Responding with a curious courage… to recent financial developments
Quickly, let’s be clear what it does and does not mean to respond with a curious courage. I wonder if you can recall a time when you were not just already curious, but when your curiosity then led you to perceive a risk or danger that you only could have directly recognized through your own exploring, and then, after this discovery that you just made, you courageously redirected your behavior away from the perceived risk and toward a valuable opportunity that, again, you only discovered through the practice of curiosity. Let’s call that time now.
In contrast, what a curious courage does not mean is this: to identify how reality should have been, whether or not it was, then, when some pattern of reality did not fit with how it allegedly should have been, then to identify that pattern of reality as having been a problem, and then choose not to take any new initiative toward personal responsibility for one’s own future, but instead focus anger on whoever was convenient to blame for that problematic reality, and finally, identify whoever first provided you someone to blame for that problematic reality as the one to blindly rely on to almost fix that problematic reality next, since reality may persistently thwart reactive efforts to fix it by first blaming someone else for why it was not how it should have been (according to whoever denied that reality should be however reality actually already is).
Now, with a curious courage, we could be asking how did this particular apparent reality develop- yet with a specific concern for one’s own prior practices and the resulting effects produced from one’s own prior practices. That personal identification of one’s own prior practices as the primary issue related to the results produced by those practices is what may take courage.
So, let’s imagine that someone went to a casino and did very well for quite a while. They soon developed confidence and came back to the casino again and again. They made consistent unearned gains by using a certain method that worked for them over and over.
However, yesterday, they used that same old method but got a different result, that one which they do not value. Then, they kept trying that same method again and continued to get the result that they do not value. Soon, they lost quite a bit of their prior unearned gains- or even all of those gains as well as all of their original investment or even more.
Maybe they were afraid to even think about or look at their recent results. They may have been focusing on how much they used to have as if that was somehow more relevant than what they have left.
What would it mean to respond to this situation with a curious courage? Would it be courageous to look for someone else to blame for the recent results? Maybe you blamed the casino itself, or the government regulators, or a certain current or former employee of the casino, or perhaps your neighbor or even your neighbor’s dog.
Now, I might suggest that the particular investing method that you used is what produced the unfavorable result. Of course, it could be possible that the casino or government regulators did change some relevant rule, yet even if that were true, identifying such a change would not make your old method back into one that produces favorable results. If some rule had been changed and that is the single reason why your old method was no longer valuable, then knowing what rule has been changed might provide some insight into what other method might be valuable now, but you may not be interested in that yet.
After all, if the reason the rule was changed is because of your neighbor’s dog, then you could continue to use the method that stopped working but just get really angry at the dog. Or, while you continue to use the method that stopped working, maybe you could kill the dog, and then maybe someone would change the rule back so that your old method that stopped working might work again one day eventually, and you could just keep using it for as long as it takes, even though until that might happen you may be producing results with that method that you definitely may not value, because one day it could work again- you know, hypothetically.
That all could be true. One other thing though that someone with a curious courage might wonder is this: what about discontinuing the use of whatever prior method already stopped working to produced unearned capital gains? Sure, maybe the dog can be killed and the rule can be changed back to how it was and so one day possibly in the not-too-distant future the old method that stopped working may work again, but how about now? Sure, maybe someone can identify the neighbor that might have been in some way responsible for preventing you from continuing to multiply the unearned capital gains that you used to compound, and then maybe someone can get that neighbor to remedy the situation by paying to bail out the casinos that have suffered incredibly all because of that one dog. However, what about reconsidering the investing method which however long ago stopped working to produce the results you value?
Even if you advocate for a possible return back towards the prior situation, another possibility is that you explore modifying your investing method, at least until all dogs are killed so that you can know that no other dogs will ever prevent you from multiplying unearned capital gains with the single method that is most familiar to you, which is probably borrowing money to invest in real estate, but it could also be dumping money into various stocks and hoping that those stocks go up in value at least enough to balance any inflation and taxes.
I know a lot of people who I warned many years ago about the specific market developments that have since rendered their previously valuable methods worthless, resulting in losses of some or all of their unearned gains in real estate equity (or in US tech stocks or UK financial stocks and so on). Some of them even owe more on their mortgage than the collateral property is worth.
I also know a lot of people who have watched me make consistently accurately predictions of a variety of ups and downs in a variety of markets. Some of them may never give up the methods that they previously used to produce consistent unearned gains for them but that recently stopped working. Some of them may not ever explore a principle that works in all market conditions: partnering with the reality of market conditions and even partnering with someone who knows how to find opportunity in all market conditions now.
That might require a curious courage. Not everyone has that. For those of us who do have it, the fact that not everyone else has it is related to what distinguishes our results from their results, which includes the curiosity to be honest about the reality of market conditions, rather than defining some patterns of reality as “problems” to be automatically reacted to with personal blaming and blind devotion in the latest emergency rescue fix proposed, whether that is a political “solution” or some other silver bullet, like, whenever one has been confused, just investing in silver (or real estate etc) as the one magic solution to the persisting problem of reality not being the same as someone told you it should be.
Consider that reality is only a problem for those who insist on investing in opposition to it. For those with a curious courage, reality is an opportunity to partner. Now, with me and the investing methods that fit with partnering with the reality of market conditions, certain people get consistently favorable results in all market conditions. Not everyone will contact someone committed to partnering with reality to let me know that they are interested in consistently favorable results, but what about you?
“Life is not what it’s supposed to be. Its what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” Virginia Satir (1916-1988)
- May Your Cup Overflow with Courage and Curiosity. (tamerietherton.com)
- On Financial Education (vinaychaganti.org)
- Courage… (trishborgdorff.wordpress.com)
- Are you curious? (cpdfordanceteachers.wordpress.com)
- Courageous!! (todaysgirlsdaily.wordpress.com)
- Courage (mizfoofytayl.wordpress.com)
- Bugs, brains, and other tasty bits? Are my tastebuds that curious? (curiositystretchesimagination.wordpress.com)
- Thoughts On Courage (ontoliberty.wordpress.com)
- TRUE COURAGE – Steve Farrar (2011) (baldreformer.wordpress.com)
- Courage (onemealeachday.wordpress.com)
- Cowards Can Never Be Moral (psychologytoday.com)
- Daily Word: Have Some Courage!!! (allhiphop.com)