Frame. Frame. Frame. I wish I could write it larger than that. FRAME.
Maintain frame! Maintain frame! Everyone cackles, like so many hens in a chicken coop. Their heads bobbing up and down. We have heard this before. But it is a profound concept. Almost profound beyond words.
Because the ability to master frame control is the key that unlocks everything else in women, work, leadership, and life. It is the one essential virtue without which all the other virtues are rendered impotent.
Well, all right, fine. Now when I say “frame control”, what do I mean? I see frame control as a blend of three elements: (1) the ability to define and maintain the terms of the social interaction; (2) the ability to project your masculine essence outward; and (3) your view of physical reality.
So frame control is your world-view. It is your own set of rose-tinted spectacles with which you view the world. Yours. Uniquely yours.
The world is my idea, said Schopenhauer. Die Welt ist meine Vorstellung. At the very outset of his thick book The World As Will And Idea. Absolutely right, of course, and a perfect statement of frame control: the world is what I say it is. My world, my idea, my rules. The world is my idea! Mine! Yes!
Has anyone ever stated it so perfectly? I don’t think so.
Frame control is intimately connected with your ability to maintain your masculine center. Your masculine center is your masculine essence in its consummate entirety, distilled and concentrated. And if you can project this masculine essence out to the world, you are exerting your frame on physical reality.
Most people stumble through life like drunken hobos, jostled now here, and now there, by the daunting randomness of life’s events. They lack a comprehensive philosophy, a unifying worldview, that helps them maintain their masculine center. Without the assistance of this rudder, a man can easily be knocked off his frame. He will become subject to the influences of wicked or wretched people; he will be dragged down by the tempting evils of society; or, more commonly, he will fall victim to the self-doubts and insecurities that haunt every man.
It cannot be otherwise. Cannot.
If you can maintain your masculine center and control the frame of social interactions, you will automatically project more confidence, bearing, and command presence. That is why frame control is so vital. We all know that success with women, work, leadership, and life depends, when all is said and done, on supreme confidence. Confidence so strong that it borders on the irrational.
So our efforts should be focused on how to acquire this supreme confidence. And it all comes down to this: the ability to project confidence is the natural result of staying in your masculine center. And staying in your masculine center is a direct result of proper frame control.
But how do we acquire this frame control? How? It is all well and good to talk about how important it is. But how to get it?
Unfortunately there are no shortcuts here. Frame control, at its deepest level, cannot be Gorilla-glued onto your personality overnight. It is accreted slowly, like the drops of water falling in caves that gradually, over time, produce such wondrous mineral formations. It takes years of seasoning: experience, blood, toil, tears, sweat, battles, ups, downs, highs, lows, joys, depressions, scars, bangs, books, anguish, agony, fury, trips, and jobs to acquire.
But the good news is that you can start now. Now. You need to start putting in your work now. Dive into the mosh pit of life, and thrash around. Grab your pugil-stick and swing away. A bloody nose will do you good.
Here are two corollaries to proper frame control:
You Need Assistance
Maintaining frame is nearly impossible without a unifying worldview, a philosophy of life, or a vision. You can’t do it alone. The will easily falters. A unifying worldview will give you the comfort and support of a vision greater than yourself. Find a philosophy of life and practice it. You almost need to brainwash yourself into believing your own propaganda. Either a religious-based ethical system, or a philosophical system (Stoicism, Buddhism, etc.) will do nicely. Having this inner rudder will enable you to withstand the tempests and cruelties of life. People will sense your calming conviction and feel your masculine center. Frame control will follow naturally. You will have the inner conviction described by Rudyard Kipling in his poem, If…:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look to good, nor talk too wise.
The brilliant philosopher William of Ockham centuries ago stated the importance of reducing things to their simplest elements. “Entities shall not be multiplied beyond need”(Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem); “it is futile to explain with many things what can be explained by only a few things (Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora).”
What a simple yet profound concept this is! It was a philosophic principle known to many other great minds, such as Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas. The idea here is that you should reduce things to their simplest elements. Stop piling categories, classifications, and concepts on top of each other! Stop asking other people, and listening to background noise!
Overanalyzing, overthinking, and overcomplicating will just sew doubt and hesitation in you. And throw you off your frame. Too much discussion and analysis paralyzes action. Councils of war, as Douglas MacArthur rightly observed, just breed timidity, and little else.
Evaluate and act with a minimum of fuss. Take a nose-dive into real experience. Several hours in bed with a beautiful woman is worth a bookshelf of theories on seduction. And getting played by a beautiful woman is better training still.
You Need Experience
No matter how much you internalize my words here, some of these principles will only become fully realized once you have had a certain range of life experiences. Do not be discouraged by this. If you are in your twenties, your focus should be on acquiring experiences with women, life, work, travel, and leadership that will form the bedrock of your future masculine center.
All right, then. We have frame control dissected. But how supremely difficult it is to practice! Why? Because so many things act against us to throw us off our masculine center, to throw us off our frame. My life is a battle to maintain frame control. I fail, I succeed, and I fail again. It is not easy. I want the world to be my idea, but the world fights me every step of the way. These are the enemies of frame control:
1. Your wavering and weak will. No matter how focused you are, you will frequently lose frame. It’s natural. You are not a robot, you are not a mechanical contrivance. You are human.
2. Actions of others. We live in a world where we are buffeted on all sides by people who want to drag us down. Your ability to maintain your masculine center will be attractive to most, but will also invite envy, spite, and hostility from others who are unable to put the work required for self-development.
3. Social pressures. Our culture acts in ways that are hostile to masculinity. You need to remind yourself of this constantly, so you do not lose heart or hope in the struggle. Do not listen to cultural messages that encourage your baser nature.
Proper frame control will cultivate and fortify your masculine center. And this in turn will generate self-confidence. If you are patient, diligent, and are aware of the obstacles, you will acquire the foundation stones of frame control. And then the world will truly become your idea.
Turn away from the harmful vices and negative distractions of this world. They will not satisfy you. And remember, as Cicero admonished in his treatise Stoic Paradoxes, always to “carry a spirit deserving of praise.” There is no greater calling.
Read More: How Buddhism Can Help Your Game