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Thread: Self-Transformation & Build A Better You.

  1. #16
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    I don't disagree with that.

  2. #17
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    This is also a time-of-life thing I think. When you're in your mid-40s, if things have gone more or less all right, you should be at a stage where most of the competencies you need to get by are just purring along. Whatever your stock in trade is, whether it's your intellect or your looks or your people skills, you've cultivated it to the level where it just sort of works for you. Now's the time for worrying about the meaning of it all, or how you'll handle your impending obsolescence as the world inevitably moves on. Maybe you need to shake things up just to feel alive. Crack out the dice, or whatever. But a certain self-satisfaction may well have set in, just because your abilities are more or less equal to the demands that are regularly placed upon them.

    If you're my son's age, 19 going on 20, you have a still quite unfashioned self to fashion. You could drift to the bad in all sorts of ways. You might feel lost, anxious, in thrall to habits or needs that aren't fully integrated into your pattern of life. That's when Jordan Peterson telling you to clean your room, embrace your manly essence, stand up and count for something, has a particularly poignant appeal. Even if you know he's a huckster, you can't help but feel there's something in it. You need direction, you need challenges, you need to level up, to amount to something. The world isn't telling you what to do. You don't have compulsory PE, or compulsory maths lessons. What's compulsory is, you have rent to pay. It's a very unsettled time.

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  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    I don't disagree with that.
    Cool.

    WRT self-sabotage...

    People do get stuck in cycles in habits in narrow ways of thinking about who they are and what they can do.

    Partly now this is because everyone is too exhausted to try and bust out of those traps too.

    Most people have incredible untapped potential, but this is very differnent from saying "you can do anything!"

  5. #19
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    I'm not quite in my mid 40s but I'm certainly not anywhere near a stage at which any 'competencies' are purring along! Dear God! I'm barely viable!

  6. #20
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    You have a thing you do which is yours which you're unarguably very good at.

  7. #21
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    I'm not making an argument for pick up artists or Jordan Peterson per se, just the notion that it should be possible, if you so desire, to change. To break free of bad habits or inculcate good habits. To make better decisions. To take better care of yourself. To do more of the things you have identified as being good for you and fewer of the things you deem bad for you. To identify the forces which are preventing you from taking the actions you wish to take, and defeating them, in violent hand to hand combat.

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  9. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    I'm not making an argument for pick up artists or Jordan Peterson per se, just the notion that it should be possible, if you so desire, to change. To break free of bad habits or inculcate good habits. To make better decisions. To take better care of yourself. To do more of the things you have identified as being good for you and fewer of the things you deem bad for you. To identify the forces which are preventing you from taking the actions you wish to take, and defeating them, in violent hand to hand combat.
    This to reassure John who I'm sure thinks I'm much more wicked than I actually am

  10. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    This to reassure John who I'm sure thinks I'm much more wicked than I actually am
    Well thank you - but I know you are ultimately a force for good, Luka.

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  12. #24
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    If PUA stuff actually "worked", i.e. if there were social hacks that could reliably move another person from a state of disinterest in one's person, through to a state of strong sexual interest in one's person, all the way through to their motivation to have sex with you significantly outweighing their motivations not to, that would be an extraordinary thing to learn about people, I think. Depressing, really: it would mean that human beings were a lot less complex and unpredictable than I tend to think they are, although theory of mind has never been my strong suit.

    There's an incidental truth hidden away in the PUA literature, which is that "inner game" is key: really all the "moves", and all the bullshit rationales for why those moves "work", are just supporting infrastructure for an underlying belief that this social interaction, this complex dance, might work out for you. And having that belief - not certainty, just a sense that you're not predestined to rejection - actually is useful, if it frees you up to engage fearlessly and openly, without disguising your desires from yourself or the other person because you're convinced the only possible way they could be viewed is with disgust and horror. But I think in the case of PUA as a movement, the scaffolding more often than not obstructs the process of personal growth it's supposed to enable. People end up fixated on technique, and on the promise that the technique will get them the results they want. They don't see it as a mind game they're primarily playing with themselves, to get out of a slump of despair and self-loathing.

  13. #25
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    A lot of self-improvement I think is like that. There's some practice that's meant to serve as scaffolding for change at a deeper level. So you start with a premise like "read one classic work of Great Literature a week, it will improve your erudition and make you more cultured and interesting", and actually it's getting into the habit of sitting down and paying proper attention to a book that activates your mental ability to concentrate and reflect on things that aren't in your immediate environment, and it's not the improving power of Great Literature that's done that to you at all, it's gaining the ability to pay attention in that particular way.

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  15. #26
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    What happens to Rita in Educating Rita isn't that she acquires a lot of knowledge from books, it's that she finds a space within herself where learning can happen, a space which nothing in her life up to that point has even acknowledged exists.

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  17. #27
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    This was one interpretation of what alchemy was about also - the process not the product.

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  19. #28
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    The alchemist in Philip Pullman's latest says something like this: if people think I'm engaged on this fool's errand of turning lead into gold, they won't enquire too deeply into the highly heretical chemistry experiments I'm actually doing.

  20. #29
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    I've heard it said incidentally that the incel movement was initially composed primarily of people who'd got into PUA and found it hadn't "worked" for them - who'd got stuck at the level of technique, been predictably disappointed by the results, and relapsed even more deeply into the attitude of despair and self-disgust they started out with. That can be a risk with self-improvement kicks. If you throw yourself into one hard, and then bounce off it, you may end up even more convinced before of your hardened and recidivist unimprovability.

  21. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by poetix View Post
    I've heard it said incidentally that the incel movement was initially composed primarily of people who'd got into PUA and found it hadn't "worked" for them - who'd got stuck at the level of technique, been predictably disappointed by the results, and relapsed even more deeply into the attitude of despair and self-disgust they started out with. That can be a risk with self-improvement kicks. If you throw yourself into one hard, and then bounce off it, you may end up even more convinced before of your hardened and recidivist unimprovability.
    That's quite a male way of carrying on.

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