When I was living in Kiev, Ukraine–I was spending a lot of time at these things called business lunch.
Essentially, it was a 3-5 course lunch time meal that restaurants in Kiev would do to entice people to come in and eat. Those 3-5 courses would usually cost about $3.
The most expensive restaurant in the city offered it for $6. Juice, bread, salad or soup, and a main course. It was a killer deal. My friends and I would go to one of these restaurants Monday through Friday, every day.
And we had a lot of time to talk about life and how things have evolved in the last few years.
One of the major topics I always discussed with this friend (who appeared on the podcast) was the Life of Simulation. Essentially, five things that now exist in the world that basically simulate what people in the past used to do.
In short, these things all result in lower testosterone, depression, and a multitude of other symptoms that all can be traced back to what we’d consider to be the problems of modern society.
These problems aren’t just pertinent to men, however.
Ready for the life of simulation?
#1: SPORTS, REPLACING TRIBAL WARFARE
Gladiators used to fight in the Roman Coliseum for sport.
These days, it’s simulated with things like football. “Violence and blood,” so to speak. Now, don’t get me wrong–if you’re active and participating in sports, it’s great. But it’s a substitute for literally going to war and killing off other tribes.
Perhaps this is the one simulation on the list that isn’t a bad thing, on paper. Everybody should lead active and healthy lives. But then you look around and realize that many men are simply being spectators to sport.
Spending 12 hours on Sunday watching the NFL as a fan. It’s scary that the games kick off at 1pm EST and end at…well, around 1am these days.
Major League Baseball has 162 games in their season. I know that quite a few guys out there watch all 162 games of their respective teams.
It’s a simulation of replacing the long lost battles fought against other tribes. Instead, your “tribe” paints colors and logos on your face and goes to “war” with the other team’s fans.
Advice: I don’t think you need to cut out sports (watching), and definitely don’t think they are 100% poison. Everybody needs a way to unplug once in a while.
For example, I’ve always been a huge fan of racing. I love NASCAR and Formula 1. I enjoy the cars and excitement of it. So why would I stop? I watch the NASCAR race (3-4 hours, a lot admittedly) on Sundays. It’s on in the background while I do administrative work (emails, graphics, etc.). Then I zone in and pay attention at the end.
With Formula 1, it’s the same thing. An hour for qualifying on Saturday, and two hours (max) for the race on Sunday. I usually just watch the replay on Monday during some down time.
Cut it down to manageable bits each week. Watch your favorite team’s football game. And when it’s done, it’s done. Don’t let it affect your mood for the rest of the week (or even day).
For some advice about how to develop an effective routine, check out this article.
#2: PORN, REPLACING SEX
Everybody by now knows that porn is really, really bad for you.
But people aren’t stopping their use of it.
Many men in Asian countries have all but thrown in the towel on having any sort of love life. They would rather use porn and blow-up dolls that simulate sex as close as possible. Hell, with the advancement of technology, there’s no doubt that blow-up dolls one day are going to be far more skilled at giving head than real girls.
With men, it’s all about the end release when it comes to sex. Women use porn (or at least say they don’t) at a less drastic rate. They also don’t seem to have quite the addiction to it. That’s because for women, the sex is all about the journey through it. It doesn’t matter if they have an orgasm.
When you can simulate sex and still get the end release, it’s an effective simulation.
Advice: It’s easy to throw in the towel on the dating game. Far simpler to say that women want a stud and you’re not good enough. Or that Western women are feminist bitches. Or…you could get better at the small things.
If you need some more advice about getting dates, you can check out my book on the subject.
#3: PETS ARE SURROGATE CHILDREN
Dogs are a man’s best friend, but the way some people treat their pets is utterly pathetic. In a world where people are repeatedly being told now to have children (or to put it off in the case of women), they are finding other way’s to simulate raising children.
The entire biological point of our existence is to pass on our genetics.
And yet people are being told that they really shouldn’t.
Instead, they get dogs that fit into purses. And the sad part is that then those people become so reliant on the dogs that it’s the humans that need the dogs just so they can muster the courage to get on an airplane.
It’s disturbingly easy to get an emotional support animal these days.
#4: VIDEO GAMES–ACHIEVEMENT PORN
I’ve suffered from video game addiction myself. It’s a real thing.
And I know exactly what achievement porn is. Video games suck you in now and don’t let you out. As men, we do work to achieve stuff. We get good feelings and a sense of accomplishment from it.
Video games take it up a level by adding fantasy to those achievements. Even though you’re pouring hours and hours into something pointless, you feel good because it’s accomplishment.
It’s a false sense of working hard. The sad thing is, if you took those ten hours playing video games (a day) for achievement porn, and spent just three of them on building a business–you’d have a hell of a lot to show.
#5: FOOD ADDICTION–PLEASURE DRUG/PAIN KILLER
Food is a way to numb the pain for a lot of people.
It’s a distraction from the day to day life of the office grind. You could throw alcohol into this discussion, too.
People are so disconnected from each other on a personal level, that’s it’s more comfortable to eat food instead of confiding in your friends and peers. Combine this with the sedentary lifestyle of the 9-5 grind, and television (see #1), and it’s a recipe for disaster.
It all goes full circle.
You’re now addicted and dependent on food for numbing pain. You have a “tribe” which just makes you sit on the couch more and more. You have a pet that replaces offspring, and a doll that replaces a lover.
That’s the life of simulation. And the worst thing is that most will never even realize.
Just by reading this you can be aware and have a chance to build a better life. Now, you just have to put in the work.
Good article, but *sedentary*, not *sedimentary*.
Excellent disgnosis. Much self improvement comes from what we stop doing, as well as what behaviors we begin anew.
Thanks for the comment.
Yes, half the battle is realizing and intervening.
Great post Kyle. Both deep and insightful.