If you’ve been on a first date, then you can start your own business, write a book, invent something, get accepted into that exclusive program, earn a degree, or apply for your dream job. I know this to be true because I’ve been on about 100 first dates. Yes, I counted.
Every first date I ask the following questions: will I make a good impression? Will he like me? What will I talk about? Could this actually go somewhere? Recently, those questions got me thinking.
In Chapter’s bookstores there are entire sections dedicated to dating. I skimmed a few books to see what they said. One advised me to keep my communication with a potential first date to no longer than 15 minutes. Anything longer, the author suggested, would make me the sort of girl that charged by the minute. Another book included drawings of feet and detailed the direction and angle the feet had to point in order to create a successful first impression (reductively: success = toes facing in your direction, failure = toes pointing away from you).
"If you’ve been on a first date, then you can start your own business, write a book, invent something, get accepted into that exclusive program, earn a degree, or apply for your dream job."
The how-to books were just the beginning. I also started asking people for advice. Some people showed me index cards marked with engaging talking points, other people had notes on their phones detailing specific anecdotes to casually bring up in their coffee conversations, and one guy even showed me how he’d trolled a girl’s social media accounts looking for any information that could help him tailor a first date to her interests.
He told me: I basically stalked her online before I asked her out. But it was because I wanted to be sure we’d do something she liked on our first date. Fair enough. He wanted to make a good impression. He wanted the girl to like him. So, he did the work and the planning that had to be done.
The questions that come before first dates? Everyone has them and goes to great length to find answers. I tend to obsess: is a dress too fancy? I also brainstorm: will this story make him laugh? Other times I go to Google for dating tech-support: he liked The Strokes on Facebook… search: The Strokes, greatest hits. And each time, right before I meet that first date, it’s like I’m about to step out onto a wire strung between two skyscrapers.
"He told me: I basically stalked her online before I asked her out."
I’m nervous. Exhilarated. Terrified. Excited. I take a deep breath, step onto the dating wire, apply my research, get my mental notes in order, and I give it what I’ve got.
And that’s it right there: all that work and thought for a first date. What if we put all of that into the dreams we have? Choosing the best words, approach, or budget? Revising our reels, adjusting our manuscripts, or adjusting our designs? Pressing submit, licking the stamp, hitting send, clicking publish, and simply stepping out to do what needs to be done.
You already know the process, because you’re already dating. Now you just need to put all that into your work—and see what happens.