Why Men Stop Growing
Is it self-sabotage or enlightenment?
Alexander Cortes had a good tweet about something I think about far too often these days.
What is going on here? A few theories.
Self-sabotage is real.
I never used to believe this. How can someone be afraid of success? It never registered. Got a little older and saw it again and again. I won’t subtweet friends and don’t want drama. Suffice it to say that I know some people who should be masters in their field. And they are mostly bitter and irrelevant.
Whenever they’d be close to hitting their moment, they’d do unexplainable stuff:
Started doing drugs.
Begin a “swinger” relationship.
Date someone toxic.
Got super cheap on business expenses.
What does all of that have in common?
Rather than lean into the victory, the person changed course.
The fear of success is rooted in the fear of failure. Just as hipsters act like they are “above it all” as a coping mechanism (you can’t get hurt if you don’t care), men on their way to success find a way out before they hit D-Day.
You hit your number and then don’t care.
Elon Musk is maybe the first man in public to have F C K You money and then actually say, “F C K You.”
Every man claims if he had x, y, and z then he would really start living an authentic life. How many billionaires are afraid of bad media coverage tho? Nearly all of them.
Outside of public life, there are many successful men who hit their number and then decide they really are Game Over.
You meet these men at cigar shops during the afternoon.
They don’t lack ambition. They also don’t see what $ ___ would do for their lives.
Also many of them destroyed their marriages / relationship with children when chasing the dragon of money.
Some are tired, but not in a lazy way. It’s deeper and more existential.
May as well enjoy some ‘gars and fellowship of the bros.
Enlightenment or fear?
I’ve “fallen off” professional quite a bit over the past couple of years. I often ask myself if I am afraid of doing more or found inner joy?
It’s a complicated conversation to have with yourself.
Someone could say that I was a huge rising star. Now what am I even? If you don’t know me from the past, you’ll probably assume I’m a loser on Twitter. If you found this post randomly, you’d assume I had zero credibility to write about life. What the heck?!
Is Cerno afraid of the next level?
Or maybe I saw the next level and decided it didn’t appeal to me.
I told a good friend of mine that my next book was balled Audacity: How to Go From Nobody to Somebody. He laughed and said, “The last chapter is going to be how to become a nobody.”
He’s right. I didn’t release the book.
However that could all be cope. Reach a comfortable level of success and then claim you’re the enlightened yogi chilling out in a cave. (Miyamoto Musashi killed everyone worth fighting and then took up calligraphy. He wasn’t high on copium.)
Anyway you won’t know until you reach a certain level.
The best way to reconcile all of this is to ask: Am I putting in work? (Watch Stutz, a documentary film by Jonah Jonah Hill about his therapist.)
You’re allowed to shift your focus. My children interest me far more than “FLEXING ON THE BROKE BOYS,” although that genre is still amusing to watch. From the sounds of it, even Andrew has had his fill of it himself.
In the end we remain mysteries even to ourselves.
P.S. If you’re wondering what this stack will be, then you’re seeing it. Some deep analysis, some commentary, some reaction to tweets. If you don’t like that don’t sign up and complain if something is “off topic.”
If you want an eclecticism including ramblings….