You have an image of the Man you would like to be. We all do.
Some of us dream of a bullet belt strapped across our chest. Some of imagine a navy blue power suit. Some of us fantasise of a twelve inch doodle. And will likely fantasise our whole lives.
For most of us, there are only a few aspects of manliness that particularly stand out.
Strength. Courage. Resolve. Reticence. Doing what we say we are going to do.
For each of us the virtues are different in weighting. Some are more important to us as individuals than others.
Here’s the issue:
To attain any of these, you are going to have to make changes that put you at odds with the majority of the world.
You are going to have to switch off, and become weird to certain others. Thankfully, these others, you will find, are a waste of fucking time, and have likely been leaching your energy like the parasites they are. Or, they are simply stupid people. There are many, many stupid people. Stupid people are incredibly easy to spot. They are the ones watching TV.
Rule 1. Turn off your television.
If you are watching TV, you are indulging in stupidity. You have important things to do in your life. Incredibly important things. You cannot waste the time you have watching reality TV and the news. Watching free-to-air television is akin to opening your mouth and having someone pour shit down your throat. The most amusing thing? Most TV watchers will agree with me. And then go right back to the box.
(Note: this doesn’t include Netflix or Youtube. Blokes gotta tune out sometimes. But it’ll be your choice, not some faceless TV executive’s.)
Rule 2. Do not watch, listen or read any news whatsoever.
The news will destroy any sense of equilibrium you have. Once you have developed a sense of calm, once you have removed yourself from Permanent Emergency Mode, you will notice how the news upsets. Its sole purpose is not to inform, but to influence cultural mindset. YOU are the king of your mind, and YOU will, from hereon in, decide on your own mindset.
Rule 3. Cut down or cut out alcohol for extended periods.
Alcohol is a poison. We all know this. But it’s so delicious. And fun. But, it kills you, slowly, and it’s addictive. Being able to wean off addictions is more important than the type of addiction itself. So give yourself time away from the booze and see what happens. It is much, MUCH easier to remain motivated and retain resolve when off alcohol. Falling off the train because of a bender is the easiest excuse in the world, and one that will eventually anger you.
Rule 4. Indulge in Daily Work.
Now you have some mental space that’s free from adrenalised misery and reality TV, you can do some work. I subscribe to Robert Anton Wilson’s view of hard work as Hard Play. The word “work” can demotivate, so call it play. This is not your job. This is the work you do to make yourself better. It’s working out, exercising, writing, journalling, art, music, walking, building relationships, creating in some way now that you have the time to do it. A great place to start is the Thing That You Always Wanted To Do But Never Had Time For.
There are many details that make all these easier, and we’ll cover them along the way. For now, start with just one Rule, and see what happens.
Change slowly. You have your whole life.