Quick Thought On Whether To Work In The Morning Or Not

June 18, 2009

A lot of websites that give advice on college success recommend waking up early and doing work in the morning.  Here are some pros and cons to working in the morning.

Pros

1.  You have the most untapped energy available in the morning

2.  Being productive in the morning build positive momentum.  In other words, it is easier to be productive during the day if you’re productive from the moment you wake up

3.  You feel like you aren’t “wasting time”

Cons

1.  You lose the flexibility of when you go to bed

2.  You can’t drink the night before (It’s tough to work with a hangover)

3.  If you wake up late, you feel like you are way behind and start off the day in a lousy emotional state

4.  By working in the morning, you put yourself in a logical state of mind.  That will carry throughout the day and affect how you interact with others

5.  A lot of people find their creativity is a little lacking in the morning hours

Personally, I use the morning as a way to prepare myself for the rest of the day.  I like to spend my mornings at the gym, having sex, eating and hanging out.

That does not mean I recommend you do the same.

What I do recommend for everyone is that you do something before you begin working (No, brushing your teeth does not count).  Some suggestions include hitting the gym, meditating, having sex or eating a really nutritious meal.  This is called having a morning ritual.

If you jump straight into work, you will probably be performing at a very sub-optimal level.

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The Importance Of Momentum

June 15, 2009

“An object in motion will stay in motion, and an object at rest will stay at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force.”

That is Newton’s First Law Of Motion.  It’s application goes far beyond physics.

As I have pointed out before, we have a set of habits that make our lives pretty fucking predictable.  Naturally, then, to change your circumstances you need to change your habits.

But as we also know, it usually takes a lot of willpower to change a habit.

Usually you need to have serious emotional pain to find the motivation to go through with the difficult work of changing your habits.

So how do we get around this?

One way is by using that inevitability thinking I talked about in another article.  That mindset is a very important one to have.

But inevitability thinking in itself will not solve the problem.  You can mentally masturbate all you want, but until you actually take action, nothing is going to change.

What you need is momentum.  You need to get yourself in motion so that it takes an outside force to stop you, as opposed to being at rest and having to force yourself to be in motion.

Say you are lonely and want a girlfriend.  What could you do to make it inevitable that you will have a girlfriend in, say, a month?  Talk to girls, of course!

Now, if you have serious emotional leverage, you will be verymotivated. For example, if you can hear your roommate railing his girlfriend every night, it’s probably going to be easy to get yourself moving.

But let’s say the pain isn’t that severe.  Let’s say you want a girlfriend, but it’s limited to when you’re lying in bed alone late at night?  When you’re out and about during the day, you don’t feel motivated to blast through your anxiety to talk to girls.

The solution is to get some momentum going.  Start by asking random guys what the time is, if you can borrow a pen, where you can plug in your laptop, what he thought about the homework, etc.  Then talk to some “hired guns” at restaurants or the store.  They are paid to be nice to you.  Then move on to saying “hi” to girls sitting near you in the computer lab.  Maybe the step before that is to get comfortable sitting next to attractive girls in the computer lab.

Do you see where we are going with this?  We are building momentum by constantly moving towards what we want.  Each step is small and isn’t all that scary, but they are steps nonetheless. Most importantly, they do not require all that much motivation to complete.  In fact, after a while, it will take motivation to stop.

To use another example, say you want to increase the amount of time you can focus on an assignment.  Let’s say you can currently focus for 5 minutes and you want to get to an hour.

Start with 10 minutes.  Then move up to 15 minutes.  Then move up to 20 minutes.  You are building momentum.

Another part of this is eliminating stuff that creates “friction” for your momentum.  For example, if you want a girlfriend, you should probably masturbate less.

A more advanced concept is to integrate momentum into your everyday life.  From the second you wake up, you are constantly moving towards what you want.  Implementing the morning ritual is one such example.

I encourage you to think about the different areas of your life where you can apply this concept.


How To Be Popular In College: Becoming Cool

June 4, 2009

Alright, so I cranked out an article a while back on the superficial ways to become popular  in college.

I felt kind of weird writing that article, because I actually do not do that stuff anymore.  Nevertheless, it is easier than ever for me to make friends.

That article was targeted towards someone who is looking for a “quick fix” to a lame social life that doesn’t require seriously changing him/herself.

Now, providing booze, hot girls or a place to party is not the only way to become popular in college.

You probably know a guy who is just so fucking cool that he can appear at any party and immediately become the center of attention without doing anything.

He can get away with this because he is cool.

Most of us act, or try to act, cool.  When we say something, we hope that the other person responds in a certain way (laughing, being in awe, etc.).  When they respond the way that we want them to, we feel more confident that the other person thinks we are a cool person.  As a result, we feel better about ourselves.

In short, we are response junkies.  Like a heroine addict, we need our fix of validation from others in order to feel good about ourselves.  When we feel good about ourselves, we give ourselves permission to act cool.

Guys who are cool don’t need certain responses in order to give themselves permisison to be cool.  That permission comes from, well, being alive.

Because they are so convinced that they are the shit, any kind of negative feedback, such as others not laughing at their jokes or feeling annoyed, is blocked out completely.

As a result, they don’t feel self-conscious when they don’t get a certain response because they aren’t looking for a certain response in the first place.  Negative responses are not even processed.

Because they aren’t self-conscious, they feel free to be cool.

Now, being cool is the secret to social success.

But what does it mean to be cool?

Cool= Uniqueness + Congruence

Uniqueness:  Things that stands out about you.  This can include your personality, your mannerisms, your style, your worldview and the general way you carry yourself.

Congruence:  Are those things “who you are?”

Usually congruence lags behind uniqueness.

For example, if this guy…


…rolls into class one day rocking a tank top, bling bling and a bandanna and goes around saying “whad up dog,” he is probably not going to be congruent to it.  In other words, it is going to come across as weird because it is not who he is at that time.

Now, if he keeps with it long enough, it will become who he is.

The fact is, people can and do make dramatic changes to themselves.

If you think back to high school, you might have witnessed an average girl turn into an emo girl.  You might have seen a nerdy introvert become very outgoing and popular.  You might have seen a jock become a nerd.

Now, when somebody does something to make themselves stand out, they are usually not congruent to it.  Instead of being cool, that person goes through a period where he is “try hard” or “not himself” or “weird.” It takes a long time for old habits to go away, after all.

For example, if you are dry and boring, you will initially come across as weird if you start telling jokes.  Most of those jokes will probably bomb initially because you just aren’t that kind of guy yet.  You will feel enormous social pressure to return to the dry, boring conversationalist you were before.  After all, that boring identity is what you are still congruent to.

Most people are not willing to go through that period of rejection, so they don’t do anything to make themselves stand out more.

And since conformists are so common, they don’t stand out and therefore are not cool.

Now, even when a person becomes congruent to a more unique identity, their problems are not over.  The more you stand out, the more people with either love you OR hate you.

Your life will be filled with more groupies AND more haters.

The person you know with the most friends also has a lot of people bitching and moaning about them.

This is because if you do what most other people are doing, people will be indifferent towards you.  When you don’t do what other people are doing, then other people will actually have opinions about what you are doing.

Indifference, not hate, is the opposite of love.

Think about Nelly.  Nelly is undoubtedly a guy who stands out both professionally and personally.  He is pretty congruent to that to.

In fact, when he got a cut on his face and started wearing a bandaid, thousands of groupies across the country followed him and started rocking bandaids on their faces as well.

That said, a lot of people do not like Nelly’s antics.  They don’t like his attitude, his language, his style or his music.  To these haters, he is not cool.

Cool is in the eyes of the beholder.  The more you stand out, the more cool you will seem to some and the more uncool you will seem to others.

It’s a balance of sorts.  Depending on what you want in your life will depend on how you want to stand out.

It is possible to be cool and wear T-shirts and jeans.  It is possible to be cool and be full emo.  There are so many different ways to stand out it’s not even funny.

So let’s bring this around.  The key to being able to make friends without relying on superficial things like hot girls, booze and parties is to develop your individuality and allow yourself to stand out from others.  It is all about identity.

When you can go up to other people and give them a taste of this without needing anything in return, that is when you become powerful.  That is when you will have people begging to hang out with you.  That is when you become attractive to the opposite sex.  That is when you can walk into any social environment and immediately hook attention.

That is also when you will get people talking shit about you and trying to mess with you.

Thankfully, you will always have more groupies than haters so long as you give off good vibes.

Expect more to come on this topic.


For Guys: How To Succeed With Girls In College

June 2, 2009

A lot of college guys do not have the sex lives that they want.  If this is you, the good news is that this can be changed pretty quickly.

I am not a professional dating coach, nor do I have “tight game.”  That said, I was able to go from zero success with girls in high school to all the success I want in college.

Here are some resources that I believe can help you regardless of where you are at right now.

NOTE: You should not just read through these once and be done with them.  Study them so the concepts really “click.”

Basics

If you are a virgin or have sucked with girls in the past, it aint that big of a deal.

If you have never had sex before, here is what it is like.

Understanding What Attracts Girls

Here’s a long, detailed article about attraction.

Here’s a shorter article that talks about how why what you say to a girl is irrelevant.

How To Think Around Girls

Here is an article about the mindset you have when you are around an attractive girl.

An article on being a positive, value-giving guy.

A video about some more mindsets you should have around girls.

Nervousness Around Girls

Here’s an article about the anxiety you feel when you are about to approach a girl.

Here is an article about dropping your ego, which will clear most of your anxiety.

Stuff To Do With Girls

Here are some fun things to do with girls in college

Sex

Read this book!

I hope this stuff helps.


Changing Yourself In College

June 1, 2009

A lot of incoming freshman come into college seeking to change their lives.  Usually, this means reinventing yourself as a person.

This is fantastic and should extend beyond college.

I can hear the chorus of naysayers.

“But you should just be yourself!”

“Don’t change who you are, that’s not keeping it real!”

“It can’t be done!”

This is all nonsense and comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of human beings: who we are is consistent, but what we do, how we look and the actions we take is not.

In other words, while it is true that parts of us cannot be changed, most of our behaviors and actions can.

This is because human beings are creatures of habit.  Well over 90% of the things that we do every day are predictable and do not change from day to day.

The way we socialize is habitual.  The way we do our work is habitual.  The way we walk is habitual.  The way we breathe is habitual.

We get our habits by acting in the same way over and over again, oftentimes for years.

Biologists and psychologists go a step further and claim that a lot of our habits are programmed, including our personality traits.  Read up on Myers-Briggs if you don’t believe me.

The good news is that while you might naturally programmed to be a certain way, you have the power to override that programming.

For example, if you are naturally a person who prefers solitude , you can become a person who prefers socializing.

If you are a person who feels the need to logically think about something before taking action, you can become a person who is more spontaneous and goes with the flow.

If you are someone who feels uncomfortable vibing with someone else, that can most definitely change.

Now, in my opinion, it is best to develop yourself on all levels.  For example, you should be perfectly comfortable both when you are by yourself reading a book AND in a crazy nightclub.  I think going overboard with one or the other makes you a pretty shallow person.

Anyway, making changes to yourself requires you to change your habits.  This is tough because your body and mind will resist furiously.

If you are a shy guy and you want to become more social, you will feel anxiety when you go and talk to people.  Why is this?  Because you are going against a habit of not being social that has been reinforced for years!

Luckily, you are a human being who is not a slave to her instincts.  You have willpower.  You can override that shit.

Unfortunately, willpower burns up quickly.

Willpower is like those big-ass rocket boosters

Willpower is like those big-ass rocket boosters

As anyone who has tried to go to the gym knows, it is much easier to go to the gym the first week when you are all excited than it is the second week when that enthusiasm wanes and rubbish thoughts start to appear…

“I’ll skip today.  One day won’t hurt right?”

“Oh, I didn’t eat my pre-workout meal, so I won’t be able to work very hard.”

“Oh, it’s raining outside.  Maybe I should just stay in.”

“It’s just not me.”

More often than not, those thoughts win out and you stay the exact same, non-fit person you were before.

Instead of relying entirely on your willpower to change a habit, it is usually better to use your willpower to create systems that force you to do the things needed to change the habit.  This article goes into this in more detail.

Using the workout example, you would leave yourself no other option than to show up to the gym.  Perhaps you have a training partner pick you up at a certain time everyday.  Perhaps you tell a friend to cash a $500 check if you skip a day.

Those rubbish thoughts suddenly have no power over you.

Fundamentally, this is why most college students fail to make positive changes to themselves: they allow themselves to be overwhelmed by their minds telling them not to do the things required to change themsleves.

I mean, 80% of the battle is usually just showing up.

If you want to improve your social skills, 80% of your success will come from just getting yourself to talk to people.

If you want to improve your grades, 80% of your success will come from opening your textbook.

If you want to get a boyfriend, 80% of the battle is showing up to places where there are guys swirling around.

It’s the old 80/20 rule in action.

Here is the take home lesson:

1.  Figure out what changes you want in your life.

2.  Figure out the person you need to become to have those changes happen.

3.  Force yourself to become that person by doing the work necessary to change your old habits.

Make yourself the person you know you can be.


What Is It Like Living In The Dorms?

May 28, 2009

Dorm life is a unique experience.  Some dig it and others can’t wait to get out.  Here’s why.

The Rooms

Dorm rooms are generally smaller than your typical room in a house.  Obviously the more roommates you have, the bigger your room will be.

In general the reaction to singles is “damn is this room small” (My uncle called mine a closet), the reaction to doubles is “Oh, that’s alright” and the reaction to triples and quads is “damn is that big!”

Usually hallways have more than one type of room than the others.  Obviously, people tend to hang out in the larger rooms.

General Atmosphere

1.  Friendly.  Hallmates usually interact with one another a lot.

2.  Open.  It is tougher to have privacy if you live in the dorms than in other types of housing because of the culture and the realities of sharing a room with other people.

3.  Active.  Usually the halls are pretty noisy as other residents go out, return from going out or just hang out.

Social Life In The Dorms

Your hall mates are far and away the easiest people to meet and become friends with.  During the first couple weeks of school, they will be eager to make friends.

So long as you can provide some sort of fun (ie have cool stuff in your room, know where the cool parties are, etc.) then they will be more than happy to hang out with you, generally.

Even if you botch up the first couple of weeks, you will probably still end up becoming at least friendly with them. This is because you will inevitably run into them in the hallway, and start up some kind of conversation.

That said, hallways oftentimes split up into cliques.  In particular, the Greeks tend to mingle amongst themselves.

Unlike, say, an apartment complex, it is perfectly normal to just randomly walk into your hallmate’s rooms and hang out.  This is very common, since most residents keep their doors open.

You can tell how social a hallway is by the number of doors open on a given night.  During the first couple weeks, most residents keep their doors open.  If the hallway doesn’t gel, then that changes after a while.

It is also common for people to just hang out in the hallway.

Of course even in the most social hallways, there is always a few residents who will not participate at all.  Usually they are shy, have an independent social life (Usually upperclassmen are like this) or just don’t like other people.

Upperclassmen in the Dorms

While most upperclassmen tend to live off-campus, quite a few do stay in the dorms.  From my experience, they tend to be less social, probably because they already have friends from freshman year and aren’t scrambling for them like Freshman.

On top of that, some upperclassmen do not like the idea of hanging out with Freshmen.

That said, most are pretty open to socializing, so if you are a freshman do not hesitate in trying to make friends with them.  Just realize that they might not be as easy as a freshman.

Sex in the Dorms

Hookups are very common amongst hallmates.  That said, they are usually not a good idea.

The simple reason is that you will run into whoever you hook up with a lot, and if you are not 100% cool with him/her, it will be painfully awkward.

Additionally, the entire social dynamic of the hall can be thrown off by this.

Granted, this only happens if one of you feels wierd about the other person.  There are plenty of times when hallmates hook up and it is all fine and dandy afterwards.

Understand, though, that you are taking a pretty needless risk in doing it.

I say just hook up with his/her friends.

So that basically covers the important stuff, methinks.  If I think of more things that I think you should know about dorm life, I will publish a second part.


Should I Room Single Or With A Roommate Freshman Year?

May 27, 2009

This is an interesting question that has a simple answer: it depends on the experience that you want.

Here are the different experiences you will get with each.  Pick the one that you want.

Living in a single

1.  You will have your own room.  You do not have to worry about synchronizing bed times, being sexhiled, bringing guys/girls back to your place, or sharing resources

2.  You will have a place that you can go for some guaranteed alone time.  This is great when you need to “get away”

3.  You can close your door and have privacy

4.  Usually hallways with single rooms aren’t as loud as others (This is just a general trend)

5.  A potential downside is that you have to be very proactive about building up your social life.  You do not have a roommate bringing new people around

6.  There is also a greater tendency of people living in singles to isolate themselves in their rooms (Jokingly called dorm trolls)

7.  Singles also tend to be very small

Summary:  I have lived in a single for both years of college and have thoroughly enjoyed them.  It was nice being able to do my own thing and to have a place where I could be alone.   The key is to be proactive so that you do not fall into the dorm troll trap

Living with roomates


1.  Most roommates become friends during the year.  Your roommates will typically brings friends around as well, giving you another way to meet people

2.  Doubles, tripples and quads tend to have their doors more often than singles, which makes it harder to be isolated

3.  Most roommates get along splendidly, but there is a chance that you will have problems.  On the surface this seems bad, but on the positive side it will teach you valuable conflict management and general people skills

4.  These rooms tend to be much larger than singles

5.  Usually these rooms are where your neighbors will hang out (Singles are too small)

6.  If you get a roomate who comes from a different background than you, you will gain some pretty cool perspective

7.  You will undoubtedly get a lot of really cool stories

8.  You will learn how to communicate VERY well.  99% of roommate problems are due to a failure to communicate.

Summary:  Most of my friends who lived with roommates liked the experience.  There were moments, but in general it was pretty cool.  If you think you might need a kick in the ass to get social, then DEFINITELY live with a roommate, as you will get that kick.