Humans and animals are very different, but they also have a lot in common. One of these commonalities is that both human and animal societies are arranged hierarchically. In an animal society, the strongest male is the alpha male. It is good to be the alpha. The alpha male gets top priority for access to food and mating. In some species, it is only the alpha that gets to mate.
But does the concept of alpha males apply to human society? And if it does, can we do anything about our place in the hierarchy?
Alpha and Beta in the Animal World
With animals, the roles of alpha and beta are more or less fixed. It is the strongest male, the one who is the best fighter, who will get to be the alpha. The other animals will be betas. He will continue to be the alpha until he starts to weaken either from age or injury.
Once the existing alpha starts to weaken, he will be challenged by one of the younger betas. If the younger beta wins the challenge, he will become the new alpha male.
Animals can’t lift weights or learn mixed martial arts, so their status in the hierarchy is mostly a factor of genetics. The male with the best genes becomes the alpha. There is not much that the beta males can do about it.
From the perspective of survival of the fittest, the role of alpha male makes perfect sense. The strongest male gets to eat. The strongest male gets to reproduce. This ensures that the animal society continues to be as healthy as possible.
Not surprisingly, alpha males have a different hormone balance than the beta males. Alpha males show higher levels of testosterone, which raises the question of whether they are alphas because they have high levels of T, or whether their T levels are high because they have become alphas.
Alpha and Beta in Humans
There is not a perfect correspondence between animal hierarchies and human hierarchies. There are alpha males in the human world, but human society is a lot more complex than animal societies. Consequently, rank within in the hierarchy is not determined by brute strength alone.
You can see this in human alphas. MMA fighter Tito Ortiz is definitely an alpha male, but so is Donald Trump. Ortiz can beat the tar out of 99% of men out there, including Trump, but Trump is probably the bigger alpha. So strength is important, but there are other factors that come into play in determining the alpha: wealth, social skills, intelligence, and appearance.
Perhaps the most important difference between animal and human hierarchies is that human hierarchies are more fluid. Humans are rational. Unlike animals, men can step back, observe the big picture, and make changes based on what they see.
What this means is that if you are a currently a low ranking beta male, you can, through observation and diligent effort, become a high ranking beta or even an alpha.
Benefits Of Being An Alpha
Human alpha males are more likely to be able to find a mate than beta males. If they do find a mate, she will likely be better looking. She might come from a wealthy and established family.
A good example of how this works in the real world is Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose alpha qualities are beyond question. Arnold married the Maria Shriver, a high-ranking female in her own right. She is attractive, a member of the Kennedy clan, wealthy, well educated, and accomplished.
Once they find a wife, it is less likely that the spouse of an alpha will cheat on the alpha. Woman are hypergamous. They want to find the best possible mate, but the wife of an alpha already has already achieved that goal. She is less likely to stray unless her alpha male husband screws up first.
An alpha male in human society is almost synonymous with being a leader. Alphas are more powerful than betas. An alpha male will be more likely to be promoted. An alpha will be more of a risk taker and thus more likely to start a business or run for political office.
Because they are more powerful, alphas are more likely to generate greater wealth than betas. While betas are saving for their retirements, many alphas are creating unbelievable wealth. Think of people like Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Larry Ellison, and Steve Jobs.
Finally, alphas are the people responsible for shaping history. King David, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, George Washington, and John Paul II were all alphas.
In summary, being an alpha brings you a better chance of attracting a mate and keeping her once you find her, more power, more wealth, and a greater chance of making a positive impact on the world.
I think you will agree that it is worth the effort to make the changes necessary to up you rank. Here are some things that you can do to start moving up.
How To Become An Alpha Male
Master yourself. The very first step toward becoming an alpha is to become a master of your own life. This means developing discipline. Every alpha male has the ability to focus on achieving his mission.
One of the best ways to start mastering yourself is by living your life according to a schedule. In his book, Created for Greatness, author Alexander Havard writes that, “one will never become a leader if one is incapable of living a schedule.”
Your schedule should be challenging, but not impossible. The key is to stick to it everyday.
Wake up and go to sleep at the same time. When your alarm goes off, get out of bed immediately.
Resolve to eat a certain way and stick to it.
While you are working, focus on the task at hand. Don’t surf the web or give into other distractions.
Get rid of all addictions. Do you watch porn or drink or eat too much? Do you need sleeping pills to fall asleep? Do you waste too much time playing video games? Mastering yourself means that you should strive to become free of all these things. An addiction in a leader is a weakness, and being weak is contrary to being an alpha.
Self-mastery is the sine qua non of the alpha.
Learn a martial art. We live in a highly civilized society. Our communities are protected by outstanding police forces. The probability that you will ever be forced to defend yourself is very low.
It wasn’t always this way. Up until very recently, the threat of violence was always present. In the past, there were no police forces. If a person’s house was being attacked, the only thing that stood between a group of thugs and a family was the husband. Travel was dangerous due to bandits, and cities were always threatened by invading armies.
In those violent times, a woman naturally tried to select a man who could protect her and her children. No woman wanted to be married to the wimp who could not punch his way out of a wet paper bag.
I believe that women still want men who can defend them. You can’t undo thousands of years of evolutionary necessity in a few generations.
It is not just women who recognize the confident fighter. Other men can recognize him as well.
I studied the Chinese full contact martial art of Sanda. My instructor was much smaller than I am, but I am convinced that in a life or death confrontation, he would easily defeat me due to his superior skill.
My instructor taught me that when someone becomes proficient in a martial art, his body language will reflect that he is no longer an average person. The warrior will not have to say or do anything to convey this message. An ordinary person will feel that the warrior is different merely from his presence. Because of this, ordinary people will naturally follow the warrior.
This dynamic is nothing mystical. It is simply the ancient law at work. The superior warrior is by default the alpha male.
Take advantage of our evolutionary history. Study a combat oriented martial art at least to the point where you’d feel comfortable in a one-on-one confrontation. It will give you a confidence that will make you more alpha.
Optimize your hormones. Testosterone levels are one of the key differences between an alpha male and a beta in the animal world. It is likely that a study of human alphas would also reveal that they tend to have higher T levels.
In humans, low testosterone levels are associated with decreased metabolism, decreased fertility, erectile dysfunction, lower energy, increased risk for diabetes, and increased risk for cognitive decline.
Healthy levels of testosterone result in increased muscle mass, healthy libido and potency, higher energy, and lower body fat. In other words, healthy T levels are critical to being a complete man.
But men today are suffering from lower T levels than those of our grandfathers. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that over the prior 20 years there has been an age-independent decrease in the testosterone levels of American males. The decline in T levels was significant—a 17% decline. An earlier Finnish study found similar results for European males.
If you are interested in becoming an alpha, you will want to increase your testosterone levels. Fortunately, there are safe, natural ways that will maximize your T and growth hormone levels while decreasing bad hormones such as cortisol.
One of most important ways of optimizing your hormones is through eating properly. Another study found that men that ate more than 100 grams of fat per day increased their free testosterone levels. One simple way to achieve this is by starting off each day with a “man breakfast” consisting of three eggs along with some cruciferous vegetable. Testosterone is derived from cholesterol, and eggs are high in cholesterol. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower contain indole-3-carbinol, which can reduce estrogen in men.
Without healthy hormone levels, it will be difficult to move up in the hierarchy. Optimal levels of testosterone will give you the energy and the drive to make becoming an alpha male possible.
In Part II, I will provide additional ways to become more alpha.