The Key to Male Sanity

Everything in civilization exists because a man decided to put it there. Men are natural builders, inventors, and problem solvers.

In a modern, feminized society, men have lost touch with their truth nature. Men have stopped building things. Factories are shut down, craftsmanship is dying out, and most of us work in white collar factory farms.

Think about the average corporate job. You sit in a cubicle or office. You shuffle paper. Most of what we do is “make-work.”

I could insert a bunch of quotes from Fight Club. But Fight Club’s theme is based on nihilism, which is for quitters and pussies. You’re mad at the world, are you? Since when does that make you tough? Every whiner and pussy throughout the history of time has been pissed off at the world.

Instead of going Fight Club and breaking shit, you need to build something. As a man, to remain sane you need a long-term, ongoing project that can be steadily improved.

This project can be anything. My projects have always been my body, my blogs, and a dog.

I was a fat kid with asthma growing up. I then got my black belt, boxed in a ring, and beat up pretty much everyone who looked at me sideways. I went from a bullied kid to someone that couldn’t even get local fights. By the time I was a freshman in high school, even seniors didn’t want to fuck with me. I could only get into fight when I went out of town, where no one knew my reputation.

Later in life, due to extreme injuries, I was unable to exercise. I got fat. Fixing my body was my project. I lost 80 pounds of fat. Then I started gaining muscle. This project is ongoing. I just started juicing, for example, in order to improve my vitality.

I’ll be in the gym when the next fucked-up thing happens to me. Tragedy is always around the corner. It’s just waiting to catch you slipping.

I’ve had a web presence since 1999, when I uploaded my articles on self-improvement to a Comcast server. (What I would do to find those articles….)

I’ve had blogs for about a decade. I start a blog, say what needs to be said, and move on. Progress often means saying goodbye.

I’ve also always trained a dog. People would always marvel at the tricks my dogs would perform. I could throw a tennis ball on the sidewalk. If it bounced into the road, my dog would stop, sit by the curb, and wait for me to retrieve the ball.

He would walk off leash on busy city sidewalks. Stop. Sit. Stay. He would wait for me to give him permission to continue walking.

“How can your dog do that!?” My answer was like every answer I give at this blog, “Consistent hard work over a long period of time.” No one seemed interested in the logistics of dog training after hearing that answer.

Your projects may be different. Maybe it’s writing a shitty novel. Or rebuilding the car you when you were 16 but couldn’t afford. Or going after that girl you always wanted.

Your projects may be different, but you must have at least one. The project should be something that will last a long time.

The project should be something you can improve upon. You can always lift more weight, or lose a little more fat, or gain a little muscle, or decrease your resting heart rate, or dig deeper into yourself to write with honesty and without fear. You can always teach a dog – even an old one – a new trick.

You can start making money online. You can work 100 hours a week building an empire. You can start a side hustle for some extra cash while working a corporate job.

You can work on building a lasting, trusting relationship with a loving woman.

OK, I kid.

Whatever the case, remaining sane in a fucked-up world requires you to create something. If you are not building something, then you are not a man.

What you build is up to you. But you have to get started…

  • 3rd Millenium Men

    Great post. Creating, building, contributing to the good of the world… important, nay essential duties as men.

    This jogged an old quote I remembered by Douglas MacArthur: By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact, but I am prouder, infinitely prouder to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentialities of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still.

  • patrick

    Fight club is not based on nihilism and it’s not for pussies and quitters. You didn’t REALLY get the point of it. And after all, they have Project Mayhem, don’t they?
    The difference is, that Fight club is not about self-improvement and ego inflation but self-destruction. The stuff they destroy is a metaphor for their ego they destroy.

  • Tank

    D&P, this is a great post. The only way to be happy is to be productive, for you. Don’t be productive for your 6 screaming children, your ungrateful wife/SO, or to impress people you don’t know (and probably wouldn’t like if you did). You have to be a creative, productive person for you and for the sake of the project. Your post seems straight forward, but many of us struggle to find that “thing” into which we can throw ourselves whole-heartedly. But, once you do, the improvement in your overall quality of life will take off like a rocket. Anyway, the value of this advice you’ve given CANNOT be understated. Thanks!

  • Rob

    Agree. I’d add: learn to accept what can’t be changed and stop wasting mental energy on it.

    Also, your old blog is still missed. Well, by me anyway.

  • littlepdog

    I never understood why you decided to create a fresh one…

  • stalker

    Have you ever heard about The Wayback Machine?

  • Cesare

    Outstanding essay, I think it goes beyond being a key to Male sanity and in fact is THE key to being Male. The times in my life when I have been in a real Alpha state, intended and not and things have seemingly fallen in my lap have always been when I was about something larger. It may have gotten me money or merit badges, and women in the bargain, but they appeared, I think, as a result of having a purpose.

  • Jason


  • maxx

    “As a man, to remain sane you need a long-term, ongoing project that can be steadily improved.”

    So true. Or as Albert Einstein put it:

    “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things”

    Great post. So many men’s sites are nihilistic or whine about men being victims. Your very straightforward advice holds an enduring message but most of all it is so simple to implement. Let’s face it we can all drop down and crank out as many pushups as possible then gradually improve ourselves, no cost, no hassles. Very positive advice that anyone can use. Well done.

  • samseau

    I love how Aristotelian this blog is.

    “To be is to do.”

  • jarl

    Destroying stupid crap is just as important as building awesome stuff. A man needs a little of both, so don’t fully discount the Fight Club idea.

  • Young Hunter

    Posts like this are why this is my favorite blog to read right now. Many are so negative it just leaves a foul aftertaste.

  • potato

    danger & play,

    what is the difference between ‘juicing’

    and blending up a vegetable and drinking it?

    • FFY

      A simple google search would solve your problem real fast

  • tgrwhite8974

    Fight club is a movie about taking the red pill. Rage and a lust for destruction are the reactions a man has when he first takes the red pill and realises his entire world is a bunch of lies. If a man continues staying angry at the world then obviously he is on the path to ruin. Most men take that rage and turn it into something. It fuels their change, their first steps onto the path of self improvement, and eventually the rage dies but the path of self improvement is self reinforcing; though you stumble seeing the way you’ve improved makes you want to improve.
    In mala fide was a great example of a blog built around disillusion and the anger that came from discovering that but by the end Ferd was a different person who had began down the path of self improvement and could no longer see in himself that old, angry person.

    When I first learned about game I was obssessed with a girl I couldn’t get. My rage forced me into the gym, forced me into working out hard, forced me into game. Now I cannot even imagine being angry at her, at the lies I was raised on, at the world anymore than I can imagine being a blue pill male.

    Finally, I have always found that improving myself physically is the best way to start on the self improvement path. More than once I’ve had to come back from rock bottom and each time it starts with forcing myself to go to the gym, then it becomes something I look forward to, then my mind is clearer, focused and I am able to turn my attention to fixing other problems.

  • patrick

    no no no.
    nobody here understood fight club.
    “self-improvement is masturbation, now self-destruction…”
    it is not about improving and being your best self. it’s about destruction and hitting rock bottom. the zen way. not some fucked up “my wardrobe is complete” and “now i have the perfect juicer” shit. it’s all in the movie. he had everything. then he blew it, literally, up.
    and this is not nihilism, it’s buddhism.
    i’m not saying go and throw your stuff away, but throw away your inner stuff and baggage, attachment to what you own, your nice wardrobe, your car, drop your ego that you feed every damn day with that self-improvement bullshit.
    once you have lost everything only then you’re free to do anything.

    losing all hope was freedom.

    • dangerandplay

      I grew up dirt poor. It sucked. No money means you are a slave to circumstances.

      Having money and having stuff is fucking amazing.

      • patrick

        it just shows you still didn’t get the idea.
        i doesn’t say: don’t enjoy having money.
        it says: don’t be attached to having money. enjoy it when you have it. but don’t be bitter when you don’t. when you truly don’t care about what you own then you won’t be bitter.
        of course this is easier said than done. with that mindset you should also show no approach anxiety as you are completely outcome independet. but it doesn’t mean you can not enjoy the time with a girl.

        • dangerandplay

          It could be that I fail to grasp an idea that is of such complexity that only a true guru like yourself can get it.

          Or it could be that I actually know what life is like with and without money and thus know you are so full of shit that it’s oozing out of your ears.

          If your car breaks down and you can’t afford to get it repaired (causing you to lose your job), *feelings* of bitterness ain’t got shit to do with it.

          If you are sick and cannot afford the medications you need to get well, again, it ain’t about feeling bitter. It’s about not having the money to get better.

          But if it makes you feel better, keep walking around thinking you’ve stumbled onto some deep philosophical shit that mere mortals like myself cannot comprehend.

      • jarl

        I can get what he’s saying. Having to sleep outside and barely scrounge enough money for food puts things in perspective. Learning to live with nothing is very liberating.

        • Richard

          Yes. Learning to live with less is liberating, but only because it makes your money go further. It increases your freedom and independance in the same way that earning more money does. Earning more is better though.

  • bogspua

    Very good article, having goals and mission in life is absolutely must, is also too bad people understand it too late, I know I did.

  • Nas

    “Or it could be that I actually know what life is like with and without money and thus know you are so full of shit that it’s oozing out of your ears.”

    – A lot of people of the previous generation take having a decent paying job and having a relatively comfortable middle class life for granted. Thus they rant on about pseudo intellectual bullshit about how “money ain’t all that” and how having a 9-5 feels “so meaningless”. You yourself come from a poorer background and rightly point how someone from such an upbringing would like he has become rich if he finally starts making round 70k. I think young men of my generation having to deal with the recession and general dis empowerment of men take less things for granted and aren’t prone to such ramblings and nonsense.

  • Badger

    “A lot of people of the previous generation take having a decent paying job and having a relatively comfortable middle class life for granted. Thus they rant on about pseudo intellectual bullshit about how “money ain’t all that” and how having a 9-5 feels “so meaningless”. ”

    Like women who tell you “there’s more to life than sex” because they never have to worry about getting sex.

    • dangerandplay

      Yeah. Women say a guy who reads game blogs is “obsessed” with sex. It must seem that way to someone who doesn’t have to give a second thought to how she’s going to get laid.

  • patrick

    I’ve been to really poor places in the world, I don’t have to put things in perspective first.
    Let me just pick up your example with the car: It breaks down and you lose your job. What then?
    Can you change that situation? Not immediately. So you have no choice but to deal with the reality. Does it help to feel bad about it? Not at all. What’s the best thing you can do? Put all your effort into either making enough money to get it fixed, have it fixed by a friend on a loan, find some other way to get to work etc.
    But then even if you lost your job – it isn’t the end of the world. Just look at fight club. He lost everythings he posessed. But after a while he starts to feel better. It’s right in the movie. “Everything you own, ends up owning you.”
    They live in a shithole with nothing but some shitty magazines. And yet they feel infinitely better than the guy on his IKEA sofa watching dumb bullshit on TV.
    Even when you don’t have a job, it doesn’t change who you are. You are still here and have your needs met.

    You have a point in that the message is not aimed towards people who are actually suffering from poorness, but more towards people who freak out when their 3D 40inch TV breaks or who basically define themselves by what they have. This is a very common observation in our postmodern world, because we don’t have any purpose.
    But still it is the central message of eastern philosophy and I highly recommend you read something about that, these real gurus can put it into words better than me (I’m not a native speaker to begin with), but it takes some humbleness and willingness to change your mind to get the message.

  • Hoz

    “I’ve also always trained a dog. People would always marvel at the tricks my dogs would perform.”

    Do you have any recommended resources on dog training?

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  • mister infinite

    Great post man,

    I wrote something similar a while back about how creation is the greatest satisfaction in life. A man’s arena of choice is simply a tool utilized for personal growth. The “agony” of overcoming personal limitations is the definition of growth.

  • Jason Bryan

    People need to be shown that they are being pussies, without being called a pussy. Show instead of tell otherwise it will obviously make them angry at the person who called them a pussy, and blind them to the unpleasant truth.

  • Pique Dan

    We need goals and a somewhere to reach.I was telling my friends the same thing.

  • brandon ramlal

    Correction: It takes consistent (not hard) work over a long period of time. Whenever you’re doing what you want to do, the work itself is never hard, the hard part is deciding not to give up. Great post.