Month: March 2020

Coping with Corona

Read a book, exercise, meditate and keep the spirit in.” – SchoolBoy Q (Blessings)

This is probably the craziest period in recent history.

The idea that humans have to stay indoors to stay alive is even double crazy. Food supplies aside, many people aren’t mentally conditioned for this.

Naturally, humans aren’t wired for isolation. And it’s worse when you can do absolutely nothing about it.

Which makes me wonder, what would it be like if we didn’t have the kind of technology we have today? Smartphones, video conferencing apps and software, social media et al.

I wonder how survivors of the Black Plague and Spanish flu managed this.

Whew! It’s incredible.

Well, the mark of a beautiful mind is your ability to find opportunities in the most mundane activities and events. Which leads me to my next question. What have you been doing this period?

At the risk of sounding inspirational, this global pandemic gives you an opportunity to reassess your life, and do better.

A lot is going to change going forward.

Jobs would be lost. There would be a global shift in wealth. New millionaires and billionaires would be minted. Lots of ideas would burst forth from creative minds.

Are you even getting ready for this?

You could be anywhere on the spectrum.

The world is going to change. Will it find you ready?

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” wrote the French philosopher Blaise Pascal.

The greatest example of isolation of human beings is the prison system.

How do people in prison survive it?

I have no idea, but many of them find a way to pull through. You should too.

This is that time you’ve always wanted for deep personal reflection. It’s yours now.

For the uber-busy folks, this is the alone time you’ve always wished for but never had. Spend it wisely.

Read a book, exercise, meditate, keep the spirit in. Spend time with your family. Call your friends and coworkers and check up on them.

Hopefully, when all this is over, we’ll talk about that time in 2020 when the world almost ended.

Stay safe. Shalom!

Fooled By Humility

Being humble don’t work as well as being aware.” – Drake (0 to 100/The Catch Up)

Reading books like Nassim Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness help to reinforce my complete and total faith and belief in God.

And no, it’s not even a book on religion or morality, but rather about options trading.
So, how would a book about options trading and investing in the stock market relate to faith in God?

I wish I could do a book review, but I’ll keep it simple.

In Fooled By Randomness, Nassim Taleb insists that success in investing is more about luck and other lesser-regarded variables and less about intelligence or ‘insight’.

Many people would disagree with this.

Personally, I did the first few pages too.

But on closer inspection, there’s a great truth about what Nassim is saying.

During a Toast Masters’ Meeting last week, this delectable lady comes up on stage and talks about how much happiness she’s achieved in her life and how it’s been tied to her insisting on following her dreams.

Naturally, we all applauded. I mean, who doesn’t love these kinds of stories?

The next speaker starts with “…I’m here right now because of my dreams. I climbed every mountain, overcame every challenge, conquered everything but nothing. My dreams made me a broken man.”

You could have heard a pin drop. No, scratch that.
You could have heard a rat fart.

I’ve never heard a story of that magnitude in my life. Never ever.

And it really put a lot into perspective.

Most of the successes we’ve enjoyed, even losses we’ve had to endure were simply lucky breaks. Some of your losses even directly lead you to success.

Been at the right place at the right time?
Been suitably qualified for a role?
Starting a business that became successful?
Buying a house? A car?
Going through university?

If you really think about it, you are where you are today because of so many little things you can’t even explain.

Faith? Grace? Luck? Good fortune? God?

Whatever you call it. I believe that something greater than I am keeps paving the way for me.
But that’s me though.

And even though I firmly believe in working hard and creating your own luck, humility reminds me they are people who work harder than me somewhere yet haven’t been blessed with the opportunities I have been blessed with. Not just in the present, even in the past too, and in the future.

I mean, I’m alive.

I’m lucky and blessed to be here. You should be too.

And this isn’t about being humble. It’s about being aware.

When you eventually hit success, never forget it wasn’t just you that made it possible.

Disruption and Overnight Success

They’d rather talk about how you got it over how much it cost you” – Drake (Headlines)

It’s funny that up till last night, I had almost 10 different ideas to write on and I still couldn’t pick up one exactly.

Not because they weren’t interesting or worthy to write about. But something was missing.

As God would have it, I woke up today to an argument about disruption on Twitter. And it suddenly clicked.

Stories about Apple or Ford or Tesla or different market disruptors in various industries are very sexy. I won’t even lie.

Those are the things that inspire.

But there’s a lot about the disruption that you and I don’t know about.

So instead of a class on business and marketing, let’s talk about something in our lives that is related to disruption.

The story of overnight success.

We love to hear things like “…wow, he just came from nowhere” “Nobody saw her coming” “He just blew up in 6 months” “His business made 10 million in 30 days”

But nobody comes from ‘nowhere’.

There’s a lot of stories that you don’t get to hear.

The lean years. The failed trials. The money lost. The hungry days. The sleepless nights. The sacrifices. The experiments that went wrong.

When motivational speakers try to make a point, they talk about how Edison tried 10,000 different times and failed to make the light bulb and finally made it after trying one more time.

Nobody asks what the backstory was behind those 10,000 different attempts.

What did he lose? How much did he lose? What happened those 10,000 times?

People think the punchline is to keep trying.

But it’s wrong.

The punchline is knowing that most successes are majorly accumulations of lessons and processes learned from different failures.

But failure stories aren’t sexy at all, nobody wants that. We only care about the outcome, never the process.

They are people somewhere in a basement recording music. They are people somewhere working 16 hours a day to make their businesses work. They are people somewhere taking rejection like Mike Tyson punches, left, right and centre.

They are people somewhere practising hours upon hours on the same thing every single day. Shooting 1000 free throws. Taking the same shots 100 times in a row.

Sometimes with no visible results even.

They are people somewhere making plans, taking action and failing repeatedly. Over and over again.

The loneliness and isolation that arises from focusing on and working single-mindedly at your craft.

There’s no overnight success.

There’s just someone who worked in the night, so you could see it in daylight.

Every good thing takes time.

People need to understand this.

Fuck Your Entitlement

“Came up, that’s all me/Stayed true, that’s all me/No help, that’s all me/All me, for real!”
– Drake (All Me)