Response to the Regretful Valedictorian: Relationships, Potential, and MGTOW Monk Mode

Congratulations.

If you haven’t watched his speech, in essence, he regretted sacrificing his relationships and social life in order to earn his status as Valedictorian. He was elated for all but 15 seconds when it was confirmed, but arrived at the 16th second with emptiness

“Relationships are where we get to influence, impact, and change people’s lives. Your life can not be meaningful without them.” – Kyle Martin, TKA Class of 2019 Valedictorian

I too know the struggle Kyle. I sacrificed my own relationships in high school for the same achievement, and went even further, dedicating my summers, weekends, and some after-school sessions to strengthen my SAT scores and college applications to enter a top university.

I was satisfied with this peak after high school, and completely threw grades out the window when I started university, going full social life, even joining a fraternity, and well, the rest is a hazy history. (I did earn consecutive Dean’s List awards when I returned to college, however).

Despite only spending three semesters at that university, I’m very fortunate that I still have the ability to call a few of those guys up and hang with them if I were in town.

But that’s just the thing; I’d have to be in town.

You think relationships are important to you because of immediacy and proximity, but after you and your friends move away to start your careers, not many of these relationships will survive the distance. And a relationship like a wife and child will come at the cost of your other platonic relationships.

Even your parents would want you to move out and start your own life eventually.

You can’t always take people with you, and that’s why I personally wouldn’t advise tailoring your life’s meaning to coincide with such independent external forces such as social relationships.

Success

For me, being Valedictorian will always be, like David Goggins says, a trophy in my mind.

Achieving your goals creates a reservoir of confidence.

It’s not about the 16th second, but about the 16th week or the 16th month or the 16th year when you suddenly lose your confidence and begin to doubt yourself again.

Your personal accomplishments are permanent reminders that you have seen greatness, and reflecting on this proof of your past success can propel you to overcome future struggles and achieve future goals.

Faith

Kyle was only 0.06 points above his competitor for Valedictorian. She and the other students below him in rank may never attain the same level of confidence in the future.

Kyle ended his speech on Faith, and having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

But what is Faith, other than a stronger synonym for confidence?

If I had to my put faith in anyone, it would actually be the salutatorian.

While Kyle could not foresee the 16th second of his life after earning his Valedictorian status, Lauren was able to appreciate the duality of this graduation ceremony, appreciating all the small steps that led up to this grand event, but also recognizing that it’s all a much smaller moment in the entirety of her life and of time as a whole.

“Seniors, as we stand on the cusp of a new season, I challenge you to maintain perspective. Like tonight’s graduation is merely a gradation in the scheme of life, our lives are a gradation in the swath of eternity. And so, I ask you, do you know the one that holds tomorrow?” – Lauren Arrington, TKA Class of 2019 Salutatorian

Happiness

I have no place to tell others what should make them happy. If your life feels more fulfilling pursuing relationships rather than witnessing the extent of your potential, that is what you have decided to keep in your heart throughout your journey.

I just believe that you should hold no regrets Kyle, because your accomplishment was indeed worth it, and the relationships you hold so dearly can not only be more meaningful, but increasingly numerous and influential when we have achieved our full potential.

Were your friends and family not more proud of you because of your accomplishment?

If you were not Valedictorian, you would have never had the platform to give your speech and influence your entire senior class, and, if not for your controversial topic, the 5 million+ viewers on YouTube as well.


MGTOW / Monk Mode

“A lesson learned should be a lesson shared”, as Kyle said.

Likewise, there is one lesson, but two paths to learning it, in MGTOW philosophy.

The first is learning it the hard way, which is the painstaking process of redefining your life after the highly coveted relationships you tethered your life’s meaning behind have disastrously dissolved. This usually occurs during a divorce.

However, you can also discover MGTOW the easy way, which is heeding the lessons from these previously burned men, and choosing to stay far away from the fire.

“A clever person solves problems. A wise person avoids it” – Albert Einstein

Then there are the men who go Monk: The ones that are willing to go down the path of life relatively alone.

They have greatly limited or sworn off all relationships with women/romantic partners, most platonic friendships, and quite possibly, even their own families.

Some men choose this path for the freedom, the peace, and quiet.

But others, like myself, have chosen this path to simply see ourselves, in our entirety. It is a path of self-knowledge and self-sufficiency.

Who are we, exactly, without the influence of others? Could we still function, alone, without society? If you were left with no one but yourself to serve, without any distractions, could you complete your greatest work?

What is your great work?

Most MGTOW are completely content retiring early due to the financial independence earned from not having to provide for a wife or kids.

But to the rare few of us in MGTOW, the 1%, the radical monks, sustenance and wealth building are just trivial logistical concerns.

What truly sustains us is the complete output of our full potential. The only regret to have is not ever knowing the feeling of having the full weight of your being behind a singular goal, and courageously setting out to accomplish it.


Not much from this world can be taken with you to the grave, or the afterlife, so if reflecting on all the relationships you made throughout your life is going to make you smile on your deathbed, by all means, live that life to the fullest.

But “a lesson learned should be a lesson shared” as Kyle said, so here is my lesson:

The happiness you can create while completely alone is a happiness you can experience every second of your life, and not just the 16th.

See you on the Far Side – Monk Moon Base

Do you have any regrets in life? What would make you happy? What do you think is the extent of your full potential? Feel free to share in the comments.

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Creativity Is Leisure: Why You Should Consume Only What You Intend To Create

Photo Credit: Kaspar Eligitis

The average individual’s definition of “relaxing” after a long day at work is coming home and watching TV. I see a problem with this, because the first thing you look forward to after spending the whole day producing for someone else, is to now consume from someone else.

Retreating to entertainment media for leisure is actually increasing the total length of time you are passive throughout the day.

What parts of the day are you experiencing something solely derived from you?

If you truly wanted to relax, you could work out, stretch, meditate, or just go to sleep.

But if you can still keep your eyes open, then you can still work.


I know someone who claimed they wanted to get back into their old artistic passion, and decided to wake up at 5 AM in an effort to create space for this new habit.

They never once woke up to do this. The weekend passed and it was back to the same old eat-dinner-and-TV routine right after work.

Why did this person fail? Because they saw the time spent “unwinding” with entertainment media as a necessity, and didn’t register at all that this was the exact old habit that had to be sacrificed to create space for the new habit they desired.

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I don’t think entertainment media is all bad. I am a fiction writer and would love to contribute to the industry one day. But lately I haven’t felt the juice for that type of creative work, and it’s most likely because I’m not immersing myself in that type of environment right now.

This is why I said Consume Only What You Intend To Create; If you want to make movies, by all means, watch movies! But if you’re not going to work on your script, or at least write a movie review about it afterwards, then seriously, you’re just masturbating.

“Energy Flows Where Attention Goes” – Tony Robbins

We need to stop putting our energy towards things that are going to result in dead-ends.

You have to be even more mindful about what you consume especially if you are an artist or entrepreneur, because of your easily stimulated imagination. Hardly anything is a true dead-end because you can extract some artistic value or a business idea from almost anything. But this sort of behavior can spread yourself thin.

And you know the exact type of people I’m talking about; the ones that always have a brilliant new idea and plans, but never actually produce anything in the long run.

It’s because they have not allowed that space for themselves to create, and are most likely filling up their time with passive, unfruitful garbage.

I could even extend this idea to MGTOW. If a man has already identified that he will not extend any long-term commitments to any woman, then there is truly nothing of lasting value that can be created through your relationships with women. Short-term dating thus becomes another form of cheap entertainment.

So, finally, Creativity Is Leisure.

After I’m done working, heck, even between breaks, I’m at my blog site and drafting a new article to publish. And now, editing videos! (Here’s my first one). It’s only when my laptop finally dies and is recharging that I can turn on YouTube or read some articles on mobile to enjoy other creatives that have common interests.

I think I just began to realize that with all the media I consumed over the years I have very little to actually show for it. But by becoming a content creator myself, I can develop my own personal media library, and have something to contribute alongside the other creatives I’m inspired by.

I’m always thinking about what skill or content I can offer to a community.

There’s no reason why we have to always sit on the sidelines and be spectators; Always the worker and never the boss. We should all have an opportunity to express ourselves and have our own voice.

Creativity is Leisure simply because working for yourself, and expressing yourself, should always be the most fun. Even in your passive state, your antennas should always be up looking for the next point of inspiration.

If you want to relax, go to sleep, so you can have more energy to do the important work the next day.

But if your eyes are still open, see yourself through greatness, and not through the reflection of a screen.

And I’ll SEE YOU on the Far Side, my friend — Monk Moon Base


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You Are What You Produce And Consume: Not A Product Of Your Environment

I can recall a lecture from Sadhguru where a student had asked for advice on maintaining his spiritual practice while back home with his distracting family members.

Sadhguru answered, in short, that your spirituality should never be so fragile.

“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.” – Seneca

I started to come to this knowledge during my own health journey, as I’m approaching three weeks of my Anti-Candida version of the Keto Diet, and also eating only one-meal-a-day to set the difficulty rating on Hardcore mode.

I have failed many times in the past, and I had considered quitting entirely on several occasions, stating that until I moved away into my own place, I would never be able to avoid giving in to the off-menu items my other housemates regularly consume.

I was giving myself an excuse to be mediocre until I was handed the opportunity to be great.

What nonsense. You can’t blame people or your environment for your failures.

When I finally reach my goal weight, I would have been the only person to have done it for myself. Likewise, I was the only person responsible for gaining all the weight to begin with. No one else ate the food for me, and no one else could lose it for me either.

Seeing yourself as separate from your environment is a tool for Self-Mastery, as where you are and who you are with will never become a reason to compromise on your principles.

Your environment slowly becomes only yourself, and your abilities, focusing only on the things within your control. And the most immediate thing you can change, in any environment, is yourself and your opinions on the matter.

The bag of chips on the counter; the fresh brewed coffee in the kitchen; the donuts out on the table; if none of them align with your own personal values, then they do not become part of your ecosystem; They simply belong to someone else.

You don’t just pull clothes off mannequins and electronics off shelves at stores; there are boundaries in place that we respect. In turn, you must build your own personal boundaries out of self-respect for yourself.

It takes too much effort to change your environment anyway, as it is far too rigid with too many authors attached to it. Conversely, relying on your environment to help you produce results is also unwise as it can prove unpredictable with the amount of variables that are able to run through it.

You should treat everything around you in this life as a total accident, but what you choose to create and consume are complete deliberate actions.

Where you are right now is exactly where you need to be, because you’re not actually here anyway.

You’re always here. Right here. In your mind!

“Remember that the ruling faculty is invincible, when self-collected it is satisfied with itself, if it does nothing which it does not choose to do, even if it resist from mere obstinacy. What then will it be when it forms a judgment about anything aided by reason and deliberately? Therefore the mind which is free from passions is a citadel, for man has nothing more secure to which he can fly for refuge and for the future be inexpugnable. He then who has not seen this is an ignorant man; but he who has seen it and does not fly to this refuge is unhappy.”

Marcus Aurelius

See You on the Far Side – Monk Moon Base


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