Stability has to come before progress. You can’t get progress if you’re constantly arguing in your relationships, feeling not in control of your finances, not budgeting out your expenses, having credit card bill and etc.
The biggest progress I made in my life came from getting the basics handled. I learned this the hard way. When I was having constant arguments with my parents when I was a teenager, my academics suffered. In the business world, I could focus on projects when had no problems with client payments. When a client wouldn’t pay on time, I was frustrated when asking for payment, and that affected my work.
So, if you’re looking to better your relationships with girls, or just about any pursuit in life general, there needs to stability in your immediate surroundings. Safety in relationships and surroundings gives you stability to take risks in other areas of your life. This includes a safe place to stay, financial stability, and financial cushion if you’re planning on leaving your job and being an entrepreneur.
Firstly, do you have a safe place to sleep at night? You can’t be homeless and attempting to hit the clubs trying to pick up girls. It just doesn’t work that way, at least for the majority of us.
When I was in New York, I rented out a shit-y Airbnb apartment. Even that, I wasn’t half as motivated to go out to meet girls. I knew I needed to get my finances right before I could enjoy my travels.
I know some guys getting into this have toxic family relationships. I know I have. I used to fight with my parents all the time. They would subtle threatened to kick me out of the house, stating that after all, it was their house. It wasn’t a safe environment for me the better myself.
If you’re in a un-safe place, then move out. It’ll do you wonders.
Safety in Your Relationships
There’s a study done by Harvard that says that relationships contribute the biggest part of happiness to our lives.
You can’t have progress without stability in the relationships around you. This means: friends that show up for social events that you had planned, no drama queens or kings in your romantic and personal relationships, friends that don’t shit on you for your endeavours… you get my point.
I’m highly careful of the people I let into my day to day life.
One of the litmus tests I use is to observe their reactions when I talk about ambition and growth. How does the person sitting in front of me react to it? Will they feel threatened? Do they subtlety roll their eyes or do they want to know more about why or how you had those ambitions?
I couldn’t find stability in my relationships at one point in my life. Over the last year, I was feeling constantly stressed out. I had subconsciously allowed crappy relationships and people into my life. The people around me had poor relationship patterns. You know, those that show up when they got nothing going on in their lives, and disappear when they’ve got a partner. It made me feel, undervalued. Not surprisingly, they also became my biggest critics.
“Look at Marcus, he’s being all superficial again, going out to clubs.”
The old cliché of the closest people being you your biggest critics when you do something different stands true.
I’m not going to bore you with the age old advice of you being who you surround yourself with, however, I am going show you the scientific research behind the peer group effect.
You become who you surround yourself with.
The Tripod of Stability
I came across a concept introduced by Ramit Sethi, one of the best personal finance and behavioural change writers on the internet. He introduced the idea: the tripod of stability, which I felt made a lot of sense.
The fundamentals are a safe place to sleep and basic nutrition. Like I’ve mentioned, you can’t be attempting to get good at your relationships, run a business if you’re eating poorly, having arguments with family and friends, having migraines or you don’t have a bed to sleep.
Secondly, you’ll need to straighten out your own psychology. This means setting boundaries, ironing out your values. This will generate genuine self esteem amongst your relationships. You can’t let guilt or shame run your life.
Thirdly, you’ll need to generate true self esteem. Self esteem isn’t about getting the swankiest job or getting straight A for your degree. True self esteem is the ability to make judgment and adjust accordingly regardless the circumstances in your life.
- When was the last time you said no a friend asked you out to an event you didn’t want to go?
- When was the last time you re-arranged your schedule just to go out with a girl?
- When was the last time you turned down a money making opportunity because it didn’t fit in your larger goals?
Once you got your psychology straightened out. Now, you’re ready to tackle the finer details of starting a conversation with a stranger, approaching girls, starting a business and etc.
If you want to get somewhere, you’ll need mentors in your life. Getting mentors was an idea I rejected for years and years. I’m a little rebellious and have a poor track record with dealing with authority. I preferred doing and learning everything myself. I was also the annoying student that always wants to outdo my mentor, instead of actually listening to him.
I always preferred creating my own learning and training philosophies, instead of sticking to the routine. It worked out for me some times, and some times it didn’t.
However, there’s a reason why education systems and Universities exist, you’ll need to learn from someone else. Whether be it in person, online or books. You can’t do or learn everything by yourself. Billionaires Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet are voracious readers in their day to day life, they are constantly learning, despite being extremely successful individuals in their own rights.
It’s also crucial to pick the right mentors.
One of the best mentors I had in my life was Mark Manson. His ideas and philosophies towards dating and relationships have paid off dividends in my life. The worst mentors, on the other hand, led me to approach digital marketing in an unethical and sale-sly way. That alone cost me over thousands of hours and dollars.
There are going to be good mentors and wrong mentors. Your values are going to be largely determined by the person you learn from, as with the people you spend time around, and the environment you create for yourself and put yourself into.
Change is hard. When I first introduced the book: Models to a good friend 6 years a go. He scoffed at the idea of attracting girls through honesty. Needless to say, we’re no longer speaking friends today. This was a friend I grew up with and visit his family for weekly dinner. It was painful to lose a friend like that. It hurts. But that’s life.
You’re going to face criticism when you change something about yourself. You’re going to face resistance from people around you.
Over the years, one thing I figured is that you’re going to have people criticize you no matter what you do in your life. If you cured cancer, some asshole is going to say: why didn’t you cure aids instead? If you started a business helping others in their relationships, someone else is going to say: you should be spending more time on charity.
I’ve heard people called me insensitive, selfish, immature, misogynistic and many uglier things.
I used to (and still) get a little depressed when others called me these things. Hence, I had to learn how to handle criticism. I ask myself: Is there any evidence or validity in their criticisms? Can they present those arguments to me in a non judgmental or aggressive manner?
You know what’s the funny thing? Some of the critics who called me ugly things on Facebook weren’t even regular people in my life. How can someone pass judgment on my character, when he or she has not seen me in person for years? Furthermore, most of the time, there’s no validity nor evidence to their criticism.
Well, people are assholes on the internet. Like the old cliché goes: haters are going to hate.
Creating the Environment Required for Your Success
When I studied in the States, I had my own place, I ate consistently at the school canteen and I didn’t have annoying parents intruding into my personal space.
I also had the freedom to choose the identity I wanted to portray. I wasn’t the academic failure anymore. I was free to be smart once again. I wasn’t the boy who pissed off his parents and caused trouble for his teachers. I was free to be a student again. I was also studying in the top public University in the States. There were no rebellious students, no one to party with on the weekends. No one to fool around with. Just me, the library, and my school notes. I was also shit scared of wasting a thousand dollars invested in the summer program.
Needless to say, I did well.
When I came to Singapore, everything quickly fell back to zero. I started underperforming, I couldn’t wake up on time, my bad dietary habits came back, I started feeling restless and moody. I couldn’t focus on work and read a book seemed difficult all over again.
I was curious. I needed to know the Science behind it. How does our external environment play a role in determining one’s success?
Well, it turns out that my gut feeling was right. Our environment does play a huge role in determining our habits, hence, determining our success. Humans are more reliant on our environmental cues than you think.
If you aren’t in safe place, have a couple of handy relationships and consuming food that doesn’t kill you, you’re probably not in the right environment for growth.
Finally, you’ll need to create your own environment for success. This can come in the form of investing in a coach to keep you accountable. This can be passing your friend $100 before the start of the night and telling him that he gets to keep it if you don’t approach 10 girls when you’re at the club. This can be investing up to 10s of thousands of dollars into your own entrepreneurial education, so much so that failure is NOT an option.
The biggest growth periods in my life were because I was shit scared of failing. I had no way out but to succeed.
Sethi, R. (n.d.). Tripod of Stability. Retrieved from I Will Teach You to be Rich: https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/the-tripod-of-stability/
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Peer Group. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_group
Ciotti, G. (n.d.). Want to Change Your Habits? Change Your Environment. Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/habits-not-hacks/201408/want-change-your-habits-change-your-environment