So you woke up one morning and decided your life has spiraled into the excess. You’ve gotten soft physically and mentally. You’ve got way too much stuff, your financials are in the toilet and you’ve lost the luster you used to have with your woman.
Losing the cool, razor sharp edge you used to have in your relationship was the last straw. You can see it in her eyes the magic and the excitement of old is now gone. But you can’t blame her can you? As you look at your waistline and the complete mess around you, it’s obvious that it’s your edge that’s been dulled.
The responsibility is yours and yours alone to remain the tip of the spear. You know that. At least you’re willing to step up and take the blame, so give yourself some credit. After all, no man is perfect. Many will lose their way for a time. What separates a man of character from the rest is accountability. There is no blame to be laid elsewhere. You will shoulder it all.
Fine. It is what it is. But it’s now time to Cut Away the Excess and Go Spartan.
You will go it alone if you must, but things are going to change. You’ve gotten sucked into a lifestyle that is made to please the masses. But you are not the masses. You know this because you’ve become like them and it now sickens you. Your current state of affairs will provide a nice foil for long term motivation and the future you.
There will be no more going along to get along. No more easy path. From now on it’s going to be lean and mean all the way. You will push yourself and get back to your physical prime. And you will also get off the Hedonic Treadmill of materialism and consumption.
Your new physique, diet and material existence will lay a solid foundation. They will be an affirmation to you and send a signal to everyone else that you are on the move and on an upward Trajectory.
And as you continue to harden your frame and rid yourself of material excess, your focus will shift to do the same with your mindset, financial matters and woman.
It all starts in your mind. You will Craft Your Life by crafting your mindset. As I always say, your mind is second only to your Soul as a gift from the Creator.
Just as you can exercise and change your diet to harden and sculpt your physique, so you can do the same with your mind. Put your Soul in charge and tell your mind what it needs to hear. Conveniently, your mind can be self directed to change the manner in which it functions through deliberate instruction and consistent repetition.
You will give it that instruction and benefit from the tremendous leverage to be had—you will change your mind and change your life.
A comment from Stanley in my post Enjoy Your Own Company – Live Deliberately says it best:
“A man is brought down when he cannot decide whether to be positive or negative, when he oscillates between the two like a ping-pong; for one can be pitiful or powerful, but one cannot be both. For, if a man would live a long, peaceful and noble life, he cannot entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about a beautiful life.”
So the first step then is to recognize when your mind is engaging in poor patterns of thought. Begin to pay attention to what you are thinking about. Become an observer of your mind. Take a step back and observe your thoughts each day. Make this a habit. And then learn to intercede and put a stop to negative and shallow thinking.
Intercede and then replace. Replace negative and unproductive with their polar opposite: the positive and productive. For every unhelpful thought there is the inverse which is helpful and positive. Even if you’re not sure if the helpful version is true, you should deliberately apply it anyway.
Think of it this way, some things in life are worth believing in regardless of whether or not they’re true. You’re not a fool. You’re not going to believe in fantasy. But for most of your negative thinking there is a polar opposite worth believing in.
Make a commitment to do this and it will change your life. It will lift you up and imbue you with optimism and energy.
As you become more aware in the observation of your mind’s daily habits, you will also see that much of your thinking is completely useless and a waste of time. So once again you will cut away the excess.
One way in which you can do so is to practice emptying your mind a couple of times per day. This too you can teach yourself, just by entertaining the idea and becoming cognizant of the repeating subroutines your mind is accustomed to running.
As an exercise, spend a few minutes each day in quiet meditation; perhaps in the car before you run into work and on the edge of the bed before you lay down to sleep. Empty your mind and focus on your breathing, even for just a few minutes. It’s no more complicated than that.
This simple habit will teach you how to put the brakes on, when your mind spirals out of control to where you don’t want it to go. It will help to develop your mental interdiction fitness—so to speak—and allow for some peace of mind.
This is a mental skill you should have at your disposal; to be able to put the brakes on and empty your mind. We can all get over involved in our lives and fall victim to mental duress. The ability to clear your head and get your bearings back will add tremendous resilience to your character.
Study Stoicism as well and make it the operating system for how you deal with life. Make it the foundation for how you think. Stoicism will provide you with a solid framework for how to respond to both internal and external events.
Internally you will employ Objective Perception and learn to live your life in the Present Moment. And externally you will learn to employ Willing Acceptance and Right Action. Read my posts Stoic Principles For Successful Living From Marcus Aurelius – Part 1 and Part 2.
So here are the four fundamentals you will deliberately master to Cut Away the Excess and Go Spartan with your mindset:
- Recognize negative thought
- Intercede and replace
- Empty your mind
- Apply Stoicism
When you master these four steps it will transform your mind. It will become sharp, disciplined and chiseled like a Spartan warrior.
Gone will be the weak, uncontrolled and wasteful mind of old.
And in it’s place will be the most powerful utility your Soul could ever have to pursue Your Life’s Destiny.
Get off the Hedonic Treadmill and Cash Flow Every Month. Make it a priority to add to your net worth after every paycheck. Even $100 per week will add up to millions of dollars over a lifetime of gainful employment. So set your weekly or monthly figure and make it happen.
Think of all the time and effort you spend at work. To put it bluntly, make it pay by ending each week wealthier than you started. All it will take is a little discipline and over the long term you will be able to write your own ticket.
Get this part of your life buttoned down. Adjust your lifestyle and financial overhead so that you’re living below your means.
Even if you don’t have 40 years to save, you can still make significant gains in a decade. It’s never too late to take control and at least realize a modest level of prosperity. This is something you will never regret. Your future self will thank you, trust me.
Make it a game of sorts if you have to and be willing to go hardcore to gain some financial independence. As the saying goes “stop buying shit you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.” Don’t be a sucker and fall for all the marketing designed to separate you from your hard earned income.
There is certainly nothing wrong with having a few nice things. As long as you’re meeting your specifically delineated savings goals, feel free to live it up. But if you find yourself upside down and not making consistent gains in your net worth, it’s time to Cut Away the Excess and Go Spartan.
Make it an Iron Rule to live below your means. Just as you will eat with purpose and precision, and just as you will train to Remain Exceptionally Fit for Life, master your money or it will master you. Becoming a slave to debt and your employer is no way for a man to live. It will suck the life out of you in the long run and you will end up half the man as a result.
Resolve instead to strive for control and prosperity. Even if it takes years to get back on track, at least you will be engaged in a worthy pursuit. There is just something right about living with restraint and purpose; even with regard to money. Good principles will lead to good things in the end, this is simply the natural order.
Step by step, make the changes you need to make.
Cut out the excess spending.
Take pride in a Spartan lifestyle.
And cash flow every month.
The bottom line with your woman is to make yourself the prize in the relationship. You become the champion. Flip the script and get your mate on her toes in pursuit of you. This is your Spartan goal. This is the cure all to bring things back to where they need to be.
Become the prize and you will Stoke the Fire in Your Woman once again. The magic will return.
The first step is to pare away at the excess in your life; to clear a path for success, to unburden yourself.
You will remove the superfluous and the wasteful. You will stop complaining, eliminate weakness and discard shallow distraction.
Next, and like a Spartan warrior fighting for his life, you will pursue your Life’s Destiny from this day forth; you will become the very best you can be.
Make decisions and stick to them. Take the lead and become the tip of the spear. Begin breaking new ground and keep at it. Live up to your immense innate potential. Become a high value man.
Remain outcome independent regarding your woman and focus on yourself. Let your actions speak for themselves. Eventually she will begin to see with her own eyes the effects of your transformation. And as a consequence so will other women.
Your woman will innately understand this and it will affect her opinion of you as you continue to break new ground. Her female instincts will kick in and the natural order will come back into play.
Three aspects of your woman’s evolutionary nature will be at work here: preselection, competition anxiety and dread.
As you pursue excellence over the long term in all aspects of your life, you will indeed separate yourself from the masses and become very attractive to other women. Your female companion will notice this and it will affect her innately. She will become more attracted to you as you become more alluring to other women. This is preselection.
Seeing other women take an interest in you will become an affirmation that she chose well. And it will help to raise you up in her estimation. But it will also trigger further instinctual responses: competition anxiety and dread.
The positive social cues your women sees from other females when they interact with you—the smiles, extended eye contact and body language—will create some anxiety in her mind regarding these women, as potential contenders for your affections.
This new realization will light a fire under your woman. It will energize her and she will naturally begin to work harder for your affections. Your Woman Will Work to Please You.
And the best part is, she will be happier for it. It will create an exciting tension and spark a new level of energy in your relationship. You will both benefit.
At some point, this competition anxiety might even progress to a level of dread in your woman’s psyche —the fear she can be replaced. You will Create a Little Worry in Her Mind as I have written. Once this idea takes hold, she will indeed be on her toes each day in complete pursuit of you.
You have now become the prize. The natural order is now in play and you will both be the better for it; just as you had planned.
You have cut away the excesses of an upside down relationship and taken it back to where it needs to be—you’ve gone hardcore Spartan.
Enjoy the rewards.
Sharpen Your Edge
Resolve to go lean and mean. Sharpen your edge, begin to Cut Through Each Day with a Vengeance and become fierce in terms of seriousness and commitment.
Excess is not befitting a man of good character, purpose and Virtue. If you find yourself living in bloated fashion both literally and figuratively, start paring away to reveal the innate chiseled core within.
Consider all aspects of your life—physique, diet, possessions, mindset, money, and woman—and begin to craft them with purpose and precision. Take control by purging yourself of the unnecessary, the wasteful and the weak.
And then pursue excellence in all these areas and you can’t go wrong.
Play the long game and eventually you will get your way—life will be good.
All the best,