(Watch the video above then read me)
My homeboy Evan Marc Katz wrote an interesting post where he ranks himself in the following categories: Looks, Intelligence, Personality, Career.
(For the record, he offered up straight 7s, with possibly an 8.5 on intelligence and maybe 6.5 on career.)
He also asked his readers to leave their own evaluations in his comments section. I thought this was a great thought experiment and decided to write a post on it to extend his idea. He was inspired after he read this New York Times article, “How Much Do Looks Matter? A Freakonomics Quorum.” Check out his post and the Times article.
EMK’s take is that it’s hard for us to be objective when ranking ourselves, we typically rank ourselves too highly, and always rank ourselves above average. Money quote:
The good news is that having a combination of self-esteem and self-delusion seems to be exactly what allows us to function. How would we feel if we didn’t believe we’re above average in every single way? I’m not sure I’d want to know.
I agree with this to a certain point, but I happen to think that it’s necessary for us to rank ourselves honestly (even harshly) and to strive for 10s if we want to get anywhere.
Another thought: everyone is going to perceive you differently, and there’s no “being objective” about this type of thing. I’m half-Asian, so one chick might think I’m a 10 looks-wise because she totally digs the Asian look, but the next girl might rank me as a 3 because she hates the Asian look. To each their own.
Living Up To Your Potential
What’s really important is that you rank yourself where you are today and strive to get to your 10. Not what someone else perceives your 10 to be, but what you perceive you to be. Let’s use looks as an example. Let’s say you have a fat, pasty guy with a bad haircut and average facial structure. He wears lameass clothes and generally has no style. He honestly ranks himself as a 3. Not the worst creature on Earth, but certainly a long ways off from being attractive
He joins a gym, works out every day, starts running. In a year he loses all the weight and has a jacked body. Additionally, he gets a tan and a cool haircut. He updates his wardrobe and wears flattering clothes. This guy screams fitness, health, style and class.
What are his looks now? A lot of his friends and co-workers rank him as an 8. More importantly, he ranks himself as a 8. He’s updated his presentation and this guys looks great!
I’m of the mind that you can do this with intelligence, personality, and career also.
I’ll use myself as an example in all four areas:
Looks: 7. I can usually bump this up +1 when I dress well and I’m in particularly good shape. For me to get to a 10, I’d have to spend a shitload of money on clothes and even more time in the gym.
Intelligence: 6.5. I’m above average, but clearly not Mensa material. I have a good analytical ability, elite creativity, above average emotional and social intelligence, but a lousy memory. Just to give you an idea, I scored a 1200 on the SAT and 1200 on the GRE. Meh.
Most of the work I’m doing these days is in increasing my social and emotional intelligence, which I value more highly than book smarts, memory, or analytical ability.
For me to get a 10, I’d have to learn a memory system and achieve elite status in my emotional and social intelligences.
Personality: 6. Again, above average, but a long ways to go. I’m a funny SOB and some people think I’m a “cool guy,” but I know I can do a ton of work here. I want to smooth out my body language, clean up my vocab, work on my voice, increase my bantering ability, strengthen my inner game in a number of areas, and project that I’m a high value guy, among other things. I work on personality almost every single day.
Social Value: 3. I rolled career into the social value category because I think the term career is too confining. What we’re really talking about here is our social status relative to our peers. Career, money, family, fame, notoriety are all parts of the equation.
Social value is definitely perception and context based. I have this one circle I run in where I have near elite level social value (sports), but in other circles I’m average. In a dance club, unless I manufacture the value, I might walk into the place with a 1 value.
I ranked myself as a 3 overall because I know there’s a long road to getting what I want. My 10 goal would mean being a successful entrepreneur with a multi-million dollar portfolio. And a big house on a lake. And a Ferrari. And a bit of notoriety for being a great writer.
So here’s my advice. Forget what other people perceive your rankings to be. Rank yourself realistically and set long term goals for what you can achieve in looks, intelligence, personality, and social value. Then go about getting it done. If you’re not striving for 10s across the board, you’re pussing out big time.
Kurgan’s Wager, from Sinns of Attraction. Kurgan talks about inner game, psychology, and how thinking positive will get you better results. This is an excellent article, and I highly recommend it as a starting point if you’re interested in improving yourself in the four categories I talked about above.