“Be yourself” doesnt work?
Just add Alpha. Add sugar. Be your Alpha self.
But let’s get deeper.
If you’re trying the “be yourself” just to find such self isnt appreciated, and that you’re only appreciated when you bend yourself into what the world wants you to be, which is not “you”… what’s going on?
Here’s the news. You dont have a value.
As long as we talk in terms of appreciation, money, success, respect, etc, you dont have a value. Being yourself is no strategy to gain value, on its own.
Value, as a constructed thing, needs two. Needs a product and a consumer. The product screams “value”, but ultimately value is in the eye of the consumer.
Just like the price for an iphone on the middle of the ant-farm world is zero. Or just like the value of a great violinist drastically changes whether he’s playing on a subway or if he’s playing a solo act on an expensive theater. In short, who are you playing for? your audience determines your value.
But let’s get deeper.
We’ve got cards. Resources. Genes. Abilities. Stuff. How do you feel about what you’ve got, when the audience is gone? when there’s no one to pay for your stuff, when no external value and no exchange is happening… what’s left? who is you? when you stop all the games and trades and rules and stay in that moment, in silence. What’s there?
Feel happy? feel empty? feel content? anxious? do you have energy to spare or a hole that needs energy? are you self motivated and centered on your own happiness, or is it a chase? are you enough? who are you for yourself? are you, right there, playing violin on a subway on your mind, or playing on an expensive theater? notice that you’re not doing anything. But how do you FEEL and what do you PERCEIVE your value is?
That’s your inner value.
And when you stop playing games to please and comfort, when you stop all the tradings, schemas and masks… that’s your self.
And no matter how you feel about it you’re sitting on a pile of gold. We all are.
But let’s get deeper.
So you are sitting on a pile of gold. Your flesh your muscles your thoughts your abilities your… you. Your strategy, your social strategy, your survival strategy, is to exchange “you” for the stuff outside of you that you want.
And your true value, the market value, is defined by that transaction. And the value of what you get is also defined by that transaction.
Picture quickly, the value of getting the girl of your dreams in exchange of your sexual orientation. The value of getting the best food in the world in exchange of your ability to taste. The value of getting money in exchange of your freedom to spend it. And so on.
The winning strategy, like in any business, is to get more for less. More money for less work, more peace for less war, more love for less stress, more power for less conflict, etc.
And the key to do that is to maximize your market value.
So how? how do you that? Let’s summarize so far:
A) You’re a spiritual being. You’re an animal. You didnt come here to play games. You didnt come here to submit and follow and get lost in a market of values that doesnt give a fuck about “you”, but its only interested on you in terms of what they can get from you, to keep some abstract and ultimately nonsense, impersonal machine running. You came here to be you. This moment is the celebration of you. And it’s only happening once. Wasting it is a shame.
B) You want stuff. You value stuff outside of you. Even if you keep quiet, celebrating that oh so shiny moment of you, you want the exchange, you NEED the exchange. Its not so much about just needing other people, but needing to be part of that impersonal and macabre machine somehow, and play the part that “you” were meant to play on it. Because its a game. And games are fun… but not just that. You need the machine, because the machine is also you.
C) The machine still doesnt give a fuck about you. Unless you give the machine what the machine wants. The market doesnt give a fuck about you, that oh so special and shiny and real and true you. Because the machine, the market, the outside world, has its own self, its own needs, its own otherness, its own value, and it only cares about you in terms of what you have to offer.
D) Hey. Just reverse that, and that’s exactly how you view the machine and the market as well. You dont care, you dont give a fuck other than what the market has to offer you. You’re as selfish as you accuse the machine to be. You truly, honestly dont give a fuck, about other than the stuff you already give a fuck about. You are, after all, the machine. At least you are, for anyone who’s not you.
E) You’re on par on this game. You are the market.
If I had to state the strategy quickly, it goes like this: only proceed on transactions that are favorable on your own terms. That’s your succinct recipe for success and happiness.
But let’s get deeper.
How do you do this stuff? what’s the winning strategy? how do you turn your inner value, or your inner sense of self, your goods, cards, genes, your imagined pile of gold and your expensive theater where you play the solo act… how do you make that real?
Let’s start on the easy, stating how you do not.
The worst move is to sacrifice your own self in exchange of any kind of goods.
And even worse if such goods are the imaginary kind, like, the kind of goods that are supposedly going to make you feel better for having sacrificed yourself.
The “dont be yourself”, AKA fake, pua, beta, doormats, lostsoul camps fall here. You want something from the machine, love, acceptance, money, happiness, you name it. So you price yourself at zero, and give everything, in exchange of what you wanted, or at least some of it. Then wonder why you cant taste flavors anymore, why what you wanted doesnt fulfill you, etc. Like working 20 hours a day in exchange of 15 days of vacations a year. Go and really think that one. Like accepting anal rape in exchange of the medication you need to tolerate even more rape, plus some papers measuring how good of a taker you are.
Just dont. I’ll say it again. Dont. If you’re on that path, quit already.
So, when we come to this world it becomes quickly apparent, unless we’re either lucky or nurtured into an already tested mold of success and value, that our real core and persona have no value, and that the market wants something else. We get celebrated, punished, molded, into what the market wants. We learn what works our should. At best, we incorporate it. At worst, we fake it. At even worse, we fake it and then believe on it.
But even the lucky ones feel it. Every child star, athlete, successful people, even they feel it. Even if they’ve got it easy from the start, they feel it. They are worthless: their real persona has no value. Their market value depends on what the market wants. The actor would be nowhere without his physique, the tennis player would be nowhere without his trophies, the hot girl would be nowhere without… etc. It’s all on the magazines, on the buzz, on the superficial appreciation. Its all displayed and ranked on some ancient, pre-human state of things, its never about them. Its about the audience. And it all can be taken away.
And when you grow up and start discerning the market it becomes even more apparent. The market operates on face value. Appearances. Safety. Fear. Herd movements. Hunger. Primal stuff – powerful primal drives guided by simplistic, reductionist perceptions. Say. Flavor trumps substance.
The moth goes to the flame, doesnt it. It cant help it. It’s shiny.
So let’s go to the surface now. Enough of deep. Let’s tie it up:
There’s a form of love, which might as well be the only “real” form of love, that is not about a transaction. Its a spiritual bridge that transmits information. All the truth. It’s a powerful force that barres your ego and everything you think you are and renders the whole universe to nothing, and makes you whole with it, and makes you heal and trascend and shiny happy in a pre-post-non human way. But if you are reading so far, this isnt what you are after, right?
Because wanting to get stuff from the world – wanting to know if your self is enough to get stuff from the world and how to do it is transactional.
So let’s skip love – true love.
How do you get stuff:
By giving them what they want. On your terms. And in exchange of what you want. On your terms. And I can say on your terms all day long, but it is, and will always be, about giving. Giving. Them. What. They. Want.
That’s how you get stuff.
Getting stuff is the business of giving.
Got the goods? deliver. Got ideas? ship them. Got skills? perform them. Whatever is what you’ve got, use it. Be your fucking self, on the market. Focus on giving, and if your value is high, the returns will be even higher.
And how do you maximize your value:
1) Start off your pile of gold. If you have problems dealing with who you are, if your perception of inner value is tampered with the perception of your market value, just cut it loose. If you find that “you” is nothing but an excuse, quit the excuse. Quit what you have to quit and burn what you have to burn. Destroy until what you have is whole, and you feel whole. Cut the fake until what you have is, indeed, you, and its shiny, or dark, or whatever is what is you. And from now on this is something you will never, ever betray. This is your compass now.
2) Find your market. Figure who your audience is. Figure who wants you, wants what you already have, figure who wants it the most, the very special (but hey, at the end of the day insignificant and value-less) snowflake of you, figure who benefits from it, who wants… fuck, who wants to PAY for what you already have. Find your market, find your tribe.
3) Figure how you stand up in the competition. Figure what you have to improve, figure the shape your inner-real self needs to adopt to cater to that market. This is not longer about “your self” (but dont worry, you’ll NEVER betray it) but about your presentation and how easily will YOUR market get you, and what’s your advantage over other people / products offering the same as you. Which are and will be many.
4) Cater the fuck out of them. Add sugar. Add color. Add shiny. And whatever you mold your shape into, make it as a way to make your true, real self even more apparent, even more accessible, and bigger, so you and your real self can grown and develop within. Expose that value. Push it over the top. Peacock it.
See, in Vox’s Hypergamouse comic, where the character is advised to “be himself” and he runs into a random girl stating he’s seen StarWars a hundred times… his fail aint assuming his real self. His fail is talking to THAT girl. Because he should be talking to a girl dressed as Princess Leia in a StarWars convention. His fail is not finding his market.
Got a steak? add salt and sell it to the carnivores.
Got icecream? add sugar and sell it to the fat people.
And put it in a nice package. At a price. And pass the voice.
While you can sell package / sugar / salt without an icecream or a steak on it – while you can fake what the market wants with no “you” or substance involved, the transaction will make you empty. Whavever you’ve got, that’s it. That’s your product. The truth. Then cater.
And there’s plenty of people hungry of you. Only waiting for a bridge to come over.
Whatever you’ve got, find your market. Cater to them. Compete, grow, and deliver.
That’s how you increase your market value.
That’s how you grow true to yourself.