As Lucasz Csillag discovered, being an introvert doesn’t have to be a social setback if one learns how to cope outside his or her comfort zone. Here’s what happened when Lucasz came to AoC Bootcamp and took up the challenge to do just this.
Our new Profiles of Success series highlights the stories of the men and women who attend our AoC Bootcamp or our other programs. Sometimes we forget just how life-changing our courses can be. These stories remind us and, we hope, will inform and inspire you.
“AoC, from podcast to Bootcamp, instilled a belief in me that I have complete control over my life, my outcomes, and my destiny.” -Lucasz Csillag
Lucasz first heard about AoC in 2014 via an email blast from a fraternity brother. “This is a podcast really worth listening to,” the email read, and while he listened to a couple of the early toolbox episodes at that point, he didn’t really get into it until another fraternity brother personally encouraged him to go deeper.
As he continued to listen to the podcast week by week, the idea of Bootcamp appealed to him, but at the time he was focused on finishing college. As that finish line drew nearer, he realized that Bootcamp would really fit in perfectly with the big changes coming in his life. He had just turned 21, he was graduating college, and he was planning a move to New York City, a place he had never lived and didn’t know well.
While Lucasz was applying many concepts he heard in the podcast to his everyday routine, he knew he needed something to take him to the next level in his life and relationships. In part this was because he is naturally introverted, but it was also due to not consciously being challenged by anyone to go out of his comfort zone. So, before he made the big move to New York, he took the flight to Los Angeles for Bootcamp.
The first day of Bootcamp was spent going over goals for the week, self-assessing, and then diving right into one of the foundations the students built that week: creating social tools that they applied on a daily basis. The coaches went over the stages of attraction and interaction, the structure of an effective statement and conversation, etc. Lucasz notes that these tools and others like them became the root of a lot of his relationship-building skills that have continued to grow since Bootcamp ended.
Field Nights: Putting Skills to the Test in the Real World
These skills are put to the test during the field nights when our students go to the bars and witness how these concepts work in the real world. “It was mindblowing to me how you could overcome all kinds of previously misconceived notions with a couple simple concepts, like giving people high fives or offering them cheers when we drank.”
He was really impressed at how complexities such as relationship dynamics and conversations could be broken down using evidence-based science. This led to the realization that the same process could be applied to every aspect of life, be it career and friendships or going to the gym and giving a presentation. Understand the situation, break it down, use strategies, and completely control the outcomes.
One quote from Johnny, one of our coaches, particularly stuck with Lucasz: “The stronger frame dissolves the weaker frame.” Since Bootcamp, whenever Lucasz gets anxious about something, be it a meeting for work, a presentation, or a date, he always remembers that he is in complete control of the situation and that if he messes up, it doesn’t matter! “Learn something, laugh it off, and move on to the next big thing,” he says.
“These skills and mindsets are so subtle that they seamlessly integrate into everyday life. I’ll hear things like, ‘Wow you did such a great job making that connection,’ or ‘You’re such a happy person’ and I think this is one of the great testaments of AoC: I’m not just applying tips and tricks. I’m just living my life while subconsciously using the theory as a foundation for everything.”
Life After Bootcamp
Just as the transition between college and “the real world” proved to be a propitious time for Lucasz to attend Bootcamp, so too has NYC been a great place to go right after Bootcamp. He started work at a large firm, with an incoming class of a couple hundred. In a way it was like college orientation, with like-minded people all looking to find friendship and afraid of eating alone. It was a perfect time for Lucasz to step up and take the initiative to bring people together. He engaged in conversation with everyone he came across, and did previously unimaginable things like sitting down at a table with a group of people he didn’t know and quickly becoming friends with all of them. Before Bootcamp (and if he hadn’t gone), he would have just sat with the couple of people he knew from the first day of training and would have sat back watching, instead of interacting and creating value. Before too long, Lucasz became the go-to social person among his classmates.
“Besides those first few months of training, my daily life looks so different from what it would have been without AoC. I have taken an eight-week improv class, salsa classes, and golf lessons, all in the name of gaining perspective, having fun, and learning something new. I often do this alone, and know that I’ll make friends with whomever I meet there. I also find that I’m enthusiastic about bringing people together and putting myself in situations in which I don’t really know anyone and the pressure is on me to be a good host and leave an impression. Everyone in NYC thinks this is the person I’ve always been, but they have no idea what I was like before Bootcamp.”
As he moved from training into regular work, his managers have noticed his willingness to jump at opportunities, embrace discomfort, and dive into risky situations. This, combined with the fact that many of his peers look to him for leadership and decision-making, have consistently given him high-visibility responsibilities that set him apart from the other new joiners.
We have a strong alumni network and it is particularly active in NYC. There’s even an alum who works at the same place Lucasz does now, and they’ve become close friends. Interactions with his own classmates from Bootcamp continue via group chats at Facebook, and when each of them wants to share something that’s going well or something that’s a struggle, everyone chimes in with encouragement or suggestions. He’s had a chance to meet up with a few who have stopped in.
“Over all, I’ve found myself to be a more likeable, fun, engaging, interested person. I appreciate life a lot more now that I have that sense of control, and generally have an extremely positive outlook on just about everything.”
If what Lucasz experienced intrigues you, check out the AOC Bootcamp. It will change your life.