At the beginning of 2013, and at the age of 30, I made a commitment to get good at game. My pre-game lay count was at 7, and now it is at 14. It has been an intense journey so far. And I hope to provide some inspiration when I share with you that in one year a man can accomplish what previously took him 12 years.

The change isn’t limited to the quantity of sex, but also includes changes in my thoughts and beliefs that come from a sustained dedication to the game. Here, in celebration of my first-year anniversary as well as the doubling of my notch-count, I am going to highlight my primary lessons for ROK readers. I should note that these are not truths that I could have ever adopted instantaneously. They spread through the body gradually. They are lived truths, emerging out of months of persistent action.

1. Game and the economy of emotions

The pre-game attitude is emotionally wasteful! My pre-game sex involved heavy emotional investment, reckless and unwise attachments, and the consequent highs and lows. I used to consider meeting each girlfriend a “major life event” similar to moving to a new city or finding a new job. Not regarding girls as major life events leads to a steadier and more solid emotional life, which further supports your commitment to improving at game and increases your value as a man.

The way I have come to assess the efficiency of my own emotional workings is through a single indicator: the capacity to be focused, motivated, and productive when I am alone. The post-game emotional paradigm is a paradigm that allows me to push my life forward when I am away from women, instead of dwelling in pointless insecurities, or being distracted away from my own personal journey. The post-game attitude is emotionally efficient.

2. Game and the balance of discipline and pleasure

Being in the game is, ideally, the disciplined pursuit of pleasure. Working on this balance itself is a very transferable and generally useful skill in other areas of life. For guys like me who are hard-working, more emphasis should be placed on “pleasure,” while “discipline” should be emphasized for guys who are more hedonistic.

The pleasure-driven attitude allows me to enjoy the fun of the game, especially the kind of fun that comes unexpectedly. On the other hand, the discipline-driven attitude gives me resilience and the work ethic I need to stick with it. Being discipline-driven allows me to stop questioning the merit of every single action; should I go out tonight? Should I do this approach? A disciplined mind is a mind that is always equipped with a default answer in these situations: yes.

When I make the mistake of focusing on the discipline of it alone, my game suffers immediately because of the absence of the fun vibe in my interaction with women. When I make the mistake of focusing on the pleasure alone, although I can discover more and enjoy more, I become vulnerable to the outcome. That is why the ideal method consists of the balance between pleasure and discipline.

3. Game and the balance of responsibility and acceptance

You should neither take responsibility for everything nor accept everything. This is the same idea as picking your battles. Personally, I accept that not every girl is susceptible to my game. I also accept that I cannot adopt any style of game, and that my method should be rooted in my character and who I am as a man. By contrast, I take responsibility for consistent practice, consistent reflection (e.g., keeping a journal and studying the resources), and for revising my assumptions in the face of new information about women.

My pre-game attitude was heavily based on acceptance, while my early post-game attitude was heavily based on responsibility. The first attitude leads to passivity and inaction, while the second attitude leads to frustration. The ideal method of game is colored with the balance between acceptance and responsibility.

4. Game and the no-excuse mindset

The most important reason for the no-excuse mindset is the existence of “low-hanging fruits.” Believe it or not, there are girls out there who are hoping to meet guys. And that putting enough effort will inevitably place you in the right place and right time to encounter them. These girls are relatively easy and fun to game. They don’t actively block your progress. They are open to developing attraction for you. They are open to entering into a mode where they are putting in effort to maintain your attention. After grasping this truth, you will have no excuse not to get laid, and your world will change forever.

5. Game and the masculine culture

Getting good at game transformed my view of masculinity, my relationship to other men, and my standards of friendships. The game is an essential component in developing a larger appreciation and awareness of what it means to be a man and what it means to lead a life of value and high character. As I hold myself against certain standards, I cannot help but distinguish my fellow men based on their courage, honesty, authenticity, and a desire for excellence. The culture of masculinity is worth celebrating precisely because of the way it can express these qualities. It is my belief that you cannot get too deep into game without a deep reverence for your own masculinity.

Conclusion 

The sustained commitment to improving at game leads to foundational changes in perspective. You grasp the essential necessity of maintaining certain balances (the emotional balance, the balance between pleasure and discipline, and the balance between acceptance and responsibility), and you live the no-excuse mindset that is informed by masculine values. Despite all its challenges and pains, game is ultimately a rewarding journey toward building a more mature and a more complex character.

Read More: 5 Game Lessons From Barney Stinson