Pickup is a powerful skill, but before we can learn to pickup, we have to learn how to learn pickup. Without learning how to learn, a great deal of effort will be wasted
With any skill, there is a set progression along “the path” from which you go from beginner to intermediate, and finally advanced. There is a lot of learning, and more so unlearning to do. The layers of the onion of your personality and ego go quite deep, and there is a lot of personal digging to do before you can uncover your essential, primal, best self.
In relation to Japanese martial arts and also disciplines like Go, there is a concept of “Shu” “Ha” and “Ri”.
shu (守?) “protect”, “obey” — traditional wisdom — learning fundamentals, techniques, heuristics, proverbs
ha (破?) “detach”, “digress” — breaking with tradition — detachment from the illusions of self
ri (離?) “leave”, “separate” — transcendence — there are no techniques or proverbs, all moves are natural, becoming one with spirit alone without clinging to forms; transcending the physical
At the beginning we are in the “shu” stage, where we must learn the fundamentals. Things like, stay on your agenda, lead the interaction, don’t buy her things (for no reason), don’t do the date far from your house, always approach, go for sex on the first date. The struggle at this point is internalizing these rules and following them consistently. It’s very easy to slip back into chode ways and end up following the girl on her night, or being overly nice, or waiting until the next date.
Following the shu stage comes the “ha” stage, which is known as “breaking the rules” or “theory”. In this stage, the theory and frames that are alluded to in the rules start to be understood. The student learns that more important than not buying her a drink, for example, is not buying her a drink to get something, and at times, you should buy drinks for girls. In short, student breaks from the specific rule, and instead learns to understand the underlying frame and meaning of the theory. Why did he have to learn the rule first? What deeper understanding does he have now that he has learned both the rule and the limits of the rule?
Last is the “Ri” stage, which is transcendence, or “be the rule”. At this point, the practitioner can enter any arena or environment, and without thinking, exhude the attractive behaviors which pull attention and girls in like animal magnetism. If you’ve ever seen a guy who, simply by walking into a room, commands attention like a shockwave rippling outwards, chances are, this guy is in the “Ri” stage. His mere presence is extremely powerful, and he is dangerous to be around, because even without effort or wish to do so, he will attract the women away from all nearby men. At this stage, the gamer is attached to no woman or technique, rather, he moves through the world seeing the true nature of things, without attachment or worry.
So, back to the original question. How do we learn how to learn? How do we shave time off the learning curve and learn in the correct way.
At the beginning, hammer home the techniques and rote behaviors. Absorb the techniques until they become second nature. Copy or imitate the game and body language of guys who you respect or think are good at game. Do this a lot, until you start to be able to do it unconsciously.
Then, destroy it slowly. Break your rules, change your techniques. Not everything at once, but slowly and gradually shift away from rote behaviors and routines like verbal patterns or using the same jokes all the time. Find places where the rules bend, or should be broken. Learn the theory behind the behaviors so you don’t have to ask “What should I text in this situation” or “How can I get this specific girl” type questions anymore. If you learn only behaviors, when the “script” doesn’t match what you know, you are lost. If you learn the attitudes, frames, and theories, and the times and places where the techniques don’t work, you will never be lost.
Finally, destroy things, even those which you think work for you. Never get stagnant in your game, always mix it up. Do things which are counter-intuitive or detrimental to your pursuit of sex (but respectful to the girl) – for example, taking her on a first date far away from where you live with no logistics for pulling. Buy the girl a few drinks just for the sake of it. Text the girl way too much and needy things which you never would have before (except at the beginning of the “shu” stage). In some ways, this stage is a return to the Shu stage, but you have changed at a deeper level, so it’s no longer you.
Much like the Hero’s journey, once the hero goes through the abyss and destroys his own game, he emerges like a phoenix from the ashes, totally changed, and yet still the same. He returns to a place which is much similar to where he was at the beginning at Shu, but his attitude, and how he behaves is totally different. Whereas before, the initiate would have been needy OR (superficially) confident and neither would work very well, the master can be confident OR needy and they could both work, simply because he has walked the path, destroyed his ego, and been through the abyss.
Keep in mind the goals of pickup, the long-term outlook, and how to learn pickup. Keep in mind that you have to first unlearn your weak behaviors and replace them with stronger behaviors, then as you learn the theory and mindset behind the strong behaviors, you have to break from those behaviors, too. Finally, you have to destroy everything and be reborn as your true inner man.