Guest post by Samer.
Whenever I need to be reminded of its message, I sit down to re-read New York magazine’s Buster Olney dissect baseball’s most bulletproof mind in “The Confidence Man”.
The score was 2-1, the Yankees leading the Colorado Rockies, but that was immaterial. Rivera believes his purpose is the same, no matter the situation: Retire the hitter who is standing in the batter’s box as quickly as possible. And after you get him, retire the next one, and the one after that… Helton stepped into the batter’s box, but Rivera didn’t see him. “Sometimes I see only the catcher’s glove,” Rivera says. “Sometimes there is nothing else. But sometimes I see the hitter too.” When does he see the hitter? When the hitter is particularly dangerous, like Boston’s Manny Ramirez? Or when the tying run is on base and he has to be a little more careful? “No, no, no, it’s nothing like that,” Rivera says. “I see the hitter when he’s moved in the box” —- Rivera lifts his hand, pointing at an imaginary batter in an imaginary batter’s box —- “like when he’s moved closer to the plate or changed his stance… I see when the batter has moved his feet,” Rivera says, “and then I make my own adjustment.” And then he sees only the catcher’s glove, the hitter once again invisible.
The alternative is to yield vast parcels of our mind’s real estate to the pressure of the moment, the lights, and the crowd. In the 2010 World Series, the talented 24 year-old Rangers reliever Derek Holland took the stage in the 8th inning of Game 2 and walked Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz on four straight balls. Feeling the weight of the world’s eyes, he was desperate to avoid a base hit. Despite an impressive postseason, he was visibly nervous. He walked Cody Ross on four pitches to load the bases and subsequently forced a run on five pitches to Aubrey Huff. He faced three batters and walked all three with twelve balls and one strike. All those base runners scored, earning Holland an infinite ERA for the World Series.
Let me tell you something you probably already know. You probably already know 90% of what you need to know; you just get distracted. Don’t you ever realize you’re pretty damn likeable when you’re relaxed and cool?
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with you. No exceptions. There are skills to polish, but that’s it. You don’t suck at life, you don’t suck at girls. Every negative thought you’ve internalized about your worth is a lie. Let me say that again: every negative thought you’ve told yourself when you “screwed something up” or got rejected is an absolute lie and should be treated as such. Do you remember the most hurtful lie anyone has ever told you? What’d it feel like? Remember that mix of sheer anger, shock, and confusion? Didn’t you want to tell them off and cut them out of your life? Treat the lies to yourself as such! Some of us so skillfully condition ourselves to self-deprecation, we aren’t even aware of it. We make sense of the world by deluding ourselves into believing our worth – or lack thereof – explains our lack of ‘success.’ Refuse to be the dog who returns to his vomit. You’re at the top of your game when you’re relaxed and confident.
When your mind isn’t holding you back, you’re completely free. You’re free of the high expectations, the anxiety, the tension, the worry of results or outcomes. Block out everything you can’t control and focus only on the catcher’s glove: Make it Fun.
That’s it! Forget the robotic process and the routines and be determined to enjoy yourself! Think of nothing else other than finding a hot girl who appreciates having fun. Nothing else matters. If every approach you attempted fails, CONGRATULATIONS! Failure is the quickest teacher, so applaud yourself for creating an opportunity to discover the style that works best for you. In fact, genuinely enjoying this process is the most fundamental aspect of getting good fast.
And when you’re having fun, guess what? They’ll have fun. Get out there and create some memories and hilarious stories! I once approached a beautiful brunette at a club and told her we should play a game where we had to guess the other person’s nationality, loser buys a drink. So we start the game and she’s engaged at first, but the DJ turns the music back on and her group of friends walks off, and she starts looking disinterested. I could tell it was headed for a fizzle, so I asked her what she was and she told me she was Italian.
A couple hours went by before the club closed, and I caught her outside looking for a cab. I didn’t think she’d remember who I was, so I approached her again, saying “Excuse me, you have this captivating aura about you. You must be Italian.” I was met by a look of complete shock, and her two friends were mystified. All of the clamored to know more about how I knew, and I still laugh to this day thinking about it.
Physical escalation can be an area of anxiety for a lot of guys, but it doesn’t have to be. As you are learning, accept some moments will be awkward; you don’t know what to do and the right time to do it. But when you are having fun and going for what you want, you can mute those moments or make them hilarious. Ladies want you to take control and go for what you want! I remember flirting with one girl, playfully pushing things as far as she would let me. I was trying to lay on top of her, and she teasingly fought me off with her legs. I would grab her leg, push it out of the way, and asked her if that’s all she had. She laughed and started to push me a little harder. I pushed her legs away again, and again she brought them back as she grinned. She liked to be pursued, and she wasn’t afraid to fight a little harder. So I got a little higher to attack her from a different angle, and then something metaphysical happened. A terrifying weave of God’s wrath and her protective father divinely possessed her right leg and the playful push away mutated itself into a swing of absolute force that was precisely guided, as it were, at my vulnerable groin. She immediately fell into a coma of laughter whilst I fell into a fetal position on my bed.
Obviously not what I expected at the beginning of the night. And had I sat online and planned my date out, it would not have involved me ended up in a fetal position grabbing my nuts. But I didn’t expect anything. I didn’t plan anything. I wasn’t basing my actions and behavior on her. I was basing it on me, and what I found to be fun. I wasn’t throwing to the batter. I was throwing to the catcher’s glove.