Many men raised in the West are programmed to set ambitious goals for themselves. They spend months or years trying to accomplish a specific goal, thinking that once it happens, their life will unfold like a movie where they are the hero carried off on the shoulders of admirers. This doesn’t happen. The satisfaction from achieving your goal lasts only days, maybe even hours, and then life will seem no different than before. To find out what you really gain from any goal, imagine what happens after achieving it.

You want to sleep with 100 women. Imagine the process of achieving that goal, one bang at a time, until one day you do it—you sleep with your one-hundredth girl. The high is glorious. You are a real masculine man! And then what?

You still have to grind out your future bangs. Your game skill long ago passed the point of diminishing return. Your value doesn’t automatically go up in women’s eyes just because an arbitrary notch count was reached. More severely, you may damage your chemical bonding mechanism and become addicted to the thrill of banging easy sluts.

Or maybe you want to earn $1,000,000. You decide the best way to do that is through cryptocurrency. You spend hundreds of hours researching and trading. After three years, your portfolio reads $1,000,000. You cash out most of your portfolio. You buy a condo in the best part of town and also a lambo. You live in your new home and invite many friends and women, throwing epic parties, knowing that you can afford it all. And then what?

The parties get old after a while. You feel like people are using you. Your new home gave great satisfaction in the beginning, but you’ve gotten accustomed to it. You barely use the car. You buy new toys but then get bored of them after a week or two. Your wealth doesn’t provide you with a sustained boost of happiness like you expected.

Or maybe you want really big muscles. You hit the gym five times a week and load up on supplements of dubious safety. It takes a year but you become jacked. Your confidence is sky high. Other men are intimidated by you and women make compliments on your physique. And then what?

A big chunk of your life is spent in the gym or fussing over your diet to maintain an aesthetic that has little practical value. The girls you attract seem to be more shallow than before. The ego boost of intimidating men has faded, and your confidence peaked many arm sizes ago. Going to the gym has become a drag, but you’re scared of being small again.

Many men get starry-eyed over a goal, imagining how life would be so great upon achieving it, but fail to play out the movie to its completion. Unlike Hollywood, life goes on, and you come back down to a basal level of happiness, no matter how great your achievement was. This is very common with men who want to travel to shitholes to meet good women.

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Imagine you visit a rough second-tier city in Colombia or Ukraine and meet a girl who is hotter than any other girl you’ve made love to before. And then what? Are you going to move to her city permanently? Are you going to bring her back to the West so she can get corrupted like the women you left behind? Are you going to move her to another location where any children you have won’t have the benefit of seeing extended family? Understand that as soon as you experience the upsides from achieving a goal, the downsides come pounding at your door so that the overall cost of a goal is balanced with its benefits.

The most ideal goal to have is one where the downside is limited due to your unique character. My current goal is to finish two new books. There is huge downside in writing books for the average person, but for me it’s upside most of the way through. Writing itself is a form of meditation that suits me, helping me understand my place and value in the world. At the same time, I’m able to help men with their own lives. Compare that to a goal of sleeping with 100 new girls starting today, which would have tremendous downside for me to accomplish because of the monumental amounts of energy and time it would take for a man who values sex far less than before. Same goes for making money beyond the level of the material comfort I now have.

You have an ability or disposition that makes your pursuit of a certain goal have a smoother “And then what?” follow-up story than other men. If that story involves high maintenance alongside time and energy costs, the goal is almost certainly not going to provide you what the happiness you seek, but if after achieving your goal, the story is followed by you doing more of what you already enjoy, even resembling a sort of play, it will be a worthy goal for you.

Banging girls, puffing up my muscles, and accumulating money is not my goal—it’s the goal thrust upon me by a dying civilization that lacks meaning. If pursued to excess, they will only send me to a dead-end. If you want to find a goal that is worth it for you, play the story of the goal in your mind all the way through, and then you’ll know.

This article was originally published on Roosh V.

Read More: Why Men Should Not Go To College

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