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Give Me Strife and Suffering (but in manageable doses)

"Life is suffering," said Buddha. His plan? Release your attachments to this world and end your suffering.

I'm not with Buddha on this one. Give me strife and suffering. And once I have grown stronger, tempered, hardened by the strife, give me MORE.

Life is strife, suffering, struggle. Your body and mind are kept alive by a series of violent chemical reactions, your heartbeat, the acid in your stomach, the cells constantly breaking apart and dying as new ones are created, the battle towards homeostatis with different bacteria and cells combating each other, all inside your body.

Your mind - your thoughts - may come into conflict, especially when you're trying to do meaningful things. It's easy to feel the pull of distraction and ease, and to choke up and pause in fear when you look at the mountain you're set to climb. The mind is not in harmony, especially at the beginning. Struggle, strife, conflict, suffering.

I say - give it to me! But not so fast that it will break me. I must be pragmatic. We must be pragmatic. We have our limits. We can expand them over time. It's not brave to go into the gym for the first time and try to lift 400 pounds. It's foolhardy, unrealistic, stupid. Being pragmatic, aware of our limits takes its own sort of courage.

A new discovery - the Zeta male

On Alan's Journey

I was researching modern masculinity after what I wrote yesterday (I'm doing it all wrong), and I discovered something fascinating. It seems that I'm not alone. (Not that I thought I was!) I discovered I'm a Zeta male, and there's more out there like me.

I used to think that there were only the alpha and beta males - that if you weren't alpha, then you must be beta - but my research has discovered there's actually much more to it than that.

Let's go through the different kinds of men out there, so that we can understand exactly what I'm talking about.

The Alpha male

This is the 'leader of the pack', the 'macho man', the 'real man'. While being a very small fraction of the population, you can usually spot them a mile away. They are arrogant, aloof, loud and obsessed about sex. They learnt early on that power and high social status lets them get the best women, so that's what drives them to achieve.

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