In reading Authentic Happiness (Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment) today, I came across a passage by Dr. Martin Seligman that articulated the feelings i have had in the past few months. It also applied to our endeavors in learning pickup.
Dr. Seligman starts out by examining why, in the midst of the wealthiest time period in humanity’s history, human beings are as depressed as ever:
The sheer speed of modern life and our extreme future-mindedness can sneak up on us and impoverish ou rpresent. Alsmot severy tehcnological advance in recent times – from the telephone to the internet, has been about doing more and doing it faster… So invasive is this “virtue” that in even the most innocuous of social conversations, we can catch ourselves not listening well, but instead planning a witty riposte.
Another reason why the free hug campaign is so successful around the world: because we all want to belong:
You know the feeling.
Friend calls you up to go out, there’s an event at a bar. Same scene, same girls. You wonder if you should muster up the courage and energy to go out, or decide to stay in and make some progress on that website you have been trying to launch in the past 6 months.
Scenario 2 – you have been doing well at work lately – new job and new promotion. 2% salary raise. Yeh. You decide to go out more this week with your friends. You get a few number closes, but none of them return or pick up when you text/call. You wonder where your game has gone wrong, and after a while decide “fuck it” and focus on some other area in your life. Maybe you’ll muster up the anger or motivation to call up a few PU friends and ask for their advice, but ultimately, the game dynamics go back to you.
You go back to focus on work, but you realize that you are working your ass off for your company and they are making all of the money. The constant ass kissing and power maneuvers at work get to you. You decide to start your own company on the side. You do some research and work, but really have no idea where to start. You write a business plan.
A friend’s birthday comes up – you decide to go. You hit it off with this girl, and decide your game isn’t so bad after all. You go out a few more times over the next 2 weeks – some nights are good, some night are not. A lot of effort is being put into this and the results of lays is not showing.
If the above 5 paragraphs sound remotely familiar, that is because I have experienced it first hand. I have been writing these “Business vs. Love” posts for…. 1 year now!
It took a some simple advice from one group member, a Stanford PhD student at our MasterAlliance meeting to wake up me, “R, maybe there are just excuses? I mean, when I didn’t want to work out, I was throwing out the exact same reasoning as you. These are just excuses that stand in your way. Maybe I am wrong, but think about it.”
He’s right. The truth is, if it came down to it, I would choose love over money. Because love transcends material things, even this life, money is only a tool we use to trade things of perceived value in this world. But achieving both often means going after something the right way. You want to pickup a girl? Focus and learn from each set’s mistake. Don’t over analyze your sets, and focus on your skill set. Film yourself if you have to to see your flaws.
Waiting for that business plan? It is not going to write itself. Stop watching porn and if you are going to blow off your friends, make a commitment to finish 20% of that plan by the time you go to sleep. These are things that are definite and require energy, but the fact is sometimes this pain of exerting energy is better than the pain of mind-numbing and time passing that comes from doing a lot of things that are 1. half assed and 2. not significant anyway.
“With Scarcity comes Clarity” – Sergey said recently in the economic downturn, and this is another sage advice that I am lucky enough to see working at Google.
Becoming financially secure with $50M is a feeling I have yet to experience. Today, one of my co-workers and friends who founded the original software around Google Earth is retiring. As I wished him good luck, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What are you going to do now?”
N replied, “I don’t know! I think I am going to start a VC firm”
Me, “Sounds fun, so I can come to you if I need funding for a startup right?”
N, “Haha, sure that would be an honor”
Strangely, I felt no jealously. I wished the best for him, and I wondered myself how I would feel and what I would do if I had $50M dollars. I suspect, if money was not a life issue right now, I would take a 6 month sabbatical and take residence with a Master PUA to perfect my game.