Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Year of Better Decisions

Happy New Year 2016
This year I didn't make the typical New Year's Resolution. No S.M.A.R.T. goals. No deadlines. No stretch goals to challenge myself. None of the conventional goal setting practices. None of the typical goal setting techniques have ever worked very well for me. Instead I came up with a unique approach. Well, but maybe just in synthesis, but not quite unique in concept. I actually borrowed from two books; Taming Your Outer Child by Susan Anderson, and The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and John David Mann.
The first book hypothesizes that there are three parts to your psyche: the rational adult, an inner child that just wants happiness, and an outer child that acts out behaviors to get happiness, but is confused by what is and is not appropriate. The trick is to get the rational adult to recognize when the outer child is acting up ("I want that cupcake!") and train the outer child to deal with the world in manner more appropriate to the goals of the inner child.
The second book claims that our everyday small actions and habits have a compounding effect over time. Bad small habits (like cupcakes) compound into big problems (like body fat.) Good small habits (like maybe fruit instead of cupcakes) compound into great results (like less fat.)
Tying these two concepts together, I came up with "The Year of Better Decisions", a process I synthesized for myself. The adult part of my psyche will make the effort to recognize the bad habits of the outer child and instead direct activity toward a better alternative. No long term willpower is needed, because 1) it's about rational decisions, and 2) it only happens in the moment, not in the future. So far it seems to be working (but it's only been 2 weeks). For example, sitting here at my desk, I have I a can of seltzer water I'm drinking. When I'm done I could just leave it here to accumulate as I often do, or I could take with me when I'm done to put it in the recycling. Which is the adult, rational decision? The decisions are often just that easy, and the benefits do tend to accumulate, even over two weeks. I haven't made a commitment to always taking my cans to the recycling bin forever, just for the moment.
A resolution to exercise every day for the year can be daunting. A rational decision to choose exercise over watching TV tonight is a different matter. A resolution to get up every day on time is difficult. A decision to get out of bed today instead of hitting snooze is just a single decision in the moment. The trick is to keep making that decision every time it comes up. It's a completely different viewpoint from the typical resolution, and much more manageable.
Maybe this idea will help you, and maybe it's just me. Happy New Year!
Image 2016 courtesy of krishna arts and FreeDigitalPhotos.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Fallacy of the Alpha Male

Masculinity is having a renaissance. After several decades under the thumb of radical feminism and media denigration, men are finally digging in their heels and trying to be men again. It's a good sign, a turning point for men, but the effort is not without its perils.

There have been no leaders of men for several decades, and few media role models. John Wayne passed away years ago and his masculine characters left with him. Clint Eastwood's masculine, but woefully incomplete, nameless man of the spaghetti westerns has long been forgotten. There are no definitive guides to manhood anymore. Instead we have dozens of upstarts trying their best (and sometimes their worst) to establish themselves as leaders of the next generation of men. So far, the world of new masculinity has avoided a Lord of Flies scenario, in which chaos ensues due to the lack of solid leadership and role models. (The notable exception being the Red Pill movement and various reddit forums, which are nothing but isolated pockets of male chaos and insanity, only suitable for those wishing to study internet chaos. In all other cases, these groups are to avoided by aspiring men at all costs.) Without solid examples and leadership, masculinity still has a long road to establish itself once again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

On Being a Man - Step 1

I have been fascinated by the concepts of masculinity and manhood, probably because I've felt lacking in those traits.  I've struggled with being a man for a long time, because nobody ever taught me how to be one.  That's unsurprising, since American society has stopped valuing manhood and masculinity, and in some cases actually denigrate men for being men.  Yet, I aspire to achieve the role of an integrated man before I die.  That's OK, because with a little ingenuity I can find enough information to learn what I need to do.  I believe I've found the first step, and I'll share these steps with the blogosphere as I learn them.  Hell, maybe  I'll even write a book about it someday if I can make what I've learned work for me.  With that introduction, I present what I consider the first step in being a man:

Friday, July 10, 2015

12 Signs for Spotting a Misandrist

Women, especially feminists, love to bandy about the word "misogynist", that is, a term to designate someone who hates women.  To a radical feminist, every person with a Y-chromosome (every man) is a presumed misogynist by nature, evidence be damned.  (Fortunately, radical feminists are few and far between.) Regular feminists are less likely to be so presumptuous, and fortunately the regular feminists greatly outnumber the radical.

Dangerous Woman Zombie
(Must...destroy...testicles...)
Image courtesy of holohololand
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A problem arises in that the radical feminists seem to get all the press.  Why?  Quite simple.  Radical feminists are exciting and unusual.  They do incredibly stupid stuff.  They get attention.  They get viewers on TV and page hits in the web.  Middle of the road feminists?  Not so much.  Middle of the road feminists are too intellectual and unexciting to get attention.  For that matter, you'll seldom see or hear the middle of the road people of any type on the news because, well, they're boring.  They're too normal.

The publicity these rare yet newsworthy radical feminists gets spills over to other areas.  Recently, even Psychology Today apparently needed more traffic to their site, so they got into the act and published a guide to 12 characteristics of a misogynist.  Apparently Psychology Today is less about psychology and more about click-bait on the internet.  I am waiting for their article called "One Weird Trick For a Brighter Disposition" written for the depressives of the world.

Oddly enough, as rare as the radical feminist is, there is one person that you hear even less about.  I'm wondering when the news outlets will cover these people.  These are the misandrists.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Everything a Guy Needs to Know About Dating a Feminist

In the March 2015 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, the editors have graciously explained to men their 14 important points to know before dating a feminist. Of course, this is all from a woman's point of view. Let's face it; the chances of a man reading that article are pretty small, unless of course he is a self-misandristic shadow of a male seeking ways to please a woman.

Photo credit:
FreeVerse Photography / Foter
CC BY-NC-SA
For the benefit of the few men who might be curious about this subject, I'll describe everything a man needs to know about dating a feminist.

Don't do it.

Of course it is possible, in the same sense that winning the lotto is possible, that you might accidentally find yourself on a rare date with a feminist. In that case, all you need to know is this:

Make her pay the bill.
Leave.

That is everything you need to know.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Life Lessons from TV Comedy

Image courtesy of Ambro
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
One of the most important life lessons I learned came from watching sitcoms on television.  Surprising, right?  Who would believe that TV comedy can teach anything, other than how to write unoriginal, formulaic stories around forgettable characters?  Well, it can, but you need to add an ounce of thought from your own brain to get the message.  The message is actually fairly obvious but sometimes you don't really get it until it hits you in the face.  This message came to the fore front of my mind after watching an early episode of CBS's "The Odd Couple" with Matthew Perry.

Poor Matthew Perry can't seem to get a break. This is his fourth sitcom since ending Friends, and none of the others have been hits.  Frankly, I only remember the prior two, having completely forgotten Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  I rather liked Mr. Sunshine, although it was no work of comedic genius.  Similarly, Go On was entertaining if not inspired. Rather than fail one more time, Perry goes with stock formula comedy in The Odd Couple, but fails miserably at that too.  The Odd Couple is old hat, first appearing in 1965 as a stage play.  The basic plot involves two completely different people (Oscar, a slob and Felix, a obsessive neat freak) thrown together by circumstances, in this case, divorce.  Perry's version is the lowest common denominator of comedy, with simple plots, and requires almost no writing talent to create the stories.  It is exactly that lowest common denominator of comedy, of human behavior, that provides the important lesson.


Friday, April 3, 2015

The Lie of the Anti-PUA

I was a young engineer many years ago when I learned a lesson that has stuck with me over the years.   Unfortunately, nobody was teaching guys about women at the time, but the lesson applies to any industry, including the Pick Up Artistry (PUA) industry nowadays.

As a young engineer, the latest business and management buzzword was Total Quality Management, or TQM.  Well, not so much a buzzword, but sound business practices to reduce business costs and improve product quality.  I was in the thick of it, and I studied TQM and took the courses.  It was a new way of doing business, and if you weren't at least attempting TQM you were behind the times.  Soon everybody was a TQM consultant.  I even wrote a mini-paper on the subject and presented it at a symposium.  Not long after that, a strange thing happened.  Consultants started appearing who were anti-TQM and were willing to help you, for a generous fee of course, get TQM out of your organization and resist the new practices because TQM would "destroy your business".  That's right.  Sound business practices to reduce costs were bad news!  That's when I learned a very important lesson.  Whenever a new market becomes saturated, an anti-market will spring up to make money on the exact opposite principle.  You can bet your bottom dollar on it.

The same is true in the Pick Up Artistry business area.  Teaching men how to pickup women has become a huge industry, bringing in millions upon millions of dollars for the companies who have quality instructional products to sell to men, and even for companies with mediocre and downright shoddy products.  The market is saturated, so now the anti-market has sprung up; the anti-PUA instructional products.