This is a guest post by Vincent Vinturi.
Today’s man is struggling to find any meaning in his existence.
I don’t mean some “purpose” (save the turtles) or “passion” (travel the world) or set of career goals. And I don’t mean a pie-in-the-sky meaning of life.
What I’m talking about is a deep, visceral knowing that everything life brings, whatever it may be, is something he can enjoy fully. And the undeniable feeling that should death knock at his door tomorrow, he can embrace it with tranquility, curiosity and great gratitude towards existence.
He has known the mystery of life; now he would like to glimpse the unseen sight of death.
But today’s average man is bored, un-alive, asleep. And it isn’t entirely his fault.
The core of this existential crisis stems from the in the cultural forces that have taught men that selfishness is bad. Not the politically-colored, capitalistic, Ayn Randian concept of selfishness, but rather the simple, innocent selfishness of a child.
The word “selfishness” has been corrupted by all those self-aggrandizing, self-hating, holier than thou crackpots throughout history. But if you look at the word self-ish-ness, it really just means “to be yourself.”
So in effect, we grow up with the admonition that being selfish (i.e. being yourself) is a nasty, contemptible quality. And from the perspective of the people telling you this, it makes great sense.
Because being yourself doesn’t serve others’ agendas. It serves you.
It doesn’t serve the political systems that seek to enslave and exploit you. It doesn’t serve the religious systems, who want you to piss your life away praying to the clouds and feeling guilty about your morning hard-on. And it doesn’t serve the economic system that depends upon you being an efficient worker bee in a stinking office.
It serves none of these “others”; it serves you.
After all, to know yourself, the very first question you have to ask is¬†“what do I want?”¬† For these “others,” this is a dangerous question. For you, it’s the path towards enlightenment.
As a child, this question “what do I want? What do *I*¬†want?”¬† resonated through your very being like a primordial Om.
Could you imagine doing something you didn’t want to do as a nipper? And do you recall the feeling of emotional upheaval when you were denied your divine right to do exactly as you pleased?
I know, I know: we’re men, not children. You can’t just do what you want all the time, right…?
Well, contrary to popular belief, it is the very fact that men have stopped asking themselves “what do I want?” that has kept them immature, waffling, unsure of themselves, and not least of all, unattractive to women.
What do women always say they want in a man…? A man who _____ ¬†____ ¬†__ ¬†_____.
Most guys would be shocked to learn just how many of their words, actions and even their very thoughts are governed by a desire to avoid being disapproved of by others. And it’s perfectly natural.
Because acting, speaking and thinking to appease others (or avoid their disapproval) is an option that’s always available and deeply ingrained in us.
But for any kind of growth to occur, a certain amount of discomfort is unavoidable.
Asking “what do I want?” can be hard at first. Especially if you aren’t in the habit of asking yourself this question on all things big and small.¬† So start small. Ask yourself constantly. Drive yourself a little crazy. In a mad world, the crazy man is the truly sane one.
At first you may overdo this. In fact, you should overdo this. There’s incredible learning value in taking things to the extreme.
For instance, an incorrigible womanizer who spends and inordinate amount of time and effort on seducing women will eventually develop a skill set that only a tiny fraction of the men who have ever lived have possessed. And he will have tasted earthly delights that most men dare not dream of.
This deceptively simple (but not easy) approach has the potential to completely transform your life.
The method goes like this:
- Ask yourself “what do I want?”
- Do that thing.
- As a corollary to #2, don’t do the thing you don’t want to do.
The result of applying this technology to your every day thoughts and actions—both big small, significant and seemingly insignificant—is that you’ll develop tremendous self-respect, decisiveness and masculine integrity.
As a man who knows himself and knows what he wants, there can be almost no worse feeling than doing something you don’t want to do or not doing something you do¬† want to do.
Once you get the knack of it, you’ll begin to trust yourself. You’ll develop the ability to act in accordance with your deepest desires, whatever the situation may bring. This is the seed that grows into vibrant confidence, self-satisfaction and compassion.
Because the man who is at peace with himself and sees the people around him in prisons of their own making can’t help but feel tremendous compassion for his brothers and sisters.
But don’t take my word for it.¬† That’s what all the religions and ideologies want you to do. And look at how they’ve wrecked the human spirit.
Instead, simply try it for yourself. Experiment and play with this approach. Have fun with it. It’s purely existential and empirical with clearly visible results.
So try it for a week, try it for a month and if you’ve done it for a month, you won’t need any outside convincing to keep doing it for the rest of your life.
Here’s to doing what you want!