28 Lessons from 28 Years of Growth

I celebrated my 28th birthday this month.

As all blogs seem to do, here is my version of a stereotypical “milestone” article. I hope you can take away something useful from these experiences.

Here are my 28 lessons from 28 years of growth.

Make the moves you’ve been dreaming about. You won’t regret it. #MasculinityRising

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Let’s get started…


Lesson 1: Consistency of action is the key to growth.

Spend any time in the real world and you will be shown that truth repeatedly.

Very seldom do people “strike it big” all in one go, being in the perfect place at the perfect time.

Typically, success and growth come from consistent daily actions that move you closer and closer to your ultimate goals. Making those small, consistent improvements means you will eventually reach your goals, as long as you do not give up. It will take as long as it takes.

Think big and shoot for the impossible.

The only catch is that you have to break down those big dreams into repeatable habits.

Then, those daily habits will serve as force multipliers towards your goals.


Lesson 2: All growth requires pain.

Throughout life, pain is inevitable.

You will either experience the pain of growth, or the pain of regret.

Most people never live up to their dreams and fall into the trap of woulda, coulda, shoulda.

But guess what. It never happened, and it’s never going to happen unless you go through what’s required.

That requirement is pain. When you grow, you change. You will drop friends for a better crowd. You will move to a better city. You will take up a better project.

All of these events will test you and challenge you in different ways, but all of them will cause you to be uncomfortable.

It’s what you do, despite the pain and discomfort, that matters.

Grow, through the pain.


Lesson 3: Think big!

This one’s from the man himself, President Donald J. Trump.

Thinking big is absolutely essential. Do not limit your potential by thinking small or setting too small of goals.

There is no sense in putting shackles on your mind. You have to think big, if for no other reason than for what’s coming in the near future.

With powerful artificial intelligence and efficient automation technologies on the horizon within the next few decades, living the “average” lifestyle isn’t going to be easy anymore.

How will the vast majority of unskilled workers provide for themselves and their families when A.I. and robotics can perform a much better job… 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without getting tired, without complaining, and without suing them for the latest SJW discrimination claims?

The myth of getting a job you hate, working through the best years of your life, and saving enough money to retire when you’re old, that myth is dead.

With the advances coming with technology, you will either become dependent on a system that’s designed to enslave and control you, or you will always continue to learn and grow.

These quick, radical changes in our society will leave behind those who do not grow, adapt, and overcome.

The future holds incredible opportunities for those who are willing to see them, and a big enough dream or goal will pull you towards it.


Lesson 4: Perseverance is the difference between winning and losing.

When you quit, you lose.

When you will not quit, you cannot lose.

How can you lose if the game is still going? If you’re still alive, still breathing, you haven’t lost.

Everything can be taken from you, but as long as you have the perseverance to come out on top, you cannot be defeated.

Now, there are times when you must change course and adjust your aims. But when you must choose to abandon a particular route, that does not mean you are losing.

Sometimes we must reroute and take another course in life.

As long as you are consistently working towards your ultimate goals, you have not lost and you cannot lose.

If you don’t quit, success is inevitable.


Lesson 5: Everything comes in levels.

It’s clear to see that the people around you are on different levels.

Some are truly living the types of lifestyles they desire. The lifestyles they’ve created for themselves.

Others are despising every minute of their existence. The lifestyles they blame on other people.

There are different levels within society, and different levels within industry. Different levels to fitness, and different levels to relationships.

There are levels of skill. Levels of connection.

And levels of obsession.

Everything comes in levels.

Do not judge yourself for being on a lower level. Simply commit to the actions that will move you up the ladder.

If you want to build a strong and athletic body, there will always be other people who are stronger, bigger, and more athletic than you.

If you want to create a successful business, there will always be other businesses that are bigger and more profitable than yours.

You are not on the top level, you will never be on the top level, but you will always strive to reach the top level.

Everything changes and fluctuates. Levels change.

You must always change, always improve, and always adapt if you wish to keep your place.

Again… see artificial intelligence from Lesson 3.


Lesson 6: Become athletic and strong.

While we’re on the subject of athletic and strong, training should be a part of your lifestyle.

A man should not be weak.

That goes for weak in body, weak in mind, and weak in character.

Building the body will help to build the mind and character. I always recommend starting with building the body.

By adopting a training program, you will slowly transform your body from soft and frail, to athletic and strong.

People get caught up in the type of program, which matters a little less.

Remember, it all comes back to consistency (Lesson 1). Consistency of action leads to growth.

Strength and conditioning, bodybuilding, powerlifting, CrossFit… it doesn’t matter.

Anything is better than sitting your ass, eating snacks all day.

When you train, you reconnect the mind to the body. You become more aware.

As the body develops, confidence develops.

As confidence develops, the mind is willing to explore more possibilities.

With more possibilities, Destiny opens for you.


Lesson 7: Take care of your hormones.

Along with training comes the discussion of hormones.

First, get your hormones checked and determine if you need to take immediate corrective action through testosterone replacement therapy.

Then, follow these tips to maintain normal hormone levels:

  • Avoid heating food in plastic containers.
  • Avoid soy and alcohol.
  • Lift heavy weights.
  • Eat more fat, especially from red meats.
  • Get plenty of sleep (at minimum, six hours).
  • Take zinc and magnesium oil.
  • Have a lot of sex.

I’m serious.

Follow those tips.


Lesson 8: Find a lady in the street who’s a freak in the bed.

To assist in your hormonal endeavors, it’s always useful to find just the right type of lady.

If you are doing things correctly, you won’t be out there searching. It’ll just “happen.”

When you’re focused on your mission, the mission will attract the right woman.

That’s not to say every girl that shows up will be the right one. You still need to be discerning…

The right lady is classy in public, but an absolute freak for you in private.

A healthy sex life is a large component of your lifestyle, and relationship if you’re in one.

Remember how these things are force multipliers?

There is a compounding effect on confidence that comes from adding these things together…

Chasing your mission. A strong, athletic, attractive physique. Hormones that make you feel like an actual man. And having the right woman at home.

With these in balance, you can become unstoppable.


Lesson 9: Develop a keen sense of style.

Your style will also affect confidence and change how others perceive you.

When you look like a slob, others assume you’re a slob.

And slobs aren’t offered opportunities.

When you look like a million bucks, you tend to carry yourself like a million bucks.

And I guarantee you, the opportunities you can encounter while rocking a sharp style are worth well over a million.

Need some guidance? When in doubt…

Simple. Timeless. Masculine.

A man should not be interested in “fashion.” And absolutely no skinny jeans!


Lesson 10: Live in accordance with natural cycles.

Nature flows through different cycles and rhythms.

Humans are no different.

Recognize the cycles within your own life, both macro and micro.

Some cycles may coincide with the seasons. Perhaps during the winter you’re more reclusive, and during the summer you’re more outgoing.

Harness these cycles by practicing habits that resonate best at those particular times.

Living in accordance with these cycles will help create harmony within your world. When your habits work against these cycles, that’s when you encounter friction, resistance, and hardship.

Go with the flow.


Lesson 11: Listen more than you speak.

This is a simple one.

Shut the fuck up.

Listen more than you speak.

This is how you can make informed decisions about the world, and how you know someone is bullshitting. A bullshitter doesn’t know when to shut up.

A bullshitter will keep talking, even when everyone around him knows it’s all bullshit.

So again, listen more than you speak. Take in the data, and filter it for usefulness and validity.


Lesson 12: Fine-tune your routines and habits until they propel, rather than hinder, your progress.

I place such a strong emphasis on habits because what we do daily is what propels our life.

The nature of those habits determines the direction our life is headed.

Are your habits based on waste and sloth? Or are they based on creation and energy?

To get started, you just have to get started.

In the beginning, it doesn’t matter so much what habits you choose to practice, so much as the simple fact that you what you do is a net positive to your lifestyle.

Now is not the time to worry about optimization. You simply need to improve.

Later on down the road, once you have incorporated many “promotor” habits into your lifestyle, that’s when you can begin the efforts to fine-tune them.

Just getting started is hard enough.

That’s why I recommend 30 Days of Discipline, which served as a swift kick in the ass back before Masculinity Rising was even a thing.

If you’re having trouble getting off the ground, follow Victor’s regimen.

It’s transformative, and will lay the foundations for the discipline you’ll need to achieve big goals.


Lesson 13: Approach all aspects of your life with focused discipline.

Which brings us to discipline.

Discipline will be what guides our perseverance from Lesson 4.

It’s easy to not do something. It’s not easy to do something day after day, into infinity.

That is, it’s not easy until you make it easy.

Again, the right habits are key. When you have the right habits — habits you enjoy and habits that propel you towards success — when you have this combination, discipline will become easy.

It will become easy to say “no” to temptation, to say “no” to things that will pull you off course. Once you’ve reached this level of discipline, your commitment to a decision has become an integrated part of your lifestyle.

Approach your life with discipline, if you wish to stay on the road to Destiny.


Lesson 14: Maintain a clear & level head.

When you do not have a clear head, recognize that some other aspect of your life is lacking.

Maybe your daily habits are drainers of energy and focus. Prime suspects are typically:

  • Sleep debt.
  • Poor diet & hydration.
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Drinking, smoking, or doing drugs.
  • Toxic relationships.
  • Not following your mission.

If you do not take care to manage these aspects of your life, your energy is not going to be optimal. If you’re not following your mission, there will be no meaning to your actions.

Avoid staying up late, night after night, which leads to sleep debt. You will have to repay this debt eventually, and when you do, it’s not going to be pretty.

Avoid diets comprised heavily of processed foods which make you feel like shit, or improperly-timed carbs which make you crash. Diets that are mostly natural foods will make you feel better, look better, and help you maintain sanity by indulging every now and then. Having tons of carbs before doing brain-intensive work is asking for brain fog.

Avoid habits that tank your testosterone or increase your estrogen, as discussed in Lesson 7.

Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs. These are used primarily to change your mental state, and if used heavily, are indicators that you need to refocus on the mission.

Avoid toxic relationships and cut ties to the wrong people.

Finally, develop patience and resilience. Only through these two qualities will you keep a level head.

With patience, frivolities and minor details will not get under your skin. With resilience, you know you can weather any hardship.

In this way, you can remain unfazed by the world around you.


Lesson 15: Energy management is serious.

Going along with the previous lesson, you need to be HIGH ENERGY!

Don’t believe me, then ask yourself, “How did Donald Trump beat sixteen other candidates during the primaries?” His high energy was a major factor.

An unclear head and low energy go hand-in-hand. The causes of one are typically the causes of the other.

Look at your energy levels like a gas tank.

In the morning, your tank should be full… or at least near full.

Your activities throughout the day will determine whether you increase or decrease the energy in your tank.

Engaging in negativity, being stressed, eating shitty foods, drinking, smoking, and the like will all decrease your energy.

Eating healthy, staying hydrated, avoiding vices, working on the mission, and some types of weightlifting will all increase energy.

When you begin pushing your limits with strength training or high volume bodybuilding workouts, now you’re back into the realm of draining energy. You must take this into account if building your body is a major goal (and it should be).

Keep an eye on that gas tank!


Lesson 16: Consider your karma, AKA the consequences to your actions.

Everything comes back around.

Karma, synchronicity, good luck… they’re all your friends.

If you’re not seeing positives in your life, it’s either because you have the wrong mindset and you’re shutting down opportunities before they even present themselves, or you’re seeing the compounding effect of bad choices over the long haul.

When you carry yourself with goodwill, goodwill seeks you out.

When only destruction and pain lies in your wake, destruction and pain will follow you to the grave.

Be a good person, just don’t be nice to those who do not deserve it.


Lesson 17: Respect Mother Nature.

We come from the Earth, and we will return to the Earth when we die.

Remember, cycles (Lesson 10).

Mother Nature is the most powerful, beautiful, wondrous, and horrifying force on this planet.

Seeing a snowcapped panorama from the summit of a mountain can bring you the innermost peace. Seeing a lion devour a gazelle can show you the savage consequences of a mistake.

Respect the planet, as well as the animals, and hopefully they will respect you.


Lesson 18: Donate to causes that matter.

In other words, give back.

It doesn’t have to be a charity. It doesn’t have to be an organization.  It just needs to be a cause that matters to you.

Whether it’s reducing pollution, supporting our veterans, or helping a new business get off the ground, find something that matters to you and support it.

Just be sure to vet these causes as well… there are always scammers out there. A good number of “charities” use nearly all of a donation for “administrative costs” and only give a small fraction to the cause they claim to support.

Find the good ones… like the Semper Fi Fund.


Lesson 19: Be a protector from evil.

This is a not a call to be a White Knight.

This is a call to protect your way of life, family, and country from the forces that wish to see them destroyed.

Don’t go looking for a fight, but when the fight comes to your door, meet it with ferocity.

Carry a gun, get some training, learn a martial art, and build a strong body.

Weakness is not a virtue. Weakness leads to destruction.


Lesson 20: Never supplicate.

AKA, do not place pussy on a pedestal.

Women are not your mission and should not be your focus.

The mission is the mission. Women are attracted to men who are on a mission, not men who bow before them and shower them with attention.

Remember, when a woman has a list of guys who all see her as a princess and will tell her any little lie she wants to hear to make her happy, she’s busy thinking about the guy who won’t call her back. Because he’s too busy with the mission.

She enjoys the attention from those guys within her orbit, but that’s all they’re good for, attention and self-validation.

She craves the one who doesn’t give her that attention.

I’m not telling you to play games, I’m telling you to get so busy with your mission that the right woman comes to you (Lesson 8).


Lesson 21: Explore the world.

Get out of the house.

Spending all of your time indoors is no way to live. Neither is living in the same place your entire life.

Men are meant to travel, explore, discover, and experience all the beauties this world has to offer.

When you experience the world in different ways, it changes you… you know, that whole “variety is the spice of life” thing.

For me, this exploration began a new chapter when I moved to Seattle. Since then, I have become obsessed with exploring the Pacific Northwest. This is only the beginning.

The journey never stops.

Just be careful about where you travel, because yes, some cultures are better than others.

You do not want to get yourself into a situation you cannot come back from. Europe is a prime example.


Lesson 22: Read, to grow from the experiences of others.

Other men (and women) have lived before you.

Somewhere in the world is a book with the solutions to your problem. The issue is finding it.

Many men have come before you and written their experiences and knowledge into a book.

You can learn from their mistakes and successes, without having to go through the same time-consuming trail-and-error.

Pick up a book, and start reading.


Lesson 23: Timing matters.

Here’s another lesson from the champion of timing… Donald Trump.

Seems like he’s popular in this article, but clearly you can learn many lessons from successful people.

The best ideas will fail if the timing isn’t right. Likewise, nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.

Sometimes the timing is right, sometimes it isn’t.

Figuring out which is your responsibility.


Lesson 24: War-game likely scenarios and prepare actionable contingencies.

Deciding what to do can be challenging.

Challenging from the standpoint of working with unknown factors, as well as avoiding the deathtrap of mental masturbation.

There’s a fine line between overanalyzing a situation and war-gaming scenarios for action.

One pulls you towards inaction, the other forces you implement contingencies.

The cost of inaction will be cognitive dissonance.

You don’t need to research anymore. The research is done. You already know what you need to do. Yet here you are, refusing to act.

If you want to break the cycle, then you must take action.


Lesson 25: Live dangerously, but don’t be stupid.

Living a life focused around safety will leave you with failed dreams and regret.

You do not experience the pleasures of this world while locking yourself inside a padded room (Lesson 21).

Live dangerously, just be smart.

Do stuff that will get your adrenaline pumping.

Stand on the edge of a cliff. Jump out of a plane. Talk to a new girl. Whatever it is that gets your blood pumping, do it.

One of my favorite quotes is “I’d rather live 30 years as a lion, than 100 years as a sheep.”

There is such truth in that statement.

Living as a lion is dangerous, but that’s the price you pay when you’re the king.


Lesson 26: Meditate often to give your mind a rest.

We are constantly bombarded with sensory inputs by today’s society.

Constant distractions vie for your attention and focus. It’s your duty to direct your focus towards what truly matters.

Just unplug yourself instead of repeatedly checking social media, email, or YouTube. Put down the phone. Turn off the computer.

Perform a task that gets you out of your head and into your body.

That could be lifting weights, hiking up a mountain, cleaning the house, or listening to binaural beats.

When you are doing something, you have less time for thinking… which is why most people believe meditation doesn’t work.

They sit completely still and try to erase all thoughts from their minds… which only creates a void for thoughts to come rushing in. Most people cannot quiet these voices, without having something else to focus on.

Meditative tasks are what allow your mind to let go.

Find what it is that clears your mind and refocuses you on the present moment. Then use it for mediation.


Lesson 27: Have a code.

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

A man must have a code.

It doesn’t have to be written down, but it does need to be clear in your head.

You should know what’s acceptable to you, and what isn’t.

A code will help guide your actions in unsure situations. A code will keep you within the framework of acceptability that you have defined for your own life.

A good place to start is by not fucking people over. There are some things that you should refuse to do, under all circumstances. At other times, your code may allow for bending the rules.

Whenever I have deviated from my own code, I have suffered the inner struggle of cognitive dissonance.

Respect yourself, and do your best to live up to the image you have created in your head.


Lesson 28: Loyalty and honor are not dead.

In a world of backstabbers, liars, and gossips, it can seem like loyalty and honor are long forgotten.

I am here to tell you they are not dead.

Loyalty and honor are cornerstones of a masculine man. Little weasel soy boys are the ones who will flip on you.

Carry yourself like a man, behave like one… and you shall be rewarded.

Other men will take notice. I promise.


Happy Halloween,

Nick Hagood
Masculinity Rising

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