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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Indulgence Goals

Short Term Indulgences


Face it. At this very moment, if you're honest with yourself, you'd love to shove a piece of cake into your mouth, stop working those extra hours, and say fuck it, you deserve a break. Cozy up in front of your TV, grab a six pack of that IPA you've had your eye on for a while, and put your favorite sitcom on.

And yet one of several things may happen:

  1. You indulge, you feel relaxed, go to sleep, and wake up the next morning feeling reasonably comfortable, albeit a bit groggy. You're not exactly skinny, but not exactly fat, and have some muscle. Your career is going pretty well, and are considering asking your boss for a 2% raise in a few months. We'll call this situation #1.
  2. You indulge, you feel relaxed, go to sleep, and then next morning you have a little twinge of regret. It's so subtle that it's nearly imperceptible. But somewhere deep down, if you're honest with yourself, you're wondering if it was worth it. You look down and aren't 100% pleased with your body or financial situation. You sort of wish you didn't indulge quite so much last night. But your subconscious is excellent at what it does, protecting you from self-loathing, and you rationalize it. You're pretty sure you're on track to hit your goals, and you can learn to be happy with what the universe gives you in terms of relationships. We'll call this situation #2.
  3. You choose to not indulge, and either do some work or chores you've been putting off, or relax without the beer and cake, perhaps reading a book you are interested in. We'll call this situation #3.
  4. Your indulgences are now no longer the beer and cake. Your indulgences are: A nice Chianti from your cellar. The latest Star Wars movie in your movie theatre room. Perhaps you just fucked a great looking girl who is finishing up her last semester of school. Maybe you order some expensive heavy Mediterranean takeout. You look down, and are extremely pleased with your body. You feel relaxed. When you wake up the next morning, you have zero regrets because you realize that your "indulgences" (if you can even call them that) are not going to hurt your goals. Your body is already at top shape, and you'll simply work a little harder at the gym and eat a lighter lunch today to compensate, bringing yourself back to before your indulgence meal. Your career is on track, so you know that spending time with Jennifer last night is not going to change whether or not your company succeeds. You have the financial freedom to be able to walk away and maintain your lifestyle, so buying that home theatre room doesn't take away from your finances. We'll call this situation #4.
Now before you act like a pain in the ass, and come telling me that there are a million different scenarios, and these 4 barely scratch the surface of all the possible types of nights, this is obviously meant to illustrate a point.

But what is that point?

The point is that these situations are sequential. The point is the twinge of regret. That little voice in the back of your head, knowing you could have better success if you really tried. And that one of the reasons you have not achieved those goals are that you have been indulging too much. The point lies in the links between the situations; the acts of will, the invocation of your choice, in which you move from situation #1 to #2 to #3 and finally to #4.

The point is that the only way to get from situation #1 to situation #2, is to realize you're being complacent in situation #1, and that you deserve better. The point is that the only way to get from situation #2 to situation #3 is to choose to act on that inner-frustration, and turn the dial up on your productivity. The point is that the only way for the majority of us to get to situation #4, is to revel in the discomfort of discipline, and stay in situation #3 until time works its magic, and the discipline compounds.

The point is that discipline plus time is what is necessary to achieve your peak potential. That giving up of your short-term indulgences is one of the best ways to achieve your long-term indulgences.

Time


But let us be honest. Time is a limited resource. And as such, (as described in the excellent book Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Deckle Edge), any logical thinker will realize that implies you must budget your time. You must give up working towards one goal to further another. That for a given hour, you can't be working on your career while you're at the gym. (Do not insult my intelligence by claiming that fitness will help your mental clarity long term, ad nauseum. In the concrete moment, it's simply a fact that you must focus a majority of your energy on one goal.)

So how to you decide how to spend that limited resource?

First, you always start with a long-term vision of success approximately 10 years out. What would my life look like then? What goals would I have ideally achieved? What does my house look like, my body, my bank account, my maid, my car? Great. Now you're just depressed, because it's far off. But there are also a plethora of paths which will lead you to that goal.

So you look back from 10 years, and focus on one year out. What's the next step towards your goal? That's much easier to visualize. There are fewer paths leading there. The actions necessary to achieve that are clear. Perhaps difficult, but clear nonetheless if you think hard enough.

In the moment, you have a few choices of what to do for the next hour. You must simply imagine which of your one-year-out goals are being furthered in the next hour. Your amygdala may want you to indulge in some cake, but your forebrain (which has visualized the path to your one-year-out vision) will choose to either do some extra brushing up on a skill for your career, or perhaps hit the gym.

Since time is a limited resource, you must not regret choosing one action over the other, as any action necessarily is not pursuing another action. Goals must typically take turns. That doesn't mean you are giving up one goal for another, but rather that you are simply accelerating towards them at different paces.

Long Term Indulgences


There's one additional point about indulgences. If you've ever been in the real world and not in some self-help guru's imagination, you realize that burnout is a risk. If you give up all your indulgences now for future power and success, you'll be so exhausted by the time you receive it, you will not enjoy it. Or it will take you so long to enjoy it, because your productive output during your waking hours has slowly creeped from 100% to 65%.

That's why, on your journey to your Lamborghini and fancy whisky, or your two-month-long vacation in the French Riviera with a stellar body, you must indulge on occasion in short-term pleasure.

That's simply the truth of the matter.

The point of these small short-term indulgences are to remind you what you're working for, while cumulatively increasing the odds of getting there. They are meant to boost your productivity at other times.

But they must be infrequent. Because it's extremely easy to slip back into situation #2 if you give in to short-term indulges too often.

You must always bear in mind that their only purpose is a temporary recharge to (1) avoid burnout and therefore (2) to increase the odds of achieving your long-term indulgences.

A majority if your time (maybe 80% of each day, or perhaps 6 out of 7 days) is spent furthering your long-term goals. A very small amount of time is to recharge to keep you sane, and to keep reminding yourself of the excitement of the long-term indulgences that you are looking forward to.

Concluding Remarks

My inner dialog has been conditioned and trained to think about the following questions several times throughout the day:

  1. What am I doing this current hour?
  2. What does my life ideally look like 10 years from now?
  3. What's next, in a year from today, to have that life?
  4. How does my activity for the next hour get closer to one piece of that one-year-out life?

On occasion, the answer to #4 is to relax or indulge with a crazy night out. But a majority of the time, the answer to #4 is either working, reading, lifting, cooking something healthy, or some other disciplined action.

You constantly must make choices for how you're going to spend your time in the next hour. Reveling in the discomfort of discipline. Realize that by being productive, given enough time, is necessary to achieve your long-term indulgences. But you must have a clear vision of that long-term lifestyle. And you must link it to a more immediate one-year-out lifestyle. Because that vision is the only way for you to even know if you're furthering your goals, and to know which goal you're furthering in a given hour.

~~~

Read this post on reddit or trp.red.

@deeperthrill

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Transactional Thriving

"It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. 
What truth? 
That you are a slave."

What specifically is this blue-pill indoctrination we fight so hard against? Very simply, it's the transactional, economic nature of our world. From advertising to sexual relationship dynamics, the world is transactional.

Objectification

A pejorative typical claim is that "you objectify women" or we "treat them as sub-human". Is that true? Not at all. I objectify everybody. I recognize what each party brings to the table, I recognize how the shit-tests women present are simply an attempt to measure my fitness level. I have no problem objectifying everybody, men and women alike. I recognize the transactional nature of social dynamics, of employer-employee dynamics, of family dynamics, etc. And yet that is, in no way, mutually exclusive with concrete emotions. One can pair-bond and have loyalty and trust amongst other men. One can certainly feel love, and also recognize its evolutionary advantage, with his eyes wide open as to the fact that love may have a shelf-life shorter than he desires. But such a man who objectifies and uses the transactional nature of the world to his advantage is surely manipulative, right?

Manipulative

I think what others would call manipulative, is what some call "strategy". Nobody is forcing Little Miss Slut to stay with Mr. Bad Boy if she's not getting treated as she wants. He isn't physically coercing her to make "poor choices". Or maybe she stays with him because deep down, he is treating her as she wants to some degree? We are all employing some strategy or another, and hence we are all manipulative. The nice guy has his covert contracts. The girl has her hypergamy, her make-up to hide her flaws, etc. Is it a matter of degrees? Is some level of manipulation inherently "worse" than others? Just because we bring our strategy to the surface and are conscious about it, doesn't change the fact that others are employing subconscious strategies which have literally evolved over time. You surely don't need to employ strategy or manipulation to get what you want, as there are plenty of (well, a few) relationships out there in which the parties' underlying subconscious strategies happen to mesh, but it surely increases the probability of success. Is such a "manipulative" asshole toxic?

Toxic

Toxic, if you really think about it, simply means ineffective. A toxic strategy is one which, over the long term, isn't actually best for the parties involved. It erodes the functional dynamics which non-toxic strategies exhibit. Yet if a strategy (conscious or subconscious) is effective, how can it be called toxic? Detractors would rather see things happen "organically" which simply means without any strategy. Perhaps instead of ineffective, it means immoral?

Immoral/Asshole

This was thoroughly covered by a reddit post over a year ago. The gist of the concept is that bluepillers are inherently moral absolutists, in which any action or "truth" is viewed through the lens of morality first-and-foremost. It doesn't matter to them if a strategy is effective, if it's considered immoral. Whereas redpillers are inherently "factual absolutists", sticking only to what is most effective. At the end of the day, the strategy itself is amoral. It's simply information as to what is effective. The fact that it's "wrong" in the eyes of others doesn't change whether or not it's effective. It's ultimately up to the wielder of such knowledge to choose to act on the information. Well, even if it's effective, perhaps it makes the person wielding such a strategy hollow inside and unable to be happy?

Unhappy/Bitter/Angry

In the classic staple post on /r/theredpill regarding the five stages of grief as applied to TRP, when the band-aid is ripped off, and you start to see the transactional nature of the world, you naturally go through Denial, Bargaining, Anger, and Depression. You vehemently try to deny the truth. But once you accept and internalize the transactional nature of the world, you get to Acceptance. But not everybody in the Acceptance stage is happy. What do I mean? Well, you have a choice once you've accepted the nature of the world. There was a recent thread on the darkenlightenment subreddit discussing "The Black Pill", which is essentially someone who sees how things are, and yet doesn't like it. He wants out. This is the defeatist interpretation of Acceptance, which results in one feeling exasperated. You could argue such a man hasn't truly accepted the world, but I believe he has. Think of Cipher. A man who is unplugged from the matrix, and yet wants back in because he hates the truth. Your other choice is to be an opportunist, and learn how to thrive in the true nature of the world. Think of Neo, who finally accepts the world, and then bends it to his will, with his newfound knowledge. Such a man who sees the world how it truly is, can choose to use the rules of the game to better himself. He can even have a serious relationship and a child, knowing full well the risks. In fact, such a man is using his knowledge of the transactional nature of the world, I attest would minimize the risks such as hypergamy. Such a man is ultimately happy because he finds a joy and power in that choice.

Concluding Remarks

  • To deny the transactional nature of the world is to deny reality.
  • Recognizing that the world is transactional doesn't imply you can't feel emotions.
  • Whether something is objectifying, manipulative, or toxic, isn't inherently "wrong".
  • I objectify women and men alike, but am happy and (in my moral relativistic view of the world) not immoral.
  • To be happy, recognize and thrive in the transactional nature of the world as an opportunist.
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