15 Hard Lessons I’ve Learned From Life
Having reached a milestone of age and maturity in my life, I’ve come to realize a number of hard lessons I’ve learned, deserved or otherwise, that can only come from real life experience. We live in the type of world where so many pretend to know so much, yet how many people have really earned real experience? Let’s be honest: life is often a bitch. But the upside of a difficult life and suffering is the character that a man is rewarded with, that most valuable of traits.
Allow me to share with you some things I’ve learned along the way…
Your Past Doesn’t Have to Define Your Future, But Will Affect Your Present
No matter your background or what you’ve been told that you would amount to in life, success or failure is ultimately up to you. I grew up in both lousy home and school environments and was often reminded how I was “bad” and would not amount to anything worthwhile. You can probably guess what happened: I almost failed high school, I was always in trouble, and subconsciously I believed I didn’t “deserve” a meaningful life, much less the far-flung idea of going to college. My lack of confidence hit me hard when it came to social opportunities too.
A turning point in my life was when I was given the straight truth regarding personal decisions. At the encouragement of a friend and paying my own way, I enrolled in a technical school where one of my instructors, after giving me poor marks on a test paper, told me point blank, “If you decide to succeed, you will. If you decide to fail, you’ll do that.”
In a world where so many are looking for an excuse for their failures, I realized he was right. I changed my attitude, put in the effort, and from then on regularly earned honors for my academic achievements. Next stop: a college degree in a good-paying field. I’m now the only person in my family tree with an education like mine and working professionally.
However, I was naïve in thinking it was simply a matter of moving forward. The truth is, what happened in the past (lack of an involved father, an overly strict and negative mother, apathetic teachers, and much more) caused great damage to my self-esteem, confidence, and social skills. My lack of success in life and the girls I dated were a direct reflection of my self-esteem due to my inner shortcomings; yes, another blue-pill beta dating unattractive plain chicks and “accepting” he could do no better. Since that time I’ve made great improvements and realized that while my future is unwritten and looking better, it’s not wise to ignore those things inside which keep us from being whole, solid men.
You can make your life something to be proud of if you so choose. However sometimes we have to look further and address the underlying causes of what brought us to be the way we are with regards to our personal demons; otherwise, we’ll never be the best we can be.
You Snooze, You Lose!
Procrastination is a worthless endeavor. See a woman you want to pursue, but decide “Nah I’ll talk to her next time”? She’s gone when you go back even only two days later. Want to buy that car? It sold yesterday. Found a great job? It’s filled right away. I could go on and on but I think you get the point.
Opportunities can disappear in the blink of an eye. A man has to pursue what he wants, and now. “Once burned, twice learned”; so true!
Life Isn’t Fair; Get Used To It
The truth is, after enough difficulties in life we can suck it up and grow from harsh experiences, or play the victim role (which seems to be becoming the new American way).
Life is simply a bitch sometimes, and life isn’t fair. There will always be someone who has it better than you. There will always be those that never had to work a hard day’s work, never had to really pay their dues in life, and those who never suffered the tragedies you have. Shit will go wrong, and at random times.
The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can adjust your mentality to that of what really defines a strong man and not a boy: tough it out, and survive. Deal with problems and earn your way in life. In the end, you’ll be the man who can survive and you’ll possess an understanding of how the world really works unlike others who’ve not had to pay the same dues. If anything, you’ll possess a drive and character that no one else around you does. Desirable women do not need a momma’s boy who runs to mom when things get hard.
A Man Often Can’t Count On Anyone But Himself; You Have to Be Self-Reliant
Don’t let your success in life be dependent upon assuming you’ll be able to get help. So many times in life I had no one to turn to for my education, to talk about my struggles with, getting started out on my own as an adult, and much, much more. Once I was in Panama and discovered my debit card was missing! I was running out of money and need help fast. It’s hard to describe the sinking feeling when in an emergency situation I contacted those back home who I could have sworn would help me (after helping them many times in the past) only to hear, “I ain’t got no money” and “Sorry man, nothing I can do.” Never again!
Also, I see fewer and fewer men capable of repairing their homes, cars, and fulfilling “manly” tasks. A man who can’t take care of himself isn’t much of a man. Even the greatest handymen started with just trying. To be self-reliant you have to actually try, not just say “I can’t.” For crying out loud you don’t have to be able to swap out a motor in your Honda but I’ve met a number of men who can’t even change a spare tire on a car.
Accept Help From Others Graciously
Being self-reliant and highly independent is great. However, being so independent that you refuse help from others at all times is not. Growing up I had so few instances of getting a helping hand from those around me that I naturally over time prepared for struggling alone in whatever situation I had to face. It became my default thought process.
In time, when allies or more loving, caring people came into my life, I refused their help, and lived to regret it. The lesson learned? Sometimes it’s okay to ask for help; sometimes it’s fine to allow others to help you even when you could do it alone. Good people often feel rewarded for helping, and always refusing for help builds a cold wall between you and people who actually give a damn about you. Don’t become that cold, bitter, anti-social uncle that nobody cares to deal with.
Even If Everyone Says You’re Wrong, It Doesn’t Mean They’re Right: Be Prepared to Stand Your Ground
It comes as no surprise to my fellow RoK readers that American society is permeated with a politically-correct, hyper-sensitive, “groupthink” approach at shaming those who have a voice of dissent in almost any subject.
One of the greatest lessons in life was to find out sometimes that even when you’re fairly certain you’re right, you’ll be attacked for your beliefs. Being pressured and shamed into changing what you believe is manipulation and an attempt to make you conform and submit. In the end, the wise man analyzes whether he is right or wrong, but stands firm in his beliefs when he believes he is right.
It is interesting to see how chinks in our armor are exposed at those moments of attempts at “shaming” or pressure from others. The inclination to give and not “rock the boat” is a strong feeling. By attempting to appease others, you end up gaining nothing and actually lose.
We are here not because we pander to herd mentality but instead because we seek the truth. You will lose friends, acquaintances, and maybe even more when you stand behind your beliefs. That’s the price a man pays sometimes for being his own man. I might get the stink-eye from women near me when I say a plain-looking white chick with average clothing and a rather dull face is unattractive, but I sleep better at night knowing I stood my ground; and my confidence grows a few bits more. No one respects a pushover anyway. Will you submit to others, or be your own man? The choice is yours.
Traveling To a Foreign Country Is Very Valuable
My first trip overseas was in 2003 to Lima, Peru. That experience and others to follow in other Latin countries tremendously benefited me in many ways. Watching kids in the streets selling candy for money, teenage mothers begging for change, and seeing how people in the real world get by without government handouts to prop them up delivered a swift kick in the ass to my American worldview. No longer did I have the right to complain about my life when in fact I have so many opportunities as an American. I no longer can tolerate those who are given so much here and blow it all due to laziness, excuses, and apathy.
My image of what a woman should be was shattered forever as well. The women I have met, known, and been with were much more passionate and feminine. A sexy, loving, and attentive foreign woman is awesome. Going to a disco with a Latina who has a caramel complexion and is wearing tight jeans, colorful top, and huge earrings is a pleasure indeed instead of the frumpy, disorganized plain women back home. It was very eye-opening to see women who didn’t have much money still dress like women and taking value in being sexually attractive to men. Feminism has yet to destroy healthy societal norms in many countries. And foreign women often possess much more traditional values and can be quite loving, valuing men as men.
Learned a little bit of another language? You can get out of the “gringo tourist” label and meet cooler people and enjoy knowing women outside of the sheltered tourist areas. And I’ve made so many more friends here in the USA because I can relate to them and at least can speak with them in their own language some.
Has it been all rainbows and sunshine? No, of course not. I met gold diggers, visa chasers, I got scammed easily the first few times I traveled, got sick several times, and had the usual travel stories where things went wrong. Foreign women can be a handful at times, too, but the overall experience has changed me forever and made me the man I am today.
Once you’ve traveled, you’ll never look at things the same again. When I go out now, I’m well aware that what passes for beauty here is often a sad joke.
The self-delusional premise of the fat acceptance community – basically a laughable attempt to rewrite human nature – proposes that you can still be sexy and desirable when ugly or otherwise unattractive. This is absolute bullshit.
The truth is, no matter how “ok” I thought I was, or how “wonderful on the inside” a beta I was, in the end I wasn’t my best. I was thin, dressed in whatever lazily-picked ill-fitting clothes I liked, and put no real effort into it.
In mid-2011 I started working out regularly and eating better. In 2013, I began dressing better, wearing better fitting clothes, and throwing on the occasional sport coat. The results have really surprised me. Despite what I thought, appearances make a huge difference in how people respond. Last week 2 women said I was handsome and wanted to give me hugs when I was doing no more than walking through Macy’s in a well-fitting polo shirt that compliments my new physique.
“Expressing your individualism” by wearing an ugly goatee, crappy t-shirts, and bad hair may make you feel like a rebel, but damn sure won’t appeal to the average woman’s desire. Again, success is a choice. And more importantly, my confidence level is up, and it’s easier for me now to open with women.
Another “red pill” truth is that appearances appeal to fundamental human nature—we can’t help what we’re attracted to. A better appearance means better results. Most women respond well to an in-shape, well-dressed man. I found out the hard way that I was not at my best and had far worse results when I didn’t make the effort in those categories.
In a time when obesity and dressing like you’re 15 years old and going to summer camp is more often the norm, being an in-shape, well-dressed man means you’ll stand out and draw attention.
And one more point: wear good cologne. So few men wear cologne at all anymore. Let’s just say the results have been excellent.
Keep Your Emotions Under Control
When you lose control of yourself, you lose control of the situation and lose respect from others. You look like an irrational brat. Now that I’ve swallowed the red pill, I know longer expect women to be logical, rational creatures no matter what they would try to have me believe. And I accept that as I man I have to be the rational, stable individual.
No man should lose himself in his emotions like a woman does. Don’t be a little bitch-going overboard and ranting, being passive-aggressive, and acting like a weak man; this weakens you in the eyes of women. KEEP YOUR FRAME.
Let me be honest, it’s so damn hard for me to keep cool sometimes when someone pushes my buttons, but I keep practicing and have to remember that the path to a stronger male persona won’t allow me to break into a nonsensical fit when slighted. People notice strength, and people notice weakness… especially women.
Sometimes It’s Not How You Are That Matters, It’s How Others Perceive You
Unfortunately this is a lesson that took me time to get. Bad mood? Stressed? Sound unsure of myself when speaking? Not dressed so well? The things that I allow to affect me affect my outward appearance, demeanor, and attitude… and therefore affect my interaction with others.
The truth is, no one really cares how we feel or what’s bothering us. They care about how you make them feel and how you act towards them.
First impressions are incredibly important and others judge us on what they see, hear, and based on smaller clues to our confidence and value as men. Many times when I’ve not put my best effort into social interactions, I’ve later come to find out that it had a negative effect on what they thought of me. My attitude and demeanor cost me.
When not appearing to be 100% confident when speaking, I’ve sometimes seen the change in people’s confidence in me. Very uncomfortable! Get in practice, and put some thought into what you say and the vibe you give off.
Remember, most people want to like you, but you have to give them reasons to. Give off confident, warm, and charismatic vibes and people will feel good and thus feel good about you. Give off a sour mood and keep to yourself, and you’ll be treated accordingly.
Save Your Money (A Man Needs Resources)
Unfortunately my parents had no real money management skills and my father did not save for retirement. They also blew through money received through a lawsuit when I was young. The end results were: no education funds for me, my father having to live on very modest means (social security), and a lack of emergency funds should things go wrong. Social security is something no man should ever let his future well-being depend upon.
When younger I blew my money on expensive electronics, girls, and other things that cost me a lot of potential savings and this limited my ability to travel and enjoy life as well as being prepared for a job loss, etc. Now I regret the lack of self-control and budgeting that I had back then.
While it’s (almost) never too late to start, time is on your side when you’re young. Invest, save, and plan for retirement. Don’t live beyond your means. Don’t blow your money on junk. Don’t spend $60 on a date with a girl who you honestly know inside probably could care less that you busted your ass to earn that money. Don’t make the mistake so many others are making by putting no importance in your future retirement.
So many mistakes I made but I’ve started making corrections and can already see the benefits.
A little bit of money in the bank and you’ll be able to take some time off and get out of Boringville, USA to experience what life has to offer in other countries while Joe Smith back home is in a cubicle day and eating a shitty microwaveable lunch before going home to his chubby wife.
Don’t Believe Everything You Hear. There’s Often More To The Story
Inevitably, almost every time some hot-button, dramatic, or critical issue was presented, whether in a domestic dispute, feminist attention-grabbing headlines, or listening to a friend talk about their breakup, I have learned that there’s almost always more to the story than is being told.
So many times I’ve taken things at face value only to learn later (and feel terrible for it) that the story indeed was not what it was made out to be. People’s lives, reputations, and jobs have been destroyed over “truth” presented this way. Let’s just say I know from personal experience that a woman often has no qualms about playing the victim card when she wants to and can tailor the truth to fit accordingly.
Withholding information is a manipulation tactic used to bias the truth & further the agenda whatever it may be. Unfortunately so many people are gullible and easily taken in.
As the saying goes, “There’s one side, there’s the other, and somewhere in the middle is the truth.”
Enjoy Life While You Can. It Is Short
Take my advice—don’t burn away all your time working or studying. Find time to go places, enjoy life, and enjoy the company of women.
It’s a very hard lesson to learn, but looking back, so many opportunities to simply enjoy life were spent working too much or studying too hard. Those are moments I can’t get back. All work and no play makes Jack a dull, unhappy boy. You deserve to enjoy life. Otherwise, what’s the point?
She’s One In A Million, but She’s One OF a Million. Don’t Destroy Your Life Over One Woman
Ah yes, the Achilles’ heel of so many naïve men-the classic “oneitis”. Feeling and behaving like the woman in your life is the last woman, absolutely pining for her, and tolerating her disrespect and severe flaws is the mark of disaster waiting to happen, and a sign of personal weakness in a man.
I hate to admit it, but I too was afflicted by this. Let’s be honest, the soft-spoken underdog male portrayed in TV and movies is so often the same one who can’t seem to let go of Ms. Average and puts her on a pedestal of epic proportions.
Looking back on my life (including even recently!), I can recollect the results of this mentality and emotional attachment. In the end, I was with a woman who was less than optimal, and ultimately I could have found much better if I tried. I was even married to one and you can imagine what happened there.
Severing the emotional and mental cords that make a man feeling like he’ll die without Princess Wonderful is not easy, but the effort is worth it. When you’re dependent upon one woman so much, you give her more power in the relationship and as so many men do, forgive her fatal flaws that cause others to say “Why do you put up with that?” Remember, Ms. Princess may be “one in a million” in your mind, but she’s one of a million. There’s a world full of women out there, compadre. Swallow the truth.
Listen To Your Instincts
Listen to that inner voice that tells you when something is wrong. When doing so, almost always I’ve found, sooner or later, it was right. Sometimes I couldn’t see what I might have avoided, but it’s an inner ability worth paying attention to. Life is hard enough, so if you get extra clues, take them.
We all will have different experiences, given our different paths in life. However, some basic universal truths, I believe, remain true regardless throughout time. Life won’t always be easy, and sometimes we pay a great price, but at the least we can embrace the value of those hard-earned lessons it presents.
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