The first word in Self-Improvement and Self-Mastery for men is both the starting and ending point of pertinent reference. There is no need to compare yourself to others, but only to focus your attention directly inward.
Focus on becoming the very best you can be. Brush all external comparisons aside. Comport yourself without ego and do what you know is right. Make every decision every day the right one and you cannot fail by definition.
No matter what your station in life you can attain Self-Mastery.
You are not a child anymore and you are not an adolescent without life experience. If you’re like me, you know where your weaknesses lie and are probably sick and tired of failing yourself. You also know with absolute certainty what it is you should be doing to better yourself in the present.
There is a high order of dignity for a man who pursues and attains Self-Mastery. Make a final decision about how you want to live until your last day and accept the glory that awaits you for doing so.
Without a doubt we are living as men in the most exciting time in history. The only barrier between you and the world’s greatest experts in every possible field of interest is – YOU.
This new reality opens up the world of possibilities for every man with ambition and discipline. The world is literally yours if you are willing to open your mind, pursue your interests and then take action. I’m not sure this was really ever the case to this extent until the last decade or so
With a tablet and Wi-Fi or a computer and an internet connection, in a few key strokes you can be logged onto a resource such as Amazon.com and literally have to world of knowledge at your feet.
Even 25 years ago this was not possible. Sure you could go to a library or pay for a formal education, but in no way was it as easy and inexpensive to get access to anywhere close to the breadth of information now available.
Think of the topics of interest available to you as a man interested in pursuing Self-Mastery: mindset, money management, investment, business, wealth, technical expertise, nutrition, diet, fitness, lifestyle, women, language, travel, culture, history, biographies, the arts and much much more.
And the best part is that there are basically no barriers to this information anymore. Sure each purchase will cost a few dollars, but in exchange you will acquire a life’s experience in many cases for the cost of a six-pack of beer.
Think of that last comparison for a moment. In one evening the beer will be gone and literally flushed down the toilet. For the same cost you can purchase the expertise from some of the world’s most successful people and possibly change your life.
This is true freedom gentlemen – never before in history has so much been available to each and every one of us, barrier free.
Make the best investment of your life. Get a login to Amazon, purchase a tablet or Kindle reader and start downloading e-books. Follow your interests and read every single evening before sleep.
Continue this pattern for a year, then two and three years. You should total 20-50 books a year at that rate. Trust me, at some point you will be twice the man you are today.
You’ll be twice the man and just getting started. From there the sky is the limit. Your thinking will naturally evolve to a higher level and your brain will physically transform itself.
With a new brain and a new physique you will indeed be on the road to Self-Mastery and the glorious life you deserve.
With discipline, knowledge and planning, financial prosperity and control is available to every man. And certainly, if one is to pursue Self-Mastery, a man must take control of his financials.
By prosperity and control it is not meant that you necessarily need to become rich (although if you start early enough it can certainly be accomplished by all working men), but simply that you attain a measure of financial independence apart from trading your labor for money as your only means for survival.
Even if you choose or need to work to maintain a certain standard of living in your later years, you should have the savings to draw from for your basic needs.
Along the way it is also a matter of Self-Mastery that a man has at least a year’s expenses available in case of emergency or job loss. Do not live your life as a slave to your employer – live life as a man with confidence and verve. Live as a man of freedom and self-determination.
What we are looking for here long term is a lump sum of money from which you can eventually draw 4-5% per year, adjusting for inflation in perpetuity.
Recent studies regarding the “4% Rule” as it is called put the likelihood at a near certainty that savings in a U.S. whole market index fund (50% stocks/50%bonds) should last for 30 years if drawn at a rate of 4%.
For example, if you were to accumulate 1 million dollars you should be able to pull $40,000 from that nest egg, adjusted for inflation every year, for 30 years. The chances are also better than even, that the principle sum in question will grow over time.
My thinking on this matter is that whatever savings figure you can get to is always going to be worthwhile. Better to have something rather than nothing right? If a man gets to the point where he has no debt through planning and diligence, it doesn’t take much to live off of. Anything that can take the edge off of basic living expenses at that point would be a huge plus.
The big picture plan here is quite simple: avoid debt, spend less than you earn and invest the rest. It is never too late to start. In 10 years you can make significant gains.
Start by saving $1000 cash, and then work to $5000. This should cover any future emergency expenses that would put you further in debt.
Go minimalist and downsize if you have to. Get your expenses below your income.
Next pay off your debt like your life depended on it. Once that’s done, invest as much as you possibly can in a U.S. market stock index fund and let it ride.
Be courageous and realize there will be ups and downs. Consider the downturns as a sale on a piece of every publicly owned corporation in America. Keep buying and ride it out.
Then when it’s time, go 50-50 stocks-bonds to smooth the ride a little and yet maintain the upside of the equity market.
As the saying goes, have the courage to do the things that no one will do now, so that you can do the things that no one can do later.
Be a man and pursue Self-Mastery through financial prosperity and control.
Order and symmetry are what make life worth living in my opinion. Both of those and perhaps a couple of other areas of interest that we can probably all agree on relating to the female of the species.
A man of Self-Mastery must get his house in order. With all of the variables in the world today that are outside of our control, a man must bear down where he can. One of the most important areas of control that needs to be mastered is the home.
Do it for yourself and as a message to your woman. Make your home a refuge from the disorder and chaos that is the outside world. And also make a clear cut statement of leadership and vision that any woman can understand.
No matter how hard you have to fight during the day at work, design it so there will always be a place of order and symmetry to go back to. Set it up so that in the back of your mind there is always an ace in your back pocket. It will give you the courage and resilience to fight as hard as you need to each day.
Making your home a concrete example of your new path is also speaking a language that your woman will understand. Along with the many other areas you will pursue, the resulting effect will be sensational. A man of rising Trajectory such as you combined with a new appreciation for symmetry and order is a man of noted interest and high value to his female companion.
To start, get rid of the clutter. It is said that the average American household contains 300,000 items. Once again, separate yourself from the masses and go minimalist. As the saying goes, clean house. Go lean and razor sharp.
Create open space. Focus on having a few nice things that you can appreciate. Enjoy the peace of mind that will accompany a Spartan yet elegant home.
Second, get your bookkeeping down to an orderly scheduled routine. Besides getting control over your long term financial prospects as described above, get on top of your living expenses and daily spending.
Use a debit or credit card for all the expenditures that you can. If you have to draw some cash, keep it minimal. Get a copy of Quicken Personal Financial Software or sign up at mint.com so that you can track and categorize all of your expenses.
You can even create an expense category called “cash” for those cash withdrawals that are necessary. That way you can keep track of your mad money spending.
The above modern software will allow you to import all your expenses and assign them to an expense category. Each payee or vendor that you purchase from will be assigned a default expense category after the first entry. This will make your bookkeeping entries quick and painless. Do this on a weekly basis along with paying your bills.
The end result will be a clear cut picture of how you spend your money. From there you have no excuses and neither does your woman. Create a budget in which you spend less than you earn, avoid debt and invest the rest. Become a master of your personal finances.
The last consideration is going hard core minimalist and downsizing your home. This is the path we took. We went from an oversized 50 year old home to a right sized brand new modern construction condominium. Our monthly overhead is now 60% of what is was before maintenance in our old home. We shed about 90% of what we owned and purchased a few nice things.
The end result is an elegant Spartan home in which we have minimized and capped our costs. I also freed up considerable personal time for my own pursuit of Self-Mastery. Cutting out all maintenance and cable television has freed up practically all my hours outside of work for Self-Improvement. I now have a clear path to shoot for the stars as they say.
Make some hard core decisions and change your life.
Take the attitude the general public had better clear a path and step aside.
The gas pedal is down, you will not stop and you are coming through.
All the best,