Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Dark Side of Confidence, self expectations and drive.

" This song isn't for you it's for me, a true MC that's what he'll do just to see if he still has it..." Eminem- No Apologies.

I'm writing this after taking a few days to compose my thoughts on Kanye and Michael Jordan's public image snafus the last 5 days or so.

I think Kanye needs help coping with fame, and I think MJ is still MJ at 46 years of age, but that's not what this post is about.

This post is about why they both did what they did.

Why Michael Jordan after 30 years still seethes about being cut from his Varsity Team, or still has to mention Bryon Russell after 2 game winning jumpers over him in the finals.

Or why Kanye felt the need to inject himself into someone else's moment.

I wanted to write about this because I understand it.

I understand the urge to want to show people that they were wrong. Even after you've won. I know what it's like to feel like everyone is against you even in the face of overwhelming success.

The thing people are missing as they jump to judge both of these men, is that the very characteristics that caused them to act out, are what made them successful.

It's well known to anyone who has studied him beyond the commercials that the God of Basketball, constantly needed challenges to perform to the best of his ability. In fact it was well known that EVERY coach in the league instructed rookies to not talk to MJ. EVER. There's the famous story about the dream team scrimmage where his team was down 10-2 to Magic Johnson's and Charles Barkely started running his mouth. The result a 16-0 Jordan run that changed and eventually ended what's considered the greatest game never seen.

When challenges weren't there Jordan would create them, to work himself into a competitive fury he'd unleash on the person who'd "wronged" him. Ask Cleveland after they cheered him falling in 92, or Gerald Wilkins the self proclaimed "Jordan Stopper" or best of all ask Clyde Drexler if he's still not in shock from this:

There's even this classic commercial:

It's what he needed to do, to go out and play like Michael Jordan 82 games a year.

So while we showered him with praise for his game winners and the ice water in his veins, we forget that outside the realm of athletics being "a killer" or my favorite description " Homicidally competitive" doesn't always look so pretty.

Same thing with Kanye. Like him or hate him, he is one of the most talented producers/musicians working today. And even in a world of ego maniacs he's known for being a bit too arrogant. But that very arrogance that we hate when it leads to him ruining the best moment of a 17 year old girl's life, is what allowed him to go from working at the gap 10 years ago to being the hottest producer in the music world for the last few.

This is something that happens with guys and pickup all the time. As soon as a guy starts to get a little bit of success he becomes more arrogant. The dreaded PUA syndrome kicks in and all of a sudden that cool Canadian guy who used to help on bootcamps is now a raging egomanical asshole with a matching Labret piercing.

Hell I did it myself.

The missing piece IMHO is the ability to believe in your abilities while still maintaining a humble attitude. I think about it in terms of being a lifelong student.

The reason I'm able to keep making strides in my game while EVERY ONE of my contemporaries has fallen off is because I still view myself as a student of the Game. The second you start to believe you've mastered anything, is the moment you stop learning and improving.

But I still feel those moments where I need to be challenged for motivation.

Everytime I see someone post something good, I take it as a personal challenge to my self appointed throne as the king of content, and I make sure that I knock my next post out of the park.

Does that make me come off petty sometimes?

Of course it does.

Is that why back in the day I used to challenge everyone to pick up contests?


Is that why I got good at pick up whereas 95% of guys don't?

Better believe it.



  1. Anonymous3:45 PM

    JON/SINN is *ALMOST* good at what he does. Damn, boy, where your game at??? *ALMOST* had it. LOL Keep it up playa.

  2. Anonymous4:15 PM

    Dude thanks for the mj - portland clip, it was beautiful.

    Definitely motivating!

    The guy was a natural!

  3. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Ooooh Sinn.
    You're not canadian.

  4. Anonymous6:54 PM

    I just did the same thing MJ did at my Muay Thai gym. I dethroned the "king of the ring". Does it feel good? Yes. Do I train harder than I did before? Yes.

    (I believe I train harder now because that belief in myself was actually a physical manifestation.)

    So yeah, sometimes it's good it just depends how you are as a person and how you react to reality.

    MJ, good.
    Kanye, bad.

  5. Anonymous7:17 PM

    From now on it needs to be the King of Content. Capitals are a must.

  6. Same thing happens to people who get into pickup and become keyboardjockeys. They know all the stuff and even though they don't have the balls to actually try it because they are waiting for that one piece of information that will give them the ultimate-100% effective at all times technique that will work on any girl; they also think they are the shit or that they are PUAs just because they know something that regular nice guys don't. You can recognize them on forums: they give advice and pick on newbies even though they have 50 or so posts and no real life experience.

    did i just out miself? damn it!!!

  7. I think these conflicts come from trying to hard to be the best on paper, while forgetting that you are still human. Each person has fears, insecurities and weakness just like everyone else has whether or not there are people heralding his glory.

    If people always see you as this extremely successful and amazing idol, you aren't going to enjoy that. No one is like that all the time. You won't feel understood or empathized with. Instead, you might feel like a character of yourself.

  8. Anonymous2:36 AM

    kanye had nothing to do beyonce or taylor I can understand if it was his award but seeing that he had no degree of separation from this it jut showed lack of class. And just because someone is successful or talented or "gets" something doesn't deny the fact they still might a weirdo

  9. awesome article here

  10. Anonymous7:46 AM

    and are you Canadian??

  11. I was wondering what your take on the MJ speech was. Thanks.

  12. the drive to excel/reach the top has to be changed to a drive to be that much better than the 2nd, 3rd, 4th best, whatever. its human nature to become complacent once the goal is achieved....

  13. Anonymous7:39 PM

    While I agree with you in general terms, I think it is worth noting that Kanye shared that auditorium with hundreds of other successful entertainers who didn't feel the need to go up on stage and make an ass of themselves.

    So while that aspect of his personality may have played a role in generating his great success, it certainly isn't necessary component for achieving success.

  14. "While I agree with you in general terms, I think it is worth noting that Kanye shared that auditorium with hundreds of other successful entertainers who didn't feel the need to go up on stage and make an ass of themselves. "

    Good Answer. Everyone else in that room was a) rich b) ambitious c) talented as hell.

    Kanye just acts like he's on Cocaine. Its messed.

  15. Great post Sinn,

    It's like you said, never EVER stop being a student. There will never come a point where learning is no longer a necessity.

    It's like a saying I read in "The Greatness Guide" by Robin Sharma.

    "Nothing fails like success."

    You're still going to fuck up. You're still going to make some big mistakes. That's a part of life. There's no escaping it.

    But, keep challenging yourself. Never stop playing the game in any aspect of your life. When you think you've reached a masterful level, remember that there is so much more to come.

    Once you stop climbing, you fall.

    Tyler H
    Search And Seduce

  16. Robert6:49 PM

    Kanye's action are due to his inflated ego, he continually acts like a child and behaves rudely and then apologizes as if it was the first time.

  17. Yo,

    Kanye lays this out pretty bare in 'Big Brother', his relationship with Jay-Z.

    "I guess big brother was thinking a little different/and kept little brother at bay, at a distance/But everything that I felt was more bogus/Only made me more focused, only wrote more potent"


    "On that Diamonds remix, I swore I'd spaz/Then big brother came through and kicked my ass/Sibling rivalry, only I could see/It was the pride in me, that was driving me"

    I love that song. Musically its not great, but lyrically its so open about his relationship with his idol, Jay Z.

  18. Yeah I agree about The Big Brother Song.

    It's actually my favorite song on that album the same way pinocchio's Story is my favorite on his latest.

    As much of a douche as he is Kanye is really the only rapper who can emotionally put out his insecurities and flaws.

    The same thing that made him grab the mic makes him talk about his inferiority complex with Jay-Z and his faith in Jesus Walks and his lonliness on Pinocchio Story.

    He's amazingly talented and an asshole. But you definitely can't deny the talent, and raw ability to bare himself for his art.


  19. Anonymous11:52 AM

    This is a motivational post, but on the other hand it leaves me wondering about happiness, accomplishment, and how the two are related.

    This "type A" personality that kanye and MJ share led them to become reliable on finding the next challenge. Wouldn't this just lead to a never ending cycle of unfulfillment?

    I mean, after years of being on top, they still feel the need to prove themselves in various ways.

  20. Anonymous2:20 AM

    Very thoughtfull post on confidence .It should be very much helpfull

    Karim - Creating Power