I think I’ve realized recently what it really means to “level up” in life:

It means that you’re comfortable being independent, making decisions on your own, and asserting what you want completely.

It also means that you stop caring about what others think, and look at it instead as simply feedback- though often a reflection of who that person is rather than who you are.

Go to the end of this post to see my final thoughts, if you just want the quick bullet points.

For example, Donald Trump. Hate him, love him, shut up. Look at him objectively: he takes so much criticism yet gives 0 fucks… why else is he the president?

You can hate him all you want but who else has the balls to act as he did so confidently, and to assert what he wanted despite all the resistance?

Trump was determined to become the president, period. He didn’t care about the resistance or competition or anything. He stayed focused and got it.

Does it really matter that half of America and all of the world hates him? No. He’s president, Hillary isn’t, and neither are you.

Let’s switch gears out of politics.

A better example would be “that guy” at the bar who goes to pick up chicks, and everyone is like “wow look at this thirsty dude he’s learning pick up girls stuff” or whatever… but who goes home that night with the hot girl?

I experienced similar in my own life when I wanted to get girls, and also when I wanted to start my online business. You can’t follow the masses and be independent & free.

Recently I published a post called blinding pain & forgotten pleasure, about how the break up with my ex really fucked me up.

Some of you responded with such kind words & awesomeness, I really appreciate it. I also had a conversation opened with a friend where I was talking about a stressful situation in my life currently- some changes that are happening to travel plans and timing between various things.

It was through that conversation that I really got some clarity on what it means to live your life authentically.

One huge thing I’ve learned recently is letting go of validation COMPLETELY. For example, it’s a lot easier to pick up girls at the bar when you’re surrounded with all of your friends to laugh with.

Going out alone is a whole ‘nother story. Almost all of my friends I made in Bali all had to leave at kind of a similar time, which was frustrating to me.

I wanted to party last night but didn’t go because I didn’t want to be alone… but then I realized just how silly that was.

First, I am not attached completely to Bali. Worst case scenario (which is unrealistic) is that they put my face on a poster all over Bali to laugh at me, in which case I buy a flight out and BOOM my reputation is reset.

Second, only good things can come. So what if a couple groups or chicks rejects me (or you).

Does every rejection really matter when you get what you want?

When I was with my ex, I really didn’t care about all of the other girls who rejected me or that I rejected. None of the prior incompatibilities mattered because I was celebrating the fruits of my labor- which was going to the mall to meet girls.

So I’ve observed in myself how I have been resistant to doing some things alone, namely picking up girls. I may also have some baggage in that topic of it being “bad” or something like that, and one person I was talking to made me realize just how everyone was kind of shaming each other for the other’s primal desires.

I realized in contemplation, and in receiving bad advice, that it doesn’t fucking matter what anyone thinks. Part of leveling up in life is becoming more certain of your own choices, and not needing validation of others.

It’s also walking your own path and not compromising for others unless that’s a really authentic thing to do.

On the OCEAN personality test (Google big 5 by Jordan Peterson) I rank very high on agreeableness, which is why I’ve never got a ticket from a cop- I’m just too nice.

But on the other hand, I’ve been maybe too agreeable in my life. I’ve given to people who haven’t given back. I gave so much to my ex just to have a huge boundary crossed in Cyprus, that now I’m realizing I simply can’t agree with anyone anymore unless it fits my own agenda.

Now I feel like in a way I’m “becoming one,” or in another way of explaining it taking care of some little kid inside of me.

Back to the agreeable thing- me and a girl planned to meet in Thailand and adventure in Southeast Asia together. Suddenly she had a thing come up, and she wouldn’t be able to meet me until a month and a half later.

This created quite the trouble for me because it messed up the whole travel plan which I had going for me. I immediately thought of a couple different choices, and neither were entirely satisfactory.

As I voiced my messages to an acquaintance (the one who gave bad advice, funny enough) I realized something: why was I even worried about adjusting my plans for anyone?

I’m single now, and even though I connected very deeply with this girl, we aren’t together and there’s no promise of anything.

I realized I have to be disagreeable now. I’m just going to do what I want, and she can fit into my life’s plan or she doesn’t have to come at all. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as I’m living true to myself.

Is that careless? A voice in my head tells me partly so, but as I strip away the layers of ego and “useless thinking” (let’s be real, 99% of thoughts are repeat gibberish) I realize that maybe what I thought to be “selfish & careless” was actually just self-care.

Some people in the world aren’t sensitive enough, others are too sensitive. I’m probably too sensitive, and need to become more disagreeable. So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.

And with my ex, a part of me for so long deep down had always hoped that we would get back together, somehow. I gave so much, even after the break up, to show I was sorry for my own mistakes and that I was willing to improve. This was unconscious, too (the hoping of getting back together) even as I put on the facade of trying to move on.

But what has came of that? A huge boundary of mine was still crossed which potentially no one could come back from. I forgive, but that doesn’t mean I would allow myself to be put into another situation like that.

Now I am doing my best to kill that side of me clinging onto what was.

I feel some resistance towards meeting girls again. I notice in myself how when I know in my head that I should make a move, my body just doesn’t do anything. It still feels like cheating, or like I’m “tainting myself” for when I go back to her- but it’s DONE!

Even now as I write this, I slow down, the pain comes up, and I go, “damn.” But no more. I refuse to be hindered by such resistance. I AM moving on. I AM living an awesome life.

So I’m going to have an awesome rest of my time here in Bali, and I’m learning how to relax and be more comfortable in my own skin. I’m more okay with my own decisions and needing less validation from others.

I am really believing (at least for me at this point in my life) that so much of success & fulfillment from life comes from your ability to take criticism & face fear ALONE.

Anyone can pick up a girl with 3 buddies cheering you on. Anyone can start a business when you’re born into a family of businessmen.

But who can show up to a foreign country all alone and go meet girls to hook up with?

For the record, that’s my goal now too. Just to meet awesome chicks to hook up with. Not in a degrading sense (ie. fuck this bitch), but just in the sense that there’s very little attachment (connect with an awesome girl I can appreciate, date, etc. but not have the “weight” of a relationship). We can be together while we’re together, but I want to go back to Bulgaria soon so I’m gonna do that.

No compromises for anyone. Maybe this is a bit of an extreme, but after being in a very long relationship and compromising so much, enjoying the freedom of independence is exactly what I need to do.

I NEED to move on from my ex, and the whole prospect of hooking up & adventuring sounds exciting, so I think I’m just gonna do that, and in doing so kill that side of me that thinks there’s any chance of getting with my ex.

And there’s no one to do that with, so I’m just going to do it alone. Every day I’m feeling a bit more comfortable in my own skin, and I think the beauty of this break up, which has been so long and tough, is that I’m “falling in love” with myself… not in a narcissistic way but in the sense that I’m just being independent and doing what I want.

The rough plan now is to stay in Bali another week (or two), then go to Thailand, probably Chiang Mai because it’s awesome (last time I couldn’t appreciate it being heartbroken, having a surgery, being isolated, and crashing a scooter) and hook up and explore the area.

I have a list of goals to accomplish in Asia, some here in Bali, and some can be done in Thailand.

In a month or two, probably sometime in late June, I’ll go back to Bulgaria and stay for 2-3 months.

The friend who gave bad advice told me not to go to Thailand and hook up with girls because I’d “get too used to lots of girls loving me” and therefore not be able to pick up girls anywhere else.

It sounds silly, but any white guy (or English-speaking American) knows that Southeast Asia is a “man’s market.” I never thought there was such a thing as “dating culture” or a “dating market” too, but there is!

Some have tried to make me feel it’s a hollow desire, but then I thought about it: is it really? Or is everyone just running around making everyone else feel the same way, when everyone deep down just wants lots of girls/boys/whatever too?

And of course some people want a girlfriend/boyfriend, but that’s just as “shallow” (if it is) as wanting a hook up because the presupposition is that the boy/girl will fulfill things for you that you can’t on your own (whether it be sex, emotional needs, etc.).

Enough on that topic. I’ll probably go back to Bulgaria sometime in June or July, and I told a girl I’d meet her in Bangkok but that’ll have to wait. The plans changed from her, and so now they change from me.

You know, I just realized something too: so much of the important stuff in life is repressed or unspoken.

Let’s be real, you want a girlfriend/boyfriend, awesome sex, great emotional attachment, lots of money, fame, etc. yet for some reason society says that’s so “dark.”

In America particularly we are so sexually repressed, I’ve only met a few people who I can really talk openly with about sex. I can’t comment on Bulgaria or anywhere else in Europe, but based on general observation it seems that Europe is generally more open (albeit repressed in other ways).

Going for what you want in life is not dark or evil, as long as it is done ethically.

Some people will criticize you, but as long as what you’re doing doesn’t hurt anyone else (ie. in the case of hook-ups you should never promise something which you can’t fulfill) then you’re good. Haters gonna hate.

I made a note about this the other day: “I think success is just when you fail so many times or receive so much criticism that it no longer bothers you, and so you can carry on doing the things that’ll make you successful to actually be successful.”

Only now do am I internalizing this.

I want girls, parties, and epic social life? Gotta do it alone, all my acquaintances here left and the one remaining friend had business problems so now he can’t hangout at all anymore.

Want money? Gotta do it alone.

Of course, it always helps to have friends or people to do it with, but ideally you should be at the point where you don’t need that.

Dependence is needing people, independence is not needing people, and we need to be interdependent. Basically this means be independent, as you also fulfill your needs with other people (ie. you need a client to make $, you need a partner to have sex, so on, and you shouldn’t NEED validation or need them).

Final Thoughts

To be successful you need to be able to go at it alone. While other people do help, they can also pull you downward. For example, if you want to meet dating partners, you should be able to go at it alone. In my case I should approach girls alone and not rely on the “group energy” to give me any confidence.

Just yesterday I did my first solo-approach on the beach while working out… it was scary but exhilarating.

In doing this, you reconnect with yourself more and more and become more comfortable in your own skin. Group confidence is fake- everyone has it. Think of riots for example. True confidence is standing alone.

You should also just follow your own desires. Want hook-ups? Go for it. Want money? Start a business. Stop worrying about judgement and validation from others. Most of it is stupid anyways.

In my case I was frustrated at the dating life here in Bali, and considering switching back to Thailand because Thailand is a “better dating market” for people like me. So I’m gonna fulfill my Bali goals so I have the proper experience here, go out and meet girls, and then if I’m not satisfied I’ll head over Thailand to achieve my dating goals.

Some people have tried to make me feel it’s “wrong” to want to go to a place or do a thing like hook-ups, but upon reflection I realized that’s just their problem & repression, not mine. It’s totally okay to go for what you want, no matter how freaky it is. Or in your case it could be more simple like starting a certain job, or studying a particular thing others disagree with.

You have to be disagreeable in life, especially if you’re agreeable like me. While compromises are sometimes necessary, sometimes you need to say “fuck it” and walk your own path.

My example is an American girl & I were going to travel together, but the dates got changed by her and this messed up my plans. Now I’m deciding rather than accommodating her schedule, I’m just gonna do what I want to do- she can fit into it or not come. I’m okay either way.

By following your own path you’re truly connecting with yourself. We all have desires & wishes. In my case I don’t want to go to Bulgaria in Winter, I’d rather go in late Summer or early Fall (which I wouldn’t be able to do if I met the girl). I also don’t want to go for a short time in the summer, I want to stay at least 2 months.

Being disagreeable is hard but feels very energizing because you’re claiming what you want. Seriously, don’t live your life on anyone else’s terms! Note: there are nuances to this, and if you are a particularly disagreeable person you may have to be more flexible. I’m too agreeable, so this advice pertains to me. There is a spectrum!

Face fear & criticism alone, realize it is pointless. There won’t always be people to back you up.

Example: yesterday I wanted to party but no one could come. I distracted myself then passed out instead. Next time I will show up alone, make friends alone, and meet girls alone.

I was afraid of being judged/criticized/afraid (why? I don’t know) which doesn’t logically make sense, but being real we all feel the same.

To truly connect with yourself, it’s necessary that you follow your desires no matter what. Next time (probably tonight) I will just party alone, meet girls alone, or whatever.

All in all, reconnecting with yourself is so important especially after a break up. I’m too used to “us,” so much so that when I met someone I connected with I instantly tried to reschedule travel plans without consulting my own inner knowing what I wanted.

This includes friends too!! Example: in Phoenix only trying to meet girls when with the support of friends, instead of doing it alone.

Ultimately this is YOUR LIFE, so fucking live it! Travel alone. Meet boys/girls/whatever alone. Party alone. Of course, meet people & socialize, but the ultimate point is…

Don’t wait for other’s permission, time, availability, or be dependent in ANY way on other people in order to get what you want. Just follow your own desires, don’t worry about other’s judgement, take care of yourself, and LIVE AN AWESOME LIFE!!!