such crushing of the undeserving, we usually do some research. We use the internet for something other than porn to find an expert, studies, or others like us. We trust them enough to give them influence in creating our plan. They tell us we should be able to start at one point, focus our energies towards specific actions, which will prepare us for further action. The day trader starting small before he’s able to make big money. The new gym enthusiast. The man new to gaming women. The new business owner.
I could go on and on. Really, any goal that has been achieved before by another man generally has a wealth of information on how to achieve the same or adapt his steps to your own reality and purpose.
So you take those steps and follow them.
And holy shit!
It’s working! All those haters be damned, because you’re finding success! Unlike my previous writing on Pursuit of the Ideal Man, you have no danger falling off the horse and experiencing shame. You’re riding your dream to the promised land to achieve your goal and it’s going more smoothly than ever. You feel fantastic. You feel strong. You feel like a god among men because you’re doing even better than your plans built on the foundation of experts said you would.
You’re a fucking machine.
And you push harder, faster, and stronger towards your goals that you ever thought you could, constantly achieving success as you look from the numbers of one goal to the next. You’re lifting heavier weights, you’re making more money, you’re landing more women. Whatever your goal was, you think you can get there in half the time you estimated originally
Until you Fall Apart
You see, in your narcissism you trusted your own opinions and advice over that of the experts. You forgot that those plans are not only there to push you forward, but also hold you back for your own good. One needs a level of mastery and control before moving from one step to the next. To do otherwise will be to hurt yourself. They knew that when they put together their advice – you simply thought you were better than them
You thought you were special.
You had something to prove. Either to yourself or the world. As such, you focused on one thing:
You Focused on Gains
On strength gains. On lays. On dollar bills.
Instead of learning the process and the theories/methods behind it, you simply memorized the process and pushed forward with all your might. You cared for nothing other than your success and the amount of awesome you could inspire in achieving it so quickly. You fail to learn the form, the theories, the practices, and the mentalities that are developed over time for the purpose of keeping you safe from harm or giving you the tools to be able to deal with emergencies or events as they occur.
I believe that this blindness can driven by narcissism and shame. It can also be formed by hubris, a confidence built on previous successes, but that’s rare in modern society as we stamp down any sense of pride in real accomplishments as soon as we see them. Instead, it is the quick and sudden accomplishments of the mediocre or failing individuals that is based in this shame. They finally think they’ve landed success. That they’ll finally prove themselves. That they’ll finally have lasting happiness.
That they’ll finally have worth.
And this blind desire to finally be worth something in their own and others eyes shines a light on their successes while blinding them to their exponentially growing deficiencies until they hurt themselves.
I feel like this is starting to get a bit wordy and abstract, so let me offer two personal examples that I’m currently learning from:
For the weights the story is fairly simple. I haven’t hit a gym in 10 years and, while physically active all those years with work, I have fairly decent endurance and mediocre strength. I got through the job by knowing how to use my body and environment to smartly use physics to make my job easier with different leverages. So I went into the gym and started using the methods put forth in Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. I was sore as hell, loving it, and seeing huge gains in the numbers I was lifting – I was usually adding 10 pounds a work out to to squats and deadlifts, and 5-10 to Bench press and overhead press.
If you haven’t guessed it, my form suffered and sputtered without me realizing it. I wasn’t paying attention because I hadn’t spent enough time learning the form and was blinded by the ability to achieve my goals for lifting. Before I got injured I was ‘squatting’ 200, dead lifting 180, and 140 on the bench/overhead. While these aren’t amazing numbers they’re a damn sight higher than what I started at and I was only able to achieve them because I was cheating on my forms. Overworking some muscles while under working others.
I was an accident waiting to happen. An old soccer injury was what finally got me when I pulled my groin on a squat, deadlift, and overhead press day. I’m honestly not sure which did it – I’m still confused because I didn’t feel it go until halfway through my overhead work reps, and seriously, who pulls their groin on overhead press!? But it was a mandatory two months off the gym. I couldn’t walk without pain, do crunches, push ups, anything. Apparently your groin muscle, if seriously hurt, is serious business. I had to turn down work because I wasn’t able to commit my body to doing carpentry for those two months.
I had a similar story with women. As an extrovert who is shy as hell, I was raised as an introvert. So when I found game I studied the crap out of it and put it into practice. I bought Band and Day Bang and put them into use. I got a same day lay from a coffee shop. I got a non-committed relationship sending me Alice in Wonderland nudes; while at the same time dating three other women and eventually banging one (though you monogamous people can breath a sigh of relief – it was after I was done dating the other). I was an approach machine and having a blast getting numbers from women I thought would be way out of my league, having stories, having fun.
But I was pushing forward on mere instinct really. I didn’t learn the forms, hadn’t worked on any real inner game but merely the illusion of it – to myself as well as them. And then one night I got this hypergamous bitch on my bed. I had thought I did everything. Did it perfectly. I hadn’t learned what really connects my actions to my core of desires and intent. I got used and abused by someone I had thought was a guaranteed lay. Then the same thing happened when I narrowly dodged a chick myself and readers believe leveled a regret rape accusation at another man.
I was pulling tail. Yet what I thought was quality women was really batshit insane. Everything I was landing was due to a messed up game landing me messed up women. You just couldn’t tell until you had spent enough time around them to see what makes them tick.
The Injuries Led to Learning
With each of those areas, I’ve started working on them in earnest the last two weeks. I spent the time learning more about each and adapting more to my body and mind. I’ve also learned that following a program is important, and that following it means not trying to surpass it either. As such, I focused on my form within these areas. More of the basics – grow more by doing complicated core/foundational work in simple methods.
Then I learned more about shame last week.
I learned that the shame was having me put the goal first and using it to define myself. As such, no matter what actions I was doing I was focusing on how it would make me appear to the world rather than on the action itself. Which is dangerous to do.
Now I put the form first. A good form in all my actions is a requirement to the success of my goal. I won’t blindly achieve a goal by cheating my form
The Form of an Action
The best part about putting the quality of your form first in the requirements of achieving your goals is that it separates you from the shame driven desire of metrics. Concentrating on the form will let you know and honestly appraise where you’re at in achieving your goals. A constant vigilance of form will let your auto correct your actions to meet changing realities. But because form is not something that one can just tell or show off in the same manner that someone can brag about making a certain amount of money, squating a certain weight, landing a woman, etc.
Much of the world can be easily impressed by a metric.
That’s why those acting through shame based inspirations to prove themselves focus on such accomplishments.
It takes a rare expert to be impressed by a perfect execution of form. Which is why it is so rare to those same people based in shame – it becomes something that would mean nothing to their goal of proving themselves to be of worth. Because of that, a focus on pushing yourself while staying in form pushes additional muscles. Never has my whole body been in as much pleasant pain as when I went back and did work sets of squats with perfect form at 140 working weight but going fully parallel to the floor, using two 50 lb dumb bells to work on my bench press form, and a nice dead lift. My main muscles aren’t all that affected – I’d over worked them in the prior training – but everything else was giving me some burning love the next day. I’ve had the same success focusing on my inner game, education, and seeing glimmers of it with my career and work.
Stop being the perfectionist
Exercise some self compassion in your pursuit of your ‘Ideal Self’
Focus on the actions.
Perfect the actions
Find yourself in the journey
Don’t expect to create a perfect image of yourself with the flip of a switch