Before anyone spoke of taking the red pill, there was a Vietnam Veteran and doctor, Gordon Livingston. Dr. Livingston wrote one of the few modern books on wisdom.
1. If the map doesn’t agree with the ground, the map is wrong. The map every man has been taught to follow is, “Get married, have children, be a good man.” What happens to a man who follows that map?
2. We are what we do. We are not what we think, or what we feel, or what we say, we are what we do. Be a man of action.
3. It is difficult to remove by logic an idea not placed there by logic in the first place. Most of your views of the world (or maps, see rule 1) didn’t come to you after careful deliberation. You haven’t thought things through. You are doing what others have told you to do.
4. The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas. Stop crying yourselves to sleep. You obviously didn’t kill yourself. So live.
5. Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least. You can’t get into trouble if you don’t care.
6. Feelings follow behavior. I’ve gone into the gym feeling shitty and hating life. I’ve never left the gym feeling so grim. What do will change how you feel. If you don’t like how you feel, stop reflecting (see rule 2, above). Instead, take action. Change your behavior. Do something.
Rule 6 applies to negative behavior. Have you ever left a meeting with a “friend” in a bad mood? Identify conduct that sours your mood. Then quit.
7. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid. Boldness is exciting. Take a stroll through Silicon Valley. Young men who are excited about life and sincerely believe they will disrupt the world, even if they can’t find funding, find mentors. Even billionaires are looking for excitement. Provide that excitement and you will never sleep on the streets.
8. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Most guys say, “I need a perfect plan,” to rationalize being a pussy. Rather than taking action, they use that line as an excuse to wait. “I can’t hit on that girl, she’s not hot enough,” is said by the guy who won’t hit on any woman.
9. Life’s two most important questions are “Why?” and “Why not?” If someone can’t give you a good reason for doing something, they are using you.
10. Our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses. If you take big risks, you assume risk. If you take no risks, you will gain no rewards.