Feel That Rush.

Life is fast.
Markets are fast.

But are they really?

I wonder if they are or if we only experience them that way to avoid the pain of how slow life actually is.

I’m a thrill seeker by nature.
I love to bank deeply on tight mountain trails and roads on a fast bike.
I love a good whipper while sending a route I’ve never climbed before.
A deep powder day? Does it get better? I don’t think it does.

I spent 20 years in film and VFX. Want to take about pressure?
There are few places with more chaos and need to perform well in it than in Hollywood.

That might seem strange for many people, thriving in stress, chaos and the constant pressure of life. We want it easy, right?

But do we really?

I think we do not actually want the easy life. I think we want to be overwhelmed. I think we want to be stressed. We want to be challenged and pushed and on the very edge of keeping it all together, Why?

We need the RUSH.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but, this modern world is driven by how you “feel”. We are creatures driven by our inner emotions. That’s the truth. Coca-Cola knows it, Nike knows it, your realtor knows it!

All day long, America sells feelings. We do not sell products. We sell a sense of security, of contentment, of joy. In most cases, an emotional escape from this current, moment.

You want to know why?

Life kind of sucks.

Most of the time anyway.
Even if it’s good, humans struggle to enjoy it.

What do people like more than a beautiful day at the beach? Looking at someone else’s day at the beach and wondering why they can’t have it.

This is so clearly true if you look around. Constantly, people choose their phones over their life. They choose to feel something artificial over something real.

I sat on the shore of Jackson Lake, in Grand Teton last week.

What did I see?
Next to me on that shore, as I looked out at what I think it one of the most beautiful views on this planet.

People on their phones.
Here, they have the chance to live the life they want to and instead, they choose the artificial life.

I don’t really care about the science behind why this is the case. We can assume it’s due to the dopamine addictions we all experience. It may be out of our control. In fact, I think it likely is. I think we’re all just helplessly following our feelings each and every day.

Unless we interrupt the pathway.

This is very hard to do!
It’s not simple. It’s not about less screen time or “doing stuff that sucks” or some B.S. like that.

It’s about admitting we all have an addiction to negativity in order to keep us from realizing how terrible life actually is most of the time!

Paul Tudor Jones is know for saying “Take the PAIN. Take the PAIN, take the PAIN” as one of his trading tenants. What does he mean? I think many think he is saying to do the hard thing in trading. Buy/sell the scary candle and all that. I agree. Work those edges.

There is a lot more to this than simply, do the hard thing.

In order to live a life you can be proud of, I think you have to take the pain of facing life in it’s rawest form. See deeply and truly who you are. Yeah, it sucks. I don’t like it either. But it must be done. We must see our failures, our disappointments. We must learn to live with them in a deep way. Otherwise, we risk living an artificial life where, at the end of our useless run, we return to ash and most people are glad we’re gone.

Take a minute to consider that for many people, when they leave this world, the people around them are glad to be relived of the burden.

This is not new in our modern time. This is how humanity has always been.

So, is it worth it?

Is it worth it to do the hard work of living in the pain of “real life”? Is it worth it to take on the suffering of presence in each moment in order to have some chance at meaning?

Flip that beautiful switch.

Let me tell you, it is worth it!
Not only is it worth it, it’s better!

Life is so much better without all the nonsense of artificial living, of addiction driven striving for the next thrill. The trouble is, we have to start it as a journey. No gimmicks. No tricks. Just start stopping. Start to burn out your habits that bring you back into that place of choosing the lesser life.

Think of it like this, do you truly enjoy sitting still with your own thoughts?
Probably not, if you are like most people. Meditation can be wildly helpful here. Maybe that strikes you, maybe it doesn’t.

Let me tell you what I do. I do two things to see where I am at with real life.

I fast.

Remove food for a day, maybe two.
Don’t get this wrong. It’s not to “see if you can” or to “feel more able”. This is not a feat of strength.

It is a feat of weakness.
I fast to show myself my weakest self, my truest form. My base. Where am I coming from in this moment?

It is very unpleasant, let me tell you. There is nothing fun about not eating. NOTHING. I hate it. But the thing I want to get from it, I want so much more. DEPTH.

The second thing I do. I sit and look at a tree.
Maybe this is just my thing. I don’t know. I promise you, there is, in my opinion, no way to sit and look at a tree for an extended period of time and not think good thoughts.

With this, I look at my watch. I sit. I watch the leaves blow around and let whatever thoughts into my mind. I try to avoid “productive” thoughts as best as I can. No problem solving. Just being. Then, when I get uncomfortable, when I feel the need to move, I look at my watch and check the time.

Whatever time has passed, maybe 15 min, maybe 30. That is the halfway mark. I know have to double the time. Another 15 min, another 30. Whatever it is.

This simple exercise will help you begin to change your view of time, effort, mental twitchiness.

In trading, slow down. There is not rush.
In life, slow down. You’ll be here a while maybe. if not, rushing won’t add anything.

Open yourself up to the beauty of what life is in it’s true form. it is a mess. It’s ugly, uncomfortable, unpleasant and yet beautiful and all we truly have. Learn to speak with life, sit with it and enjoy it as it is. Let it bring you to your knees, let if lift you high.

It’s worth it.

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