Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's Opposite Day

Last year when the stock market was crashing you had those strange days when all the stocks that got obliterated over the months suddenly had huge upside gains; these short squeezes lasted a day or two and then the indiscriminate selling started again. In an investor meeting when colleagues asked our expert what was going on he just said "Oh, it's opposite day, I play that with my kids from time to time".

The idea of the game is to do the opposite of what you say. Try it, it's fun. Dealing with the ego is exactly like that. Somehow you have to do the opposite of what you have programmed yourself to do. When a colleague gets attention and success while you apparently get sidelined, remind yourself why you are rooting for her. When the desire itches to take over a conversation in your direction, control yourself, let the others speak first and wait for a natural invitation to make your contribution. When you have doubts about yourself, remind yourself of your potential and go after your dreams.

You fill in the blanks. The ego comes in thousands of faces and disguises: fear, pride, anger, the desire to control and submit, the hunger for power, the craving to be rich, and a lot more. You can see these things in yourself everyday. Most of us do not know what lies on the other side of the ego but we certainly enjoy reading about it. There is only one way to find out. Go against your natural instincts and experiment with it. Not to put yourself second or to pretend confidence that you don't have, but just to experiment with your ego and see what lies beyond. I have observed that when you make the leap of faith suddenly a miraculous world opens up. Just have opposite days from time to time and enjoy!

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