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My Journey to Power

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Expanding my social circle 

As you guys might know I’m expanding my social circle. Before I was going out with a core circle of 5 friends. It was a great idea but it made me dependent on them for my social life. My idea was to integrate my peripheral friends with this core friends. I changed my approach.

What do I do now differently?

I book my week-ends with friends I’ve not seen in a while. So now I’m getting calls from the core group. They’re reaching out to me. This put me in the chooser role. I pepper my week-ends with different friends not only from the core group. It makes me more powerful as I can choose.

I’ll still do activities with my core group but by inviting individuals from this group. I have my favourite friends but I don’t depend on them as much as before.


Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Some random quick thoughts:

Quote from John Freeman on April 30, 2022, 6:52 pm

(4pm)Me: ....7:15PM (and giving him the other details of the place)

(6pm) Him: Ok

Him: But it's early (judge power move: "it's too early")

Me: Other spot: 9Pm (being fact-based, addressing the power move, without justifying myself, minimizing investment: low-effort)

I  think you're reading the dynamics correctly here, and that's half the win already.

I'd have replied:

Him: But it's early (judge power move: "it's too early")
Me: yeah, that's the time 🙂

Or, alternatively, "yeah, that's our early time".

Very high power, without being confrontational or gamey.
The second even agrees with him, thus briding and maintaining rapport, but form a position of equal -or even higher- power.

Sub-communication being:

it is what it is, your thoughts about it won't change it (and don't matter)

I'm not sure if it's PU that lists it now under the high-dominance behavior, or if it's in the negotiating lesson spun-off in Business University.

But it's listed as a high-power approach that some negotiators adopt when they have all the leverage.

Quote from John Freeman on May 8, 2022, 9:29 am

There was a girl who was questioning herself about being a boy. I think that our role as adults is to provide reassurance. The questioning is ok. However the message should be it’s ok to be a girl and not it’s ok to be a boy. I mean I think it’s more benevolent to help a person accept themselves than not to.  I think our role is to provide a solid frame not a moving one. I’m not a psychiatrist so I recognize the limits of my knowledge.

I could see this health advisor is herself not at peace with herself. I don’t know her sexuality. However I’m wondering how much is the hurt being able to help the hurt.


I don’t think I’m going to confront her with that.

I 100% agree with your reading of the situation here, and really not cool to have

And because of that, I feel like I have to throw it out there:

Maybe you can consider doing something about it?

In this case, there is a third party on the line with an underdeveloped brain and who is going to swayed by the adults who are supposed to care for her.
They may be led astray by someone who may ever so slightly push them towards cross-gender identification when a much simpler solution and approach may be more effective and much better for them.

So yeah, you may take some heat and escalate with this lady, but you may do something really good for that little girl.

And albeit there is definitely some political risk, if you handle it well, you may even gain points in the process.

Quote from John Freeman on May 13, 2022, 8:14 pm

Expanding my social circle 

As you guys might know I’m expanding my social circle. Before I was going out with a core circle of 5 friends. It was a great idea but it made me dependent on them for my social life. My idea was to integrate my peripheral friends with this core friends. I changed my approach.

What do I do now differently?

I book my week-ends with friends I’ve not seen in a while. So now I’m getting calls from the core group. They’re reaching out to me. This put me in the chooser role. I pepper my week-ends with different friends not only from the core group. It makes me more powerful as I can choose.

I’ll still do activities with my core group but by inviting individuals from this group. I have my favourite friends but I don’t depend on them as much as before.


Awesome stuff!

Looking forward to hearing how that will change the dynamics.

Mats G and Bel have reacted to this post.
Mats GBel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you very much for your answers, Lucio! They are very helpful to improve my power intelligence.

yeah, that's the time 🙂

So simple yet so powerful.

About the transgender issue, we are supposed to have a course about it. I'm aware I have a lot to learn about it. So maybe I'll see things differently.

Thanks for your overall support in my development.

I want to share something in my journal as well:

I stopped drinking coffee about 2 months ago. I sleep better and snore less. I drink 2-3 times a week an energy drink or a cold coffee from the store. However what is the most important is to quit the habit of "feeling tired" -> getting a coffee, waking up --> getting a coffee. So even though I still drink caffeine, I drink way less of it than I used to as it's not a habit anymore.

This is also something I want to share, I realised that if you want to make any change, you have to make it public/share it with someone. Because as long as you keep it to yourself, you can negotiate with yourself and continue the behaviour/habit.

A recent example is a friend who got depressed (feeling he failed his life project, wasted his time with his ex-GF) but kept it to himself. As soon as he opened up, he could work on it and get better. I did not see him for about 3 months. As soon as he opened up I told him how I accepted as he was and that everything he went through in his mind is common for many people.

So here are the habits I'm working on to get rid of:

Watching porn: this is a habit I picked up as a teenager. I used it as an escape, to avoid boredom, relieve stress and feelings of loneliness. I also used it to keep me from getting hurt (if I don't have a relationship, I cannot be hurt). I realised that it's actually not helping me to be happy/meet a woman. I almost don't watch it anymore and it does not give me as much pleasure as it used to now that I'm more aware of why I was doing it. It is linked with the habit of masturbation. It is something I tried to stop for years and I'm getting closer to success than I ever have.

Smoking tobacco: I smoked from 18-23 yo and stopped for 10 years. Then I smoked for 2 years from 33-35. Now I started again about a year ago. I started because I was curious to know what it was to be addicted. Stupid but true. I think I also started because I wanted to fit in but this might have been unconscious. I used it against anxiety and boredom. I behave absurdly by buying tobacco and throwing it away in the night and buying it again. Sometimes I could buy it twice a day. I think I wasted at least 500 euros this way. It's stupid but it's an addiction and it's how I kept it at bay for not buying it so much. I'm fighting this since 6 months and I'm getting closer to stopping. I smoked cannabis with some friends then I smoked CBD + tobacco and then I did not want my neighbour to think that I was smoking joints all the time (since CBD is not psycho-active) and fell back into the trap of tobacco.

Screens: this is eating my life away and has been for years. I wasted so much time with this that I cannot start to imagine. Now I'm aware and I left a sign on my wall: "What else can I do than watching screens?". It's so easy to watch screen and it is also stress-relieving. I used it mostly to relieve stress, not feeling alone and against boredom.

All these habits are also easier to fall into in our stressful and individualistic society. I am responsible for it. However, I realise that a lot of it comes from living alone and not having much else to do when I'm home and I don't want to read. There can be a trap in our society: go to work, go home, watch screens go to bed, repeat. On week-ends: go out, get drunk, etc.

I started to listen to music again. I know I created all this when I started medicine and fell into this rat race kind of mindset. So I know I can get out of it.

Now that I have my exam it is also paralysing me and I resort to screens. As I wrote that, I'm realising that I get paralysed by people's expectations: success, etc.

I feel like I need to re-invent my life. I think the hospital taught me a lot of things but it took from me a lot of my freedom, peace of mind, time and sense of self.

Writing this is kind of therapeutic. As said above, I'm also saying this because I now make these public. I'm not ashamed anymore. This shame was the nest where these negative habits could thrive. I'm going to take my life and time back. This starts with standing the discomfort that will arise when I'll remove all these "crutches" which are more like deadweights and prevent me from evolving.

So I need to find healthier hobbies than watching screens. I feel like I need to quit the hospital to get a life again. Otherwise, I feel like I'll stay stuck in this cycle. My profession being so regulated means that there are a lot of requirements to be able to do it. I now see the price it had on my psyche.

Spending too much time working in the hospital can be detrimental to one's mental health. Most of the people who still work there either are not aware of it or agreed to give up some of their sense of self/freedom. A small minority kept their sanity. It's the same with any kind of organization: as you said Lucio, it's when you dissolve yourself in it. It manifests as you think about it outside of work, etc.

Your work takes too much space inside of yourself and leaves little place for walks, conversations, restaurants, hobbies, partying, etc. All the things that life is made of.

I think I need to work in a private pediatrics office if I want to be happy. It's all about the environment. I have a positive and supporting chief now and I can feel the difference. I'm not stressed to go to work and I'm grateful to him. I now realize how important it is to work with people you like and respect. I now make it a priority.

I think I chose the right profession. However, I want to be happy doing it, not miserable and bitter. The prestige won't make me happy. I'm now ok to be average. I'll do my best to be excellent but not at any price. I don't care what other people think about me. They're going to judge anyway. I'm not there to make them happy. I'm there to make myself happy.

I think we live in these productivist societies which are crazy (to get the most out of us). If we don't resist actively, we end up lonely and unhappy despite all the "success".

This was long. Thank you if you read this.


About what was painful in my past: I realized that there was nothing wrong with me. I did not know how to defend myself that’s it. If people abused me and (will abuse me) which is basically harm done it’s their responsibility not mine. My responsibility only lies in my response.

About me thinking I’m bad in pediatrics : I realized it’s not true. I’m in a difficult field in a difficult/toxic environment. I’m smart but I’m tired with all the constraints. I realized I put a lot of effort and still need to. However I’m allowed to be sick and tired. Complaining won’t help me but taking action (even if resting) will. I’ve also been listening to a book about the impostor syndrome which helped me a lot. I listened to a book about overthinking which is basically anxiety and helped me as well.

My parents messed me up and it took me about 20 years to heal from it. I’m still healing though and this feels like I’m close to full recovery. Not perfection but good self-esteem and self-confidence.

I’m not lazy nor deficient. This is just difficult and I’m doing my best. Sometimes I feel like giving up and it’s ok .

It’s all about how, what and why we think what we think.

Update 2: Sleep. The past 4 months I’ve finally been able to get more and better sleep. I’ve been fighting with “revenge sleep procrastination” (procrastinating the moment to go to bed)  for most of my life. Now I finally have made huge progress with it. It’s linked with a sense of not feeling in control during the day. I’m working on it and I also have more autonomy at work now. This goes back to our environment and to the use of screens. So I can say I made huge progress in this area. I’m now working on not procrastinating when I’m coming back from a night out on the week ends. Now I know it’s in my hands.

Also, about a negative psychological bias: I was remembering mostly my failures. Like exams. But with all what I studied I succeeded in hundreds of them (I studied 17 years at university) and only failed a small minority of them. Otherwise I would not be where I am. Yet I remember them the most.


Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Today, I had a good news:

A colleague of mine is going to work in private practice at 60% of activity for a salary of $8000!!! That's about 14'000$ per month for a full salary.

So I could get a good work schedule (no nights, no week-ends).

He who seeks find

I thought I was going to be trapped in the hospital, but I think I found my way out. 🙂

I was so depressed 6 months ago because I thought I was stuck at the hospital with shitty schedule and colleagues.

Lucio Buffalmano and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoBel


Nice, glad to hear, John!

The feeling of finding a way out of a trap is one of the best sensations in the world :).

Plus the possibility of combining a good salary with lots of free time, that's like a dream for most.

And... If with some of that free time one day you'd like to start preparing a "Doctor's Power University" course, just let me know :).

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thanks! Yes it is 🙂

I’ll let you know! 🙂

Hello guys,

Here are a couple of experiences that I'd like to share with you. I'll get into the habit of writing them down here the day they happen to me, otherwise they accumulate and finally I don't post them.

Being too machiavellian

During the lunch at the hospital, I was eating with the nurses from the emergency department and my new colleague (high-quality guy overall). I knew that one of our chiefs JY was going to leave for another hospital as I learned it through the grapevine. I was not sure my nurses colleagues knew about this and did not want to tell something that I did not know was public yet.

So I tested the water and asked: "do you know if someone else is going to leave?" Silence. My colleague says, talking to the nurses: "JY is going to leave I heard". I think he said it genuinely. Then I said: "Yes, I heard it, however I did not know if it was ok to say it". I think this made me look too machiavellian.

Next time, if I would like to do the same I would say: "I heard another chief is going to leave soon, have you heard about it?".

Actually, the truth is that this was maybe not the best time and place to share this kind of information. I think that deep down I wanted to know if they knew and I felt superior by knowing what could be a secret info. So either: 1. I would keep it to myself. 2. I would be straight up about what I know. My mistake is the intention behind was not genuine. I thought I could use this info to be more part of the group.

My friend did not travel and did not tell us

We were supposed to have a board game that we do with a specific group of people. One of them was supposed to travel and therefore was not available. I later learned through a common friend that he did not travel and did not tell us. When I asked him why via WhatsApp he did not answered. I'm still going to confront him in private next time we see one another. With time I found out that despite he's overly joyful and positive attitude, he can be quite opportunistic and self-centered. So now I don't consider him a close friend anymore. A friend, but one that I have to keep in check and put boundaries with. Otherwise, he would care only about himself.

Another friend have started to see it about him. So I do not have to do anything about it.

My colleague one-ups me: "Hopefully"

We were talking with my supervisor and my colleague (equal). I said: "we never get bored in this unit". I meant it that we get all kinds of stuff (good and bad). My colleague said: "Hopefully!" which framed me as being a negative Nancy and him enjoying his work. I did not say anything. I could have said: "Yeah, I love it as well". But he would still have taken the lead. Don't mistake me, he's a great guy and am happy to have him as a colleague.

A friend one-ups the group: "I let you guys remake the World, I'm going to bed". 

I was at a friend's place one evening and there was one of his female roommate. We were having one of these political-philosophical conversation. We were 4 guys so it was difficult for her to have a word as we tended to dominate the conversation. However, she could contribute as one of the members. I'm saying this because I think she felt a bit under-considered as she said before leaving: "I let you guys remake the World, I'm going to bed". 

"To remake/redo the World" is a French expression. It means that you're talking about how the World should be. It is condescending as it designates the difference between teenagers and adults (who accepts the World). That is not what we were trying to do. We're trying to understand the World and come up with alternative.

I could have said: "We're sharing our perspectives to understand the World, just as you did with us until now". As she participated in the conversation until now.

Becoming too serious by wanting to become more powerful.

This has been covered in a recent topic by Lucio.

It's a work in progress 🙂

I started to become the person where the information goes and people confide

In 2 situations, 2 friends have an unspoken conflict with one another. Be and Fa have one and Na and An have another. In these 2 situations, they said that they had problems with one another and haven't spoken to one another about it. My advice was that they should speak together. I also put them in a better light by saying that I understand their attitudes without validating it.

Be and Fa: Fa and his GF have spoken badly about Be in his absence. I told Be. Now he's a bit estranged to Fa. I told Be that Fa did not mean harm (true) and that it was something that he could consider forgive him. That Fa was a good friend and is always ready to self-reflect and change (true).

Na and An: Na was supposed to go have a drink with An. But Na saw something better coming along (BBQ with his family) so he cancelled on An the same day with the excuse: "since you did not give me any news, I booked something else". An felt rightly that it was an excuse so he could so something he enjoys better. So he did not answer to Na's texts anymore. I told An that he should talk about it with him. He felt disrespected, rightly so. What I found funny is that An did the same a number of times to me: not cancelling but waiting for something better to come along before agreeing to book. So what goes around comes around. Of course, I did not tell him that.

Gossip is not all that bad

Also I noticed that it's good to talk with other colleagues about what is happening in the hospital as this is how you get the juicy information.

That's all for now! As said above, I'm getting into the habit of writing down all the power moves I was subjected and that deserve an entry (I could not respond or I think I did well).

Another one:

My friend accused me of being a pedophile

We were at his place and I was talking about my job. How passionate and happy I’m about it. He himself does not have a job and has been depressed about it. I’ve been compassionate and a friend to him about it. I was talking about that finding my job was worth all the effort and that if we keep persevering we end up finding what makes us happy.

He said (group setting with his roommates): “you know what you could have done that does not require to work or study? Pedophile”. No one laughed and were waiting on my response.

I turned to him and said: “I knew this was coming. I leave this to you” with a little smile. And continue to talk as if nothing happened.

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Lucio BuffalmanoBel

Hey guys, thanks for the thumbs up! Just in case I posted a longer post above.

I came here to post that I'm going back to listen to Tom Bilyeu. The past year or so I went to sleep because I was overworked and unsatisfied in my professional life because of the toxic environment.

I started board games and had new friends which changed my life for the best.

I realised that I don't want Elon Musk's life or a Professor's life. I want a simple life: friends, family, a work that I enjoy, hobbies, a beautiful wife.

However, I started to spend a larger amount of time consuming screens, basically wasting my time. I wasted a lot of time. I think I was also depressed due to the lack of respect and training at work.

I think there is a balance between the extreme life of Elon Musk and the one of a bum.

However, I have to go back to a self-empowering mindset. I have to go back to self-responsibility and the quest for success. I CANNOT self-sabotage.

That is my new mantra: I MUST. I MUST pass my exam. I MUST stop these unhealthy habits. I MUST CHANGE MY LIFE.

I have now a comfortable life as many employees get at some point. However, I MUST go back to the mindset that got me where I am. I MUST desire a better life.

I understand I needed some rest and escape. I understand I was overworked and had unhealthy schedule and environment.

However, this is not the end and it's certainly not an excuse. I choose to change my life once again as I did in the past. I feel it's a big challenge and this is why I avoided it until now.

I also understand that I got addicted to easy dopamine rewards. However, it is not a fatality and it's certainly not the end.

I CAN CHANGE. I MUST CHANGE! There will be failures, but I must change.

I understand I need rest. However, I also need to work my ass off if I want to have a better life. Average is not enough. I accept that I'm average. However, even though I don't want to be a professor or a multi-billionaire, I want more out of life.

I also understand that my new friends were not as ambitious as I am or as I was. I'm grateful to them for that. However, I must go beyond my environment. That means beyond my friends' beliefs and mindset and beyond my work environment.

There is only one way: to nourish my mind with mindsets like the ones from Tom Bilyeu. I'm not ashamed to want a simple life. However, I want a good simple and balanced life. One where I'm aware and the things in my life are the things that I chose. Not the things that I took unconsciously along the way as coping mechanisms.

That means also to CHOOSE HOW I SPEND MY TIME instead of wasting it.

I'm tired, ok I can see a friend. I don't want to see a friend, ok I can take a walk. There are options to live a life beyond the automatic patterns and the habits. Even if it's to have new positive habits.

I know I can do it. I admit to myself that I chose to be lazy about it so far. I did not want to admit it as I preferred to be ok with repeating self-defeating thoughts. I did not want to make an effort.

These are my values for the time being:

  1. Action
  2. Effort
  3. Confidence
  4. Love
  5. Virtue
  6. Courage
  7. Discipline

I needed to have more fun in my life as I worked a lot these past 20 years. However, now that I have a more balanced schedule for this rotation, I have fun on Friday and Saturday night with my friends. So now I can go back to work to build my ideal life.

Now I start to visualise it better: I will travel again, I want to play music again. I can do it. It is doable. Before I felt stuck and trapped. I was trapped by the system because I had no choice but to navigate it. And I also got trapped by myself because I did not want to grind anymore. I was sick and tired of it.

However, all that I got in my life was the result of massive effort.

So the next step is going back to the gym. This is what I need to provide me with the needed confidence and feed-back loop.

I'm going now after having finished to study.

Update: lesson learned: when you are too tired, you will slip to laziness and won't do what's required to reach your goals. The answer (for me): sleep and exercise. These are the foundations to find energy again to go after my goals.

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Mats G
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