As 2022 dawns, with all its hopes and anticipations, I wanted to share a few personal reflections, realisations, insights, learnings and observations with you from last year, as it tips over the horizon.
The new yang is in the current yin:
I only learnt this last year. You have to go down and in before you go up and out. This year’s resolutions are in last year’s observations and gratitudes.
Its strange but it’s a truth. There’s always a flow of ‘easy’ money available.The problem is it seems to move all the time and for most of us we cannot seem to tic and tac in time to catch the tail winds and soar with the 0.1% who consistently get a hold of it. We are often too stuck in the same one trick game-plan. Too pre-invested. Too close to the action. Too risk averse. It’s also true that money makes money.
Asset appreciation in many markets, and the trading thereof, (either short or long) has been where the action has been for many years now. It’s been a joke! Especially the last 2 years since the wash of Covid recovery capital flooded the global stages. 15 and 16 year-olds making thousands of dollars profit on crypto trading! In fact if you had sold your house in March 2020, rented and took that capital balance left from your property transaction and blindly gave it to an ‘expert’ to dump it into a fund of sorts (tech stocks), or directly into crypto, you would have made an absolute killing. By doing nothing other than finding the free flow. By now you could have sold out, paid CGT (capital gains tax) and bought a new property for you and your family that was valued at well over twice your original home.
How long will this last? IMHO not that much longer. It cannot.
So where to next? Old school investing will prevail. (sorry to all the young ‘investor’ Turks who thought it was so easy!!!). Winter will descend soon, heralding the era of the Senex (wise old one) mindset. Defense. Conservation. The season for capital risk-management and a focus, not on the moving asset price itself, but on the sustaining and returning income yield – the rent, the dividend, the interest rate, the royalty etc (all of which have been super-tough to create wealth around in the last few years).
Advice to myself for 2022: look to exit all hype-driven ‘yield-light’ assets and make sure when the cold of winter hits that I have something real that will hold its capital (in line with rising inflation) but, more importantly, return hard cash – real income every month.
Hey why not go really ‘old school’ and actually buy a real business for yourself – an enterprise you can clean up, innovate in, employ more humans, add to society at large and generate cash in too?!
Oh and the easy money will probably be found betting in Asia for the next good while.
Health really is wealth:
We’ve all heard that adage many times but one things is for sure, poor health will certainly take your wealth, if not your life. I didn’t believe that. Was stubborn. And then you look back at just what you spent on hospitals and medication and therapy etc last year. Oh yeah! Perhaps I should recognise the changing times and upgrade our medical insurance plan whilst I am at it.
Witness to a miracle:
Is this what life is actually all about? We have to survive in order to do this but the mission is not to survive just for survivals sake but rather for us to be able to take in all of it. To be a witness. To see it as a miracle. And be awed! The true wonder of being a part of this planet, a part of this galaxy, a part of this ever-expanding multiverse. For soon we will be gone. Our candle blown out.
How to Live like a Billionaire (but not be one or even try to be one):
Do we really think that people with heaps of money have a better life? More vitality? More contentedness? More joy? More significance? More meaning? Less pain? Less anxiety? Fame and fortune are the ultimate maya. The age-old illusion of mammon. The lustful and relentless pursuit of that which certainly keeps robbing us all of the gift of each unfolding present moment.
I know we all have duties and work and bills to pay and school-runs to do but here’s my list of (supposedly) living like a Billionaire:
-See a sunrise and sunset in the same day – once a week.
-Jump in the sea then have a coffee still with salt on your body and sand on your feet – once a week.
-Lie on the ground and hug your dog and feel the love between our 2 great species.
-Look up at the stars. They are our history. A window into our ancient past. What you see there is light that left those suns thousands of years ago, travelling into our view. Stars are like our very own astronomical time machine, taking us back thousands of years.
-Dance with your loved one and feast with your friends as much as you can.
-Devote a part of your week to help others less fortunate in your community.
-Smile at strangers. It’s the best medicine there is.
-Have an afternoon nap once a week.
-Surround yourself with chapters of music as well as silence.
We are all trying to manage pain:
I think, deep down, this is what the 2nd half of life is all about. Physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual pain. I know now what the right medication can do, if you humble yourself to accept that that may be what you need. How good you can actually finally feel. I now also embody the benefits of what therapy – in all its forms – can bring to the way you feel about yourself….and relationships with others. I see the power of prayer, of breath, of being on a program with a coach and building the discipline of daily practise. Why don’t we actually help each-other more?
How the Body talks:
Our bodies carry divinity. Our bodies are ancient vessels of our pre-history and evolution. They know best. If only we would listen to the innate wisdom within. If only we could trust what we were sensing, feeling, witnessing rather than defaulting to thinking, planning, analysing and organising all the time. Always reaching to get ahead of life. Ahead of our bodies. The language of the body starts like a gentle and soft whisper but seems to end in sickness, pain, loss, disease, accidents and other mishaps. Sooner or later we are forced to listen.
Almost adult kids:
Time with older kids now is best seen as the assembling of a beautiful necklace. Times together are fewer, rarer. That’s ok. We make them special. Memorable. Thread the line of love and meaning through them. Wear the necklace for them to see. They will want to add more.
Friends you can cry with:
I am grateful for having had so many occasions this past year where tears have been allowed to be shed – both mine and others. That is one of the marks of real friendship.
I have been fortunate to journey up close and personal with men and women who have toiled and traversed this past year through adversity. To all of you – thank you! You are a fresh portrait to me of how the human spirit wants us to keep going – upward and onward. To those who have lost loved ones and still came to work. To those whose industries crashed from Covid and yet pivoted to find new life. To all the creative artists and performers who humbled themselves and went underground to survive. To the many whose daily lives are filled with the fear of poverty and insecurity. To many who were not able to be with loved ones. For all our kids who were not able to socialise when their biology was screaming for it. For so many who are were unemployed and yet still somehow made a crumb. I salute you!
Power of Projects – if you measure them right:
I ran a dozen or so events, evenings, retreats and experiences last year as side-line projects. Each and every one did 2 things to me. Filled me with such a sense of life, of service, of gratitude, of productivity, of joy, of flow, of fun, of excitement. All whilst in the moment. But also of angst, self-doubt, confusion, resentment. The latter was my ego, post each event, giving me a right ‘beating’ for yet again doing something ‘senseless’ that didn’t generate a financial return and seemed to not serve any linear purpose. How the battle rages between the 2 worlds we live in. True North and True South. At least I can now see that and forge on regardless. How I long for the peace that wisdom will bring of being able to judge and measure accordingly.
Limitations and new life:
Only once I finally could accept and surrender to the fact that I can no longer aspire to run marathons, ski down blacks, build global businesses, reach unrealistic financial goals, burn the candle at both ends, only then did I allow the force of new life to begin to start pumping through my veins.
Global culture – does it ever move from adolescence to maturity?
Wokeness! Life at the poles. Its all about uniqueness and identity. About change for change’s sake.
From my mid-50’s perspective it looks pathetic. But who am I to judge. This is the age-old battle between senex and puer. Between young and old. I too was once woke.
Here’s what I want to say to a woke and youthful culture but don’t: “One day you will see that it is the art of being able to hold the tension between 2 polar opposites that will determine your true worth as a human, as a leader, as a husband, a wife, a mother, a father, an employer, a brother, a sister. Left and right. New and old. Hope and disappointment. Repentance and grace. A time for everything under the sun. A voice that can connect and bind. Seek common ground. The middle ground. Acceptance of seasons and cycles. This is the fabric that really knits culture together. And by the way – the above are the roles that really count!! Not politicians. Not celebrities. Not influencers. Not youtubers. Not billionaires. Not brands, Not activists. One day, you too will see this as well but also not be able to change it😊”
We are all hosts to the original and longest-lasting World War ever:
For billions of years our evolving physiology has been host to a battle between bacteria and virus. For life. For survival. Get used to it. It will never change. Our job is therefore not to kill off and sterilise the biome and virome within. Rather it is to cultivate an inner environment through simple healthful lifestyle choices (food, portions, exercise, managing stress, sunshine, oxygen, connection with nature, balance).
Yes – let’s ask the government, medical and scientific fraternities to support us all in this endeavour. Yes – absolutely advance quickly to do whatever it takes to protect us against (any and only) life-threatening pathogens but if something is not going to kill our species off then back the hell away and let us all get on with trying to find our own way of keeping the ‘ancient battle-ground’ fair and stable.
There is a very important question now being asked of all of us – the answer of which is not to be found lightly and not without taking some time out to do some real personal soul-searching.
Who and what carries ultimate ‘power and authority’ over you – your physiology, sociology and psychology?
Is it the human leaders who we have voted in as ruling governments to serve us as civilians to make our daily lives work better – more secure, more safe, more tolerable, more productive – evolving to function in changing worlds, taking us forward not backwards, curating environs conducive to being civil and respectful of each other?
Surely not. Because the system is human, it is floored. In a perfect world it would not be about the rule of law but rather the spirit or intention behind the law. Hey – let’s remind ourselves – this is all Governments are. They are supposedly only there for us. Servants of the civilian – individually and collectively. This is how the West was won and why the West continues to win. Until it doesn’t. Once we lose this. The West will surely lose and the East will undoubtedly prevail.
But, if not voted-in humans working within a floored system of governance – then who? Or what? Or how?
A very brief open letter:
Dear world leaders of the democratic western world, leaders of major global news networks and global social media organisations.
Why did you do this? You know, as humans, that we are all scared. That is how we got here in the first place!! Why use our special secret “ evolutionary” code as a weapon to manage the ‘great split’ as we all now seem to be turning against each other. Talk about an ‘own-goal’.
You fell for it. This was China’s thing. They started it. They quantified it. They organised around it. They beat it. That’s their game-plan. They are good at that. Collectively and historically wired for that.
And so why did we follow? Its been 2 years since Wuhan. Hey! It’s time to widen the frame out again for us all in the West please. When you do, the real picture is always revealed. The facts emerge.
It is time to drop the mask. Drop the isolation and quarantine. Drop the testing. Let’s live again. Open. Connected. FreeFit50 Survey