Learn from my Icarus mistakes: feeling great, crashing down to earth, my flight reattempt

November 24, 2012


The Lament of Icarus (source)

This is the story of how I was super in the vortex (abraham hicks term) & found myself spit out of it through my own actions. And I’ll explain how I plan on getting back there.

I wanted to share this story with you for two reasons:

1. You can learn from my mistakes. As Charlie Munger says, it’s always more profitable to learn from others’ mistakes than your own.

2. I can learn from my own mistakes better by immediately teaching someone else (you). I want to show my psyche that I’m playing for keeps here. I’m serious about happiness & success.

Being in the Vortex of Happiness:

I’ve known about law of attraction and abraham-hicks since 2008. And I’ve tried step by step to get into the vortex. Sometimes I succeeded, other times failed. And whenever I did get in the vortex, it would only be for a super short amount of time. Usually I got super excited and somehow get myself out of there.

This month, November, has been the longest I’ve been in the ultra vortex of happiness.

Everything went my way. I lost weight super easily. I woke up every day happily. I ate well. I exercised. I kept up all my positive habits. I blogged frequently. I made videos/audios. I was happy & pleasant with everyone I met, even strangers.

Even strangers were attracted to my positive aura. I found them being gravitated to my happiness bubble. People gave me free coupons. I randomly got discounts at places without asking. I even got a free thing of precut pineapples (I think it’s because I indadvertedly distracted the cashier by giving her compliments and making her laugh).

The examples are too numerous to mention. But just know that I was on fire, like NBA Jam.

How I Got Out of Feeling Good: My Mistakes

This is not the first time I’ve made these mistakes. It’s almost embarrassing the number of times I touch the hot stove without learning the lesson.

I think I got cocky like Icarus. While I was on fire, I was super excited, to do everything.

A friend calls me up to drive 30mins to meet him at Tilted Kilt. I immediately said yes.

Even though I strongly dislike places like Tilted Kilt, Hooters & strip clubs and have told myself over the years to stop going – I still overestimated my “on-fire-ness” and underestimated how much I disliked Tilted Kilt.

I don’t dislike those places because I’m a saint. I dislike them because they are man traps that prey on our male emotions to suck out cash. Scandalously dressed women flirt with us, prey on our male ego, and we end up eating more, drinking more, tipping more and coming back for more!

As a student of marketing, I really don’t like going to places where every single thing is perfectly crafted to make me lose.

And the biggest weakness for a male is his ego. And the perfect patriot missile to destroy a male’s self-control is a pretty young woman, dressed to accentuate all her assets, whose job it is to stroke your ego & serve you food + alcohol. It’s the perfect combo.

Anyways, my point is that I have friends who like visiting these places. That’s fine. I just don’t like it. Even after years of telling myself never to go again, I was on such a high that I deviated from my plan and went.

The first time I went to Tilted Kilt, it was fine. I was on fire. I had bulletproof coffee & high dose fish oil coursing thru my veins. I even enjoyed bantering with the hot waitresses. I didn’t fall in love, instead I got to practice my “cocky & funny” skills.

And it worked. I was a master.

While at Tilted Kilt, I debated with my friends over how much that place sucks. I told them all the marketing tricks being used against us. And that the house always wins. Even if we’re aware of the tricks, it doesn’t make us any less vulnerable. That’s how strong these marketing tricks are.

Then it turned into a heated debate. They of course said that there are no tricks and even if there are tricks, they are above them.

Here is where my ego got into play. I wanted to prove them wrong. So I argued harder. The more I argued, the more they argued for their side. There is no winning in arguing.

My point was that if we go to places like Tilted Kilt, we will inevitably stay longer than if we went to Chipotle or Chili’s. Because there are young hot girls with pushup bras flashing their skin walking around.

Bears like looking at salmon!

This means higher consumption. We’re going to eat more than we need to. We’re going to drink more than we need to. And inevitably, one or all of us will think the waitress actually likes us. That we’re the special one that she has fallen for.

It’s impossible not to like a subservient hot girl who is serving us food and flirting with us.

Plus, the place has trained their staff to flirt with us perfectly. The girls will sit at our table and act interested in our conversation. Once they are done with their shift, they will get back into street clothes and sit with us some more. All of these tactics must be taught to them. The corporate overlords of Tilted Kilt aren’t stupid.

They have the right temperature. The right atmosphere. The right type of music at the right volume level. Alcohol. The right kind of fried foods. The right outfits. The right pushup bras. The right training. Every single thing there is perfected to suck as much money out of us males as possible.

This is the lollapalooza effect (#6) Charlie Munger frequently talks about: when multiple weapons of influence come together to create this delirium.

Of course, the victims (us males) will justify it to ourselves that the food is really good. Plus, we have to eat anyways, might as well eat at a place with hot chicks. Hot chicks serving us food is infinitely better than a guy waiter. Blah blah blah.

This is our brain justifying to itself to avoid contradiction.

Our brain is that good that it is able to justify any action. Even dictators believe they are in the right when they kill & torture their citizens. That’s just how it is. We can even see that in Breaking Bad. Rarely do the “bad” guys think they’re doing evil things.

I knew these things beforehand and still went because I thought I could just ignore the situation.

What ended up happening was that the waitresses (yes multiple) flirted with our table like mad. My friends started drinking. Then all of them tried super hard to peer pressure me into drinking. I resisted but the waitress brought me a drink anyways. I took a sip, then decided against it.

My friends were chugging beers as they admired the company. My fun started turning into the exact opposite.

I saw thru the tricks of the chicks, but I was still stuck there. And part of my male ego started wondering if the girls really did like my company. I know. That’s how strong these tricks are.

This DOES NOT happen at Chipotle!

Mistake Repeated:

Anyways, then next week, my friend asked me to come back to Tilted Kilt again. I really did not want to go. If I want to see hot chicks, I have the internet where there’s less peer pressure for me to lose my cool.

I went anyways because I was in the zone and wanted to hang with my friend.

He of course started drinking and peer pressured me to have one drink. The place was packed by the way. Scores of old & young guys drinking and flirting with the salmon slathered in honey walking around (credit: Patrice O’neal!)

I really hate man traps!

This time wasn’t that fun at all. I started disliking myself for going here again. First cracks of falling out of the vortex.

I actually had two drinks. My friend tried his best convincing me to come back again in December for a friend’s birthday. There’s no way.

Mistake leads to other mistakes:

Mistake isn’t the right word. Poor judgement. That’s it. It was just a poor judgement call.

I made two more errors in judgement.

First, whenever I’m feeling great and successful in something (ie: weight loss), I feel the need to convince everyone around me to follow my path. I become evangelical.

This is not a good trait. Most people are usually resistant to change. And there are a lot of skeptics in the world whose sole job is to poke holes in your argument, even if it’s working.

So I tried convincing my mom to drink bulletproof coffee and add fish oil, probiotics, digestive enzymes, etc to her diet.

I even took her shopping on a busy saturday to 3 different stores to buy all the supplies. If you know me, this is something I NEVER do. It’s the last thing I want to do: go shopping + hang w/ mom.

Not because she’s bad. Because she’s like any other Indian mom, nosey & presses my buttons easily.

And I got stressed that whole car ride. I couldn’t even focus on driving straight, I almost just rushed thru a red light, thinking it had turned green. It was crazy. This was one week ago, the day after the 2nd Tilted Kilt experience.

So I definitely was out of the vortex by then.

Last piece of the puzzle was a few days ago when I went to a family dinner. I strongly dislike family dinners. Because every person has a different energy, usually negative – and it always seems to bring me back to the negative no matter how high I’m feeling.

Every thanksgiving, I write a note to myself on my google calendar, for the next year, in all caps reminding myself to NEVER do this again! I’m serious. This year, I made two notes. One on my calendar and one on my iphone notes app.

Still, it was my brother’s birthday combined with thanksgiving, and I felt guilty and selfish for not going. Even though I knew better, the guilt feelings took over.

At the last second, I decided to go.

Not fun.

I ended up just arguing with my mom over all the errors I thought she had done raising us. It wasn’t a malicious yelling, but a fun one. We do this every time we all get together. I argue hard for my side and she does the same for hers. It’s like a family tradition.

But as I keep forgetting to learn, you cannot argue your way to happiness. Just because you argue with a republican doesn’t mean they now will change their party affiliation. That’s just human nature. Our egos are attached to our position, no matter how right or wrong.

We can’t change anyone. People change for themselves.

To rub salt into the wounds, last night was really an un-fun moment.

One neighbor apparently has a new dog in his apartment. I didn’t know dogs were allowed here! And the dog kept barking all night! The room they kept the dog is right next to my bedroom!

And then, the neighbor on the other side was simultaneously blasting BASS music at like 2am. What?!

These fucking things never happen to me when I’m in the zone. Those two signs were the last straw. I knew I had to wake up this morning and work on my vortex.

There is no way in hell I’m going down like that, with a fucking annoying dog barking on one side and some cunt blasting bass on the other.

Don’t they know that I’m a fucking Champion?!

How I’m getting back into the vortex:

So now, I’m fully out of the vortex and wondering what happened.

I had been feeling like a million bucks for about a couple of weeks, every day, every single minute.

Being out of the vortex is NOT fun, especially after you’ve been in it for so long.

This morning, I finally realized what I had done wrong.

I felt great. I was flying close to the sun. Then I felt the need to convince others that this is real. Then I started doing activities I knew were not fun. Both of those things pulled me back down to earth.

My plan to get back in the vortex:

I’ve been in and out many times to recognize the patterns and the steps.

Step 1, I already did this morning. I journaled for a few minutes & did the abraham hicks placemat process. Just that simple exercise got me flying back up. I’m serious. Try it for yourself.

Then I took my bp coffee + sea salt/water in the morning. While being out of the vortex, I neglected the sea salt for a few days. I usually feel great in my body immediately after drinking it.

Now I’m writing this super verbose message for you so that I can learn it better myself. And maybe you were able to learn a few nuggets from my mistakes as well.

And I’m listening to great songs.

The work is never done. Lessons learned. The journey continues! : )