Happiness is Utilitarianism – Our Stoic Framework

In economic theory we learn that every single one of us is trying to maximize our “Utility”. Utility is defined in various ways however, the underlying concept for utility is that we as humans do whatever it takes to maximize our utility. This could be in the form of happiness gained from having more money, a family, good health etc. Since we’ve focused primarily on income for the past few posts lets look at how to maximize your lifetime utility.

Our Framework for Utilitarianism

First Pillar – Health & Energy: This is the first pillar to any type of *long-term* utility maximization framework. This is also extremely complex because health does not simply mean you get to walk around. If you’re 25 years old and you can barely run or bench press your own weight, your health is actually sub-par. Health means that you’re in the top 10% for your age bracket. If you’re forty years old and you can still crank out sprints, squat a large amount of weight and look significantly younger than your true age… You’re winning in this category without a doubt. Without your health you cannot help your family, your friends, your bank account or anyone else in your life that is important to you.

Second Pillar – Time: If your health is in check, the next item you’re fighting is time. Time is not valued equally. We’re not talking about the ”future value of a dollar” but the future value of your time. If you’re 20 years old, we have no doubt your ability to both crank out long hours of work and party all night is sky high. Try this at 50 and it’ll be tough! No one likes to talk about this but life is also a game of time maximization or efficiency. “If you could spend $10M between the ages of 20 and 40 or if you could spend $100M between the ages of 60 and 80… which one would you choose?” We’d choose option number 1 in a heartbeat! Remember… Getting rich is easy. Getting rich young enough to enjoy it is a different story.

Third Pillar – Freedom: Once your health is in check and you’ve recognized the importance of succeeding quickly, you’ll find that your freedom is the third most important item to check off. If you’re making good money and are healthy, the next “dopamine rush” will come from overall freedom. In our case, freedom is living a private life without needing to answer to anyone. For others, it may be the freedom to simply work anywhere in the world. Typically, “freedom” is earned by having a large net worth.

Fourth Pillar – Your Family: Many people derive a material amount of happiness or “utility” from having a family. Two people gave up 18 years of their lives to give all of us a chance at the game of life. Not being able to pay it back or help them when they are close to their deathbeds is beyond repulsive in our opinion. Finally, if they are pulling you down, yes you should walk away. Just remember they did give you the shot in the first place so holding a grudge will not help you long-term.

Fifth Pillar – Self to Self Comparisons: There is no point in comparing yourself to anyone else. That person likely has a host of largely different problems than you have. We all know the multi-millionaires out there that crawl up into a ball when their wives come around… or the happy go lucky vagabond that can’t afford to pay for sushi. Comparisons to other people do not contribute anything to your utility.  If you’re making the right risk adjusted decisions on a consistent basis there is no reason to worry about comparisons because you made the right decision at that *point* in time. Overall, we would take a look at the table below to get a solid understanding of how we view the Five Pillars. (Click to enlarge map)


Reading the Table: The chart is simplistic however it can be understood as follows: #1 Health and Energy: no matter what we do the available energy we have declines over time, knowing this you’ll want to use money as a tool to offset the energy reductions. The conclusion is to accumulate assets in your 20s and by the 30-50 time frame you’re spending more without going negative, #2 Time: No one can pay to get their time back. Each day (by definition) we’re closer to the curtain call so your time should become more valuable over the years (even Bill Gates can’t go back in time!), #3 Freedom: with correct decision makings, your amount of freedom should increase every single decade with a goal of being set sometime between 30 and 50 at minimum, #4 Family: in an ideal world this will remain as a constant positive. If you have a good relationship with your family and decide for or against having a family, the amount of utility should always be maximized because it is within your control and #5 Self Comparisons: Similar to freedom, we should all learn to only compare ourselves to our past selves. Look back a year and if you have the same beliefs, that’s not a good sign! This is a skill that will be learned over time and ideally executed upon in the 30-40 range.

Reverse Engineer Utilitarianism

Another concept we’ve been flirting with is reverse engineering Utilitarianism. Given the number of punches that life that will throw your way, by simply avoiding the pitfalls you’ll reverse engineer utilitarianism.

#1 Avoid Getting Burned Twice: This can be in the form of being burned from a business, consumer purchases or even health. Being foolish once (touching the hot stove) is acceptable, continuously touching it is not. As an example, the vast majority of our readers are aware of affiliate marketing (cloaking) and the sketchy underworld of online sales. Maybe you were fooled once by a purchase that wasn’t even pre-loaded with aggressive copy, we’ll say that’s okay…. Once.

Next time, take a step back and ask “What is the person selling and can I check the claims”. If someone is selling testosterone boosters but readily takes anabolic steroids and injects exogenous testosterone… Why in the world do they have to use the steroids and TRT therapy if the product is so good? Another example would be diet pills where a proclaimed doctor is 50 pounds overweight but shells out “weight loss pills”… if they worked why is the seller overweight? So on and so forth. To avoid getting burned twice learn the lesson of what to look for next time instead of getting upset about it. Most will just get angry and upset which achieves nothing. Find the systematic approach to solve the issue instead.

#2 Make Statistically Intelligent Decisions: We know. The live it up today crowd is going to say you might get hit by a bus tomorrow so you better burn through everything you got! This is simply crazy talk as most people are not going to be hit by a bus and you can reverse engineer your life expectancy as well. Instead of commuting by car (extremely dangerous proposition), try to structure your life around walking and airlines instead. By making broad intelligent decisions you’ll likely live until the average age (somewhere around 80) and you can go ahead and take risks (without risk life is boring) since you’ve structured your life around statistically bad decisions that don’t add value to your life.

#3 Jump a Decade: We’ve used this trick maybe 100 times. Every 3-5 years sit down and ask “what can I do in this decade that I won’t be able to do later”. This question will bring up both small and large items such as attending a rap concert or deciding to have a family. If you find that you’ve never had a specific life experience that is eroding away (tougher to do in the future) go ahead and pencil it in for this year. You’ll reduce the amount of regrets you’ll have on your death bed some 400 fold! In addition, you can also do this on a 5 year basis as well (shorter mental jumps).

#4 Look Back Three Years: Every three years take a look back and decide if you missed anything. If you do this in your 20s you’ll get a resounding no. This becomes significantly more complex as you get older since you put a large amount of time into increasing your net worth. A broad stroke look at the past three years prevents an “event gap”. If we only do this once eery 5-10 years it will be very easy to look back and say “I wish i didn’t take life so seriously” a common complaint amongst individuals on their deathbeds.

#5 Reverse Engineer Your Happiness: The last thing we’ve added to the list is reverse engineering happiness. We’ve explained many times that it is 100% normal to be unhappy in your 20s. Most successful people are filled with intensity at age 20 as they have a lot to prove (see the chart – Pillar 5) which does not lead to consistent happiness. Happiness is earned (a mental choice) and tracking your overall happiness with life (if it’s improving or not) is critical to reverse engineering long-term utility. If you’ve gone from being easily angered to only “sometimes” angered, call that a win over the course of a couple of years. Make sure this is going up every single year.

Reverse Engineer Utilitarianism

This has been a much more “philosophical” post than we have done in the past. Importantly, there is no way that this framework will align for everyone. For example it certainly is possible to have kids in your 40s and it is possible to hit financial independence in a single year! Anything is possible. We have simply outlined a broad stroke idea for key turning points. The key turning points in our view include: 1) energy declines starting sometime between 30-40, 2) consistent decrease in time making each day more “valuable” from an energy perspective, 3) freedom as a necessity to increase utility as we believe people would be happier with autonomy over an extra $20-30K in income, 4) a decision point is eventually crossed when it comes to having a family and one cannot turn back on this due to point number 2 and 5) comparing yourself to only your previous self is a skill that is acquired over time. Finally, if you’re interested in maximizing your utility we have no doubt that Efficiency will help you do so.


  1. J says

    I just want to thank all WSPs writers for giving no-bullshit, concise advices to live a happy, en*rich*ing life. I hope that the book is coming along well!

    – J.

  2. Anon says

    “We’ve explained many times that it is 100% normal to be unhappy in your 20s”

    So true, right now I’m attending university (made the switch from a worthless degree to a career) and having so many ideas about starting an own business while financing the tuition on my own. The startup cost is quite high, so right now I’m saving some money to get enough capital for a year. It’s a slow process, the opportunity might be gone when I have it, but most people forget that it’s another skill that you learn that’s more valuable: the skill to spot business opportunities.

    You feel like you’re going nowhere during the college years, but actually you’re going the right way.

  3. says

    Despite being a more ‘philosophical’ topic, the concepts are extremely objective.

    The most difficult topic to measure is about the family, what is open to greater subjectivity. Each one attributes its own value to the need to build (or not) a family. Some have spent no sliver of time on this, while others will devote immensely to building one.

    However, health, time and freedom (lots of money to do whatever you want during your own time) are of great value in an objective way for everyone.

    Once again, WSPs presenting an epic post.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Agree it’s quite difficult to figure out for every single individual. We know people who are extremely happy even though they have zero freedom (live in areas they love already so not as important) and know people with everything who are drug addicted lunatics.

  4. Marc says

    In this world saturated with BS advices, your blog helped me prioritize the things in my life. It made life simpler.

    I’m still working on making the changes happen, but at least I have direction.

    Love you guys, can’t wait for your book.

  5. ApologiesToSlim says

    I absolutely love it when WSP goes down the life advice route, especially for men in their 20s. I’ve been dealing with some massive FOMO as a guy in his mid 20s and that massive FOMO involves things like social life, women, and hooking up. A lot of it has to do with me not having the “college experience” and feeling frustrated over it.

    You guys mentioned this in your post about unhappiness in 20s, especially as it comes from some of the more socially well connected guys hooking up on social media while you aren’t. Even though I am out of college, I want THAT social experience and the feeling so hard to describe. It does revolve around validation but I think you guys can respect that I am honest enough to admit that I want to be seen making out with a hot girl on snapchat or partying with some hot girls.

    Sure they say you get better with women in your 30s and more desirable overall but I don’t really want a trophy wife, hot girlfriend, or playing the role of a sugar daddy. The thing I am struggling with is I want to be THAT guy who gets random hookups, hooks up with randoms, parties hard, and shows up to a bar or club with a group of cool people (hot girls and cool guys).

    Yet at the age of 25, it’s like I see the clock ticking or that or just feeling like maybe that ship has sailed. I am so uncertain about the future in this regard and I don’t want to end up being one of those boring bitter old fucks in their 30s who read books and complain about society all day.

    I am angry too in the sense that if a guy in his 30s has earned so much money and taken care of himself, why shouldn’t he get his opportunity to be a part of the hookup culture and just casually sleep with girls instead of having to commit to them? Why does he have to “grow up” while the spoiled frat boy in college with rich parents had the chance to live it up?

    Why shouldn’t he get his opportunity to party hard with a few good friends instead of trying to be “mature” in the eyes of society?

    I feel like once I have had that experience I will get over it and move on to other things but the issue is that my career is taking up a lot of my time as I try to get established in my twenties. Currently working in a smaller city instead of NYC but the COL is reasonable and pay I get leaves me a lot in savings.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Seems like you’re overthinking this a lot. Just go hit up a cheap international party this year. You’ll see what its about. If you’re short on $$ go to a full moon party in Thailand. Or you could also go to a spring break event (tons of grad school students go there as well not just undergrads). If you’ve really gone out zero times at your age that’s foolish.

      The social validation part seems quit insecure though. Needing other people to see you with “hot chicks” or whatever is not good. Who cares what people think. Even if you were with a super model the reaction you’ll get is “ohhh she’s gross and he probably paid for it”. Nothing gained by impressing the masses!

      • ApologiesToSlim says

        If they called me ugly, it wouldn’t have much weight to it because I am 6’2 and a handsome guy. The reason I missed out in college was because of family issues (helicopter parents), tough academics, and a lot of the social scene at my school revolved around Greek Life, it was a pretty big deal and I didn’t have the means to be a part of it.

        It’s not just about having them see with hot girls, it’s about having that image of being that guy. Hard to explain but simply put, being popular means a lot to me after doing a lot of introspection of my life and what tends to fulfill me.

        I want to be whatever the popular and higher status version of a guy in the adult world is and I know that sounds cringeworthy but I have the guts to admit it. Regardless, good post overall and I love that you guys address the age thing in regards to wealth.

        I obviously have some inner demons I need to work out my age.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        You got some serious issues man… anyone who makes it in adulthood does *not* want to be hanging around commoners at the club.

        Sounds like you want to be a promoter at a nightclub or something… you’ll be disappointed in less than a year. This blog is probably not the right place to be, come back when you no longer care about impressing “regulars”.

        If we could go back in time we would delete at least 60% of the time spent traveling for hedonistic purposes and “partying hard” into the night past 4am. What a waste. ~5x a year is good enough.

        As an important note, no more complaints in the comments section about “missing out” on anything, you’re only 25. If you do we’ll delete them going forward. It’s complete nonsense and college was only the “best time” for people who ended up failing miserably in life (except maybe those trust fund types).

        Wanting to be “popular” is beyond laughable, constantly having your phone blown up to go do meaningless things and hear about people’s problems. No thanks. Fame/popularity = harassment from mediocre people.

        In short, you’ve got severe insecurity issues that are wasting valuable brain cells. Apply said brain cells to something worth your time.

      • Dharmic Yuvak says

        This is what I’ve been feeling as well. The lack of sex, parties etc. during my undergrad studies. Thank you WSP for allowing this comment and of course, for putting things into perspective.

        Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are gold mines, will be going there later this year from the money I *earned* from my company

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Awesome if you killed yourself for 3-5 years taking some time to go party is perfectly fine. Better than being a square with no life experience and a heavy bank account (see vast majority of people who “make it”)

    • SlimShady says

      Easy to hook up with hot girls. Statistically speaking, it is; go to a club and ask 10-15 hot girls to quite literally hook up with you (have tried this, not super handsome). You’ll get one or two to do it. Now, trying to gain financial independence, takes a little more effort. Priorities.

      • TechSales says

        Finances are generally harder to get together than women.

        You can go out 3-4x a week, pick up a mild alcoholic habit, and pick up chicks at higher end venues blowing all your cash picking up chicks and learn.

        Unless you go in right as a killer Investment banker or killer corporate salesman (or somehow created a biz in your 20’s) finances can be tough to get together.

    • rsd LOL says

      Look really really good, just act “normal” at the very least, have a spot close to the party (makes it 5x easier if it’s an awesome/well known spot), and then ask girls if they want to go take shots/party favors/etc there.

      Very overrated.

      (a lot of guys who study RSD are actually really weird and don’t realize they have negative game from copying people like tyler)

      • rsd LOL says

        Also I agree it’s concerning you want others to see you making out w/ a hot girl. Very different from having the desire to just makeout w/ hot girl.

    • Houston Nat Gas Analyst says

      What a weirdo, if you want that lifestyle so bad go out and grab it bro, it isn’t hard to attain at all and there should be tons of peers your age ready to go with you, this is the lifestyle that the miserable masses and normal guys hold in high regard. And there’s nothing great about hooking up, there is no material return on this and it gets extremely expensive. Additionally, the more you hook up with random “hot chicks” the less fun it gets.

      At the end of the day the lifestyle you desire is neither fun nor “cool”. And this is coming from one of those former “greek life” guys you so envy. Believe me, career & personal hustle is *much* more rewarding and enjoyable and far more difficult to get a hold on.

      You need to get your priorities straight, but as WSP suggested maybe the best way for you to realize this is to have a few 4am bender nights and see what it’s all about. You’ll quickly realize its a waste of time, health, and most of all money.

      I used to be heavily involved in that scene but now only go out ~1x per month (sometimes 2) and spend the rest of my time on building my personal biz and at the gym, I’ve never been happier. It’s a much more rewarding lifestyle and I literally save thousands $$$$ more/mo.

      Good luck, chief.

  6. says

    Legit post.

    As I grow older I try to listen more and talk less.

    On the topic of family and its subjectivity:
    my grandfather who was a provider by every single WSPB metric and continues to be so at past 80 said to me some years ago (I was mid 20’s at the time) “You don’t want kids? Then you’re an idiot.” It was so firm and definitive it made me think about it a lot. And the older I get, the more I entertain the idea…

  7. A says

    Couldn’t agree more on the impact that energy will have on your chances of success. Any chance on a post on the topic in the future? As always great stuff. Feel extremely content with my life already despite being early on my career (19) but as always the focus on long-term gains is invaluable as ever.

    – A

  8. Sisyphos says

    Being a twentiesomething really sucks, you’ve got that right. It’s funny though how the older generation seems to have forgotten that part. I guess they just romanticize. Youre basically broke, have bo value in getting girls, have no direction. You’re no one (and no one cares about you as you’ve already pointed out).
    At least I got my health and some money in the bank all though the cashflow is sub-par.

    • BalkanMan says

      It is romanticized only by people who didn’t do much with their life. I guess it’s better to be “basically broke, have no value in getting girls, have no direction” at 20 than at 45.

    • wastrel says

      Yes, you are broke. Guess what? You can be 40/60/80 and broke.
      No value in getting girls? Why is your self esteem so low? Be who you are and never apologize. Treat others (men or women) you regard well very well, no money necessary. Romantic care is different, but comes from the same honest place.

      No direction? Get some. Talk to people. Work it out. Be ready to change your direction.
      Why does no one care about you? Drop those “friends.” Find some real friends.

      Happiness takes effort. Get busy.

  9. Alex says

    Excellent Article and probably my now favorite one I’ve read on your site.

    Added some pointers to my quarterly and annual reports.

    Thank you for the tips.

  10. Edward says

    I am 52. I found Wall Street Playboys about 2 months ago. And I come here often to read the articles, old and new.

    The benefit of the wisdom here is something I was in desperate need of all my life. I am only now putting it to good use and inching forward.

    Thank you all.

  11. says

    A major theme here is that as time goes on, there is much less of a likelihood of obtaining all the said aspects of happiness. Health declines as you neglect it, and not going to college and getting into one of the 3 careers prevents one from making money which limits chances of freedom. Time doesn’t ever return and that’s when one wakes up and self reflects by saying to themselves “I’ve thrown my life away.” And then it’s too late most of the time to ever reach happiness, freedom and financial independence.
    At almost 20 I’ve seen the light, gotten my act together and realized if I’m going to work on the street it’s time to get VERY serious and have since gotten back in school aiming to transfer to a target(my city has the top ranked CC in the USA luckily) and am working my a$$ off filling my resume(got my RE license and am about to become a board member of a foundation and given the opportunity to work with a PM on investing the foundations funds, learning spanish, etc) as I’ve realized that I don’t want to be 25+ with no college degree, income or career path. To any teenagers reading this, don’t make the mistake I did and waste 2-3 years. Jump on your path. Now!

    “Put in the work now to avoid regrets and ‘what ifs?’ later.” Anyway, another great post WSPs. Thank you.

  12. E.S says

    I am at the age of 21 years old, I listened to a very successful person ‘s talk some times ago. Now I feel I am going to run out of runway and a sense urgency more than ever when I have come to the sad but true realization that I will never be as energetic and young as I am today… and If I do not take advantage the golden time now to learn and absorb all knowledge I want to learn and build an extraordinary habits, twenty, thirty years down the road I will regret

    If I don’t work more than 100 hours a week, I consider that week wasted, now when I see people who tell me” I work so hard, just take it easy”. I just cannot believe how content people are with mediocrity.

    WTF, people much younger than me like “Katie Ledecky” who started winning medals at Olympics Game at the age of 15, 16 years old, who has accomplished 100 times more than me.

    Compared to her, I was slacking off for the last 7, 8 years. I now know with regret I will never get that time back I wasted playing video games at the teenage years and early adult years, but I will not dwell on the past and just keep working hard to build a better future for myself and my family .

    • wastrel says

      I’m an old guy and I’ve done things, mostly no regrets at this point and not rich by any means but stable and have done most of the things I’ve wanted to do.

      I just cannot believe how content people are with mediocrity.

      You are reading some of those people wrong. The smartest people I have ever met get an enormous amount done in about 40 hours/week with a few really big weeks every year and are surrounded by people who regard them very well. You need time NOT working to develop that kind of life.

      Employers demanding 100 hr/weeks are very typical bad employers. You are willing and they take full advantage. When you burn out/get ill, they move onto the next one. If you are 5 years into your own business and still doing 100 hour weeks on mediocre cash flow, you are in the wrong business.

      Consistency and passion for the business is key and you can’t be consistent 10 years from now doing 100 hour weeks all the time.

      I’m assuming you are not the average trash talker hiding behind their computer wasting time on social media, then claiming they work so many hours.

  13. Jacob says

    From reading this blog I’ve realized several key strategic points that are nothing less than life changing.

    I was in one of the sales fields discussed on this site, am currently 22-26 years old, and should be financially independent based on the metrics listed here in various posts. This is extremely fortunate because they say I should be at this point by age 30-40, and that achieving it earlier is better.

    First key point is my expenses seem to be too high. Not sure if they mean that you should have every dollar of expenses covered by 5% capital gains or just your base expenses (rent, food, car, insurance etc.) I still have a decent income in addition to my capital but my passive investment income does NOT cover all of my expenses. I’m spending approximately 50-75% of my current income (not including cap gains) so I believe that my expenses would still be considered reasonable by WSPB. The only issue is this active income is likely temporary and will diminish over time so it might be causing lifestyle inflation in the short term that will not be covered in the future by active income. In all likelihood they would probably still tell me that I don’t need to be spending so much at this age. I have a tough time seeing a future where I can’t make $100k a year SOMEHOW though, so I think I should be mostly covered? I have gotten used to a certain lifestyle over the past 2 years and like they say it sucks to adjust this backwards at any point.

    The need to spend a lot is probably triggered by 1. Being lazy with game (too reliant on status and money and not enough on social skills and being in shape) 2. Not being conservative in situations that make sense (I’m generally more wasteful than necessary don’t even bother returning stuff that I realize has no utility most of the time if it’s under $1k, have spent large sums on many random one time events that were unnecessary) 3. Need for validation as another commenter discussed already. This is already starting to improve naturally as I mature though. I no longer feel a need to fuck everything that moves at all times. Don’t think I’m “trying to impress the masses” like they discuss in the post. I’m mostly interested in impressing really hot women and high status guys. In that case it might be considered worth it in their eyes. Not sure what they would say (I have a hunch they’re on my side as they know it takes a lot of spending to get the hottest girls).

    Next thing that is clear from this blog is that I should be focusing mostly on health at the moment, which I’m already in the process of taking care of. I should be in the top 10% in 1-2 years in this area, and this should have a much larger effect on life satisfaction/happiness than making another $1M. Right now I would be considered average or slightly below average in this area (maybe worse by their standards).

    After that would be improving social skills. Looking back 3 years at my former self this has been a clear win for sure, but I started from such a low place in this category that there are still a lot of gains to be had. I have made a bunch of mistakes with extremely hot women and powerful men in the past which I think is normal at this age, but I don’t plan on making the same mistakes twice.

    I believe I already have freedom thanks to the fortunate financial “events” that have happened over the past few years. Based on my current path I don’t think there will be more “events” in the future but it doesn’t seem like they are necessary. The only things detracting from my freedom are less-than-optimal health and social skills.

    Family I’m not sure how to handle; they have dragged me down my whole life and I don’t want to be bitter about it, but not sure how much I can interact with them without being dragged down again. They directly caused a lot of the issues that I’ve been fighting to overcome over the past 5-10 years.

    Overall in approx 3-5 more years it seems like I could meet most/all of their standards for a great life. What am I going to do with all that time? Lol

    Thanks for your articles guys, it really does help to know that it’s normal to be a little frustrated in your early 20s. I feel it every day because I still need to tick some major life pillar boxes. But even relative to your high standards it feels like I’m doing alright and that’s enough to make me feel very grateful.

    Thanks for dispelling the myths of successful people having hundreds of friends and etc. I’ve found a lot of what you say to be true regarding business partners and nobody being happy for you and various other topics.

    Will definitely read the book/product when it’s released in the future. Thanks again.

  14. Anthony says

    “#2 Make Statistically Intelligent Decisions”

    If I didn’t just finish reading NN Taleb I probably would have skimmed right over this section.

    My perspective: Understanding probabilities and acting accordingly is the only surefire way to stack the deck in your favor. Also, If something doesn’t go right but you know you made the best choice statistically, you can easily move on rather than dwelling on “what ifs”.

    • Sisyphos says

      Which book by Taleb? I’ve read Black Swan which was just extraordinary. I cannot get through Antifragile though.

  15. AJ says

    You desire to LIVE “according to Nature”? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine to yourselves a being like Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or consideration, without pity or justice, at once fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves INDIFFERENCE as a power–how COULD you live in accordance with such indifference? To live–is not that just endeavoring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being limited, endeavouring to be different? And granted that your imperative, “living according to Nature,” means actually the same as “living according to life”–how could you do DIFFERENTLY? Why should you make a principle out of what you yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite otherwise with you: while you pretend to read with rapture the canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the contrary, you extraordinary stage-players and self-deluders! In your pride you wish to dictate your morals and ideals to Nature, to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist that it shall be Nature “according to the Stoa,” and would like everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, and with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature FALSELY, that is to say, Stoically, that you are no longer able to see it otherwise– and to crown all, some unfathomable superciliousness gives you the Bedlamite hope that BECAUSE you are able to tyrannize over yourselves–Stoicism is self-tyranny–Nature will also allow herself to be tyrannized over: is not the Stoic a PART of Nature? . . . But this is an old and everlasting story: what happened in old times with the Stoics still happens today, as soon as ever a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise; philosophy is this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual Will to Power, the will to “creation of the world,” the will to the causa prima.

      • Jakub says

        … the mans work I am fascinated with lately. “Beyond good and evil” “Antichrist” “Human, All Too Human” made an impact on my life. You might want to check it out. Friedrich Nietzsche influenced and helped postmodern philosophy. Anyway as always you guys keep doing an awasome job and I cannot wait for the book.

  16. ME says

    LOVE this post.

    Have improved my life tenfold since I was 21 (25 now) in every aspect from health to girls to money/business.

    One thing I do gotta give up with is partying way too hard on weekends when it almost always gives me NOTHING or NEGATIVE returns after the immediate fun. Might have to pull something I’ve seen lots of good bloggers do and quit the partying and alcohol for a year! Thoughts? The obvious negative is trying to date girls without alcohol.


    • Wall Street Playboys says

      That’s a tough one. Take 3 months off cold turkey let your body go back to normal.

      Then you can feel it out. Maybe 1x a week is enough. Go by feel, if you find yourself becoming bored you should go out more. If you’re not bored going out 1x a week you’re fine.

      Definitely don’t want to wake up one day with an incredibly boring personality.

  17. Anon1 says

    Post is Gold. Specifically the 5th pillar.

    Most don’t even start because they’re comparing themselves to an imaginary foe, or someone way further up the path than they are.

    I was talking with my religious very stoic/esoteric uncle about your post the other day regarding products and how it’s different to sell to the masses versus selling to the rich.

    For the former its all about some simplified ‘magic pill’ centred around emotions that you personally have to believe has some kind of merit just so you can ethically swallow it.

    And for selling to the rich it’s selling them high ticket displays of status.

    And he said something interesting.

    He said that the biggest business in his country is religion. And that a lot of the high end rich people
    also go to these same “spiritual gurus” and donate bucketloads of money because they want someone to forgive them if they’ve screwed anyone over or they want a kind of certainty of self and peace they crave and can’t get no matter how much they have amassed.

    No one’s real with them, no one challenges them (outside of their mini category) , and they’re not so much looking for love of people but love of self.

    I think that this is probably the same stimulus that makes a lot of capital B billionaires go down the philanthropy route. It’s the last thing they can do to give themselves some kind of joy.

    I think the drive to procreate and have children and the drive to have a legacy and the feeling to be a person with some kind of peace inside of them are probably all motivated by the same thing.

  18. yb says

    You’re a very good person to dedicate so much time and energy to teaching guys how to make money and reach maximum ‘utilitarianism’ or happiness in life.

    Frenchdna and I have a financial mentor who is also passing on his financial wisdom as a way of leaving his legacy.

    This blog must be your legacy.


  19. Rudeman says

    I’m in my 40’s. Modestly financially independent. I’ve thought about going to Costa Rica for a couple weeks and learning to surf since college. Guess I need to go ahead and pencil that in because it won’t be the same doing it in my 50’s.

    Giving yourself permission for time off can be tough, though.

  20. Playing Catch Up says

    Hi there WSPs, I just wanted to start off by saying thank you. My 20s literally changed in regards to a direction because of the advice you gave and now I am in a good career field thanks to your advice alongside reading this blog. This site is truly a must read for any guy in his 20s that wants to go places and it has played a big role in changing my life.

    Being in my 20s I do feel the sense of urgency to get my career in order, thanks to this site I managed to find a good field and will be doing well. Unfortunately that sense of urgency also carries over in regards to social life, fun, and dating/women.

    I don’t know how to exactly describe it in words but it is that sort of FOMO associated with social fun and dating, for me not dating just hooking up with women. I’ve always wanted to work at nightclub or party bar in college but it was a rough time for me. That and you had to be in Greek Life to get those gigs 🙁

    Now in my 20s I still want to chase that and have been thinking about working it in with my full time career (it’s 50 hrs a week). I really want to do it to have a taste of that scene AND make money while having a taste of that scene. Mix with career oriented people in my career but mix with some fun party types in my side gig.

    The thing is, I feel like this will only feel fun in my 20s. Like it would be awkward working at a nightclub when I am in my 30s but 20s are halfway over.

    That’s the kind of stuff that just gets me at times, the sense of urgency to make strides in regards to a career in my 20s but also make some significant strides in my social/fun life so I have some things to look back on.

    No time to rest I guess!

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      While it is great you enjoy the blog future complaining comments about your 30s and Greek life will be deleted immediately.

      1) going to a high end bar in your 30s will net significantly more attractive women
      2) being jealous of dudes drinking pabst beers getting wasted playing ping pong… if that’s something aspirational we give up!

      Happy to have you but no more complaints. That goes for everyone. We are even going to add it to the start here section. Absolutely ZERO value in complaining, all it does is make you feel bad and waste time.

      • Playing Catch Up says

        My bad, I did not want to seem like I was complaining about the past. I was just sharing my own experience of how now, thanks to this site, I have my career in order but now that I have that in order in my mid 20s I also want to have a particular sort of fun.

        You see WSPs, I would like to work at a bar or nightclub on the side, don’t know how to make it happen, and fear if I don’t make it happen soon enough then the window of opportunity will close because I can’t really do that in my 30s.

        I am not as happy with being rich in my 30s and making it rain to get women but rather working at those venues on the side, having some fun experiences as I make money, and a good story to tell as I look back on my 20s. As you guys said, everyone should be working 70 hrs at some point in their lives.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Gonna have to agree with rsd here you’ll meet more attractive girls doing other things. But if you really want to be a bartender for some sort of experience (unrelated to girls) sure!

    • rsd LOL says

      “I would like to work at a bar or nightclub on the side, don’t know how to make it happen”

      that is a ridiculous statement. GL in business

  21. The Competitive Spirit says

    The competitive spirit of doing your best and coming out on top is the center of succeeding in fields like Sales and Investment Banking, it is more or less a requirement, especially in Sales. Now that being said, I somewhat look down on the idea of getting older (it’s inevitable!) as a guy in his 20s because of that very competition fading with age.

    In high school we competed for popularity to decide who slept with the hottest girls and when you got the hottest girls, you were more or less rubbing it in the other guy’s face.

    In college we socially competed for the same thing while building our future.

    What made it so fulfilling was that everyone was more or less in the same boat with similar circumstances so coming out on top of other men made the juice that much sweeter. To the victor belonged the hottest women, the highest social rank, and the most respect.

    It is what makes championships worth winning, knowing that you crawled on top of others to get it.

    It is what makes sex with that hot girl even more fulfilling, knowing you beat out other men to get her.

    It is the kind of stuff that actually gets me to be my best daily, knowing that in your younger years life is a rough competition. For me, what I fear about the 30s is that life is no longer that rough competition and instead we are all just trying to be buddies rather than compete.

  22. Tale of two decades says

    We have long learned thanks to this site not to think like the average person but I feel like in certain regards, especially when it comes to age and youth, it can be rough because of outside voices and especially media.

    Take your 20s for instance, yes they are a time to explore and grow but the media makes it seems like your 20s (they actually say college if we are being true here) are the last time those sorts of have fun experiences. The last time to have a nice party, make a lot of fun acquaintances and the last chance to enjoy life.

    It is something I feel highly puzzled about myself but also the core of FOMO and people living in the now. For a lot of us younger guys, it does often seem like college or your early 20s are the last window of opportunity for actual fun.

    Never again will you be around so many single, hot and available women.

    Never again will you have so many opportunities to party and hook up.

    Never again will you have so many opportunities to make acquaintances and meet new people.

    I am too young to say whether or not this is true but I do feel like this relentless pedestalization of college in American media and society is what leads to so many guys being unhappy in their early 20s. We can’t all be fraternity guys with rich parents.

    Then contrast that with the media depiction of life as you get older and it’s damaged women everywhere, no more hookups but time to get “serious” with relationships, partying is “immature”, and it is impossible to make friends.

    I don’t have the wisdom to say how much of what the media says is true but I do think it explains why so many American men are unhappy in their early 20s.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Anyone who believes college is the best time to meet women failed miserably at life. Can confirm that’s media nonsense

      Avoid people who take life seriously past 30-35 or so, something went seriously wrong along the way

  23. David says

    WSPs: Any more thoughts or info on game and getting younger women in the states as you get older? I’m in my late thirties and I always heard the that after 50 you have to pay to play. Any thoughts? Thank you for everything.

    • Playing Catch Up says

      WSPs did say no questions but from what I have seen, younger women in the USA value looks and cool factor (Instagram followers, who’s hip who’s not, etc.). The reason being because American women already have money and see no need to look for a provider like women struggling in a 3rd world country might.

      • Playing Catch Up says


        True but you still have to admit that spending that money on women to any extent means you are getting a short end of the bargain. Her high school and college dates smashed her for free, you’re paying to smash her if you’re lucky.

  24. Bence says

    Hey WSPs, I just want to say that I truly appreciate this blog and all of its articles.I started reading more and more of your articles back in November last year because I was desperately searching for ways to improve my mindset and I favorited in IE many of your older posts and this article goes to my favorites too.

    I also want to say here that,although someone else seems to have mentioned this in the previous comments, I’ve fully embraced that it’s allright not to be happy in your 20s. I’m 21 and I know that I’m not yet where I want to be but check this out: thanks to your mindset articles I have internalized a positive belief system that has enabled me to make better and better gainz in the gym and making progress in the gym is my obsession currently and this hustle,if you will, is making me happy! I don’t look like a pro bodybuilder but I’m very proud of the physique that I forged. Seeing progress is addictive.

    Also, don’t take this the wrong way but I might not be your target audience. I mean I’m not a finance student or anything like that because I’m attending a college to become an RN. But I still enjoy your articles.

    So yeah, right now I have two main priorities in my life: college and the gym. As far as chicks are concerned, I did follow the ‘player lifestyle’ last summer but even then before becoming acquainted with your views on dating, I knew that it was sort of a waste of time.Besides, I realized that all the money I spent on dates could have been spent on more food or supplements.

  25. mate says

    just going to say thanks! your way to compartmentalise life like a game make so much sense to me and cut tonnes of unnecessary stress out of my life. would keep focusing on these matrices and going to find a *shortcut* to achieve what I want!

  26. Sepp says

    Reading these comments, it seems like the whining and “hand-me-life-on-a-silver-platter” comments are getting out of hand.

    Regarding hooking up later in life, don’t know if it’s really that bad in the US in regards to people wanting you to settle down etc. If it is, am I definitely glad to live in a major city in Germany. I am in my thirties and most of my peers/hot chicks are single.

  27. TS says

    This website is LITERALLY the best website I ever visited hands down. No fillers, no political correctness, no generic advice to sound nice to spare feelings.

    Straight up, no BS nonsense and succinct.

    Please do NOT delete this website and keep the advices and articles coming.

  28. Marc says


    I think you talk about going to the gym, running and doing sports.

    Well, I need music to stay mentally healthy. It’s my way of dealing with stress. If I don’t play music, I basically implode. I use it as a great coping tool. 15 minutes with my guitar a day allows me to fix my mood, feel a lot better and stay mentally sane.

    Would that count as health or as a hobby? I guess I’m going to count that as health.

  29. says

    A blog post with real value?

    I’m shocked.

    Being a man who has already retired at 24 I can attest. I have worked my twenties away, taking an occasional exotic vacation. I’ve missed nothing, and gained more than the weekend clubbers.

    Spain is much better for a month than Vegas is for a weekend.

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