40/40 Vision: A Retrospective.

At 40 years old  I am putting forward the lessons and wisdom that have brought me success so that I don’t lose sight of them!

I am listing these in bullets with no numbers, in no particular order, because they are all important and I’m mainly speaking in the third person because Wateef is generally the only person who Wateef listens to.

  • Ignore potential.

A lesson that I have learned many times is that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  That does not just mean looking for glaring Red Flags, it means looking for something that may not be there and investing time/money (same thing!) anyway.

If there is a potential business deal or business partner that has an excellent idea but no track record to support why I should invest, I avoid it.  Do not even invest in another meeting with him.  If you are constantly improving your business and being noticed as a man that people should try to do business with, there will always be someone new coming to you with an idea.

Yes, you may miss a lucrative business deal, however, not losing out on what you have already gained is the more likely outcome over a statistically significant period of time.

Likewise, with girls, if she has nothing to supplement her good looks and fun sex with, do not invest more time with her.  If you are constantly improving your lifestyle and health, as well as being noticed as a man who girls take interest in, there will always be another girl offering herself to you.

As a man, we are all subject to the same foolishness that convinces us that just because a girl is pretty, is fun to have sex with, and is not a liability, that we should invest more time in her.

This is false. If she is not adding to your empire, never invest anything more in her at all.

Yes, you may lose out on more fun sex with that particular beautiful girl, but if that’s all she has to offer than she will eventually become a financial and emotional liability over a statistically significant length of time.

  • Keep your mouth shut!

Never tell anyone anything about anyone or any situation that they were not present for or involved in that you were not specifically told to talk about!  Even then, get it in writing, or an email that you are being given permission to talk about the issue outside the group of people who were there. Your reputation as a man who won’t talk serves you professionally and socially.

Anyone who tries to impress you, or their peers by revealing secrets in order to try to and gain favor by telling other people’s private indiscretion’s or personal foibles can never be trusted.

No matter how juicy and salacious the secret is, tell them to stay away from you!  If they will tell you a secret about someone else, they will tell someone else a secret about you.  Having friends like that are liabilities just waiting to be exploited.

  • Show “Thank You”.

“Thank you” are two very cheap words that are losing value every day.  It’s important to say it when dealing in casual conversation, but anyone who takes action on my behalf or my behest is someone I need to show that I am appreciative.  

For me, in business as well as personally, letters are how I win at life!  I send cards to friends and letters to businesses.  I can not stress to you how influential this practice has been in my success in life!

  • Pay back every personal debt you owe.

Debts are not only money.  When someone does you a favor out of kindness, go out of your way to find out what information or connections you have that can benefit them.

  • Always take revenge.

As you always need to give back to the people who got you where you are, never, ever let any slight go unpunished.  I respond with wildly disproportionate vengeance when I am attacked. People who have seen me over any consistent timeline know that I go above and beyond what is needed to avoid conflict, however when I am attacked I do not respond in equal measure.

  • Never talk about problems in public.

Take them to the person, people, or group that you have a problem with. They won’t like you, but they will respect you.  No one likes a complainer, even when the complaints are justified.

  • Remain “Process Driven”.

Being “Results Driven” can, and often does lead to short-to-mid-term thinking that can undermine the importance of not compromising on ethics or standards.  How you arrive at success is always more important than arriving at success.  You also, crucially, are able to replicate the formula to success once you have found it.

  • Be analog ready!

Don’t ever forget that there are very few things that digital technology and the internet have given us that can’t be replicated offline.  Instead of being crippled by the sudden loss of the internet due to sabotage, governmental malfeasance, or a change in the landscape, you should always be ready to do anything you can do now online, offline!

  • Health first and always!

No fewer than two medical check-ups per year. One superficial, and one in depth.  Do not ignore any aches, pains, or bodily malfunctions.  Knowing that you have an unavoidable medical exam coming will keep you motivated to eat clean and exercise so that your numbers are always the same, or improved.

Get a full copy of all medical reports and cross-reference every metric, diagnosis, and medicine before taking anything as written in stone.  It’s easy to cross-reference “bad” results, just remember that it’s also important to cross-check results that the doctors say are normal or within acceptable ranges!

  • Always have a clear, written definition of who you are!

The definition can and should be updated, but you can never, ever be without one, in case you are asked, or need to remind yourself.

  • Make new friends!

Remember, making new friends isn’t just fun for you, it allows you to introduce other interesting people to each other!

  • Let people ask for advice.

No one has ever appreciated any advice that they didn’t ask for, even you. When someone does ask, be humble, and helpful.

  • There is no right time.

Never, ever wait for the right time to do anything.  Right now, is the moment you have been waiting for!  No one will give you permission to start winning!

  • Lift increasingly heavy weights.

Losing fat is important, but fat can be negated in part by diet. There is no substitute or way to gain muscle without lifting weights! Having muscle not only makes you healthier, but further differentiates you from being normal.

  • Don’t be normal.

Normal is a word people use to scare and pacify each other.  Normal people settle down in the most socially acceptable way possible, then silently suffer the consequence.  No one you have ever envied, hated, or in any way became relevant ever led a normal life.   Take calculated risks, but never factor fear or social acceptance into the calculation!

  • Eat clean.

All sugar comes mainly from fruit or the occasional Banana Bundt, nearly no salt in cooking, and never add salt to food.  You will fail at this, sometimes salt and sugar will creep in. Stay vigilant.

  • No alcohol, or illicit drugs ever.

I have an unfair advantage over my friends in this.  Because I saw addiction in my family, I was always terrified to try anything that could be addictive, even once! I have never tried drugs, alcohol, or smoked anything in my life.

I have had it said to me that “drugs/alcohol don’t always result in bad things happening”.  I agree, however, I have never seen or read about a situation that got better because drugs/alcohol were involved.

  • Don’t lie.

Not because you are a good or nice man, but because there is no one alive or dead that I can not face as exactly who and what I am, regardless of consequence.

Not lying also includes lies of omission. Always be willing to give people relevant information that they didn’t ask for when in a business or personal relationship with you.

Remain stoic and unapologetic as you deal with the consequences of your honesty, because you will be attacked for it.

  • Do not trust Politicians or Holy Men of any political affiliation or religious denomination, ever.

They are two sides of the same coin.  Their job is to misrepresent superstition as fact, to withhold pertinent information that the same sources they cite or other relevant sources reveal, lie by omission, and convince you that even though you have had the same story sold to you by their predecessor or rival, that their method is different.

They will try to swindle you into believing that if you simply invest your time, money, faith, reputation, and name into them you will see a different result.

  • Document everything!

No one has to write down everything, technology allows us to keep clear records of everything, easily. I have had several situations in life, both professionally and personally that required me to prove, with a .pdf, scan, or picture that I took of the document in question, that I am right.

I have had to do this personally, far more than professionally.  Having a copy of the email that gave you permission to talk about a private issue openly, a picture of the document you signed, or a scan of the original contract has saved my name and reputation many, many times.

Buy a quality External Hard Drive, they are worth the money. Buy a big one and routinely offload documents from your computer or phone there so that you have them offline, easily accessible, and not taking up room on your devices.

  • Get rejected by girls early and often.

You learn what to say, how to say it, and continue to realize that being successful with girls is a formula, just like learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and cooking.

  • Condoms 100% of the time.

If you are working hard at being a quality man, with no major physical flaws, personality disorders, and are not in debt, you are in the top third of all the men in the world.  Girls want to have your child.  Do not allow it to happen unless it is completely intentional. Girls have a short, specific reproductive window and they are generally smart enough to know what kind of father they want for their children.

Smart men do not let others choose their future, I have seen men with great potential lose it all when the unplanned responsibilities of fatherhood pop in.

I know of no one that has a 100% success rate, but the men who make certain that not using condoms was an extreme rarity, generally do not find themselves accidentally getting a girl pregnant.

  • Choose mentors and ask for help!

Remember to go to people who are successful at the things you want to learn and show them the work you have done so far.  Then ask them to help you improve. Never approach a mentor without evidence that you did research and made an honest attempt on your own.

  • Become a mentor.

One of the most challenging phases of my life began in my early 30’s when I became called on more and more often to be a Mentor.  I have participated in public, government-run programs for youth and I have privately mentored young men who sought to emulate my successes.

It’s always stressful because I have to make sure that I am still consistently, authentically being the person they need help from.  That means talking openly about my failures as well as my successes.  This is one of the ways I keep my gargantuan ego in check.

  • It’s hip to be square!

Being cool is hard, and the qualifications are always changing. Being aware of pop-culture is a full-time job.  Remain focused on learning to be good at the things that have brought Men good fortune, consistently, throughout history.

Read new books, exercise, master a craft.  You will always have something to talk about that is relevant and interesting no matter where you go or who you are with, without having to know the latest celebrity gossip, know the latest dance or speak in the coolest slang.

  • Save +10%.

Saving ten percent or more of every dollar earned puts you in a position to reject bad business offers and not be desperate when lean times come, there will always be a drought in any business.  Most business models and projections forget that.

  • Never pay full price!

Having savings allows you to have a choice.  Options are something you can’t fake.  When you are buying anything, be it a new suit, a computer, a car, or a house, your ability to shop elsewhere or simply wait for the market prices to adjust to something your wallet can bear gives you a palpable sense of control that anyone selling you anything can sense.

They are faced with deciding between not selling you anything, or selling it at a slightly less profitable margin.  Smart salesmen always choose to make the sale over losing the sale!

  • Never be an island!

It’s easy to become caught up in pursuing total self-sufficiency. so easy that we can become careless, and to forget how important it is to cultivate a group of other successful, relentlessly driven men to share resources with and take advice from.

  • Always have a backup plan.

The more important the situation, the more important it is to have a redundancy program or people in place!  Never be in a position of total dependence on any one person or organization for anything, ever.

  • Be openly political and vote!

Life cares far less what your politics are than it does that you have political agendas that you work hard to see get you the result that you want!

Life has taught me that voting locally is far more influential than the Presidential vote, in any country.  Having the Minister of Education/Police Chief/Judge that you feel represents your politics and systems of belief will have far more impact on your life than any President/Prime minister.

  • Write.

Most people aren’t going to like you anyway.  They won’t like anything you have written or said.  They won’t like you in person or on a podcast either.

By writing and sharing your thoughts, you can connect with the slim minority of people who would like you, but would never have heard about you or known that your particular brand of insanity was compatible with theirs so that they can reach out to you and become friends.

  • Dare!

Dare to not be mediocre, non-committal, or be “less than” to make normal people feel better! Being daring attracts other daring people and daring people are always more successful than anyone else.

  • Learn a second language.

I use what I call the Big language/Small Language/Dead Language method.

Learn a Big Language like Chinese/Mandarin or Spanish, for example. Choosing a language that is spoken by millions opens up countless doors.

Learn an obscure, Small Language like Portuguese, or an even less spoken language like Aramaic because having fluency in a niche language gives you an enormous advantage in business and life.

Do not learn a “Dead” language, like Latin or Ancient Greek.  It sounds fun and can help with building academic bona fides, but they keep you locked into a small, insular group of academics.

Most importantly, it allows you to think in different directions that your native language does not. Even better, you can use free online apps and social organizations to practice for free!

Once you gain any fluency at all, get an official certification that allows you to speak credibly in professional circles!

  • Work for yourself!

Freedom is not free!  It’s a pleasant fiction to believe that you can just cut ties with your current job and start with nothing but courage, but you can’t.  Slowly build up your personal business until it can pay all your basic needs.  Then, and only then, do you quit your regular job.  I will write more about this later, I see too many people making horrible mistakes in this area.

  • Be Nice.

Always be nice to people who have different views, remind people that you will not be spoken to disrespectfully.  If they are not compatible with your views, leave.  Do not be reduced to vulgarities or insults.

  • Live abroad.

Living outside your country means living outside your culture.  The most frightening lesson you will learn is that Good, Bad, Right, and Wrong are all completely contextual and based on where you were born.

This is the most mind-numbingly terrifying experience that I have ever enjoyed!

Learning that there are different outlooks in life gives you a huge advantage in dealing with life’s situations because very few other men will ever have such a vast array of information and paradigms to choose from!

  • Cheat Legally.

Do not break the law, ever.  From everything I have ever seen or read, no amount of money, notoriety, or fame is worth even a single day in jail/prison.

Having said that, my career as a Financial Professional allowed me to learn and teach the ways that not-poor people get that way and stay that way.

We always search for governmental reimbursements, state or federal;

We ask for tax credits and write-offs for everything we spend because we remember to Document Everything;

We refer our quality friends and coworkers to other people in order to help them increase their business through our connections.

Try and become one of the best at whatever it is we do so that other successful friends/relatives/business partners can justify why they hired and paid you for a job instead of opening up the giving money to the free market.

People need verifiable evidence of why money is flowing to someone they know personally and not being fairly competed for.  In the free market.  Always put people in a position to justify to their stockholders and other business partners why they give you advantages.

All of my friends and clients can say “I know him, here are his qualifications, and we are better off contracting with him than taking a chance on someone who I can’t stake my credibility on!”;

  • Never love unconditionally.

A lifetime of building value for yourself allows you to be selective about who shares it with you.  Do not love without loyalty and obedience first.

  • Never Hold Anyone.

Your words are a mutant superpower that you have cultivated into both a stellar group of friends, lovers, and a successful business. Just remember to never use your ability to persuade in order to convince a friend, lover or client to stay with you if they say they want to go.

Keeping people near you because you talked them into it is demeaning to everyone involved.

  • “Trust but verify.”

Former President Ronald Reagan gave us the essence of how all information should be taken in.  He made it a point to show people that nothing is personal, but when you are trying to motivate me with your words I will need concrete evidence that you are not lying or that you have been misled with the information you are passing on to me.

If what you tell me is of any importance, I will weigh it more heavily than Socrates did, and with far more personal scrutiny.  This also allows you to know that any information I give you can hold up to the same standard, and I will encourage you to verify all of my claims.

My reputation is everything.

-Watt, YusefWateef (at) Gmail (dot) Com

Hat-tip to a friend that I think of as “The Fighting Physicist” Ed Latimore for doing 30 for 30: 30 Lessons From 30 Years of Life and reminding me to do my own version.

UPDATE: Dr. Kim, The Though Reframer sat down to talk with me about why I prefer Girls over Women! https://yusefwateef.com/2017/09/10/kim/

If what I wrote helps, send $5 in BitCoin to this address.

It’ll buy me coffee to fuel my mind while I write!





YusefWateef (at) Gmail (dot) com


  1. Dr. Kim, The Thought Reframer

    Hi Yusef! I found your “40 lessons” article overall well thought out. I had interesting thoughts about the usage of sexist language in the article though (e.g. multiple references to women as “girls” -unless you actally mean underage girls? Also references to men as men and women as “girls” in the same sentence and references to sexual relations between men and girls using stereotypical and gendered power differentials, etc.). I’d love to know if your repeated reference to women as girls in your writing was strategic, conscious, purposeful, cultural, and/or stylistic (I know you have written about sexual interests in dom/sub role play or related kinks so wondering if the language was purposely used in alignment with that)? Or, am I looking too deeply into the matter from your perspective? lol No negative judgement here yet I am curious. I have some background in sociolinguistics and find language usage and language selection fascinating. I enjoyed the the reflective tone of the article overall and would welcome your thoughts and reflections on your usage of what would be deemed sexist language in most professional settings (esp. U.S. and other Western prof contexts) in this article. Thanks and hope you are still celebrating your bday!


    • YusefWateef

      “Girl” is not sexist language. You are attempting to pathologize, or rather make seem abnormal, what is, in fact healthy behavior. “Girl” has not been used as a pejorative in any of my writing.

      First, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I always enjoy talking with you and hearing your thoughts and opinions.

      Besides trying to forcefully imply that the term “girl” in the context of relationships, is sexist when it is clearly not, you shamefully imply that I am somehow indicating that I am making sexual references to underage women.

      You said this:

      “(e.g. multiple references to women as “girls” -unless you actually mean underage girls? Also references to men as men and women as “girls” in the same sentence and references to sexual relations between men and girls using stereotypical and gendered power differentials, etc.) “

      Men consistently prefer the youthful, bouncing gait and outlook on life that is best distilled down to the word “girl”, full stop. I flatly refuse and reject your attempt to force me into falling in line with the majority of men who are so weak-willed as to be bullied into pretending otherwise. Who we are or are not attracted to is not negotiable. Reference: http://wp.me/p3nz5G-146

      To be clear, if you are making the claim that I am talking about underage women you are completely wrong I and want you to state that clearly and openly. Making a false claim like that is beneath a woman of your letters, ability, and intellect. You have come to the table with unclean hands. However, if you want to fully invest in that accusation we can.

      Moving on, yes, there are gendered power differentials. There are power differentials in every successful relationship. Relationships based in equality do not progress because they have no leader.

      Because of power differentials in relationships between men and girls, girls have nearly every advantage in relationships due to their options between 18-29 years old. After that, the scales tip in favor of men. I am open to going into this deeper and in more detail if you’d like to talk with me about it. You have an open invitation to my podcast. I was excited to read that you have some background in sociolinguistics and find language usage and language selection fascinating “.

      You asked, “Or, am I looking too deeply into the matter from your perspective?”

      Not at all! All of my writing is written to be “strategic, conscious, purposeful, cultural, and/or stylistic”, just as you noticed.

      Lastly, thank you for the warm happy birthday wishes!



      • Dr. Kim, The Thought Reframer

        Thanks for your response. Defensiveness, false accusations, personal attacks on character are definite optional response strategies yet ones I didn’t expect and don’t find credible. I had hoped for more substantial engagement. Oh well …Nonetheless, In case I am missing some of the nuance of your response and based on previous substantial engagement, I am willing to discuss these issues via podcast in the near future.

        One question though- please show me where I once accused you of liking underage girls? I posed a question asking for clarification about if you were referring to underage girls or not yet never accused you of any such thing. The question was out of recognition that only you (not I) could know your thinking re accuracy of the consistency of your exclusive use of girls to refer to women throughout the article. While I “get” that you get to determine your own meaning, nonetheless, the use of “girls” as “girls” because it girls is what men prefer, what men like, etc vs. describing women as describe women (what they are, how most women self-identify) is utterly sexist based on the very definition of sexist. Many women prefer youthful, adventurous, open-minded “boys” yet interestingly men were not referred to in your article on the basis of what some/most women find sexually attractive about them. Instead, and appropriatappropriately, men were referred to and classified as men based upon who THEY actually. Still, thank you again for your response. It has been insightful and I have gained the clarity I sought on the matter of your active use of sexist language with while neither acknowledging nor owning the sexism in a “reflective” article on life lessons. Best wishes on your journey. The 40s is a decade of great personal growth for many. May this continue to be the case for us both.

        Embrace and enjoy the journey.


  2. Edward Latimore

    What I love about this list is that a person can benefit from following these steps at any stage of life. In fact, the younger the better. There’s no reason to learn a lot of shit in life the hard way. On top of that, you might not survive to reap the benefits of the lesson.


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