Call This What You Will

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A while back, I read the book How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big: Kind Of The Story Of My Life, by Scott Adams. In it, he talks about ways that we can view the world, or filters, so that we can better predict things that’ll happen and that make us happy. It’s a good read and I highly recommend it.

Lately I’ve been on a tirade of sorts about my own “axioms” or “ways that Rob does shit and views the world.” The origin of those ways that I choose to view things and how to deal with them so that I can be happy all originated from Scott’s book. His “truth filters” was the seed that was planted, so to speak.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, my axioms, my “mantras”, my way of viewing the world, being better able to predict what is happening in it, and also what makes me happy is:

  1. Be The Villain.
  2. Let ‘Em Burn.
  3. Scorched Earth Policy.
  4. Vote With Your Wallet.
  5. Vote With Your Attention.

I’ve learned over the years, by watching people do what they do, that they are consistent if anything. They’ll keep doing the same things over and over, getting into the same relationships, just with different people, and yet they think that “this time,” they’ll get it “right.” I’ve been guilty of doing this myself. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. You can show people where they need to do something different, you can even show them how to do it differently, but until they are ready and willing to actually do the work themselves, they are going to keep making the same mistakes and doing the same shit over and over. This is why they have to burn.

Somebody paraphrased my concept of being the villain as, “some people aren’t going to like you, get used to it.” They weren’t wrong, but they were only half right. It’s true that the majority of people that you are going to come into contact with are not going to have an opinion about you one way or another. They are going to be totally neutral towards you. Some are going to dislike you no matter what. Maybe you look like their Dad who abused them and abandoned them when they were young. Maybe it’s the color of your skin. Maybe it’s your name. All guys named Jason are assholes and you happen to be named Jason. People are funny that way. But being the villain is more than accepting that you’re going to piss people off and that they aren’t going to like you. Being the villain is also embracing the fact that you are going to piss people off and taking that concept all the way. Embrace being the villain. Relish it. Cherish it. Become the best villain you can be. Be ruthless in your villainry. Enjoy the role. Wax your black moustache to fine points while cackling wildly and donning your black hat. Don’t just accept that you are going to be the villain, enjoy being the villain. It’s okay if people hate you, that just means you are doing it right.

Scorched earth is that ability to be willing to lose it all, to burn it all right down to the ground. To be willing to lose your job, lose all your money, lose your family and kids even. It’s the ability to destroy anything and everything that you hold valuable to you. It doesn’t mean that you have to destroy everything that you hold dear to yourself, but it does mean that you are willing to destroy everything that matters to you. You can’t bluff someone who isn’t bluffing. You can’t lose when you are willing to destroy it all. That’s what it means when you hear that saying, “he has nothing to lose.” It also means destroying your opposition completely. Don’t pull any punches and don’t hold back. If you decide to go scorched earth, you go all the way or you don’t go at all. Being able and willing to go scorched earth is where you get that zero fucks mentality from, and it’s hard to beat someone who gives zero fucks.

Vote with your wallet is really simple. Stop giving money to people, businesses, and causes that don’t align with your values. Someone shitting on you for being a man? Stop buying their products. Stop going to their establishments. Get shitty service on a consistent basis? Stop eating there. Don’t bother with throwing reviews up on Yelp, that’s just mental masturbation. Nobody reads that shit anyways. Just stop showing up. Stop buying. When someone asks me about an establishment, a person, or a business that I refuse to give my money to, my only response to their inquiry is, “I don’t buy from them. I don’t shop there. I don’t do business with them.” I don’t need to say anything else really. They get the message. What they do with that information is up to them.

Vote with your attention is the simplest and probably the most powerful one. It’s the simplest, but it isn’t always the easiest. With so many things competing for our attention, it can be difficult to tune the bullshit out. When your emotions get engaged, it can be difficult to disconnect and let it go, but ultimately that’s what you have to do. You don’t like women selling nudie pics and vids on the internet? Don’t buy them. Don’t watch them. Don’t “like” them. This is simple economics 101. The market will collapse if there is a supply of whatever it is, but there’s no demand for it. Women acting bratty and disrespectful? Ignore the behavior as best you can and remove your attention, even if it means that by removing your attention, you are walking away from her. We can’t use the rod or the stick anymore, punishment is pretty much out of the question, but we can remove the carrot and not reward shitty behavior.

It’s hard for trolls and idiots to engage you when you ignore and/or block. It’s hard for anyone wanting to sperg out on you to get a reaction from you when you refuse to engage in it. There’s no argument when one party refuses to participate. I don’t get bullshit coming at me from dumpster fires because I refuse to jump in and participate in them. Life’s too short. You enjoy dumpster fires? You do you baby. I’ll sit back here eating popcorn, drinking a beer, and smoking a cigar and giggling profusely as that shitstorm rages on. Let it burn indeed.

I’m sure as time goes on, I’ll be updating or even replacing these “maxims.” I’ll change and grow as I always do. I’ll replace them when they no longer work and no longer make me happy. But until then, this is where I’m at and this is what works for me. Give them a shot, they may just work for you too.

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Villain

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Yup, it’s me.

I’ve said it before in a few different broadcasts on YouTube, I’ve even mentioned it in other posts. I’ve even made it part of my bio on Twitter.

You’re going to be the Villain in somebody’s story. Get used to it.

For most of my life, I’ve tried to avoid this fact. I’ve done things and acted in certain ways all in order to avoid being the villain in somebody’s story. I wanted to be the “good guy.” I wanted to be the “hero.” And even in some cases, I wanted to be the “savior.”

I’ve had to realize and accept the fact that I’m going to be the villain in somebody’s story, at least for a period of time, and that’s okay.

Guys, anytime you do something for you, you run the risk of pissing somebody off. You run the risk of offending them. You run the risk of them getting angry with you. It’s unavoidable. Sure, you can go most of your life without rocking the boat, or making waves, but you’ll end up living a life that isn’t your own. It’ll be somebody else’s life that they wanted or that they envisioned for you. And I promise you, it will be a miserable life if you choose it. That life leads to all sorts of problems for you down the road. I think that’s how many people end up as alcoholics and addicted to different drugs. Gotta medicate that pain away because you aren’t living the way that you really want to.

I think that’s how many people end up in a “mid-life crisis.” You do what’s expected of you for so long until you can’t stand it anymore, and then you “go off the deep end” and end up doing the things you always wanted to do anyways.

One of the ultimate things that living a life that isn’t yours, is that you don’t know who you are, or you do, but you think you can’t do anything about it. And it tears and eats at you on a daily basis. I call this “punching yourself in the face.” I did it for most of the duration of my marriage, punched myself in the face. I did what I thought was expected of me and ended up numb for the most part, and miserable at the end. I knew I wanted more, but I didn’t want to be the villain. So I had a choice, become the villain or take my own life. You can see the choice I made.

I think the refusal to be the villain can lead to suicide too.

Being the villain isn’t the same thing as being evil. Being the villain just means you live your life on your own terms, no matter how much you rock the boat, no matter how much you disappoint people, and no matter how much they get pissed off at you. As far as I’m concerned, if you are pissing people off, you’re doing it right. That’s a good barometer.

When I was a child, I would watch all sorts of TV shows and movies, and I would find myself rooting for the villain. The villain to me was far more interesting and dynamic than the hero. There usually was some sort of backstory where you got to see where the villain came from, and where they were going. Sometimes they were redeemed, other times not so much. The villain always had some sort of mission, whether it was world domination, absolute power, or even seduction. Whatever it was, the villain was more “real” to me, more fleshed out for the most part. I had more investment and interest in the villain than I ever did for the hero.

Which leads me to this thought:

It’s your life. You are the main character in it. It’s your show, your rules. You can be the hero in your own story, and why shouldn’t you be? But you’re going to be the villain in somebody else’s story and you need to accept that and get used to it. If you’re going to be the villain, why not be the best villain you can be? Own that shit. I do.

I’m not advocating criminality here, or anything illegal. That’s on you if you decide to go that route. Responsibility to the responsible. But if you are going to be the villain, you might as well own it and be the best villain you can be. Relish it, cherish it. Thank whoever made you the villain. After all, without a villain, you don’t have much of a story. At least not one that is worth telling and savoring.

A parting thought:

What is our fascination with villains? Jesse James. Darth Vader. The Joker. It seems that western culture throughout the years has celebrated the villain, even if secretly. So why not be willing to be the villain? Why not own it when it happens? Why not be good with it? Chicks dig “bad boys” and assholes right? And what are they really? They are the villain in somebody’s story. Maybe it’s an ex-girlfriend’s or an ex-wife’s story. Maybe it’s someone in your own story. If there are a great many people out there who celebrate the villain in one way or another, why not be the villain so that they can celebrate you too?

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