What Is Your Project?

Five years ago I went on a short horseback tour in the Venezuelan Andes, led by a Frenchman who landed in Caracas fifteen years before. He lived with his wife and daughter on a horse ranch on the outskirts of Merida, making a small side income by giving occasional tours to gringos like myself.

He never planned on settling in Venezuela. It started when he was rehabilitating a boat that doubled as his home while docked somewhere in the Caribbean. “It was my project,” he said to me. “Several hours a day I worked on that boat.” One day he learned that a hurricane was approaching the islands. To save his boat he decided to go out to sea, as far southwest as he could. Unfortunately the hurricane was not forecasted correctly, and he ended up getting caught on the storm’s edge. His boat sustained heavy damage and he was forced to make landfall in Venezuela.

He sold his boat for scrap and moved to a Caracas slum. Thanks to his knowledge of French he picked up Spanish quickly. He found odd jobs here and there and eventually met his future Venezuelan wife. They resettled in Merida where he bought a small piece of land upon which he built his ranching business. A look at his dozen horses, workshop, large house, and gun collection made it clear to me that he did well for himself.

After he finished his story, he looked at me and asked, “What is your project?”

“My project?”

“Yes, your project. What are you working on?”

I had a blog at that time, but was that a project? To me it seemed more like a way to procrastinate from doing work reports. “I just started the outline to a book I want to write,” I said.

“So you’re going to write a book?”

I hesitated. Before that moment I had only thought about writing the book, jotting down ideas on napkins here or there, but had never fully committed.

I looked at the Frenchman and said, “Yes, I’m going to write a book.” Apparently all it took was verbalizing the goal to get my brain to commit to it, and Bang was released a year and a half after that. You can say it was my personal hurricane.

Chances are if you’re reading this, all your basic survival needs are met. You have food, shelter, clothing, and hopefully women as well. Maybe you want more money, but it’s safe to assume you have enough to get by and are in no danger of starving to death. There probably isn’t much telling you to go above and beyond your current situation. No one to motivate you to learn a new skill, no one to push you to take a risk with something that has no obvious opportunity for monetary gain. Besides what you’re assigned at work or school, you’re not required to do anything else but spend your free time watching television, reading magazines, or playing video games. That’s not a bad existence, and a billion men living in the slums of the world would kill for it, but it’s not good enough for one reason: there is no growth. You will be the same man that you are now in ten years time—grayer, but no wiser.

For you to grow, there has to be something in your life that is difficult and challenging. There has to be a goal where the chance of failure is very possible, and it has to be hard enough where you’ll be required to call upon forces within you that you didn’t know existed. There has to be a point where you wonder to yourself, “Maybe I can’t do it—maybe I’m doing all this for nothing.” If you don’t day dream about quitting, about going back to what you used to do, then you picked something that wasn’t hard enough.

If it is hard enough, the mere act of attempting to accomplish your goal will make you a better man. Success is not at all required—it serves as the cherry on top. The journey itself will be its own reward, and you’ll look back to how far you’ve come. And how much wisdom you’ve gained. I cannot predict what benefits will come from taking on a difficult task. It really could be one of a hundred things, most of which you would have never expected. But it will come.

So, what is your project?

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The G Manifesto
9 years ago

Good post Roosh.

I just wrote about some similar themes on the forum.

Challenges and failures are crucial to progress and success.

One of the main things that made me who I am today is that I have failed so much. I have taken gruesome, bone chilling beatdowns in life. Mentally and Physically. The kind of beatings that would break most men.

Looking back, I am glad they happened, now I feel untouchable.

– MPM

Antonio
Antonio
9 years ago

I’d go further… a man without a project is probably a man without Game.

jkc
jkc
9 years ago
Satu
Satu
9 years ago

I´ve been wanting to write a book for God knows how long but haven´t got around it yet. I´d really need my own Frenchman to make me verbalize my goal so maybe then I´d make a start…

hydrogonian
hydrogonian
9 years ago

I agree with G and Roosh.

The “What doesn’t kill you…” maxim is one of the most accurate truisms of life.

Best to start early (business projects, women) and get the hard knocks out of the way.

Satu
Satu
9 years ago

Forgot to mention this post might help me though. At least it put some thoughts in my head.

hydrogonian
hydrogonian
9 years ago

Oh, and writing a book, doing a good job, and making it pay off is one of the most difficult business projects possible I think. I’m not done what I started three years ago, but will see it to the end. I wouldn’t do it again. Too much risk in time and effort for something that may or may not pay off. I have a project slated next that will require much less time and effort to complete and potentially has a much higher payoff.

The one benefit for building a book brand, such as Roosh has, is that it is relatively well protected from competition and therefore probably has a much longer payoff than projects which can be one upped do to the lower barrier of entry.

John
John
9 years ago

How do you guys deal with procrastination?

I found the internet seduces you into that because of the endless potential for mental distraction. Forget the TV, that’s technology from the last century. Internet has taken it’s place.

Stefan K
9 years ago

My project is building a sustainable income from purely web-based copywriting. The income and skill I get from that will enable me to become an extremely good writer.

G
G
9 years ago

You’ve been on a roll lately Roosh. Keep up the good work.

speakeasy
speakeasy
9 years ago

This post was a motivational tour de force. I bet if you ask the “what’s your project” question to a hundred people, 95% of the time nobody will have a clue what to answer as they have never thought it through.

Lee
Lee
9 years ago

My project?… I’m trying to make my cock bigger. I keep buying the tools advertised but nothing seems to work.

Morpho
Morpho
9 years ago

“For you to grow, there has to be something in your life that is difficult and challenging. There has to be a goal where the chance of failure is very possible, and it has to be hard enough where you’ll be required to call upon forces within you that you didn’t know existed. There has to be a point where you wonder to yourself, ‘Maybe I can’t do it—maybe I’m doing all this for nothing.'”

Very well said. Sums up why I got into running (9 marathons to date) and doing triathlons (2 Ironmans so far) perfectly. I was out of grad school, had pretty much advanced up my career ladder as far as I was going to go, and had just turned 30. My life consisted of going to work and going out drinking all the time. I asked: “is this it?”

However, not so sure about this part:

“If you don’t day dream about quitting, about going back to what you used to do, then you picked something that wasn’t hard enough.”

I fell in love with endurance sports BECAUSE they are so hard. Like you said, “The journey itself will be its own reward”. Wouldn’t think of voluntarily quitting in a million years. If my body tells me differently that’s another story. In that case I will find another project. I can see learning how to fly as being high on that list.

One of your most inspiring posts yet! Looking forward to hearing about Iceland.

gringoed
gringoed
9 years ago

Roosh, great post. After reading this I’d say you’re one of the best bloggers for men. More of these, and fewer “What’s wrong with American Women” posts and I think your long term readership will increase.

Workshy Joe
9 years ago

I’m writing an ebook about relationship game. I wasn’t before I read this post, but I am now!

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HarmonicaFTW
9 years ago

It was marriage, now it’s myself. Specifically, getting very fit. I’m also writing. Eventually, it’s going back to school for behavior sciences and making a shit ton of money breaking people’s minds. I love doing that. And probably a mechanical hobby, eventually.

nathan
nathan
9 years ago

Hey, this post looks real familiar…totally on the money though, no doubt about it. Hope Iceland is treating you well

That1Guy
That1Guy
9 years ago

What if my challenge is video games? What if I want to be the number 1 world of warcraft warrior. This is horrendously challenging with a huge presence of failure.

Is it still a project? Or does a project entail PRODUCING something.

Naughty Nomad
9 years ago

Nice vibe about that post. That story of the French Guy getting swept to Venezuela where he meets his wife – a good one for the grandchildren..

Sounds like his story started yours.

My project-
every country in the world before I’m 35.

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[…] posted quite the motivational story today. Summarized, our friend met a Frenchmen living in Venezuela. This man had a boat, his […]

Schwanson
Schwanson
9 years ago

I was contemplating about my next step with a friend earlier today, then I visited your website and read this. Eerie.

VI
VI
9 years ago

Long-term: CEO. I have many small goals before I get there.

Marmot
Marmot
9 years ago

Pffft…. I am young so not too many specific projects, only general ones.

– Improve my game
– Publish a short story in a popular magazine
– Write a novel
– Perform pull-ups with only one hand
etc. etc.

On the topic of writing books: anyone can write a book, but it’s writing a book good enough for people to buy and read that is the real challenge.

Marmot
Marmot
9 years ago

p.s. and I definitely number Bang among those books. You’ve completed your project wonderfully 😉