Two years and two hundred books. Well technically four years and technically between one hundred and fifty books and one hundred and eighty books. Oh, and they’ve all been audio books with one exception. But that one I later listened to the audio book version as well. My journey into the philosophical/spiritual/self help/self actualization realm of study started with a public breakdown on an elevated train in September of 2009. I like a good portion of the adult male population in America was scared of rejection. On this night however, I went all out, trying to meet and talk to any and every woman I saw whom I was attracted to. My level of self pride was at an all time high by fighting through my fear and taking action. The only thing that was bigger than my feeling of pride, was the number of times I was rejected that night.
It was a living nightmare for me that night. It only could have been worse if we were in quiet environments and more people heard the rejection, after rejection, after rejection, after rejection…..after rejection. I literally felt my will break, I felt something inside my head snap. I remember the look on my face wide eyes, open mouth, I looked horrified, because I was. I don’t remember when exactly I started crying, whether it was on the train, during the walk back to my friend’s apartment, or in the apartment but I know I started crying. I started crying hard. I remember apologizing to my friends. I remember walking very fast if not running back to my car which was parked a couple of blocks away since we were in Chicago. I was wearing a white striped dress shirt with khaki colored baggy cargo pants, but all I could see was red, and all I felt was blackness.
My self esteem, confidence, and image had been very low for a very long time going into that night. My emotionally stability was suspect at best. My maturity and ability to respond to adversity/failure were both very much undeveloped. That night’s events was the wrecking ball being brought into the building already abandoned after a fire. Painful to experience but necessary for something better to be built upon it. I remember getting close to my car and hearing my name in the distance. It got louder and louder until I realized whose voice it was, that of one of my friends who I was with. He calmed me down and gave me a pep talk. I remember telling him that I felt like I was destined to be alone. He told me he could help.
I vaguely remember him telling me about some books and audio recordings that helped him with the same situation I was dealing with. A few days later he dropped a usb drive off at my work with a bunch of e books, audio books, and audio recordings of live seminars. He told me before the first thing I needed to read or listen to was The Game by Neil Strauss. I was completely blown away by what I read. That book genuinely changed my life by instigating multiple paradigm shifts of how I viewed myself, how I viewed other people, and how I viewed the world at large. The changes were not fast, at the time I was a slow learner and an even slower reader. That book on social dynamics and pick up artistry is what started me on the path to not just listening to audio books on a daily basis, but much more importantly it showed me that I could enjoy the process of learning.
The Game led me to audio books, recordings, and videos on the subject of social dynamics. Those lead me to look into Eckhart Tolle and after that the flood gates were never getting closed. My thirst for knowledge reached unquenchable levels as did my fines for returning books late to my local library. My mind was getting melted and blown on a weekly basis. Terms like principles, paradigms, choice, integrity, courage, character, right action, silence, energy, universe, dynamic, actualization, present, awareness, soul, ego were either introduced or redefined to me in ways I had no perception of. My life was forever changed for the better. I would become proficient in the fields of philosophy, spirituality, personal development, and self actualization and it all started with a public breakdown, a friend reaching out to help, and a book about how to meet women.