If you have anyone in your life (as I do) who experience high levels of anxiety (disorder) there are certain events that stick with you. The culmination of experiences over the last two decades has made my mind tougher than I could have ever imagined, especially since my father died. It’s also shown me the power of mindset and what you say to yourself is the most important thing. People close to me suffer with anxiety that I could never have imagined growing up and while it may be just an excuse not to deal with root causes and feelings, it doesn’t make the actual actions around it any less severe. Some people make you feel their anxiety without even realizing it. They have things that they need to do to feel less anxious and then if you don’t do them also, it’s a big deal to them. Maybe you don’t have anyone in your life like that. I do. Of course, that’s not how they see it either, and that’s when the problem comes up. We’re managing.
We’re on the wrong side of history with this. The New York Times ran an article called The Covid Fable on October 8th. The first sentence was telling of the whole virus vaccine movement. “When we treat Covid as a simple morality play, we can end up making bad predictions.” This is the same thing I think about many of the fear mongering propaganda spewed across the world.
Americans seems to be especially susceptible to this crap. People that think we’re permanently messing up the planet are the same type of negative that want to push Covid fear down your throat. First off, we’re not killing the planet and we’re not killing each other because of climate change. That’s just not the truth from the data. Sorry if that doesn’t sit well with your cognitive bias. That’s just data. Life is getting better on earth for humans. The real threat is more likely to be the Taurid Meteor Stream earth passes through twice a year. Some future October or November is bound to have a significant impact on our entire civilization’s way of life.
But, let’s stay on topic…
Covid has taken a lot of lives around the world. There have been 239 million cases globally, 45 million here in the United States. Out of those cases, 4.87 million deaths globally with nearly 735,000 here at home, currently. We’re actually doing better here (statistically) than around the world; however, it seems like the world has moved on. And even if the rest of the world hasn’t, the dire predictions made over and over since the beginning were so completely horrifically wrong, that it’s time we all did move on.
Here’s a little fact of life.
You’re going to die.
In the case of Covid deaths, yes there are plenty of people dying at young ages, but the average age of people dying from the virus is higher than the average life expectancy. So… what gives here? Fear. People are fucking scared. I’m one of them. Not for me, for my son. I have the vaccine, which is not a vaccine at all it seems. He doesn’t. I understand why Kyrie Irving and Bradley Beal don’t want to take it. They have the privilege to make that decision even if it could be destructive to their livelihood. Most people are now required to take the vaccine or get tested, which if you know anything about government rules, they are not typically rolled back.
Everything the United States has done and continues to do is only pushing us further onto the wrong side of history. It makes me sad. The Washington Post estimated that daily caseloads in the U.S. could reach 300,000 back in August, higher than ever before and we peaked at closer to 166,000. In The New York Times, an epidemiologist predicted that cases would rise in September because children were going back to school. Cases fell.
It’s time to come to our senses.
The strange interconnected phenomenon imposing its will on our life every day, as much or more so than gravity. You are going to die. That’s a biological fact like being born either male or female. You can identify as immortal, but… you get the idea. Time can be seen as an enemy or a friend, depending on how you think and accept life’s journey.
That said, I’m thinking about time right now in terms of what I’m trying to achieve in the next decade from a business perspective. Time is the enemy in some industries. You only have so much time to play professional sports, regardless of how much talent you have. You have much more time to be successful when investing.*
We all have to choose where to spend time, doing what, with who, etc. And that’s where I’m at today. Looking at these goals I have and what it’s going to take time wise is overwhelming unless I can break them down into super short term chunks and figuring out the numbers as I go. One thing is for sure, I don’t have enough time on my own and will need to hire people to help. That’s where I’m at.
*Contrary to what I used to think, you can make a lot of money in a short period of time when the conditions are right, even on a small amount of investment capital. I used to think, compounding money over time at higher than market rates was the best way to do it, but then the last 3 years extended the already bull market run and at some point I changed my mind. What I’ve realized is that by focusing on compounding, you could miss big opportunities.
You gotta learn to live with regrets. Even the people at the top of the life (to the outside world anyway) have to make choices between actions, feelings, etc. I think Tony Robbins is known for saying energy flows to what you’re focusing on. That’s why you shouldn’t have a plan B or side hustle. If anything, it should be a hustle with many streams of revenue, but still just one hustle. That new show Ordinary Joe is a story about regrets. I don’t even watch it to know. It’s a story that shows three different lives of one guy.
People find the multiverse very romantic to think about. You know, the idea that in some parallel universe you are living out your dream life. Hate to break it to you, there’s no dream life. There’s just this life, even if there is another you in another universe in the grand simulation, the way things are set up, time moves forward. There is no rewinding the clock on the day or your life for that matter. That means, you have to make decisions that sacrifice one outcome for another. Want to pursue a career in one field means not being able to do it in another.
I’ve had a hard time with this. In 2001, I went into finance convinced I wanted to be a stockbroker and manage money. I went head first and was mildly successful compared to other things I could have done. I didn’t see the forest for the trees though and made some very bad decisions. In 2008, I was convinced that I had my dream job. At the time, my dad had built an incredible energy efficiency product and we had started to set up contracts with big companies like UPS, FedEx, Frito-Lay, Pepsi, and other Fortune 1000 manufacturers. We were looking to book over 7-figures in the first year, then he died. Heart attack. In a parallel universe, he would have gone to the doctor and checked out all his body systems annually. Now my whole family has to learn to live with that regret.
Point is, life is nothing more than a series of decisions and some you’ll regret. You have to make them though. This was a note to self.
Some people have a real problem when others make them feel a certain way. To me, you have to allow someone to make you feel a certain way which is why those closest to you can have the greatest impact, positive and negative. At the same time, context matters. Someone you don’t really know making fun of something could roll off your back, or it could make you the angriest, while the person you love could have the opposite effect… or affect. Grammar?! The issue is in how you respond. If you snap back with a stern “fuck off” or start yelling at the other person, that’s not good and in my case will cause me to laugh even more, perpetuating the initial problem you had.
I have the unfortunate habit of laughing even when things aren’t supposed to be funny. Plenty of ass whoppings as a kid resulted from that. As I got older, it turned into a defense mechanism to alpha behavior at school and work, which only annoyed those trying to be “big shots.” So, in a way it was a good thing to cultivate and allow. I’m also not phased by people in leadership or authority positions trying to beta trap me or condescend. Good luck not getting ridiculed. At the same time, when I’m the one in that position, I laugh off ridicule and remain cool under pressure generally.
However, there is always an outlier. You know, that one person who can take a joke one minute but the next you go too far. Since I don’t enjoy feeling like a bully, a quick apology helps, but if there’s any flip flopping, the next time I won’t be so nice. My dad was a great jokester… about everything except his hair and sleep apnea. He would fall asleep in a chair at a moments notice. In my 20’s when I came home it would be a joke to make which he personally never mentioned because he was a good sport. My mom however, pulled me aside one day and gave me the strong “don’t do that” warning. I listened. Even if my dad had said that specifically, I would have listened. Some people don’t want any ridicule. Bollocks.
In my house ridicule is required. It promotes humility and keeps you humble. Also, no one is allowed to dish and not receive. IF the joke isn’t funny that’s one thing. If it is and you don’t like it and you decide to snap back or get mad… oooooooo. Better develop a thicker skin – within reason. I never promote bullying, have been the victim of it too. I do promote fighting back with words and wit and reason. I hope my son won’t bust my chops too much as I age.
The pursuit of pleasure seems like a carnal desire rather than an innocent endeavor. Maybe it’s just me and my perverted mind. Here’s the reason I’m even thinking about this… marketing. I’m trying to build something that is different than the same run of the mill business membership or advisory network. Sure, there is a place for a new one, many in fact, especially if you add value in excess of fees. That’s true in pretty much every business. The local deli can be the 23rd in the city and still succeed if it’s able to do this.
So, back to pleasure. Life should be pleasurable in my opinion. I think the pursuit of profit, progress, and pleasure are three of the most noble. I don’t know why someone would want to do something without at least the potential for a pleasurable outcome. I mean, even if you hate your job (many people do) you still do it to not only avoid the pain of not having an income… but for the pleasure of having comfort with the money it brings. I realize this doesn’t cover everyone; however, if you’re making over minimum wage and have some skills, assets, and network then you work for pleasure not just to avoid pain.
I just think that when you focus on pleasurable experiences (aka feeling happy) it makes life better. I also know people that are really close to me who find it hard to live the beautiful life all the time. Fine. Stress is not easy to handle. All this is on my mind because as I start to build Key Bridge in a different way, more experiential to accompany business services, I am rolling around the motto “pursuit of profit, progress, and pleasure.” Why can’t we have all three?