“Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman–a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting” – Neitzsche
There’s an interesting dichotomy between how we as humans view loners in fiction versus how we see them in real life. In the movies, the gruff, aloof loner is seen as a badass of sorts – a superior man that his lessers cannot comprehend. It’s no surprise that a large portion of movies in the appropriate genres use some version of this archetype. We like to relate to these kind of anti-heroes in all forms of fiction. Their demeanor and fuck-what-you-think attitude resonates with something deep and primal within us, something we cannot really explain. Secretly, we chastise the “supporting cast” of the rebel’s life for being unable to understand his greatness. We like to think of ourselves as different, as being able to understand. Yet, in real life when we encounter these kind of men, we tend to have the same reactions as our fictional counterpart – a subtle fear of the unknown. Our minds don’t know what to make of such a person. Are they “cool” or are they just weirdos with no friends?
The answer is usually varying degrees of both. It varies from extremes depending on who they are and where they are on their path. A good indication of when a man is advancing on his path is when his charisma is becoming stronger. Self made men are the envy of the world because they don’t owe it a damn thing and the world knows it. However, to get to this point is not easy – blood, sweat, and tears are just the entrance fee to walk the path less traveled. What kind of person would traverse it?
Such a man may be someone who strives to become more than what they are, but are less than they should. Someone who doesn’t want to end up like everyone else. That is, tired, weak, old, and average. A fat, nagging wife, 2.5 emo kids in a modest little house in some modest little neighborhood. Dreams cast aside and forgotten, now just one of the nameless; swallowed up by the dull grey of lower-middle class mediocrity. How could this happen to so many?
Fear and Ignorance. Deep, primal fear from within. Most humans never acquire the mental capacity to even recognize it. Fear of losing relationships, wealth, sex, and family. Fear of poverty, of failure, of exile. It runs against the very nature of our tribal minds. Do as the tribe does, and you will survive. And the funny thing is that this is true. Doing as the tribe does will indeed make basic survival more likely. The pack has a better chance than the lone wolf, after all. Why bother?
Why go through such long suffering for no guaranteed payoff? You ask me to lose everything for some dream? Some chance that may never be? I would be better off listening to mother and starting that whatever career in some whatever company. If I’m lucky, after 10 years of faithful servitude to my corporate masters, they may reward me with a slightly larger cubicle. Mom and dad will be so proud. My fat wife who has sex with me twice a year will be so proud. All my dead end friends will be so proud. I’m a real winner now, because I did what society told me to do. Wont they all be so proud?
The plight of the Everyman
Superior men that strive to become the best versions of themselves often encounter problems that they cannot relate to in their their more average counterparts. The path to becoming your ideal version is filled with sorrow, setbacks, treachery, and solitude. Real life isn’t a training montage from a Rocky film, especially for the majority of men not lucky enough to be born into wealth, connections, or happy childhoods. The very nature of the majority of humans is hardwired to mediocrity. We don’t want to read books, eat healthy, lift weights, then spend the rest of the night working on a new business. We don’t want to approach that beautiful woman in the bar.
What we really want to do is go get drunk with our 3 loser friends while complaining about how underappreciated we are at our jobs. We want to watch sports and lust over the pretty girl walking down the street who we’ll never have the balls to talk to. We want to masturbate to porn 5 times a day in-between World of Warcraft and Call of Duty sessions. We want to do everything except anything productive. And when we finally try, it does not last. The entirety of society, from our friends and family, to our schools and entertainment is designed to keep us this way. How can one overcome such a foe?
This unending mountain of bullshit is also fraught with stumbling blocks in the form of our so-called friends. These friends can be family, lovers, co workers, anything. Those that push us, either intentionally or not, subtlety or blatantly, to remain the same loser until the day we die. I’ll tell you this, one true friend is worth a thousand acquaintances.
One major epiphany lies in the age-old platitude “you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. So cliche one cringes when reading it, so annoying one almost refuses to give such a phrase any consideration. Couple it with the American proverb “lie with the dogs and wake up with the fleas”, and you begin to see a pattern. “The poor get poorer and the rich get richer”. Losers create more losers. The average create the average. The Great…the truly great simply look upon them from the top in secret pity. So many words to say one simple thing – hanging around idiots will turn you into an idiot.
The Pack is often the best choice for survival
Despite all this, let us not romanticize this concept to the point of absurdity. A weak grasp of objective reality is a feminine trait that is unbecoming of any man. Following societies’ blueprint for success is often the better choice for the average man. Play by the rules, and you get just enough luxuries and freedoms to not revolt. For most, the safe path will lead to a happier life. In fact, many average men are able to achieve degrees of success in whatever interests they are passionate about. That steady 9-5 with that steady paycheck and that steady sense of dullness for the rest of their effective life. They may never become truly wealthy, free, or great but they are much more likely to not be a failure either. Truly, for some all they want is a average wife, some kids, and a pleasant house in some quaint little suburb. That is fine, for society needs such people in vast amounts to function effectively.
Maybe you are the kind of man that demands more from his existence. The path of the entrepreneur, of the trailblazer, of the visionary often ends in one spectacular failure after another. I’ve had more than I can count. You have to seriously ask yourself if you want to risk security for success. Choose carefully, for there are only a few feelings worse than failing over and over again with not one shoulder to cry on. Sitting alone in darkness, wondering how you’re going to make it when it seems like the very universe has a personal vendetta against you. Despair, suffering, loneliness. Almost all great men have had to deal with this many times. The price of freedom is security. Choose carefully indeed.
This is not to dissuade you from chasing your dreams but to ground you on the reality of the journey. Despite all these things, I must try. My biggest fear is waking up one day, a dying old man, and looking back on my life only to see nothing special. Your prime faded without anything truly meaningful accomplished. A meaningless existence without one fulfilling their purpose is worse than death. Better to be the man in the arena, bleeding and struggling. Better to be the one fighting monsters than watching timidly from the stands. Better to balance pain and glory over comfort and oblivion. Pick up your sword, and go forward.
The Man in The Arena
We must ask ourselves, for what do we do this for? What are the benefits of being a lone wolf? Why, only the greatest of states; freedom. Freedom is the most desired of conditions and all men have a primal yearning for it. The lone wolf is freer than the pack. The pack obeys the alpha, he obeys himself. The pack may eat more often, but when he eats, he eats his fill. Unburdened by the shackles of social expectation, he is free to truly achieve whatever he thinks he can be. The endless drama of people’s lives, their petty problems, their short-sighted beliefs, none of this is his problem now. You have the ability to focus on your mission without ridiculous distractions, and this is a grand thing. Like my old pal the urban philosopher 50 Cent once said, Get Rich or Die Trying. Motherfucker.
Imagine waking up every day for the rest of your life to no alarm clock. You don’t have to work because your investments make more money for you than you know how to spend. You have the ability to travel wherever you want, and do whatever you want with no boss to report to. You use no one for nothing because you do not need anyone. Whatever friendships or women you have in your life, you have because you choose to and not because you settled…and they love you for it. It’s an amazing feeling to know that someone chooses to include you in their life because they truly like you with no agenda. And ironically, the less you seek the approval of others, the more you get it. Especially with women.
Your mind and charisma have been sharpened in to a fucking great sword whilst the common pleb wields a butter knife. Your body would be deemed worthy by King Leonidas to be in his 300, murdering the barbarian hordes whilst the average dad-bod milk drinker is only suited to murder a hamburger. Women can sense the kind of aura you project and they cannot handle it because men like you barely exist. You could walk up to a beautiful woman and do nothing but give a little smirk – she’ll sleep with you. You could walk up to another and tell her you’re a homeless faggot with AIDS – she’ll sleep with you too.
Ridiculous? Impossible? Childish?
Many would say so. Tell this to the average person and they’ll tell you to keep dreaming. Such things are beyond their reality and as such they never ever approach that mythical realm. So don’t listen to them. I tell you the truth – there’s men that have achieved this and more. They achieved it because they believed they could – and they paid the price for it. That price that we spoke of before is dark and heavy – so of course the reward must be something beyond the scope of the typical mortal. It’s time to decide your path.
Sit down in silence. Cut out food, porn, video games, music, books, any and all distractions. Sit their in silence. Sit in your unease and discomfort. Sit in solitude and think. Think of what you want out of your life and how you are going to get it. Pray. Meditate. Cry. Suffer. Do whatever you have to do – but make a decision. No matter how old you are, it’s not too late. The best time to start is always now. Know that there are others like you in the world and that even though you have no one you are not alone. So rise up and discard all the useless things holding you down. Becoming something greater than what everyone said you could be. Become the lone wolf. Become the warrior. Become the hero of your story.
It’s up to you.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt