Who’s the Man You Want to Become?
I just got off the phone with a good friend who’s going through a brutal breakup with his now ex-girlfriend. I’ve come to expect these phone calls 2-3 times a day, as my friend is not handling things well (as I just finished telling him for the bazillionth time).
My advice to him is exactly what you’d expect: get on with your life, remove yourself from the outcome of trying to get her back, meet other girls. Yet I know my little cheerful pep talks are only air, falling on deaf ears that only want to hear a fantasy tale with a happy ending. I know this because that’s all I want to hear the times I’ve been the one on the other end of the receiver.
Yet the cheerleader routine must be recited, and I obliged. However, somewhere in between riffing on the theme of “Moving On” and “Distract Yourself with Other Shit,” a curious turn of phase left my mouth. I asked my friend, “How do you think the man you WANT to become would handle this situation?”
When there was radio silence on the other end, I jumped at the opportunity to browbeat my heartbroken friend a bit (hey, tough love!), telling him: “I’ll bet the guy you picture yourself becoming wouldn’t be whining on the phone with me, trying to concoct some Wile E. Coyote plan to woo your ex back, now would he?”
Again, radio silence.
So I continued, “Fuck no! That guy would be using his newfound free time to build his empire. You have dreams, you have things you want to accomplish, you have a vision that’s not yet realized, right? Don’t you? Then why don’t you focus on THAT rather than live in the past, wishing you could change someone’s feelings for you!”
After a few more encouraging platitudes, I hung up and reflected on what I just said. How would the man I want to become handle EVERYTHING? All-too-often I lose sight of what I really want in life, opting for simple pleasures and immediate gratification. Now, part of becoming the guy I want to become is practicing some moderation and knowing how to kick back and enjoy myself.
Yet, if I’m honest, “moderation” is often just a convenient euphemism for “doing whatever the fuck I want.” How many times a day must I check Facebook? How many times have I blown off working out to kick back with some cold beers? How many mornings have I slept in late to avoid working on my novel? Is this the man I want to become, or is it the man who it’s easier to be?
So often the advice I personally need most is the advice I’m preaching the hardest. And if I take honest inventory of my life, probably close to 90% of my decisions aren’t made by the man I want to become. They’re made doing what’s easier.
Recently I posted on the TSB Fan page a challenge for men to stop watching porn. As always, whenever I mention porn, I was met with a zealous rebuttal where guys asserted the “importance” of porn in their lives. The debate left me feeling sad for the same reason my friend’s disregard of my motivational breakup speech made me sad. People just do what’s easy and then backwards rationalize their shitty decisions. I call it “moderation;” the guys on the TSB Fan page call it “importance;” my newly single friend calls it “but I can’t get over her!” Whatever label you give it, the implications are the same: you’re not acting like the man you want to become!
To take it a step further, and to invoke a graphic image, imagine yourself a few moments post-ejaculation after a steamy session of watching internet porn. Imagine the mess in front of you that you now need to wipe up, imagine the faked screams coming from your computer speakers, which now aren’t sexy or arousing at all, imagine that feeling the moment after you’ve came yet again, but you’re still as lonely and as single as you were before. Imagining that? Now picture the guy you WANT to become looking over that scene. Would he be impressed? Proud? Happy you’re spending your time jacking off to other people having exaggerated sex?
Or would he want better for you? Would he hope you’d use your time to become…well…HIM. And that’s the note I want end on. As always, I’m not saying you need to become some super productive robot that only pursues higher goals and aspirations, yet I am challenging you to stop taking the easy way. No matter what life throws your way—and even if life isn’t throwing ANYTHING your way—remember that the decisions you make will either help you become the man you want yourself to be, or they’ll just be euphemisms for taking the low road.
>>>To Learn More From Rob, Check Out “The 4 Elements of Game” where he breaks down game into four simple adjustments.
About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.