Monday, October 1, 2012

The Man From Sicily.

So I'm taking my daughter for a walk in the park before lunch on Saturday when I noticed a guy watching me intently from across the way. He didn't have a very amicable look on his face.

"Oh God, what does he want now", I said to myself. (At this point I'll disclose that I am a black man living in Italy. I've had more than my fair share of racially-motivated slurs thrown my way.)

I decided to employ the "eye gazing" technique I had read about in "The 4-Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss, but had inadvertently stumbled upon years earlier whilst trying to expand my comfort zone. The basic idea is you have to hold someone's gaze until they look away.

I failed :)

Several minutes later, he approached me with the little boy he was looking after. He drew the boy's attention to the bubbles I was blowing for my little one. I said, "ciao" and we struck up a half-hour conversation.

It turns out that Francesco from Sicily was quite an interesting guy. He had studied Hotel and Catering like me, but now had a burning passion to return to Sicily as part of the "Carabinieri" to fight the Mafia. 
He cited all kinds of reasons for wanting to do so but, when I asked him if he wasn't scared, he quickly answered, "No, because I have nothing to lose".

That stayed with me for the rest of the weekend and, of course, conjured up a whole bunch of trading related themes. The usually greater fear of losing what we "own" over losing opportunity. The fears of what tomorrow may bring instead of living in the moment and doing what's right now. The fears of what yesterday did bring and how we should modify our behaviour instead of just doing what's right now...

The rich (in every sense of the word) get richer because they don't need to. They have enough resources to be able to play the game of risk to reward without actively holding on to what they already have. The poor get poorer because they are afraid to give up what they have in search of more.

Over to you Tyler!


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