Last year Neil asked me to join him on a trip to Las Vegas to learn some secret agent skills.
It was crazy, to say the least.
When I was there, Neil surprised me again, by asking me a room full of guys the social skills that a secret agent might use.
I couldn’t have been more excited; I’ve read just about every spy novel I could get my hands on, and I have an obsession with the social arts.
Also, these guys had no idea what to expect. They were going to be receiving random missions that could ask them to perform any variety of tasks. They had to be prepared for anything.
Here’s an example of a mission we did:
Gain the trust of a complete stranger: Approach someone, and get them comfortable enough to trust you with something valuable to them for a night. Return the item later.
It may sound random, but there’s actually a lot to learn from it. For example:
1. The key to starting a conversation is comfort. No one wants to talk to a stranger who makes them uncomfortable. Make sure to speak clearly, give context for what you’re saying, and let them know you’re not sticking around.
2. Put yourself in their shoes. If they’re uncomfortable with you – it’s your fault. Try to see yourself from their perspective: what did you do that made them uncomfortable? What could you do next time to improve comfort levels?
3. When practicing the goal shouldn’t always be romantic or sexual. Set different social goals. Can you get someone to trust you with something they value? Are you trustworthy enough to return it when you said you would?
4. Push yourself. Sometimes you need to set up challenges for yourself with clear goals and push yourself to achieve them. One of the students got a woman to give him her wedding ring for the night, and another received a $10,000 Rolex. You can do this.
As you can see, there is a lot to learn from a random mission like this. You may want to go out and try this mission out yourself. If you do, write in with what item you were trusted with and what you did to get it.
The point is, you may never have thought about trying out the things that were in this mission unless it was given to you, and you would have missed out on a lot of essential lessons that will help you have much better results later.
A lot of people think they know what they need to learn. They think if they just fix this one thing that everything will be easy for them all of a sudden.
But that’s not reality. The reality is, when you are learning a new skill, you need to practice it in every possible configuration.
Think about athletes. When a coach is training a team, even if they are very experienced, the coach will throw random exercises and drills at them to see if they can deal with the sudden changes.
Why is this helpful? Because life almost never presents a circumstance to you that is the same as in your practice. This is true especially in sports and in the social arts.
Real life situations have many more variables that can change in a moment. If you aren’t ready for them, all your studying and practice can go out the window the instant things change.
Like what Mike Tyson said: “Everybody thinks they have a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.”
What’s the lesson here? Make sure to throw some randomness into your missions.
There are several ways you can do this:
• Go out with a friend to wingman and alternate giving each other increasingly difficult missions.
• Try to perform every single mission in the Stylelife Academy, then do them again with an element of randomness thrown in that you or a friend chooses.
• Pick a random mission next time you go out alone. Choose it the moment before you act. Don’t give yourself time to plan.
Not only is this way more fun, but it will teach you things you didn’t realize you needed to learn to take things to the next level.
If you’re not playing the Game, you’re losing.
Come play on the winning team.