In this episode of Helping Joe, Charlie and Nils put a hold on the career stuff to go back to Joe’s dating issues and dig deeper into his messed up mindset and beliefs.
They give him advice on changing his mindset and taking control of his thoughts so he doesn’t get so down on himself and can live a better life. They also talk about life contentedness, female friendships, takeaways after a relationship ends, and why it’s important to write things down.
You can click here (right click, then click save as) to download the episode directly.
Joe’s Thoughts and Takeaways From This Episode:
Hey this is a running commentary of random thoughts, notes, and takeaways I had during or after this episode. – Joe
@Beginning – Getting a f*cking phone
Looking back on this, I really f*cked up by not having a phone. I don’t know why I waited so long to buy a new one, but I really started slipping back into old habits of being by myself and being miserable.
Once I got it back, I went out a ton and had such a great weekend, so much fun.
“Recognize the things that keep your life vibrant.”
I felt guilty when Nils said that I was more reactive than proactive because he’s right. I feel like I’m letting them down (and myself down) by not doing more, not coming up with ideas to meet and date women and then go doing them myself (the ideas, not the women).
“It sounds like a microcosm of all the bigger issues that you’ve dealt with: Paralysis by analysis, putting things off, worried about cost, not worth the $, procrastination.” – Nils
He he’s totally right, especially about the paralysis by analysis and procrastination, both awful habits that I have.
“You have to get it fixed because it’s your livelihood [or lifeline].” – Charlie
@7:30 – How to prevent this again
I was part serious here about buying 2 phones, but it was kind of a joke.
“Do an inventory of the things that are important to you and when those things are jeopardized, recognize that you have assigned value to them and fix them.” – Nils
Charlie’s point here was to have friends that wouldn’t put up with this or imagine my 30 year old self and I got uncomfortable probably because I don’t like thinking about the future right now because I’m not confident where I’m going to be.
“If you’re trying to improve yourself, you have to be that [older, better] person. My friend knows a coach who has coached multiple billionaires and she said the one thing they all had in common before they became billionaires was that they acted like billionaires and made decisions like billionaires before they were there… act like a better version of yourself, one that you are trying to become.”
Yea Nils was right here about my skepticism, when Charlie said this. And I should have mentioned this in the podcast but I didn’t.
Really, what I heard when he said this was “these millionaires thought like billionaires then they became billionaires, just think like a billionaire and you’ll be a billionaire” which wasn’t what he said, his point was something else entirely, but I just hate that whole believing and thinking stuff into reality talk that I stopped listening when he said something even a little bit close to this.
@11:00 – Your goals will be accomplished by a different version of you
Nils explained Charlie’s point a little deeper here.
“Success in these areas will change you for the better. Charlie is speculating out to that timeframe. The Joe making 60K a year is not the Joe who would let a broken phone submarine his social life for 6 weeks. That Joe values himself and his time and his friends.” – Nils
We talk about what getting my phone back meant to me here.
I had a lot of fun at the Texas book festival this weekend. Chuck Palanuik (Fight Club, Choke) was actually there and did odd fun event at the Paramount that I unfortunately missed but I caught a few highlights and stories from the people I talked to down there that went and saw his show.
There a lot of women, a lot of couples. I had a good time but didn’t really meet anybody. I was kicking myself because this was a fantastic first date or any date. I LIKE GIRLS WHO READ so why not hang out and go out to a book festival. This was a great mating market for me I think. I have to find more things like this to go do.
@15:00 – Breaking up with Harry Potter girl
I didn’t feel good about this because she was a good person and I think she was really into me and let down but that’s what it is. I’m glad I did this because I knew I had to do it.
Nils asks about my mindset after ending this relationship. I got confused here about what he was asking. Nothing really changed with what I wanted or how I acted after ending it with her.
“For some people, they get out of relationships and turn into fuck machines, some people are lonely and depressed, others go right into another relationship.”
I was just the same I think. Nothing really changed. My reaction to being out of that relationship wasn’t that strong.
@18:00 – Charlie asks a really important question here
“What did you take away from your time with her?”
“Spend some time really thinking about that and write it down somewhere. This is what I liked. This is what I didn’t like. And this is what I learned… You’re going to forget this or let it get overridden by future relationships. Figure those out and put them away somewhere.” – Nils
This is what I liked.
– She had a great sense of humor, similar to mine.
She laughed a lot at my most of my jokes and random stuff I said. She got it and made some good jokes of her own. She was very playful and lots of fun. I think this is just a life pattern I have that I like people who laugh at stuff I say. My best friends have been like this too.
-We had great sexual chemistry.
It was shaky in the beginning because of my issues not hers, which you can listen to on Episode 16 and 17. But just kissing, touching, feeling each other out, having sex, was great with her. To be honest, she probably wanted to have sex more than I did but not that much more. She liked when I was aggressive which I also liked a lot.
-She was down to go do things I wanted to do. We had similar interests.
She was up for whatever, out-going, rarely said no and wasn’t a downer or anything. She was almost never in a bad mood. We never got into a fight about anything. The only fight we got into was my fault because she brought over cookies and I hate all fo them. She punched me in the arm as I laughed and ate the last one. It was a play fight.
-We could talk about stuff for a long time.
Never got boring talking to her. She and I were great conversationalist together.
This is what I didn’t like.
-She didn’t workout or take care of her body.
I realize I’m kind of crazy about being in great shape, but I found that that was a big sticking point. I like women who make a solid effort with this stuff, who go to the gym or run or do crossfit or whatever a few times a week. I like fit women. The last girl I dated who ended it with me was an athlete. Her body was fantastic and I liked that a lot.
-A few of her life decisions.
She was unhappy with her awful job and boss (who was also a source of hilarity for both of us so I liked that). She finally quit to go back into debt and back to grad school to pursue her passion career. That bugged me a little because I think school is a rip-off. I didn’t tell her that but in the back of my mind, I’m like that doesn’t sound like a good decision, you didn’t make a good decision with the major you did in undergrad, which most people don’t to be honest, I sure didn’t, but it looks like you’re doing the same thing again and digging yourself into a deeper hole by taking out more loans. I didn’t want to tell her what to do with her life so I just let it be.
And this is what I learned
-How to be more aggressive in bed and that that was fun.
-How to find new date spots and be more assertive “Hey let’s go do X on Yday” not “hey what are you doing?” or “What do you want to do?” … I learned how to always have a fucking plan and a backup plan, improv helped with the backup plan at times.
-Not every girl wants to be in a relationship right away, but you are a relationship type of dude. Most girls, once they go on a few dates with me, want to keep me around because I’m awesome.
-I should go pursue girls that are athletic or fit, and go to mating markets where I will find them.
-I learned how to have a relationship talk or a “where is this going” talk thanks to Tucker
-I made major improvements to my room when she knew me.
That’s about it for now.
@19:00 – Charlie had a great point here
“Joe, you don’t give yourself credit for you who are, you might want to write down what were the things that she really liked about you.” – Charlie
I think she liked that:
-I was honest and a real dude. In her phone, my name was Genuine Joe
-I was smart, cute, whatever.
-I was funny and playful
-I made major improvements to my room when she knew me.
-I was fit, had a 6 pack, and a V (I still have no idea why women like the V thing)
-I listened to her and remembered her stories and family stuff and all that and could call it back.
-I took her on fun dates. We were always doing fun stuff.
-I wasn’t timid in bed.
It was funny Charlie said it that way “you don’t give yourself credit” because a new female friend of mine said the exact same thing the last time we went out.
She was the Persian girl from Episode 29.
“And that is the value of female friendship. Right there.” – Nils
@21:30 – Journaling
“It allows you to see how you think. To read it objectively. Your language is revealing about how you think about yourself and how you feel. The benefit of this is that you have control of your thoughts and you can practice making them better and feeling better.” – Charlie
“If you’re lost in your own head and your mental models are broken, your ability to analyze how you feel and think is broken. But your analytical ability is still there. The ability to process your thoughts in a healthy way increases 10x if you write them down and look at them in a piece of paper. People journal to get those fucking thoughts out of their head and look at it. You can process those thoughts with a different part of your brain.” – Nils
Nils is totally right. Writing it down, just writing all the crazy thoughts down, is the only thing in my life that has given me damn near instant relief or partial relief from some sort of emotional pain due to irrational thoughts that I am feeling at the time. It’s funny I think Brene Brown recommends this in her book when fighting back shame.
And even better is writing responses to those thoughts on paper once I have them down and replacing them with more rational, correct, or kind thoughts.
I learned how to do this from reading Feeling Good by David Burns about cognitive behavioral therapy which is basically just recognizing irrational thought patterns (detailed in the book) and replacing them with better thoughts, being more kind to yourself. There’s a lot of excellent stuff in this book. My mom is a therapist and gave it to me in high school when I was miserable.
@25:00 – Semi self-loathing meltdown I had last week.
There were 2 cute girls at improv. I was attracted to them and I didn’t make any effort or move to go talk to them after the practice. I talk about how I felt here.
Here is the one-pager (it’s actually 3 pages) that I go back to every time I get like this. I read some of these on the podcast:
I stopped doing the 5 Minute Journal and didn’t read As A Man Thinketh and Charlie gets on me for this:
“All your problems boil down to ‘I feel like shit so I’m not living the life that I want and I’m never going to live the life that I want.’ Our thoughts create our world. Yours are in a deep rut of negativity. We can’t control your thoughts. You can. This is the bare minimum of change that you need. You doing these things haphazardly is very frustrating. This can improve how you feel and improve your situation.” – Charlie
“It’s like lifting weights when you’ve never been in the gym before.” – Charlie
“’This hurts!’ No, that’s called growth.” – Nils
@29:30 – Are you afraid of being happy?
I talk about not chilling and being content with a pretty good life that I have. This was also in Daring Greatly and something we have talked about in @26:00 of Episode 30
“The most miserable people I know in the world are not poor. They are rich.” – Nils
I thought this was bullshit when he said this. Not his knowing these people, but the implication that I took from that rich people are more miserable than poor people. Then I went looked up stats on suicide and wealth and found data showing that suicides were actually higher in wealthier neighborhoods.
“You are the only one who can control your thoughts. If you don’t make that commitment, we can’t help you over the long run.” – Charlie
Nils suggest reading books on habit formation. Some good ones from the Mate References:
The 7 habits of highly effective people
The power of habit
The checklist manifesto
The willpower instinct
The marshmallow test: Mastering self-control
“We need to tap into WHY this matters again. There are many paths to HOW, but WHY is what matters. Why are you doing this? What are you trying to avoid? Why do you want to be a better person?” – Charlie
@33:00 – “You’d be happier if you did stuff.”
They called me out for saying this and wanting to say this to other people but not following this myself.
This was an interesting back and forth I think because I might have some fucked up thoughts about happiness and about being happy. When I tried to explain why happiness shouldn’t be a goal…
“I am hearing answer right now that you’ve read online.” – Charlie
“These are not conclusions that you have drawn yourself.” – Charlie
“Because they justify you’re misery! Those give you an external validation for why you’re so fucking miserable.” – Nils
Damn that stung, probably because it hit some deep truth.
“Women don’t like unhappy men. I’m talking about people who are contented and fulfilled. It doesn’t ever seem like that is a goal that has value for you.” – Nils
@37:00 – Why changing your mindset is so important
This part was kind of confusing to talk about because I’m kind of lost with this stuff.
Charlie talks about some guy who went to prison and was happy because of his mindset. This sounds crazy to me.
“Because you’ve never experienced it.” – Charlie
“You are still rooted in external validation for everything… I don’t remember a time when you valued or cared about what you thought more than somebody else.” – Nils
That’s on dates, career stuff and work, being around a good tribe, everything.
Yea he’s right. It’s been a pattern throughout this podcast and in most of if not all of my life. This sucks to admit because it basically means I have no free will or self-value. I look to others before I look to myself which is kinda sad.
“The external validation will never been enough. You’ll always either want more of it or you’ll dismiss it.” – Nils
It is a living a life based on the opinion of others, which is a stupid way to do things.
@41:30 – Appreciating what you’ve done and where you are in life
Nils talks about this practice he does to slow down and appreciate his dope life.
Charlie asked him to more into this, which was great. So glad he did this.
“I stop at some point every day in the middle of the day and close everything and sit and think about where I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and where I’m going and recognize that I DID THAT. I’m the guy who made that shit happen. That’s awesome. I’m doing good stuff. This is a good life. I’m a good guy. I just gotta keep pointed forward and doing the things that I want to do and living up to the expectations I’ve set for myself. And I do that everyday. It anchors my sense of contentedness. I’m not constantly chasing some unattainable state of achievement. It’s more about contentment.” – Nils
This was great.
I rarely do this and it’s been a problem most of my life, I’m always reaching for the next thing instead of appreciating the good fucking things I have all around me all the time.
“And if you’re physically sore or hurt, do you just keep going or do you take care of it?” – Charlie
This was an interesting question. Nils stretches, rests, and asks for help.
I do the fucking exact opposite and talk about how that’s led to nagging injuries to this day.
Charlie talks about how he had this “I gotta get back out there” mentality in a work context.
“It cost me 2 years of my life. I was in the worst physical, emotional, and mental state that I’ve ever been in by far. I’m convinced that when I was at my lowest, if I asked for help, I would have been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. I drove myself into such a deep hole. The only way I got better was asking for help and giving myself person to take care of myself. The first thing was the mindset shift… The ultimate intrinsic motivator is enjoyment, play, fun. Everything you’ve been doing is extrinsically motivated.” – Charlie
@48:00 – Homework for this
1. Read As A Man Thinketh
It’s 30 pages (actually probably even less)
2. Commit to doing the 5 Minute Journal
Do it for a few months, 5 minutes a day
3. Look up Cosmic Consciousness on YouTube
Charlie will send you some stuff
4. Join a meditation group if you need to
“Your thoughts create your reality.” – Charlie
“I get this all the time.” – Charlie
“Those problems are internal. You can’t run away from them. I’ve heard you talk about Growth Mindset. You appreciate it, but you don’t have it.” – Nils
The handouts that I printed out and will read:
“Ask for help! You are injured in your mind. It won’t get better [if you don’t].”
“You need a support system of people who know what you’re dealing with who can help you fix the problems that you’re struggling with.” – Nils
@52:00 – Fixing your internal compass
Most of what I do is motivated externally
If I line up what I want internally, it will go a lot better.
“What you think is how you feel is what you do. It all stems from what you think.”
“Alignment is doing it because you love it.” – Charlie
I feel like I’m at this point with improve. I just do it or go see shows because I love it.
“You’ve got to feel like you deserve it and it’s something that you want.” – Nils
@54:00 – Recognizing the results of internal work that you can’t see
“It’s hard to see the results of your effort because it’s an internal shift. That’s why the 5 Minute Journal is important so you can see the changes.” – Nils
“You have been running from your inner monologue and owning your mindset. That has to change.” – Nils
@56:00 – Sexual shame
I had 3 experiences over the last week that weren’t good, I got really down about why I didn’t talk to a few cute girls. I wished that we talked about WHAT happened and broke those situations down, but we were running out of time and that would’ve taken too long.
Before this episode, I went back and listened to the old podcasts on sexual shame and not owning your sexuality or being sexuality interested in a woman:
“First, it’s about getting those thoughts out of your head so you can make room for contentment. Your monkey fight is taking up that space.” – Nils
“I can’t count the number of times in my life where I haven’t talked to an attractive girl when the situation presented itself and I didn’t hate myself for that.” – Charlie
I think I missed his point here, which was that he does or did this a lot too but didn’t get all bent out of shape or hate on himself like I do. That’s the problem. The problem is not the problem but how negatively I think or react to the problem where it’s just unnecessary and makes it worse.
@1:01:00 – The goal to have fun doesn’t work for me
There were times when I did have fun or was having fun, but I still didn’t make a move. I froze or ignored the girl who was there so I didn’t have to face the possibility of rejection or humiliation or whatever.
“Because you don’t think you’re worthy of happiness or fun.” – Nils
I wish I was like Tucker in the sense that he owned his sexuality and sexual interests and had no shame.
Nils made a good point on why Tucker needed 4 years of therapy and how this was a positive side effect of underlying issues that caused problems in his life. It’s an unfair comparison. Most guys are not like that.
“Sex is the subtext for every conversation between a single male and a single female that are hetero-sexual.” – Nils
“I have never talked to a girl about sexual intention or flirting. I’ve talked to them about everything else and if we connect, that is the obvious next step.” – Nils
“You are in control of your thoughts. Whether you act on that information or not is totally up to you. You can change your thoughts and get rid of sexual shame… if you practice this stuff.” – Charlie
“All of these problems stem from your overwhelming critical and negative thoughts. They are the equivalent of an injury. ” – Charlie
And I should treat them like that. Doing rehab every day.
“Journaling is record of your incremental emotional growth. This is seeing your achievement on the mindset front.” – Nils
@1:08:00 – Charlie talks about news/media diet here
I don’t think this is my problem, but it used to be.
“Whatever you consume can help you improve your thoughts.” – Charlie
“This is a real thing but it’s mental. You have to do the mental mindset work. Nothing external will fix it.” – Nils
“WRITE IT DOWN! … Information is your enemy. Because you don’t do anything with it.” – Nils
1. Read As A Man Thinketh
It’s 30 pages (actually probably even less)
2. Commit to doing the 5 Minute Journal
Do it for a few months, 5 minutes a day
3. Join a meditation group if you need to
“You deserve to be happy, but that’s up to you.”
I also signed up for improv classes again but we really didn’t get into this.