Dark Triad

Dark Triad

As I’m sure almost all of us who frequent this corner of the internet are aware, the term “Dark Triad” refers to the three personality traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, which are considered to be “dark” for the generally emotionally destructive tendencies they engender in those who possess them. I won’t go into the details of each one here, since I assume they’re well known.

As I’m also sure anyone who has done even perfunctory amounts of reading of the manosphere is aware, these personality traits are inherently attractive to a lot of women. Is this because women like self-obsessed, manipulative unfeeling assholes? Not directly. Rather it is what people possessing these traits are subcommunicating about themselves that trip off the evolutionary attraction switches.

Self-obsessed? Then you care more about yourself than any woman, and will always try to get your own way. Women subconsciously reason that only a man of options could get away with behaving like this. High value communicated. Manipulative? You have no qualms in using devious or underhand tactics to control situations and people to your own ends. The likelihood of coercing women into liking is therefore you massively increased. Borderline psychopathic? The very definition of emotionally unreactive. Women see this, and come to the subconscious conclusion that you must be a man of many options with extremely high social value in order to care so little. High value communicated. Once high value has been established in this manner, the fear of losing you fires up the hamster of dread  in the back of her mind, and she’s yours.

Heartiste in particular has long been a proponent of dark triad personality traits, triumphantly posting the latest scientific literature confirming their attractiveness to women.

The allure is strong. Behave like an entitled jerk, and still get women? “Great!” you think, “I will start acting like a self-obsessed, manipulative asshole immediately.” Not so fast, I caution, for a few reasons.

First, people with these personality traits have developed them from early childhood. They are part of who they are at a fundamental level. You cannot simply decide you want to “adopt” a certain personality trait one day as a grown adult, and expect it to work. You will come off as socially incongruent, and most likely end up repulsing any except the most socially unintelligent women. Never forget, those people who are socially adept – either men who are “naturals” or those that have mastered their own minds through self-improvement, or a large number of women who are evolutionarily programmed to be inherently more socially aware than men – can see straight through your fakery in the blink of an eye. You may be talking the talk, and even adopting one or two of the more obvious body language cues; but the other 10,000 physical micro-cues your facial expression, tonality, eye contact and posture are giving away completely betray you.

Additionally, trying to act in a manner that is out of accord with who you are at a base level for prolonged periods of time will cause mental dissonance and anguish. The only way to truly change core elements of your personality is through a prolonged period of organic growth, reinforced with a firm set of supporting habitual behaviours that you adopt over time.

Secondly, those people possessing some large measure of dark triad personality traits are generally not very happy people. The very essence of psychopathy means you cannot feel love. To be truly narcissistic means to never really know mental peace. To darkly manipulate others means repeatedly putting stains upon your soul. Which brings me on to my third point.

I want to be able to look myself in the eye in the mirror and not be ashamed of any part of my behaviour. I want to know that I always tried my utmost to act in a respectable, honourable fashion. To my mind, this is a central tenet of being a man. This I could not do if I knew that I deliberately and maliciously inflicted emotional anguish upon a woman just to hold her in my thrall. These are the actions of a low value individual.

What then if there was a way to achieve your goal of being highly attractive to women, without having to resort to these tactics? Fortunately there is. Remember that women are not directly attracted to dark triad personality traits, but rather to the illusion of high value that they convey (and indeed, is it usually nothing more than an illusion).

Being focused on your overarching life goal above all else, whilst working tirelessly to raise and maintain your value through dedication to optimising your physique, aesthetic, mind, social skills and wealth, should be tenets central to any self-respecting man’s life. They are also qualities which by definition mean that no one woman ever becomes the sole focus of your life. Indeed, women in general begin to take a back seat when you fully begin to experience the joys of genuine self-improvement, and the corresponding leaps in confidence that come with it. Women are naturally drawn and attracted to you, simply because at a very base level, you do not need them.

In this manner, through the adoption of this life philosophy, you may be viewed as extremely attractive towards the opposite sex, whilst at the same time being fully assured that you are acting in a decent, principled and honourable manner. You also get the added bonus of massively improving the quality of your life, brimming with self-confidence in the knowledge you earned the level you are at through hard work, and able to savour the peace of mind that comes with it.

There are those of course who simply do not want to put the time and effort into trying to improve themselves. They just want the quick fix, the magic bullet. There is a word for this type of person – the “majority”. These are the people who will simply try to adopt forced personality traits which are not their own in order to pursue their shallow aims, merely increasing their own level of unhappiness in the process, whilst earning the contempt of those high value individuals around them who can see straight through their petty games.

I invite you to make your own choice as to which route you would rather take.

As a related aside, I recently came across a short online questionnaire that evaluates for dark triad personality traits. At the end of the survey, each one of the three traits is given a score out of a maximum of 4, whilst you are also shown a figure indicating the percentile of other responders that you scored higher than. I’d advise to ignore this percentile score, since many people answer these surveys dishonestly, and just look at the figure out of 4 instead.

Find it here.

For reference, my own scores were as follows:
- Narcissism: 3.3
- Psychopathy: 2.8
- Machiavellianism: 2.6

One thing of note about the trait of narcissism – someone of extremely high self-esteem, who has made numerous, demonstrable notable achievements in their life, will usually get a high score in the narcissism category. Perhaps it is the characteristics of a narcissistic personality which compel individuals to push themselves to the greatest levels of achievement for their own personal glory.

Post your scores up in the comment section for interest, or just keep them to yourself if you prefer.

Resolve

Easy, compared to trading

What separates the losers from the winners in life? You may think it is talent, or luck, or being born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Indeed, those are all contributory factors, but far from the most important one.

The single characteristic which will determine more than any other whether you end up on the scrap heap of life, or sipping champagne on the super yacht of existence, is resolve, or raw determination to succeed.

Almost nobody travelled a smooth path from broke loser to wealthy playboy – and there’s a good argument to be made that those who did would be ill-equipped to handle it when things started to go wrong through weakness of character. Nearly everyone who has succeeded and reached the top of the pile has done so through grit, drive and motivation.

You can only fail at something when you accept failure as an outcome. All it takes is to reframe what could be perceived as failure into “simply haven’t succeeded yet” and you’ll find yourself almost welcoming setbacks. Each time you fall short, you learn something about yourself, and learn what to avoid next time after you’ve picked yourself up.

I was fortunate enough to be born with a high IQ. I was intellectually head and shoulders above the rest of my class at school, when I could be bothered to apply myself, and I followed a relatively smooth career path from being a junior developer on a starting salary of $25,000 into a IT contractor working at an investment bank on the equivalent of $250,000 per annum within the space of 7 years. Generally, everything I turned my hand to, I was able to master in a relatively short space of time.

That was, until I decided to quit out of work and devote myself full time to learning to trade. When I started on this journey, I had it in mind that it would take me a few months at most to become proficient, before the money started rolling in. Never mind that trading generally attracts the most intelligent amongst the population, and that of those over 95% lose all their money, and of those 5% that succeed, the general length of time quoted to become consistently profitable is in the region of 5 years. Never mind all that, I was going to pick it up and run with it in a few months, because that was what I always did.

Except it didn’t quite work out that way. At first, it was like running headlong into a brick wall. I would sit all day, staring at the charts before me, wondering why the hell the price was moving around in the way it was. Why did it turn there? Why did it suddenly surge? Maybe if I add these technical indicators to my chart which draw squiggly lines all over it, that will help. It didn’t.

After initially beginning to hemorrhage my pot of cash which was to see me through the learning process, I realised I needed to switch on to a demo account before it was too late. Week after week went by, with one demo account after another blown. I began to question whether I’d ever be able to do it, and subsequently began to question even myself at a fundamental level. This was uncharted territory for me. I began to dread waking up in the morning, to turn the computer on, and to sit there failing all day at something to which I’d decided to devote myself, the thing which was to provide me with my lifestyle of untold wealth. They were dark days. My self-confidence dropped, my mood was poor, and I even began to skip gym sessions, and put on weight. It was totally unfamiliar territory. Why wasn’t I able to succeed? What was wrong with me? Perhaps I was not who I thought I was.

The thing was, no matter how bad things got, I never lost my resolve. I didn’t care how long it took, how depressed I became in the process. I would sit at that fucking computer, day in, day out, even if it took me 5 years, and I had to go back to work again several times to earn more cash. Failure was not even a concept which I would entertain. Each day became a battle against my own mind, which was just telling me to take the week off, go do something else. In response, I worked even harder. There was a period of several months where I was putting in 14 hours a day in front of the PC, and even working through the weekends. I became a hermit, with dishevelled appearance and social interactions reduced to grunting at the 55 year old woman behind the checkout at the supermarket.

Piece by piece, things began to fall into place. The rate at which I was blowing up demo accounts began to slow. Some days, I didn’t even lose any money. Very occasionally, I even made money. Gradually, the tide was stemmed. I went a whole week without losing any money from my account. I had a profitable week. I strung profitable days back to back. I then added 50% to my demo account in the space of 2 weeks.

And this is where I find myself now. Certainly not an expert, but now sufficiently accomplished to know it’s time to go back to real money, and show myself, and everyone else who I told that I could do this, that I’m capable of getting stinking rich, very quickly.

In truth, it’s only taken me just over 6 months of full time study to get to this point, which I can’t really complain about. It’s a fraction of the time that many people take. If someone told you that you could go back to college for a year or two, with no cash, but at the end of it you’d get a $1mil/year job, you’d probably give it a shot. Finding the right information at the right time, combined with sheer bloody-mindedness saw me through the worst of it. The dark days are behind me, my self-confidence is restored, I’m back into the gym 6 days a week, and life is definitely on the up.

I shouldn’t get ahead of myself, but it’s hard not to dream. I ran some quick sums – assuming 20 trading days in a month, and a daily account gain of 10%, it is possible in 4 months to compound $1,000 into… just over $2,000,000. I kid you not. 10% daily isn’t really in any way ridiculous either. All it requires is a successful trade at 4% risk where you make 2.5 times your stop. I’ve done it many times already on my demo account. A number of the people whose writing helped me on a forum can add 100% to their accounts in a single day with good conditions.

Touch wood, I will be able to avoid having to go back to work, and very soon, be earning a great deal more than I was when I was last contracting.

Remember, in order to fail, you have to stop trying and give up. If you don’t do that, you’ll never fail, and then by default the only other option remaining is success, no matter how long it takes you to get there. You just have to want it badly enough.

If all goes to plan, by some point before the end of next year, I’ll put up a post of me looking smug stood by my Ferrari. And if not, then I hold myself open to ridicule for shooting my mouth off. But even if it takes another year, or another after that, I’ll get there. Any other outcome is simply unthinkable.

I’ll put up another trading post soon. I’ve not added anything since the first, simply because the way in which I trade and the concepts I’ve been trying to understand have been too nebulous until now, and I’d have been spouting shit more than likely. The concept of Supply & Demand however still remains the most fundamentally important lesson you need to learn.

Keep positive, keep dreaming big, and keep working towards it.

Trading Series Part I – Supply & Demand

Why Does Price Move?

Supply & Demand

Have you ever looked at a chart, and seen the price suddenly fly up or down from a level and sat there scratching your head as to why? I’ll attempt to explain.

The single most important concept you can learn as a trader, and the one most often overlooked by amateurs, is that of Supply & Demand. The Forex markets, as indeed any market, or economic activity, in its most basic form, can simply be thought of as a bunch of people wanting to buy, and a bunch of people wanting to sell. Behind the scenes at the brokers there is an order book, which contains all of the buy and sell orders waiting to be filled at various price levels.

At any given price level, if there are more buyers than sellers, the price will rise. If there are more sellers than buyers, the price will fall. If there are a roughly equal amount of buyers and sellers, the price will fluctuate back and forth in a small range until one wins out. The range of imbalance of buyers to sellers at any given point will dictate how quickly the price moves.

Consider why it is that the large investment banks make all the profit. These guys have £100s of millions to play with. When they place orders on the books, they’re weighing in with some serious cash. If there is a buy order worth £100 million at a certain price level, what do you think is going to happen when the price reaches that point? Even if all of the amateur traders combined are selling into that level, it’s not even going to make a dent. The price will hit that level, and fly off it upward, under the enormous buying pressure.

How many time yourself have you seen price shooting upwards or downwards, and thought “I’ll have a piece of that”, jumped on it, only to see it then immediately reverse, stopping you out in the blink of an eye? Chances are, you missed 90% of the movement, and have just bought or sold into an institutional bank’s massive order level. You never stood a chance. The key is to recognise areas of Supply & Demand in advance, and be ready to pounce when the price approaches them.

A guy called Sam Seiden introduces the concept extremely well. It is imperative that you watch his introductory video to the concept and understand it before you move on with reading anything else. Until you understand Supply & Demand, and how it makes the price move in the markets, you’re going to be losing your cash more often than not. The video is linked here.

Sam Seiden – Supply & Demand Basics

Great, you think, but how does this help me? How am I supposed to identify these levels on my chart? Sam briefly covers ways to do it, but to be honest, I find his explanations extremely lacking. There are much easier ways to identify levels of Supply & Demand on your charts, which I will cover in a subsequent post.

For now, go and do some more reading around the topic, and familiarise yourself with it. It’s going to be the most important tool in your kit in your future career as a trader.

Cheers

Stay Tuned – Trading Series Coming Soon

After an overwhelming (by the standards of this blog!) response, it seems that there is a lot of interest out there for a series of posts on trading.

I can’t promise exactly when they’ll be delivered, since it largely depends on my mood – if I’ve had a good day, I feel like king of the world, ready to impart some knowledge. If I’ve had a bad day, all I want to do is go and seethe quietly in a corner, berating myself for my own idiocy. I’ve actually slapped myself in the face a few times for making bad decisions. I also need to ensure things are laid out in a clear, concise manner, since I don’t want to put up some aimless, confusing posts.

You’ve got to remember, your worst enemy in trading is your own brain. You will be controlled by the two most prominent emotions when facing the markets, fear and greed. Fear will make you avoid hitting the button on a trade which then turns into a massive winner. Fear will also make you bottle out of a trade too soon, which has a long way left to run. Greed will make you go in on bad trades, without waiting for a proper setup, which quickly go against you. Greed will make you keep moving your stops further and further out, thinking “it’s going to turn any time, if I just keep moving my stop, it will turn”. And then it doesn’t, and you wipe your account out with a single shitty trade.

Before anything else, you have to get your brain in order. If you are a compulsive gambler, or you’re generally a nervous wreck, then sorry – trading isn’t for you right now. Go away and work on your issues, and come back when you’re a little more together. If you put someone with personality issues in front of the markets with a pile of money to burn, then you probably don’t need me to tell you what’s going to happen.

I can give you all the technical knowledge in the world, but it won’t mean anything if you can’t trust yourself to apply it. I’m still battling my own brain at this point, and I’m slowly managing to get my more reckless impulses under control. My main problem is actually overconfidence, backing my own (sometimes flawed) judgement far too strongly.

I’ve had to set up a huge warning screen that flashes up when I’m about to place an order, with a list of rules on it. If the bet doesn’t satisfy the rules, I don’t go in. I read once of a trader who every time he broke one of his rules, went and jumped in the swimming pool out the back of his house. He quickly conditioned himself out of the habit!

Ok, that’s enough rambling for now. The topics I will be addressing (at present, this might change) will be: (edit – already thought of a couple more things)

  • Supply & Demand
  • How to Identify Levels of Supply & Demand on Charts
  • Price Action
  • Channels
  • What Type of Trader Are You?
  • Putting It Together – Spotting Entry Points, Setting Reasonable Targets
  • How to Keep Yourself In a Trade
  • Economic Events
  • Money Management – How to Protect Your Capital

Cheers

Who’s Interested In Trading?

Stock Chart

It’s not nearly this cool

So I’ve had little to write about recently, having essentially internalised the mindset of a confident high value man over the last 12 months to the extent that I’m not even aware of it any more (and indeed in doing so, have become one) . I could probably articulate it if I tried, but it’s already been done to death, and I don’t really have the inclination.

My days are entirely filled with working out, sleeping, eating, and trading. Eat, sleep, gym, trade, repeat. It sounds potentially dull, but I find it to be both physically and intellectually stimulating. The stock markets (or forex markets in my case) are endlessly fascinating. As you notice yourself improving incrementally, day by day, you almost start to enjoy yourself (almost…).

It is however a total minefield of second, third and fourth-rate information out there on the internet. So much awful advice. I was fortunate enough to only stumble around in the dark for a few months, before I came across the correct fundamental approach to the whole beast. Many people take years to find their way, and most never make it at all.

Who’d be interested in a small series of posts about the fundamentals of trading forex? I feel I’m at a sufficiently advanced point in my education now to impart a bit of wisdom, even if I’m not yet raking in the cash myself.

There are about 3 or 4 key concepts which I use to trade, which are serving me well. Additionally, writing about it will help to crystallise things in my head at this early, somewhat nebulous stage in my “career”.

Drop me a comment if you’d like me to write about it, otherwise radio silence will most likely be maintained!

Cheers

Why I Deactivated My Twitter Account

Social Media Overload

Not as handsome as me, but you get the idea

When I first joined Twitter, I used it as something of a micro blog. I would tweet thoughts and ideas as they occurred to me as a result of conversations I was having with people, or situations that arose as I went about my day to day life. I was a net producer of value, usually just opening the app, posting my tweet, and then closing it again.

However, since quitting my job and having a lot more “spare” time during the day where I’m just sat around in front of the PC (there’s only so long you can spend at the gym), ostensibly studying charts and trading strategies, I found that I had less and less to contribute, and had fallen into a habit of scouring through pages of the tweets of others, looking for something I could comment on. I had gone from a net producer of value to a net consumer. I was reacting to the thoughts and ideas of others instead of giving my own.

Over time, I developed a habit to reflexively check twitter every 10 minutes. Without even realising, at any given point I would snatch my phone from my pocket and refresh the list of tweets before my conscious mind even knew what I was doing. It became a massive distraction, and was having a deleterious effect on my concentration and overall state of mind.

For this reason, I deactivated my account so that I could “unpollute” my mind and focus back in on the task at hand. Since I’ve done so, I’ve found my general mood much more positive, and the creative juices have started flowing once more. Initially, I still kept pulling my phone out of my pocket on reflex to check my tweets, before I realised there was nothing to check. The frequency of this has now almost decreased to zero, as I have de-trained my brain from the habit. Ironically (or more like as a direct consequence), I’ve thought of about 100 things to tweet in the last few days, none of which I’ve been able to.

I’ll probably log back into my account before the 30 day period after which it becomes deleted permanently, and unfollow most of the people I was following, since I still like the idea of using it as a sounding board for my thoughts which aren’t worth writing full blog posts about. I’ve made some good friends in the manosphere, and it’s really nothing personal, but I have other means to keep in touch with those people.

Try to make an objective assessment whether your social media interactions are actually a net positive on your life, or a hindrance to your creativity.

Ambition

Money

You want this?

What are your ultimate goals from life?

It’s easy to reflexively say “A Ferrai, a mansion, millions of pounds” – but do you really mean that? What are you willing to put yourself through to get there? What hardships will you endure? How many setbacks are you willing to pick yourself up from? Do you really believe you can do it, deep down in your core? Are you prepared to risk total failure?

The higher you aim, the more likely you are to miss, and have to face up to the fact that you simply weren’t good enough. No more pretty lies. Can you do that? Can you still try again in the face of crushing despair? Or will you just reach a level of competency, somewhat above average, and just stay there, unwilling to risk what is needed? We go in far in life as we believe we deserve, and that we feel we are capable of.

Personally, I’ve always had ambition to achieve the greatest things, true top 0.01% success. But I never actually did anything about it, consoling myself with “Well, I could do it if I want.” School came easy, I was top of the class without ever having to apply myself. I coasted through my 20s, wasting years on video games and weed. Living in the comparatively impoverished north of England, I easily outranked all of my peers in earning power. And then I turned 30, moved to London, and realised I was in fact a worm.

A Worm

Me

I was surrounded by rich and successful people, who actually had what I’d always assumed I’d get – and yet despite working my way up to a highly paid job, I was still in reality nowhere closer to achieving.

All the ambition in the world won’t get you anywhere without the burning drive to make it happen, and the willingness to risk your ego – that part of yourself that tells you what a fucking awesome man you are simply because you’re just above average. You need to cultivate a healthy sense of entitlement. You need to believe that you deserve ultimate success as your birthright. Anything short of total fulfilment of your loftiest goals will then literally disgust you, and seem a burning failure.

As I’ve learned over the last couple of years – it’s not for most. Most people prefer not to push themselves too far, in case they find out they’re not actually capable of getting there. Ego preservation. There isn’t enough room at the top for everyone, and if you ultimately fail, you can no longer rationalise it away to yourself, saying  “I could have if I wanted to.” You tried, and you failed. Who wants to risk that? Not many.

You will have to endure hardship. How much can you put yourself through to realise your aims? Let’s put it like this. I’ve recently moved back home with the folks to save cash. I voluntarily walked out of a job that paid me $250,000/year in London because it wasn’t good enough. To put that in perspective, I could have been a millionaire in 5 years whilst still having $50k a year to spend. And that’s not even as far up the career ladder as I could have gone in my profession. I could have doubled that salary within a year or two. I’ve taken myself from living in one of the premier capitals in the world, eating at Michelin starred restaurants, living in a $3,000,000 apartment – to sitting on my own in a tiny pisspot village in the north of England, no social life to speak of, no money coming in, living on a budget, all in order so that I can learn to become a successful trader. Why? Because I can earn tens of millions through trading, the kind of money that it would have taken me decades to amass, all whilst living completely on my own terms as a man, and not having to work underneath some dickhead and kiss corporate ass. My ambition is such that without a second thought, I walked out of what 99% could never even dream of achieving. Short term pain for long term gain.

Hardship

This is somewhat dramatic. But you get the point.

How many people in this part of the internet have ever earned that much money? And of those, how many do you think would be willing to just walk out of it? Or would instead they just sit around stroking their ego boners, like they do with everything else, covering their insecurities? “I’m so alpha, check out my money faggots”.

I won’t be content with what everyone else has. I know I deserve better. So I have to take steps to get there that normal people aren’t willing to take. Remember - if you do what everyone does, you’ll get what everyone else has got – which is fuck all.

If you really want to do this, then don’t forget – failure is just a mindset. You actually can’t fail if you refuse to accept failure as a valid outcome. You either succeed, or you die trying. Do you want be the man who can look himself in the eye in the mirror and know he is trying everything he can to achieve his biggest dreams? Or do you want to be the man who looks at himself, shouts “you’re the man!” because he shagged a few 7s and earns above national average wage, ignoring the little voice inside his head telling him he’s lying to himself? You decide. But don’t come and try to pretend to me that you’re living the life you really want to if you pick the latter option. I can see straight through your hollow “masculine language” and proclamations of “alphaness” in a nanosecond.

I’ve come to realise over the past year or so of blogging that even amongst this part of the internet, 95% of people don’t actually want to genuinely achieve real success. They’re content with just being able to pick up a few women, get a couple of muscles, and tell themselves how great they are, because they don’t want to risk their fragile little egos by failing. I’ve explained almost every detail of what is required to have a successful mindset in various posts, in order to actually achieve true success in life, and every time I write, I can just hear the whooshing noise as it goes over nearly everyone’s heads.

To those of you who appreciate what I write – thank you, and I hope it helps you in some way. I’ll see you in Monaco on the superyacht.

Superyacht

In case you didn’t know what one looked like

To the rest of you – enjoy your life of “a bit better than most”, and I hope when you get to the end of it, you don’t look back and realise you pussied out of going after what you really wanted, because you were afraid to fail.

So where does this leave me now? Time to put up or shut up. I can walk back into a job in London within a week any time I choose. But I’m not going to do that. Earning more than most of the population is utter failure to me. Learning to trade is a process that usually takes years. It attracts the brightest and most ambitious minds in the world, and 5% of the market takes the other 95%’s money – it’s an uphill battle, and I’m aiming to turn it around inside of 6 months. The one circumstance under which I would be prepared to work again is when I am consistently making profit from trading, and I simply need to raise capital to accelerate the process. But even then I probably wouldn’t- I have several wealthy friends who are willing to invest in me.

I’m also deactivating my Twitter account, as it’s becoming an unwelcome distraction. Those friends I have made have other ways to get in touch, and I can always be reached on email here. It’s like bad soap opera these days, and I simply can’t take anything from it any more. You have to surround yourself with like-minded people to get to where you want to go, and I can’t find many where I’m looking currently. MattC hit the nail on the head with his post Power and Status last year.

I’ll still continue to blog now and again, detailing more elements of what is takes to get to where you want to go in life for those who are interested. Discipline. Mastery of the mind. Destroying insecurity. How to tackle a goal piece by piece.

Ciao for now.

Ego – Your Worst Enemy, Your Best Friend

Ego - Pretty Lies

Ego – Pretty Lies

What is ego?

Depending on your level of cognitive awareness, you may or may not be aware that the being that you consider to be “you” is actually comprised of two ethereal parts. There is the “self” – the core being that represents the essence of who you are, that is driven by the subconscious, and operates on instinct – and the ego, which is your mind’s concept of who you are, shaped by your experiences.

The simplest way to define ego is: the lens through which your “self” views the world. Reality is delivered through the filter of your ego, weighed up accordingly against your existing belief system. Via this mechanism, the version of events which you perceive is not necessarily the actual reality of the situation.

Zen practitioners seek to ultimately completely eliminate the ego, so that they can exist in a state of “presence“, or oneness with the world. Without the encumbrance of an ego, they feel ultimately connected to everything and everyone around them. A similar feeling can be experienced when taking hallucinogenic drugs, which cause temporary death of ego. People who have had such experiences report a feeling of profound connection with themselves and the world, it frequently having lasting beneficial effects.

Realistically, this isn’t a practical way to live your life, unless you want to be high 24/7, or spend large portions of your time in anatomically unfeasible positions with your eyes shut, making “Ohmmmm” noises. Most of us have shit to get on with, which would be made somewhat difficult.

Why Does it Exist?

The ego exists as a self-preservation evolutionary mechanism. If most of us were fully aware of the harsh light of reality all the time – the fact we were ugly, had no friends, were poor, and were shit with women – we’d be so depressed we’d probably just sit in a dark room self-harming. Obviously, this isn’t particularly conducive to passing on your genetic material. Instead, the world and our view of our position within it is cushioned by our ego, which quickly works to rebuild a favourable view of ourselves when bad things happen to us.

The concept of “rose tinted memories” can be explained when considering it in the context of our ego.

Why Can It Be Bad?

Since your ego exists to preserve your positive view of yourself, it will stop you from taking risks, or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, in case the action goes badly wrong, leaving you humiliated, embarrassed, or socially ostracised.

It can easily be seen that this is the last thing we want when considering approaching a hot girl we’d like to hook up with, or quitting our jobs to pursue self-employment for instance.

Your ego will tell you pretty lies to make yourself feel better. “Don’t worry about not approaching that girl, you didn’t really like her anyway. And you know of course, if you did, you could have pulled her if you wanted to.” Face saved, ego preserved, reality avoided. “You didn’t really want to go for that high paid job anyway, you’re comfortable where you are, all your friends are here.” Face saved, ego preserved, reality avoided.

As you can see, an ego based on lies is a massive hindrance to getting where you want to in life. This is where probably 99% of the population exists most of the time. Think back to all your friends from the past, who vowed they would become a millionaire and fuck models, and are now working a shit dead-end job married to a fat, harping fishwife. They tell you they are happy? Do you think that their “self” speaking, or their ego?

The thing is, underneath it all, the “self” knows. You may be able to lie to others some of the time, but you can never lie to yourself. Why, in the quiet moments, do you feel a gnawing void in your soul? Because you are living a lie.

How Can We Make It Work For Us?

Wouldn’t it then be better if we could make our ego work in our favour, instead of against us? How can this be accomplished?

The first step, and the hardest – the step which most people simply cannot take, or take properly – is the most important. We must destroy our ego.

How can we do this? Simple, brutal, honest reality. You must stop lying to yourself. You must look yourself in the eye in the mirror, drop the bullshit, and just let loose on yourself. No, you don’t look “ok as you are” – you are out of shape, you’ve got shit hair and you’re badly dressed. No, you’re not “ok with women” – you’re awful, the only way you can talk to a girl is blind drunk, and you only sleep with ugly fat girls – or even no-one at all. No, you’re not “doing ok in your job” – you work a shit job, for low money, surrounded by braindead morons.

This might seem harsh – and it is. To strip away all of our layers of protection in this manner is to leave ourselves vulnerable the depressed, vulnerable state that is the very reason our ego exists in the first place. It’s not easy, and many people simply lack the intellectual honesty to do this fully. They might start the process, but their mind reels away from admitting the full extent of their own shortcomings.

Why do we want to do this? It seems masochistic. The answer is simple. Only when you have stopped lying to yourself, and killed your ego, can you actually then start to work on all the things that are wrong with you. Why would you ever take steps to improve your appearance if you think you are “ok as you are” (when you are not). Why would you ever go and study up on social dynamics and attractive behaviours if you can’t admit that are shit with women? Why would you ever quit your job and push for a better paid one if you think you are “comfortable”?

Self-improvement begins when the lies stop.

After the destruction of the ego has been achieved, only then can the work of value building begin. At this point, we begin to introduce positive habits into our lives. We start working out and eating healthily. We take a style consultation and begin to dress better. We take up evening classes to gain that extra skill that we need to push for that better paid job. We read up on male-female attraction dynamics and study evolutionary psychology by reading a select few of the better manosphere blogs.

As the months go by, and you begin to move forward in your chosen disciplines, incrementally improving yourself, you can look back and demonstrably see the progress you have made, and that you are becoming a more high value, confident person. At this point, you will find your ego returning.

But isn’t that bad? On the contrary. This time around – instead of our ego shielding our “self” with a web of pretty lies – having destroyed it and begun work on the rebuilding process, it is now based on fact. “I think I look pretty good” – because you do actually look good as the result of the months of work you’ve put into working out and rebuilding your warbrobe. “I’m ok with girls” – because you can think back to the last five girls you fucked, all above a 7 out of 10. “I’m doing well in life” – because you got that promotion as a result of your study, and you now earn more than all your peers.

At this stage, in constrast to the past where our ego would hold us back from taking risks to preserve the our fragile self-esteem, it will push us forward. “Go and talk to that girl, you’re a cool guy with your shit together and she’ll like you.” it will say. “Quit your job and live on your own terms, you’re too good to sit in this office and be ordered around by a dickhead manager” it will rightly point out to you.

And even when you fail – which you still will – it will come to your defence, with genuine, unarguable facts “Well, you must just not have been her type. You know you’re a cool guy, you’ve brushed up on your game, you look the part, the next girl will surely like you, and you’ve got 3 dates lined up this week anyway.” “Well, the job didn’t work out this time, but you’ve got a lot of positive qualities, you’ll get a better one in no time.” Instead of preserving our self-esteem with a fragile scaffold of lies, our ego is now preserving our self-esteem with the a rock-solid foundation of cold, hard truth. We have built value into our lives, and it acts as a permanent platform for the rest of your life, for kicking on and realising your ambitions, unencumbered by “bad” ego.

Your ego – from being a concrete block around your ankle, holding you back – is now a bulletproof vest, based on reality, protecting you from people who would drag you down, and preventing you from moping around when things don’t go your way.

Are There Any Pitfalls To This Approach?

Yes. The main one is the reintroduction of “bad” ego after you’ve made a little progress in increasing your value. Thinking that you are the dogs bollocks because you’ve managed to improve yourself a little. The key is to remain humble, which being able to recognise your positive qualities. So not “I’m ripped and awesome, I’m the fucking man” – when in actual fact you’ve only been working out for 6 months, and you’re still comparatively scrawny – instead “I’ve made a good start, I can be pleased, but I’m not where I need to be yet, and I need to buckle down and carry on working hard.” Not “I’m a fucking lothario, I can fuck hot girls” when all you’ve done is turn over a few low social value 7′s. Instead “I’ve improved, I’m starting to be able to bring the kind of girls I like into my life, but I’ve still got a long way to go.”

I’ve seen so many guys fall into the trap of talking themselves out of any further self-improvement after achieving just a little. “I’m awesome now, I don’t need to put any more effort into this.” – they say, as they bumble along in their state of “slighly above mediocrity”, petrified once more to face up to the fact that they’re not actually living the lives they dreamed of when they were young.

If you really want to explore your potential, and see how far you can go in life, you must never ever consider yourself the finished article. This doesn’t mean be down on yourself all the time. On the contrary. It means recognise how far you have come, and give yourself credit, but also be honest enough to admit there is still a long way to go.

There is always a long way to go. It never ends.

In Pursuit Of Perfection

Perfection

My whole life I carried with me an obsession with never “settling” for anything. With every new girl I pulled, faults would be listed, ways in which she could be improved, things I didn’t like about her. Almost immediately, I started looking for the next best thing.

It was good in some ways. It drove me on to continually improve, to always try and be attaining “the next level”. But it was bad in so many other ways. Restlessness of mind. Permanent bachelorhood. I realised that the drive to pull hotter and hotter girls was ultimately a projection of my dissatisfaction with myself at a basic level. If only I could get with a 9.5 out of 10, then I would have proved to myself that I’m awesome… Yeah right. The only person who cared was myself. Perfectionism at its base level is a need to reassure yourself of your own worth. Don’t trust the advice of a man who has slept with over 50 women, and still makes it his entire raison d’être – he is not whole.

Like it or not, everyone has faults. Even I – as close to perfection as can be attained in a human being – have flaws. To be in a relationship with someone is to accept that person for not only their good points, but the bad ones too. If you are incapable of tolerating any kind of perceived imperfection, then you are simply not cut out to have an adult relationship at this point in your life. Guess what – the ideal you are looking for, of the perfect woman, with the perfect personality – it doesn’t exist. Or if it does, there are about 7 of them in the world, and they are married to men who have 5 super yachts.

As soon as you realise this ceaseless pursuit of the next best thing is ultimately self-destructive and futile, you’ll find yourself opening up to the possibility of having a great relationship with someone. I finally stopped chasing girls around relentlessly this year, having reached a place of fulfilment and self-acceptance, and as soon as I just decided to concentrate on other things, and take life as it comes rather than trying to force it, an amazing girl came into my life, who I was able to appreciate for all of her many, many positive qualities, and who being with has greatly enriched my life in myriad ways.

A friend of mine, a former wing man, the man responsible for getting me into game originally several years ago, laid into me last weekend over my current relationship when we were out at a bar for my ex-girlfriend’s leaving party (she’s going to Australia). He told me I was a “cop out”, because I’d stopped going out with him to relentlessly chase models around bars in Mayfair, and that I’d compromised myself, that I was just blind lucky that this girl had entered my life, and that I didn’t have the skills to be able to cold approach like him, and he would go on to be better and more happy than me. He sat alone, unwilling to talk to any of the people there because “what do they offer my life anyway”, a bitter look on his face. I looked around at my friends with whom I had only just been reminiscing warmly of past times, and contemplated the deep feeling of contentment and happiness in my heart borne out of being in a loving, healthy relationship, and saw my former self reflected in him. I have no desire to go back there.

I wrote this originally back in September but never got around to publishing it for some reason. Even though I’ve moved on a bit since this was written, the advice is still salient.

And indeed, I still don’t feel like I settled in any way, and I never will. The longer my relationship continues, the closer my girlfriend and I become, the more we trust one another, and the better things become. The whole perfectionism thing was just a barrier that I had to give myself an initial push to get past, and I’m glad I did.

In The Interests Of Transparency

My good friend Matt over at the 3 Bromigos recently put up a post, criticising many members of the manosphere for perhaps not being the kind of men that they appear to be – glorifying and sensationalising their achievements in life – whilst attaching far too much importance to the tenets of game, eschewing greater focus on personal improvement.

Judging from the responses, the post – as expected – was somewhat controversial. To criticise game, and those who teach it, is anathema for many in this part of the internet. Some comments, to my mind, missed the point of the post. Running along the lines of “So what if you don’t find value in it, just don’t read it”, these comments fail to address the salient issue.

Many men find themselves in this part of the internet, having been on the receiving end of infidelity from a cheating girlfriend, or having been crushed by their latest rejection from a girl they were trying to romance. Guys who have hit rock bottom, and turned to the internet in desperation for an answer to their problems.

I will contend that the vast, vast majority of men would be best served in life by simply working on self improvement, raising their self esteem, and finding a nice girlfriend, whom they know how to keep through their knowledge of social dynamics. That’s it. No more.

Do they need to get “50 notches”? Do they need to read a treatsie on the subtle differences of day game and night game? Do they need 27 different techniques to overcome LMR? Do they need to beat their emotions and soul into a quivering heap by suffering the indignity of 10,000 street rejections? Unequivocally, no, they do not.

Of course, no-one in the manosphere who writes about this stuff is directly forcing anyone to follow in their footsteps. But the lifestyle of the pick-up artist, trawling the streets and clubs day after day, bouncing from one shallow hookup to another with substandard women, is heavily glorified. And why wouldn’t it appeal to the kind of men who have never been able to even get one woman, let alone hundreds?

Every man has the right to make his own choice of the path he takes in life. But I really feel that the advice being given, the lifestyle being glorified, is highly detrimental to the pursuit of happiness for the vast majority of normal men. There is a tiny, tiny nucleus of men who are totally content leading such a mercenary lifestyle, and they are outliers. Emotional connection and companionship are basic human needs, and to deny them is to invite unhappiness, and set yourself back years on your journey towards fulfilment. What perhaps need only be a process that takes 12 months, becomes one of years, laced with bitterness towards women, and ultimate total objectification of them, resulting in the inability to find contentment from life.

And honestly – how many of these guys do you really believe are happy with the lifestyles they have chosen? You can almost see the cracks in the facade of their manic grins, as they boast about their latest conquest of a “hot girl” (who is actually a 6), all the while trying to convince themselves that if they keep shouting “I’m really happy!” loud enough, they might even start to believe it themselves, and subdue that gnawing chasm of loneliness in their souls that just won’t go away, no matter how many street approaches they do or how much game they learn…

Just look at Roosh’s recent “Anna” series. He rejected a relationship with a girl who by all accounts, and in his own words, was perfect for him, simply because he feared the deeper rejection that is risked when you fully open up to someone in a deeper commitment of a relationship. His ego can shrug off rejections from cold approach – “She doesn’t really know me, it was just the way I approached, she’d love me really if she got to know me” – but not so easily could it shrug off the crushing rejection of his true self, and so easier to just avoid it.

I promote self-improvement and healthy relationships with women who you are genuinely attracted to. There’s no such thing as “practising game” with women you are not really attracted to – all you are doing is damaging your self-esteem.

So in the interests of transparency, following Matt’s lead, and now that I’m finally free of the shackles of the corporate world, I’ve decided to show myself, so that you can know that I am who I say am, and I practise what I preach. Excuse the “selfie” style of the shot, but it was the best I had to hand without organising an impromptu photo shoot.

And should you think that somehow I’ve always looked like this, and life has been a walk in the part for me, here’s a photo of me from when I was 23. Self improvement works.

Although, still good with pussy

Merry Christmas.