Red Pill Theory"Dopamine" (self.TheRedPill)

submitted by Senior ContributorOmLaLa

In recent years, life has become easy and comfortable.

Want to watch a movie? You’ve currently got more movies in your living room on Netflix than Blockbuster’s had in their prime (what, roughly 1998-2003?).

Want to listen to music? Because of apps like Spotify and iTunes, you no longer have to go into a Best Buy (and deal with their quasi-sales customer service bullshit, but to each his own) to buy a physical copy of a CD. You can reach any song or genre or artist anytime, anywhere through your phone or tablet (Anyone else remember walkmen and CD players? What a fucking pain those were.).

Are you hungry? What was once a market dominated by Asian food and pizza (I was Papa John’s man, myself. Phrasing.), in recent years the food-delivery market has opened up to subs, sandwiches, Italian, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, etc.

Bored in line at the doctor’s office? Why not play one of the hundreds of games you’ve got on your iPhone (or Android, if you’re a really cool guy like OmLaLa) that you’ve downloaded like 3 months ago and never touched? (I’m willing to bet you still have Angry Birds on your phone but you haven’t played it in months. Why?)

Need to go shopping? You can browse Amazon or Ebay for whatever obscure items you need (you can buy a full suit of armor on Amazon for like $3,500 dollars right now. No lie. Go look it up. Now you can buy it for that one special white knight beta friend you’ve got as his Christmas gift. The ladies’ll love it.) and have it at your doorstep the next day (usually our Amazon delivery guy is either high or dealing drugs, so if that’s your thing it’s an added bonus).

Want to spin a plate from the comfort of your home? So long as you’re moderately attractive (no beer gut + receding hairline combos), there are dating sites (aside from Tinder, because honestly Tinder’s the ‘final boss stage’ of the dating site world) filled with desperate/wall-hitting women just waiting to be boned by a quasi-alpha/alpha like you (POF and Badoo are, to an RPer, like shopping at the dollar store with $500 in tow. Sure the merchandise is cheap, expendable, mundane, brittle, dusty, expired/outdated and will probably be trashed it in a week, but where else can you get a pack of 50 plates for $1? Costco? They have good prices too if you willing to pay $100 a year for a membership. It honestly pays for itself though, unlike Sam’s Club. Wait, what was I talking about?)

Need to chop some wood and you’ve got no plates on speed dial? Porn has evolved to the point where even people with the most obscure, odd and questionable fetishes imaginable (like chopping to Scrooge McDuck banging out Ms. Incredible in BDSM uniforms covered in maple syrup while Scrooge’s nephews triple team Sasha Gray and that chick from Twilight in a ’98 Chevy Colorado with Blue by Eiffel 65 remixed by Skrillex playing in the background) can have their disgusting needs fulfilled (I’m looking at you Kevin. I know that you’re reading this. Yes, I’ve opened that “New Folder” you’ve got hidden in your Downloads section).

It all boils down to two things about our day and age that have turned even the most rugged, robust men into betas: instant gratification and complacency

If I were still a beta (there are still a few things beta-esque I’m working on, but progress), I’d say these are great and comforting luxuries that we’re fortunate enough to enjoy.

But I’m not and these aren’t.

What these “luxuries” have done to a great deal of us (some RPers are included too. You know who you are. Kevin.) is made every asset of our lives way too damn easy. What an easy life does is it removes the necessity to have to work for anything because it’s all within an arm’s reach.

Dopamine is our brain’s natural rewards system (do something good, get dopamine, feel good about it), but because of instant gratification through these luxuries, most people have become addicted to dopamine. That addiction is not natural; our brains were not designed to handle the current ease of dopamine access. It’s also the cause of multiple levels of depression (the more dopamine you access, the harder it is to access it, so “happiness” becomes further and further from reach). Dopamine addiction is the main cause of complacency. Complacency makes you seek out and stick to what’s “convenient”. What’s “convenient” runs contradictory to RP ideologies:

You may be an RP head-nodder who agrees with a lot of things you’ve read on RP and the side bar but only utilize the ideologies in the short-term because focusing on this new mindset isn’t “convenient” for you right now. (i.e. as long as you’re here reading TRP and MAYBE a few hours after. I was guilty of this in the beginning)

You may subconsciously be on RP looking for PUA advice and as soon as you begin to receive female validation from your frame and higher SMV, you’ll abandon RP in pursuit of pussy because Pussy-Focus™ is “more convenient”. (Pussy is nice, but like Netflix it’s a luxury. You wouldn’t live your life in the pursuit of watching The Big Lebowski on Netflix, would you?)

You may only agree with some RP teachings and you’ve chosen which teachings are “more convenient” to follow. (i.e. you agree on frame and abundance mentality, but you may seriously still think NAWALT as you unknowingly kiss the post-ejactulate from Chad Thundercock’s midnight emissions off of WonderTits™ lips. Kevin, I’m sorry you have to find out this way)

You may follow RP ideologies religiously all the way through Monk Mode, depressed state, angry state, nihilism state, and awakened state, only to fall back into your same beta habits because they’re “more convenient”. (this has happened to me multiple times, if I’m being honest)

If any of the above cases are true for you, you are a dopamine addict like so many others. Complacency through dopamine addiction has been the downfall of all of your beta friends (scarce mentality, complacency, NAWALT and oneitis all go hand-in-hand) and will be the downfall of you if you’re not fully aware of it and actively preventing it. Everything in moderation.

Discipline is hard. Discipline is the antonym of complacency. Discipline is severing your ties with things, places, people that make you comfortable, complacent, and weak. Discipline is always going against your very human instinct that constantly seeks out order and predictability and comfort (Bernard D. Beitman, MD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Missouri–Columbia). Discipline is going for years striving for a goal knowing there is no instant gratification and you’ll never truly be complacent with what you have. Discipline is always wanting more because you deserve more.

Discipline is the basis of The Red Pill. You don’t just swallow the Red Pill once. You take your medication daily.

[–]Lenoh 108 points109 points  (5 children)

Oh my god.

The blue pill is dopamine and has been all along.


[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Fuck. This was a good read. Thanks OP.

To expand, a Red Piller's only source of dopamine should be from earned gratification. That is, headfucking a girl because you picked her up and she has earned your manjuice, deadlifting three plates after months of grinding, acing a test after months of studying -- these should be a RPers only source of dopamine, to be rewarded only after hard work and discipline.

This is how nature was intended. This is how years of evolutionary has brought us. This is how our minds are genetically programmed. You're rewarded for the shit you hustle for -- not the shit that's a few clicks away from your computer.

Louis CK says it best -- you're never COMPLETELY happy or COMPLETELY sad, you're always in between. This is how the modern generation (i.e. the Internet) has essentially fucked up our genuine emotions and the very essence of humanity.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I hate that this comment isn't higher because in a few words you've provided an unbelievable clarification for me.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I agree. So much clarity in so few words.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You could even take it further.

Dopamine is the hormone that makes you go after what your brain percieve to be something of priority. It can make going to the gym a high priority task, same for approaching girls you desire.

Dopamine is not TBP in itself because dopamine can induce Red Pill behavior. It's the wiring of your brain that can "be" BP or RP because it is this wiring that will either

  • shoot dopamine when you go onto your computer and you think about playing video games


  • shoot dopamine when you think about lifting weights

[–]marty2k 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would more say blue pill is instant gratification while red pill is delayed gratification. I still get dopamine I'm having sex with gorgeous women, lifting weights, working hard towards goals, etc. But those things take time and work.

[–]Myrpl 30 points31 points  (5 children)

I almost got into poker this week, having romantic thoughts of becoming a pro player one day, then I saw your post and something clicked in me. Uninstalled software, deleted account etc.

Going to actually learn a skill I can use for income now.

Edit: South park also explained this in another context.

[–]sushisection 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Learning poker will give you other useful skills as well, like reading people and recognizing when they are bluffing in real life, being able to balance risk and conservation, recognizing opportunity and luck... don't give up on it yet man, poker can become a very handy hobby. Oh and becoming pro is very obtainable. You don't have to be on WSOP to make a comfortable living off of it

[–]Myrpl 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Yeah, but there are many ways to attain those skills that involve actual human contact, not online play and certainly not poker.

I also happen to fall in the category of people mentioned in the video, that gives me yet another reason to evade it.

[–]sushisection 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Mm fair enough. I didn't watch the video before making that comment, now it makes more sense.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I agree with sushisection. Poker in the right context can be very useful. The main thin is to do everything in moderation. Distraction is too easy in today's (and tomorrow's) day and age. Just remember what's really important.

[–]1beerthroway -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Everything in moderation is decidedly unmoderate. Someone who does everything in moderation is a handyman that earns 30-60k/ year at best whereas the millionaire does one thing better than most others. Nobody pays millions to see someone do something moderate. Need I continue?

[–]abdada 113 points114 points  (78 children)

This is a great breakdown of the lifestyle I've aimed for over the past decade. I call it low reward living.

Lowering your (brain) rewards is not "boring". It just flattens out the manic thrills and the depressed boredom roller coaster.

Awesome post!

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 38 points39 points  (55 children)

Thank you. A lot of commonalities from Dopamine addiction and related depressions (ADD, ADHD, minor depression) are caused by our brain's constant stimulation in the pursuit of a quick (short-term) dopamine fix. This leave our minds unprepared for the mental aptitude necessary to strive for long-term goals without the presence of short-term gratification.

Unchecked, this affliction can turn even the most determined and focused men into luxury/thrill seekers.

[–]abdada 48 points49 points  (45 children)

Most of today's "alpha" males are just thrill seeking consumers that other thrill seeking consumers want to model their lives after.

[–][deleted] 20 points21 points  (16 children)

Dude, I read your philosophy and I really like it. Strikes me as simple, effective, logical, and awesome. Cool way to deal with the reality of the "hedonic treadmill"/happiness set-point that everyone faces. Most guys just keep running on that dopamine/validation treadmill until they slip off, hit their heads, and die... all so their wives can "Lean In." (RIP Dave Goldberg)

Instead, you're simply setting the treadmill at a considered, reasonable speed, because you know you're gonna be on it for life. It's almost a 2015 update of the "Middle Path" that Buddhism suggests, but you articulate it in a way that appeals to me more than Buddhism because you talk about real objective realities (brain chemistry), while Buddhism talks about abstract ephemeral concepts that probably just represent brain chemistry anyway ("enlightenment" = low reward living/intentional slow dopamine release?)

The only thing I gotta ask about is the name. I think you could make some real money on this philosophy if you gave it a more attractive name.

"Low Reward Living" would not sell many books. However, if you named it something like "Be Happy Forever," everyone would buy it. If I were you I'd cash the fuck out on your idea. I've had similar ideas in the past but haven't articulated it as well as you.

[–]abdada 39 points40 points  (11 children)

My e-book will be released for free this summer. I do not sell information nor would I want to.

Most people are serfs/plebeians/consumers from fetal growth. There is no convincing them.

The few lords/citizens/producers that exist by the age of 16 will listen to reason and learn from my self studies.

Since promoting my ideas isn't about personal financial profit but personal kingdom growth, I don't really plan to market it at all. Let it drive itself, if there's hunger for it.

[–]1james-watson 9 points10 points  (3 children)

ABDada, I remember your posts from the very beginning at Roissy. I'm very happy to see your journey continues, and that you've reached an incredible level of mindfulness.

I am honestly so impressed that you've continued to grow and improve toward your current philosophy. Intriguingly, my own life has led me to the exact same conclusions: low-reward living is the most fulfilling life in the long run.

Your perspective on sharing your knowledge is also incredible. This approach is quite a breakthrough compared to modern man's chasing of the almighty dollar at all costs. I find that the greatest thinkers wish to simply share their thoughts, and adding a costs merely erects a barrier to the discussion, while also diluting the intent.

If we are only concerned with the sharing and discussing of ideas, why would we try to couple it with a financial cost? It would pollute the purity of our intentions with the possibility of financial gain, which is precisely what we're trying to avoid.

Once again, it's been a pleasure reading your work over the years, and I sincerely look forward to your book in the future.

[–]abdada 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Hey James, I appreciate the kind remarks -- I'm sorry I don't recognize your UID, did you use something differently over there?

As to my own progress, I have only hundreds if not thousands of great men and dames who have taken up many of my two-week self studies and reported back to me their own anecdotal findings. The fact is, the lower we create our reward targets, the 'happier' we are without the pain of depression.

While I've abrogated the financial profit as a goal, I have to be honest that I am wealthier today than I have been since I was a money chaser. And it has nothing to do with a product or service I sell, but with the incredible network of contacts I've connected with internationally since pushing my low reward lifestyle perspective. From a handful of very wealthy or famous people to a massive collection of Average Joes, my reliance on the Almighty Dollar has fallen significantly because I've realized that there is much more to what I "need" than that which I can buy.

This year is another year of huge changes. I am liquidating my 5000 square foot Chicago loft on Halsted and moving into a 900 square foot house I paid cash for. No basement, no second floor, 2 bedrooms, tiny kitchen. It'll be a true test of low reward living as my cost of living falls to $0 per month (I do have rental income to cover utilities, insurance and food expenses).

Once I close on the property (this next week) I am going to cut my work hours down by 50% and focus more on writing and follow up research. It should be a fantastic year!

Thanks again for recognizing me. That means more to me than almost anything else, except when it's someone who recognizes me in public and shares their findings and suggestions.

[–]DaddyPhatstacks 2 points2 points [recovered]

Why does it seem like all your posts are getting downvoted from +1 to 0? I haven't seen any dumb ideas, offensive opinions or excessive braggery. (Which I don't mind anyway.) Quite the opposite. Great stuff you've got, just pointing out the reward system is oddly motivating.

[–]abdada 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I don't pay attention to the magic unicorn and rainbow points that reddit provides for one reason: they are not transparent.

A few things to consider:

  • I do not qualify myself very easily in person in front of people I actually see and can know. On an anonymous forum, I am even less likely to give a fsck.
  • I've been banned on this subreddit at least once because of my cock swinging behavior. Consider how soft the feefees are on an "alpha-oriented" subreddit that bans a poster for cock swinging.
  • The average subscriber to reddit overall is a fat horny lonely video game playing fedora wearing chump who has tall poppy syndrome.
  • Even among alpha reachers, there is a great deal of the Law of Jante mixed in with the social norms of the subreddit. Not as bad as many of the SJW subreddits, but the AFCs here definitely do not align well with another's actual independent charisma and confidence.

That being said, those who want to hear will find a way to listen, magic unicorn points or not.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (6 children)

let it drive itself, if there's hunger for it.

I feel that. Let's extend the food metaphor... All I'm saying is that if you made the food SMELL really good, you'd get more customers... even though smell isn't important. I think a catchier name would make your ideas more accessible and potentially have a far wider reach through the world / help many more people. Neither here nor there tho!

You think 16 is the definitive cut-off age between smart people and proles? I'm curious why, cuz that certainly applies to me... I knew I was different when I still enjoyed reading stuff outside of school when I was 16. All the proles had stopped reading for pleasure by that age (or never started to begin with).

It really does seem like there is an inborn genetic tendency to become smart, to find shit out for yourself. I'm just a curious guy and I want to learn about stuff but I know almost no one who's actually down to learn non-mainstream-approved information.

The disparity between smart & dumb people is also FUCKING HUGE, because learning is a sum-accumulative game... I couldn't not get smarter cuz that's just how my brain works, it wants to learn, it wants to get stronger... I wonder why most people's brains just don't work that way.

Never met anyone who "became smart" after 16. Only know people who were smart already, or dumb already. What's up with that age?

[–]abdada 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Driver's license at 16. The actual cut off is at 15-16.

As for the title, I stole it from psychology handbooks. And I like that it's a tough name. I could call McNuggets of Miley Nutella University and it would sell well.

But I would prefer it being tough to approach.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (4 children)

Ah, I get it. When it comes to your audience, you prefer quality to quantity.

Juiced for your book man, I'll be your first reader.

[–]abdada 6 points7 points  (3 children)

It's been read for about a decade as I slaughter and slice it up lol. I keep swapping sections around because it is so difficult to find the source of thrill seeking behavior, which is foundational to figuring out how to be an actual success in life.

[–]1xwm 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Seems like this is a book I really need to read. Any mailing list I can get on for when it comes out? If its just a post here I might miss it.

[–]2012Aceman 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I'd argue that Buddhism had a very advanced understanding of psychology and brain chemistry, for their time. Buddhism was founded a thousand years before the discovery of gunpowder, let alone biochemistry. It's one of the few religions that actively preaches logic, although I'll be the first to admit that their spiritual component (especially realms of reincarnation) might go against most rationalist thinking. The Noble Eightfold Path is essentially TRP Ideology:

  1. Right View - Base your conclusions in reality, not on your feelings
  2. Right Intention - Rid yourself of bad ideas
  3. Right Speech - Speak the truth
  4. Right Action - Act without ill will, do not use force, do not steal
  5. Right Livelihood - Obtain your wealth through rightful means
  6. Right Effort - Persistently pursue a better life
  7. Right Mindfulness - Keep aware of yourself and the world around you
  8. Right Concentration - Meditation and Holding Frame

It would not be a disservice to any fellow TRPer to recommend reading Buddhist literature, merely for the wealth of knowledge it contains for Good Living.

[–]abdada 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Excellent points but man does Buddhism get me riled up.

Low reward living is about understanding that Man desires Profit. I capitalize those words because that's the basic tenet of life.

Not financial profit (just), but a gain.

High reward is a false gain. It's created that way.

Low reward can be an actual gain.

Buddhism does not lead to an end goal of supremacy. Low reward living can. It can lead to a meditative monk life, or it can lead to a feudal lord life. You get to choose.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What do you mean his philosophy, would love to read it too!

[–]Endorsed ContributorLastRevision 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yet "Low Reward Living" captures the spirit of the book.

[–]2 Senior Endorsed Contributorvengefully_yours 10 points11 points  (26 children)

Is it like this for most of you younger dudes? I

I've seen the similarities in my peers, taking the easy path, staying in the comfort zone, not doing anything challenging. I've known men who used to be active with a drive to do things most can't or won't and then wasted years of their lives playing Civilization 2 or everquest, and jerking off to anime porn.

Achievement in videogames takes far less physical effort, but gives a similar sense of accomplishment. The problem is that it's a hollow accomplishment, nothing to show for it that a format of C: won't erase. They're designed to stimulate that sense, and it keeps you coming back for more.

I have seen it, and also gamed when I had severe limits on what I could do with my free time, but it never filled the void like building a new engine and winning some races. Even that is something you need to refil from time to time, but you have a visceral and tangible representation of the effort and knowledge you utilized to build it. It takes discipline to put 300+ hours building it and untold hours earning the dollars put into a rusty heap just to go embarrass some Hondas and new corvettes. The epitome of delayed gratification, when you could get a loan and go buy a car rather than build it.

The value is your own, but if nobody else wants it then it's value is only to you, nothing marketable or profitable for the effort expended. Sunk cost fallacy makes you hold onto it dearly, you've put so much in you can't just throw it out.

Knowing what is the worthwhile investment or endeavor makes the difference. Realizing when it's a futile undertaking and changing things to be more beneficial is the smarter thing to do. Quite a few people don't even put in effort, they simply float along and let others tell them what to do, where to go, and what to buy.

I was interrupted a few times writing, hopefully that makes sense. It's not disagreeing with you, it's expounding a bit.

[–]abdada 20 points21 points  (25 children)

Here's a fast chart of high reward versus normal reward versus low reward:

High Reward Regular Reward Low Reward
Microwave dinner Cook fresh produce at home Hunt and gather outdoors
Porn "sex" Online dating Day game
Shots of booze Can of beer Ferment your own wine
Video game win Board game Playing sports outdoors
Watch streaming TV Go to the movies Act your own theater/play
Spotify/Pandora Go to a live concert Play guitar/sing with friends
Listen to an audiobook Read a paper book Tell stories to others
Welfare 9-5 job Run your own business

Get it? I just wrote this up in seconds so I'm sure there are other things one could add to this chart.

[–]2 Senior Endorsed Contributorvengefully_yours 6 points7 points  (2 children)

That fits what I was trying to say. I get good ideas but often they don't flow well into text. Low or high being the ratio between effort and reward. Sums it up nice.

Used to be sports and fun things outside (eg cars) were how people learned this.

[–]abdada 0 points1 point  (0 children)


Check out my response to another redditor named Hofn also in this same subthread.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (12 children)

I'm confused why the items listed as high reward aren't described as low reward and visa versa. Fascinating concept, though. Reminds me of delayed vs instant gratification.

[–]abdada 9 points10 points  (11 children)

Hofn: Here's how I explain it...

"High" reward means something you can do easily to "get high". Press a button and you instantly feed dopamine to your brain. Activity can become addicting.

"Low" reward rhymes with "Slow" reward. You have to do it yourself. You have to invest time and patience. You have to learn a skill. You have to take a risk and you may not win/earn a reward at all. When you do earn it, it has cost you energy and time and it doesn't feel as superior as pressing a button and getting "high".


[–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (8 children)

Dig. I have a theory about dopamine sensitivity. The less "highs" you cram into your brain, the more sensitive your brain is required to detect and enjoy dopamine "lows." Example: when you stop eating junk food and switch to a clean diet of vegetables and meats, say. At first your palate is stimulated much less, but sensitivity kicks in and you discover a new landscape of more subtle tastes.

Rollercoaster vs hiking

Netflix vs reading philosophy

Plates vs LTR (my opinion)

[–]abdada 6 points7 points  (6 children)

That's correct, in my own anecdotal amateur research and personal self study results.

My entire low reward lifestyle "program" is actually about 30 different programs that I call "two week self studies". Each one covers a different behavior or activity -- from NoFap to Intermittent Fasting to learning to tell bedtime stories to an LTR or plate.

Little tiny 2 week steps to testing if you might be a high reward addict to some behavior that society calls "normal".

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Telling bedtime story to a LTR/plate.. holy shit. Will try this for the sheer novelty and weirdness of it.

Edit: Did it, she fell asleep before I finished.

[–]1xwm 0 points1 point  (1 child)

The less "highs" you cram into your brain, the more sensitive your brain is required to detect and enjoy dopamine "lows."

That's correct, in my own anecdotal amateur research and personal self study results.

There is actually scientific evidence that backs this. I don't remember where it was off the top of my head, but there a study that was done on this about food vs junk food.

[–]Endorsed ContributorLastRevision -1 points0 points  (1 child)

My entire low reward lifestyle "program" is actually about 30 different programs that I call "two week self studies". Each one covers a different behavior or activity -- from NoFap to Intermittent Fasting to learning to tell bedtime stories to an LTR or plate.

I am loving this thread- where can I access these? Would like to try them out and report back to you.

[–]thisjibberjabber 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I see where you're going with the content, and it seems to address ways to lead a more meaningful life.

The words fast/slow or unearned/earned resonate better with me than high/low, but of course you get to call it whatever you want. And I guess if you're trying to make it less accessible, you're succeeding.

[–]abdada 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Fast/slow has been suggested over the years but I am not really a fan of making it so basic. The point of LRL is to deprogram the person considering it from some of the bad social norms and culturally programmed word definitions, I think.

I think life has meaning when we are not out being consumers 24/7. I've bet a lot of dudes over the years that 80% of their wake hours are spent being consumers -- even if they're in a cubicle earning a wage for some of that time.

With consumption we seek dopamine; with production we seek personal gain.

[–][deleted] 3 points3 points

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[–]abdada 1 point2 points  (2 children)

My theory is based on doing a lot of reading into reward theories in psychology, and how they label high and low reward differs from theory to theory.

In my theory, high reward is "fast and easy dopamine reward likelihood" and low reward is "slow and laborious dopamine reward possibility".

[–][deleted] 3 points3 points

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[–]abdada 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I almost want to say the other difference is that high reward comes from a sense of entitlement whereas low reward comes from a sense of earned value.

If that makes sense.

[–]laere 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I love music and concerts. Been playing guitar for almost 10 years. Its hard to not listen to music. Can you expand on why I shouldn't listen to bands that inspire my writing? Unless I am misinterpreting this chart?

[–]abdada 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Streaming issues: easier to instant dopamine versus playing your guitar. Now, if you use it as a form of inspiration to work, than I think it is fine.

If you listen to jams as a carrier to get stoned or drunk...

Question: what is the #1 income source for live music venues?

[–]laere 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Alcohol. Yup.

However, I don't smoke and I don't drink. I use all my energy in the mosh pits, and doing those drunk looks like fucking hell.

[–]abdada 0 points1 point  (1 child)

In your case, live music involves work to earn a pleasure response.

Adding work lowers reward. To lower further, add risk.

Maybe try going to a live venue of a band you have never heard of. Or a music style that involves that style of dance but with a music style you generally dislike.

Carry on, for sure.

[–]laere 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Maybe try going to a live venue of a band you have never heard of.

Honestly I have been thinking about this, nonetheless, thanks for the great perspective.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

What a beautiful way of putting it. I couldn't agree more.

[–]SuperSlavisWife 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Just bear in mind that whilst these disorders are induced in many people, they also have a biological basis. Someone with depression could have all they want and still start thinking about how life is futile and every pleasure is just time-wasting until your inevitable death, how every reward is a mere distraction and how the will to live is just your cells' evolutionary result, not your own desire... until they kill themselves. Nothing wrong in their lives, just intense nihilism caused by faulty brains. Someone with ADD could be in an empty room staring at a wall and not feel bored or tired for hours on end, or they could be working on something highly important and engaging and start wanting to do anything but that. The disorder is pre-existing and the behaviour develops from the damage, not vice-versa.

Mental disorders are observed even in the simplest societies and the most self-restricting zealots. It just happens environment can induce some disorders in people who would otherwise have only displayed trace symptoms. Like inbreeding bringing preexisting conditions to light, it takes a lot to understand cause and effect of mental illness.

[–]abdada 0 points1 point  (3 children)

they also have a biological basis.

Damn if that particular thought always halts me. I know there is a biological basis for depression but I refuse to accept that depression is biological.

Depression, in most people who have come to me for guidance or direction, appears to have a biological root that is multiplied a billion times out due to lifestyle, behaviors, activities, etc.

I've spent time in the simplest of societies (6 days with the Maasai people, over a week with some non-urban Rapa Nui, etc) and I will guarantee that the vast majority of them do not exhibit the traits of depression and insanity. Put me in any urban market and I would say 80% of the average Joes exhibit depressions and some minor losses of rational thought.

[–]SuperSlavisWife 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Depression is more nuanced than most people assume. Depression = down. That's all. Symptoms of depression include:


-uncharacteristic slowness of thought and action

-memory damage (though indulging the lethargy helps)

-physical tics and twitches

-joint pain (especially hands and fingers)

-headaches and migraines

-repetitive thought processes

-easy distraction

Etc, etc, etc. The "I am sad and tired" depression is obviously not present (or as present) in humans in our natural environment because suicidal tendencies do not for good survival make. But someone who is a little over-tired, slow to react, having a hard time making decisions or reacting speedily without an adrenaline rush and suffering a slight mystery ache in their joints could be as depressed (on a neurological level) as the person spiraling towards suicide is.

Depression is a hard one to work with, though, because the vast majority of depression is exogenous: triggered by the environment, therefore the actual rates of endogenous depression in our society are unknown. They're probably around 2% for bipolar , 1-2% for dysthymia and depression and 10% for SAD, although you could argue the latter is environmental.

[–]abdada 2 points3 points  (1 child)

There are too many theories regarding depression to nail it down.

In my anecdotal research, plenty of depressed people have a history of shitty high reward lifestyle behaviors -- some from infancy.

When the brain's dopamine signaling is suppressed, is it any wonder people are depressed?

[–]SuperSlavisWife 0 points1 point  (0 children)

True enough. But if you're looking at environment, there are interferences at every stage and there isn't much way of knowing how many are reversible.

Stage 1: Brain formation in the womb determined by genes. (Hello cyclothymia, dysthymia, bipolar II.)

Stage 2: Brain formation altered by mother's hormonal profile and poor diet.

Stage 3: Brain formation altered by early childhood diet, maternal neglect and/or mollycoddling.

Stage 4: Brain formation altered by environmental stress (or lack thereof) in school.

Stage 5: Behavioural patterns altered by environmental pressures and stressors of education.

Stage 6: Behavioural patterns altered in adolescence and adulthood by high-reward environment.

I would posit that it isn't a single factor, but two factors that cause most depression. For example, a genetic tendency to cycling moods could be non-manifest in child 1 due to extra omega oils during pregnancy (first child always gets the best dose of hip-fat from the mother). But child 2 has the genetic tendency AND almost no omegas from the mother, due to her poor pre- and peri-pregnancy diet, resulting in bipolar II. Or, if child 1 goes through a low-stress education but succumbs to indulgence as an adolescent and adult, they will be less prone to depression and therefore more moderate in their consumption than child 2, who was bullied and then exposed to instant reward. But that could be because child 2 is so unfamiliar with reward that they don't control it and numb their dopamine response, overwork their serotonin absorption, until they become addicted.

Two variables, often one genetic and one environmental, are needed to turn a large minority of a population's healthy children into adults unable to function in the real world. Think of it as a weapon: prime, then kill. You can't kill effectively without setting your weapon up right and you won't kill unless you strike after setup. Likewise, mental illness won't "kill" effectively without both a setup and a trigger.

[–]2niczar 0 points1 point  (3 children)

You've got cause and effect severely mixed.

ADHD causes short term reward-oriented behavior preference, not the other way around.

There are several lines of evidence for this, but just consider this one: unmedicated ADHD patients are much more likely to end up abusing drugs or have a gambling problem, while those who are medicated are not, or at least not to the same extent.

ADHD is at its core a deficiency in the delayed reward mechanism. The visible symptoms (inattention and hyperactivity, mostly) are just an epiphenomenon.

[–]DaddyPhatstacks 1 points1 points [recovered]

It seems to me he means more of a "learned," ADHD, wherein people lose their ability to wait for delayed gratification.

[–]2niczar 2 points3 points  (1 child)

There's enough disinformation out there on this issue, you'll excuse me if I'm not too keen on adding more.

[–]peoplearejustpeople9 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Has anyone heard of a "suffer-fest?"

[–]abdada 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Explain, sounds interesting.

[–]peoplearejustpeople9 0 points1 point  (3 children)

lol. It's basically a trip people go on. People who have either subconsciously or consciously realized they are dopamine addicts and will go on a purge for the sole purpose of suffering with almost-zero reward activities. By the time the reward comes your brain is so sensitive to dopamine that even if it's just eating a sweet candybar after months of hiking you feel true euphoria. I play around with this concept quite a lot.

[–]abdada 1 point2 points  (2 children)

My reason for lowering my rewards over ten years hasn't been to suffer. It has been to reach a point of near constant contentment with flickers of happiness. This is way better for me than roller coasters of mania and boredom.

[–]peoplearejustpeople9 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I wonder if I can go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and say I'm a Dopamine Addict.

[–]Buchloe 0 points1 point  (15 children)

I don't know... low reward living sounds a bit extreme. I prefer moderate reward living.

[–]abdada 16 points17 points  (14 children)

I've said it before: the phrase "in moderation" was invented by consumer reward engineers to mask the reality that a lot of things in "moderation" are still extremely addicting so no amount of moderation is likely to keep you from falling into bad behaviors.

It's why almost anyone can finish off a bag of potato chips but there's no possible way that 99% of people can eat an entire raw potato (I can, lol).

Low reward living only sounds extreme when your brain is already programmed to want instant dopamine rushes.

In 2014 I was blessed to have two "famous" professional sports broadcast engineers contact me and reveal their secrets in how they use 1/60th second flashes and quick thumps of telecast bass notes to encourage viewers to drink a beer or eat a chip. When I tell people that NO amount of sports telecast watching is healthy, the big sports fan (addicts) quickly say that it's fine in moderation.

And then they go off and talk about sports for 20+ hours a week and grow their beards and buy $75 jerseys and set up all the events leading up to the next Big Game costing them 1000 hours a year or more of their precious one life.

I lol at moderation because I have yet to meet very many people who moderate well. I know I don't.

[–]DikIn1HandPenInOther 1 point2 points  (9 children)

Meh, it's this kind of myopic view that makes for a vapid lifestyle (and honestly irritating to others when you tell try to tell them that 'TV is the devil', 'sugar is the devil', etc.).

[–]abdada 1 point2 points  (8 children)

Low reward living is actually the opposite of myopia (short-sightedness).

When you reduce your brain rewards, you stop focusing strictly on the now but also on the future. "How does this behavior/reward benefit me today and tomorrow?"

I don't look at devils, I look at consumer goods and production values. "TV is the devil" is better said as "TV is a waste of time for others, how can I profit from that?"

I don't drink alcohol but I make a small portion of my income from supplying products to the alcohol industry.

I don't watch TV, but one of my offices has been rented a few times by more than one TV show as a set location.

I don't view porn but I was involved in the AVN side of things for 6 years, mostly offering VAR goods.

I don't gamble but I was a well paid shill blogger for a major casino in the 90s.

My view is myopic?

Methinks you have some addictions you're defending.

[–]DikIn1HandPenInOther 0 points1 point  (7 children)

Methinks you have some addictions you're defending.

I knew you would say that, but you didn't even defend yourself with any legitimate points. All of your points have... what exactly to do with limiting your time spent with those things?

Not drinking alcohol but being in alcohol sales is the equivalent of saying 'I don't read magazines, but I am a magazine salesman'.

...Okay? The fuck does that have to do with anything?

Meanwhile, what reason is there to not watch some TV, or drink some alcohol, in moderation?

[–]abdada 1 point2 points  (6 children)

I said it here -- "in moderation" is a term invented by producers to snag consumers into a cycle of socially acceptable addictive behavior.

Do you know how many people can eat just one donut hole? Do you know how many people can eat one serving size of potato chips even if you split them into single serving size bags? Do you know how many people can watch one TV show and not fall into the trap of watching the next 4?

Moderation isn't realistic. Can some people actually moderate high reward behaviors? Absolutely.

Do I know any that can? Nope. Never met even one. And in ten years of promoting lowering rewards (not removing all high reward behaviors, just working to lower them), I've had nothing but success stories reported back to me.

I've met so many people who tell me 90 days later that they realized they were addicted to (socially acceptable high reward behavior) and couldn't believe how much time/money they spent on it.

[–]DikIn1HandPenInOther -1 points0 points  (5 children)

It still sounds like a very black-and-white perspective, does modern behavioral therapy work this way, or does it focus on moderation and small, incremental changes?

[–]abdada 7 points8 points  (4 children)

I am a firm believer that everything in the world is black and white. If you see shades of grey, zoom into the details closer and you'll see it's a mosaic of black and white tiles.

I don't really interact with modern therapy systems because so many of them appear to just keep people addicted to the therapy process (in my opinion).

I am not out to save the world. I am not here on TRP to make more alphas. I'm a sigma in a sigma's world, and what the betas and alphas do to each other doesn't interest me, amuse me or impress me. Alphas and betas exist to do shit for me cheap or to buy shit from me at a profit. That's it.

My architecture in my writing has one purpose: to find lost sigmas and bring them back to the flock. I know for a fact that a great many guys who come to TRP forums and blogs are actually sigmas and just don't know it. Low reward living works great for betas, omegas, gammas, deltas and alphas; but it really works for sigmas because of our lone wolf mental structure.

I find more excitement in what others would consider "boring", because my brain is no longer triggered to reap pleasure from toxic behaviors.

My dopamine sensitivity is so solid that I actually smile and laugh like a retarded kid when I ride a bus. "Holy shit, I am moving at 40 miles an hour in a 5 ton metal box that 100 years ago would have seemed like magic."

Boring? I think not.

Black and white? Absolutely.

Want to make a change? Find one addiction that others consider socially acceptable, and stop doing it for 2 weeks. Then report back.

[–]DikIn1HandPenInOther 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I'm interested in your philosophy and methods, but still skeptical. I'll start by doing the challenge.

[–]darkstout 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I am a firm believer that everything in the world is black and white.

And yet you describe guys as alphas, betas, sigmas, omegas, gammas, deltas, the whole alphabet soup. Come on, dude. How can you make an absolute claim and then describe another world view that refutes it in the next paragraph? What type of mental gymnastics are going on inside your head? Too much cognitive dissonance.

[–]Endorsed ContributorLastRevision 1 point2 points  (1 child)

When I tell people that NO amount of sports telecast watching is healthy, the big sports fan (addicts) quickly say that it's fine in moderation.

I respect the fuck out of you, man. You walk the walk.

Have you seen a book titled "How to Train a Wild Elephant"? It's on mindfulness and has a ton of low-reward exercises, very similar to what you're talking about, like focusing on one activity at a time- like just eating dinner or just driving, to other things like being mindful of posture.

[–]abdada 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I try. I have my high reward addictions, too.

[–]Buchloe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

oh I definitely agree pretty much everything you are saying. I was more just making a dumb joke, saying basically that words like low and high trigger a mental alert response

[–]oolevityoo 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I like this post and its approach. I thought I'd just clarify what we know about the 'dopamine=reward', in case any of you plan on seriously using (neuro)science to support your view rather than just as analogies to redescribe/explain them.

In the past there have been many subtly distinct views on what dopamine does in behaviour. Here's the most of it: does it tell us when we 'want' something (want)? Does it tell us when we anticipate something we want (anticipation of loss of craving)? Does it tell us when we 'like' something when we are getting it (like)? Does it tell us we like something after we get it (reward)? Does it just make us happy (hedonia)? Does it make us remember what we like so that we do it again (operant conditioning/learning)?

The best evidence for a theory for what dopamine is doing in monkey (electrode recordings) and human (fMRI/PET scans) brains is called 'prediction error'. You might like to think of prediction error as "surprise". This means that basically no dopamine firing in the 'reward/drug addiction regions' occurs when you get exactly what you predicted, but lots happens when you get something you didn't expect. This might explain tolerance, in that when you first try substance/porn/x for the first time, you don't know what it's like as you've never individually experienced it before, so your prediction of what it will feel like is usually very off. After the nth time, you'll be repeating the substance/porn/x to relive the high you already experienced, which your brain can partially predict (to the point that you can crave it as if it were 'a thing'), which there's absolutely no fun in doing: it's like nostalgia, trying to 'get it' again like it was the first time, before you knew what it was like.

The short story here is that doing things which you do not, or cannot, expect the outcome of, will normally give you more dopamine as you're unlikely to predict it dead-on. I think what's harder to figure out is does that dopamine feel good, or like a craving? And how do you keep it going high? I'm a fairly analytical 'analysis-paralysis' kind of guy, and I've recently been putting myself into positions where I literally cannot predict the outcome as they rely on variables out of my control or my understanding, and it seems to have mildly improved my lifestyle (optimistic, care-free, roll with the punches).

Here are some basic examples I think put it into perspective:

  • Recently I've been buying bags of Skittles. I used to buy original, but now I buy Skittles Confused, because the colours don't match the flavours. I find I enjoy them more because I have no idea what flavour is going to come each time, but because I've done it for so long now I've stopped looking at the colours (tolerance) that I should probably switch back to Original!

  • When things go exactly as planned, you tend not to remember them (for better or worse!) The "surprise" of dopamine makes episodic memory formed for that surprising event stronger (trauma, surprise party, or both!)

  • When you go to a gig or event oblivious to who or what is going on, you can find yourself having a better time than if you went in knowing exactly what was there, and what you wanted from them. Sometimes I go see my favourite bands play perfectly the songs from the album which I know I like, and I wonder why I'm so utterly disappointed at having attended: it met what I could predict. Repetition; forgetfulness and tolerance. Other times I see pretty crappy amateur bands I've barely heard before expecting the worse, and even though they're still sub-average, I enjoy myself more. Novelty; memory and surprise.

I guess with respect to girls you have, this should mean that you should avoid spending big on an anniversary/birthday/expected date, but invest it into frequent but small completely unexpected gifts; as each time dopamine is chipping in as being a "surprise". I guess with respect to girls "you haven't", go in expecting not 'bad' but 'zero' (this might be the same as "being outcome-independent"). Expect nothing so that anything that happens can be seen as a surprise from which you can then learn from.

In other words, accurate expectations for potentially pleasurable events lead to more disappointment than inaccurately low expectations (which will be the case when she isn't expecting a present/you aren't expecting positive reciprocation).

Here's the best open-access summary online in case you wanted a summary of this, and the experimental evidence for it, written by the lead researcher in this area (theoretical models of dopamine reward signalling). It's sort of technical, but we are talking about the human brain...

TL;DR Dopamine does not appear to just equal reward, but rather: Dopamine Response = Reward Occurred – Reward Predicted.

P.S. If for some reason authority still matters to you at this point, this comes from me having looked at the original data and university lecture material for a Masters level degree module in this particular subject.

[–]GV19 35 points36 points  (18 children)

I'm a college student. I'm the only person I know who doesn't have a Netflix account and who doesn't sit around all fucking day eating Cheetos having a cinephile boner over the newest game of thrones. Thank God, the point is that dopamine addiction almost ruined my life and caused me to flunk. However 2 things changed it, r/NoFap and cold showers. Good post

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 8 points9 points  (2 children)

While I was in school, I had similar problems. All of my free time was devoted to either skirt chasing or video games. I have to learn this lesson the hard way.

[–]GV19 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That sucks man, I'm just glad you did.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Skirt chasing -- how is that a bad thing? That's still working towards self-improvement, assuming being a charismatic person is one of your goals.

[–]1aguy01 9 points10 points  (8 children)

NoPorn helps a ton, but internet browsing is another common addiction. Sites like reddit cause similar dopamine stimulation to porn and video games. Ultimately, most technology we use on a day to day basis serves to increase laziness, and limiting its use is important.

[–]GV19 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Yeah that's why I fucking hate technology

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (1 child)


i feel like if there is one definite thing missing in current education is to not install programs/classes that teach about entertainment moderation. Even when i was elementary school when technology didn't hit so hard we would learn about the body, first nations but never about the one thing that will eventually cause the most struggle in life

[–]GV19 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I think the only way to combat this is by making school so fucking hard that if you don't put down the phone, tablet, and computer you fucking fail out.

[–]abdada 6 points7 points  (3 children)

I have an internet device I "invented" that reduces brain reward from internet browsing and social networks significantly. I use it myself.

It is basically an eInk tablet that I added my own code to (have a programmer who does that) to reduce rewards. No email alerts (you have to manually refresh the inbox). No multitasking -- you have to CLOSE an app before you can open another app. No chat app. No notifications prompt on Facebook or reddit.

It's quite enlightening.

[–]Powersawer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That's pretty fucking radical by today's standards. I like it.

[–]OptiLaSeR 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I actually have disabled everything and set to manual .

If i want to see mail , i have to manually refresh it .

If if want to see facebook , (who the fuck uses facebook for social interaction ? i use it for my newsfeed of music artists and some puns)

I have whatsapp disabled , twitter disabled .

Basically everything that pops up is disabled . I have to do things manually .

Therefore a mere galaxy s6 with 2550 mah is giving me 2 days and 13 hours of average battery life .

[–]abdada 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hell yeah -- nice work. I absolutely love my 3+ year old smart phone because I still get incredible battery life for this very reason. I also try to use web apps versus phone apps -- without bookmarking them.

[–]nolightspared 1 point2 points  (1 child)



lol no

Good job on breaking the mold, though. It was the same a few years ago when I was in college. I don't get how people marathon so many shitty television shows on a weekly basis.

[–]GV19 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Or perpetuating misery by sitting in their rooms.

[–]Ass-systole 1 points1 points [recovered]

I am faced with the same issue on this one. I just cannot fathom wasting so much time watching a tv show as opposed to being outside, playing, building, having sex, or anything that requires more than just a mere button click and a fap session.

[–]GV19 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's preposterous that anyone would choose fapping or netflix to real life but anyone is susceptible to it.

[–]FUTBALAR 7 points7 points [recovered]

Goddamnit, Kevin!
But seriously, great post. I have always been admired by the concept of self-discipline. Regardless of TRP, I was never mentally comfortable being complacent. Now, I understand why.
Thanks, Kevin.OP.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Most people think being motivated is the only way to be disciplined, and that couldn't be farther from the truth.

The motivation only lasts as long as those "get-hype words" stay on your head. And ironically enough, motivation is an effect from short-term dopamine fixes just like instant gratifications. Ever wonder why the motivation from 1 self help book never lasts a person's entire life?

Also, Kevin'll get his shit together one day.

[–]FUTBALAR 5 points5 points [recovered]

I once read this amazing post on /r/getdisciplined about motivation, but can't find it right now.
But, you're right; motivation is temporary. If you rely on motivation to get shit done, you're not going to get a lot done. True discipline requires a change in mindset. You just have to keep doing what you have to do regardless of what you feel. Eventually, you'll develop the skill of ignoring your inner whiny bitch.

[–]alreadyredschool 4 points5 points  (3 children)

That post is bullshit. It say a fuck motivation get discipline. While discipline actually is your skill to motivate yourself to do something. Just train your willpower. Take an ice cold shower, you can make it hot and convient or you bring up the needed willpower to not do it. Drag yourself to the gym despite not wanting to. Refrain from masturbating despite wanting to. Floss despite already being tired. All these things train your willpower. In the end you will have an iron discipline because your willpower "muscle" is abnormally huge. You will manage to motivate yourself for everything through willpower. And every time you decide to take the easy way your willpower decreases.

Or in your words: willpower is the skill to ignore your inner whiny bitch (who is draining your motivation away)

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Why do I always hear people bitching about flossing. Shit takes me 20 seconds. Am I doing it wrong?

[–]Donald_Fuck -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I have braces, shit takes me 20 minutes.

[–]orangeblue3 6 points7 points  (0 children)

"Success isn't owned. It's leased and rent is due every day." ~ J.J. Watt

[–]ActiveShooter 7 points7 points [recovered]

Chevy didn't start making the Colorado until 2004.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

You learn something new everyday.

[–]whisky1111 2 points3 points  (6 children)

"because honestly Tinder’s the ‘final boss stage’ of the dating site world"

What does this mean? I was thinking about playing around with Tinder. Not worth the effort?

Oh and this was an excellent piece of writing about a topic I've been thinking about a lot lately.

I know for a fact that I am a dopamine addict and I know for a fact that it is affecting my happiness.

But I've been trying to ween myself off all these modern addictions.

Sometimes I just force myself to turn everything off and sit in silence and stare at the wall. Or if I'm at a restaurant I try not to pull my phone out but instead make myself sit there and be bored and observe things or just think.

Back in the 80s/90s you had no choice but to be grounded wher ever you happened to be and to also be living more in the moment.

Also, about the CD thing. I have close to 4000 songs on my phone but when I really want to LISTEN to music I sit down, pour a nice glass of good bourbon, put on the headphones, and spin a disc!

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 6 points7 points  (5 children)

When you look at yourself in the mirror, if you don't see Adonis's reflection staring back at you, Tinder can be difficult.

Tinder's like the Neiman Marcus of dating sites; a higher quality collection of women but much harder to plate or ONS (in my experience. I've read a lot of RPers getting consistantly lucky on Tinder and to them, congrats. It just seemed like too much work/focus/shit tests over something so trivial.)

If you want a lot of ONS/plate material, try Plenty of Fish or Badoo. Casually (i.e. just throwing up a shirtless picture and NGAF what happens) I'd estimate I've has 2 ONS from Tinder, 10 from Badoo and 40 from PoF. And on PoF the women'll usually message you (be prepared for a lot of single moms).

Again, just my experience. I'm attractive but no Adonis.

[–]whisky1111 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Thanks man for this breakdown!

[–]prodigyx 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Yeah the thing with Tinder is that you have to be top 20% attractiveness just from your pic. Then you need some very tight text game. You also have a very tiny window in which to close, i.e. if she matches you on saturday night, she wants to get fucked saturday night, not next tuesday.

I'm curious what age range you are pulling from POF. I realize it is a lot of post wall women on there, but are you getting 21-24 yr olds at all? My social circles have plenty of 24-32 yr old women which is why Tinder has been my go-to, just because the majority of its users are 18-24.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

On PoF, the majority of women I’ve had a ONS with have been between 20-28, single mothers, near-wallers or cheating girlfriends (honestly, I think cheating girlfriends has dominated as the class of woman I run into most often).

I like PoF because in most cases there’s little to no bush-beating when it comes to sex; we both know exactly what we want to do, they meet me at my place, we do it, they’re gone. It’s like ordering a pizza (honestly, there are times where some have come within over hours of “mutual liking” each other’s profiles).

The issue is POF’s a wild card. Sometimes the girl’ll have an older picture from when she was a HB7 and show up an HB4 like it’s no big deal (it’s happened on several occasions). You also get catfishers, sometimes to an alarming degree (I’ve invited a white girl over and had a black girl knock on the door).

Still, I’d take more options, less work over Tinder anyday. I simply get tired of wasting a bunch of time putting up with an HB7’s countless shit tests when I can play Russian Roulette on PoF.

I think my next big post will be centered around dating-site catfishing and how that translates to perceived SMV.

[–]prodigyx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks for the reply, this is just the kind of breakdown I was looking for. And I would definitely be interested in a post about dating sites and perceived SMV.

[–]S74RK 2 points3 points  (2 children)

High quality post, I definitely practice controlling dopamine stimulation and redirecting it towards useful endeavors.

My one critique would be your contempt of what is essentially modern technology. Does there exist a segment of the Western world that is potentially worse off because they don't have the discipline to use it responsibility? Absolutely. But my god is it backwards to hate on convenience and efficiency because of this. Going through the list, there are a lot of positives with the technologies mentioned:

  • Abundant movies and music: find higher quality titles faster, i.e. don't waste time walking to the Blockbuster. Thanks to recommendation systems, you don't waste as much time watching obviously bad titles.

  • Cheap food: yeah, it's mostly shit. But I reckon people near poverty are getting more calories and nutrients than ever before from advances like vitamin-enriched bread.

  • Mobile entertainment: again, there's shit out there. Some of it is pretty good though: 10 years ago I wouldn't have imagined being able to play a quick game of Chess while taking a shit. This is a net positive, to me at least.

  • Online shopping and advanced logistics: do you know how many millions of man hours are being saved?

  • Online dating: I still maintain that the original purpose is useful, that is, for those too busy to meet people regularly. Especially people who travel often for a living. Being completely honest, after a 60 hour work week, I'm not always up for spending 6+ hours at a bar/nightclub (at night) to get a quick lay. And no, I wouldn't sacrifice my work to allow for more of a "pick up" lifestyle, because I find it very meaningful. And so do others.

  • Internet porn: not gonna get into this one too much; for most guys it is truly a negative. Though as an occasional browser, I like finding new positions and roleplays to act out.

Here's the quote that bothered me:

"What an easy life does is it removes the necessity to have to work for anything because it’s all within an arm’s reach."

The problem is that you're shifting blame from the individual to society. So you were born into a society with abundant movies, music, porn, whatever. So what? It's still each individual's responsibility to adapt to their environment and make due.

For example, I take advantage of all the time saved above (from technology) to start a business. Thanks to Amazon and Ebay, I can order prototype electronics from where they are produced in Shenzhen, China, with massive time and cost savings. Thanks to YouTube (subsidized by ads on cat videos), I learn from programming tutorials, so I can build my applications on top of this hardware, etc.

Of course I'm sure you know this and aren't a Luddite. But I wanted to point out that the language and tone might convey that.

And I completely agree, discipline is needed more than ever in this day and age. Perhaps this is a fair exchange for all the advances we've had.

EDIT - Damn it, Kevin... that's some freaky shit you're into.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Haha, I really enjoyed reading your comment. I believe you may have read deeper into my article than I had intended. I'm not pushing blame towards society for influencing the individual, the blame is towards the individual that is spoiled by the convenience of society.

I watch Netflix from time to time, I definitely use dating sites often, and I would never argue against the convenience of Amazon (i just bought a pair of loafers off of there). The issue lays in those who take advantage of this higher level of luxury. I'm sure you know people whose entire existence is digital or digitally based.

I had a roommate in college that's entire Saturday was 4chan, Youtube, forums, Pizzahut.com, Netflix, Xbox Live, Skype, Pornhub, sleep. He lost basic social interaction skills, his health deteriorated, his friends all became digitally based, etc. Because it was all right there for him, he never saw the need to get up and better himself. The worst part is he's right; he could sit there for weeks, just exist, and be fat and happy with all of his needs met. He abused the luxury and in turn abused himself.

Now, he's an extreme case, but the amount of potential lost due to cases like this are astounding. That's more of what I'm aiming towards.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That was me two years ago.

It's really tough getting someone out of that "hole" of instant gratification. Seriously, it's REALLY tough -- it's much like teaching the blind how to see. Anybody who has been there will be able to relate.

But we all have to make that first step. Hitting the gym for the first time. Approaching a girl for the first time. But once you do, when you look back at how much you've grown as a person just from restraining from being on the computer all the time, you'll realize how far you've came... and more excitingly, how far you're gonna go.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

This is why I deleted all my online dating apps. I noticed a trend within myself. While I was getting matches with attractive women, I would flake on dates or not bother communicating effectively because I always knew there were more out there. Essentially, I was letting "abundance mentality" fuck me over.

This is also why I deleted my Facebook and snap chat. What's the point in keeping in touch with a bunch of kids from high school or old social groups I frequented if we're not ACTUAL real life friends or networking with each other? All I'm doing is trying to earn that "instant gratification" you talk about by impressing "friends" through witty statuses or funny snap chat videos while I should be impressing people through real-life accomplishments.

A lot of today's modern technology essentially has us working for nothing. No one remembers a snap chat video or a clever Facebook status after 5 minutes, never mind 5 years. During that time, you could have been working on something that everyone will remember you by for a lifetime.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You're on you way and headed in the right direction. I'd say when you're ready, go back to the dating sites but know what you want, don't waste your time on shit tests that aren't worth it and don't let womens' validations consume you.

And honestly sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are so validation - centric I wouldn't waste my time.

[–]grussvegas 1 point2 points  (7 children)

(I will know who to hire when I need me some brackets in a text.) Seriously, it's hilarious(probably only to me). Other than that, you're 100% right. Short-term gratification makes people lazy(Not if you're good at inserting some tasty-ass brackets though).

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (6 children)

I believe it's one of my adapted writing prose. It's an intentionally brash yet witty juxtaposition to my dull, mundane explanations of RP theologies (i.e. it's like all those chocolate chips in a big, delicious cookie. Without those chocolate chips, it'd just be a nasty, pointless, bland brown-colored sugar cookie. Who'd want to eat it then? Nobody. Except for Kevin.)

[–]2 Senior Endorsed Contributorvengefully_yours 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Fuck Kevin.(not literally of course)

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Are you sure not literally? Lord knows he could use the action.

[–]ssj4kevin 2 points2 points [recovered]

Why do you guys have to be so mean? :(

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Stop watching weird porn and we'll tell you why.

[–]geology_socks 2 points2 points [recovered]

If being successful means being an outcast, then so be it

[–]alreadyredschool 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"It's lonely at the top."
You have to surround your self with people that are secure, they want you to succeed. These people are the exception of that saying.

[–][deleted] 2 points2 points

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[–]Riddick_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Omlala, the TPR Wizzard Strikes again:

(I’m looking at you Kevin. I know that you’re reading this. Yes, I’ve opened that “New Folder” you’ve got hidden in your Downloads section)

[–]Johnny10toes 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You can take care of this with /r/stoicism and it's Negative Visualization. Works a treat.

[–]R1fle 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The more and more I read TRP lately the more I'm reminded to not come back. I already know what's right and what I have to do - coming back here for refreshing reminders is just complacency and comforting.

This is the only post I need to read for the entire weekend.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I really needed this. The: "..(I’m looking at you Kevin. I know that you’re reading this. Yes, I’ve opened that “New Folder” you’ve got hidden in your Downloads section)," made my heart shrink into my chest - and I'm not even Kevin...

[–]87GNX 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A+++++ Excellent Post would read again

[–]NutmegPluto 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Tyler from RSD talks about this sort of thing a lot, I loved your example of porn fetishes by the way

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I remember watching a lot of RSDTyler a few months back, and you're right. Porn is waay too convenient an option nowadays and it keeps men from actively seeking sex.

"Why go out with the possibility of scoring a HB7 when I can get off on HB9s every day?"

[–][deleted] 0 points0 points

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[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You shouldn't visit seddit or PUA sights. If you want to watch something hilarious (i.e. how beta PUArtists really are in action), go watch old reruns of Keys To The VIP on Youtube.

[–]sekzee 0 points1 point  (5 children)

Great post. Current struggle, so I can relate.

I know better; I just need to act the part.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

You know what needs to be done, now do it.

[–]DikIn1HandPenInOther 0 points1 point  (3 children)

That's not a solution though. You said it yourself that it's essentially an addiction. It's not a light switch that can be flipped the other way.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

No, it's not. And you're right, there is no light switch to fix it. But there are steps you can take today to greatly improve your odds against a dopamine addition (quitting sites like Facebook, Instagram, stop watching porn, severely limit TV, Netflix, video games, etc.)

No one will do it for him.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I did all those things and feel like I'm that lively child I was 10 years ago... before the Internet, technology or social media even had this big of a role in our daily lives.

It genuinely is how you live. It's how you were designed to live from a biological standpoint -- not through the technology we're so accustomed to.

[–]unpluglife 1 points1 points [recovered]

Pinched my catchphrase from Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym.

"It ain't easy"

Boxing is a sport where the hard work you put in in the gym shows in the ring. I translate that as my approach to life in general and find it very rewarding.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Funny you mention that. Boxing is where I originally gained my idea of discipline. I'd recommend boxing to anyone looking for a new skill to focus on.

[–]Tankquilizer 1 points1 points [recovered]

Any tips on how to reset your dopamine levels? I'm 18 and over the years I've noticed, I'm hardly excited. I remember I used to get really happy when I played a new video game and kept thinking about it but nowadays I'm completely bored of everything. I'm tired of being in front of the computer and yet that's all I think I can do during my free time.

I wake up, go to school, come back home, gym, back home and sit in front of the computer for like four hours until I go to bed. I have no motivation to study or pursue any other activity. Do I simply have to force myself into studying or doing other shit?

Sorry if I shouldn't use this thread to seek for guidance, thank you regardless.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I could be wrong, but this sounds more like boredom from predictability rather than the dopamine issues from the article. I'd strongly, strongly recommend you cut out the 4 hours of computing and find something social to be a part of after school with other people "in person". It doesn't matter how nerdy or weird, so long as it's with others (Personally, I've tried D&D, open mic nights, Jujitsu, abstract art, Aikido, boxing, break dancing, tennis, graffiti, skateboarding, and others. I hated most of them, and D&D was waay too comolex, but the ones I loved I still do to this day with the same friends I made through the activities.)

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Excellent post. Thank you for writing it.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you for taking the time to read it.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

This is an excellent post and something I was talking about with a friend earlier today. I escaped my problems with alcohol, video games, jerking off, and eating like shit.

...Only to find out that you never actually escape anything by living this way. You only stall the inevitable fall from grace. Well, I fell hard nearly three weeks ago. My LTR ended (which is a good thing, but I hate how it went down) and then a few of my friends abandoned me. Came back to the red pill and found out my situation isn't unique. I started exercising rather than playing video games. Guess which one gives the better feeling of achievement. I quit jerking off and now I try to be social and meet people. Guess which one leaves me feeling better. I quit eating like shit and now I feel more alive than ever before. I quit the alcohol and now I meditate. Guess which one truly leaves me with peace.

Giving up the quick and easy pleasures in life is the only way to make something of yourself. Throw yourself into the fire and let it forge you into the strongest version of yourself, even if it burns like hell.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I don't believe there's an inevitable fall from grace. I believe that when you come to a place like this, you open your eyes and realize that you and everyone around you has been falling their entire life.

You then search for a way to make the fall gentler. We all hit the ground someday, but at least we enjoy the ride down.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I guess it isn't a fall from grace. It's a very rude awakening, but one that is very necessary if you're ever going to change things.

[–]king_of_red_alphas 0 points1 point  (2 children)

We need to talk about Kevin.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yeah, he really needs to get his shit together.

[–]RulerZod 1 points1 points [recovered]

Pof always bans me for even being a slight asshole. And I'm not even trying to be an asshole in my profile just honest.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Don't be an "asshole", just be blunt with what you want.

I couldn't tell you how many times I've met a woman on PoF, she went on and on about how she's looking for a long term relationship, I tell her she can date other guys for money but we're just fucking, and we have sex that night.

Just tell them what you want. Worst thing they can do is say no. But again, it's PoF. They know what to expect there.

[–]RulerZod 1 points1 points [recovered]

I'm telling you I'm not being an asshole by our definition. Just blunt. A shirtless pic gets me banned.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hmm, take a picture at the pool? And also, something that's worked wonders for me, upload a ton of pictures of you with other women. They eat that up.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

How does the constantly improving never complacent life mesh with contenentment and well being despite current less than ideal circumstance?

Does contentment have no place in RP philosophy? Because if not...you can keep it.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Being content and being complacent are two different things.

I'm very content will always striving for more. I won't be complacent when I know I can do better.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes I realize that complacency does not equal contentedness; but what "more" are you striving for? This seems awfully close to what I have recently come to call the "sickness of the western mind"; always wanting more. More money more respect more toys more social prestige. I did this for years...never found well being. To me, well being is the ultimate goal...not "more".

Edit: But certainly if your "more" refers to self improvement...without regard to comparisons to others...then more power to you and best of luck in your search for more.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think your edit touches more on what I'm implying. Betterment for self is a much richer reward to me that some cheap validation from my peers.

I have old friends that go out and do obscene things in public and get arrested for a few likes on Vine or Instagram. They buy cars they can't afford and spend hundreds a week on clothes. This is the folly of the western mentality.

[–]plentyoffishes 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Pretty funny! And pretty accurate. However, I think the 80/20 applies here. 80% on this board are still in the anger phase, and it shows by many of the posts.

And AWALT may be RP but it's ridiculously interpreted here by some to mean all women act the same way in every situation, which is insane to think, so my opinion is AWALT is too misleading to have any useful value.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So long as they're in the anger phase and are working their way out of it, that epiphany will come with time; just like beginning RP, it's not something you can tell or explain to someone who isn't ready to have that conversation.

[–]DikIn1HandPenInOther 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Okay, I'm 26. How do I fix this?

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Go into "Monk Mode". Remove any unnecessary thing you turn to for instant gratifications. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat only serve that purpose and hold little value.

I'd stop watching porn (chopping wood is alright in moderation). Porn numbs your brain to the necessity of approaching women, because it acts as a fallback. It also subconsciously sets an unrealistic perseption of sex, self SMV, game tactics, self image, attraction, foreplay, womens sexual mindset, etc.

Use Netflix, Cable TV, video games in heavy moderation. If the majority of your free time is in front of a TV screen, I'd quit completely for a couple weeks and see how much that frees up your time.

[–]DikIn1HandPenInOther 0 points1 point  (1 child)

The problem with your little fixes of quitting is that the brain is smart - quitting usually doesn't work. Our brains know when it is being deprived of things that makes it feel good, so it seeks other ways to get it. Even if you quit these things, it will find ways to incorporate them back into your life, or just substitute the distractions with other things just as distracting to you but rewarding to your brain.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In those cases it's best to make sure the compromise you and your brain make have some positive influence on you and your future.

It tried to quit TV cold turkey and kept having relapses. Me and my mind reached a middle ground on non-fiction movies and documentaries with the occasional horror flicks.

All that being said, instantgrad sites like Facebook and Instagram should be avoided like the plague. There is no middle ground there.

And always remember, everything in moderation.

[–]sex_on_the_tundra 1 points1 points [recovered]

A lot of people are going to look at this post and think dopamine is the problem. The neurotransmitter itself isn't the issue, but rather how our society has developed to exploit it.

The issue isn't too much dopamine, it's that the dopamine is being released too frequently, which causes dopamine depletion. That's what people with ADHD suffer from. Their brains go to release dopamine, and all that comes out is fumes. The result is their inability to stick with one task or thought. Recent literature is saying that dopamine might be better thought of as not the pleasure chemical, but the motivation molecule.

I started taking supplements to increase my dopamine (L-Tyrosine is a good place to start), and I found my outlook and work ethic changing almost within a day. Got more done and stayed more focused.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think my article was pretty clear that the root cause isn't specifically dopamine. Blaming dopamine for these issues is like these is like blaming the existence of a double cheeseburger for the morbid obesity of you aunt. (not YOUR aunt, your hypothetical aunt. Sandy. The one with the lazy eye.)

[–]iamokwithviolence 0 points1 point  (0 children)

OP, that was very interesting post, but i didn't quite get what one should do. Live ascetic life?

[–]iLLprincipLeS 1 points1 points [recovered]

motherfucking omlala, i was searching for sasha grey on this sub while listening to space bound.. what i find.. of course, one of my heroes, omlala... brings a tear to my eyes that we are not from the same country to meet up and discuss matters of life and death.. ah.. fuck it.. this life, in another life (or not?) [btw, my narcissism persona starts to think you are my other dimension personality]... whatever.

[–]Senior ContributorOmLaLa[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Haha its always a pleasure to drop in from time to time. I hope you enjoy my next post. Thanks for your support, iLL.

[–][deleted] 0 points0 points

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[–]Riddick_ 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You have one: it's called conquering Yourself. The hardest Battle! Start anytime you feel like...

[–]lll_lll_lll -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Some interesting ideas but the whole post is predicated on the idea that what we want and what fulfills us are the same thing. Video games, lots of movies, pizza delivery, etc is not what we've spend a million or so years evolving our reward system around. I don't think these things make life "easier" because those are not really the things we need.

Sunshine, exercise, nutritious food, sexual conquest, adventure, confrontation, etc. these are the things we've evolved around. Not the ability to play angry birds whenever we want.

My point is that I believe becoming so detached from our natural selves makes us miserable and empty, not complacent.

I think we both sort of come to the same conclusion about prioritizing things that matter, but I think it's an important distinction to not assume that we're getting our needs met any better in modern time though technology than any other era. We're actually probably worse off for spending so much time sedentary indoors for office jobs and shit.