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My Journey to Power

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100%, extremists...

For people like us who do their best to think rationally these people are the antithesis of this. It's belief before facts.

For me I have a beef with homeopathy as it is a scam to me. This leads to anti-vax and anti-medications.

So it's about moderation. Yes, thinking makes that you won't have all the answers and it's ok. It's about accepting not to have all the perfect information and deal with it.

So fanatism is a solution if one wants to confirm what they already think. But if you face reality as it is, doubt will be part of your experience as we cannot grasp reality as whole.

When you go one route only, then life becomes easier and existential anxiety gets lower. In my case it was having found my mission. Well, bad luck it only lasts for a time. One has to find meaning in some other way after some time. Human beings are more like a flux of consciousness and this flux is impredictable by nature. Thinking we can control it is naive at best and dangerous at worst.

There is a part of us that must flow. That is change. For whatever reason (weather, our mood, the dog, etc.) known or unknown. It's the human experience.

I feel some of these people want to simplify the human experience in an attempt to regulate their existential anxiety or worse: to prove a point (that is to be right an ego thing, wanting some superiority) to themselves and/or others.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

I'm going to work on these priorities :

  1. Challenge the frame: as I wrote in the other post, I'll either use it as a mantra (repeat in my head to embed it in my subconscious) or ask myself: "how can I challenge the frame" when being socially challenged in a power showdown.
  2. Be careful not to over-invest: this is related to self-esteem/self-worth. We over-invest when we think we are lower value than the other person. It's self-sabotage as when we do it we do subcommunicate that we feel we are lower value. So it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  3. Check every single power move: I know some power moves are to be ignored or let it slip. I'm writing it here as in my situation it's better to err on checking too many power moves than to little. I'm still too nice and submissive in my eyes as of now.
  4. Use more of body language: like the head shake. This is a powerful dismissive power move when somebody makes a silly attack on you. Very high power, useful and adequate. So definitely a great default "go-to".
  5. Thanking people: we talked about it here. I now have a working framework. I'm going to experiment with it for a few weeks/months before giving feed-back about it. I already thank you Bel, since from my early experimentation it's quite effective.
  6. Justifying lateness: we talked about it here. Nothing more to add. It's respectful to justify lateness as long as it's empowering for the other party (private information disclosure).

I'm writing these as a reminder and also so I commit to it. I'm going to post these on my wall as well.

Thank you everyone who helped me come up with this plan. The best ROI for me at this stage is to work on power and social dynamics. I've done enough introspection for the moment. I need to improve on techniques now. I will clearly go back to introspection at some time in the future of course.

When I write this kind of notes, I think it's a bit frustrating as I would like to evolve faster. But we are made of flesh and are imperfect. So our imagined growth rate cannot be as fast as our real or expected growth rate. There is also the risk of the "trying to be perfect" fallacy.

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Lucio BuffalmanoMats GBel

I will add:

Be careful of not using teacher frames (if not warranted): I still make this mistake from time to time. Way less often though.

Work in progress.

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Lucio BuffalmanoBel

Quick update:

I got scammed with the car, now in the process of giving it back" and getting refunded. I will have lost 800-1000 in the process. Many lessons learned and I now have a new network of people I can trust to check on the car. It's quite a long story. If I do find the time maybe I'll write about it. I'm now looking for another one. In the mean time I'll use the train and it's ok.

At work, my challenge in my new role is not my skills and knowledge as I first imagined. It's not with my bosses, nurses or midwives. It's with the residents (still quite a shock to me, knowing all I did for fellow residents). As you guys know some of them are challenging my authority, trying to task me, make fun of me publicly (if I forgot a file open on another computer that they have to use and I had to close it for them to use it). So it's one at a time in my radar. Basically I have to dominate them to make them respect me, it's the manipulative kind and the only thing they respect is domination. The current one I have in my radar is clearly manipulative as she's using a mix of:

  • Sucking up to the bosses above me in my presence (social climbing) to make them look better than me: this only works if the boss is playing this game. If the boss trusts the level below him (me) first, then he will go through me to have the info instead of going directly to the resident. In short, for me to have authority, my boss is responsible first not to short-circuit me. If he does then he gives permission to ignore me.
  • Complaining/victim mentality: "Pffff... I still have so much work". Makes them look like hard worker even if it's their normal job.
  • Social climbing: challenging my decisions and diagnosis in front of other people. I backed down 2 times already telling her she was right and realised afterwards she was not. She has 1 year experience, I have 5 and she behaves as she knows better than me.
  • Certainty: that's quite effective, she's using certainty to assert things (even if false). So it's a game of who sounds the most certain.
  • Babying: she talks about parents like: "Daddy" or "Mommy". Talking to them like this (to the father): "Daddy has still medicine at home?". Yeah I know it's bad. We use "The daddy" or "the mommy" when we talk between us but not 3rd person in front of them. I use "your daddy" when talking to the child.

So definitely a gaslighter/manipulator as she uses many different techniques depending on the situation. Only for status of course. As you see, I'm in the observing phase: I have her on my radar, am taking notes. My strategy is to task her and dominate her hard. That's all these manipulators understand. I just have to be careful not to overdo it so she won't try to seek revenge.

I recorded a few posts I want to write about these situations. I'll do my best to write about these situations. Thanks again for your help with the challenges I encountered so far! On the humorous note: I feel like we are part of a secret army: stab me in the back but look around first as I'm not alone even if I look like it.

Social life: a bit on the back burner. I'm not organising as many events as in the past. However, I get invited to more events now. I think it might be due to my improvement in social skills/warmth/power.

Love life still on hold.

Self-development: listening to the "Status game". It's a bomb. Thank you very much Lucio! (spoiler) 3 status games: virtue game, domination game, success game. Boom, just boom. Now when I encounter someone I can classify what game we're playing. Like my expats friends from France who don't have a high status job/high income are playing the virtue game as they cannot play the others (ecology/social rights game: "I do my best to be aligned with my conscience", "De-growth is important", "this politician/party is an asshole", "Capitalism is bad", etc.). At work, it's a mix of the 3. I'm finding that my weakest spot is domination games. It's good to be able to pull it off as it's often the last resort game when all else fail. Loving it! A very interesting light shed on the human condition.

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KavalierPower Duck

Hello everyone,

I'm in a dilemma currently. I am now free from the training program since I finished my training.

I realized that private practice medicine is not for me (at the moement):

  • Most of the consults are for benign viral infections (gastro-enteritis, otitis, sore throat, runny nose, etc.): so it's quite repetitive but not challenging. In private practice it brings a lot of money since they are short consults so you can put many of them in a day.
  • Private practice is a choice that many people make because they don't want the difficult schedule of the hospital.
  • Well-child visits is doing consult with mostly healthy children: it's a checklist giving advices to families and vaccination. It's good to spend time with the families. However it's not intellectually satisfying nor challenging. It's also what brings a lot of money in.
  • The freedom of being a business owner is kind of an illusion to me in medicine at least. You do your own schedule yes. But if you don't work, you don't get money in. You have employees yes (medical assistants), but then you have to manage them can stumble upon a rotten apple and it's a huge issue to fire them afterwards. You own your own business yes but you have to do a lot of paperwork. You work part time yes but you work 60% of the time and have to do paperwork 20-40% of the time left, adding up to 80-100% like in the hospital (you don't work less than at the hospital). You can take as much holidays as you want yes but if you take too much your partner/parents won't be happy as you must be available when they need you.

In short, I realized that:

  • The freedom you get as a business owner is more than relative. I actually feel more free as an employee than they are with all their responsibilities
  • You do make more money but is it really worth it for all the additional work and worries? I'm not quite sure
  • I prefer to heal children who are quite sick than giving advice to families whose children are healthy. I trained 10 years and I don't feel like I'm using the knowledge I have. Also when you give advice you don't really do anything you just speak.
  • Doing checklist and vaccines does not require to be a doctor. So like above, I don't use my training for this.
  • I prefer to do more interesting work than having a better work schedule
  • I prefer to work in a team than alone
  • I prefer to work 4-5 days in a row and then have 3-4 days of free time instead of working the 9-5 and having 2 days of week-end. I don't mind having less week-ends at the moment since I don't have children. The only people I have to synchronize with are my friends and it's ok if I don't see them every week-end. I can also see them during the week.

So I'm now going to do more hospital work and looking at working in emergency. I can always change later if I feel like it.

Thanks to Lucio, I still consider moving to another country to find my dream woman (as in it's worth it). I'm still considering moving for 1-2 years to either: Canada, NZ, Australia, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, UK or Sweden. It's also great for work experience and opening my mind. And going for 1-2 years mitigates the disadvantages since it’s limited in time.

About the advantages and disadvantages, I have already some ideas. Either the pay is less (everywhere apart from Canada and Australia), it's far away (Canada, Australia, NZ), it's cold (apart from Australia, NZ, NL, UK), or the healthcare system is crumbling (UK but many interesting cases and good training because big population).

Right now I'm in a comfortable spot: I have a flat, a job, some friends, see my family. So now the opportunity cost is much higher. However, I'm still considering moving to challenge myself and for my love life. In CH I haven't found what I'm looking for and the dating market is not favourable to me on dating apps.

I know I already wrote most of this. I'm still in the same spot but it's also to think out loud. Something I'm afraid of is that all the work I did to build a social life here I will have to start over. I think it's good to get out of someone's comfort zone though.

For instance, in Switzerland, the level of comfort is so high and the country so small that me driving 50 min to work is "far" for most people. So in terms of competition, if I'm ok with moving further, even 1 hour driving gives me an edge.

So the bottom line is that as I found out in the past: many rewards awaits us outside of our comfort zone. So I could do the safe way or the riskier way. It's on my mind.

Long post I know. Thanks to all for your support!

Mats G has reacted to this post.
Mats G

Something I realized today.

Just like I was unconsciously incompetent a couple of years back about power and social dynamics I’m consciously incompetent at the money game.

I focused in the « first part » of my life on the inner stuff. Basically feeling good about myself, healing childhood trauma and improving my character. The philosophical and spiritual part. It’s a never-ending journey anyway. I think the prioritizing was adequate and the suffering called for this work to be done in the first place.

Due to my (religious) family values I undervalued money until now. « It’s just money » was my motto until now. With my upbringing the spiritual stuff was valuable (also a virtue game BTW) whereas the material stuff was supposedly not. So my parents were bad at money (debt and all) while spending too much: unconscious consumerism hence the « supposedly ».

I have now a financial counselor which I paid $300 for life advice. It is a good deal and I learned tons. However I did 2 contracts which were not for me at the moment: my mistake. I’m in the process of cancelling them. I also got ripped off with the car (I think the guy really did not know was semi professional not really proficient and did not check properly).

So basically without becoming paranoid I am now aware how much more other people value money compared to me. It does not make me more virtuous though. Like anything in life I have to adapt to my environment. Both value system are fine. The thing is not to under nor overvalue money. Just like with power, refusing to play the game makes you more likely to lose the money game as it is happening anyway.

So basically, I am now focussing more on the outer stuff. Or at least be more intentional to become good with money. It’s not my priority but it does not have to be something that I neglect. My mindset now: « my money is my work ». And my work is my time which is my life. So it is valuable in itself for the effort to acquire it. I was also biased since I like my job so it does not feel as painful to acquire money than if I would hate it. No social climbing here just exposing a fact. That biased me further to undervalue my money.

Finally my family were spenders not savers (as opposed to my grand parents). So much to learn I still have.

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Lucio BuffalmanoMats G

Yeah, that sounds like a great realization, John.

I've done the opposite from most of my life: focusing more (too much?) on spending little.

I always felt better knowing there was some spare money because to me that was power, independence, and my power insurance against possible asshole bosses or poor companies.

In the end, you can of course go extreme on either side, so a happy balance and whater best fit one's life and goals of course is best.

But some knowledge of money is definitely important anyway.

As you say, just like total blindness of social and power dynamics can make you an easy target, so does total ignorance around money (albeit, in my opinion, power dynamics is higher prio since it already covers some possible issues around money. Ie.: if a banker or a business seems to offer something too good to be true, even without money knowledge the non-naive guy is more likely to turn suspicious).

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John FreemanMats GBel
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Thank you, Lucio.

In many aspects of our lives when we try to change something I noticed it’s either because we were doing too little or too much of it. It’s often quite interesting to see here and in life when someone is coming from the other side of the spectrum and is correcting in the other direction.

Indeed Power dynamics is higher priority. In my negotiations for the car and then getting my money back it’s power dynamics that helped me in the first place. I was also aware of not giving a price first (made the mistake in a recent phone call when he asked me what was my budget. It was a way to set an anchor price and I was oblivious of it but now I know).


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Lucio Buffalmano

Listening to Good Strategy Bad Strategy, I have this new idea that what am I missing is a life strategy. I have ideas in my mind and certain goals some written down. I used to use OKR, vision boards, etc. These are goals.

For instance about choosing a country where to go abroad: I am still stuck with the same list. Now I have an idea to have priorities that I'm looking for and attribute a weight to them then a grade to each for each country (example: Netherlands work-life balance 8, weight 5 for work-life balance). This will help me make decisions.

Also by viewing things as strategies, I think it will help me stick to them for instance for losing weight if I see avoiding calories-rich food as as strategy.

So it's opening my mind to a different way of approaching my life goals.

Thanks Lucio!

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Just got out of the psychologist specialized for gifted people.

I am now certain that going abroad is the right choice. I now understand why I was feeling like that: I had to adapt a lot to my professional and cultural environment. However my drive as individual got a bit lost in the process. Also the “dull” side of Switzerland makes me feel like I’ve “seen it all” even if I did not. So I feel like I need to change.

So what’s at stake here is “creation” and “strategy”. That is I must create a life strategy or have a strategy to (re-)create my life. This is very much inner stuff and personal. There is no higher logic to it.

Now I feel aligned with my inner drive and feeling and how it relates to my individuality.

Just “following the right path” in Switzerland won’t do it for me. I need to explore and create. It’s a powerful drive in me.

So now I see that there are 4 dimensions to the next part: South vs North and Germanic vs English speaking. They all have pluses and minuses so in the end my personal feeling will be the final judge.

Now I have a plan. Just tidying up my apartment, computer, basement and having a career won’t do it for me. This must all fit in a greater strategy. So now I feel motivated to move forward: I need to re-create my life. A new chapter is coming I can feel it and it’s not exciting.

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Lucio BuffalmanoPower Duck
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