Tuesday, October 18, 2016

On Will-Power

Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.

Many of the people I work with have a will-power that seems out of this world. Professional athletes and soldiers have our kind of stamina. It is the ability to hold the line under extreme pressure, or the drive to advance against incredible resistance. Many of my colleagues have done this for a long times, decades even. Surprisingly, many of them still look quite young despite having been in the pressure cooker for so long. Most of the investment folks I work with have a curiosity and a competitive spirit that just keeps them going.  

When it comes to will-power, one investor in particular seems to top them all. I was once on a trip to Tokyo when he had just arrived after a 14 hour flight from Boston. It was already past 7 pm, but with incredible will-power he forced himself to stay up and go out with his colleagues for dinner that night to beat his jet-lag. Looking at him, it seemed like he had matches in his eyes to keep them somehow open.

I have been incredibly determined to get what I want all my life, and perhaps that was the reason why I chose the investment profession. Being among the top professionals in the world has only furthered my drive, determination and will-power. The work-environment I have been facing has in fact been a perfect preparation for awakening to the WAY. Many spiritual travelers see spirituality as a ticket to be happy, peaceful and loving. Well, these are symptoms of being connected to the WAY, but to reach this stage is a full-contact sport. A spiritual journey mandates an ongoing vigilance not to allow the self to take the SELF for a ride. 

Being determined is a necessary condition for making it as a financial strategist, it is not a sufficient one. Being flexible is the other requirement. Just sticking to will-power can lead to stubbornness, and the big learning opportunity both in my profession as well as on my spiritual path is to be flexible as well as determined. Again, my work has been a perfect preparation for the WAY. We are mindful our self when it interferes with the SELF, but we are flexibly adjusting our journey to bring the self and the SELF into harmony.

A spiritual traveler is both, determined about her goals and dreams, but flexible about how to get there. Actually, along the WAY we don't even have to be determined most of the time. We just drift along a route that is as easy to spot as 1-2-3. But on the days when the sky seems cloudy, and the options seem confusing, only the trust that everything is on-track and the determination to carry on can get us through the tunnel. The quote from above sums it up best. Be determined about your goals but be flexible about your methods.

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