A couple days ago I wrote something on Twitter about “models of mental management.” I don’t know whether I made this ambiguous term up or borrowed it, but it’s basically a way of codifying how you get yourself to do things.

The conventional approach, especially in our corner, is discipline. You don’t want to do something but you force yourself to do it anyway.

Another approach is reconciliation. Find out why you’re resistant to doing what you’re doing and address the motivation. (Often you are “at odds” with yourself but both parts of you want the same thing, they just have different ways of automatically addressing it)

I contemplated that the former in the extreme was like a dictatorship: frequent rebellions, but with the 5-year plans pressing onward.

The latter I looked at as more of pure democracy: consensus-seeking, but with slow then sudden movement forward.

Both may have their place, though I hypothesized the ideal form of “mental governance” was somewhere between the two. Kinda like the US system of government: a central power to set the agenda, yet enough consideration of minority interests, checks and balances to stop the center from running over the rest.

Basically the ability to go towards your goal even when things are tough but not at the expense of self-care.

But the reason I considered these themes and brought them up is personal.

As most of you know either from me telling you or from my very clear subcommunication, I suffer from self-sabotage.

This is not news to me, nor is it uncommon in others. I don’t feel ashamed anymore by it. It used to make me angry but now I’m just trying to figure out why.

So I did an experiment. I wanted to see exactly what I would do if I removed all self-constraint on myself. My wife is off with her family in Australia so I figured this would be the perfect chance — no complications of managing relationship expectations.

I gave myself a week.

The results were disastrous.

I do not recommend anybody ever do what I did. It landed me close to as low as I possibly have ever been. A close friend picked up on it and even called me to make sure I was OK. He was worried for my safety.

To give you an idea: I basically binged on every vice you could think of, destroyed my schedule completely, and found myself in a morass of self-destruction that I could hardly conceive.

In the past I have done binges similar as this at low points, but the interesting thing about this one was that it was all conscious. In some sense I was a spectator in it. “You want to do this? Ok. Why? You know what it’s going to do you. Go ahead and see.”

None of this is particularly flattering to reveal, but I learned something crazy from it had to share. At a particularly low point something came up I have never heard before. Most of the time when I have listened to myself in a bad state, I’ve felt helplessness. Like a scared child who was trying to cope.

This time it was different. Unrestrained from the judgment of my superego, a different voice emerged; perhaps even the one the helpless voice was afraid of.

A voice of pure malice.



This was interesting to me. I do not consider myself an angry person, not in the slightest, yet I have had to consider the possibility after various situations that maybe I actually am angry, I am just repressed.

This seemed to confirm that thought.

The voice basically wanted to cause as much harm to me as possible.

It wasn’t simply an innocent, battered child. It was a contemptuous, evil manifestation.

It wanted me not simply to fail, it wanted me to end. It wanted me to die.

This was revelatory. My mind wasn’t a pristine, unified nation — it was more like “Trump’s America:” divided by worldview, not simply the methods of implementation. A cold civil war that given passivity on one end would become hot.

I am still processing it to be honest. Does this mean there is no chance of reconciliation? Does it mean I need to identify that part of me for what it is: an enemy bent on my destruction?

I don’t exactly know.

But I mention it to you because I wonder how many of you struggle with similar things.

A good friend of mine is a movie producer, he’s going to Cannes, and his new film looks like it may have some A list actors in it.

Breaking into Hollywood is no joke, and he’s worked at this for years. But what was interesting (and relieving) for me was that he went through the same thing.

Indeed, when I told him about my “experiment” he told me to be wary. “It doesn’t go away. The impulse for self-destruction is always there. I went down that road for years. You can’t kill it, you just have to keep it in check.”

I told the same thing to my sister, a scion in her field, now up for full professor for her work that has changed the academic landscape. She told me she struggled with it as well, to the point of contemplating suicide. She also added: “if you’re hearing hate, that’s lucifer.” Subconscious impulse or a force from outside, a self-destructive voice of that magnitude is no joke. And if successful people hear it, what about the rest just trying to get by?

It’s a rhetorical question. I’ve worked with scores of men and I know the baggage people carry is immense. The only shock is that it is often just as bad with those who succeed as those who struggle.

The psyche is an onion with layers, you see results with each layer you peel, but each layer you go down reveals darker secrets. I’ve been self-analyzing for a decade and only just had this breakthrough — and it was achieved only with significant risk. Who knows how far it will take me to the next level not only in my life, but my relationship?

The answer to this question all depends on what question it leads me to ask myself.

And I think I finally know.

Most of my life has been a struggle between the two main voices: the one who sees my potential, that preaches strength and self-reliance, that wants to achieve big things… and the one that is afraid of responsibility, rejection and failure.

These two voices have mostly been at odds with each other; the former bullying the latter: “You should do this, a man would do this, you’re letting X down, what’s wrong with you…”

This created nothing but more stress, as no one feels good or rejuvenated when they are constantly being berated. Indeed, it’s hard to say it was an effective dynamic at all, most of my energy was directed inward.

Procrastination became the modus operandi of productivity because it was the only time both voices were onboard: I was getting things done and there was fear of letting people down (or catastrophe).

Even my skills — seduction and charm — were tools to push this unconscious agenda. They brought other people into my life, to fill the void of self-worth with their desire, sure, but even more to bind them to me so they might help prop me up. It drew me to a disturbing question: family, friends, lovers, have all in some sense helped carry me… but why?

Was I a vampire that made them love me to save me, who I then loved simply so I would not give up on myself? People feel compelled to love me — I have heard this time and time again. But how much of my cultivation of this adoration was genuine, and how much selfish, transactional manipulation?

Dark motivations produce dark fruit.

There was only one way to transcend.

Jordan Peterson has a chapter in his new book, 12 Rules For Life, “Never let your child do something that will make you dislike them.”

It’s a good chapter and a great title, but a thematically if not rhetorically a better one might have been “never let yourself do something that will make you dislike you.” Since that’s really where it all begins.Most people talk about discipline, others talk about acceptance when “sorting yourself out.” But both can become abused to the point of pathology.

A motto “be disciplined, be a man” can easily become “you’re a piece of shit” when you fall short. And tell yourself you’re a piece of shit enough and you might just start to act as if it’s actually true.

“Accept yourself warts and all” is also incomplete, however. Self-indulgence, as I have explored first hand, is a highway to hell — there is no reason on earth you should “accept” the parts of you that want nothing but pain for you. Only a fool negotiates with terrorists.

So I reject both of these orientations.

Instead, I will ask myself a simple question when trying to make a decision:

“What would you do if you loved yourself?”

Because the truth is, sometimes love allows indulgence, other times restraint.

Love walks the line between law and leniency.

Indeed, love is the line.And if you act enough like someone who loves himself, maybe it will just start to happen.

Anyway, enough said.

Exploring the mind is what I do. I’m a miner of its secrets.

If you want me to explore yours and unearth similar treasures, sign up to work with me here.

Most issues with women lie in the psyche and these do not get resolved, only transposed, if all you do is learn game (not that I won’t help you learn that either).

It’s not simply about improving with women, it’s about improving your relationship with them. And most importantly: your relationship with yourself.

Link to apply is here.

Talk soon,