In order to thrive in the real world you need to be 1. smart, 2. tough, and 3. reliable. People in this sphere do well enough in the first trait, we’re passable in the second, and we are miserable failures in the latter. So we need to fix that because you can’t be an irascible, purity-spiraling hermit and also financially stable with an LTR and a baby. Reliability CAN be improved if we set our minds to it, because the Koojie Mans said conscientiousness is trainable, unlike g or (possibly) associative horizon. Therefore, I’ve broken reliability down into subtraits for your convenience.
Reliability is a measure of how leaky of an abstraction you are in your job function. If people can trust you to listen, communicate problems, and get your action items done without being micromanaged, then you are a good abstraction. If you don’t respond quickly to e-mails or you don’t follow-up on your tasks, then you cannot be trusted to work on important projects because you are undependable. Reliability has two primary components, responsibility (extraverted conscientiousness) and discipline (introverted conscientiousness). A responsible person is able to anticipate expectations, whether they are written down or unspoken, and can prioritize them according to what their customers, company and boss actually want done (vs. low-value time sinks, “it would be nice if…”). A disciplined person is able to continue working on something that needs to get done in the absence of motivation and micromanagement.
Responsibility can be further broken down into responsiveness, perceptiveness, conformity, and social skills. The times being what they are, responsiveness is now the most important of these because God forbid anyone wait an hour for a response to an e-mail. No one will come straight out and tell you this, but the standard expectation nowadays is to pick up the phone within two rings and a response to every e-mail within ten minutes. In both cases it’s acceptable to send a quick message back saying “I’ve seen this and will respond at such-and-such time,” but it’s a gross violation of expectations to spend a few hours working on a substantive reply and then send it back the next day. They’ll have taken alternative measures by then under the assumption that you were incompetent or purposefully ignoring them. This means you need to have a smartphone and get used to checking your e-mail and texts on it constantly. (The tips and tricks required to meet this expectation may deserve its own post.) Perceptiveness here means knowing what people’s expectations are (i.e. be red-pilled but don’t be a buzzkill), conformity means working to live up to and please those expectations, and social skills is its own topic with its own literature.
Discipline requires high mental energy, dedication to the greater project, personal organization, and low time-preference. Mental can be improved with diet and cardio and the others don’t need further explanation. So to conclude:
- Social skills
- Mental energy
- Personal organization
- Low time preference