I find that it is surprisingly common that guys nurture a defeatist attitude, not just when it comes to their dating life. Of the people who have contacted me for advice over the years, particularly the very inexperienced ones were full of doubt. In an extreme case, an 18 or 19 year-old would lament the chances he missed in high school, and was tortured by constant what-ifs. Yet, I have also spoken to much older guys who were full of doubts. I have met the same kind of dispiritedness among college grad who picked the wrong major. This isn’t just the typical liberal arts grad who can’t find any work at all. For instance, some years ago I frequently crossed paths with people who wanted to carve out a career in the non-profit world, doing one internship after another, interspersed by bouts as baristas or simply unemployment.
Those were just examples to illustrate one particular phenomenon. Concretely, it seems that people all-too-quickly end up in a rut. Suddenly, things are supposed to be a certain way. The underlying problem is arguably that a dissatisfying situation you are familiar with is comforting, in a perverse way, while change might entail uncertainty. It is possible to turn your life around, though. In fact, many guys are full of unused potential. Just because you were a weirdo in high school doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to talk to girls. Most guys can make significant progress within just a few months. Similarly, if your career sucks and you feel trapped, you can often turn things around. You can probably end up in a situation in which you will be genuinely fucked, so I shouldn’t generalize too much.
I would like to briefly talk about career changes, and some inspiring examples I know of, from personal interactions. There was one guy who had a very hard time making ends meet with stings in PR, journalism, and NGO work, despite working his ass off. At one point he had enough, so he went back to school in his 30s to get a Bachelor’s in Applied Computer Science. After graduation, he walked straight into a decent job. Another guy I know got a Master’s in sociology, and wanted to add a PhD. After the second year in a PhD program, he got fed-up. He may even have finished with a PhD. I’m not quite sure. Yet, he knew he hadn’t made a good choice and was wasting his intelligence. So, what did he do? Well, he finished med school a few months ago. Of course he had to swallow his pride when he realized that he’s about 10 years older than everyone else around him.
Another interesting case was an immigrant from South Korea. For personal reasons he moved to Germany. If I recall correctly, his wife got an academic position, which was an excellent opportunity for her. Yet, he unfortunately couldn’t get his degrees acknowledged because his original profession was regulated in Germany. He then buckled down, first learning German, and then going to university in Germany, in order to earn an engineering degree. When he graduated, he was almost 45. He said that it was certainly tough, starting all over at that point in life, and then he said, “But what else could I have done with the rest of my live? Living off other people’s money?”. By “other people’s money” he meant government money, which, ultimately, is paid by other people. It’s ironic that such a guy ended up in Germany, the dream destination for everyone unwilling or unable to make it in life.
There are plenty of people who are stuck in their shitty job, wasting their clearly above average IQs. Others routinely get harangued by their nasty wife and don’t dare to leave because they are afraid they may not find anyone else. Others hang out with people who have become a bad influence, but are afraid to cut them off. The moral of this post is that complacency can easily fuck up your entire life, one day at a time. If you feel stuck, you need to fight if you want to improve your situation. There is probably always a way to ensure that tomorrow will be a little bit better than today, and if you strive to constantly improve your life, then next year will be tremendously better than today.