In my early 20s, I designed a diagram that determined my priorities in life. I called it “The Pyramid of My Masculinity,” and it looked like this:
My goal with this diagram was to outline my ideal day. If I wanted to get the greatest lasting fulfillment out of my life, this is how my daily life had to look like:
- Good sleep was the most fundamental factor because if my sleep quality sucked, it negatively affected everything else I did (nowadays, I sleep more than 6.5 hours though).
- Sleep was followed by “pray,” which was nothing religious, but simply half an hour of mindfulness meditation outside in nature. This was my second priority because it positively affected everything else I did.
- Third, there was “eating,” which implied not only that I had to cook and eat all my meals within a total of two hours, but also that I would stick to all of my dietary guidelines, particularly food quality, caloric intake, and macronutrient ratio.
- “Kill” is what I called my physical training efforts. Every day, I would kill it at the gym for two to three hours, preparation and travel time included. Whether I lifted weights, practiced stand-up fighting, or just did a Bikram Yoga routine, my ideal day demanded that I go hard and develop my skills to experience an optimal balance of pain and pleasure.
- Then came work, which was mostly my studies and university work back then. Yes, work was less important to me than overall bodymind maintenance because my productivity and creativity would suck if I did not properly sleep, meditate, eat, and move my body.
- Finally, I dedicated about three hours every day to sex, which typically meant going out during the day to hit on chicks, whereas on some days, it meant dating and/or literal fucking.
- The remaining three hours were reserved as a time cushion or for things like general hygiene, doing laundry, buying groceries, meeting friends, and reading books.
I said to myself, “If I lived every day like this, I would be living the happiest, most fulfilling life.” And that’s how I did live most of my days, after having put in the time and willpower effort to build all the habits and routines required for my ideal lifestyle. Sure, often I had to work a lot more than six hours and could not do pickup, but it worked out great on most days. Most notably, I barely wasted time on the Internet, I did not watch movies, I did not play video games, I did none of that shit.
Yesterday, when going through my old notes, I stumbled across that old pyramid, printed on a sheet of paper (some years ago, it was hanging on a wall in my dorm room), and I realized that it still reflects my values and priorities in life to a large degree. Part of what it means for me to do my True Will is that, every day, I find time to sleep well, to meditate in nature, to eat good food, to kill it at the gym, to work focused, and—well, to not fuck (because I am currently doing a sexual abstinence challenge).
Now, of course, my diagram is in no way meant to be a blueprint for you, my readers. That would be silly. But I want it to inspire you to consider this one aspect your True Will: your priorities in life, particularly in your daily life. People tend to focus so much on weekends, traveling, and extraordinary experiences that they often fail to optimize their everyday life for maximum happiness. So ask yourself: What would your ideal day look like? What activities give you so much pleasure and meaning that, if you had to repeat them every single day until the day you die, your life would still be fulfilling and a total success?
Although the True Will is dynamic and changing over time, determining your current life priorities and writing them on a piece of paper has multiple benefits:
- You will gain self-knowledge and a clearer vision of your True Will.
- You will have positive things to focus on, which diminishes procrastination and strengthens your willpower to resist temptation.
- You will be more decisive, focused, motivated, and successful (I apologize for this generic statement).
- You will be better with women because you will know exactly what you want, what your boundaries are, and why you will not accept drama (because you know what more important stuff you have to and want to do, e.g., going to sleep).
- You will have less regrets that stem from not doing your True Will because you will be doing it more consistently.
So do not wait: Write down your priorities now!
This article is an elaboration on tip #142 for unwavering self-discipline from my book Willpower Condensed.
- When Reason Needs Emotion: The Problem of Rational Foresight
- Shooting for the Stars? Ego Dreams Vs. True Will
- On Faith and Risk-Taking (Shallow Vs. Deep True Will)
- These Four Personal Values Promote Happiness