Is the human race still evolving?
As a student of human evolution, I have often pondered that question.
Sure, if you look strictly through the lens of culture, humans evolve and continue to evolve at a fascinating rate. When you stop and reflect, it’s incredible to think about how much humans have culturally evolved even in the last half century.
The sexual revolution of the 60s. From Frank Sinatra to Britney Spears. Ballroom dancing to twerking. Religious fundamentalism of the early 20th century to the rise in the “spiritual” but not religious crowd of the early 21st century.
Our likes and dislikes are constantly evolving. What is popular today will be the fad of the past before we know it. The social issues that we are currently fighting for today will become commonplace hundred years from now.
Don’t believe me?
Think about the women’s suffrage movement of the early 20th century. What would you think if women couldn’t vote today? For most sane Americans, you’d think that’s ludicrous. The same likely goes for the battle that continues to wage on with gay marriage. In 100 years, we may not even care if a human decides to marry a horse (joking of course).
You get my point. Culturally speaking, we are constantly evolving in our likes and preferences.
Biologically, it’s a different story. To prove my point, we must look no further than the one concept that we love discussing here at Show Me Strength: the alpha male.
The alpha male has enthralled the human race since our evolution hundreds of thousands of years ago (sorry, creationists).
Ladies love the alpha. He is the subject of both women’s fantasies and heartbreaks. He’s the bad boy that you just wish you could make good. He’s the asshole that you love despite the fact that he’s an asshole. Basically, he’s the man. He knows it. You know it. You crave him because biology has designed it that way.
The alpha has power. Power leads to choice in women, occupation, and just about every other tool to live a badass fucking life. The alphas have status, and as males, it is hardwired into our disposition to seek status.
Every male wants to be the alpha. If you had any doubts about the male propensity to seek out how to become the alpha, turn to the Internet.
Type in “Becoming the Alpha Male” into Google and 2.5 million search results come back.
In biological terms, what constitutes the alpha male is not rocket science nor akin to cracking the code of cancer.
The alpha male has greater levels of testosterone than their fellow males. This means that they are more facially attractive, physically broader, stronger than most, and are natural born leaders. They have hit the genetic lottery per say and to be completely honest they will have a much easier time in life than most everyone else. If they are not handed everything, they will have to work significantly less to achieve the same results that a beta, or lesser, male will.
I don’t particularly care for the etiology of what physically constitutes an alpha male. Without the use of anabolic steroids, you have no control over how much testosterone you were exposed to during adolescence, where all the transient effects of testosterone are seen in shaping the alpha. You either hit the genetic lottery and walk around with silverback testosterone levels or you didn’t. It’s that simple and there’s no use worrying about developing broader shoulders or a deeper voice. In large part, you are born with what you got.
Yet, the neuroplasticity of our minds invokes an opportunity for the common male to emulate what I think is the alpha’s most appealing characteristic. In large part, whether you’ve encountered alphas through personal interaction or other mediums, they don’t really give a shit. To put it bluntly, they walk around with an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude.
This is special.
And no I am not advising you to wholeheartedly adopt some apathetic attitude towards your own life and the world. The alpha attitude far transcends apathy. It evokes the strongest sense of self-confidence and belief in one’s self. It subverts our greatest fear… the fear of self.
Let’s examine why.
At the root of our fears is the uncomfortable relationship we have with our own perception of self.
Why are we afraid of approaching women? The obvious answer is rejection. We are terrified of getting rejected but why? Because most individuals treat getting rejected by women as a pure reflection of their own self worth. Whether or not men value their own self is completely contingent upon whether that woman accepts or rejects his approach.
Acceptance and he is the man. Not only does confidence skyrocket but also so does his perception of worth. That this may last for a day, a year, or even the duration of the relationship if it progresses to that point.
But what happens when there is no girlfriend who by the very nature of being in a relationship directly tells you that she thinks you are of worth? Without a relationship or a successful approach, our man has no self worth because in no shape or form is it tied down to his own individuality. How he perceives himself is directly to how others feel about him and this couldn’t be a worse way to live.
Besides ceasing to exist, what are most individuals’ ultimate concerns about death? How many people will be at my funeral? Will I be remembered? And if I am, how will I be remembered? Will people consider my life a success?
Seriously consider those questions for a minute. They are indicative of an individual whose entire self is predicated on the beliefs of others. Not only do these individuals need constant validation in their relationships to maintain the self, they need the justification of others to think that they will have led a meaningful life!!!
Think about how depressing that is that through all the experiences you had in your lifetime, whether it was well spent or not, you are going to let your perception of your own life be defined by others.
This is the mindset of the beta and it’s been killing men’s aspirations and hopes since the dawn of man. The beta cares what others think about him and adjusts his behavior accordingly.
Though our friend may know what he loves to do in life and how to turn that into a career, he doesn’t out of fear that others may pass judgment. He would rather be a sheep and blend in with the crowd to escape judgment then be a wolf that stands alone.
Contrast this with the alpha.
The alpha knows what he wants and he goes after it. Whether it’s the pretty girl he sees at the coffee shop or the job opportunity that he wants, the alpha will go for it with reckless abandonment, embracing the fear of the possible consequences or ensuing failure.
If he fails, his self-image is not tarnished and he is certainly not sent spiraling into a cycle of depression. When a relationship ends, he knows another one will start up again soon. If he fails to get the job promotion, he honestly believes that the next opportunity he gets, he’ll land the promotion. If he just missed the game winning shot, he undoubtedly wants the ball in his hands the next time the game’s on the line.
This is not an absence of fear, nor is it the pure result of a series of hormones interacting to produce this mindset. It is the result of an interplay between conscious and unconscious thoughts in which the alpha legitimately voids himself of any attachment to the outcome or result. The only thing that matters is the process of undergoing the challenge and taking the risk. The alpha’s self worth is not predicated based on the results of the journey, but if he actually undertook the journey itself.
So I urge you to adopt this mindset. Start not “giving a fuck” in a way that transcends apathy.
Start being yourself around people. No, not some fake image that you have constructed because you want to be cool or fit in. Stop trying to mold yourself into some stereotypical image of what the alpha should look like.
It’s not about how broad your shoulders are or how much testosterone you have flowing your veins, it’s about how willing you are to be yourself and be the best version of yourself. Who cares what people think. If they don’t approve, soon enough you’ll find a group of people who like you for who you truly are. Then, you can be happy in your skin for the first time in your life because you’re not trying to fit into some bullshit societal construct.
Go after what you love without any concern for what others think. If you want to become a professional baseball player and there’s people in your life that doubt you… get rid of them. The alpha doesn’t deal with people that bring him down. He has enough self worth to be ok without those toxic individuals in his life, no matter if it’s his girlfriend or his father. Be ok with failing and stop worrying about the end goal of whether or not you made it. Start prioritizing the process and give everything you have to it no matter what.
Be true enough to yourself that you can undertake the painful process of deliberate practice day in and day out. When others scoff at your efforts, pay no attention. You’re chasing what you love with everything you have. Be content that this is enough.
Train your mind through discomfort. It is the only way we are going to physiologically change our brain chemistry and adopt the mindset of the alpha. You aren’t there yet for a reason. You must put yourself in situations your mind and body does not want to endure. Do it anyway. You will grow and feel more alive than you have ever felt.
Most individuals will forever live their lives as a beta and it has nothing to do with their adolescent testosterone levels and everything to do with how they perceive the world.
Starting today, be brave enough to take the bull by the horns and say here I am world, love me or hate me, this is who I am. There is no more room to spend your time hiding amongst the sheep in a pack.
It’s time to stand up. It’s time to stop giving a fuck about what others and the world think about you. It’s about that time you go after what you love in all facets with little regard to failure. If you fail, so be it. You will start developing this subconscious belief that you will get the opportunity again and next time you’ll succeed.
That’s what becoming the alpha should look like when I search it on Google. It’s not about a V-shaped torso or making the pitch of your voice sound deeper. It’s about embracing your sense of self and showing the world who you are.
That’s the alpha. It lives inside each of us. It always has.