“I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Self improvement is the core of Red Pill praxeology and has been preached in the Manosphere as the key to cultivating masculinity. In past generations, men have always been pushed on a societal level to self-improve because when men are invested into society, they control and redirect their energies in the service of a prosperous and peaceful society. However, with women now being pushed into the forefront on a societal level to self-improve into becoming more masculine, men have gradually fallen and have not seen the need or benefit to continually self-improve. Added to this the feminine-primary order where women have become the focus group in many traditionally masculine sectors. This is seen in academia, the workplace as well as churches where women have been promoted above men in key positions. As a result of this dynamic change in the West, men have lost their passion and fervor to be great and have given the mantle to women.
In my time in the Manosphere, I have seen the push for self-improvement but I have also seen the reason for this push as being one that is shortsighted in that men are self-improving to better relate to women. This is admittedly how most men are introduced to the Red Pill community and self-improvement in general, which I why I can relate to it. However, as time goes by men must come to the realization that self-improvement goes beyond better acquiring their base psychological needs (sex) and should see it as necessary to become self-actualized. When one does not see the larger picture, activities become very masturbatory. Jack Donovan in his book The Way of Men refers to these activities as those that are done with no legitimate gain attached to it. These activities are done for the novelty of it and are usually done in a safe space where there is no real danger of being hurt, no real competition and potential for “status gains”, which are all important to men. Activities such as gaming, watching sports or watching porn are all masturbatory because the ‘benefits’ associated are fleeting and usually simply simulation. To combat this, men must look toward self-improvement that adds both short term and long term benefit to their lives.
One man who epitomized legitimate self-improvement was that of Theodore Roosevelt, the former President of the United States. Roosevelt grew up weak and sickly to the disappointment of his father but as he had gotten older he began the journey of self-improvement. This journey entailed pushing himself both mentally and physically which saw him take up activities such as hiking, boxing, rowing and horseback riding. Later in his life he continued pushing his body and his mind to self-improvement which ultimately saw him writing many books, exploring Amazonian rainforests, leading infantry into World War 1 at the age of 59 and serving as President for an unprecedented 3 terms to name a few. What is important to notice is that, Roosevelt understood the need for a strenuous life of self-improvement, one which continually puts both his body and mind on the edge. Only at this point men truly understand the height of their masculinity.
As we enter into 2016 I urge both myself and fellow men to do more. Don’t just go to the gym – learn a martial art form that allows you to use that strength and teach you how to fight as this is actually beneficial in a real-life situation. Don’t watch porn – go into the real world and have sex. Don’t just read books – begin debating or writing to better your craft. Don’t live a life of video game simulation – go out into nature, hunt, hike and do things that bring true benefits into your life, this is what self-improvement is all about.