“Don’t look back in anger, Don’t look back in hate, Just look to the future and concentrate…”
Some time back I learned of the new collective movement called MGTOW: Men Going Their Own Way. The basic tenets—self-reliance; independence; the realization that men did not need to be married, or even in a relationship, to be valuable or successful; the rejection of societal demands that gave them responsibilities without any reciprocal benefit—appealed to me immediately. Naturally I could also see where other groups would feel irked or threatened by MGTOW: the marriage industry, the recruiters of the military, religious institutions that champion families over singles, corporations and governments that fear independent single men.
After some time of absorbing the MGTOW dialogue, I realized another group might be threatened by MGTOW: Men trying to live the MGTOW lifestyle themselves.
There’s an intoxicating freedom in the MGTOW lifestyle; an old biker t-shirt emblazoned Sworn To Fun—Loyal To None comes to mind. Indeed, the MGTOW philosophy seems to be nothing but fun, when you’re single-handedly steering your own destiny: the complete absence of nagging, relationships based on ‘your way or the highway’, experiencing Las Vegas or Rio De Janeiro on a whim.
For some men, however, the MGTOW lifestyle could mean isolating themselves in studio apartments playing WORLD OF WARCRAFT for hours on end, surrounded by a cubic yard of Budweiser cans. As I write this, there’s an unfortunate group of Japanese bachelors who never leave their apartments until their food runs out…and once they secure more, they again become recluses.
On a recent work assignment for Sony, I learned that their market research indicated American consumers were what they called “Cocooning”…staying inside their homes, and only emerging to consume and accumulate more luxuries.
Dr. Andrew Weil, in his book Eight Weeks To Optimum Health, described a bachelor patient who complained of unending pain from a back injury, that made him just “Work, and then crash”. Digging deeper, Dr. Weil
discovered that his patient was divorced, with no children (or, apparently, charisma). His friends had scattered to the four winds after college, none of them lived nearby. He didn’t even have a pet. Dr. Weil made a diagnosis called Disconnection Syndrome—something yet to be recognized by the medical community at large, but doubtlessly quite accurate. Dr. Weil told his patient “You don’t have a connection to anyone or anything; you only interact with people at work, your friends are far away, you don’t have anyone in your life…” Disconnection Syndrome, as Dr. Weil terms it, is again not yet recognized by the medical community at large, but it’s waiting with baited breath for many of the men living the MGTOW life.
I’m not so arrogant as to presume I can tell other men how to live their lives…if playing W.O.W. in a maze of beer cans keeps a man from lighting up a shopping mall with an AK-47, I’m all for it. But I have assembled some ideas for transforming Men Going Their Own Way into Men Going The Right Way…
(The reader is free to declare these ‘ways’ aren’t the particular ‘right way’ for them, but I’ll challenge anyone that says they’re the wrong way.)
For MGTOW to become MGTRW, the key word is Mastery.
1. Achieve Mastery of your own body, and health.
Your philosophical and ideological freedom avails you nothing if you’re trapped in a body that’s plagued with problems. MGTOW’s are especially vulnerable to a ‘party’ lifestyle high in alcohol and low in nutrition. Husbands and family men might have their wives or children nag them to visit the doctor. But as a MGTOW, the only one looking after your health is you.
Find a doctor you trust. Listen to them—but get a second opinion if necessary. Eat right. Exercise. Practice safe sex. Repeat as necessary. A gym membership, and/or a program in the martial art of your choice will also keep you active and widen your social circle.
(SUGGESTED READING: EIGHT WEEKS TO OPTIMUM HEALTH, by Dr. Andrew Weil.)
2. Achieve Mastery of your finances and resources.
You can’t be independent or free when you’re mired in debt. If you are, transfer all of your available resources to get out of debt…no matter how long it takes. Afterwards, either invest in the stock market (statistics reveal that stock market investments have paid at least an 11% dividend on average, while bank CDs or bonds have paid a mere 4-6%), or invest in yourself, in your own business venture. If you’re in a corporate job that pays a healthy amount, that’s commendable…but ensure you’re essential to your organization, and can’t be replaced right away. Financial independence, if not actual wealth, should be an optimal goal.
(SUGGESTED READING: PAY IT DOWN, by Jean Chatzky, and THE FIVE PILLARS OF WEALTH, by Tod Barnhart)
3. Stay Positive.
By this I mean not only strive for a positive attitude and worldview (perhaps difficult, I’ll concede), but be a positive force in society, or at least in your community. It’s your perfect right to live in a log cabin with a rifle in your lap, but this doesn’t do anything to improve the world.
Getting positive might mean ‘killing your television’, as the phrase goes; making friends in real life instead of some internet social network, or exploring a new sport, hobby or craft you’ve always been interested in. Staying positive might mean realizing you don’t have to be a husband or father to be a role model…in fact, bachelors have a surplus of labor they can put to use, whereas family men have a deficit of labor due to the maintenance they’re obliged to perform. Find a way to give back more than you take.
(SUGGESTED READING: LIVE WITH PASSION, by Anthony Robbins)
4. VOTE, or don’t complain.
Too many people in the electorate are opting out of the political process, thinking their vote doesn’t matter. The ‘vested interests’ that thrive on apathy love this. In actuality, voting should be the absolute minimum of any man’s participation in the political process. If you’re truly concerned about a misandrist government, you should know who your local, state and federal officials are and how to contact them and keep abreast of bills being passed before they become law.