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Alexander J.A Cortes @AJA_Cortes
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Lessons from my Grandfather

-My grandfather currently has only a few months to live, and he has led a successful but complicated life

Some of what I've learned
1. Perseverance matters more than processing

My grandfather was one of 8 children born to an abusive Irish Catholic that beat the living shit out of his wife and kids

DESPITE this, he went on to have a very successful life
he grew up dirt poor in a hovel neighborhood in New Hampshire,

When he was 8, he lost an eye when he got ratpacked walking home from school, was whipped in the eye with a chain
Despite how he grew up, he eventually ended up a multimillionaire and was immensely successful in the advertising industry, stocks and bonds, and real estate investing

He was self taught
He was an angry, cold, heartless sonofabitch the whole time I knew him growing up

But he MADE IT, regardless

When people talk about masculine "vulnerability" and "emotions" as making a man,

Its bullshit.
He had utter internal grit and was an angry man his whole life and he never ever ever let anyone or anything stop him

He got what he wanted
2. IQ is destiny

My grandfather is one of the most intelligent men I've ever known. Were I guess, his IQ is likely in the 140-150 range

He was the SMARTEST of all his siblings,

And the most successful, but extreme lengths
His siblings ranged from low IQ, 80-90s, to himself, very high IQ

His success was in large part due to his extreme intelligence

Combined with his work ethic and grit, he was quite formidable
3. A Man can be good at being a Man, but not treat people very Good

my grandfather married my grandfather when she already had three other kids,

This was in the 1970s,

& he adopted all of them (my mother being one of them)

And took care of all of them
By all accounts he was NOT a good father, and had no ability to provide paternal warmth or love at all

Despite that, he worked furiously to make sure all of his adopted kids, and his two biological children,

that they were taken care of for life
He made everyone get jobs, got them jobs, set them up with opportunities at every company he worked for, and loaned out $$ constantly
To his often dissappointment, most of his efforts were unrewarded,

But looking back, his generosity was insane, how much he tried to help his children
4. If you want something done, do it yourself

My grandfather was self taught, in practically everything

Advertising, investing, real estate, hell even golf

He had some mentors, but he was largely autodidactic
he had a system for learning that I picked up on

-He'd read the technical literature/guides to whatever the subject was

-Then he'd read an Autobiography of a very successful person in that subject
-then he'd simply go out and DO IT. He'd start small, and then gradually scale up his efforts
-He managed to get very good at many things this way
5. Fuck your excuses,

I never heard him complain or whine about anything.

I never saw a single emotion from him that resembled "doubt" in ANY FORM

I mean absolutely nothing. No one remembers him expressing reticence ever
If things didnt go his way, he'd get angry and try them another way

If people burned him, He hated them until they were dead, and then hated them more

The only reason he ever slowed down was because he had a massive stroke in his 50s that crippled him
Which he then overcame by RELEARNING how to walk and talk and move

He had to relearn how to talk. He was that incapacitated from the stroke

Can you imagine how much sheer willpower that would take?
He later on had another stroke, and had cancer TWICE

Guess what, HES STILL ALIVE.

Thats survivorship if I ever saw it
6. Forgive People as they are

His POS father that he fucking hated and wanted dead, he still took care of the man

And his father lived to be 94.

A chainsmoker from age 12 and lifelong alcoholic from age 16,

The man died when he was 94. In his sleep
Despite being one to keep a grudge for a lifetime, he was also highly forgiving people

"People are what they are, you gotta deal"

If you crossed him he'd punish you, but if you were a fuckup, he was extremely non judgmental
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