Saturday, May 19, 2018

How to accept a compliment

I came upon this May 17, 2018 op-ed in the New York Times "How to accept a compliment"

"According to experts at the university’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, two thirds of the time, Americans respond to compliments with something other than, or in addition to, “Thank you.” We shift credit (“My mom picked this dress out for me.”), make a historical comment (“I bought it on sale.”), question the complimenter (“Hmm, you think so?”) or lob back a compliment (“I like your outfit, too.”). Other times we downgrade the compliment (“This thing is so old I was about to give it to Goodwill.”), reject it outright (“I feel like I look like a hobo.”) or treat the compliment as a request (“You want to borrow it?”)." -Carolyn Bucior

Ms. Bucior seems to think "the compliment is a coded invitation to chitchat, and simply saying, “Thank you” linguistically slams the door in the complimenter’s face." She shuns the simple, yet wholesome "Thank you" for reason of shutting down on chitchat/conversation.

She is wrong. Of course, I don't write about women codes or coquetry. I write about a winner's etiquette.

The smart way, my way, is exactly that "Thank you !" without any explanation or reciprocation. Do not reciprocate, not because you are rude or lacking manners. There is subtle exchange of energy your way when complimented you are throwing to the garbage when you respond on automatic reciprocating with a compliment or explanation. They don't teach you that at Harvard. Old wolves know it. You now know it, too. Accept the compliment wholeheartedly, openly (always accept, again, don't ignore). Do not dismiss or look down upon the compliment. In fact, we should say "Thank you" more often than we do, such as when catching the train or subway on time. You can accept it with a smile and say nothing. Or say "Thank you". The conversation can still go on if the complimenter follows with an opening story. What's important here is to accept the compliment fully, without excuses or remarks.

Quote of the day:

Monday, May 14, 2018

Alpha men gladiator archetypes: Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

Today we write on the traits of the main male warriors in the Spartacus miniseries (2010-2013), with extensive reference to the fan-powered Spartacus Wikipedia.
After reading this post, ask yourself: Which one am I ? (If you're a beta or an omega, sit behind the dugout).

1. Spartacus, The Champion of Capua, The Slayer of Theokoles, The Bringer of Rain

I named Spartacus history's first and foremost underdog. What's Spartacus like:

-a serious leader
-unflinching, unbendable like dura steel
-strong moral compass
-serious in tone and speech
-merciless towards his enemies
-yearning for liberties and freedom for slaves, he is the architect of the rebellion
-"stuborn, hard-to-recruit as a gladiator"
-Spartacus is very shrewd, eg: " Spartacus and a small group of rebels infiltrate the arena through a gutter."

Spartacus and the rebels bring down the Arena of Capua.

Just before the execution of the former gladiators is about to commence, he and Agron disguise themselves as guards and enter the arena behind Gannicus and the other gladiators to 'stand guard.' They observe the fight, and see Rhaskos fall. Meanwhile, the rest of the rebels succeed in setting a fire underground, and the arena collapses in flames, spilling thousands of spectators to their fiery deaths."-Spartacus Wikia

Quote of the day: "Cause no matter what you've told yourself, You can't outrun what you've done. You can't outrun who you really are." - Lucifer to Cain, Fox Network, Lucifer: Season Finale

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

10+ Reasons Why Donald Trump is weak and is spelling failure

I will excuse Trump women fans from reading this post. They wouldn't understand it anyway, yet they are certainly a large group. Trump got elected by women - some 6 million of them, the same ones that voted for Obama years earlier voted for Trump in 2016. (this goes against the common perception of white males majority, when in fact the males weren't the decisive factor).

We look at what makes an alpha male here, not at what makes a hamster brain spin.

1. Discipline is the highest virtue. I keep repeating this over and over again, a man without discipline is a hollow shadow. Somebody that is tweeting at 3 AM is either crazy, drugged up, or a real loser. The only people awake at 3 AM should be the narcoleptics, the pimps and those in their employ. My girlfriend knows I will not answer her call at 3 AM, or anytime before I undergo my morning routine and put my affairs to order. She could be sitting in a dungeon. It doesn't matter.

2. Being petty and vindictive. That sounds like some women I know. Why do we have to go back to reference women when we are talking about a guy ? Gee, that is some mystery.

3. So women are driven by emotion. If you have a guy like that, what exactly do you have here ? Someone that's masculine ? If a man does things to get the approval of others, he is beta male.

4. It is women, once again, who tear down their competition instead of focusing on improving themselves. The mark of the worthy man is his focus on self-development. If you don't focus your energy on yourself, you are not an alpha male. Period. You may be a carnie worthy of a circus.

5. There's this new show called Krypton, a prequel series to Superman, that started in March. The villain there is Brainiac, played by British actor Blake Ritson.

Quote of the day: "Lesson One: Never drop your fucking guard"-Oenomaus to Spartacus, Spartacus series

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The cure to envy

Envy is a subroutine of the HOS (Human Operating System); a lot of readers have concerns over it. The NYT had an Oped article recently The Upside of Envy written by Gordon Marino, a professor of philosophy.
"In his essay “On Envy,” the philosopher Francis Bacon wrote, “Of all other affections, it is the most importune and continual. For of other affections there is occasion given but now and then; and therefore it was well said, ‘Invidia festos dies non agit.’ ” That is, 'Envy keeps no holidays.'"
Mr. Marino recalls when a "sixtysomething friend boasted that he had recently completed a marathon, I was able to restrain myself from giving rope to the indignant thought, 'Instead of running miles every day, why don’t you spend some time tutoring disadvantaged kids!'"

This is called projection-evisceration. A lot of people have "envy to the N-th degree", which is what I would describe the author when he had that thought (kudos for stopping himself from voicing it out loud). As a repetitive thought pattern, envy is very damaging. We need to take control of that poor thinking process.

The best way to deal with envy, like with any (damaging, in this case) loop is to:

1. Break it with an action -if that doesn't work, then,

2. Realize we don't control what others do, say and who they are. If that still doesn't work or if it is not your operating system [it's called the stoic OS], then,

3. Realize there's always somebody better or doing better than we are (the superlative connection). If that still doesn't do it, then,

4. "Judge" others on other metrics (multi-metric comparison). "Yes, he makes more money than I do, BUT I have a better looking girlfriend than he does. Or I am in better shape than he is, etc."

The best and final rule of envy is one of the  12 Rules of Life of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson and others,

"Always compare yourself to who you were yesterday."

Friday, May 4, 2018

You've got talent: so what ?

"Are companies promoting people for talent, or for physiques, rosy cheeks, and facial symmetry?" -that's a question asked in the Wharton Magazine Spring issue featuring Professor Michael Platt and the new Wharton Neuroscience Initiative. (link to the article)

I know the answer to that question, and so do you. I talk about it a lot about in my future book, to be released this Summer. And since people love color coding so much, I'm thinking of doing something outrageous, like an all-red book cover. People may start associating it with the red light district. (we know what that means). There was also a site that is no longer in existence, I think it was called MyRedbook, something like it. That is not going to be the title of the book, however.

Platt and another scientist, Graham, have the crispiest of arguments between them:
Graham: "So the brain is working against us !"
Platt: "The brain is us."
Me (imaginary, if I was present):" Geniuses at work. Brain vs. brain"
Readers may take away simple exercises, described here as "nano tools":i.e., considering the uses of a pencil other than writing.

On the importance of having a solid butt:
"monkeys advertise a lot about their vitality and health through their backsides. Healthier baboons, for instance, have bigger, redder rear ends and are more attractive as mates."
Quote of the day: "Destiny is what you create for yourself. Fate is when you fail to create your own destiny." -Sadhguru
On the monkey porn experiment:

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

This is what an alpha male is like

People keep asking the question of what an alpha male is like.

I have been following Stormy Daniels's attorney, Michael Avenatti, for a few weeks.
You have your answer right there.

This guy is the alpha, not Donald Trump. Scores of men have embraced Trump as an alpha, without thought or reason behind it. This is the sort of "monkey branching" we -aptly- criticize women for. What a bunch of weaklings ! I can give you 20 reasons why Donald Trump is not an alpha. And I am not politicizing this debate.

You don't need to race cars at 220 mph to get there.

You can start small. But you have to start somewhere.

Life is going to make you happy, but it will first make you strong.

Strength comes from character. From pushing against insurmountable goals.

Character comes from striving for lofty, hard goals.

Are your goals in life easy ? Or do you strive for hard goals ?

Friday, April 27, 2018

David vs. Goliath

As my loyal readers know, we specialize in helping the underdog here at WS Financier. We are faced however, with the conundrum of distilling wisdom not only to brave men and women but to the adversary who watches us keenly to pick up on anything they could use against you. So I need to somehow get a message across that's either downgraded or downplayed by the enemy. When the snake entered the Garden of Eden, it didn't attack target Adam directly, but went to Eve. (Are women more susceptible to evil ? -that's a fireside chat for another time)

Combing through Internet files, I came across some Eve quotes allegedly by the former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. If he made this statements at press conferences, this guy was some 90-year old stud:


Did he really say that ? Going on,


In this quote, former President Mugabe says that you should court many girls as a way of protecting your girl. This guy just keeps on giving.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Getting fired: no explicit reason

Reader Sky wrote this email about her situation at work.

"Hello, Max. I have taken the courage to write you about my dire work situation. I work in the entertainment industry and I am a music promoter. I have been with my company for three years. Unfortunately I find myself now being told I'm getting fired. There's very little to go as to why. I am a great employee, I have received numerous commendations for my work, which has increased substantially in the past year. I did not expected to get fired. Also, I don't have another job offer. 


You're being gutted and you don't know why. I thought this topic concerns most people and I broached the subject in my future book that will come out this year.(in the book I also look at executive employment agreements having seen some of those). Some CEOs that are forced out think they can get their stock options grants before the year is done even if they're not vested. There may be some basis for that.

What you need to know is that you are at-will, and you can be fired for any reason or no reason. The situation sounds unfair, but that is the law. Are you getting any severance pay or are you going to have to struggle to pay your bills ? That's a tough spot to be in, for sure.
Thought of the day:
"Warriors do not win victories by beating their heads against walls, but by overtaking the walls. Warriors jump over walls; they don't demolish them."

Friday, April 20, 2018

In Silicon Valley, "Endemic" overvaluation

A new study cited at Techcrunch by  Ilya Staebulaev found that "One in 10 unicorns is overvalued by at least 100 percent, and on average a unicorn reports a valuation 50 percent above the fair value, citing the problem of post-money valuations.
"The common shares are overvalued by 58 percent on average, and for almost half of unicorns “fair valuation” dips below the billion-dollar threshold."
"Whether or not we will see a crash on anything like the scale of the bursting of the Dot Com bubble is similarly difficult to say with certainty, depending as it does on which dominoes fall first and how hard investor confidence is hit. But suffice it to say, there will be some major casualties." -IS

Reference: Gornall, Will and Strebulaev, Ilya A., Squaring Venture Capital Valuations with Reality (February 27, 2018). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 17-29. Available at SSRN.

Quote of the day: "You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough."-William Blake

Sunday, April 15, 2018

10 Questions - 10 Answers for a better life

Today I am taking 10 questions from the readers and answer them swiftly.

Question #1 comes from reader John:

1. Max, I work in the intelligence community . I'd like to know how do you deal with haters. Thank you.

A1: Alas, John, my take that's not some non-sense Internet "haters" but an actual person in your life who doesn't like you. I've got haters peppered high and low. There are two things that you should do, actually, three:

a) Get yourself stronger. Stay in shape, stay crisp, stay lean. Be unaffected.
b) Ignore them.  For most haters, for 80% of them, that should do it. Stay on your mission.
c) Continue reading this blog.

Question #2 comes from reader Stowe:

2. Hello. I am a business owner with around 50 employees (tech industry). How do I assess the people working for me. I am hiring and promoting now. Thanks.

A2. Assessment is contiguous , and you should have your metrics, your KPIs, which I'm sure that you do.

Why don't I give you a quote from the book I am working on, book to be released this summer:
"According to science, grit appears to be correlated with the Five Factor Model (FFM) or Big Five Personality traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Neuroticism has been correlated with the so-called “mental noise hypothesis”.  Scientists have scaled the “mental noise” and you can test yourself by taking a Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (Broadbent, Cooper, FitzGerald & Parkes, 1982, available here in 25 questions). Hopefully the score is low."

If you want a high "grit" person, this is something worth looking into.

Question #3 comes from reader Charlie

3. Max, who is the alpha male of the week. Thanks.

A3. Charlie, I have somebody in mind, who is very strong.  But these people receive already a lot of media attention. So on this website I've concentrated (so far) on Hollywood characters and actors. Mads Mikkelsen comes to mind from Hannibal.

Quote of the Day: "Breath on a nostril of a horse.
                  And it could be yours for life,
                  But you have to get close" -David (Alien: Covenant)