There’s a question from my PUA days that I used to ask women: “what do you have going for you besides your looks?” I freely admit, it was a bit of a neg. It’s asking “sure, you’re cute, but why should I be interested in you?” It was a way of saying “tell me what makes you worth my time?”
The ironic thing is, all that time, I was asking the right question to the wrong people. This is a question I needed to ask myself. And now I’m asking it of you.Regardless of whether you think you’re attractive or not – what do you have going for you besides your looks? What is there about you that makes you special? Why should women be interested in you?
Learning how to be someone worth dating isn’t about looks. There’s more to it than just dressing well. Dating success is not about how good you are at flirting or how much sex you have. It’s about who you are as a holistic person. It’s about your lifestyle – what you do beyond just mere existence. What drives you? What do you live for? Do you grab life by the horns, or do you let it just happen?
No matter how much you have going on the surface, women aren’t going to find you worth dating if you’re ultimately hollow. On the other hand, if you live an attractive lifestyle, you will find women are coming to you – almost without effort.
That’s why, for this chapter of the Level Up series, we’re going to talk developing an attractive, fulfilling lifestyle.
Your Purpose Is Your Lifestyle
The mistake that a lot of people make is that they tend to equate “lifestyle” with “things”. “Lifestyle” means clothes, jobs, cars. Flash, not substance. Hold onto that idea for a moment; we’ll come back to it shortly.
Now, let me ask you something: what gets you up in the morning? Do you have something that drives you? Are you getting up, ready to chase that nebulous thing in your life that gives you meaning?
Or do you get up because you have to – you’re schlepping to school because the alternative is failing… which is looking better every day. Are you getting up and going to work because otherwise you’d get fired and starve?
The difference between those options is the difference between living and existing. In one, you have drive and purpose. In the other… well, technically you may be alive, but you sure as hell aren’t living. You’re going through the motions1 of life.
And most of the time it’s because you have nothing to live for.
So let’s go back to what I was saying earlier about lifestyle being equated to material goods. As it turns out, we have a perfect example of the difference between having a lifestyle with purpose vs. a hollow existence… and that’s the movie Fight Club.
One of the things that drives The Narrator – and so many other, impressionable men – into the arms of Tyler Durden is that he feels adrift in the world. He has no purpose, no real reason for being. He has nothing but a great void in his life that he tries to fill with material goods. Why? Because, according to Durden:
We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives.
The Narrator and Durden’s disciples feel that lack. They feel disconnected and depressed because they were sold a load of bullshit and have nothing to show for it. They didn’t get the rewards they expected and pass through the world leading hollow, empty lives.
That’s part of what makes Durden so appealing; for someone who claims to care about nothing, he clearly has purpose. He has drive. Yes, it’s a nihilistic vision for the world, but the fact that he has something he lives for makes him magnetic. He looked inward rather than outward and found purpose. He may live in an abandoned pile of termites holding hands in the shape of a house, but he lives a life of direction and ambition. Everything he does is one more step on the journey to where he wants to be.
Now, don’t get me wrong: the whole point of having a purpose doesn’t mean that you need to have a plan to change the world. Your purpose doesn’t need to be a revolution or something earthshaking. It is simply this: what do you love? What do you want to achieve with your life? What is it that speaks to your soul?
And what are you willing to do to bring yourself closer to achieving it?
“This Is Your Life, and It’s Ending One Minute at a Time”
One of the reasons why your lifestyle is important is because it tells others where your priorities are. You have limited time on this Earth and you don’t get any more… so how are you spending it? Are you using it carefully, expending time where it’s important? Or are you being frivolous with it, tossing it aside and leaving the future to plan for itself – a future that very well may never come if you don’t take an active, guiding hand in it? Every minute you spend on one task is a minute you’re not spending on another. This is known as the Opportunity Cost: the time you’ll have to give up in order to spend it elsewhere. Developing and pursuing a lifestyle means that you’re going to have to make choices.
Part of having an appealing lifestyle is knowing exactly how and why you’re using the time you’ve been given. It means that you’re living deliberately instead of letting life just happen. Part of why many people drift through life is that they don’t put thought into how they spend their time. They have no direction, and so they have no means to exert control. One day simply slides into the next, each like the one before until you look up and realize how much of it is gone and how little you have to show for it. It’s why so many men hit their 40s and have that fabled “mid-life crisis”; they let time pass without considering how they were using it. Their dreams faded because nobody thought to make them a priority; it was always something for “later”
Understanding that time is limited and needs to be spent wisely becomes part of your motivation for pursuing your purpose. If you don’t start investing it in the ways that will bring you the most returns, then you don’t get any closer to achieving them.
This doesn’t mean that everything you do needs to be directly related to your purpose or your goal; being monomaniacal in your focus isn’t any better than giving no care to how you spend your time. Similarly, you may well have to be doing things now that aren’t immediately related to your lifestyle and purpose, but are still necessary. If part of your goal is your education, but you can’t afford tuition or board, it makes sense that you’re going to have to spend time building up the funds. You may have to be putting in your metaphorical thousand hours to get the skills you need or build up the base of contacts or knowledge.
And there will be times when the best use of your time is simply to do nothing. To be mindless for a while.
But you should at least be aware of how you’re spending your time and the choices you’re making with it. And while not everything needs to be directly related to your purpose, it should at least help you be on the path to get there.
Be Aware of How The World Affects You
One of the most important parts of trying to live an attractive lifestyle is being aware of just how much the world influences you.
No man is an island. We are all the sum of the world around us – from the lives we lead, to the media we consume, to the people we spend our time with. This can be a blessing for developing an attractive lifestyle… but it could just as easily be a curse. You want your lifestyle to be something that will attract people to you. But if you’re stewing a toxic, negative environment, it’s going to seep into you… and that toxicity will be reflected in your attitude and your actions.
It’s not something you can consciously correct for; it’s simply a continuous presence in your life, like a muscle pain or a headache you only realize you had by it’s absence. That pain, that toxicity will poison literally everything in your life. It robs you of your energy and drive because you’ll continually have to fight to stay even slightly motivated. If, for example, you have a job that you hate – one that sucks the life out of you and leaves you wondering why you endure it at all – it’s going to be that much harder to muster up the energy to pursue your passions.
The relentless negativity also destroys your resiliency and ability to bounce back from temporary setbacks. Soon that drive and vision you had begins to fade and is replaced with a sense of despair and helplessness.
The people you spend time with – whether in person or online – also directly influence you. When your so-called friends treat your dreams as something to shit on, it takes a toll on your psyche. Having people, even people who supposedly want to help you, feed you a steady diet of abuse makes you more negative as well. Even when that abuse is directed elsewhere, it becomes part of you. If you don’t actively challenge the hate – going along to get along – you absorb it passively. Emotions are contagious after all, and the more you’re exposed to, the stronger the influence gets – even as you remain unaware of it. Like a frog in boiling water, you don’t notice how bad it becomes because of how gradually it ramps up.
Anger, negativity, bitterness and entitlement ruin an attractive lifestyle. It chases people away – especially the people you want in your life. If you want to live an attractive lifestyle, you need to limit your negativity as much as possible. Finding an opening to leave your life-sucking job can be a critical step in achieving your purpose. Taking social media breaks can be good for your soul. And making sure that you surround yourself with like-minded people – people of ambition and drive, who support and care for one another is key. Having your team to cheer your successes and help prop you up after your failures helps keep you motivated and engaged.
Without that engagement, your lifestyle will suffer.
“Find What You Love And Let It Kill You”
One of the most critical parts about finding your purpose is simply connecting with the things you love. One of the greatest tragedies of our lives is that we grow up in ways that destroy our emotional lives. As children, we love openly, honestly and without reserve. We are our most authentic and most vulnerable when we love things so completely. Not surprisingly, we tend to lose that capability to love as we get older. We start to worry about what others think. We start to become concerned with how we “should” be.
As a result: we close ourselves off. We lose our ability to engage with our passions. We lose our connection to the things that we love. In doing so, we become passive participants in our own joy, letting things be spoon fed to us instead of seeking it out ourselves.
How many times has someone asked you what you do for fun, and you’ve had to stop and think about it? Did you have to search for an answer? Were you unable to answer because you were worried that your interests sound boring or uninteresting? Then you may have lost your connection to your love.
If you want to live an attractive lifestyle, you need to reconnect with the things that you love. More than that, you need to learn to take an active part in those things that you love, find ways to engage with it besides just passively consuming it. That sense of connection with your passions and the drive it gives you is powerful.
Think of music, for example. Part of why people love concerts isn’t just to hear the music, it’s about the experience. It’s about loving the music and the way it makes you part of this instant community. It’s about the energy coming from the band and being fed back from the audience.
Other people connect to their love of music through learning an instrument, or through dance. They may not be the best of the best, but it’s not about fame or recognition; it’s simply about the way it makes you feel. It’s about taking what you love and letting it suffuse your entire body.
When you can connect with that primal joy that comes from loving something wholly and completely, it makes you magnetic. People will respond to that energy and passion. It challenges them to match it, or to find passion of their own. And when you can give that feeling to someone else… well, that will make you incredibly attractive to them.
Let Your Lifestyle Help You Find Your People
Of course, part of developing your lifestyle means finding your people. If you want to find the people who are most compatible with you, who will be drawn to you as you pursue your ambitions, you have to make a point of connecting with those people. You, frankly, aren’t going to find your tribe if you’re just hanging out on your couch.
One of the benefits of engaging with your passions and pursuing your goals is that they give you the opportunities to find your people. More importantly, it helps you find them in your place of power… as it were. When you’re at a place that resonates with you – a concert, a hike, a convention, what-have-you – you’re able to be your authentic self. You’re in a place that represents the things you love, with people who love it at least as much as you do. This gives you instant and immediate compatibility points; we like people who are like us, after all.
Remember: living an attractive lifestyle means you need to be flexible and open to opportunities. Part of what makes someone worth dating is being open to new things; after all, your future partner will have things they like as well that they would like to have be part of their lifestyle. But just as importantly: you don’t know where you’re going to meet those amazing people. Being open to possibilities and living your life with purpose will give you the opportunities that will bring you in contact with people you might have otherwise never encountered. And when you do, your passion, your drive and your purpose will draw them into your orbit… almost like magic.
- losing all your drive… [↩]