Thoughts On Being An Excellent Man

I recently had a conversation with my college-bound brother that I’d like to duplicate here.

Little Brother: I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I feel so lazy. I just don’t want to do anything.

Roosh: Can you give me an example of when you were recently lazy?

LB: I went to the gym the other day, and when I arrived, I just didn’t want to lift. So I worked out very slowly and talked to the guys instead.

R: This is a common problem, because lifting is hard. Your body wants to conserve its energy so it decides that the better option is just to do nothing. Let me ask you something: what makes an excellent man?

LB: Motivation.

R: Motivation to do what?

LB: To do the work.

R: Remember a while back we had a conversation about the unit of one hour, where you can break down the greatness or accomplishments of a man in one-hour increments?

LB: I remember.

R: When you look at an athlete, you see a man with a strong body who has the right skills to do his sport. But what you don’t see is the hours of work he put behind it. When you see a successful businessman, you see the big company he built up and maybe his fancy car, but you don’t see the hundreds of hours he worked to build up the business. I’m learning Russian now, and have gotten compliments on it, but the people who compliment me do not see my daily struggle with it, the hours I put in every day just to learn a few new words. Any kind of excellency or greatness you see in other men comes down to the work they put in. Therefore, excellency is work. Can you see that?

LB: Yes.

R: Now when you were at the gym, and you decided not to work, would you say that was the decision of a normal man or an excellent man?

LB: Normal man.

R: Correct, a normal man will take the path of least resistance that does not involve work. What percentage of the population would you say is normal?

LB: Most.

R: I would say 99.5% of the population is normal, maybe even higher. They are sheep who follow, who prefer to stay in the herd, who like being told what to do to spare them the expense of thinking or taking risks, who seek entertainment over work, who are not in control of their emotions, and who lack willpower. They want glory and riches from not putting in effort, from not going above and beyond what they were told to do by their teacher, parents, or boss. They do the bare minimum in life and so they have a normal life that all the other people have. They have their iPhone, their entertainment, they surf the internet all day to feel some emotional pleasure, and they go to the club on the weekends to get drunk and maybe get laid. This is the life of a sheep.

LB: Is that bad? Is it bad to be normal?

R: It’s not bad. There is nothing wrong with being a sheep, and most people don’t have the genetic constitution to be anything else, but it’s not what I wanted to be. When I was faced with forks in the road, one leading back to the herd and one leading into the unknown, often involving much risk, almost every time I’ve picked the road that took me away from the herd. I’m not saying I’m an excellent man right now, but I want to be an excellent man, so I must do the work that it takes to be one, one hour at a time, one workout at a time, one Russian word at a time. This means avoiding comfort, luxury, entertainment, and mindless distraction. This means straining my mind and body, because as you know, your muscles only get bigger when you lift to your limit. If in my studies or work my brain is not tired, I did not work hard enough.

LB: But I don’t have the motivation. Like at the gym, it’s so much easier when I have a friend to push me to work out. And now I’m busy with school. If I didn’t have school, I would have the energy to do all these things.

R: Remember when you visited me in Odessa last year? I had to drag you every day just to go to boxing training. You didn’t have school or any other responsibilities, but you still didn’t want to do it. Is it possible you are using school as an excuse?

LB: It’s possible.

R: There is often something in life that keeps you busy, such as school or work obligations, but in spite of that, you must have the desire within you to fight off the fatigue and laziness to make that decision to be an excellent man. What you’re looking for is external motivation, something in your environment that will push you to do something that you should do. But external motivation is fleeting. One day it’s present and the next day it’s not. You can go to the best motivational seminar in the world, and pay thousands of dollars to do so, like many adults do, but after two weeks you’ll be lazy again and revert to your old habits. You’ll work out when your friend is present, but how about if he moves to a new town? Then you won’t work out anymore? External motivation is only temporary, like getting energy from a cup of coffee. Only internal motivation to be excellent will push you to do the work every day, every week, every month, every year. You will not need any external motivation if you know that you want to be an excellent man, but if you don’t choose excellency, you will be like a sailboat with no sail, no direction, allowing everything in your environment to whip you this way or that. Sometimes you’ll be motivated and sometimes you won’t, sometimes you’ll do the work and sometimes you won’t.

LB: But it is helpful when my friend calls me to go to the gym. I work out harder.

R: I believe it, but let’s view things from your friend’s perspective. He is internally motivated to be strong and fit, so he goes to the gym alone, but here you come, a friend who admits he’s lazy and needs his encouragement and motivation. He’s giving you a finite resource, his energy, to help you out. In other words, you are holding him down! If I was his brother, I’d say, “Hey man, your friend is a bum, he doesn’t want to work. Find friends who have internal motivation, who lift you up.” Can you see that?

LB: I didn’t think of that way.

R: Look, you’re not a bad kid, but those who are not internally motivated drag down those who are. If someone wants, I can be their motivation coach, but I should get paid for that, because it takes away my energy and time and prevents me from doing other work. I’ve known guys who just want to socialize, who aren’t hard workers, and don’t mind disturbing my work in order to just hang out. I don’t mind hanging out every now and then, but they don’t care if I don’t finish my new book or my language studies. So I have to say no to those guys, and spend time only with those who are as internally motivated as myself to be excellent.

LB: How do I become internally motivated?

R: Do you want to be an excellent man? If you want to be a normal sheep, then keep doing what you’re doing. There is nothing wrong with it, and my love for you as a brother would not change, but you will have a standard issue life—neither extraordinary nor horrible—if you continue to choose comfort and laziness over work. When you’re faced with two options where one involves work and discomfort and the other involves comfort and relaxation, you are making the choice between being excellent and being a sheep. When you decided at the gym the other day not to work out hard, what decision did you make?

LB: To be a sheep.

R: Right. It was the easy decision for you, because being a sheep is easy and being excellent is hard, but I can not make you excellent because being excellent is a personal decision. Understand that excellency is not one big event or one lucky break, but hundreds of tiny decisions. Being excellent is your daily habits, the extra one or two hours of work you put in every day, that when accumulated over many years, makes you excellent. The books I’ve written come from only one or two hours of focus a day. I’ve built a living doing this over the past several years, and it has given me my freedom and independence to live anywhere in the world, but it was difficult to do these two hours of work a day. One hour of extra work a day is just too much for 99.5% of people, so they will not do it, because they never made the choice to be excellent. Why would they choose work over entertainment if they didn’t choose to be an excellent man? Excellency is not flashy or exciting—it’s the tedious, boring, and hard work you do every day. Three workouts a week over many years will make you a strong man. One hour of hard reading a day will strengthen your mind. One hour of your own work can be the start of a business. Do you see how that works?

LB: I do.

R: You’re still young, so I’m not saying don’t have fun with your friends or don’t play video games, but just keep in mind what it takes to be excellent. If there isn’t an excellent seed within you right now that is begging for water and soil, then it’s possible you are destined to be a sheep. But if there is that seed, it’s my job as a big brother to tell you how much water it needs and what kind of soil it needs to grow. Long ago I looked into the mirror and decided that I wanted to be an excellent man, so every day I put in the work, because like I said before, excellency is work. If you also want to be excellent, you now know what it takes. The only thing that can stop you is yourself.

Read Next: How To Be A Great Man

85 Comments
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J Dilla
J Dilla
6 years ago

Really like the direction and tone of your last 5 or so posts.

Keep on fighting for excellence, Roosh.

Nguyen Improved
6 years ago
Reply to  J Dilla

agree

Hugo
Hugo
6 years ago
Reply to  J Dilla

Roosh is working on his $ game so he can pull quality in his 40s and beyond.
Roosh man as much time as you spend in Europe why don’t you size up the markets and find some goods to import/export to or from EE. Maybe even do an Asian tour (you could market yourself as a World wide game authority then- dont let the stick in the mud DC aura hold you back- reach for new horizons). Find some cheap crap in China and sell it to the Slavic club girls.

Sid
Sid
6 years ago

I think men who strive for excellence become dissatisfied by common pleasures. “Call of Duty is boring me. I would rather read Steven Coll’s Ghost Wars.” “I don’t enjoy eating Pringles all that much. I’d rather feel strong than eat Pringles.” “This party is so boring. I’d rather be working on my business.” In a sense, they do what is hard, tedious or difficult to understand because a life of watching MTV, playing Halo and being around a bunch of dullards gets old real fast.

Aurini
Aurini
6 years ago
Reply to  Sid

Learn to love the suck.

smellyfucker
smellyfucker
6 years ago
Reply to  Sid

I twist the pleasures into satisfying work. When I go to a party, I am honing my skills by hitting on girls while having fun with my friends. When I watch entertainment, I consider it rest for my mind so I can work harder in real tasks. When I eat crappy foods or rest, I know I have to do it so I can work out harder in the future and realize the contrast between rest and hard work.

Purple Penguin
Purple Penguin
6 years ago
Reply to  smellyfucker

I prefer no contrast, hard work seems harder when you contrast it with too much rest and slack, without contrast you get used to hard work, you can then progressively increase the intensity of your work and get used to it everytime. Soon what’s is low-intensity work for you is what others call hard work.

nek
nek
6 years ago
Reply to  Sid

Boxing/MMA training will definitely do this to you. There was even one night where bunch of us that train together went out but got quickly bored at this party and decided to go spar in the gym…sober. The party was objectively good and everyone else was having a good time, but the intensity from training has made a lot of other activities rather uninteresting. The thing that sucks the most, is that more women than men fall under this “normal person” category. They love common pleasures more than even the most mundane man.

DeCode
DeCode
6 years ago
Reply to  nek

Are you that surprised? Women are vapid and selfish by design. It only makes sense that “common mind draining pleasures” are what gives them the most satisfaction in life.

clint
clint
6 years ago
Reply to  nek

this sounds exactly like Fight Club. where the guy has been fighting for a while, and now when he goes back to his job everything feels silent and boring.

Justin
6 years ago
Reply to  Sid

I think it helps to create and understand your process. Example: I wake at 6 am and do the work I hate doing first. This gets it out of the way and I can enjoy doing other work later. You can also train your mind through meditation. Meditation helps you control your thoughts. When you notice a though that creates emotion coming through which creates lack of will or discipline you can get rid of it. Like: “Why am I doing this, I’m tired right now.” You need to logically remind yourself that the work is necessary to take you where you want to be. If you don’t do them now you will just be wasting your time and make yourself feel worse. I think most people would rather not be sheep they just never found their process to make it happen. Motivation is cheap- discipline is bought with mental fortitude.

Vb
Vb
6 years ago

Very relevant. I needed to read that today.

LC
LC
6 years ago

Inspirational post, thank you.

Clint Barton
Clint Barton
6 years ago

Awesome post. Relative to my life as I’m trying to guide my college bound cousin, who starts university this fall.

Zyzz
Zyzz
6 years ago

yes more on excellence and becoming great

turkishcandy
turkishcandy
6 years ago

All I can say is that I wish I had an older brother like you

Deebos
Deebos
6 years ago

The hardest part of motivation and success for young men is motivation simply to make yourself better with no other expected reward. Our society has taught men to become better so that they will be better at becoming a provider of taxes or supporting women. It is the inherent knowledge, that the improvement is ultimately for someone else’s benefit that becomes the demotivator. Men and boys need to be shown that improvement simply for the “self” is acceptable

poledaddy
poledaddy
6 years ago

Reading this as a conversation between two brothers as opposed to your typical philosophical motivational article – it gets internalized/processes in a much better way. I won’t soon forget it – I could picture you and your brother talking to each other. Where as if it was a typical philosophical-rant format you see in the manosphere, I would have still probably read it but it might have been glossed over and forgotten. Excellent work Roosh. Keep it coming.

Nguyen Improved
6 years ago
Reply to  poledaddy

good point

CrabRangoon
CrabRangoon
6 years ago

Ah the road less traveled. I’ve been a firm believer in not following the herd. It seems to always take me on some interesting adventures. Some people need to follow the herd-they don’t have the desire to buck the trends. It does tend to be an easier road but not always as fulfilling. If everyone just followed the herd, we would never have achieved much of the greatness in this world we see today.

Nguyen Improved
6 years ago

I will need to bookmark this and use it as a reminder. Roosh you’ve hit a home run here. Fantastic post.

J Cecil
J Cecil
6 years ago

Roosh and all readers-
This was an awesome article.

A missing link to building up excellence-
How do manage cortisol when the stress builds up?

Like the creation of game- there has got to be intelligent ways to manage stress hormones.

Carpe Diem!

Xman
Xman
6 years ago
Reply to  J Cecil

Sleep well – 8 hours, have less tasks you work hard on, eliminate digital entertainment, walk in nature…don’t mix excellence with the amount of work done. Unless you put emphasis on physical development, you can hardly be excellent man. This includes diet, sleep, lifting, stress management.

just sayin
just sayin
6 years ago

Roosh, but why you advice people on working out more at the gym when you look like a hypertrychotic twink?

Frank G
Frank G
6 years ago
Reply to  just sayin

It’s his genetics. I’ve know. Plenty of guys that were skinny and strong.
Are my searching for ways to improve yourself by bitching about the build of some Persian DC burbs blogger whos smart enough to leave the Sea of hr brainwashed 6s and pursue albino 8s for half the cost of living?

Ps-
Roosh and all you ectomophs check out Joey Gloors stuff- he has good aesthetics and was a skinny kid who became a fitness model and celebrity trainer- his site-
Edjge.com

Joey Gloor is awesome- well rounded intelligent German.

Roosh_V
Roosh_V
6 years ago
Reply to  just sayin

I don’t like eating a lot of food. I’m fit, moderately strong, with low body fat, and in the best health in my life. Girls compliment my body only when I’m naked, since with a shirt on I look mostly average.

If I lived in USA, I’d focus more on mass, but in Europe it’s rewarded less, so the rational decision is to focus more on calisthenics/body weight exercises.

Spaniard88
Spaniard88
6 years ago
Reply to  Roosh_V

I’m with you, mostly it’s the proportions, not the size that women are attracted to, the “V” shape. Sure, size will get you compliments as well, but who’s willing to choke down a gallon of milk a day and eat like a cow every day to maintain that level of muscle mass? Hell no, for most of us, it’s just not worth it, the benefit doesn’t add up. More mass simply does not correlate on a 1 to 1 basis with the acquisition of more women, it just doesn’t. Building a “V” shaped body with a powerful back, strong shoulders, ripped abs, and sculpted jaws due to low body fat caused by a couple of short, intense workouts several times a week and a paleo or paleo-ish lifestyle is the healthy way to go. No steroids, no nonsense, a lean, powerful, chiseled look. And by the way, you look great in the vids, man, congratulations on the hard work, my bro chose the aesthetic look over the “mass” look as well, and now that he did that, he’s in the best health of his life. People come up to him regularly and ask him if he’s on steroids, haha (he wears tight shirts)! This fellow above with the “hypertrophic twink” nonsense is just not on the same page, that’s all.

p
p
6 years ago
Reply to  Spaniard88

Hypertrychotic. Not ‘hypertrophic’.
“Too much hair” in Amerispeak, basically.

saunew
saunew
6 years ago
Reply to  p

Hypertrichotic

d18kv178
d18kv178
6 years ago
Reply to  Roosh_V

every beautiful girl i discussed this subject with told me they like a man with a bit of a belly. some outright said that a man without some belly doesn’t exist for them. on the contrary, every girl who expressed excitement with muscles, abs and other similar stuff was unattractive and shallow.

i got impression that the beauty of male body is mostly a gay thing. I’m sure you have your own share of conversations on the subject.

p.s. bought a few of your books and love them.

rez
rez
6 years ago

Roosh: excellent essay. i will save this and re-read from time to time.

have you read Nietzsche’s “the antichrist” or “thus spoke zoroaster”? the concept of the uber-mensch…

the preface of the antichrist is like my personal mantra. and his contempt for “mere humanity” is identical to your words about the sheep…
______

“This book belongs to the most rare of men. Perhaps not one of them is yet alive. It is possible that they may be among those who understand my “Zarathustra”: how could I confound myself with those who are now sprouting ears?—First the day after tomorrow must come for me. Some men are born posthumously.

The conditions under which any one understands me, and necessarily understands me—I know them only too well. Even to endure my seriousness, my passion, he must carry intellectual integrity to the verge of hardness.

He must be accustomed to living on mountain tops—and to looking upon the wretched ephemeral babble of politics and nationalism as beneath him. He must have become indifferent; he must never ask of the truth whether it brings profit to him or a fatality to him…. He must have an inclination, born of strength, for questions that no one has the courage for; the courage for the forbidden; predestination for the labyrinth. The experience of seven solitudes.

New ears for new music. New eyes for what is most distant. A new conscience for truths that have hitherto remained unheard. And the will to economize in the grand manner—to hold together his strength, his enthusiasm….

Reverence for self; love of self; absolute freedom of self….

Very well, then! of that sort only are my readers, my true readers, my readers foreordained:

Of what account are the rest?—The rest are merely humanity.—One must make one’s self superior to humanity, in power, in loftiness of soul,—in contempt.

R bere
R bere
6 years ago
Reply to  rez

It’s ‘Thus spake Zarathutra’

Jizzy B
Jizzy B
6 years ago

Players-
What’s the best spot in Eastern Europe to get an apartment for a month (thus is better than city hopping 3 days/town for game and travel right?) to run game for a novice at game?

I’ve got Hvar island (Summer only), Bucharest, Kiev, Odessa, Sofia, Belgrade, Prague, Riga, or St. Petersburg?

Which City would you choose?

I’m a novice and love blondes.

drudge
drudge
6 years ago
Reply to  Jizzy B

stay away from the ukraine and russia, they’ll rip you to shreds if you’re a rookie. i reckon prague, bucharest and sofia to be better for starting. source: EE man, born’n’bred

anon
anon
6 years ago

But wait, Obama told us “you didn’t build that, someone else made that happen”. So I guess I can just sit on my rump. After all, money grows on trees.

Huss
Huss
6 years ago

I used to have a wrestling coach who called that drop off of energy/ motivation “the grind”. He taught me a way to mentally trick myself and embrace it. You have to keep reinforcing yourself and tell yourself you like it even when you dont and it gets harder and harder. After a little bit that mentatlity slowly makes the worst/ most physically grueling workout fun (in your own mind) and you start to push yourself harder then you thought possible.

excellence is diligence

“embrace the grind”

johnathan blaze
johnathan blaze
6 years ago

Always have a few cans of sugar-free Red Bull in your fridge. Sometimes, a bit of caffeine and b-vitamins is all you need to convert your lethargy into motivation. If I’m feeling lazy and not wanting to go to the gym, I sip a quarter/half can and I’m suddenly rip-roaring and ready to go. Especially good for when you’re tired from a full day’s work.

Bob
Bob
6 years ago

low test levels has got to be at the heart of low motivation, fatigue, and general betatude.

A Man For All Seasons
A Man For All Seasons
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob

I commented elsewhere on this thread about the importance of cultivating an obsession in meeting your goals.
I struggled a lot with motivation, and figured that test may be a factor. I went to the Dr and started taking test 9 months ago, and still struggled to muster the motivation I needed. I have concluded there has to be some underlying drive, or even increased levels of test won’t create motivation. However, if you can find the underlying drive, or create it by choosing to be obsessed, then I will say that higher levels of test make a difference.
Separate from the motivation issue, I will say the taking test certainly helps with libido and sexual function

Jason
Jason
6 years ago

-sigh- Let me just open up my wallet now and throw money at you.

anon1
anon1
6 years ago

I’m commenting so I can find this article again. Great starting point, similar in theme and power as the manosphere famous letter from a father to his son

Guanyanyo
Guanyanyo
6 years ago

Thanks for this inspiring article and the good example.

prepz
prepz
6 years ago

Right on. And having met and worked with many men over many years, your 95.5% of people are simple sheep is just about right.

Sheep may venture into the pastures of excellence from time to time, or desire greener pastures after being inspired or impressed with someone who is excellent at what they do. However, it doesn’t just take more energy and effort to be excellent, it takes an enormous amount more than average to reach excellent.

Sheep hit the “Dip” (Seth Godin) and immediately run back to the safety and comfort of the herd. Only that .5% has the courage (or perhaps stubborn stupidity) to seek more excellent pastures.

AH
AH
6 years ago

Too simplistic and binary for me. Too macho-projecting. Why can’t your little brother grow to find his own space, a space that doesn’t feel the need to project his testosterone-busting qualities to feel vaildated. If you don’t see the need to live in a gym and pump iron, taking breaks only to hit on girls and read life-defining books, then it doesn’t necessarily make you a ‘sheep.’ Why be driven to perfect some carefully cultivated image of you? Why not just be content with what you possess and work on sharpening your knowledge on all things whilst finding your own way? Why feel the need to play the game at all? You come across as preachy when perhaps your brother is perfectly fine and would suffice with a little cajoling and a few careful words.

Papiripupi
Papiripupi
6 years ago
Reply to  AH

He’s not mandating a lifestyle or creating a copycat, he’s incepting knowledge which in time will serve his brother to make a better choice after he’s done cajoling. Just like schools do, but better.

Al
Al
6 years ago

I am motivated to work out every morning by pre-workout supplements. NO-explode, white flood, etc. I’ve been at it for 3 years.