Matt Forney
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Inner Game: A Primer

inner-game

This is a guest post by Zampano.

Inner game is a frustrating topic to write about because it is a frustrating topic to talk about and a frustrating topic to learn about. Inner game, that mystical beast that we have all heard about, but most people don’t really understand. Inner game, the unicorn of game culture.

Camp One says, “Fuck inner game. Just smash bishes. It’ll work itself out.”

Camp Two says, “Fuck outer game. Just learn the ancient art of not giving a fuck and say whatever shit comes into your head and you’ll get laid.”

So what’s a little boy to do?

Get your mind right. Yeah, I said it. Inner game first saves time, cuts your learning curve, improves your mood and resolve, and will make you a man worthy of women. All good things come from tight inner game. The only reasonable argument against inner game first is that outer game will make inner game come, and there is truth in this. Real outer work will help with inner game, in fact, ten approaches on real life women that don’t deflate when you leave them in a room with a cat will do more for your game than all the positive thinking in the world. Seriously.

But if you don’t have your mind right you’ll never approach those ten girls to begin with. It’s easy for those of us that are getting laid and picking up girls and are really just trying to improve to sit back and arrogantly say that action comes first and thoughts come second, but that isn’t a fair statement for a guy reading this post from his laptop with his dick in his hand and not even one friend to hang out with. If you are starting from nothing, massive action with zero plan or positive thoughts is actually pretty likely to make you burn out. Let’s say you are the guy reading this who is lonely and has very little worthwhile stuff in his life. You decide, okay, I’ll go out and do this. So you approach a girl but you’re super nervous and you screw it up, and since you are already thinking negatively you now have a new negative experience that you can use to reinforce your already negative self image. So you are probably worse off. Who the fuck wants that?

However, let’s say that same guy decides to change his life. He writes down his goals, he really takes the time and energy to dream up what the life he wants actually entails. Not just masturbatory “what ifs” with breaks to watch porn. No, he really sits down and writes down what he wants in life. He makes a list of all the things that would make his life the way he wants it. That’s all.

If he continues to think about those things and the happiness that they will bring into his life he will start to shift his thinking. He’ll realize that sitting at home reading Matt Forney’s blog isn’t the only decent thing in the universe. There are girls. There is money. There are entire continents begging for adventure. He could have all of that. He will become disgusted with his current situation. This is a real phenomenon that I have been through personally. Shifting of your thoughts—especially when it is a quick switch—will cause you to see your current circumstances through a completely new perspective. Suddenly you can’t believe how pathetic you have been. You must change.

You decide that you are going to approach ten girls. You realize that the approaches will probably suck but that’s okay, because you will keep doing them and you will get better and in a year you will be way better at it than you are now. You know your goals; you know what you want in life. Now all you have to do is go out and get it.

So how do you go from being a poor slob with nothing going on in his life to a guy who is so positive and sure of his goals that he goes after them like they are the only things that matter?

It is simple, my friend; you learn the art of self talk. I recommend buying What to Say When You Talk to Your Self because it is the simplest and most bullshit free of all guides on the subject. You don’t need superfluous prose, pictures, or Deepak Chopra. You don’t need a forty two DVD set on mental visualization. You need to learn to stop being pissed off about your circumstances and instead focus that same self talk on things that will benefit your life.

I first started fucking around with self talk in January of 2013. I was extremely skeptical about the concept because I like things to be empirical and testable and not too fucking new age. But hey, sometimes you have to broaden your horizons or something, I guess. I decided to buy it anyway because I had wanted to make serious changes to my life and I thought that maybe it would help.

Let me tell you, Shad Helmstetter—the guy who wrote this book—is one smart fucking Jew. He understood that most people don’t stick to new programs that they try to commit to because they are too complicated and it just becomes tiring. If it isn’t ridiculously simple, you will probably give up on it. You’ll get tired of spending all the time and energy that it takes to try and get your mind in the right direction and then you’ll give up and be right back where you started. No good. Shad says it has to be simple or it won’t work. He says to write simple affirmations based on your goals. Now, it goes without saying that he explains all of this in a lot more depth than I do, but if you’re too cheap to buy the eight dollar book you will have to settle for the Zampano Primer. And I paint with broad fucking strokes.

The truly brilliant recommendation in the book is to record your affirmations. This suggestion single-handedly changed my life (yes, I know how gay that sounds and I don’t care). I decided what I wanted, wrote it down in the form of affirmations, recorded them, and looped them as songs. I spent hours listening to my sexy deep voice telling me all these sweet things.

The first time that I listened to them it gave me a headache. I had crazy dreams all night, all of which related to all these new self talk affirmations I was feeding my drug addled little brain. Shit was nuts.

The second time I listened it was easier. I still felt super lame for listening to these stupid affirmations but I was determined to make big changes in my life and I knew that would mean doing things differently.

The third time I listened I found my mind was shifting. This was when I started to feel embarrassed for how I was living. I felt ashamed. Why was I so pathetic? I needed to work harder.

This was when my life started shifting drastically. I started doing things differently. I started lifting weights. I started approaching girls. I blew money on good clothes. I spent more time reading and felt like a loser any time I loaded up Netflix. I would lay in bed at night and think about how much progress I had made and how much more I needed to make.

Instead of thinking about how the world had fucked me, I was thinking about what I needed to do to get to where I wanted to get.

That shift in thinking is the catalyst. That shift in thinking will change your life.

Read Next: You’ve Got Bigger Problems Than the Game

  • I may have to get that damn book afterall.

  • I’m not sure about recording affirmations. I’ll buy the book and give it a try though.

  • Retrenched

    Ironic that “You’ve Got Bigger Problems…” is the ‘Read next’ for this post.

  • Retrenched

    It doesn’t have to be an either/or though. It depends on where a guy is and what his most pressing issues are at this stage in his life.

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  • gilgamesh

    My voice isn’t deep or sexy. Can’t I write these down?