What would your personality be like if you hung around the 300 Spartans? For one, it would probably help eradicate every bit of wuss you have lying around inside.
The other day I was thinking about how it’s just as important to work on your character as it is to work on your outer appearance, and how at the end of the day, your image is useless if there’s no personality behind it to communicate.
Then the question arose: what are the most EFFECTIVE ways to build an attractive personality?
I’m always working on some part of myself that I want to develop. Currently I’m trying to learn how to become a better storyteller. I wasn’t making any progress for awhile but quickly realized that I was taking the wrong approach of trying to learn it all on my own. I didn’t know what worked and what didn’t, and how I could work on these traits more effectively.
Through this process I was reminded that many guys are trying to become a better version of themselves, but are struggling to do so because they are spending too much of their energy reinventing the wheel instead of modeling after those who are already on the ride.
Something like storytelling isn’t something you can improve at by yourself. Alone, the process can be slow and full of mistakes, but by surrounding yourself with some of the best, you cut down the learning time tremendously by picking up on the crucial principles and details that only experiential success can bring. Basically, you’ll be set on the path that guarantees results if you stick to it. All you have to do is follow through.
You become the average of those who you’re constantly around.
Early today, I was eating breakfast and watching this commercial on television that featured a white girl, an Asian girl, and a black girl. I was busy eating my food and wasn’t even watching the screen, but just by listening I could clearly make out which girl was which from their accents.
The white girl had a slight New York accent that I made out in a split second (which was easy because I’m from New York), and the Asian girl spoke in a subtle, but distinguishable Asian accent, which I could tell from her slight overcompensation in pronouncing her words. The black girl had an attitude in her voice like she was from the ghetto.
This has nothing to do with racial background, but more about where these people grew up. The way they talk might have nothing to do with where they are specifically from either, but the people around them. Most of the time these people have NO idea that they have these accents, but they have them because of the people they surround themselves with.
The fastest and most effective way to grow a part of your personality is to surround yourself with people who already have what you want.
Have you ever caught yourself acting just like the friends you hang around most?
Most of this is subconscious.
It might be certain vocabulary you use, the tonality in how you say a word, or even your attitude towards life. When we hang around people long enough, we inevitably move towards similar behaviors, beliefs, and ways of living without even thinking about it.
Choose who you surround yourself with carefully, because they could be rubbing off on you, in both beneficial or detrimental ways. We can easily become a sponge that absorbs the behaviors of those we stay in contact with most.
The Mastermind Group
Coined by Napolean Hill, a man who studied thousands of the most successful people in the world and distilled the commonalities into the principles in the book, Think and Grow Rich, the “mastermind group” is a must for anyone serious about growth…
This doesn’t mean you should be going into panic mode and start cutting off contact with anyone who you believe isn’t serving your growth. Everyone has attractive qualities to their personality. For example, your friend might be horrible in a social setting but a genius when it comes to computers. If you want to build your computer savvy, you’ll learn faster from him than if you were to try and learn by yourself through books alone.
For example, earlier in my life I used to hang out with a lot of gut-busting-ly funny people. These guys were comedic geniuses, throwing an entire room into uncontrollable laughter at will. The more I was around these people, the funnier I became. In the beginning I picked up some jokes and material that I would use with others. Just imitating certain lines was a huge improvement. But with time, I began to understand the nuances that made a joke not only funny, but absolutely killer. I began to “see the matrix” in terms of delivering the hook, the timing, and the attitude that results in great humor. Now, I’m confident that I can bring out my own unique humor in any situation because of the principles I’ve learned from the masters and honed through my own experience.
This is definitely true for developing your style. Surround yourself with the most stylish people you can find, and see how great of an impact it has on your own image.
I just want to note that you can surround yourself with successful people through books, tapes, videos, or whatever way you can find until you create a direct relationship with one in the area of your choice. However, a direct relationship with successful people has so many more benefits including having a “coach” who has been through the process to help you through your obstacles, having someone who you can bounce ideas with, and having that “real life” example of success to fuel your belief.
So take a look at yourself and some personality traits you might want to develop. Then start to look for people who have these traits, and make an effort to hang out with them. Once you start doing that, you can start modeling them and implementing what they do.
Making The Experience Yours
You can’t just read the walkthroughs and say you know how to beat a video game. It’s only through personal experience that you can show others you’re for real. Experience is something that you can’t fake. You may be able to initially, but people will see through it sooner or later.
Once you’ve surrounded yourself with great people, you can choose to just sit there and watch them be great, or you can begin bridging the gap between you and them.
They can become awesome benchmarks and sources of inspiration for growth when you’re first starting out on the path of growth, but once you have your course set you have to move on your own. With the principles you’ve learned from modeling, now you have to go out there and try to become better in your own way.
Most of the time we’ll hear or see things and it’ll sort of make sense to us, but nothing truly make sense until you make the experience yours.
Nothing beats first-hand experience.
Most people settle for second-hand knowledge but true power comes to you when you convert that second-hand knowledge to first-hand experience.
Surrounding yourself with those you want to learn from cuts your learning curve in half and helps you avoid a lot of mistakes, but you will gain very little on the sidelines.
The key is to the constant application of whatever you are learning, while accepting the fact that you will inevitable mess things up at times.
Let’s say you’re trying to become funny, and because you’ve surrounded yourself with funny friends you now understand what triggers laughter in others. What you need to do now it start building a belief that you too can be funny. How much belief you develop will determine whether or not people find you funny. Two people can say the same thing, but it’s only the one who has pure belief that what he is saying is funny that will make others laugh. The one who expects no one to laugh at the joke will communicate this insecurity through the subtle way their tonality drops at the end of their sentence or nervously laughs at his own attempt at humor.
Your foundational self-esteem and personality comes from your belief of what you’re entitled to. You won’t be funny unless you believe that you are (or can be) funny. Your beliefs define your reality, and thus affect your behavior.
This is why a lot of guys out there who read some of the greatest dating advice can’t seem to muster up the courage to talk to women. They probably have a first-hand experience that is sabotaging or contradicting whatever the second-hand education is saying.
Maybe it was that one time they approached a hot girl in grade school and was rejected with a harsh “ewww, you’re ugly.” This one first-hand experience may be responsible for a limiting belief that is negating any second-hand knowledge that says the opposite.
Your goal should always be to get to first-hand experience, so that you can build the belief pillars that will hold up who you are inside.
First-hand experience > Second-hand knowledge (direct) > Second-hand knowledge (indirect)
If you can’t get experience for yourself, the next best way is to get it from someone who is directly connected to you. Then there is indirect second-hand knowledge that you can get from books, audio tapes, DVDs, etc.
This also explains why so many men who get into self-help, reading hundreds of books and attending countless seminars, are unable to fix their lives even when they have “all the answers.” They want to become millionaires but they don’t truly believe that they can be. They have first-hand experiences that hold them back and neutralize all the surface level, empowering knowledge that they’ve learned.
This is why you have to get out there and test every piece of knowledge for yourself, while keeping those who are already there around you so that you have some real evidence to fall back on when you fall.
Let’s say you aren’t that great with approaching women on the street but you want to develop the ability. Imagine that the few times that you have attempted this you’ve been rejected so in the back of your mind you feel like it’s not possible to attract a woman who is passing you on the street. But then you heard of guys who were in your position but stuck to the process and eventually figured out how to do it. This second-hand knowledge gives you some hope that it’s possible, but you still don’t have the belief that you can do it.
What usually happens to most people at this stage is that they keep trying to push themselves to practice but don’t have enough leverage to stick through it. They just don’t have enough belief to fuel them forward.
This is why it’s important to surround yourself with someone who can show you the path to take, someone who used to be in your position or who you believe is not cut from a different cloth. They can get you off your ass and give you something to trust in, giving you faith when you need it. They’ll tell you to do something that may make no sense to you at all, something that you would have never done with your own will, but know exactly the lessons you’ll take away. All you have to do is trust that you’ll learn something and take the leap.
The key to true learning and growth towards ones goals becomes clear:
Get as many references from others as possible, but immerse yourself in the obtaining of first-hand experience. If you learn something new, try it out, see for yourself, and make it your own. When you hit an obstacle, come at it with a new angle after some feedback from your friends who have already been through it.
Something you can implement immediately is to do one thing each day that is out of your comfort zone. Just do something you haven’t tried in order to gain the experience. The more you do, the more trust you will build in what you are capable of. You have nothing do lose and everything to gain.
You will need to understand that this path comes with a lot of stumbling, and even, falling on your face a few times. I’ve found that the ones who learn the quickest are the ones who are willing to put their ego aside, and potentially make a fool of themselves for that first-hand experience.
You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take”
– Wayne Gretzky
Gretzky also once said that he values an assist more than a goal. This is coming from the man who owns nearly every scoring record in National Hockey League History. Nobody who is successful in this world got there alone, they had the help of mentors, mastermind groups, and good friends. This is why I love the guys within our community forums, because every guy is there to share feedback, knowledge, and experience with others in a positive and encouraging way.
Comedian Dane Cook invented the mighty super middle finger
If you’re trying to build a more attractive personality, the most effective way to do this is to surround yourself with people who are better than you in an area you want to improve. They give you the belief that it’s possible to get there, advice and feedback on the spot when you need it, and a competitive drive to fill the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Whether you’re trying to learn how to be funnier, more confident with women, or more stylish, go out there and get as much DIRECT second-hand knowledge as possible, but remember to work harder to take action on it and make it your OWN (first-hand) experience. This in turn will create the BELIEF structure that will fuel you towards more growth in that area. Without any belief you won’t have the foundation to grow at all.
You have no excuse not to go out there and build a part of your personality. It’s easier than it sounds. Follow these principles and enjoy the ride.