The Game

By: Neil Strauss

On a superficial level, The Game is a non-fiction account of author Neil Strauss going from zero to hero and becoming one of the best pickup artists in the world. A journalist, he's assigned to write a piece on this secret society of pickup artists and is taken under the wing of one of the world's best, a man who goes by the name of Mystery. Over the next two years, he becomes a master of “the game” and takes the reader along for the ride, sharing his incredulous story.

On a deeper level, the book sheds light onto the insecurities of men and what drives many males to seek a sort of gratification from scoring with women. It illustrates everyone's need as social beings to fit in and exposes a dark side of being the ultimate player. Most importantly, though, The Game shows guys who lack confidence and self-worth around women how to freely be themselves and communicate. After having a stroke at the age of sixteen, my ability to speak was significantly impaired. It left me often tongue-tied around women, even after fully recovering a psychological block of sorts was left over. This book removed that block.

My Favorite 10 Index Cards:

He possessed two traits I’d noticed in nearly every rock star I’d ever interviewed: a crazy, driven gleam in his eyes and an absolute inability to do anything for himself.
‘All your emotions are there to try to fuck you up,’ Mystery continued. ‘They are there to try and confuse you, so you know right now that they can’t be trusted at all. You will feel shy sometimes, and self-conscious, and you must deal with it like you deal with a pebble in your shoe. It’s uncomfortable, but you ignore it. It’s not part of the equation.’
Even the wise man dwells in a fool’s paradise.
Have you ever seen a cat play with a string? Well, when the string is dangling above it’s head, just out of reach, the cat goes crazy trying to get it. It leaps in the air, it dances around, and chases it all over the room. But as soon as you let go of the string and it drops right between the cat’s paws it just looks at the string for a second and then walks away. It’s bored. It doesn’t want the string anymore.
In life, people tend to wait for good things to come to them. And by waiting, they miss out. Usually, what you wish for doesn’t fall into your lap; it falls somewhere nearby, and you have to recognize it, stand up, and put in the time and work it takes to get it. This isn’t because the universe is cruel. It’s because the universe is smart. It has it’s own cat-string theory and knows we don’t appreciate things that fall into our laps.
Focus is passé. In the modern world we want to feel everything all the time. There is no point in just taking a walk in the park when we can also listen to headphones, munch on a hot dog, crank the vibrating soles to maximum, and check out the passing carnival of humanity. Our choices shout creed to a new world order: stimulation! Thought and creativity have become subservient to the singular goal of saturating our senses.
We get stuck in old thought and behavior patterns that may have been effective when we were twelve months or two years old, but now serve to hold us back. And while those around us may have no problem correcting our minor flaws, they let the big ones slide, because it would mean attacking who we are.
‘I’m sorry,’ I said at one point, when discussing the article I’d written. ‘I don’t mean to sound like one of those writer guys.’
’Why are you apologizing? Why not be a writer guy? Who are those guys? They’re talented people who write about things that people are interested in.’ Then he continued mockingly, ‘No, you don’t want to be one of those guys who’s creative and expressive.’
He was right. I had thought I was done with the gurus, but I needed one more. Tom Cruise was teaching me more about inner game than Mystery, Ross Jeffries, Steve P., or my father ever had.
He stood up and slammed his fist down on the table, hard—AMOG-style. ‘Why don’t you want to be one of those guys? Be one of those guys, man. I mean it. That’s cool.’
A rich man doesn’t have to tell you he’s rich.
I think the existential dilemma is: We’re all social animals, so we all wrestle with a sense of inadequacy. But when we realize that we’re not as inadequate as we thought we were, and when we realize that everybody else thinks their inadequate, then that ache goes away and the idea that we’re not a person of value disappears to some extent.
— Eric Weber

For more details, reviews, or to purchase: