When I was in college, I bought a Rolex. In the week or so that I waited for it to come in the mail, I got really excited about the idea that I was going to have a Rolex. To me, someone who had a Rolex was a different type of person, simply because he bought a fancy watch.
The watch showed up, and it was obviously a fake. I took it to a jeweler, just in case, and he confirmed what I already knew.
But by then it was too late. In my head, I was a Rolex type of guy. So I bought another one-- a real one this time.
I loved my Rolex. I held it up to my ear to hear it tick. When I was bored in class, which was most of the time, I'd watch the second hand's precise bursts from second to second.
But I was still the same person. No one even realized I had a Rolex-- or cared-- except for one creepy guy at a party who also had one.
That was one of many reminders in my life that you can't buy your way into being someone interesting. Even if we ooh and aah over someone's new car or gadget, our subconscious isn't fooled. Deep down we know that purchases don't define anyone.
I eventually lost my Rolex, and it didn't matter.
What defines us is what we do with our time, both through grand accomplishments and our mundane daily habits. For a few years I was a pickup artist. The clothes or cars I bought during that time have come and gone, and no one cares about them. The same is even true of the mansion we all lived in out in Hollywood. No one cared that we lived there. But to this day, seven or eight years after I was actively trying to pick up girls, I'm still known to a lot of people as a pickup artist. More importantly, I have skills and aspects of my character derived from that time that have changed who I am.
Last night I was at a party with some people I hadn't seen in a while. Each one asked me about traveling. Where had I been recently? Any plans to go anywhere soon? For a couple years I traveled around the world as a nomad, and now that defines me as well. No one asked about anything I bought.
A lot of people have the equation backwards. They do boring things so that they can have enough money to purchase what they think is extraordinary, and try to stand out that way. But it doesn't work. We all know that status symbols are just symbols, and we instinctively try to peel back that layer of a person to figure out what they're really about.
When you find out that there's nothing behind the Bentley, it's a let down. When you find out a really interesting person doesn't have a Bentley, you don't care. Material goods don't count.
That's not to say that money doesn't count, of course. I think money is great. It's just a question of how to spend it. You can spend it on plane tickets and apartments in interesting cities, or you can spend it on Chinese-made items with luxury brand names on them. When you're making that decision, just remember: it's not the stuff you buy that defines you.
And just two days ago my friend Amit was commenting that I don't ever mention pickup anymore...
I'm on a flight to Boston right now. I hate that TVs and internet have invaded my sacred distraction-free economy-class productivity haven. I don't use the internet or TV, but I'm distracted by the three TVs visible from my seat.
Several people have asked about the Smartwool Vibrams. No point in buying them... they take a little longer to smell bad than regular ones, but they still smell bad. Mine are getting returned.
I finished Four Hour Body. I'll be writing a review after I try to gain 30 pounds of muscle in a month using Tim's exact protocol.
Photo is the last photo I took of my car before selling it (and everything else) to travel.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to gain 30 lbs of muscle, even with steroids.
Read this. http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/whats-my-genetic-muscular-potential.html
The guys a joke the human body cannot build muscle that fast.
A comment on a footnote... I have a pair of VFF that I really really love, but because of the odor issue I was worried about taking them on a lengthy trip recently. I solved the footwear problem entirely by making huaraches from invisibleshoes.com,which are even better than the VFF in almost every way, and super easy to keep clean and odor-free. They aren't great in wet conditions (but the VFFs aren't so great then either) and sometimes little pebbles get trapped (not a problem with VFF KSO), but other than that they are perfect. If I was doing a competitive athletic event I'd probably pick the VFFs for the "KSO" factor and the tiny risk of the cord breaking.
As far as the main topic of this blog post, it's okay, but sometimes objects give great pleasure because of their superior aesthetics and functionality. And a lot of experiences are basically the empty tourism cliche. It seems you're talking more about the retrospective value of experiences as memories or conversation topics than the actual experiences themselves. The fancy objects are themselves experiences of potentially equal value, but less meaningful in most types of retrospection.
Nice post, and I agree wholeheartedly. What is brought up here is pretty much the whole reason why I hate packing lists and gear posts dominating most travel-oriented websites, so in a way it is a bit amusing to see the reference to the long-awaited Vibrams shoes and the people talking solely about them in the comments.
He says to give your body 2 days to let your muscles rebuild themselves. So yeah that little 30 minute workout is all you get to do once every 2 days. It feels so weird and is so hard. I get to work out tomorrow and I'm so stoked about it!
It is what you give defines who you are. I think more people will feel this emphatically this after they chased their "dreams" of living lucrative and realized 'buying' their way in mean nothing.
By the way, pick up artist community is what it lead me to here. You got to thank the pua community for a major referrals they created in the past. I am sure you are seeing new flock of readership based on nomad, traveling, n' etc.
I know this is beside the point entirely but your second rolex was also fake if you listened to it tick and watched the second hand do anything other than move continuously around the watch face.
Life is not about what's on us that shining, but for me, it's about how much we achieve in life, the experience, the result, the joys within.
The harder you try to stand out and show off in the crowd, the more you lost in achievement.
I learn these lesson through out my life journey as well, where no much people really cares about how shining you are with your cool gadgets, if yes, just awhile.
So fighting for higher achievement is my aim, instead of more people notice about my stuff or things around.
It seems to me that you're arguing here that material things don't matter because they will not define us in conversation situations: instead the things that we do, our activities, will define us.
One thing I've noticed about my habits recently is that I spend a lot of time reading. I was just wondering whether you think a similar argument can be applied to intellectual pursuits: that the books we read, or the ideas we pick up, don't define us. What are your thoughts?
"I can definitely say that NOT working out more than you're supposed to is the most difficult process. Stopping after about 30 minutes of working out just feels so weird."
Doesn't it just say not too work out too many days? The plan he has is to do 30 minutes in a day, but I don't think it said that there's anything wrong with doing more in the same day.... did it?
This is a continuation of the story, How I Became a Famous Pickup Artist Part 1. If you haven't read that already, you should do so before reading this article.
Papa was notorious for being in contact with everyone in the pickup scene. I couldn't blame him, either - he was the business side of "Real Social Dynamics", a company that taught seminars and workshops to aspiring players. Not surprisingly, he was the only person at the seminar that I knew.
In order to extract every last precious second out of my experience, I had gotten on the earliest flight to Chicago that I could book. I called Papa when I arrived at the hotel at 10am. I could hardly make out his voice. He'd been out in the clubs until very late and was still sleeping.
What started out as my exploration of an age-old question: whether total nerds have a chance at snagging highly desired women ripples into a topic that permeates into a thorough exploration of everything regarding the enigma we call 'love' and how it may not be as magical as we first deem it to be.
Reupdate: 3/14/13 Didn't really mean to update on Valentine's Day but there we go. I rescind my 51/49 soul/body split I mentioned in the 3/13 update after responding to Zach's post on Sebastian Marshall's blog http://sebastianmarshall.com/dont-underestimate-biochemistry. I now believe it is a dynamic split that changes based on situation.
Update: 3/13/13 In yet another update of this post's evolution the original question has been staked in the heart by Tynan's latest post Not that kind of person. I am now more convinced than ever that there are no 'pre-sets' in life and the only barriers we put up are the ones of our own making. Not everyone starts on even-footing and some have advantages over others but in the long run for most things we are self-defined. For the longest time I've tackled a deeper philosophical question - is the body a victim of biological processes or are biological processes controlled by the body? (ie can we use willpower alone to induce biological change) Are human personalities just a sum of biochemical reactions or is the human persona a product of the 'soul'? I now believe that we have a lot more power than we give ourselves credit for and even though our bodies and higher aspects (mind/soul) may often conflict with one another ultimately the higher aspects are in control.
Admittedly hormones and such play a big role in our day to day feel/function and have enough weight to throw us off course . Starting out I think we may be a 51/49 split of mind over matter but with self discipline and proper care of the human vessel in my experience that ratio only goes up to pass more control to the higher self.
Update: 9/6/12 Figure I'd clean this up and add in a shortcut to help anyone trapped in the loop of pining for women - most of what is considered "love" doesn't exist just sex. Read the end of this post for the explanation why. Otherwise original post below...