When it comes to being a successful man – and by that I mean a man that dominates the world around him and gets what he wants out of life, a man who imposes his will on history, there is one thing that matters far more than most.
It’s not money.
It’s not how much you can lift.
It’s now how many girls you’ve banged.
It’s nothing external. It’s all in your heart. It’s all about ego.
Show me someone without an ego, and I’ll show you a loser. – Donald Trump
The first step, I think, to rising above the crowd is to be somebody with an ego.
Few things have been demonized in recent times as much as the ego. If you’ve clicked the link, you’ve probably seen what people today tend to associate with the ego – “an asshole.” Maybe it seems intuitive, but the conclusion does not follow the premise.
To have an ego does not necessarily mean you’re an “asshole,” but many “assholes” have egos.
Truth be told, there’s far worse things to be called in life. On the spectrum between “nice guy” and “asshole,” always opt to stray toward the “asshole” side. You’re not going to get the things you want by being “nice” all the time.
But the ego is itself a good thing. In essence, it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge from your inner self. If we can think of life as an internal struggle between your lesser, “beta” safe self, and your self-confident, daring, “alpha” self, as Quintus Curtius made mention of a while back, the ego is that daring alpha’s mode of expression, and an invite to bring him out.
When properly controlled, the ego is an extraordinary thing. It is something that taunts you to do great things, to make your mark, challenging your manhood on the way. It won’t be satisfied otherwise.
One of the reasons I believe that Donald Trump will be able to keep some of his campaign promises, most notably building the wall, is because of his ego. Donald Trump is going to want a visible, lasting legacy, a monument to his memory, because it would satisfy his ego, which demands great things.
I can give you a couple of personal examples as well.
The other day I was training at my gym, Iron Arena Powerlifting and Performance, where I’ve really been able to take my routines to the next level (disclosure: the owner, Jason Manenkoff, is my cousin). I was working my legs and did some lunges, which is one of my least favorite exercises, but is pretty conducive to gaining leg mass, especially for the backs of your legs.
I started off with two sets of lunges with 25 lb dumbbells in each hand.
See the turf stretching to the far wall? There’s another far wall on the other side at about the same distance from where I took this shot. One set of lunges means going from one wall to the other.
The 25 lb lunges were a tough warm up before the main event. The heart rate was way up. I took some rest, drank some water, talked to Jason and Cynthia and watched them do their own work, and then went to do my next two sets, this time with 30 lbs.
Take note that I barely rested between the first and second set of each. You can call one full round trip across the turf a superset, I guess.
That next superset was hard. I was struggling. My heart was pounding and I was short of breath, and I mean short of breath enough that you cough when you take one. My face was probably beet red. My lungs were struggling far more than my legs were. Yet I still kept going on very short rest until I completed the superset. I refused to put the weights down for anything more than a few seconds.
My ego would not allow me to abandon the effort. I would feel ashamed of myself if I did. My internal sense of self-worth and my drive to accomplish something forced me to complete the task. I was for the moment thoroughly exhausted and nauseous. I had to lie down because it felt like I was going to throw up. But I told myself it was all worth it.
And lo and behold a few days later, my legs have gained a bit. That’s how the ego allows you to get things done.
There are many similar stories I can relay when it comes to women that I didn’t think I could approach, especially in my early days. The ego is one of the best things there is for overcoming approach anxiety. If you have a strong ego, one with a perfection streak that demands nothing less than excellence, you’ll feel surprised at the power of shame that it will bring on you if you fail.
That’s the power of a perfection streak and thinking you’re great. You push yourself to do things you didn’t think you could do. You’re less caring and more daring. You’re more willing to take what you want from the world rather than wait for it to come to you. This is why the masses associate someone with an ego with being an “asshole.” A dominant force of personality is less liable to care about being called one, because he’s too busy taking what he wants and blazing a trail, because his ego demands it.
But what are those masses doing, the ones who hate such people?
They’re working in cubicles and paying off debt their whole lives. They’re doing this because they passively wait for things to “happen.” They wait for “the right moment” or “a big break.”
Go take a look again at Donald Trump’s tweet. Look at the haters trying to prove their superiority to him.
How many of these people are winning in life? I’ll venture to say very few.
Once again, you don’t need to be an “asshole” or a blowhard, but you have to have a bit of an ego. You have to be a little bit vain. If you don’t, that tells me two things about you – that you lack confidence in yourself and that you don’t have a vision. You’re just gliding along, directionless.
If you are not naturally an “egoistic” person, you can find one by a simple change in mindset. When you wake up, ask yourself “how will people remember me after I die?” When you start to think that way, you’ll move on to the next logical process. You will ask yourself “what can I get done today?” It will be a challenge to yourself, and progressively, you will view your whole life as a challenge. Thinking in this way not only got me off my ass and made me waste less time, but by actually accomplishing things, I felt better than ever before.
If you still need help finding your direction or don’t know where to start, you can subscribe to my mailing list and I’ll give you my guide for free.
Balance your ego with a sense of duty, but have one. Cultivate one through a perfection streak and a sense of shame if you don’t at least put in earnest effort. You’ll thank me later.