Be a man.

A-beaman

(Mitch’s note: I wrote this way back nearly three years ago. I still think it’s relevant.

“Get off the video games five hours a day, get yourself together, get a challenging job and get married. It’s time for men to man up.”  William J. Bennett 

I know what you’re thinking; this is going to be another article excoriating men for what many authors have described as not “manning up”. But, my dear readers this article is going to go in an entirely different direction; that subject has been written about to death. I’ve always disliked the term “real man” as if there were “unreal men” in existence. No, a man is a man regardless of his masculine traits. One thing I haven’t seen is anyone writing about the opposite, what are the characteristics that define a man? So I’ve been thinking about the traits that a man should exhibit as he lives his life. I came up with a list that I think hits it pretty close. So without further ado…

A man:

Lives his life without apology.
Is always improving himself.
Has integrity.
Doesn’t let his work define his life. Unless he’s an artist.
Realizes that he is being lied to by our institutions.
Keeps his emotions in check.
Is unafraid of death.
Solves problems, doesn’t cause them.
Gets things done.
Isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
Protects his children.
Doesn’t need any particular woman because he knows they’re a dime a dozen.
Is well-read.
Laughs at the world. (or stares at it)
Owns weapons and knows how to use them.
Suits up.
Has scars.
Depends on no one but himself.
Teases women.
Is unafraid to call someone out on their stupidity.
Doesn’t complain.
Cares about his appearance and demeanor.
Knows life is too short to be slow.
Is able to fix things.
Knows when to fight and is unafraid to do so.
Knows when to put people in their place.
Is logical but can get abstract when dealing with women.
Knows how to kill and prepare his own food.
Knows when to intercede and when to walk away.
Fucks like an animal.
Can build and grow things.
Walks away without regret.
Doesn’t compete just for fun.
Doesn’t compensate for his shortcomings, he tries to improve upon them.
Spanks his women.

And last but not least:

Never turns down a free drink.

I tried to stay away from the clichés like “never sweats the small stuff because it’s all small stuff”, but that one is applicable also.

If you have any more that I didn’t think of, please leave them for me in the comments section.

Chattering.

“We live in such an age of chatter and distraction. Everything is a challenge for the ears and eyes.”  Rebecca Pidgeon

We live today in a perpetually chattering society. We are surrounded by mostly everyone we have personal interactions with trying to get their point of view across or trying to justify their actions or beliefs or just talking about someone else to take them away from their own pathetic lives. Chatter, chatter and more chatter. It permeates every part of our society, from interpersonal relations to the TV we watch to our Facebook pages or our twitter feeds. All chatter and no substance other than a few individuals who we try to isolate that we really want to listen to.

A wise man does not chatter with one whose mind is sick. Socrates

I just wish most everyone would shut the fuck up. At least for a little bit while we catch our collective breaths.

Seriously, this has become a problem because most people that I interact with personally these days can’t do anything but chatter and mostly about inanities. If I hear any more about people I could give a rat’s ass about, sports, celebrities, supposed “reality TV” stars, dancing with the stars or any of the types of things that pass for conversation these days, I’m going to take two sharp pencils and drill them into my earballs.

But, if you have any type of social life, you are going to chattered about more than most. Especially if it is in a little enclave like I live in.

I should have expected it.

I am by nature pretty taciturn. I prefer to sit back and listen most of the time especially if the conversation is somewhat interesting to me. I’ll only interject if I think I can add some value to the convo or if I think the individuals involved are presenting themselves as infinite classes of idiot. I like solitude every once in a while also but it seems that is something that is getting more and more hard to come by these days. That’s why I own a little piece of property out in the boonies where I can escape to from time to time. But these days the chattering is like a swarm of bees chasing the elusive pot of honey until the end of their little bug lifetimes, the buzz won’t go away until they die.

Yeah, I know, I could unplug, go primitive and completely get away from the plugged in life that I live now, but in my opinion that’s the wrong way to go. I have to find another way, a way to filter everything that’s chattered at me and be able to glean the gems from the stream that is the chattering flood.

I don’t have a problem with STFU. Why does everyone else?

 

Gambling.

gambling-spells
“Part of the $10 million I spent on gambling, part on booze and part on women. The rest I spent foolishly.” George Raft

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m an unapologetic gambler. That’s why when my friends and I meetup, like we did all this past week in Tunica, MS, we try to pick locations that are near casinos. That’s mostly Tempest’s, Dr. Bill’s and my choice because we plan the meetups, we’re pretty experienced in casinos and we know if you’re playing the right games, you can cut your liquor bill for the trip by at least 90%. Between drinking all we could while playing in the casino and all the abusable drugs we brought, let’s just say it was a really good time. It was way better than our trip to New Orleans and Matt Forney didn’t get injured which was a major goal accomplished.

Good times.

But that’s not the purpose of this article. I’m going to make the observation that I’ve learned over the years is that you can discern the way a person lives their life by how they behave in a casino.

“There are many harsh lessons to be learned from the gambling experience, but the harshest one of all is the difference between having fun and being smart.” Hunter S. Thompson

There are only two types of gamblers; ones who are having fun and those that get emotionally attached to their bets, especially if they lose. The huge majority of people who visit casinos are of the latter category because if they lose, it will affect them financially. And, they always do because they don’t know the games, make stupid bets and think if they can get lucky, “just this one time”, their problems will be solved. I’ve seen it so many times it’s almost become a cliche, some poor schlub will come to the roulette or craps table with his/her last couple hundred bucks and lose it in five minutes. Those are the types of people who should never visit a casino but they are the same people who irritate me to no end in front of me in the liquor store buying lottery tickets. Let me put it another way, if you can’t afford to lose, DON’T GAMBLE. Because if you can’t afford to lose, you will nearly 100% of the time.

Then there’s people like Tempest, Bill and myself. We gamble for the fun and the perks of knowing how to game the casinos like all the drinks you can quaff down and free meals. The main thing we do is before we walk into the place is we’ve already set a “lose budget”. What a lose budget is the amount of money that you absolutely don’t give a shit about losing whether it’s during the first night or throughout the week. Mine during this past week was a measly 300 dollars. I don’t know why I picked that number; I could have gone much higher, but in the end it worked out well especially as the casino we were staying in has, I guess you could say, a lower expense ratio unlike Vegas.

If you have a lose budget, you literally can’t lose or not too much. If you still have money left in your lose budget when you leave but you’ve drank more drinks than you can count and ate for free throughout the entire trip, You’ve won. I’ve proved it many times in my experiences and nearly fifty percent of the time, I’ve paid for my entire trips just by having a lose budget.

Just as example, at the end of this last trip, everyone but one of our participants and myself left on Friday but this gentleman and myself decided to stay just because we both were driving and didn’t want to deal with Friday metropolitan traffic on our way home. Our first roulette session started about 1 p.m. and I was winning my ass off. He was losing and was visibly perturbed. I got ahead up 60% from my buy in and seeing his discomfort, I said, “Let’s get out of here before you lose any more”. We went to get a drink and I did something that proved a point to him that I don’t think anyone has ever done before.

Like I said, I was way up. I even won a $150 drawing for reward card holders Friday evening. It was a good trip. We went to my hotel room for a couple shots of Beam and I pulled a $100 bill out of my pocket, threw it at him and said, “I want you to lose all of this.” He goes. “What???”, and I said, “I’m going to be pissed if you don’t lose it all before the end of the evening.

Of course he couldn’t lose it. As a matter of fact, he came out pretty well ahead. It’s a lesson most people never learn but it’s important one.

And it works in all areas of your life.

Don’t vote.

“The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.”   Charles Bukowski

In case you hadn’t noticed, this country is voting in mid-term elections tomorrow. The MSM has been breathlessly reporting that the republicrats might take over the Senate and keep their majority in the House. Campaigns are going full swing, volunteers are volunteering for candidates, attack ads are all over the TV and the MSM is jumping all over any gaff or misstatement that any candidate might make.

It’s all a colossal waste of time and money.

Because in the end, no matter who’s elected, nothing’s going to change. Everyone who gets involved in elections whether they volunteer for a candidates campaign, put a little sign out in front of their house or merely vote are thinking that they are making a difference. They think that they have some say in how this country is governed when the reality is the complete opposite. Elections are an illusion that the elites stage every so often so the common people think they can make a difference. The reality however is that individuals who believe in this system are voting for their own slavery. Or in the case of tax parasites, they are voting to keep their snouts in the trough.

“Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on the man, never what he is to do”  Will Rogers

That old quote by Will Rogers is the absolute truth. If you’ve voted in the past for someone, how many times did he or she vote to pass some legislation you were vehemently opposed to? I’d venture to guess it was most of the time. Why is it when someone is voted into office, they immediately start supporting policies that go directly against the will of the people who voted for them? I’d say it’s because what the voters want and what Leviathan want are at polar opposites of each other. And Leviathan is going to pursue its interests, the will of the people be damned. Why do you think the rush to build the all-seeing surveillance and police state? It’s because the people have been waking up to what’s going on albeit slower than I would like, so the state has to accelerate its preparations for control of the population. Did any of you vote for any of this? And if you’d been able to, would you have? Would you vote for the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security? NDAA? The big bank bailouts? QE to infinity? Having to take your shoes off at the airport and get groped or irradiated just to get on a plane? Or hell, the biggest one of all, having half your income or more confiscated in taxes? I thought not.

“Why do the people humiliate themselves by voting? I didn’t vote because I have dignity. If I had closed my nose and voted for one of them, I would spit on my own face.”   Oriana Fallaci

So, I don’t vote. I know there are those of you out there thinking “How can you change things if you don’t vote?” I’ve heard the old saying over and over, “You can’t change the system unless you are part of the system”. I think that statement doesn’t hold up logically. Think about it, at work you are part of a system. Unless you are at the very top of the hierarchy in that system can you change anything? Very little as a rule, you are subject to the workplace rules and policies that those at the very top impose upon you. It works the same with governments, Those at the very top make and impose the rules and there’s very little you can do about it. So I choose not to participate because voting is in essence:

Giving your individual consent to be governed.

You are giving your consent to be groped at an airport, to be picked up and indefinitely detained, have all your phone calls and online activities monitored, have your tax dollars given to the greedy banksters, have your hard earned money taken away from you at the point of a gun and on and on. You have VOLUNTEERED for all this mistreatment if you vote.

I refuse to volunteer for all this horrific degradation of myself and all the people around me. I try to limit my exposure to any governmental entity to as little as I can even though it’s impossible to eliminate it entirely. I take back my earlier statement that nothing is going to change after these upcoming elections. Things ARE going to change; they’re going to get worse, much worse.

So what can be done? Damn if I know. I know that there’s nothing I can do about what is going to result in more human suffering than any other time in history. I predict the 21st century is going to make the 20th century look like a picnic when it comes to mass killing by governments. 650 million people dead in the one hundred years of the 20th century; there’ll be way more than a billion in the 21st century if the trends continue like they appear to be heading.

So, you want to be involved and vote?

The blood will be partially on your hands.

The touch of a woman isn’t the same anymore.

normal

Do you remember what it was like when you were a young man? When the promise of touching, kissing and the inevitability of sex with a young woman who liked you was intoxicating to the point of distraction?

I remember.

That feeling is long gone. I don’t remember exactly when it left my mesomorphic body consciousness, but it has been a few years now. There used to be a time that when I wrapped my arm around a cute girl that I had just met, the possibilities excited me to the point where the future was just a small point in the present that surrounded me.

No more.

It’s just not the same anymore. I get hugged, get arms wrapped around me, get kissed and feel… nothing. 

Absolutely nothing.

Maybe I’m jaded. I kind of refuse to acknowledge that conclusion given my propensity to be a bit empathetic. So where’s that feeling with a new girl that might be worthwhile to spend some time with?

Fuck if I know.

I’m coming to the conclusion that it just may be the women’s fault.

The agony within our voices.

agony

“First of all, do any of you here think it’s a crime to help a suffering human end his agony? Any of you think it is? Say so right now. Well, then, what are we doing here?”  Jack Kevorkian during his court trial.

It’s quickly becoming clear to me that being someone of somewhat elevated intelligence, no matter if you’re male or female, young or older or no matter your ethnicity, if you have human emotions, it’s quickly becoming obvious that you have no place in the current socio-political dystopia that surrounds us. Obviously that only pertains to us humans who still have feelings, the socio and psychopaths are quickly recruited into the elite institutions for their own purposes.

This poses a problem for us who still exhibit some human traits like empathy, the ability to love, care for our children and aren’t looking to screw over anyone who comes within our social arena.

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant.”  Henry David Thoreau

If you’ve been exposed to this paradigm as long as I have, it’s complete agony to even go out in a social venue and witness what surrounds you. The insipid conversations, the women who look at you with the “doe in the headlights” look if you say anything remotely intelligent and the stratification you feel anytime you are in a social situation no matter how charming or charismatic you might be.

It’s complete agony. And, given that I live on a little isolated island with an affluent population, it’s probably best that I don’t socialize much with the people here. They are so spoiled by their status and are unapologetic consumers of mainstream media culture. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t have much choice but to look upon them with contempt. They are emotionless, status driven, narcissistic and completely unable to connect with anyone including the people they call their friends. Everything is superficial including their supposed intimate relationships.

Fucking makes me sad and the agony permeates my soul. But, no one cares about that shit anymore, making true human connections have become something to be suspect of like I’ve heard multiple times, “You’ve got real friends? People you would die for?”.

Hell yes.

Unfortunately, my real friends are spread all over the country and the world. Men and women who know I’ve got their back and I know they’ve got mine. There’s nothing like the understanding that like minded individuals share; even though I might be here alone in my little isolated area, they are just a phone call away. You all know who you are so I’m not going to include a list, you all know I’ve got your back. Personally, if it wasn’t for this group of people, I have no idea where I would be today. It quickly becomes very lonely if you are surrounded by individuals who have no understanding of what you know and have seen throughout your travels in life. When you don’t put up with the average person’s bullshit and call them out on it, you quickly become persona non grata.

The majority of average people have no regard or awareness that you might care or know enough about them to try to help them out. That’s how you become a pariah.

I think that’s why we as a group make sure we get together at least twice a year. We would probably go insane if we didn’t.

It’s going to be a great time.

I wonder what we will do.

gated community

If things get as bad here as they are in places like they are in South Africa. This is from the NY Times:

JOHANNESBURG — I am sitting in front of the entrance to my new two-story flat in upmarket Sandton in northern Johannesburg, admiring the colorful bed of flowers planted at my doorstep. Two women in their sixties walk around the block several times, and each time they pass I notice their increasingly sweaty brows, evidence of an impressive effort to stay fit. They look like they might be training for a race, complete with sport shoes and sweat bands on their wrists.

A few moments later, a father and son stroll past, hands clasped, clearly enjoying the joyous arrival of summer at Africa’s tip. They smile at two little boys playing with a bicycle. The boys take time out to wave to them with infectiously beaming smiles. As soon as the father and son are out of sight, the boys fight about whose turn it is to ride next.

This appears to be a scene of middle class bliss. But it is not. It is the picture of artificial freedom that wealth and access to credit buys you in crime-ridden, and deeply unequal, South Africa (Emphasis mine) . The scene plays out at a massive housing complex with 91 semidetached, similar-looking, gray-brick apartment units that are enclosed by a high outer-perimeter wall with electric fencing on top and a single entrance that is monitored by security guards 24-hours a day (Emphasis mine). If the ladies were walking in one of Johannesburg’s many parks, they would risk being mugged. The young boys certainly could not survive on the roads outside our gates, given the craziness of most drivers here, especially minibus taxis competing for the fares of the poor. They would likely be run over, unless they were lucky enough to have their bicycle stolen first.”

This is what happens when civilized people are threatened to be overrun by the uncivilized. The example of South Africa, unfortunately, is something that is going to happen here in the states and it’s going to happen in the near future.

That’s why I titled this post, I wonder what we will do. Think about this:

“Experts believe the ubiquitous communities, known as “security villages”, in fact give residents a false sense of security from the high violent crime rates that plague the country.

“People are seeking to create a lifestyle that is out of touch with what contemporary urban living actually is,” said Erna Van Wyk, a psychologist at the University of Witwatersrand who specialises in traumatic stress.

People are seeking to create a lifestyle that is out of touch with what contemporary urban living actually is

Van Wyk’s research shows that residents often band together over shared values. In turn, they feel that threats can only come from outside their groups. “There’s a false split of where I am safe and … not safe in the world,” she said. “However, domestic violence is every bit as common in gated communities.”

Yeah right, that’s a complete load of bullshit. Here’s further:

“In the past 10 years, the demand for these things have increased almost exponentially, because people have been worried about crime,” said Garth Jaeger, director of Silver Woods developer Garnat Properties.

Jaeger estimates that “many hundreds of thousands of rand” were spent on Silver Woods’ security features to lure upper-middle-class homebuyers.

Residential, commercial and industrial security is a huge contributor to South Africa’s economy. The intruder detection services industry is estimated to be a 60-billion-rand (HK$52.5 billion) market, according to the South African Intruder Detection Services Association. Meanwhile, there are more than 390,000 active security officers employed throughout the country.

However, South Africa’s well-to-do homeowners are not just obsessed with safety. Branding of gated communities like Silver Woods also relies heavily on projecting an air of exclusivity and community.

They wouldn’t buy there if they didn’t care about security.

“Many people in gated communities seek to create a somewhat idyllic lifestyle that fits the image of village life prior to rapid urbanisation,” Van Wyk said”

Think about what happened to Detroit, Birmingham, Newark, Chicago, Atlanta, San Diego, Oakland and even near where I live, the northwest side of Jacksonville. All war zones and if you are of a peaceable sort, you get the hell out of those places. Walking down the street in any of these areas will in the best scenario get you robbed. In the worst case, you will be killed with no witnesses willing to tell the cops who did it.

So, we find places where this type of shit doesn’t happen. Might not be the best place to live but at least you can walk down the street without being assaulted.

The problem is, these places are getting harder and harder to find if you live near a large metropolitan area. Given that most people don’t have the wherewithal to live in a truly rural area, I see these walled, electrified and high security areas quickly popping up all over the country near the metro areas where people who are working in the cities pay the premium for security just so they feel a little bit safe.

Crime is rising year by year and it’s largely being committed by the more, shall we say, the vibrant among us. The example in South Africa is quickly going to morph into examples here in the states. I’ve seen it happening, every new subdivision that is being built around here is gated. That keeps the cars out, but it doesn’t keep the criminals from scaling the fences. The daily news every day is reporting on the results. Electric fences and private security are coming soon.

It’ll be a sad day when what is the norm in South Africa is the norm here.

But I feel it’s inevitable.

Deny them.

knowledge-is-power

What I see happening all around us is something that can’t be good for society or even civilization at large. I see large swaths of men and a pretty proportional percentage of women being marginalized because we have come to the conclusion that the institutions that surround us have become, if not indifferent, downright hostile to what it takes to maintain something somewhat like a civil society. This article is a recent example:

“Perhaps there is no greater example of that noise than the often touted “one in five college women will be sexually assaulted” statistic. On the surface, this seems like a frightening number that needs to be dealt with, but there are questions about just how accurate that number is. The number is based on the Campus Sexual Assault Study that was done by the National Institute of Justice, but Richard Moran and James Alan Fox pointed out the flaws of the study in a USA Today piece:

“The estimated 19% sexual assault rate among college women is based on a survey at two very large four-year universities, which might not accurately reflect our nations colleges overall.

In addition, the survey had a large non-response rate, with the clear possibility that those who had been victimized were more apt to have completed the questionnaire, resulting in an inflated prevalence figure.

Moreover, the definition of sexual assault used in this and other studies was too broad, included unwanted touching and sexual encounters while intoxicated. A small percentage actually rose to the level of forcible rape. By lumping uninvited advances and alcohol/drug-influenced encounters together with forcible rape, the problem can appear more severe than it really is.”

We all know about false rape allegations that are becoming endemic on college campuses, but what is more endemic is the attitude of women once they get to the point where they finally, after riding the carousel, have this attitude:

“Where have the good men gone? Their male peers often come across as aging frat boys, maladroit geeks or grubby slackers—a gender gap neatly crystallized by the director Judd Apatow in his hit 2007 movie “Knocked Up.” The story’s hero is 23-year-old Ben Stone (Seth Rogen), who has a drunken fling with Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl) and gets her pregnant. Ben lives in a Los Angeles crash pad with a group of grubby friends who spend their days playing videogames, smoking pot and unsuccessfully planning to launch a porn website. Allison, by contrast, is on her way up as a television reporter and lives in a neatly kept apartment with what appear to be clean sheets and towels. Once she decides to have the baby, she figures out what needs to be done and does it. Ben can only stumble his way toward being a responsible grownup.”

As we can tell, between the crap media is trying to cram down our throats and our own personal experiences, it’s not a good time to be a heterosexual male these days. When I go out, which is admittedly fewer and fewer these days, all I see is dumpy women and thirsty men who will date and pay for any woman that gives them the most minuscule of attention. This isn’t just in the social interactions that happen between men and women; it rises up all the way to our interactions with the local DMV, tax agencies, police and any other situations we are forced to deal with in our surrounding bureaucracies. We are supposed to sit back, put up with all kinds of abuse, not say anything about it and just deal with that shit.

Not me. Even though in the end, given where the culture is going, it’s going to bite me in the ass. Fuck it, I’ve done what I intended to do in this life, everything else is gravy.

There is a solution however, to all the ills that we see surrounding us and it’s extremely simple and extremely effective. The math works and if it became viral, what we have surrounding us would quickly crash and burn.

I have no illusions that what I’m about to propose will ever happen given my life experiences and travels but for what it’s worth, I’ll throw it out there.

Deny them.

Sounds simple but in practice but it’s not. And, I have no illusions that it will ever happen given that the worldwide indicators predict a slow decline rather than a horrific crash. But, I realize that there are some out there that might want to know what I mean by the phrase “Deny them”.

Some are easy. Like being an attractive male and never dating or having sex with the women that approach you. I’ve had a “Hell no” attitude for a while and multiple times I’ve been asked, “Why?” “Because you think you’re a special snowflake, fuck that.” But think about it, if a majority of men had that attitude, the problem that is radical feminism would quickly disappear. See, the only reason that this crap has integrated itself in public life is because most men will bang anything that will bang them back and will put up with any shit that these same women throw at them. Imagine if the majority of men said to themselves, “Fuck this”, and given the proclivity of women to need a dick on a regular basis, this problem would quickly solve itself.

Another effective strategy is to deny any taxing authority the theft of your money until they come to you for non-payment. This is easier than you think it is for anything other than property taxes. If you live in a large metropolis, ignore away. If you live on a little island like me, pay those and ignore the rest. The only good thing the republicans have done is cut the IRS budget. I’m not going to incriminate myself, but let’s just say I know someone who’s been following my advice for the past three years with no repercussions.

What else can you deny them? Well, for one, pay for everything in cash. And I’m not saying in the fraudulent pieces of paper that you get from your local ATM. I learned this lesson the hard way after my last trip to Vegas when I had around four grand of paper cash in my pocket when I went through the TSA checkpoint in the airport before I boarded my flight back home. Put the cash in my checked baggage? Hell no, it would’ve never made it back with me. Put it in my carry on? Hell no, they would have stolen it out from under my nose. So I put it in my cargo shorts side pocket. Went through a bit of shit, but I got to keep my own money. Since then, I’ve been putting my cash in various pre-paid cards. They’re cheap, and as long as you don’t have a bunch of the same ones, it looks like you are just carrying a bunch of different credit cards. Considering that the average american has four different credit cards, this makes carrying cash easy. Six prepaid cards at $1000.00 each will pretty much get you anywhere and anything you want.

There’s more that we can deny and I’ll write about this in future posts. If you have other suggestions, I’d appreciate them in the comments.

The essential question.

“What is an essential question? An essential question is – well, essential: important, vital, at the heart of the matter – the essence of the issue. Think of questions in your life that fit this definition – consider the question as a thoughtful adult.” Grant Wiggins

There is one essential question that a person needs to ask themself no matter what circumstance you find yourself in. This question is essential because it helps you avoid the pitfalls and obstacles that life constantly throws into our paths. This question is also relevant to every aspect of anyone’s lives, our interactions with women and men and other people, our careers, our leisure, even the things we purchase and the choices we make every day concerning our actions. Not many people ask themselves that one essential question however and we see the results in the unhappy lives of the people who surround us. A lot of bad experiences could be avoided if every time you had to make a decision or a choice you asked this one question of yourself;

Does this bring any additional value to my life?

Such a simple question but hardly anyone asks it. And not asking it of yourself has far reaching ramifications in your life. Think about all the times you could have avoided unpleasant experiences if you had just asked that one question before you made a choice or acted on a decision. Thinking about moving in with your girlfriend or getting married? Taking that job offer? Going into debt to fund your college tuition? Using your credit card to buy that new gadget? Ask yourself that question and don’t be afraid of what the answer might be. Because, if you’re honest with yourself, the huge majority of the time you ask yourself that question the answer is going to be…

No.

Most people won’t have the intellectual wherewithal to recognize the no answer. They will go ahead and do the consumerist action that in the end will make their life miserable. Sucks for them.

Think back on an unpleasant experience in your life. Would it have turned out differently if you had asked yourself the question and the answer was no? I know personally a lot of things would have turned out differently in my life if I had been smart enough to even think of that question, much less asked it of myself.

There are consequences when your start asking yourself that question. Suddenly, everything around you takes on an entirely different importance or meaning. The people surrounding you, everything you own, your job and everything you do are seen in a different light. And sometimes it’s not pleasant but I feel it’s one of the most important things a person can do to shed all the crap that society throws at us each day. And when the answer is yes, that relationship or possession is appreciated all the greater just for having asked the question of yourself and answered in the affirmative.

So ask yourself the essential question every time.

Just get ready for a NO answer 90% of the time.

And, let me know your results.