3 Minute Monday
I’ve been thinking about how to achieve a Realistic Path To Enlightenment.
As much as moving to a cave in the woods and spending a decade in silent retreat might be great for your spirit, it’s not going to be doable by pretty much anyone.
If you’ve meditated enough, you know that you accumulate momentum in mindfulness, kind of like a swell moving underwater.
After enough time, there is a force and a power to your ability to drop into the present moment, and sometimes even little waves of genuine, calm insight break above the surface.
But if you’re anything like me, it doesn’t result in an extended, self-perpetuating enlightenment.
It doesn’t even really work on its own where your mindfulness sneaks up on you and you’re in the present moment without realising it.
Consistent meditation and a focus on mindfulness moreso strengthens the thinking muscle that you use to wrangle your mind to actually exist in the now.
You learn to punctuate your day with instances where your mind finally settles into the moment.
And then it’s gone.
But then you can get it back later in the day.
As far as I can tell, this is the Realistic Path To Enlightenment.
You are never going to become fully blissed out in perpetual non-dual astral realm synchronicity.
But you can string together a few Moments Of Peace so that at least for a few times each day, your mind rests where your feet are.
I always used to think that this was a failure.
If I can achieve mindfulness, but then I lose it, that’s still not persistent enlightenment – so I’ve still failed.
Instead I think it’s smart to reframe the goal.
If you can just have your mind and your feet in the same location 5 or 10 times a day, that’s a good start.
Then maybe you can do it 15 or 20 times.
That seems both attainable and really useful.
Aim for a few Moments Of Peace today.
This week’s upcoming episodes:
Steven Bartlett – a big episode from my London shoot as where we break down discipline, how to deal with media scrutiny, why there are so few actual practitioners in the world and much more…
Melissa Kearney – the unbelievably controversial author of new book The Two Parent Advantage breaks down just what single parent households are doing to kids’ outcomes. So fascinating, don’t miss this one.
Michael Easter – why does our brain see scarcity everywhere? How does this mindset cause us to turn inward and obsess? How do social media companies, food, gambling and more take advantage of this?
THINGS I’VE LEARNED
Why are so many young men single?
Are men excluded from a brutal mating market by society?
It seems not.
Men were asked: “When was the last time you asked a woman in person for a date on the street/in a bar or club/at school or class/at work/at a hobby or social gathering/other location?”
45% of men aged 18-25 have never approached a woman in person.
This isn’t primarily because of #MeToo either – between 60% & 70% of men cited cited “fear of rejection” as why they don’t approach.
This is actually a whitepill: it isn’t the powerful forces of society at large that explain young male singledom.
It’s much more mundane.
Young men are simply not trying.
There is a lot out of your control, but at the end of the day one thing is clear: if you’re afraid to talk to women you’re not going to meet very many women. Women are not just going to fall into your lap.
And before we look for the systemic roots of modern dating woes we should look at individual behaviour.
The amount of men who simply are not trying, who believe everything is out of their control, seems to explain a lot of it.
Some people will read this and say “but I’m in the bottom 1% of men and I have approached a thousand women, no bites.” OK – you’re a special case. Your situation is not why 50% of Zoomers are single.
More of you will read this and know: “that’s me, I haven’t asked a woman on a date in a year.”
That’s totally in your control. It may be hard or frightening, but it’s a choice.
— Alex DatePsych
You don’t want an expensive wedding.
“Marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony.
Compared with spending $5,000-$10,000 on a wedding, spending less than $1,000 is associated with half the likelihood of divorce.” — Rob Henderson
The Abilene Paradox.
The Abilene Paradox is a situation in which a group makes a decision that is contrary to the desires of the group’s members, because each member assumes the others approve of it.
It explains how a number of accurate individuals can become idiots when they get together.
Think the Emperor’s New Clothes.
An acquaintance invites you to his wedding, despite not wanting you there, because he thinks you want to attend. You attend, despite not wanting to, because you think he wants you there.
At a business meeting, someone suggests an idea he thinks the others will like: recruiting a trans influencer as the face of the brand. Each member has misgivings about this, but assumes that the others will consider them transphobic if they speak out, so everyone approves the idea despite no one liking it.
Every member of a family in North Korea hates Communism, but they never mention this to each other, because each assumes the others approve of it. — h/t Gurwinder Bhogal
Text your friends when you think about them.
Maybe the 4th time I’ve posted this hack.
One of my most important.
You think about your friends and family all the time, but they don’t know.
When you think about someone, use it as a trigger to message them.
I must send 3+ “Thinking about you. Hope you’re well!” texts every week to people from my life.
Never fails to make me feel good.
Tell your friends they should read this Newsletter.
I started with a new psychotherapist in Austin last week. My first time doing consistent in-person therapy. Will report back if I have ancestral trauma.