Recently stumbled across an amazing post by my friend Chase Amante. I don’t generally advocate guys spend a lot of time on pickup forums because of the horrible signal-to-noise ratio and inherent keyboard jockeyism taking place, but every once in a while I come across stuff that is absolutely golden.
When it comes to reading (pickup stuff or otherwise) I tend to be a very critical thinker. When I come across new ideas I’ll read with an open mind, absorb the content, and then filter it through what I call an exceptions list. It’s something we do in computer programming. Basically I take the claims made in the article and I compare them to my experiences to see if I can find exceptions. The more exceptions and contradictions I find, the less I trust the content and author. Conversely, the more things that I find resonates with my experiences, the more weight I tend to place on the ideas I don’t have experience with.
Because the “pickup” industry is largely unregulated, I often find that the quality of advice or instruction is scattered, at best. Some posts are amazingly accurate and well-written, while others are nothing more than, for lack of a better term, “mental masturbation.” The problem is that when you’re new to the industry, you can’t tell the signal from the noise. Some of the craziest-sounding stuff actually turns out to be brilliant, while some of the stuff that sounds legitimate ends up being written by a 40-year-old virgin. To the inexperienced, everyone can sound convincing over the internet.
So thus my love-hate relationship with forum posts. But every once in a blue moon I stumble across a post and think, “wow this guy knows what he’s talking about.” And then sometimes that person surprises me again with a repeat performance. And then again. And then again. While extraordinarily rare, when this happens I make it a point to meet the author. The first time it ever happened, that man happened to go by the name of “Mystery.” Like him or not, no one can deny that his ideas have revolutionized the industry like no other.
I had another one of those rare moments recently when I come across an author whose insight rivaled those of the previous authors I had met. I took note and met him. He was the real deal.
That man was Chase Amante.
Chase is one of the few guys in the community whose online posts make me realize how bad of a writer I am. His ability to break down, motivate, and encourage people with nothing more than an internet connection continues to astound me.
So I take great pleasure in sharing some of his wisdom with you today. Chase has graciously allowed me to re-post this article on my blog. In it he talks about what it takes to be successful, finding your passions, and following your dreams. It’s only a 5 minute read, but it’s some deep stuff and it’s one of the best articles I’ve EVER read in my going-on-5-years in this industry.
Backstory: A member of the forum was dissatisfied with his inability to make friends or achieve consistent results. He felt that people didn’t like being around him despite his occasional successes with women. This is Chase’s response.
Note: I have removed certain identifying details to preserve confidentiality
Posted on July 5, 2010
I’ll clarify a bit.
The things I got good at, I got good at because I wanted to BE those things.
e.g., I started working on my writing because I said to myself, “I want to be a good writer and I want people to read my stuff and like it, so I’m going to start writing short stories to practice my writing ability and get my writing in shape.” I got into music because I wanted people to hear my music and play it in the clubs and I wanted to send a message out to all my old (perceived) enemies that I was better and stronger than them and make them regret ending up on my bad side (not the best reason, but it sufficed), so I spent a lot of time working on making beats and writing lyrics.
The actual learning process for those things (and everything else I got good at) was hard work and not always fun. In fact, OFTEN not fun. But it was fueled by my desire to achieve something.
I once heard some great advice about body-building, that helped me out of a rut in lifting at the time (don’t lift so much anymore, but at the time this was useful). I’d be in the gym all the time, 3 days a week, but I didn’t WANT to be there, and I was forcing myself through my workouts and not making any progress. I’d plateaued. But the advice I heard changed that.
It was, “Don’t concentrate on how hard the work you’re doing is; that’ll just discourage you. Think instead about where you want to be, and what you want to achieve. That will inspire you.”
And it did.
The instant I started thinking of how great it would be when my arms were bigger, when my chest was bigger, when my legs were bigger, that made my workouts SO much easier, than when I was thinking working out was just something I had to do to not lose what I had.
That is advice you must apply to everything you seek to do.
I hear men all the time who say things like, “Don’t do something just to get girls. Do it for YOU.”
Know what I think of that? It’s feelgood malarky. Somewhere along the line, as men do things, they grow to truly love them, I’ll give you that.
But for most men with a sex drive, women are their inspirations to take things up. Tell me a guy working as a lifeguard is doing it purely because he loves saving drowning old men, and not because he’s hoping to win over some cuties in bikinis, and I’ll tell you you’re lying. Tell me a guy who’s a talented performer at anything didn’t get into it at least in part because of all the women it would bring him. It’s all about mating when you boil things down to the basics.
There is a large population of eunuchs in India, but to my knowledge not a whole lot of them are exceptionally talented athletes or performers or writers or anything else. Because they can’t mate, they lack the drive to put in the work to become exceptional at anything. And it really is all about the work you put in.
The drive to become great is the drive to out-compete other males and differentiate oneself in a competitive mating environment. When I was in school, I used to struggle to talk to girls. But let them hear me belt out a freestyle battle and tear a couple of people down, and they’d be surrounding me with puppy dog eyes wanting to know everything about me.
Check out this (phenomenal, in my opinion) study on the crime-genius connection: it charts the productivity of both criminals and geniuses over their lifetimes:
What the chart ends up looking like is that productivity peaks at 30, then declines steeply thereafter. Just as most men are settling into married life and raising families, their productivity (and, we might infer, their motivation to be productive — attracting mates) drops precipitously.
The findings are summarized by this short excerpt:
“Both crime and genius are expressions of young men’s proximate competitive desires, whose ultimate function in the ancestral environment would have been to increase reproductive success.”
I’d argue that, in fact, that function is just as important today. Men who become more talented and successful than others attract both higher qualities and higher quantities of mates, and I’ve seen this in a variety of men. Personally, I don’t know any man I’d consider truly exceptional who has any real problems with quality or quantity of women. And conversely, I don’t know any man I’d consider average who has any real SUCCESS with quality or quantity of women.
You should not take up new hobbies JUST to get girls. But it’s likely going to be part of your motivation, so no sense trying to hide from it. That said, pick stuff that interests you or that will help you achieve objectives you have.
You asked how I came across my interests and hobbies. Well, there is a part of me that’s inclined to them, for sure. I wrote my first book when I was ten; and I used to make up songs when I was a little kid. I was fascinated by people and conducted my first “social experiment” when I was twelve (I took off my glasses and wore a coat with the local football team on it to see if my reception by my classmates, who at the time thought of me as the nerdiest kid in school, would change — it did, and even after I went back to my old gear, the change lasted, strangely enough — people just began seeing me differently and treating me differently). Some people are inclined towards sports. Some towards the arts. Others toward relationships and people. Some to all of those, or to something else completely different. Let your inclinations steer your interests.
But that said, getting good at something is a LOT of hard work. I began working on writing and basketball shooting the summer after high school. I wasn’t going to college, I had no friends, no girlfriend, no job, and no direction in life at all. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life… I felt empty and purposeless. So I let my dreams take over; I was reading a lot of H.P. Lovecraft at the time and watching a lot of Sixers basketball, back when they went to the finals against the world-class Lakers and Allen Iverson was the scoring champ of the NBA. I wanted to be a famous, revered writer, and I wanted to be the best player in the NBA. So all I did was write and play basketball by myself, all day long. A year later, I was a vastly improved writer, and vastly improved at basketball, too. I’d never made a basket before that summer, but a year later I could make all kinds of crazy shots (still couldn’t play actual GAMES for shit, but that was only because I had trained by myself, rather than for games).
And my writing went from Bs and Cs in high school to A+ when I entered college, with the teacher asking me to volunteer (as she had no one else) because, she said, she wanted the class to see my writing. I wrote the first draft for my first novel that semester, before turning my interest from writing to rap. Then it was because I wanted to become a famous, well-known rap artist. And I was thorough in how I did it; I watched the other wanna-be rappers, and learned from their mistakes and vowed not to repeat them. I didn’t want to be tryhard; I wanted to be real. I wanted people to say, “You know, Chase isn’t like all those posers who think they’re the shit; his stuff is LEGIT.” And I forced myself to slave away at music, and I forced myself to stay the course when I put my first website online and people came back making fun of my then-crappy music and silly presentation. I shook the haters off, went back, got better, and came back vastly improved and victorious.
It was hard work, all of it.
Writing one crappy story after another, and knowing they were amateurish, but continuing to write anyway and trying to find ways to refine my ability to write better.
Shooting basketballs in 100+ degree Pennsylvania heat with perspiration dripping down my chest, 100+ and missing basket after basket and getting pissed off and frustrated but refusing to go back inside until I hit more.
Rapping lyrics over a beat over and over and over again, and getting angry beyond belief that I kept running out of breath, or kept stumbling over my words, or kept building up too much saliva in my mouth and choking over it.
Going out night after night after night and never getting so much as a kiss from a girl, and coming home empty handed feeling like a failure, and continuing to go back out again the next night.
I wish I had the kind of drive and ambition that most of my friends have. They are genuinely excited, dynamic people, and I think if I had the kind of energy and motivation they have, I could be 10 times as good at the things I do than I am.
Because I burn out, I wear out, I get frustrated, and I’m really a pretty lazy guy by nature.
But I have one thing that keeps me in the running with all of my ambitious, dynamic, motivated friends, for whom most of what they do seems to come so easily, where for me it’s always been a challenge:
I will push myself to the limit. I will take myself down the road past the point of no-return and keep going anyway.
I never save anything for the swim back.
I sometimes feel like an outsider who’s infiltrated the ranks of the elite when I spend time with my friends. Here are all these people living unbelievable lifestyles, adventuring around the world, doing crazy things, skydiving, racing cars, making tons of money, with this lust and passion for life that I can only understand intellectually. But I want to be as good as they are at what they do, so I do the things they do, sometimes not quite as good as them, sometimes better, and they think of me as like them, or even crazier / wilder / more talented than they are. My lust is not for the adventure itself, like it is for them, but rather for what I can learn from that adventure, and how I can improve myself by having had that experience.
I spent most of my life ruled by my fears, and the only way I overcame them was by doing the most dangerous things I could think of, physically, mentally, or emotionally, to break their hold on me.
You have some things about you that remind me in some ways of myself.
You have a lot of the same kind of stubborn, blockheaded determination I’ve always prided myself on and that I saw as something that differentiated me from nearly everyone else. And like you, I was never all that good at following advice, at least not until age 23 or so (and even then, I listened only to a select few people whose advice I really trusted, and even then I listened to them probably only 50% of the time). And like me, you claim to not care what people think.
The (conventionally) coolest kid in school wrote this in my high school yearbook, senior year: “You don’t care what anyone thinks, but I think you’re the MAN!” before leaving me his home phone (these were back in the days when cells were still uncommon… damn I’m showing my age) and telling me we had to hang that summer. I never did call him, even though I thought he was a really cool dude (finally did hang with him a few years back, incidentally — still a cool dude)… I was deathly afraid of the phone in those days. Point is, people my whole life have told me I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks, and they think that is so cool. And I feed into it too; I love telling people I don’t care what anyone thinks.
I’ll step outside of myself for a moment and say that, the truth is, the people who say they don’t care what people think care more than anyone else.
If you didn’t care what people thought, you wouldn’t be on here telling people how many approaches you’ve done, how many lays you’ve had, or posting pictures of your girlfriend — would you? No… a guy who didn’t give a fuck about what people thought about him wouldn’t do any of that. You care, just like I do, and just like everyone else who posts actively on this board does.
Anyway… putting my old skin back on. Of course *I* don’t care what anyone thinks haha
Regarding your last question, I am a dreamer. And I’m a big believer in chasing your dreams.
When I wanted to be a famous writer, and a famous basketball player, I wrote my heart out and played my heart out, until my dreams changed.
When I wanted to become the best salesman in the district and the next big rap artist, I sold my heart out and rapped my heart out until my dreams changed again.
When I wanted to become a world-class pickup artist, I went out by myself and talked to one person after another after another, and talked to one girl after another after another, until my dreams began to change again.
So how I found my hobbies was simple: I followed my dreams.
Most people dream dreams and never take action on them. I’m leaving the country now, with no plans, no set path to follow, and no idea of what’s to come. Because, for now, that is my dream. And someday my dream will change again, and I will embark on a different path.
You like movies. I love the movie “Collateral”, with Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise. What I love about it is how Tom Cruise comes into Jamie Foxx’s life for one night and makes a gigantic impact. He makes Jamie Foxx realize that he has this dream he’s been holding onto for twelve years or more and has never taken action on. Never taken the first step.
What are your dreams, [name removed]? Answer that, and you’ll know what you need to start working on.