I have been strapped to a metal chair, launched tens of thousands of feet into the clouds, and gone hundreds of miles per hour for thousands of miles… sometimes over vast expanses of ocean. Did I hang out to my seat for dear life while screaming at the top of my lungs? No. I just calmly sipped my diet coke and listened to podcasts on my phone. Why? Because I was on an airplane… and everyone else around me was doing the same. We’re all calm, if not bored, and waiting patiently for the captain to announce our final descent into our destination.
The airplane trip is the perfect example of the effect our group has on our mental state. If you really sat and thought about it, being strapped into a multi-ton metal tube that is filled with highly combustible jet fuel and then launched super fast into the sky is kind of a weird if not terrifying thing for any sane human. But, decades ago, we all decided as a society that flying is perfectly normal. Thousands of flights happen every single day with zero issues. No big deal. It’s nothing to freak out about.
Some of you reading this are in the WRONG group. Your group has poisoned your mind to the point where living life as a loser is seen as normal. I’ve been known here recently to get on women for adopting the mommy martyrdom persona. Too many women sit and play with their phones all day while literally guzzling gallons of wine every week because… their social group tells them that they DESERVE to do so. “Life is so damn hard as a mom. We deserve a big fat timeout.” As human behavior dictates, this can and does go way too far too fast. A well-deserved “timeout” becomes the normal way of life and leads to a whole host of problems.
Men, you are not immune to being infected by this loser mentality. I’m always amazed at how many men have lived DECADES of their life in a perpetual drunken zombie worker state. They count down the days until Friday. Friday comes and they drink excessively with their coworkers or friends. They wake up hungover on Saturday and spend the morning and early afternoon looking like the walking dead. Saturday evening rolls around and they drink a six-pack of beer and eat shitty food. If they’re lucky enough to be with friends, they drink WAY more than a six-pack. Sunday they wake up with a hangover again. Along with the hangover, they have that dark cloud of dread hanging over their head. All of us know the feeling. “Fuck… tomorrow is Monday.”
People do this drill for many decades. Why? They will tell themselves, like every other loser in life, that they have no choice. They have to support their family so they have to take the shitty job… which in turn depresses them… which in turn pushes them to drink a lot of alcohol… which in turn makes them more depressed, and so on. But, what really pushes them over the edge into this state of perpetual loserdom is their social group.
“Hey, everyone else I work with does it. Everyone I’ve ever known does it. It’s just what you do. You hate your job. You count down the days until Friday. You drink like a fish and complain about life. You go back to work and do it all over again. This is how it is and how it always will be for me.”
I was talking to a coaching client about his admitted drinking problem. He told me that in his early college days, it was just known that you polish off a 12 pack of beer BEFORE going out to the party where the real drinking will happen. One dude. Twelve beers. Holy shit that’s an insane amount of alcohol. “Hey”, he said, “That’s just what we all did. It was normal.”
Me: “Ya know… if my friend came to my house with a box full of Twinkies and just started eating one after the other, for a total of twelve Twinkies, all before we head out to dinner, I would look at him and say, ‘Dude… are you okay?’”
Him: “Ha! I never thought of it that way.”
WHY did he not think of it that way? Because everyone around him did the same damn thing. It was just part of their ritual as a social group. He was hanging around a bunch of immature college kids who all thought it was really cool to get obliterated every weekend. To hell with their brain cells and liver. It’s “fun” to overindulge, right?
Well, as any alcoholic in recovery will tell you… it’s not fun. It’s not funny. It’s sad. They wish they could go back to their younger self and slap the shit out of him. Probably one thing he would say would be, “Get the hell away from those loser friends.”
I recently attended a basketball banquet for my son in high school. Everyone was encouraged to bring food to add to a buffet for all of us to eat from. Based on where I live (rural USA), I knew what to expect, and I was right. Fried chicken fingers, insanely fattening casseroles of every kind (“Hey… at least it has broccoli in it!”), and a variety of desserts. If I were to get a small sample of each item and add it to my plate, as many of my fellow parents did, I would probably eat at least 3,000 calories in one sitting. That’s what most of those sedentary moms and dads should be eating over the course of two days… not in one sitting at 7:00pm on a Tuesday.
In that case, the groupthink was obvious: “When it comes to food, this is what we eat. Yes, I’m overweight, but that’s fine. Look at everyone else!”
This kind of loser mentality is everywhere. Yes, I keep using the word “Loser”. Sorry, I know it may ruffle some feathers, but it’s the truth. You KNOW what you should and shouldn’t do, but you do the opposite… and you use the most convenient excuse in the book to alleviate your guilt: “Well, I mean… HE’S doing it, too!”
It’s immature, unhealthy, and frankly, contrary to popular think, very not-masculine behavior. If you’re one of those guys that like to throw the words “alpha” and “beta” around a lot (a cringe-worthy habit for many so-called “red pill” guys), ask yourself if this overindulgent behavior on your part is inching you closer to the “alpha” persona you so badly want to portray. Hint: No it doesn’t. It does just the opposite.
I’m not saying you can’t have some damn fun once in a while. I’m not saying you can’t let your hair down and let loose on occasion. I’m saying that you need to watch your actions and be honest about when it turns to excessive and unhealthy behavior. We’re not just talking about drinking, either.
Some real-world examples I hear often:
Eating the wrong foods. “My wife, my extended family, my friends… they all eat like shit. Trying to eat healthy is next to impossible with them.”
Not exercising. “Nobody in my family works out. None of my friends work out. They all call me ‘gay’ for going to the gym”
Not growing your skillset and finding a better job. “I was lucky to get this job at the factory. My dad worked here for 30 years and has a nice retirement. My friends all work here. I hate it. Yes, we’re all miserable drunks. But… I’m not going to be the first guy to quit and let somebody else take this job. I’m lucky to have it.”
If you talk to people who have achieved what they consider “success” in life, most of them will tell you one powerful but sad truth: You’re going to leave people behind. Friends, family, some really good people… and many of them will NOT support your path towards improvement and many will actively try to bring you down. It sucks, but that’s just human nature. Your discipline and hard work are actively exposing their faults, and they don’t like it. Nobody wants to be constantly told, “You’re not living up to your potential. Your wasting good years you’ll never get back.” That’s precisely what your improvements are doing.
Be careful who you associate with. Be careful who you use as your role model in life. Be careful who you take your direction from. Even the people with the best intentions can bring you down and prevent you from living to your full potential as a man.