The question I want to ask is this:
Can you please provide effective ways or best practices on how an individual from one socio-economic background can train himself/herself as quickly as possible to socialize with people of another socio-economic background, especially when the life style and interests between these two populations vary drastically. A plan/strategy that requires approximately 8 hours/week of training/implementation effort and can start providing results after 6-12 month (or sooner) would be amazing!
I had a great and bad night tonight. The great thing was that I found the social challenge I was looking for. The bad thing was realizing how underdeveloped I am and the daunting road I must endure to complete this challenge.
I am 37 years old, and tonight was the first night I was invited to a dinner gathering that consisted of many financially established families. Of the adults that attended, the population can be segmented into the following:
- 40% physicians and surgeons, many of whom also own a technology company, and own several patents
- 10% very successful people in engineering, finance, real estate, law etc...
- 50% spouse, relatives or parents of the segments above
Of the individuals I paid attention to or even tried to converse with, the popular topics of discussion were:
Medicine + Surgery - MDs talk passionately about their practice and experience at a very deep level; domain expertise is required for this discussion
Automotive - they were very informed on all aspects of automotive, from explaining the engineering principles behind different engines, to government policies on electric and gasoline vehicles, to speculating Elon Musk's motivation and strategy to open source patents on electric vehicle design etc...
Politics - very indepth debates on domestic and international politics. They seem very well versed on the specific responsibilities of numerous government positions in American and Canadian political system, and used this knowledge to ideate solutions to address current political dilemma
Legal and intellectual property - many academic or corporate institution would like to claim that any innovation that a faculty or employee develops during their employment is a property of the employer. People attending the party shared their stories on how to circumvent these issues and retain ownership of what they believe they developed independently
I could not intelligently engage in these conversations. I felt any questions I asked were too novice and only disrupted the discussion these people were enjoying. (Picture the scene when Tony Soprano, a mob boss, was invited to his neighbours barbeque and he amiably and naively asked a fund manager, "any changes in the stock market lately?", To which the fund manager replied,"....umm.... There are always changes..." The fund manger awkwardly returned to his financial colleagues to discuss intricate details of a particular stock at a level that lay people wouldn't understand) .
My hypothesis as to why I am socially handicapped is because I grew up in a financially distressed family for 30 years. My parents were immigrants to Canada many years ago, they never completed elementary education, and my dad was more or less a refugee. For much of my brother's life and my life, our priority was to help our family "stay afloat". For example, as teenagers getting our first paid jobs, all our pay checks went to our parents. I was finally able to pay off all my parents debt 2-3 years ago. And I am about to pay off the remaining mortgage for their house by this summer. I have been self employed as a software developer for the past ten years. I realized that for me , working as a software developer was more financially sustainable for my family than developing an interest in politics, economics, stocks, automotive, etc...
But now that I will soon be debt free, I need a plan that will cultivate me as quickly as possible to be able to socialize with wealthy people. I feel it is imperative that I befriend wealthy people because I need to leverage their knowledge and influence to help other people.
But studying any one of medicine, automotive, politics, law, finance, etc... To the level of detail and appreciation that they have will take many many years based on where I am today. Can any one share a plan on how I might realistically achieve my goal in as short a time as possible?
I will consider stopping my software development practice completely if it impedes my progress to socialize with influential people.
To this date, the only subject matters I am well versed in are:
software development - but the people I know in this area are often the grunt of the litter in the work force, or they will direct me to the population segments mentioned above
boxing (combat sport) - these people are from the same upbringing as me and are often at risk youth, or people with limited resources trying to help at risk youth, I don't see an opportunity here