Monday, 8 September 2008

Thoughts from the Sick Bed

OK so I’m slowly getting better but not quick enough to be able to go out on the weekend (including my birthday!) which sucked. At least now I’m on to eating solids like chips, donuts, garlic bread and chocolate biscuits. Yum! But I thought I write a post about a few things that have been running around my head.

The worst thing about being ill is that it puts your life on hold. When you hear of other guys going out and having fun it frustrates you and makes you jealous. Which is like a bad thing and stuff. There are two things to take from that.

One is that it provides motivation to go out once everything is back to normal, and get to work on playing catch up. The other thing is the old concept of internal versus external validation.

When I was on holiday with Fargo it was funny because he is strongly focussed on external validation (or rather, competition), and I’m more internally validated (though not 100% of course). So we joked about that and teased each other about it. But there is an important point there. The external validation and competition is largely determined by factors that are out of your control. After all we all know that the difference between a good and bad night can depend a lot on external factors, such as how many girls are around, whether they’ve had a bad day or not, logistics and so on. There are also factors that you are responsible for but for whatever reason you can’t get them working for you on the day, like your state or your body language.

And then when you really think about it, there are always people that you can compare yourself to that are better than you in some way or another. Like X may be better at opening, Y is better at kiss closing and Z is better at day 2s or whatever. At the end of the day, if all this comparison is only making you frustrated, exasperated or insecure, it serves no purpose. And there are hundreds of reasons why other people may be better than you at something, learning from it is good but focussing on it won’t necessarily help with your own progress.

Also if you’re competing for the sake of your own ego, i.e. to prove to yourself that you’re justified in thinking that you’re better than everyone else, then you’re going to deliberately want to ignore any lessons you can learn from other people who are better than you, because you don’t believe that they actually are. If you get over your ego and see things as they are rather than as you think they should be, you find more information that can help you.

So the key here is balance. If you’re only focussed on external validation and competition you’re constantly fighting with events outside of yourself, though it can provide some motivation. But the key is to focus on yourself and your progress, irrespective of whether other people are developing or not.

The second point that has had me thinking is that “shit happens.” By this I mean that you have good days and you have bad days, and the key thing to remember is that bad days still happen to even the very best guys. If you go out on a bootcamp and see your instructor approach girls, they won’t have a 100% hit rate from every girl they talk to. No one does, it’s almost impossible, no matter how good their game.

The mistake I think some people make is to think that progress in this field is linear. Over a long period of time and from a good few feet back, it may look that way, but in reality it is not a gradual, smooth line upwards.

George Leonard’s book Mastery talks about the process of learning a new skill and how periods of progress are interspersed with plateaus. In terms of pick up and bottom line results each session that you go out, you’re going to see a graph like a stock market – ups and downs all over the place but with a gradual trend upwards.

What does this tell us? Don’t freak out over bad days. They happen. Such is life. Get over it, and get over your emotional reactions to it. Tomorrow is another day.

The last thing I wanted to mention is something that reinforces a point I made in my previous post from watching the Pick Up Artist. I’ve been watching some clips from Keys to the VIP on Youtube, in particular this clip, which I think is awesome. Look at the eye contact, and the body language, the touching and the frame that he has. Now to be fair the guy’s clearly good looking (and she’s clearly looking to get laid) but even so, a lot to learn here. I especially love the speech he does at about 1:38 “Somebody for once can make something happen and make something happen big!”

Anyway once again what this shows, is that pick up can happen very quickly. Five minute kiss closes are the norm amongst good players. This is my long term aim and goal.

Happy hunting.

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