I love failure. When it occurs, I'm pretty indifferent to it, but as a concept I love it. Failure lets you know that you're doing something wrong. It shines a light on a personality trait that needs to be fixed,one that probably would go unchanged if it weren't for failure.
People who fail and get angry are missing the point. Failure is opportunity. It's like getting angry that your car tells you you're low on gas. The indicator light isn't the problem,the level of fuel is. Further, hiding the failure doesn't solve the underlying problem. Disconnecting the indicator light won't fill up your gas tank, but filling up your gas tank will turn off the light.
During my tenure as a pickup artist, I never took failure personally. It never mattered to me. Each time I failed, I felt as though the girl had revealed a secret to me. No attractive girl is chaste her whole life, no girl is a bitch to every guy. If she didn't want me to call her, that meant that there was something unattractive about me that I had to change. Compliments and success stroke my ego, but honest critical feedback leaves me thinking for months.
I have failed financially so far. It's not that I'm poor, or anywhere close to it. I'm sure my income, net worth, or lifestyle are impressive or even enviable to a lot of people. I'm so immeasurably grateful for everything I have that I feel a tinge of guilt on a daily basis for not spending the entire day thanking everyone who has made my life so great. However, despite whatever success I have, I am not where I want to be. I will be a billionaire, I will own my own submarine and airplane, and I will spend the majority of my life traveling and seeking adventure. I'm not nearly as close as I should be to these goals, and I'm not exactly on the express train there.
It was hard for me to put my finger on why. I'm smarter than a lot of people who have hundreds of million of dollars. I have more discipline than anyone I know. I embrace risk, but have a background which has given me the knowledge to evaluate every risk and make the right decision most of the time. I have good connections and a handful of people who would invest in projects I do. I'm surrounded by smart people who give me good advice and would love to work with me. I even have a blog where people take interest in my life and offer me their thoughts. I understand people. I'm good at a lot of different things from rapping to building web sites. Is there a critical element I'm missing?
On Thursday I was sitting at the office about to redesign another web page. Steve, my boss and friend, came into the office and we started chatting about the Jay-Z concert. That evolved into me talking about wanting to be a rapper. He asked if that's really what I wanted to do.
"I don't really know. It seems fun."
He thought for a moment. I have a lot in common with Steve, so it's easy to relate to him. Though not identical, we share a lot of the same entrepreneurial ideals and financial philosophies. We even both put all of our money into Berkshire Hathaway. The big difference is that he is very significantly more financially successful than I am.
"It seems like you want to do a lot of different things, but that you aren't really passionate about any of them."
It's true, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't know that I've ever read or heard of a success story where the protagonist wasn't passionate about what he did. I like rap, Tynan's Angels, this site, my diet book, work at Smiley Media, and whatever other projects I may be involved in at any given time, but none of them are my passion.
He told me about how he became successful and how he was similar but he forced himself to get passionate over one project just by realizing that his attention was too quickly diverted. He told me that he made it his mission to make Smiley Media successful, and that he decided that he wouldn't quit until it was.
"Did it ever look really bad? Bad enough that you wanted to give up and do something else?"
It gave me a lot to think about. We started talking about my different projects and interest, trying to find passion in one of them. It wasn't anywhere to be found. The only thing I'm really passionate about is living life to the fullest, but that's a selfish ideal that doesn't lend itself well to starting a business.
He finally concluded that I should focus on becoming the most famous pickup artist in the world. It's a good idea, but I just don't enjoy pickup enough to do that. I think I enjoy the notoriety of being a famous pickup artist a lot more than I actually enjoy the act.
He left after we talked for over an hour. I intended to keep working, but it seemed like a trivial task given then weight the conversation had on me. Instead I sat in my chair for two hours staring at the wall thinking. I skated home and continued the thought .
I talked to Evan on the phone, and she didn't take the conversation quite as seriously as I had, but she agreed. One interesting thing she pointed out was that when I really am passionate about something, it happens. It's true,how unlikely is it that I would get to live with the best pickup artists in the world and learn from them? I remember telling a friend the first day I got involved in pickup that I would "take it over". One day I looked up at a building and thought that living there would be the best thing ever,now a year later I live in the best condo in the building. Even my car was a car that I used to dream of having. All of these things happened in roundabout ways that I would have never expected, but they ended up happening.
After a lot of thought, I came to the semi-satisfying conclusion that I don't know what I want to do, but that I am ready to do it. I have spent years building myself into the kind of person who can do anything. I can adapt in a day to become anything I want (vegan, a neat person, etc.). I have the confidence to think huge and to know that I will achieve what I want. I'm starting to get rid of distractions (this blog stays, but that book I was writing is gone.) I'll have something exciting for you soon...
I am feeling this conversation about passion in what I am doing in life but I have to ask... What is a pickup-er?
As the reel deal pointed out you should check out "The Secret". Its a pretty informative vid.
Otherwise, to quote Mystery "Any passionate relationship I have began passionately." Same with things. If I dont start out passionately on something then I rarely get passionate for it later while doing it. I kinda have the same thing where I start out strong and passionate and it kinda wears out for a while. Theres only three things in my life that I have never lost passion for (at least not yet) and thats psychology, living, and pick up. You do so many things and lead such an intriguing and varied life that it would be hard to focus on one thing but I also bet there are things in your life you are extremely passionate for like rap or kareoke. Lifes to short not to be passionate.
Tynan, Tynan, Tynan. It has been too long. I've ceased working at your home away from home, so we won't cross paths as much, unfortunately. Although Elisia mentioned to me that you are vegan now and when I was reading this post you mention it as well. As you know, I myself am vegan, and I am slowly but surely (not all that much free time lately), building and fleshing out my website for... vegan personal cheffing and catering. So bookmark the site and check it periodically. You being the famed sequinned hat man can order services prior to the completion of the website, if you so desire.
p.s. maybe January 14th or 15th (24 premiere) we could have a dinner or something. I'll keep in touch.
p.p.s. keep up the work on the intriguing blog
"The Blog of Destiny". Lovely.
Your passion in life is huge part of being a great "PUA". It's about who you are and drawing not just girls, but everyone into your life/passion. Otherwise, you're just button pushing.
Anyway, speaking of thanking Geoff in your thanksgiving post, he showed me this last summer that I know you'd like www.thesecret.tv
Hi Tynan ... I found your blog coupla months ago, and I have been reading it since. Do you know that your blog is refernced about the UT tunnels in Wikipedia? that is how I found your blog.
I once read, "Life is what happens while you are planning to something else." I am not sure if it is famous or anything, but I think it is pretty true. I myself have few things tht I like to do, and I wanna have the money to be able to do. On the same hand, I'm not gonna drown into seeking wealth and money to the point tht I stop doing wht I love.
Anyways ... I like ur blog ... nd being in Austin u show me alota things going on in Austin tht I have no clue of : ))
keep it coming
I read this yesterday, but wasn't in a position to post.. It's rather eerie that you're posting about Passion -- For the past 6 months passion has been the reason I have failed multiple times... I might have missed out on one of the greasteast opportunities because I was told I'm passionless - By the time the 4th random person told me this, I was convinced there is something to this passion thing. If I could buy it in a bottle I would.. but apparently it has to come from within.. If anyone comes up with a way to attain it, let me know :) I'm trying to figure out how you can supposedly be amazing at something, yet if there's no passion, it doesn't matter how goood you.
Fuck it, find some way to make a billion "living life to the fullest." There HAS to be a way, I guarantee it's possible.
Something I wrestle with from time to time is whether to focus on my strengths or my weaknesses. On one hand, weaknesses often represent the lowest hanging fruit. If I'm really bad at, say, programming, a small amount of effort can radically increase my abilities. If I was excellent at programming, that same amount of effort would produce negligible results. On the other hand, time spent by a skilled programmer will create usable work, whereas time spent as a poor programmer probably won't produce anything useful.
An interesting thing to consider is that where you spend your time will define who you are as a person. A person who spends all of his time on his strengths will be a very narrowly focused person. He gets good at something and keeps hammering away at it until he's an expert. He who spends time focusing on his weaknesses will have a very broad focus. He'll be fairly good at lots of little things, but not a true expert in any.
So which is better? Well, despite the impression I give in a lot of my writing, not everything has to be extreme. This is one of those cases where an optimal path may lie somewhere in the middle.
For most of my life I've been way on the side of working on my weaknesses. I was terrible with girls, so I became a pickup artist (but quit before I got as good as people like Mystery, Style, Tyler, etc.). I made no money, so I became a professional gambler. Even though I spoke passable Spanish and Chinese, I switched to learning Japanese. I had never traveled, so I spent a year going everywhere. Whenever I saw a big weakness, I would dive into it head on. Once I cross that "decent" threshhold, I'd back off and start something new.
You can't control definitively whether you'll succeed or fail, but you do get to set the parameters. The way I live my life, I will either be an big success or a huge failure. There are a variety of potential paths ahead of me, and zero of them lead to comfortable success or minor failure. None of them lead to numb mediocrity.
How do you adjust these parameters? You set goals and accept risks. If you set goals low and don't accept many risks, you have no chance of huge success or huge failure. You'll end up somewhere in the middle. Maybe you'll end up a bit better off than you expected, or a bit down on your luck, but you'll be somewhere in the range of "fine". On the other hand, you can set extremely high goals, leave yourself no reasonable plan B, and take massive risks to get those goals. It's the only way you'll even reach them, but you may fall short and crash.
In my case, I've put all of my eggs in the SETT basket. I hope it becomes a huge success that makes me a lot of money, gives me some power to improve conversation on the internet, and all that. At this point I've invested two years of my life into it, with no plans of changing that allocation going forward. I've passed up many smaller opportunities that could have made me money. I do have some money saved up, but it's hard to count it as a backup plan when I know with certainty that if SETT failed I'd use it to start another company and go all in.
I work as smart as I can, I live frugally, and I plan for contingencies-- I'm not reckless, but when a calculated risk presents itself, I'm all over it.