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You're playing the wrong game

mASF post by finalD

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You're playing the wrong game
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mASF post by "finalD"
posted on: mASF forum: General Discussion newsgroup, February 2, 2005

This is a general, practically off-topic, discussion of "the way
you can perceive things." It's an internal-game sort of thing
for all of life. It hardly fits this group -- probably should be
in off-topic, but I think to some degree it's so totally on-
topic that it probably should be its own newsgroup in and of
itself. LOL.

Also, this is a very positive, life-affirming post. And it's
long. I invite you to read it. Don't flame me for length if
you're somehow intimidated or annoyed by it -- just pass it on
by, thanks.

And this isn't a midnight rambling rant. I'm not unhappy about
the world, or pissed off at women, or frustrated about my own
successes in life, right now. I do feel those ways sometimes,
man I get annoyed at the "bum rap" I've experienced, but I've
(kind of) eradicated that sort of thinking from this post. I've
been considering this particular thought for a while and I
genuinely believe it, and I want to share it. Also, I'd like for
people to help refine it, if they could.

First, I believe, deep down, we all want to be king of the
world. No, really. There are some dumpy ugly women with thick
thighs who say things like, "You really should just want a happy
life," and maybe for women it's true that "settling down and
raising a family" is something they'd rather do, than be a movie
star. But I see enough females to know that plenty of them would
rather be a mother AND a movie star. And EVERY guy I know
(besides wimpy AFCs) wants to bang movie stars, BE SEEN as
someone who bangs movie stars, BE a movie star. Maybe it's not
acting -- maybe it's doctor, or prosecutor, or business owner,
or whatever. But it's NOT "someone else's employee."

To be king (or queen) of the world, basically, I mean that we
all want to be totally so high-up that we get to meet the
President of the United States, and when we go to London on
vacation they have to close streets for us and give us private
tours of Parliament because otherwise the crowd scene would be a
riot. Like basically, I perceive the world in terms of two
camps, those who "made it" and those who didn't. And for me, to
"make it" means to have SO MUCH success, power, fame, fortune,
that you are "world class" at whatever you do. It doesn't have
to be politics -- I mentioned the President, who of course is
part of the political arena; it could be (for example) something
artistic, like making movies (Tarrantino) or playing an
instrument (Yoyo Ma) or even playing some kind of sport
(Gretzky). But I think we all want to be WAY UP THERE. And if
there's someone who doesn't want to be there, then there's
something "fucked up" about the ones of us who DON'T. Really, I
believe this. They're lying to themselves -- all of the "I'm OK
with being a file clerk in this office, the people are nice,
it's got good benefits" excuses never eradicate their other
side, that says in the same breath, "but if I were President for
a day I'd fix that problem." See, they dream of being President
for a day!

I know that this is a partially self-destructive attitude to
have. The idea that I can't be satisfied without, basically,
world-domination, is pretty much self-defeating. Also, in many
ways it's a road to totally immoral behavior. Such forms of
self-aggrandizement brought to light in history Stalin, Hitler,
and Genghiz Khan (don' mess wid Genghiz!). There's only so far
that self-promotion deserves to go, before it is inherently
morally corrupt and selfish. I fully logically understand this
premise, really I do. And yet I want it anyway.

Also, I know that this idea, of total Olympic-level success at
certain career or life goals, is a bit of a danger in terms of
CHOOSING a career. For me, I really don't give a fuck WHAT I am
doing, as long as in the next ten years or so I'll end up
fucking movie stars and meeting the President and jetting off to
Rio and making another billion $$ or so. Really. If I have to
sit in an office most of the day, making phone calls and bathing
in a flourescent glow as Outlook cranks in yet another round of
spam, it might as well be at something that gets me toward my
goals rather than doesn't. And frankly, I perceive all office
jobs as so similar that there's no picking among them. The
things that make office jobs "good" are benefits, salary, hot
co-workers, size and quality of kitchen appliances (you can cook
at work! rather than having to eat crap from a fast-food
restaurant!), and ease of commute. The things that make office
jobs "bad" are the opposite of the above. Consequently, for me,
there's no "picking" what I "really want to do" with my life in
an office.

Really. So when a career counselor hears what I want to do -- BE
powerful, BE rich, BE so hot and studly and "it" that Nicole
Kidman dumps Tom Cruise just for a chance with me -- the career
counselor tells me "you haven't really found your niche. Because
if what you want is success but you don't care about AT WHAT,
then all you are doing is what is called in psychology
GRANDIOSITY. You lack perspective on your place in the world."
Well, fuck the career counselors. Someone who couldn't get a
better job than to tell other people what jobs to get isn't
really someone to listen to, anyway, is she (they're always
chicks, aren't they!)?
So really, when I say I DON'T GIVE A FUCK what I'm doing, as
mean it, and I know what it means to mean it. I know the
pitfalls of this sort of statement, the weaknesses of it, and I
know that I am not swayed by those weaknesses. I stick to my

I also think most of us (obviously) won't ever get to that
level. Really, it's a sad thing. Only 1 in 100 can be the top 1.
And worse yet, only 1 in 1000 or in 10000 or in 100000000000 can
be the top 1. See, the number "1" doesn't get any bigger when
the number "100" and "1000" and "10000" and "100000000000"
actually DO get bigger. What a bitch! The number of winners is
the same, the number of losers increases, and the ratio (and
therefore likelihood of success) decreases EXPONENTIALLY. Yargh.
Math sucks sometimes, doesn't it?

But I have a theory, about how to turn that to my advantage. I
really wonder if this is the truth, but it's such a beneficial
frame of mind that I (currently) insist on adopting it. Here's
how the theory goes. Let's use the (tired, but true) metaphor of
playing cards. We're all dealt a hand at birth, and through our
parents' raising of us, and other "fundamental" factors we had
no control over. If we died in the Tsunami, we died, wasn't our
fault. That was the "hand" we were dealt. We all have a "certain
set of cards" to play right now. It's our turn.

Most of us fuck up at some point. Some of us have a better hand
at birth but squander it; some of us will have such a great hand
at birth we don't really have the possibility of ruining it no
matter how lame our play, all we have to do is be a little
conservative and let the cards tell. Others of us have dreadful
hands and have to play brilliantly (at a game, mind you, that
nobody tells you the rules to) to merely break even. And most of
us will have a HISTORY of several mistakes IN OUR PAST that we
cannot ever change. We are trapped with, ALREADY, having made
some bad moves that reduce the quality of our hand. Maybe we
lost time, or gave away one or two of our most priceless assets,
or somehow didn't recognize an opportunity.

Here's the thing. This is the point of this post.

I genuinely believe, that at any given moment in this game,
every single hand that is currently being held by every single
human CAN BE PLAYED to that person's advantage to the extent
that he will eventually (and quite soon) reach Olympic level!

All you have to do is find the right moves for now, and you will
continue to win the game. Basically, if you fucked up three
times in the past, and yet you have the right mind-set, you have
LOST NOTHING. Even though it feels like you somehow ruined your
chances -- with some chick, for example; or (as with me) with
the chance of having a power-oriented career in which large sums
of money and fame will come my way by the time I'm 40 (that
would be, less than 12 months from now!) -- you can still turn
it around.

Here's what you do. You realize that your CURRENT hand is the
BEST hand you currently hold. That's right. It's the only hand,
so it's the best. You then face the cards anew, look at them
without any real belief that "if only" you had done something in
the past you'd be better off, and you choose the best move. The
cards that you hold, and that EVERYONE holds, are potential to
make a winning hand. And nobody has any leg up on anyone else
who is taking this attitude.

The radical part of this assumption is, that it's sort of
"conflating history" and screwing with reality. You have to
admit that in truth, certain sorts of mistakes would seem, to
most people, to be disasters. Clinton getting caught with an
intern, is NOT what I'm talking about. I'm talking about someone
who, for example, doesn't know that he really wants to be a
cellist, and then works on a road crew and somehow in an
accident he loses both his hands. Then later he realizes through
some fluke he always connected to stringed instruments better
than anything else. What the fuck would he do? He has no goddam
hands! How the fuck can he play a string instrument??!!
Basically, what I'm saying is, that there IS a niche for
Olympic-level success out there somehow for "person who is
gifted with string instruments and also lost his hands in road
crew accident" as long as you realize that this long description
includes "and also has X characteristic and Y characteristic and
Z characteristic." Then, all that mister No-Hands has to do, to
get to the OLYMPIC LEVEL at his chosen profession, is figure out
what the niche is.

Basically, you could think of it as a strange Vegas casino.
Everyone sits down to a poker table, they're dealt several
hands, they learn a bit of the game, they try to win. They do
poorly, generally. Then a big gong goes off in the room and
everyone is free to STAND UP and CHANGE TABLES with their cards,
to go PLAY A DIFFERENT GAME. All they have to do, is realize
which game is best for their cards AT THAT MOMENT, and move on
to a real cinch. You been playin' poker, 7-card-hold-em, and you
were waitin' on the gut-buster straight you didn't get? No
problem, take that unmatched Ace and Queen and go play Blackjack
with 'em! It's a cinch to win! (If you don't know the rules of
Texas Hold 'em and Blackjack -- and what's wrong with you if you
don't! -- then, just get the point, that a hand that seems
useless for one game will be excellent for some other game.)

Funny thing is, of course, we don't generally think in these
terms. First of all, we often think in terms of going
"backwards" in time with our hands -- "dangit, I wish I hadn't
tried to get that straight; now that I see what the flop cards
are, I really know I should have tried that other strategy that
had been an option at the outset." Or even worse, "I'm the sort
of person who always goes for a straight! Why do I do that! I
need to learn to change my character in order to stop being
obsessed only with straights, in order to actually pick better
strategies. I'll never get a chance to play this hand the way I
ought to have played it, the way I now know would have been more
beneficial." This second negative response not only resdies in
the past rather than the future, but also assassinates character
rather than addressing strategy, and so is a real problem, if
you adopt it congruently.

I think a lot of learning that goes on here, at mASF, or at
other places, really emphasizes the "fix your character" mode of
thinking. Don't change your personality! Change the GAME you're
playing to FIT your personality!

Well, there's a caveat to that. Maybe I've come along far enough
in the AFC-RAFC-PUA world view to recognize that I'm an "OK
enough" person to be fucked a lot of times by a lot of hot
women, so I'm no longer worried about the basics, and so it's OK
for me to stop worrying about my character or presentation. I'm
not overweight, I have a decent job, I have a normal life, I can
carry on a conversation, I look good "enough," most women I meet
seem to twig to a type of "feminine energy" (often a very
frivolous, flighty one) that I take as a good sign that they're
"reading my masculinity". So, I'm at the point where I need not
really 'change myself' too much. So it might be a risk, for some
AFCs who still haven't learned to approach, or haven't figured
out that their breath stinks, to take to heart the whole "don't
change yourself" lesson. But if you've made suitable progress,
it's probably the case that you really only need to know one
thing: it's not that you're bad at the game, it's that


Your play is at the poker table, but you're actually a blackjack
player. Or maybe you actually have a Keno hand. So you really
ought to just look at yourself, itemize the hand you're holding,
find all the idiosyncacies of it, some of which will be
"traditional strengths" (I have a lot of high cards) but some of
which you'll just have to "make up" (Hey! I never noticed that I
have four moustachioes but no threes!). And after you have a
good inventory, you just go about reading the rule book by Hoyle
and figuring out which game would suit you best.

For me, this is a revelation. This is a new world view. Take
inventory and move forward.

The idea that at any moment in time, any human on the planet has
within him what it takes to become a world-leader in whatever
field he has "been given" gifts. I had thought, when I was
younger, that I would have an opportunity to become a world-
leader, I didn't know IN WHAT but I knew I wasn't a follower and
I knew I wasn't a loser. I knew people would respond positively
to my abilitiy, my grace, my charm, my quick learning, and so
forth. Then I found out, well yeah, people "responded
positively" but then they promoted someone else; they picked a
kid who almost failed out of school but got a law degree, for
example. I mean, the law degree was from an uncredited community
college and he hadn't passed the Bar exam, but he "had a law
degree" whereas I had a Master's from the University of Chicago,
which TO ME was awesome but to the people making the decisions
(wrong as they were) wasn't a law degree. Unfortunately, I took
the lesson, over and over (the false lesson) that somehow I had
been playing poorly and that I was losing the game. Shoulda got
a law degree! Dangit! (No, wrong!) I thought I lost time -- ten
years in academia, ten years I regret spending, ten years where
my career did NOT advance; so that now I am 39 with an entry-
level job -- and I lost the chance to "get experience" --
compared to guys I work with who are much younger than me, with
much less sense, much less ability, but who are somehow "better"
in the eyes of their superiors merely because they've been there
ten years.

So again I took the lesson that I'd blown it. But if I look at
it differently, as though "hey, none of those ten-year veterans
can, for example, teach Middle English" then I instantly
realize, all I gotta do is find a niche where having an entry-
level knowledge of THIS field while also KNOWING MIDDLE ENGLISH
adds up to AN ASSET. Duh. It's so obvious, when you word it that
way. But I think a lot of mASF, and self-directed thinking, is
missing that point, because it directs itself at finding out
what you did "wrong" so you can "fix" your strategy the next
time a similar question comes up.

Sure, learn from mistakes. But also, don't slam yourself in the
head about how many "mistakes" you made. You were tempted to do
a lot of those things because they were "part of you," you had
an intrinsic bent for them. Think you majored in the "wrong"
field when you were in college? So what! You did fine in it! Now
it's part of the hand you hold. What can you do with it? And
anyway, you didn't major in the TOTALLY wrong field, dude! You
majored in SOMETHING that was at least SOMEWHAT attractive,
right? Well, that's a reflection of the REAL YOU! Think you
should have married that hot girl you were dating just out of
college before you discovered mASF so that you'd never have
"regrets" about being "trapped" (mASF being what it is,
temptation to perpetually wander, and proof that wandering DOES
work to get you sex; and therefore dangerous news from the other
side)? So what! You didn't, now take the advantages that your
past choice affords -- the fact that you can fuck around
guiltlessly, for example -- and run with them. And realize that
your other choice was PROBABLY AN HONEST ONE. It might, right
now, seem like something a bit "untrained," but hey, it WAS YOU
WHO CHOSE IT! And furthermore, it has disadvantages you're not
currently realizing. It is, like, umm, lame-assed to get married
right out of college! Think, for another example, you really
should have gone into business and gotten that MBA rather than
another computer certification? So what! At the time, you were
into that stuff, and RIGHT NOW you have one more computer
certification than you would hold if you had not gotten it!
(Duh. You have one more than if you didn't have it. See how
OBVIOUS it is?) What can you do WITH THAT? And with your
INTEREST int he other? And what do you know about yourself that
suggests you are the SORT OF PERSON who in the past TOOK THAT
CHALLENGE instead of the other one?

Here's a big one. Feeling bad that you lost so much time as an
AFC? Feeling idiotic that you approached some chick, last year,
before you knew mASF, in a total AFC manner and it went nowhere?
Feeling like OTHER dudes, less attractive, less "nice," or even
"less PUA", are getting laid more than you and YOU deserve sum a
that pussy? So what! You KNOW WHAT YOU DID and you know how to
look at it. Take the advantages, and do not regret the move.
It's entirely possible (and we'll never know, since none of us
can ever go back in time) that your "need" to be an AFC was so
great that you would not have been able to "convert" to mASF-ism
(LOL) if you'd been presented with a chance back then. Tote it
up, simply, as an experience in "growing up" in which you were
UNABLE TO BE DIFFERENT merely because, at the time, THAT IS WHO
YOU WERE. Meanwhile, the next trick, if you want a different
result, is to learn to be un-AFC. The way is written down, here,
at mASF. BAck then, it was who you were. Now you can be anyone
different that you ant to be.

For me, there has to be a congruent, dead-rock-solid,
realization that I am currently at "phase X" in my life, that
"phase X" has exactly and precisely certain nameable itemizable
advantages and skills that will make it possible for me to
become king of the world, and that therefore I should mine
"phase X" for every single one of the advantages that it
currently has, and furthermore change tables in Vegas so I'm at
the right table where those advantages make something happen for

See what I'm getting at? On the one hand, past mistakes are to
be owned and valued rather than regretted -- they did, even if
we didn't wish it, express our intrinsic self. And, on the other
hand, realize that the current moment actually DOES have a
variety of advantages that will make you king of the world.
Those advantages must be noticed and exploited.

Basically, I'm saying, the skill of success is not so much
BUILDING as it is RECOGNIZING your advantages. It's about
itemizing the present hand. What's in it? Name it. Express it.
Step forward and own it. Then use it.

And a final step is, that as things progress, and you move on
from "phase X," you realize that your next play, even if it IS
at a different table in Vegas, might again be a mistake. Well,
after that play, you simply need to re-read your hand, call it
"phase Y," and keep moving forward.

All of this is quite astounding to me. It's a new way of
thinking about some of the old truisms, and (the greatest
advantage) it lets me out of some of the regret. I'm 39 and
nobody EVER gave me much of a road-map -- where was dad when I
was 17? where were my profs? my supervisors? my friends? I kept
doing what I thought would be effective, kept finding that it
was ineffective, and kept falling farther and farther behind my
peers. They're all as stunned as I. "Whoa, FiD's the one who
can't get a job. THAT'S fucked up. I'd hire him, if I had a job
to offer. Hell, I'd MAKE a job for him, if I could," say my
classmates. But they have little solution, since they don't have
the authority or money to make a job for me.

Another thing that's totally liberating (and it's as liberating
as finding out, lo these many moons ago, that I didn't have to
be a "drunk party frat boy" to get laid by hot girls! when I
read ASF for the first few times), is that it allows me to say
"I don't care what the vehicle is, as long as it takes me to the
stars." Really, career-counselors be damned. Even Alessandro,
fuck you. I know you'd say, "you tell me a field and a position
you want, I'll see if I can pull some strings." Well, I'm gonna
are certain things that are uncomfortable to me -- otherwise, I
simply don't know myself well enough to tell you "what I want to
do with my life." I can only tell you "where I want to be NOW,
and if not now then SOON, and if not soon then EVENTUALLY." I
assess "where I want to be" in terms of gross income, prestige,
power, and "success." I want to be king of the world.

My only plan, is to be great. And there's NOTHING FUCKING WRONG
Especially since, when I do assess my "phase X" right now, and
see what hand I'm holding, I'll be really quite ready to say,
"hey, I can tell you an intermediate step, a field and a
position I'd like to be in to learn something, to build
something. I don't want to do it permanently, but it will sure
look good when I need to step up to phase Y." Basically, "what I
want as a job" is A PLAY in the game, not the GOAL OF THE GAME.
The object of the game, is to get to Olympic level, no matter
what table you're at in Vegas. But the job you have --
especially if it's an office job -- merely teaches you a few
finger movements (if you're a cellist) or a few situps-worth of
abdominal strength (if you're a karate fighter). It's never
actually "a goal." "I always wanted to be a Publicist" is such a
sad life-aim. "I thought that doing Publicist for about two
years would be useful, because it will help me get elected
Senator" seems so much more worthwhile.

Do you people see what I'm getting at here? Is this a revelation
to you, noteworthy, or just obvious? Do you have worries, about
the fact, for example, that I don't actually know what vehicle I
intend to ride to the stars, or even which star I'm shooting
for, but merely know that it's "the stratosphere and beyond"
that I'm aiming for? And are there some of you who genuinely
DON'T want to attain Olympic level (I use the term
metaphorically, of course) at anything?

I mean, I'll never be an Olympic swimmer. Or cellist. But
there's going to be something ... can't quite tell what ... and
when I attain "that level" it might (or might not) involve
notoriety, but it will give me a type of dominant congruence and
strength that says, "hey, I'm a real man. You are just someone
else's bitch, and you are therefore my bitch as well. But I
sympathize with you, and like you, as long as you admit you are
seeking your own vehicle."

In fact (I suspect) if I merely find the vehicle, the act of
sitting in it will go quite a long way to defining that
character of dominant congruence for me. One of the first traits
of someone who sits in that vehicle -- the one tailor-made for
him -- is that he says, of all other vehicles, "It doesn't fit
quite right." So say I. I'll find one that's better.

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in
higher esteem those who think alike than those who think

Friedrich Nietzsche

Unless otherwise noted, this article is Copyright©2005 by "finalD" with implicit permission provided to for reproduction. Any other use is prohibited without the explicit permission of the original author.


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