Mindset is Status: Freeing Yourself from the Status Slavery
If you understand social status and status signaling, you understand everything about humans and the human condition. Understanding social status will help you make more money, save more money, and live a life of freedom.
Status is everywhere. It’s inescapable.
Even if you don’t care about social status (you most certainly do), social status cares about you.
Your social status is your position on the hierarchy of humans.
Your social status is constantly in flux and changes based on social circumstances. There are many CEOs who are alpha males at work who go home to a life of being a beta.
- Gorilla Mindset shift: Most of the powerful men you admire live in fear of their wives. When you feel intimidated by a powerful man, smile to yourself knowing his life is one of quiet desperation.
Status signals are behaviors you engage in, consciously or unconsciously, that shows others your social status. When you walk upright with good posture, you’re signaling to the world you have status. When you shuffle your feet and look down, you’re also signaling your status.
Status signals can be useful. If you are a lawyer, wearing a Rolex shows you are a successful lawyer. If people perceive you to be successful, they are more likely to hire you.
Yet our innate need for status can be hijacked, causing us to live lives of servitude to the system.
What is status? Status is a social construct. Status is what everyone else says is status.
Status varies by culture. In the U.S. youth is prized above all else. In hunter-gatherer cultures old age was valued, as age symbolized the possession of the will and wiles needed to survive our precarious and dangerous ancestral environment.
In the West, the following behaviors and attributes are associated with status:
- Physical attractiveness
- High intelligence
- Proper manners
- A large vocabulary
- Home ownership
- Cool cars
- Hot girlfriend or wife
- Successful husband
- Dominant body language
- Home ownership
- A large group of friends
- Name-brand logos
- Designer jeans
- American Express Black Card
- Business class travel
- Private jets
- College education
The pursuit of status is the root of all unhappiness
Do you feel insecure for lacking a college education? Why? Most college graduates are idiots. Finishing a new Great Course from the Teaching Company once a month would give you a better education after 4 years than possessed by even a Harvard graduate. (See what I did there? Harvard is status.)
Arguing is status.
Why do you care if people believe you? I see people scream at each other, and that was even how I used to behave. Who cares?
We care because winning an argument increases our status. But what is our prize for winning? Usually nothing.
Expecting people to prove something to you is a status play. You seek to impose your ego on others and have others validate your intelligence.
Who are you to demand anyone prove anything to do?
Spending money is status.
Logos are status.
Because I am not “plugged in” to the status associated with logos, I feel nothing. Yet someone who is still plugged into the status game feels weird.
Do you see how status is slavery?
Not all status is bad, and there’s a human need for status.
Friends are nice to have. If you have high status, you’ll have more friends. (Yet many of those “friends” only associate with you to boost their own status. Status is a double-edged sword.)
Status gives you access. Access opens doors. The rich really do get richer. Making a million dollars is harder than making 10 million dollars from one million.
Most Venture Capital funds are wrong 99% of the time. You can be wrong 99% of the time and look like a genius if you 1000x your investment. Only rich people can afford to play this game.
Status hijacks your brain.
Status makes you a slave to the opinions of others. You see this in journalism. So-called conservative journalists claim to have principles, but ultimately they want to be accepted within the dominant social hierarchies, which are controlled by the left.
Cocktail parties are status. Read Bonfire of the Vanities or talk to some New Yorkers. These people are obsessed by being known by the “right people,” even when knowing the right people will not lead to a direct life benefit – and in some cases impressing the right people makes you broke keeping up with the Jones.
I’m reading a book about Americans in Paris. Being accepted by Parisians is a huge deal to these Americans – who largely come from New York. Why? Because Paris and Parisians are status.
Why are they high status? Because everyone else has taught you to believe that.
Do you see the dangers of status?
Status is slavery.
Most anger results from a feeling others have not respected your status.
When you say you are not being treated like you deserve to be treated, this is due to your unconscious belief you are high status. Often this belief is delusional and based on imaginary unearned status.
Moreover, status is contextual. If you’re seen as being low status, it’s likely because – in that situation – you are.
- Gorilla Mindset shift: No one owes you respect.
When you stop caring about social status, you are truly free.
Again, status is neither good nor evil. Yet for most of us the pursuit of status leads to unhappiness, insecurity, and even financial ruin.
Be conscious of your desire for status. Perform the Gorilla Focus exercise: Ask yourself in the present moment whether your drive for status is brining you closer to your vision.
Make status work for you.
Gorilla Mindset Status Habits
Never buy status (unless your purchase will have a positive ROI).
Beats by Dre are inferior headphones and are a status purchase. Name-brand clothing (especially with visible logos) are status purchases.
Surrender your lust for status. When you are upset with how you are being treated, ask why. You likely are upset that your status (real or imagined) was not recognized.
Remind yourself in the present moment that a desire for respect is a desire for social status, and that no one has to recognize your status.
The Status Worksheet
Answer These Questions to Become Free from Shame and Status
Am I sending off status signals? If so, to whom?
(You are sending off status signals every day. If you can’t list these behaviors, then you live a completely unconscious life of slavery.)
Write down three people you have recently tried to impress: ____________, ______________, _______________.
Why do I want these people to like me? Is it because they are virtuous men or women, or is it because I’ve been conned into believing their opinions matter?
List three positive results that will occur if you impress the people you want to impress: _____________, _____________________, ______________________.
- Gorilla Mindset shift: You may need to kiss ass or hobnob with the right people to get what you want. Status is neither good nor evil. We must instead consciously understand why we are seeking status by asking ourselves whether attaining status will truly meet our deep human needs.
Will this purchase lead to a direct and measurable increase in my desired outcome? What do I desire out of life?
- Gorilla Mindset shift: Never pay for status unless you will have a positive return on investment.
Do I want to impress women who are impressed by status? What does her obsession with status do to our ability to live a nice life while saving and making money? Will she pressure me to work high-stress jobs to fund her desire for status?
Live life on your terms. Gorilla Mindset shows you how.