Lead yourself: Alpha Thinking required.

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Am I there yet?

All my life, I’ve wondered when I would feel like a grownup. Now I’m tired of waiting. I have always watched with envy, people who seemed secure in their convictions, surefootedly moving through life, never seeming to hesitate about their course.

I always thought that someday, I would wake up confident with my abilities and judgement and work my plan. The day never came. All around me, people step out and act like grownups. I always assumed that it was an automatic process and that if I waited long enough, it would just happen for me. Here in the twilight of my life I finally learn how wrong I was. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make it happen.

Alphas and Betas 

Everybody has heard about alphas and betas. We know about alpha males, alpha dogs and the betas that follow them with blind envy. The lore is that it is just your nature. You are born an alpha or a beta. Betas are suckers for this line of bull. I know first hand. By the time you realize that you are a beta you are already programmed to believe the story. That it is just your fate. Alphas are born to be leaders, full of self-confidence and bravado. And betas are born to cower and follow. It is a very convenient ‘truth’ for alphas who aren’t interested in encouraging competition and it is comforting for betas because nobody expects them to be any different, If you are a beta, then find yourself a good alpha to follow and relax. You don’t have anything else in you.

Of course, it’s not true.

The truth is completely different. If you are 30 years old and a beta (or even 70 years old) it is because you never decided to be an alpha. That alpha that always had you so cowed is an alpha because that’s what he decided to be. He wasn’t born an alpha and it certainly wasn’t his destiny. He had to earn it.

Some people learn alphatude at home from their parents. They probably never realize what a gift they received. But even if you are raised by betas, you can still learn to take charge of your life. You can change.

Betas live by excusitis. 

Betas tend to rationalize about their state by demeaning alphas as controlling and insensitive but true alphas are leaders and leaders care for and nurture their followers, sometimes even helping them become alphas. Being an alpha is not about controlling others, it is about leading. People follow or not because they want to go where the alpha is leading.

Do you have goals? 

If you want to take charge of your life, you must become an alpha. You decide what your want from life and take charge, learning the skills you need and charting the course that will take you to your goals. If you follow someone else’s trail, you are a a beta and will have to make do with someone elses goals and dreams. If you want to design your lifestyle, you must be (or become) an alpha. Don’t delude yourself any further.


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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • hansi October 4, 2011, 6:26 am

    I wanna be an Alpha so I can lead all the lemmings over the cliff. Now that would be taking charge of your life 🙂
    hansi’s last Blog Post ..The Story About Why I Was Banned From Using A Pager At Work

    • Ralph October 4, 2011, 10:25 am

      So you are heading over the cliff yourself? To each his own.

  • Bill Murney October 4, 2011, 8:40 am

    Ralph, this is a weird one, I am definitely not a leader – I never had the inclination, I always prefered to go solo. Neither am I a follower – am I an Alpha Beta?

    Bill Murney’s last Blog Post ..Entrapment

    • Ralph October 4, 2011, 10:26 am

      You are an alpha.

  • John October 6, 2011, 6:36 pm

    I see this often in the tech world that I work in. They aren’t alpha, but they tend to work alone and prefer not following anyone either. I think betas grow up thinking that doing stuff for yourself is selfish and have trouble leading, but that’s a problem I spent years overcoming myself so I can understand.
    John’s last Blog Post ..Utopia Systems Hosted CRM

    • Ralph October 7, 2011, 6:52 am

      I think there is a lot of confusion about alphas and betas floating around which makes it much harder for people to understand and manage their lives. But the biggest problem is believing that it isn’t your decision.

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