Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Dynamic Nature Of Your Existence

I was out at a club a while back, and a dude who was curious walked up and asked "Are you Tyler from The Game??"

It was a funny situation because I've always been happy with everything I've been involved with in the community, but for some reason I just instinctively paused, looked him in the eye and said "No..."

This was a smart fellow, he knew very well what was going on.

I knew that I wasn't giving him an answer that made sense, but for one reason or another the old "speak your mind and let the chips fall where they may" instinct just blurted it out.

"I" didn't say it, so to speak. The answer just arose out of me.

Initially it caught me by surprise. I jumped back into my head. "Where did that come from??"

The next day I was thinking about it, and the plain and simple reason was that in the moment IT WAS MY TRUTH.

I don't really "think ahead" when I speak (or at least I try to avoid it...). Whatever arises ... it is what it is.

(Obviously this is a habit I picked up while learning to interact with women -- Never, ever think ahead about what you're saying ... just be in the moment and let the words arise and be expressed simultaneously).

One thing I know for sure is that I don't identify myself as "Tyler from The Game".

That's not only rigid and confining, but utterly ridiculous.

Being a figurehead and operations manager and and lightening rod for Real Social Dynamics is a role that I play. It's one of many.

When I'm playing it, I'm immersed in it. When I'm out enjoying myself, well, I guess I'm Owen Cook. Apparently a different guy.

There's a lot of reasons for this.

First off, as a young guy coming up and learning from the "top guys" the most obvious flaw in the otherwise amazing wealth of value they offered was that they oftentimes had an inability to "locate the off-switch".

This was a character flaw that I eventually developed myself to the extreme, and I took a lot of heat for it both personally and professionally.

The symptoms??

Being a cool guy when everyone is looking up to you, but becoming TRYHARD as soon as people who don't worship you come along.

This is one of the dark shadows that a lot of "gurus" experience.

You're all good as long as you're in your center-of-attention comfort zone (which ironically is a role that most people would consider high pressure), but as soon as you're on equal footing or even a student you feel off-balance and ill-at-ease.

I've known guys who are phenomenally talented, utterly captivating in front of an audience and every reason in the world to feel AWESOME about themselves -- but take the limelight away for even an instant and they don't know who they are anymore.

You've got to understand that from a very legitimate psychological perspective, there's a specific way that your ego expects to be responded to by the world.

If you're a pimp boss playa, and you IDENTIFY with this role, then that's all good UNTIL somebody treats you like a normal human being.

And when that happens, which in this ever-in-flux world it inevitably it will, your entire sense of reality gets toppled upside down.

Here comes the rationalizations...

Here comes the urge to control and manipulate...

Here comes the needy, hungry eyes and the frantic clutching at straws...


This was something I experienced very tangibly for several years.

I got a long GREAT with everyone who "knew my value" -- but if somebody didn't know who I was, or worse, DIDN'T REALY CARE, it threw me for a loop.

I'd go into my head, try to get them to treat me the way I'm used to being treated, and came off like a total knob in the process.

Oftentimes I'd "casually" mention to people from my small town in Canada that I lived in Los Angeles. Or I'd "casually" bring it up with people that I live in a big mansion in the Hollywood Hills (obviously leaving out that I lived in a walk-in closet at the time!!).

Even worse I'd start "giving them much-needed advice".

Ack!! LAME!!

Obviously all this stuff was totally unnecessary.

The BEST way to come across to people is always just "doing you" and letting the chips fall where they may.

THAT is what's impressive.

Example: If you come on bootcamp I might say "Walk over to those girls and allow yourself to be blown out... Plan nothing in your head, say hi, and just sit there and stare... Don't try at all... Allow yourself to be blown out..."

As you'd expect, big time attraction every time -- because it instantly conveys a million positive qualities about you.

(The only problem being when this becomes your "method" and you're doing it to have it "work" and suddenly the outcome depence creeps in and you get blown out harshly and repeatedly -- but that's a whole other article).

Anyway, beyond the massive lameness this creates in your personality there's also the aspect that any "role" you play is a blatant fiction.

It's funny how when you have all the accolades the temptation is to "take credit for it".

This is a bitter irony first, because as my buddy Ciaran pointed out to me "People love you for the FICTIONAL ROLE that you're playing, and this tells your unconscious mind that the only way to gain love is with power games because the *real* you isn't worthy of unconditional affection", and second, because the nature of being high-profile is that *most* people like you because *other* people like you.

I found this out very quickly back in 2005 after a bout of bad press with a NY Times best selling novel -- where the vast majority the people who supported me (or my fictional role) suddenly stopped returning my phone calls.

True, I was the same person and offering the same value... but it wasn't until we brought the company back to it's previous position that things returned to "normal" again -- though this time with the fresh epiphany that "Your reputation is utterly volitile, uncontrollable and impermanent, and IT DOESN'T MEAN SHIT."

From that experience, let me tell you, I had to disconnect myself from my "fictional role" entirely.

In the same way that I had to make a choice that "I don't give a fuck what anybody thinks of me" when things were going BAD, I've maintained that worldview now that things are going good.

You can't just say "I don't care" when you don't get the responses you want and then later bask in the delusional glory as soon as the coin is flipped in your favour.

That's inauthentic.

The truth is that you have to make it a RELIGION to know who-you-are independently of any external validation.

It's like Marlon Brando says in his 1996 interview with Larry King (paraphased)...

LARRY: "You don't care about the applause??"


LARRY: "Come on..."

BRANDO: "Awwww... Larry that's cute, you don't really need somebody else to tell you how you did after all these years do you??"

See, you have to know that the nature of your existence is too dynamic to be "labelled" or "categorized" by people's shifting and volatile flavours of the week.

My experience with bad press was inevitably one of the best things that ever happened to me. Possibly one of the most important experiences of my entire life, if not THE most important because without it I would have gone further and further down the path of delusion (and the perpetual fear of maintaining it).

The core ability to look at yourself and the world and see the "isness" of it is also fundamental in the process of being creative.

By being put into a position where you're forced to go with your own instincts and opinions over concerning yourself with what other people might think, it frees you up to attune your creative instincts on the highest possible level.

The result: You're "unstifled" and creative output shoots through the roof.

Now think for a minute here about where YOU are finding yourself attached to the roles that you play in your life.

Who are you??

The answer isn't found in what you DO.

You aren't your job. You aren't the contents of your wallet. You aren't your fucking khakis.

The point is that you have a dynamic and uncategorizable nature and relationship with the world.

Anything is possible. You are infinite and unlimited in potentiality.

An authentic relationship to your existence is one that is "grounded and humble and at ease with the unknown".

That's where REAL and DEEP confidence arises from.

There is no shelter in roles, no shelter in beliefs, no shelter in drawing from past experiences.

You strip back the opaque layers of labels and judgements and comparisons and interpretations and you experience the world in a poetic vision of unity -- as ridiculous or funny as that might sound.

This is you. This is your life.

The roles you play are there for convenience. The world requirse them for organizational purposes. For practical purposes.

Play them and play them well, remembering their impermanent nature and enjoying them for what they are.

You feel good about yourself because you're rooted in the enjoyment that comes naturally from within yourself, you offer only value, and want for nothing from anybody -- be it to categorize them to make a fragile sense of reality make sense, or to get their validation to find a false sense of self.

THAT is the starting point of authentic communication.

And if I ever have the pleasure of meeting you, please be sure to communicate with me authentically.

Because that's really the only type of communication that I know how to respond to in kind.

I hope you've found value here. That's it for now.

Tyler (or whoever...)

PS: I later bumped into the same guy from the start of the article, and he came across grounded and at ease -- which is always awesome to see, especially because it shows that NOBODY can be labelled so easily -- that just isn't the way the world works.


Dane Shigley said...

I like this post.

Its funny how tough it is to actually teach somebody such abstract things as "how to think about the world" or "what attitude to have about the world." They hear it and probably agree with it, and maybe they make it a part of their reality. But when something comes along, and it usually isn't something too noteworthy, theor reality is shaken, and they inevitably revert back to their old mentality.

I'd like to hear your opinion on this, but I think a big key to firmly internalizing things like mindsets and beliefs like this are through repetition of practice of said mindsets. Stuff like doing something that proves your mindset every day for a month, or waking up every morning and affirming your key beliefs. It sounds kind of lame, but it's worth it if it's getting you results.

Anonymous said...

Your articles are always packed with so much value, thank you.

Reggy said...


Anonymous said...

If we are all the children of God, then who are girls to be determining how "good" we are?

What gives people permission to doubt God's abilities?

Achilles said...

Wow dude, you outlook on life is awesome. It's utterly amazing how much a person can change... and you are helping THOUSANDS of people all over the world.

Everytime i read your articles i get inspired even more to achieve my goals and become the best person i can be. for that, i thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tyler! -Alchemist

leo said...

oh.. so you're not Tyler from the game?! But.. who was Tyler again?? Is he the dude who stole Mystery's gf???


Really cool man... love this blog.

"Sparky" said...


Very well done mate.


Anonymous said...

thank you..

Nicolai said...

The point you make about the diffirent characters you play would not be odd at all in lets say a country such as India.

If you ask a person in India. Is he a good person. They stair at you blankly. They will ask you: Is he a good what? A good husbend? A good Farmer? A good Father?
It is really only in western culture that this concept of the self being at the core of all of you roles exists.
When you think about it however this concept is flawed. Because if this would be the case then if one role does not work out you fail as a person.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. As usual.

Makes me think.

The date with that girl yesterday did not get anywhere. I was pissed because she was not funny and so I went home after an hour.

Should have offered value without an agenda. Probably.


Anonymous said...

Whoa...WHOA! Epiphany deluxe!

Anonymous said...

great post.

Anonymous said...

Well, when I met you, I said "Love your work tyler," and you said "who?" I think I wet my pants in excitment.


chef decibel said...

Hey Tyler, I've been meditating for 2 yrs. now and haven't met anyone on the same level that I'm on, but you seem to know what's going on. I've had some super profound experiences and I'm at the point where I feel that anything is possible among many other things. I've been meditating with the Higher Balance program and read Eckhart Tolle. What are your influences?

Anonymous said...

I love reading your posts! They're always chock-full of value. Thanks Tyler!

Jesse said...

Wow, one of your best articles Owen.

Great job.

Matt said...

i have showed so many people about this blog and they all love it...

even the haters check it out and like it

Anonymous said...

A pleasure as always.

- Boy Wonder

Anonymous said...

your blog posts are so much fun to read, always exciting and interesting

Drew said...

Cool post :)


Klaas said...

Love it

IvanVR said...

>I hope you've found value here.

I did. Thanks!

escalator said...

Hey Owen, man you have all the right not to identify with that fictional character Tyler Durden in the Game. You influenced it to become what it is, but you're not trapped inside it. You're bigger than that. You're not a novel.

escalator said... case you're wondering. LOL

Nathan said...

Your blog has been a positive influence on my life, which has always been filled with ups and downs. Although we live totally different lifestyles in different countrys there are often many things you say that i can relate to my own experiences. thank you for this article, it was an eye opener in many regards.


Anonymous said...

Here's the Marlon Brando quote at 6:20 for those interested. - Abower

Lolita said...

you are Tyler?... the one of the seductors?... truth I do not create it but she must thus be, I am Lola of Argentina, besos!

Anonymous said...

this is inspirational to me...

peyton said...


This post is quite insightful and I enjoyed some moments of self-reflection in reading it.

But the Brando interview is brilliant.


Rex Karz said...

Helping thousands of people worldwide. So true. Like those little plants behing you that will eventually turn that mountain of lava and rock into fertile, life giving soil

Mission said...

Thank YOU for giving so much of YOUR thoughts to the world - it is relaxing in a way to read in such clarity

frawlz said...

amazingly good mate

link0 said...

I love this particular post.

Geoff said...

Hey Owen,

Outstanding article. One thing I wanted to say to you and to whoever is reading this article is that you truly are a different person than who you used to be.

it's interesting because everyone was presented with the same stimulus (Project Hollywood Mansion). Some people used the opportunity to write about their frustrations while other people used it to really change their lives. (that's you)

I'm really excited to hear about all your new distinctions, and you inspire me to keep going along my own personal journey.

Maybe we can meet up when you're in LA next time,



Anonymous said...

why would you wanna be assosiated with the way Niel Strauss descrbies you in "the game"? He basicly made you out to be, for lack of a better word, a real fucking cunt.

I mean it took along time for me to absorb your material becuase I had this preposition opinion about you beeing a cunt.
However that was his preception and there's probly allot shit going on under the surface so I figured hey, he's not Adolph Hitler, so I've read some of your stuff and formed my own opinion.

And No, I don't think your a cunt (even thou I know that was the point of your post that you don't give a fuck what me or anybody else thinks about you) but would you describe the charachter in "the game" to be flattering?

I mean if you look at it from a birds-eye view, would you consider that charchater to be somebody of high charcheter?

Anonymous said...

Dear Tyler (or whoever)...

If I ever meet you, I'm going to give you a giant hug, and tell you that... I don't know what I would tell you, but dude: I feel like I just read the deepest shit in the whole universe, and I mean shit in the best sense of the word. I was just thinking: I come from a Christian background, and in a loose sense of the word, I am one... though, like everyone who's taken time to think about what they are at their core, at their essence, I refuse to categorize myself.

I am uncatoragizable.

Listen, according to the Bible, the basic purpose of life is to become more like God/Christ.

Mostly, the way that Christians try to do this today sucks. But when have people been good at getting stuff right?

Anyways, I think a lot about what God thinks of me and of people in general. And if He is what the Bible says He is, then he is SOOO much the like Master Pick-Up Artist.

And I mean, Master-Master Pick-Up. He's unchangeable, unaffected, distant, loving, AUTHENTIC, powerful, and HUMBLE--to name a few qualities.

Isn't that ironic? Or is it???

In other words, he doesn't care about he applause either, man. It doesn't matter to Him. He just is what He is and does what He does.

God is the fucking man, man.

I wonder how He got so good at everything, you know?


Sytry said...

Very very nice article.

There was a time when that kind of talk / writing never made sense to me, it takes a bit of thinking about stuff and gathering life experience to understand what you mean.

May I recommend generally spicing up such articles with more examples to make them easier to understand for people who have not been thinking about the topic you're writing about?

Flower said...

this post is exactly what i needed to hear on this particular eavening at this particular point in y life, so much so its uncanny :|

"You don't even take credit for it in my own head. *YOU* am not doing it, GOD is doing it. You're just the intermediary."

IMO that has instantly fixed my life haha

i love you Mr Cook/Tylerface :)


Anonymous said...

Owen, why aren't you posting anymore? I hope the blog isn't dead!