But I was not about give up on my hopes of being a Casanova. That summer, before I entered my freshman year of college, I lost 50 pounds—thinking my new physique would nullify my insecurities and boost my confidence. I also read The Game by Neil Strauss. The anecdotes of female conquests opened my mind to the possibilities of seduction, but I didn’t have the tools to apply any of the ideas Strauss introduced to his readers.
The first few months of freshman year yielded a lot of new experiences and insights. It did not take me long to lose my virginity. I was no smooth cat; in fact, I practically bumbled my way into her flower patch. Nonetheless, I gained the brutal realization that, in spite of my weight loss, my years of insecurity would still haunt me. I was an agreeably handsome guy, who had plenty of shots with beautiful women, but there was something a lot more fundamental in my sense of self that was holding me back—this haunting insecurity often provoking overcompensating behavior that turned off women. I knew I had to dig deeper beyond trying to sculpt my abs.
By sophomore year, I had become very close friends with a guy who was on a similar journey as I. Bullied on and off throughout high school, he had acquired an overwhelming sense of self-doubt, which permeated all aspects of his life. Together we began exploring the works of male self-help ‘gurus’ like David DeAngelo, David Deida, and Tyler Durden. What we came to realize was just how polarizing each methodology could be—and the importance of finding balance, moderation, and, most importantly, your own stride amidst the noise of differing takes on self-actualization.
The next two years of college I pushed myself harder than ever before. Rather than being a ‘theory junkie,’ I decided to pursue countless reference experiences from which I could actually gain wisdom, rather than just ‘intelligence’ from the literature. By no means were all my experiences positive. There were times I was dumped, got my heartbroken, and made poor choices. But by ignoring the success/failure binary most people in our society subscribe to, I was able to actually learn more about myself and others from these experiences without jacking off my ego when things went well or beating myself up when I did not achieve desired outcomes. I’ve followed this method ever since.
As you read our posts going forward, remember that Greg and I come from very different backgrounds despite being on the same journey. That is the essence of being a man. We all have our differences, but most of us share common goals—and we need to listen to each other and help each other to continue moving towards achieving them. This blog will delve into all aspects of human nature, because we have elemental traits that inevitably affect our behavior and social success (or failure). Avanti!