"If you're going through hell, keep going." – Winston Churchill
Popular culture (the Blue Pill) is afraid of the darkness. Disciples of the Blue Pill go to great lengths to downplay the inevitability of suffering and decay. Western culture is quite soft now. Instead of dealing with our problems, we self-medicate with drugs and unhealthy food. We distract ourselves with entertainment, often spending hours in Netflix fantasy worlds.
If you are a man who intends to self-actualize, however, you will likely reach a point where these distractions no longer work. A time will come when you have to stare your deepest fears straight in the face day after day, and every cell in your body will be screaming “Run! Crawl into bed! Grab a six-pack!” The truth is that life can be exceedingly difficult for long periods of time. It will put you on your ass again and again, until you become strong enough to stand up and swing back.
Here are some things I've learned in the eye of the storm.
1. Lose the Guilt
First and foremost, you’re here to grow. Period. Your main goal in life shouldn’t be to please your parents, or make your boss more money, or live up to some media fantasy of how life should be.
Growth involves facing and overcoming adversity; therefore, you’re allowed to have a certain amount of pain, darkness, and struggle in your life. All great people do. In our politically correct Blue Pill society, however, most people just want to be "happy." Who cares about testing oneself and pushing past limitations? That’s scary and hard – let’s just Netflix ‘n chill!
I’m here to tell you that it’s 100% acceptable to struggle, even for years on end. Any one who tells you otherwise is a coward, and more often than not has a stake in you sticking to the status quo. The system will go to great lengths - even drugging 10-year-old boys who don’t want to sit in government schools all day - to maintain a honkey-dory façade.
Feeling guilty about encountering adversity makes things twice as hard. If you’re in a dark place, understand that’s not only OK, but is exactly where you need to be. You’re learning, growing, and battling. That’s what living is! The commercial Blue Pill crap they sell you about how you can just sit back on the couch and consume your way to happiness is a total lie.
2. Focus on What You Can Control
Throughout life you will encounter problems that you didn’t directly create. Your neighborhood might experience a crime wave. Your parents might fight a lot and get divorced. Technology may render your industry obsolete. You can’t control these misfortunes, but what you can control is your response to them.
If your job is replaced by technology, you could mope about for years on end and think about the ‘wasted’ time you spent studying for your degree. Or, you could look at it as an opportunity to try something new, and a lesson learned about how you are not entitled to a high paying career.
Ultimately, it’s not your job to fix your mother’s baggage or single-handedly take on massive social problems (leave that to the SJWs.) The best way you can help the world is actually to help yourself. Stay in your lane and take care of your needs first. Once you become strong and effortlessly productive, you will be doing the world a much greater service than some Nice Guy who mopes around feeling sorry for himself and every one else.
3. Rethink Your Values
Blue Pill conditioning gives one no way to navigate adversity (other than numbing it with consumerism.) The ‘nice guy’ worldview is predicated upon resource abundance, equality, and life being easy. So what happens, then, when the Nice Guy finds himself in a not-so-nice situation? Often he will crack and undergo some degree of Red Pill awakening.
The Blue Pill male doesn’t know how to fight and be tough; he was never taught that these things mattered. In fact, school and the media actively tried to subvert and feminize his instincts in these areas. The idea of ‘fighting’ (not just physically, but mentally, spiritually, etc.) was not even part of his worldview, except as it related to Super Smash Brothers. To heal, the blue pill male must use adversity as an impetus to reevaluate his core beliefs. Nietzsche writes in The Gay Science,
“Examine the life of the best and most productive men and nations, and ask yourselves whether a tree which is to grow proudly skywards can dispense with bad weather and storms. Whether misfortune and opposition, and every kind of hatred, jealousy, stubbornness, distrust, severity, greed, and violence do not belong to the favorable conditions without which a great growth of virtue is hardly possible?”
Ease your insistence on having a perfect life as is portrayed on the sitcoms. Stop valuing comfort, and instead accept that a certain amount of conflict in life is natural, and perhaps even good. Indeed, there’s a reason the stories that stir us most deeply often involve great trials and tribulations. The Bible, Shakespeare, and other archetypal narratives are absolutely filled with characters who encounter suffering and loss. Examine your heroes – the ones with whom you most deeply resonate – how many of them struggled, clawed, and fought for every inch in their lives? I look at men like George Washington, Tupac Shakur (not as controversial as you might think, research him), and Theodore Roosevelt and I see straight, old-school warriors!
Question if you ever really wanted creature comfort in the first place. Realize that your old attitude was leading nowhere interesting, and instead start to embrace higher ideals. Strength, service, honor – these things will become real to you in time. Indeed, a full Red Pill awakening involves a literal 180-degree transformation in what you view as “good” and “worthwhile.” Ideally, there will come a point where you couldn’t waste time on the couch if you tried.
4. Take Time to Reflect
Life has seasons. Depression, grief, darkness – these are the winter.
Winter, both metaphorically and in reality, is cold, dark, and makes doing things a lot more difficult. This is OK – these same factors make it the perfect time to slow down and reflect on life. Where could you improve? What’s holding you back? What’s your plan come spring time?
There is great beauty in the depths of Winter. This is the time nature waits and rests, before the frenzied action of Spring. Don’t deny yourself a personal Winter – it is a season and it will eventually pass, but is also valuable in its own right.
5. After Reflecting, Channel the Darkness into Creativity/Action
Why are adversity, and genius so often intertwined? Abraham Lincoln experienced the loss of many loved ones as a young man, and also suffered through debilitating depression for most of his life. Van Gogh’s insanity is well documented. Winston Churchill called depression his ‘black dog’ while FDR had to direct the U.S. war effort from a wheel chair! There are so many other examples, too.
At the risk of sounding too New Agey, darkness and adversity are potential energy. If everything is great in your life, then there’s no reason to change or grow. Without adversity we’d just wheel around on motorized scooters drinking slurpees like the characters in WALL-E.
You can take anything bad that happens in your life and flip it into a positive. This is alchemy. Think about it: without suffering entire genres of music wouldn’t even exist (Blues and Hip Hop come to mind, but almost every genre deals with loss in some way or another.)
Integrate the negative aspects of your life by taking action. That way you’re being positive, while also staying true to yourself. So if you’ve suffered through years of being overweight, start a healthy eating blog. Share your tips and help other people in the same position you are (or once were.) If you were bullied as a kid, volunteer as a mentor for local youth. If you get cut from the Football team, use this experience to motivate you in the weight room. You’ll notice that taking action not only helps you heal, but also will lead to you developing passions, since you’ll be acting in areas that are of great personal significance to you.
6. Find Your Faith
The most important point here, and also the most misunderstood. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Buddhist, Christian, or atheist. Faith is not about hoping you might be saved one day by an external force. It’s about knowing that you have value no matter what. Your voice and your story matter and will be heard – maybe by one person or a million; the numbers don’t matter.
Once you accept that life is a journey – really, a battle – you will gain faith and understand that nothing can ultimately stop you. Dark times and obstacles will start to seem like useful learning experiences instead of scary referendums on your worth as a human being.
Look up, stand tall, and be proud of yourself. Everything in your life so far has lead up to this moment. You’re still here, still breathing, and will live to fight another day. What else can you ask for?
Good luck, and perhaps we’ll meet on the other side (if such a thing exists.)
EDIT: Thanks everyone for the stimulating discussion and encouraging feedback. I've read and truly appreciated every comment!