Your life is a project….. foundations
December 7, 2012 25 Comments
I recently parsed the history of Game, drawing out macro themes that emerge from the busywork of thousands of individual explorers, theorists and deniers. Painting in such wide brushstrokes necessarily ignores nuance and diversity so my apologies to those of your who feel your school of thought was unfairly represented. Not that I give a fuck. The obvious question is what comes next?
Predictions are difficult to make, especially about the future. Rather I’ll address a question that gets directed my way regularly through emails and comments: I’m a young guy setting off on the path, what should I do? So here I’ll set up a high-level view of one solution. It’s heavily informed by my own experiences and interests so feel free to flex it to your own circumstances. I haven’t followed this path exactly – it’s an idealised version based on learning from the mistakes of myself and others. First internalise the following axioms:
A woman’s value is mostly fixed at birth. Her strategy is to maintain that value, prevent it’s erosion (e.g. through bad diet or feminism), and learn how to present it to men. Conversely a man’s value is mostly built through his life choices. A high value man is the outcome of a long process relying upon part genetics, part mentoring, part luck, and lots and lots of self-directed hard work. This is why Eastern European women (and women from low-middle GDP countries generally) are so much higher value than their men – the conditions for creating high value women are abundant whereas the specific circumstances to get the best out of men are rare.
Your life is a project to be managed according to goals of your choosing. In psycho-babble the locus of control is internal. Does a top poker player bemoan his hand and resign himself to defeat? No, he plays his cards the best he can and pounces on the opportunities that arise. A wise man once said “investment success is not about winning more than you lose. It’s how much you win when you’re right, and how much you lose when you’re wrong.” You must take control of your life’s path.
There are three phases to a man’s life: foundation, accumulation and maintenance. Roughly analogous to a farmer ploughing the field, sowing the seed, and reaping the harvest. The limits to each phase are set by how well you executed the preceding phase.
Working smarter is better than working harder, but you’ll still have to work hard. Do not search for a Wop Paradise where you can lie in a hammock and everything just comes to you.
1. Foundation (birth to first real job)
Chances are you will have already completed this phase before reaching the maturity and self-awareness necessary to know there was even a process to follow. If so, console yourself by knowing you can now mentor the younger generation to steer the boys you care about onto the right path. Modern society gives you fifteen years of free education and fifteen years of free time with which to pursue it. This is an opportunity you will never get again – your bills paid for you and no expectation except to learn. Yes the education system is fucked, yes university is a long-con, and yes most teachers are socialist parasites but you can still make it work for you. Enjoy your study, keep focused on the prize, and do not fall into the slacker frame of “it’s all bullshit” and you need to “keep it real” on the streetz, yo. So what is the goal?
Goal: Build the basic foundational skills that society expects of all its functioning members.
It’s not rocket science yet. Example… Learn to read actively. It’s easy to doze off in class and let your eyes just wander down the page, passively letting the words float over you. No. Approach each text as a potential solution to the problems your mind has identified. Most of you theory-junkies here are passionate about Game theory because you can sense it’s giving you real answers to real problems. Approach academic study the same way. Life is full of hugely interesting side stories if you’ll just allow yourself to enjoy them. Most of my school friends found History boring – just a bunch of old stuff of little relevance. For me, each module was a self-contained tapestry of stories and biography. Think of all the richness and colour of human experience in Napoleon’s march on Moscow, or the technical excellence of Nelson’s strategy in the Battle of Trafalgar. Consider the politicking and economics of the Corn Laws and their eventual repeal. Every subject is what you make it. Ask yourself the right questions going into it, set yourself the right frame, and you can strike your own personal gold from your education. This will translate into good academic scores, win-win relationships to teachers, and planting the seeds of excellence into a fertile mind. The main risks here are (i) your classmates – you need to avoid social exclusion while not letting the crabs pull you back into the barrel (ii) maintaining motivation when you’re still a young man who isn’t sure of himself.
As you approach your late teenage years choices open up over what you study and where, such as choosing a university. It’s vital that you take control of your choices. Don’t sleepwalk into a university course. Do not choose a course to learn about society / philosophy / arts / literature / sociology. The reason for the latter is that there are much cheaper, much better ways to get that education on the side while reserving your large time-cost university investment into a subject that results in marketable skills. If you’re really curious about liberal arts type stuff follow this plan in your free time:
Find a course you’re interested in and obtain the reading list (and if possible lecture notes) then read on your own time whatever looks interesting
Find blogs by experts in the field and read them
Over time you’ll learn how to research a field and obtain the books you need.
But when it comes to university or an apprenticeship focus on real-world marketable skills and dedicate yourself to the pursuit of excellence. Not only will your competitive male instincts be harnessed but you’ll build your confidence in line with your competence. So consider what you are good at and what things tend to interest you (e.g. do you like sitting down for several hours single-mindedly solving technical problems, do you like tinkering and getting your hands dirty on machines, do you like glad-handing other people and running events?) then research careers. Don’t wait for it to come to you through a careers department – seek out more experienced men in those fields to advise you. Adult men take great satisfaction in mentoring bright young men, passing on their legacy. As a kid you might think “what do I have to offer this successful adult man?” and psych yourself out. Don’t. Skilled men take pleasure in exercising that skill just for its own sake. You’ll find some experts willing to mentor you.
Another foundational skill is cost control / downshifting. Matrix plug-ins buy into the frame that higher levels of consumption are the route to happiness and social acceptance. This leads their cost base to bloat with high fixed payments for a mortgage, car, cable tv add-ons, taxis home from the pub and so on. Due to the principle of hedonic adjustment you won’t actually experience any greater happiness from this bloated consumption but you will paralyse yourself financially. A man’s happiness requires freedom. Keep your cost base low and flexible. As a teenager you set these foundations mainly by disinvesting your ego from consumption and instead placing a high value on flexibility. Minimise your entanglements by remaining debt-free, do not get sucked into a web of collectivist obligations and counter-obligations from your family, girlfriends, mates or political groups. Late teenage is the time that collectivist parasites will try to suck you in to fight their battles and promise your resources to them. Resist it. The only person with your self-interest at heart is yourself. Do not allow yourself to be shamed for it. The world doesn’t owe you a living and you don’t owe the world. Ask not what your country can do for you. Just tell it to fuck off and mind it’s own business.
This is also the time to set yourself onto the low-tax low-reliance path. Consider your health, skills and personality to be your pension. As a kid it’s easy to take your health for granted but like a woman’s beauty, once it’s gone it’s gone forever. When racked with ill-health everything in life takes on an unpleasant tone so avoid it at all costs. This means get yourself to the gym. I’d recommend focusing your energies into a sport that you enjoy rather than gym-for-gym’s sake which few young men have sufficiently developed mental discipline to stick through. Play football, boxing or whatever it is you enjoy but make sure it’s manly, fun, and carries a low risk of catastrophic injury (i.e. where a bad move can ruin your life, e.g. a bad fall in skiing). This sport will greatly aid your social acceptance while building the health, confidence and responsibility for your own performance that will pay dividends the rest of your life. Be aware of diminishing returns so don’t aim for mastery, aim for “very competent”. Mastery is a timesink that will draw resources away from other equally vital projects.
None of the above needs to be rushed. Just choose the right start lines and set off in the right direction. Youth is impetuous while maturity is patient. Just keep doing the right things in the right balance knowing this is money in the bank as you approach the accumulation phase.
to be continued….