Ever since I jumped on the self-improvement bandwagon a few years ago, developing and growing has become my personal crack cocaine. Or something like that.
As I’ve gotten a bit older, I spend significantly less of my time doing things that I don’t feel are personally useful and either drive my growth or make me money. As a result, I’ve learned even more useful skills than ever, and my personal development has accelerated while almost all negative relationships and time-wasters in my life have been eliminated.
With this said, I’ve compiled a list of six of the most important lessons I’ve learned recently. This wisdom should be a significant help to other men following the same journey. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of what I’ve learned; in fact, you can expect more of these down the road.
Frankly, a long introduction is not necessary for this post, so let’s begin.
1) Master The Process, and The Results Will Come
Mastering the process of anything takes time, dedication, patience, and tenacity. A low percentage of the population have the traits needed to truly succeed at their craft. For some people, many of these traits come naturally, but fortunately for any man interested in his own success, these traits can be developed.
Knowing this, I’ve seen where I’ve gone wrong and right with past endeavors: the sports I’ve played, my current career, my writing, with women and other relationships, and so forth. I’ve learned a lot from examining both success and mistakes. This doesn’t mean that everything I do is now perfect; simply that I have learned from previous mistakes and I continue to grow from them.
As my mindset developed towards constant growth, self-growth related topics have become a reasonable percentage of what I talk about with others. From these conversations, I’ve learned that most people don’t even put in the effort to master any process, let alone do all of the hard things and learn all of the details. Sure, I competed in many sports when I was younger, and had I paid more attention I would have learned this in better detail back then, but I didn’t see the world the same way back then because I was stubborn and socially inept.
Moreover, I’ve noticed that even successful people are usually ignoring something that they could work on to make them a lot better at what they do. Tell a successful but out of shape businessman he needs to hit the gym and work on his charisma to make his business and personal skills even better, then listen to his excuses. Many websites don’t do good SEO (I’m still working on that, god damnit). There’s many other examples, but you get the idea. If you’re not afraid to do something unknown to you, you have a huge leg up. Most people are afraid to adjust as necessary.
Another observation is that most of the people that have a lot of the same habits that I have developed in the last few years are very successful people. Realizing this has taught me a lot about how success is achieved and where I fit into the picture. If I didn’t talk to others, I’d have taken my own self-discipline for granted. Still, there’s always a lot to learn, and the best people to learn from are those who have what you want and are a few years ahead of you.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Unless you’re 50-0 Floyd Mayweather, you’ll never be perfect at anything. But it’s worth your while to get as damn near close to that as possible at whatever you choose to put the most effort into. Get as good as you possibly can at everything else to achieve whatever goals you want to achieve. Put out your best product and get legitimate feedback to what you’re doing right and wrong, then improve on everything you’re doing wrong while leveraging your strengths. If you don’t want to take the time to learn something new, especially in a business context, it may be better to pay someone to do it for you. Almost all experts in given fields will tell you this type of advice.
2) Relationships are Almost Never 50-50
This has been spoken about a lot in the Manosphere, since much of the discussion is about pickup, and women are particularly sensitive to their standing in relationships.
When I first learned PUA and applied a handful of its techniques, I was meticulous and disciplined about how I applied them. I always waited a while to text back, I showed limited interest (although often too limited), I generally projected an aura of mystery, and so forth. This usually worked in my favor, especially in the American dating market, even if some girls were turned away by what they perceived to be a lack of interest.
With time I realized that most girls would respond well to me very well more or less regardless of how I acted, as long as I acted “alpha” enough. My value, in both looks, masculinity, and lifestyle, was and is high enough that I felt that I didn’t necessarily have to go out of my way to apply game techniques with most girls.
However, over time I realized some girls were trying to toy with me more than I liked (which is normal, it’s part of the dance), especially in the early stages of courtship through phone/text game. I’d get back to them when I was available instead of making them wait, which was sometimes a little too soon. Girls can only go by their own perceptions, and their perceptions can be manipulated. They can perceive your neediness through just one slip-up or one “imperfect” response to something, even if it seems tiny. A second or third slip-up will confirm it to them. If it persists further, forget about it. Don’t let it get to that point, but if you do, you either need to change your behavior or get rid of them.
So now I’m back to the rule of playing it by feel. If I feel a lack of respect or interest than I generally show less than I am given. If she’s showing little interest, I move on.
This is true with men as well, especially in business relationships. The ideal goal is to release yourself of the need of any one person. If you are a high-value man, you will realize that you can get value from a lot of people; hence, the abundance mentality. If you don’t get what you want out of any one person, you will eventually get it from someone else, because you’re that damn high value. This mindset alone will open your world up to a ton of possibilities.
3) Maximize your Value and Be Unafraid of Demonstrating It
Just by being a man concerned with self-improvement and masculinity, you have a massive leg up in the world. There aren’t enough of you left
— Western Mastery (@WesternMastery) September 10, 2017
That’s right, I’m quoting myself from Twitter. Why? Because I think that highly of my tweets.
This is absolutely critical and one of the fundamental things that any man has going for them. There aren’t enough men in the world acting like true fucking men.
To expand on the tweet, simply by being a man who takes the time to self-improve in every way imaginable, you stand out in modern society. You’re much more valuable to society than the majority of men who are emasculated and may only be good at a few skills and lackluster in almost everything else. These skills you can learn, such as learning charisma, persuasion, weight lifting, history, foreign languages, and so forth, ultimately help you succeed in almost everything you do. Scott Adams calls this the talent stack. People see this in you and will respect you for it.
The main thing you need to do is to shift your mindset over to being a winner, and then take the time to actually make yourself a winner. Do this by maximizing your value through your skills, discipline, and mindset. Then be unapologetic about displaying it when necessary. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be a cocky motherfucker or a raging asshole, but you can be if you wish; just be prepared for any blow back. At the very least, you must intrinsically know your value in the world and be unafraid to demonstrate or exercise it, especially when you’re getting a bad deal out of what you’re doing.
4) People Cater to Strength
If you are the strongest person in the room with the most charisma, people almost always respond to you in a very positive light. People will respect your strength and cater to your frame in one way or another.
On the flip side, if you allow someone to disrespect you or bully you, you will see some of the worst aspects of human nature, especially if they have poor boundaries.
You must be your own source of strength while you navigate through the world. Be physically strong and know how to defend yourself, be a man with an interesting lifestyle, and be a man who doesn’t let others impose their frames on him. This is best done with verbal indifference. You don’t need to get in an argument with someone to show that you’re on top, usually you can just show that you don’t give a damn because you know there’s no way they can hurt you.
Remember: one of the absolute worst things you can do in life is let someone impose their frame on you. Unless someone has a gun to your head, don’t let this happen to you.
On the flip side, know that when people respect you, they’re a lot less likely to show you their bad side. Only judging a person by how they act around you, especially if you’re very charismatic or powerful, typically leads to a poor judgment call. If you want to evaluate someone’s character, you have to listen to what people say about them, and observe how they act in various situations, then draw your own conclusion. As they say, when someone shows you their true nature, believe them.
5) Persuasion and Charisma are Among Your Two Most Important Skills
We work and interact with people every day of our lives. Charisma helps get you meet people, get laid, get and keep a great job, and so forth. Making people feel like they know you, like you, and can trust you is essential primarily because human nature values human connection and because money flows through these connections.
On this note, know that charisma is critical for effective persuasion, Just because you have charisma, however, doesn’t mean you can necessarily persuade, but it’s a key component of it.
The most fundamental fact that I’ve learned about persuasion is that it is really a matter of just setting off that “click” in someone’s head that causes them to make a decision. Most of these “clicks” occur unconsciously. Sometimes, people can verbalize why they made a decision, but they often cannot. Figuring out what makes these decisions occur is how you start to become good at it.
For instance, I’ve learned that people perceive you as a “higher class” person through subtle cues in your body language, your mannerisms, and your presentation. Professional presentation matters, for instance, for a business. The quality of a website or a store front has a huge influence on people’s perception of the quality of the business and for any sales (persuasion and sales go hand in hand). Most people look at something professionally presented and they just accept that it is high quality without further evidence. This is a fundamental fact of life that you want to work into your own favor.
6) Find Experts That You Trust, Then Actually Take Their Advice
Find trusted sources on subjects you are interested in, then actually listen to them. If they are telling you in detail how they became successful, you should usually do the same thing!
Sure, experts and authority figures can obviously lie to you. Money is one of the primary reasons they may do so; whether they are paid off by some person or group, or because they just want you to believe you absolutely need one of their products. For instance, the media may be (and has been) paid by a source to spread misinformation, or it may be financially profitable for a businessman to tell you that you need a product that you don’t actually need. Consider this when you listen to a person or take their advice; you must understand the motives of why they are giving out information or are trying to sell you something.
Most experts want to sell you their products. That’s normal. Many just want to sell you a book. Obviously, before you buy, you want to see what people say about the book. Social proof matters. Is it a book loaded with great advice, or is it just said expert trying to funnel you into purchasing more of some product? Purchasing a great product can be a good idea, of course, but understand its utility to you versus what it will cost you before you purchase it. If it’s a good book in a topic you care about, just buy the damn thing.
So if you mostly or fully trust the given authority, and if they are giving you legitimate advice via one medium or another, then shut the fuck up and listen! Listen to everything that they did to become successful at what they have done. You can draw your own conclusions later. Don’t tell yourself “there’s no way in hell I’d do that” and mentally tune out before you even listen. This was a habit of mine that I had to eliminate from my own thinking process. Once I eliminated this habit, I got a lot more out of everything that I read and listened to.
It’s almost always best to listen to multiple experts on a subject, draw a general consensus of what they did to become successful, and drive forward with what they tell you to do. If you find a better method, great. Everyone has unique talents and ideas that they bring to the table. It takes time to get good at something, but until you’ve developed your own proven methods you should almost always listen to the experts.
Hopefully these lessons taught you something. These are among my favorite types of articles. I like to look at what intelligent, worldly men have to say about the lessons they’ve learned, then compare my own life and see what I can learn from them.
Overall, I’ve learned so much in the last few years that it was difficult to narrow it down to just six lessons. Therefore, I will write the second part in the near future.