The Best Lesson Ever From My Friend Gordon

In my twenties, I had a friend named Gordon. I worked next to him at the mortgage office. One day, I noticed a photo of his beautiful wife and asked him how he met her. “I approached her at a country-western bar and we just clicked,” he casually replied. Astonished, I replied, “You just had the courage to go up to her at a country-western bar?” He nonchalantly replied, “Yeah, it wasn’t that hard.” I was impressed. And I was sadly resigned to the fact that I’d never have the courage to approach a girl as easily as Gordon. I looked up to Gordon, he was slightly older than me, and a million times cooler. I couldn’t believe he enjoyed hanging out with me. I remember him always being good at telling stories. Fifteen later, and I still remember some of his better stories.

It wasn’t until much later in our friendship that he admitted something that blew my mind. He must have known that I needed a confidence boost, so he told me about the secret behind how he met his wife. He asked, “Wanna know how it was so easy for me to meet my wife?” “Of course,” I exclaimed. “That wasn’t the first time I approached a girl at that bar. Or the tenth. I went to that bar nearly every weekend for three months. Approaching a different girl almost every time. Most of the time it went nowhere. They weren’t interested. Or for whatever reason, it didn’t work out. Until I met my wife. I’ve never been back since. And I never admitted this to her, so you have to promise not to tell her. I just kept trying… that’s the secret.”

It was then that I realized how this applied to so much about Gordon, and to most successfully social people. His great stories were just the ones that stood out. In actuality, he told many stories, and most weren’t that good. But he kept trying. He didn’t wait around for the perfect moment. He didn’t save his best stuff for that perfect opportunity. He just attempted to hit the ball a lot. Whether it was stories, jokes, or meeting women. That’s a major difference between many shy people and successfully social people—shy people don’t try to hit the ball very often. Social people strike out more, but once in a while, they hit a home run.

Stay social, my friends.