YOUR Thoughts on Two Principles to Prolong Sanity

Well. That seemed to resonate. 

Thank you so much for all the replies from last week’s letter on two principles to prolong our sanity. I thought it might benefit the Fident Friday community as a whole if I highlighted a few thoughtful replies. (If you missed last week, it might be beneficial to read it first.) All emphasis markings are mine. 

I always feel better when I set boundaries... - I know the exact moment when I didn’t do it

I have a tendency to get idealistic in wanting to reach everyone and fix everything in the world, especially as I see it going downhill so fast. And when I can't, my tendency is to get very worried and upset. Your reminder today went along with what others have been telling stay aware of the world I'm living in, but also to limit the amount of news and social media that comes into my life, because of the negative mental impact it can have. And also being content to love and serve well the few, close people in my life, while ever looking for opportunities to reach out to strangers.

It’s actually freeing to remember that there are limits to one’s capacity. It frees a person from unnecessary guilt from not reaching out to more people or getting more things accomplished. Also, it’s more honest to understand that, as I reach my “max”, every decision has its own price tag. For example, it doesn’t feel as “wrong” to say no to an opportunity or a connection when I understand that if I say yes to this, some other thing will not happen.

Most of us in the modern world suffer from the diseases of hurriedness and the stress that comes from not being intentional with our resources, most importantly time. One of the big things it has robbed from us is the ability to find joy and pleasure in the little ordinary things in life all around us that have the ability to enrich our lives so much if we only built in the time to stop and step away from all the noise and distraction and fully live in the moment we are in. I find great pleasure in drinking a cup of coffee each morning and watching the sunrise, free from all directions. It is one of my greater joys in life. No phone. No books. No agenda. Just a quiet sitting and living in the present. I protect my hour in the morning with my life, because it's a simple little thing that makes my life so much richer. 

The consultant who helped us with our shop scheduling system was definitely aware of Parkinson’s Law.  The application is to try to finish the job/project as quickly as possible rather than scheduling how long you think it will take (because at the fastest it’ll take that long and good chance it’ll take longer).

This plays out in our support of charities as well.  Since I tend to get invested (other than financially), it means that I end up supporting only 4-6 charities, while there are thousands of deserving choices.  I prefer it that way, as I’m not one to just write a check…it needs to be more than that for me.

It reminds me of a shift we made a few years ago to "do more with less [people]", putting our efforts towards creating more depth with a few relationships instead of spending so much time and energy maintaining the superficial with so many.

I must say that I’m probably more productive when I have more to do.

I think this is something we all need to either carve out or continue to protect in our lives. 
Interesting Resources

Quote (of a quote)
Jack Butcher (Visualize Value
A key concepts behind the ability to think critically:

'Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.'
— Charles Addams

Some days you’re spinning a web, some days you’re caught in one.

Black Turkeys Everywhere
5 min read | Morningstar Magazine
This was really good, so much so I'll eliminate a few other resources to allow more space highlighting the main points. The term "Black Swan" is used to describe an event, typically negative, that could not be foreseen because no similar events have occurred in the past. It's probably overused - especially when it comes to calling a market decline a "Black Swan Event." So instead, Paul Kaplan uses the term "Black Turkeys," which I think is a great word play. 

A Black Turkey is an "event that is everywhere in the data - it happens all the time - but to which one is willfully blind." The perfect example: market declines. 

The article traces the US stock market back to 1870. And in the chart below shows what the inflation-adjusted value of $1 would have grown to through March of this year. Over a period of 150 years, that $1 grows to $15,303. However, it hasn't been a smooth ride, with 17 "Black Turkey" bear market declines of 20% along the way. On average, they happen once every 9 years. 
These types of charts aren't necessarily new, but they're always helpful to maintain a long-term perspective. What was new (at least to me), was a "Pain Index" being applied to the different declines. This I found fascinating. The pain index was a combination of the market drop from top to bottom combined with the length of time it took to recover.

The worst of these - the Crash of 1029 and the 1st part of The Great Depression - is the proxy used. The article than ranks these events based on pain severity - which gives us a perspective on how severe each episode was. These are shown below. 
I'm somewhat of a nerd when it comes to financial market history, I'll admit - but having some of this knowledge is helpful when we face times that we've been in the past few months (and could potentially be in for the next couple months). 

Just as much as it was impossible to foresee the Covid-19 carnage in the beginning of the year, it was equally impossible to foresee how quickly the markets have (almost) fully recovered. 

Operation Toussaint
1 h 21m view | Movie (available on Amazon Prime)
I'm not often at a loss of words - but that is precisely how I would describe myself after watching this. This is a really, really heavy topic to talk about in general, let alone in a letter like this. However, as soon as I watched it I knew I wanted to share it.

The issue is human trafficking, and how there are more human slaves today than in any point in history. And the worst part - a lot of these are children. And their enslavement isn't working on the land ... it's much worse. Tony Robbins perhaps says it best: "It's a subject that nobody wants to think about or talk about, it's the worst part of humanity, and yet we've got to do something about it." The movie, Operation Toussaint, is about a specific sting operation, but it highlights the mission of the organization Operation Underground Railroad. You can also watch a 4 minute YouTube trailer on the film. And you can learn more about Operation Underground Railroad by clicking here
See you next week. 

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