I recently read an article by Tiago Forte about the importance of the “Annual Review” that inspired me to write this post.
Don’t know if it will be relevant to you. It’s all about myself. But perhaps you’ll find some nuggets of value in it.
I’ve taken the questions directly from Tiago’s system and wrote my answers below. Since this is my first review, I’m covering recent memory rather than just a year.
What are you grateful for this past year?
Discovering the work of N.N. Taleb. I consider his Incerto series to be an essential resource for surviving in modern times.
The red pill philosophy. Opened my eyes to the realities of intersexual dynamics and has been a critical tool for improving my marriage.
My years of copywriting training are paying off. My writing skills are good enough now where potential clients consistently impressed with my samples. It feels good to have a skill that can be used to provide for my family.
Discovering the work of Andre Chaperon. My industry (online marketing) is facing a crisis. It’s getting increasingly expensive to buy attention and the value of that attention is rapidly decreasing. Everything is devolving into clickbaiting and tricks. The old-school methods are less effective. The users are getting tired of it and there is growing mistrust between marketers and users. Andre is the only guy I’ve found with a workable (and sustainable) solution to this problem.
Discovering the Concordant Literal New Testament. This is by far the best Bible translation I’ve found to date. The original Greek meanings of words are unmasked, yet it still reads pretty well in English.
List your 3 top wins for the year
Surviving as a freelancer. Both my wife and I are doing freelance work. And we’re paying the bills. By the end of the school year, my wife should be able to come home full time. Soon enough, we should be time and location independent. It was a difficult transition, but we made it through the hardest part.
Cutting out junk food. I stopped eating foods with vegetable oil and added a lot more protein to my diet. My energy levels have improved considerably. I also feel like my cognitive abilities have improved.
Clarity on my personal philosophy. I was inspired to condense my beliefs down to a single sentence after listening to this podcast. There is tremendous focusing power in this. Mine is derived from 2 Timothy: Suffer shame together in service of the King.
What are the 3 biggest lessons you’ve learned this year?
Start with 2 Timothy. The rest of the Bible will make little sense until you do. 2 Timothy was the final update on Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles and clues you in on what to focus on.
What were the risks you took?
Developing myself instead of pursuing money. This was risky because external pressures were saying I needed to be “hustling” for money. I still worked and made some money. But I spent a large portion of my time developing my beliefs, defining myself as a man, forming habits, etc. I think it will pay off.
Asking questions instead of remaining silent. Up to this point, I’ve had the habit of remaining silent when I notice authority figures making mistakes. This year, I’ve decided to speak up and ask questions. I initiated an important discussion with my pastor over a problem I believe to be of fundamental importance. Outcome yet to be determined.
Putting money on the line to test my ideas. Over the past few years, I’ve probably put up a good $5,000 or so testing my various business ideas. None of them worked, but I gained valuable information I would have never learned if I didn’t have “skin in the game.”
What was your most loving service?
Bettering myself as a man so I can properly lead and protect my family.
What is your unfinished business from this year?
I have at least a few assets that I could monetize if I need to. I’ve worked for two high profile clients as a copywriter. I also have a potential case study I could put together for some results I got for a real estate investor. And I’ve been into self-improvement for a good six or seven years now, so I have insights I could teach.
What are you most happy about completing?
I wrote the first draft of what I believe to be the most important article I’ve ever written. I think it will help solve a fundamental problem that a lot of young men are struggling with. Need to do some editing, but will be publishing soon.
Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life this year?
Andre Chaperon – leading with empathy Ben Settle – not being a sucker in business and life A.J.A. Cortes – masculine development and the importance of physical health
What was your biggest surprise?
Learning that God is much more gracious and kind then we acknowledge. He is nothing like the controlling father ready to criticize you for every misstep you make. Rather, He delights in you and who you are becoming.
What compliment would you liked to have received?
“You are becoming skilled at handling the Word of Truth.”
What else do you need to do or say to be complete with this year?
Need to finish up that article mentioned above and launch my new site: The Red Pill Bible Guy.
What one word or phrase best sums up and describes your experience this year?
What stories from last year are you letting go of?
I’m no longer a naive little boy struggling to find his way in the world.
I do not serve a moralistic or prudish God who is ready to condemn. I serve a gracious God who is eager to save.
I’m a 29-year old red pilled husband, father, and “unauthorized” Bible scholar.
Let me tell you my story…
(Or skip to the end for the “bottom line.”)
I discovered red pill philosophy back in 2016 while listening to Ben Settle’s podcast. I was working a job I absolutely hated (dishonest company) and my relationship with my wife was strained to say the least.
The bedroom was almost dead. An occasional round of cold fish sex kept the marriage on life support.
We eventually reached out to my pastor for marriage counseling. His advice to us was essentially “men and women are different and we need to learn to understand each other.”
Not a bad start, but it didn’t resolve the problem.
After reading several Christian marriage books, it became obvious to me that the church, in spite of praising the supposed wonders of marriage, had zero understanding of the underlying mechanism of intersexual dynamics.
Or, more to the point, pastors can’t teach you how to wet a pussy.
That’s what pulled me into the red pill. Funny enough, I learned these “sinners” in the pick up artist world had a greater understanding of the female creature than those who claimed to admire the work of the Creator.
I learned where I had been screwing up with my woman. I learned about hypergamy, “shit tests” and the alpha/beta dynamic.
I also started seeing the Bible in a fresh light… a more masculine light.
I learned how I had allowed her “needs” to sabotage what God had actually called me to do.
“We’re gonna have to let you go…”
While I was undergoing this major worldview transformation, I lost my job in 2017.
All my contributions were put into an automated system. There was no work left for me to do.
So I was “out on the streets” again.
It wasn’t easy. But eventually I decided to take a risk.
I decided to pursue my mission… the thing that had been pulling me away for years from doing what I was “supposed” to be doing (putting in 110% effort into my schoolwork and making money.)
I had an odd form of deviant behavior: stealing away hours of time to study the Scriptures when I should have been doing other stuff.
It soon became obvious that I was designed to teach the Bible.
But the red pill ruined the prospect of seminary for me. And studying the Bible ruined theology for me.
I also felt that the church’s mode of delivering the Gospel was quickly becoming irrelevant in the digital age.
I had to carve my own path.
So after I lost my job, I decided to opt out of getting another “real job” and pursued freelancing so I could have more time and flexibility to find my way.
Not gonna lie, it was no bed of roses.
There were several months where I didn’t know if I’d be able to pay the next rent check.
And yes, I was “shit tested.” A lot.
“Where are you gonna get $500 by the end of the month?”
“It is your duty as a man to provide and you’re not doing it!”
“Maybe God is trying to teach you a lesson about how your priorities are wrong.”
But I knew as a man, my real duty was to provide long-term protection and purpose, not immediate comfort.
If I allowed her emotions to rule me, the mission would be compromised (again), and my efforts would be wasted.
Broke, ugly, and… getting laid?
But a funny thing happened when I held my ground against my wife’s “attacks”:
The bedroom came alive.
My wife started slimming and toning her body in order to please me (I didn’t have to ask.)
And all this was happening during a time when I was technically “unemployed.”
To make matters worse, I also had unsightly psoriasis flare up all over my body due to my stress and poor diet.
Frankly, I didn’t expect to get much action at all until I “got my shit together.”
But a woman’s actions speak louder than words.
To me, this was the ultimate validation that red pill philosophy was reality.
Women are attracted to men who stick to their values and refuse to compromise in the face of manipulation… in spite of what she may say or do in the moment of conflict.
Eventually, my freelance work picked up and my wife now has more peace of mind about the future.
And since learning how to eat like a man, I’ve been building muscle and my skin condition is improving.
But it’s not really about the external improvements.
It’s about the internal confidence that I’ve developed as a man.
This site is the product of 6 years of struggle. It’s a lifeline from a former boy who has recently learned to be a man.
I am casting out this lifeline to you, to help you reclaim your life and mission as a man.
The leading point of the argument is “Rom. 3:9-18 is a solid description of man’s fallen state.”
But my very point of contention was whether the Bible teaches a “fallen state” at all. Rather than make an argument to justify this claim, he simply repeated his claim.
Regardless, let’s examine the Scripture in question…
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin
While the Greeks were “obvious” sinners. The Jews believed they were righteous because of their possession of the law.
Paul then quotes some poetic descriptions from the Old Testament to illustrate that Israel has indeed been living under sin.
He then describes how the law provided an awareness of sin, not justification from it.
We then come to that all-important statement:
But Know apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Many Evangelical Christians like to quote the last part of that verse “for all have sinned…” but they ignore the context that frames the meaning (“for there is no distinction.”)
Nowhere does Paul teach that all men born before and that ever will be born have been corrupted by sin in “his mind, will, emotions, and flesh.”
What he did say is both simple and profound: both the Jews and the Greeks, in spite of their contrasting cultures, were living under sin and needed a Savior.
Implied in this statement is the remarkable reality that God does not show partiality to people based on their religion or culture. He desires to save all peoples.
Lest, anyone think I’m advocating an “all people all good” worldview, I am not.
Evil is real. And it is still in the world. And it is people who do this evil.
What I am saying is let’s not add to God’s word by calling what He created “good” sinful. And let us not call God’s redeemed people “sinners.”
Such thinking diverts our attention from the fact there is still evil in the world that needs to be exposed.
And it is the children of light who must expose the deeds of darkness.
Depending on your worldview, you will see the following Twitter exchange as either an exercise in pettiness on my part, or a clear demonstration how ego-investment in theology makes a man utterly incapable of basic logic.
Either way, enjoy the show. (The most important bits are at the end.)
I didn’t bother pointing out that saying Romans 3 is where Paul describes “the nature of man’s fallen state” is a “snuck premise” (i.e. presenting the very point of contention as a given.)
His final statement reveals the root issue.
I suspect Michael’s core philosophy is not unlike most pastors.
His highest allegiance is to his theology.
Theology is the altar upon which unity, reason, and the pursuit of truth are sacrificed.
And Michael is one of the few “good guys” left in the church that advocates positive masculinity.
Just imagine the damage one could do if he shared the same allegiance to theology and was anti-male…
If pointing out these inconsistencies makes me a heretic, then a heretic I shall be. I will do my best to be a friendly one… or at least a somewhat entertaining one.
Every man needs a personal philosophy to live by. A manifesto answers two important questions:
What is wrong with your culture?
How are you going to live differently?
You’re welcome to agree or disagree with my manifesto. At the least, you will better understand my worldview and decide if I’m worth reading. Perhaps it will inspire you to write your own manifesto.
Here are my 6 points of difference:
1. Actually give a f*ck about a problem
Apathy is the great killer of men today.
Most men make no effort to make a difference in the world they live in.
Forget finding your “passion.”
Just find a problem you care enough about to get off your ass and do something about it.
2. Build your own tiny little kingdom
Western culture may or may not collapse.
The mission is not to “save Western culture.” The future is in antifragile micro-kingdoms.
Build biblical culture, leveraging the advantages afforded by Western culture while there’s still time.
Rule your household like a tiny kingdom. And, if you have the ambition, build your own tribe of like-minded people.
The various traditions of Western culture will survive or die on their own through stress testing.
It is biblical culture that will win in the end.
3. Plant trees
A young man can hit his peak at about 40 years old. A 40 year old man can complete his greatest work at 70+ years old.
Don’t demand immediate results from life. Plant seeds. Establish habits, share vision, build a body of work over time.
Urgent problems are normally an illusion. If it won’t matter in 10 years, it’s not important.
All that matters is that you make progress towards becoming the man you want to be.
4. Hypergamy is a design feature, not a flaw
Every quality that a woman instinctively finds attractive can be acquired through training. (Height being the only exception.)
Quit whining about hypergamy. Recognize it for what it is. Grow up and become a man.
5. Feminine desire is the biological blueprint
A woman has needs and desires. A man rises to the occasion to fill the hole. (insert laugh track here)
If you want to know what it takes to be a man, understand the most primal instincts of a woman. Women are not an “unsolvable mystery.” All their behaviors serve a biological purpose. Learn those purposes and position yourself accordingly.
You cannot rationally explain to a woman why she needs to behave a certain way. You need to master her imagination and appeal to her instincts.
6. Risk-taking is the only safe path
We deceive ourselves by thinking that regularity implies safety.
Having a “steady job” appears to be safe… until you get laid off.
Surrounding yourself with people who believe the same as you appears safe… until reality proves your beliefs wrong.
Being compliant appears safe… until compliant people are no longer needed.
Not saying you need to start your own business or unplug from normal society. But you do need to assume that everything you depend on will one day collapse and plan accordingly.
The only safe path in today’s world is learning to survive and thrive in uncertain conditions.
Like most people, I love when my opinions are reaffirmed by men more articulate and intelligent than myself.
In this case, here is my opinion about the limitation of opinions… expressed by a man with greater clarity of thought than myself. I’ve bolded a few lines to call attention to a few points.
Care should be taken to distinguish between truth and a set of our own opinions about truth. God’s Word is given us that our concepts of truth might be rectified respecting earthly things, and formed respecting heavenly things. We must ever go and keep going to it, lest the prejudices with which we are born and others which we have acquired obscure the light of truth as it is in fact and in God.
One difficulty with most people who would like to be students of God’s Word lies in their impatience to get everything all analyzed to a nicety, labeled and set up in rows on their mental shelves. They want to get their stock of truth in so that they can open up shop and do business. That is not always the most productive method, however; for truth does not always appear in one hundred percent purity. God’s truth is pure – His Word being the truth – but our concepts of it are usually colored more or less by teachers. We incline to look to this teacher and away from that one because this one speaks as though everything were crystal clear and that one says, “This will bear closer investigation,” “Here is a fruitful field for research,” etc.
The ability to discern fractional truths in teachers or groups of believers, to see and to say that “this man’s teaching is valuable and Scriptural on that point but faulty and unsupported on this” has only a heavenly reward in the present time; for certainly there will be no plaudits from men. People like to have their thinking dished out for them, predigested and ready to swallow.
The intimation on the part of a teacher that they should watch what they take into their mouths and that they should chew it well is right annoying, so annoying that they will likely hunt up another chef. People flock to those who speak as oracles, whether it be in politics or religion. Whoever says this man or that teaching is wholly right and the rest are wholly, hopelessly, and irretrievably wrong, will find himself surrounded and supported in very visible manner, but to attempt to judge dispassionately and discriminatingly is to invite loneliness on the human side at least.
F. H. Robison (1885-1932)
Are Bride and Body Identical?
One thing you all may or may not know about me is I’m a hardcore productivity nerd. This is stereotypical of the INTJ personality type.
Even as young as 10 years old, I was jotting down thoughts in my notebook, trying to figure out the best practice routine to become good enough to become an NBA basketball player. (That goal didn’t quite materialize obviously, but the process was valuable.)
I’ve experimented with dozens of productivity systems over the years and all of them have proven to be ineffective at dealing with the demands of the 21st century man. It’s been an intriguing, yet frustrating journey.
But a few months ago, I finally found someone who’s really figuring it out. How to actually produce value in an age of endless distractions and “information overload” without closing yourself off to opportunities.
His writing is rather detailed, so if you’re not a productivity nerd like myself, you may find it difficult to get into. But his solutions are simple and effective.
I’d like to share two key lessons and thoughts I’ve taken away as result of studying his stuff. (I’m blending some of my red pill perspective to his concepts here, so don’t take this as an accurate summary of his work.)
Lesson #1: Define your projects, or someone else will define them for you
Defining your own mission is Masculinity 101. But after studying Tiago’s work, I’ve decided it’s more useful to say define your projects.
Projects are more tangible than a mission. Projects are what we actually spend a good portion of our lives on. So if someone else is defining your projects, it means someone else is controlling your life.
An eye-opening exercise is to write down all the projects your working on now and then see if you can map your projects to a goal that you’ve defined.
Many times, we work on projects that have no goal attached to them… or at least, no goal of our own.
A few common examples:
Are you doing yard work because your wife wanted you to… or because you set the goal of upgrading your yard?
Do you complete all the assigned projects from your boss because you’re afraid of getting fired… or because it’s helping you move towards a career goal that you set for yourself?
Are you changing your diet because someone shamed you for your bad health habits… or because you set a goal that requires you to be healthy?
Tragically, most men spend their lives working on projects that advance the goals of other men, but not their own.
Awareness is the first step to changing that.
Lesson #2: There is no value in “getting things done”
The Energy School – keep your energy level high so you can complete your tasks. Eat healthy, work out, etc.
The Focus School – get yourself into a state of flow and stay there as long as you can. Cut out distractions. Block out large chunks of time.
The Efficiency School – cut out all unnecessary activities to save time and money. Automate and eliminate.
All of these schools of thought have their merits. But the underlying flaw is that they all focus on completing tasks without taking into account the value that is created from completing the tasks.
In the 21st century, it’s becoming increasingly risky to undertake large projects. The flow of information is so rapid, that by time you complete a project, it might no longer be relevant. Or you discover that no one cared in the first place.
Furthermore, a “task” is nothing but an abstract unit with no inherent value. If someone came and deleted your task list, would your work be destroyed? No.
The value of your work is what you deliver to someone else. Not the tasks you completed or your task list.
This is why Tiago advocates a 4th “school” of productivity:
The Value School – deliver value in smaller chunks. Create the smallest unit of value you can and show it to someone.
This is one reason I started using Twitter. I have lots of ideas in my head that are never “released” simply because of the time and effort it takes to write a post. Some of those ideas might add value to someone’s life, but I’d never know if I never released it.
Or some of my ideas might be bad ideas, but I’d never know until I release it and get feedback.
Even with my sloppy quick-hit style posts, I still need to have a minimum of 10-15 minutes focus to release my ideas into the wild. That takes too much energy to do for every notable idea. But with Twitter, I can release a complete idea in less than 1 minute and get feedback on it.
Don’t measure your productivity by tasks complete. Measure it by value delivered.
Alright. Enough nerding out. Go follow me on Twitter if you want to extract as much value from my brain as your heart desires.