In the past month of learning under AlphaX, I focused on the basics of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors which allow us to expand our experiences in life. In the past, I may have adopted one or two of these temporarily, only to retreat back into a normal mode of thinking and behavior. Instead, as AlphaX admonished, establishing consistent behavior and patterns keep these habits in place regardless of life circumstances.
What are these fundamental behaviors and attitudes?
1. On a regular basis, visit local location. AlphaX mentioned that we need a location that we regularly visit, not only to grow comfortable in an environment, but also to build relationships with some regulars. Consider the opposite for a second: trying to establish ourselves in a new bar every night around new people. While it may sound fun initially, we lose tons of energy in trying to establish ourselves there, instead of using our energy to break new ground. This immediately feels different – “I know these people” vs. “I don’t know anyone” from an energy perspective. In the past, I’ve wondered if some of my “enjoying new arenas” wasn’t an excuse for escape from failure.
For approaching, let’s stick to the environment we already feel most comfortable in, as we can grow into other environments later. By focusing primarily on this environment, we can quickly eliminate the other worries, such as “what should I wear” or “what is totally out of bounds?” If we’re comfortable in a coffee shop, then we already know that wearing swimming trunks to it, or screaming “FIRE!!! EVERYONE RUN” are inappropriate. We don’t need to worry about how to approach the environment, as we’re familiar with it.
Also, let’s drop the idea that we’ll have better luck in other places, something very common with some men. If we feel we have to run to another country to experience success, that’s escaping, not learning to take advantage of opportunities in front of us. As I watched AlphaX, regardless of the environment he was in, he took advantage of the moment. His behavior differs from most people who feel that there’s “some place out there than what I currently have.” How often do we feel this way? Our feelings, whether we want to admit it or not, are escapism, simply put. Take advantage of this moment, this location, and this is why sticking to one place for a while can help initially.
My application of this recently has been finding a place that I like, that I feel comfortable visiting, and that I want to continue to visit. Also, in looking back on past behavior, I can sense the escapism of running to a new place – that wasn’t the solution then, and it won’t be the solution now.
2. Build a habit. AlphaX and I discussed consistency when dealing with approaching, as he interacted with multiple girls and told stories about, no matter where he was, he would approach and interact with girls. Again, whether we’re honest to ourselves or not, many of us feel that we need to first find the right person (or the right situation, or the right time, etc), then approach. Not at all. If we see an opportunity, then we take advantage of it regardless of whether we feel that it’s the “right time.” AlphaX wasn’t trying to date any of the women he spoke with; he just wanted to have a fun, playful interaction. Adopting this attitude made it easier for him if an interaction did matter. Contrast that with our thinking of “Oh gosh, now I have to perform!”
If we aren’t practicing our reps, when the time matters, we won’t perform. A habit builds attitude, and AlphaX’s interactions came with ease because he had established a strong habit of interactive dominance. I applied this by approaching people daily, absolutely anywhere, who I didn’t already know and by stimulating interactions above hi and goodbye. I also disabled all distractions as this hinder habits from forming by allowing me to escape from the present (staying present is part of step one and two).
3. Focus on one improvement. When starting a habit, we can easily do too much, too quickly or try to jump into something and burn out later. AlphaX shared numerous stories of interacting with others and on each story, I could sense how he learned something and that knowledge slowly built into interactions he wanted. In fact, at one point, AlphaX stated, “I don’t actually recall conversations, they just happen.” This shows that he interacts without actually thinking through his interaction – something that for beginners, feels impossible. The reason we feel this is impossible initially is because we haven’t learned to automate our conversations – we see all the improvements we need, and it feels too much for us to handle. Note that this is the point where anyone feels the most discouraged (this is true with any behavior).
However, if we focus on one improvement per interaction, we can measure success by “This was done” until it becomes a part of our interactive habit. AlphaX mentioned that he started learning this later in his life and after a decade came to where he was, meaning that these changes won’t happen overnight (and feel the relief that you don’t have to be a master on day one).
This helped a significant amount because I can focus on these improvements interaction by interaction instead of feeling like a major failure after one interaction didn’t go as well as I had hoped. I can sense from many men that they give up because they feel as if they must be the expert on day one, or by day thirty, which our culture tries to encourage many times (“Be an expert today!”) In reality, only the incredibly self-deluded achieve this since they lack self-reflection. Instead, as was obvious from AlphaX’s stories, we should focus on one improvement until we feel that we’re consistent in it, and move to the next. As I’ve built on improvements, I’ve noticed how certain interactions begin to feel more automated and what once felt uncomfortable, now feels natural.
So what happens if we don’t agree with these three fundamentals? Try them for three months and take note if you see any improvement. If you don’t, jump ship and try something else; no experiment wastes time, because we learn from everything we test.