Quick Definition: A mental control process that allows the artist, through practice, to recognize his emotions, acknowledge their existence, and resist the emotion’s natural response by putting his mind into a certain state. In this way, the artist recognizes and embraces the emotion, yet remains cool and logical in his assessment of reality in a moment of adversity.
Many times, an artist who starts out in the quest to learn game must first deal with his fear of the approach. We often compare these fears to previous experience or our brains being wired to feel fear when approaching strangers. Nonetheless, compared to war heroes, the tales of a pick up artists pale in comparison. Perhaps too due to the “in field” analogy, many artists become lifelong friends when they both face their fears in pick up situations.
Robert Green explains “presence of mind” in his book by stating “In the heat of battle or social pressure, expose your mind to the adversity and confront it. Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.”
Compare your pick up adventures to an extreme incident detailed in The 33 strategies of War:
George S. Patton came from one of America’s most distinguished military families – his ancestors included generals and colonels who had fought and died in the American Revolution and the Civil War.
Patton had his first taste of battle in 1918, at the age of thirty-two… at one point during the battle, Patton managed to lead some American infantrymen to a position on a hilltop overlooking a key strategic town, but German fire forced them to take cover. Soon it became clear they were trapped: if they retreated, they would come under fire from positions on the sides of the hill; if they advanced, they would run right into a beattery of German machine guns. If they were all to die, as it seemed to Patton, better to die advancing…. at the moment he was to lead the troops in the charge, however, Patton was stricken by intense fear. His body trembled, and his legs turned to jelly. In a confirmation of his deepest fears, he has lost his nerve.”
At that instant, looking into the clouds beyond the German batteries, Patton had a vision: he saw his illustrious military ancestors, all in their uniforms, staring sternly down at him. They seemed to be inviting him to join their company – the company of dead war heroes. Paradoxically, the sight of these men had a calming effect on the young Patton: calling for volunteers to follow him, he yelled, “It is time for another Patton to die!” The strength had returend to his legs; he stood up and charged towards the German guns. Seconds later he fell, hit in the thigh. But he survived the battle.
Greene notes that it is better to confront your fears, then let them slide into the water—they are still there, lurking. The fears become the motivation behind honor and dignity.
Before the approach:
- Focus on the fear / anger / emotion you are feeling when you are about to approach a girl. Let it surface, play with it, recognize it.
- Over time, step 2 gets easier: learn to let it come out, see it for what it is, and then calm it down. Many students see an exaggerated version of their fears, out of proportion. Recognize it for what it is, and what it is not.
- Put the fear away, it is within your sight, and you see its presence. However, your mind if focused on the task at hand. You see reality and the picture before you, clearly.
- You take action, and move forward, as your mind continues to recognize your emotions and yet remain logical and calm at the same time. The DECISION to nurture or let your emotions loose, will be on your own command, instead of letting the emotion take control of you.