LESSON 1: The field does not lie.
I've always let my ego have an unfair share in my decision-making process. One prime example was me making myself believe that I could jump into boxing with no fighting experience and figure out how to do it all by myself.
The huge flaw with this mentality was that it completely IGNORED the fact that other people had already spent their lives learning and mastering this skill.
Other people have lived before me, other people have thought what I thought, faced the problems I was experiencing, found solutions, etc., and by disregarding that collective knowledge and experience, I just ended up repeating all of their mistakes.
It showed every time I stepped into the ring. If I sparred with anyone who started around the same time I did, I was great. But against anyone who was technically sound, I rarely landed clean punches and usually spent the rest of the sparring session trying to figure out how to stop getting hit.
This was the field telling me, "you have some fancy, flashy punches, lots of power, and potential, but you have zero fundamental skills."
Up until a few years ago, I avoided or ignored that feedback...and anyone who echoed it.
When I got serious about pickup last summer, I promised myself that I was not going to repeat that. In a rare moment where my ego was silent, I told myself, "I'm going to act like I don't know anything, I'm going to shut my mouth, follow directions, and learn this the RIGHT way. I am going to be HUMBLE."
I signed up for phone coaching, and Bravo had me start with the 5 oceans. For a few weeks, results were barely mediocre, and I thought the opener was corny. But I trusted that he knew what he was doing and that this floundering period was temporary.
One day after practicing 5 oceans in the mall, I decided to go direct for the fuck of it. It worked. Tried again with another girl. Number closed. When I went back and listened to the recording, I saw that the interaction didn't even take two minutes.
Field: "Nice job."
Frustrated with the lukewarm results of 5 oceans, and pleasantly surprised by the dazzling results of going direct, I said, "Fuck the 5 oceans, I'm sticking with THIS shit!"
My ego somehow justified it: "Bravo WOULD tell you to do this, but he just can't see you over the phone. If he saw this in person, he'd recognize what was going on and would have you go direct anyway. AND...you're the one paying for it. Do what you want."
Makes NO sense whatsoever, but my ego can create a powerful 'reality distortion field' around me.
From that point on, I sifted through every field report by Bravo, Farmer, Bay, and Maestro for lines to build a direct approach stack. I then watched videos of Bravo, Sasha, and anyone else who had in-field footage and took any bits that sounded effective.
I practiced my stack mainly with day game at first, and during a trip to Atlanta, transposing the stack to night venues started clicking. When I got back, I focused on clubs and bars, again happy with the field's positive feedback.
Then I started noticing a disturbing pattern: When things hit, they REALLY hit. But when they didn't hit, I was dead in the water and couldn't recover.
Over the next few weeks, I tried switching back and forth between direct and indirect, and the field kept basically telling me, "NOT going direct is a big weakness for you."
I used different excuses to ignore it, but deep down It still bugged me. I told Bravo and he had me go one week opening people with NO canned material. Field: "this is still a big weakness for you." My ever-protective ego: "Fuck that shit. Stick to what you know," So back to direct game I went.
My girlfriend and I broke up for the final time in November, and within a few weeks, I had slept with 6 new girls, which of course sent my ego through the roof.
Ego: "Dude, fuck that indirect or improv shit. You got 6 lays pretty quickly. You obviously know what you're doing. You're a natural!"
"Matter of fact, you should meet Bravo and show him what you can do, you might even get a purple belt right then and there. Fuck, you didn't read about anyone else on the forum getting this good this fast, so you might even be a few steps away from a brown belt!"
So much for staying HUMBLE...
Round 1: Ego wins.
Then the big shocker came on New Years Eve. Good thing I was rational enough to force myself to go to Bourbon St. It was going to be packed, so it was a great opportunity for me to give it one more good try...just to be social without going direct.
I didn't keep count for long, but a realistic guess is that I opened 30+ sets. Responses were again mediocre at best. Every conversation kept stalling when I tried to be engaging WITHOUT flirting. For some reason, I couldn't just be a normal cool guy.
Again, retreating and just to make myself feel better, I went direct with two sets and number closed one girl within 20 seconds by stopping her, telling her she was gorgeous and that I wanted finish hitting on her later.
Felt a little better. She texted me later asking if I was still on Bourbon, but I went home, still fuming. That was the only real positive reaction I got all night.
This made no sense: I could number close a girl, make-out with her, or at least have her laughing and flattered by my flirting, but I couldn't even walk into a place alone and just make friends.
Once again, like in boxing, I had fucked myself. By trying to be Mr. "I don't need anyone to teach me," I ended up with a few fancy tricks and no fundamentals.
The ever-honest field presented a cold, undeniable fact: "you're NOWHERE near as good as you think you are. You're okay at going direct, but at everything else, you're lost."
I scheduled a 1-on-1 with Bravo and came out to Arizona to get back to the basics.
Round 2: Field wins.
Last edited by queue
on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:06 am, edited 2 times in total.