I was talking about how Hollywood is changing. Slowly of course: no massive social structure shifts rapidly. Inertia, you know. But it really is, as the “New Majority” concept becomes reality. And I saw some concern about what that is going to mean. Slightly nervous questions about how the old majority will be treated.

I said, a little flippantly, that I always try to treat people 1% better than they treat me. I do. …

I have maybe…MAYBE…expanded the outline for my new screenplay to about 15 pages (started as a single page) and as expected, as it unpacks some characters are starting to talk to me. That is a good sign.

While behavior is our closest view of character, words are a powerful secondary source of characterization, and it is quite possible that the very BEST is the “gap” between what people say (indicating what they think, or what they want you to believe they think) and observable reality. This is where “playing in the negative space” becomes entertaining AF.

The next step is…



I got a comment I really, really liked:

“I follow your writings with interest because, using your own language, you are either a particularly good man, or an exceptionally skilled snake. Either way I learn from watching your moves.”

That really made me smile.

A fine question would be: how would one determine which it is? I cannot tell you how you would convince yourself. I can say how I would figure that out in alignment with my values.

1) Does the person commit to the Three Gates? They won’t always get it right, or be as nice…

(We’re looking at the interaction of basic patterns. Today, it is “Three Gates”, “Three Centers”, and the “Awakened Adult” pattern, related to self-love, friendship, and mating.)


If it is true that Incels (Involuntary Celibates, generally males) use the term “female” pejoratively (“men and females”) it suggests a very specific problem.

The animal self (“male and female”). is survival of self and genetic line. This is where life begins, and most human behaviors can be traced directly back here. …

The second step of the Hero’s Journey is “Rejection of the Challenge”. This is usually due to fear, and is not unreasonable. In a story we often choose a moment in which people are faced with a problem which has no solution without massive change. I often mention “Ordinary People”, where a passive protagonist (Donald Sutherland) comes to realize that his wife (Mary Tyler Moore) hates his son. He then must make a decision: to save his son? Or save his marriage? No matter what he chooses, there is going to be an ugly problem.

The challenge was to act…

We’ve welcomed almost a hundred new people to Lifewriting yesterday, and I think it may be time to go back over the basic principles again. I also spoke to Jason about them yesterday, and he was engaged…so it can’t hurt. ALL my teaching starts here, as it was the first breakthrough I had, the realization that story structure matched the human perception of reality, the “this is the way life is.”

The trick is that if your stories DON’T follow a pattern that the average person recognizes as reality, they will only appeal to people with a rarified taste, those…

The following are morning thoughts revolving around applying two frameworks: the Three Gates and Persuasion, to a recent observation in the political arena.


There is a tactic I’ve seen in the last days on social media: Asking a question or making a challenge. Numerous people answer, often in generous detail. The troll is eventually silenced. Then…a few days later, they pop up on another thread, asking THE EXACT SAME QUESTIONS. WTF?

A Warrior must act with confidence, must “charge” at times, or hold their ground, say “This is my truth” and allow reality to educate them.

There are times…

If I care the most about just three steps in the Persuasion Framework, they will need to:

  1. Help me persuade other people
  2. Help me persuade myself
  3. Help me understand WHY other persuaders (including myself) succeed and fail.

In other words, I should be able to look back at prior conversations and figure out the moment I broke through, or why they turned away. Look at my own life and see how I changed my OWN mind: broke a bad habit, formed a positive habit, moved forward against obstacles, changed my self-image, and so on.

What would be even more? It…

In response to Jason’s comments about wanting to be a psychologist, I may have to pivot. The only danger is that I don’t want to swamp him: pouring a gallon of gas on a lighted match is likely to extinguish it. I can’t be too enthusiastic.

BUT…there are a few things I’ve been waiting for and this is fascinating. I need to do a core dump of my thoughts.

  1. “Helping other people is a form of self-pity.” That was a comment by one of my more cynical teachers. But I understand what he meant: that you can avoid doing YOUR…

Jason reiterated yesterday that he wants to go to UCLA to study psychology, but is already working with kids and charging them six dollars an hour for virtual coaching. (Lucy only used ot charge a nickel!)

He said that helping others helps himself. Clever boy. So…while continuing to focus on those basics in the morning…I’m thinking of adding three of the “Persuasion Framework” steps from Robbins-Madanes training. The most important three are:

  1. Developing rapport, and understanding how they already motivate themselves with pain and pleasure.
  2. Interrupt their current negative pattern
  3. Connect their goal/new pattern to their highest intents.

I have…

Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts. www.realwarriorsjourney.com

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