Sunday, July 7, 2024

The New Ideas: A Brief Summary


After our last Presidential elections and the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, I made a conscious decision to unplug from the 24/7 news cycle and social media echo chamber. I surrounded myself with folks who had insulated themselves from the horrors of our modern day world, and it had a pretty profound positive effect on my psyche. 

As an experiment, about six months ago, I decided to see what I had been missing. I started watching the news networks. I started reading the news stories that the algorithyms of my social media feeds curated. I started frequenting popular social media communities. What I discovered was pretty damn terrible. 


I saw a world where our collective consciousness trembles under a brewing storm of dread, ignited by an extremist political climate on the brink of collapse. I saw polarization and erratic government decisions cast long, foreboding shadows over our lives, as economic uncertainty whispers fears of inflation, unemployment, and a grim financial future. I saw technology, once a beacon of progress, harbor sinister secrets of unchecked AI deepfakes, data breaches, and social media manipulation. I saw rising crime, terrorism, and unguarded borders erode our sense of safety and security. I saw the effects of deliberate misinformation that leaves us adrift in a sea of deceit, struggling to discern truth from manipulative lies. I saw International tensions simmer, with the specter of war with China, Russia, and Iran haunting our thoughts. I saw a future fraught with uncertainty, defined by a fear that rapid societal changes will outpace our ability to adapt, leaving us stranded in a hostile, unforgiving landscape.

For men specifically, I saw our futures shrouded in anxiety and despair. Dominated by concerns about maintaining leadership and respect in relationships, we grappled with fears of emotional manipulation. The relentless pursuit of misguided self-improvement ensnared us in cycles of self-doubt. Attempting to understand seemingly unpredictable female behavior added to our frustration, while the brutal hierarchy of the online dating market drove a desperate attempt to get a sliver of attention. I saw rejection and flaking compound our despair, forcing us to emotionally detach to protect our self-esteem and well-being. The looming threat of relationship pressures threatened to destroy our romantic bonds, making long-term commitments seemed futile. 

Balancing career advancement with social and romantic life seemed impossible, further eroding mental health. Social isolation intensified as we desperately seeked out supportive networks of friends, but couldn't due to busy lives and divergent beliefs. I saw men attempting to navigate a society that promotes radical leftist values while still attemting to uphold some semblance of traditional masculine roles, which created an insurmountable tension, leaving men feeling lost and torn. In this grim reality, I saw hope wither under an unrelenting tide of anxiety and despair.

Amidst the dim outlook of modern American society, the future for women I saw was equally steeped in bleakness as fears solidify into harsh realities. The struggle to prioritize relationships while balancing marriage and friendships often leads to deep isolation and loneliness. I saw the pressure to maintain femininity violently clashes with societal expectations of "having it all", leaving many women feeling lost and conflicted. As the years pass, the media-driven fear of aging and losing physical attractiveness intensifies, threatening the stability of your relationships. I saw the relentless tug-of-war between career ambitions and family responsibilities stretching you thin, rendering you inadequate in both roles. 

Anxiety about finding a high-value partner mounts as the clock ticks, and unsuitable relationships with shitty men consume precious time. Internal battles over when and how to be submissive, amidst a backdrop of feminist influence, create unending tension. I saw concerns about raising children in a safe, secure family structure while balancing personal aspirations weigh heavily on women's minds. The constant pressure for self-improvement to meet the ideal partner's expectations fosters a perpetual sense of inadequacy. I saw women attemting to navigate a society that promotes fanatical ideas of gender equality while trying to uphold traditional roles leaving women feeling torn and despondent. I saw women who were deeply pessimistic about what tomoorow holds.

Based on what I saw, the future seems pretty damn dark for all of us. But it doesn't have to be.

The Power of Growth; the Power of Hope

A few years back, after checking out of the 24/7 news cycle and social media echo chambers, I discovered a powerful lesson that should have been self-evident: We create the world we live. And the key to creating that world is focusing on personal growth.

The original version of this project was constructed on the premise that we lived in a flawed world that needed fixing, and offered an effective solution. Our modern world is largely incompatible with the biological and psychological needs of masculinity. Sometimes even downright hostile. The ideas the project promoted were essentially a route to growing as a man. The solution was to simply implement the ideas and life gets better. 

Unforunately, the solution required constant application. Slack off and everything starts sliding into the shitter again. In other words, what the original project taught was not sustainable. This meant that the men who had followed the original program were exceptionally prone to a relapse of sorts. For a personal growth plan, that's not good.

The original program also didn't address women, at least not directly. It was explicitly designed for men in general, and a particular type of man in particular. This extremely narrow focus bothered me because it implied the solution wasn't really a solution. Rather, it was a more of a crutch. 

So I went back to the drawing board. I started from scratch. I played around with a lot of ideas, then tested them out. There was the Curvy Road Project, then The Lab. Both experimented with the idea of designing intentional communities, but both had the same fatal flaw as the Mn Camp project - sustainability

The Motivation to Find a Solution

The motivation behind this project was to create a community of like-minded individuals who share a vision of a better world. This endeavor was intended to foster a sense of belonging, where acceptance, friendship, and a family-like bond fulfill our deep-seated need for connection. The community would offer purpose and meaning, providing a clear mission that guided us toward a fulfilling and motivating future. In a world riddled with uncertainties, the community would offer protection and security, both physically and emotionally, which would create a stable and safe haven from the societal decay that threatened to envelop us.

The community would be a sanctuary for personal and collective fulfillment, offering deeper experiences and answers to existential questions. Here, members would find status and importance, recognition, and significance within the group and beyond. We'd provide unwavering support and guidance, helping each other navigate life’s challenges with wisdom and care. This would be a place to escape from the harsh realities of everyday life, offering an alternative world brimming with meaning, adventure, and excitement. Amidst chaos, we'd bring certainty and order, reducing anxiety and fostering a harmonious way of life.

Imagine a world where, despite the turmoil surrounding us, we'd each have the power to create our own island of hope and prosperity. Together, we have the power to build this better future, one filled with connection, purpose, enlightenment, and stability. This project is more than a vision; it's a promise that no matter how much the world falls apart, we have the strength to create a sanctuary of our own, a better world that begins with a better version of you and I.

That was my motivation to create this project.

The Inspiration

Rooted in Scott Barry Kaufman’s sailboat analogy from his phenomenal book “Transcend”, the prototype of this program is designed to address the foundational needs of security and growth, guiding us toward a balanced, fulfilling life. It's meant to give us direction and purpose in really shitty times.

This sailboat analogy serves as the cornerstone of the program. In this metaphor, the boat represents an individual’s need for security (the hull) and growth (the sail). Just as a sailboat requires both a sturdy hull to stay afloat and a sail to move forward, we require a strong foundation of security and opportunities for growth to navigate life’s journey effectively. This program uniquely integrates this analogy into a gender-specific program, recognizing the distinct needs and motivations of men and women.

The break-down of the needs looks like this:

Security Needs

The first part of the program focuses on establishing a secure foundation through lessons on physical health, personal safety, mental health, and self-defense.

  1. Physical Health:

    • Fitness Routines and Nutrition: The program covers basic fitness routines and nutritional guidelines to maintain physical health and prevent chronic diseases. Practical tips and meal plans help integrate healthy habits into our daily lives.
  2. Personal Safety:

    • Awareness and Strategies: Lessons include essential personal safety strategies and situational awareness, empowering individuals to protect themselves and build confidence.
  3. Mental Health:

    • Stress Management: We learn basic stress management techniques, including mindfulness and breathing exercises, to maintain mental and emotional health.
  4. Self-Defense:

    • Basic Techniques: Simple and effective self-defense moves are taught, enhancing our ability to protect themselves and boosting their confidence.

Growth Needs

Once a secure foundation is established, the program shifts focus to fostering growth through effective communication, building rapport, creating social bonds, and networking.

  1. Effective Communication:

    • Clarity and Active Listening: We learn the fundamentals of clear and concise communication, along with active listening techniques to foster understanding and reduce conflicts.
  2. Building Rapport:

    • Techniques for Connection: Lessons include finding common ground, showing genuine interest, and making a good first impression to build trust and establish meaningful connections.
  3. Creating Social Bonds:

    • Empathy and Understanding: Emphasis is placed on empathy, recognizing and validating others’ feelings, and overcoming social anxiety to create strong, supportive relationships.
  4. Networking Basics:

    • Building Support Networks: We learn the importance of social and professional networking, including strategies for effective networking and maintaining relationships.

Why this Program Works

This program effectively addresses the foundational needs of modern men and women by providing a comprehensive, gender-specific approach to personal growth. The program’s focus on security and growth ensures that we build a solid foundation while exploring opportunities for self-improvement. By integrating practical lessons with psychological insights, the program empowers individuals to overcome societal pressures, build meaningful connections, and achieve their full potential.


In today’s America, where many feel overwhelmed and disconnected, this program offers a transformative path to self-actualization. By addressing both security and growth needs, this program provides the tools and support necessary for individuals to navigate life’s challenges and thrive.

This plan offers a comprehensive solution to the myriad problems plaguing men and women in modern-day America. By focusing on foundational security needs—such as physical health, personal safety, mental well-being, and financial stability—the program creates a robust base that enables us to manage stress and uncertainty effectively. Once these essentials are secured, we emphasize growth needs, including building meaningful connections, achieving personal goals, and fostering self-actualization. This dual approach not only helps us stabilize our immediate environment but also encourages continual personal development and fulfillment. In a society marked by rapid change, economic volatility, and social isolation, this holistic methodology provides a much-needed antidote, empowering us to thrive amidst chaos and cultivate a life of purpose and resilience.

The n=1 Experimentation


For anyone who has followed my weird-ass adventures since the barefoot running days, you know I always test my ideas on myself before recommending them to others. My life is basically my own little "Skunk Works" division. As I alluded to earlier, I've been testing these ideas since our last presidential election cycle. However, the synthesis with Kaufman's ideas from "Transcend" are fairly new; I've only been implementing them for about a year, almost all of which has been done in private. This is kind of like "alpha testing" for those of you who are familiar with research and development. 

I've had enough personal success to start "beta testing", which means I'll start discussing the self-experimentation publicly. And start roping others, mainly Shelly (my wife), into testing some of the ideas, too. The goal is to hammer out the specific activities and exercises that will develop the habits that lead us on a simple path to continual positive growth across all six of Kaufman's domains. 

As I embark on this new chapter of growth and discovery, I extend an invitation to you. Join Shelly and I in this experiment of personal transformation. By embracing the principles of security and growth, we can create a community where each of us thrives amidst the chaos of modern life. Dive into this journey with us, share your experiences, and contribute to a movement that empowers us to shape our own realities. Let’s harness our collective strength to create a better world, starting with ourselves. The time for change is now!










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