archery

by Socrates

Last week I gave you a project of sorts. Of all the months of the year, January seems to be the least-lovable when it comes to going out and romancing women. That makes it the perfect time to work on yourself, and the best place to start is by defining what it is you want. Easier said that done?

Goal-setting

Defining what it is you want is absolutely critical to achieving success. Most guys have goals floating around in their head in a bit of a foggy haze. They sort of ….maybe…..kinda… know what they want, but haven’t really taken the time to spell it out.

This means suicide for actually achieving what it is you’re after. Without some sort of goal, or objective, you can easily find yourself drifting, or distracted, on the road to what would have otherwise been your perfect outcome. This means a lot of wasted time, a lot of wasted effort, and no ultimate fulfillment.

Contrast this to the guy who has a clear objective set for himself. That guy is able to keep his sights clear of distractions, things that would just derail or prevent what it is he’s after. He’s able to set sub-goals for himself, and take concrete steps to achieve his desired end. That’s where you want to be. You do want to get better with the ladies, don’t you?

Let’s Get To Work

Time to get out a pen and a pad of paper. Grab some coffee, sit back, and assume the thinking position.

The first step in achieving any goal is to actually jot down your goal. You want to make the goal as specific as you can without overdoing it. You want to make it clear in a way that will actually help you. If I was looking for a finance job, for example, I wouldn’t want to write down “get a finance job,” since this would be way too vague to be useful. Alternatively, I wouldn’t want to to write down, “get a position as a short term municipal bond-trader at Goldman Sachs, on the 50th floor of 200 West Street, New York, with a salary of over $500 000 per year.” That would be way to specific to be useful (what if there were only long-bonds being traded on the 50th floor, or I soon found that risk-arbitrage was a better fit?).

When it comes to your love life, your overall goal will probably be a little less complex. A lot of guys just want a girlfriend, or want to be married within 5 years. Others want to lose their virginity. As a first goal, make it as specific as it has to be, but no more. “Lose my virginity (to a woman) by next December, without paying,” is a fine goal.

Defining the Prize

As I mentioned in the previous article, girls don’t really want guys who will take just any girl. That’s where defining just who you want can really help. By defining who you want to be with, you have the chance to screen out girls that don’t mean your standards, a process that girls find very attractive. After all, only guys who have a whole herd of females ready to mate with them would dare turn down possible sex with a willing participant, right?

It’s time to think about who it is you want to settle down with. To do that, some personal reflection is in order. Spend 10-20 minutes thinking about what your ideal life would be like 5 years out, 10 years out, and – if you have the guts – 15 or 20 years out. Think about where you are, and what you’re doing. Think about how you spend your time. Dig deep into who you are now, what you love doing now, and what you would likely love to do in the future. Remember, this is your ideal, achievable, life. Be as specific as is practical, but no more.

Ready?

Now that you have that step in place, take a moment to think about what kind of woman would be able to compliment that life. If you’ve set big lofty goals for yourself, maybe penning the next great science fiction novel, you might want someone who is supportive and encouraging. She might even need to be an avid reader. Imagine yourself traveling through the heart of Uzbekistan on the back of a yak? Maybe you shouldn’t be going after the girl just stepping out of the Prada store on Main and 1st. What about sex? What is her appetite and performance like? Try to think of as many qualities that would both be a compliment to your future life, and help you achieve that life. This step is critical.

How Big Is Your Net?

Deep sea trollers size their nets in a way that allows small fish to escape, so those fish can live up until breeding age and reproduce, replenishing the stock. Fishermen only really want certain fish, and this is exactly how you should be thinking, as well.

Now that you have a great big long list of things that you would want in your ideal woman, you can start using this to screen for worthy candidates. This is really a three part process:

  1. Look at your list of qualities and think of 2 or 3 round-about ways of finding out if she meets that specific piece of criteria. Don’t ask her directly, since in Asia girls have been taught growing up to be modest so will often just flatly deny that they have the quality you’re screening for. This is one of those cultural quirks that can trip a guy up if he’s not aware. If you like adventurous girls, ask her if she’s gone scuba-diving or bungee jumping, things that showcase that quality.
  2. Next, slide them into the conversation smoothly. Don’t spew out question after question as if you were an interviewer – keep the conversation natural.
  3. When she gives you a correct answer that showcases one of the qualities you’re looking for, frame her as someone who possesses that quality. “Wow, scuba-diving 3 times in Mali? You’re really adventurous, I like that.”

Working your way trough these questions in the conversation is a great way to show a girl that you’re not the type of guy who’s willing to take just anything that comes along, and you’ll have a much better chance of getting somewhere with her as a result.

Sub-Goals, Sub-Sub-Goals, and Sub-Sub-Sub-Goals

Some guys have a lot of trouble meeting girls because they don’t actually get out of their house and do anything. Sadly, I used to be one of those guys. Looking back, I wish I could have changed a few things – meeting RedpoleQ earlier would be one of those – but most of all I wish I took the time to get involved in university groups or clubs at my school. Unlike in the American academic system, I wasn’t forced into some beer-drinking frat house. Nope… I lived a solitary life in my parent’s house.

For me, if I set the target of getting a girlfriend, I should have set a number of critical sub-goals. Chief among those would have been to actually get up and out of the house to spend more time with other human-beings. Getting a clue when it came to ladies, would have also been top of the list, along with finding an alternative fashion, one that didn’t involve over-sized jackets, ball caps, and 5 year old t-shirts.

When it comes to reaching large goals you have set for yourself, setting smaller goals that serve as stepping stones are a tremendous help. Often you can look at where you are, then where you want to be, and and only see one massive gulf. Smaller goals help you bridge that gulf, allowing you to cross it one step at a time.

If I were girlfriend-hungry, back in my parent’s house all over again, I would first look at my ultimate goal, and then work backwards to set goals that would help me achieve it. To make a girl my girlfriend, for example, I would have had to have gone on dates with her, which means I would have had to ask her out. The second largest goal I could have set, then, would have been to go on a few consecutive dates with a girl. In order to do this, I would have had to ask one on a date. Since it was unlikely that I would be batting 1000, I would have had to ask a few… and that would have helped determine my lower level goals. At the very bottom of the stack would have been the goal to actually get out of my house a few nights of the week, something that, looking back, was totally achievable.

It’s Up To You

Nobody can make you pursue your goals. In generally, I find that there are three kinds of people. There are those people who pursue their desired outcome ravenously. These are the guys like me, or RedpoleQ, who see something they want and become completely obsessed with getting it. Guys like these tend to reach their goals more often than not. A lot of people just casually strive for whatever they have their eye on, and they sometimes reach the goals they’ve set for themselves. If they don’t, though, they’re usually ambivalent enough that it doesn’t really bother them. The people I feel the most sorry for, however, are those that say they want something pretty badly but spend too much time on things that only distract them, keeping them from achieving what they set out to do. They drink, play video games, or just watch TV. They also never get anywhere.

Of course, you know better than me which type of person you are. If you truly want what you claim to want, it’s time to start working down the list.