Getting old is not the same as growing old…

When you hear someone complain  “He just stopped growing as a person”, that someone is usually talking about a person in his mid 30’s or 40’s…

Do you wonder why that is? Why does personal growth not halt at 10 or 20 or 50?

When a person has a kid and his parents become grandparents he sees a change in them too. The grandparent who was not very open minded as a father/mother suddenly gets along very well with his grandchild. Ask any grandson and he will tell you, grandpa is a lot cooler than his own father

What the hell happened there? and why ? Benjamin Franklin famously said “People stop growing at 25 and they are buried at 75.” Back then 25 was the 30’s of today. People married early and became parents by 25.

What the hell happens between 30 and 60?

I have a theory.

After 30, we don’t change roles which require us to acquire a new set of values. 

When we were 1 year old, we could poop and pee almost anywhere and cry whole day and it was acceptable. Because a new born baby is allowed these liberties. In the new born world this is acceptable behavior.

After 3/4 years our world changed. The new world was Kindergarten or Nursery. The rules got a bit stricter. You were expected to be potty trained. Nobody told you to do that. You just learnt it by yourself because the environment around you demanded that of you. You knew other kids will laugh at you if you poop in your pants.

After that you started school. Once again, new world and new rules. A few years into the school you lost one more privilege. You couldn’t cry to get what you want. That worked just fine few years back but not anymore.

You adjusted yet again. The environment forced you to evolve. It was a new setting with new rules.

This happened again after few years when primary school turned to secondary. The half pants become full.

Bigger pant length brought bigger responsibilities.

As we kept growing, the world around us changed. We entered new environments which needed new behaviors from us. School then college, college then jobs, jobs then marriage, marriage then parents

And then grandparents…. Huge gap of usually 30 years.

That is where it all fucked up. We lost our external stimuli. The environment around us stopped prompting us and lazy that we are, we stayed the same.

Maybe there must be something between 30 to 60 which forces us to change and evolve. Jobs require us to build skills. Disease requires us to build health. But there is nothing that calls for the soul to evolve between 30 to 60

Do you have any ideas?

 

 

 

 

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To my mother…..

Usedtotellyou

My Grandfather (maternal) took 2 bullets in World War II and had to quit the Indian Army at age 40. He was a real pain in the ass. That is because he had abnormally high standards of performance in every damn thing including but not limited to the proper way to fold your towels. It was really tough to co-habit him. I felt very bad for my grandmother. She was a soft and kind soul. He was too…I guess. But I never saw that in him.

He took up the study of Astrology after retiring from the Army. He excelled in that too. He earned certificates from around the world which he used to decorate his walls. That was the only thing that made me love him. He excelled. Excellence was his minimum benchmark in all endeavors. He was from the army after all…..

While he was doing this, my Mom, the eldest sibling of the five children took to the wheel. She single handedly ran the family, took an early job and got her siblings married. She also took her bullets. And that made her rough. Very rough.

She has no tolerance for shit. I hated that. Mildly put, she wasn’t my favorite. I guess the feelings were mutual. I was a brat and she had Indian Army Blood in her veins.

Her chemistry is different. She is a lion in sheep’s clothing. A clothing which she did not choose. It chose her.

Took me a while to understand that.

Took me a while to understand that raising your standards comes with your share of enemies. Lot of them .Took me a while to understand that people become tough when they fall a lot. Took me a while to understand that tough people don’t give a fuck. That is an essential part of being tough. Some of them pretend to, but that’s just because you can’t stomach the truth.

Took me a while to understand that tough people live fearlessly and have a happy retired life. Simply because they don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone.

I want to grow old to be my mother. I think I am getting there because I am a huge pain in the ass too…..and that I think is just my way to say to my mother ..Happy Mother’s Day..

The 3 secrets why you are still an average performer……and what really stops change?!

I am sorry. I haven’t posted for a while. I feel sorry because people expect me to. Or so I think…..

I can explain the delay. I was busy setting up our new house in Sydney. We do not have hired help here like we did in India. I buy groceries, I cook, I clean and one fine day I even went plant shopping for our balcony. It is very tiring.

This is the story I want you to believe. This story reasonably explains why you had to wait a month to read this. It is a good story and all of it is true. THAT IS PROBLEM NUMBER ONE. It is a true story.

Do I believe my story? Yes. THAT IS PROBLEM NUMBER TWO. This problem actually flows from the previous one. Since the story isn’t fabricated I had no difficult selling it to myself or to you.

In reality the story is a cover up. A cover up for a crime scene. What is the crime? Not being able to do something I love – To write. But I (ANALYTICAL BRAIN) believe it and the audience (YOU) believes it so the police believes it. Police (INNER VOICE).

And once the police is fooled it sets you up for a lifelong problem. FINAL PROBLEM NUMBER THREE – Accepting what you can and cannot achieve. This is the beginning of cancer.

You decide to pursue your passion. Maybe you want to try your hand at stand-up comedy, maybe you want to work in Fashion, maybe you want to work in an NGO, and maybe you want to be a writer, actor, chef, dancer, singer, painter, cartoonist, teacher, scuba diver, biker…. Take your pick.

You start moving towards the goal and life gets in the way. The EMI gets in the way, your kids pre-school fees gets in the way, your dream car gets in the way. Are these real problems? Yes very much. Can they get in the middle of you and your passion? You bet they can since time is a limited resource.

But are these problems the real thing stopping you? NO.

You are alive till the moment that answer remains NO. The day you convince yourself the answer is YES you are done.

When you do what you love, things will get in the way. Every time I sit to write, I don’t know what to write about. I have an idea but I don’t know if it’s good enough. I don’t want to care what you think but there are times I do. There is struggle. Struggle keeps you alive. Struggle is how the moth becomes a butterfly.

When you are in actor, there is struggle. Maybe you can be Nawazuddin who did irrelevant roles for years before he became an overnight star. Or maybe you can be Ranbir Kapoor (son of a megastar) who hasn’t delivered a single hit for as long as I can remember. There is always struggle even when you love your job.

ACCEPTANCE ends struggle. Acceptance stops the inner fight. Acceptance of your story is you saying to yourself – I can’t do this because….

But the problem runs deeper than that. If it is indeed a true story, you are going to believe it. You will have the support of you other average friends who will share similar stories. It’s like a club. You feel accepted… You can give 50 reasons why you couldn’t do what you wanted. You forgive yourself and tadaa….welcome to mediocrity.

I hate being defeated. So I am going to stop telling you a bullshit story. I am going to accept I failed. I failed you and I failed myself. The earlier I confront it, the better are my chances to thrive.  Because there the 3 secret rules to the stories which make us who we are. I know these rules. And because I know them I am going to use them to change my story. Its time you know them too…..

Rule 1 – The longer you take to tell yourself the real reason, the higher the chances you will lie to yourself and others.

 

The more time you take to answer the question of what is really stopping you, the stronger will be the tendency to conform to standard answers. Because it is easy to say I have been undisciplined for one week rather than saying I have been undisciplined for 5 years. If you don’t come to terms with what the real reason is, you will choose the reasonable explanation.

In equity trading we say if you want to panic, then panic fast. The longer you take to tell yourself the story, the more likely it will be an average story. It’s scary to experiment when it’s late. You will stick to formulae. It is human to do so.

Deepak Malhotra, the acclaimed professor of Harvard University and one of the top 10 Teachers in the world, said in the Harvard Graduating Speech in 2012 – Quit fast and quit often. You can find that video on YouTube.

defeat

Rule 2 – Every story flows from the previous story.

What is your story? Who are you? Whom do you see yourself as? And more importantly how do you want others to see you?

I want others to see me as a creative person. A person who is random (like all creative people are). A person who loves uncertainty. A person who is onto something every now and then. My friends say it’s highly unlikely that I will ever work in a corporate environment. Because I want them to think that about me. I like the image they have. I help them build it through my actions and my words. And now I live it every day.

On some days I don’t want to be me. I struggle. I am stuck. Everything I do is in conformity with my story. And it gets worse. My story becomes stronger. Be careful of the story you are building. Average people act out a single role their entire lives. Others breakout.

STAY STUCK

Rule 3 – Every story exists only because it has an audience.

This is how religion works. This is also how terror works. Both concepts trade on fear. When enough number of people subscribe to a story, the story becomes real.

People don’t let you change the story. When you try to breakout they pull you back in. Average people like to be in group. It gives me a sense of security. God is security.

So what can you do?

Change the people. Change the location. Change the company. These things are called levers. Changing who you are is difficult. But a small change of location can take that pressure off. Change the audience and be reborn.

Go to a place where nobody knows you and become James Bond…

his story

 

Cheers

Rahul T

10 ways to become an analyst who never goes wrong..

No mistakes

 

My father wanted to sue. He is a lawyer.  He could have sued them. But they would get off the hook on reasonable doubt. The evidence needs to establish BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT that you committed a crime or else you are free to go.

 

That is what got Salman off. Hence they say – Not guilty unless proved.

 

And you cannot prove shit because analysts word it beautifully. That is what years of experience do to you. You can have your cake, hog it too and not get fat.  I know how to bake that cake. So when I see someone baking it, I call his bluff.

 

When an analyst says these things I know that he knows that he doesn’t know. After reading this, you will know it too.

 

1) It’s a Stock Pickers Market….

When was it not? Ok, may be we did not call it that two years before but when did a person buy something randomly with the stipulation that because the market will go up my randomly picked up stock will go up with it?

 

In the bull market of 2005 to 2007 everything went up. If Gravity was listed on BSE, it would go up too. I remember buying some shit stocks which quadrupled or more. But they were backed by stories. Khoday India ( the liquor company ) owned a huge land parcel in Bangalore, RCF owns a land parcel in Mumbai and the story and its land parcel are both as old as my father.

 

So we bought based on a story. Nobody ever bought a stock without having some dope on the company. It was always a Stock Pickers Market.

 

What happened in the 2010-2014 was that the stocks with the real stories went up and the others went to garbage.  Only analysts worth their mettle could spot those opportunities. The rise of Consumer Durables, the rise of FMCG ( the defensive sector which became the offensive ) the rise of Seed stocks etc.

 

Others explained their under performance by coining the term – It’s a stock Pickers Market.

 

It always was a stock pickers market, but you sir, were never a stock picker.

 

2) More Buyers than Sellers….

 

This is poor elementary level math.

 

Every trade has two equal sides. Every stock which is bought is sold. The buyer wants the market to go up and the seller thinks it will go down. If either of them is not thinking on these lines, then he/she is smoking crack or doing some illegal tax manipulation shit and I don’t want to get into it.

 

There is a meeting of minds at a particular price and that is how a trade goes through.

 

More buyers than sellers is used to explain an upmove in the market. It also fails on pure logic. Say there are 100 shares traded. 100 people sold 1 share each and 5 people bought 20 each. Which is the stronger side?

Elementary logic says, the buyers are stronger because an average buyer is committing more money to the trade than an average seller. By that logic, Less Buyers More Sellers is more bullish than More buyers, less sellers.

 

Or maybe they are a bunch of rich guys who have nothing better to do with their money.

 

3) Cash is on the sidelines…
I think Cash likes it there. Ever since I have entered the market Cash is on the sidelines. Analysts say that the Provident fund money in the developed world is huge and it has not entered India till now. Also, Salman Khan is not getting married. I am waiting for both!

 

The readily available cash (Bills and coin ) is 8.3% of the world’s financial assets viz. Bonds, Deposits, Equities, Bullion etc. Basically all cash is not on the sidelines, it is invested in some other asset. Just because one asset class (equities) has corrected sharply the cash won’t come running.

 

As far the readily available cash, I think some liquidity is essential and 8.3% is fair. It may stay like that.

So cash is on the sidelines because that is where it wants to be. Cash is also scared of the future just like you and me.

 

4) Buy on dips/ Buy on weakness….

 

Used when the analyst has missed the bus. He doesn’t want to recommend a buy at the current price as he fears of getting caught right at the top of a swing. But he doesn’t want to miss the trend either just in case it goes to the moon. And if the stock corrects and then makes a U turn, he will have caught the bottom.

 

The fact is that nobody knows the extent of weakness in time and in price. I have a friend who subscribed to an obnoxiously pricey equity newsletter of a US Based Financial Astrologer who also tracks Indian Markets  (can’t get simpler than that)

 

The analyst recommended a buy on PSU Banking stocks in the last quarter of 2014. Bank of India was trading close to 320 then. He also put a buy an aggressive buy on Reliance Industries around 1000 Rs around the same time.Banking started to correct and so did Reliance ( the gas pricing decision was not in favour of Reliance Industries ) He kept saying in every successive newsletter “Add more on weakness.”

 

Sir, if you are reading this I want to say – Janet Yellen is not my mommy and I don’t have a money tap. If I keep buying these stocks on every dip I have to sell my kidney one day. You need to establish a floor. If I keep adding these stocks on every dip they will amount to 50% of my portfolio which is a bad asset allocation strategy.

 

But why do analysts keep saying buy the dip as the stocks keep tanking? That is because analysts want to count the returns from the bottom. The same analyst in his recent newsletter rejoiced when Reliance started doing well. He said we recommended Reliance at 880!!

 

Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

 

Buy on weakness is fine when you can define the floor and ask investors to stop buying at a particular price range.

 

5) Take some profits…..

 

This is the twin brother of ‘Buy on weakness’.  They are both evil. Take some profits also goes by the name ‘Sell in strength’. But ‘Sell’ is a word you random hear in the world of research. There is a reason for that.

 

The downside of a stock is limited. It cannot go below zero. But the upside isn’t. Some stocks go to the moon. The analyst does not want to associate the word Sell in any of his recommendations. They use Sell only when it is public knowledge that the company is bust. ICICI Securities had a buy report on a medical equipment manufacturer. The stock started tanking but the sell report never came until the stock had corrected substantially. That is how badly we hate the Sell.

 

So we use ‘ Take some profits’. Take some profits helps you cover your ass. If the stock goes down, you advised to take some profit. If it goes up, you still have some of it left. Magic!

 

There was a technical analyst who posted his calls on a free google forum. On every  3% price rise he recommended to take  profits 20% or 30% of the quantity you held. If I were to do exactly as he said I would have had 0.83 shares of Rolta India after a 20% price rise. But Rolta went up 50% and he kept booking 20% profits. Sadly people couldn’t see through this.

 

A big financial institution then hired him as a Technical Analyst. I wonder if they hired him because of this talent or inspite of this talent.

 

6) Market is overbought/oversold….

 

Market is always overbought or oversold. Think about it. The entire fundamental equity research profession channelizes its energy in finding out the Right price of the stock.  When the stock deviates a lot below the Right Price so derived it becomes a buy and when it deviates above it becomes a sell ( or profit taking..Hehe)

 

That is the core of fundamental analysis in layman terms. If majority of the stocks traded at their Right prices we won’t need most of the analysts. The very deviation from the right price warrants the existence of the research industry.

 

In essence stocks are almost always trading above or below their fundamental price. That is to say they are almost always overbought or oversold. BLAHHH

 

7) We are cautiously optimistic…..

 

You are also an oxymoron.

 

When analysts think the market will go up but don’t want you to come for their throat if it doesn’t they say we are cautiously optimistic. Peter Drucker says ‘What can be measured can be managed’. This statement cannot be measured. If the market goes down we were cautious and if it goes up we were optimistic. (Round of applause)

8) Smart money is entering into the market OR investors are fleeing the market…..

 

At every point of time each stock is owned by someone. Investors can never flee the market. If at all they do sell, they are replaced by other investors. But there is always an investor or a trader or a guy who has those shares in his demat account.

 

Besides who really knows the time frame and intent of the guy who purchased the stock? He may be a trader, investor, speculator or he may be an investor who needs money for some emergency and ends up selling the stock before he intended to. Nobody really knows. Neither does he.

 

Besides Smart Money is also secretive money. Smart money is smart enough to not let you know when it entered the market. That is Rule Number 1 of smart money. Don’t let anyone find out. And if you do find out later, trust me it is too late. You know what that makes you ? Not smart.

 

9) Earnings meet estimates / Earnings meet expectations but analysts were expecting a beat!!/ Earnings are positive but for one time charges….

 

BLAH BLAH and BLAHHHHHHHHHHH

 

When the weather guy makes a forecast and the weather does not match up. What do you say ? Weather estimates were wrong. But in stock markets, we blame the weather for being wrong. Estimates have to meet earnings to decide the quality of analysis and not the other way round.

 

When earnings meet expectations and analysts are not happy because they expected a beat, I want to beat myself up. Also, I want to teach them the meaning of the word Expectations.

 

Earnings are positive but for one time charges is the equivalent of I am a vegetarian except for the Beef Burger I eat only on Wednesdays.

 

10) We are neutral on this stock….

 

The other variation of this is to Maintain Hold. Wow! I can’t believe people get paid for that.

 

When you cannot come up with a Buy or Sell report what you are implying is that the stock is fairly valued. So say that. But you won’t because you don’t know what the stock will do next. Just like the rest of us.

 

I don’t have a personal vendetta against analysts. I trade and track stocks myself. My dearest friend too is an analyst. But I hate when people are misguided and they lose money.

 

Arghhhhh

 

Rahul T

 

 

It’s time to call the Bullshit in Equity Research….

Bullshit

 

I can’t let go. I pretend to be a guy who has life all figured out. A big part of self-realization is letting go. On most days I do a good job of staying in character. Then some crooked prick posts an online comment or does something which is packaged to look like chocolate but it is nothing but shit and I HAVE to set the record straight.

It’s a sickness. Don’t ask me why

My job description as a Human reads ‘ Go out of the way and tell people they are full of crap. Ensure you do it in a front of as many people as you can. Get enough people to hate you and one day get shot in the head.’

If this blog is very popular by then we will call it Assassination. Sounds cooler.

Few decades back, the world entered a Knowledge Economy. Growth was dependent on quality, quantity and ACCESSIBILITY to knowledge. The words Masters/ Doctorate were used with a pompous rhetoric. In the early 90’s just the word ‘ Masters in Computers and working in US ‘ got many of my friends down south married to a girl 50 shades lighter than them. But the party had to end.

Enter Google, Youtube, Course Era, Edx and thousands of websites which made knowledge accessible to anyone for free. The Knowledge Economy is over in the US and other developed nations.  But in some sectors and economies the transition is still happening.

Such transition leads to Information Arbitrage. Using a concept you know more about to fool someone into paying you commissions way higher than you would get in some other part of the world only because the consumer has no clue that the same knowledge/service is available elsewhere for a minimal fee or sometimes even free.

Information Arbitrage is just a white collar word. The inner dialogue of an Information Arbitrageur goes like this….

 You don’t know that I am not the best resource for this job.( Devious laughter ) I know that too. In my lone moments I also feel guilty and ashamed. But then comes the money and I forget everything else. So I am going to mug the shit out of you by quoting sky high prices. It won’t hurt because you will never find out.

And even if you do, who cares!?

Guess what ? I do. I am here to close the arbitrage. When I see bullshit I have to call it. Period.

And I see a lot of bullshit in Equity Research.  So I am going to call it today. I am not going to name anyone in particular. Because tolerant India and BLAH BLAH.

The problem with Fundamental Research….

THE ONE VARIABLE WHICH ALMOST ALWAYS CAUSES THE CHANGE IN FUTURE FORECASTS IS EITHER EXCLUDED FROM THE ANALYSIS, IS CONSIDERED A CONSTANT OR IT’S PREDICTED RANGE IS HORRIBLY WRONG.

In the housing market crisis of 2008, leading banks were dishing out mortgages against properties to people who had little or less potential for future earnings. The people later came to be known as sub-primes. These mortgages were backed by top rating agencies across the world which employed mathematical models to evaluate the credit capacity ( capacity of a customer to pay ) of a mortgage bond.

People are liars. But how did Mathematical models lie?

These models considered the ‘Housing Prices’ component in the entire equation to be a steadily rising variable or a constant.  Some models had a provision for a downtick in housing prices but the lower side estimate was wrong.

How wrong ? By about 7 times. WHOA! ( Read ‘Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver’ – Amazing book but full of numbers and charts. )

There were a few sharp traders who had foreseen this collapse and bet against the housing crisis. They were making money and they wanted everything to go to dust. It could have. There was every chance it could have got way worse than it did. But it did not.

Because the Government started printing money and throwing it towards the Banks. The bears had not accounted for this. ( Case of Variable excluded from the analysis ) Some bears remained in denial and the Dow Jones recovered from 6000 odd to 16000. They kept holding shorts and made no or little money at all.

That is just plain sad.

Recent example is The NDA Victory in India in 2014. After Narenda Modi was appointed as PM, every broker revised Sensex targets upwards to 30000/32000. Which variable they over estimated ?  The reforms Modi would bring about. Which variable they excluded ? China

Every once in a while the world will realign itself over a fundamental event or data point, the variation or future existence of which is largely unpredictable ( Case in point – Fall in Crude Prices last year ).  This event may change the course of the markets for better or for worse.  It always has and it always will.

Nicholas Nassim Taleb wrote a book about this phenomenon. He called it the Black Swan (Must read)

LEARNING….

 Whenever a fundamental analyst ( or the guy who poses as one ) makes a prediction about the future ask him one simple question – What has to happen for your prediction to fall flat on its face ?

If he can’t come up with a reply, forgive his stupidity and walk away. He doesn’t know that he doesn’t know. Ignorance is bliss.

If he does reply, applaud him and ask one more question. What will be your first clue that your analysis is going to the garbage. What is the one thing that needs to happen for you to start feeling uneasy? This because, there is no point crying after the house has burnt down.

If he gives a reply, note it down. In most of the cases it will come into play.

 

The problem with Technical Analysis….

This is something I read today on Social Media …..

Start Selling Nifty in 2 part at 7440 and 7540 with stoploss 7650 and target 7311-7240-7116-6900-6660.

This is all kinds of wrong. The performance report of the analyst and your profit and loss will never match and I am about to explain why….

THE RISK REWARD IS PATHETIC ( TWICE THE RISK THAN THE REWARD )

Say you are a small trader who cannot afford more than 2 lots ( Zerodha – the Biggest Indian stock broker for traders has said recently that 90% of their accounts are below one lac rupees for trading capital. So majority of Indian retail are small traders)

Say Nifty goes to 7440 ( you sell one lot ) and then comes down to 7310 and you book. You will stand to make 7440-7310 = 130 points. That translates to ( 75*130 ) 9750 Indian Rupees ( not considering transaction costs )

The analyst here is jumping with joy as first target has been achieved and he has a green tick in his excel sheet. This call will be counted as a successful call.

What if Nifty rises to 7540 and you sell one more lot ( as prescribed ) and then it rises all the way to 7650 and triggers the stoploss ?

If that happens you have a 2 lots ( 150 quantity ) short position with an average entry price at (7440 + 7540)/2 this is 7490 and you hit stoploss at 7650 for both.

That is a loss of 7650-7490 = 160 points on 150 quanity.

That translates to a loss of 160*150 = 24000 Rs.

The analyst gets one red tick in his report.  Three losses of 24000 is more than 7 gains of 9750. So If he is having a 70% strike rate, you should ask him to Fuck off.

HE WON’T GUIDE YOU AFTER THE FIRST TARGET, BECAUSE HE CAN’T….

Say you have multiple lots ( you are Richie Rich ) and you booked a few on first target. Then you booked some on the second and so on. After the third target ( out of 5 ) you have very little left. You ask him, what should I do ? He will tell you to trail as per your risk appetite because nobody can be sure what happens in market. ( BLAH )

You hear that, you like the money you are making and you take it.

Then Nifty reaches target 5 and he counts that entire move from 7540 to 6660 in his excel shit. BIG LIES. Even if you held on till the last target, the average of the profit taking would be much higher than 6660 ( as you have covered in steps ) and the average would be different for different people.

He calls it the multi bagger call, you curse yourself for not holding. What a SCAM.

LESSON – Ask for a client’s profit and loss account to be matched with his excel sheet. If he can’t do that, he is full of non-sense, don’t believe him. If he can show you a trading account just like the excel sheet, marry him. If he is already married, try new things but keep him close.

If he says his strike rate is close to 85% or more run like you just saw a ghost and never look back

If he uses to word SURE call, run faster. Maybe you can poke his eye before running.

 

The problem with Financial Astrology….

When you go to a Doctor, do you expect him to write the chemical combinations of medicines or just the medicine name?  I guess it’s the latter.

Same here!  We don’t really care about the Moon, Jupiter and Scorpio planets. Tell us what needs to be done and we will do it. All that makes it sound fancy but does not help. It confuses the readers more than it enlightens them. Also it gives the writer an opportunity to hide behind those explanations. It all smells fishy.

Rarely do financial astrologers have a stop loss. I haven’t read many but I have read the best ones. None of them have a price point which indicates they are wrong.

A renowned Financial Astrologer had a very high conviction call on PSU Banking in 2015. It went to garbage. He accepted that it did. But what he carefully avoided that it was an Aggressive buy call and most people bet their shirt on it.  The stock prices are off 70% in some stocks.  He kept saying keep buying on every dip. The dip was bigger than the Grand Canyon! And one fine day he stopped talking about it.

70% drawdown in an aggressive trade is a sure road to bankruptcy.

LESSON– If subscribing to a Financial Astrologer newsletter demand a price stop loss. It’s a must have. Also everything mentioned above applies here too.

That’s all I could come up with for today. Now I have to run, they will surely come for me with guns…….

 

Cheers

Rahul T

Get down to your boxers and take the Leap of Faith

comfort zone

‘I was a violinist’ I lied.

Charlotte was apartment hunting with her boyfriend. She used to live in Brisbane but she moved to Sydney recently because the music scene here is pretty good. She is a pianist trying to make her mark. She was pretty and I wanted to belong to her community at that moment. So I lied. I thought maybe we will become friends.

It wasn’t a complete lie. I did play the violin for a whole one year around 15 years back. Yesterday I made it count. It was a conversation starter.

This is the number one reason I came to Australia ( Not Charlotte ). Here I can be anyone I want. I was bored being Rahul, the equity research guy. I can also be James Bond, but Hetal isn’t half as hot as Halle Berry. So that option is out.

Three months back, Hetal was offered to an opportunity to move to Australia for work. I sold my company and we packed our bags to move 12000 kms away from home. The last month was hectic – I made a huge list of friends and made sure I met or spoke to everyone in the list. I visited every regional food joint in my area and ate like there is no tomorrow and I made a list of things I don’t want to carry to Australia.

The last one was difficult.

If you lie on your bed for two straight weeks, the blood inside your legs clots and you can’t move. Your muscle atrophies.  I stopped playing music in college. I stopped being a kick ass chess player in school. I stopped being a vocalist 3 years back when my music teacher changed his town. To continue being a vocalist I needed resistance. My resistance muscle had atrophied.

I don’t want to stop being uncomfortable.

Change is uncomfortable. I love change. So I love uncomfortable. And I need to practice it regularly.

In a standup comedy event the comedian unbuttoned his shirt because he was feeling hot. The audience laughed a little. Then he unbuttoned one more and they laughed some more. Then one more stepped on the stage with three buttons open. The audience laughed harder.

Then there was Robin Williams who walked on the stage with just his boxers. There was a roar!

There’s a line where you can take off enough clothes and suddenly you are WAY outside of the comfort zone.

Robin Williams did that. He did it without thinking for more than a few seconds. He instantly knew the most extreme he could take a joke, the most shocking he could be for that moment, the most stretching of all boundaries he could do to get a laugh and go way beyond the two comedians before him – James Altucher

That is what makes him one of the greatest comedians we knew.

Because people like him burn all the lists. The list has social protocols; the list has appropriate things to say or do in most social situations. The list which says you have to pick the profession from the options presented to you at age 16. The list which says you have to get a job because all your friends have one. The list which says you have to get married by 30 and not wait till you actually fall in love. This list which says you should have children before she turns 30 because it’s risky.

Fuck that list. Be uncomfortable. Is it a sure way to succeed? Maybe yes. What is success after all?

Success is the ability to make consecutive difficult decisions. To choose the road less travelled over and over. We all can make that one off difficult decision. That’s easy. Make it again and again. And again. Will you be rich? I don’t know. But you will have balls the size of watermelons and people will remember you for that.

I moved 12000 kms and my balls just got a little bigger.

 

Cheers

Rahul T

How to get a YES on Valentine Day ?

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I tricked you into reading further. I don’t know the answer to that question. Frankly, I do know but my in laws may read this post. I fear that. If they do I will definitely not have sex on Valentine day. I like Valentine day because it is convenient. You can officially propose to a girl way out of your league and not get kicked in the nuts. Any other day she may have her half-brother beat you up.

I wish there was a day when I could tell people ‘ I hate you’ and not get kicked in the balls. I have a long list.

Girls are not complicated. Boys are vanilla. Vanilla is below the belt. Let’s say Linear. We need proper instructions. Overlapping lines of code which require reference from old files stored in the hard drive crash our systems. If a guy’s brain were to be a video game, most of us would be PacMan. Go right, go left, eat and hide. Eventually get busted.

pacman

Psychologists say that only two types of decisions lead to stress;

  1. Wrong decisions
  2. Too many decisions

I am a professional simplifier. I have outsourced most of my thinking to models. It frees up my brain to be creative ( Or lazy ).  Everyone who ever said to you that One Size fits all approach doesn’t work in love is bullshitting you. It does.  All girls get pissed when you do the things listed below. Stop doing them and you will get one step closer to YES.

Hog

Hogging is fun. I am huge a fan. But when I hog I tend to violate rule 2 below. Also when I sit down after a heavy meal, my shirt hugs my chest and the gap between two buttons opens up like someone inside wants to escape. It’s a fun way to kill time till the dessert shows up.

Also Use fingers instead of spoons. It’s called Economy of Movement. It reduces the number of steps it takes for food to reach your mouth. But when you use fingers, you have to lick them. Sometimes when you lick them hard you tend to make a sound. (Ptachhhhh) Also if not done elegantly it looks perverse. But do you really care? When our taste buds are working every other organ is on standby mode.

Burp/ Fart

What good is an over eaten meal if it’s not followed by a burp. It’s like salutation in the culinary world. Burping is how we show respect towards food.

Praise the type of girl which she isn’t or praise her best friend

If your girlfriend is petite, fancy broad shouldered girls. If your girlfriend is dark, praise her fair skinned friends. If she is talkative tell her how you like when a couple sits for hours without talking. Trust me she will see the pattern. If she doesn’t tell her the most beautiful part of women is her brain. If all this doesn’t work then praise her best friend. This works like magic. Black magic though!

Always interrupt her and give her an opinion.

Because you are the world’s best problem solver and she is really dying to know what you think about her situation. It’s our job description as boyfriends – Solver her problems. When she says she doesn’t need a solution, she just needs a listening ear offer her your opinions nonetheless. Because you are sure that it is the right thing to do and she will thank you later.

Better yet, link her problem to the same one you had in the past and tell her how you solved it and totally make the conversation about your problem. Tadaaa… Solution with real life examples – You are superman.

Change the wastapp settings and hide ‘Last seen at’ without telling her. For better impact do it at night and get it back to normal in morning. When she asks, tell her it’s a technical problem in your phone. The best is to read her message, get the double tick to blue color and don’t reply for hours. After an hour or so, say you are busy. And talk after one more hour.

Get her wrong gifts

When she puts on weight get her a gift coupon from an XXL sized store. Why? Because you are smart enough to put together a thoughtful gift. If she eats her nails, get her nail paint. Totally get her things which you think she needs but is embarrassed to buy.

Flirt with other girls

Because you need to sharpen the axe. Be stuck on your phone at all times. When she talking, do reply but keep your eyes fixated on the phone whilst you guide her friend about where she can get a cake for her dogs birthday. When you are dining out with her friends total order food for them and make suggestions for what they should eat. While on this topic, mention 6 others places and make plans to go there. After all plans are made just look at your girlfriend and say – Don’t you think that will be fun?

Cancel your date for a boys night out because it’s a the Bro code. Also when you get totally high, give her a call on her landline at 2am just to tell her you are having a blast. Also slip in a ‘I miss you’ just in case you disturbed her while sleeping and don’t want her to be mad.

Recall the exact score when Barcelona beat AC Milan in 1996 and who took the penalty shootout, but forget her mother’s birthday.  Also forget her dogs birthday.

 While watching a cricket match with friends, keep the toilet door open  when you take a leak because you cannot miss the commentary . The commentary is the essence of the game. Only true fans know that.

Keep a record of your fights only with the true intention of improving your relationship and not repeating the same mistakes. Every once in a while bring that evidence into play.

When she is in the middle of argument, pick her family’s side. That is because you want her father to respect you. She won’t get that. Not just yet. Also disagree on a lot of crucial things. When confronted, tell her that discussing issues is the way to grow together.( Bullishit! )

Get horny in public places and demand sex.

Don’t do dishes at home. Refuse to ever learn to cook because it’s not a guy thing. Also never change the bed sheets.

 

It’s not that difficult to be good at a relationship. Start with making lesser mistakes. Use the guidelines I shared.

Wish you a very Happy Valentine day in advance….

 

Cheers

Rahul T

Seven Habits of Soon to be successful people

Rahul t

Stephen Covey wrote the best seller – Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Are all effective people successful ? Maybe some effective people are just managers. Good managers. I am not implying that managers are unsuccessful. Success is very individualistic.

You can have a Bentley in your parking lot and travel business class but if your wife is cheating on you and your cholesterol is off the charts to me you are a big failure. But that’s just me. You can make your own rules.  Maybe you are ok with the wife swapping. It’s fine. I am not judging.

But if there is only one metric in which one must measure success; One metric which is uniform across all successful people, it is INNER PEACE. That is it. PEACE. You can be Druglord who does human trafficking. Every morning you need to sniff cocaine just to start your day but you are at peace because this is the life you always wanted then you are successful. Fuck what everyone says. Including me! The raw unquestionable power gives you a purpose. You like the chase with the cops. It’s all exciting to you. To me you are fucked, but to you its success.

Or you can be a Five Star Chef who quit his job to feed homeless people ( true story ). You are more successful than the Bentley guy. But you don’t care do you? If you did care about such things you would still have your job.

Your life, your rules.

Absence of peace is beginning of cardiovascular problems. When you realize that you don’t have inner peace, don’t fool yourself and just walk away. The definition of success can change halfway through life. To me it changed over the last 2 years. Maybe it will change again. I don’t know.

I think people change for the better when they achieve personal success. Something inside tips and you see everything differently. But to get there you need a set of tools. I agree with Stephen Covey about the habits to maintain success.. But I think the set of habits you need to have to get there is a little different than the set of habits you need to have to sustain the position.

 THE SEVEN HABITS OF SOON TO BE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

BE SELFISH

When I dine with my cousin sister she always serves herself first and then others. That is the wrong kind of selfish. That is selfish and glutton both. Be selfish does not mean put yourself first in everything. Be selfish means not to say YES. Not to say yes to your friend who called you to play while you were studying, not to say yes to the boss who asked you to do his dirty laundry so that he can have his family time, not to say yes to every guy who makes you drink one more glass of whiskey when you are begging you can’t do more and your wife is waiting at home.

Don’t say Yes. Be selfish. Focus on where you want to go and every act or every person who puts you off that path needs to go. Time has a cost. A huge opportunity cost.

Culturally we are taught to be generous. Share your cookie, share your notes (which you took a lot of efforts to make) last minute to a friend who spent all his study vacation partying and share everything you can because sharing is caring. That is bullshit.

Share everything except time or things which represent your time. Share a chocolate. It did not cost you to time to make. The success differential between individuals is a direct result of how effectively they spend their resources. The biggest resource we have is Time. (My precious)

It will hurt your friends. It may hurt your girlfriend and she may ditch you. But when you become successful you can find a better one. No worries.

UNDERSTAND ODDS

Whoever says to be an entrepreneur you need a risk appetite is bullshitting you. Good entrepreneurs don’t take abnormal risks at all. Good entrepreneurs are like guys at a Blackjack table. The one thing they know are the odds of each hand that is dealt. They know the payoff of every game they play. That is the one thing they are very good at. And they know that by Law of Averages a good hand will be dealt sooner or later. The objective is to stay at the table long enough. And you can do that by taking calculated risks.

But what about the times when Richard Branson risked everything to get Virgin Atlantic?

Isn’t that crazy ?

Look at his payoff. His payoff was a billion dollar business. Risking everything was a small price for that. If you were to go through three bankruptcies to become a billionaire would you? I am sure the answer is Yes. Everyone can say that in retrospect. That is easy. But to understand what you are playing for when you are playing it is the thing that makes you a mega success. They know that.

But some people stay bankrupt. What about that?

Yes they do. Maybe they miscalculated odds. Maybe it was bad luck. But ask every billionaire or millionaire who has risked it all and he will never say it was a bad call. They understand odds. When you understand odds you will realize that Risk is name people give to opportunity when they don’t have the balls to execute it.

That said, when the odds are bad one must walk away. Don’t stay at the table till the House robs you of all your money. That happens when risk exceeds opportunity in consecutive hands. You should know when to fold and when to double down.

Warren Buffet plays Blackjack. Some billionaires play Poker. Quit Sudoku, play Blackjack.

ELIMINATE RUTHLESSLY

Warren Buffet has a 25/5 Rule. He asked his pilot ( Steve) to list down the top 25 things that are most important to him. Then he asked to circle the top 5. Steve did that hesitantly. It is difficult to face your demons. It is difficult to accept that you are not working towards your most important aspirations.

Warren asked Steve about the remaining 20 items. Steve said they come a close second in priority list. This is where mortals and Warren Buffet start being different. Warren called the 20 items – The Avoid at all costs lists. Look at them only and only when the first five are in your bag. Period.

This is how you get closer to your aims/goals/targets/ whatever you want to call it. To become successful you need to become a professional simplifier – Scott Adams. Eliminate the fat. When you make your to do list – Write the top thing for the day. The one thing you need to get done today. Only ONE thing. But how do you choose that thing? It is the thing that aligns with your mega goal. It is that thing which pushes you one step closer.

1% every day compounded is 3650% at the end of 365 days. That is the power of compounding says James Altucher ( the author of Choose Yourself ).  James also has 4/64 rule. He took the Pareto Principle of 80/20 ( 80% of success comes from 20% activity ) and applied 80/20 rule to the 80/20 rule. ( Pardon the complex math) .So it became 64% success comes from 4% activity. Great. That is a 50% reduction in activity with only 20% fall in success. Focus on top 4%.

Take one step every day. Do just one thing to move towards your dream.

BE AN EARLY RISER

Ok, this is debatable. But the odds are in my favor. (Practicing what I preach ) Back when there were no watches people went to bed when the sun went down. That is how humans were designed ; to sleep at dawn and rise at dusk.

But A R Rehman composes melodies when the world is sleeping. Many creative people operate at their optimum after 1 am. Because people don’t tend to disturb you after 1 am. But try 4 am. It works the same. Besides you are well rested and your brain juices flow faster. That is neuroscience.

The accumulated 3 hours edge every morning will put you 90 work days ahead every year assuming you work 12 hours a day. (360 days multiplied by 3 hours the whole divide by 12). And these are 90 days where you are working towards that one most important thing to move towards your goal.

The deal just got sweeter.

THINK BEYOND YOUR EXISTING SKILL SET

What got you here won’t get you there says Marshall Goldsmith. That is also the title of his book in which he explains why does success plateau. If you keep doing what you are doing you will always be where you are. It is that simple.

Obsolescence is a soft word for irrelevance. When you become irrelevant to the system, it throws you away. People don’t have jobs not because the economy is bad. They don’t have jobs because their skill set is irrelevant today. Deal with it. Some truths are bitter to swallow.

We get labeled by our degrees and our job titles. Larry Page and Elon Musk were computer science majors, but now one is building a driverless car and the other is making a spaceship to go to Mars. David Chang was a competitive golfer in school, majored in religious studies in college and now is one of the most successful restaurateurs in New York. Peter Thiel was a lawyer. Then he quit that to start PayPal.

Think beyond your core competency. Learn new things. Keep upgrading or become irrelevant. Five years down the line we may not need accountants and ten years down the line we may not need programmers. I don’t know. I am not sure. But one thing I do know – As technology keeps improving lesser people are required for producing the same output. Will you retain your place in the industry a decade from now ?

Ask yourself that.

NETWORK

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. We have all heard that before.

I worked briefly with an Equity Research firm. We had a smoking zone where me and Head of Equity Research ( only two smokers in our team ) would meet. There was a chain of command so I couldn’t just start talking to him randomly. I was smoking away once when a friend of mine called me asking which stock to buy. I had some insider information about the results and I named the stock. My boss was hearing the whole thing. The stock did perform very well and he knew I was not an ordinary intern. The next day he asked me How did I know what I knew and I said I can’t tell you that. Maybe he liked that and we became friends. That was 2008 and few days back he made an offer to me to work with him.

Networking is a dry word. Just make friends with people, people who are far better than you. Don’t expect anything in return. Don’t keep score of how you will gain. Don’t think short term. Nurture relationships, give them water and they will become trees. Big people are busy people. You can’t just call them and say can you have coffee with me or can you help me?

That’s such a bad deal for them. Answer this question at the outset – Hello Sir, I have some ideas for your business…. Or I can help you expand your business …Or I can teach your son how to play chess. Tell them what you can do for them. Research about the people you want to connect with and offer to help in a way which benefits them. These are the seeds you sow. Some of them will bear fruit.

 

SAY NO A LOT

Behavioral scientists performed an experiment. They called 4 people in room which had a white board. They had drawn two straight lines on the board and one was slightly bigger than the other. The subjects had to openly declare which was the bigger one. Three of those four people in every such batch were insiders who called the smaller line bigger. The fourth guy was confused. In seven out of ten batches the fourth guy changed his answer. That’s how wired we are to agree with people.  It starts in the childhood under the pretext of being a nice kid who says yes to all requests and then becomes social pressure. From your boss, your friends, your spouse, by your company and your family to attend to their social needs. Say no to everything that does not add value to your life, socially, financially or physically. It sounds a bit harsh but isn’t success hard ?

When you don’t say No to bad relationships you get emotionally invested. That’s how you justify being in that relationship. You think you have given it a lot of time. You keep throwing good money towards bad money. Cut your losses short. Say No. Let people get hurt. It’s ok. Everyone forgets everything after a few years anyway. This overlaps with BE SELFISH and ELIMINATE RUTHLESSLY but I needed to re-assert this one. The ability to say No to wrong things which don’t add value to your life will to a great extent determine your success.

In 2016 I am going to say No a lot. What are you going to say No to ?

 

Cheers

Rahul T

How to activate your Bullshit Detector ?

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“Nothing is wrong ; I am fine.”

Whenever my wife says that, a smoke detector alarm goes off in my head. I search for the fire frantically but I never seem to find it. Given that I have lit the fire and I cannot find it leaves me feeling stupid and scared at the same time.

All this because Hetal said “Nothing is wrong; I am fine.”

Try saying that to an unmarried guy and he will take you at your face value. He has no radars or alarms inside his head.  Those get built over long periods as natural defense mechanisms to avoid conflict. Humans learn well only by one method – Trial and Error.

So when husbands hear ‘ Nothing is wrong ‘ they know it’s not the truth. It is fiction and a nerve wrecking twist is just around the corner. We know that from personal experience. We know that from repeated mistakes.  That is our number one and in most cases The Only Bullshit Detector.

When I was 17, my father told me, “Sexual intercourse is something that happens between and man and woman who love each other very much.” That also was bullshit. How do I know that?  Personal experience again. J

But you can’t keep fucking around ( pun intended ) to find out which is best option for you. Because  time is a limited resource and some mistakes are truly irrevocable.You got to have some system to separate the truth from bullshit. Although there is no one size fits all, you have to be able to narrow your choices. That is what super humans do. Humans do trial and error. Super humans have a system. They have a bullshit detector. It saves them time – the only irreplaceable resource at our disposal.

Looking back if you could reverse most of the mistakes you made you would be in great shape. Less mistakes is more success. It’s that simple.

Scott Adams, the author of Dilbert uses this system. I borrowed it from him.

He has six filters for truth.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

Everything other than scientific fact is human perception. If you were born in Iceland you would not believe in God. It is an atheist country. If you were born in an Arab family and had only 2 mothers it’s a pretty good guess that your pop is a poor guy. Four wives is a standard. Polygamy is the culture. Do it in India and you become a man whore. Although some of our deities had two wives. Anyway, let’s not go down that road.

If you were born in some remote villages of Uttar Pradesh all brothers could share a wife. That would be okay. Not with her though.

So everything you do, say or think is a product of your past experiences; of the environment in which you were brought up. If a UP Guy who comes from a male dominated household marries a Mumbai chi mulgi he can get his ass whooped on several occasions and he wouldn’t have a clue why it is happening.

But all said and done Personal experience is a good matrix to realize what works for you and what doesn’t.  It requires self-awareness to work best and repeated experiments.

PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCE

This one is really tricky and hence mostly unreliable. It depends on what kind of people. ( Maybe I should write a post on How to find a good mentor. ) Very few people are blessed with a truly smart friend. If you are one of those then just give your friend a call and ask him how he tackled the problem. It will save you time and effort.  What about those who aren’t blessed enough? For all of you, there is Me!

I am not an expert. Not even at my own job. But there is one thing I draw a lot from. My mistakes. I have done everything two or more times ( Except marriage ). Love, sex, business, bad friends, bad habits, good friends I pissed off, bankruptcy ( yes twice ), bad girlfriends, good girlfriends I pissed off. The list is endless.

Different things work for different people. But some things don’t work for almost all people. I know those things. I know what doesn’t work. That will help you eliminate a lot of options.

EXPERT OPINION

I have a doctor friend who told me I have ADD (attention deficit disorder) I got myself checked with the best psychiatrist in my city. His diagnosis is that I don’t . I want to believe him. He is an expert.

But I can’t vouch for all experts. Only 47% of the so- called experts in the capital market get it right year on year. A coin tossed over a period produces heads or tails 50% of the time. They are worse than coins. Maybe they are worth those coins. I don’t know. Not all experts work for money but most of them do.

Get customer feedback on the expert and decide. That will improve the odds of his opinion creating value in your life.

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES

If you super impose the graph of rise in birds migrating from one country to other and African dudes marrying British babes and say they match, it does not mean that migrating birds make white women fall in love with black dudes. Correlation does not mean causation. It is extremely plausible that if you are an African you are searching google for the next migration month right now.

Humans do that. We interpret data to fit with what we previously now or want to believe. The eyes see what they want to see – says Professor Robert Langdon in Da Vince Code.

That is the only downside with scientific research. If you can distinguish between correlation and causation, you are good to go.

COMMON SENSE

Scott Adams says “ Common sense is a good way to be mistaken with complete confidence.”

No junk food, no smoking , no alcohol, no cheating on your spouse, no gambling on horse races – That is common sense . Common sense comes mostly from observing what successful people do or don’t do and what unsuccessful people do and don’t. (It also helps in Pattern recognition which is next.)

People say common sense is mostly uncommon. I wouldn’t know that. I keep myself away from numb nuts. That again is common sense.

PATTERN RECOGNITION

Whenever I eat caramel popcorn I fart. The first few times I thought it was the late dinner or the insufficient sleep or the coke which I get with the popcorn. But take out the popcorn and the farting stops.  Caramel popcorn coincides consistently with indigestion.

And Consistency is the bedrock of all truth.

That is pattern recognition. Caramel popcorn = bad for stomach.

But getting 8 trades right in a row is not a pattern. It is luck. Don’t bet your house on the 9th one. For this you need common sense. All these filters are also kind of overlapping. You get the drift!

When you look to extract the truth from all the bullshit you hear day in and day out look for confirmation on at least two of the above six dimensions. I do the same…

Cheers

Rahul T

 

 

Step aside Ironman, Daddy’s home!

 

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There is one guy Hetal will leave me for. It’s Milind Soman. We have talked about this and I have made my peace with it. I am just secretly praying they don’t cross paths ever. When Sharon Stone did Basic Instinct she got female fan messages saying  – I would become a lesbian for you.

That is the most beautiful thing to hear ( for me ). Because you know what is better than one beautiful girl?  Two beautiful girls !

Milind Soman is the male equivalent of Sharon Stone. He’s India first male super model. He did a Reebok advertisement where he got naked, hugged a hot chic and wrapped a python around himself. Now which girl isn’t going to fall for that ?  If all this wasn’t enough he completed an Iron Man Marathon recently at age 50. That was his gift to himself for his 50th Birthday –  To complete the most difficult Triathlon in the world.

An Ironman Marathon starts with a 3.86km swim followed by a 180kms bicycle ride and then ends with a 42 kms marathon. Without breaks !! I think I just died once writing the whole thing in one breath. Now even I have a man crush on Milind Soman.

Milind was a chain smoker. He smoked upto 30 cigaretters a day. I know how tough it is to kick that habit. I have been a smoker. From 30 cigs to Iron Man is an achievement. I am sucker for bounce backs. I love people who rise from the tomb. I want to get inside their head. I want to know what triggered the massive change.

The unanimous answer is ‘ Coming close to killing yourself.’ The moment when you say ‘Enough of this shit, I have to change now.’ It can be the junk food that you are eating, bad investment decisions you made, a bad relationship or a bad job or anything else. But it is almost always that moment when you say – Fuck this shit. It is that moment when you hate something about yourself so much that you have to breakout. The other option is to die. That is the day you are actually born.

Rich Roll had terrible pain in his chest while taking the staircase in his house. He was 39, obese and his family had a history of heart disease. You remember things like that only when your chest pains! But this wasn’t the first time he hit zero.

Rich Roll is a Stanford Graduate with a Law Degree from Cornell. It cannot get better than that. He had all the money a young guy in his 20s wants. He never realized when the occasional party drinking became an addiction. Drugs followed soon after. At one point he was so addicted that he had vodka tonic in his office to sustain himself for the rest of the day. That was the day he decided – Enough of this shit. This has to end. He checked into a rehab at age 31. He was there for 6 months. He did quit the alcohol but he was ashamed.  He wanted to restore his lost name. He wanted to be a star again.

So he threw himself at work. He was the first to enter the office and last one to leave. His eating and sleeping habits went out of whack . But he did not care. Some people don’t know they are consuming slow poison till it starts showing on their body. He was extremely overweight and survived on junk food. Then at age 39 he got terrible chest pain. He knew what was coming. He went to zero again.

That was it. The moment when Rich Roll said – Fuck this shit.

Then massive changed followed. His diet changed, he quit his job and started his own law firm so that he could afford more time for himself and his family. To be fit he started running. Initially it was only 30 min a day.

Then it went to a few miles. Then it went to 25 miles and then……to finishing the Ultraman Race

The Ultraman World Championship is a three-day, 515 km (320 mile) annual endurance race held on the Big Island of Hawaii. The race is divided into three stages over three days: The first is a 6.2-mile (10-km) ocean swim from Kailua Bay to Keauhou Bay, followed by a 90-mile (145-km) cross-country bike ride, with vertical climbs that total 6,000 feet. Stage two is a 171.4-mile (276-km) bike ride fromVolcanoes National Park to Kohala Village Inn in Hawi, with total vertical climbs of 4,000 feet. Stage three is a 52.4-mile(84-km) double-marathon, which starts at Hawi and finishes on the beach at the Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area. Each stage must be completed within 12 hours or less. The swim portion of stage one must be completed in 5.5 hours or less. Participants who do not reach the finish lines within the time limits are disqualified.

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Obese at 40 and Ultraman at 48. Step aside Milind Soman, Daddy’s home!

Rich Roll took one step at a time. He just wanted to get fit. That was his basic doable action based goal. To run 30 minutes a day. He started at age 40. Now he has written books on plant based diet. He is a keynote speaker and he is living the life he always wanted.

Some people need two accidents to find out that they are living someone else’s life. Its only when life strips you naked you realize what you really really want.

Everyone will get that experience. But what you will do after that will determine if you are Rich Roll or Tom, Dick and Harry….

 

Cheers

Rahul T.