When you think of the average modern man, what do you picture?
Is it an “alpha male” marked by confidence, courage, and determination? Or is it something different?
Unfortunately I must argue that it’s something vastly different. Rather than the strong qualities mentioned above, the average man has grown to more closely represent insecurity, fear, stagnation, and all-around softness.
Insecurity can surface from a number of different causes. For one, people are identifying more and more with material objects like cars and clothes, and external associations like where they work, where they went to school, and their social media presence. And a consequence of over-identifying with these surface-level associations is depending on them for validation.
If the rich kid isn’t sitting in his BMW, he feels naked and worthless. If the Ivy League school graduate can’t brag about where he went to school, he feels inadequate. If the cute college chick doesn’t get twenty likes on her latest status update, she feels lonely and depressed. In other words, people often depend on things outside of their control for validation and happiness.
The “alpha male” instead focuses on his own actions and experiences. He draws validation and happiness from within and reflects a genuine confidence to the world as a result. He might not be sitting in a BMW, but he’s done hard work, earned money, and could care less about what car he drives. He also might have a BMW that he really enjoys driving, but it’s not something he identifies with to the point of needing people to know he drives it wherever he goes.
He might not have a model on his arm, but he’s attracted a number of hot women in the past and isn’t afraid to approach one and strike up a conversation at a moment’s notice. He also might be dating a beautiful woman, but he exudes the same masculine confidence whether she’s with him or not.
Solution: Decide what you want for yourself, set goals, and shift your focus internally—to your own progress.
Fear is a similar illness that plagues the modern man, and this is largely a consequence of humanity’s epic progress. In the prehistoric times man had to fear wild animals killing him in his sleep. After man progressed enough to build structures to keep the wilderness at bay, he then had to fear attacks from neighboring tribesmen. In the medieval times when the average man was largely unaffected by combat and wars, he still had to fear the abundance of diseases that existed with no known cure or vaccine.
Today? We live in a time of peace, where war and disease are, for the most part, irrelevant. So what do we fear? We fear things that would seem silly to our ancestors. We’ve evolved to fear being confronted by our friends, losing our job, or being rejected by a cute girl… what a fucking pity.
The “alpha male” suffers from the same unfortunate social conditioning as his weaker counterparts. These trivial fears have been hardwired into our emotional brains over long periods of time. However, the difference is that he’s able to logically make the distinction between what actually represents a danger to his livelihood. This allows him to face his fears, despite experiencing the same natural hesitation anyone else would. He recognizes that quitting his job will lead to an uncertain future and this scares the shit out of him. But he proceeds anyway. He feels the same knot in his stomach when a cute girl strolls by, but he pushes through and stops her anyway.
Solution: Accept the fact that your fears are present and real, then confront them anyway. They will only diminish through repeated exposure.
Stagnation is largely the culmination of insecurity and fear. Stagnation is when a man yields to the environment around him and stops growing. It is the reason there are so many children masquerading around in the bodies of men—children who are more concerned with immediate acts of pleasure and proving themselves through cheap shows of aggression than learning, experiencing new things, or working towards building something of their own.
The “alpha male” progresses and grows constantly. He often foregoes pleasure in the short term in order to build the strength, courage, and intelligence necessary to prosper in the long term. He foregoes the cold beer for an evening of dedicated and focused work. He leaves his comfortable, well-paying job to try something new. He breaks up with his girlfriend and moves on in order to strike into new territory.
All of these things lead to pain and suffering in the short term, yes. And that’s why the average man avoids them. But the “alpha male” keeps his eye on long term development, and then he makes the difficult choice. He makes the choice to keep growing. Everything he exudes, from his confidence and charisma to his strength and decisiveness are directly manifested as a result of this continual growth.
Solution: Recognize when short-term comfort is stopping you from pursuing a new direction in your life, and then make the difficult choice to change.
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