Reality checks are articles designed to give a non-biased direct outlook on aspects of life. Because you are better than the bullshit you put yourself through. We feel people settle with the mundane because they can't see the bigger picture. Have a read, be informed and stop being satisfied with average.

 

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 unshakeable 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.

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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.

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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.

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The importance of controlled aggression.

We are typically raised to believe that a fundamental aspect of human nature is negative. Aggression. For the most part, those that exhibit aggressive behaviour are vilified and ostracised almost universally. What if I was to tell you that aggression (when controlled) can be utilised positively? I am sure most people would initially disagree.

Aggression has a perception problem. Most people that think of someone as aggressive equate it to how that aggression is manifested, which is usually violence. Controlled aggression doesn’t always manifest as violence, however, and can be used to overcome numerous obstacles in day-to-day life. First and foremost, controlled aggression can assist with focus on an immediate task and provide a strong motivator.

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The case for not settling.

Hello there. I suppose you’re here because you think you will learn something profound that will echo sentiments that you have never heard before. I’m afraid that you are going to read a piece that probably tells you what your subconscious has been screaming at you but you’ve been too afraid to listen to. Settling for someone that is ‘good enough’ is a woefully shitty idea.

Over the last few years I have read numerous articles from psychologists and relationship advisors that claim settling for something average is good for long term happiness. Bullshit. Why is this bullshit? Because my own experiences and those of others I have met over the years taught me a lesson.

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You see, but you do not observe.

It may be difficult to see what Sherlock Holmes was getting at when he said this, but if you conjure an image of the famous detective sitting, apparently idle, deep in thought you can start to understand. You see, Holmes was a thinker in a world of ‘doers’. Many of us fall into the trap of being doers because society is constructed to create these sorts of people. We are not typically encouraged to think of the why before we think of the how.

What is the importance of being a thinker? Many of us travel through life ticking boxes and being the content doer without considering why we are doing it. We are given this checklist by society when we go through our schooling. School -> university -> job -> marriage -> children -> taxes -> die. Not driven by the observation as to the why of the system.

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Should happiness be your primary concern?

In short. Yes.

In the short span of time we are given in this life, humanity prioritises all sorts of varied shit. One person may find meaning in their career whilst another finds it in coke and hookers. There is one undeniable truth in whatever you prioritise, it is inextricably linked to what makes us happy.

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New Year's resolutions are shit.

Another year down. So what? A new year shouldn’t make a lick of difference to how you live your life and should not be used as an excuse to start doing all those things you have been meaning to do. If you’ve been lazy and complacent, you have likely not achieved the resolutions you set for 2016. Most of us don’t. If things are shit for you right now, they are shit because you haven’t made positive changes in the right direction. Things will get better if you do. Reality check time… you don’t need a marker like New Year’s Eve to make that change.

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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!”.

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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.

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The middle path.

Our society seems determined to deal in absolutes on a daily basis. If you criticise the Black Lives Matter campaign you are racist (regardless of some of the questionable actions of that organisation), if you complain about people not using the right gender pronouns you are too sensitive. Support any political party and you’re mired in the shit of absolutism.

There is another way. In both Buddhist and Taoist teachings, the middle path is the best way. An absolutist view or practice in anything is damaging. We are regularly told that too much of anything is bad and it is truly the case, such as eating too many deep fried oreos or running 20 kilometers every day. Liberal ideological ranting is as potentially damaging as conservative, so why follow either?

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Not giving a fuck doesn't mean you don't care.

It means you are comfortable with who you are and will not be influenced by opinions of you. This is not to say that you would not take other peoples’ opinions into advisement, but it is unlikely to change who you inherently are.

Sometimes we get lost in the noise of expectations and misunderstanding of what is really important in life. This stains our view of who we are and who we want to be. It is white noise that fucks with our sense of self and drops a false identity on our heads.

It is hard to find and be comfortable with yourself. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with who I was until my early 30s. I specifically remember my 30th birthday sitting at my desk writing some reports. I spaced out for a second realising I was now officially in my 30s and definitely wasn’t content despite having a successful career and enough money to do whatever I wanted. My boss asked me what was wrong and I told him I turned 30 that day, then I excused myself and went home.

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Be a man not a boy.

I was sitting in a café the other day and overheard a group of young ladies complaining about the behaviour of a boy one of them had met. The boy in question had claimed to his friends that he had slept with one of the ladies, even though this had indeed not occurred. I use the word ‘boy’ rather than ‘man’ in this case due to the fact that a man would not behave this way. This is indeed the actions of a boy.

For many men born in the last 40 years, we have been a generation of boys raised by women and then expected to grow into men. It cannot be overly surprising this didn’t happen for a large percentage of adult males. Unfortunately, this manifests as poor behaviour and disappointing conduct which defines men from boys.

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Being male in modern society.

The last century has been a tumultuous ride for men. Our self-identity has changed substantially from that of our forefathers. This is not a bad thing, after all equality of genders is important, but it is challenging to understand how we can be a man in the modern age.

What I am discussing here is not gender identity. Obviously, there are females that exhibit masculine tendencies and behaviours and vice-versa. There always has been. So, let us first understand that I am discussing biological imperatives that drive the majority of humans with a Y chromosome.

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Who are you?

No really. A question people really struggle with when asked. It isn’t what defines you, or what you do for a living, what hobbies you partake in or who your partner is. It is who you actually are as an individual consciousness.

When someone requires help in any aspect of their life, the defining question of how that improvement can manifest is the answer to the question who are you? This is due to our lack of awareness of ourselves essentially fucking things up in our lives. We are often unaware of the problem because we never undertake root cause analysis. Much of the time it will come down to the person not actually knowing who they are.

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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.

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Partnerships versus relationships.

Congratulations humanity, you did it. You successfully broke romantic relationships, fuckers. Don’t worry though because you replaced it with something better. The desire for partnerships. I hear you exclaiming “what the fuck is the difference?”. Well there is a difference and it’s quite distinct.

Since the rightful emancipation of women this has shifted substantially. We attempt to meet on a level playing field and create an equal partnership. At least that is the expectation, but more often than not we flail around like a frog in a sock not having much concept of how we should be doing that shit. Why? We are the transitional generation stuck between the old service model and what comes next.

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Loving vs being in love.

What is the difference between loving someone vs being in love with them? Think about how often you say you love something. “Ooo I love that dress”, “I love you Dad”, “I loved that burger I ate last night”. If you actually think about it humans have the capacity to express strong affection for all manner of shit that we aren’t in love with.

You may think that is stupid but it is important to actually consider the distinction so you can work out whether you are in love with your partner or just love them. Loving someone is easy. Women tend to express love for their friends more than men, but in reality most people probably love quite a few people in their lives. Shit most couples only love each other but it is the rare couple that are actually in love.

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Determining sustainable happiness.

There are two decisions in most peoples’ lives that define how happy and satisfied they will be in their twilight years. Quite simply, what we do to make a living and the person we are fucking. In other words, our personal and professional lives.

Whilst this may seem simplistic if you consider the above paragraph, it is evidently true. In social settings, what are people most likely to complain/ talk about? That’s right, their job and their partner.

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Motivation – The key to dealing with people.

How we interact with people on a day to day basis depends on a variety of factors. Our mood, how well we slept, whether we actually like the person we are waking up with and so on. While most of us can control our own factors, we can’t control the other person. This is why in any interaction the most important thing to understand is the other person’s motivation.

On the flip side, we have to truly understand our own motivations to be successful. You may think this is relatively easy, but most people don’t give it much thought. We have primary motivating factors which relate to the hierarchy of needs. But secondary priorities can influence your life as much as primary, particularly once the latter is taken care of. We all know the person whose life self-destructed when their relationship failed. The relationship wasn’t a necessity, but the lack of security in that relationship destroyed their life.

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The holy trinity.

What makes a positive, healthy and successful relationship? There are plenty of things that are certainly unhealthy. The biggest challenge most of us face is there is no guide to this shit when we become adults. For the most part our parents avoid topics entirely or represent unhealthy relationships themselves, with over 50% of married couples divorcing in the Western world.

There are three parts, a holy trinity if you like, of a relationship match that define success. Emotional, intellectual and physical compatibility. Think of this as a checklist if you like, something to refer to when considering a relationship.

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