"Forgetting about Race... It Isn't That Simple!"
Let me introduce myself. This is RK (formally known as Gatsby). I took APB's bootcamp last August. I am a volunteer writer for APB.
I've wanted to read an article about race and identity for a while. Then, I read Itotem's blog entry about APB's seminar in the So Cal Lair. He wrote an excellent review, yet some of his comments triggered a few thoughts.
In particular, "Being Asian is harder if you believe it to make things harder . . . Your belief system is what makes things harder, not the actual fact that you are Asian . . . Change your belief!"
He is basically stating... "what you resist about you, persists about you." Having studied psychology, I know that his point is valid.
I'm also very aware of Style's quote, "This is my reality. This is my world. And you're a guest."
What a fucking word. I've been told over and over about the power and importance of inner game. Every major pick-up and self-development courses discuss inner game.
Feeling good about yourself, focusing on your positive traits, thinking positive. All great things.
But seriously, what the fuck does it mean?
People like Itotem tell you to stop thinking about race and focusing on your positive traits.
But let me backtrack here for a second. Where does inner game come from? It comes from your identity. And identity comes from your life. And life comes from you.Let me tell you my brief story.
When I took APB's bootcamp, my inner game was in a shattered state. My sense of self, my identity, all torn apart. You could've never tell by interacting with me, cause I kept it well-hidden. Deep inside.
Protected by excuses and rationalizations and denials. If you and I decide to engage in a pity party, a feel bad for myself party, I guarantee you -- when it comes to feeling sorry about yourself regarding the game, I'll beat you every time. Guaranteed.
Why am I being drastic? Because I've practiced personal development. I've seen The Secret. MANY TIMES.
I tried major attitude changes:
I can be so honest about my problems, to the point I can't bare it anymore. I am in the game because I can't lose.
- I've gone to sleep listening to positive CDs.
- I've read PUA books.
- I've read PUA CDs.
- I understand inner game.
- I understand outer game.
- I understand social dynamics.
- I understand it all.
Losing in the game means giving up on myself, not being able to sell myself.
I can't quit cause I've committed. Why am I still trying? Because I know the end. I know that it'll greatly improve my lifestyle and quality of life.What am I trying to get at?
Over the past year, my identity and inner game have substantially improved.
But two things also happened:
But the more important things started happening:
- I became more aware of my thoughts and emotions.
- I stopped filtering them through rationalizing bullshit.
- For example, when I used to see a hot girl during the night, I would think to myself, "She's hot... but she's probably a slut . . . and probably stupid."
- I worked hard on my life.
- I did well in school.
- I became a leader in a 95% American fraternity.
- I got the best job on Wall Street.
- Relationships with family and friends improved.That's when I realized the secret to inner game...
It can only become as good as the quality of your life. And this forms a stronger identity and sense of value.But what does 'quality' mean?
It's not about success or money. And It's not just about confidence.
- It's about having things and doing things you're proud of, passion about -- from anything from music, basketball, work, career, or even being good with girls.
- And it comes from DOING. Not just THINKING.Let me talk about Asians for a second.
This can apply to anyone, but I'm going to focus on a stereotype. Most Asians (at least that I know) are driven in academics and career. I met a guy, a 2nd year residency medical student in radiology this past weekend. He was talking about how he feels so sorry for himself. I was getting pretty fucking pissed.
I yelled at him, "You fucking dumbshit. You're a fucking doctor. A radiology doctor. You know what that fucking means? You're going to make $350,000 a year in two years, working 9 months a year, 40 days a week. Don't you get that???" Fucking shit. Hasn't he watched Grey's Anatomy or E.R? What I'm trying to say is this.It's about having a strong identity.
It can come from:
- Your academic excellence,
- excellence in sports,
- career success,
- or being good with girls.
- BUT IT HAS TO COME FROM SOMEWHERE!
My friend lacked an identity. Or had a weak one from years of fucked up social conditioning.
How do I know? Cause I've been there. And in many ways, still overcoming it.
Some people like my radiology doctor friend has one... a strong one... that he can just start building one and becoming aware of. I told him about 10 times, "You are.. a fucking doctor. Do you get that? Own it. Be proud of it." I had to build an identity from scratch. One that I can be proud of.
And sorry, Itotem. It didn't come from changing my beliefs, focusing on my positive traits.
It came from hard, painful, persistent dedication to the activities of my life to be someone I can be proud of. It didn't come from readings of books and blogs about positive thinking and figuring out great things about myself.
Maybe you fit in better with the mainstream...But sorry, bro. Not me. And not many fellow Asians that I know.
It took massive fucking action to overcome a fucked up inner view of self and world that made me want to give up the game many times over. Because I wasn't having the type of success I wanted, and I knew why. My inner game.
It's not easy to forget about race. It's also not easy to rebuild inner game, and identity, and years of social conditioning and memories. I know. From experience. I've hit rock bottom before.
And it sucks.Yes, there are people who can overcome the notion of race. You know how?
By portraying a strong identity. You know how I know? Cause I have Asian friends like that myself. For them, their identities are stronger than any stereotype that can be made of them.
But do you get that... for Asians, that these are exceptions?
When's the last time you thought like that of a non-Asian, especially a Caucasian. Have you ever thought, "Wow, he's an exception to his race" because his identity was so alpha and strong. I bet you haven't.People critize APB.
For focusing on his race. For focusing on this niche audience. That he dwells too much on counter-racial bias. What people don't understand... is that he does it to help you a form a stronger identity, a stronger frame, a stronger inner game.How would he help you if he can't make you aware of things. Things that you might not even understand about yourself?
I have nothing else left to say.
- Gatsby (New York City, NYC)
Labels: Alumni, Asian, Asian Men, Confidence, Gatsby, Guest Writers, Inner Game, ITotem, New York City, Race, Race Coping Strategies, Style