There are two types of unsuccessful people in the world: those who don’t care about anything, and those who care about the wrong things.
Let’s examine the former, first off, and do so bluntly: there is a goddamn plague of apathy currently infecting Western culture.
Perhaps we are too full, too fat, too satiated: but the amount of people who just don’t care about anything is way too high. No, I don’t mean that “I don’t really care about global warming, police shootings, saving the orcas” kind of apathetic individual. That kind of apathy is natural, hell it is necessary for survival and happiness. Humans only have the capacity to care about things that are meaningful to them, as this is nature’s way of helping you to focus and keep your head in the game when it comes to your own success and survival as a creature.
While there are some people who genuinely care about far away causes that don’t immediately affect their lives, the clear majority of people who claim to care about these things are simply virtue signaling. So, refusing to recycle for the rainforest or run for breast cancer isn’t what I mean by the “apathetic type”. I’m referring, instead, to the type of guy who goes through life simply shrugging his shoulders at everything that happens around him. The kind of person who finds it easier to just not think about things.
You probably know a lot of these people: people that are “cool” and “laid back” and “easy going” to the point where they might as well just check out on life. These are people who avoid conflict, who take nothing personally, people who walk around saying “well if it is meant to be, it will happen”, or “things have a way of working out”, instead of attacking life, going after what they want, and pushing for control over the outcome of the things that directly concern them. At the risk of sounding like an old, grouchy bastard: these are the people who show up 15 minutes late to appointments every time, who play loud music and rev their fag rice burner engines at 2 AM in the suburbs, people who promise to do things and then just don’t, people who are "good friends" with their ex girlfriends. They have few strong opinions, and even fewer strong character traits. They don’t care about their word, about the suburbanites who have to wake up at 6 AM for work, about the people waiting an extra 15 minutes for them to show up day after day. They don't even care that their ex girlfriend was a slut who cheated on them repeatedly in order to "find herself". They have little self-reflection – life is easy when you just don’t give a f@ck.
Hell, women actually seem to be drawn to this type of man, and he is likely responsible for a large percentage of those single mother’s you see complaining about “men” on Facebook.
Perhaps there is some appeal or adventure in the oblivion of being with an apathetic, non-committal, shoulder shrugging f@ck. Who knows? But the idea that this type of person is “cool” and “hip” has long since hit the mainstream. Because our society works men to death, all while we culturally promote the narrative that life is all about “relaxing”, “forgetting our worries”, “letting go of concerns”, and taking “deep breaths.” We hear again and again that being laid back is the way to be.
But this whole mentality is wrong. Life requires passion. Life requires care. Life requires worry and stress and sweating some of the details. It requires that you use your blinker, make sure your roof doesn’t leak, that you show up on time, that you consider and respect strangers if you live in a society. That you cut people off who disrespect you. That you occasionally draw a line in the sand.
Now, that is not to say that giving a f@ck is always an absolute good. On the contrary, the second unsuccessful type I mentioned involves a person who wastes themselves, their concerns, and their passions on things that are meaningless, unbending, or simply beyond their control. These people spend their lives bashing their heads against brick walls, concerning themselves with petty things, with what other people think of them, with being too short, too ugly, born too poor or the wrong color, with what they can’t do or how the world is stacked against them. These are the bitter people, the constantly angry, the resentful and the full of spite. Unless you are planning on being a revolutionary, there is very little point in dashing your few precious f@cks against large, unassailable institutions, traditions, and ways of living. You aren’t going to change capitalism, feminism, the education system, the disposability of men, Islamic terrorists, the liberal bias of academics, the hypergamy of women, etc. – so at some point, you must stop railing against these things and just climb to the top of the pile in any way you can. You do so by caring about the right things, strategically, leaving the tilting against windmills to the gender studies department, and instead getting your head in the f@cking game and thinking and caring about what is important.
Because that is the third type of person, the balanced individual who uses his precious few fucks sparingly, poignantly, with clear purpose and direction. These are the masters, the artists, the Van Goghs, the Da Vincis, the men who allow themselves to be consumed so wholly with the details of one great burning and profound passion, and through that channel are able to influence the world, to be remembered, to accomplish great and sweeping things.
To quote Emerson – “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
So what is it that you are thinking about? Are you thinking about nothing? About only yourself? About pleasure? Are you angry? At what? At yourself? At invisible enemies? About the ways the world has let you down? About all the insurmountable obstacles that are barring you from success?
The question you should always be asking yourself is:
“What are you thinking about”
What owns the most of your mental real estate?
What do you give a f@ck about?
Summary: Successful player lifestyle is as much about taking chances as noticing... and creating them. You can't have a lot of women in your bed without having a lot of them around you.
Life gives you a lot of opportunities. It's impossible to take all of them all the time but you have to create a habit of trying to use them. If you act more than stay passive you can achieve a lot. You can accomplish even more if you - also habitually - live your life in a way that creates endless opportunities all around you.
Know What You Want
You should know when you like a girl. If long, thin legs and slim girls give you a boner then you will notice them from far away and you should have no doubts as to whether you should approach or not. The same goes with facial features, the way she dresses and everything that you can guess at first sight.
You should also be honest with yourself. If you are into particular type of girls then don't listen to others - go for them. At the same time, *don't ignore girls that you really, really want *but for some weird reason you think they're not for you. Go with your primal instincts as it makes everything easier in the long run.
Notice The Chances
You should know when a girl likes you. The signs are usually pretty clear and you've seen them many times. Even if she's just a tease - you at least should notice that she's inviting you for something. It's your job to find out what it is.
I'm not only talking about IOIs - Indicators Of Interests - that the girls will display when they try to make you notice them. Those can be as subtle as longing looks or fine smiles. But there are more.
There are times when a girl gives you clear signs that she's interested. You know them - she spends much more time around you that is expected for a given activity, she blatantly stares at you, she touches you a lot by accident, etc. You should be able to recognize those as what they are. Most of the girls aren't as open or brave as to approaching you.
Take The Chances
Ahh, the good old leap of faith. When you notice any indicator of interest or even a faint suggestion that the girl might be into you - approach her immediately. It's the first step into everything else.
Even if the girl is just okay, even if you did zero approaches that day - do something. For the sake of cultivating that habit and reinforcing your reflexes. Because you're "that guy" who pick up all the girls around you.
Big problem with seasoned daygamers is that they tend to approach girls only in their familiar environment, on the streets, malls, bus stops or wherever you usually pick up girls. They are experts in noticing signs that a girl is interested in them and yet they fail to act when it happens outside their daygame watch. Your first instinct should always be to open that girl.
Create The Chances
All that brings us back to creating the chances. If you spend your whole life around other guys doing manly things and working hard on developing yourself then you will be disappointed with the number of girls that you will meet. Men's and women's interests differ greatly. Sometimes you won't even see a single cool chick doing things that you fancy. Bummer.
Cool hobbies are great but they rarely draw the attention of girls. They like to listen about them for sure but not necessarily experience them firsthand. So never pick up a hobby to impress girls or to meet them via that activity. Do them for yourself, to live a better life.
You have to create the chances. If you're dead set on doing that "socially" then don't get excited about activities that don't guarantee you presence of girls that are approachable. And even if they do, you have to approach anytime you'll find someone that you find attractive because it will still be uncommon.
Or just do whatever the hell you want socially and stick to game. That's a valid strategy if you're living in a big city. It's an unlimited source of new, hot girls. If you want to have even more choices then combine those two. But never expect that you'll get stable source of new leads outside some sort of "game" (day or night or net).
You have to both create and take your chances when it comes to pickup. Not only put yourself in a position to meet a lot of hot girls but also actually approach them. This is the difference between having something and nothing. Window of opportunity isn't opened forever. Act.
- Grasp your opportunities. You'll regret if you don't.
- Be certain what you want, so you won't miss your chances.
- Err on the side of being optimistic. Assume she wants you to approach her.
- Live your life so you actually have occasions to meet girls. Don't be a hermit.
The internet is full of articles and videos that supposedly teach how to be confident. Most of this s@it is useless because confidence is an incredibly complex subject and takes sustained work to develop and maintain. There is no magic formula for confidence, and it can easily be lost. This article is my attempt, but don’t rely on it.
Confidence is a complex mixture of positive thoughts and emotions. Actions create emotions, emotions create thoughts, and emotions and thoughts together create action. The emotions-thoughts-actions axis can either be a virtuous cycle, each improving the others, or it can be a negative cycle, each making the next thing shittier. I seek here to explain how to create a virtuous cycle of confidence.
The first part of this article discusses confidence in general, and the second part discusses confidence in the context of getting laid.
I can summarize the main points of this essay as follows:
1) Confidence is faith that you will succeed at whatever you do. To have faith, you must see reality as governed by rationality and logic, and that all you need to do is use this rationality to achieve your goals. You must not see as reality as “out to get you.”
2) To become confident you must re-wire your brain’s reward pathways such that you feel excited when you see a new challenge, rather than anxious and despairing.
3) To re-wire your brain’s reward pathways you must continually undertake new challenges outside your comfort zone and succeed at them.
4) To power through challenges, you must feel joy.
5) To feel confident, you must not feel controlled by anybody, especially people your mind perceives as “alpha males.”
Confidence is faith
The word confidence comes from the Latin con (with) + fidens (faith) (literally “with faith”). In other words, confidence is faith you will succeed in whatever you try to do. Faith is a belief that something is true even if you don’t have “hard” information confirming its truth. If I knew for a fact that a girl liked me, and I approached her, that’s not confidence. If I approach a girl I already know likes me, I’m no more confident than a guy eating a doughnut because he knows it will taste good.
Obviously, it is easier to have confidence and faith when you have information to base it on. Everyone is confident the sun will rise tomorrow because it has risen every day of their life. But if you only base your confidence on things you are sure of you will live in a narrow comfort zone like most people do. Most people only feel “confident” if they already know they will succeed or if they’ve seen somebody else overcome that challenge. There are doctors who can do brain surgery but are deathly afraid to approach a woman in a bar. There are rock stars who can play a show in front of thousands of people but break a sweat trying to do their taxes.
But why have faith? Why should you believe you will succeed at getting rich, getting laid, and being happy if most people fail at those things and you’ve never succeeded at them?
Here’s why: Just having faith, by itself, makes you more likely to succeed. And the more faith you have, the more likely you are to succeed. If that sounds like the plot of that dumbass book “The Secret,” it is. It’s also the foundation of many religions and philosophies. But there is a rational reason why this is true that doesn’t depend on God or magic.
Faith helps you succeed because the main thing that stops you from achieving your goals is your own emotions. Most shit is a lot easier than you think it is. Getting hot girls to fuck you? Becoming a billionaire? Brain surgery? That stuff is hard, but how hard is it really? For almost anything you want to do, there is a stupid, fat, douchebag somewhere that is awesome at that thing. There are literally millions of people that are dumber and lazier than you that easily do the thing that you think is so hard. Most of the time, the challenge is in your own mind.
A famous entrepreneur once told me that you can learn almost any business in 4 months. Malcolm Gladwell says you can become “world class” in any field if you do it for 10,000 hours, which is only about 4 years of working a full time job – not really that long to become the best in the world. As far as anybody can tell, the world is governed by rational rules that predictably operate based on logic. To succeed at anything, all you need to do is learn these rules and use them to succeed. Viewed this way, the only challenge is our own emotions: we get bored, afraid, distracted, impatient, anxious, intimidated, depressed, overworked, stressed out, sleepy, obsessed with the wrong details, lazy, angry, frustrated, etc… I call these the “despairing emotions.”
You can take any task, break it up into a series of little parts, put one foot in front of the other, and eventually succeed. All you need to do is be rational, be prepared, and put the time and effort in. Everything in the world works like this – there is no “magic.” Even “luck” is very limited compared to what we make happen. Usually when we think something is “too hard” for us, our despair is hijacking our rational brain and making us think thoughts that we believe are “rational” but are really just justifications and expressions of our despair. When a heroin addict makes excuses to start doing heroin again, or when an entrepreneur decides to quit their business because it’s “too hard,” they think they are being influenced by rational thoughts, but really they are just being influenced by despair.
Faith and confidence overcome our weak emotions. We power through challenges because our “motivated” emotions outweigh our despair, or at the very least, our intellectual thoughts manage and control our despairing emotions so that they do not cripple us. Successful people feel excitement and pleasure at doing their work whereas unsuccessful people feel fear, anxiety, dread, boredom, etc… And humans are wired to seek good feelings, so when we feel depressed and anxious we quickly run to “fix” is our shitty feelings – drugs, alcohol, porn, and other distractions.
Every time you encounter a challenge, your brain subconsciously does a complex cost-benefit analysis. You calculate the chance of success and the good feelings that come with it, and weigh that against the chance of failure and the bad feelings that come from failure. If your brain feels like you are more likely to feel bad, your despairing emotions will cripple you and make you not want to do it. Of course, this is bullshit. Your brain usually has no idea what the actual chances of success and failure are, nor does it know how you will actually feel after you succeed or fail, so it’s complex calculation is based on feelings from the past.
Confidence requires rewiring your brain so that when it does the cost-benefit analysis, the “excited” emotions outweigh the despairing emotions. The easiest way to rewire your reward system is to succeed at things, so that, going forward, your brain feels like it will succeed again. But like I said, if you base your confidence on past successes you will never grow. True, ultimate, confidence is when you have faith that you will succeed at ANYTHING you try, even if you’ve never done it and it is something most people would think is insanely difficult.
I’m not selling magic. There are some things you will never accomplish, no matter how confident you are. You can’t build a perpetual motion machine because it is probably impossible under the rules of physics. Most of you will never fuck Kate Upton, no matter how much you think you can. There is nothing wrong with thinking that something is impossible, or not worth the effort, or not the right thing for you at that time, but you must make that determination based on a rational calculation rather than your feelings. Most of what we think is impossible is actually very doable, we have just been tricked by our despair.
Sometimes we just do not have enough information to make a rational calculation, and we must leap into the darkness. My dad had a theory that stupid people were often more successful than smart people, because smart people did intelligent cost-benefit calculations whenever they decided to take a life risk, whereas stupid people just jumped ahead and took the risk. When we leap into the darkness we must have faith that we will succeed. We also need faith that if we fail we will be fine and that failure helps us because it lightens the darkness and gives us guidance for the next try. We also need a plan to land on our feet if we fail.
The rest of this article is dedicated to trying to teach you how to rewire your brain to feel excited about new challenges rather than scared. You can try to grit your teeth and fight your emotions 24/7, but you should also work to transform your emotions.
Faith and reality
Your goal is to re-wire your reward system so that you feel excited tackling any new challenge, even if it is outside your comfort zone. You need faith because you have no way of knowing for sure that you will succeed at any new challenge and without faith you will be crippled with uncertainty, anxiety and existential despair.
Faith is tied to your view of reality. Philosophers and psychologists have long understood that people have a tendency to subconsciously feel like reality has intentions like a person. People will feel like the world is out to get them, a small group of elders control everything, life hates them, they have “bad luck,” or they have “demons”, etc… It’s obviously stupid to say “I think reality has thoughts and feelings and hates me,” but that’s how a lot of people subconsciously think. I call this the “anthromorphization fallacy.”
I believe this fallacy comes from our ape mind. Apes evolved to obey the alpha male, because it is better for the tribe to have one leader rather than everybody doing their own thing. To enforce this obedience, evolution produced anxiety, which we feel whenever we feel like we are disobeying or upsetting the alpha male. Anxiety and depression are designed to “keep us in line” and make us feel powerless, paralyzed and weak whenever we want to do something that might offend the alpha male.
Human are apes with rational brains that magnify and distort our ape feelings. We can subconsciously see the entire “world” as an alpha male, and feel a generalized anxiety about everything. This is why some people are negative about everything, scared of simple tasks like driving, randomly freak out at small things, and just generally have dark thoughts.
Religion tries to fight the anthromorphization fallacy by pretending like “reality” is governed by God, which is essentially an alpha male that controls everything in reality and will be “nice” to you if you do some easy, meaningless rituals. I believe in God and I think it helps my anxiety. If you don’t want to believe in God, that’s fine, but at the very least you have to stop yourself from thinking that reality has a mind and it wants you to fail. At most, you can rationally say that, aside from ascertainable laws (the law of gravity, E=mc2, etc…), reality is basically random and chaotic and is neutral towards you. And if you are currently alive and breathing, you have to admit that reality has been at least somewhat good to you.
Once you accept that reality is not your enemy, and may even be your friend, you can have faith that you will succeed at anything. Your despairing emotions will try to trick you into thinking you will fail, but they are irrational, often caused by the fear of some mental alpha male that may not even exist. How would your weak, human brain know anything about the nature of reality anyway? Many people, including myself, have realized the falsity of our despairing emotions after using psychedelic drugs, which chemically turn off our despairing emotions and make us feel like the universe loves us.
I’m not saying that you can simply turn off your despairing emotions by simply believing that reality is your friend. You can’t turn off any emotion that is rooted in your biology, any more than you can turn off your sex drive. But the first step in controlling a demon is realizing that it’s there and that’s it a demon. If you practice mindfulness, you will catch yourself being lied to by your despairing emotions and you will realize your thoughts are irrational.
I don’t want to overstate my case here. A subconscious cosmic alpha male is not the only source of despair. A lot of things can create anxiety and depression, and science has not even completely figured out those emotions. Anxiety can be caused by chemical balances, living in a dirty house, post-traumatic stress, bad life experiences, etc... But I believe that fear of alpha males, real and imagined, is a big source of despair for many people.
Real alpha males
People have a subconscious fear of the cosmic alpha male that controls the world partly because actual alpha males bullied them, made them feel inferior, and induced subconscious “beta” emotions. These guys include your father, your teachers, your coach, your pastor, the cool kids at your high school, the President of the United States, the Federal Reserve bank, the media, society, Brad Pitt, and famous celebrities whose art and persona is designed to make regular guys feel inferior. These are just regular guys trying to make it through life just like you, but their ego, selfishness, stupidity, negligence, and bad judgment has scarred your self-esteem.
These guys aren’t necessarily alpha males, but they felt like it to you, at least when they affected you. Their combined efforts have congealed in your brain to give you a fear of alpha males and reality in general. Women may have also made you feel emasculated, not because they wanted to emasculate you but because they were “testing” you to see if you were worthy of their delicious pussy.
All men fear some alpha male. The head of the Crips gang in Los Angeles is the “alpha male” of the thug/gangster world, but he subconsciously sees a nerdy banker as the alpha male because the nerdy banker makes much more money and lives a better life than him, and the Crip leader is too scared to go to school and try to compete with the nerdy banker. The nerdy banker, in turn, sees another group of men as alpha to him, etc…
A key to becoming confident is releasing yourself from the control that both real and imagined alpha males have over you. To do this, you must not give a single fuck what anybody thinks about you. Your actions should be governed by truth and a rational analysis of what is best for you, not your need to feel validated and accepted. The moment you care what others think of you, you constrain your behavior to gain their approval and feel despair when they deny it. And when you constrain your behavior, you show to yourself, them and the world that you can be perturbed and thrown off of your mission. And if you can be thrown off of your mission, then you no longer have the ability to succeed at anything.
Many men link confidence to their tangible existence. A lot of guys say to me: “I’m not confident because I’m fat, or I don’t have enough money, or I’m awkward, etc…” That’s the wrong way to look at it. Your confidence should not be based on any tangible thing you have, but rather your inability to be controlled, because a man who cannot be controlled and can also obtain anything. If a woman said to you that she only feels confident when she’s wearing make-up, you wouldn’t think that that woman was confident: you would think that she is deeply insecure. A truly confident woman would be confident even if she was in a disfiguring accident that made her face look like ground beef.
True confidence is the intellectual belief and the emotional feeling that you are awesome just because you are you, and that you will succeed because you don’t care what anybody thinks, you can’t be controlled, and will not fall victim to despair. Confidence has its own intrinsic value: I feel confident because I know I am confident. I know I am confident because I don’t care what other people think, and therefore nobody can perturb me from my mission, and if nobody can perturb me from my mission, I am guaranteed to succeed.
Happiness is both a result and cause of confidence.
As I said earlier, humans are wired to seek good feelings, so if you are unhappy your brain will get distracted and chase sources of cheap happiness (TV, women, drugs, trashy internet, etc...). Your goal is to get your “happiness” from accomplishing your goals and defeating challenges, rather than cheap happiness. If you face every challenge with joy, you will be more motivated.
You may be a fundamentally unhappy person. Maybe you’re depressed, or anxious, or have had a hard life. But there must have been at least one time in your life when you felt joy. If you can induce that feeling in yourself when you are pursuing your goals, or at least fake it, you will do better. One of my favorite quotes is from a rabbi who said that “how can I feel joy when my house has burnt down? I feel sad for a little, and then when I start rebuilding it, I feel joy with every brick I lay.”
The upshot of this is that you should always be having fun. No matter how hard your life is, or what bad thing just happened to you, you need to have a social schedule where you are going out, doing things that make you feel good, fucking girls, hanging out with friends, etc... Obviously, you shouldn’t let your fun times take over your life or do anything self-destructive, but I disagree with the idea that success requires sustained misery. Being happy also requires eating well, getting enough sleep, and eliminating sources of negativity and distraction from your life. If you have a friend who consistently makes you feel like shit, or a woman who brings you more pain than happiness, cut them out. They are bad for you.
Happiness is a result of confidence because confident people are more successful, and your confidence proves to you that you can succeed at anything.
Getting rid of your fear of the alpha male also makes you happy because you no longer need to rely on anybody else for happiness. Human beings are actually very simple beings. All we need is a little bit of food, decent shelter, one vagina to put your dick in (you should reject the societal notion that you can’t be happy unless you fuck lots of girls), and love. All of our other fake desires are rooted in our need for the love of others. We mostly desire “luxury” things like nice cars, mansions or designer clothes because we think it will cause other people to love us and care about us. A truly confident man knows that he will be loved no matter what he has or who he is, because his value comes from being imperturbable and a model for others. And if people want to deny him love based on his material circumstances, then that’s their problem, not his.
I’m not saying that nice cars, mansions and nice clothes are bad things. I enjoy all those things. I’m also not saying that women don’t care about tangibles. Women definitely do care about how you look, how you dress, how much money you have, etc... There are some women that will just never fuck a short, bald poor guy no matter how much “game” he has. But your own confidence and self-esteem should not depend on your tangibles. You should live your most awesome life. If girls like you, great. If not, no problem.
Can you really not care what people think?
It’s impossible to truly not care what anybody thinks of you. Human beings are social animals, and we evolved to form emotional connections with other people and to care what they think of us. We need sex, affection and human contact. The only way to truly not care about the opinions of others is to either be a psychopath or a hermit that lives in the woods.
I’m not saying that you should cut off contact from all other humans. I’m saying you should engage in mutually beneficial relationships with people, where you exchange the things humans need to exchange (love, friendship, affection, fun times, etc…), WITHOUT LETTING THEM CONTROL YOU and without becoming submissive.
To prevent people from controlling you, or abusing your, or manipulating you, or taking advantage of you, you must have a strong set of boundaries. Boundaries are “rules” for yourself that you will not allow others to break. A confident man is confident his rules are morally correct and makes others bend to his moral guidelines, not vice versa. If you have faith in your principles and stand by them, you cannot be manipulated by women or by society into acting against your own interests, doing the wrong thing, or chasing stupid trophies like nice cars and shit.
I'm not here to push a certain type of morality on you, and I think many set of rules can be "correct" depending on your situatiion, the people you are dealing with, and your personal preferences. What's important is not having this or that set of rules, but generally having unbreakable principles. You should constantly reevaluate your rules and changing them if they are "wrong" and/or not conducive to the type of life you want to live. You should also be open to reasonable arguments by third parties that your rules may be wrong.
The good life
An important part of being confident is having a clear vision of what you consider to be the good life. Nobody can control you if you are happily pursuing the good life. This vision is a set of priorities and beliefs about the world that guide what you seek and care about. For example, if a hot girl tries to pressure me to do cocaine I say no because cocaine contradicts my vision of the good life because of its harmful effects.
This sounds like third grade health education, but it is amazing that many adults can be peer pressured simply because they don’t have their own vision of the good life. I know rich, successful adult men that have become cokeheads because the beautiful women they were pressured by hot girls to do it. It’s absolutely fucking incredible that a millionaire Silicon Valley CEO can be peer pressured by a bartender into doing cocaine but it happens all the fucking time. And because that guy had no vision of the good life, he is now addicted and does cocaine even when those girls are not around.
Your boundaries and your vision of the good life are connected. I set boundaries because I am pursuing a certain life, and if you get in the way, you are dismissed. For example, my vision of the good life involves waking up early to work out and work on my businesses. Many people (usually trashy girls not doing anything useful with their lives) don’t understand that vision and try to pressure me into staying out late. No matter how beautiful they are or how close I am to getting pussy, I say no and go home. No matter how hot she is and how much I think I can’t find anybody else like her that will respect my rules, I keep the faith.
Your vision of the good life should have a place for all of your pleasures and pursuits. I like fucking hot girls, but I also like getting enough sleep, eating well, going to fun concerts, being around positive people, succeeding at my business, talking about deep, intellectual things I am interested in, etc…
Understanding the good life also makes you feel better about your shortcomings. Women are part of the good life, but you don’t need to fuck the hottest girl and you definitely don’t need to “get” every girl you like. If you think that happiness requires you to be 6’0 or drive a Ferrari or bang X girls a year, you lose your confidence if you don’t have those things. If your vision of the good life is simpler, however, you can’t be shamed and guilted if you don’t have those things.
Why are women attracted to confidence?
First of all, everyone is attracted to confidence. Nobody wants to be around an insecure, sad, moping sack of shit. And nobody likes to be around somebody that is easily controlled. Humans are wired to reach for something higher than us, not somebody beneath us that doesn’t challenge us or help us grow. That said, women have a special desire for a confident man. Why?
Because women have babies and are physically weaker than men, women evolved to seek a strong, powerful man who can make a credible commitment to protect her and her baby until the baby reaches a certain age. A protector’s commitment is only credible if he cannot be thrown off of his mission, whatever that mission is. If a protector becomes emotional, dishonest, distracted, or submissive, he can no longer be trusted to protect. In other words, if a protector can be controlled by others or crippled by despair, his commitment is not credible and the woman is vulnerable.
It does not matter how confident you actually are, but whether you can display that confidence to a woman. Confidence is performative. A woman wants to see you confidently pursue a mission and not be perturbed and more importantly, not show despair. Women can subconsciously sense despair in a man. She wants to see you be a brick wall. Women also subconsciously know that the thing that is most likely to perturb a man is a woman, so she will purposely try to perturb you to see how you react. If you even flinch, she will question your emotional credibility. This is what we call a “shit test.”
A big problem is that men meet women in social situations where they are drinking and having fun, so women do not see men confidently pursue their mission. For most men, when they go out, women are their mission. But fixating on women subconsciously causes you to be controlled by women, reducing your attractiveness. This is why DJs and bartenders are more attractive to women – they are actually doing something rather than just drooling over them.
Your place in the tribe
On a subconscious level, women want a guy who does not appear to be controlled by the tribe. This is part of the reason women like “bad boys” – a “bad boy” tingles the same receptors that an alpha male tingles because the bad boy does not conform to anybody’s rules and does not “feel” like he is “controlled” by any other male. This is irrational, of course – most “bad boys” are losers and the opposite of an actual alpha male. But we are talking about emotions here, not rationality. The alpha male does what he wants, and he doesn’t rely on anybody else for anything, either physical or emotional. He is the only one that cannot be controlled. Sure, the alpha male does have the most tangible things (food and resources) but the alpha male isn’t thinking about that.
The true alpha male is not the biggest, loudest, meanest, toughest guy: it’s the guy who literally does not give a single fuck and cannot be controlled. It’s the guy who walks in a party with a ridiculous ugly neon green floppy hat. It’s the guy who tells an embarrassing story about himself that most people would be too afraid to tell. It’s the guy who does something that’s a little off, not because he’s weird or has problems, but because he just lives in his own reality. The alpha male is totally relaxed, calm, confident in what he’s doing, and is never, ever, perturbed by anything anybody does, especially women.
If you walk into a bar or nightclub, you see a bizarre scene. Otherwise confident, successful, manly men are selling their souls. They are begging beautiful women to buy them drinks, listening intently to their stupid stories and agreeing with their stupid opinions, begging for their attention, waiting for them as they talk to other men, etc… These men instantly lose credibility to women because they are begging to be accepted and are easily controlled. In other words, these men are experiencing the same emotional anguish that the women experience, which turns women off. Women want to escape their emotional anguish, not be with a guy that is also experiencing it.
How to act around women
Let’s do some logic. Women are attracted to confidence. Confidence is faith that you will succeed. Therefore, women are attracted to men who have faith they will succeed in fucking them. In other words, women want a guy to act like he already knows she will fuck him. Of course, you don’t actually know whether she will fuck you. But nevertheless, you must act as if you KNOW she will fuck you. You must bluff as if you know she will say yes. And even if you get rejected, you must move on to the next girl with the same confidence.
Now the question becomes: if you truly knew from the bottom of your heart you could fuck a girl, how would you act? You wouldn’t supplicate, or beg, or act needy, or even do anything really. If you KNEW you could fuck a girl, you would do nothing. Of course, you should talk to her and be nice so that you don’t make her feel bad, and you would engage with her to the extent that she says or does anything interesting or funny. But the moment she does something negative, shitty, or boring, you immediately lose interest because you don’t need to put up with her b@llshit.
Unlike a lot of other PUA blogs, I am not going to feed you a bunch of lines of what a confident guy “would” say. The fact is, confidence is an emotional state, and you either have it or you don’t. And girls can sense it because it is very hard to fake your emotions, especially if you are hanging out with a girl for a long time.
Releasing yourself from the mental slavery of the alpha male sounds great, but it is actually very dangerous. Most people in our society can only function if they are being guided by a superior: society, your dad, the government, your boss, etc... They need the anxiety induced by the alpha male to stay focused and not go off and get drunk and play video games. But if you want to be a truly confident, self-actualized man, you need to be able to motivate yourself when there is no alpha male swinging an axe over your head.
Not only must you be your own alpha male, but you must cultivate a positive humility, where you listen to men that are smarter and more powerful than you, not because of your irrational ape emotions, but because they are smarter than you and they are helping you improve. If you look at history, a lot of times when men get a ton of power they go crazy (see kings, dictators, rock stars, Mike Tyson, etc...) because they don’t have the anxiety of the alpha male controlling them but they also don’t have the humility to stay focused and keep their head on straight.
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen an attractive girl and had an internal dialogue that went something like, “Should I just say hi? No, she’ll wonder why I’m talking to her. What can I talk about that’s situational, the music? No, that’s stupid. I could compliment her… But what if she doesn’t take the compliment well? Eh, honestly, she’s not really my type, she looks too stuck up. I’ll wait to find a girl who’s more my type.” Sound familiar? It’s totally normal to be anxious about talking to a girl, there’s nothing wrong with that. And hey, your anxious thoughts aren’t completely wrong, you might be a little awkward when you talk to her, it happens. But the only way to avoid awkward approaches is to buy a VR headset and go to town with 3d porn.
Look, approaching is hard sometimes, especially at first; a lot of guys never graduate from the rank of keyboard warrior. But you know what? The only way out, is through. Be prepared to embrace the suck.
But, to be fair the Nike (now hijacked by Shia Labeouf) mindset of “Just do it” is an oversimplification. There are strategies that can make approaching easier, and the best method if you want to make real progress in cold-approach is a logic-based, scientific strategy. Psychologists use a therapy called gradual exposure therapy (especially for social anxieties), and the tenets of exposure therapy apply perfectly to cold approach pickup. Gradual exposure asserts that, yes, the only way to overcome an anxiety is through facing it directly. The only way to overcome approach anxiety, ultimately, is to approach. But there’s an important nuance gradual exposure focuses on; you don’t start by fully exposing yourself to your fear. You take small steps towards it.
Mistakes Were Made
When I was sixteen, I had never cold approached a girl in my life, I decided to go to the mall to ask a girl for directions to start to face my social anxiety. But even this was too much for me at the time. I spent several hours wandering around the mall, thinking of getting rejected or laughed at. I hesitated dozens of times before making my way back home. I was so frustrated with this experience that I didn’t try cold approach again for months. I was trying to push myself too far outside of my comfort zone, and the anxiety was too much. It’s cool to tell yourself you can just will yourself past any anxiety or stress, but in my experience that’s not how it usually happens in real life.
The key to progress is to challenge yourself but not so much that you drive yourself into a full-on fight-or-flight mode. Even if you do approach in that state, you’re most likely going to interpret whatever happens as negative. I made this mistake with a friend of mine a while back, I tried to force him to approach even though he was extremely stressed already, he got pissed off and didn’t go out again for weeks, he still avoids the bar in which that happened.
A Journey of 1000 Lays Begins With A Single Step
You do need to push yourself, but simultaneously, know your limits. If you’re not causing yourself to feel a little bit stressed, you’re not challenging yourself, and you’re not going to make progress; but if you push yourself too hard, you’ll freeze. This is something you must learn to navigate (by the way, not just in game but in all areas of life), be aware when you’re pushing yourself too hard, and take a step back.
If you’re not regularly approaching women, don’t go out and challenge yourself to approach ten girls the first time you go out. If you get a lot of approach anxiety, your first goal can be to start smiling and make eye contact (just for a couple seconds, don’t stare) with girls. You don’t need to expect yourself to approach, just set a goal to smile and make eye contact with x number of girls when you go out. And keep this as your goal each day until you get comfortable with it. Hell, it might take you a week, but this is how you make real, sustainable progress.
Once you’re comfortable with making eye contact with girls, you can take it a bit further by waving at girls who walk by. Once that’s no longer challenging for you, you can set a goal to say hello to girls who walk by (without stopping them). Afterwards, you can start conversations by asking for directions (or some other random question that makes it easier to start a conversation). Once you’re comfortable with this, you can start introducing yourself directly.
Break your goal of overcoming approach anxiety into smaller, more manageable steps. Gradually expose yourself to your anxiety, it’s okay to accept that you’re not a godlike being with unlimited willpower. You are capable of changing and expanding your comfort zone, but the most effective approach is a step-by-step approach.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking I was above the process, telling myself that I could “Just Do It.” I would try so hard to force myself to take action when I didn’t want to. But this led to more stress than real results. I went to my local university campus one semester with a goal of approaching girls directly by saying the classic, “I thought you were cute and I had to say hi.”
I tried to approach between classes every day, sometimes I would spend an hour in hopes I would build up the courage to say the line to a girl. I hesitated time and time again. After two weeks of this, I decided to take it step-by-step. I started by saying hi to girls as they walked by, then I approached a girl indirectly asking for directions. I made progress step-by-step, then on the same day I started this, I approached a girl and finally said the line and it went well. I’ve been as bought into the “just do it” mindset as anyone, but I’ve found that taking small steps outside my comfort zone is far more effective than just trying to force it no matter what, and this has been a difficult and humbling lesson to learn.
Along your journey down the path of self-improvement, you may find that a small part of you yearns for the past, painful though it was. But why would you want to re-live those hurtful rejections? Why would you want to experience again what it was like to be her BP beta, friend-zoned shoulder to cry on while she f@cked Chad and got played?
It's not uncommon for prisoners who've spent most of their lives behind bars to crave returning to their cells, counter-intuitive though it may seem. Maybe it stems from a desire to return to familiar, or perhaps it comes from a compulsion to re-live the traumas and pains of the past such that we can finally reconcile them.
Take also the case of the hot girl with daddy issues. I'm sure most of you who have been around the block have encountered a girl like this. Her father was a cad - he abused mom and abandoned them both. Girls like this often find themselves drawn to the same emotional characteristics of her father. Deep down, part of them wishes to find a mate who is likely to abuse or abandon her, just like daddy did. Maybe then, her hamster figures, she can finally fix what went wrong all those years ago and heal the emotional pain from her father's rejection of her. Of course, we all know, that's not what happens; instead, she re-lives her past trauma again and again, until it becomes a pattern so familiar that - painful though it may be - it becomes her new comfort zone, and difficult to get out of.
Momentum and inertia are powerful forces when it comes to human motivation and behavior. Like the saying goes, you make the habits and the habits make you. As we repeat a behavior over and over, the neurological mechanisms involved find their pathways strengthened and reinforced. It's why addictions are so hard to break, but conversely, it's also why once we adopt a habit like lifting and perform it for long enough, it no longer requires nearly as much discipline to perform. Work hard for long enough, and eventually it won't feel like hard work - it will just be what you do.
You can probably see where I'm going with this already. If you're like me, you didn't have much luck with women growing up. But when you swallowed the red pill, you made a solid commitment to improve your life by any means necessary and (hopefully) you've been putting in the hard work ever since.
The thing about changing yourself is, very often you're the last person to see it. This can go both ways. Take the case of a bumbling alcoholic who drinks himself into a blackout on a regular basis. By the time he realizes what a problem he has, he's usually the last to know. Everyone around him has already figured it out.
But the same goes with improvements. A frequent complaint of fat guys who have lost a lost of weight, or skinny guys who have built a lot of muscle, is that no matter how much they improve their fitness and physique, they still feel like the person they always were. And so they're never big enough; never lean enough. But if they just keep improving, just a little more, maybe then they'll finally have a body they can be proud of.
The reality is, this is the kind of thinking that leads to steroid abuse, to eating disorders, and to body dysmorphic disorder. Obviously you want to lift, eat healthy, and hone your physique, but you don't want to get caught in the trap of investing your ego into succeeding at achieving an impossible standard of aesthetic perfection that will always be just out of reach.
But let's bring the discussion back to women, because I think that's the most important part of this discussion. These are the kinds of behaviors I see the most:
- Assuming rejection before you've even tried. Assuming a girl will be stuck up/dismissive/unfriendly if you approach. Assuming a girl thinks she's out of your league, or that she's superficial or only dates rich guys.
- Assuming that you can't hold her attraction. I'm talking about anxiety when she doesn't answer your texts, your heart sinking if you see with another dude, assuming she wants to fuck your friend when you introduce her, bringing her to public places and worrying she's going to go home with another guy. The insecurity and neediness that you project will send things into a negative feedback loop of her shit-testing you, you failing those shit tests and losing frame, and her eventually being repelled by you and attracted to other guys.
- Assuming she intends to put you in the friend-zone / make you into a beta orbiter. So if she complains about another guy she's seeing, you immediately assume it's because she wants to LJBF you, ignoring the possibilities that she might be rationalizing a decision to cheat on him with you or giving you an opportunity to demonstrate superiority.
- Assuming she only wants you for your money. I had this happen to me recently, actually. A girl I met at the bar asked me if I wanted to 'take her out for drinks.' My mind jumped immediately to 'oh, she just wants someone to take her out for free drinks, she's not actually attracted to me.' That couldn't have been further from the truth. Not only was she attracted to me, but she paid for half the tab without being asked to do so.
And trust me, when she picks up on the fact that YOU don't think you're good enough for her, on an emotional and instinctive level she's going to start to feel the same way. After all, if even YOU don't believe you're a worthy mate, why should she?
Look, your past failures don't define who you are as a person. Resist the temptation to re-live the mistakes of the past and make a conscious effort to move forward at all time - don't look back.
Sometimes demons from the past continue to haunt us long after they've already been conquered. One thing that often surprises people who lose substantial amounts of weight is how little difference it made in their psychological experience. They figured once they lost all this weight, they'd magically transform into this confident, empowered person. Frequently, they are disappointed to discover that they remain the same person they always were albeit with a shiny new exterior.
People don't like to hear me say this on this sub, but I stand by it: confidence comes from within. Supermodels are notoriously some of the most insecure people on the planet. Many great intellects feel stupid. Many of the best artists and most creative musicians have been their own worst critics - sensitive to criticism and yet dismissive of praise. Jimi Hendrix famously said he didn't like compliments because he found them distracting. Stanley Kubrick is said to have stayed in bed for days in a dark depression following an unsuccessful early screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Richard Nixon, who as US President became what is considered to be the leader of the free world, and yet biographers describe him as a perpetual outsider, someone who felt alienated throughout his life, someone who never felt accepted. An elected President who felt like no one accepted him. Think about that.
And so what if your issue is that you feel like you're a loser with women? How are you going to fix that? Well, if you think that's going to change when your notch count hits 10... 50.. 100, you might want to think again. If you think you'll feel like a stud when you finally have abs, you might be surprised.
Looking for validation externally is like filling a bucket with a hole in it. The only way you're gonna stop feeling like a loser and sabotaging your opportunities at success is if you work on your inner game: managing your emotions, practicing self-discipline, mindfulness and self-awareness (meditation helps a lot with this), cultivating an attitude of stoicism, and behaving with self respect.
If you go looking for validation from the outside world, then you're no better than some Instagram whore who shamelessly posts pics of her tits and ass for the world to see all in the hopes of obtaining more likes and followers. The only difference is where you get your validation.
Look, success is scary. We don't like to admit that we might be afraid of success, but we are. If failure is all we've ever known, then failure becomes our comfort zone. And if we're not careful, we'll screw ourselves over simply to stay in our comfort zone. We'll set ourselves up to fail because failure is all we've ever known.
This is a cornerstone of my daily routine. I'm more productive in the morning vs. any other time of day. By the way while most days I wake up at 4 AM I don't hold myself strictly to 4 AM. Sometimes I wake up at 4:30 AM or 5 and occasionally I sleep in if I feel really exhausted.
It's not healthy to push yourself up if you haven't had enough sleep. Some days you might go to bed late and it's more important to get ample sleep so you're at your best for the entirety of the day.
So, I wake up at 4. I then:
Water trick - Immediately upon waking up I usually go into the restroom and splash water over my head and on my face. The reason I do this is because it immediately wakes me up. It's really, really effective.
Meditate (30-45 mins) - I also do this because the first activity I do upon waking is to meditate. This is the most ideal thing to do first thing in the morning in my opinion. It really sets you up for the rest of the day. I meditate for reasons much more important to me than increasing my productivity, but this is also an effect of doing so. Right now I prefer 45 minutes, but once I can get to the point of blogging/running my own company full time I'd like to increase that. As it stands I need to get to work (GM at the family business) at 8 AM.
Write (2-3 hrs) - I take my time getting up once I'm done meditating to really relish the feeling of peace and quiet. But once I'm up, I immediately go to the computer and begin writing. Occasionally I'll replace this with updating something on my website since I do everything myself right now. But for the most part on the majority of days I write for the entire time. I do not check email yet, social networks, my rss feed, or any other websites I follow. I wait to check these things after I'm done writing around 7-7:30. I'm currently alternating between writing my next (weekly) blog post and my first book which will be completed this month.
Work (7:30-4:30) - At this point I get ready for work, and if my kids get up before I leave which happens on most days, I get them started for their day (my oldest is almost 3 and his brother is 7 months). I then head to the office and only get time to work on my blog during breaks (and I squeeze in time if I finish early). But at work, being the GM, things that I've done to increase my own productivity while at work have been to delegate tasks to others, only check my email once an hour or two and to cut down time on menial tasks like packing, processing and charging credit cards. Throughout the day I may have ideas for articles, a book idea, an upgrade to my blog or something else. When I do I pop open my Evernote (my favorite program for housing all of my ideas), which I keep open on my desktop at work, and quickly write the idea down.
Dinner and Time with Family (4:30- 7:30/8 PM) - This time is reserved for my family. Occasionally when sitting at the kitchen table I'll pop open my iPad (which I use with a Bluetooth keyboard to write- which I LOVE) and write a bit, maybe read an article or two or something. For the most part though, electronic devices are off and I am 100% fully in the moment of enjoying my meal and then enjoying time with my sons. Bedtime is around 8 PM. It takes a while on some days for both of my sons to fall asleep, and sometimes my youngest wakes up multiple times throughout the night. This can be really difficult, but we just make it work. It's temporary and I keep my focus on long term vision which helps me push forward everyday.
A few notes:
Driving - When I'm driving, I'm often listening to audio books. I often consider this my "dharma talk" time, since my spiritual practice is so important to me (and what I write about as well, so it gives me ideas) and I'm not an actual monk living in a monastery listening to dharma talks each day so it's important for me to get that daily dose somehow. I read around 3 books a month like this. I often re-read books 2-3 times to fully absorb the information. Sometimes I just practice mindfulness while driving, I call it driving meditation. This is a very rewarding practice.
Restroom - Honestly if I'm sitting in the restroom I pop my phone out and do something productive (no, not that...) like read an article or look over my book progress. Either that or I pull out this little pocket book I keep on me which I call "The Book of Mindfulness". It has little phrases which are meant to send the person into a state of mindfulness. In this case I'd be practicing following my breath.
Putting my baby son to sleep - If I'm walking him around putting him to sleep at night then I practice walking meditation. In fact I try to remember to practice walking meditation anytime I'm walking. Doesn't happen, but it helps to stay conscious of it (the physical presence of the book in my pocket helps me remember to do this). The reason I do things like this is because I'm constantly conscious of the fact that while a monk has all 24 hours in a day to devote to their practice, I have mostly just moments strewn throughout my day (aside for the morning). At least for now, I'm excited to eventually be able to blog full time and control my schedule better. Also, as my kids get older, particularly once my 7 month old gets to be 1 1/2-2 years old, things will become even easier.
Weekends - I tend to get more time here. I'm home when my boys take their nap, I don't have to go to work and occasionally my wife drives in which case I pop out my trusty iPad/keyboard combo and get to work. I don't always do this though, if we're going to do something fun I keep it bagged and put my complete attention on enjoying the experience with my family.
I used to do a bunch of things in the morning. I really tried to pack it in. This wasn't a good idea as I'd just end up distracting myself and getting less done. By revisiting my priorities and realizing what was most important (meditating and writing) I've greatly improved both my meditation practice and my writing ability, quality and quantity written. Two weeks ago it hit me that I wrote some 6000-7000 words in that one week despite having work, two kids, my wife and other responsibilities to attend to each day.
I originally got the idea of waking up at 4 AM (and immediately meditating) from an article I read (which I mention in the blog post I linked above) that mentioned the sleep schedules of Buddhist monks. I was putting my kids to sleep at night, getting up as soon as they were asleep, and getting to work until 2-3 AM since I was always a night owl (I had the hardest time waking up early a few years ago). I saw the article as an opportunity to get more time and better quality time as well.
I also recently watched an interview Oprah did on her "Super Soul Sunday" program with Deepak Chopra. Apparently he does the same. That is, wakes up at 4 AM and meditates. He meditates for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the late afternoon/evening.
If you really want to work smarter, you need to start by sharpening your most powerful productivity tool.
It wasn't too long ago when I was back in college ripping all-nighters and popping Adderall just to code up some stupidly simple programs, that I found myself asking the same question.
I know I should be finished with this assignment already, but instead I'm sitting here sloppily tracing through the same blocks of code, wasting time trying to recall my train of thought, and peeping up every 5 seconds to check out the female who just passed my workstation.
Ultimately, I was effective (sort of), but my efficiency was depressing. I felt like I was working 10x harder and longer than what my assignment warranted.
So like any normal person, I started looking near and far for productivity hacks to boost my performance. I tried them all (pareto principle, pomodoro, to-don't lists, etc.)
I'd be lying if I said I didn't see a teeny tiny improvement, but I was still light years away from what anyone would consider 'productive'.
Oh well, guess I just need to keep working harder. Time for another Addy XR & Red bull cocktail!
Hang on a sec...
How did this happen? I used to be the kid in high school crushing 2+ hours of homework in a 15 minute homeroom session and passing with flying colors!
Granted college assignments were a bit more difficult, there wasn't that much of a disparity.
Something's fishy here...
So I started to really analyze my performance and pay attention to what it was causing me to trip up. It didn't take long for the answer to become painfully obvious...
I became mentally freakin' deficient!
Brain fog, sluggish cognition, difficulty concentrating, lack of thought clarity, fleeting mental endurance, unreliable recall, second-rate working memory - I was putting up with the works when it came to mental inadequacies...
I'm not rockin' the rest of my life like this, I want my smart back!
So I made it my mission to do just that. Personal experimentation, extensive research and hundreds of books in cognitive neuroscience, mindset development, cognitive psychology, nootropics, self-development, etc. later, I learned a few things.
Allow me to share three of them that stood out to me:
I wasn't alone in this.
The more I observed and spoke with my peers about this problem, the more I realized that it was not so uncommon. It seemed as though everybody was struggling with these same productivity and cognition issues. The only difference was that for the most part, they accepted that this was just how they were supposed to operate and that was that - I wasn't as convinced.
The brain is plastic.
No not plastic like a toy, plastic like a malleable material. Our brain has the remarkable ability to alter and develop its own physical structure throughout our entire life. It's called neuroplasticity and it is a big deal.
I used to think, like most people, we were stuck with the brain we were given. Not even close. You can improve your focus, memory, processing speed, creativity, power output, EVERYTHING! This was great news for me.
This also means you can weaken these brain functions when you don't take proper care of your brain - which is precisely what I had brought about.
The brain is powerful beyond measure.
We have inside of our heads 3 pounds of the most astounding, dynamic, and complex material we have ever discovered in this universe - and we've discovered some pretty crazy stuff. This thing completely engineers the human experience.
It doesn't take a genius to see the positive correlation between cognitive functioning and productivity...
People, our brain has more possible connections than the estimated number of atoms in the universe (notice I said possible connections - before you go calling me a crackpot)...
We have the capability to generate even more neurons, build and strengthen neural connections at will, and dramatically enhance neurotransmission, and we humans fuss because we can't muster up enough mental power to efficiently complete an absurdly infinitesimal task...
I can dramatically intensify my brain power and I'm sitting here playing with a plastic tomato???
We have already embraced the idea of strengthening our body for maximum physical efficiency, which is a great thing by the way, but have neglected the importance of strengthening our brain for maximum productivity.
Now I'm not calling anybody dumb here, I'm saying our brains can do better. We as humans are operating severely below our cognitive potential!
So with that said, here's a 'productivity hack' for ya: start working harder at being smarter.
And when I say smart, I'm referring to your mental capacity, mindset, creativity, cognitive performance, etc.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. - Abe Lincoln
When you approach a task and you are equipped with sub-optimal tools, it's going to take you 2x, 3x, 5x, 10x, 100x more effort than it should.
When you really boil it down, the brain is the be-all and end-all of a human's true effectiveness. And while many are recklessly trying to produce results (like I did depriving myself of sleep, popping neurotoxic amphetamines, and downing brain crippling energy drinks), they are ruining the prized asset that is directly responsible for achieving those results at a high level.
You can apply all the productivity hacks in the world, but if your brain is unfocused, stressed, foggy, forgetful, despondent, unmotivated, inept, disengaged, fatigued, etc., all your energy and time is going to amount to a hill of beans.
So before you go scrambling to try another flashy productivity tactic, devote some effort to sharpening your cognitive faculties. Here are three places you should start:
Stop abusing your poor brain
As much as I wanted to blame outside forces for my drop-off in cognitive performance, it was all on me. I misused the crap out of my brain. And if you overtax your brain, don't get enough sleep, ingest neurotoxic substances, smoke, overeat, don't drink enough water, chronically stress yourself out, then you are too!
You wouldn't let your vehicle keep running constantly without ever changing the oil, replacing the breaks, swapping the tires, etc. because you not only want it to last, you want it to run in tip top condition. Your brain is the same way, except on a much larger and significant scale.
It's unfortunate societal conditioning has taught us that many of these brain damaging practices such as little sleep should be held in high esteem. Often when I tell people I get my 8 hours I get a response along the lines, "you must be lazy, you sleep so much." What kind of BS is that?
We are putting ourselves at a tremendous disadvantage before we even step up to the plate.
The good news is that by simply doing away with the poor practices that are frying our brains, we will be causing a significant jump back up to our normal cognitive functioning.
Take care of your dietary deficiencies
Most people's dietary patterns these days are not very brain health friendly. Deficiencies in critical vitamins, minerals, and fats are very common and are the source of many issues with cognition, behavior, and emotions.
For example, if you're not an Inuit, there is a good chance you aren't getting enough Omega-3s, which come primarily from fish. These fatty acids are essential to brain health with deficiencies causing impaired neuronal growth, shabby synaptic plasticity, and inefficient transmission of crucial chemicals in the brain. Needless to say, figuring out what you are deficient in, and correcting that deficiency, either through a more strict diet or supplementation, can quickly elevate your cognitive performance.
A few of the world population's common brain health related deficiencies include:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Flow on demand
Now that you've listened to my rant, I'll leave you with a tip that's a little more along the lines of a productivity hack.
I think we can all agree that we're much more efficient when our brain is not constantly distracted. Unfortunately, we have unknowingly trained our brains to seek out distractions from things such as jingles from our phone and pop up email notifications to get our dopamine fix.
The reason we are so distracted is not because we all have ADHD disorder and are incapable of concentrating without drugs, it's just that we have simply developed distracting habits.
The state our brain is in at any particular moment has a profound effect on our performance. So we need to clock out of the multi-tasking, scatterbrained state, and clock into the mental state of flow.
Flow is the optimal state of consciousness for powering through the task at hand. You may know it as being fully in the zone. Some describe this as a feeling of ecstasy where everything else, including their identity, disappears and they are left with a utterly heightened level of performance.
The cool thing is, entering the flow state is not as random as people think, you just need to have the right conditions:
Have clear goals with immediate feedback - establishing a singular overall goal as well as a set of broken up goals that allow you to better measure and improve performance in real time.
Prime your mind for deep focus - put your phone in another room, close out anything that doesn't help you achieve the goals from above, and put yourself in solitude (whether by secluding yourself physically or by putting in headphones).
Make your task risky - you need to appeal to your brain's survival mechanism so it automatically elevates its alertness and converges its resources into resolving the possible threat while ignoring everything else. You can add your own risk by establishing clear, adverse consequences for poor performance. Just don't beat yourself up!
This may take a little practice, but once you find your sweet spot, entering the state of flow on demand will be the single most significant performance enhancer you could utilize.
So like I said, if you really want to work smarter, you need to shift your focus away from productivity hacks for a second and optimize the underlying mechanism implementing them - your brain.
Let’s start by defining what energy is at the core with something I learned from an incredible, life transformational program I attended this past January: ULTIMATUM. The seminar is led by the wizardly Donny Epstein, a man who Tony Robbins has accredited for having created some of the most powerful, revolutionary methodologies for personal transformation.
At the seminar, Donny said, “Energy is the context to all content.” What does that mean? It means that every single thought, feeling, action, concept, idea, creation, emotion, and decision we make is influenced by the amount of energy available to us.
Energy is the unit for all creation and life. We need physical energy so that our body can function properly. We need emotional energy for rapid changes in behavior. In fact, emotion is a code-word for energy in motion. We need mental energy to create and formulate higher order thoughts, concepts and a vision for our life. We need the energetic of Soul for the knowing and expression of our unique gifts, to connect with others at a core level and receive their gifts, to connect with our purpose and calling, and to experience the fabric of all creation.
Now that we have this basic understanding of what energy is, we can look how energized we are in three simple ways: energy poor, energy neutral and energy rich.
When we’re showing up as energy poor, we’re in break down mode. We can’t even sustain the level of life we’ve been living. We may be losing money, our health may be declining, our relationship or personal identity may be falling apart. And our sole focus is on survival.
Then there’s an upgrade to energy neutral where the focus is on maintaining status quo. There’s no profound progress nor changes…and if any, they’re just ones within our comfort zone as opposed to radical changes and progress where we must step out to instability for growth. Energy neutral is okay, comfortable, and good.
Then we zoom out to energy rich where abundance is our natural state of being. We see so many possibilities and opportunities everywhere. We are able to sustain a baseline and take the actions necessary to support radical growth and progress…creating a newer, higher level baseline. Life is amazing, outstanding, incredible, wonderful, a beautiful gift, a blessing, and epic at this state. Inspiration, victory, love, joy, passion, and excitement are all states of energy richness.
Inspired to show up with energy richness and unlock your super saiyan? Here’s 9 practical strategies to living a richly energized life.
1. Oxygenating your body
Our physical body needs oxygen. Without it, we can die within minutes. Unfortunately many of us don’t even know that we’re not receiving enough oxygen to sustain richly energized states of being. Sitting hunched over for 8 hours a day as we work on our computers supports a posture that makes it difficult to breathe deeply and nourish majority of our cells with oxygen.
Fortunately…I’ve got a spectacular solution for this: 1-4-2 breathing method daily. I first learned about this method through a Tony Robbins seminar and immediately noticed vibrancy throughout my body after a few minutes of using this breathing.
2. Drinking natural spring water
Think drinking tap water is ok? Think again. Tap water is flooded with arsenic, aluminum, fluoride, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs. In disbelief? Read this educational article by Dr. Mercola.
Just like most of us aren’t receiving a rich amount of oxygen, we’re also chronically dehydrated…and a lot of this has to do with the quality of water we’re drinking. Did you know that nearly 40% of the bottled water we think is spring water is actually tap water?
As for the water that may truly be natural spring water, there are chemicals leaking into the water from the plastic, especially when the bottle is heated through sun exposure and exposed to light (this includes florescent lights in grocery stores). Now, our bodies are about 60% water…and just like oxygen, water is an essential element needed for a richly energized life…let alone any life. My recommendation is to drink natural spring water. You can do what I do and order Mountain Valley Spring Water in glass packaging (glass because nothing leaks into the water). I’ve been using them for the past 7 months and have been very happy with the quality of their water and service. You can also have some fun with it and find a local natural spring. Just make sure to fill up in glass or another safe container!
3. Creating a results-focused plan
Knowing the results that are most important to us laser focuses our energy, time and attention to best creating that result. The issue is I, like many of us, was brought up in a “to-do list” culture. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a to-do list; what I am saying is going off to-do lists keeps us focused on the activity as opposed to the results…and that can limit us from seeing greater actions and resources to attain our results.
I think Tony Robbins has developed an outstanding strategy for this: the RPM plan; results-focused, purpose-driven, massive action plan. Clarity is power and hen we make a clear decision on the result we want, our reticular activating system supports us in subconsciously bringing our focus to everything that’s relevant to achieving our result.
When we know what we want, we can consciously use our WHY (the purpose) to call forth emotional fuel to breakthrough any obstacles. Viktor Frankl, the famous Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust surviving author of “Man’s Search For Meaning” has said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
The last part of RPM is MASSIVE ACTION! Now when we’re in full tilt do, do, do mode…we know that we’re taking the most strategic actions to best achieve our result, as opposed to just getting busy in the habit of doing things.
4. Belly laughing with great company
Have you ever laughed so hard that milk came out your nose? Or maybe you spat your drink out? Aren’t those the greatest laughs? Maybe not the pain or embarrassment that comes with it, but the deep belly laughs that generate the humor of that moment.
Laughter is medicine and it’s very contagious. If you want to experience how energizing it can be to laugh, next time you’re feeling sluggish start a laughing contest with a friend.
Even try this…begin with fake laughing as hard and loud as you can with a friend. Eventually, both of you can’t help but realize how silly and funny it is and you’ll both start to really build up the laughter. Sooner than you know it, you’ll be belly laughing and you’ll be fueled with energy as your body releases endorphins that uplifts your mood, increases bonding, stimulates your organs, and improves your immune system. Add belly laughter into your daily rituals and you’ll live a richly energized life.
5. Upgrading your nervous system
Our nervous system is the processing system and software for our life. It sends messages from our brain to every single cell, tissue, muscle, and organ in our body. It processes information from both our outside and inside world. It’s what gives us our perceptive abilities to differentiate what we feel, see, taste, hear, and smell.
When there’s disconnection in our nervous system, there’s a disconnection in our full expression of life. And today we live in a world where we have more information flying at us with greater speed and quantity than ever before. We feel more overwhelmed, anxious, stressed and fearful from the silliest things when our ancestors were focused on running away from man-eating tigers.
One of the best things we can do today for our health and life is to upgrade our nervous system. And one of the best ways I’ve discovered we can upgrade our nervous system is through the healing modalities created by the man I introduced initially, Donny Epstein. In fact, receiving Network Spinal Analysis care and using Somato Respiratory Integration exercises supported me in overcoming anxiety. I consistently use SRI daily and receive NSA care, and every time I do so…it feels like I’m getting an iOS update for my nervous system so I run smoother, better, more effectively and efficiently…and ultimately live a richly energized life.
6. Planting and gardening
Assuming you’ve got a healthy garden that’s free of GMOs and pesticides…the foods you grow and eat out of your garden are going to be significantly more nutrient-rich than the foods you’ll find at a grocery store. How? For one, you can trust the quality of the foods from your garden since you’re involved in the planting and growing process. You also can pick the food when it’s most ripe…unlike most major food vendors who pick off earlier so they’ll last longer in the grocery stores. Picking the food when it’s ripe ensures that it has peak nutritional content.
Gardening also adds a spiritual aspect in our relationship to food and nature. We facilitate and participate with a process of life, and in the consumption of our food…we feel the bond with our food.
Now you may be thinking you can’t garden because you don’t have an outdoor garden. Fortunately one of the easiest ways we can get involved with gardening happens in the comfort of inside our home…and that’s through growing sunflower seed sprouts. If you have patio space available you can bring pots to plant greens like kale, arugula, butter lettuce, and collard greens. You can also check the Internet for any community garden spaces.
Beyond the the nutritional and spiritual benefits of gardening, assuming we garden outside…we’re able to be exposed to more sunlight and gain more Vitamin D. an essential vitamin for a healthy, energized life that most of us are actually deficient in.
7. Group sports and exercise
To exercise alone is great, but to compete in group sports is powerful for expanding our boundaries of fitness. With competition, we are challenged to show up with more physical and mental energy…calling forth greater strategies, communication, team work and hustle from ourselves to win the game. There’s also a strong factor of accountability that makes it more fun and engaging as we play and train.
For me, I love to play soccer. If you’re interested in trying something new, I recommend participating in a Spartan Race. They’ve been growing famous for their epic obstacle courses, fun challenges, and the group camaraderie and teamwork built into a festival-like experience.
8. Having accountability partners for goals
Want to increase your chances of accomplishing your goals by over 25%? Get an accountability partner. According to a study done by Forbes magazine, people who shared their goals with others had over a 25% chance of achieving their goal as opposed to the group who didn’t share their life goals.
Having accountability partners has been one of the greatest success strategies people have used throughout time. I personally have multiple accountability partners I check in with on a daily basis. A key thing I’ve learned when choosing accountability partners is to pair up with someone who’s dedicated to living an epic life and who shares similar values as yourself. When you know who this person is and you’re both game for teaming up together…make a commitment to show up honestly and fully, as well as inspire and challenge each other to be greater consistently.
9. Expressing Gratitude
Gratitude is the best medicine. When we feel grateful, we feel rich. Sir John Templeton, one of the richest people in history, said that the secret to wealth is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
When we look at the science of how gratitude changes our biochemistry, Dr. Masaru Emoto studied how emotion affected the molecule structure of water. What’s most interesting is seeing the beautiful crystalline features of when water is blessed with love and gratitude. Consider the effects of what emotions does to water into a bigger perspective. Our bodies are made of over 60% water, and after seeing the images from Dr. Emoto…imagine how powerfully gratitude can change our body and life on a molecular level.
It’s been proven that emotions turn on and off certain gene expression. Now, add this with the knowledge from Dr. Emoto’s research and you can really see the wonderful benefits that feeling and expressing gratitude regularly can have on your life.
Gratitude is one of the most energizing emotions we have available in our range of emotions. One of the fastest ways we can feel gratitude is to use questions to direct our focus. For instance, what are all the things grateful for right now? Try the experiment on focusing, feeling, and expressing gratitude to yourself and others for 15 minutes every morning and evening. You’ll see just how quickly you’ll have a richly energized life.
Now that you have these 9 epic strategies for living a richly energized life, I want to invite you to a challenge:
Focus on at least one strategy a day for the next 9 days.
And do it with at least one person…so you’re incorporating accountability already!
- Turn on interior lights when you are away in the evenings. Make sure that your main entrances, porches and front walkways are well-lit. Criminals generally chose homes that are in dark or poorly lit areas; it is because there they can easily do their work without being noticed. Same rule apply for parking. Park your car in a well lit area and no one will ever dare to touch it.
- Also, criminals are less likely to attempt to break in if they think that people are around. That's why you should leave some lights or the TV on. If you're staying in a hotel room, try placing the "do not disturb" sign on door so it looks like you’re in there, even when you're not.
- Be aware of your surroundings while using ATM. If the machine is poorly lit, or is in a hidden area, use another location. And never count your cash while standing at the ATM.
- Always keep the grass and bushes trimmed that are right in front of your windows and doors. They can provide a shield or hiding place for criminals to work without being seen. Also trim the branches of trees that can be used as by the criminals to climb up to your second floor windows.
- If you can see your own vehicle in rear view mirror, then it means that they are positioned incorrectly. Mirrors should be positioned in such a way that no part of your car appears in them. This is necessary to cancel out the blind spots.
- If you're travelling with a companion, make sure each of you has some cash and a credit card on hand in case you're split up or one of you is robbed. If you're alone, keep a backup credit or debit card in a separate pouch from the one you'll be using most often.
- If you suspect that you are being followed while driving, take four consecutive left or right turns. If the vehicle is still behind you then it’s time to call the police. Don't panic and don't start speeding.
- Instead of speeding, slow down if you are at some crowded place. Slow people and vehicles are hard to tail, and risk the exposure of the operative, because they now have to stay near the target.
- Keep your car keys near your bed at night. In case an intruder break into your house, you can set off the car alarm. In most cases this should be enough to scare away the intruder.
- Don’t think that keeping your wallet in front pocket will make it safe from pickpockets. Experienced pickpockets can easily steel your purse, even from front pockets. Instead use money belts that can conceal under your clothing. And try to leave most of your cash at home or hotel.
- Be cautious of strangers starting up a conversation with you, asking for directions, or showing something to you. They are likely creating a diversion so they can pickpocket you.
- If you have to kick down the door during an emergency, don’t use your shoulder. Instead kick it near the keyhole or latch with your heal. Also keep in mind that you can never kick down a door which open towards you.
- When booking flights and hotels online, enable private browsing. This may sound strange, but travel sites often track your visits and will raise the price simply because you’ve visited before.
- Always scan your passport, driver's license, and personal identification and save it in your smartphone. This way, you'll always have it on hand worst even if the real documents get lost.
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