A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Lao Tzu
With the end of a decade of life marks the beginning of a new dawn and the opportunity to reflect back over the course of my twenties and seeing how far I've actually come; The goals i've achieved, the things I've regret doing, the things I should have done but didn't due to fear. And yet being completely honest with myself, my twenties have ended not really expecting or having any idea that I would be where I am today.
Now that this decade for me is over, it's now time to look at my life with a magnifying glass and to really ask myself some important questions that will literally help put the next 10 years of my life in the right direction.
- How do I see myself in the next 10 years?
- What skills will I have acquired?
- What does happiness really mean to me in the year 2024?
For the longest time, i've always had the vision to be a great conversationalist and to be someone who has an 'attractive personality'.
I know this seems pretty vague because If I was to ask my close friends and family about whether I have a pleasing personality, they would all say that 'yes' I have a great personality or probably barrage me with teasing insults.
Why this goal specifically?
When I think of a great conversationalist, I think of someone who can effectively enter a room knowing absolutely no one and is quickly able to warm the place up with his presence and charm. He's great with people, has an awesome love life and can connect with just about anyone.
Looking at that above description, it's pretty easy to pass it off as simply a personality trait, that you either have or you don't.
To me, it's a complete cop out and probably the biggest excuse that stops most people from achieving what they want to achieve in their lives.
It was what stopped me for the majority of my twenties, until I realised that pretty much everything you experience in life can be learned.
The difference between one person's ability to communicate well and another person who doesn't is simply due to their past reference experiences.
I know for a fact that I am the way I am today as a result of my past. For the people who grew up with me during school and college days, they would all know the facts that I was simply not able to fit in due to being treated in a way to make me believe that I wasn't like the popular people who seemed to have what I wanted.
These beliefs make you grow up with limiting beliefs that slowly erode into your personality that make you into the person you eventually become.
So part of my argument about personality and skill is that you are a result of your social surroundings, the people you mix up with and the things you directly experience in your life growing up.
A radical change is required
I know that at this point, If i'm to completely change and improve this specific area of my life. I will have to go through a series of relentless trials and hardships in order to unlearn bad habits and to acquire new ones - This will not be an easy task.
Where I stand right now is simple based on the 10 years of observing and realising my flaws:
- My communication skills are great but not extraordinary.
- My ability to network is good but not proficient.
- My dating life is normal but not exceptional.
I am probably being a bit harsh with myself by listing those things, but I have to be honest with myself and accept that if i'm to ever grow and reach the next level, i'm going to have to push further than most of us are normally willing to go to.
And this is how I'm doing it...
180-Day Cold Approach Challenge
Thats right, for the next 180 Days (6 months) I will be literally going out there and starting conversations with complete strangers and through trial and error, learn how to form meaningful connections with people.
I've set myself this challenge because it's the best way to literally drag myself out of my comfort zone.
It will also give me direct feedback as to how I will directly be received, which is honest and completely genuine.
It's really easy to get a false sense of who you really are when surrounded by people who already know you. But it's generally the people that don't know you who give the most honest feedback.
I compare strangers to harsh primary school teachers who would make you write lines when you fail to do something as simple as not being able to recite your multiplication tables.
Your friends and family on the other hand are like your army colleagues who would be with you thick and thin, even though you screw up from time to time but gets brushed aside.
There is a twist to what I will be doing and that is:
I will only strike up conversations with 'members of the opposite sex'.
The reason being is because learning how to be attractive as a man is directly determined by the responses women give you, which in turn gives you a guideline to follow.
Their direct feedback will literally be an indicator of where I currently am and provide me with harsh lessons on what I did wrong and what can be done to improve it for next time.
The fact is, your best judge of your attractiveness will always be from members of the opposite sex. Because they will all have guidelines and basic criteria that you simply will not know exists if you don't communicate with them in the first place.
I know this sounds like a complete contradiction from a previous article about not caring what people think about you.
However, there's a big difference between using other people's judgments to dictate your self-worth and using their feedback to constructively grow and improve.
Over time as my skills improve, I hope to see other aspects of my life improve as a byproduct of going out there daily and taking action.
Where I'm at right now
Having already started my challenge and going out every day, I've already begun to notice patterns in the responses i'm getting and the things I need to improve, which is awesome.
My first ever approach of the year was on the 3rd January 2014 where I decided to approach 2 blonde girls who turned out to be Norwegian and here for a few days to visit.
It's a great example of how you can strike up a conversation with someone if you're struggling of things to say:
I noticed some important things from that interaction:
A person's non verbal communication is usually what speaks the truth and not what they actually say.
This was key, since neither of them were that invested in what I had to say despite them being kind and polite. I instantly noticed a small spark in interest the minute I began talking about their country, which encouraged them to speak even further.
Overall though, the interaction seemed pretty bland with no sense of direction. My lame attempt at trying to extend the interaction from a simple opener to ask for directions didn't seem natural. But still a great learning experience overall.
I literally did 7 approaches, which was a great kick up the ass and came out of it feeling great that I did what I set out to do.
As of this moment, I've done about 40 different approaches and have interacted with dozen's of girls. A huge epiphany I made over the course of the week is this:
You have to be confident and have conviction with what you're doing.
This was cemented when I did my first ever approach on a girl who was literally stampeding down the shopping district at speed. I directly run past her, stop her from the front and give her a direct compliment made famous by the guys over at daygame.com and shamelessly borrowed:
The approach gave me a massive contrast to the types of approaches I did on my first day with the one I did here. The women were more receptive and interested in hearing what I had to say. I was dominant, masculine and had conviction with my delivery.
My instructor gave me a great analogy a few years back when I was learning about the art of approaching and talking to people and his statement was this:
[quote style="boxed"]People are like mirrors. In order for people to react to you in a positive and happy way, you will have to feel positive and happy with yourself first.[/quote]
I have recorded about a dozen videos now, all with various results.
Rejections have happened and have had women literally walk away from me lol I've had to embrace the fact that it is simply inevitable and bound to happen. Because not every girl will like me or take what I have to say seriously. It's essentially part of the game and needs to be taken with a positive attitude. Here's one example:
Overall, it was an interesting first week and is probably the best thing I have ever set out to do. Most of all, this blog is forcing me to follow through knowing that I have to now deliver to my readers and to have them see my progress as it's happening. A great way to enforce accountability and consistency!
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what January will bring overall, but it's definitely been a great start to the year!