How To Bust Plateaus With Attrition

How To Bust Plateaus With Attrition

In Knowledge Base, Level I by Ivan ThroneLeave a Comment

Deep and crucial paths to power are found in attrition.

There are many ways to increase power. Men focus on lifting weights, playing sports, reading books, challenging their peers in business and dating and other arenas where the authentic expression of self is willfully put into collision with others.

There are those who find power through development in teams, and others who grow best in solitary application of heart, mind and body to the betterment of self. These things are excellent, even essential.

Without adherence to the process of building, a man who seeks growth cannot find it. Contest forges the organism. Expansion of capability is part of our biological response to stress.

But they are not enough. To bust through plateaus you must use attrition.


Conscious attrition is an important methodology.

We will examine today how conscious attrition builds the Dark Triad Man.

Attrition is a way to increased human power. We will examine three realms of attrition and several arenas in which you may train, experiment and achieve a more streamlined self.

These exercises are important. It is in actual application in the dark world that true results are generated. Theory does not increase profit; action does. Worry does not decrease risk; response does.

I want you taking action, pushing risk, and smashing through barriers..

Let us begin.


Attrition defined and contrasted as a method.

It would seem a simple thing. A man wishes to become stronger, and lifts progressively heavier weights. A boy wishes to become attractive to the opposite sex, and puts more effort into grooming and attire and increases his social skills. The investor studies additional models, flags and indicators and overlays them upon his portfolio to determine trends.

This is the active, the overt, the broad. It is easier, crude, and very powerful.

The weightlifter grows thick and strong. His musculature is impressive and substantial. The boy becomes a young man and learns to charm with dashing wit and laughter. The investor creates a system which enables him to predict and respond with his portfolio ahead of the turns of the market.

But these eventually plateau. Gains diminish. The marginal becomes the rule. Progress slows and stalls. A strange, frustrating wall of halted progress extends across success. The plateau occurs.

This is true of all overt efforts, of all broad attempts.

It is the nature of the crude and the demanding.

They exhaust, and pause, and wait for change.

In the turn from the great to the small, from crude to the subtle that the next step in performance, power and capacity can be engaged, surmounted and passed. It is the Machiavellian tumble and turn of approach that yields power.

In the willingness of the psychopath to detach and discard, that the power of attrition is put into play. Is is how to harness those marginal gains, aggregate them and sharpen them into an edge that cuts through your barriers.

You will find the grand vision of narcissism streamlined and sped onwards to terrific achievement by cutting away, by throwing down and by abandoning the useless, the inhibiting and the gratuitous.

With those three dark triad traits harnessed to his will the Dark Triad Man carves away with attrition. He uses attrition to bust plateaus and in the process, adheres deeper to what matters most.

The three realms of attrition are the mind, the heart and the body.

We will define each, dissect them, and ruthlessly tear away the unnecessary.

We will start with the mind.


Attrition of deluded mental habits is used to bust plateaus.

The mind is a thing of beauty and phenomenal power. Yet it accrues waste, excess and ballast as does the physique and the spirit. In your training to the way of the Dark Triad Man you must include mental training. It is a key part of your development.

Understand well that mental training is not magical or mysterious. It does not consist solely of meditation, although meditation is important. It does not mean merely “thinking about thinking” which is but one tool in the arsenal of mind sciences.

We will waste neither your time nor mine by suggesting you “drop negative thinking” or “believe in yourself”. Generic, useless platitudes that you are able to figure out for yourself are pointless here. You can find meaningless encouraging phrases elsewhere.

Our purpose is to look cruelly into your mentality.

For results in this lesson we will focus on a particular methodology: attrition applied to the mind.

Attrition is a gradual and continuous breaking apart. It means to wear down, to grind away, to strip off. In the process of applying attrition to the mind, you will focus your attention using a specific process of self-examination.

The basis of mental attrition is in the discovery and competent handling of error.

Think back through your past. You are a human being; you have made mistakes. You have encountered surprise. You have felt shock, dismay, unsettled thoughts. All of these stem from illusion.

Surprise arises in the mind from complacency in the believed.

Shock is results from surprise that bears fearsome impact.

Dismay grows from realization of false security.

Unsettled thoughts stem from uncertainty of truth.

Attrition of illusion is where the mind finds ability to identify root causes, central points, the locus of control and fulcrums of leverage that lie underneath the success. Understand that reality is a singularity, and all else is gratuitous.

There is a subtle method for the correction of the mind.

That method is to use your past error as an edge to carve your future state.

Consider a time in the past where you were negatively surprised. What was that surprise? How were you surprised? Most importantly, why were you surprised? What were your beliefs, your assumptions, your assurances, your expectations?

How were they, simply and completely, wrong?

You do not need to share this with others. Your self assessments belong to you, and to you alone.

But you must be brutally honest with yourself.

You must take your inner child by the chin and sternly deliver truth.

Your surprise is the result of mental error.

The ninja say, ban pen fu kyo. Ten thousand changes, no surprises.


Ban 万 is ten thousand, myriad, the infinite things

Pen 変 for changes, variations, weird alterations

Fu 不 meaning not, un-, dis,- in- or other negation

Kyo 驚 is surprise, amazed, startled, astonished


The Japanese use ban or ten thousand the way Westerners use the word “million”. It implies infinity, vastness. “She looks like a million bucks.” Or “I’ve told you a million times.” Hence the power of this truth.

Ban pen fu kyo. Unastonished by infinite change. No surprise in myriad weirdness. Variation does not amaze. Nil admirari the Western man would say, “to be admired of nothing”.


Find your equanimity in the attrition of your idiocy.

Reflect back on your surprises, your shocks, your losses of equanimity. What facilitated them? What enabled them? Where did you rely on false information and where did you place weight on illusory assumptions?

There will be placements of the mind that were in error. Sometimes vastly so, to great pain.

Admit the reasons for those false placements.

Bring those reasons into the current day. Apply those past frameworks of failure to the mindset that you struggle within. Place that analysis across the plateau you wish to smash. And in the comparison, learn.

You believed an investment was correct. All signals and trends indicated thus. But you took a bath in the market.

What was your error? Why did you miss it? What can you remove from your thinking?

The answer is in the removal of error, rather than addition of effort, when your purpose is to bust plateaus.

It is not the failure to include one more market metric or stochastic marker on your financial candlestick chart that inhibits better returns. Profit can resume in the removal of them, in firm return to the basics of company valuation. A terribly over-analytical and confusing reliance upon models is abandoned and the value of any equity is better seen.

Finding more and more excuses for the failure of your partner to overcome addiction and its accompanying destructive habits does not bypass the wasteful plateau of empty hope. Strip away the excuses and accept that they must desire change themselves, and enter your decisions accordingly.

Ever more complicated twists and turns of plot and dialogue do not overcome writer’s block. The story unfolds with compelling vitality in the removal of complexity and a blunt return to the simple. And the imagination of the reader is captured.

Return to basics. Ceaselessly compare your past mistakes to frames of thought at your plateau. Ruthlessly cut them away from the present. Rip them open, scrape them out, and focus your mind on the ultimate essential essence of things.

Your exercise in this is thereby determined: identify your primary foolishness, and kill it.

You may know your mistake already and only need the last push of acknowledgement to force yourself to action. It may take serious time in reflection, a consideration of where your mind dwells on the inessential versus the essential.

Expend that time. Understand your own mind. Understand the habits that overlay from frame to frame, and in your acknowledgement, cut.

Cut away the illusion. Cut away the inapplicable overlays. Remove the stupid, useless indicators that do not apply.

Ruthlessly streamline your mind with attrition, and in the process you will hone it to a razor tool of power.

Cruelly follow this the process of attrition with your body as well.

And bust plateaus that drive you mad.


To bust plateaus in physique or movement use attrition.

The body is the vehicle in which you transit this lifetime. You are provided with one, and with only one, so that you may experience the dark world as a human being and move through its physical experiences and lessons.

Attention to the body is a critical and crucial aspect of life. The preservation or decline of health, the advancement or dissipation of strength and the sculpting or dissolution of the physique are a foregone conclusion.

There is no such thing as steady state in the body.

You are either becoming stronger, or becoming weaker.

You are either improving your health, or neglecting it.

Your body will assume the shape of the stress it must adapt to. Your shape is the overt and authentic presentation of yourself to the world. It is the declaration of your self-assessed value, the proclamation of your developed personal power.

Or the lack of it.

The thin, tremulous man who awkwardly and anxiously flits between the bodies of others in the crowd demonstrates his fear of self.

The fat, waddling man who grossly lumbers from step to step through the corridors of the world demonstrates his hatred of self.

In pursuit of physical prowess there are inevitable plateaus. The bench press resists all efforts to grow in poundage, and despite your addition of supplements and sleep and hydration and exercises, that plateau remains and you cannot surpass it.

Bursting peaks of biceps, shredded abdominal striations and proud, classic symmetry of physique elude you. Constant and determined focus on muscle isolation fails to trigger any further growth. More cardio and more adjustments of macro and micronutrients seems unable to vaporize the stubbornly clinging pockets of adipose.

Grace of movement with the blade eludes you. The straight, seamless cut of the master swordsman is missing. Cutting targets crash and bounce, rather than gently and inexorably fall away into separated parts.

You have reached a plateau.

The way of attrition provides your method for continued transformation.

It is the application of Machiavellian science to your development. It is in the tumble and turn of support and stress that you will find the door to progress. Your obstacle is not smashed with brutality but slipped under with cunning.

The process of applying attrition to your physique and your movement is by removal.

In the removal of speed from your cutting you find the errors in placement of steel.

In the removal of ferocity from your lifting you find the perfect, meditative form that accompanies flawless immersion into your movement of muscle and iron.

Drop your desperation.

Go into the essential heart of movement.

It is not by more time on the treadmill that your cardio will finally remove the last remaining fat. It is within your utter immersion in the experience of running, blissful pounding of the heart, that you find the next level of performance.

It is in the attrition of grunting, straining and trembling effort that the spirit investigates the use of weight, the body re-learns the basics, and the refocus of the human body upon perfection becomes possible.

This is not a single exercise, or a single week of different training.

It is a period of time during which you refocus on the singularity of perfection; on the very core of your physical being.

Make this period of training a solitary process. It demands total connection of wordless purity with the self.

Make this period of training a form of sacred worship, an offering of gratitude for your existence.

Carve all else away.

Expand calmly from this center of being. Let attrition settles down upon a new form of self.

Your performance and focus will then, once more, begin to grow.

And grow, until the energy of your expansion explodes once more. That is the way of deep penetration, applied to your personal power.

You will bust plateaus of body and movement accordingly.

It is the same with the heart.

You must penetrate the heart.

And scrape away the false.


Attrition of useless emotional states will break and bust plateaus.

How painful the grasping fist of sorrow can be! Disappointed agony of abandonment, when a relationship severs and crashes away. Corroding, unending rasp of worry and fear upon the soul of the human being is terrible.

That is the dark side of the overburdened heart.

How misguided the intoxication of enthralled emotion can be! Drunken, staggering mindlessness of infatuated love reduces great men to doddering fools. The incautious, unthinking spirit of rejoicing blinds men to the reality of the dark world.

That is the bright side of the overcommitted heart.

The heart that does not rest on truth; the heart that does not pivot on singularities of authenticity and attachment-  those hearts waver, careen and crash over and over into the depths of sorrow, abandonment and worry. They steer with careless abandon into bright flights of fancy and imagination.

Learn to extricate yourself from such travail. Prevent the formation of these inappropriate, unhealthy and unprofitable states of heart by applying the process of attrition to your inner self.

Attrition of the heart is done by unlayering your motivations.

By the attrition of false purposes, and cutting to the core of self.

It is done through dialogue with your inner heart of purpose.

It is a painful process, this digging. You will uncover strata of the heart that discomfit you, that trouble you. You will question your state of decisions.

That pain is how it works.

You will find that your slow, complete and unblinking dive into the purpose of your heart is the pathway to attrition of worry and enthrallment.

There is a simple method to use in your emotional training: Ask yourself what you would have if purpose was realized. And brutally penetrate that answer with spears of reality.

It is easier to demonstrate this through example.

Let us imagine that you are seeing a young lady. You are falling deeply in love. You find yourself obsessed with thoughts of her. Your heart is wild with imagination and terror. Lovesick is a word for a reason. Let us examine this process of attrition, applied to this scenario of the wild heart that flies unguided:

What do you want from her?

“I want to marry her.”

What would you have, if you married her?

“I would possess her.”

If you possessed her, what would you have?

“I would have power and validation.”

If you had power and validation, what would that mean?

“It would mean I was real, I was worthy.”

Contemplate this well.

Do you feel real and worthy? Do you seek validation and power from an external source? Is possession of another truly possible? Would marriage based on possession be sustainable? Do you seek completion of self, rather than complementation? Does that not prepare the way for cruel and brutal disaster for you both?

Can you find your way to competent and secure heart, rather than cling and claw for ownership?

In your answers you will find your inner purpose of heart and uncover the tangled, unhealthy flares of feeling that must be pared away with the ruthless attrition of a man who deeply knows and disciplines himself.

The attrition of the heart works with the dark manifestations of emotion as well.

What is your pain?

“I cannot stop worrying about money.”

What would you have, if you had money?

“I would be able to relax about my rent and future.”

What would a calm future mean to you?

“It would mean I was going to be okay.”

If you knew you would be okay, what would that mean?

“That I could really do the things I wanted to do in life.”

Consider this deeply.

For what reason do you expend your only lifetime in pursuit of meaningless things? What calling is higher than the vision of your most sacred purpose? Does financial worry matter more than great joy in living true to yourself? What prevents you from the path of utter personal fulfillment and power?

In your answers you will find targets of self to annihilate. You will spot errors of the heart that must be corrected. You will learn the sidetracked, inappropriate, unhealthy and unhelpful passions that must be dropped away.

In your investigation of heart you will do well to train privately.

It is your heart. Not the possession of another.

It is your purpose. Not the property of another.

It is your life. Not the determination of another.

Such attachments are there for you to discover.

Remove them with the way of attrition.


Plateaus are important platforms for adjustment.

The man who seeks to consistently transform himself into a person of increased power and competence must understand the crucially valuable gift of arriving at a plateau.

Plateaus are spaces of reflection and reassessment.

They are intervals of renewal and refinement.

Plateaus are opportunity windows, pauses in traction. Distillation of purpose, redirection of momentum and revival of exponentially increasing value is your potential gift in each.

Learn the way of attrition.

Cut through the useless.

Shed dead skins of habit.

Drop foolish assumptions.

Return to the center. Train deeply in the way of attrition until you are able to remove from your thinking, your movement and your heart the trappings of unnecessary waste, discredit and deviation.

Purpose is the third of The Nine Laws of the Dark Triad Man.

Attrition is one of his deep ways to adhere closer to it.

Apply it with determined focus.

You are a human being. You exist for the pursuit and achievement of  purpose.

You have a grave duty to understand your purpose. It is the sacred, indomitable, immortal drive of your existence. There are no excuses for failure to live life to the fullest possible extent.

The dark world is a pitiless and unforgiving place.


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I am Ivan Throne. I am the Dark Triad Man.

I offer ruthless mentoring for a dark world.

Read about this classic ebook version of The Nine Laws today. Prepare to blow the locks off the door to your success.

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Take the hand of power. Draw your glittering steel, and step forward into the world.

I will see you through to victory, and the throne.


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About the Author
Ivan Throne

Ivan Throne

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IVAN THRONE, bestselling author of The Nine Laws, is an international speaker and teacher. His vivid lessons and ruthless mentoring for the hard and often cruel demands of our pitiless high performance world have helped millions of people across social media deeply connect with radical, authentic success to the joys of partners, lovers, colleagues and clients.

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