Identity, Part 1: How To Find Your Identity
Ever picked up a smokin’ hot woman from a club, but then you see her the next morning without her makeup? Well, if she still looks hot,
nice. If not,
Well, there are ton of pickup artists out there who’ve memorized lots of gambits to attract women. And they work. But what happens the next day when he’s run out of gambits?
He’s like a woman who relies ONLY on her makeup to attract men. Don’t be the women who’s skin deep! Know who you are. Get an identity.
But how does one get an identity? How does a guy get to know who he is?
Now, that is a great question. And I haven’t the slightest clue. So, that”s why I’m writing this post. To find out.
I just looked up the word identity. It comes from the Latin identificare, “to make the same as.”
Okay, so maybe one way to begin the process is like that verse from the Bible. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:21) Finding what you naturally love says something about where your heart is. It’s like you make yourself the same as that thing.
Also, the ancient Greeks had this idea that there are basically four types of people in the world. Discovering your “type” might be a step to getting to know who you are better.
Then there’s Confucius: “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” Love it. Not backing down from friction and trials might be another way?
If so, here’s four possible ways a guy might get clearer on his identity, to get some substance behind the mask.
Possible Way #1: THE ACTIVITY YOU DO MOST OFTEN
Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” That’s from his Nicomachean Ethics. What activity do you enjoy doing the most? That brings the DEEPEST FULFILLMENT. The thing that lights you up and you could do for HOURS. This might be your “treasure.” And your identity.
Possible Way #2: PERSONALITY TYPE
Jung, like the ancient Greeks, thought there were 4 types of people in the world. The ancient Greek idea, systemized by Hippocrates into the first medical theory, was that there were four elements in the universe, four humors in the body, and four temperaments in a human being. These were the four temperaments:
Sanguine: Impulsive, pleasure-seeking, charismatic, boisterous. They like to be the center of attention. They tend to get distracted easily, and lose interest when something stops being fun. Talkative, not shy. They almost have a shameless nature. They’d make great show people.
Cholera: Ambitious, leader-like, aggressive, assertive, not afraid of confrontation. They can dominate people. They don’t make the best listeners, and they’re not super-patient or super-empathetic. They’re swift to action, but can be disorganized. They’d make great CEOs.
Melancholy: The thinkers and analyzers. They don’t mind being by themselves to contemplate. They can be indecisive, and can get worried or sad. They’d make the best professors or psychologists.
Phlegm: Relaxed, calm, quiet, supportive, empathetic, these are the peace-makers. They’re good listeners, but don’t like confrontation and can be taken advantage of. They make great poets, artists, and lovers.
Jung’s idea seems to update Hippocrates’ idea. Jung thought each of us have all four types within us. But we’re born with a leading temperament. Here’s a quick test to find out which temperament is your “home.”
Question #1: When you need to recharge your batteries, do you seek solitude or the energy of being among lots of people? Introverts prefer solitude or a few close friends (the inner-world), extroverts prefer the energy of other people (the outer-world).
Question #2: Do you think you’re more rational or emotional? For example, when making a decision about something, would you sit down and make a pro/con list, or would you rely on what feels best?
Question #3: Here are the four personality types. Which do YOU think describes you the best? Not what others may think you are, but what YOU think you are.
Red = see Cholera
Yellow = see Sanguine
Blue = see Melancholy
Green = see Phlegm
So, that’s your leading temperament. The temperament you were born with. That’s home.
Now, here’s the thing. On the circle above, the temperament that’s diagonal from you is your least dominant temperament. Jung would say this is the weakest part of your personality. And he would say that to become a more integrated human being you must strengthen that weakest part in you.
So, for example, if you’re a green personality, your strength is your empathy, but your weakness might be issues with assertiveness, where the red personality is strongest. One task would be to incorporate more of that “red” energy in you, to learn to be more assertive. Likewise, if you lead with red, your strength is your assertiveness, but one task would be to incorporate more calmness and empathy, the “green” energy. Ultimately, we must find balance between all four temperaments.
We also have a secondary and a third temperament. It’s very unusual for your weakest temperament be secondary. If your opposite temperament is your secondary you’re either insane or a genius. Haha
Anyway, this is just a quick test. And as with any labeling system, they are labels. Human constructions that help us to sort, organize and understand. But they’re not reality. This system can help us get to know ourselves though. And it helps us to see others who are different than us NOT as inferior, but as simply different. It can help us get to know the women we meet better, too. Bonus.
Possible Way #3: THE SEXY STEREOTYPE
There’s this great suggestion from Brad P about the “sexy stereotype.” Have you heard about it? In case you haven’t, it goes something like this. Find a sexy “type” girls love, and that you’d like to become, and copy his fashion.
You might feel like you have the rocker type inside you.
Copy his fashion. Maybe you want to be the motor cycle guy with a leather jacket.
Copy his fashion. Or the rapper type.
Copy his fashion. Or the Latin Lover type.
Or the successful businessman/professional type.
Or the artist type.
Or whatever “sexy type” women swoon for. And you secretly say to yourself “I’m kinda like that.”
Copy his fashion.
Okay, so this is a great way to fix fashion problems, sure. But also, it’s an ingenious way to discover your identity, too.
You could also ask who your hero is. Real-life or fiction. Someone you look up to. Emulate him until you bring that hero out from within yourself.
Oh, and screw what anyone else says about what “type” you wanna become. SCREW em. If they laugh at you and say you “can’t,” screw em screw em screw em. This is about YOU and how YOU view yourself. They don’t know you. But finding a type that’s like you, you’ll begin to see yourself.
What about the Seducer type? Can the seducer or pickup artist type be an identity? I don’t see why not, except for one condition.
If “getting” women is the source of your fulfillment, it’s weak. You’re looking outside for your happiness. Anything “external”–fame, glory, money, power, or recognition–change. So, if those outside forces change, what happens. Right. You fall.
But what’s “internal”… that part of us that’s been with us all our life, and that was probably there before birth, and after death, is sturdy. It’s unchanging. If we build an identity here, when outside forces change, we’re still left standing. Jesuit priest Tony DeMello’s book “Awareness/Way to Love” taught me this.
Awesome book. Highly recommended.
Anyway, the point is, if a guy were to make “seducer” or “pickup artist” his identity, he’s better off NOT making women the target, but himself.
Rembrandt Van Rijn (1606-1669), Winter Landscape (c. 1649). In the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.
I took this drawing from Betty Edward’s book “Drawing on The Right Side of The Brain” (p. 23). In it, she makes the point that we not only see the “objective” scene Rembrandt was trying to portray, but we also sense Rembrandt’s emotional response to it. We see through the landscape to Rembrandt himself. She then quotes a Zen master-archer Herrigel:
“The art of archery is not an athletic ability mastered more or less through physical practice, but rather a skill with its object consisting in mentally hitting the mark. Therefore, the archer is basically aiming for himself. Through this, perhaps, he will succeed in hitting the target–his essential self.”
You could say the same thing about learning to become a seducer. It’s a skill. The real object is not “getting” women, but self-awareness.
Possible Way #4: BUILDING YOUR CHARACTER
This is my favorite. When there’s something we think is impossible for us to do, do it anyway. Nice. Like, if you’ve always done fifteen pull-ups and twenty seems impossible, go for twenty anyway. We might “fail” but fuck it. We grow! And find our excellence. So, here’s five ways we might build character:
A. PUSH OUR LIMITS: For example, approaching women. Traveling alone to unfamiliar places. Standing up for yourself. Doing that extra pull up. Taking on a project that’s slightly above your skill level.
Formula: Something you think is just slightly out of reach… slightly higher than your skill level… go for it. You’ll find your “high point.”
When you think about it, our life is defined by our moments of excellence, it’s not defined by the moments when we do grocery shopping or watch TV. Michael Jordan’s greatness is defined by the moments where he pushed the limits. When we push our limits, that’s when we touch greatness.
B. TAKE ON LEADERSHIP ROLES: Even if it’s as simple as a group of people not knowing where they want to eat, saying we’re going here is practicing leadership.
C. TAKE ON NEW ACTIVITIES: Starting a new workout and sticking with it for 90 days. Enrolling in a class, like cooking or dancing or writing or carpentry. Joining a sports team. Fixing the car or something in the house. Giving to charity. Working with a soup kitchen. They exercise your mind. Which makes us evolve.
D. RESILIENCE: When something gets tough, don’t give up. Keep going. Rejection by a girl. Whateva! Instead of taking it personally, what’s the lesson we gotta learn?
Whenever there’s pain, don’t blame the other person. If the pain is a girl rejecting us, for example, instead of saying she’s a bitch, look at yourself. What could I have done better? I learned this from Neil Strauss. He said it was one of the secrets to his success as a pickup artist. Pain = there’s a lesson trying to wake us up.
Also, I heard Eben Pagan, the man behind David DeAngelo, once say something in the copy for his “Get Altitude” program that really stuck with me. He said the difference between stars and non-stars is the difference between cause and effect. Stars see themselves as a cause in the world. Non-stars see themselves as victims. If you see yourself as a cause in a painful situation instead of as an effect, you become someone that makes things happen in the world, instead of the world happening to you. A shepherd, not a sheep.
And besides, being unfazed by dissonance, by pain, is a practice of strength. Nothing is ever a big deal. Let me repeat that. NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, is EVER a big deal. Heeeeell, no. Whatever comes up, you can handle it.
E. FOCUS/PURPOSE: Ahhhhh. My favorite. Discover your deepest gifts and give them to the world. Everyone has a gift to give to the world. Okay, well then, how do we discover our deepest gifts? Challenge is one way. But solitude is another. In solitude, ask yourself over and over again what is my purpose in this life? A quiet voice within will answer.
But discovery is only the beginning. Giving those gifts is the next step. And giving despite getting shit on for giving. Ever noticed how no one has succeeded in bringing light into the world? Socrates, killed. Jesus, crucified. Martin Luther King, Jr., shot. But give anyway.
This is my favorite, because not only do you discover who you truly are, but you step outside the “self” to give to the wider world in some small way.
Anyway, this is a starter at least for how a guy can get clearer on his identity. I’m working on these myself Just writing about it invigorates me because it reminds me what’s most important in life.
So, identity. It’s not just about attracting women. I mean, it definitely helps. Hell, yeah. But even better, it’s about becoming excellent for its own sake.
And, hey, meeting hot women in the process…
thumbs up. Leaving her better off than we found her?
Pure joy. There’s nothing wrong with gambits, as long as you know who you are underneath.