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Guest Manifesto: Never Regular

» 27 February 2011 » In Dope, G Manifesto, Game, Guest Manifesto, Guide, People, Style » 6 Comments

Guest Manifesto: Never Regular

“The more you conform, the less likely you are to be truly interesting.” – MPM

Most people focus on role models, but it’s far more effective to do just the opposite. Find anti-models—people you don’t want to resemble. Now, who’s the ideal anti-model? The average guy. Think about it:

They go home to live in a box; they study by ticking boxes; they go to what is called “work” in a cubicle box: they drive to the grocery store to buy food in a box; they go to the gym in a box; they talk about thinking “outside the box”, and when they die they are put in a box.

The collective status quo (school, jobs, a.k.a. the system) wants to box you in. They want you to blend in with the crowd. They want to strip you of your strength, masculinity, and individuality. It’s gotten so bad in recent years that “fitting into the mold” now means physical, mental, and emotional castration. Do everything you can to avoid this. Don’t cave in to the mediocre and the uninspired.

Instead, make a commitment to excellence. Make yourself a standout and command attention. This has its obvious benefits. First and foremost, it signals that you are a person of exceptional ability and high quality. Second, it shows you to be a tastemaker of resolute individuality. Third, it increases your social standing. People want to be near other people who give off positive vibes; a buzzing, effervescent state of mind can work wonders.

“You have approach girls with snap, swagger and energy. You need to have a purpose and pitch something that is exciting, fresh and unique.” – MPM (The Six Elements of Picking Up Girls)

When you make a commitment to excellence, though, you’ll inevitably run into some resistance. But when you’re facing your “competition”, remember this: What fools call a waste of time is most often the best investment. Most “regular” guys don’t have a clue about things like custom suits, swooping model girls, intercontinental travel, speaking multiple languages, gourmet foods, big bankrolls, boutique hotels, swigging Barolo, and smoking Davidoffs—it’s all a little bit beyond their comprehension because it’s fine living in another dimension. Sure, these things aren’t “regular”, but who cares? A preoccupation with fitting in is the main obstacle to a noble, elegant, and heroic life.

“The finest moments in my life have consisted of a Custom Italian suit, a full-bodied red, a key to a penthouse suite in my pocket, a thick bankroll, a booth in a Michelin starred restaurant, a beautiful girl looking at me, hypnotized, and a lit cigarette dangling from my mouth. Moments like these are what Life is all about (and of course what happens succeeding). The rest is just bullshit.” – MPM (Smoking and Liberty for All: Pro-Smoking Quotes)

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Guest Manifesto: Enter The Dragon pt. II

» 01 February 2011 » In Guest Manifesto, Guide, Style » 3 Comments

Guest Manifesto: Enter The Dragon pt. II

(Click Here for The G Manifesto’s Entering The Dragon )

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There is no better training ground than the real world

Mens sana in corpore sano– a healthy mind in a healthy body– was once the watchword for fitness. But look at what has happened to the way we keep fit: we exercise in windowless basements, ingesting both recycled air and asinine music piped in at a steady feed. The gym is a place of isolation. Just look at a packed gym with all the people hiding in their private worlds of iPods and earphones.

“First things first, you need a place to work out. You don’t want to join the corporate gym that has all new equipment, a juice bar and all yuppie clientele. Join the gym that has boxing equipment and is hot, smells terrible with a felon clientele…Always the top or the bottom, none of that middle of the road, suburban crap…a hall mark of The G Manifesto.” - MPM

But there’s a growing school of thought that, in terms of overall fitness, both physical and mental, the outside world is where we should be looking, not so much for inspiration but for things to actually do. Today, we don’t really push or pull things in our lives any more, and the gym somehow evolved to reflect that. It just isn’t fulfilling—there’s no interaction.

And as the aesthetic ideal for men shifts ever further away from the super-groomed metrosexual to a manlier paradigm, ideal body shapes are being reconsidered.

“You don’t need to lift heavy weights anymore, it’s not the Eighties, and you are not trying to sack the quarterback anymore.” -MPM

Clearly, for this different sort of workout, a different sort of motivation is required. Here is where boxing comes in. It is, after all, the most alpha of manly pursuits: going toe-to-toe in an old-fashioned fight. This is why scores of bankers, lawyers and industrialists (not to mention International Playboy’s on the rise) turn to boxing to boost adrenalin and build muscle. At Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, the 650 white-collar boxers make up more than half the clientele. “It’s a very good way to relieve stress and aggravation,” says Bruce Silverglade, Gleason’s president.

“One of the most important aspects of Entering The Dragon. You need to spar. Get your rounds in. They will pay dividends.”-MPM

On Wednesday nights, money manager John Oden leaves his tailored suit and Hermes tie in the locker room at the New York Athletic Club and climbs into the boxing ring in red Everlast gloves and white high-top sneakers. Much like the boxing greats he emulates, he feeds off the energy in the ring. Self-respect is also a factor. Not getting beaten up in front of your friends and colleagues is a much better motivator than wanting to look good; fighting for your pride is about the best goal you can have.

Relating to the Streets and Making a Comeback

While Oden was writing his book, “Life in the Ring: Lessons and Inspirations From the Sport of Boxing,” he was right in the middle of the financial crisis. The Down Economy was taking its toll. In fact, it was during this period that his I-bank’s investors pulled $44 billion from its funds. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell to 676.53, the lowest level since September 1996.

“It was an awful time,” says Oden, sitting in a 36th- floor conference room overlooking Central Park. “Everyone I know suffered.” But many of the 12 boxers he was writing about, including George Foreman, Bernard Hopkins and James J. Braddock, overcame tougher challenges, he says. “I am talking about growing up in ghettos, having no education or role models, going to prison,” Oden says.

Like the business world, boxing requires “manic” preparation and 100 percent concentration. Before his fights, Oden learned about his opponents and worked out 10 times a week. “The ability to dig down and make a comeback in business is just the same as it is in boxing.”

And there’s a desirable side effect: incredible fitness. This is because boxing is massively aerobic, its constant motion and flexion punctuated by quick, controlled movements provinding an intense all-body workout. Plus, you acquire a skill, and you pick up a lot of confidence–not to mention respect.

“Even if people don’t appreciate the sport, they appreciate and understand the discipline and preparation required to do the sport,” Oden says. “Who wouldn’t want someone who has these qualities, who prepares this way for something?”

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Sharp, Urban, and International

» 22 February 2010 » In Guest Manifesto, Guide, Style, Travel » 10 Comments

Guest Manifesto: Sharp, Urban, and International

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Trends for 2010: The next decade will be won with custom suits, urban adaptability and international mobility.

“You might not always be the smartest, richest, or best looking person in a room—but you can be the Sharpest Dressed. Work on the things you can control. Believe me, if you know my Tailor you can be the best dressed in any room you step into.” – MPM

The custom suit can play many different roles and, chameleon-like, can mean different things in different situations. Retro or futuristic, subtle or outrageous, the suit is the ultimate in adaptability. Movie stars and rock stars, heroes and villains, philanthropists and gangsters – all these men and many, many more have dressed to impress.

Going suited down is the best way to avoid blending in with the “casual crowd”. Wearing a hand-rolled Borrelli tie or a flashy, flagrant and far from low-key pocket square by Etro will always separate you from the status quo. They say you never judge a book by its cover, but you do take someone more seriously when they are suitably attired. “If you are wearing a suit and tie, doors open for you. If you show up casual, you aren’t going to get into certain places.”

This trend is ripe for 2010. Adam King, co-owner of the bespoke suit company King & Allen in London, says he has seen a twenty per cent increase in first-time customers: “People who wouldn’t previously have worn a bespoke suit, or even a suit at all, are coming to us because they want to sharpen their image.” Custom shirts by Charvet and Tmoro Benson Leather shoes by Tod’s never hurt anyone, either.

Urban Environments

Economic growth depends on productivity, and the most productive people are often the most mobile. Every country, region and city is engaged in a global battle for talent. The most creative people can live more or less where they want. They therefore tend to pick places that offer not only material comfort but an upbeat atmosphere as well. This makes life more fun. It also fosters progress. When clever people cluster, they can bounce ideas off each other. This is why rents are so high in Manhattan (it is also why there has been a population surge in Singapore). Robert Lucas, a Nobel economics laureate, argues that the clustering of talent is the primary driver of economic growth By almost any measure, the larger a city’s population, the greater the innovation and wealth creation per person. This is unlike small town America, where low-density sprawl and unsophisticated employees suffocate the postindustrial economy. Place still matters in the modern day—and the competitive advantage of the world’s most successful cities is growing, not shrinking. This is a trend that’s on the rise.

A crucial contributory factor to the development of global cities is the arrival of new talent to replenish their energy (never underestimate the need to replenish: Always Drink Fresh Blood). In short, cities’ diverse economic and social structures are the true engines of growth.

The jostling of many different professions and different types of people, all in a dense environment, is an essential spur to innovation—to the creation of things that are truly new. And innovation, in the long run, is what keeps cities vital and relevant. Remember, if you don’t adapt you become extinct.

Internationalism at its finest

“You want to be “Worldly”. Know about current events. Get “inside information” Everyone, and I mean everyone, finds Travel and Foreign lands interesting. At least anyone you want to get to know.” – MPM

While there are no hard numbers, more Americans seem to be trying to qualify for additional passports. They want to make sure they have two passports based on nationality because there are numerous benefits. Among those is the ability to work without restriction in various countries, particularly with passports from countries in the E.U. Dual nationals are doing better than ever, especially now that the E.U. has grown in size and scope. Multiple passports are also a way of hiding where one has been, which has obvious advantages.

Anyone considering dual passports should think first of the tax consequences, though–you can get certain exemptions because you’re a U.S. citizen. However, given the high tax rates in the U.S., a full-blown conversion to another nationality wouldn’t be such a bad idea. International mobility goes hand in hand with capitalizing on urban environments, making travel a priority.

This leads to the Five Flags Theory (think of it as the original “4-Hour Workweek“). Perpetual travelers are those who live in such a way that they are not considered a legal resident of any of the countries in which they spend time. By lacking a legal permanent residence status, they seek to avoid the legal obligations that accompany residency, such as taxes on income. Macao is an innovative move, and Buenos Aires is an opportunity waiting to unfold.

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