The Twin Pillars of Alpha

After you’ve spent a few decades on this earth and had some high highs and low lows, you eventually understand that there are certain indisputable truths about the human condition.

You see the same patterns repeat themselves over and over again. The patterns appear everywhere, even in unrelated contents.

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There are two laws that appear so frequently that you may as well call them the two pillars that hold up your life.

You can troubleshoot your life at this very instant by asking yourself just these two questions:

  • Am I seeking pain?
  • Am I reading enough?

Doubt me? Then continue reading.

Bring the pain.

Two facts are true of men. One is that if you do what normal men do, you will live like normal men live. Two is that it is a fundamental law of the universe that men seek pleasure and avoid pain.

To be unlike other men, you must do what they are unwilling to do. You must seek out pain.

Today you know me as a vanilla gorilla, but that was not my start and it was not my destiny. It was an act of will.

I had horrible genetics and no athleticism. I put on fat easily and struggled to put on muscle. I was the proverbial fat kid growing up.

(This was me 25 years ago.)

Before the Vanilla Gorilla

Now you tell me how some fat poor kid could become who I am today. People want to sneer about genetics or anabolic steroids, but the truth is a long way from the lie haters tell themselves to help them sleep at night.

I learned that raw natural talent only mattered for so much. While others coasted on natural talent, I was hitting a heavy bag and listening to Guns ‘N Roses. I worked my way up to 10 rounds of 3 minutes on the bag – punches, knees, elbows, and shin kicks. Eventually the bag had to be duck taped to keep the stuffing from pouring out of it.

It was intense and after a hard training session I would be too exhausted to play – i.e., waste time – with loser friends. In my free time I read books on strategy and warrior philosophy and martial arts magazines.

I developed an iron will and pushed through the pain. I inflicted psychotic amounts of pain on myself.

I read in Black Belt magazine that kick boxers in Thailand would tightly wrap up newspapers and hit themselves on the thighs, arms, and torso. This was a way to condition your body to accept pain.

So I did that.

I saw a special on Bruce Lee where he would strengthen his knuckles by hitting a spring loaded wooden board. I would punch it until the skin from my knuckles peeled off. Then I’d hit it with the other hand.

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I would take a bamboo sword and hit myself with it and shin kick an Everlast punching bag until my shins were bruised.

Decades later when I went in for physical therapy, my therapist called over her colleagues to look at the extra ridges on my shinbones. “I love Wolff’s Law,” she remarked.

Pain applies to every context.

  • If you call yourself a writer and you’re not writing 1,000 words a day, you are pathetic. Writers write. They won’t think about writing. Writing can be painful. Fine. Go cry yourself to sleep.
  • If you are learning sales and not making hundreds of calls a day, you are a loser. Sellers sell and to sell you need leads. Yes it hurts to get rejected over and over again. Get over it.
  • If you put the weight down at the gym when it hurts, just go home. The set doesn’t even count until it starts hurting. Everything else before that was a warm-up.
  • You’re in a bad mood? Yes, learning how to change your state is painful. Get used it.
  • Don’t talk to me about your approach anxiety. Women scare you? You’re lucky you weren’t born in a jungle filled with lions and tigers. Go watch Oprah and take advice from Dr. Phil.

If you chase pain long enough what you will find is that you end up catching success.

Read until it hurts. Then read more.

A book or article is a man’s best ideas presented in the best way he can do it. He sits down, he agonizes, he writes, he agonizes, he edits, he publishes. Then he feels disgusted knowing that his work still wasn’t good enough.

It is a laborious project to create an article that a reader may read in just a few minutes.

There is a book or article on every subject. On Danger & Play alone there are over 350 articles.

Those are just a few articles that appear on Danger & Play, which is but a constellation in the universe of ideas.

Are you really so special, is your situation really so unique, that you can’t find the answer to nearly any problem you have by picking up a book or reading an article?

Be honest with yourself.

If you are failing at some venture or not accomplishing your goals, it’s because you took the easy way, isn’t it? You saw a fork in the road.

One fork led to pain and knowledge and the other fork led to your couch and the television.

You chose to seek comfort and to shut off your brain, to live like a zombie.

That is of course your choice. It is your life to live, not mine.

But aren’t you tired of living like a slave? Y0u came to Danger & Play because you know this is a place for free men who control their own destiny, not a place for slaves.

Will you make a conscious decision to start living a hardcore lifestyle free of excuses? Or will you click the little “X” in your browser and never return?

The choice is yours. I don’t sell ads and have been getting too many page views, crashing my servers.

If you’re still here, don’t be a quiet little mouse. Why are you here? What do you want?

Post your comments below!

  • Dman

    The Internet is both the greatest source of knowledge and inspiration for men and the greatest source of procrastination. It is vital that once you learn something, you go do it.

    Doing something is much more important than doing something right, or optimally.

    I am going to be reading more. For the longest time I didn’t read any books of worth. Mostly it’s been blogs about women. But the reality is that I know 99% of what I need to know about getting women already; only sufficient implementation is lacking.

    What will I be reading? Some books recommended by D&P.

  • Buddy Orion

    This is manly shit. Being red pill isn’t about talking about the different levels of alpha or specific gaming situations or bashing feminism 24/7. Being a red pill alpha male is about pushing your limits and living the extreme way, not being a fucking whiner and a little bitch, afraid of being rejected or learning how to deal with shit tests. Good job Mike, this is the real stuff.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Here’s a thought experiment: What happens to most “alpha male” authored blogs if you strip away bitching about American women?

      It’s important to be aware of the hazards feminism poses. That’s basic situational awareness every man needs.

      But I define myself but what I do and not by what feminists are doing.

      That said, bitching about feminism is great for page views. I have no hate for guys who do that.

      It’s sort like bait-and-switch. Draw in the angry guys with the feminist click bait and then hopefully convert them.

      I choose not to take that route because I’ll occasionally read the comment sections to those blogs….Comments are filled with losers like “Earl” (a virgin) and other trolls.

      I don’t pollute my brain with human sewage. In fact, I block those guys from following me on Twitter and I ban them from commenting here.

      (Even though that costs me page views.)

      That doesn’t make me better than anyone else. It’s just an aesthetic preference for me. I don’t want to attract the kind of people who leave sewage comments.

      Danger & Play is truly my life’s work and my soul. It is invitation only I only invite winners (or those willing to do whatever it takes to succeed) into my home.

  • John Quest

    Thank You!

  • Drkaimers

    I agree, this is the straight truth. Personally I am a salesman so I know I need to start prospecting more. Everything else is just a bullshit distraction.

  • Peter Phoenix

    I’d say 95% of guys aren’t pushing themselves hard enough, myself included. We are raised in a society that is soft in mind and body, that avoids pain and seeks instant gratification. Even those who consider themselves “red-pill” may have their dating life down but seek daily comfort and ease in many other areas. It’s a long road where you constantly push yourself in every area of your life.

    • nek

      That’s a good point my man. I push myself in mma training and lifting, but slack on the diet. I don’t push myself mentally enough in other areas (namely learning a language). Just because I’m pushing myself beyond the normal in one area doesn’t mean I should remain normal in the others either. Time for me to read up on some personal finance info. Don’t want to be ‘normal’ there either!

    • Danger & Play Blog

      A lot of guys get good with girls and say, “Now what?”

      Danger & Play is the answer to that question.

      • Aurini

        The whole point to getting good with girls, is so that you can stop obsessing over them and go do something worthwhile.

        Same goes for everything in life; when you master it, it’s usually time to move on.

    • Justin

      I agree, It’s all just “Masturbation”- do you want to spend your life masturbating or live in reality. Most people find refuge from the day in a bottle of beer and tv show. I like to keep pushing, to keep learning, to keep lifting heavy weights. Once you learn the selling and marketing tactics that go into shit you lose your “willing suspension of disbelief” and a lot shit just bores you. The only shows I watch are ones where I can learn something- like The Profit, Shark Tank, Bar Rescue. But I would never skip the pain to watch these.

      Great article.

  • anon1

    First class article Mike. I’m going to need to read over this a few more times to ruminate and then apply. Can’t wait for the state control podcast Monday, as keeping calm (more specifically not getting pissed off at all the self victimisation and blaming normal people in the world do) is my area of difficulty. Especially at work, rationalisation hamsters abound, crappy female senior management and a distinct lack of people being called on their bullshit. I’ve reduced my hours and have increased the amount of time I work on my sites articles, as well as a few other business opportunities and am studying how to program. But man I feel my testosterone dip heavily when I’m in work, 24/7 be there.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      The state control podcast will help you immensely.

      Once you learn how to hold state in that environment, imagine what you can do when you’re in a positive one.

      That said, it sounds like you need to start planning an exit strategy.

  • nek

    Another winning post, as has been the theme lately. Got a few questions,
    1) What’s prompted the sort of “self-outing” you’ve done as of late?
    2) Women and trying to be a high-achiever: How do they fit into this? Like you said, who you surround yourself with is important, and from my experience and what I’ve seen in others, they tend to be a drain more than an addition to achievement (you’re post about normal people comes to mind, as the herd mentality ensures that most women are normal people).
    3) And sort of related, how do you meet new women in this mode in life? Esp. if you’re not drinking. Most girls like to go out to bars and since I’m trying not to drink I don’t get exposure to many of them. I don’t want to go out and drink b/c that’s where “everyone”, but I still like pussy.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      1. Always lead from the front.
      Don’t tell anyone to do something you haven’t/won’t do. I prove that I practice what I preach.

      2. Girls are a leisure activity.
      Have fun but never make them the center of your world.

      3. When you are a man who truly lives with purpose, the bigger problem will be getting rid of women.

  • Zachary

    “History is only the patter of silken slippers descending the stairs to the thunder of hobnailed boots climbing upward from below”

    -Attributed to Voltaire

  • sjb³

    Stumbled across D&P about a week ago and have been eating up its archives ever since. First article I’ve been moved to comment on. Even though I took the red-pill waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1999 (when it was called “Ditch the Dream-Born Dust Motes and Wake the Fuck Up to Who You Really Are” — a phrase coined by the famous yogi, Yogananda), this site is nonetheless indispensable for its attitude (“We cannot learn without pain”), its defiant and exacting outlook (“Aren’t you tired of living like a slave”), its tough inspirational push (as a writer, I quite like being called pathetic when I haven’t thrown down 1000 words a day, it’s a call to action), and its much-needed re-affirmation that it is your (and yours alone) personal Will and Desire which, if strong enough, can transform your life for the better, the insanely better.

    D&P — you be doing a service to us Sapiens. Fist-bump.

    However, one thing here: “Are you really so special, is your situation really so unique, that you can’t find the answer to NEARLY any problem you have by picking up a book or reading an article?”

    While I completely and whole-heartedly agree with this in principal, that is, I agree with the notion of actively seeking to find a solution to your problem by any means necessary (whether that be chasing hot bitches, working weak muscles, improving poor diet, whatever), I feel that the metaphysical side of the equation is lacking.

    Over at RoK, the site that originally shuttled me over to this oasis of the internet desert, there are a few articles relating to Buddhism and how it can help improve your game/life. While not a Buddhist, I do have a regular meditation practice, and I can say without exaggeration that it has tremendously improved my Game/Life since I solidified it as a regular habit. I do not lack Frame Control. There are a lot (A LOT) of techniques and theories about meditation — how it works, why it works, how to do it, how not to do it, and I’ll spare you my personal regime — but for me, what’s key to remember is that meditation quiets the mind, the inane babbling circus mind, and it allows you (using a tried-and-true metaphor) to fold your little personal wave into the great universal Ocean, the real Ocean of energy in which everything and everybody comes out of and returns to (see Cheetah and Bird up top), the Ocean which contains all potentialities and possibilities and has the solution to EVERY problem. I know it may sound very strange and stupid and outright bullshit to some but I have found, in meditation, the answers to problems (personal ones, not global) that cannot be found in any book or article on Earth. This is not to say that you shouldn’t read, fuck no, you should read ’til your eyes bleed, but when you have done that, and your eyes are bleeding, and you don’t have the solution, you should know there are other authentic avenues of inquiry.

    No disrespect to D&P, but I’m just honestly wondering if such a way of acquiring knowledge and wisdom is on your radar. I would assume so, what with the learned and repeated remarks about various martial arts, these ancient pragmatic traditions steeped in spiritual fact, but I hate to be presumptuous (unless I’m closing a 9).

    Much love D&P, keep fighting the fights that need to be fought and leave the rest to slaughter themselves.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Dig deeper into the archives my friend.

      • sjb³

        Don’t know how I missed this one! I’ve had similar experiences as well with Ayahuasca and good old Psilocybin. Good to know there’s kindred spirits out there. Much thanks D&P.

  • James d’Anconia

    Thanks for these posts Mike.

    I’m here to gain all the knowledge I can from somebody who’s been down the road I’m travelling on, from game, to money, to health, fitness, lifestyle, etc.

    It let’s me know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel through the grinding hours of work/study/reading/training and let’s me know the things to avoid and the things to focus on along the way.

  • ancalgon

    From being a whiny little bitch who complained about bullshit like “women don’t go for nice guys”, Roissy was the first step towards recognizing the matrix of today’s largely feminized world for me. I learned to recognize women’s wiles for what they were, and the real nature of the things that drive their sexual attraction.

    Your blogs (the typepad one, then this one) basically picked up where Roissy left off. Yes, things are this way in modern America. How do you still manage to carve your way out in the world? I think Danger and Play, and VK’s old blog were the ones that answered this question the best for me, and hopefully saved me from turning into a bitter, complaining loser.

    What do I want to know about — well, I would say the three hundred or so articles you have are already pretty great, and I still have a lot to learn from them (I often re-read them, and go and try out stuff). I have just gotten into regular, three-times-a-week strength training, and I try to incorporate some of the tips from your podcast with Markus Reinhardt into them (don’t train with raw explosive power, slowly strain and contract your muscles through the movement, etc.). Possibly a post explaining the minutiae of some of the techniques you use in the gym for a good HIT workout, and aid recovery after the same would be pretty interesting for me at this point. Maybe something like “here’s everything that I did during my last workout”.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Yep. I have nothing but respect for Roissy’s work.

      Good idea about workout. Jay and I have talked about a “perfect workout, perfect nutrition” sort of podcast.

  • eric

    wow…that resonated really well to me this article…. I’ve just finished B&D’s 30 days of discipline a week ago.Now,I tried not doing anything and be back to normal but inside I feel like something is eating me, that I need to work up or just move. Don’t get me wrong,before I’ve completed that 30-day challenge I’ve been on stop-go-stop,and I think that’s the reason behind,that I’m a divided person, one wants progress while the other seeks comfort. This article helped me realized that.

  • Fortis

    Great post, Mike. I like how you’re pumping out quality posts at this rate. I woke up to this post a few days ago and immediately went to the gym and did a gruelling work out (A guy saw me and told me, “so, you’re going hard today?), did my 1000 words of fiction and still made time to go out and hit on women at some point. I think just reading this made me more motivated and powerful. I went out with some friends later that night and the hostess of the restaurant started blushing and acting really coy as I demanded a table for 10 even though we had just walked in.

    I can honestly say that B&D, D&P and goodlookingloser are changing lives out here.

    • Merkage

      What is B&D?

      • Danger & Play Blog – a website for winners.

        • Merkage

          Excellent, thank you.

      • Fortis

        Mike beat me to it. Definitely check out that site.

  • Graham

    Great post man. Gives me a boost of motivation to get the most out of life. Your stuff is straight forward, actionable advice. Keep up the good work. Cheers.

  • Hugo To

    Cool, cool post Mike.

    Admittedly, I’m doing a lot of number two: reading. Although I havn’t been chasing pain as relentlessly as you’ve put it. Will definitely need to implement this more.


  • Merkage

    Time to raise the levels.

  • asolheim

    This resonated with me. Lately I feel like self help/inspirational blogs haven’t been working like they say they do. So I stopped trying to do them. Then it occurred to me. Maybe I wasn’t actually doing them. I mean, I was doing a few of the things I’ve learned; but if they weren’t working, was I not working enough? I don’t think I am. “The secrets of success don’t work unless you do.”

    • Danger & Play Blog

      A lot of people use “self help” blogs as a way to procrastinate. “When I find the PERFECT idea, I’ll take action.”

      You know that’s bullshit.

      You know what to do.

      Now you just need to make it happen.

  • Sean Nash

    Our body is designed to accept pain, and make us want to go do it again the next day. When I ski in the backcountry all day I can barely move when I get home, but there’s nothing else in the world I want to do than to go out again tomorrow.

  • Jose L Romero

    I have always known about your site but have never visited. I’m ashamed that i have not visited sooner!

    There are many men out there living the leisure life of a plantation slave. Never really pushing themselves to be better rather just floating like a feather being caught in the wind. Its true that pain makes a man stronger and helps in changing his life and will also reap its rewards!

    Growing up in the Bronx where you see most men doing nothing with their lives and complaining about how the “Man” is keeping them down! I worked to push myself out of that shit! I could have chosen to live the the easy life and be living off Uncle Sam’s money but instead i chose the hard way! Due to the fact that my Dad worked hard and he was able to get us the things that most of the people in the neighborhood did not have. He was my inspiration and so i started by staying in school (if you are from NY then you know the NY public school system sucks!) that by itself was survival mode everyday.

    Wanted to go to college but did not have the money so i joined the military to get the GI BILL. I learned a lot during the four years there! 18 years old and have already traveled half way around the world! Met some great dudes! Fucked some bitches int he ports we visited. I swear those 4 years were nothing but a party for me!

    I took the money and went to college to learn Computer Network Administration! Knew nothing about computers! It was hard as hell but i held on and studied harder while my other classmates gave up and changed their major but not me! It was painful trying to understand that shit! I’m not much into theory as i learn better by doing but hey i had to go through the fire before i can be a full fledged computer guy!

    I went form the ghetto to suburbia and you know what I’m still not satisfied! I still need that pain to add to the scars i already had!

    It sucked in the beginning when you had people of authority telling you that you will not amount to much! It still hurts to day when i think about it!

    Pain and suffering always makes a person strive for a better life!

    Great post!

  • Ser Lopez

    As a kid, maybe at 9 or 10 years old, i once stepped under the warm shower and felt something wasn´t right, it wasn´t ok to just confortably stay under the warm water as long as i wanted, and then cover myself with a towel like a scared puppy. It was pure, raw instinct coming from the depths of the ancient brain, claiming to be listened to, eager to make me put myself through pain as soon as possible in order to become a man (spartan boys were said to start their instruction at 7).

    I mustered the courage to take a couple of showers the following days and then dismissed the idea as crazy and pointless. After all, what does a kid know right?

    I really wish i had pursued, although i don´t blame myself entirely for not doing it. I will surely push my son down that path if i ever have one.

  • Pedro

    I lack discipline. But thanks to your site and stopping watching porn. I am gonna make it happen. No more proscratination . Time to take action

  • jon

    Why am I here. I would like to start by I got here by accident. While searching for some random thing I cannot remember on google. Every one of your articles got my heart pumping, like those that make me question my existence, question what I am doing with my life, and the ‘now what?’

    I have been searching for the ‘now what’ for a long long time, having emerged from a childhood filled with comfort, always looking and taking the easy way out, looking for excuses, escaping for pain. and it felt weird.

    Why am I here, I want to change myself from this day on. I happen to be an insurance salesman and I’m just seating on my bum whole day long and relying on my warm leads. I want to live a life like none ever lived before, on the edge, in the zone, benefitting many, dying happily.

    thank you for writing. I really admire your honest, heartfelt words.

  • Edward Kennway

    Mike, while I respect your site (thanks to Chris), there are some things that are off with the post.

    Firstly, it is scientifically proven that the first set is the one that you gain the most benefit from. Working out until you’re in agonizing pain will discourage many people from doing it for long which defeats the purpose.

    Secondly, the “Women scare you? You’re lucky you weren’t born in a jungle filled with lions and tigers. Go watch Oprah and take advice from Dr. Phil.” was pretty hilarious but you’re treating mental conditions like they’re easy to dismiss. It’s like saying “just be happy” to someone with depression. Doesn’t work like that. Chris had the right idea, baby steps to get rid of approach anxiety with his program.

  • Guillaume Bach

    thank you, Danger & Play reading it tonight ease my pain…

  • Me

    I’m here to learn how to be a man. To confront pain and work hard.
    Thanks for this inspiring blog.

  • Vashist Reddy

    Hell…yeah this one hell of a blog you have created Mike. I appreciate your direct no bullshit style. From now on, I have a new mentor and that is you. Thanks