Everybody wants to be successful. Now, how they define that success might be different. But few people would ever claim that they want to be a loser – even if they’re not willing to put in the effort to change that reality.

No, most people tell themselves the same story: They want to be great.

I think this is a great thing. I can relate, as I too am plagued with a nagging ambition. However, if you were to ask me whether I consider myself a “success,” right now I would tell you resoundingly no. And there are a few reasons why.

The truth is – if you want a little bit of vulnerability from me now – that my business could be way above what it is now. My ability to prioritize has been abysmal. My mindset is in many ways economically self-sabotaging. Though my understanding of the world (not simply women) is accelerating at an insane rate, I have missed opportunities at monetizing that understanding, despite knowing how to do it. Based on the quality of the content and coaching I provide, my marketing is weak (I hear this from colleagues a lot). I’m learning and improving, but immature habits continue to occasionally get in the way of changing these things up.

So, I’m doing OK, but my business is not where I want it to be, and it’s all because of one thing:


Ergo, I would be loathe to tell anybody “how to be successful.” I know intellectually some ways to do it, but that hasn’t been good enough for me, so why would it be good enough for you? I am undaunted that the day will come when I figure this all out and can show you how you too can be a total success. But for now, it would be criminal to tell you the “secrets” I have not fully integrated into my own life. My life is good, I feel excellent (with some exceptions), and I have no complaints – but I’m no Tim Ferris… yet. Stay tuned over the next 5-10 years 😉

But fortunately, I can still help you out… but not by telling you what to do to succeed, but what to do to fail.

Yes, I can’t tell you how to be a winner, but I can definitely tell you how to be a loser. And for the record, whether or not you consider me a loser now doesn’t matter – in my 28 years on this planet I have accumulated a lot of experience on the matter, both from observing myself and others.

The ways of the loser are many. Indeed, we could spend all day talking about how to be a loser. But three traits of losers everywhere stand out the most.

Let’s dive in.

How To Be A Loser Trait #1: Waste Emotional Energy On Other People And Things That Don’t Affect You

Your energy is precious. In my late 20s, I am no old man, but the difference between now and my early 20s and teens is palpable. I can have more energy than ever if I treat my body right, but if I screw around and eat or drink the wrong stuff, I’m doomed to lethargy.

This matters. The more energy you have, the more energy you can spend on life-expanding pursuits. The less energy you have, the less action you can take on the things that move your life forward.

But although we all can increase our energy, the real issue isn’t that we don’t produce enough of it, it’s that we squander it. We discard the very thing that we need to create the life we want.

Which makes Trait #1 of a “how to be loser” very simple to understand:

The more energy you spend on things that have no impact on you, the more of a loser you are.

A good example of this in action is the guy in Exhibit A:

how to be a loser case study

For a little background, this was in response to a post I made about shifting my workout to something different for a few months in order to meet my fitness goals (which worked). I tied this to succeeding with women; how – although counterintuitive – sometimes you need to move your focus elsewhere (including away from women) in order to progress with them.

So suffice to say, I was a bit surprised to read this. This is a guy who I hardly even know. We went to high school together but we had such little exposure to each other I’m not even sure if we ever exchanged words. I had to check his page to refresh my memory of who he even is.

Yet apparently, I am living rent-free in this guy’s mind, because TWICE now he has posted on my wall spewing out bitterness about who I am, claiming I am a fraud.

Now, never mind that he’s attacking me and my coaching based on on my ability to put on muscle (which has nothing to do with anything I claim to be an expert in) – there’s a lesson here for all you about how to be a loser.

This guy has an emotional investment in something absurd. My life should not matter at all to him. If the contours of my face and my sunny optimism bother him, he could easily unfollow me. Yet instead he fumes. My life triggers him. My happiness is a source of frustration for him. If something good happens to me, not only was it not really good – it was a crime against him.

This is the sign of a deep scarcity and victimhood mindset. Rather than use his energy to pull himself up, he uses it to try to pull others down.

If you’re wondering why this could possible occur, reader Brendan “gets it” and I’ll let him explain. But it legitimately makes me sad. What a waste.

how to be a loser explanation

If your life isn’t where you want it to be, focus your energy on yourself and the things you can control. Don’t hate on other people and don’t stress about drama that doesn’t involve you.

That is, unless you want to be a loser.

Remember: every bit of energy you squander puts you that much farther away from the life you want.

How To Be A Loser Trait #2: Have No Discipline Or Focus

Many people have been given a lot of advantages in life. They are smart, grew up with a strong and loving family, have a financial cushion, and have connections 95% of the world could only dream of.

Yet it doesn’t matter how much someone has been given. If they lack discipline and focus, they will become a loser… and remain one forever.

Understand: The ability to focus is one of the more powerful and important forces out there. As the (highly recommended) book “Deep Work” outlines in detail, “effective multitasking” is a myth. Some people are better at jumping from one thing to another, but four hours of concentrated work on a subject without distractions produces far more (higher quality) results than even twelve hours spent jumping from subject to subject.

This is the book. Get it, it will transform how you work.

If you don’t want to be a loser, you have no excuse for distracting yourself. Fucking around is a sign you can’t be trusted. You lack discipline. You can be expected to procrastinate and give up when stuff gets hard. You’re not in it for the long haul, you’re in it for the instant gratification. When it get’s tough, you get going.

It’s a sign you’re a loser.

how to be a loser ed latimore discipline
Incidentally, discipline also gets you the ladies. Follow Ed Latimore here:

So, if you don’t want to be one, cut it out. Developing discipline and focus is no guarantee for success, but if you want to have a shot at it it’s non-negotiable.

People who lack these things don’t move forward. They might expend a lot of energy, but it won’t ever go towards the things they truly make their lives better. And when these people are smart and talented, it truly is a waste.

How To Be A Loser Trait #3: Consume More Than You Produce

The first two traits are ones that many people know at least intuitively. People realize they shouldn’t care about what others are doing, and they know they need to be more disciplined in sticking with their goals. It’s this trait that sneaks beneath their radar. Which is a shame, because it’s one of the worst “loser-creating” cancers out there, and it is malignant in our society:

Unless you want to be a loser, produce more than you consume.

To be honest, I still struggle fully integrating this mindset, so foreign is it from how I was raised. Culture has trained us to be consumption robots our whole lives. Even schools are focusing more and more on learning things by rote, and technology is only making this predilection (and addiction) to consuming worse. We spend hours on social media, watching videos, scrolling through feeds, and buying things. We are bombarded with information and products which aren’t our own.

This lack of originality and agency is making us all losers, in more ways than one.

In the past, almost everyone was a producer – they had to be to survive. A few people couldn’t produce on the scale they do today for everybody. This lack of abundance may have made things more difficult, but psychologically the need to produce had many benefits – with increased self-reliance being the biggest advantage of all.

Today, that’s much more rare. And it’s a major reason so many people are losers. Mentally, despite their age they live in perpetual childhood, expecting their government, parents, or the future technological utopia to provide for them.

This, of course, will never happen – at least in a way that will provide any sort of happiness. In the past, losers died. Today they live, but are by all accounts miserable. Indeed, their dependence on others makes them little more than slaves.

Don’t get me wrong, some consumption is necessary (and unavoidable). Books expand your world view. Red wine tastes great with steak. This point is less about being ascetic and more about finding balance. If you find yourself consuming but not acting, it’s time to wake up: you are going through life passively. You are going through life like a loser.

Is that the life you want to choose?


Perhaps you’ve noticed a trend here about losers. Whether it’s producing too little, focusing on things they can’t control, or lacking the self-discipline to complete their goals, losers don’t take action on the things that matter.

Instead, they spend their scarce time on pointless shit, worrying about irrelevant things and other peoples’ agendas. And when they die, chances are they will blame everybody else for the missed opportunities.

(Read: “You or Someone Else” by This Is Trouble)

This is because losers lie to themselves. And the worst lie they tell is that they are not responsible for everything that happens to them.

They don’t admit that their laziness is sabotaging them. They don’t admit they’re undisciplined. They don’t admit they’re irresponsible and impulse-driven. They don’t admit they’re obsessed with frivolous drama. They don’t admit that they don’t have what it takes to add value to the world.

They won’t look in the mirror.

They prefer to take the easy route of denial – even if the regret becomes debilitating down the road.

Look, I’m not riding some high horse. I know the above to be true because I can relate to it. The truth is most of us are losers in our own way. We don’t want to admit it, but we’re spectators, taking the scraps life throws us while others create the lives of their dreams. Deep down, we don’t think we deserve any better.

Becoming a winner takes a mental shift. It begins with awareness and follows with action. And there are no guarantees.

If the results happen, most of them won’t be immediate.

But from what I hear, they do happen in time.

Learn to enjoy the process.

I don’t know the right roads yet, but for now I’ll do my best to avoid the wrong ones.

I hope you do the same.

– Pat

PS If you feel like a loser because you’re struggling with women that’s ok. That’s an areas I feel pretty awesome in and would love to help you to feel awesome in too. Schedule an appointment for an exploratory call with me today. It’s free.

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