Those of you who have read my first book, Pushing Rubber Downhill, will be familiar with the book’s main theme. It is the story of how I got my act together as a young man. It is a clear example of the maxim known as, short term pain – long term gain. In other words, the painful act of seeking truth, of staring into one’s own personal abyss and sorting that shit out, will have long term beneficial results if you stick with it.
Most young guys don’t even attempt it, let alone stick with it once they’ve begun the process. It’s much more common to take the easy road at that age; the road of short term gain. Short term gain can be really rewarding; it wouldn’t be a gain otherwise. You hit your twenties and you don’t know jack shit and you’re desperate to come off as if you know what you’re doing in this thing called adult life. So you cast around and you look at what the supposed adults are doing and you figure that if you get yourself some of that then you’re going to be doing okay.
The some of that usually entails various aspects of a responsible career, marriage, kids, and a big fat mortgage. You get yourself all of that tasty bucket and you reckon that you must be going places. Why, you look like you’re going places so it stands to reason that this must be the case.
But you have doubts, in the dark recesses of your mind. You wonder if you really know what you’re doing. And even worse, you find yourself with all the trappings of being an adult but you don’t feel any different than before. You feel just as scared, just as confused, and just as lost as you were only a few years ago. Which doesn’t make sense because you were convinced that if you made yourself look like an adult then it was only natural that you’d become one in time.
Short term gain – long term pain.
Most people are like this. We’re talking about the vast majority. Very, very few people ever get their act together. It’s too confronting. Getting your act together involves facing up to yourself and admitting your own weaknesses, and then doing your utmost to improve and get better. It’s a really painful process. Trust me, I know. That’s what that book is all about. The pain. The setbacks. The doubts. The insecurities. The false starts. The wrong decisions. How nothing makes any sense at all when you’re in the middle of doing it.
But I still haven’t got to the worst part. The worst part of all is that while you’re dealing with your shit and trying to get better, you will feel like you’re getting nowhere. I’m talking years here. And while it seems like you’re going nowhere, all of your peers who have taken the short term gain pill will appear in contrast to be absolutely killing it. Not only that, but they will routinely give you shit about your apparent failure to get your act together.
The act of getting your act together will paradoxically look like you’re not getting your act together at all.
Remember, your peers will be full of their own doubts and they’ll want to make themselves feel better. They’ll want to reassure themselves that they’ve made the right decision, even though they suspect deep down that they’ve fucked it all up. What better way to give yourself a little self esteem boost than to take some easy shots at the guy who’s still living out of a couple of bags at the age of 29.
“Hey Adam, this rafting thing looks like a bit of fun, but you can’t do that forever, man. When are you going to get your shit together? When are you going to start getting serious? Do you want to be a loser all your life?”
I heard that a bunch of times. You have to stay strong. You have to stay focused. There is no road map for this sort of stuff. Every one of us is different, every one of us is unhappy in our own unique way. You’ll know when you’re starting to turn things around because you won’t feel like total shit all the time.
I caught this short video from Jordan Peterson just before I went on holiday the other week. Does it surprise you that a guy who really has his shit together today didn’t have his shit together at all when he was 25?
He took stock of himself, identified his weaknesses, and fixed them. I don’t know the guy but I can tell you right now that he wouldn’t have done it overnight. He would have had stops and starts along the way, and all of the doubts that everyone else has. Do you admire him for what he is doing today? For how confident he is? For how powerful he is in a personal sense?
He wouldn’t be like that if he hadn’t have got his act together.
It is the most important thing for you to do. You have to do it sooner or later. This is what all mid life crises are based upon. This is the difference between being red pill and blue pill. The blue pill guys take the easy road. And then they get hit by a gigantic air extractor parked in front of a sewerage farm.
Here’s a quote from Rollo Tomassi’s latest post which touches on this topic.
Very few men I know of, whom I’d say are Red Pill aware husbands and fathers, did not set out to be so. I have no doubt that in the future I’ll encounter men who were formerly Blue Pill and Beta who changed themselves, unplugged, became Red Pill aware, internalized it and used it to enter into a marriage wherein his Frame was always the primary and his wife intrinsically recognized it and was attracted to him because of it. I do hope this is eventually the case for some men, but as it stands now, the far more common occurrence is the Blue Pill, Beta husband who was “awakened while married” and turned his marriage back from the brink – if indeed that is the case at all. Even more commonly it is divorced men put through the ringer who unplugged post-divorce.
He’s right: it really is very rare. But I am one of those guys. I was firmly in the blue pill zone. I was as beta as they come. And I set out to turn things around. I purposely unplugged myself and created a new frame, before that terminology was even around. It can be done. And now you have the added resources of guys like Rollo and myself to help you along. Would have been nice to have had that when I was going through all that crap, but you can’t have everything I suppose.
Pushing Rubber Downhill is about how I unplugged myself from the blue pill. How I stopped being beta. And how I completely reframed myself. The funny thing is that I only figured out what the book is really about after I’d published it.
It’s so much easier to do this before you get married, have kids, buy that house, and take that steady job. Awakening yourself while married must be unbelievably hard. Trying to put the pieces back together after getting destroyed in a divorce sounds even worse, especially when you consider the fact that the pieces probably didn’t go together very well in the first place.
For as long as I’ve been writing in the Manosphere I’ve always made a point of telling men never to use my marriage (or other Red Pill married men’s marriages) as some kind of template or goal to be had with Red Pill awareness. I realize that my own Red Pill marriage seems like some ideal to strive for, but what I think most unmarried single men need to consider is that, for the vast majority of men who’ve been able to unplug, remake themselves and employ an internalized understanding of Red Pill awareness within their marriages and in their families, these men do so in spite of themselves.
I agree with Rollo here, but I also disagree in a way. If you’re a young guy who hasn’t got his act together yet but who also hasn’t weighed himself down with all of the false trappings of adulthood, then I reckon that you can use Rollo’s marriage or my own marriage as an ideal to strive for. But you have to keep in mind that a marriage like this, a marriage based on red pill truths, is only one of the potential benefits of getting your act together.
But it is not the goal. If you make it your goal then paradoxically you will then lose your way and fail. Getting your act together as a man does not include a complete fixation on having a successful marriage. You have a successful marriage because you got your act together first, but you don’t get your act together in order to have a successful marriage.
You get your act together in order to be a success yourself. In order to be a better man. It is the ultimate act of responsibility. By getting your act together, not only do you draw on the benefits for yourself, but you are also not a burden onto others. And maybe, like Dr Jordan Peterson, you will then be able to help a few other people along the way.