Wall Street’s Zen Master… by Nick West
I’ll be honest. I’m not an amazing learner. I don’t read one book and get hooked on something. I played piano, the guitar, and bass when I was younger…all for about 6-9 months each. It just didn’t come easy. Or maybe I was lazy when I was younger. Regardless, I wasn’t going to be the next Jimmy Page.
So, I adapted my learning style.
Now, if I find something that I want to get good at, or something that I think will truly change my life for the better, I literally drown myself in information on said topic. I read a couple books, go to the dirty-ass depths of the internet perusing every blog post and website article connected in the tangled web of cyber ooze, and will dip into as many credible videos as my bleeding eyes can stand.
The thing with this type of learning is, it’s not the most efficient. I can’t follow “The Pareto Principle” (80% of your efficiency/output comes from 20% of your effort) as I’m figuring things out, because I don’t truly know what will finally edge me into becoming a long-term practitioner of whatever it is that I’m trying to learn.
Maybe in the future, I’ll have a more methodical way of doing things, but methinks, probably not.
Luckily for you, the reader, I will continue to share only the 20% of what helps me to better my life.
In that process, I always seek out, what I call, “The Indirect #1.” The direct #1 is exactly that. It’s that person who is at the top of their game. The #1 thus comes in those two forms:
1) The Direct #1 – This is the best person at that particular (insert topic/game/etc. here) These people dedicate their lives to their craft. They’ve made the mistakes and can help provide wisdom into the key elements needed to attain such greatness, or at least a sliver of it. The Dalai Lama could be considered #1 at meditating (although ranking meditators is so anti-meditation, you’re just going to have to walk with me down this irony-ridden road)
2) The Indirect #1 - This is a person who is #1 at something, but not necessarily whatever it is I’m trying to learn. There can be many indirect #1’s. Why do I trust an indirect #1? Because an indirect #1 has built him or herself up to being #1 at something, so they understand what they should and shouldn’t be adding to their lives in order to sharpen their repertoires. They do these other things on the side, just like I intend to do with whatever new it is that I’m intending to take on. I can relate to the indirect #1. For meditation, there are a TON of indirect #1’s. The one who’s video pushed me over for meditation, is Ray Dalio.
Ray Dalio runs Bridgewater Associates, the #1 largest hedge fund in the world. Ray is quite an eccentric fellow, but mostly eccentric to those who haven’t delved into some sort of spirituality or “new-agey” like practices. I, admittedly, have, and that’s exactly why I was cyber-magnetized towards Ray. He isn’t the slick-haired ‘Greed is Good’ archetype of Wall Street. Rather, Ray is the unkempt guy you see below, donating to Willie Nelson in some bizarre dragon button-down, short sleeve shirt.
To get to the point, this video below convinced me to meditate. As I continue to highlight and dissect other indirect #1’s, I will definitely be referring to this post while seeking role models in order to create my own road:
“Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had”
Now, I’m just praying that Ray is never found guilty for insider trading, or that’d make this post look pretty pretty stupid.