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Try-Hard & Be Humble

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Whatever you do, you don’t want to look like a “Try-Hard.”

I get the idea. Masculinity is fearless and expansive. If you want to “alpha” a situation, you want to exude effortless competence. A supernormal aura of ease and certainty conveys mastery—the third tactical virtue. You want to be The Fonz to every Ralph and Potsy. You hit the jukebox and it plays. You snap your fingers and chicks pay attention.

But who was Arthur Fonzarelli anyway?  He was a big fish in a small pond. Yeah, he really ruled that local family restaurant scene. He taught high school kids how to be a big douchebag…albeit a douchebag with a heart of gold. (I guess he did famously jump a shark, which is something.)

I understand the reason why men want to avoid looking like a “try-hard”—no one wants to be Ralph or Potsy—but I hate the message it sends. It puts appearances before substance. It’s hollow, hipsterish and sophomoric. It’s an easy excuse for never stepping out of your comfort zone and looking awkward.

It’s easy to be “cool” if you stick to what you know and do what you’ve always been good at.

But you’ll never really be great at the things you’re good at, or good at the things you suck at, if you worry too much about looking like a try-hard.

In fact, the easiest way to avoid looking like a try-hard is to be a troll. What could be easier than sitting back and poking fun at the guys who are faking it, but not quite making it? It’s easy to hide in the crowd and mock the man in the arena.

Effortless cool is something you earn. Mastery is on the other side of the learning curve. People seem to accept this—or at least say they do—with activities like “playing an instrument” or “learning a sport.” But when it comes to something that reflects on a man’s reputation as a man, guys seem to worry even more about being try-hards.

Well, my name is Jack Donovan, and I’m a fucking try-hard.

In fact, I recommend that you try to be the man you want to be really, really hard, and make a complete ass of yourself until you finally get it right.

(And then immediately erase all of the evidence from Facebook.)

I’m a try-hard at every new thing I do. Every new habit is like a new pair of boots. It’s uncomfortable until you break it in, and then eventually it becomes so comfortable you forget it’s there.

I don’t have time in life to get butt-hurt about the idea that someone, somewhere is better at something than I am now.

The try-hards who really suck are the ones who lack humility. It’s not the try-hard part that blows, it’s the pushy know-it-all novice who deserves five across the eyes. Find someone who knows what he’s talking about because he has a track record of success. Ask that person what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it. Then take his advice. At least try it. Sometimes it will work for you and sometimes it won’t, but do not assume that you are so special that every problem you have is brand new. Internet access is not a substitute for firsthand experience when it comes to anything but regurgitating raw data. Do you really think that the guy who has been five levels above you for five years has never seen the information you found in five minutes? Doing your own research is helpful, but it’s not everything.

And bragging . . . bragging is for boys.

Real accomplishments speak for themselves. People are always trying to sell themselves before they have a product. Humility is an underrated virtue. There’s nothing wrong with telling your friends you got from point A to point B, but don’t throw it around like it’s a big deal. It just makes you look like an idiot to people who are at points D, G, and X. There is always more to learn, and the guys who seem most willing to recognize that are the guys who have learned the most.

So, stop worrying about being cool and be a try-hard.

Let the stupid hipsters nerd themselves out with ugly sunglasses and ironic moustaches and intentionally unflattering clothes so they won’t look like they are trying too hard to be anything worth being.  Let them live life like a joke. Let them be trolls and half-assed hecklers. Let them worry about looking too cool to care. I’m sure they’ll have a great time down at Big Al’s, ruling the local restaurant scene. Like, ironically.

Try hard, make an ass of yourself, and be humble about your progress.

If you don’t take yourself seriously, no one else should, either.

Source: http://www.jack-donovan.com/axis/2012/09/try-hard-and-be-humble/

 

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11 Comments

  1. Roissy Hater
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I despise the current definition of what makes an ‘alpha’. It implies that men who excel at mediocrity (modern activities) and espouse confidence as a result are somehow laudable.

    Most ‘alphas’ and ‘betas’ make me want to puke … their confidence is rooted in nothing but social competence and juxtaposition (boys who are stilled tied to the social matriarchy).

    Junger, Bowden, Jeffers, and yes, Greg Johnson, are rare specimens worth emulating because they stand for an ideal, execute tasks that few can even think up, and work independently against a tidal wave of public opinion or adverse circumstances.

    My definition of alpha: “One who is not among the pack, does not lead the pack, does not know the pack. One who is so far beyond the pack, he is invisible.”

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      It is always awkward to approve comments like this. But thank you.

    • Mighty
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      I believe you are defining Sigma males, those outside of the human status heap.

    • Fourmyle of Ceres
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Roissy Hater in blockquote:

      I despise the current definition of what makes an ‘alpha’. It implies that men who excel at mediocrity (modern activities) and espouse confidence as a result are somehow laudable.

      Yet, “modern activities” are the baseline for modern effectiveness. If the average is too mediocre, well, it is a point through which they have to pass on the way to being better. And, those who “espouse confidence” without having earning the right to self-confidence are easily seen as hollow men, fools who follow the Form, while ignoring the matters of Substance.

      Most ‘alphas’ and ‘betas’ make me want to puke … their confidence is rooted in nothing but social competence and juxtaposition (boys who are stilled tied to the social matriarchy).

      Yet, we have been institutionally infantalized since the Progessives, the Shadow of the Leibnizians, realized the power of color television to shape behavior, and public schooling to insure the shaping becomes reinforced internally.

      “…tied to the social matriarchy” understates the case. What has been called “masculine” in the current state is all too often simply a reaction – an oppositional defiance – to the overwhelming feminization of the Culture. At least they are trying. Without the Positive Masculine as models, they are modeling their behaviors after what their mothers chose for them, as best they can.

      Junger, Bowden, Jeffers, and yes, Greg Johnson, are rare specimens worth emulating because they stand for an ideal, execute tasks that few can even think up, and work independently against a tidal wave of public opinion or adverse circumstances.

      True, and they, as well as Dr. Michael O’Meara, have all paid a horrific price for it. Now is an excellent time to remind one and all of the importance of regular contributions to counter-currents.

      My definition of alpha: “One who is not among the pack, does not lead the pack, does not know the pack. One who is so far beyond the pack, he is invisible.”

      The Invisible Leader is, in effect, a God. That’s far beyond alpha, as one and all can always see, clearly, who the alpha is.

      Donovan’s larger issue is well taken; true growth is always accompanied by pain, the pain of the illusions to which you are addicted to being shattered by the Sword of Truth.

      • Roissy Hater
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        As a sigma male myself, I will continue my active crusade against the perceived ontological superiority of alpha males.

        This needs to end. It is true that everyone below the alpha wants to be the alpha and not the sigma, but that testifies to the aristocratic nature of sigma-hood.

        Alpha males are inferior to sigma males as they depend on “The Other” to define what they are (metaphysically this is a feminine trait). I find them to be a necessary component of society, but disgustingly pompous over the triviality of their social dominance and sexual success.

        The alpha essentially belongs to nature and is tied to his own ego. He was born in a high and comfortable position with a lot of testosterone, but again, his dominance is creatively linked to his social role, not an independent, self-defined, Solar identity.

      • uh
        Posted October 4, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

        By implication, then, Roissy Hater does not belong to nature and is not tied to his own ego.

        That’s wild stuff. Someone get David Attenborough on the phone.

  2. Sutton Who?
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    This is an amazing picture. It clearly depicts striving, teamwork, hierarchy, and earnestness — all themes relevant to the article. But what is it a picture of, exactly?

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      It is a picture from The Washington Times about the Herndon climb. Naval Academy plebes finish their first year by working together as a team to climb the Herndon monument, an obelisk which is covered in lard. The aim is to remove a “dixie cup” hat placed at the top and replace it with an upperclassman’s hat. It has been a tradition since 1940. Soon, I am sure, they will have to include women so that people don’t think it is “gay.”

    • Lew
      Posted October 3, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

      That’s an interesting and fascinating feat.

      For the people here who understand such things, would this monument climb be an example of “initiatic” ritual? The organization is obviously hierarchical.

      It turns out the monument was built to honor the 19th century explorer William Lewis Herndon, who is a person I never heard of — or, if I did once learn about him, he is a man I no longer remember After his ship was caught in hurricane, wikipedia notes:

      Herndon recognized that his ship was doomed; he flew its flag upside down as a distress signal and hoped another ship would see them. At 2 p.m., the West Indian brig Marine arrived to help take passengers from the stricken steamer. It did not have room to take on all of the passengers and crew. Commander Herndon supervised the difficult loading of women and children into lifeboats to transfer to the Marine. He gave one of the women passengers his watch to send to his wife, saying that he could not leave the ship while there was a soul on board. Most of the women and children reached safety on the Marine. Herndon’s concern for his passengers and crew helped save 152 of the 575 people on board.[1]

      It’s a shame all those young white men are being groomed to serve the empire. Naval Academy students are all well above average in IQ, fitness and overall accomplishment.

  3. Heath
    Posted October 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Bravo!

    If only everyman who reads this could identify and relate.

  4. Deviance
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    To “uh”

    By implication, then, Roissy Hater does not belong to nature and is not tied to his own ego.

    That’s wild stuff. Someone get David Attenborough on the phone.

    Some people do prefer intellectual activities, truth, or God, to having sex with women. They are rare, but they exist. Hey, think about the Clergy that ruled Europe for a millenia: no sex allowed for priests in the Roman Catholic religion.

    Roissy Hater perhaps expresses with difficulty and lack of clarity his feelings on the whole nausea that Roissy’s blog ultimately brings, but I understand them. The whole culture of “Game”, and especially the “PUA movement”, is repulsive in fine by its vanity, terrible modernity, hedonistic nihilism, total lack of manners, and clutching on the ridiculous idea that one can act his way toward alphaness (even an unemployed and uneducated dwarf ; come on, women aren’t that stupid).

    As I’ve summarized multiple times in the columns of Counter-Currents, the “Game” community vulgarizes valuable insights on the nature of women but then falls flat on its face.

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