Investing your time and energy into getting the things you want is always a good thing. But there’s a weird law of nature that when you spend too much of your time and energy obsessing over getting something particular and specific, that will almost always push it away from you.
Or, at least make it harder to get.
That’s why today, I ask you a question that might just make your life a whole lot easier:
What if you stopped spending your life pursuing things, and instead, you spent your time building yourself up so you just attracted what you want?
The reason why this is so valuable, is that when you keep pushing forward and pursuing and pursuing something specific, in effect, it will end up feeling like…
A Chinese Finger Trap.
Because when you invest everything into pursuing one SPECIFIC thing — whether it’s a singular job opportunity, a romantic interest, a particular outcome, or anything else — the time you’re spending to do that can actually be spent building yourself into the type of person who automatically attracts the thing you’re chasing.
Or who gets the type of person you’re chasing to chase you.
Because by chasing a specific person, job, or outcome you’re burning mental capital. Emotional capital. Thought and focus capital — you’re burning precious resources on something that isn’t guaranteed.
And then you can’t become the kind of person who would make opportunities chase you.
In sales training courses, they call this…
The Buyer/Seller Dynamic:
The buyer/seller dynamic doesn’t only occur in sales situations. It’s true for any opportunity, job, or outcome you might be chasing. It boils down to this:
In any new conversation between two people, who is the buyer and who is the seller?
Of course, when you’re in the conversation there’s a give and take from both sides, but be aware of — who cares more about the conversation?
Who’s reacting more to the other person?
Who’s changing the way they’re talking, what they’re saying, their demeanor, their posture — to please the other person?
If the interaction ended, who would be more sad?
In a job interview for example, usually the person interviewing is the buyer and the interviewee is the seller.
But not always.
Sometimes the interviewee has made themselves so valuable, the interviewer is tripping over themselves to sign them up. While the interviewee has tons of options — so they have the bargaining power.
And not always — but definitely sometimes — if you’re being interviewed, you can “flip the script” so the interviewer starts acting like the seller, and you start acting like the buyer. Using nothing but your attitude.
When you can do that, it gives you maximum leverage when it comes to salary negotiation.
Real Value Vs. Fake Value
What’s so strange about this, is that even if you’ve built up tons of REAL, tangible value in yourself as an employee — if you don’t handle the buyer/seller dynamic properly in a job interview — you could still end up with the short end of the stick when it comes to compensation.
Or you might end up with no job at all — while somebody else who brings less REAL value to the table might do better — just because they don’t “need” the job and don’t try too hard to “sell” themselves on the interview.
Here’s another example:
I might be a great friend and have a lot to offer. But if I’m dying for your approval at all times, pleading for you to like me, you’re not going to see the value I offer. You’ll only feel the neediness. And that feels icky.
But instead, if I walked up and saw you as one of the many interesting people I may meet today without needing any outcome from you — you’d be a lot more receptive to my friendship.
Why is that?
Because I’m not relying on any one person to make me feel good…
And it draws people in.
The vibe that you always have other options gives room for other people to step in and notice your true value.
This works in romantic situations — but it’s really a law you can follow to get almost anything you want in life.
Don’t pursue. Attract.
If the buyer-seller dynamic isn’t handled properly, you could have all the value in the world, but nobody is going to care.
If you work on yourself so you have REAL value, and ALSO handle the buyer/seller dynamic authentically (that means have lots of options without relying on any one to satisfy your needs)…
That’s the best combination.
Now, This Can Be Misinterpreted:
It doesn’t mean you don’t pursue anything, ever. You don’t just sit back passively and wait for everything to come to you. You’ll be waiting for a long time.
It doesn’t mean don’t take action to get what you want, either.
It’s really more about the vibe you hold in the world and the intention you throw out to the universe — at all times.
You DO want to take action to get the things you want in life, but while you’re taking action, you must have the VIBE of someone who attracts. Not someone who pursues.
And you cultivate this vibe by looking at where you’re spending your energy and your mental and emotional capital (which are precious, limited resources). The bulk of your mental and emotional capital should be spent cultivating yourself into the type of person who gets the things you want… regardless of any one particular person or outcome.
If you’re investing too much of that precious energy into ONE person — it might be completely blinding them from seeing your real value.
Which is very very counterproductive.
So here’s the #1 rule to all this:
While you’re putting yourself out there and going after what you want, you don’t want to over-validate any one thing you’re going after more than you are…
Your Inner Foundation.
Your inner foundation of happiness. Of your life, your friends, career, passion, purpose — all that.
When I say “don’t pursue, attract,” it means you reallocate — you pull back the time and energy and opportunity cost you’re expending and get back to your center.
Sometimes you’ve gotta do an honest audit with yourself, and say “How much time, energy, and focus am I putting into this person or thing? Is it productive or would that be better allocated to something more important?”
Because no matter who you are — we can ALL fall into the trap of over-validating a specific thing. This happens to the best of us.
See, all humans have what’s called…
The “Escalating Investment Bias”
Escalating Investment Bias means that as you think about and invest more and more into one single person, a single opportunity, or specific outcome, you’ll get more nervous when that person or thing is in front of you… or when it comes time to get that specific outcome. You’ll start to feel like you NEED it more. You’ll want it more. And you’ll become more and more attached to getting that one specific result.
This results in a “neediness” vibe that can become counter-productive. The neediness can block someone from seeing your real value. And it can cause you to self-sabotage.
You can really get excited about somebody, and want to invest more into them. And the more you invest, the more you care about doing it. Which makes you expend a ton more energy toward that person. But if they aren’t investing in you an equal amount — almost as a law of human nature — they’ll start to think that they’re better than you.
Either that, or they’ll just get creeped out.
But for some weird reason, we can all fall into this loop of over-investing from time to time. Literally, you can deprive a person of the experience of being deeper in your life because you over-invested.
You can deprive an employer of the incredible value you could give to their company because you cared about it too much.
And so that’s why you’ve gotta…
Retreat, Pull Back, And Say:
For all the time that I’m putting on this ONE person, opportunity, or outcome, what if I put that into myself?
And that goes both for the tangible value that you’re building — whether that’s your career, your health, your money, or anything else — as well as your relationships with people.
There is a very very big misunderstanding that people have about what it means to build your own value.
The tangible value is key, but it’s also the vibe you have of knowing there’s more than one option out there for you — even if you can’t see it.
It really is both.
The Truth About What Attracts Things Into Your Life:
If you can let this land, it has the power to change your entire life.
In many ways, what is attractive is not so much what you bring to the table, it’s that you’re in alignment with yourself, happy in your own life, and that you’re meeting your own criteria for success.
Many of us are working toward these tremendous goals. And it feels like there’s this huge gap to get to the point you want.
For most people, even as they’re working toward these big goals, what winds up happening is that — paradoxically — as they’re working towards being better, they feel lower value.
Right now if you have a perfect vision of yourself as a multi-millionaire, then you feel like your finances are a 3 out of 10 if you’re making $300,000 a year.
But that would sound amazing to someone making $40,000 a year.
So what we’re getting at here — is a position where you accept yourself fully, but still feel ambition to continue, to expand, to relate, and to connect.
It also shows that you are a healthy human being. That you know how to meet your own needs.
If you’re just chasing and chasing someone, the person on the receiving end of that — whether they’re a hiring manager or a potential date — will feel like you NEED them to complete yourself.
That you can’t just be a solid unit on your own. That you aren’t “whole.”
Instead, Have The Vibe Of:
“I’m meeting my own needs. I know who I am. I am whole. And from that space, I’m going to offer something to this person.”
When it’s from that place of wholeness — people sense it on a gut level.
“Wow — this person doesn’t need anything? They’re not just chasing? They’re meeting their own needs? This is a healthy human being.”
And if you’re talking to someone where you believe YOU are out of THEIR league — or even if you’re in the same league — you don’t really pursue them, do you?
You just kind of naturally attract. It just naturally happens.
You only pursue someone or something who you believe to be above your league. The big dream job you think is so above you… The huge client who would look tremendous on your resume… The date with a person who probably would have rejected you in high school…
So if you’re going out there and pursuing, you’re placing that person on a pedestal — and they feel it.
But here’s the secret:
There ARE no leagues.
Those are imaginary. Nobody created a “rule book” that outlines what “league” you’re in to reference it and reprimand you when you try to go above it.
You can be in any league you choose. And you do that by attracting what you want instead of pursuing.