Raise your SMV by seeking Progress not Perfection [Activity]
You know what you want out of life.
You know how to get it.
Then, why don't you have it yet?
In this post I address a major weakness that I have anecdotally found is common among K-selected people. If you are having a hard time getting motivated to take transformative action to improve your SMV and find a wonderful spouse then this is for you!
A weakness of K-selected strategy
When we compare r vs K reproductive strategies we have a tendency to only see the positives on our chosen strategy, which if you are reading this is probably K-selection. Sometimes however, traits which are usually strengths can become liabilities if taken to extremes.
The one who wins at life is the one who does what needs to be done, no matter how challenging. The hero is the one who becomes the what and who that is needed.
The problem for us is that what needs to be done constantly changes, especially in the last 150 years. K-selected people are great at following through on our plans and maintaining our goals but not very comfortable with change.
We are conservative in many ways, which is great when we have a life we wish to maintain in its current state. But what if we need to make some big changes? If we are not getting the results we want it might be because we are following an obsolete plan. Are we too stubborn to adapt or try new tactics until we have our backs so far against the wall that its change or die?
The r-selected people have a hard time following through on their plans however they are also very flexible and ready to try any tactic, even if they suck at it. We laugh at them for their mostly pathetic attempts but they keep adapting. They only suck at the start. Eventually they get good enough at it to win.
Bad habits that I've noticed K-selected people are prone to include:
(Note: You probably don't realize that you are suffering any of these habits. If you realized them you would have stopped long ago. You almost certainly need someone in your life that you trust to help you to identify where you need to improve.)
Obsessing about the future:
A little future anxiety is a good thing however an obsessive focus on the future and long term planning can blind us to immediate needs and actions.
Planning is essential to success, but only if we make it happen. Perhaps we can see clearly where we want to be in 5 years, but we are spending so much time planning minute details for the future that we forget to make daily steps forward.
Even worse, when our situations change or our plans don't work out as we would like we can become reluctant to change and adapt, perhaps even quitting.
Too much information or too little, it all has about the same effect, anxiety. It's natural to be afraid of the unknown. That fear is healthy and prevents us from making stupid decisions, however we can never know everything. At some point we have to stop analyzing our options and make a choice, even if its suboptimal or brings with it a risk of failure. When you are old and look back on your life you are going to be more unhappy about the things you didn't try than about your failures.
Perfectionism and a fear of failure:
Of course we all want to be amazing all the time at everything we do. We seek mastery of ourselves and our environment. No one wants to look foolish. This should drive us to become the best that we can be. Unfortunately taken to an extreme it stops us from embarking on new projects, such as looking for a spouse, where we will naturally start out as less skilled actors likely to make some mistakes.
We make our spouse persona, we have our plans for the future, we want to get fit, make some more money, meet a wonderful woman (or man, switch the genders in this paragraph for women), etc. Our dream version of our future lives is perfect. Unfortunately reality is not. Instead of getting the best life we possibly can we end up stuck at the beginning of our journey because every path is less than perfect. No man is a perfect friend, no women is an exact fit for our ideal, no weight training progression is optimal, no job is a perfect fit for our abilities, etc.
(This same thing happens to people when they encounter a new mentor/guru/wise man. First they get all infatuated with the new knowledge, then they idolize the giver of knowledge, then they find out he's not perfect and reject him violently. Next week they do it all again. That's not mature and it's getting old.)
Fear of success:
If you thought fear of failure was bad, welcome to fear of success. The excitement that we naturally experience when we are on the verge of success can feel a whole lot like anxiety. Success usually means change and new challenges, “new territory” so to speak. Success anxiety can cause us to self sabotage, preventing us from moving on by keeping us in a more familiar, altho less happy place.
What to do about it?
Dealing with future obsession and anxiety:
If you are oriented in the right direction, if you have a long term goal and if you are dailly fulfilling your obligations to move toward your goals you don't need to worry about the future. About 90% of your mental focus should be on how to do better in the moment, 9% should be helping you make course corrections and 1% should be spent thinking about the future.
Dealing with lack of “knowing”:
Become the hero who conquers the unknown. This can only be done by regularly confronting the unknown and conquering it. Carpe the diem. Just do it. Move in the general direction of forward even if you are not 100% sure what that means. Some action is better than nothing.
Take a step, and then another step, and then another. Then correct your course because you have already taken 3 steps and you are probably slightly off course by now. Then get moving again. Every few days analyze your progress and make course corrections.
The hardest part of any project is getting started. Regularly subject yourself to new situations that require you to make decisions without knowing all the variables. Get used to taking decisive actions when you are uncomfortable.
Dealing with a tendency towards perfectionism and a fear of failure:
Become humble and stoic enough to withstand the possibility that you suck at almost everything and especially things you are starting for the first time. The good news is that almost everybody else sucks as well and you probably suck way less than most people.
Don't be afraid of looking like a fool in the pursuit of mastery. Do things badly at first. Be goofy, be foolish, be stupid, but move forward. Make mistakes. Get it wrong. Fail. But move forward.
Do something new every month. Do it poorly. You are not there to master the thing but to master facing new experiences.
Preventing unproductive purity spirals:
Go on a date a women that is not up to your standards in looks or is older than you. Go on a date with a man who is unemployed (or is shorter than you). Expose yourself to some relationships that are not ideal. Be smart about it. Don't date someone who you fundamentally can't stand or who poses a danger. Never date an r-selected person.
By doing something you are taking a path and moving forward. From there you will build confidence and momentum. Get out of your known territory (probably your house) and you will find better opportunities are out there.
It's not the smartest, the strongest or the most well liked people that make the world go around. It's the person who consistently makes progress. Become that person.
Dealing with fear of success:
Standing still is impossible. Everything is always changing.
If you act and succeed things will change.
If you act and fail things will change.
If you don't act things will still change.
Meditate. Get calm and imagine yourself and your life if you achieve your short term and long term goals. How will things change? What will you have to do differently? How will you cope with the changes?
You also need to imagine what things will be like if you don't act. What will change if you don't find success in raising your SMV and finding a mate?
Return to your meditations regularly to motivate yourself.
You are only in control of your life if you are also moving forward towards your goals. As soon as you stop moving the tides and currents of society will sweep you away to places you really don't want to go.
Don't be stubborn. Don't be so conservative that you can't make necessary changes.
Become the hero that faces chaos, kills the dragons, saves the culture and gets the treasure.
Write down a short term goal that will help you to achieve your SMV and relationships goals.
Write down three things that you think are between you and your next goal.
Pick one of the things and create a daily activity that will help you to overcome that obstacle.
Do that activity everyday for a month.
What changes happened in your life? How much closer are you to your long term goals? What did you learn?