Attaching ourselves to the outcome makes things more difficult. It is not good or bad.
Experience vs result. If you had to pick between experiencing these without ever knowing the result (like above). Or only knowing the result without having the experience, which would you choose? This can even be asked about watching the experience, like in a movie.
Most people I speak with seem to value the experience of it more.
We truly don’t know if the result (outcome) is even good or bad long term.
For example: A rejection for a raise could very well lead you to leaving that company for a better company where you end up learning unique skills that enables you to start an innovative startup.
Or an approach of a stranger could lead to a phone number, but then to a 5 year romantic relationship that ends horribly and you "wasted" 5 years.
These can switch back and forth to what we perceive as good or bad.
For instance, after that horrible 5 year relationship that person finds a soulmate in their ex’s coworker that they never would have met without that bad relationship which leads them to live happily ever after.
My point is a great outcome from an interaction doesn’t mean that it’s good long term and a bad outcome (getting rejected) may have saved you long term from a shitty situation.
Don’t worry too much about the outcome. That worry can enhance and put fuel on the fire on our natural anxiety, especially in those big moments. Then it becomes much more difficult to do in the first place.
I’m not saying to go to the extreme in always being wary about a good reaction and being relieved when something doesn’t move forward socially! But it could make socializing more easy if you can mitigate some of the emotions that are stopping you by using this outlook. Bad isn’t bad and good isn’t good, be open like a good scientist.
Social skills are learnable and you can get really good at them, as we have learned here at Jaunty, but the skills are there so you can enjoy and learn from the experience with other people. -Eric Waisman
By Joe Hill, Jaunty graduate
There is something special about moving to a new place. Everything that you've done in the past becomes irrelevant. Cliché says, "You can be whoever you want to be; no one knows you." What happens, though, when you try to be someone else but continue the same behavior? Nothing.
I moved to San Francisco in April of 2015. In the year prior, I lost 100 pounds and taught myself about men's style. I'd created a website to help other men become remarkable in their own health and fitness. I was determined that, as I left my old life to begin anew in body, spirit and career, I was going to be different.
I realized quickly, though, that I didn't know how to be anyone else. My entire life, I'd thrived on the affirmation of others. I needed everyone's approval. I was fat and sloppy and relied on the "funny guy routine" to get other people to like me. It never mattered what I wanted; my job was to become a chameleon to my surroundings because that's how I obtained the approval of others.
It was my goal to change. It's an interesting place to be ready to change but not to know how. As the Buddhist proverb would have it, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Enter Jaunty.
I'd lived in California for four days when I went to a free Jaunty workshop, and five when I met Eric Waisman for a one-on-one. I was eager to dive in and dive I did.
The six-week course was valuable. The treasure of Jaunty is that you leave each class with the courage, knowledge, and drive to begin to change. I would begin the homework with just enough gallantry to make one small change, then another.
There was a specific change that I struggled to make about halfway through the class. I didn't know it then, but this one change, this single experience, would open the floodgates of progress and put me in a place where my life was completely changed. That struggle was familiar to many of us and is known commonly as "approach anxiety"; Seeing an attractive person and feeling unable to start talking to them.
While working with Jaunty coach Craig Gibbons in a one-on-one session, I saw her: the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.
"Go," Craig encouraged me.
"Go now," he commanded.
I was stunned. To Craig, this was normal and within the bounds of where my progress should have lied. To me, however, she was an angel with no interest in talking to me. I became overwhelmed and stunned.
"Go make her day," he said in a final effort. Light bulb. I finally understood that it wasn't about me. She was going to be excited about this. He was right. I approached and as soon as I began speaking, the anxiety subsided. Her soft features were countermanded by the smile that stretched across her face. She was glowing. It was in this moment that I realized that I have the capacity to be the person who goes after what I want in every area of my life.
In a new city where I accepted the challenge and wasn't sure what to expect from Jaunty, I left the course with a new skill-set, new confidence, and new friends. All of that is mute in comparison to my new mindset. At the end of the course we were asked, "What is your biggest takeaway?"
I said, "I am allowed to have the edge. I am allowed to have what I want. I am allowed to have the girl, the job, the friends; I am allowed."
By Eric Waisman, Jaunty's Founder
These are the people in our neighborhood.
Summer camp was amazeballs. Camp Grounded, up in Mendocino, was four full days of campfires, workshops, jumping into rivers, ziplining, sneaking into camp crushes' camps, ropes courses, and deep conversations. At this summer camp for adults, we were unplugged for four days... yet fully connected to one another. What made it so powerful was no talk about work, no devices, no clocks, and only nicknames.
My personal revelation from camp was my emotional state. I've never gone from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, and back again, all within a matter of hours. I went from getting choked up over a deep conversation or the love of people at camp, to laughing so hard I almost pissed my pants, to being scared out of my head 70 feet up in the air on a tightrope. (At Jaunty, we teach how to take people on this sort of emotional journey in our conversations to build a meaningful connection.) It was also great getting my hands dirty in the woods. At the end of the day, it's really about community. All I wanted to do was give. Give to others and myself, and to nature.
I believe amazing things can happen when we unplug and pay attention to our surroundings. Jason Bourne knew it took five steps to get to the fire escape, and Andy Warhol noticed the Campbell soup can on the counter.
Look around today. Right now. What do you see? How does it make you feel? Did you notice that person over there? They could be your future friend/colleague/lover, but only if you make the first move.
This month a few things have got me thinking about environmental awareness. I was in the gym locker room, after a workout, looking forward to relaxing in the steam room. It's my favorite part of working-out. I walked behind a guy who was headed the same way. He opened the steam room door just a crack, squeezed inside, and let the door close in front of me. Surprised, I grabbed the door and found a seat inside.
I asked myself: How often does someone in that situation a) notice others behind them b) understand how they can affect how others feel, and c) give a shit?
We're quick to only focus on C and judge them. But what if they really weren't aware of their surroundings or weren't thinking about it?
The other day, I saw a woman crying on the corner at a busy intersection on Market Street. Hundreds of people walked by and didn't notice her, or felt too uncomfortable to stop. She looked half homeless. Her friends were nearby waiting it out. I kneeled down and said hi, and asked her how I could help. She said she had just gotten her heart broken, and we spoke for a few minutes. Her friends came up to me and thanked me for supporting her. We are all in this together!
At camp, it was easy to see all those awesome people in the woods as my community. Out here in the big bad City, it can be harder to hold on to that mindset, but I think it's just as important. Let's pay attention to the people around us, give folks the benefit of the doubt if they lack awareness, and help where we can. I'd love for the Jaunty community to be a force for good in our larger community. Go get 'em!
By Eric Waisman, Jaunty's Founder
Ouch. That hurts. Okay, so what's your suffering? Mine are self criticism, health paranoia, and some insomnia/fatigue. These sometimes lead to bouts of depression, or maybe the bouts are isolated. I have no idea. Now let's be clear, these don't define me, or run my life, but are the bumps in my road. Sometimes however, these together can create a lot of stress and worry for me, and it's pretty unbearable.
For years I would battle my suffering flare ups. I would wage war on them by doubling down on "fun" people in my life, parties, more gym or travel, or making more money. These things can help, but not very much. Looking back, I think I was trying to distract myself instead of addressing what wasn't right in my life.
2008-2010 was tough. I was working in an industry I hated. Then I got laid off by Merrill Lynch during the financial crises, slipped a disc in my back, went through a crushing break up, and watched my first startup fail after years of hard work. I could barely walk for months; I was
suffering, and way more than I should have because of the above mentioned culprits. During that time I also became way more introspective. This triggered my deeper exploration of human behavior, which eventually brought me to Jaunty. Those challenging moments are so good at stripping away the things that are less important, and shining a light on what is. I found out much more about who I was when all I could focus on was my healing.
We continuously seek happiness. However, it is these challenging times of our lives that have the biggest and often most positive long-term impacts on us moving forward. Think back to a trying time in your life. I am speaking about deep internal changes. This is different from a serendipitous moment that changed your environment, though those are very important too. The periods I'm talking about are the ones that force you to go deep into your being, and soul. These struggles can create vocations, or callings. Listen to them! Take a step and trust it's the right direction. I know this from personal experience.
Many Greats have identified these periods of suffering as what ultimately lead them to truly come into their own. Abraham Lincoln, failed at businesses, lost many elections early on, and had a total mental breakdown before triumphing. Nelson Mandela suffered in prison for decades, an experience that shaped him in profound ways.
Pay attention to your suffering and use it as the catalyst for real change in your life.
By Eric Waisman
Does being around happy people make us happier? About half of our subjective happiness is influenced by circumstance and genetics. The other half is by behaviors and environment.
A huge part of your environment is the people that surround you. To someone who's just getting to know you, you probably look like a microcosm of the people in your life. Remember the old, "You are what you eat"? Well I think "You are who you hang out with" is even more true.
Since we're so affected by the people closest to use, it makes sense to choose our friends thoughtfully since they'll end up rubbing off on us! If you're around people who consistently prioritize work over everything else, then you may find yourself working longer hours and checking your work email at the weekend too. If you hang out with negative, cynical people then those aspects of your personality will probably become more pronounced.
At Jaunty we think a lot about consciously building a social circle that enlivens and nurtures us. Since we teach social intelligence skills to help people approach anyone and actively build the meaningful relationships they want, the sky is the limit for how you want your social life to look.
Besides becoming more like the people we spend a lot of time with, we learn so much from them too. We learn what to do in certain situations and what not to do. I'm a big fan of continuous education as a form of personal growth. My favorite thing to study is people. Right now I'm reading about Ida Eisenhower and Francis Perkins in David Brooks' inspiring book "The Road to Character". We also learn from people in the news. I was touched by how Kanye helped Kim accept her stepdad, Olympian Bruce Jenner coming out as transgender. We also learn from watching and learning from people's mistakes, including our own.
How would you respond if you were suddenly laid off from work? It's easy to imagine feeling scared, angry and frustrated. "How could they do this to me? After all I've done for the company, this is how they repay me?"
I've actually had two friends get laid off and it was wild to see how differently they responded. One friend reacted very emotionally. He got super angry at his boss and managers and totally burned that bridge. My other friend took it in stride. She reacted positively, feeling it wasn't a personal decision against her and seeing it as a great opportunity for bigger and better things. She ended up getting a great referral letter from her boss that helped her land her dream job.
She totally inspired me. And those two incidents helped teach me to put a wedge in my negative emotions and not respond habitually. Being more aware of the big picture and being thoughtful in our responses are an important part of emotional intelligence. My friend getting her dream job also taught me to be more patient in my own life. This has helped me with other relationships where I felt there was a strain, but realized that patience is king.
What's a social strategy you've learned from someone in your life?