How Well Do You Understand Yourself?

If you have done all the hard work for some time, and your eyes have been opened to the current state of events, you might be left wondering what comes next. You have slept with beautiful women, gained the respect and trust of all that cross your path, and have worked on your physical and mental strength. However, if you are anything like me, at some point you might be left with a sense of incompleteness, emptiness, or some vague sense of unease.

When this happened to me in my early thirtes, I had to do some serious evaluating of who I am and how I would like to proceed in life. I realized that although I had done extensive work on myself, I had done little to affect all that I was critical about in the world . I was starting to become disillusioned and it was time to really focus on my values and further development as a man living in this world.

I began reading books on spirituality, Buddhism and Christianity. I tried to discover great and universal truths and I have spent the last years trying to apply these truths in my daily interactions. I have learned some hard lessons and have been forced to confront some unsettling truths about myself.

One of the most important lessons I have learned is that there are only two ways of experiencing life, and that is either from a place of fear or from a place of love. I cringe even as I write these words, because it has been exceedingly difficult for me to admit, but I had been experiencing life from a place of fear. Deep down, inside this physically and mentally strong, wealthy and well-respected man, there was a young boy who was scared of not being good enough. No matter how many women I slept with, how physically fit I became or how much money I made, I could never shake this sensation that I was not good enough. I started distancing myself from others, afraid that if they got too close they would see my shame and unworthiness, and reject me.

After a while, I was able to look more rationally at my fears. I began to ponder the question that if I have deep- seated feelings of not being good enough, do others struggle with this as well? And then I saw the answer to this question, everywhere.

We live in a society that is teaching men that they are not good enough, and men are struggling to convince themselves and others that they are. The media is bombarding us with the message that we are not good enough in order to make us buy stuff we don’t need, the government is making us feel like we are not good enough in order for us to work harder and buy stuff we don’t need. Society is making men feel like it’s not good enough to be a man so we can make more money to buy women stuff they don’t need.

I saw this in my close circle of friends- men trying to prove their worth because society and their parents had convinced them already in early childhood that they had to do better and be better. I saw that even though we are trying to help each other improve, we are basically telling each other in doing so, that we are not good enough as we are right now.

We all, deep down, want to feel respected, accepted and loved. I realized that I wanted these things as well, but I was actually removing myself from achieving them by building up a persona that hid parts of myself.  I was scared and wondered, if I were to show the parts of myself that I tried so hard to conceal, will anyone accept and respect me then?

I decided to face my fears and consciously focused on shame; became acquainted with this dreadful companion of mine. I started to notice all the thoughts that were associated with him, as well as the physical sensations. This companion that had never been welcome in my home, was now allowed in and I was willing to get to know him. I was curious to understand his purpose, why he followed me, and what he wanted from me. As I struggled to get to know him, I slowly started to accept him as well. Through this painful and isolating process, I came to accept myself. This acceptance made me stronger than I had ever dreamt of becoming.

The struggle had been so intense and internal that I barely had any social contact other than through work during this period of time. When I had gained enough self-acceptance and realized that I am far from the only one trying to shut these feelings out from consciousness, I came to a deep understanding that I must share my experience. Since I already was a well-respected man, I figured that the message would have a strong impact coming from me. I opened up to my two closest friends who were shocked at first, but admittedly, also relieved. They too began a process of self-discovery, and they have thanked me for paving the way for them to accept themselves. I then talked to my family and other friends, and from there on it became easier. Life became easier.

I’m not going to lie, it was hella scary to confess these feelings. If someone were then to criticize or reject you, they would be criticizing or rejecting your authentic self, and your mental defenses may be weaker. However, if you take the plunge and are acknowledged and accepted despite your shortcomings (aka humanness), you are granted a deep fulfillment of being accepted for all that you are. It is YOU who is accepted and loved, and this realization is the remedy and antidote to those unsettling feelings of emptiness and discontent.

Admitting your shadow sides to yourself can be extremely painful work, let alone admitting them to others, This work is for those who want to attain self-acceptance and to stop experiencing life from a place of fear. This is the hardest path I have ever traveled, but I would never want to return to my inauthentic, albeit safe and secure, ways.

Read More: Is The Pursuit of Truth A Mask For Negativity? 

54 thoughts on “How Well Do You Understand Yourself?”

    1. And when the comments took forever to reload, I read the article, which was really quite good.

  1. ..but what if you’ve already done all of this this and are still friggin depressed/not satisfied with life?..Another thing I’ve been wondering as of late: What if I can’t find the answers I need to important questions about life despite my best efforts?… not being able to find answers has driven me to the point of discord/disconnect, it’s like I wonder if life’s worth going on for since my life is not getting better despite my efforts.

    1. I come from a deeply religious family heritage and the first thing they would say is to find a church, get involved in a small group through the church, and work on your “personal relationship with Christ”. It’s easier said than done when you’re a single guy in his late 30’s / early 40’s still trying to get established in the world and don’t want be around ignorant people who want to meddle in your life.

      1. Im in that age group and I can second that.
        Im now at the point where I have zero interest in convincing the majority of selfish self-centered idiotic cowards of anything. All I want is to be left alone to pursue my goals with like minded men and those women smart enough to jump onboard this train.

      2. Thanks for the reply Nimby, but I’ve already tried the whole church/closer with Jesus thing. I really gave my best and honest effort to get into it, but it was all just so cheesy/corny to me. They ( church and religious people) sound like wussy dorks that are delusioned by fantasy.

        1. Trust me I know. I watch the live stream of a traditional service of a conservative denomination from time to time and occasionally attend by sitting in the very back of the sanctuary. For me the key is going through the organized structure of the service and transcending spiritually but otherwise minimizing interaction with people at this stage in my life. I’ve become disillusioned by clueless people that can’t relate to me (but ignorantly still try). I’m weary and tired of people and their games.

    2. Ray-
      I, too, struggle with the question, ,”WTF does it all mean??”
      I’ve been both happy and sad, and have come to the conclusion that sometimes I don’t get the answers that I’m looking for, and that no answer is actually the answer. I try to find meaning in my work and oddly enough, I’m happiest when I focus on helping other people with whatever I can. I’ve volunteered at homeless shelters and have brought food and clothes to poor families in the city. Help old people with yard work, shit like that. I leave with a feeling that nothing else compares to. Try helping the old/afflicted and see how much peace it brings. Works for me.

      1. …you said that you find meaning in your work….and that’s 1 of my main frustrations !!… the fact that I’ve finally realized that there is no career/occupation that I would enjoy. Every one of the jobs I’ve had I was miserable in, and I just cannot continue being miserable for the rest of my life. I want happiness/contentment but cannot find it at all.

        1. it’s probably because you’re trying to find the purpose the meaning of your life. For as corny and as odd as that may sound, when you find that purpose it will trigger that contentment. it’s very likely that when you discover your purpose you’ll be shocked to find that it has absolutely nothing to do with what you thought it might.

        2. “Every one of the jobs I’ve had I was miserable in, and I just cannot continue being miserable for the rest of my life. I want happiness/contentment but cannot find it at all.” I completely understand. I’m trying to think outside of the box and abstract as much as possible when it comes to “enjoying one’s work” (like discussed in the old testament book of Ecclesiastes). I have a boring quiet stable desk job that pays well with good benefits – management likes my work and leaves me alone. This is the least miserable I’ve ever been at work — and if this is ultimately what I have to settle for, being the least miserable, I will be okay with that ….because I’ve been a lot more miserable doing other things (whether it was the people, the work itself, or both).

        3. Read a book called “flow.” That will show you what your brain evolved to focus on.
          Then read a book called ” the paradox of choice.” That will show you what circumstance we are in, in todays pampered, modern world.

      1. Just some guy… because it drives me fucking insane with frustration/stress! Each day that passes that I realize I still don’t know how to improve my life, means the more stressed out I’m becoming. The stress continues to build up and I can’t take the shit. How the fuck do you people act so so happy or at least pretend to be?

        1. If you can’t find what’s “best” for your life, I recommend continually moving towards what is “less bad”. Use relentless self-discipline and structure to power through what is bad. On the worst day of the week (for me those are mondays) treat yourself to a nice meal with some drinks (ie. get a nice buzz without getting drunk). I make greasy tacos and have an IPA and a couple shots of crown on the rocks.

      2. it’s not about knowing the answers it’s about searching for them because just like life it’s not about the last mile post of the journey that’s important it’s the journey itself and the quality of the life that you make of it

        1. …Neal, see “searching” for the answers is exactly the root of my frustration, because honestly I’m so sick of searching and not finding answers it drives me crazy. I don’t want a never-ending journey of just searching. I know people will just say to relax and try to have fun with life, but I’ve already tried doing that and it still didn’t satisfy me.

    3. if you had all the answers and met all your goals…what would the challenge of life be then?

      1. Who wants a challenging life?
        If you had money, women, muscles or whatever made you happy, why would you challenge yourself?

        1. Because you’ll develop a tolerance. At first, 7.5 (girls) will excite you. But, after X months/years, they will lose their luster. You’ll then move up to 8’s, and then 8.5’s, 9’s, etc. Then, after hitting a ceiling, you’ll experience extreme boredom, ultimately overdosing on fentanyl, after heroin no longer does anything for you.

  2. Nice article. Some truths about ourselves are so hard to swallow because they can be depressing, so we deflect and rationalize. One thing I see a lot of — and suffered from from up to my mid 20s — is a refusal to fully grow up in coddled modern Western society. Aging and dying is a bummer, but fighting it is worse. I once told a long-time friend it’s healthier to ignore the American mass delusion that somehow we’re still “young” after 30. We’re not, and we’re spoiled rotten to think otherwise. At first, he hated this “tone-down” negative idea because we were both in our 30s at the time, when there’s still a sense that most of life is still unfolding and the full force of our male power is plainly evident. No one wants to think it will ever end at this age (a completely normal self-affirmation).

    I mentioned two key observations to clarify my view: (1) 100+ years ago most men were dead before 50, and we have unusually long lifespans now; and (2) ignore feel-good marketing hype and social conditioning by looking at life’s phases mathematically for proper perspective:
    1. Birth to age 30 = Youth
    2. Age 31-60 = Middle Age
    3. Age 61-90 = Old Age
    4. Age 90+ = Bonus Round

    Clarity is good. Embrace each stage. If you’re going to have a midlife crisis, get it over with at 29 or 30 and move the hell on. The fear of growing old and dying is something we all grapple with, and we should try to get right with death as early as we are humanly able to swallow the concept. Personal growth opens up and accelerates once we settle the score with the grim reaper. You have to be prepared to die. Thinking we’re still young at 35 can potentially keep mental maturity at bay and lower EQ (emotional intelligence)…and where I live, that’s the exclusive realm of deluded cucks, homos and ultra-liberal douchebags.

    1. “Clarity is good. Embrace each stage.” True. I grew up with parents who came from large families and there was about a 10 year period when a lot of my aunts and uncles and grandparents died. I had a couple of my own health scares too —- so it took me until later in life until I came to terms with the reality of my own mortality, and that eventually this body of mine is also going to pass away….ashes to ashes, dust to dust, just like all the others. Religious people can act and talk like they “know” what is beyond this, but in reality they only “believe” they do. I would rather be among humble “believers” than among ignorant “knowers” — as we have way too many of the latter in this world.

      1. you know the biggest problem with Believers is is that they abdicate any responsibility for their lives for the direction for their Curiosities and for searching for what their ultimate meaning is about by simply accepting that it’s outside of their control outside of their own influencing their final destination. in the end Believers take the cop out of abdicating any responsibility for their lives because it’s easier. knowers know because they took personal responsibility to find out the answers themselves

        1. Point well taken. Yes there are plenty of ignorant/arrogant believers out there as well, and being around them is just as aggravating as being around ignorant/arrogant knowers. I choose to be around both groups as little as possible.

      2. @Proud_Nimby @Neal @etc…
        You guys make some meaningful points on different sides of the issue. Adding to your insights, a few words — at first I was a total lightweight puss when it came to accepting my own death, and it took an excruciatingly long time to sink in. I starting fretting over it around age 25 and didn’t fully settle the score until I was 33. Spent about 8 years in the “why-I-gotta-die” mental wilderness…God and Christianity wasn’t able to explain it all away given all the 21st-century knowledge that had accumulated (though the world would be a much colder home without our deities and prophets)…had a couple legit near-death experiences in the course of risky misadventures (almost drowned in rough seas, etc., good times)…and had one constructive/useful 9-month depression (age 33, multiple failed relationships, etc.), came out the other side with “fresh eyes” and a big upgrade of the spirit, controlling functions of the mind, etc. the hardest work was on the Nietzschean/realist side of things, where there are no easy exits — I didn’t want to fool myself or let the panacea of religion distract me from the core fear that needed to be tamed. Key thing was not wasting a moment in youth and setting up some big early-adulthood accomplishments (become self-made, etc.), which I believe staves off regret from lingering in older age and death. Carpe diem, carpe noctem, until the wheels fall off…

    2. One of the things men need to know is that our minds change as we get older. Its not just experience, our minds actually develop to understand things we simply could not grasp when we were younger.
      With women, its different. If they played their cards wisely, then they get access to a great deal of social power. A 45 yo woman with seven chikdren that are married off with kids of their own, has a level of social power that most of the current crop of useless bitches cannot imagine. I know extremely dangerous men that would literally do murder for their grandmothers.

      1. amen dude. i wasnt born a wise old man and as i aged i came to realize that NO young person can absorb and understand what our elders teach them because without the personal experience, our wisdom has no point of reference for them. it why later in life they have their “AHA” moments where they figure out the “i told you so” moments. wiisdom means nothing without personal experience. no matter how badly we as parents want to save our kids from the pains we know and had ourselves, we will never be able to spare them. they MUST be learned the hard way.bthe best thing we do as wisdomed elders and mentors is helpnthem tonunderstand and join the ranks after the fact without harsh judgement. they cannot know what they really dont know.

    3. To OceanSon,
      I think youth is also relative to your options and goals in life. If framing yourself as not-young makes you feel better, then that’s good because presumably that’s something you have been shooting for all along; it fits with your particular values.
      But if having kids and getting established in some select trade (like pro sports) is not your goal, I don’t see the point in getting overly “realistic” (self-defeating) about your age.
      But it might be useful to frame yourself as being a man of action instead of young or old and stick to doing what you like.
      Then again the more guys there are surrendering to negative self-beliefs, defeatism and excuses to get fat and flegmatic, the less competition there’s for you (though admittedly far more bitterness towards you as well as they try to pull you to their level).
      I would also question whether the concept of simply getting over a crisis by willing it is backed up by psychological science; from what I understand, human psychological development moves in stages from childhood on and it’s possible for a middle-aged person to have missed a stage when they were very young. If a person has an unsolved issue, they cannot necessarily just ‘deal with it’ so to speak. It may appear to fade with time but this could be misleading because time itself does not necessarily heal but the potential developments and event that unfold in that person’s life that cause some to improve, some to get worse.

    4. I disagree about the life stages. I actually think that (for a male) there are more:
      1. Birth to age 12: Childhood.
      2. 13- 27/ 28: Youth
      3. 28- 50: Adulthood
      4. 50- 70: Middle age
      6. 70- 90: Senior age
      7. 90+ God’s bonus round
      Birth to age 12 is when a boy still has that child-like innocence to him and only really cares about play, living in the “now” and the company of his friends. Will Wheaton’s character summed it up in that movie ‘Stand By Me’ where he and his 3 buddies (all about 12) are camping out one night, discussing their favourite foods, cartoon characters etc and then (looking back) he says something like “We stayed up talking about the stuff you talked about with your best friends before you discovered girls”.
      Many boys already have crushes on singers, teachers, actresses, older girls at school or their babysitter by this stage- they recognise the way a mature girl or a full-grown woman arouses them- but it’s about 13 where they start to look at the girls their age, the girls in their class and think “Man, I’d actually love to fuck her!” The sexual dreams, idle fantasies and that awkward, unexpected sense of self-awareness and insecurity about what girls think of them and where they stand in the social hierarchy of their school, sports team, church etc. comes along with it.
      I’d argue that while the hormones die down, that whole youthful naivety, free-spirited risk-taking and hedonistic pursuit of the “next big thing”- the next weekend, the next party, the next lay, the next drug and alcohol-fuelled weekend blowout with the boys- lasts until about 27 or 28. I know in my own life (and having heard numerous other accounts) it seems to be this age where a young man suddenly “wakes up” to a lot of the bittersweet truths about women and about life that we discuss on here. He realises his 20’s are almost over and that he’d better stop fucking around and do something with his life. It’s at this point he stops taking his life for granted, realises how fragile life actually is and becomes more selective about how he spends his time and who he spends his time with.
      I’m only in my early 30’s, but I know that all of the above has been my life experience up to this point. I remember at the start of 2014, 29 years old, chatting to an old friend one night and saying “This is gunna be a good year for me!” Right then, a voice in my head went ‘How do you know that? You could be dead before the end of this year’. In that moment, I realised it was true. It took me a year or two to fully come to terms with the fact that one unfortunate encounter with a speeding driver, a runaway truck or a ruthless serial killer- just one case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and that could be it for me. My life could be gone in a second and fuck the dreams and aspirations I had beyond that. I’d not feared death before this, but it was the realisation I may not even see it coming- I could wake up one morning to start the day like any other, and finish that evening as the latest face of tragedy on the news bulletin.
      But I came to terms with that, I’m not worried about death because why panic about something that’s inevitable? I definitely believe that our spirit carries on beyond physical death, but if not then I won’t even be aware of it. It’ll be just like going to sleep and not dreaming. If God exists (and I think He does, although not as some man in the sky that fedora atheists sperg out over but as ‘infinite intelligence’ that lives within each of us), then God knows my true character and my real nature. He knows I acted upon the best knowledge I had at the time and my best understanding of what was the wisest thing to do. I don’t fear some eternal punishment for something as flimsy as following the “wrong” religion or making a bad choice because that’s a very limited, 2-dimensional view of the concept of God.
      While a man often deals with loss physically as he nears 50, he is still well and truly capable in mental ability, knowledge, wisdom and experience well into his 70’s or beyond. This obviously isn’t based upon my own personal experience of it, but from what I observe about countless men around me. I don’t think (for a male at least) there is ever a “best” time of life. There is always a compromise or a trade-off: freedom is traded for community or security, physical prowess is traded for knowledge, wisdom and experience etc.
      I’m actually excited about how much I still have left to discover and to learn, should I reach “God’s bonus round”- and I don’t see myself being one of these guys who has a mid-life crisis. I realise there is more to life than a job title, a salary, regular sexual conquests and a whole lot of ‘stuff’ that won’t give one shit the moment you’re dead. Like I said, death is all but inevitable- so why worry?

  3. I tried reassessing myself in my late 20s, by reading philosophy. Let’s just say, it did not go well. In fact, I paid a steep price, that I am still paying. Recovery consisted of a struggle on all fronts, including physically. Because my health had been ruined on top of everything else. Which I regained. Thanks to a switch to religion, and mysticism.
    By discovering manifested, or spiritual healing, is real. If you follow the rules, if you adhere to the instructions, you just find your miracle. Like I did. Which no one believes, of course. Except my born again cousin. Which did not herald a return to the Christian faith for me. Only to religion in general.
    Because it still left me with the same question that occurred to me in my late teens. How does God existing, give meaning to life? Of course the answer to that, just might depend on the very theme of this article.

    1. God cannot know itself except through its creations and their experiences.. God is a cop out for us making the most of lives by saying we have manifest destinies preplanned for us and we have no choices. we absolutely dont have preplanned destinies, its proven by choice, even random and illogical choices we make. we can never know what each decision fork will bring for us, and then we can never know what would have happened if we had made a different choice at it.

  4. I can relate to a lot of the frustration in this post, as I share a lot in common with Hauk. This is such a radically different world now than the world I grew up in — so corrupt with it’s agendas, schemes, propaganda and dark politics. On the one hand, we can’t entirely “not care what other people think” but we surely don’t want to live our lives through other people’s opinions of what they think of us and their approval/disapproval. I say try to improve your capacity to “believe” in God better and better every day, while being careful to be grounded in what you “know” —- while also being willing to learn and change. Put your true hope and trust in God — because putting all your hope and trust in people is only going to result in disappointment.

  5. It has been my experience that western women don’t want an authentic humble man. They abhor weakness especially self admitted. Any empathy/understanding or acceptance they do manage to muster is short lived followed by a strong disdain and unattraction to you. They want a man in his chad zone 24/7 and there are plenty of other ‘fake it til they make it’ men ready to step in and do the clown dance to sate the entitled kunts wishes.

  6. I’ve had bad things happen to me and have almost no social circle; I go to church events but the people I see are mostly couples, low IQ ethnic minorities (not trying to disparage them but I cannot relate much), super-religious regular people with very sentimental ties to religion and generally unattractive and unsuccesful (by superficial standards) people, who presumably derive some confidence from religion.
    I have some fairly strong intellectual and sentimental interests dating to childhood strengths and I pursue them to the extent my location and budget allows. I have not been able to find myself professionally because of a number of factors; the lack of a social circle being one.
    When I wake up, my vision for my future can be quite different from the one I have when going to sleep and I seem to be governed by negative memories and associations on an emotional level.
    The one thing I seem to have down is that a lot of the integrity and fun of life is based on memories and built on past events. I realized that even if I can never fit myself into a neat little box professionally, culturally etc. I can still have adventures and accomplish some unusual things. It’s a bit hard to resist people trying to force their frame of “what do you do? where are you going?” on me but I’m getting better at it, even if it annoys them.
    So I basically have some vague goals and I try to make every year a bit different; instead of thinking where I’ll be five years from now, I think about some exciting thing I want to accomplish in 2018, 2019 etc. and often times these things sort of aggregate and end up feeding one another.

  7. look I’m 50 years old and I’m here to tell you that at this point in my life I don’t think I’ve ever been more anxious Restless and drifting around aimlessly as I see major events happening around me. that’s not to say that I’m dissatisfied at all with my life the way it is turned out with my kids and relative success otherwise. I would not have that sense of unease and searching if I was completely contented by where I am and what I’m doing now. that all said the need for that anxious and unease that I feel is a necessary tool in order for me to try to plot where I’m going on my path towards the horizon.

    1. “that all said the need for that anxious and unease that I feel is a necessary tool in order for me to try to plot where I’m going on my path towards the horizon.” True. I have to find “it” within myself to motivate, inspire, agitate, focus and drive for change – because I’ve learned that more often than not, when it comes from others I don’t like the results. But there has to be more to life than endless activity and fluttering from one thing to the next. Of course giving up and being stagnant will ultimately have devastating consequences as well — ie. being one of those homeless people living under an overpass, etc.

  8. At 37, I know exactly who I am — not a very nice person. Not a team player (whatever that means), not social. Could definitely kill if the situation required it. Very selfish, a Daniel Plainview type. I fought with myself about that reality for a couple of decades, looking to religion, philosophy, etc., and decided it is baked into the cake, so to speak. There’s no changing it. I’m at peace with it, now.
    I’ll drink your milkshake!

  9. Feature photo of John Wick who just saw his fat grandma naked?
    But seriously… Most of our problems stem from over thinking the living shit out of them!
    The smartest people are also the most depressed, lonely, suicidal. Any coincidence? Tyler durden would have a field day with yall.

  10. one of the best films on the theme of self-discovery was angel heart. Zizek wrote about it from within the framework of lacanian psychoanalysis and aphanisis.

  11. I believe there’s way to much emphasis on getting in touch with feelings today. The over analysis routine has not helped me in life. I once had a job interview, many years ago, as a younger man, at a company that manufactured and distributed industrial steam process controls. The job was for a Sales Engineer position. The manager was a first class jerk, and despite having been flown half way across the country, the interview went south quickly. Much like a modern western woman, he kept beating, like a dead horse, the “you’re not in touch with yourself” and “you don’t have much insight into yourself” schtict. I was taken to lunch, then I asked to be taken to the airport early to get out of there like the fall of Saigon. There’s a young man in my church who just graduated from law school and has joined a local law firm. He’s 26 years old, a traditionalist, articulate, bright, hardworking, deeply spiritual, and miserable. He told me he hates the legal profession vehemently, and he wishes he could be happy again, and he longs for the days when he delivered propane in North Carolina for $12 per hour. I’m 60, and I’m here to say that many men have been sold a bill of goods, especially the younger guys, that a (often worthless) college degree, and a “career” is what will bring everlasting fulfillment. And much of the worldview on this site, unfortunately, is that some libertine/whoremongering lifestyle will bring fulfillment (the lift bro, score and fornicate club slut tail bro, screw and cheat everybody over bro, live like a pauper and do banal minimum wage or website jobs bro, be an expatriate bro, and god is dead be an atheist bro article after article). No job or career will fulfill you, and employers will flush you down the toilet like a Monday morning bowel movement (been there, done that). Having one’s identity tied to the live to work worldview, or to a hedonistic screw everybody over worldview, is the path to misery and despair. I learned, sadly late in life, that to work to live is the only way to go. I’ve also learned the hard way that you have to keep it under wraps from employers, and put on the facade that you care, when really you should not give a rip about an employer, short of giving a good faith effort daily in exchange for a wage. My current day job is just that, a turd factory where I give up time in exchange for a paltry wage, and I give only what’s required. Kind of like the government. I pay Caeser (i.e. taxes) what is to be rendered to Caeser, but not a cent more! For me, personally, my church and faith base, pets, hobbies, maintaining my health, avoiding miscreatants (difficult in my current day job), and a part-time evening gig teaching welding classes in a CC helps me to exist. Others can find what works for them. IMHO, there’s too much of this incessant and introspective touchy-feely having to be perpetually happy and entertained “bread and games” mindset being pushed today. Happiness is subjective, and up to the individual to figure out.

    1. Great comments! I also need to work on this: “I’ve also learned the hard way that you have to keep it under wraps from employers, and put on the facade that you care, when really you should not give a rip about an employer, short of giving a good faith effort daily in exchange for a wage. ” I work around toxic co-workers with no-good-deed-goes-unpunished management….so pretending I care is really tough —- maybe I should make it a point to meditate/contemplate daily on the jobs that I’ve had that were a lot more miserable than this one…that usually lifts my spirits!

  12. I feel the need to weigh in on this…I’m a 60 year, divorced father of 2 fine sons…I have a good job, nice home, etc…I have struggled with these same issues all my life and have found the Zen/Taoist path works for me….no deity to worship/ fear and no doctrine….physical conditioning is a big part of being resiliant….it has worked for me.

  13. Life has one purpose which is to get your DNA into the next generation. If you haven’t done that you have failed. I think that I read on ROK that something like 80 percent of females manage a kid or two but that number is lower for men. Many of the men here do not seem to have kids. Without going into a diatribe about the fact that today’s women are useless wives and mothers how many here have kids? Perhaps life is meaningless without children therefore without love? If women are not worth having relationships with and there is no love in their lives then maybe that’s why many modern men are so unhappy. What is the point of anything: muscles, money, travel, sleeping with lots of women, if there is no one to truly share it with, knowing that when you are gone not a single soul will care or miss you?

    1. It’s not really that simple and it’s not rocket science to figure out that you can make an impression in a lot of people’s lives even if you do not reproduce.
      You can mentor and teach people, produce literature and art etc. that will outlast even your potential children.
      What’s the point of worrying about whether someone will care about you when you’re dead? If you’re not religious, it should be your last concern. If you’re religious, you’ll just see yourself as uniting with your friends in the great beyond anyway.

  14. Life after death defies the laws of physics. Meaning has to be found in the here and now. I do like the comment that being spiritual means leaving something behind in the form of lives you have touched and improved or something you have created. Unfortunately too many of us spend our time like this and create nothing of lasting value. I have learned a lot from this blog when more significant issues are discussed, such as how to be a better man, rather than talking about how bad women are or the world or whatever. So I’m going to get to work and see what I can do today to help someone or create something of lasting value. Thanks depressed guy.

  15. I’m glad the author mentioned this issue of shame. It’s one I’ve come to recognize is killing my happiness in life. Shame of not being able to beat this social system and find quality companionship. Shame of all the fun experiences I’ve had…the wonderful places I’ve been…alone and not being able to share them. The shame of not having a more financially prosperous career despite two degrees in tech and business and working hard. Shame of not being able to overcome circumstances that were put into motion way before I was born, and shame for not somehow being better able to cope with them.
    Shame that I now realize I’ve never met a whole, normal woman or ever had anything close to a normal relationship. Shame for not being able to accept things the way they are, as evil as they may be.
    It’s true, really the only temporary respite I get from this shame is helping someone else. Don’t help someone else because you think women will see some ‘good’ in you, they won’t. Women these days have become such devils, they will probably laugh at you for it. They will mock you for trying to deal with your shame, or any other honest emotion.
    Lastly, I feel shame for coming to completely, and totally, HATE what life has become in our ‘society’ Shame for carrying around the feeling frequently that I would welcome the end of the world really at any point.
    Just hard to reach for positives here in the US.
    Once I handle my family obligations I’m getting out of the US as my last life goal. It can’t be much worse culturally other than in Afrika.

  16. Great article and good insights. Thanks for this. You (the author) said that the two big motivations were fear and love. You faced down the fear that came from shame. But left unsaid was if your motivation transitioned towards love. Did that transition occur? How did that happen and what did it look like?
    Other comments point to fulfillment coming from helping others. Is that what you found also?

  17. Action, Action and Action. That’s what makes a man happy. Find a hobby and put 100% focus in it. I do powerlifting. There is nothing like hitting a PR (personal record) in one of the big 3(squat,dedlift and bench press) There is a greek say (strong body means strong mind). It’s very true. Lifting heavy(and light) requires a lot of focus which makes your brain stronger which makes your nervous system stronger which makes your immune system stronger=health. Also lifting releases mental stress, helps you sleep better increases confidence, regulates apetite, you move better… I could go on forever. Get and stay lean,max 15% body fat. After my morning workouts nothing can bother me. If a miss a workout I want to kill everybody. For me is the best fucking therapy. I fill like a fucking king. Hire a personal trainer that knows powerliftig. On top of that bitches love it when I fuck them standing while holding them in my arms. And everywhere I walk everybody gets out of my fucking way. I’m 50 and I love my fucking life.

Comments are closed.