A friend of mine, who for years has been whining about not being successful, inspired this post. It’s a quick start guide to success. I will dispense with my usual long windedness and just lay out the bare steps. After reading this, you will know everything you need to know to reach your goals. If you still don’t, it’s your own damn fault. Stop blaming the world and making excuses.
I recently posted my first guest post ever, talking about my approach to habit building. In passing, I also mentioned that, every time I break a habit, I punish myself by paying $100 to an anti-charity. Quite predictably, that is the thing most people commented on. The tone was, “Oh, that’s an interesting idea but that’s taking it a little bit too far.”
To which I simply have to say: the danger is never overdoing it.
If someone put a gun to my head and asked me: “What is the one thing you need to succeed with women?”, I wouldn’t have to think long – it’s the ability to embrace failure and never stop doing so. Easy to say, hard to do. Let me tell you my story…
When I first started with the whole Pick Up thing, I hardly had any expectations. I readily admitted to myself that I pretty much sucked with girls and that I would like to change that. But, I had one big advantage over other guys: I had already spent a considerable amount of time learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And therefore, I really understood the importance of failure.
See, when you train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, for the first six to 12 months, you will just get your butt kicked, all the time. That is a necessary stage though, it means you are learning about all the things you SHOULDN’T be doing. After that, it gets better, until you reach the next plateau. Then, the failure phase starts all over again… It’s an ongoing process, but in the end, it only makes you stronger.
Of all the new habits I’ve been recently been trying to establish, by far my most favorite one has become my minimalism habit: every day, I throw away one thing that I don’t need; or, if is too big or too valuable to just throw away, I put it on eBay.
I cannot start to describe how painful it felt at the beginning to throw away my stuff, even though most of it had been sitting around uselessly in my apartment for months. That George Foreman grill that I hadn’t used in 2 years – well, maybe I would feel like using it again in the future, who knows? That old Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gi that had several tears – but I really like the embroidery on it! And so on and so forth.
But really quick, I also started to feel the immense joy of just getting rid of stuff. No clutter anymore, no redundant things that distracted me. The less I owned, the freer I felt! It was like having a weight taken of my chest, no kidding – it simply felt liberating.
When I started out doing Pick Up about 7 years ago, like most guys, I only did night game. I had read “The Game” and “The Mystery Method” and so naturally, I wanted to hit the clubs hard, like my heroes Style and Mystery did (minus the rockstar plateau boots…).
And to the clubs I went – on average 4-5 times a week. I got pretty good pretty quick at that pace and when I first started teaching workshops and 1-on-1s, I would always take the clients to a club, not to the street. I flat out told them that I was not the right person to talk to about daygame.
I usually try to talk about unique content on this blog, i.e. things originating from the space between my ears. Today is going to be an exception: I’ll give you a quick and dirty summary of “Getting Things Done,” a book by David Allen, which details his productivity system. This system is considered to be, by many, the best productivity system out there.
It’s also one of the driest, most boring self-help books ever written. I’ve read it about 4-5 times over the years, and on occasion it has taken me as long as a whole year just to re-read it one more time… That’s how non-exciting it is. And that’s not David Allen’s fault by any means, he really is a very cool guy; it just comes with the subject.
As much as I like to claim I know it all and have done it all, I’m just as much a procrastinator as the next guy. About six years ago, I read ‘The 4 Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss and this gave me my first ideas about Location Independent Living. I was instantly in love with the concept, because of all the freedom and independence it offered. I mean, think about it: If you could live wherever you wanted to, change cities and countries whenever you felt like it and take advantage of the fact that your dollar is going to sustain you for a long time in many countries, wouldn’t you also be enthralled? Well, I certainly was.
For most people, self-help is a drug. And no, that is not a good thing. Let me elaborate: For the last couple of years, my friend Mike from Ohio has been reading a bunch of self-help blogs. Blogs about working out and building muscle, blogs about dating more beautiful women, blogs about making money online, what have you. He likes his variety and he likes to become a well rounded guy. Of course, when his favorite bloggers started putting out books, he went ahead and bought them, to get a more complete picture of what they were all about. “Books are just better for that, more systematic, right?” My friend Mike is a pretty intelligent guy.
It’s this time of the year again: holiday season. We are buying crap for other people that they don’t need, we are gorging on food that will make us sick and we will all pretend to be one happy familiy, just this one time of the year. Aren’t I the cheerful type… But inevitably, as New Year’s Eve comes around, we will get to the point where we have seriously had enough of it. All this mindless consumerism leaves a shallow aftertaste. You can only stand your crazy relatives for so long and if you eat one more heap of Swedish meatballs you will probably throw up at Aunt’s Molly’s feet. Serves her right, you never liked her Pecan pie.
No, enough is enough. Now is the time for change: Loose weight! Stop smoking! Start reading! Find a boyfriend! A change-embracing, resolute mob will storm the fitness studios of this world, buy the latest eSmoking gadget, order a bunch of self help books from Amazon and create a profile on match.com. We’ve got this, I can feel it! This year is going to be different!
One of my biggest interests in life is learning. If I encounter something new and exciting, I will get obsessed with it. I will read anything I can find on it, I will talk to people who have already done it and most importantly, I will practice it. The urge to constantly practice will be so overwhelming, that I will artificially have to restrict myself to avoid going overboard, as Radical Effort can actually be a very counter-productive approach.
As a result of my passion for learning, I’ve been asking myself for years how you can get better at learning itself. How can you make sure you WILL succeed at your chosen area of learning? I know it sounds really unworldly, but this is a question that has kept me up for many a night. I hate the idea of wasting time on sub-optimal methods, it just drives me nuts.