Stoic Daygame

If variety is the spice of life, and new things are challenging, well then Daygame is the gift that keeps on giving. If there’s one thing on this planet which is determined to turn you into a Stoic then that is Daygame. That or those who succeed at Daygame were the Stoics all along. By accepting the ups and downs of everyday life you might find a path to happiness, and Daygame sure is full of ups and downs (sometimes, more literally). I’ve been reading a book about Stoicism called Happy by Derren Brown and it was a big source of inspiration for this post.

Recently I’ve had a dry spell where I feel as if I’ve been close on a few occasions, but then run into some bad luck (more on my possible change in fortunes later). I’ve had great sets but then the girl went on holiday. Or perhaps a girl acted completely against the signals she was sending out. String a few bad experiences together and you’re officially in the “bad times.” But if I rewind back to June, where I had three lays, I was feeling like the King of Daygame. It reminds me of an analogy that a friend gave to me once:

“What do you think of ticket inspectors? Not much, right? Because they always check your ticket and then if you’re out of line then they fine you. Now imagine you’re a hot girl. Do you think she gets fined quite as much? Probably not. You have a poor opinion of ticket inspectors but she probably has a good one. To her they are forgiving and thoughtful. There’s no one way to see things and someone can be good and bad at the same time.”

That’s pretty much how Daygame is: it can make you feel really low at some points and really high at others. It’s something which is constantly in flux and you can go through periods of loving it and… I wouldn’t say hating it. More enduring it. In those bad times, the key personality traits are to be persistent and tenacious. “Results come in clumps” – as another Daygamer said to me recently – and so you need to be able to suffer through the bad times to make it to the good. I remember Taleb saying that to succeed in these kinds of small consistent premia, occasional large payoff structures, you have to be able to bleed.

And I appreciate and acknowledge that for beginners and some lower intermediates, their capacity to “bleed” is very low. They’re a bit like a dog which has just been brought home, and when the owner leaves the house, its anxiety soars and it starts tearing up the furniture. The dog hasn’t learned yet that the owners are going to come back at some point. It’s the same for the Daygamer: he hasn’t learned yet that the results are eventually going to come back, whether that’s in the form of lays, dates, numbers, hook points or even stops. In fact it’s a common question/complaint that I hear: “things used to be good, but now they’re not, what do I do?” Or sometimes rather than “what do I do?” they asked “what changed?” In reality nothing they could control changed, it was just the passage of time from good to bad.

Unfortunately, those bad times are inevitable. I remember in Daygame Mastery there is a section where Krauser says that there will always be some King of Kong; some other Daygamer who is getting more and/or hotter girls and/or in less time. In life, as we try to remind ourselves often, there is always going to be someone who has better results, more money, nicer clothes, more muscle and better hair. And even if you were the best Daygamer in the world, then there will just be something else that you want, or perhaps even better results. Or perhaps you’re lagging behind a previous version of yourself where a hot streak led to you getting your best results ever. Eventually you are going to get to a point where you are not getting everything you want from life.

Then there’s a flipside, and this may provide some consolation: there’ll always be someone to whom you are the King of Kong. Even if you have crippling AA and the best you can do is walk the streets for hours at a time, lost in your head, doing no sets, you’re still further along than the guy who couldn’t leave the house.

We can take heart from Stoicism and start to think about what is really in our control. If we can isolate what’s actually in our control and out of our control then we can start to let go of the bad times and admit that “it’s fine.” Knowing that you were powerless to stop a bad thing from happening helps massively to alleviate the mental load it burdens us with.

For example, this week I took a number from a girl after a pleasant set, but then she blocked me immediately upon me sending my feeler. What on earth was going on there? It could have been anything: maybe she just played nice in set; maybe she met with a friend who had also met me before and they exchanged stories; maybe she actually had a boyfriend and thought it would be safer to block me rather than have a stray notification appear while he was looking over her shoulder. The mind boggles! The key is that once I sent my feeler I had absolutely zero control over how events would play out and therefore, it’s fine.

Naturally some days are going to be good and some are going to be bad; luck – the thing outside of our control – swings both ways, and often! And that’s why I think it’s so important to build a little buffer against the bad times. The first is described above: to step back and ask “was that in my control?”

The second is lifestyle-based. In Scott Adams’ books he talks about something he calls “personal energy” which I interpret as meaning a kind of lust for life. In real terms I think this means managing stress levels through getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, doing things you enjoy, eating a healthy diet but still eating the foods you really like once in a while, meditating, having control over your schedule, etc (all factors which Adams describes at length in his book How To Fail At Everything). Doing all those things adds to a buffer which protects you from blowing up.

Each person can take on a certain amount of stress; in fact, life without stress feels awful and we all need a certain amount to feel good. But if you become too stressed out then you become like this guy:

The problem of reaching the point of saying “fuck it” is that you stop compounding your life-gains (I couldn’t think of a better phrase for that so I apologise that it is cringeworthy). It’s the same as investing: stay in the market and keep on making those compounded returns. In terms of Daygame, it would mean a guy who drifts in and out and never reaches his potential if he had stuck with it.

I’ll bring it back to my own experience now. As I said, I was going through a dry spell, and so my focus needed to change. I wasn’t out Daygaming, I was out enjoying a walk, listening to podcasts and burning calories in the process. I can’t control who walks past me and so it doesn’t matter if I don’t get any good leads. At these times it’s worth considering that perhaps distance covered and time spent Daygaming is a more important factor in determining lays than how many sets you do.

That girl I number closed, but who blocked me, was still a victory, because she was very short. One weasel I’ve always had is in approaching very short girls. I feel a measure of spotlight effect because of the differences in height. I’m also cautious of frightening them and having to experience the bad reaction. But I can’t control their reaction, besides coming in front a little bit further away, and so it’s fine. The thing that was in my control I did well in, and so I can congratulate myself for doing things properly.

During this dry spell, I’ve often wondered to myself: what’s different now? Do I need to change my diet somehow? Am I too lean? Are girls different after the pandemic? Is it something in my approach? Is it because I went to the gym earlier today and am more tired? Maybe there’s something in my teeth? Some sort of food left at the corner of my mouth? Or maybe I’m sweating a little because of the heat? Or maybe it’s because I said “cute” or “pretty” rather than “nice?” Yet again, the mind boggles, and you’d never know for sure what was the cause of events. The only thing you can really do is endure through the bad times and eventually some good luck will come your way. So here’s another reason it’s so important to not get blown up and continue earning the compounding returns: once things go well again you’ll have the good results plus the satisfaction in knowing that you stuck at it.

And what else would happen? Luck did swing my way. I fired off a speculative message to a girl who I’d had a date with already the previous week. Turned out her schedule had changed and she was free that night. She then travelled an hour into London to meet me and I got the lay. Would that have happened if I had thrown my papers up into the air and given up. Of course not!

This is where I get around, roughly, to having your cake and eating it too, because in reality we don’t just want to be resistant. We want to be able to endure the bad times, but we are leaving money on the table if during the good times we say “well it’s all luck and completely out of my control.” Game is a reflective sport where you can get into a virtuous spiral of good results and higher motivation, and so it pays to stoke our own good feelings when times are going well.

Of course luck played its part in the above, but I should go out of my way to pay myself on the back for persisting with her. It means that, within reason, you should big yourself up whenever you achieve something and ever so slightly risk yourself being perceived as obnoxious. Just don’t go over the top! We spend so much time dwelling on our failures and embarrassing moments and yet so little celebrating our successes.

I’ll leave you with one last analogy. I remember at some point hearing Daygame being described as being like either hunting or fishing. If you’re hunting, you’re actively looking for sets and other opportunities. If you’re fishing, then you’re letting the opportunities come your way. I think it’s worth being able to do both and to employ them at different times. In the good times, it’s better to be a hunter, and in the bad times, it’s better to be a fisherman.

Yours unfaithfully,

Thomas Crown

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