Summary of The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida

  • Post category:Summaries
  • Post last modified:February 1, 2024


  • Men’s life goal is to go after their mission/purpose.
  • Women’s life goal is to find a loving relationship and have children.
  • Women want a strong and grounded man – a leader. They test their partner to this effect (called sh!t tests).
  • Men successfully pass women’s tests by remaining grounded in themselves.
  • Men’s ultimate purpose in life is freedom.
  • When feeling bad, men find freedom by emptying themselves with masturbation, video games, sports, etc.
  • Women’s ultimate purpose in life is to find a loving relationship.
  • When they lack it, they substitute it with conversation, food, or shopping.
The Way of the Superior Man

Short Summary: 3 min

Long Summary: 27 min

Book reading time: 3h49

Score: 9/10

Book published in: 1997

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Table of Contents

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What The Way of the Superior Man Talks About

The Way of the Superior Man is a book written by David Deida. It describes the aspirations of men and women and explains what they are wired for. The book mainly talks about the differences between men and women and how men should behave in a relationship with women.

The Way of the Superior Man is a really good book. It’s the substitute for a father.

If you’re a man who grew up with an absent or a beta father, Deida will explain you:

  • What a man is.
  • What a man likes.
  • What a man is supposed to do.
  • How a man should deal with women.
  • What are the differences between men and women.

I had many “aha” moments in the book and recognized myself in most of what Deida wrote.

On the flip side, the book is too abstract and repetitive.

This is why it gets a 9/10, instead of a 10.

Get the book here!

Short Summary of The Way of the Superior Man

Men’s most important thing in life is their purpose. Everything else (girlfriend, family, parents, etc) should be secondary. Men should never disregard their mission to please anyone, least of all, a woman.

Women’s most important thing in life is love. Women seek loving relationships through their boyfriends and children. Love is so important that most women’s mood problems come from not feeling loved enough.

To have a functioning relationship, men and women should stay on their path. Women should focus on love and their relationships; men should focus on their life mission and go after it.

Problems come when one or the other departs from their path. When a masculine man becomes less masculine and starts prioritizing his girlfriend, she loses trust and attraction and the relationship weakens.

When a woman prioritizes her career over love, she feels deeply unfulfilled and frustrated which makes her difficult to deal with.

When a man counts on his girlfriend to emulate masculine energy (instead of counting on his male friends), the balance in the relationship is also disturbed.

The best relationships work when both men and women stay within their polarity.

This explains why men should learn how to deal with the feminine. If they don’t know, their male brain will be confused.

The feminine is emotional, caring, loving, and constantly changing. The feminine does not mean what she says – she expresses a feeling at instant T. Men, when talking to women, should abandon the idea that they are logically reacting to events – because they’re not.

They merely express what they’re feeling in the moment. What women feel can change at any time, so women rarely do what they say and the other way around. Because the feminine’s logic is emotional, they don’t feel out of sync with themselves one bit for stating X and doing Y. This usually drives men crazy.

Men should be masculine to have a successful relationship.

This means:

  • Leading women
  • Addressing their emotions and taking their nature into account
  • Understanding women’s tests.

Women test men to make sure they’re still as strong and grounded as they were at the beginning. Men pass these tests by not reacting to them and remaining grounded in themselves.

These tests will never stop. Men should learn to love their women wholly with all of their faults and never hope the situation will improve, as it won’t. If they can’t love their girl as she is, they should move on and find another one.

Men’s ultimate desire in life is freedom. They reach freedom by emptying themselves, whether sexually (orgasm), mentally (writing, playing video games), or physically (doing sports). Men grow through challenges and suffering, which is why men should hang out with other men for growth.

Women’s ultimate desire in life is love. They reach love by finding a loving relationship and having children, or by filling themselves up with substitutes such as food, conversation, social media, pets, plants, or shopping.

As long as they’re on their path, men feel good and happy. As long as they’re loved, women feel good and happy.

One should never sacrifice his or her purpose for the other but diligently follow it. Such is the asymmetry of all relationships.

Disregard the asymmetry, and the relationship will fail.

Summary of The Way of the Superior Man Written by David Deida


In the past, men and women had fixed roles. Men put food on the table. Women took care of the kids.

Men often manipulated women through physical and financial dominance. Women often manipulated men through emotional and sexual blackmail.

In the 60s, men and women strived for balance. Men embraced their feminine sides and women embraced their masculine sides.

This trend resulted in social and economic equality but also in sexual neutrality.

Men are less macho. Women are less submissive. Everyone is more or less the same. And everyone is single.

Why? Because sexual passion is based on polarity.

Men and women cannot behave in the bedroom the way they behave in society.

When it comes to sex, men should be extra masculine and women, be extra feminine.

Now that women work and are fully independent, men struggle to find their place in society.

Men should understand that their depth of awareness is their most valuable asset. The more grounded a man is, the better.

To become grounded, a man should know who he is, trust reality, and accept reality as it is. A man who knows who he is and is confident being himself does not need external possessions.

Getting to know who you are is important so you can trust yourself.

The more you are “yourself”, the more you trust yourself, the more you appear valuable to society.

The superior man lives from his deepest core, gives, and is committed to magnifying love.

The search for freedom is the priority for the masculine. The search for love is the priority of the feminine.

The feminine wants to be filled with love. The masculine wants to feel the bliss of a life lived at the edge, and if he doesn’t have the balls to do it himself, he’ll watch it on TV.

This book will help people with masculine energy to fully become aware of it and express it.

Part I: A Man’s Way

Chapter 1: Stop Hoping for a Completion of Anything in Life

Most men think that “one day, they’ll be able to stop and rest”. This is wrong.

“Rest” will never happen. Life will never be any different than it is now. So stop delaying your big projects. Don’t wait until “you have enough money” or “the kids have grown up”. These are excuses.

From now on, spend at least one hour per day doing what you’ve always wanted to.

The same is true for your girl. She’ll never be any different than she is now. She’ll never change. If she is truly intolerable, you should leave her and not look back.

Learn to find humor in the unending emotional drama the feminine seems to enjoy so much.

Chapter 2: Live With an Open Heart Even if It Hurts

When they’re failing, most men retreat and close themselves down.

Doing so, they’re trapped and lose their freedom. Don’t do that. Keep yourself open, even if it hurts.

Stand up tall and open your chest.

Chapter 3: Live as if Your Father Were Dead

To be free, you should live completely free from your father’s expectations. Start doing things you’ve always wanted to do but that he didn’t let you do.

Chapter 4: Know Your Real Edge and Don’t Fake It

What are you good at? Are you as good as you could be? Are you contributing as much as your skills allow you to?

If you were fearless, would you live any differently?

Are you living at your edge, or are you living far from it?

Be honest with yourself. Know your real worth. And go after it.

Chapter 5: Always Hold to Your Deepest Realization

Make your life an ongoing process of being who you are, at your deepest, most easeful levels of being.

Nothing will work in your life if your day-to-day isn’t aligned with who you are. What’s the source of your attention? What are you constantly thinking about?

If you’re not living in the flow of the things you want to do, you will never experience the peace of being yourself.

Chapter 6: Never Change Your Mind Just to Please A Woman

Always make your own decision. Women like men who are grounded. If you make a decision to please her, she’ll be disappointed in you as it means you don’t trust yourself. Why should she trust you if you don’t?

Be open-minded and always take what she says into consideration. But always make your own decision.

Chapter 7: Your Purpose Must Come Before Your Relationship

Admit to yourself that between your mission and your relationship, you’d choose your mission.

Without your mission, your life would be empty – and your relationship would suffer.

Don’t neglect your mission to spend time with your girlfriend. Tell her that you’ll spend 30 minutes of quality time with her but that you’ll have to go back to your mission afterward.

30 minutes of quality time > 3 hours of low-quality time.

Chapter 8: Lean Just Beyond Your Edge

Your insecurities may push you way out of your comfort zone (to achieve recognition, for example), or push you deep inside because you’re scared.

None of this is optimal.

Ideally, you should lean just beyond your limits. This is how you grow healthily without putting too much stress or resting too much.

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Lean just beyond your edge.

Chapter 9: Do It for Love

Men’s purpose is to find their deepest truths, enjoy freedom and love, and give their gifts.

But most can’t. As a result, they feel empty.

Yet they don’t take action to do something about it because they’re scared.

Men must be honest with themselves and do what their identity requires them to do.

Most men will timidly poke at the world and give a fraction of what they can. The Superior Man will give everything he’s got.

He will be genuine. Always be genuine. The world knows when you’re fake.

If you penetrate it for your own gains, it will know. It’s better not to do anything in this case than to do it halfway.

Give yourself entirely, or none at all.

Chapter 10: Enjoy Your Friends’ Criticism

A man’s capacity to receive another man’s direct criticism is a measure of his capacity to receive masculine energy.

Once a week, you should sit down with your male friends and discuss what you’re doing and what you’re not doing because you’re afraid.

Your friends’ task is to call you out on your bs and put you back on the right path.

If you can’t take criticism from men, you likely have a problem with your father.

A father is a directing force in life. Without one, you’re left wandering around not knowing where to go.

Your friends can help you see where to go.

Chapter 11: If You Don’t Know Your Purpose, Discover It, Now

Without a conscious life-purpose a man is totally lost, drifting, adapting to events rather than creating events. Without knowing his life-purpose a man lives a weakened, impotent existence, perhaps eventually becoming even sexually impotent, or prone to mechanical and disinterested sex.

The most important thing in your life is your purpose. Everything should be aligned with your purpose.

If you don’t know it, you can’t align your life to it. You become reactive instead of proactive.

Find your purpose as soon as possible.

Chapter 12: Be Willing to Change Everything in Your Life

Your deeper purpose is at your core and lays under several layers of other purposes. As you go through these layers and realize the purposes, you dissolve them and get closer to your core purpose. After you realize a purpose, you will experience a period of uncertainty and doubt.

Mediocre men run away or bury themselves when going through them. Don’t.

They are part of the journey.

Don’t take on other distractions and wait for the new purpose to come. Then when the impulse arises, go ahead and begin. Learn from your mistakes.

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Your deeper purpose and the layers around it.

Chapter 13: Don’t Use Your Family as an Excuse

If you can’t discover your purpose because you’re scared or lazy, admit it. Don’t use “I have to take care of my family” as an excuse.

Your mission, even if you have a family, should be your priority in your life.

Remember: the priority of the feminine is love. The priority of the masculine is his mission.

This is why women are much more fulfilled with the love of their children than you are.

Not being aligned and in sync with your purpose will weaken you. Your children will feel this and replicate it.

For your family’s sake, find out what your deeper purpose is and go after it.

Chapter 14: Don’t Get Lost in Tasks and Duties

When men have a definite goal like achieving a specific task (finishing a report etc), they get into “do mode” and work hard to achieve their goal.

It’s good. But it also shouldn’t consume your life as this would make you no more than a machine.

The purpose of tasks is not the tasks themselves – it is that doing them will set you free.

Take regular breaks where you can reflect and remember that the purpose of life isn’t to finish these tasks.

Chapter 15: Stop Hoping for Your Woman to Get Easier

A woman often seems to test her man’s capacity to remain unperturbed in his truth and purpose. She tests him to feel his freedom and depth of love, to know that he is trustable. A man should never think his woman’s testing is going to end and his life will get easier. Rather, he should appreciate that she does these things to feel his strength, integrity, and openness.

Women test you to make sure you’re still as strong as you were when you began dating.

As you become more intimate with a girl, her tests will get harder because she’ll get to know your sweet spots.

The testing will never stop. And it will never get easier.

The only way to pass them is to remain unperturbed with her test, to remain full, strong, happy, and humorous. You need to remain grounded and not show any sign of change.

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