A Healthy Way to Face Failure

by GK on August 10, 2010 · 5 comments

This post was inspired by Rob “I’m About to Get Married” Overman, who suggested on the comments page of my post on Nice Guys that I should mention the Tripod of Stability.

As far as I know, the term was coined by an entrepreneurship guru named Ramit Sethi, who wrote a best-selling book called “I Will Teach You to be Rich.” The gist of it is, if you’re conservative in three core areas of your life — your car, your friends and your exercise, for instance — you can take all the risks you want with the rest of it and have little to lose.

I’ve included a video where Sethi talks about the tripod along with Tim Ferriss, author of “The Four-Hour Workweek” (which is a book worth reading, by the way). What I particularly like is the mention of a “failure folder” in his Gmail account. This, even more than the tripod, is what I’d recommend to future Casanovas.

Any accomplished ladies’ man will tell you that if you’re not getting rejected, you’re probably not trying very hard. So go the extra step and make failure an objective — then keep track of all your failures and see what you can learn from each of them. I’d even set a quota: Ten failures a month, or more if you can help it. They can be approaches that didn’t go well, escalations that got shot down or even trying to get serious with a girl if you thought it was the right time.

It’s easier said than done — we all have egos, and something about women makes us extra irrational about taking risks that really have no consequence. But if you can gradually reduce the sting of it, you might see failure for what it is: a very necessary element in success.


1 Erich August 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I would definitely like to streamline my finances. I would like to spend less time with these financial gurus’ materials, than I did with the pickup ones (of the past two years) though. I’ve only got so much time left in my life! :))

2 Erich August 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I noticed something similar to the Tripod of Stability, while I’ve been doing self-improvement over the past few years. I noticed that if you feel like you’re failing in several areas of your life, it’s easier to become disheartened and give up while you’re trying to improve just one area of your life, than if you already have confidence in a few areas, which gives you more of a base of strength, for trial and error learning.

3 GK August 17, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I guess you could call that the Tripod of Instability! :)

4 Benoit007 August 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Really like this idea of “make failure an objective”. It’s Zen. Like the path-goal thing.
One thing that really hit me recently is that the mere fact of taking risks with a woman will turn her on. Sometimes. Sometimes it just fails. I’m not a guy who goes around taking crazy risks with woman. But I’ve had inspired moments where I’ve done some pretty crazy shit. Now the thing that really struck me is that with some of that shit I felt like I just landed flat on my stomach.

There was one dead cold approach I’m thinking of that didn’t seem to go anywhere so in the end I just said: Ok, that was just a lame excuse to come and talk to you. The girl didn’t even smile. But, but, but. Next time I stumbled into her, we were in a concert hall, I went up to her, and it was totally easy to talk to her and lead her to some lounge and escalate very very fast. Why? Because for her I just was the guy who was bold, who would approach and push the interaction, who would take risks.

What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that taking risks is at the core of what is called charisma. Even a shy, careful, over-analytical guy like myself can charismatize himself by pushing my limits and occasionally doing things that are way out of my comfort zone. Comfort zone really just means: habit. And risk means: breaking the habit, wandering off into the unchartered territory, from whence no visitor returns – wait, oops, wrong quote 😉

The thing is that the girl will credit you for taking the risk. With the girl at the concert hall, when I realized how she perceived me, the moment a good opportunity arose I kissed her in the middle of a pedestrian crossing during day time. I have never done such a thing before! But it was obvious she thought that was perfectly normal behavior for a guy who had the courage to take daring, if perhaps somewhat awkward risk.
I was amazed to experience that even interactions that I thought were complete failures turned out to be absolutly positive in the grand design of things….

5 GK August 26, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Thanks for the inspired thoughts, man. I can tell you, having done some rather bold things with women in public, that not only do they tolerate you taking risks with them, they WANT it. They look down on you if you can’t do it. I’ve had more than one girl give me shit for not approaching her or making out with her. That’s our job.

So by flirting with failure, we’re actually flirting with success.

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