Monday, September 21, 2009

intrinsic vs extrinsic motivators

we are going to discuss the two types of motivation and how that applies to a man's life. this post is about getting you off your ass and finding the motivation to do something.

there are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. intrinsic motivators originate from the inside of a person. it's his sense of purpose. to the outsider, it seems he does it for no reason other than for the love of it.

extrinsic motivators originate from the outside of a person. to the outsider, there are clear reasons why that person does what he does: money, fame, women, etc. he seeks out those tangible rewards for doing what he does.

however, it is important to note that just because someone does not get those tangible rewards does not mean their motivations are intrinsic and just because someone is rich, famous, and surrounded by women does not mean the reason they do what they do is extrinsic.

both van goh and picasso created masterpieces that sell for millions today, yet one died broke and without an ear and the other was one of the richest living artists. one felt unappreciated and misunderstood, selling not a single piece during his lifetime, and the other could not give two shits what others could or could not afford to pay for his work. one sought recognition from the art world, one pursued his artistic impulse.

often times, the intrinsically driven are the most financially successful in the world. both donald trump and bill gates stopped needing fame or fortune by the time they earned their first million and certainly their first hundred million. yet their love for what they did kept them going until they changed the way business was done, not to mention the landscape of technology and real estate.

and even those intrinsically-driven individuals that aren't financially successful find a great degree of happiness in knowing they are doing what they truly enjoy doing. as with the financially successful, their motivators, their rewards, their definitions and signals of success come from the way they feel inside rather than from any outside source.

it is hard to point to an example of someone who is intrinsically motivated, yet unsuccessful by society's standards. their lack of fame makes it hard for them to be recognizable. but we all know them. their lives aren't much different from our own. they live next to us, have the same job, know the same people and despite not being rich, famous, or particularly good with women (or people), seem to be happy nonetheless.

it's because they define success on their own terms. the reasons for doing what they do come from inside them rather than from "society." the natural question to ask then is "how do they define success?" simple. they define success in a way that lets them feel they can and do achieve it. it feels daunting to feel like you've gotta earn a million bucks by the time you're 30. yet it is easy to do and believe you can tie your shoelaces, pay the rent on time, or enjoy sharing a few laughs.

success is not about how much money you earn, but rather whether you accomplish your goal or not. those who are intrinsically motivated have not only very different reasons for doing what they do, they seek to do very different things.

take the men who want nothing more than to sleep with many different women. they may do just that. being extrinsically motivated is not a guarantee of failure to achieve external rewards. external rewards are quite nice.

but in the case of men who want to sleep with many different women and fail to do that, the one who is intrinsically motivated will end up being much happier. his reason for trying to sleep with them comes from the inside - his love for women and their company. his rewards are small and enough to keep him trying in the face of many obstacles. he enjoys talking and flirting with them. he enjoys touching them. he enjoys just being surrounded by them. the sex is nice if it happens. but it's fine if it doesn't. he's gotten what he wanted despite not getting his freak on.

now, the extrinsically motivated man will only judge his success by the fact that he has had sex with a woman. any failure to do so crushes his morale and sense of worth. he is unable to appreciate any joys he shared with a girl if he does not have sex with her.

i mention the word "enjoy" a lot in this post. yet "enjoy" is such an ambiguous word. i enjoy a slice of pizza and watching a movie with my girlfriend. the thought of skydiving terrifies me. you could enjoy doing something else. but our sense of enjoyment does share something in common. it comes from the doing, not the achieving.

enjoyment is about the pleasurable sensations we feel emotionally, mentally, and/or physically when doing something. they say a shark must swim or die. the intrinsically motivated do or be miserable.

despite van goh's lack of financial success, you can bet the world stopped turning for the joy he felt while painting. his desire to paint and express himself visually was intrinsically driven. why else paint and live the life of a pauper when there were surer ways to earn lots of money? why else pursue an artistic style few understood when he clearly had the ability to do something more commercially viable?

extrinsic and intrinsic motivators do not exist in a vacuum. people's reasons for doing things are often some mix of the two. it's hard to say bill gates or donald trump did what they did just for the love of the game. and its hard to say that ladies men who surround themselves with women would be happy living the life of celibacy. money certainly was and is a motivating factor, and an effective one at that. as is popularity. and sex.

but to be happy, a reason for doing must exist beyond those external factors. doing must also be done for the sake and joy of doing. if you focus so much on the end game, on the signs of success, you lose sight of the joy that can be had in the doing.

it's like having sex just to cum. cumming is amazing. but sex is awesome even without cumming. making out is awesome even if the clothes don't come off. going in for the kiss is fun even if she turns her cheek. getting high off her giggles is a moment enjoyed even if she is taken. being her friend is a blessing even without the benefits. and those who are only motivated extrinsically cannot enjoy women unless they cum.

don't be that guy. find reasons to enjoy the process. find your intrinsic motivators.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

why self-improvement is bullshit

the word "self-improvement" by itself and taken literally does not indicate the level of bullshit this industry serves on an hourly basis. the word itself does not show you what a useless pursuit self-improvement truly is.

first lets look at the word. "self-improvement". a harmless word. a great thought. since the dawn of man much of knowledge had to be passed on my teachers. while not necessarily in a formal setting like a classroom, others taught man how to do things like language through writing, how to build a fire through imitation, and more. and we soon realized a more formal system of education was better and more efficient.

but somethings just couldn't be taught in a classroom or weren't available for various reasons. so people sought to do those things for themselves. they'd seek out others who held such knowledge and became their apprentices in the hopes of learning from the best. some just did things on their own until they became really good at it through trial and error. and some of those even wrote books about it, hoping to save others the trouble they went through (and make a few bucks while at it). but the result was that people improved themselves at specific tasks. they improved their ability to make things out of wood, their knowledge of history, their ability to make science projects, or draw 50 different animals.

today, however, the self-improvement industry has lost its way, claiming if you some how improve yourself you'll be better at everything. if you improve yourself, your life will be better. but improve at doing what exactly? and how do you objectively judge the quality of a life? and therein lies the problem with the self-improvement industry and its billions of followers.

have higher self-esteem, says book one, and you'll live a better life. you'll be able to get people to treat you better simply because of your higher self-esteem. think positive, says book two, and you'll be able to do whatever you set your mind to. live in the now, claims book three, and you'll be able to enjoy whatever it is you do.

they speak in generalities. but they don't once consider that perhaps the emotional and mental strength so often seen in the successful follow actually achieving success. whereas the books of old sought to improve ones ability at a specific task, the books of today simply seek to make you feel better about not doing much.

yet there lies the irony. the self-improvement books that seek to make you feel better try to convince you that you need improvement. yet if you are confident, you don't seek out improvement. and if we follow the logic of self-improvement books, which is act as if you are already confident, then you wouldn't be reading the self-improvement books in the first place.

the self-improvement books don't provide any exercises or data with quantifiable results that show improved confidence actually improves one's ability to "be a better person", to "live a better life", or "do whatever one sets his mind to".

they don't bother with the concept of over-confidence which is believing one is capable of more than actually doing.

and that's because confidence and belief in oneself come from actually doing great things. you cannot "improve yourself". the concept is bullshit. but you can improve your ability to do certain tasks. you can improve your knowledge of world war ii. you can improve your ability to draw. you can improve your ability to speak to large crowds. and through accomplishing your goals, you can improve your image of yourself in your own mind and your belief in yourself to do said task as well as any other task you might choose to set your mind and labor to.

but that comes from having quantifiable goals. you have to have something to measure your successes (and failures) against. if you want to "improve with women" or "improve with people" figure out a realistic and measurable way to judge your success.

walking into a room and having every woman swoon at you is not realistic nor measurable (everyone swoons in their own and often unnoticeable ways). having a great conversation with everyone you talk to is not realistic nor measurable (some people are too busy or just bad with conversation themselves).

try these yardsticks of success instead:

1) you have more than one friend who you can call up to hang out with at the last minute.

2) you have more than one friend you can call for help should you ever need help (a ride to the airport, moving, bail money, alibi, etc).

for judging your success with women:

1) you have at least one woman in your life who you consider attractive and who you speak with normally on a regular basis as if she were just another one of your buddies.

2) when you ask out 10 women you find attractive, at least one will say yes.

3) when you try to kiss 10 women you find attractive and have been on a date on, at least one will kiss you back.

4) when you ask 10 women you find attractive and have been on a date with back to your place, at least one will accept, even if she expresses some hesitation at first.

these are the yardsticks i used to measure myself. i did not use how comfortable i felt doing these tasks as a measure of success. i did not use how much they laughed at my jokes more than someone elses jokes. i did not use any subjective measures of my success other than whether i found the women attractive or not and what consisted of a normal conversation.

a normal conversation for me is very different than a normal conversation for you. you might enjoy talking about video games or want to know where the bathroom is. i enjoy talking about football and want to know where the bathroom is.

in short, forget about improving yourself. focus instead on your improved ability to do the things you want to be good at. the good feelings you have for yourself come after that. have quantifiable goals you can measure your success against. a good goal will also clue you in on how to achieve it (hint: by actually trying to do it).

confidence comes from holding yourself accountable, not a book telling you that you simply need to feel good.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

the brad pitt theory

this post relates more to relationships than picking up girls, but i'm sure with a little imagination, you can see how to apply it there.

one of the most famous questions asked in the community is "what would brad pitt do?" whenever faced with a situation they don't know how to handle, would be charmers ask what would the worlds arguably most desirable man do?

having a conversation with a female friend last night, i confirmed a suspicion i've had for a while now. i've stated is earlier in other forms, ie "if she stays she wants to play" and "if she likes you, you can do no wrong. but if she doesn't, you can do no right".

so my take is a little different. instead of asking "what would brad pitt do?" guys should be asking "how would she treat brad pitt?" while its normally not advisable to compare yourself to others, brad pitt or anyone else, in this instance it takes the pressure off.

lets say brad pitt tells a crude joke involving vomit, fecal matter, and rape. all at once. yeah, it's a horrible joke. would that turn the girl off him? would that send her running for the hills? maybe. but probably not. she might not laugh, she might even act disgusted, but she won't break up with him because of it.

if you're in a relationship and you are constantly wondering if you're doing right by your girl, you're doing it wrong. if you feel restricted, nervous, or unsure of yourself all the time. if she's making demands you're breaking your back to meet. unless you like that, you are with the wrong girl.

because no girl would ever do that to brad pitt. and if she did, he'd dump her and move on. what matters is how you feel around her - how she makes you feel. if she treats you any different than she would her perfect guy (brad pitt for example), then you are not her perfect guy. you are doing both of yourselves a favor by dumping her and moving on. you free her to find her mr. right and you free yourself to find someone who will treat you the way you want to be treated.

the thicker your skin, the more you can deal with, so don't take this as an excuse to be a wuss who can't take some heat. but don't put up with more than you feel you need to. if you want to be treated better, demand it. demand it by holding yourself and her to a higher standard.

know that if she is willing to treat someone, anyone better than you, then she is capable of it. and if she is capable of it, you deserve it.

ask yourself, "how would she treat brad pitt?"