Another month´s gone, another bunch of challenges to write about!
The biggest one this month involves one of my biggest fears – water:
- I hate deep water. I´m even uncomfortable in shallow water if I´m submerged. I hate being on rocky small boats in the middle of the sea. Seeing big waves rocking the boat makes me nauseous and I keep thinking about the worst case scenarios in my head. I can only swim in shallow water, then, after 10m, i need to stand up and catch some air. I float like an anvil.
So, this gives you a picture of my relationship with water, so how about I face all these fears and become a certified open water diver? Hell yeah, certified open water diver I became 🙂
I could have chosen to do a bunch of day trips at Galapagos, but thought that if I´m going to challenge my fear of deep water anywhere in the world, Galapagos is the place to do it. And I had a good friend joining me, so the whole experience was that more pleasant.
Before this, I didn´t like open sea, boats and I would never think about spending most of my day in the open water, diving. This was my worst nightmare: http://youtu.be/n-RouJ4rJc4
After the experience, I still don´t like open sea and boats, but I look at the whole thing differently – it´s a short term discomfort, and by doing more of it, I´ll get used to it. It won´t matter as much. I did it once so far, so there´s the remains of the old fear, but this was a big step forward, I just need to continue doing it more, now I´m a certified open water diver! 🙂 A skill I never in my life thought I´d have.
- Another new and challenging experience was Temazcal, in short, running out of oxygen in a tiny tent with 35 other people, around 40 degrees celsius (hot stones & water) to the sound of rapid drumming, slowly getting into a trance. Read my temazcal experience post to find out more.
- Went to a salsa class – and danced salsa all night, sober. That´s a first! But I enjoyed it too, and now I can do some salsa moves too 🙂 Thanks to my wonderful couchsurfing host for putting up with me in there!
- Flirting is always on the agenda. I went out a lot, just to walk around and interact with women. My motivation isn´t actually to hook up, date, find a partner or have sex, it´s all about facing my inner gremlins about rejection or embarrassment. I wrote about it in this Mr Nice Guy post.
Whilst trying various things (and have to admit, still failing in many cases, letting opportunities escape, because I take too much time to convince myself to act), I realized something: I am pushing my self do to things I don´t think actually work. It´s hard to practice something you don´t believe in. Those things are approaching random women on the street I find attractive, but know nothing about them, whether we have anything in common. Yep, I´m one of those guys who needs a connection, otherwise it doesn´t work, no matter how attractive a woman is. And another thing I realized one day, whilst chatting to one girl on facebook and texting another one, is that I don´t need to pick up random women on the street. I am good at meeting women via other ways, that work for me. Yes, I can go out and flirt with every attractive woman out there to prove a point, I can read all kinds of pickup artist literature, there´s even workshops and routines on how to “perform a pickup” for dudes, who can´t work shit out themselves. But why? what for? I can try to flirt with 100 women, not knowing who they are, only judging by their looks, and hope that at least one of them I´ll click with, OR I can continue doing what I´m doing – being myself, and putting myself into situations or environments that I like, and this way creating chances of meeting women that more likely share the same values as mine. That´s what I did this month, and I had the best time so far (in this direction, if you get the drift..) on this trip as a result.
Saying this, I am still going to do an experiment in October, inspired by Niall Doherty´s Amsterdam experiment and his Random Acts of Courage. I´ll make it a mix of flirting and doing other things to take myself out of my comfort zone. Why? Not to pick up women, but to overcome the mental block that makes me care or worry about embarrassing myself. And also because I like doing experiments, where I can learn something about myself and about human interaction – it´s not about flirting, it´s about gaining skills you can use in every day life, and widening your horizon. Karol Gajda summarized it better here.To finish this, here´s a great quote byt the worlds best pick up artist, who only found the woman of his dreams, once he gave up on the whole pick up artist routines thing and showed his real self:
“A man never chooses a woman. All he can do is give her an opportunity to choose him.” –Neill Strauss
So, for October, I´m setting myself these challenges:
- do yoga every day – a 30 day experiment, a concept I picked up from the blogging community, whether it´s Steve Pavlina or Niall Doherty, there´s big value in doing something for a specific set of time. First, you know that if you don´t like it, there´s an end to it, second, if you practice something for enough time, you get used to it so much, it becomes normal to you and you won´t see it as a chore anymore. Let´s put that to a test then!
- do 200 press ups every day. This is as much about doing 200 press ups, which isn´t the easiest of things, as it is about sticking to a routine that requires effort and time, as together with yoga, I might struggle to find a good place to do them whilst travelling…
- I´m going to do my version of Niall Doherty´s Random Acts of Courage experiment – might add some of my own challenges, do more flirting, less singing kinda thing, or skip some of his, but you get the gist of it. Also, being in a non english speaking country with a different culture will make some easier challenges, a bit harder. But maybe more fun too 🙂
Let me know what you think about how the month went or any opinions about my October plans!