Hopefully, this bodes well for the direction of the pickup community:
How's your day going??
Good I hope.
I'd like you to meet my friend Bob.
Bob is what you might call your "average" American.
He has big dreams for himself, including a long healthy life, a happy family, a loving wife, a comfortable retirement, and hopefully to have some fun along the way.
Bob has always been a really solid guy. He had a paper route when he was 12 years old that made him over a hundred and fifty dollars a week. He got straight "A's" across the board in school, except in French class where he got a "B". He applied to a good college and got accepted and had a really great experience.
Another shining example of the American Dream...
Bob's favourite movie is "Forrest Gump", a story about how by having a solid set of core values, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and being a contributing member of society you can experience the best of everything America has to offer.
It's incredibly uplifting...
If you haven't seen it yet do yourself a favour and rent a copy ASAP. I'll be sure to let Bob know that you did.
This week Bob turned 30. His life is really just getting started. He has so much to look forward to.
Recently he's just been hired into a Fortune 500 company where he's got all sorts of cool perks like culturally diverse cafeterias where he can get egg rolls and butter-chicken in the same meal, or company get-aways to Denver Colorado where they do team building exercises and come up with mission-statements that focus everyone in on their goals.
Everything seems to be on track. Like, you know... a Norman Rockwell painting come to life.
How could anything possibly go wrong??
Well, there's a few things on the horizon that Bob hasn't seen coming. This is the stuff that didn't really get covered in college or even in Forrest Gump.
First off, like most good Americans Bob likes to eat "Three square meals a day". That includes many good old fashioned American restaurants like McDonalds and Denny's, where loves to get the "All American Grand Slam".
This, combined with sitting in an office all day, causes Bob to get fat.
Bob has no idea that you're supposed to eat 6 small meals a day. Heck, Bob doesn't even know what a "macro-nutrient ratio" is, let alone that the largest meal of the day is supposed to be eaten at breakfast and not before bed.
Of course, like most well-informed citizens Bob is far too concerned about the exotic diseases he reads about on CNN.COM while he's procrastinating at work -- like AIDS, AlQueda spread Anthrax, and even the dreaded Bird Flu-- than to worry about the much less interesting possibility of eventually dying because he's simply overweight.
See, when you ask Bob how old he'll live to be he says "Probably 75 or 80". Secretly though, Bob thinks he'll live to be a hundred or even a hundred and three. He's just too modest to say it out loud.
It never occurs to him that while the average American man lives to his late 70s, most of them have physiques that aren't really worth living in past 40 -- and that if he doesn't proactively take on habits like lifting weights and eating properly that his knees and cardiovascular system won't even be able to muster a simple jog up his quaint American street.
Beyond that, Bob also has a big debt on his credit card and he's in several thousand over his head right now.
It's funny, because when Bob got approved for his new credit card he felt so cool and adult being entrusted with the privilege of having credit.
What he didn't realize, and what credit card companies bank on, is that studies consistently show that given credit, the vast majority human beings will be inclined to exchange the intangible numbers in a computer for the tangible goods that they can hold in their hands.
By allowing himself to go into debt more than 2 weeks pay (at least for "stuff" as opposed to investments like property or education), Bob is basically setting a pattern that ensures he'll live with a lifetime of debt -- paying interest upon compounding interest, always pushing for a "life-style upgrade" over just paying down credit cards and living debt-free.
Bob just keeps forgetting that he lives in the most consumer-driven society in the history of the world -- a culture that is literally *designed* so that you can have a fist full of cash, blink, and find that it's all gone.
"Where did it go?? Uhhhh... You know... Stuff."
Luckily Bob has big plans...
Someday, who knows when but sooner or later, Bob plans to start a really cool business where he's going to make the big bucks.
He knows, after all, that he's a really creative guy because all his friends tell him that he has the most awesome MySpace.
Unfortunantly, Bob has been spending most of his time outside work reading Maxim Magazine and downloading Top 40 Hits and Ring-Tone Rap from iTunes. Bob doesn't really spend a lot of time reading the classics or challenging his mind anymore because he's always burnt out from being immersed in the coorporate culture at his work.
What Bob doesn't understand is that while he was born as an intelligent guy, intelligence and focus and creativity are like muscles which have to be engaged and worked out on a consistent basis.
The fact that he was a straight "A" student (other than in French, of course) is really no longer relevant -- and in the past five years he's become the mental-equivalent of the fat guy who keeps talking about how he used to be in the best shape "back in the day".
Well, that's too bad. Bob might not be about to become the next Timothy Ferris or Bill Gates.
However life really isn't all about the money... and life isn't necessarily even about living a long time.
Life is ultimately about quality. Living a happy, fulfilling life.
Bob knows that no matter what, he has what a lot of guys will never have. Bob has found his true love... his wife Suzy.
It was at a party back in college that Bob and Suzy first met. They had mutual friends and hit it off after Suzy accidentally spilt Bob's drink over by the keg.
"That's OK..." Bob told her as he helped to clean it up. Later that night they hooked up and they've been together ever since.
Life has been good for Bob and Suzy. In the past few years they've bought themselves a great house and had a couple of wonderful kids.
Bob has been working long hours at work to provide everything that Suzy could ever need. They still have sex once a week (after watching "The West Wing"), and while it might not be the who's-your-daddy marathon it used to be, the fact of the matter is that they're still very much in love.
What Bob doesn't know however, is that while his cholesterol-clogged heart is pounding on overdrive as he thrusts aimlessly through his 4 and 1/2 minutes of sex to orgasm, Suzy is on her back imagining that charming cutie-pie Matthew McConaughey who she saw in the movie "The Wedding Planner" and with his shirt off in People magazine.
Of course, Suzy loves Bob to death. But Suzy has needs. She's a woman, and she's a human being.
And Bob is just sooo......... Bob.
Anyway, while Bob is off for the weekend in Denver Colorado eating butter-chicken and crafting mission-statements, Suzy has been thinking about calling back that funny waiter boy who'd served them at Denny's.
He'd slipped her his number on the back of the bill right under Bob's nose, saying that they were into similar kinds of gardening.
It seems weird that he'd be the type of guy who would be into gardening, but really, he seemed to have good intentions and Suzy really wants to get some new plants to show to Bob when he gets back home.
Suzy calls up her waiter-boy and he invites her over to his house. Reluctantly, and after a lot of humour from her waiter-boy, Suzy decides that it's no big deal to drop by.
She arrives and they have a few laughs and a few drinks...
Things get a little playful and silly and next thing you know Suzy is on her back (and various other positions she never knew about) getting railed by Mr. Denny's.
Somehow it just.... happens.
This makes Suzy feel incredibly guilty, and she's very distant from Bob when he gets back home.
Bob gets cranky without his weekly post-Wing luvin', which makes Suzy seek more attention from her waiter-boy, which causes her to continue on getting railed..... and railed in a way that Bob hasn't railed her in years.
Eventually Suzy can't take the lying and divorces Bob -- taking the two kids, the dog (did I mention they have a dog??), and half of Bob's Fortune 500 pension plan.
Bob has no idea that any of this could be his own fault, believing that he'd done everything for Suzy that a decent husband could ever do. He hates her and in court he indignantly calls her a "Deceitful bitch".
Flashforward another 2 decades and now Bob is alone at 50 years old, divorced, broke, fat, unhealthy, and a workaholic. He's got himself a big juicy slice of the new American Dream.
Well, at least he can watch Forrest Gump to brighten up his day..... *shrug*
See, what Bob doesn't understand is that like all people -- he's been living under a cultural myth.
All society's have cultural myths, and really, America's myths are amongst the best and most empowering.
What the American myth tells you is that if you're a good person, you serve the system, and you work hard -- everything in your life will be O.K.
The basic idea is that "The System Works..."
This is of course, a sweeping generalization, and we could debate all day long on the true nature of the American myth. Hopefully we can at least agree that we've covered the basic gist of it.
Social myths are overall a good thing. They give us a common bond, and empower us with the confidence to lead our lives feeling secure and at ease.
The issue, of course, is that times change. Things are moving fast... evolving faster than they ever have before.
In this day and age the educational system is oftentimes simply not equipped to keep up with the constantly changing landscape of our society.
The educational system (and people's resulting systems of beliefs) tends to move at the vexingly slow pace of any other cumbersome bureaucracy.
Academia is typically rigid and rarely fluid -- at least towards certain issues. To implement new knowledge into a cirricululm often takes several years if not several decades.
That's where the self-actualization (or "self-help") movement comes in...
The self-actualization movement is always on the cutting-edge of the curve.
It's privatized and competitive (meaning that if it's not cutting-edge then it gets weeded out by lack of demand) and so it has to adapt to the changing trends quickly and stay current at all times.
Knowledge like "Success with women" is on the so-called cutting edge right now, and it's not taught in school to people like Bob.
Because it's still in it's infancy and it's a response to the changing social climate of the past 10 or 20 years.
It doesn't matter that the "main guys" can take a news reporter out into a social gathering and prove the success-with-women principles in real time. It's *still* not yet accepted by the mainstream and it won't be for many years to come.
That's totally fine....
The people who are ready to seek out a better way will inevitably find what they need (especially with the publicity these days), and those who prefer to remain in their "comfort-zone" will remain there until they decide that they've had enough.
As you've hopefully "clicked" by now, the first principle of self-actualization is to understand social conditioning and the unchallenged assumptions and myths under which you live.
Only by doing so can you achieve self-knowledge and begin to evolve.
If you're able to understand what's *really* going on, then the American dream is still absolutely possible.
We still live in what is historically the most affluent and lowest mortality-rate society that has ever existed. We live in a truly phenomenal world.
It's really just a matter of staying ahead of the curve and questioning your assumptions -- and making a habit of continually correcting and re-correcting your course as you become a smarter and smarter guy.
That means being "in-the-know" about how the world works, and not just assuming that the system is going to "take care of everything" for you.
It's a point of taking personal responsibility.......
Becoming an "Architect Of Lifestyle Design"......
You want the American Dream?? You want your own dream?? You have to be the guy who makes it happen for yourself and stay on top of all the crucial areas -- ie: the old "Health, Wealth, and Relationships..."
It's not hard, and the resources to teach you how to do it are readily available -- but you have to actually use them and follow through.
If you do, you can absolutely live an awesome and fulfilling life.
Anyway, I hope if Bob reads this that he doesn't think that I'm talking trash behind his back... :)
I'm honestly just trying to be a good friend.