Probably the most significant and hard to implement idea from the Whitepill is the belief in getting rid of insalubrious desire.
Desire for sugar, for alcohol, for sex, for money, for power. Any desire you aren’t achieving (even those you are but desire for more) creates unfulfillment, thus anxiety, longing, and pain.
Buddhism traditionally holds this view, claiming one should get rid of any and all desire; when desire is gone there is no clinging, when there is no clinging there is nothing but the self – and thus joy, as one already has everything one wants.
I know for a fact saying something and acting on it are two very different things. Because the Whitepill is created as a practical guide for suffering men, it doesn’t reach such dedication. Instead, it asks that you ponder your desires and aim to rid yourself of the biggest offenders, and in time progress to the smaller ones.
Do you wish for…
- A significant other? Find the joy in being alone. Realize worrying and wishing won’t change your situation, and that it’s causing you to waste time suffering.
- Material property? Notice how you have lived your life without this object until now, and that your happiness isn’t dependent on it. If you get the object some day that’s great, but don’t long for it.
- A better career? You can be enthusiastic, apply yourself, look for a better job, ask for raises, but don’t let your objectives become toxic. Going to work being plagued by anxiety and unfulfillment will only harm you.
It’s important to realize letting go of desire doesn’t mean not taking opportunities when they present themselves, nor being unable to enjoy them when they happen. On the contrary, the Whitepill is about letting go of expectations and obsessive thought. Stay in the present, enjoy what you have now.
Remember: You do not physically hurt. The pain is in the mind.