Art Basel weekend, one of the largest art festivals in the world.
I’ve come down with some close friends to simply party, have fun, and meet cool art people (and cute art chicks).
But it’s always the same story. My body fights me at the beginning.
Like the grumbles I feel before going on a long run.
I get to the main convention center. Some amazing cuties there.
The art is brilliant. The women are hot. And many of them are alone or in groups of two girls.
My mind starts to protest.
I love seeing art like this. You know what? I’m just going to enjoy the art and not focus on meeting people.
There’s always an excuse.
Not that I can’t enjoy the art. And if I really had something important to do, I might not be out there flirting with women as much.
But I don’t have anything important to do. I’m here to have fun.
And for some odd reason today, my brain wants to categorize meeting people as ‘work.’
It’s like brushing your teeth before bed. It seems like a lot of work, until you actually do it.
And there’s the key. Actually do it.
To make it as likely as possible that I’ll do it, the “it” needs to be easy to start off with.
I see some cute girls. I check them out. Yum. Instead of talking to them, I walk in the other direction toward the next exhibit
I get there and stand next to them. After a moment, I even think of something retarded to say.
There’s a painting full of chopped up words in front of us.
“Can you translate that for me?”
They semi-laugh and say “You’ll have to figure it out for yourself.” They smile and slowly walk away.
These girls were cute. And ready to have fun.
But I’m locked up. I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
And more so, my body was locked up.
Now that I’ve taken initiative, two things are going on in my brain.
1) Self-debasement. This is usually the first to happen. I start to “beat myself up” for doing something wrong or not doing it well enough.
Those girls were smiling. Why didn’t I say something else? I’ve got 1 million things I could have said. Why did I lock up? I’ve been doing this for years and still getting locked up? Other guys who are great with women wouldn’t get locked up like I just did right there. This isn’t going well.
2) Self-encouragement. If I catch myself in time, I will realize what’s going on. Usually in the form of affirmations, I switch my thoughts to self-praise for what I just did.
It was the first interaction of the day. There are TONS of cute women here. I’m just geting warmed up. It’s normal what I’m feeling. The next people I talk to will be easier. I’m fucking awesome for taking initiative in the first place. That was fun. It doesn’t matter that it didn’t “go anywhere.” This is all part of the process.
And this is important. This is why I start off with something small and simple. Something easy. Something retarded.
Because I’m faced with #1 and #2 after almost every interaction.
This is the defining moment for me.
Do I debase myself or praise myself?
Obviously the answer is #2. You want to encourage yourself internally.
Seems simple. But it’s not always so easy to remember to do that.
We are emotional creatures. Our emotions sometimes take control of our brains.
And the more you practice steering your emotions in the right direction after every social encounter, the more you build up your momentum…
…the more it feels like you’re gaining energy with each encounter…
… and the less anxiety you have for the next interaction.
As the day goes on, I start to interact with people even more.
In fact it turns into one of the funnest and most social weekends I’ve had in a really long time.
I meet some incredible people.
Awesomely cute art chicks.
Cool people who actually live not far from me in Brooklyn.
But what’s more is I feel relaxed and enjoy the process.
I’m having fun with this. How a vacation should be.