“If a warrior does not fight, he does not breathe.” – Klingon proverb
This is a guide on how to be a man: lessons from the Klingon’s. The Klingon’s are some of the toughest warriors in the galaxy. They have qualities that many men desire such as bravery, honor, and a warrior spirit.
I’ve always been fascinated by stand-up comedians. There’s so many skills which require years of dedication to perfect, such as timing, delivery, body language, and the jokes themselves.
Doing stand up doesn’t have to be just for comedians though, it’s a great personal challenge for self improvement.
Here’s one reason why: The most impressive aspect of a stand-up comedians is not their technical prowess, it’s their resilience against criticism and haters. The ability to handle negative feedback applies to anyone who wants to be stronger in life. Read More→
How to overcome shyness & social anxiety to get social confidence.
Shyness and social anxiety can ruin a persons self esteem and social freedom.
“She’s so awkward! Everything she says is stupid. And look at what she’s wearing – ugh. Such white trash; why does she even bother? She should just go away already.” I heard this in my head every time I ventured into public. It echoed endlessly until I wished I could disappear. I huddled in the corner, afraid to speak to anyone and trying to be invisible.” – Kittie Eubank
For many guys, shyness prevents any chance of getting into a quality relationship. It’s hard to talk to women when our palms start to sweat even thinking about it.
It’s not just relationships:
Being shy can ruin our chances of making new friends, being comfortable at social events, and even getting a raise or promotion. When we’re shy in the workplace, it’s easy to get passed up for more outgoing personalities.
(Overcome shyness, build confidence, and improve all of your relationships. Click here for info.)
But what exactly is shyness?
What is shyness?
The American Psychological Association defines it as:
“The tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people. Severely shy people may have physical symptoms like blushing, sweating, a pounding heart or upset stomach; negative feelings about themselves; worries about how others view them; and a tendency to withdraw from social interactions.” – APA
It’s normal to be shy in some situations, especially if we’re not familiar. It’s only a problem when it starts to interfere with life, and alters the choices we make.
Not accepting an invite to a party, avoiding networking which could improve our careers, or not asking out a girl we like are all areas where shyness can lower the quality of life.
How do I overcome shyness?
Just like any area of self improvement, overcoming shyness and social anxiety, also called “social phobia”, is about what we do. Thinking it away doesn’t work.
Mindset is crucial, but we should always focus on which actions we should take to overcome shyness.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strength. When you overcome hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Although it may be awkward, going to more social events, not less, is the key. Social confidence comes from directly challenging your fears and doing the things that cause anxiety.
Take baby steps though, too much too soon can be a path to failure.
How can I succeed socially?
It’s going to require a lot of effort. With dedication, there isn’t any limit to how far you can go.
Read the 57 shyness tips below, or skip to the Q&A with the clickable table contents. You’ll find useful links which provide more details on different tips and techniques to overcome shyness. You’ll also find videos to help you succeed socially.
Having a coach in your corner can allow you to do the things you’d never do on your own. Its an extra push, accountability and support to get through tough challenges. When dealing with shyness, coaching can be the edge that get’s you past your sticking points.
2. Join a performing arts class
“I joined theater in 10th grade and was forced out of my own comfort zone.” – Lukas Schwekendiek
Being part of a performing arts class can put the pressure on, in a good way. In a supportive environment, you’ll learn how to perform in front of other people. You’ll also learn how to change your emotions for a better performance. If you can change your emotions, you can reduce shyness and be more social.
3. Teach what you’re good at
When we do something we have experience in it’s easier to feel confident. Pick a skill that you’re confident in then offer to teach some of your friends or family. You can even put an ad in Craigslist or any online classifieds site.
Showing other people a new skill will take your focus off of yourself, and put it on your students.
4. Narrow your focus to specific skills
Challenge yourself to learn specific social situations. One month you may try dance lessons, another could be business networking, and another month you may try speed dating. By splitting up each scenario you’ll avoid becoming overwhelmed trying to overcome shyness everywhere. You’ll also be able to focus on the specific skills involved in each scenario.
5. Don’t be late
Being late is not only a bad habit, but one that will increase social anxiety. When we’re late, it makes us more self conscious. Who wants to show up at a class only to have everyone look when we walk in and interrupt? Or what about a date? When we show up late we’re just adding one more thing (in our minds) for the other person to judge us by. Eliminate some anxiety and self consciousness by making a habit of being on time.
6. Give yourself praise
Pause at the end of the day to praise yourself for the good things you’ve done. It can be a small thing, like showing up on time or having complimented someone. By giving yourself praise you’ll send some ‘positive energy’ your own way.
“I realized that I am beautiful and always have been; I was just too blind to see it.
My heart opened to the truth that I have intrinsic value as a human being, and I bring something to the world that not a single other person can offer. It’s not about what I’m wearing or how much I weigh or what anyone else thinks about me. I am enough. Just as I am, right in this instant.” – Kittie Eubank
What do you think? Skip to the bottom to comment!
7. Never put yourself down
Calling yourself names will never make anything better. Avoid all self-slander and demotivating self talk. Use constructive criticism instead when a self analysis is necessary.
8. Use positive self talk
Talk yourself up when you need a boost. Sometimes we just need a little more time to get through a situation. By using positive self talk your’ll be able to stretch your limits and perform better. Also use “you” instead of “I”. Some studies show that saying “You can do it” is more effective than saying “I can do it”.
9. Exposure therapy
“Exposure therapy is a technique in behavior therapy used to treat anxiety disorders. It involves the exposure of the patient to the feared object or context without any danger, in order to overcome their anxiety and/or distress.” – Wikipedia
By exposing ourselves in small increments (baby steps) to the things we fear, we lose our fear. Sometimes social anxiety will never go away completely but getting it to manageable levels can change our lives.
Don’t worry about going to a therapist to get exposure therapy, you can do it yourself. Go every day into a social situation where you feel shy, chat a little, and then move on. By doing this daily the shyness will slowly decrease.
If you have extreme shyness you might consider a professional therapist too. Confidence coaching can also be effective.
10. Don’t hang out with shy people
It’s comfortable to be around people who are similar to us. The problem is when we’re trying to overcome shyness we don’t get positive examples to change our behavior. It’s too easy to stay the same when our closest influences hold us back.
Find more outgoing people to make friends with. You can find them at social events or on recreational sports teams.
Have you had positive or negative experience with the influence of friends or family? Skip to the bottom to comment.
11. Don’t label yourself as shy
One of the worst traps is negative self labeling. It’s ok to acknowledge certain conditions or a lack of skills in any area. That’s being honest and avoiding self delusion. It allows us to figure out what we need to work on too.
What doesn’t help is integrating shyness into our personal identity. Once we’ve established that ‘it’ IS US it’s no longer a matter of working on a skill. It becomes changing our very identity, which is much harder.
Don’t become your shyness. Identify it for what it is. A set of habits, lack of skills, or an unconscious reaction to social situations. Whatever it is, don’t let it become you.
If you’re already identifying personally with it begin to detach. Catch yourself in the act of labeling yourself as shy, and gently correct it. You can use self talk such as, “I’m working on becoming more confident.” Focus on the positive traits you’re developing.
12. Express your feelings to a journal or someone you trust
Keeping all of our feelings to ourselves doesn’t allow us to vent. It’s important to relieve the stress that shyness can cause. Especially when you’re working on improving your social skills.
Write down your experiences and feelings in a journal. If you trust someone, expressing your thoughts to them can have the same effect.
13. Go slowly
It’s impossible to change overnight. Sometimes change can be gruelingly slow. Expect your confidence to increase incrementally as you expose yourself to more social situations. If you’re moderately shy it will be faster than if you have severe shyness. Set realistic expectations to work on yourself over the course of months, even years.
As you get better you can add more difficult social challenges to overcome shyness.
14. Get out of your comfort zone
Instead of hiding from awkwardness seek it. If something makes you uncomfortable it’s a good sign that you should work on it. Get out of your shell be embracing discomfort.
15. Have a supportive group
Tell your family, friends or spouse that you’re working on your shyness. This will give you some accountability. It will also allow for others to support you so that you’re not doing it alone. Having a supportive group will increase your odds of success.
“I spent years in a poor relationship because I feared rejection. As I achieved some success in my career, I came to understand that people in general respected me and found my contributions worthwhile. Eventually, I came to the realization that this acceptance might extend to romantic partners.”
Can you relate to Jim? Scroll to bottom to comment.
16. Stop thinking about what others think about you, nobody cares
Instead, focus on what you think of them. Other people are just as insecure even if they may not show it. When we put our attention on other people and decide what we think of them, we can take the pressure off ourselves.
That doesn’t mean to be judgmental, just be aware that everyone else is as human as you. They’re also insecure, nervous, shy, and worried about judgment. They’re much too worried about what you think to care about judging you.
“For me, that is the crux of no longer being shy – taking the focus off what others think of me and placing it on being my best self and surrounding myself with others who make me want to be a better person.” Kittie-Eubank
17. Call your friend across the street (loudly)
When standing on a street corner, call out loudly to your friends on the other side. This will temporarily force you to deal with a few eyes pointing in your direction.
18. Write down your shyness goals
Knowing what you want to do about your shyness is an important first step. We all don’t have to be as confident as James Bond. Maybe you just want to feel comfortable in a small group? For other people it might be about overcoming stage fright, and yet others might want to be able to cold approach women.
Knowing what your goals are will help you narrow your focus. You’ll be able to tackle specific situations instead of worrying about all of them.
Once you know, write them down. By writing them down, we take them out of the idea category and make it a real thing.
19. Learn to love yourself
When we don’t love ourselves how can we believe that anyone else will? Learn to love yourself by taking time out of the day to reflect and pamper yourself. Focus on your good attributes. Take care of your health by eating well and sleeping well. All of these little things show self care and appreciation.
20. Take care of your fitness
A lot of insecurities come from bad self image. Many of us are more likely to be self conscious if we’re worried about our big gut, or about how skinny we are.
Most of my life I was a skinny guy. It was a major point of insecurity. When I got older I learned how to workout more effectively, and added a lot of size. I never became ‘jacked’ or muscular, but being stronger and fitter eliminated my body insecurity.
Have you ever dealt with body insecurity? Scroll down to comment.
21. Eat well
A bad diet is a sure fire way to increase anxiety and stress. If we’re more anxious then our shyness is also going to be worse. Eliminate high sugar junk food to avoid agitating social anxiety.
22. Sleep well
Bad sleep lowers intelligence, increases stress, and can cause anxiety too. We can minimize the social anxiety we feel by getting better sleep.
23. Stay away from negative news media
Pumping our minds full of media junk is a sure way to increase a general feeling of ‘unease’. When we’re trying to work on our confidence, anything that causes a bad outlook on life has to go! Every little thing counts, so don’t consume the daily bad news that the media uses to get clicks.
24. Consume positive news media
Just as consuming negative news can cause a negative outlook, consuming positive media will do the opposite. Watch inspirational videos, read uplifting stories, and get your daily dose of personal development. That slight edge from taking in the good stuff could be the difference between getting into a conversation with a stranger, or keeping to ourselves.
25. Use breathing exercises
Some social stress can be calmed down by taking control of our breathing. When you feel nervousness coming on, focus on your breathing. It will become shallow when social anxiety is overwhelming us. Take deep breathes to eliminate the tension.
26. Change your body language
Our body language is a sort of insecurity feedback loop. When we feel socially anxious, our body language looks insecure. When we adopt that negative body language, we feel more insecure. Body language can also be habitual, which means you’re probably repeating shy postures unconsciously.
We can’t always change our feelings with a single thought. Instead, interrupt the negative cycle by controlling your posture.
Stand up straight, lift your chin up slightly, hands out of your pockets, and unpin elbows from your ribs. by being bigger and taking space it will create feelings of confidence. Do this regularly and it will get easier to make yourself feel confident. At least, more confident.
27. Practice power poses
Amy Cuddy explains power poses in her 2012 TED Talk. Power poses, just like positive body language, will instantly change the way you feel. Use these before going into a situation where you feel shy.
28. Practice gratitude
Feeling grateful for what we already have has a calming effect. It allows us to focus on the good things. Focusing on what’s already good is a great long term strategy to use while working on what could be better.
Sometimes I still wake up experiencing anxiety. This will usually happen during extra stressful times, especially if I neglect myself. Gratitude always helps me to regain control and start on the right foot. First, I’ll focus on my breath. Then, I’ll put my attention on the things I’m already happy about. This simple strategy has saved many of my days from going down the drain.
You can also try Marie Forleo’s suggestion and start a gratitude journal.
29. Learn a martial art or boxing
Learning a martial art means getting into a group scenario. Being in direct contact with many different personalities allows us to develop social skills. It also is a great place to make lasting friendships because training with others creates deep bonds.
“At its core, martial arts teaches us the importance of socializing with others and it increases our social circles tenfold.”
Not only is it a good time to work on shyness with classmates, but martial arts will also increase your discipline and fitness levels.
Another reason that martial arts training will increase confidence is because it creates a secure sense of self. When you know you can handle yourself if things go wrong, you’ll naturally hold yourself more confidently. Other people will notice how you hold yourself and respect your space.
“Imagine being able to walk down a dark alley without fear, or being a woman that has the ability to take control over any situation. Any martial artist will tell you that the confidence they feel knowing that they are able to defend themselves in any compromising situation is incomparable. The self-defense skills you learn in class – from sparring to the techniques, prepare you for real-life situations.” – Evolve MMA
30. Learn to sing
“The first time I went on, I got booed off stage as I could not remember the words or chords to the song I could play in my sleep! I felt like crap but it got better and so did my shyness. The instincts that pushed me to overcome stage-fright pushed me to become calm in many of the social and business settings I would placed in the future.” – Sae Min Ahn
Singing usually means having an audience. This forces us to deal with insecure thoughts about being judged. Being a bad or good singer. Or even the weird shirt we wore that evening.
The good thing about singing lessons is that you’ll learn with an instructor, and with other beginners. This will take away some self consciousness and allow you to grow.
“As someone who experienced low self-esteem for a long time, singing has, personally, made a huge difference to my life.” – Fay Agathangelou
It helps with breathing, relaxation and slowing your heart rate.
It helps to relieve stress and muscle tension.
It helps with focus and concentration.
It helps with mindfulness and being in the present moment.
It can be meditative.
It’s challenging and rewarding.
It gives you meaning and purpose.
It takes you out of your comfort zone and it’s empowering.
It gives you a sense of achievement.
It’s a way of expressing yourself and your emotions.
It’s a way of meeting new people, especially when you join a group.
31. Decide to overcome shyness
Don’t “try” and don’t “give it a shot”. The way you describe your goal will affect your outcome. If you’re just trying you don’t really have any skin in the game. Make a commitment and decide to beat shyness.
32. Stop saying “can’t”
Telling ourselves how we “can’t” do anything becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
Positive self talk can get us through the most difficult challenges. The opposite is true for negative self talk. Telling yourself that you ‘can’t’ will demotivate you and lead to quitting.
How do you know for a fact that you really and truly cannot do something? Have you given it your best, failed, fell, flunked and then attempted at least two more times? Have you pushed yourself outside that awful comfort zone that keeps you trapped to know your true boundaries? Have you explored every which way possible? – Farnoosh Brock
Replace every statement of “cannot” with the statement of “choose not”.
I can’t travel => I choose not to travel.
I can’t do yoga => I choose not to do yoga.
I can’t stand up for myself => I choose not to stand up for myself.
33. Do a video vlog
It may seem strange, but when I started vlogging I was really uncomfortable. You’d think it would be easy, but staring into the camera made my mind go blank. Worse yet, posting my videos online brought up all sorts of negative thoughts. I felt like I’d be plagued by trolls and negative comments.
What happened? Nothing. Most comments turned out to be positive. Eventually posting online was no biggie.
Start by filming videos which you keep to yourself. Most of the videos I filmed years ago never made it online, and I’ve since deleted some which did because my new videos are better.
When you feel more confident, start posting on YouTube. This will further stretch your comfort zone.
34. Write a public blog
Writing a public blog scared me at first. I was exposing my opinion to random strangers online. This caused more than a little anxiety. Just as with vlogging, nothing bad happened when I started posting online. Eventually I started writing on some publications which have major traffic. That was another anxiety hurdle and another success.
Pick a topic you’re really passionate about. If there’s nothing you want to write about, try a public journal.
35. Speak to a stranger a day
Get out every day with the goal of speaking to at least one stranger. It can be in a coffee shop line up, a table next to you at a restaurant, or even with the girl you ordered your drink from. Start a conversation by making a simple observation. It could be the crazy heat, some jewelry they’re wearing, or a comment on the book she has.
Speaking to strangers allows us to get outside of our own heads. It helps us to connect with others, and is a great way to overcome shyness.
“It seems like a very small thing if I talk to a stranger, and learn something about them… but it stacks up, it’s incremental.” – Kio Stark
36. Approach women (or men)
Approaching women is a surefire way to stir up some adrenaline. It’s also a great way to grow a thicker skin by learning to deal with rejection. The fear of rejection is a big part of shyness. Bringing it out into the open is essential for personal growth.
Not only will you learn how to overcome shyness, you can get some dates too. For many, it can be too much to handle on their own. If that’s you, then you might consider dating coaching.
P.S. this is an old interview I did with Derek Cajun (Love Systems) on overcoming approach anxiety.
37. Observe other people
What do other people do in social situations? It’s easier to figure absorb social skills when we observe others in the same situations we want to be in. Pay attention to how people use their voices, their body language, eye contact, and their reactions to certain behaviors.
38. Good mornings
Every morning on you’re way to work, say “good morning” to the people who pass. Simple, right? Many shy people will find this simple act to be uncomfortable. A lot people who don’t consider themselves to by shy also find it uncomfortable because they’re not used to it. That makes them feel “weird”.
Make this part of your daily routine for social confidence. When you start getting used to it, you’ll know that you’ve already become a more social person.
39. Eye contact and a smile game
Here’s how you do it:
Walk down the street and meet each persons eyes with your own. If they look at you, smile. If they look away, just keep walking.
Avoid aggressively staring by keeping your facial expression inquisitive, like you’re curious about the people you see. If you attempt eye contact and they don’t reciprocate, don’t worry about it. Look away after a couple of seconds to avoid overdoing it.
40. Don’t be a perfectionist
Some of my students get deterred when they look at me talk to women. They realize they’ll probably never be as good as I am. It’s true, I’ve been doing this for 10 years and have devoted a ridiculous amount of time to meeting women and dating.
But here’s the thing: why would anyone have to be as good as a pro to get great results? Can you not enjoy a game of soccer without playing like David Beckham?
“Aiming for perfection is the ultimate confidence killer, because if you aim for perfection, you’ll always fall short.” – Derek Halpern
Aim to improve your own personal social skills and confidence. Not to become perfect. Doing that will only cause frustration and end up in quitting.
Perfectionism is also a path to procrastination:
“Perfectionist tends to conjure up an immaculate vision of how things should be. So when it’s time to get to work, they become extremely detail oriented, start to obsess about every single thing, get weighed down by every problem, and get caught up by the need to create everything perfectly. Over time, the “pain” of such intricate attention becomes too painful, and this subsequently leads to procrastination — putting off a task to get some relief, but is in actual fact pushing away the pain that they create with each task.” – Personal Excellence
41. Dress better
Dressing better will make you feel good about yourself. It’s hard not to be self conscious when we hate the way we look. Look up some ideas in fashion catalogs, or ask an attractive girl for her opinion at a retail store. It will bring out some shyness but is a good way to start a conversation.
“You have to remember that you’re a man, and being extravagant isn’t necessary. You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to look great.”
Another name for this is ‘peacocking’. This is a great idea by Derek Halpern to get other people to start conversations with you.
Wear a shirt that says something weird or interesting. You could also wear a hot with a slogan on it. Whatever it is, make sure it stands out. When you go into public people will be compelled to start chatting with you. You can check out more on this idea here.
A lot of shyness comes from being unfamiliar with social situations. Learn how to visualize yourself in different scenarios, talking to people. This will give you more confidence to speak since you’ve already ‘been there’ in your mind.
44. Focus on them, not you
Focus on the person in front of you to reduce your social anxiety. A lot of shyness comes down to being self absorbed and only thinking about ourselves. Show interest in the person in front of you; what does she do? Why does she do it?
45. Listen instead of thinking what to say next
Don’t wait for your opportunity to speak. Far too many people don’t actively listen, they just nod their heads while waiting for a chance to jump in. Instead, be a good listener.
Repeat back to her, in your own words, what she just told you. Then, add an opinion to it and dig deeper by asking another question. I call this the snowball technique, and it’s great for creating deep conversations and making connections.
It can feel awkward to compliment people when we’re not used to it. Sincere compliments are a great way to charm those around us and make connections. It’s also a good chance for you to practice getting out of your shell.
To make a sincere compliment, look at her and pick a quality like her sense of style, jewelry, hairstyle, or whatever else stand out to you. Keep the compliment low key and don’t repeat it more than once. Just be causal like, “That’s a nice tie. Where did you get it?” or “You have nicely done nails. Good summer colours.”
48. Smile at people
Smiles not only make others happy, but they also make the smilerhappy too. When we smile it tells others we’re friendly and open to being approached. Smile at a stranger every time you go out to spread the good vibe to yourself and others.
Meditation has a calming effect and helps us to sharpen our focus. Doing this on a daily basis will relieve anxiety that agitates shyness.
“Anxiety is a cognitive state connected to an inability to regulate your emotional responses to perceived threats. Mindfulness meditation strengthens a person’s cognitive ability to regulate emotions.”
50. Practice scenarios
Before going to a social even, rehearse what you’ll say to open conversations. What will you say and do when someone approaches you? How will you respond? How will you approach other people? Although scripting an entire conversation isn’t possible or desirable, practicing the opening and exit for a conversation will give you more confidence.
51. Don’t “socialize” online
It’s too easy to fool ourselves thinking that by chatting online we’re socializing. In reality, online friends are mostly a distraction and can deprive us of real human interactions. When we don’t have face to face chats shyness will get stronger.
“Social support can be a strong predictor of positive mental health. Emotional support has been shown to protect us from a wide array of both psychiatric and physical ailments. But unlike online friendships, real-life relationships take time and effort. They help us learn about others and ultimately ourselves.” – Shelly Bonanno, Pychcentral.com
What do you think about the effect of social media on our ability to socialize? Scroll down to comment.
All of these social exercises are going to make you uncomfortable, tense, and use a lot of energy. Whenever we try something new it takes extra effort. Especially when dealing with shyness. Not giving yourself a chance to recharge is a sure fire way to burn out and quit. Leave the city and recharge in nature. You’ll improve your concentration, short term memory and relieve stress.
53. Reward yourself
It’s important to reward ourselves while waiting for our new social skills and confidence to develop. Add some extra incentive for talking to random strangers by adding a treat for taking an action. Whether it’s approaching an attractive woman, starting a conversation at a cafe or going to a social event, give yourself a reward for following through. This is a great way to build a new habit too.
54. Speed dating
Maybe you’re not ready to approach an attractive stranger. If that’s so, speed dating will get you in front of some potential dates fast. It’s a good chance to practice body language, eye contact, and conversational skills. Experiment with different openers so you don’t say the same thing to your dates as every other guy in the room.
55. Meetup.com groups
Meetup.com has a ton of different social groups for almost any niche possible. Going to an established group will allow you to have conversations with new people in a controlled environment. Everyone there will be there for the same reasons as you; to meet new people and have fun. In your case, you’ll be able to sharpen your conversational skills and acclimate yourself to being in a group.
56. Join a beer league
The potential for fun while drinking and playing baseball probably doesn’t have to be explained. One extra benefit is that everyone will be focused on the game and drinking, which will give you breaks to recharge in between conversations.
You’ll probably get introduced by the organizer, so that will take pressure off of having to do it yourself. After that, grab a beer and enjoy the game.
57. Learn conversation skills
In most cases, shyness means having a deficit in social skills which create confidence. Learn conversation skills by observing conversations and going to social events to practice. Public speaking is another way to develop conversation skills. Most of the qualities of a good public speaker apply to conversations, except to be a great conversationalist you’ll want to focus on listening more.
“Be present. Be in that moment. Don’t think about your argument you had with your boss. Don’t think about what you’re going to have for dinner. If you want to get out of the conversation, get out of the conversation but don’t be half in it and half out of it.” – Celeste Headlee
It’s easy to be shy around someone we’re attracted to. When we see them, our heart starts beating, body temperature increases and our palms start sweating. Who wants to talk to their crush after turning into such a mess?
The key here is to gain control of your physical reaction. The sweaty palms, racing heart and high temperature can all be calmed.
First, read the entirety of this post for personal development tips to reduce your overall shyness and improved confidence.
Now, to gain control of your nervous physical reaction, follow the steps below:
Breath: The first thing to do is take deep, controlled breaths. When we’re nervous, our breathing will become shallow. This will aggravate our anxiety and allow it to spiral out of control. When you take deep breathes, it has a calming effect on the nervous system and allows for clear thinking and stress relief.
Posture: Shyness almost always involves bad posture. Most people will put their hands in their pockets, cross their arms, and pin their elbows to their ribs when nervous. To combat these feelings, pay attention to your body language. Are your muscles tightening up? Consciously relax them. Hunched forward? Then stand tall. Arms pinned to your ribs? Relax them and let them expand away from your body.
Focus: What are you thinking about when you see your crush? Chances are that the main focus is on yourself. Insecurity tends to make people hyper sensitive to their own shortcomings, whether real or imagined. Change your focus to your breath, something in your environment, or a conversation. If you’re talking to your crush then focus on her words. Be curious and ask questions which go below the surface.
Here’s a list of books which may help you on your quest to overcome shyness and social anxiety. I don’t endorse these books as I have not read them, but there is a wide selection on Amazon with great reviews.
If you try one of these books, please comment below about your experience.
My experience with coaching has shown me that when guys get shy, their voices get quiet. As soon as a man goes and talks to a woman, and lowers the volume of his voice, the chances of anything happening are slim to none.
It’s a submissive gesture to lower our voices. When a man shows up and says, “Hey! I’m submissive and nervous!” it’s an automatic turn off for women.
They want an assertive, confident man who doesn’t apologize for what he wants.
Of course, this isn’t all about dating. So what about in other social situations? Whether you’re a ,man or a woman, being quiet because of shyness can feel suffocating. It’s a sort of attempt to hide and not draw any attention your way.
To overcome this tendency, practice raising your voice.
Chances are that your voice is much quieter than you even imagine. This will make it hard to gauge how much to turn up the volume, but any practice will make you less self conscious.
Here are some signs that you speak too quietly:
People always asking you to repeat yourself.
People tend to lean in to hear you.
Misunderstanding are frequent, which forces you to re explain.
Here’s how to improve your speaking volume:
Take a deep breath before speaking so that the ‘chamber’ is full.
It can be tough to deal with shyness at school with all of the different pressures we get exposed to.
Schools are small communities, so ‘word’ tends to get around, and reputations spread quickly. That makes social anxiety all the more difficult to deal with.
There are some things we can do to ease the nerves a bit.
Be on time: Being late for classes will increase our own stress by forcing us to rush. It will also bring extra attention when we walk through that door and the teacher has already begun the lesson. On a reverse note, dealing with that extra attention will diminish shyness, but being late isn’t the best way to do this.
Be active in your school: Don’t let shyness force you into obscurity. The more social situations are avoided, the more control shyness will take. Deal with it directly by getting involved with school or social activities.
Challenge yourself: Make a point of targeting specific social situations which make you feel awkward. Maybe it’s joining a group of friends who are already chatting, or doing a presentation in front of the class. Work on these one by one until you get more confident.
Just like school, work can cause extra anxiety for some shy people. Use the same steps mentioned above to overcome work related shyness. Another thing to do is to become really good at what you do. When we feel competent at our jobs it builds confidence.
Be the go to expert at your work and people will soon start coming to you for advice. This will provide more opportunities to socialize and build your confidence.
If that’s the case, it’s going to be hard to make progress. I used to be the same though. I hated being around people, and would always find reasons why “people suck”.
It turned out that was just my depression talking. When I changed my focus to the good qualities people possess, everything started to change. I started to like people, and this grew my desire to learn how to make connections.
How to like people:
Look at the good: Focus on the good qualities in everyone you meet
Don’t generalize: If someone is a jerk, don’t generalize, “All people are jerks.” Instead, recognize everyone is different.
Empathize: That ‘jerk’ may have just had a bad day, a break up, financial trouble or other issues. Recognize that he/she may not be displaying his whole character.
Improve your own character: Sometimes jerks are a reflection of what were projecting. When you show up with a scowl on your face, a bad attitude, or a demanding or impolite tone of voice, other people will react in kind. You can improve your character with step 4, or try doing things for others with no expectation of something in return.
Confront your social fears: Sometimes disliking other people is about our own fears of them. Expose yourself to social situations to and get into conversations.
“My experiences with shyness came down to fear of the unknown, as in “what is going to happen?” and fear of disapproval. The way to get past this is to have scenarios modeled and to understand one’s own value in the world. Modeling scenarios helps with that “what will happen?” question…” – Doug Dingus
Many of us go searching for a sort of personal development cornucopia; a source of information or ‘trick’ to make us into better people with better lives. We read books, go to lectures, seek out guru’s, and consume endless hours of self help videos.
Many of us will continue this pattern for years, going through tons of programs and content and in the end, we have nothing to show for it. We get a high from consuming personal development content. It’s almost like we think that just by consuming endless amounts of content or ‘motivation’ that our lives will magically transform.
I did, too. There were so many programs I found online, and so many books I read, but not a single thing changed until I decided to do the work.
That would seem obvious but the human mind is incredible at making excuses and rationalizing inaction.
There’s a certain amount of disillusionment a personal development junkie can expect by looking at the cold, hard facts. The material wealth which was never achieved, the relationships never bonded, and the elite fitness levels we fell short on are a few of the disappointments that will come to light when reality is looked at objectively. That may seem negative but it can be the wake up call we need to change our lives.
Of course, it could also be looked at as, “this doesn’t work” when they reality is that we didn’t do the work.
It’s not that personal development is bad, quite the contrary, but the way we achieve a new standard of life and become amazing people is not by guzzling enormous amounts of information. The way we become stronger men is by doing the work to achieve big goals which were out of our reach when we first decided to go after them. It takes real growth to persevere and make them happen.
“It’s almost like we think that just by consuming endless amounts of content or ‘motivation’ that our lives will magically transform.”
The goal itself is really a secondary achievement. When we test our steel and go through the pain of a metamorphosis, the growth we create inside of us is priceless.
The skills and bravery we develop will carry us to new levels of success which we couldn’t even have imagined before embarking on the journey. Just like climbing a mountain, you cannot see the next peak until you have climbed the lower level first. With each new level you conquer, your confidence, skills, and intelligence will increase accordingly.
The reason why personal development junkies never achieve a high level of success is because they’re focused on making themselves feel good, or motivated, rather than getting anything done. It’s far more comfortable to think about change and dream of better days than it is to work.
Self help junkies will fool their brains into thinking that they have achieved a goal because because of the temporary high from their idea or motivation.
The resulting endorphin rush is the same thing they would have gotten if they had achieved the goal, without all of the dirty work. The end result is a lack of action to turn their motivation into reality because they already got the reward chemically in the brain.
We’ll become bigger, better, and stronger if we do the dirty work and persevere through the tough times when trying to achieve our goals. If all we ever do is read about success and making ourselves into better people, we’ll never become better people. It’s time to wipe that stupid smile off of our faces every time we read something “life changing” and start actually changing our lives through work.
It’s the act of doing something significant which makes life worthwhile, and it’s that experience which will make us better, stronger people.
Keep going through the personal development content but stop imagining and start doing. The high you get from false personal development is killing the life you really want and the person you could be.
Do you know a personal development junkie? Hit like and share with other people who could benefit.
“If you don’t fix this, you will be a bitch for the rest of your life.” – Elliott Hulse
I interviewed Elliott Hulse on the Ultimate Men’s Podcast. Elliott goes deep into his history, starting from broke and eventually rising to become a huge success. Watch the video right here, or read the transcript below. Don’t forget to hit the like button right above.
Eddy: Give us a quick, in a nutshell briefing about what you came from to where you are, right now.
Elliott: [00:41] Mmm, uh, I was introduced to strength training pretty early. My uncle– That’s when I was a kid and when I was about four years old. He had me and my brothers doing push-ups and chin-ups and stuff in the basement of my house, living on Long Island.
[00:57] I grew up on Long Island. I played football through college, through high school and college. After graduation, I decided to study exercise science because I loved it so much and it supported me since the time I was four years old. So, I decided to become a coach. Upon graduating and going to graduate school, my wife–well, at the time, it was my girlfriend–
Elliott: [1:15] We decided to get married. We had our first daughter and moved down to south Florida where I, ultimately, decided to start my own business from scratch. So, I was training people in the parks, out the back of my van with used strength equipment and garbage that I would find. I made sandbags and tires and we used ropes I found in junkyards and whatnot. We called it “Strength Camp” and, from “Strength Camp”, we moved into a small warehouse where I started making YouTube videos to promote my gym, which, ultimately, exploded, and allowed me to move into a greater and, yet, greater business, which is our new “Strength Camp” location, which is 8,000 square feet. And, uh, I continue to publish online content and to improvise.
Eddy: One of your stories that I liked from the video when you were explaining your jobs thing was that you ran outa gas and you had to push your van into a gas station parking lot and ask them if you could leave it there overnight, ‘cuz you didn’t have any money to put gas in it. That’s–that’s where you were starting at, just to kinda give people an idea. You just weren’t like the popular guy way back then. You had to push your gas–‘er, push your van–like–
Elliott: [2:39] [LAUGHS]
Eddy: [cont.]… manually. That’s some strength training, right there!
Elliott: [2:44] Yeah, I was about ninety-thousand dollars in debt, the wife and I. And we had four children. So, yeah. I gave you the brief overview, but there were lots of bumps and bruises along the way, and challenges. But, at this point, I’m glad I can be an inspiration to others who wanna start their own businesses and, uh, have that independence that we all crave, have that freedom that we all crave. If I can do it–an ADD kid from [LAUGHS] Long Island, who had no business experience, then, I’m pretty sure anybody who has the right determination and courage can do it.
Eddy: Was there any–like, you seem very confident in the persona that you have. It’s probably something you developed over time, as well, with more and more successes. But, was there ever any point when you actually had a very strong doubt? Where you’re kinda like, “Maybe this won’t work! It might not work. Am I actually doing the right thing or going the right direction?”
Elliott: [3:24] Hmm… Well, doubt would be the wrong word to use. Even if what I was doing at this particular time wasn’t going to work, something would work and I wasn’t going to give up. So, as far as doubt is concerned, I had no doubts that something was going to happen, something was going to be great because I was going to keep going until something did.
[4:06] Anxiety? Well, that’s another story. I almost had a–I think I had–I did have an ulcer! I had an ulcer, I had insomnia. So, I think all the anxiety associated with looking at circumstances but being compelled by the potential future and success? That disconnect? I think we can all relate to it. We know where we want to go, we can see it; we can almost taste it–if you embody it and we look around it’s like, “I gotta–“
[4:34] Chris– one of my partners, Chris, and I were talking about it today. It’s like, “I get it. We have to get ourselves into the vibration of that which we have created already.” As Abraham Hicks would say. But, we often then revert back to looking at our bills, we look at our current circumstances. We look at what we don’t have right now, as we speak, and that disconnect? I suff–well, I won’t say suffered, but I can definitely tell ya there was a tremendous amount of anxiety associated with the path and resisting that.
Eddy: Would you say, one of the differences, maybe, between you and some other people who kind of–they fail, they don’t go after their goals is the fact you keep your focus really strong? Like, you just mentioned right now, people focusing on the bills and all these other things that are wrong, that you don’t have right now, would that probably be the crucial difference for making success of the man?
Elliott: [5:34] It might be… I mean, one of the things that we often do–I heard this analogy once by John Assaraf. (I’m quoting all the woo-woo masters out there today.) [LAUGHS] But John Assaraf spoke a lot about neuroscience, actually, and he used this analogy of us planting an acorn. You plant the acorn and you plant the seed, and you cover it, and you water it, and you wait.
[6:04] But, the problem is, most people? They lose courage and then they lose faith, and then, they dig up the seed to see if anything’s happening and cover it back up and hope that it’s going to grow. But, each time we dig it up or each time we doubt, or each time that we mess with the natural process, we further ourselves. It takes longer. We create more resistance.
[6:24] So, I think a matter of practice for me has been set[ting] an intention and, essentially, forget about it. I set an intention–or I get clarity about it, whereas, in the past, I would immediately get started with, “Whaduh I gotta do now?” An activity–what has allowed me to navigate the journey with much more ease–I have learned this over time–has been to set the intention, maintain the intention, but get working on what’s important now, rather than trying to take some big action or do some big thing to get there.
[7:19] You know? We say we’re gonna crush it or anything like that. “Crushing”, sometimes–“crushing is your own nervous system, rather, that actually prevents you from getting anything done–and I’m familiar with that!
Eddy: Okay, so this is a long-term focus, right? I know a lot of people–it seems like it’s easy to fall off track, right, sSince you have this long-term focus but, a lot of people, for their focus, are focusing only on what’s wrong or–“crushing” it. Like it has to be all or nothing. One big leap–or nothing, right?
Elliott: [7:40] Right. Of course! We want it now! Where can I get it? How can I get it now, whereas, wisdom has taught me patience, to say it’s on its way. All these things are on their way. I think–well… Who said, “If the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”? I can’t remember who I’m quoting. [NOTE: Actual quote: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill]
Eddy: Yes, I remember what it says. I think it maybe might’ve been in an article you wrote earlier. In it you’d said something that really resonated with me. I saw it quote a long time ago. You’d said, “Just be a machine.” Along the lines of what you are saying right now, too. You said, “Be a machine.” You just set an intention, you set it aside; you just keep doing the work. And, as a machine–like the machine’s not going to think how I feel today or if I feel like doing this right now, whereas, you already have your intention, you already have your goal, so you’re just going to do the work and you don’t worry about anything else at that point. A machine’s not going to think about all this other shit on the outside.
Elliott: [8:44] Yeah, and a machine’s not going to have emotions, about it, either. And that’s usually what throws us. I can only speak from my opinion and from the experience[s] of those who[m] I have coached, but it’s–[LOSES TRACK]
[8:53] Say it again. I’m sorry, I lost track. (I just got a massage, so what the hell!) [SMILES]
Eddy: [LAUGHS] You’re relaxed, though; that’s good! You don’t want to be stressed all the time.
You were talking about a machine.
Elliott: [5:18] Yeah, yeah. The thing about a machine is that there’s no emotion, so it doesn’t get thrown off by negative feelings, self-doubt, so on and so forth, if things just don’t show up right away. But, what a machine does do, is that it does what it’s set to do every single day whether it feels (‘cuz it doesn’t feel) or not.
[9:31] And I think when we set intentions–we can also begin by setting small, daily habits to bring that intention into reality, rather than having to go get something now or feeling like it all has to be manifest[ed] immediately.
[9:46] It’s what am I going to do? So, for example, good health begins with a simple act of brushing your teeth. Now, you’re not thinking you’re going to have magnificent teeth right away, but you know that you’re going to maintain it. If that’s one example, another example for me would be if I–if you’re going to write a book. In the past, I would just sit down and try to get the whole thing done and just go hard! Make myself nuts, have all kinds of conflicting shit going on, rather than commit[ting] to writing a certain number of words every day. That’s it! Just sit down and make sure you get this amount of words done. Don’t think too much about it, don’t over-analyze it. Just do it!
Eddy: Before we close here, along the same lines as well, what would you say when these emotions inevitably arise? Because–and, this is something that has helped me, myself, for getting work done or just working out in the morning and working numerous other tasks when I’m working on my business–is when those stupid emotions come up and, you know, maybe, old thinking–I kind of deal with it really fast–to deal with the emotions.
I say, “Wait a sec, this is something that’s rising up from old conditioning or whatever the case is.” (I had bad sleep or whatever.) And, then, I have some tools that I can use to (basically) calm that emotion down so I can follow through with the action. What do you do–or what could somebody listening do when their emotions arise or they don’t feel like it or, “Oh, I’m nervous” or whatever the case may be or whatever other kind of baggage pops up?
Elliott: [11:20] I think it’s–one of the habits–one of the rituals that I think we would all benefit from adding into our lives is meditation. Meditation is kind of the practice of letting go. And, with our emotions and feelings–they’re all very physical. Emotions are energy moving. Motion. Motion–it’s associated because it’s a movement of energy within the body. Emotion is sensual feelings, of course. It’s very sensual. What meditation has done for me is bring me back into sensation, with those spontaneous movements in the body. Emotion is spontaneous.
[12:01] So, as I’m meditating and I’m getting closer into contact with how my energy’s moving through my body, this is how I meditate: I focus on my breath, and sometimes I’ll visualize various patterns of energy moving through my body. So, in Chinese medicine, they talk about the downward flow of energy, down the front of the body and, then, the upward flow through the back.
So, just recognizing that flow–the relaxation down the front, the expanding of the rib cage, the dropping of the solar plexus, the expanding of the pelvic floor and belly, and, then, the release up top–if we can be in touch with that, on a daily basis, practicing that, when emotions arise, it’s that much easier to recognize the disturbance in the system and go back–go back to the breath, go back to circulating so the sensation doesn’t get stuck. And they do get stuck! They get stuck, chronically, and turn into our character (which is a totally different story).
[13:04] But a sensation can get stuck and then you begin to over think. You begin to wrestle with it. It doesn’t go away, we keep it there. (You see what I’m saying?) Then your emotion rises and, let’s just say you feel a sinking in your chest and you begin thinking about how you owe the IRS $50,000 (whatever the case may be). Then, it’s a perpetual cycle. Rather than thinking, “Well, something triggered this blockage of energy–this feeling–this sensation in my body and I’m clearly not breathing through it. I’m clearly not letting it process because I’m tangling with it” and allow it to circulate.
[14:01] There’s layers–layers upon layers of–I would say “unresourceful” emotion that we carry in our bodies that, when we allow our muscular system to relax and we just breathe through it, we resolve the pain blockage–Eckhart totally calls them “pain bodies”. The “pain bodies”–that’s a brilliant term! So, we not only let go of the pain bodies, but we also let go of any ideas associated with it, any thought or psychology associated with it.The body is the mind.
We can’t have a feeling and not simultaneously–we can’t rid ourselves–let me put it this way: we can’t get rid of emotion without also letting go of the thought that’s associated with it. Instead of tangling ourselves–this is just one of my ideas– Instead of tangling the thought–because this is where most of us go–we’ve been taught that intelligence is in our heads because we believe intelligence is here, where, if we actually just trust the unconscious intelligence–we trust the unconscious body–we trust the subtle intelligence of the body, we can let go without tangling rationally. We can let go of the pain bodies, we can let go of the resistance physically, first, and then, we transcend.
Eddy: It’s kind of like being an outside observer, basically. And, on that thought, we’ve come to a close here. [POSTLUDE] We don’t wanna go overtime too much. Thanks for coming on the show: that was very insightful.
Elliott: [15:43] Hey, yeah, you got it, Eddy. That was awesome.
Guys, subscribe below for more weekly interviews and updates on personal development, dating and other topics that will help you “kick ass” as a man.
Was stoked to have Aaron Marino, known as “AlphaM” on the Ultimate Men’s Podcast. Enjoy the video right here, or feel free to read the transcript below.
Eddy: So I got Aaron Marino, “AlphaM” on the show, on the Ultimate Men’s Podcast. So, man, how ya doin’?
Aaron: [00:40] Man, everything is great. Thanks, so much, for having me. I was really excited to talk to you. I love what you’re doin’.
Eddy: Oh, thank you. Same thing here: I was plenty excited to have you on the show because I’ve been watching your program for a while and it seems like you cover everything for men. I didn’t actually watch this video, but I saw that–
Aaron: [0:59] Yah, sure ya didn’t!
Eddy: I mean, what is it? You’re talking about stinky balls in this one?
Aaron: [1:00] [LAUGHS] Yeah, yeah.
Eddy: That is one of my–
Aaron: [1:03] You didn’t need to. You didn’t–you know better than that. Yeah, I cover everything. When I first started the channel, I thought I was going to talk about style and, you know? It has just kind of morphed into this channel that I think guys might be interested in or have a question about.
Eddy: Yeah, you cover a really–like–what have you been doing this, for, what is it, like ten years now?
Aaron: [1:33] Yeah, I been doin’ this now for–the YouTube channel now for 2008, so not quite ten years, but a while. Before that, I was an image consultant; before that I owned a fitness center, and so it’s been–everything I’ve done, basically, since high school has been centering around helping guys feel better, look better and getting more outa life.
Eddy: It’s kinda cool, like the path you took. Basically, every step along the way just added more to your knowledge base in order to do this YouTube channel which, I believe, is your main kinda gig right now. Like, do ya do a video almost daily, right?
Aaron: [2:09] I do videos daily. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s my main gig. Because of the YouTube channel and because of the success of the YouTube channel and that audience, I’ve created a lot of businesses off o’ that and, so, collectively, they all sorta–they–yeah. YouTube is my main thing, but then, I also have a Web site, I’ve got an advertising agency, I’ve got a hair product company. I’m just starting a skincare line. So, there’s lotsa stuff that I’m getting into, but, yeah, YouTube is what I enjoy doing the most.
Eddy: Yeah, it seems like you’ve got quite a passion for it. I remember seeing your one-millionth subscriber video.
Aaron: [2:47] Yeah, when I cried? [BOTH SMILE]
Eddy: Yeah, you seemed–a pretty emotional moment there, I’d imagine. I think that’s a big number for people right there. The percentage must be so–like–tiny.
Aaron: [2:57] You know? It wasn’t. It was–that’s just how passionate I am–just about how much I love doing what I do and the fact that I’m able to do what I do and it was–every day I feel just so–unbelievably fortunate that people allow me into their lives and like what I’m talkin’ about. That was all so–it’s like I finally found a niche and, ya know, I’ve struggled so long with different businesses, tryin’ t’ find that certain something that fulfilled me. And that obviously does and did. And, so, yeah, it was an emotional video for me. [SMILES]
Eddy: And, but, you know, he said it’s not about the number. It’s kinda just an accumulation about all the kinda things you’ve been doing all year. But that kinda leads me to the main topic for today which is, “How to Become a Successful Man” or “Become Successful as a Man”.
What has been your–or what is your mindset, basically? What is the process that you would describe, like–kind of in a nutshell that led you to this point? Like, we already touched on the fact that you did other businesses which also contributed to your knowledge base, to also help men–
Eddy: [cont.] … but, what makes you successful, whereas, other guys try and, then, they just don’t create this kind of success that you have.
Aaron: [4:19] I think that what it boils down to is confidence. It always boils down to confidence. And, so, what I feel is like, confidence is what some people say, “You either have it or you don’t.” And I’m a firm believer in you can develop confidence.
[4:39] By doing the little things every day that you need to do in order to feel better about yourself and–When you feel better about yourself, everything in your life just gets better. Being successful at little things, you know, add up to a big–a big victory, essentially.
[5:00] Just doing the best you can and trying to add value to the world. The number one thing that I do that has fulfilled me and left me feeling incredible about myself–and, it’s not something that’s just unique to me, it’s for all people, and it’s helping other people.
[5:16] When you do things for other people, no matter how big, no matter how small, no matter if you get recognition or not–when you’re helping somebody it fulfills you in a way that nothing else can and when you know the value that you’re bringing to the world, and you’re not putting somebody down for–
[5:35] You know? That’s one o’ the things. I mean, there’s a big difference between confidence and arrogance. Arrogance is trying to prove yourself and you do that by putting other people down. So you’ll step on people or, in order to feel better about yourself, you’ll–you know, sort-uv–you’ll be a dick head! [LAUGHS] (Pardon my language.)
[6:04] But, the truly confident man doesn’t need to put other people down. He extends his hand and lifts people up and just tries to add value to the world.
[6:15] Honestly, I’ve had so many failures, I’ve had so many mishaps along my road and I’ve been crazy and insecure at different times of my life. I’ve been therapy at different times. But when I started doing something for other people with the YouTube channel and trying to help them, the feedback? The response? That has just led me. It led me–it’ll lead anybody–down the path of feeling confident about yourself and you’ll accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible.
Eddy: So you mentioned having some failures along the way, too. What would be one of the biggest failures in your mind, something that really got you down, that you really kinda had to rebound from? And, how did you actually get outa that slump?
Aaron: [6:56] My whole life, I wanted a fitness center. That’s all I wanted, like–from the age of 13, right? That’s all I wanted to do. When I got outa college, you know? A few things happened and one business failed. Then, I met a woman and we decided to open a fitness center, a chain of fitness centers and, ultimately, long story short, she and I wound up failing miserably and I wound up having to file bankruptcy because I was–like, a half-a-million dollars in debt. It was just horrible.
Eddy: That’s a few dollars right there.
Aaron: [7:27] A few bucks, right? [SMILES] So, when you’ve gone that deep into the hole, the horrible thing about it was, you know, being an entrepreneur, I’ve never had a Plan B. It’s always Plan A all the time, until I crash and burn and I realize that I’ve basically gotta make a move, make a change. And, at that point, I didn’t have–when those fitness centers failed, I didn’t have–“Oh, I’m gunna do YouTube videos!”, “I’m gunna be an image consultant!”, “I’m gunna have X-Y-Z and that’s my fallback.”
[7:55] There was no fallback and it was a figuring it out. But that was a very, very dark place for me when I was failing. It was like having to shoot the bleeding dog. So that was pretty–pretty hard.
Eddy: How did you rebound from that, though? A lot of people, when they hit these kind of lows–especially for a business, they may not go back to a business. I’ve known people who “tried a business”, you know? It sucked because, ya know? They didn’t have any business experience–or whatever the reason was.
Aaron: [8:25] Yeah.
Eddy: But they never went back to business. They went back to a regular, full-time job, where it was “safe”. They just didn’t wanna try again. So, why was it different in your case? Why was it that you did rebound and you have another business?
Aaron: [8:41] Because, for me, once I’d failed that bad[ly], it was, you know, being an entrepreneur, I just have this burning desire to succeed. But I didn’t know what success was. At different points in my life, success looked like different things. When I was a wrestler in high school, success was winning lotsa matches and winning district, you know? That was success. When I started a fitness center, you know? Once I got outa college, it was I wanna have a chain of fitness centers. That was the only thing that I saw that would satisfy my success desire. When that failed, it was, “Okay, what looks like success now?”
[9:24] And here’s the other thing: when you’ve worked by yourself for so long, nobody would hire me. I mean, what is somebody going to hire a quirky guy with a good personality who’s failed at a few businesses? Nobody would hire me! [SMILES] So it was like, “Okay, I gotta get back up. I gotta figure this out.” It’s just a burning desire to figure it out that has led me to where I am today.
Eddy: It’s something inside you. I wanna say you’re a very driven person. Like I say it’s a Type A personality where you have a goal in mind and you put everything else aside to get to that goal. Is that kind of an accurate representation?
Aaron: [10:06] Yeah, put everything aside, and, I–ya know? It’s funny because there have been times in my life where I have totally “thrown caution to the wind” and just gone for it.
[10:17] You know? As I’ve gotten older and more secure and you start to think about some of the risks–now, I don’t have children. I’m married, but I don’t have kids. You know? For me, one of the reasons I’ve been able to pursue this passion and do what I do is because I don’t have that responsibility of a family that I need to put through college or high school or just “put food on the table”. My wife works, so I’ve been alllowed to just run at it with cockeyed optimism to see if I could make it work. So I’m in a unique position, whereas, a lotta guys? As they get older, they don’t. Or they don’t have that freedom and that flexibility. So, when you’re young, man, that’s the time.
[11:13] And once you fail, it doesn’t hurt as bad[ly]. Once you fail, for me? That’s not the scary part anymore. Failure? ‘Eh! You’ll rebound. It’s having an idea or having a vision that I think would be good and not going after it and [having] regret? That’s what scares the shit outa me.
Eddy: Okay, that’s very parallel with what I do.I teach guys how to meet women, right?
Aaron: [11:34] Yeah.
Eddy: It’s very parallel. You’ll go through a lotta rejections and learn how to do this properly and, even if you get good at it, you’re still going to go through rejections. But, it just doesn’t bother you anymore; like this is kinda more on a micro scale. (It’s not like going $500,000 into debt.)
Aaron: [11:48] Yeah.
Eddy: But, still, a lotta guys–they internalize it. It burns ’em inside. TThey don’t know how to deal with their emotions, right? And, they’ll–they’ll quit.
Aaron: [11:58] It’s a numbers game, right? I mean, you know? And with businesses, with video, with women? It takes practice. Nobody is good, immediately! You’ve gotta develop the skill set. But if you do it, time and time again, you will get better at it. And your anxiety will get less. There are absolute parallels to business and the whole attraction, meeting people–you know?–dating people–I mean, total parallel. Absolutely.
Eddy: Yeah, it seems like we were talking about one thing, we could always just switch it automatically over to another thing. I watched a lot of videos of Arnold Schwarzenegger and he always takes weight training and applies it to everything–his philosophy for weight training.
Aaron: [12:39] Yeah.
Eddy: All these things are–there’s a lot of commonality. It’s basically any personal development topic, he’s gunna apply to a completely different one. It would seem like there’s no parallel, but that it’s always pretty much the same, for the mindset, at least.
Aaron: [12:54] Absolutely.
Eddy: What would be your basic–or, let’s say, what would be your work philosophy or your business philosophy?
Aaron: [13:06] My philosophy? [BOTH LAUGH] I don’t know if I have one. Ugh, let’s see. My business philosophy is–is–look for opportunities where other people don’t see them and just keep your eyes open, ya know? Keep your eyes peeled, look to see what’s out there.
[13:18] [SMILES] (This is a terrible business philosophy, I guess.) But, I don’t know that I have a business philosophy. Try not to do stupid things, I guess that’s the–ya know? I’ve made enough bad decisions to sorta make some good ones now and–don’t be afraid of failure. Just–ya know? Just believe in yourself above anything else.
Eddy: Part of that numbers game, too, a little bit right there.
Aaron: [13:44] Yeah, ya throw enough shit against the wall, something’s gonna stick. [LAUGHS] Eventually.
Eddy: And, in closing, here, before we go offline, what would be some–any–something that, if, somebody’s watching–let’s say a twenty-year-old or any guy at a point in his life where he just–he hasn’t reached the kinda success he wants–he wants to start–maybe, start today, hopefully, and really makes something of himself or, you know, maybe reach out and achieve the kinda goals he’s been thinking about his whole life, what would be the first step for a guy in this position–to start down that road?
Aaron: [14:13] Making the decision that this is something you want more than anything. You know? A lot of times, we don’t move forward because we’re afraid of the potential negative consequences. And, you know? When you want something bad enough, you’ll figure out a way.
[14:36] There’s an old wive’s tale or–I don’t know if it’s an old wive’s tale or Aesop’s Fable or whatever, but this young man went to the most successful guy in the village and–have you heard this?
Eddy: Possibly, possibly.
Aaron: [14:48] And he said, “I want you to teach me how to be rich like you.” (You’ve heard this, right?) I’m gonna keep goin’.
Eddy: You’re goin’ to, though.
Aaron: [14:52] So the guy goes, “You sure you wanna be rich like me?”
And the young guy’s like, “Yes.”
So the guy says, “Arright. Tomorrow morning, meet me at the beach at 5 A.M.”
The guy’s like, “Meetcha at the beach at 5 A.M.! Fine.”
So he meets him there. So the guy says, “Get in the water.”
The guy’s like, “Meetcha at the beach at 5 A.M.! What! Are we goin’ swimming? I wantcha to teach me how to make money! I want you to teach me how to be successful!”
So they go into the water, and he’s in up to his waist. The guy’s like, “Come up a little further.” So they go out to where they’re both treading water.
[15:21] All of a sudden, the rich guy grabs the guy and pushes him under water, and holds him there. The guy starts flailing and struggling and eventually comes up, and says, “Why’d you do that?” [The rich man] He said, “When you wanna be successful as much as you want oxygen, you’ll figure out a way.”
[15:36] And that’s sorta one of those–you know? I just thought that was very poignant and when you want it bad[ly] enough, you’ll figure out a way. And, if that means that you’ve gotta make some bad decisions or you’ve gotta make some tough choices, you’ll do it.
[15:50] But, so often we get stuck in being comfortable. And, being comfortable–‘eh, we’re here, it’s okay; I don’t wanna go out… If you don’t put yourself out there, you will never understand how potentially powerful you can be and how amazing life can be. That goes for relationships. That goes for professional. That goes–everything!
[16:11] You’ve gotta be willing to take chances and, when you do that and you put yourself out there and when you want it so bad[ly], you’ll do it. But, until then, if you’re going to be comfortable with mediocrity, you’re never going to and you just shouldn’t–because… you just shouldn’t. That’s my–I don’t know [BOTH LAUGH] if that makes any sense whatsoever.
Eddy: That’s make a decision and then take a chance, basically. It has to be make a decision first. It has to be something you’re really passionate about and driven to make yourself uncomfortable because that’s what’s gonna happen: you’re gonna be uncomfortable and, maybe, scared. And maybe–
Aaron: [16:47] See? You said it a lot better. You just said what it took me five minutes to say what you said in 30 seconds.
Eddy: I just boiled it all down. I took what you said and I just boiled it all down. Thanks, a lot, for coming on the show, Aaron. And, thanks, everyone, for joining. This is Eddy Baller.
It’s far, far easier just to say that women in Vancouver are unapproachable, mean, or cold than it is to learn the kind of take charge dating skills that this city demands.
Don’t believe the hype: the media here is feeding into this negative attitude about dating in Vancouver, and buying into it is a surefire way to make sure you stay single and frustrated.
The single best way to overcome the so called dating scene chill is to take 100% responsibility for your own personal life. Absolutely everything.
That relationship that didn’t work out because “she was a bitch”, own it because you chose her.
That girl who walked away coldly when you tried to start a conversation; your opening may not have been good, or your body language could of been off. Take charge and have a laugh about it.
You’ve been single for the last two years; what have you done to become a better man that women would consider a real catch? Figure it out and invest into making yourself more valuable.
Whatever it is, whatever shortcoming there may be, the common denominator is always going to be you. Men who realize this can avoid being pawns to negative, conditioned emotions.
Owning your results in dating 100% means you can have control to change your circumstances.
The idea that dating in Vancouver is “tough” perpetuates helplessness and dependence on matchmakers, bars, clubs, and online dating.
We can’t guess what someones personality is like when we see them walking down the street. Most people walk around with either a poker face, or a “resting bitch face” which doesn’t demonstrate who they are.
If you avoid meeting the great women that live in this city because you think they’re cold, then you’re conning yourself out of some great experiences, and relationships. Don’t be an amateur psychic by trying to guess a woman’s personality before even talking to her.
If Vancouver women aren’t cold then that opens up the possibilities for you to meet any woman you see because you can approach fearlessly. It’s a matter of learning how to do that, and building your confidence so you can take action on your desires.
So all in all, if you want Vancouver women to warm up to you, it’s time to learn how to introduce yourself in a way which warms them up, instantly.
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This is an EASY tip to implement right now, not tomorrow. I mean NOW.
This principle will help you:
Actually achieve goals
Feel awesome about yourself because you finally fucking did it
There are TONS of potential obstacles to getting work done and achieving your goals, but with this one tip you will eliminate some of the most insidious obstacles which you don’t even know are stopping you. As much as that sounds like clickbait this is for real. So what is it?
“the key to daily practice is to put your desired actions as close to the path of least resistance as humanly possible. Identify the activation energy—the time, the choices, the mental and physical effort they require—and then reduce it. If you can cut the activation energy for those habits that lead to success, even by as little as 20 seconds at a time, it won’t be long before you start reaping their benefits.”
He goes over a great example about how he wanted to play his guitar, but the extra 20 seconds it took him to get off the couch, go to the closet (in the same room), open it and get his guitar out, was actually stopping him from playing. He didn’t have to get in his car and drive somewhere to play, it was a measly TWENTY SECONDS which was derailing his guitar playing ambitions.
“I like to refer to this as the 20-Second Rule, because lowering the barrier to change by just 20 seconds was all it took to help me form a new life habit. In truth, it often takes more than 20 seconds to make a difference-and sometimes it can take much less-but the strategy itself is universally applicable: Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt, and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change.”
Getting rid of the tiny barriers that stop us can be an immense aid in your success. If you want to read a book which is conveniently tucked away in a shelf nowhere near the couch where you sit to relax in the evening, then put it on top of the coffee table by your couch, or even on the couch itself.
Or if you want to run, have your shoes and running clothes ready, RIGHT BESIDE YOUR BED. Not in the closet, not in your dresser, but right beside your bed so you wake up and put them on right away so you’re ready to go.
Activation energy can be used in your favor in the case of eliminating bad habits. Spending too much time on social media? Delete the apps on your phone, and log off on your computer so that every time you feel compelled to check, you have to re-enter the email and pass code to get in. That little bit of hassle can be enough to deter you from wasting your time.
To get rid of bad habits make them inconvenient.
We’re naturally lazy, and knowing this fact it can be used in your favor to break bad habits, or to create new good habits by making an activity easier to get into.
Have a story how activation energy worked in your favor or a situation you eliminated it? Leave a comment below.
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Eddy: [0:09] Hello everyone, this is Eddy Baller and I have with me today, Darren Djfuji. He’s a former U.S. Marine and a dating coach, as well as a life coach. Darren, welcome to the show.
Darren: [0:24] Hey man, good to be here.
Eddy: Yeah, it’s awesome to have you on. I think I found you, originally on the Twenty-One Convention.
Darren: [0:34] Yeah, probably.
Eddy: Yeah, you have some speeches on there, which I thought were quite cool. I found you there a number of years ago and I’ve been following you ever since. It’s awesome to have you on today.
Darren: [0:42] Thanks, man.
Eddy: We’re going to be talking about one particular topic today and it’s not about dating (although we may touch on that as well). Our topic is Treating your life like a business. You put up one quote that I really liked and I’ll quote you here really quickly. It’ll give the viewers an idea of the topic. You wrote:
“When possible, I try to run my life like an organization, military unit or corporation. This means creating and planning budgets, planning for long-term goals and diversifying my assets and portfolio.
“One of the habits I picked up early on was the idea of investing in human capital, specifically, my own. That is, I realized the return on investment (ROI) to invest in personal skills and personal development was massive because, usually, these skills could be used for several years afterward; unlike things such as furniture, cars and electronics.”
Now this idea really hit home for me, as I tend to spend my money on things that are good for my health and help me feel good in the long run, or will help me gain new skills that will help me gain more money, or gain new personal skills for business, making friends and meeting girls.
Tell me a little bit about this idea of investing yourself. Specifically, what is investing in yourself for you, in a practical sense?
Darren Djfuji: Pic courtesy The 21 Convention
Darren: [2:06] Yeah. So the central idea here is what I realized. That’s investing in skill development. (I mean your own personal skill development.) If you look (and even though it can be expensive for tutors and coaches and all that stuff), but from a pretty early age, my parents kind of instilled that in me.
They didn’t teach me the concept so much as they did the concept. I remember when I was growing up and I was struggling in certain school subjects. Ironically, one of the subjects was math and, you would think all Asians would be good at math… but, apparently, they’re not!
[2:46] My parents sent me to this private tutoring service in the United States. It’s called Kumon. It’s this Japanese tutoring service and they do the same thing as in Japan: they drill you for hours after hours, after school.
[3:01] It was really expensive at the time, I remember thinking; and my parents had had to discuss it because they’d had me enrolled in the math one, the Japanese one and a bunch of other stuff. I was enrolled in lessons; I took gymnastics, I took martial arts… I took all kinds of things so I’ve had all this exposure to these different types of coaches and teachers.
[3:26] I remember my parents talking about how they could barely afford this. My dad had his own business and said how important it was not to skip on my overall education and skill development beyond school. He didn’t say it like that, but basically, he’d say if he had to work longer and not go out to the movies so that he could take another class, then it was worth it to him.
So they didn’t explain the concept to me, but that’s what I did. And, later, when it came time to date, I kind of did the same thing. I looked for help; I looked for guys from whom I could learn, I looked for tutors and mentors, and I took boot camps and courses.
And then, when it came to my hobbies, I did the same thing. I like photography (like a lot of people do today) and, when I did it, I said, “Hey, I don’t really know what I’m doing.” I tried it myself a little bit, then I did what I’d been trained to do: I hired a coach, a 1:1 coach. It was expensive–a few thousand), but I had him basically tutor and mentor me 1:1. He was a pro photographer and I remember thinking at the time that this was quite expensive.
Then we went out on my first shoot and I recall thinking, “Wow! I’ve learned more from him in one lesson than I have over the past two years trying to figure this out myself.” Looking back and realizing how foolish it was that I’d kind of screwed around, doing it myself, especially looking back and realizing how I wasted a lot of time when I could’ve gone on that camera and had that skill set, when that’s exactly how I was raised. That’s what I was kind of raised to do: to invest in myself.
Thinking about it later, I realized that the idea of business capital comes from an investment idea. If your return on investment (ROI) generally tends to be pretty big on that idea (especially if you don’t have employees there for about 40 or 50 years, or even understanding that people are going to change jobs), investing in the skill set of human capital and that of your people will generally be a very big pay-off for you and the organization.
[5:49] Of course, if you’re investing in yourself and treating your life as the organization, now your pay off’s huge. Now, if I were to learn Spanish (which isn’t one of my primary goals), learning a skill set like that now in my 30s, conceivably if I live to my 80s, I have 50 years’ pay off.
[6:21] Maybe I don’t learn it or use it every day. That’s still fifty years pay off. What other thing can you put money in that’s going to reap benefits for the next 50 years?
There are very few benefits that will appreciate over 50 years. Even those that do naturally, like if you bought gold bullion, that’s generally going to appreciate over the decades. But it’s still not going to bring you benefits over the years, right? It’s still going to go down, right?
[6:58] Most of the things we buy depreciate. That’s when I realized I wanted to invest as much of my time, money or energy or whatever into things that are going to have the biggest pay off. And that’s kind of when I came to this idea.
Eddy: So, you’re saying, basically, that instead of wasting your time (or potentially wasting your time) doing something completely on your own, you’d rather put the money into an idea or a program that’s going to help you get past that learning curve?
Do you feel as though a lot of people who start new ventures–like maybe they choose a skill like a language or start going to the gym to get buff or lose weight–or, even for dating coaching–do you feel like a lot more people would stick to it if they thought investing in an actual program where someone guides them and makes something out of them faster than just kind of wandering through the dark (basically) and eventually quitting?
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Darren: [8:03] I think accountability is a big thing, especially if it’s something that’s difficult or has a high failure rate. Think about it: Why does law school exist? Why does college exist? You could do both on your own. There are reports of guys who’ve passed the bar and become lawyers without ever having gone to law school. Now, it’s really rare to self educate and not go through the education system. There’s no accountability. Think about it: law school and the educational system is simply about accountability. You could do the same work and take the same exams; it’s just that you won’t do it, so you have to have a teacher there who says, “Now do this exercise.”
[8:54] So I think accountability’s a big thing for making sure that you do it, but I think, in the bigger picture (and the way I wrote that post) is that I try to run my life like I run my business or just an organization or like I would run a military unit (or whatever) as a whole–because organizations are designed to be self sufficient; they’re designed to maximize growth, they’re designed with specific goals in mind.
[9:18] Most people don’t run their lives like that; they run them like amateur organizations that will go bankrupt. You don’t want to do that because you will go bankrupt. You’re not running things correctly, functionally speaking.
[9:36] At the beginning of the year–the fiscal year–what do organizations do? They set up a fiscal budget, right?
When I was in the military, we had to set up a training budget. We allocated a certain amount for courses (sometimes even civilian courses, right?) and budgeted for instructors.
When I was in Marine Corps Bravo, the guy I’m taking the next course from was teaching the military edge weapons and stuff (like fighting with knives and all these different kinds of things).
At the beginning of the year, military groups and organizations will have a budget for what they’re going to spend–on guys like Bravo or supplies, etc.
Very, very few people actually do that: set aside a budget for that. They’ll set aside a budget if they have to, like for college tuition and books. But afterward, no one sets up budgets for training or food or entertainment.
Most people don’t do that, let alone look at their own books or accounting… unless there’s a problem! Most people don’t look at their own financial records like a business would, to see where their finances could be optimized, the way a business would. And that hurts you in the long run. Your personal development ends up being the same way a business would if it didn’t do those things. You’re missing an opportunity to optimize that part of your life!
Eddy: Obsolete, basically.
Darren: [11:50] Yep. Yeah.
Eddy: What would be one consequence of running your life kind of hunky-dory and being like a leaf in the wind? What would be a major consequence?
Darren: [12:02] I think it’s the same thing as if you had a business and you ran it like that. The big consequence is: you tend not to meet your goals. As you said, you’re a leaf in the wind; you’re kind of a jellyfish. If a jellyfish wants to go from the east coast of Canada to Australia… Good luck, right? You’d better hope the water’s going in your direction!
Because there are no sails being set, no control and no actions in place, you’d just be relying on the “luck of the draw”. You’d be allowing your environment to push you in that direction.
[12:36] Say it’s financial. If you don’t have–presumably you have some sort of financial goal, you’re just praying to God that something finds a way to get there. I think that’s what most people are doing day to day and year to year, yet they expect to get some sort of windfall or financial success.
Everybody wants to be successful, financially, but, actually, less than one percent of the population is doing anything about it. Or doing the right things–like setting goals and taking the right actions to make it happen.
I think that’s why they get or have the financial inequality we have today. Especially in the United States, you see that people would rather complain about the inequality: yes, there’s inequality; yes, there are certain things that need to be addressed, politically. But people are more concerned with complaining about it than going about changing it.
I’ll bet, that if you polled the people in the occupy movement, you’d get, “Oh, these peopleare the one percent and we’re the 99%” stuff.
If you polled them and asked what things they were doing to get out of the 99%… asked them if they had a budget for this year or if they were investing in themselves so they could get closer to the one percent next year… dude, if you want to be in that one percent, are you doing anything about it?
They’ll respond, “Well, not really…” They’d rather not do anything about it; they’d rather just complain about it. I think that if you don’t do anything to hit that success, then you can’t really complain when you don’t hit that success.
Eddy: Yes; I think it would be more productive for people to get their minds together and work toward achieving business goals and stop making $30K a year (or whatever the income is).
Just thinking about bills, I see where you’re at, too, talking about the occupy movement. I hear from past friends who would rather complain about the price of tomatoes, rather than earning more money so they can pay for them. When people say things are too expensive I say you just need to make more money.
One book that had a major influence on me years ago was, Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach their Kids about Money that the Poor and Middle Class do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki.
(I’ve heard recently that maybe the story wasn’t real.) But the same principles holds true: you have to invest in yourself. There’s no such thing as “too expensive”, really. Obviously, if you want to buy a penthouse in New York, that’s really fucking expensive unless you’re a billionaire. It’s relative to where you are in your own life.
If food is too expensive in your city–and, we’re talking about a basic necessity here–that just means you’re not making enough money, in my own opinion.
Djfuji: Pic The 21 Convention
Darren: [16:05] Yeah. I agree.
One of the key tenants from that book that I believe it taught me is poor people say, “I can’t afford it;” wealthy people say, “How can I afford it,” regardless of whether they can or they can’t and no matter what the dollar amount is. It’s a different mindset.
[16:26] In dating, I teach the same concept: people who will fail in life say, “I can’t do it;” people who succeed say, “How can I do it?”
[16:35] One of the key tenants is: there’s always a way out, right? (They’re talking about whatever the hold is or the situation in which you find yourself, but obviously, that applies to life, too.)
It means there is no scenario where there isn’t a way out. There’s always a solution; a way for Macgyver-ing your way out. (It’s funny because no one gets that reference anymore, but I’m old.
Eddy: I get it. (haha)
Darren: And the guy hasn’t been on the air forever–(haha), but, for those of you who are listening, Macgyver was a TV show in the eighties. He was a guy who would always find himself in situations he couldn’t get out of with the bad guys coming. So he’d use bubblegum and duct tape and a jar of honey and make a bomb. (haha)
Eddy: I used to actually have a Macgyver reference in my dating profile when I was using OK Cupid in the past.
Darren: [17:26] Oh, yeah?
Eddy: Yes. People always commented on it, was hilarious.
Darren: [17:36] Yes?
Eddy: But I guess they were older.
Darren: [17:38] It’s funny: the older I get the more I realize people don’t get references that were from my childhood, and not even from my childhood, but my early 20s. One of my other coaches (Jared), loved to use the lyrics from this old song that goes something like, “This is why your milkshake brings all the boys in the yard.”
He loves that lyric but it’s getting to the point where that song is 12 or 13 years old. (We did the calculation because we started running into girls who would ask what he was talking about and what that was.)
[18:15] We started to realize that if you met a girl who was 21 and in the club, she would’ve been eight years old when that song came out. Right? They just don’t understand that thing anymore.
[18:23] Sometimes, girls would say something along the lines of calling you a player and I would run that old… People don’t get that reference anymore! (It’s 20 years old.)
Eddy: You get blank eyes.
Darren: [18:35] I know, right? They say, “What?”
Eddy: “Aren’t I cool anymore?”
Darren: [18:38] Yes, exactly.
Eddy: Yes. I had this milkshake song on one of my YouTube playlists and it started playing automatically. My girlfriend said, “What the fuck–?”
Darren: [18:50] Yes, yes; that’s funny.
Eddy: [quietly] It’s hilarious.
So, yes, it would be investing yourself. (Sorry, we went off topic slightly, a little bit.)
In terms of practicality of investing in one’s self, let’s say someone hasn’t invested in himself and plays video games all day, living in his mom’s basement. (Let’s say there’s a guy who’s about 35 and he’s listening to this program right now.) What would you tell him to help him have a better life for himself, who’s starting at rock bottom?
Darren: [19:34] I think the central concept is not just building a better life; I think the central concept is to run your life like an organization.
Say a business consultant is coming in to audit the processes of your organization. What would he tell you? (Now this is a guy who’s main resources are time, money and energy.)
His time is being spent on video games and his money’s being spent on video games or Cheetos or whatever–it’s being spent, right? And his energy’s spent on that, too.
A business consultant’s going to come in and tell him he’s wasting his resources on things that have a low yield. So, he’s wasting valuable resources. Instead, he should revert those resources towards higher-yield or higher return on investment (ROI) types of activities and investments.
[20:45] In other words, he should invest his resources correctly and stop squandering. At that point, I would tell him to stop gaming for now.
[20:57] I remember when I was starting kind of the personal development journey where I taught myself. (Basically, I was focused on learning remedial social skills. That’s “what it boiled down to” because those were the skills I didn’t have growing up, given I spent all my time in classes and courses.)
[21:19] When I went through that, a friend of mine, who was a competitive gamer; he actually made money on it. We both made a pact, knowing that gaming was not a high-yield activity (and even though he was making money at it–and a whole lot more money on it than at his other jobs) to uninstall all of our games. Just uninstall, and not even play them anymore.
[21:37] It was hard because that’s kind of what we did. But we realized it was also just a waste of our time and resources. In keeping with that idea, we uninstalled and focused our resources.
So in the case of this guy you were telling me about, I would tell him to quit, cold turkey, because he could come back to it, later, when it makes sense.
[22:04] It’s the same thing as a company that’s hemorrhaging money by spending lavishly on housing and parties and all this crazy stuff. One of the coaches in the industry will rent a house for $20 or $30K a month. Then he just hemorrhages money and wonders why he can’t pay his people. (It’s because he’s making foolish decisions.)
[22:30] The first thing is to make sure he corrects or fixes this. For this guy living in his mother’s basement, we’d take the resources he does have and re-divert them into high-yield activities.
Now he’ll spend his time doing things like looking for a job (if he doesn’t have a job). Maybe he buys a book on how to interview and how to write resumes, right? Or he spends it on a new online course to teach him how to teach him a new skill set that he can use in the workplace. Maybe he spends his time and money going to networking events rather than going out to eat and drink with his friends.
[23:10] These are higher yield activities, activities that are going to have a positive influence and create a much higher return of investment in his life.
[23:21] So he spends his time and energy and money on those things and yes, those things aren’t always fun. But if he has a goal he wants to accomplish, just like a business, he needs to do exactly what a business consultant would say to a business that was hemorrhaging money and not investing their time, their human capital, and all these things effectively.
That consultant would say they needed to change those things. Stop wasting money and liabilities on things that will not benefit you and things that will take money out of your pocket, as well as investing in things that will not bring your closer in future to your goal. That consultant would also instruct a business to reinvest their time and resources into things that would [benefit their bottom line and aid them in reaching their future goals].
[23:57] I think that would be a first step for him, to start investing his time, using his money, using his energy effectively, and that would take him to the next step. From there–just like a business would–he would then make a little more money.
Let’s say he gets a job with that new-found job skill (or whatever). When he gets that job, he has a little bit more income. He needs to reinvest them into the business. He doesn’t want to take that money and just squander it away. “Oh, here, I made a thousand dollars. Let me just buy a thousand-dollar product.” (Generally, he doesn’t want to do that unless that thousand-dollar product’s going to make him two thousand.) Right?
[24:34] You have a guy like Eben Pagan, who gives dating advice under the name of David DeAngelo, who gives a seminar called… (oh, it’s been five, ten years now…) not “elevated” …
Darren: [24:52] Altitude? … yeah, I think it was “Get Altitude”.
Anyway, it was a business seminar that cost $10K to attend. At the time, I was working for another company and a guy I knew bought three tickets to go to this thing–so he dropped $40K or $50K! (Obviously, he was successful.) And I remember asking him how it was worth it to drop $40 or $50 thousand for four or five tickets to go to this thing. He said, “Because I don’t see that as an expense. … I don’t see it as money outgoing; I see it as an investment. I’m spending, but I’m really investing. In going to this and taking my people to this, I think we’re going to make a lot more than $50K on this.”
[25:47] When I ran into him a year later, he reminded me about this incident and noted how I thought it had been such a big deal. He then told me that, thanks to what he’d learned in that seminar, he’d made an additional $500K in the past six months. So, yes, $50K seemed like a lot to invest there, but not compared with making $500K. (Even if he’d done the accounting on that, that’s a $450K profit.)
Eddy: That’s a huge return.
Darren: [26:17] Yes, yes. I remember realizing that this guy was thinking like a businessman, not like the average guy off the street who works at McDonald’s. He’s thinking like a business; he’s thinking smart.
[26:32] Most people aren’t willing to make those big plays and they’re not smart enough to make them correctly and get themselves to the next level. In a lot of ways, he became my mentor (at least as far as my mindset), though I was teaching him the dating side of things. That’s because I didn’t see things like that. I saw what he’d done as a $50K expense; he saw it as a $50K investment that would make him a lot more money in the long term. It made him $500,000.
Eddy: Hmm… That’s interesting that you mention that. I was just watching, yesterday and today, that Webinar from a marketing guy I follow. He was talking about how most people view marketing as an expense rather than a vehicle for making them additional money. He was saying that he’d had some clients in a $30K program, who complained about having to pay $1 per lead.
He noted that it didn’t matter about paying a lot per lead because they could be paying much more than $1 per lead and get a high return. It’s a return on your investment (ROI), right?
Darren: [27:34] Right.
Eddy: That’s a return on getting more business, not an expense. It should be looked at that way and they should be spending more money on it, provided they get a measurable return.
Darren: [27:52] Right. I think businesses do this, but people, running their own lives, they don’t realize their lives and households run just like organizations do, for better or for worse.
A lot of times when we are coaching someone, we are modifying things that are running their life fundamentally. One of the things I tell a lot of my students is that they need to run their personal lives like they are running a business. For example, a central tenant, in running a business is, there is a limited resource of time. They cannot buy more time; they have to spend it effectively, they have to invest their time.
One thing a lot of businesses will do–and this comes from a really, really great book–is create systems. Those systems are put into place so the businesses don’t have to spend time running around putting out fires. Without systems in place, they do have to run around, putting out fires because they can’t account for all the different variables that incur in day-to-day business.
[29:07] The biggest and most successful example (that we all know) is McDonald’s–a billion- dollar company, right? Why are they able to hire the cheapest and lowest quality labor on the planet? Why are they able to do that and still run billion- dollar enterprise?
They’re able to do that because they are investing their money not in the people they hire but in their processes. McDonald’s has some of the most amazing processes in place that you’ve ever seen. They’re able to handle the most obscure scenarios. For example, a clown comes into McDonald’s and he orders two cups of coffee but he really wants three… that’s in their handbook! They account for everything. As a result, they are able to hire people who don’t really have a lot of independent thought–it could’ve been a robot, even. Their help doesn’t need to think independently; they only need them to follow what the handbook instructs. That’s their Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
[30:19] We can learn a lot from that in our lives and our businesses. Most businesses don’t develop an SOP. (It’s what we do in the military.) Because businesses don’t have Standard Operating Procedures there’s always a new scenario that demands we stop and figure out how to address that scenario before returning to normal business. Then, the next time that happens, we have to do it again. We stop and panic and try to put out that fire.
[30:42] It’s such as waste of our resources when it could be a standard thing that you do day in, day out. A great example of this is something people do daily: they’re late for work because they can’t find their keys. Why can’t they find their keys? Because there is no Standard Operating Procedure in place that they have where they have a set place to put their keys. (I put my keys in the same place every single day. My keys, flashlight, wallet–everything that I carry–goes in one place, in one bowl. It’s the same place every single time.) I generally never lose my keys or wallet because they always go in the same place.
[31:28] If you don’t do that, over the course of your lifetime, you’re going to spend a lot of time doing something stupid and low yield as looking for your keys when that could’ve been solved in one Standard Operating Procedure.
[31:38] When you take that concept and multiply it over the rest of your life in just creating procedures, that’s not fun; that’s not glamorous. It’s boring and people don’t want to focus on that, but think about all the time that you’d save, now you don’t have to put out fires? You now have time to reinvest in yourself. You take that money and you reinvest that in yourself. Now, you have time to go back to school, you have time to learn a new language; you have time to learn something else that will, again, give you higher yields and then, you can reinvest that.
[32:10] I think that’s the kind of concept that people avoid because it’s not glamorous, it’s not fun and it’s kind of a “pain in the butt”, but as a result, they don’t reap those rewards.
Eddy: I think that’s a great idea about having a set spot for your keys and wallet. I’ve never lost my keys in my life. I’ve never lost my phone. I have two little rings that I’ve worn the last 15 years that I put in the exact same place every single day. If they’re not there, it’s like, ‘Well, how crazy is that? … Where did they go? I always have them in this same spot! What the hell happened? Something went wrong in the system.” (Or something along those lines.)
But this really applies to much bigger things, too. This was really a micro-scale example, but it does apply to everything. For instance, going to the gym at the same time every morning or, in business, having a set schedule.
In working for myself as you do, as well, if I don’t have a set schedule the whole day will pass by.
If you don’t have these Standard Operating Procedures in place you really do lose–you can lose your whole day, your whole week, even your whole life. (It sounds really dramatic, but it’s true.) Your whole life passes you by. Time never stops.
I’ve heard it said that’s it’s like being a machine. I was talking to a student one time and asked him why he never went out or talked to anyone. He explained that he didn’t really feel like it. I told him, “That’s bullshit! If you have a goal, so be more like a machine. Your emotions are going to fluctuate all the time, every day, right? But if you don’t go do what you’d set out to do, initially, your whole week’s going to pass by and you will not have achieved your week’s goals just because you ‘didn’t feel like it’. If you run your life like that, as well–“
Djfuji: The 21 Convention
Darren: [34:08] [interrupts] Yeah, I don’t not go to work. Right? “Oh, I didn’t feel like going to work!” That’s how some people run their lives, but you can’t run a business like that! What’d that feel like? They’d say, “So, screw my customers; I don’t feel like going in and opening shop today.” (Your business is not going to last that long.) That’s how people are running their lives, too.
Eddy: Totally true.
One [what?] I saw out here that I really liked–(I think it was by a job coach) read, “You have to treat your job like a blue-collar job. If you’re a trucker, it doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like it or your emotions weren’t in the right place–you didn’t have any enthusiasm. You’d still get up at the same time in the morning and go to your truck and you’d drive the route, regardless of what emotions you had that day.”
On that note, I’ll bring this interview to an end. Thank you, very much, Darren. That was an awesome interview. I think there were a lot of practical tips in there.
If people want to contact you for coaching or advice or anything else, where should they go?
Darren: [35:17] My Web site is Tao of DJ Fuji. That’s “T-A-O-O-F-D-J-F-U-J-I”. They can just Google “DJ Fuji”, too; it comes up there. (That’s my coaching site, primarily.) There’s a blog and a bunch of stuff.
For guys, I’m kind of interested in the personal development and, also, the dating side of things. My Facebook is www.facebook.com/djfuji; I post pretty regularly about things you can use. Pro-tips on dating and personal development and stuff like that. That’s a good way to stay in touch; also, to see the stuff I’m working on right now.
Eddy: Yes; you have your Monday Q&As. You’re very responsive to the people who post and contact you, as well, which is cool. I know a lot of people out there in the industry who are not very responsive to people when they get messages and you are, which is cool. You always seem to be on top of those things. (And there’s a lot of great advice.)
I would recommend to everyone to go check us out on blog because he has a lot of really good content.
Thanks, a lot, for coming on, again, Darren.
Darren: [36:17] Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Good to be here.
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The most common whiny guy thing I hear is, “I just want to be myself.” Here’s a reality check; you would already have what you want if being yourself worked.
It’s almost nauseating to write about this topic because people should know already that you’re not going to get what you want by doing the same thing which doesn’t get it.
As Einstein put it, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” The same thinking that you’re using right now which isn’t getting you the results you desire is going to keep you where you are. Lonely weekends, frustration as you see another attractive women walk away, and way too many nights out with the boys.
“But why can’t women just like me the way I am?” That question is a surefire mindset to be alone, forever. Seriously, you have to get out of whiners mode and into proactive ‘What can I do right now to become a better man?’ mode in order to solve this puzzle.
It’s not that you’re not a good person but the chances are that you’re missing some skills, confidence and finesse which would grease your social wheels and make it easier to connect with women.
If you’re not willing to change then you should stop complaining and resign yourself to hanging out with guys in bars, standing around your table with your eyes creeping around while you hold your beer in front of your chest. Sure, you’ll talk about plenty of girls with the boys, but the only girls you’re going to see naked will be on your computer screen when you go home alone.
Here’s a question for all of the “I just want to be myself” guys out there. How many skills were you born with? Did you know how to speak English before learning? Didn’t you have to go to school to learn new job skills and applicable knowledge?
You weren’t born with any skills or expertise but you did learn new ones as you grew up. Now the question is why did you decide to stop learning and “just be myself”?
If you wanted a job as a carpenter you would of first had to go to trades school and learn from a qualified carpenter, experientially on the job. After four years you could graduate with the technical expertise they taught you at trades school as well as the hands on knowledge you learned from an expert on the job.
I’ve never heard of a guy applying for a job as a carpenter, who didn’t know carpentry, only to turn around and say “Why can’t they just hire me the way I am?”
No high quality woman is going to accept your ‘resume’ if you haven’t already learned what you need to know, so stop whining and start learning.
Here is a list of things that I also hear way too often coming from guys who are unwilling to change to get what they want.
1. Why can’t women just like me for who I am?
Who you are isn’t the kind of guy they want. You may be missing some interpersonal skills, confidence, or it may just boil down to a lack of experience. Experience is the mother of all lessons.
2. But I’m a good person.
I’m sure you are but what can you offer of value? Just existing and not doing bad things is not a qualification for women to want to be with you. If you can’t make women feel good emotionally then you’re not going to get the kind of relationships you want, period.
3. Isn’t learning all of these dating skills just manipulation?
In a nutshell, no. Is it manipulation to learn how to do a job interview, public speaking, or any other person to person communication skill? Is it manipulation to challenge your fears by doing things which are scary so that you can become more confident? You can learn to do things in a way which women find attractive, or you can keep communicating in a way which turns women off, that’s your choice.
You could certainly become a sweet talking con artist but that has nothing to do with learning psychology and communication skills, that has to do with the kind of person you are on the inside.
Learn the powers of influence for good or for bad, it’s your choice. The main thing that gets a womans attention isn’t even the technical aspects of dating, like what to say or when to kiss, it’s the confidence that you exude underneath it all. Often that can come from knowing what works, but it also comes from having challenged major fears.
Asking if learning dating skills is manipulation is almost like saying getting in shape is manipulating women because they will like a fitter guy instead of an out of shape guy.
This question almost begs the reply; are you intentionally trying to do things the opposite of the way they work? Life is easier when you don’t sabotage your own best interest.
4. Isn’t that being pushy? (Leading)
No, women aren’t interested in a guy who ask them every single detail and needs permission to do anything. When planning a date you set the when, where and what. Obviously there will be an intersection for flexibility on time/place and activity because not everyone is going to like everything, but the point is you have to be willing to set the tone without fear of disapproval.
Approval seeking guys are immature males who don’t have leadership qualities and afraid of hearing “no”. Suck it up, buttercup.
5. But that’s just not me
Anything which you haven’t experienced yet, learned, or challenged yourself to is not you. Open your mind to the possibilities and stop using counterproductive language which is sure to keep you running in circles. It will become you when you decide to be more than you currently are.
More often than not, guys who complain about women not liking them for who they are are making excuses for not becoming better men.
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