Developing unshakable conviction.

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Developing unshakable conviction.

Think about the most inspirational and feared people in history. Steve Jobs, Ghandi, Genghis Khan and the puppies in the picture above all had something in common. They held an unshakable conviction their path in whatever field they pursued was correct. These men inspired and led others, for good or bad, in a way that impacted our world drastically.

So why is such conviction important? Well let’s take it down to a relatable scale. As a man, if you are active in dating or are in an existing relationship there is one thing that is obvious. Women like a man that is self-assured without being arrogant and motivated in achieving something with their life. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, but for the most part male attractiveness and life conviction is inextricably linked. One of the biggest complaints women have with men is that they come across as ineffectual.

It is important to understand that this does not mean making yourself an ‘alfa-bro’ type, because typically these types of men turn out to be fuckwits when it comes to any non-superficial relationship. It is just as important to develop a strong awareness of arrogance versus strong convictions. No-one likes an arrogant twat, but people can admire someone with strong convictions even if they are misguided.

So how does one develop these unshakeable convictions about themselves? Firstly, they strongly understand who they are as a person. They acknowledge their weaknesses and leverage their strengths. They constantly try to self-improve and understand how to relate to others. Yes, Hitler was a psychopathic arsehole, but he was very relatable to the average German in the early years of his political campaign.

Secondly, have a clear picture of what you want in life. It is extremely important that this step comes second. Many people put the cart before the horse and do not know themselves before they gun for what they think they want, myself included. I was married young, jumped into a career young and didn’t realise until almost a decade later that young me was misguided.

In all honesty, the first two steps take quite some time to achieve. I feel that a lot of people are unable to fully understand themselves until at earliest their late 20s to early 30s. It may take more time than society allows to get to step three which is developing a clear action plan. Taking an assessed approach based on the analysis conducted in the first two steps is how you develop this plan. That is not to say some of your decisions can’t be impulsive, nor does it mean that you have to set deadlines. What is does mean is if you clearly understand what you want, know the framework on how you will achieve that and try not to compromise the plan.

Why is this important? Many people seem lost in life. They make continual poor decisions regarding the most important aspects of life and never take the opportunity to develop the ability to work out and comprehend what is truly right for their life. Even if they do work it out, they are almost always willing to compromise on those things because they don’t develop the ability to have unshakeable convictions in how their life should be. Relationships or work are the most likely thing to derail your plan, so you need to find the right path and stay true.

Any other result will lead to long term dissatisfaction with life and can never end in true sustainable happiness. Which is really the ultimate point to life until people much smarter than me work out the real meaning for us being here.

If you have taken these steps, you will have that unshakable conviction that you are making the most out of your life for you, rather than what others expect you to do. This has the by-product of being attractive and interesting to those around you which is always a plus.

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Jealousy and Ego.

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Jealousy and Ego.

When we were still in the trees flinging rocks and shit at each other, the strongest males jealously guarded their right to bang as many females as possible. This made a lot of evolutionary sense, as the strongest were invariably the most suitable to continue the species in such an environment. Beating your competition to death with their severed arm made a lot of sense.

Nowadays not so much. So why does jealousy and ego still rule many relationships. We’ve all either experienced or displayed jealousy in a relationship. I can guarantee we have all heard “who the fuck is [insert random name of opposite gender] and why are they messaging you?”, or ”they’re only being nice because they want to fuck you!”.

Jealousy is a manifestation of ego. Our ego is principally our sense of ‘self’ according to many old dudes who wrote shit about human psychology. Basically, you’re feeling devalued and undermined because your significant other has other primates sniffing around their arse. Particularly if your significant other is entertaining your competition, which is a whole different issue.

The problem with how you’re likely viewing this situation is that humans are far less governed by our instinctual behaviour than our evolutionary forefathers. We also have strong emotional responses governing our actions. Where it all comes into conflict is when we think that our emotional and instinctual responses are connected rather than mutually exclusive.

The question is, do you think your partner who claims they love you would still love you if the slept with another person? If you don’t, you really must ask yourself why. You looked after them in times of need, had endless conversations about what to eat for dinner, cried, laughed and every other emotion together. It is your ego manifesting as jealousy telling you this is a bad thing. It is the angry possessive ape in your brain screaming at you to bash your competitions head in, even if they aren’t competition at all.

So what do we do about this? Do we allow the angry ape to control our actions or do we take a different path? There is approximately a zero percent success rate for relationships that allow jealousy to govern behaviour. Think about it for yourself, do you want a relationship with a partner that constantly second-guesses your motives or questions your love for them? Of course you don’t, no one does. Unless you’re a masochist of course.

If you sit down, think and acknowledge that either you or your partner has an ego problem what do you do about it? Well that depends on the person, situation and whether said situation is redeemable. In my experience it usually isn’t something you can fix nor should you want to. Everyone is living their own journey and is ultimately responsible for their own happiness.

You may think this a little callous, but it is the truth. You can’t be expected to ‘fix’ someone and for the most part you won’t succeed. If you’ve been reading any of my other articles, you will likely see a strong theme that for the most part change comes from within. Every person is responsible for the positive changes in their lives and should not rely on others to affect that change for them.

Ego is one of the things that definitely requires an internal push to successfully limit. There is very little positive emotion derived from unrestrained ego and it almost always results in a shit load of crazy. So why would you want to allow your ego to govern your behaviour? The only conceivable reason anyone allows this to happen is a substantial lack of self-reflection.

If you are in a relationship with someone that allows their ego to roam unchecked creating a tumultuous shit storm of jealousy and rage, you really need to take a step back and ask yourself why you allow it to happen. If you are the one allowing ego to create jealousy within yourself over non-issues, you also need to take the time for some self-reflection and stop being a twat. No one ever said personal development was easy and no one is going to do the hard work for you.

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You do not have the right to be stupid.

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You do not have the right to be stupid.

"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious." Stephen hawking.

Our ancestors had it good. If you wanted to know something, you didn’t have the collective knowledge of humanity at your fingertips to search and find an answer. You couldn’t cross reference sources and easily come to a conclusion like you can today. You could be willfully ignorant and stupid and no-one could really blame you for it. In the modern age, you have no right to be ignorant or indeed stupid. You can be knowledgeable and intelligent with the click of a button. So why is there so much ignorance and stupidity in the world?

There is a fundamental baseline of knowledge that a human should have to be a productive part of society. You should know the general history of humanity, what the scientific method is and how your political system works. You definitely should know the basic errors humanity has committed in the past and why we should not commit the same mistakes in the future. If you don’t know why perpetuating ignorance is bad you should forsake many of your basic human rights, because you are not fit to make decisions.

It is imperative that humanity ascend past the quagmire of bullshit it repeatedly finds itself in and the only way to do that is create a population that is educated, aware and is able to make rational and logical decisions founded on a basis of knowledge. The reason we continually find ourselves in the same position time and time again is the lack of awareness that other humans have fucked up the same way before. So why do we keep failing at progressing to the next stage of social evolution?

Right now, in this day and age we have two parallel situations that the ancient Greeks, Romans and revolutionary French found themselves in. An increasing wealth gap between the richest and poorest in society and a growing group of disenfranchised people that feel they are being left behind. Historically speaking, this is a one-way ticket to revolution. People can only be pushed so far before they lash out. The issue with revolutions is we typically end up in the same place we started. The key is in the word ‘revolution’. Something that revolves will always end up in the same place.

It is very topical that we have current events supporting what I’ve said here. Many countries are increasingly emotive in their choices rather than rational and logical. Believing something isn’t true is enough, rather than basing statements on facts or evidence. I’ve recently seen an interview with a politician that was confronted with facts said that he understood what the interviewer was saying, but chose not to believe it. How can you choose not to believe a fact?

Many of the people you see every day will choose to believe something despite factual evidence pointing to the contrary. Shit, entire school districts allow intelligent design to be taught alongside evolution as valid science. This shit really has to change. Ignoring something because it doesn’t fit your beliefs is just plain stupid.

This really amounts to a key point. Beliefs are dangerous, ideas are not. Typically, a belief will be a set value point that cannot be easily amended or changed. People should instead adopt the concept of having ideas over beliefs. If you have an idea and it is challenged by reality, you can amend the idea to take on the new information and therefore not perpetuate the stupid.

How then do we break this cycle? Well the most obvious starting point is preventing stupidity through adequate education. This does not mean the school system, which clearly does not meet it’s objective. This means finding another way to pass on critical information to the next generation of humans. It is imperative to create a sense of curiosity, as this will encourage young humans to reach out and find the information they are looking for. We have the internet, so use it. Let people educate themselves by pushing curiosity upon them.

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Take breakups for what they really are. A time to self-reflect.

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Take breakups for what they really are. A time to self-reflect.

Humans typically don’t take rejection well, so it is no surprise most of us really don’t handle breakups with decorum. For the most part there is tears, resentment and the ridiculous childish backlash of blocking your ex on any and all social media. Having been on the receiving and delivering end of breakups, I’ve had the spectrum of ridiculousness both instigated by myself and my former paramours.

If there is something that I have learnt from all that drama it is this: Breakups usually happen for a good reason and they are the best time to self-reflect. Rather than look towards the failure of the ex who is no longer in your life, it is far more beneficial to understand where you went wrong and try and work on being better than you were.

As I mentioned I’ve experienced a few and it took me awhile to realise the importance of that self-reflection. For me, it was in a hotel room in Singapore when I was doing a visa run. I was sitting staring at the wall (I vaguely remember there being a picture of a sunset) and thinking that considering my run of relationships was rather rocky, would I ever really be in love?

Thinking back on all the relationships I previously had, I acknowledged where I had gone wrong. Being married at a really young age and rather immature, I was never the best husband and throughout other relationships I’d missed the point in trying to connect with someone I was truly compatible with. I somewhat unfairly filled that void in my personal life with people that were available at the time rather than waiting for the right person. That was unfair on the people I dated, but having no experience with a deeper connection I erroneously thought that was all there was to relationships. Unfortunate.

Being in those situations, I met people that had their own problems and were looking for a solution through finding someone that was willing to accept them and thought I may have been that person. This is no one’s fault in particular, it is symptomatic of how most of us go through relationships. We accept something that is just ‘good enough’, we are unwilling to be completely honest when it is not meeting our expectations and we eventually feel obligated to continue the relationship due to the time we have been together, rather than being brave enough to move on.

To all of you that have had a hard time going through a breakup, I suggest this. Sit down, consider who you are and where you went wrong during your relationship. Yes, breaking up sucks. Feelings are hurt and sometimes you’ll end up in that deep hole of feeling inadequate, particularly if you were on the receiving end of the situation. The thing is, there is no point in allocating blame it makes literally no difference who did what. The situation remains and you have to come out of it stronger.

Self-reflection can also hurt, because at times there are definitely things we can do for personal development and self-improvement. No one is perfect and people make mistakes. Don’t be a fucking idiot and acknowledge what you did wrong (and right! Don’t just beat yourself up) and commit to making improvements.

Once you have ended a relationship, there is no point wallowing in any regret, negative feelings or anger because it quite literally will not help you in any way whatsoever. Negativity breeds negativity. Nothing positive ever came out of being negative towards anyone or anything, so why bother? I was there more than once and it was the worst time of my life, until I realised I was capable of deciding how I reacted to the situation I felt myself in.

Most people have a hard time breaking free of that cycle. We continually replace the void left by the breakup with something new, without consolidating and realising what is good for us. I’ve done it, plenty of friends of mine have done it, it’s nothing new. So don’t let that cycle define you. Find what you really need to make you sustainably happy.

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Failure and success.

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Failure and success.

You learn more from failure than success. Failure gives rise to two things: 1. Lessons learned that will feed into future planning, and 2. Allow for self-reflection.

Due to this, we should never be afraid of failure but rather focus on these two elements if we do fail. Failure provides knowledge of the steps required to succeed. Military forces are arguably the most prominent examples of using failure to drive success. These organisations rely on their capacity to learn from past mistakes to ensure future planning overcomes potential for the same points of failure.

Based on this learning, most modern militaries are far more engaged in training than operations. Everyone can use this as an example of how to deal with failure in any aspect of our life. Take a failed relationship for example. Most people do not focus on the right aspects to learn from failed relationships, we tend to try and allocate blame. We either blame ourselves or our ex or some intangible thing without trying to learn from the mistakes we made.

Having been through a divorce and multiple failed relationships, I did the same thing. I didn’t consider the root cause of the failure and eventually had an epiphany. Instead of trying to find the person I was inherently compatible with, I thought I was in love with someone but instead was in love with the idea I had of them. I never really understood or connected with who they actually were.

When I realised I could apply the same root cause analysis system I had learned in my professional career to failures in my life, I had much more success in finding what I needed. I took the lessons learned from my previous relationships and understood what I had to do to be successful in that aspect of my life.

This is only one part of a complex picture for most people and I understand it is hard. Particularly when emotions are involved. But emotional responses to failure do not make for good future planning. Allocation of blame only results in the resentment of ourselves or others and that in turn creates more failure in our next attempt.

The most common time I see this allocation of blame is in a situation where someone cheats on their partner. Almost invariably, the person who cheats is universally vilified by everyone for their actions without considering why that happened in the first place. The ‘victim’ in this scenario almost never sits back and reflects the root cause of the problem. In many cases the attitude and actions of the victim are very much a part of the problem.

I have used relationships as the primary example here for a reason. They are often the number one place people fail at learning from past mistakes. We don’t self-reflect or assess where we went wrong in a constructive manner. A friend of mine recently went through a break up and allocates most of the blame on herself rather than looking at the causes holistically. Undoubtedly both parties in that breakup had their fair share of blame for the bust up.

Essentially, we fail at using a logical approach to assessing our failures and that needs to stop. Not just relationships but in all parts of our lives. If you want that promotion and aren’t getting it, sit back learn from the failure and build a plan to success. If you aren’t sustainably happy, sit down and think about the why. What is making you unhappy and how can you plan to succeed in finding it.

If you are stuck in a spiral of failure it is usually because you are doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. This is one of the definitions of insanity. I trust that most of my readers aren’t insane, so if you are constantly doing the same thing and expecting a different result you need to wake up and make a change.

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The friend zone is real, but that's not the issue.

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The friend zone is real, but that's not the issue.

I’ve been reading all these shitty articles about the friend zone and how it is a male social construct and so on, filled with unrealistic ranting from privileged fuckwits with nothing else to complain about in their sad meaningless lives.

Public service announcement for you arseholes denying it. The friend zone indeed DOES exist. It is not a ‘symbol of the patriarchy’ nor is it intended as some sort of guilt tripping bullshit to pull on girls that don’t want to sleep with you. It just is and does exist as exactly what is explained on the tin. A zone where people categorise those of their preferred fuckable gender that they would not have sexy time with.

If anyone feels like the term in itself is derogatory, they are an idiot. This is the same across numerous other phrases and words perceived as offensive. Offence does not come from the word or phrase, it comes from the intention of use. If you are offended by the fact the phrase exists, you are an overly sensitive cunt. Not a good cunt, as I would call my mates.

The biggest problem with the whole friend zone concept is not the person complaining about being in the friend zone, it is the dishonesty that goes with the whole social interaction. For example, you meet someone that seems pleasant enough but you are not sexually attracted to them. That’s all fine and dandy, but then you realise they have some unrequited romantic or sexual feelings for you and you do what most people do. You don’t directly address it due to the awkwardness.

Now if the friend zoned party feels rejected by this, that is perfectly normal. Humans don’t like rejection, regardless of their gender or orientation. But the conversation should be open and honest from the initial stages. The desired party should immediately tell their friend zoned compatriot that they do not feel the same way but they are quite happy to be friends, whilst acknowledging that their offer of friendship may be rejected in turn. If you are offended by someone rejecting your offer of friendship you need a good hard dose of reality.

The crux of the issue is the different way men and women perceive friendship with the opposite gender. In many cases, but not all, a man would sleep with his female friends (insert relevant sexual orientation if you’re not straight, I’m dealing with generalities and as such will discuss in majority terms). Women are less inclined to sleep with male friends for all sorts of social reasons, many of which pertains to how their broader friendship circle would view them. This is another can of worms I don’t want to open right now, but is as equally fucking stupid as complaining about the existence of the friend zone. If you want to bang, you should be allowed to without judgement. But I digress.

This is connected to something I often discuss. The biological imperative. We tend to ignore the facts of our instinctive behaviour in the modern age, because we like to believe that people are equal. There is and rightfully should be the realisation that although we should be given equal opportunities, we are not biologically the same, nor are our instinctive behaviours the same. As such, men and women most definitely view friendship in different lights.

Importantly, this does NOT mean men and women can’t be friends. That is a stupid and naive view. Nor does it mean that all men and women adhere to the generalities that I have put forward here. As we use sex as recreational entertainment, there are plenty of people who just want to fuck a lot. That is fine too. What it DOES mean is that the direct result of our instinctive behaviour drives men to find many sexual partners and women to find the best potential mate for fathering children. So this is how it plays out with friend zones.

Before you start getting all ridiculous about people being unique snowflakes and as such I cannot make generalities about people, fuck you. Yes, I can. Generalities and stereotypes exists to help us make generally true suppositions about a lot of data in a complex world when our brain does not have time to process bulk information. They exist because for the most part they are true. Science.

Men will friend zone women they do not find sexually attractive. I have done it myself on a number of occasions, but I’d happily befriend the person because I get along with them. Women do the same thing. But sometimes shit gets twisted and the intention is not purely that, particularly when we are younger and have less self-awareness. We have all seen it happen, someone stringing a hopelessly fawning moron along for the attention. Whilst that is harsh, it is true. People like attention. What a shocking realisation.

I will end this with a general announcement for those of you playing games with people or using the friend zone as a tool for your own twisted needs. STOP BEING AN ARSEHOLE. For those of you complaining about the friend zone for whatever reason, you can also STOP BEING AN ARSEHOLE. It does exist. It is a friend of the correct gender for your sexual orientation that you would not get romantic or sexy with. That is all.

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