Below is the best advice I have that I gave my friend who is single and dating in Los Angeles in 2018.
I honestly have no clue as to which dating website is the best in the LA area. I asked my wife what her friends use and she said Bumble is the most popular site right now, along with Tinder (but that’s more for casual sex).
My recommendation is that as this is the most important decision you will make for your lifetime happiness, don’t be a cheap bastard… sign up and pay for multiple of the best rated / recommended services (Okcupid, Match, Bumble, maybe plentyoffish/ eharmony) – do your own research on which are actually used by real people.
If I was to do this whole process again, here is what I would do:
- Approach this like a job or investment. You paid thousands for a car you will use occasionally for a few years… this is a far more important decision. If you go to law school, you will spend tons of time studying to take the LSAT… once again this decision is worth a lot more time than that.
- Get professional photos of yourself taken (check Yelp for highest rated photographers, should cost $2-400), and ask a female friend to help you pick your best other photos off of Facebook or Instagram or wherever you store your photos. You probably should have some sports photos to show your interests, and you flying a fighter jet wouldn’t hurt.
- You should provide a solid write up in your profile too… show your sense of humor and also talk about your interests (especially that you want someone athletic like you). Once again, get several trusted people to give you feedback on your profile(s). Send screenshots if you can’t send a public link.
- Once your profile is all set up and good to go, take all their bullshit quizzes on the sites that have them to ‘match’ you with people. This will take hours, but will pay off later.
- Now use your search filter settings to find all girls in your area you find attractive. Then make a short (1-3 sentences) intro message you can copy and paste many times. Move very quickly here… only 1% of the girls you message will respond. You need to send thousands. Listening to music while you do this and chill out is a decent method.
- When a girl messages you back, look more closely at her profile. Does she match what you are looking for with looks / interests / intellect / athleticism? If so, then send a solid follow up message and start the conversation. I would ask for a phone call. On the call, try to strike up some chemistry, but also remember you are trying to screen her out. You are looking for reasons to say no through this whole filtering process basically. If she passes here, then set up an in person date. In person dates take a long time, and can be frustrating so you want to screen people well before you ever get here. Remember you will go on lots of shitty dates, but the payoff will be enormously worth that effort.
- The biggest thing here is to look at this as a part time job… it will take a few months of an hour or two a day (and more time than that when you have a date). In recruiting, a big rule is that you can find a reason to say “yes” for every candidate…. your job is to find a reason to say “no”. Make a list of what’s important to you (looks, sex appeal, stability, intelligence, athleticism, career, debt, views on family, etc.). Use that to screen people out as quickly and early in your process as you can.
My wife also says you should just have fun with this too :). Just go on lots of dates even though it will get exhausting and frustrating.
I had an interesting conversation with my friend Ryan yesterday on the topic of conscience. He mentioned that he believed conscience was something all of us had… just some hear it more or less quietly. He thought it shared common principles.
I disagree. I think conscience has two parts:
- Genetic: this is the amity – enmity theory… basically people will take care of and love people in their “in” group, and not care if bad things happen to those in their “out” group.
- Socially learned: behaviors ranging from cutting someone off in traffic, stealing, caring for the environment, all the way up to things like murder. Each society has different byzantine learned rules. For example in our society is perfectly okay for a military person to kill on command, but not okay for a “unlawful” killing to happen.
California public employee pensions were negotiated by unions (who had representatives who STRONGLY and PASSIONATELY cared for their members) and politicians (who strongly and passionately cared that the union members vote for them, but did not care much about the taxpayer).
What was the result?
The union members got unfairly huge payouts at the expense of regular citizens and taxpayers, most of whom have never received remotely as good of benefits and the government workers did.
This was not just a one time thing… this has continued for a hundred years in California, with the unions getting bigger and bigger chunks of our GDP.
The only way to correct this balance is to undo the unfair deals that were done in years past.
In the future, public employee unions should be disallowed. You can’t have a fair negotiation when there is no one who will represent one side.
Josh sent me this article.
It seems like a lot of this article targets the foolishness and excesses of some self help people. For example, they point out the guy who wrote a book manuscript in a month using study drugs then had it rejected. I would argue that isn’t self improvement, but is self destruction. The author also points out that some people put so much stress on themselves because of their goals that they self destruct and have all sorts of issues. The author then concludes by saying we should just be happy with being our average selves.
I would argue that this article has the straw man fallacy; it intentionally misrepresents (or carefully selects a subsection) of evidence as that is easier to defeat than the opponent’s real argument.
I feel like I am a big self improvement person, but in a very different way than anything described in this article. I don’t know many people like me, but there are a few I know personally or have read about. I don’t ever really get stressed out about self improvement – I take a non-judgemental approach of simply tracking my life day to day. If I do something good, that’s awesome. If not, that’s perfectly fine too.
Over time I have tested a wide variety of different methods and have settled on a selection of things I do that work for me:
- I have a daily Goals sheet that I fill out. It has the things that I have discovered are most important for my well being listed off and helps to keep me focused on those. I feel happiest and most content when I am doing well on these areas. Some of the tracked things include (What I am thankful for, days sober, workout I do, what I learn, what I work on, sex, if I wrote a blog post, how much social interaction I got, how I got along with my wife, whether I brushed my teeth, what time I went to bed and if I took a nap).
- Once a week, I do a bit of a broader scale review and look at my well being Physically, Emotionally, Socially, Business, and Finance.
- I have recently started doing a weekly marriage review with Laurel. I feel like this is helping me be a better husband.
- I have an investments sheet, but I haven’t really updated that in a year, I have just stuck with the bonds I am in.
Trying to do all of the above all at once would probably be overwhelming, but I have incrementally added / adjusted things over about 9 years now and have found this to have brought me to a pretty epic and great life. I have some stress like everyone, but this helps me keep the big picture in mind and be grateful for what I have.
What are you thoughts?
Yesterday marked 6 full months of no drinking for me. I have felt very healthy and have made big advances in my business during this time. I have rebuilt my recruiting application to sell it to multiple companies. I’ve worked on a number of other business improvements.
Not drinking has been hard for me. At first, I would think about it each day, but now I probably only really want a drink once a week or so. My letter I sent myself after my last binge drinking episode has very much helped me stay strong.
I enjoyed it. Got super easy to win all the fights about halfway in. Some of the controller sequences for abortions and farts were annoying. I liked all the jokes.
He should be fired and possibly prosecuted. A CEO who sells all his shares obviously does not believe in the company and should be fired. One who does it under suspicion of insider trading should be prosecuted and serve jail time.
Interesting read here on different theories on why human technologies were slow to rise at first.
I think some core reasons why human technology was slow going at first in order of most likely to least likely are:
- Not many people…. 30,000 years ago there were orders of magnitude less humans, perhaps a few million. We now have 7 billion brains at work on technology.
- No free time. If you spend 95% of your time and effort avoiding predators, gathering berries, farming, hunting, fishing, building crude shelters, fighting diseases… it doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Today, modern humans only spend 1% of their time on food and not much more on shelter.
- No way of passing knowledge from great mind to great mind through generations. Without good publishing techniques, knowledge had to be passed verbally. Imagine if Newton’s Principia Mathematica had to be retold to you by a chain of 10 different people of varying intelligence… you probably would only end up getting 1% of his genius after a few rounds of generational telephone.
I believe that larger corporations and governments are separate thinking entities from any individual person that works for them. They act aggressively in their own interest to pursue a specific goal (for corporations this is profit, for governments it is survival and growth). Many times they will even get rid of their own CEO’s if the CEO is not contributing properly (look at Harvey Weinstein as an example here).
I also think that people who work for a company often find their mind and personality being somewhat influenced and shifted towards the corporations interests. I think this increases the longer someone has been at a company and the higher they move up. For founder / CEO types like myself this is even more pronounced… I am for better or worse an very changed person from who I was prior to starting the company. I often see myself as the emotions or soul of the company… I react emotionally to attacks on the business as if they were attacks on me and feel great when successes happen.
Concentration is the ability to focus in on a single task with your whole mind. Concentration is when you want to work on a specific task, but you keep looking at your phone instead. It is closely related to willpower, which is a reaction to an internal conflict. Willpower is your ability to force yourself to go to the gym even when you are feeling tired.
Studies show that both concentration and willpower can be built up over time with practice. I have also seen this in my own life. I have built a company with over a hundred full time employees today and maintaining a very high level of fitness by slowly building up my willpower and concentration abilities over time. I have some tips to share below.
I think that concentration / willpower drugs (caffeine and adderall being most common) actually are long term detractors from concentration and willpower. They give you an artificial boost, but it comes at a price of not being able to focus later when you come down. If you use either drug consistently, your body resets to a lower normal level and you need the drug just to do what you used to be able to do without it.
So how can you strengthen your willpower and concentration without drugs?
- If you fail to accomplish a task using willpower or concentration, do NOT get mad at yourself. Stay positive and forget about that failure and try again.
- Don’t overuse your willpower and concentration. At first, carefully choose what is most important to you. I recommend focusing all of your willpower on giving yourself a strong starting base – get enough sleep that you wake up naturally each day, exercise, and eat healthy. All of these require some willpower to do, so make sure you focus on these first and foremost.
- Imagine yourself after your goal has been accomplished. If you want to go to the gym, picture yourself looking fit and feeling good with high levels of energy. Visualize the process in a positive way and the outcome.
- If you are avoiding something (playing on your phone, eating bad food), distract yourself. Eat something healthy. Move your phone charger and phone out of your bedroom entirely.
- Build strong good habits. When you have a habit, it doesn’t take willpower to exercise it. I have made it a habit of going to the gym every day. Now I don’t have to fight with myself to do it… it mostly just happens automatically… it’s no longer a choice.
- Break down your goals into manageable bite sized pieces and track each of those pieces. Want to lose 50 pounds and increase your athletic fitness? Then just make a goal to exercise each day and write down each time you do in a log. This helps you to build a streak of lots of little wins, and if you miss a day it’s not a big deal.
- Avoid temptation. You want to lose weight but instead find yourself watching hours of TV each night while you guzzle Mountain Dew? The secret here is to make it difficult to fulfill those temptations. Sell your TV, and stock your house with ONLY healthy food… but lots of it. Then when you are bored, you will find yourself choosing the next best option – maybe a book. When you are hungry, you won’t have bad food around and so the lazy option will just be to eat your healthy food.