Grind it Out and Lay the Foundation


The philosopher/author/artist–all-round brilliant fellow–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said that:

Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.”

–And so it is: Young men are squires.

Until they pass The Gauntlet, they’re not worth shit.

But to do this, resilience is required.

How many have this resilience?

Plato said that:

Youth is the time for any extraordinary toil.

In his ideal state, he wanted to regulate the youth of men–to protect them from becoming weak and corrupted by harmful influences.

If such regulations were considered important already back in Ancient Greece, then what about today?

Study the success of Lee Kuan Yew: He turned what would otherwise have been a shithole country into the fastest progressing country in the world.

What a hero!

The world needs people like Lee Kuan Yew–to protect it from the stupidity of the average person.

There are many negative influences in society today. . .

How many people are able to maintain a pristine mind; free from influence?[footnote] The self-development process (or whatever you want to call it) for most people starts with the systematic elimination of:

a) False notions about how the world works.

and. . .

b) Social conditioning.

After that is done you can see the world through your own eyes, attain autonomy of mind, and eventually go on to have an impact.

Within 10-20 years, there will be a major industry for companies that sell products or programmes based on this premise; to help people where society screwed them over.



We should follow Plato’s advice

Because 90% of the men we’re turning out in modern society are reactive weaklings; decadent fools who spend their time watching soccer.

Instead of stepping into the arena to compete, they’re “happy” to simply sit and watch–with a beer in one hand and a fist full of popcorn in the other.

They are. . .

. . . Unable to commit definitively to a course of action.

. . . Unable to muster up the internal motivation to generate momentum.

. . . Unable to control their bodily urges for any longer period of time.

Just the other day when I took the bus to a meeting, some guys my age sat down behind me. They talked non-stop for 15 minutes about some soccer B.S.

They were like little girls gossiping about American Idol.

I didn’t understand exactly what they were saying–(because I’ve never mastered the soccer lingo)–but I understood the implications:

  1. They just wasted 15 minutes on a task with no ROI, which is fine because:
  2. If you have no serious goals or ambitions, there is no opportunity cost.
  3. It makes them “happy” to pretend they belong to a soccer team.

You know what they are?

They’re a bunch of confused consumers who aren’t producing anything.

What would the Spartans do if they strolled around in our society for a week?

Here’s what I think:

(Yes, those are avocados you see in the background. Eat them!)

Do You Want to Be an Amateur?

Ted Turner said that if it weren’t for the fact that he knew so much, he could go through life as a dilettante.

And so it is–it is SO EASY to go through life as a dilettante. That’s what most people do, right?

But I can’t do that.

I would rather kill myself.

A good friend of mine wrote me an “angry rant” on this topic.

Here’s an excerpt:

angry excerpt


I wonder why most people do things so amateurish. I’ve always had the attitude that if I’m going to do something I will DO it. . . . [It is] Meaningless B.S. What amateurs. I can’t find a better word. And then, surprisingly enough, they often really BELIEVE that their results are impressive. . . . ”


They’re doomed to be eternal amateurs because they don’t read and they don’t know how to think properly.

They’re “happy” to let society do their thinking for them. [footnote] Leaving them more time to frolic.[/footnote]

But if you let yourself be guided by public opinion, it means that. . .

. . . you’re never going to be anything but a mediocre maggot.

If you sit around reading gossip magazines, watching the news, trolling on forums, browsing social media for entertainment–you will become an AMATEUR.

You have to control your inputs for information.

You can’t create yourself using other people’s building blocks.

Especially not when those building blocks are made for the mentally handicapped.

You have to construct your own philosophical framework; your own way of seeing the world.

You can’t just view things through someone else’s lens, you can’t rely on others to do your thinking for you, least of all mainstream media.

Do that, and you’ll become a fake.

Do your own thinking–or you’re squandering your neocortex!

If you don’t make full use of it, you’re no better than an ape.

You’ll become one of those people Einstein despised so much: the sort for whom a spinal cord would’ve sufficed.

You can either frolic with the rest of the animals, or you can TRANSCEND that, and pave your own way.

Like a pioneer.

This path gets paved by self-reflection and deep, critical, creative thinking.

Like Ray Dalio, visualizing the workings of his machine.

Like Cesare Borgia, making plans for every contingency.

Like Hannibal, planning the logistics for the alps.

Guess What the Average Person Cares About?

These two things:

  1. He wants a life of comfort and ease, with sunshine and breeze.
  2. But he also wants to be “successful”.


To resolve this seemingly impossible dichotomy, popular culture–which is nothing but the collective brain of average people–has invented a term called work-life balance.

Work-life balance? [footnote] It doesn’t exist. But two categories of people believe in it (and most people belong to one of these two categories):

  1. Dumb people.
  2. Those who can’t choose, and then rationalize their inability to make a choice.

You have to choose.



If you want to be a pioneer you have to sacrifice, like Einstein did.

He knew he was a genius, so he streamlined his life for creative thinking.

He knew what he wanted and prioritized accordingly.

That’s what youth is for: To grind it out and lay the foundation.


If you don’t lay the foundation you can say goodbye to your kingdom. [footnote] The wise rulers of medieval times kept fortresses with 1 year’s worth of supplies in reserves at all times. It took considerable time and discipline to accumulate (they had to GRIND IT OUT), but once they had laid down this foundation they:

1) Scared off most enemy armies from attacking.

2) Became nearly unbeatable during sieges.

3) Could afford the “luxury” to be picky with what sort of people they let into their city; they could deny access to social leeches, looters, moochers, and gypsies, and instead create a prosperous environment for industrious people.

If there had not been wise rulers who did this, there would be no culture to speak of. No renaissance, no enlightenment, just robbing and stealing and killing.



It will all come crashing down like a house of cards.

If you waste your youth, it’s your own fault.

Use age 30 as a benchmark.

Until then, don’t let up.

Is 30 a Magic Number?

No it’s not. It’s just a benchmark.

If you can’t understand this, please stop reading my stuff. [footnote] Seriously. . . are you fucking kidding me!?


Don’t be this guy:

you are screwed

Does it mean you’re screwed?

–Not really, but. . .[footnote]

If you have nothing better to do than trying to troll some guy on the Internet for saying something that contrasts with your belief system. . .

. . .then YES, you’re probably screwed.


If you don’t think you have what it takes to be a winner, you should probably settle for second prize.

You want consolation? Join a church

You want unconditional love? Get a dog.

You want validation? Earn it.

Coffee is for closers only!

Modern life is pretty comfortable anyway. You can hang out with those soccer-talkers who sat behind me on the bus. All you have to do is dumb yourself down to their level. What could be easier?

And if this makes you feel like a failure, you can always watch Entourage or Game of Thrones and pretend you’re a movie star or a warrior.

After doing this, do you still deserve to be successful?

No, you don’t, because you didn’t stack the advantages in your favor.

Competition is a sin and differentiation a virtue.

Modern culture interferes with differentiation–it is a digital village geared towards conformity and political correctness. Avoid it.

Grind it out in solitude if you have to.

But Don’t Tell Anyone!

Because they won’t listen to any of it.

They are too psychologically invested in their foolish actions.

So your advice will fall on deaf ears, like Noah when he told the others:

“Hey guys, I think we should build an ark. You know, the future isn’t looking so bright and I think that. . .”

The others: “Shut up Noah, we’re trying to have a party! “

The others couldn’t deal with reality. They just wanted comfort and convenience. They did not want to change. They did not want to think. And they certainly did not want to prepare for the future.

The others just wanted to believe in some comforting lie which would save them from thinking about all the bad stuff that could happen.

Leave the sheep to their frolicking.

They just want to dwell in homeostasis.

But don’t take it personally.

Don’t wish for things to be different–just grind it out and lay the foundation.

Don’t waste your time: Not on fools; not on folly, not on soccer discussions.

Save yourself. That’s what Noah did.

They’ll come crying to you when you’ve got an ark and they don’t.


  1. I think this article is grossly undervalued. It’s probably one of the best i’ve ever read. A little harsh, but truthful.
    Every 2 months I give it a read. Not for amusment, but as an absolute necessity.
    Nobody will want you to succeed. Don’t waste time trying to convince others. Work in silence, and stay humble. Learn what influences are truly valuable and cut everything that’s not.

    This blog has helped me get two research projects in my first year of University plus being able to do a lecture being in second year (19 years old). Something nobody believed I could do.

    It has helped me gain more than 20 pounds on pure muscle (another thing nobody believed I could do).

    I’m going to start an online business while studying, and guess what… Nobody believes I can do it.

    Don’t watse time in fools. Read blogs like this and iluminate your path.

  2. Wow, really in-depth article here. Great job! This article reminds me of a recent video I just watched about creating a foundation. I’ll link it at the end, but let me know what you think of it. I think you’ll really like it. I like when you say, “Just the other day when I took the bus to a meeting, some guys my age sat down behind me. They talked non-stop for 15 minutes about some soccer B.S.” I can’t stand that either man. I’d rather talk about in-depth topics rather than waste my energy talking about some game. Keep up the great work!

  3. While the idea of grinding it out as a way of life appeals to my hard-core, highly- motivated personality, I have noticed over the years that a number of elite performers do not necessarily possess such an approach. They avoid the sort of “tension” I see with your strategy, in that rather than working 14 hours a day, they work fewer, higher-quality hours in a flow-state being effective rather than making themselves feel productive. Pavel Tsatsouline and Josh Waitzkin refer to it as the ON/OFF switch, observing that how strongly many elites can turn it ON is closely linked to how well they can turn it OFF to relax – one anecdote talks about a world-record weightlifter sleeping until 5 minutes before his lifts, pumping himself up, and banging out record lifts. Something to consider.

  4. Yo Ludvig!

    I like this post, it’s one of my favorites so far on your site.

    This quote is genius:

    “Competition is a sin and differentiation a virtue.”

    I wholeheartedly agree. I think competition is a waste of time to worry about unless you’re picking what works and applying it in your own way. For instance, Sam Walton spent more time in his competitors’ stores than he did his own, and look how that turned out :) But like Grant Cardone says “competition is for sissies” Domination is what you look for. Being in your own class.

    Also a note on the point of not telling anyone plans. . . I believe another reason not to talk about your goals is your mind becomes convinced they’re achieved. Check Derek Sivers’ talk on this:

    But there’s an route-around I’ve found with this, and when you talk goals with a very elite group of people you’ve chosen, your energy is multiplied and you get all types of new ways to build on them. When you talk with average people or so-so achievers, then the energy feels like it was just dispersed and wasted.

    That’s my take!

    – Evan Teague

  5. The average American watches 3 hours of TV a day. Over their life time, that’s 9 years sitting in front of the TV.

    Confirmed for never making it.

    Personally, I quit watching TV 10 years ago and started reading. I read about 30 books a year (by reading a meager 25 minutes a day)

    Anyways, keep up the good work. First time posting, long time reader.

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