Random Xpat Rantings

Contemplative dominance for the modern man

Why ambition is unnatural

Posted by xsplat on June 18, 2013

ambitionRegarding marriage, Renfrew said:

Anyway, for most people, nothing works — or doesnt work very well at least — because they lack the self-knowledge and competence to know, and then get, what they want out of relationships.

The more you learn and the more you build your value and the more you put your learning and value to practice the more your options change. And that changes what you want. It’s a complicated feedback loop.

We are built, as humans, to want what we can get. I think I got that right. Unrealistic expectations make us unhappy. It’s the theme of countless cartoon shows and sit-coms. In my day everyone had seen the Gilligans Island episode where the castaways eat some magic sunflower seeds, suddenly get mind reading abilities, and their lives then all turn to shit due to being angered by each others insulting thoughts. Turns out that people getting what they want only causes trouble, is the recurring theme. Don’t want so much, all the TV shows explain.

Over and over in show after show the nail that stands out gets hammered down. You didn’t actually want that after all! If only you’d thought it through! I recall that it’s said in religions and even in some scientific studies that accepting what we have is a means of realizing happiness. Accept the now.

But the flip side of that is ambition, and improving your lot.

We can’t have ambition though. Because we can’t know what is a realistic goal. Until we learn and build our value. Then and only then can our goals change; when we realize that high ambitions are realistic.

Men want marriage in large part because that is seen as a realistic positive ambition.

Are there other realistic positive ambitions that are only available to men who have developed their knowledge and value and skill and circumstance and connections and social wherewithal?

For those who have not yet developed the realistic ability to achieve high ambitions, high ambitions will appear to them as nothing but trouble. Bullshit. Problematic. Or worse; antisocial.

In my life I’ve seen people build from scratch hugely ambitious goals. Some charismatic leaders for instance achieve just about every ambition possible. The technology is there. It can be implemented. Big ambitions are possible to realize.

I’ve already taken steps, and our group is daily taking steps. We have some great, positive, socially and personally fulfilling ambitions. Marriage is no longer seen by any of us as a positive ambition; our realistic goals are far greater. We are building momentum and great minds are joining in with their efforts. Male business lifestyle community using ALL the tools of motivation available to us. Hacking our systems and the systems of others with a grand vision in mind. It’s realistic. Big ambitions won’t occur to you until they are realistic.

Tonight is movie night and we are watching Robert Cialdini – The Power Of Persuasion.avi and will brainstorm about how to use the 6 ideas to promote one of our new businesses. This is of course about more than just maximizing our business efforts – we are learning influence, by doing. One small action on the way towards a very big vision.

Update: Can you recommend some other videos that you’d want to watch to help yourself and your group succeed?

An eye opening vid about influencing crowds:

These are mind boggling too:



It’s easy to view the videos as examples of problematic weaknesses in our minds – how open people are to manipulation. I’m looking at it from a more positive angle – what leverage can be used to achieve positive goals? Such levers have been used to great communal benefit in the past. We will take notes on all technologies, and seize the momentum.

There are so many psychological needs that are crying out to be met – value that can be given to others in return for our group and personal benefit. A large one of which is of course community and networking. Another is listening. Another is inspiring motivation.

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5 Responses to “Why ambition is unnatural”

  1. Maybe another video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nCWOwOKOHHo

    • xsplat said

      Carrot and stick.

      I heard tell of a guy who posted a Craigslist ad searching for a girl to slap him in the face each time he started goofing off on his laptop at the coffee shop. It worked out well – she was worth the $8 an hour to sit watching over him – he was more than $8/hour more productive.

      You’re right, and it’s not so easy for a guy like me. It’s important to learn how to manage with the stick also.

      “Fuck you, that’s who I am!”

      Also interesting is how he creates the frame; this is what life is about, and this is what you are looking for. Now that you know what YOUR wants are, work harder for OUR profit.

      That’s another huge part of leadership; setting the vision and the goals. People often require direction and motivation – not only to perform at their peak, but to be the most fulfilled and happy and positively effective.

      My plan is to be as open and explicit as possible about the goals, and to make them positive and appealing and logical and meaningful enough to attract the best minds.

      And then use all possible techniques to realize the goals.

      And it won’t just be about watches and cars.

      Attracting the best minds to the core group will snowball the momentum. The interns will become leaders, and so on.

      • Random said

        That was Maneesh Sethi.

        What you are referring to in this post is what I term levelling up one’s entitlement or sense of desert.

        Good PJ Eby mindhack mantra when feeling non-desert in the face of rewards above one’s current “pay grade”: “That which you do not think you deserve, is that which you must have”.

        In other words, if I feel I do not deserve more girls, money, fitness, whatever, then that is simply a signal that I need to experience those things so my entitlement can rise up. My sense of entitlement is vastly greater now than it was 5 years ago, and my power in the world has followed suit with it.

        In other words, if you’re not it right now, then it’s OK to have it or do it, until you are it.

  2. […] Random Xpat Rantings – Why ambition is unnatural […]

  3. ... said

    What a great post,..very inspiring..

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