The self help world can get overwhelming.
Five years ago I was I was in nasty little rut. My best friend just finished telling me that I was unlikeable, and that I’d never have much success with girls. And he was right.
Those words put me into a dark little funk, but eventually I got tired of playing the victim. I remembered hearing whispers of a book, about a nerd (like me!) that stepped into a strange underground world of men that could turn meeting women into a learned skill. It was bizarre, it was dark, but it was hope.
Considering my depressed state and thoughts of self harm, Neil Strausses The Game probably saved my life. It’s not a pickup guide, it’s the true story of a nerd wanting to believe that he wasn’t broken. The idea was intoxicating, that human relationships were not magic limited to the lucky few.
It turned into an obsession. An ocean of books, videos, ridiculous outfits, a whole new language. Lurking strange forums, and meeting up with stranger wingmen. Before I knew it, I was steeped in a culture that was fascinating, hopeful, and sometimes-dark. I still wasn’t having any new luck with women, but I felt belonging.
A hobby became an obsession, and then I lost sight of my purpose.
Like Neil Strauss, I went through some bizarre experiences along the way, and like him I learned the most valuable lesson of all: being good at the game meant leaving it.
Disconnecting from the floodgates of noise, taking the minimal amount of knowledge, and going out into the world. The best lessons were learned in the scary world, not behind the screen. Ready, fire, aim.
I found this happening again and again through in my journey. I would find something that I wanted to improve, I would immerse myself and then get lost in it. Only in the act of leaving, did I finally learn the deeper lessons.
Letting go of the crutch, could I could walk on my own?
Also published on Medium.