Have you ever watched one of those motivational videos on YouTube where some guy is training in an empty, grey boxing gym, hammering away on a punching bag until his hands bleed while some motivational voiceover yells "you have to fight through the pain to get the results"? Where the dude pushes a boulder up a hill while rain runs down his face and the voiceover says "It's time to hustle, it's time to grit your teeth and crawl through mud to become the best." Success is like taking a shit when you're constipated. It's long and hard and painful, and you're going to have to force it every step of the way, right!? Nah probs not hey.
You always hear about "the hustle" in self-development, like you have to really hate what you do and struggle through it. No-one ever seems to comment that this is a really unhelpful and straight-up retarded mindset. Sure, we might feel anxiety about some things that are outside our comfort zones, like dating maybe. But to turn it into this gladiator struggle to be a better man is the least motivating thing I can think of. It makes everything difficult from the outset, because you're thinking about it like a big rock that had to be pushed up a steep hill.
When I started dating, I decided too have fun with it. After all, you're meeting new people, you're making it up as you go along, and the stakes really aren't that high. It's like one big experiment. Was I still nervous in the beginning? Yes. But you can choose to enjoy yourself or you can choose to be miserable, to see everything like hard work.
How much faster do you think you'd get better at something if you really just took that pressure off and had fun with the whole process? I've taken girls mattress shopping and gotten piggybacks around bookstores. All off my best dates and connections with girls came when I stopped thinking of meeting girls as effort and started allowing myself to enter a lighter mindset. You can really get in a flow state of effortless enjoyment that you can't get if you're stuck in that hustle-your-ass-off mindset.
The real point here is not to take shit so damn seriously. We're all going to die, we all want to enjoy each other's company, and there's nothing critically important about hitting it off on any one date. Why would you not view this as an opportunity to have fun with it? This is honestly the difference between swimming against the current and flowing with it. You'll be dating anyway, why make it a struggle?
Give this mindset a try for a while and you'll probably feel a huge sense of relief, like you can finally relax your tense vigilance. Trust me, life is so much better when you allow yourself to have fun with it.
- Dan + Conor