A while back, a couple guys asked me if I could write some of my beliefs and mentalities when it came to women. I don’t claim to be the best guy with women ever. And I definitely don’t claim to be the most emotionally healthy guy walking around. In fact, I still have some lingering beliefs and thought-patterns that I’m still trying to uproot myself.

But I do know that I’ve come a long way in developing some very helpful mindsets. And I also know that I came to this stuff with a lot of helpful beliefs and mentalities that are probably partly responsible for why I became successful very quickly.

Here’s a run down of some of the more important ones to me, with why I feel that they’re important.

99% of People Are Good, It’s Your Job to Find It
This is one that I’ve had for most of my life. I believe that we all face struggles, failures and insecurities. There are very, very few naturally mean or evil people in the world. Any appearance of malice is either someone acting out insecurities and fears onto you, or simply a mis-communication. Everyone means well. Everyone thinks that they’re right. And everyone thinks that they’re doing the best they can with what they’ve got. Instead of fighting them or defending against them, try to empathize with them. See where they’re coming from and what motivates them. You’ll be surprised.

This helps with women because it trains you to always look for the best in them. As humans, we’re attracted to people who see us how we want to be seen. We’re also attracted to people who see the best in us. Where a lot of men might write a girl off as a “bitch” or “self-centered,” I will often see a girl who’s scared and insecure. Once I’m able to empathize with that, she’s very likely to connect with me and open up to me.

I’m Capable of Anything If I Put the Time and Effort Into It
Another one I’ve had my entire life: a delusional belief in my own capabilities. If there’s one thing my parents got right, it was pushing this onto me at a very young age. I think the fact that I come from a family of entrepreneurs isn’t a coincidence with this one.

I had just never considered applying this to women before I discovered the PUA community. It’s been very interesting meeting and working with so many other men since then. Most guys I meet seem to believe that for whatever reason that they’re not capable of getting the results other guys get. I’ve had students, when I tell them, “You could have hooked up with with at least two of the girls you met tonight,” they look at me in utter disbelief. As if I’m talking about some other person.

My mindset when I started this was always the complete opposite. In fact, I remember not even being finished with “The Game” and saying to myself, “I’m going to be as good as Mystery one day. I’m going to get as many girls as him, if not more,” and honestly believing it. That belief never shook. Even when it took me three months to work up the nerve to approach. Even when my first 50 approaches or so were disastrous. I always believed that these women should be wanting to go home with me, I just hadn’t figured myself out yet.

Women Want to Be Seduced
Also see: She’s Your Biggest Fan. This took me a long time to realize and accept. For whatever reason, early on I had a lot of bizarre beliefs that hitting on women was bad and disrespectful, that women only wanted to have sex with their boyfriends or husbands, that women didn’t like sexual attention from men.

I don’t completely know when this started to sink in. But I’m pretty sure it came after I had been seeing a number of women and hanging out with a lot of female friends. I remember the first time a girl told me after sex she didn’t care if I didn’t call her. I was absolutely floored. I was speechless at the time.

My female friends were great in this area too. I had never had the courage to bring up sexual topics with them before pick up. But when I started talking to them about their dating lives and sex lives, it really blew me away how much I didn’t understand. Just seeing how women talk about men when men aren’t around was highly influential. I often heard them say things like, “Oh, why did he do that? He was so cute before he did that!” followed by a ton of disappointment. Or “This guy is really hot, but he’s acting so weird. Why can’t he not be weird. I want to do him, but not if he’s going to be weird!”

Most People Honestly Don’t Pay Much Attention to You
This isn’t a bad thing. It’s just human nature. We’re all far more concerned with ourselves. And therefore we all assume others are more concerned with us than they actually are. I also think insecurity exacerbates this. It’s like when you get a stain on your shirt, you feel like everybody sees it and is looking at it. But in reality no one notices it and the few who do notice it don’t care. This took me a while to realize in regards to social status but I started noticing it when all of the “social proof” nonsense started coming out a year or two ago.

People just really don’t care. If you walk into a bar with two girls, and flirt with the bartender and get a free beer. That blond on the other side of the bar doesn’t notice or care most likely. She’s probably busy worrying about what other people are thinking about her. If you don’t believe this, let me ask you this, last time you were in a bar, how many guys did the second hottest girl there give her phone number to? You probably have no idea. Because you probably weren’t paying attention. Because you were probably busy worrying about what your friends and the girls around you thought about you. So what makes you think she was paying attention to you?

David Foster Wallace summed it up best: “You’ll stop worrying what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do.” No one’s keeping a scorecard. No one’s keeping track of your “social status points.” Most people don’t even notice you until you walk up to talk to them.

We Only Get One Shot, Make it Count
We only get one lap around the track of life. One lap, one try, that’s it. There’s no redo. Every moment that passes is a moment you will never see again. Ask yourself, is this what you want to spend your time doing, moment-to-moment? If not, why are you spending time on things that do not fulfill you? Why aren’t you pushing your comfort zone and experiencing as much as you possibly can? I want to see things never seen. Do things never done. Feel things never felt. Why else are we here? There’s an infinite potential to life and why you wouldn’t pack as much as you can into every single second, I have no idea.

When I was 19-years-old, a good friend of mine died. He drowned at a party right in front of our eyes. One second he was there. The next gone. Never coming back. Ever. Afterward, there was trauma, shock and then depression. But I came out of that experience with a seemingly sub-conscious awareness that this could be it at any moment and that I needed to take advantage of every single second I’m alive. I had spent the first 19-years of my life lazy, irresponsible and a chronic under-achiever. But after that night, I realized that at any moment that could be it. No more. No redo. There was so much I wanted to do, to see and to accomplish. Yet I had wasted so much time.

Death could take any of us at any time. You could wake up tomorrow with cancer, or get into a freak car accident. It could be you, it could be me, it could be anyone. It’s not something to dwell on. It’s not even something to be afraid of. It’s just a reminder: this is it. This is all you get. One lap. We each get one ticket to this amusement park called life, are you putting your ticket to good use? Are you riding the best rides, seeing the best shows, and feeling the biggest thrills? Or are you splashing around in the kiddie pool because that’s where the signs told you to go?

Because tomorrow, it may be you. It may be me. And if you’re the one sinking under, will you look up to the surface, and with that last bit of oxygen think to yourself, “I should have pursued my art more,” “I should have talked to Dad more often,” “I should I have told Jane I loved her,” “I should have… I should have…”

Or are you going to look up and think… “Well, that was a pretty good lap.”

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26 Responses to My Beliefs and Mindsets

  1. Tim says:

    Wow. Great post. One question I have, how do you think you get to that level of giving everything your all if you never have an ephiphanal moment like the one you described above? I’ve never seen anyone die before my eyes, so I’ve never had the shock of realising the fragility of my own mortality. So how do you reach that understanding otherwise? Obviously it’s a case of a day by day thing; slowly putting in more effort in all areas of your life, and letting your true personality show through more and more, but what are some practical ways of doing this (seeing as this is your area of expertise)? Personally, some little things I’ve been doing are trying to look every person in the face and hold eye contact through-out my day, not ignoring homeless people on the street but trying to think compassionate thoughts about the difficulty of their lives, and generally trying to suspend judgmental thoughts on the people around me.

    On a larger scale, I worked with my own fears to quit my job and travel again and to admit to myself that I was covering up a lot of the areas of weakness in my life that I wasn’t working on.

    Do you have any suggestions to add to these or to amend them? I feel like I’m still looking for that dead certainty feeling of KNOWING that I’m putting my all into life, even as an occasional feeling and not a constant one.

    • Mark says:

      I think this is one of those non-nonsensical questions. You’re basically asking “How do you do more doing?” You do it by doing.

      I think the question itself already implies a shirking of responsibility, “I’ve never had an epiphanal, moment, so how can I do it?” implies that you need an epiphany to do it. You don’t need anything. Just decide. And then do. Every day. One day at a time.

      • Tim says:

        I get that it’s all about the doing. No intellectualizing and excuse-making. But you said your mindset changed as a result of that event. We can’t choose to have one of those moments nor would we necessarily want to. But how would you have reached that same mindset you achieved after your friend died if that didn’t happen to you?

        ‘Just do’ seems like a ‘it’s simple, stupid’ piece of advice, which may be what most of this is. But you need to start with something. What is one thing a day I should be doing that I’m not? Tell me and I promise I’ll do it today lol. No excuses.

        • Mark says:

          I don’t think it’s anything you don’t already know. The thing I’d point you to is my post on discipline: http://www.practicalpickup.com/discipline

          I see it as removing that space between desire and action that we all have. And removing that space requires practice and habit. I know Pavlina wrote a similar post about discipline that is more in-depth about the same idea.

          This is just an idea, and I haven’t really explored it, but ideally you could find this desire and motivation in anything. It doesn’t need to be somebody dying. Really where it comes from is an internal emotional drive. So find what sparks your emotion, find what charges you — and that may take some deeper level of self-awareness — but you could ideally find motivation in almost any experience.

          I hate to get all American Beauty on you, but sometimes when I’m out, I just look at people in a venue, and I kind of just see all of their motivations, emotions, ambitions, dreams and feelings mingling about, interconnecting and dancing — both physically and emotionally — with one another. And it’s beautiful. It charges me.

          Some people get that charge being in nature. Some people get it in commanding a business meeting. Some people get it on a basketball court.

          So I don’t know. I’m just kind of rambling here. But I feel like you don’t need to witness something traumatic to have it.

          • Axel says:

            I’ve had that as well. When I see guys like Zyzz (look him up, he’s like a greek statue), I get a fire burning inside (no homo). I WANT to look great. I WANT to sound great. I WANT to feel great. Whenever I get demotivated, I go to thinking, “Why am I doing this?” Then I remind myself, and it’s like a consuming fire; a good one. One that eats you up for the better. It is the voice in your head saying, “This will change. I’ll make it so, or at least die trying.” Not to that extreme but an all-or-nothing attitude. This will has bled into my academics and hopefully into every part of my life I wish to improve.

  2. Bill says:

    Good post,
    Especially the “women want to be seduced” part. This was a breakthrough for me in my mindset. Before I would be almost formal and way too respectful. Now I mess around a lot, and it’s liberating to know that you can be sexual and flirtatious with women, with that still being acceptable to them.
    I presume you need to take it down a notch in a social circle situation, but since taking the mindset that “women want to be seduced”, I now relate to my female friends in a more sexual and flirtatious way, and it seem’s to be acceptable to them, so I will carry on. 🙂

  3. Brian says:

    I like the part “seeing the best in people” post the most.

    I have two people in my live who is extremely popular among their friends and they both share one core quality, seeing the best in people.

    It’s so easy to see the negative aspect of other people, but it’s harder to find positive qualities about them.

  4. k.i.z. says:


  5. Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt says:

    I gotta work on the finding the good in everyone aspect. I tend to only like 30-40% of the people I meet, if that

  6. Chris says:

    I like and can get behind them all, except:
    “We Only Get One Shot, Make it Count”

    I don’t know why I can’t seem to embrace it. My personal metaphysics may be overly complex. I feel like really, although objectively possible, I won’t die in any freak accident. Its more of a feeling; a deep intuition.

    I have watched people die as well. Though no dramatic or sudden deaths. I don’t doubt I will die, but even then I feel there will be another “lap” as well… And I’m not religious at all, although I have meditated a fair amount.

    It almost sounds solipsistic or something, and maybe it is. Just thought it was kind of weird and perhaps others have similar feelings. Kind of fascinating actually.

    Anyhow, great post. I don’t think you can overstate the importance of healthy, useful beliefs.

    • Mark says:

      I think it’s less important on a philosophical level than on an emotional level. Whether you believe this is it or not doesn’t really matter, it’s whether you feel like you should be using every second you have to do something greater with yourself. Whether you’re motivated by the beliefs that muffins should rule the earth, by pagan rituals or by your own mortality… it’s a detail… question is, are you reaching your full potential in everything you do? If not, why not? How can you change things so that you do?

      • Chris says:

        So what you’re saying is, If I mold my own personal philosophy to the point where I am constantly trying to improve and excel (or whatever). It will achieve the basic purpose of the belief just as well?…fascinating. I think neuro-plasticity (simple idea and very interesting) achieves a similar result for me with the whole :You become what you think, paradigm.

        Sometimes I think it’s a handicap to be so philosophically inclined. It takes a lot more to weave a belief which fits into the system, although it achieves the same aim which others can input much more easily.

        I definitely will work on the first belief (or a variant ;D ) as it replaces a much more negative and unrealistic belief. Beliefs are really the heart of it man. This post is huge for me.

        My psychology is convoluted, sometimes I don’t know what to think. I would probably benefit from a good psychiatrist: speaking of which, I thought you were going to do an article on that! =)
        (Take your time of course, I’m extremely thankful for the content you provide. Looking forward to reading your book.)

  7. Breeeeeeeeettttttttttttt says:

    I think part of it is because I’m super competitive…for a lot of my life, I was always looking to out-do a lot of the people I met, in whatever aspect. This had it’s advantages, as it always pushed me to succeed, but definitely created a sort of adversarial role with a lot of people, and it’s hard to connect with people when you see them as an adversary. For the last 4-5 years I’d say, I’ve been really working on turning that competitive drive inward, focusing less on trying to beat other people, and more on beating my own previous standards, while viewing other people sort of like teammates or comrades going through similar struggles trying to make themselves shine. This has helped a lot of my relationships tremendously, but I still need to work on this belief everyday, cause it’s easy for me to get sucked into my old way of behaving.

    • Geert says:

      I can definetly relate to this one.

      There were some times in my life where I wasn’t trying to play according to the rules.

      But on the other hand, I’m not naive anymore. I also know that there are people who will take advantage of you.

      It’s a struggle sometimes for me: knowing when to help someone and when to withold information.

  8. Fruitpapje says:

    Hey Mark is it true that you are writing a book on pickup based on psychology research and studies? when will you finish this book?

    • Mark says:

      I’m almost done with the first draft. So hopefully I’ll have it launched by the end of the month.

      • Axel says:

        You mentioned it will be targeted at the mainstream audience? So will it be available online or in a bookstore?

        • Mark says:

          It’s being written in a way that someone who has never read a single pick up book could understand it and get it.

          At first it will be available in ebook/audio book through the site, hardcover through Amazon, and probably for Kindle as well. Depending on the reception of it within the industry, I may pursue getting it published and marketed more widespread. There are a lot of major pros/cons to going with a mainstream publisher though, so we’ll see what happens.

          Really I’m just excited to have a book that lays out my core philosophy and perspective definitively for people in the future. Obviously, you can get a sense of it if you read my blog regularly, but a bunch of random blog posts can’t make the same kind of statement a 250-page book can. I also feel like the core message of the book (seduction through vulnerability) is something that’s never been laid out in this industry before, but in the end is a far more healthy and effective way to go about this stuff.

          • Axel says:

            Fantastic! Looking forward to it. Looks like this golden goose has quite a few golden eggs just around the corner, eh? I wish you success in your endeavors.

  9. DJMARCO says:

    Hi, Question!

    I’ve heard that You develop a belief in your mind with the reference points. (I think it is the same as do it by doing it) but now I found my self developing kinda negative beliefs in my head because of constant failed interactions and countless blowouts.

    eg. I’ve found myself in number of times talking to a cute girl and the convo going well until the fat girl comes and drags her away.,
    So now I have this thing in my head when I see a cute girl and a fat girl in a bar ” Why do you even wanna try talking coz fat girl is gonna cockblock anyway”

    “I am getting blown out left and right , so maybe something must be wrong with me and a girl would never wanna date me ever”
    etc,, etc

    Any advice on how to keep developing negative beliefs like this would be helpful.

    • Mark says:

      You don’t develop negative beliefs by not developing negative beliefs. 🙂

      Every time you catch yourself saying something like that, tell yourself to shut up. Don’t buy into your own bullshit. Reframe it in a positive way.

  10. Gully says:

    I think the difficult thing can be that moment of change. We all want to change minor or major parts of our lives. We all ‘know’ what we want to change. Yet day in day out we repeat the same habits.

    And as you say Mark, moments where you realise how precious life is or something similar are often nessacary.

    Right now, Im 22, just finished college/university, and have supposedly got the whole world at my feet. Yet I have become a terrible slob. Ive been lazy much of my life, demotivated. Its become the fabric of who I am to a degree and right now its really sucking my potential away.

    In fact my only real motivations right now are chasing girls, enjoying my time with friends, what Im doing today and what Im doing tomorrow etc. I have no long term vision whatsoever..

  11. Slappy McGee says:

    that last belief really hit home. Goosebumps. I definitely do not live life to the fullest. sigh. guess there’s no changing that. ; ) too bad you can’t just download a program into your brain like in the matrix and be on your way. I guess that would be boring cuz it would be too easy.

  12. Julian says:

    Wow, the “We Only Get One Shot, Make it Count” mentality, really got to me. It’s something you hear preached so very often, yet followed so very little. And for some reason the way you laid it out really struck me. I feel like I’ve been spending the last 2 years quite efficiently, concentrating on the stuff I really want to do, but there still lots of room for improvement. I wanna act on this advice immediately!

  13. mochigames says:

    I feel a little self-conscious writing a comment with all the other intelligent sounding comments here, but I feel I should.  I believe you’re right on many of your points in this article.  Thank you. http://www.offreegames.net

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