47 Life Tips from an Afghanistan Vet and Airborne Infantry Soldier

When I asked newsletter subscribers and Danger & Play readers what advice they would offer young men, I expected to get a few flip replies. I was laughably wrong.

The older men stepped up in ways I never could have imagined.

I received several dozen emails and submissions that were blog posts in themselves.

It has taken me days to sort through and organize all of the emails I’ve received.

I am going to run some of their advice as “guest blogs.”

Danger & Play has grown into something bigger than myself.

While I may not agree with everything the readers suggest, I am running submissions in their entirety.

I am not a guru. If something you read resonates with you, listen to that feeling – even if the advice might be “wrong” in my view.

This post comes from a world traveller, war veteran, and airborne infantry soldier who is also an introvert who had to learn how to get good with women.


An Afghanistan Vet and Airborne Infantry Soldier’s Advice to Men in Their 20s

1. Avoid putting yourself in a position of need, especially from someone else.

2. Negotiate from a position of power. Want whatever “it” is less than the other person.

3. Don’t be in a rush to fuck a lot. Be in a rush to become the kind of guy that CAN fuck a lot.

4. College is mainly horseshit. Half of the “hard science” degrees are useless. Go for fun, or go with a job in mind. If employers aren’t already banging down your door to ask when you graduate, don’t do it.

5. Being an employee can really suck.

6. Don’t plan on having a stable career, anyway. One trick ponies are extremely vulnerable.

7. Interning (giving away your time for free) is for spoiled rich white women.

8. Never pay your own money or a loved one’s money for a college degree. Go to welding school or HVAC school instead. If you must pay, use subsidized federal loans and pell grants.

9. Learn a trade, or two. Earn money and live off of that trade.

10. Work with groups of men, whenever possible.

11. Never ever let a good friend go.

12. Work as a waiter or a bartender in a highbrow restaurant or a happening bar for at least a year.

13. Don’t take no for an answer. Use verbal honey or a verbal backhand to get what you want. Honey usually works, backhands need to carry the very real threat of violence, or they are worse than useless. Businesses bend for fear of you trashing their reputation or you removing your money, men mostly bend for fear of shame, or financial and physical harm.

14. Don’t bluff. Don’t lie. Infer threats sparingly, and only when you are completely ready to carry them out at the drop of a hat.

15. Speak louder, and speak less.

16. Look people in the eyes, always. Soften this with a smile, when necessary.

17. Understatement is better than braggadocio.

18. Spend money on learning skills instead of buying things.

19. Working abroad is better than traveling abroad. Volunteering does not count. Vacationing is bullshit.

20. There is no shame at living at home. The money you save could let you pay off your parent’s mortgage for them, or buy yourself your own house somewhere else, or allow you to retire for a few years in your early thirties.

21. Enjoy your time with the ones you love.

22. Wherever you are, be there now.

23. Life is short, and nothing is guaranteed.

24. Women are, simply put, either incapable, untrustworthy, or both. They can earn a place of high respect, but never your trust. Such is the nature of woman. Never put yourself in a position to need them.

25. Try to live somewhere for free.

26. Make as much money as possible, and spend at least 30% less than that.

27. General long-term value to a man (in America): Skills>Relationships>Experiences>Time/Money>Stuff>Women

28. Use condoms.

29. Never trust that a girl is on the pill, or that the pill will work.

30. Avoid a relationship unless it truly suits you.

31. Don’t count on it suiting you for more than few years. You will undoubtedly be a different person in a decade.

32. Learn to have fun, and not care about chasing women. Like magic, you’ll have plenty of them running around.

33. Spend less money on stupid shit. Before whipping out the credit card, ask yourself “will this make me a better person? Will this still be with me in a year? Does this add serious value to my life?” if the answer is no, don’t buy it.

34. Make a budget, and stick to it. Or just have discipline, and don’t buy stupid shit.

35. Quality is better than quantity, up to the point of diminishing returns. The only big-ticket items that are worth spending heavy money on are skills, and durable or semi-durable tools: a MacBook, a rudimentary armament, camping equipment, a good looking suit, and a reliable used car.

36. Nothing worth having comes easy. Hit the gym like a fucking madman, but that said…

37. Listen to your body when it tells you that something is wrong. Avoid unnecessary healthcare costs. Don’t cripple yourself in the prime of your life. Learn the difference between pain and injury, and err on the side of caution.

38. Don’t be fat, ever. It is both mentally and physically repulsive.

39. Be the guy that brings a group up, and belong to groups that bring you up.

40. Your children> good family and good friends> other’s children> good women > strangers >bad friends, co workers, bad family>broken women

41. Avoid drugs and those who do them like the plague. Marijuana is just a waste of time and potential. The others are fun, but they will probably hurt you, and you will probably hurt those who you love if you do them. If that trade off is worth it to you, you need to improve your life, stat.

42. Alcohol is best in moderation. Excess consumption is unhealthy, expensive, dishonorable, and invites ruin into your life.

43. It doesn’t matter how much fun they are, motorcycles will eventually kill or maim their riders- whether they ride safely or not. Other drivers don’t care, and physics always wins. There are cheaper, more useful, and even more fun ways to risk killing yourself.

44. Have at least 6 months of typical living expenses in the bank. A year is preferable, but get to 6 months, first.

45. Use credit cards, and pay them off every month. Never pay a dime in interest, and get paid to build your credit.

46. If it can be avoided, never pay for a girl’s anything. This rule gets slightly relaxed in other cultures, or when traveling abroad.

47. Advice for those considering joining the military: The military is a shell of it’s former self. Every single branch and leaf of our nation’s martial structure is decaying, despite the best efforts of some of our best people. Stripped of honor and purpose, it increasingly resembles a jobs program. It is an increasingly feminized and somewhat dangerous EO environment for a young man.


That was simply phenomenal.

By the way, my friend Peter complied the advice into an helpful list for you to study regularly. You may download the list by clicking here.


  • http://fabfitover40.com Jay

    20 Sumtin Fellers….that right there is MESMERIZING. I suggest you read it 100x over and over again and print it out and put it on your wall near your Bed. Read it before you crash and when you wake up. Leave a list of 10 Bullet Point numbers below it….try to contribute 10 things over your next 10 years to that list….. Wow. Blown away. Makes me realize how amazing Humanity can be.

  • Peter Phoenix

    @disqus_0Yh5hlLsqe:disqus Totally agree, I have a few lists like this printed on my wall, it takes a while to sink in. Here’s the PDF if you’re interested. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bww7lAH7lHJTVElWLXUtbzh1VDQ/edit?usp=sharing

  • Alex

    I feel like I just read life tips from DeNiro in “Heat”. Combative but eerily relevant. Thanks D+P. Any action steps to take in order to remove the emotional need for women?

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Women are great. Just don’t make them your priority.

      When you have a mission in life, women will always be secondary.

      So…Work on your mission and the rest will fall into place.

  • Brett

    “Your children> good family and good friends> other’s children> good women > strangers >bad friends, co workers, bad family>broken women”

    This right here is gold! Such a thoughtful hierarchy right there out in the open. It checks out perfectly.

    One thing that bothers me is that my friends that would pass the “10 year test” smoke weed and drink. In fact I’ve ditched them all. They’re nice people but their mindsets towards wealth and self-improvement are bringing me down. It’s weird how one can evolve while the rest just fucking stop trying. I’ll never stop until I die.

    Even my own family is draining my energy and mindset. I’ve gotten good at state control over the last few months. When I hear negative talk I just shut down. My dad drinks every night. It’s a very toxic environment. I’m moving out tomorrow into a shared house with young guys.

    I wish I could stay here and save money & build a business with good friends by my side like you recommend. I’m basically starting from scratch and it’s very lonely. I’m gonna network like a boss these next few months though & work on my sales skills, and learn to write copy. Got an entrepreneur meetup to attend in June.

    Thanks for doing this guys!!! Us young guns need the reassurance that we’re on the right path. The world is working against us.

    This blog keeps getting better every day.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      We have more coming, too. Stay tuned.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      It’s good that you are getting away. There are more men like you. We are building bridges and all will make sense in due time.

  • nek

    A fucking men. Honestly, I think the direction this web site has been going has been having some sort of effect around these parts, as Roosh, Returnofkings, et al. have been producing much better quality articles as of late. The standard is rising.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Yep. People thought I was being dramatic. Simpletons. I was being strategic – but only the wise understood what was really going on.

      The vermin scurried away. Others took my words as a challenge and call to action.

  • Fortis

    Value barrage, anyone? This may just be the best site of all time.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      Not yet. It won’t be the best site of all time until I can look at it and say, “If I die today, my work is done.”

  • UnpluggedBeta

    This is an amazing list. Hell, I’m in my 30’s and I benefited from this.

  • nek

    One I’d like to throw out…be slow to criticize:
    – A lot of people criticize people for doing things that they themselves do. All this does is invite reciprocial and magnified criticism when you’re seen doing/saying the same thing, and creates largely unnecessary frictions between people.
    – A lot of times there’s more to people’s actions than meets the eye. This one guy was being a real dick to me and I attributed it to 1) him being a dick and 2) I must have done something wrong. The reality is that his wife had just left him. So really neither 1 or 2 applied at all.
    – I’m all for a good kick in the ass when it’s needed, but sometimes when you’re delivering this “kick in the ass” criticism, some of the harshness isn’t helping and it’s really just you being a dipshit. This can backfire on you. Make sure you have your emotional state in the right place when delivering criticism.
    That being said, criticism is still an important part of refining people. Learn how to deliver it tactfully and you will have quality people thanking you until the day you die. The people who won’t be thanking you were lost causes from the get go.

    • Danger & Play Blog

      I don’t criticize anymore. I help people troubleshoot. If you have a problem, tell me and let’s work up a solution.

      Otherwise it’s pointless. People don’t take criticism to heart. They just close up.

    • Calvin Taylor

      Agreed. At right times, there is tremendous strength in being passive – letting someones BS fly over your head. Best thing to do, in most cases, is to not take anything personal and be KIND toward them (to an extent).

  • XCSkierBen

    Excellent work.

  • Harsh Agarwal

    Hey Danger and Play,
    I read the post about building your crew and the five people are your average.
    My question is where do I find willing guys?
    Most of my friends were not intrested in improving themselves whatsoever(So I let them go), but your post doesn’t say how to find red pill guys?

  • Merkage

    I’m 24. Thank you, no seriously, thank you.

  • Rafael A.

    This is a great peace of advice, however, I don´t agree with his view on college.
    Man must graduate from college at any cost even if they don´t want to work in a white collar job.
    Ok, I agree that college isn´t the best way to educate yourself, however, the world we live in need more highly educated masculine men. Get a degree for yourself and move on with your life, it won´t hurt you.
    In the meantime you can learn how to be a tatoo artist, a plumber, a hair stylist or whatever you want to do.
    If everything fails you can use your degree to make some money. It´s better than being 30 yo and having no source of income. Having a Plan B is important.

    I would like to elaborate more but I´m not a native english speaker :)

    • http://fabfitover40.com Jay

      Disagree 100%. I am a College Graduate but today Colleges are nothing more than arms of bigger public institution corporations. Unless a person’s parents are paying for their college or they have a full academic or athletic scholarship-a good college can put somebody 200k in debt upon graduation. Figure out the interest payment on that debt while starting out in the world. College is great for somebody who is driven to be there for a specific reason and it’s also great for cultural exploration and hopefully maturation. But beyond that….professors are BETA and the over bearing themes are mixed with severe feminist policies and initiatives.

    • Calvin Taylor

      College is all about networking, setting yourself up to get a high paying job. If anything its a perectly fine time to experiment, especially if your options are staying home with mom and pop working at Wild wings all day

  • Calvin Taylor

    I’m 17, no doubt on the right track, this resonates with my values well. Thanks for the advice.

  • http://NotesFromBeyond.com/ Beyond Borders

    This was an awesome list. Saving it to my computer. If you do the Daily Docs thing, this would be a great one to add to the collection.

    Would love to see more from this guy.