Some people are born rich, some people are born poor. Some people go from poor to rich. In my life, my family went from bankcruptcy to the top 15% in social economic status in Sinpgaore. However, from an emotional perspective, when you go from the bottom 15% in socioeconomic status to the top 15% in Singapore, you’re still stuck at the bottom.
Some people are fortunate to be naturally charismatic from young, with women. They are called the ‘naturals’, some people like me have to learn it to a certain extent. Some people are ignored right from the start, had to learn it, got good at it, however, are still stuck emotionally when they are ignored.
You can take the principle of the poor rich child across multi domains:
- The guy that has multiple PhDs but still beliefs he is dumb
- The guy with 6 pacs but still beliefs he is sexually un-attractive
In my experience, our emotional development often lags being our cognitive development, at least for my personal experience. You can jump ahead intellectually, but emotions take their own sweet time.
Seeking Freud and Chasing Buddha: The Poor Rich Child
In the drama of the gifted child, the author termed it the poor rich child. There are deep cultural programming, and invisible scripts that guide our lives.
I had 6 more modules to an accounting and finance degree, and 3 more years to a basic psychology degree. If you can’t tell by now, I am interested in psychology. However, I am also wired to be a practical man. I decided to go back to finish my initial degree. It was difficult to declare my goals and go against it, it went against the commitment principle.
The compulsion to repeat, ah, so clearly demonstrated.
I grew up poor. I grew up in circumstances that I couldn’t rely on my parents at one point of time, emotionally or financially. Hence my penchant for self reliance. I wasn’t really good at school, part avoidance and part disinterest. However, I always enjoyed asking the biggest questions.
What’s the point I asked myself? Everything seemed to be driven for economical gain, yet I don’t feel secure.
So I decided to renunciate, or avoid, depending on how you see it. However, one can not deny the fundamental building blocks of our motivations. I wanted to be rich, to be secure. Through years I had friends criticizing me on being too financially uptight.
However, in my opinion, I am being accountable. I’m mostly free of money troubles, loan sharks or bad business deals. I am free of debt. I always had my family finances in mind. I made sure my parents never over pay for my education, keeping them free of unnecessary debt. You see, I am the poor rich child, forcing to adopt these adult roles when young.
Moral ideals, religion, charity and all of great human ideals, can they come before economical security? I doubt so. History concurs. You and I are all animals, much more than you’ll like to admit. In that sense, Singapore did the right thing, they focused on getting economics right first. However, they obsessed over it, got stuck in it, hence a country devoid of any deeper identity or wisdom.
I like Maslow’s take on human motivation, starting off from survival needs and moving up to self actualization.
I saw this play out multiple times in my business pursuits, I often make short term marketing strategies because I needed the cash. The best businesses are the ones that make difficult decisions upfront. They are the ones that start from fundamentals.
Have I Flown Too Near to the Sun?
However, jumping from one culture to another can simply a form of avoidance. So, as I have decided my recent Europe trip, is go back and focus on the systematic progression.
Quitting your school, run a business, pursue your passions and become a starving artist! I have done and tried that. It’s not exactly a happy life. Yes, pursue your passions, but protect the down side. You make life decisions base on opportunity costs. You don’t put everything on one card.
The self is transitory and ever changing.
The once wide eyed idealistic self has gradually taken a back step. Perhaps that comes with age, with growing up. However, I’m sure, as I steer myself to more financially secure position, I can stare dreamy eyed once again.
Why do some people effortlessly cruise through life and why do some people fail, year after year, repeating their same screws up in multiple aspects of their life?
There are decades of research that points our behavior is rooted from our unconscious, and seemingly derived from our past (childhood experiences).
Yet, the majority of the world ignores this fascinating aspect of our emotional life. I began to take psychology seriously after I realized I couldn’t sleep at 21 years of age without stuffing a beer down my throat. On one hand, that experience frightened me, but on another hand, I took interest in my own behaviour: the whys and what nots.
In Models, one of my favourite books on attracting women, the author recommended therapy, introspection as a catylst to better yourself with women. Looking at those erratic behaviours, I jumped onto it and checked myself into therapy.
It’s an unconventional thing to do as 21 years of age, but I was rebellious and willing to be unconventional, it didn’t matter what others thought. I can safely say that I understand my own behaviour and the motivations of others to a better degree when I first started. Not to mentiont that when you understand your own darkness, you’ll be able see those of others.
The Compulsion to Repeat
Why do people subject themselves to some sort of abuse, or even self abuse in the form of physical, emotional or even sexual? Why do people stay in totally abusive friendships, romantic relationships, jobs and rationalize it away?
The Freud in me says: That’s because when they are a child, that’s a form of love they’ve been conditioned to. They can’t feel love any other way. Some people can only feel loved when they are abused, abandoned or neglected. Pain can translate into pleasure, in a sick, perverse kind of way.
Nietzsche states that there’s more philosophy in your body than in all books. The Buddha himself advocated mind-body awareness. Yet, none of us actually do it, preferring to collect certificates from Universities that confer our level of wisdom or intellect.
You can get the best finance degrees but still fear to make your first stock trade. You can lecture psychology in Berkeley and still fail in your relationships. Read: I took this example from a psychology professor whilst my short summer program in Berkeley. He admittedly was divorced.
That’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge applied and experienced, not just accumulated.
Through the years, I am persuaded through my experience, and observations of others that a lot of us make decisions stemming from traumatic events from our childhood. I am also convinced of our failures with women, or other areas of life from academia to careers can also be rooted back through a Freudian approach.
Social skills, learning ‘game’ and adopting mindsets are a method of learning known as cognitive restructuring, in psychology. Cognitive restricting requirs orientation of beliefs, confrontation of self esteem and some form of behavioural conditioning or another. You’re attempting to re-wiring your belief systems on a cognitive level. Not on an emotional level.
They are useful, it’s better than not doing anything, albeilt only in the short term.
Behavior is the root of your decisions, success or failures. It is the root of finallydumping that crappy ex boyfriend of yours, to start attending University lectures or to publish articles like this. Why you do something and why you don’t is rooted in your actions. You either take it seriously, and understand it, or not.
One of the ways way to understand behaviour, process trauma is to sit with a clinical psychologist for years. The research backs this up as well, with patients being more successful if they took a long term approach to it. The majority of my friends I recommend to never start, or drop off after once or twice. They then go back repeating similar behaviors, hence a compulsion to repeat.
The practice of mindfulness and meditation can help as well.
Here are a couple of books that takes a psychological approach that resonated with me:
The introduction to why you behave how you behave from a parent child approach. It’s the first of all books you should read, since it’s an easy read. One of the books I recommend as a dating coach.
When I first read this book, I felt extremely agitated, for many of the examples related to me. However, it goes to show that there might be something there. Hence, I dug deeper. For example, you often get people saying: you just need to forgive. That never made sense to me. If someone hurt me, I wanted to hurt him back. This is similar of parent child relationships.
Useful article on how parent child relationship, and the use of parent child self esteem.
Another scientific outlook on trauma and your own physical health. One of the coping measures of trauma is rhythmic exercises, something I had unconsciously took on for years: martial arts. It was helpful to the point that it the cost was more than the rewards. I had surgery twice and decided to stop.
I liked the psychoanalytic prose of this book, the author touched grandiosity, depression and how they are two sides of the same coin. The author also used many examples across history and literature.
This book is takes a look on impact of trauma in stress levels. Perhaps, the lack of focus in school didn’t just stem from dis interest, it also stemmed from stress from trauma. This book is published by a medical doctor who used the psychotherapeutic process to help her patients that she once treated prescription hard medication.
Band Aid Solutions
Over the years, I’ve shared my experiences in psychotherapy with friend openly. However, I’m always met with skeptic looks or hiddens thoughts of: ‘I had a happy childhood. This doesn’t apply to me.’
Some of them are people I meet are from the pick up artist community, and they are the ones that ironically suck the most at relationships and require the most help. There are also the ‘normal’ friends that I didn’t meet from the pick up artist community, and are they better off? No. I found out that they are similar with in their problems. One of the most common ones being, inability to break off from a toxic romantic relationship.
The majority just don’t respect psychology enough. It’s as simple as that.
I consider myself a self proclaimed smart ass, Mr Know It All, at times, however, I was humble enough to know my circumstances. I did my brief research, and consulted a psychologist. This is similar in the domain of attracting women. Millions of men in bars, clubs every weekend never bothered to learn or read up on something that bugs their mind on a daily basis: how to seduce women.
In Asian, confucianistic culture, it’s extremely difficult to criticize, and sometimes have an objective view on your parents and upbringing. No one talks about it. However, if you had a shit Dad, you had a shit Dad. If your Mum was a bitch, she was a bitch. Something I learned from therapy, is that numbness, denial, apathy, anger, hurt and sadness are often sandwiched inbetween each other.
The way to heal and grow is to see it for what it is, and not to deny, avoid or idealize it.