There are no short cuts.

Over at Asshole Consulting, Aaron Clarey received a video request from a client who requested for Aaron to go into detail about what was the hardest question he has had to face in his life. Aaron contemplated this and realised that the most difficult thing he has had to grapple with was the perplexity associated with wondering what was wrong with him.

Even though I’m not much of a video guy I sat through and watched this until the end, for I too was in the same position when I was a young man.

To sum up the message in the video, Aaron spent years smashing his head against a brick wall and not getting anywhere; with girls, with his career, in a social sense with other guys, (being not particularly thrilled with the idea to go to a bar to watch a sports game), and all the while trying to work out what was wrong with him. He turned over every stone available to peer underneath in an effort to discover the truth. He tried changing his clothes, his hair, (maybe he should have tried changing his soap brand), but nothing worked. All he got was rejection, pain, and failure.

And then he finally understood that it wasn’t him, the individual; it was society that had the problem. All of his bosses were morons. Girls in Generation X got infected by the feminist mind virus and collectively began behaving towards their male peers in a way that would have been completely unacceptable a few decades earlier.

And once Aaron understood this, once he had grokked this most important of life lessons, at that point he was free. He was relieved of the chains of society that fell away from him in a dusty heap.  He saw through the lies. He saw his bosses’ behavior for what it was; fear that Aaron would take their jobs due to his abilities. He saw that these beautiful women that he had held aloft on a high pedestal were actually vacant dimwits with a masters degree in self absorption. He understood that he couldn’t go to a banal public gathering and enjoy himself because he himself was not banal and mediocre.

So it’s a great video, a wonderful video. But, and I say this with all due respect, he’s only half way there in understanding what is involved here.

At the end of the video Aaron expresses the desire that he wished he had had someone to tell him this stuff. It’s important to understand that Generation X, my own generation, are the true lost generation. We are the lost boys. Due to massive upheavals in society, our fathers did not pass down to us the lessons and teachings that had been passed to them, the first time that this happened in hundreds of years, if ever. But at the same time we did not have the internet to be able to find out what we needed to know on our own. In the 80s and 90s and early 2000s, we were in the wasteland.

Many of my generation fell by the wayside as they did not try to fathom the unfathomable. They accepted their lot, shrugged their shoulders in helplessness, and hoped for the best. But a few of us weren’t satisfied. Like Aaron, I was desperate to find out what was wrong with me. My first book is a chronology of this journey. I felt useless, and helpless, and hopeless, and I didn’t want to feel that way. I wanted to feel in control. I wanted to be masculine and have power over my own destiny.

I too tried changing everything about myself. Just clothing itself was an impossibility. In previous generations men had had a uniform. It was not conformity; it was about belonging to a club, a club of men. But then the wretched Boomers declared that those clothes were square, man, and so ten years later you had young guys like me who had no idea what was an acceptable way to dress. My generation had to reinvent and rediscover everything while being told that we were the lowest pieces of shit imaginable by the morons who had collectively fucked things up for us.

The only people who excelled in that environment were morons themselves.

So why do I think that Aaron is only halfway there? At one point he urges young guys to not take shit from women and to blow them off if the girls behave badly. But he immediately qualifies this by stating that you can’t be a dodgy dude bro arrogant chad about it. You have to be more like Cary Grant.

And that right there is the second half of the equation. In order to blow off that girl the right way, the respectful way, you have to have done all that previous work, years of work, to turn over every stone and peer underneath so as to be able to gain the knowledge and the wisdom and the self confidence to be able to act like a Cary Grant in a given situation.

There are no short cuts. You can read as many books as you like, watch as many inspiration videos as time allows, listen to every manner of wise men on podcasts telling you how it needs to be done. But until you go out there and turn over every single damn rock and peer beneath it in an attempt to find out where you sit in relation to all of the complexities of life, you won’t know a damn thing.

Clarey declares that there is nothing wrong with you; it’s society, and he is right. But until you have turned over every rock and finally come to the true understanding, the swallowing of the red pill, then you yourself are that society. You have no business making that declaration if you have not made the journey, if you have not yet made a man of yourself. To do so is to be a fraud, a fraud of masculinity itself.

We see these frauds all around us. Not only did they take the easy way out, they didn’t have the personal gumption to just shut the fuck up and keep their heads down afterwards. No, they have to cover their personal deficiencies by lecturing the rest of us with the mindless drivel of infants. Sniveling pieces of flotsam like the dipshit Jonathan McIntosh that I wrote about the other day.

Clarey’s video is spot on but you have to get there yourself. You cannot just watch that and then declare to yourself that your own boss is a moron and you know more than him. You have to, in fact, know more than him, and you have to fully comprehend why he is wrong. If I had watched this video 25 years ago I still would have had to go through all of the same shit that I went through to get where I am now. I needed to unlearn 15 years of false messages from my parents, my schools, my peers, and what society told me through the media. You’re not blank slates, guys. You’re just as screwed up as we were, if not more.

The great benefit that this video and other wisdom of its type gives you is that you know that you are on the right path. That, my young friends, is your great advantage over us. You know that not only are you not alone, you’re not crazy for not being satisfied with the existence of a worthless sheep. It can be done. Men like myself and Aaron Clarey have done it. The internet is full of men who have done it, but if you take our numbers and compare them to the population of the western world then the equation is nothing short of pitiful.

Out of all my childhood peers I know of only one other who did the hard work and got there like me.

So watch Aaron’s video. But do not delude yourself that you are already there. There are no short cuts. If there were then you wouldn’t need to be on this planet.

20 thoughts on “There are no short cuts.

  1. Adam

    My god, this is brilliant. I thought it was just my Dad that never gave me any guidance, not my entire generation. I had to learn everything myself, and fuck i could’ve done with a bit of help.

    Now look at the younger idiots, Gen Y and millenials, they’re even more fucked up, and worse they don’t even know they are fucked. At least we knew.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BWV

    I just don’t buy into the whole “Daddy didn’t teach me anything” idea. It’s an excuse – but I can excuse that for the most part because you move past it to look for solutions. It could be much worse; you could have signed up for “therapy.”

    The problem with the kid blaming the parents cliche is that it begins from the implicit idea that the parents had everything perfect and the screw-ups started with the way they managed the kid. But other than ego and self-indulgence, there’s not really any reason to believe that.

    Every generation of parents – and every specific set of parents – could have done a better job somehow. Their errors are either repeated by their children when it’s their turn to be parents – or avoided in favor of new errors.

    So you get the parents you get, you do the best with what you have, and you move on past it into adult life where you – not they – are responsible for the results.

    The way I have put it – a similar idea that is a less comprehensive indictment of the whole world – is, “One of the great things about being an adult is that you get to decide whose opinion matters and whose does not.”

    There is a second principle that goes along with this and it is: “When someone criticizes you, it’s worth taking a moment to consider whether they’re right.”

    To illustrate, in Army Officer Candidate School, we had a weekly peer review where we ranked everyone in the platoon from best to worst. The top three and bottom three rankings had to be explained in a short paragraph. Then everyone would see the results. The purpose of was to get us familiar and comfortable with telling people exactly where they stand.

    In OCS, every branch sends people and there are men and women. At the weekly peer review, I was savaged every time by the women for my lack of Sensitivity, which was one of the however-many “dimensions of leadership” we were rating each other on.

    I explained to them once or twice, that in the Army, sensitivity does not mean saying good morning and smiling and asking them how their day is going. It means making sure they have enough food, sleep, a fair share of the work, guard duty, etc. That didn’t wash and I didn’t care.

    See, I was part of the clique of infantry guys. I cared about their opinions because I was one of them and respected them. Other than that? What do I care if some truck driver or finance chick thinks I’m a good soldier? What would they know about it?

    Now the other side of the story.

    One day one of the infantry guys walks up and says, “You’re fucking up.” I asked how. He said I spent too much time doing shared tasks – like buffing the hallway – and not enough time on my own personal tasks like making sure my wall locker was inspection ready.

    I said, “Yeah but what about that team first/me last stuff they keep talking?”

    He said, “Do enough of the common area stuff that people don’t think you’re slacking – then spend the rest of your time on your own stuff. The TAC Officer walks in and looks at the hall for one second. If it’s good, everyone gets credit. If it’s bad, everyone gets blamed. He looks at your locker for several minutes and it’s all on you.”

    So I modified my approach and my relations with the TAC Officer got a lot better.

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  3. Bernd

    That certainly is an interesting topic and i wholeheartedly agree with both of you.

    Luckily i had this epiphany early in life, although in a slightly different version. I never really wondered about whether i was the broken one or society. It was more or less obvious to me. My parents divorced early in my childhood and i was with my mother, who was (sorry mom) not very adapt at living life. It was obvious even to me as a 10 year old. So i kind of learned early to take care of myself. Being naturally curious helped a lot too. But it didn’t stop there, gradually i just took my own preparation for adult life in my own hand. The more i did learn about the world, the more i had to acknowledge that the ones that were supposed to prepare me for life were not in a position to do so, even if they wanted to (and in some cases i give them the benefit of the doubt).

    Basically it boiled down to this: How can a teacher, who was born, went to school, went to university and back to school prepare me for a life in a real job? They never had any bit of real life experience outside of the educational system. How can the university professor teach me about founding a company if all he did in his life is going to school, going to university and staying there, repeating the same old lecture for the past 20 years without redoing the content? How can people from my parents generation or older give me advice with women when they have no clue about the abomination that is the modern dating market?

    As you said: “Due to massive upheavals in society, our fathers did not pass down to us the lessons and teachings that had been passed to them, the first time that this happened in hundreds of years, if ever.” This is not exactly true, a lot of fathers did pass their lessons to their sons, but due to the radical change in society since the fathers were in that age their advice was not only obsolete but outright contra-productive and damaging. I think we live in a time where not listening to your elders at all will give you a better start in life. Talk about fucked up …

    Anyway i just took every advice with a grain of salt, even if it where honest. The rest was more or less a combination of looking what people did before me that reached what i wanted to reach and trial and error.

    Another thing i disagree with you is the concept of someone (even you or Aaron) getting “there”. Since society and you yourself are constantly changing it is not done by getting “there” once. “There” is constantly moving, and so should you. Life gets boring when you stagnate anyway.

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    1. Another thing i disagree with you is the concept of someone (even you or Aaron) getting “there”.

      And once Aaron understood this, once he had grokked this most important of life lessons, at that point he was free.

      The getting there part is the personal liberation, the lifting of the veil. No longer wondering what is wrong with you and instead understanding that you are more than okay and it has been society that has been wrong all this time. As you stated in your comment, you never really suffered this, but a lot of us did.

      Also,

      As you said: “Due to massive upheavals in society, our fathers did not pass down to us the lessons and teachings that had been passed to them, the first time that this happened in hundreds of years, if ever.” This is not exactly true, a lot of fathers did pass their lessons to their sons, but due to the radical change in society since the fathers were in that age their advice was not only obsolete but outright contra-productive and damaging.

      Yeah, that’s exactly what I originally said and you quoted – due to massive upheavals in society. The massive upheavals caused the lessons to not be passed down, either because our fathers did literally not pass them or because their method of delivery was rendered obsolete. I put that caveat in at the beginning of the sentence for a good reason.

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      1. Bernd

        “The getting there part is the personal liberation, the lifting of the veil”. Okay, looking at it in that way, i agree completely.

        “either because our fathers did literally not pass them or because their method of delivery was rendered obsolete. ”

        Maybe i misunderstood you or we are talking at cross-purposes here, but in my opinion there is a significant difference in what you wrote (both in the original post and in your comment) and what i wanted to bring across. I was not talking about the method of delivery, but about the content. I meant that our surroundings changed so much in the last 20 to 30 years, that the wisdom from elder generations, even transferred in all its correctness is causing hurt in todays young recipients. Yes, there are some things that do not change. But ask a successful Baby Boomer what he got as advice from his parents (for example: which college degree, buy/build a house or not, how to start a family, whatever). Now take that advice to a millennial living in 2017. Even if he follows it 100%, i will guarantee his life will not be successful as the baby boomer’s, but instead his life will be fucked up beyond repair.

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  4. Allen

    I’ll approach this from the other side of the coin of having raised three boys. I watch fathers of today and watched many of my peers absolutely fuck up their responsibilities. I put it all down to fear of disapproval. The things boys most need to learn are often unpleasant and difficult to hear, and many fathers have become afraid to do this. It takes a certain amount of “I don’t give a fuck what you think” for a father to raise a boy properly, and frankly most guys just don’t have it.

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    1. CombatMissionary

      Damn straight.
      All of my kids learned early on not to worry about what other people think: I told them flat-out that there are magic words that make other people stop trying to control you: “I don’t care what you think.” They’re all healthy, happy, and focusing on developing their lives into what THEY want. They’re all learning to be hard workers and self-starters.

      I get so sick of parents who try to be their kids’ buddies.
      My kids know that I love them and that I’m always in their corner, but that if they’re screwing up, I’ll put my boot in.
      There’s a difference.
      They’re not growing up to be physically or emotionally soft, or to pin their happiness on what others think of them, or to expect anyone else to provide for them.

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      1. BWV

        “I get so sick of parents who try to be their kids’ buddies.”

        This leads to a lot of disasters – and it’s one more wrong answer that modern culture is instilling in people. The notion that you are supposed to be your children’s friend is everywhere, but completely false and counterproductive.

        I suspect if you asked my four children to give you three words to describe me – none of the twelve words you got back would be “friend” and that’s as it should be.

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    2. It takes a certain amount of “I don’t give a fuck what you think” for a father to raise a boy properly, and frankly most guys just don’t have it.

      How many of them want to say it, or try to say it, but the boy’s other undermines him completely because rather than wanting to raise a child to be a functioning adult, she wants a “special friend” who gives her unconditional love? I see this a lot, plenty of mother would have been better off buying a dog.

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  6. MatrixTransform

    be responsible…better still, be accountable.

    My old man taught me. And I resented him. He was right
    I taught my son. He resents me.

    One day he’ll wake up and find his balls.
    On the day that he recognizes that I was right,
    He too will be right….and then he can start the journey proper.

    I’ll be a grandfather in Jan 2018 … and the boy is walking in his old man’s footsteps even if he doesn’t know it yet

    make yr choices and say yr prayers, there’s ultimately nobody to tell you what the next correct step is.

    start walking boy

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  7. Being a Military brat, with all the moving associated with that way of life, I quickly learned you can’t dwell on what others think of you. There is one exception – your peers. Most people have very few peers and, for the most part, they will be your friends. Friends will already have a positive view of you and their concern will be for what is best for you in their way of thinking. Listening to them can be quite profitable and failing to listen to them can be down right deadly.

    There’s an old saw, from the Book of Proverbs, IIRC, “the wounds of a friend are faithful.”

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  8. Looking back, my parents gave me a brain and a shove in the right direction, and from then on it was my friends and myself who got me moving. Although the old man’s cash helped me out a lot in school and university, I won’t deny that.

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  9. Red Cabbage

    It’s even worse for Gen-X women like me. It took precious time and painful experience to figure out the lies, and then it was too late.

    Like

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