Hey, look at that alliteration.
Writing this here in the community section because I think it's a bit too similar to my other pickup posts recently, and a lot of people don't care about pickup posts. Still, I wanted to write something about it, since you might be wondering what happened with pickup.
My original plan was to do pickup for one month, which I thought would be enough to restore me to my former glory. It wasn't, so I felt obligated to keep going. After six or seven weeks total (I forget exactly when I stopped), I realized that I wasn't close to getting back to where I wanted to be. Tyler from Real Social Dynamics estimated that I had another three months to go, which was my estimate, too.
Right now my #1 focus (and, really, my only focus) is working on SETT. I reluctantly distracted myself for pickup for one month (working extra hard for three months before to try to compensate), and kept going for the second month, but really can't do another three months. Given the choice between doing pickup and SETT half-ass or just doing SETT, I'm choosing SETT.
I don't want to give myself a free pass on this. I had a goal to get to a certain level in pickup and despite giving myself extra time, I failed to do so. I also know that pickup is uncomfortable and scary, and that those feelings probably have influenced my decision somewhat. If it was easy and fun, maybe I would have been more likely to stick it out for a while. Then again, I don't do anything fun right now (although I do find work enjoyable). This weekend I did literally nothing besides code, eat, and read. I only left my RV once since Friday to get a proper shower and food. This is a typical schedule for me.
The problem with quitting pickup now is that my dating life is still non-existent. Because of the past six weeks I'm fairly likely to attract a girl I spend time with, but I literally don't meet anyone anymore because I am in my RV working 100% of the time. I don't even go to Samovar to work because I'm not as productive there. So most likely I'll work during 100% of my time for the next 6-12 months and then maybe allocate a decent amount of time to pickup. I've dated a bunch of awesome girls before and been pretty good at pickup, but I've never built a successful tech company, so I don't mind focusing on something new before going back to something familiar.
On the plus side, I did learn a lot in the past six weeks. It was a valuable experience and pretty fun most of the time, too. What I still like most about pickup is how brutally hard it can be and how honest it makes you be with yourself.
Love seeing a post just for this side of the site. I always felt like there wasn't enough Tynan on the message boards so everyone was just running around.
Always tough when you have to choose between making love and making awesome shit (often, you can do both at once).
Cheers on knocking SETT out of the park for the next few months. When that slows down, we'd better see posts about you adventuring with dream girls.
Be careful about burnout, Tynan! If you are working 100% of the time, you are building up an emotional and physical debt that may lead to poor health, poor judgment, and eventually bad code. If you haven't done any read about the subject of burnout, I suggest you do before you decide to work without any breaks!
I've been succesful with the OKCupid method here:
But I stopped because of free time and the lower cost-benefit that comes out of pickup in general. And the free time part was me going on a date every night for 2 weeks straight, in the peninsula. The bad thing about it was I couldn't schedule or plan anything, since I had to block out the entire evening tentatively.
You do get girls who've gained a bunch of weight, but it saves you from the initial stage of approaching a girl to start a date in the first place and wasting time on girls who weren't that interested in you. Since your schedule is really flexible, you probably wont mind just walking away from someone who lied or flaked and just go back to work. Hell you can work while your waiting for your date to show up, park nearby and do the same date and escalation steps over and over and over again. Who knew living in an RV can make your logistics work really well :P Switching from work mode to date mode so suddenly isn't that great for dating although.
As Paul Graham would say, you're essentially fitting a lifetime of work into a few years. Hard to do much else.
One issue I always had whether I was really trying to do pickup or coding/business was being able to switch between the two. If I had spent 5 days focused only on business, I felt like shit going out and kept thinking of all the work I could of gotten done. Likewise, if I was in a social period, every girl I saw was a possible approach that I could/should of done.
I understand your decision, and admire the fact that whenever you do something, you go all-out to do it. I recognize that same tendency in my own character, which has its advantages, but also has its drawbacks.
The major drawback I've found is that I tend to get so absorbed in something, that I neglect other areas of my life.
This leads me to the question: Isn't there a midway opportunity for you?
How about something like this:
- You keep focusing mainly on SETT, but instead of 100% of your time, do this 80% of your time.
- Take one day a week totally of from working on SETT, and fill it with whatever you want
- Take a bit of time each day of to do something physical, something social and something spiritual (exercising, going to some meeting, meditating).
This way, your main focus stays on SETT and that's where you're developing yourself. But in the meantime, you're spending time in all important dimensions of your life. This helps you to renew yourself, giving you more fuel to work on SETT. The major advantage is that you don't have the feeling that any areas of your life (social life, interactions with women) are atrophying.. You're still developing yourself in the main area of your life (SETT), but will keep the rest at base level, thus you get the reassurance that it's taken care of, and don't feel down about not spending time developing yourself in pickup.
For me, this type of approach really works. Maybe something similar would work for you as well.
I did something really scary and dangerous today. I let myself quit.
It's the second day of my Month-of-Pickup, an intensive course correction aimed towards making myself extraverted and social again.
Yesterday was the first day. My friend and I set a goal of doing eight approaches each. We did it just as the mall closed, running around frantically looking for girls to approach. I was scared going in, but left feeling good.
My mind has been scrambled the last couple days. I don't know why, it came on very suddenly. I've made massive strides over the two weeks before - I accomplished about six months worth of work over two weeks. I felt on top of the world. I wasn't even very tired afterwards, I felt good, ready to go.
Then yesterday, just bzzt - nothing. Foggy, almost like confusion. Couldn't focus at all. Strange. I said, y'know what? I haven't had a day off in a while, I'm just going to take the day off. Went and sat at a cafe and listened to some audio for about four hours, walked around and saw the city, went and had a massage, and then sat and ate fruit. Spend like 10 hours in a row just thinking and relaxing, which is good, I don't take full days off very often. I had some good ideas when I was out at the cafe and took some extensive notes, so I got some production out of it too without even trying to.
Now, I wish I could say, "And then I was recharged, and today I was awesome!" But no, I woke up in a fog again. Damn this. I track my time and have some routines to keep me running well, but I was foggy despite it, unable to focus really. Suck, what is this?
I was working, but it was half-working. Now, half-working is a big problem in my opinion. Half-working tires you out as much or more than real full working, but you get about 5% as much stuff done. Yes, 5%. Good work requires something like focus. It doesn't necessarily require the highest levels of focus and flow (though that stuff is very good), but it requires working through the mentally difficult parts when they come up. The worst part about half-work is you cruise through the easy enough stuff, then stumble on a difficult part.
This is doubly bad, because when you come back to your work, you're staring the hardest part in the face. This sucks, you need to kind of regroup and double down to get re-started while staring a difficult or complex part of work in the face. But again, I was in that mental fog and so I start half-working on it, and then I wander off again. And I try to come back to the work, but then - bam, there's this hard problem staring me right in the face, that I already failed to conquer twice.