The scenery can’t be beat nor completely appreciated as my mind jumps from it’s beauty to the work I have laid out in front of me. Next to my laptop an old fashioned rests in the sun sweating through the glass calling me to taste its delicious nectar, each time reminding myself that at this part of my trip I’m supposed to be on vacation. My eyes don’t stay on that lovely cocktail for long though, the waves crashing against the cliffs out yonder pull them like a magnet, begging for me to sit and enjoy where I am, to be where I am.
It’s my first day on the island of Elba having come from Norcia and Sorano before that and Florence and Pisa and Menaggio and Milan and Udine and Scotland and Rome all before that. With my favorite cocktail lubricating my soul, keeping me in the present, listening to them crashing waves along the rocky shoreline and the 70’s soul music lightly serenading the evening from the jukebox in the bar that’s at my back, I’m satisfied. If only for a moment I’m where I want to be and there is no other place I’d rather be.
Where I want to be hasn’t always been where I am, and where I am changes, often. I’ll admit it, I’m chasing something; adventure, pain, my fear, new sights, sounds, and adversity. If I stand back and think about it a bit, I’m chasing who I’m becoming, if that makes any sense, trying to fill my days with as much life as humanly possible to create a stronger self, a grittier fella, and a business or community or mission that’s greater than myself or my own improvement.
Lincoln’s quote pops into my head almost daily: It’s not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years, as does TR’s great, Dare Mighty Things speech.
My eyes focus back to the laptop in front of me, it’s the first time I’ve had internet in a couple days and the emails have begun to pile up with questions I want to answer and comments I want to respond to from guys who are where I am, somewhere on a shared journey of forging a stronger spirit, soul, and self. A journey toward greatness and toughness and grit.
These emails are maybe my favorite part of what I do on a daily basis. The one on one interaction and the progress I see being made with the training and dieting and best of all the lessons I learn from you guys. One question pops out as I read through the emails, it’s a question I’ve come across almost too often, be it on the site or in the inbox, questions from guys asking for advice about a desire to find a girl, the girl, seems to be endless. Daily, even bi-daily a question arrives from a guy who wants to be fit for a lady or ‘the man’ so he can get that lady. Another question catches my eye where a guy’s tired of being lonely and wants to find a companion, a lady, someone to give his life more meaning.
We’ve all been there or are there. It’s such a common and strong desire for guys that it’s spawned the dating niche, an industry that shows guys tricks and tips to help them “get” a woman. It has, in some part, spawned the fitness industry, at least from an aesthetics standpoint where guys want to look better to attract women. It’s helped propel the financial industry and the self-helped industry populated by as many guys who want to get rich so they can get girls as there are guys who want to provide a service and help people.
It’s a great desire to have but a terrible quest to embark on.
With each of these emails answered I think of myself at a younger age, wanting that dream girl that I’ve created in my mind who still lurks there from time to time. Other guys, both young and old, seem to have a similar image of a beautiful woman who’s perfect for them and just waiting for them to be perfect for her.
So we workout and make money and get good at talking to women all in an effort to meet that right lady, or in some cases the taste of passion takes over and that single woman turns into as many women as we can possibly have, where everything we do is in the name of getting more women.
While meeting and dating and entertaining plenty of women should be something we do, it shouldn’t be our focus.
Where should our focus be? And isn’t any answer merely a subjective opinion that can’t be the truth because it comes with bias and influence and from the eyes of only one perspective? In the wise words of Dwight Schrute, False. The truth exists and the truth is what’s best for you as a man. That’s the truth, and having a woman, even if she’s not yet real in the flesh, as your only focus in life is not what’s best for you as a man. In fact, it’s crippling your self-improvement and your self-development.
Therein lies the answer to the email, by chasing a woman or women we’re curtailing our self-development, this internal evolution we’re all creating whether we know it or not, to be about what we think a woman would want and not what we want, the man we are, and the man should be well on our way to becoming. It will influence every decision we make, whether we’re conscious of it doesn’t matter, making sheep rather than lions, followers rather than leaders.
By having a woman tied to your value as a man…
- You’ll look a certain way because you feel that’s how a woman would want you to look.
- You’ll talk a certain way, and do things with that motivation in mind or at least in your subconscious.
- You’ll read books based on this desire.
- You’ll even make business and career decisions based on this ideal woman you’ve created in your mind or possibly even the lady or ladies that are already in your life.
What you’re doing is training yourself to NOT be an original. You’re quieting the strong voice, the warrior you are deep down and feeding the coward, the lap dog that you’re training yourself to be. What’s more is that this isn’t what the best women want. They don’t want a project, someone that they can mold, they want someone that will push them to be better, someone that they’re proud to stand beside and with, and someone who’s at least a little mysterious, a guy they may know but won’t fully understand. Everyone wants someone that will push them to be better, but for you to push anyone to be better you have to be better and constantly GETTING BETTER for that to happen.
Questions like, I’m having problems with a girl, she doesn’t notice me… or how do I meet more women… or how do I get this girl…? come from a good place and with a great desire, a strong one. In the end we all want to marry the woman of our dreams and have lots of babies with her and adventures with her and create a wonderful life with her, but chasing her is so counter-productive to who you are and the man and the warrior that you need to become because you have the CAPACITY to become him, that it has long-lasting negative effects that often result in us simply latching on to the first babe you find.
Woman want a leader, a warrior, a guy whose shoulders can carry his burden and theirs. So if being the best man you can possibly be isn’t enough motivation to get you out of the rut of chasing this lady, let this lady be the motivation that will get you out of the rut of chasing someone, anyone, but the man you want to be 10 years from now.
The Answer: Be a Ramblin’ Man
I finish my second old fashioned and the meal I had with it without answering the question. Sitting, thinking about how to answer I pack my bag, tuck my laptop into its slot and hop in my car, heading back to the town I’m staying in that’s 15-minutes away from the beach, up the side of a mountain at the end of a long, fun, winding, only half-paved road. I plug my cord into my phone which, through some wondrous piece of innovation plays the music that’s held within my iPhone in the speakers of the car. Incredible.
That’s when the answer to the email comes blaring through the speakers as I sing along at the top of my lungs as if I had a voice that any human would want to hear (in reality I’m tone deaf as shite and can’t hold a tune). The legend, Hank Williams, serenades the evening with a much more melodic tone so I just shut up and listen to the answer that every man needs to come to grips with in his urge to find the right lady, the best lady, a large number of ladies, or a wife…
… Be a ramblin’ man before you become a married man. And even when you are a married man don’t lose that ramblin’ soul, that adventurer’s spirit, that warrior’s essence and ethos.
Don’t become tamed, ever. Never be confined to what’s expected of you. Be good. Be honorable. Be true to your woman and never cheat on her, ’tis the coward’s route. Honor your lady and all women and all people by being a good man, a giving man, a courageous man, but be a man. We have untamed souls that yearn for excitement and adventure. We’re explorers and conquerers and Saviors.
Losing that wild spirit will not only rid you of the man you can be but it’ll disable any great woman’s desire to have a real man in her life. So not only are most men being relegated to the status of a lapdog, but their women are stuffed into a boring, bland existence with a man who doesn’t act like one because somewhere down his road he was tamed and trained to get in line with the rest of the drones and do as they do and be as they be.
That’s where you run into trouble when you ask How do I meet more women… or this woman isn’t noticing me, how do I get her attention…
Don’t chase her. Don’t long for her, this idilic figure you’ve conjured in your mind’s eye. Focus on you and your journey to become the best damn man you can possibly become. Get out into the world and find adventure. Train your body to be able to withstand anything this world throws at you. Train your mind to think for itself and think with logic and intelligence. Become self-reliant so you can be your own man, stand on your own two feet, and carry whatever burden you’re latent with.
As I pull up to the apartment I realize that’s where I am in life. It isn’t where I always was, but when the motivation changes from finding a woman to finding adventure, you change, you become better and stronger and you get some damn grit if adventure is what you find. When your focus shifts from finding a lady to forging strength and an iron will by doing and being everything you can be, you become everything you can be and you live life as it’s meant to be lived.
Stop trying to prove yourself to women. Stop trying to prove yourself period. Stop chasing ladies or trying to learn tricks that will help you get more of them.
If you have a mission and you’re focused on your shit, your development and living your life…
Women will find you. You’ll be stronger and more confident and funnier and more charismatic and meeting great women won’t be difficult at all, but get to that point first, don’t waist your time worrying and fretting about finding a lady and live life, be in the moment, and become better than you are right now.
If you’re living life and confident about who you are and where you are (something that takes a lot of work) you won’t put them on a pedestal, making you nervous to talk to them and self-conscious around them. If you’ve actually done stuff in your life, if you’re learning and growing, you’ll realize that no matter how beautiful the woman, she’s still human. She still laughs at funny jokes, responds well to a smile, is attracted to confidence, and hopefully she’s on her own path of self-improvement as well.
The best relationships aren’t those where two halves come together to make a whole, where both individuals are dependent on the other for support and for identity and meaning, but where two whole, complete individuals come together, love each other, and begin a new chapter of their lives together, writing a story that gives them both meaning and pride and love and a life that is truly lived.
With that, the answer to the question that’s asked daily by guys all over the world, an answer given to us by none other than Hank Williams, it’s time to set out on your own adventure, it’s time to buckle down and get to work, to hustle, to strengthen yourself through solitude and loss and failure and finally success. It’s a journey that will never end, but if you’re constantly worrying about women you’re getting in your own way, you’re becoming your own obstacle, preventing your improvement and stopping your progress. Get out of your way. Live. Be Legendary.