Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I stubbed my toe on a gem.

So the context to this story that happened last night is that the de-blimping program had been tracking well and I decided to re-allocate some energy to another area of the "Pentagram of Personal Power: Five Steps to Focus and Freedom"* specifically the branch that I like to think of as "Do i really have to spend decades more of my life in this job or one just like it?" but might be more succinctly summarised as 'my financial position'. So an appraisal of this position did not take long. 'Treading Water' is not a complicated process, and can barely be considered a strategy when it has been happening for two years.

Thus I have been reading a vasty range of books on the subject of managing money, personal finances, building wealth, why wealth is short sighted and prosperity is much better, how debt can leverage growth, how debt cripples your future, why stocks are a good investment, why investment is a bad idea, how you can make millions in houses and why the housing market is dead. They've been dry, outlandish, lurid, berating, cajoling, pompous and hilarious. Sometimes all at once.

Out of this project so far I had learnt just one very important lesson - own the pub. No matter what drink any one's peddling, there's loads of people willing to drink it. I didn't mean buy an actual pub, I meant that metaphorically - you know - to represent the publishing industry, but actually owning a pub's a pretty good concrete idea as well.

Anyway, it has been an ongoing exercise in embracing a wide variety of strongly held opinions that are presented as fact and doing so whilst holding a position of faith that out of the end of this process I will be able to distill useful concepts and 'from scratch' principles allowing me to navigate the shoals of financial reefs without gouging a fatal hole in the hull and sinking us all - leading possibly back to treading water although this time as a useful survival technique rather than a way of passing time.

Sorry. That was a hugely long sentence.

Plugging though these books has been interesting but also a penance of sorts. A way to lesson the karmic impact of my fiscally flagant 20s. None of it seemed to be sinking in, I thought I would just be confused and confused for ever, and fated to read myself in circles. Which is why I did not expect that on or about page 387 to have a sweet moment of clarity, one of those clarion bell A-Ha! moments.

There was a single line, hidden in the body copy (and I cannot find it again now, so I am very glad I had immediately transcribed it to a sticky-note) that said this "Seek not what the Master has, but what the Master sought".

That was a new one on me! And what an absoloute gem!
Roll it around for a little while - savour the layered and textured flavours to it.
I can think of many circumstances I would have expected to find such a fine philosophical aphorism, but no, it tripped me up when I thought I knew what to expect from this book, and that was another moment of awareness - all the reading I had been doing had been done through the prism (or prison) of my existing opinions about what I would find.


This one little gem has pointed out to me that there is an abundance of riches in the dirt I was shovelling out of the way to get to where I thought I was headed. I'm sitting in my tailings, holding this rock up to the light and squinting through it. Everything looks different.

Better go and re-read a few things then.
Oh, and if anyone knows of a good pub going for a song, could you let me know? We'll rename it "Rosie's Tea House of Ill Repute" and institute competitions for reciting Beowulf (with actions).

* Do you like that? I made it up. Sounds good though huh? I'm thinking of branching out into pseudo-non-fictional self help ebooks. That one would be "aimed at the modern witch or wiccan seeking guidance of getting their life into a stronger, more aligned balance."

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