Aaron, I am with you. I can't stand these human exploiters like Timothy Ferriss, Neil Strauss, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, PUA community, crapaleo/crossfit community, Fight Club quoting, pseudo-rebel, pseudo-intellectual idiots. A bunch of blind morons who desperately want to belong to some "modern man's man" cult. It's weak and pathetic and I'm tired of it.
It's also ironic that being "cool" and "charismatic" usually means exactly the opposite of what most people are already doing when they are looking for answers on forums or reading too many self-help books. To be cool/charismatic (which are both kind of stupid concepts anyway when you understand the deeper meaning they point towards) means not really giving a fuck whether you are defined cool or charismatic. Not even giving a fuck whether you give a fuck or not. It also means not needing to be either a leader or a follower of any kind. It's a huge thing to grasp. And to let go of all the bullshit and go one's own path alone seems to be an impenetrable obstacle for most men.
It's probably always been this way. And always will be. Maybe not. Maybe we could have a society of geniuses one day given the right environment.
Nevertheless, it seems that most great artists, scientists, philosphers we're iconoclasts. At least in their given field. They were also beyond movements or dogmas. Most of them died unknown and mad. The legends and icons became only after death e.g. Einstein pins.The part in bold is something everyone who looks towards other people for advice and guidance should think about for a moment or two. No matter what you do, if you only follow someone else, the upside is fairly limited. Sure, it is a fairly risk-free strategy in pretty much any area of life, but it is also one that is limiting.
Speaking of "being cool", I find it ironic that the fashion and advertising industry presents us over and over with new images we should aspire too. However, if we are all "cool", then no one is. This is because then there'll be too many similar people around. Instead, find your own style, figure out your own taste, and don't try to please other people. It's worse enough if you have to do so during work, but in your spare time, you should listen to yourself instead.
In my opinion, the wish to conform often just results from a need to get approval. Of course, if you look like everything else, act like everybody else, listen to the same music as everyone else, and buy what everyone else does, you know that you'll fit in. You'll at least fit in until the next iPhone is released, or the fashion industry tells you that it's now time buy jeans again. It's a never-ending circle. But what if you had developed enough confidence to do what you like?