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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

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“The Man Up Show” Ep.86 – Why Some People Won’t Take Good Advice

Why Some People Won’t Take Good Advice

  • David Tian Ph.D. reveals that of all the people who need the advice, only a small percentage of them will realize that they need it.

  • David Tian Ph.D. explains why these people who are experiencing difficulties in life don’t realize they need a solution.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. tells us that those who resist learning, debate and are combative, are looking for reasons not to follow through.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In episode 86 of Man Up, I answer the question of, why some people won’t take good advice.

[Intro Music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!

[Music Fades]

Hi I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is episode 86 of Man Up. I apologize the last episode went really long so I’m going to try and keep this under five minutes. The problem was I actually jotted down like 5-point, 4 bullet points before I started answering that question. This time I will not do that. That was the first time I ever did that and it ended up being one of the longest videos.

So I think one of the keys to brevity is not to jot down any notes or even think about it before. So, I’m pulling up a question here from Michael. Alright Michael, I read the question before pressing record but that’s it. Hopefully this will ensure that it stays under five minutes. Okay, this question is, basically is that he’s been trying to give advice to his guy friends mostly about what not to do when they’re desperate.

How not to seem desperate. Not texting a girl too often is one of the examples he gave. But they’re not taking his advice and they’re not getting with the program, they’re not watching my videos as much as he is, they’re just not being good supportive friends.

They’re not taking his advice and he’s wondering what to do. Based on the advice that he was mentioning in his message, I think he’s basically just pointing out content that they can go to with pretty good advice most of it is from me. So you can’t fault the advice, so based on that I look at their unwillingness to go to the advice.

Here’s one of the things I’ve noticed and I’ve learned from my over 10 years of coaching other men and giving dating advice, life advice, is that even when… ok so out of all of the people who need the advice, only a small percentage of them will realize that they need it.

Okay so, most people who are experiencing difficulty in life and can benefit from knowledge are so mired in the muck of their problems that they don’t even realize that there’s a solution. And sometimes, they don’t even realize that there is a problem because everyone else that they know suffers from this problem that they don’t consider it a problem.

So they just continue to muck around in that life. A very easy example of this is mindset problems. I mean I’m always open to learning new mindsets because that’s first of all one of the quickest ways to get success but it’s also the most powerful way.

Because it’s just in the mind, it’s not like your teaching somebody how to use power tools or something. It’s not something physical that you can point out that it’s easy to observe, but it’s actually something mental and emotional, because of that, it’s hard for them to come to grips with it.

People don’t even realize it. It’s easy to live in denial of the problem. That’s what most people do. So, out of the total set of people, who have this problem and can benefit from instruction, and coaching, you know… knowledge. Only a small percentage of them will actually go and seek this knowledge.

And out of that group, of those who seek the knowledge, only again a small percentage of them have the right mindset to actually take in that knowledge and assimilate it and apply it. So this is just a sad thing.

I mean this is just the way people are right now and one of the things that I’ve noticed is that the most important lesson that you can teach anyone no matter what the course is, is actually how to learn. Because if they don’t know how to learn, they can’t take any instruction.

So I started many years ago in my own live training courses, in my online training courses putting a how to learn module right at the beginning. But here’s the catch-22, if they don’t know how to learn, you’re not going to learn how to learn. So that became a problem and it’s really, it’s not easy to change. It’s not easy to change somebody who’s not willing to learn.

Here’s the big issue. It’s important just to understand why this is happening, and if you suffer from the problem at least you know that this is the problem, right, and that maybe will give you enough, intellectual humility to try some of the solutions on how to learn. Just on that note on how to learn, the best resource I found overall is still Adam Robinson’s book “What Smart Students Know”, that changed me from being a C+ student in my first semester of university to becoming straight A’s all the way through. In fact, by my third year of university I was an A+ student. So the GPA max was 4.0 and I was 4.15 or something.

Anyway, and I credit the mindset change that came from that book. Another good resource is Cal Newport, I’ve only read his blogs. I haven’t read any of his books but I think he’s pretty much…he’s pretty good on that. So anyway, some resources for you.

Those who don’t know how to learn won’t know how to learn from those anyway, right? And the mindset is this, the mindset difference is this, there’s a mindset that’s called the growth mindset. There’s one that I call the resistance mindset and this is the most problematic one.

When you find people who resist new ideas, who always look for counter examples. In philosophy you see this a lot, you’re paid to do it. But you’re also paid to… in order to become a qualified professor of philosophy, you often have to go through many many years of answering, writing exams, writing papers to some other person’s satisfaction. Your own professors in order to qualify to be a professor.

So they’re basically, they’re trained and conditioned to be able to entertain an argument without agreeing to it and then being trained to come up with counter examples and counter arguments to it. That’s a very expert thing for them. It’s not like just a knee jerk reaction.

There are a lot of unfortunately armchair philosophers who are not trained to be philosophers and instead they just take this combative debater attitude toward things and often they are not in that group that actually seeks out courses and training and knowledge, but again some portion of them up to 50% maybe and unfortunately some cases 70%.

One of the ways to weed them out is by having extra hurdles that they have to cross in order to actually enter the course and that’s what I do. If you want to, for instance, join Limitless, I don’t just give it to you. You have to wait for the registration period and then you have to watch the pre-launch videos. And then there’s another hurdle which is the prize, and that’s there for a reason.

I want people to commit because I put a lot of time. In fact, the time I spend in responding to the “Limitless” forum is probably more than the money I make back from your purchase of it, anyway, whoever, I’m not referring to Michael here but whoever purchases it.

So the point is, those who resist learning, debate and are combative, are looking for reasons not to follow through. They’re looking for… they nitpick on theory. They like to entertain a lot of what-if questions endlessly because there are endless what-if questions.

You can make a career, lifelong career out of asking and trying to answer what-if questions before actually taking action implementing, applying in the real world these theories. And I go on and on about it in my courses, in my emails. You got to get it done and you can only get it done by going out in the real world and getting the results and trying and failing.

You must fail.

You obviously learn from the failures of others. But if you don’t fail yourself, you don’t get the pain, the pain points associated with the mistake and you don’t learn it at that deep level.

Sort of like a guy who goes into battle in the military, like he’s gone through all the training, he’s physically fit and everything, but he hasn’t actually done real battle. It’s just theoretical for him versus a guy who’s, you know, battle-hardened.

Obviously the veteran knows that knowledge… let’s just even keep it contained, so that they know the same amount and facts. But the veteran who’s seen his friends blown away knows those facts at a deeper level in his nervous system and in his brain much more than the guy who’s entering a battle for the first time. So you got to get out there and try it. Try it on people many times.

Got to get that neuro pathways formed. You can’t just sit there and do armchair theorizing and think you’re going to get those results. Now having said that, I was an armchair theorist, as a philosopher most for my career and you know prior to this, and being a coach I mean.

I still feel there’s a lot of value in reflection and in the mind, and in the mindset. So I’ve actually created another course called “Invincible” where from the armchair, 90% of the work can be done. But there’s still application you can’t expect to just sit there and let nature.. and just go and immediately master it. I can condense ten years of experience into one year of work for you and that ten years down to one is incredible in my opinion.

It’s like a fucking miracle in my opinion. But you got to put in, you got to do the work, you got to pop in the videos, you got to do the audio. You actually have to do the exercises. You have to talk to people. You don’t have to do a thousand cold approaches or even five hundred cold approaches like what we did back in the day. You do need to go out and talk to people. You do need to go out and apply the knowledge.

Alright, so there you go. Oh damn, 10 minutes. One of these days, I’m going to get it down to five. There are some videos that are five minutes. Anyway, so join the private Facebook group, ask me your questions there. The show feeds off your questions so I appreciate every single question I get there. Some of them I can answer right in the comments of the question. So post there, you’ll find a great community, a supportive community there as well. Join the group, I’ll see you inside the group. Until then, man up!