What It Really Means to Be "Alpha"
I'm fairly new here, and deciding what to write about in a blog entry might seem easy enough, but I'd rather people enjoy what I read than just read it and forget it. So I spent some time this week going through the more popular posts on WSO, and a good chunk of them revolve around this hilarious concept of being "," and that "slaying hotties" is a badge of honor and the end-game for us guys in finance.
Even the posts about finding a way to be happy are all just about making money and getting ass. I'll chalk it up mostly to the college freshmen that post on this site, but I feel the need to set the record straight about what it really means to be an "alpha male." And it's a lot more simple than people think.. you don't need millions of dollars, a stable of women, or pumped up biceps. So for your reading pleasure, and inspired by previous bloggers, WhiteHat presents "The Alpha Checklist."
[ X ] - Be Self-Sufficient - This is where the money comes in handy. A man has to be able to take care of himself if he ever expects to take care of anyone else. This isn't all about money though. I'm consistently baffled by the number of Ivy League-educated people I know who can't cook, fix a flat, clean up after themselves, fix basic plumbing, do laundry, or properly clean themselves. There should never be a situation in your every-day life where the thought "I need help" enters your mind. If your apartment explodes because of a gas leak and you're not entirely confident you can put it out yourself... I think that counts as an extraordinary item.
[ X ] - Don't Get Your Ass Kicked - Another one Ivy League-educated friends of mine have a hard time with. I'm not saying you have to be Bruce Lee, but every man should have some reasonable level of experience in learning how to defend themselves. Taking a boxing class or learning self-defense is great not just for the actual use but for confidence purposes. But you don't even have to go that far, just hit the weight room a few times a week or something! You can't expect to give the kind of lip I see from some users on this site in person if you look and sound like Simon Birch. You've got two choices here: either learn to kick some ass or shut the fuck up. I strongly recommend a combination of the two.
[ X ] - Be Interesting - I'd say this is the key to "getting ass" for those solely interested in that kind of thing. Then again, if that's all you're interested in you probably aren't getting any and are a boring son of a bitch to begin with, so for that I pity you. Anyway, the reason people want to be around other people is because it gives them the opportunity to finally lift some attention off their own lives and see what the rest of the monkeys on this planet are up to. Assuming that statement isn't 100% bullshit, this means people gravitate towards those who live very different lives than their own. What I'm trying to say here is... the strategy of "doing what everyone else is doing so they'll like you" is counter-intuitive, and a real man acts the way he wants to act, and luckily that's what makes him fun to be around. This also means all the stuff people throw at you about having "game" and being a "pick-up artist" is absolute dogshit. Follow that line of thinking and you'll be getting as much as the dude on here who claimed to be an Asian dating coach (personal favorite thread during my search... couldn't control myself) as a side project. Screw that shit, be you and I guarantee the kind of girls that enjoy it won't be batshit crazy... well, not to you at least.
[ X ] - Act Like A Boss - This doesn't mean you have to literally be a boss... as in running your own company. What it does mean is that a man never puts himself in a situation where he's forced to bend to the will of another. For those of us in the junior analyst stage of our careers that probably seems pretty hard, but it's more of an attitude than anything else. If you're a banker, the work you do should be for the deal, not for your MD. If you're an investment analyst, your research and your pitch aren't to make your PM happy so he doesn't fire you, they're to test yourself as an investor. This is the attitude you should be coming to work with, and it's the attitude that will prompt you to make sure you have not only have success, but also have one of the things that's most important in finance, especially in a shitty economy like this: an escape plan. If you get the axe tomorrow, the last thing you should be thinking about is how your life is over thanks to your boss. Pull an Ari Gold and get on the phone working on that exit plan... Tsetse fly!
[ X ] - Cut the Politics - While lesser men sit around crying about what policy "should" be in place or what cause needs to be taken up to fix this rotten little world of ours, a real man is out there either fixing it or making the best of a bad situation. There's nothing more annoying to me than a political activist. These armchair warriors are the kinds of people who make me embarrassed that we share the same gender. Things aren't fair, the world isn't perfect, and no matter who's in charge you're going to pay a boatload in taxes, so instead of whining about it you should be out there making sure you find a way to live with it. By the way, despite what they say, chances are your vote doesn't actually count for shit. And like I've said many times before, nothing else in the world matters until you've made sure your own backyard is provided for. And lastly...
[ X ] - Know How To Drink - Yet another massive failure on the part of most of my Ivy League brethren. I get it. You went to an all-boys private Catholic high school and spent more time in a Princeton Review classroom than you did partying, and now it's your turn. Really, I understand. But by the time you get out of college, please have an understanding of how much you can handle. There's nothing more embarrassing for the other men in the room than when you're so belligerent that the bouncer forces us to take you out and the night is ruined because you couldn't hold down 3 Long Islands. And while we're on the subject, have a go-to beer and a go-to cocktail, and make sure neither are blatantly homosexual... unless you're trying to tell us something. Every man should be able to have casual drinks without things turning into a shitshow, and they should have a good idea of what they like and don't like. It's not rocket science.
You're up, monkeys - what else is important to being a true "alpha?" Is being alpha even important? Think this checklist is horribly inaccurate and want to punch me in the face? Have some other suggestions of what makes the man? I wanna hear it.
Mod note (Andy): Throwback Thursday, this originally went up September 2012