After the Breakup

They say that when you break up with a girlfriend, you should not spend time pondering about what might have been. The best treatment is keeping yourself occupied. After my breakup, I am now burying myself into my work, into the gym, and into investing. I’m spending a bit more time with my family and I am focusing on reading books in my spare time so I can learn more. I have shunned social events and holidays and now seek a regimented life filled with ritual and routine. In a way, I feel like all this is a way for me to inflict work upon myself to atone for my sins.

I had a performance discussion with my manager today, and I am really positive about my career. The key, I think, is to never let on to anyone at work that you are lazy. Always give your manager (and all your colleagues) the impression that you are eager and willing to learn, that you are ambitious. I learned this the hard way because I was a little too relaxed in my early years, which obviously does not help you build a good reputation in the workplace. If you present yourself as ambitious and earnest, your employer cannot fault you on anything, and when people think about you when assessing performance, they will remember your energy and hard work. I laid out to my manager my plan, which was to build skill and knowledge both within the team but also outside the team. He seemed impressed with me and had positive things to say.

I was thinking last night that I have more respect, deference, and trust towards my current manager than I do my father. The impression I get from my father is that every piece of advice he gives me is advice to further his own selfish goals. I never get the sense from him that he genuinely cares about me, which is sad, I think because he is my father, and I expected more from him, and it is a huge disappointment to me that he is what he is. When you lose faith in your father, it’s as if you are sceptical of all people and you start to place your trust only in yourself or a very select few.

After going to the gym after work today, I bumped into a female colleague I used to work with. We sat together on the train. It was nice talking to her. Truth is, after my breakup, I do feel lonely now, and working like a horse can wear you down. I’ve been immersing myself in my work and in the gym in order to forget about the breakup, but I’m not sure if I’m doing enough. Today I had lunch by myself. Just before heading off to lunch, I actually did an instant messenger search to see who I could have lunch with, but I couldn’t really find anyone and I suddenly wished I could pay some girl say $20 an hour just to have lunch with me. I have this fantasy, I suppose that I had girls on call and I could just ring them up and be at lunch with them in minutes. I just wish that female intimacy were more commoditized and access to female intimacy could be as simple as a mobile app. The forces of the internet, which have revolutionized news, music, film, and books, have yet to disrupt the old rituals and inefficiencies of traditional dating and marriage.


Treating Friends Like Investments

My life is fine at the moment. Trying to build more alpha male behaviour has been successful, I think. It takes practice transforming yourself from a nice guy, but I think I am progressing well.

Yesterday, at work, I attended a team meeting where I was really able to make an important contribution. It feels good to be recognised in a positive way at work, and I find that this is starting to happen a lot. I think the key is to simply be earnest and to keep trying to be as helpful as possible rather than just sit back and expect the manager to hand everything to you. You are in charge of your own life.

I am handling my family and friends well. If I don’t want to do something, I have not been afraid to say no. I can think of three instances where I have just said no when invited to do something. This might not be a big deal to some, but for me it is a big deal.

I have a new approach to friends that is similar to investment portfolio management. Your friends are like an investment portfolio. You invest your money in businesses, bonds, stocks, property, or some other asset. You chop and change based on which asset you think will give you the greatest return. This, I think, should apply to friends. If there is a friend who, after meeting with them, doesn’t make you feel good, then the return from this friend is probably not going to be great, so it is necessary to divest and distance yourself from him and put your time into friends who make you feel good. I suppose the problem with me is that, in the past, I’ve been lazy, and I’ve just spent time with friends who keep seeking me out. Usually those people who seek you out are doing so because they want to use you in some way. Rather than passively accept an invitation to an event, I should really be picky. I should reject those offers that are not appealing for me. I should be able to say no and to tell people that I don’t want to do this or that. Then I need to proactively seek out those events or those people I want to be with.

Fund managers buy good assets and sell bad assets. The same applies with your friends. You put your time into good friends and spend less time with bad friends.