It’s Day 1 of my 2-week self study on owning your responsibilities — the ones you are responsible only to your self, even if the common wisdom tells you to do it for others, or society, or “the children”, etc.  If you haven’t done my 2-week Intermittent Fasting self study, that is required as a first step before doing this one.  You will be adhering to your fasting windows during this 2-week self study as well.

A man who values his time for his own sake is a respected man who isn’t taken advantage of by others.  He can still be a nice man, but he’s not the “Nice Guy” that’s walked over and disposed of when he runs out of steam, or money, or abilities.

Society’s newest label for guys who own their shit is “toxic masculinity” — meaning a guy is trampling on others just because he’s a masculine male.  Masculinity isn’t toxic when you own up to your own responsibilities for your own sake because it means you’re not stressed or depressed from all of the things you’re putting off.  It means you can say no when that’s necessary, and it means you’ll say yes freely when you actually can accomplish something that won’t ruin your plans to reach your next milestone.

If you read my preliminary post, you should have a notepad and pen or a spreadsheet app on your phone to take notes.  I prefer the notepad and pen myself, but it isn’t required.

We’re not making changes for 2 weeks, we’re just taking notice of the things we’re doing that are designed to please others, or that others expect of us, or that we expect of ourselves.  None of these are good reasons for performing actions — the only reason to act is because it’s what we want to do.  In a lot of cases, with jobs or relationships specifically, you can’t go “Rambo” and just cut people off, but being aware that you’re placating others is a good first step to finding ways to exit unhealthy relationships or impossible expectations of you.

In the red pill world, it’s often said that you can’t negotiate attraction and you can’t have covert contracts.  This is also true in the yellow pill world except we’re going to use those behaviors and turn them around: you want to watch where people try to negotiate attraction and create covert contracts so you can “exploit” it for your own benefit instead of the benefit of others trying to scam your time.

A covert contract means making a commitment to do something in exchange for someone doing something else later.  “I will wash the dishes, which means my wife will sleep with me.”  This is not acceptable.  If you want to wash the dishes to make your home’s kitchen cleaner, do it.  It’s about pleasing yourself.  If you want to have sex with your wife, initiate and show her your desire — don’t connect it with washing the dishes.  If she turns you down, you switch to the next best thing you can do and do that.  You’re not a whiny guy whose only option is to have sex, and the only method is to pay for it up front with washing dishes.

When you start to realize you have multiple options every moment of your life, you become more valuable.  People realize they can’t create covert contracts with you to get what they want first, and then fake a headache later to get out of it.  Or they’ll try to judge what work you did and say it isn’t good enough for payment of whatever you wanted out of them.  As people see you realize you have options for your time, it actually instills respect which can increase desire for them to spend time with you.

Owning your shit means less stress in your life — it means you will learn to take care of what needs to be done so it doesn’t haunt you long term.  It means putting off useless luxury consumption (and bad habits and addictions) to first tackle what needs to be tackled.  Once your life is clear of clutter and forgotten projects, you can reward yourself with some luxury consumption which is useful as a break from actually finishing a responsibility.

Owning your shit also gives you a reason not to provide for selfish others if you have things that need to be done.  If you’re fat and weak, your responsibility to yourself is to diet and exercise and hitting the gym on schedule is much more important than almost any luxury want people have that they want you to take care of.   You’re not making excuses here, you’re making obvious changes to your life, you’re respecting your own free time, and you’re setting a new standard for what people can expect of you.  If they want your time, they have to earn it because you are the prize (or you will become the prize).

Expect it to take months — even years if you’re in bad clutter shape — before the respect from others peaks and plateaus.  If people know you’re lost in heaps of clutter and frustration and depression over not attending to your messes, they are more likely to take advantage of you because subconsciously they know you can’t say no, you’re a willing participant in making others happy, and you find it validating that they’re asking you to take care of it so they don’t have to.  Something as simple as your partner asking you to grab her a glass of water may seem like a nice gesture, but it’s based on the assumption that you will jump when she asks you to jump.  Something as basic as the kids asking you to help them clean their rooms — or a coworker asking if you can take over a shift for them.

If someone wants something of you and offers to reimburse you after you do it, you say no.  Favors done for you are paid back, but favors owed to you will never be paid back by others.  It’s what happens to guys who don’t own their shit.  You only say yes to doing something you want to actually do, that makes your life better, and that makes sense for you to do.  If someone is fully capable of doing something, you tell them no and continue on doing what you had planned to do.  Even if it’s a cup of water, even if it’s help cleaning the bedroom of a mess the other person made themselves.

The next 13 days of this self-study will revolve around just paying attention to what you’re doing every day on a particular topic, and seeing if you notice where you’re doing things for your own pleasure, where you’re putting them off for future stress, and where you’re supplicating for the whims of others.

Remember: we are not making changes in any way right now, we’re just going to pay more attention to what bogs us down, what frustrates us, what we’ve done solely to please others or supplicate to them, what costs us useless money and what distracts us from our milestones that we want to reach for our own sakes.