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Mats's Journal

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I've been interested in self-development for as long as I can remember, so I've decided to start a journal in order to keep track of my results. In here I will post about my self-improvement strategies and my journey through PU. I hope that others can get value out of this as well 🙂

My journey so far

To quickly summarize my life: I grew up as a weak, skinny, and sensitive kid with lacking social skills. It wasn't until high-school that I started making a change in some of those areas. I learned about style and fashion, I started working out, I started reading a lot, and I adopted a stoic outlook on life. Then, a couple of years later, the corona pandemic came and I was stuck at home for a year. At first it was depressing, but then I decided to use that time productively, and I developed several routines and started looking into power and charisma, which is how I found this course.

 

What I'm doing now

Today I'm studying at University to become a teacher, but I'm more focused than ever on improving myself. In order to do that, I believe strongly in consistency and following routines. My current routines that I have been doing daily for the past year and a half include:

  • 15 minutes of Wim Hof's breathing exercises.
  • 30 minutes of transcendental meditation (you repeat mantras in your head).
  • 20 minutes of standing meditation.
  • 10-40 minutes of playing guitar.
  • Working out (except on rest days).

These routines are the bare minimum that I do everyday. My philosophy is that if I "waste" an entire day I will still have improved myself through my routines.

 

My current goals

The goals I am currently working towards include:

  • Improving my posture.
  • Developing my charisma.
  • Developing my confidence.
  • Learning about power dynamics.
  • Mastering my mindset.

Besides these I have several goals, but I don't want to stretch myself too thin by taking on more than I can handle. In my future updates I will go into more detail about how the strategies I use and the lessons I learn on the way.

Lucio Buffalmano, Kellvo and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoKellvoMatthew WhitewoodKavalier

A few days ago I got to try out the knowledge I've picked up from PU for the first time. I'm posting this here so I can review it after finishing PU.

To give a slight bit of context. A man that I lived with for a while reached out to me for the first time in almost two years. I have written to him many times telling him about my life and asking about his, as a form of maintaining our friendship, but he always opens my messages without responding.

In the past I would simply have answered his question, but after having become more power-aware I believed that it would have disempowered me and sub-communicated that it is okay for him to ignore my questions while I have to answer his. I opened his message but waited a couple of days before responding. Rather than ignoring his question I decided to misinterpret it and answer my own version (it was clear he was asking how Sweden is doing, not me personally).

He then ignores my question about how he is doing and asks more questions of his own. Because my goal is to improve our friendship, not to dominate him, I wasn't too bothered by this and answered his questions. I told him briefly about me and asked about his family. However, he ignored my questions again:

The main issue I had was not that he was tasking me, but that he was continuously ignoring me. I decided to use vulnerability and honesty to let him know that his behavior was not okay with me without causing a fight. Again, my goal was to improve our friendship, not damage it. After his apology we spent about 30 minutes just talking with each other about life and goals etc, which is way more than we've done in years.

Interestingly enough, although I believe I handled it fairly well (I'll revisit this after finishing PU to go over it with a new set of eyes), I felt guilty afterwards, as if I had overreacted. My current theories for why this is are that it's either because I'm terrified of conflicts, or that I have not come to terms with the idea that power dynamics can be used for good purposes, or perhaps that I simply didn't handle the interaction properly.

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Lucio BuffalmanoKellvoAli ScarlettMatthew Whitewood

Great first steps as a more power aware, socially skilled man, Mats!

You read his brush-offs correctly.

Your answer was very assertive, high power and, as you said, vulnerably so.
When I  started reading I was thinking "wow, he really went for it, no holds barred :).
And it was golden that you prefaced it with a positive and saying that "you'll always be grateful".
And that you ended it on a positive again, double gold.

Congrats to you and for putting the wisdom into action.

Social Skills Tweaks

Some stuff can be further improved.

For example, when you ping someone, and this is more general social skills, it's usually a good idea to share something about your life.

Ideally, something uplifting.
The idea is that sharing is giving -as long as it's not too much-.

But asking questions asks of him to expend effort and time replying. Especially questions like "what do you think about it?" that are about random events he knows little about. What is he supposed to do with that, launch into a debate on what it means to him?

That type of exchange doesn't even bond and connect the two of you.

If you instead share something, maybe even add a picture, maybe link it to something you did or talked about when together, or something you might do, and then end up with "and how are things with you man, I hope all good", then it's more balanced.
For example, when I talk with old friends I almost always talk about "when we can meet again, what we might do, and how cool it will be".

Feel free to continue this in the social skill section.

Kellvo, Matthew Whitewood and Mats G have reacted to this post.
KellvoMatthew WhitewoodMats G
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you Lucio! I really appreciate the social skills tweaks 🙂

Your example of linking the conversation to things we've done together and/or when we can meet again makes a lot of sense. I'll try it out in future interactions.

I'll wait until I'm further into Power University before coming back to this but when I do I'll make sure to move it to the section on social skills.

Update:

The past few weeks have been a bit hard. As is usual this time of year I get affected by the seasonal affective disorder and lose my motivation and purpose. Most of my time goes to my University studies which makes progress through PU slow. I'm still sticking to my routines and goals, but more out of sheer will-power than any motivation to improve. I feel like writing helps me think so I'm using this journal entry to come up with strategies to help me regain a sense of purpose and drive.

Issues

  • Lack of sunlight affects me biologically.
  • Studying at University is time consuming and stressful.
  • I have general self-improvement goals but not a clear idea of what I'm improving for.
  • I am more irritable than usual and think in more negative patterns.
  • I use poor coping methods such as video games or tv series to feel good.

 

Possible improvement techniques

  • Bathing in the lake/rolling in the snow everyday to strengthen my mind.
    • Pros:
      • This worked incredibly last year.
      • Makes me incredibly productive.
      • Pushes my comfort zone.
      • Improves my self respect and confidence.
    • Cons:
      • I nearly lost my fingers.
      • I woke up with anxiety the first two weeks.
      • Difficult and dangerous.
      • Benefits disappear as soon as I stop.
  • Yoga.
    • Pros:
      • Improves posture.
      • Improves happiness and calmness.
    • Cons:
      • Time consuming.
  • Daily suffering (David Goggins approach).
    • Pros:
      • Effective.
      • Turns the problems into fuel.
    • Cons:
      • Difficult to keep up for longer periods of time.
  • Create something.
    • Pros:
      • Brings a new purpose, however small.
      • Keeps me from wasting time on video games.
    • Cons:
      • Studying is draining my mental energy.
  • Spend more time helping others.
    • Pros:
      • Improves the lives of other people.
      • Makes me feel happier.
      • Makes me less self-centered.
    • Cons:
      • Can't think of anything.

 

As I went through the pros and cons for the ideas I compiled it became quite clear that I should spend more time doing things for others. While the other things on the list are useful I find it difficult to incorporate them into my life right now. If helping others doesn't get me out of my slump I'll try some of the other things on the list.

If anybody has other ideas for how to deal with seasonal affective disorder or a general lack of purpose and motivation I'd love to hear them 🙂

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Mats G on December 13, 2021, 11:36 pm

 

  • Bathing in the lake/rolling in the snow everyday to strengthen my mind.
    • Pros:
      • This worked incredibly last year.
      • Makes me incredibly productive.
      • Pushes my comfort zone.
      • Improves my self respect and confidence.
    • Cons:
      • I nearly lost my fingers.
      • I woke up with anxiety the first two weeks.
      • Difficult and dangerous.
      • Benefits disappear as soon as I stop.

 

As I went through the pros and cons for the ideas I compiled it became quite clear that I should spend more time doing things for others. While the other things on the list are useful I find it difficult to incorporate them into my life right now. If helping others doesn't get me out of my slump I'll try some of the other things on the list.

If anybody has other ideas for how to deal with seasonal affective disorder or a general lack of purpose and motivation I'd love to hear them 🙂

You mean like a sort of "cold treatment"?

And you do that like in underwear?

As for helping others, yes, several experiments shows that it makes people feel happier and more energized -especially people who tend to be more "givers"-.

Mats G has reacted to this post.
Mats G
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on December 14, 2021, 2:06 am

 

You mean like a sort of "cold treatment"?

And you do that like in underwear?

While it probably could be classified as cold treatment I use it more to regain control over my mind. I haven't looked into any research on the topic but from my own experience it basically shocks the brain enough so that you have total control afterwards. For a practical example of how it would work: let's say you have a project that you need to work on but it's too boring/exhausting/etc so you can't bring yourself to work on it. You then force yourself into the ice-cold water even though it's excruciatingly uncomfortable (even painful at times). After you've gotten out of the water and dried up you will find yourself more focused, energized, and most importantly, the project won't seem daunting after what you went through. In other words, it strengthens your mind through shock.

It's not so much about the cold as it is about doing something incredibly uncomfortable. I happen to live close to a lake that freezes over in winter, so it's simple for me to put on my swim trunks and walk down to the lake, get in the water, then walk back home to warm up. I would go into more detail but I haven't done any research on the topic. Also like I said in my previous post it is dangerous and I don't advocate doing it, and even though I found it very effective I don't plan on doing it again this year.

    • Cons:
      • I nearly lost my fingers.
      • I woke up with anxiety the first two weeks.
      • Difficult and dangerous.
      • Benefits disappear as soon as I stop.

nearly losing your fingers sounds like a pretty massive 'deal breaker' con! I think you're right not to push this cold exposure too much...

Being an old codger now (I'm in my 40s, I've come to realise that progress and productivity (and so much more) is about consistency and habit more than anything else... forging new habits is hard and takes a lot of time and effort, but it's getting those habits in place that will really change your life... I don't have much faith in personal transformation through force of will and self-discipline anymore... don't get me wrong - self-discipline has a fundamental role, but that role IMHO is simply to get new habits established... the other thing that I've come to really believe is that I have to be patient and compassionate with myself... the transformations come if I keep showing up and making an effort, but they might not happen on my ideal timeframe... keep up the good work my friend!

Lucio Buffalmano and Mats G have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMats G

I don't have much faith in personal transformation through force of will and self-discipline anymore... don't get me wrong - self-discipline has a fundamental role, but that role IMHO is simply to get new habits established... the other thing that I've come to really believe is that I have to be patient and compassionate with myself... the transformations come if I keep showing up and making an effort, but they might not happen on my ideal timeframe... keep up the good work my friend!

Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your perspective 🙂 I was reading a bit in your journal and was very impressed with your determination and approach!

I actually agree with your take on self-discipline but I have an irrational fear that my life will fall apart if I don't force myself to be productive every single day without fail. I've been struggling with the ideas of accepting yourself as you are vs improving who you are for a while now. I tend to lean towards improvement which ironically makes me accept myself less, but my fear is if I lean the other way I will stop improving. I think your mindset about self-compassion and patience is right in the sweet spot between those ideas; keeping you improving while also accepting your current self.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts! It's always inspiring to hear from people like yourself who are serious about their self-improvement 🙂

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Mats G on December 14, 2021, 11:13 pm

I've been struggling with the ideas of accepting yourself as you are vs improving who you are for a while now. I tend to lean towards improvement which ironically makes me accept myself less, but my fear is if I lean the other way I will stop improving.

I think the concept is that you accept yourself first, flaws and all, and then also work on self-improvement.

Still everything but easy of course, but some self-love exercises might work.

Mats G has reacted to this post.
Mats G
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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