Stop Lying to Yourself!!
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." ~ The Serenity Prayer
First post of the current year! Let's make it great for, like, the first time. Everyone's probably already got their New Year's Resolutions sorted by now, right?
And by sorted, I mean into the pile that says: "Trash," because most of us don't have the willpower to follow through on our stated goals anyway. Those of us who set goals are merely living in a perpetual state of failure until we achieve something worthwhile; and even then, the thrill of success is fleeting at best.
The rush is short-lived as our dopaminergic centers get used to the feeling and so we have to set a new goal to satisfy our craving for novelty. So we're right back to being in a state of constant depression and worthlessness.
A loser mindset.
In contrast, winners rely on systems. That is, sets of periodic practices that leave you better off today than you were yesterday. Great minds like Scott Adams, Mike Cernovich, Jordan Peterson, Tim Ferris, and many others have all converged upon this same revelation in one form or another; and now I pass along this same wisdom to you, dear reader.
Start your year off right and good things will snowball from there.
But before you can begin to take advantage of the systems-approach to life, there is one important thing you have to do first. You have to stop lying to yourself!
I'll say that again just to make it clear:
You have to stop lying to yourself!!
"But I don't lie to myself!" you say as your first response, in defense of your ego. Liar!
We all lie to ourselves constantly. Moreover, we all have reason to lie. It's a defense mechanism to avoid pain and discomfort. However, with a little bit of self-knowledge, we can push back against it and bring ourselves into alignment with reality, thereby leaving ourselves better off today than we were yesterady.
Pursuing self-knowledge is a system.
To be fair, if you're someone whose life is going great in multiple ways - if you have the career of your dreams, you're in superb health, your relationships are all fantastic ... if you're someone like that, then chances are, you probably have a very healthy system of self-criticism at work. But for everyone else, if you're not as rich, as healthy, as good-looking, as happy, as fulfilled as you wanna be, then you're most definitely lying to yourself on some level.
It won't be an overnight thing - in fact, self-knowledge is a lifelong process - but if you commit to starting down that path today, I promise you'll arrive in a much better place down the road.
I know, because I used to lie to myself a lot and it didn't make me happy.
Previously, I had written about the origins of morality from a mainly determinist view. In actuality, I'm probably more of a compatibilist. Most things are predetermined, but there are a handful of instances in which our spirits get to make a choice that affects the outcome.
Those of you who've played DnD will understand.
Another way of framing the issue is that I tend to view the world as being like a card game. There are things you can change, and things you can't change. In most games, you don't really have a say in the hand you're dealt. That's your fate, as it were. Your lot in life. The biological, temporal, and environmental factors beyond your control. It's your genes, the place and time, and the socio-political and economic conditions into which you were born.
There is little you can do about any of that. As a transhumanist, I see a great liberation from such forces in our future thanks to technology, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.
What makes life a game, as opposed to a movie, is there is an interactive component to life. There are certain aspects which you can change based on your behavior that affect what you experience later. We call those choices. You can't choose the cards you're dealt, but you get to have a say in how you play them. Depending on the game, you might be allowed different choices. For instance, as an introvert with determinist leanings, I tend to prefer Blackjack, as it has very predictable odds for success. The game is still rigged in favor of the House, but I can leverage my intellect to maximize my odds of success (even beating the odds if I can learn to count cards).
Another great Kevin Spacey thing ruined by Hollywood sex scandals.
In Blackjack, the choices are very narrow: hit, stay, fold, split, double-down, insure. And despite what anyone else might tell you, there's only exactly one right way to play.
At least, if you care about winning.
And just like in Blackjack, you should never take insurance in real life, because that's just throwing your money away on long odds. If you knew the true odds in either scenario, you'd know it's a terrible payout and you're better off just saving your chips and rebuilding from your loss.
(Then again, if you knew the true odds, you might not even be playing, but that's a separate point.)
Compare that to a game like Poker, which as we learned from Casino Royale, is more about playing your opponent than your hand. It's a much looser game, designed for extroverts and those with mastery over people skills, but it still has confines because what your opponent does is still tied to their hand in terms of how much they risk, whether they choose to bluff, etc.
Add to that the various micro-expressions and scientific tells that everyone from Cal Lightman to the CIA exploits in their favor and you can see the complexity start to diminish.
And much like in cards, what you do in life can have an impact on what happens later.
In Blackjack, my choice to hit or stay this round affects the order of the cards that come out in the next round, which could be the difference between a sixteen and a twenty-one. That's the whole basis for card-counting and tends to break down if the deck is reshuffled after each hand, but still works to a limited extent even within that hand. Likewise, in Poker, I learn things about my opponent's strategy as the game goes along that inform how I might react to them the next time. Maybe I figure out their tells, for instance.
Either way, whether life is more like Blackjack or Poker, the point is, there are still those things you can choose and those you can't. Having a sense of which is which can give you a dramatic advantage over the person who naively believes in hot-and-cold streaks.
“If the problem has a solution, worrying is pointless, in the end the problem will be solved. If the problem has no solution, there is no reason to worry, because it can’t be solved.” – Zen saying
As this and the opening quote suggest, there are times when you're simply dealt a bad hand and just don't have the information or the skills or the luck required to turn it into a win regardless of what you do. In those impossible situations, having the humility to accept the outcome and move on is indeed the wise course of action versus wasting energy getting upset about something.
"Worrying won't solve the problem."
However, it takes a certain degree of wisdom and experience - often built upon past failures - to make the determination that a given situation really is impossible, or if a more creative solution was actually available the entire time.
"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible." ~ Clarke's Second Law
Indeed, it could be that your hardship serves as a necessary motivator, a driving force to fuel you on a path to such a solution to an impossible problem. The several authors at the beginning of this article all have in common a mindset - built upon their personal experiences - that allows them to transmute certain failure into success through the use of various systems. You can read their life stories to learn about the seemingly impossible scenarios they and others found themselves in and how they still managed to prevail.
Sometimes a well-timed act of will can enable you to hack reality.
But again, this mystical power of abundance remains elusive to many people because their loser mindset reinforces a lie that says they can't do it. It then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because why bother trying if the game is rigged? But try you must if you wish to succeed.
And if that fails, try something else.
Try everything, in fact, until you get to a better place.
"If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got." ~ Henry Ford
Again, people don't try because they feel trying is useless. That they can't have what others have. That systemic forces beyond their control have conspired against them, always have, and always will and there is nothing they can do about it.
Firstly, that's not true because, if nothing else, you always have the option of killing yourself if your life is genuinely so terrible that death would be a release, not a punishment.
Ask me how I know?
I don't generally view suicide as a solution, though. Having stared into the abyss many times myself, the Spirit was always there to pull me back by reminding me that, if I died, I'd just come back and have to go through all the same suffering again. Like dying in a video game before checkpoints and save states were invented. Even if you don't believe in reincarnation and karma, though, you can certainly still appreciate that, as bad as your own life might be, things can always get worse, but there's likewise a chance that you can improve your situation if you but continuing living.
That was ultimately the deal I made with myself - and had to renew several times, in fact. In hindsight, I'm really glad I did, because I was able to turn my life around and transmute my own failure into relative success. I'm still not where I'd like to be, but at least I'm on a trajectory towards it instead of away from it, and that gives me the energy and momentum to keep going.
Finishing my book was a goal. Goals are for losers, and I certainly felt like one every day that it wasn't done; but when I stopped focusing on the goal and instead focused on the system that was "writing everyday," I felt a lot better because I knew I was making steady progress. Sometimes I would skip for as much as a week, but I always circled back. It was hard. At times, it made me hate myself and question everything about my life path - that maybe my detractors were right - but the Spirit told me, and I, in turn, told myself not to worry about time and just focus on fixing the problem and reminding myself why I was doing all this.
After a year or two, the goal still wasn't reached, but it was drawing closer, until eventually it arrived.
Now it's in the past - back there in the rearview - and I feel like I've really achieved something monumental in spite of all the people who told me I couldn't do it and never would and that I was wasting my time like I had in so many other ways.
Nothing quite bolsters your esteem like telling your haters to pound sand,
and then rubbing their faces in all your unlikely success.
Now I have a new goal of making my book #1 on Amazon in its category, and a new system of "promote everyday." Even just sending out a Tweet about it feels good because it's enough to satisfy that very low-bar condition while still coming out ahead.
This very website is another example.
When I first created this site, I was literally crying over how pathetic it looked in its barebones state, with so many "under construction" and "coming soon" signs strewn about the place. I had a vision in mind for how I wanted it to look and it clearly wasn't there. Far from it. Everything was broken and empty and wrong; but I remembered something my teacher once told me, in quoting from the Bible.
He said: "Despise not humble beginnings."
So I put my faith in my vision and developed a system that I would work a little bit on it everyday; and within a short period, it started to take shape and my mood began to pick up. There was still a lot of work to be done, but I at least had a theme going, and a decent banner, and at least one page that wasn't total shit. My blog was empty, and though I didn't write on it every single day, I still wrote in it at least every few days such that it was a semi-regular thing.
Fast-forward to now and I'm starting to really like how it's turned out. Enough of it is presentable, I have my own domain name, and there's enough content to keep someone around for a few hours.
Much like with my book, the next phase is to work on drawing traffic and marketing. I can tell by the steady trickle of my Twitter feed that I'm at least attracting a net-positive following of various interesting characters, so that's encouraging.
I should add that I'm not even that conscientious a person, wherein high trait-conscientiousness is one of the biggest predictors of success. Psychologists like Jordan Peterson are working to try and figure out how to compensate for the biological limitations of that by creating better systems and tools to be used by the behavioral portion of our being. Focusing on how to more intelligently play the hands we're dealt and learning some basic strategy for living.
Technologists will come up with ways of improving the hand itself, and as I said, it could well be that a particular set of failures is so great that it reaches a tipping point and drives someone to invent it. Much like the parent who finds a new cure because their kid contracted a disease.
The first step, however, was to stop lying to myself. To stop telling myself I couldn't, and start telling myself I can and that I will.
"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." ~ Henry Ford
In other areas of my life, this same transformation has occurred, and the most surprising thing of all is how quickly everything begins to change once your mind is in the right place. If you'd told me even a few years ago that this is where I'd end up and this is what I'd be doing, I'd have told you you were an insane person with far higher expectations of me than were deserved.
It's been said that you can't get anywhere without first knowing where you're going. For many years, I struggled with not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, just sort of wandering aimlessly, trying different things, until my life's purpose seemingly coalesced from the ether - from the mystical sum of a bunch of different things I'd failed at, from law to business to spirituality to politics to art to game design to other creative endeavors ...
As a Pisces, it's pretty hard to be optimistic about anything.
Or so I told myself.
Much of the earlier part of my life was spent lying to myself about what I truly wanted, and on self-sabotaging because I didn't think I deserved it anyway. That I was an innately bad person and, if I had any sort of power, I'd devolve into an evil tyrant and use it to harm others when all I wanted to do was help them because I couldn't help myself.
But power is a necessary component of consciousness, and useful if you can temper it with other virtues. So it's no surprise I didn't get anywhere in all that time.
That's what most people do.
Whether the thing itself is achievable or practical or even moral are all separate questions; but we can't begin to address those things unless we first get our bearings and figure out what it is that we truly want out of life.
Unless we stop lying to ourselves!
Most people know what those things are, but they make excuses and justifications for why they can't or shouldn't have them - just as I did - out of a simple lack of understanding of how they can have them, both in a practical sense and an ideological sense. It's known as the slave morality, wherein the one who is enslaved comes to spin everything about their own state as a positive ("we're not weak, we're peaceful," "we're not cowardly, we're humble") and everything about the state of those with power over them as evil ("they didn't work hard, they're thieves," "they aren't nuanced, they're bigots").
It's a mindset that seeks to drag others down when instead we should all be trying to raise people up.
Yes, it's not fair that some people are born into privilege. That some people are taller, smarter, better looking, richer, etc. than others. Life's not fair, but it can always be more unfair. If you live among the poor in the West, for instance, you're still among the top 1% relative to the entire world. As you cry out about injustice and demand a redistribution of wealth, would you, at the same time, given how little you have, be alright with redistributing the same portion of your wealth to those at the bottom of the global hierarchy?
No, of course not, and I would never call for such a thing because I understand it's your property and you worked hard for it and deserve it in your own way. That you're a good and moral person who does the best they can with what they have, and maybe you'd be willing to do more to help those people, but you're busy doing what you can to help yourself and those around you first.
That's perfectly understandable, but nonetheless, consistency of principle demands we treat those above and below us the same. Just because people have a need doesn't mean they have a right to have their need fulfilled. However, if a person has a right, then such rights need to be upheld.
A simple shift in perspective is all it takes to turn a bad situation into a good one or vice versa.
Envy is a deadly sin for a reason. It's not a sin itself, but it can lead to sinful action - to violence, to theft, to lying - if not managed in a healthy way:
The great irony is that while most people want a magic pill; they pretend like they don't and lie to themselves about the fact that they want it in an effort to appear more virtuous; but in reality it's just that they're jealous of those who, whether through luck or better choices or a combination thereof, wound up with more chips than them at the table.
If the rules aren't fair, that's one thing, but that's different from the outcome being fair.
Most of these people are playing the win-lose game of Poker against each other, wherein they think that everyone else at the table is their enemy. That if they aren't winning, it's because someone else took their chips in a previous round.
Incidentally, this is another reason why I prefer Blackjack, because the atmosphere is a lot better.
Obviously, it's possible to play competitive Blackjack against each other; but if you've ever been to a casino, it's usually everyone against the House. People don't have to put on a poker face. They don't have to lie or hide. They can relax and talk and have fun and be themselves and it's a really great time. In a sense, even strangers will sometimes wind up rooting for one another and cheer their success, because there's nothing at stake.
I've even been to tables where the dealer roots for you when you win, because why not? They make their money either way and have no stake or say in the outcome. They're just following the rules set for them on how to play, so it's nothing personal. The House predetermines their actions, leaving them free to join in the revelry.
This is true just about every time I've gone, in fact.
You can be ambivalent about your table mates, or you can be friendly, but unless someone's clearly giving you bad advice (or you're having a bad day and making it worse with poor decisions), there's not much cause to be upset.
In my experience, tensions at the Poker table are much higher. Again, I see this as coming down to a difference in personality and mindset as to which you play.
"Our identities are limited only by our imaginations and the words we use to describe ourselves. Most people think of themselves as being small, average, or irrelevant. But how you think of yourself, and how you define yourself, is a choice you make in the moment ... Since someone is going to tell you what you will think of yourself, that person may as well be you." ~ Mike Cernovich, MAGA Mindset
So what are some examples of the loser mindset and how people lie to themselves on a regular basis? Moreover, how can we get people to see themselves in a different light that doesn't just placate their ego in the moment, but actually begins to correct foundational problems in their lives, leading to long-term success and happiness?
Find the cause, and you find the cure.
It won't be easy by any stretch, but the first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one, and most of us are still in denial.
Let's start with health as the most important consideration.
If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything, as the saying goes. Most people pay lip service to this concept, so they're at least aware of it in a passive sense; and the sheer amount of time, money, and energy devoted to "the healthcare question" seems to suggest people's actions are inline with their priorities ... but are they really?
If people truly cared about their own health and actively sought out the best information on the subject, there wouldn't be a single overweight person in America. Which, at least last I checked, there are plenty of them rolling around. In fact, you could say it's one of our biggest issues.
We all know that obesity leads to other health complications. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone why healthcare costs are so high in this country and why insurance companies are unwilling to insure people and have to be compelled to include preexisting conditions under duress by the State, thereby defeating the whole point of insurance.
We all know what the solution is - control what goes in, exercise, manage stress, and sleep.
That hasn't changed since the laws governing the human body were first formed, and we even have people who are willing to share effective systems for achieving that, which don't even require a lot of willpower to implement.
So what's the problem?
The problem is, people are lying to themselves. They claim to want to be healthy. That's bullshit. What they want is to be healthy ... without having to work for it, and without having to pay for it, whether in terms of money or the things they'd have to give up. They want a magic pill, but there isn't one because the world doesn't work that way (yet). They make a value judgment that comfort and convenience are more important to them than looking, feeling, and being healthy, and then they complain about the consequences of that decision.
I'm not going to suggest that literally every unhealthy person got there through a series of bad choices, as clearly there are other factors at work, such as genetics, accidents, pollution, assault, and the fraud perpetrated by food and drug companies; but it's been my experience that people are too quick to leap to pushing the cause onto someone or something else outside themselves because that removes the burden of responsibility from themselves and doing that feels damn good ... until your choices catch up with you.
This isn't an article on healthcare and fitness, but since we're on the subject, let's consider a related topic: attractiveness.
What we think of as attractiveness in others is merely a set of traits which, evolutionarily, were a mark of good health and increased chance of survival. Muscular men and hourglass women, for instance, with so-called traditional gender roles arising based on physiological characteristics in much the same way. Wrestling with predators versus child-rearing, for instance.
While humans are an adaptive species and can change with their surroundings to some extent through epigenetics, there are also clear ideals that arise which aren't the result of mere culture.
Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years of environmental conditioning have hard-wired our behavioral response to our biology. To our disgust sensitivity, to the flow of hormones that dictate our emotions, and to our unconscious body language. That's not something that can just be swept aside like it's nothing, yet postmodernists have tried to argue that beauty is subjective, while failing to understand the particular biological drivers behind the attraction.
Case in point, Jacques Fresco likes to tell a story about tribal societies in which having large bellies and butts - i.e. being obese - is viewed as attractive. I like Jacques, but what's left out of the story is the historical fact that most of these tribes live in what we would consider abject poverty barely above a subsistence level, and so the role the environment plays in this interaction is conditioning these people to mate with those who aren't starving. The fact that they are large-bodied is a signal to others that they are more likely to survive in their particular environment.
Such rules don't apply in an environment of greater abundance, because it's no longer necessary to store fats long-term, and so the culture follows the biology.
If you were to plop these heavyset tribes into a first-world economy and give them all the comforts of life, it wouldn't change the fact that their genes have been set a long time ago and so they would continue to see obesity as attractive for several generations.
Indeed, short of some sort of technological intervention - a magic pill of sorts - it would take many generations to recondition people's attraction through selective breeding because sexual attraction is hardwired at a genetic level. That should be something we all understand.
Instead, what do we see in the West? In the minds and rhetoric of the postmodernists?
No fat shaming!!
"Big is beautiful." "I'm not obese, I'm curvy." "It's what's on the inside that counts." "More to love."
That's the lie. That's the rationalizing. That's the slave morality talking. That's the envy talking. You say these things as a way to try and cope with your own biological imperfections and limitations and to deflect from taking responsibility for whatever part you might have had in contributing to your own misery.
I know you might be tempted to reject this. There are entire industries and political movements built around shielding your ego from the truth by catering to this loser mindset instead of helping you figure out how to solve your problems of inadequacy. I don't blame these groups, they're just following market incentives that you create by your mindset and choices. It's from a lack of self-knowledge on your part that they exist and flourish and prey upon your unhealthiness.
You don't like hearing that, and I acknowledge there may be a handful of you reading this who genuinely have a genetic problem inhibiting you, but most of you do not. You see yourself as a victim, but the way to stop being a victim is to take action, and that's hard for people to do, especially if they don't like themselves very much.
Ask yourself this question, and this works irrespective of what orientation you are.
What's inside matters, obviously. It's not all about physical attraction; but all things being equal, would you rather fuck someone who looked like Michael Moore / Rosie O'Donnell, or someone who looked The Rock / Kate Upton? Again, same mind, same everything, only the shell is different.
There's a reason I'm not linking pictures here, and if those particular people don't work, pick someone else in the same league. What do your genitals say? What does your innate disgust sensitivity say?
I think we all know the answer.
Deep down in your genes, you know this is true, and it probably hurts to hear; but again, the first step to solving a problem is admitting one exists. I spoke disparagingly before about the magic pill, but you know damned-well if there was one, you'd take it in a heartbeat to look more like George Clooney or Sophia Vergara if you could.
The lie you have to stop telling yourself is that there are no ideal standards when it comes to health and attractiveness, and moreover that you don't want to achieve them yourself if you can.
You genuinely might not be able to, which is different, and I can certainly empathize with that. That's where having wisdom and humility to accept reality comes in, and I'm willing to work with you to help figure out if that's the case or not. Indeed, none of this is to suggest that people should have their human rights violated for how they look; but shame in small doses is useful for motivating you towards fixing your problems, even when no solution seems likely. Again, if you had the magic pill, you know you'd take it. Because why wouldn't you?
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." ~ Winston Churchill
The same mindset with regards to health can also be applied to wealth, because who doesn't want more money?
I talked a bit about this before in terms of consistent rules and how you wouldn't want what you have being given to others without your consent, so why do it to those above you? It's certainly true that not everyone who has something necessarily got it honestly; but the mentality of socialism is that anyone who has must have gotten it dishonestly, which is patently false.
Poor people demonize the rich and call for violent redistribution based on their own sense of what's fair because that's easier than putting forth effort and contributing to a system that's actually fair.
This again is the slave morality talking. The Marxist worldview that feels oppressed and wants to burn down the master's house and smash the system, inverting the pyramid to put them at the top, despite the fact that this leaves everyone in a highly unstable position. Doing so doesn't necessarily make you better off because you don't necessarily have the tools to stay at the top before forces outside your control bring you back down. It might make you rich in the short-term, but it doesn't make you stay rich, which is what you actually want. Right?
I'm sure if you won the lottery, you'd suddenly feel a whole lot different about capitalism and have a newfound respect for property rights.
You might even tell yourself you deserve to have won the lottery because you're such a good person who worked hard all their life, or whatever, even though you'll probably just blow it all within a year because you never learned how to properly manage it. That's because it remains unearned and you're clinging to a system of thought that will eat you alive the moment you become the very object of your envy.
At least, it's unearned in the sense that the work you're doing isn't something the world considers meaningful. You think it's meaningful. That's what you tell yourself, but you know it's not. If it was, you wouldn't still be poor.
Again, thats not to say everyone who is rich worked hard and everyone who's poor didn't. There are people who steal and cheat and leverage the government to gain wealth or who do other immoral things; but unlike what the socialists and communists will tell you, the portion of those people within the upperclass is not 100% of them.
I don't know about you, but I like holding onto things I've earned and worked hard to build from the ground up. My ambition is to be stupid rich someday. To have what's called "fuck you money," to where I can do more or less what I want within the confines of ethical behavior. I plan on making it honestly, and you can trust and believe I'd resist anyone who tried to take it away from me on that basis.
Don't you want that for yourself?
If working hard were the key to success, a ditch-digger would be a millionaire. If it was intelligence, then teachers would be millionaires. Intelligence and working hard are important, of course; but it's the specific combination of those two things applied to solving problems for others that is the true key to wealth.
That's all a job is, and it responds to basic supply and demand. When you begin to understand that, you'll see why a job is not, and cannot be, a right, because it depends firstly on there existing a problem that someone can't or won't solve themselves, and secondly on your ability to solve it for them to their satisfaction. The more complex the problem, and the fewer people who can do it, the more money people will be willing to pay to have it solved.
What constitutes a problem is subjective, of course. You might not think something is a problem, but then, you're not the one who gets to decide that unless it's your money on the table.
Having worked at the bottom rungs of the corporate ladder for many years, I've seen my share of people who hold nothing but contempt for management. It's heartbreaking to realize most of these individuals will never rise above their station, largely because they lack the intelligence or the drive to do so. Thus, when the robot revolution comes to make them obsolete, they're not going to have anything else to do. And then what?
In their limited, short-term mindset, they honestly believe they can survive working a day job and that, fifty years from now, they will be able to retire with a cushy pension. It's so sad, knowing the fate awaiting them, I almost want to cry.
Even when in those jobs, however, I knew I didn't have years to waste on slow growth. I had my own needs to fulfill and I knew working for minimum wage, even at $15 / hr like my cohorts were calling for, wasn't going to cut it. I had to rise as high as I could as fast as I could and that meant accepting the reality that I was effectively a Moist Robot, even long before I'd ever heard Scott Adams use the term.
If we're honest with ourselves, we all want an army of robot slaves to do our bidding for us - it's why we buy appliances, after all - but we're stuck with using humans and we have rules and shit about how we're supposed to treat them, which gets costly in more ways than one.
So of course the social Darwinian corporations would automate:
By that point, I knew how the basic laws of economics worked. Supply and demand. Everyone always seeking more for less. That the employer and employee were always working at cross purposes. I knew going in, I was only there to fill a need and solve a problem until a robot came along that could do a better job; so I set out to make myself as much of an asset to the companies I worked for as I could, proving I could solve more complicated problems that my fellow humans couldn't, in the hopes that, if a Great Culling ever came, the robotic predators would pick off the weak stragglers before me and I would survive.
Though I at least acknowledge I can only outpace them for so long as well.
Contrary to what socialist propaganda would have you believe, it didn't take very long for my employers to recognize my ambitions and promote me to management. My paycheck almost doubled overnight, but so did my responsibility. I had a choice to rise to the occasion and continue rising, or stay where I was and wait for the floor to fall out from under me.
I chose to rise and continue working my ass off to rise further still.
Even outside of my actual job, I differentiated myself from my fellow humans in other ways. While my coworkers sat around bullshitting on break, watching cat videos in the cafeteria, or listing to music on the bus, I spent nearly every free moment of everyday of four years straight working on self-improvement. Fifteen minutes here, an hour there, led to racking up about 700 hours of Stefan Molyneux videos, another couple hundred Sargon of Akkad videos, a bunch of Learn Liberty videos, several hundred hours of Scott Adams, Ted Talks, RSA videos, Coursera classes, Khan Academy classes, and just various other things in that time along the same lines.
I studied law, art, coding, game design, economics, politics, history, philosophy, technology, even people skills ... all on my free time and dime, without breaking the bank. I still watched movies and listened to music from time to time to avoid overloading myself. I still played video games and went out with my friends on occasion, but my world was slowly turning inward. There wasn't as much time for those things that weren't useful, so they got bumped to the back of the line.
I had adopted a system and a mindset that learning and self-improvement were my entertainment.
Oh yeah, and I wrote three books in that time as well, of which the first one is now for sale, with the other two still in revision mode at the time of my writing this. And I did all that while also taking care of someone I loved, but that's a story for another time.
Even with my books, or this blog, I've no delusions that I'm at the mercy of my readers because their time is limited too, so I try to give them something of value to use in their personal lives and make it the best I can with the skills I have, imperfect though they may be. To compete like anyone else for their dollars and attention and pray they feel it's worth it and that the world is better for it.
Do you think my coworkers shared that mindset?
I can tell you that upwards of ninety-percent of them didn't. They were lying to themselves in thinking they were special snowflakes owed a living for their mere existence. Not all of them. Some were genuinely content with their path, either because they enjoyed the freedom from responsibility or had other projects in the works to get out of the grind; but most of them are probably going to be unemployed in ten or fifteen years because they were unprepared.
Oh, and did I happen to mention, that in all that time, I never once took handouts from the government? It was sorely tempting at times to reach out a hand and accept the blood money of welfare, but I valued my integrity and adherence to libertarian principles more. It was during that time, in fact, when I was at my lowest, that I actually switched from being a socialist to being a libertarian, because I had something to defend. Things were really hard for me and my family as a result of that decision, but the discomfort came with its own reward in worldly wisdom I otherwise would not have had, and I can hold my head up high.
It's also given me an appreciation for the people in my life who stood by and supported me.
Speaking of which, the same goes for having great relationships with family, friends, sexual partners, etc. We all want to be the center of attention because that gives us power and helps us survive, even vicariously through our bloodline or our species.
Here, people lie in two ways. One in that they don't care about others at all. The other in that we care about everyone in an abstract sense. The truth lives somewhere between nihilistic cynicism and pathologically altruistic virtue signally. We care about people ... but only in so far as they do things for us in return, even if it's just making us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Stop lying to yourself that you care about people disproportionately to how they care about you.
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." ~ George Bernard Shaw
A five-foot paraplegic should probably accept the fact that they'll never play pro-basketball. That would be a reasonably sane way of dealing with the confines of reality. However, there's also a non-zero chance this same person - or someone else - finds a creative cure for their disability and at least allows them a shot at becoming the next Muggsy Bogues.
If you could snap your fingers and have it all, you know you would, because why wouldn't you?
Right now, your slave morality is probably rationalizing that you'd be vain, greedy, materialistic, narcissistic, shallow, or whatever, whereas being unattractive, weak, and poor builds character. Indeed, it does build character, but you'd still want for something better than what you have.
I'm here to tell you it's ok to feel that way.
It's not wrong to want what the master has, but the question is, how are you going to adopt their mindset, rather than rebel against it? What are you going to do to elevate yourself rather than tear others down?
Being great is not a crime unless it comes at the expense of someone else via dishonest means. Most of the time, that's not the case.
Obviously, wisdom is knowing what to accept as unchangeable versus not; but again, the first step is in being honest about the fact that you want something better and figuring out an honest means of achieving it. As I said, it could be that your genuine desire coupled with an iron will is enough to lead you to an unlikely solution to an otherwise impossible problem.
A feminist says, no woman should ever look like this.
A transhumanist says, everyone can look like this.
The goal of transhumanism is to apply technology to overcome biological limitations, because attraction and beauty are biologically driven. Health is biologically driven, obviously. Scarcity is a combination of power structures and natural supply, from which we derive monetary systems; and systemic oppression is the result of power tending to attract the corruptible.
But technology can, and will, solve all those things too in time.
The problem is, a lot of this tech still remains locked away in the future, and its discovery or invention is being hampered and hindered by the mindset of weak-willed losers with a slave's morality and an aversion for honest introspection.
Imagine getting to become everything you ever dreamed of being. Of not having to reject the ideal because you can actually live it. Well, that reality is just beyond your fingertips - just beyond all our fingertips - but it's your own mindset that is holding you and humanity as a whole back from achieving greatness.
Building robots and rockets, curing disease, never having to do another bullshit job ever again, getting to fuck your own harem of celebribots, achieving peace on earth for you and your family ... all these things and more are possible. There's just one thing you have to do first and you know what it is.