Monthly Archives: October 2011

On being a natural

To follow up my last post I want to make a couple more comments.

For those of you who are naturals. This stuff might not make sense. You may not understand why someone would have to be told how to do this stuff. For example, why would you ever tell someone how to eat a bowl of cereal? That sounds stupid. But for those who haven’t had the unique set of circumstances and life experiences to become natural on their own these ideas may seem revolutionary! You see our understanding can be broken into four categories:*

1). Unconscious incompetency: These are skills or competencies that you do not have. Not only do you not have them you do not even realize that you do not have them. Therefore unless someone points out your lack you will not be aware of the need for growth. Remember this point always “True confidence breeds humility.” What do I mean? A confident person sees that he’s been wrong before and missed certain key aspects of life. Therefore he is humble enough to let others challenge his reality with a great one.

2). Conscious incompetency. This is where you recognize that you have a lack. You see that something in your like is missing. A skill or competency. Or you may realize that you have been doing the right thing the wrong way and need to rework your method.

3). Conscious competency. Once you realize your need for growth and begin reading, asking, and practicing to become good at what you lack you will eventually (with hard work!) become competent. Remember that this takes time. It’s not an overnight miracle that one blog or system can fix.

4). Unconscious competency. Ah, naturals. Here is where you fall. And where any one of us can get with enough practice. Think about when you started driving a car. At first you had no idea what you were doing. But (hopefully) after a year or two you began to get the hang of it. Before long you were driving safely as long as you paid attention. But what about after five or ten years? Or more? You eventually don’t even have to think about driving. You just “be” the road. Remember being in state? You are in the state of driving. Your unconscious mind may even take over for you and direct your driving without your realizing it.

I had the unhappy instance once of getting a speeding ticket for going about 20 over the limit. I remember catching myself from time to time on that drive realizing I was excessively speeding (more than normal – ha-ha). I would slow down to a more normal speed and then soon forget about driving again. As soon as my subconscious brain took over I immediately started speeding again. You see my brain knew I was an excellent driver. It knew I was alert enough and skilled enough to drive at least 20 over the speed limit.

Now in this situation allowing my natural instincts to take over wasn’t in my favor. I had to retrain my subconscious to recognize there are limits that must be imposed even if my abilities exceed them. But think about in relation to social interaction with the opposite sex. Have you ever gone from just talking to a girl to cuddling with her on a couch and all the sudden your conscious brain snapped back into reality and wondered “how did I get here?” A natural never questions this concept. Its just a given part of the interaction. For those who still have the challenge of growing in this area, it may be a rare question that surfaces after those few instances when you completely relax and allow yourself to go natural.

Take away: Learn what your incompetency is and be open to discovering unconscious ones you didn’t realize were there. Then be willing to go through the unnatural conscious state of mastering your new self, knowing that with time it will become . . . natural.

*Ideas originally developed by Gordon Training International)


Posted by on October 27, 2011 in James


Immersion: the state of being “in state”

Ever noticed how sometimes you can be out on the town and meet people left and right and never seem to run out of things to say? Ever noticed how sometimes you will be talking to a girl and you seem to be able to keep her attention forever? Ever notice how sometimes you just forget about what you should be saying and yet somehow everything just comes out right? Ever been so immersed in the moment that you forgot about time altogether? Or how about those times when you say the same thing to a girl one day and it works great and another day and you fall flat on your face?

These moments bring up the concept of being in state. This concept has been around for quite a while on differing aspects. Some people call it “just being yourself”. However, as we have seen, sometimes this is actually exactly the opposite of what you want to be. Perhaps a better way of putting it is “being your best self in the moment with having to think about it”. Owen Cook a sort of self-help/dating guru and founder of Real Social Dynamics has built an entire relationship/dating seminar based on this idea. His core belief is that as men looking to be successful in the mixed up world of opposite sex attraction we live in they must get beyond pick-up lines, quick fixes, alter egos, and framing and move toward a more natural approach.

You see when you are so worried about you are going to say or how she will react to you that you actually stop having fun, you begin to miss the entire point. The point of meeting people, of dating, of relationships, is to add something to your life. Or perhaps a better way of looking at it is relationships should be the overflow of your already fulfilled happy life. Those moments when all the right words just seem to flow are usually those moments when you forget about impressing and just allow your best natural self to emanate as it will through your conversation.

This requires intentionally developing your character and personality to have the depth necessary to be interesting, charismatic, and charming “just as you are”. Remember what I keep telling you, you’re not going to get this area of your life under control without hard work and invested time.

But do keep this in mind; being in state is an advanced mindset. Ever noticed those guys who just seem to naturally be excellent communicators whether with girls they are interested in or anyone they come in contact? These guys are simply being “in state”. They are immersed in the conversation, enjoying it for what it is regardless of the other person’s response or reaction. They don’t need validation. But how did these “natural experts” get to this place? Over a long time of trial and error. Perhaps as early as elementary school they begin to learn the game and understand human interaction. Their skills were perfected over the next ten or fifteen years.

Being in state takes time. But I want you to think about it now because as you learn the game your goal should be to eventually forget about. This takes confidence (which we will continue to stress) and patience (in the future I will talk about the idea of novice to expert created by two professors the Dreyfus brothers).


Posted by on October 25, 2011 in James


Why we play games…

Why do we play games?Because we have to; that’s the straight forward answer. The game is society’s way of coping with the fact that we are different…

At the core of our struggle is the gender difference that we have to overcome. Let’s face it: men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti. Ok, I’m done with the cliche’s for now, but the reality is that we really do think differently. Girls would go shopping every day if they could. They would talk about it, share ideas with their friends, try out stuff… and the fun keeps on going.  I know of few guys who genuinely enjoy that. On the other hand, a lot of guys enjoy sports (whether real or virtual) and could spend days on end playing, aham… working. This is real work. You have your tomboy girls and your metro guys, but at the end of the day these outliers don’t change the reality we know it’s there. These exceptions just shows the importance of the rule.

So why do we play games? We play games because we have to. It’s a way of learning how “the other person” works. We react differently to life and we live life differently. We think differently and we feel differently, and that vastly influences our relationships.

Much of the game is just learning how the other person operates. They are not you, they are not like you (and that’s probably good, haha), and a lot of intrigue an mystery comes from that. All cool stuff, but it comes witha  cost. At the end of the day what we really want is to be understood and appreciated for who we really. That is really hard to do with somebody who’s not like you. They communicate differently. They perceive appreciation differently. They things that trigger your heart may not work for them and vice-versa.

So how do we cope with this? We play our games. And that’s ok. It’s how we get along, how we learn each other, how we learn to interact with the other person without forgoing who we are, without changing them to be like us either.

I know a lot of people don’t like the name “game”. It sounds too… mischievous. Call it what you may: dating, getting to know each other… whatever. It doesn’t change what it is: a way of learning how to develop a meaningful relationship with that “significant other”. That’s what we really want, isn’t it?

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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Jack


The Myth of “Just be yourself”

Before you can begin mastering this art of playing the game and before you can begin making the necessary changes to become that person whom other desire you must be willing to admit that you need to change. How many times have you heard that feel good statement “just be yourself”? I recall expressing relationship trouble with a friend once and he shared some advice for a while and then stopped. “You know what I’ve really found to be the most effective in getting a girl? Just be yourself. They will naturally come to you.” What will naturally come to you? Girls attracted to insecure guys? Desperate girls who just want a husband. Sounds almost like the Statue of Liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Just let me be myself and you can be yourself!”

Honestly though, don’t we always say the definition of insanity is continually trying the same thing and expecting different results? What I’m saying is this, if you have tried your hand at dating and found that you are not getting what you want, if you have been frustrated with the way life is playing out, and yet you still want to just be yourself, than I can’t help you. All the advice I can give you is not going mean anything. So you might as well stop reading here and find something else.

This may seem to contradict my last post where I mentioned that inner desire to completely expose ourselves faults and all to one person and feel fully confident that they will not use that knowledge against us. But first you have to get to that place. Before you can have that deep intimate relationship that you desire (or even a brief fling if that’s what you’re into) you have to get there. You have to demonstrate value (this will be discussed in later posts). You have to display confidence (look for this subject through-out the blog, we’ll be introducing it this week), and you just may have to change some core value and habits that . . . well may mean you can’t be yourself anymore.

The idea of just being yourself seems to be a misplaced idea that we are at our core one particular person whom we can mask or hide but always remains constant. The theory is that we won’t actually be happy unless we stay true to this inner self because that self will eventually come out and cry betrayal when we have forgotten to please it.

However, both scientific and experiential knowledge would seem to argue otherwise. For example, in his book outliers Malcolm Gladwell clearly illustrates how generational habits and cultural norms often shape people into who they are. In other words the reason some cultures are exceptionally astute at math may have more to do with upbringing and culture than with brain cells and an inner self.

Gladwell illustrates that these culturally made habits can often be detrimental. In the South Korean cultural one learned relational habit is the idea of mitigating to higher authority. Unfortunately this can often cause devastating effects in risky flying situations where engineers who sense danger feel they cannot authoritatively address their pilot who is deemed above them in social rank. Thus the dire situation is not properly addressed and the aircraft and its passengers are risk for crashing. After a decade of unnecessary accidents the South Korean airline realized this cultural trait was harmful to both customers and their business reputation. So the company retrained their staff to think outside the bounds of culture and assert themselves when necessary.

Similarly, James Collins in his book Good to Great illustrates how many companies that he studied which went from running a decent business to becoming an enduring great companies often had to completely change who they were, even their core products. And yet those changes are what made them great.

My point is this. Sometimes to become the best you will have to change the good person who you are. It takes a proud person to claim that by just being himself he can get the relationship of his dreams. And it takes a lazy woman who thinks that prince charming will ride up on his white horse simply because of her natural charm and grace. We’re not born masters we must become them. We weren’t created great communicators and lovers we must develop these skills.


Posted by on October 16, 2011 in James


The Game

dating gameWhy do we call it the game?

Why not “courting” or “being together”, “in a relationship” or just “dating”? The most straight-forward answer is that culture, pop-culture and sociology call it that, and that’s what it is. Some don’t like it because it sounds so mercantile. Well… maybe some aspects are.

Why is dating a game?

Like other games, there are winners, losers and hurdles to go through. There are right ways to play and dirty ways to play it. In short, there is a certain way to go about it.

How does one play the game? Well… everybody plays it, everybody who wants a relationships that is. Whether they are good or not, they have to get in the game to get a result. There are shortcuts, but there are also rough spots.

“Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things.” Keanu Reeves

It’s one thing to like somebody. It’s a whole other thing to have them like you back and developing a relationship. This is what we want to talk about in our blog: how to play the game. How to get good at it, and get the relationships you want.

Like everything else in life, getting good takes practice. You have to learn how to play it and practice getting good at it. We’ve spent a good amount of time learning this game, both in theory and in practice. In the end our desire is that everybody is in a relationships, and is happy in it. This doesn’t happen over night and it does not happen naturally (like in the movies).

To be a person that others like, you have to spend time developing yourself. Refining strengths and developing skills takes time and planning. One does not become high-caliber by wanting to be that. It takes being pro-active.

Have you been hurt in a relationship? Have you had a great experience? We want to hear from you. Let us know what you think. Let’s talk about “the game”.

*(Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici)

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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Jack


The game is not the answer.

The game. This is what we’re here to teach you. Sort of. The things that Christians don’t like to talk about. The things that really work. Less Christian fluff and Bible verse and more real experience and actual success. The way that a woman’s emotional needs are met and a man’s innate desire for the chase is satisfied. We’re here to explain why the “nice” guy always gets screwed and why “jerks” seem to get all the girls. We’re here to tell you things such as “either play the game or get played”. And what you can do about all this. How you approach someone of the opposite sex. Social dynamics. Confidence. Winning hearts. Sparking interest. Reading body language. Getting what you want.
But before we begin.
The game is not the answer. It will not make you happy. It’s a necessary result of our broken economy of relationships. And maybe it’s a poor reflection of a Creator. Who put a passion in our hearts for the excellent. For understanding and mastering the art of communicating.
Maybe the game is simply a tool. Or a guardian. Or a protection for our fragile psyches. Perhaps, and this is a scary thing to admit, the players of the game are simply taking the long drawn out journey step by step to discover what some people just learn intuitively. The game cannot solve your insecurities. It cannot make you successful simply by playing it. It cannot make you happy in that deeply contented sort of way that seems to only come when you live outside of yourself.
Perhaps true happiness is found by causing someone to completely fall for you not because you learned their emotional triggers and pushed each one in perfect timing, but because you gave that person the ability to open up fully, to divulge their deepest secrets and most gripping fears, to expose the beautiful and the wretchedness of their heart. And somehow with all the grace your heart could muster allowed that person to know without a doubt that you accept them fully exactly the way they are and will never use such intimate knowledge against them. Maybe, for one person you choose to deny the exception clause given to love.
Perhaps the pawn who sacrifices his insignificant life in the most selfless devotion to his king is more happy in the end than the king who wins the war and lives to enjoy the prize of a game well played.
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in James

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