So three guys walk into a bar at three different times: a conservative hedge fund manager, a young man with lofty dreams and ambition and lastly a drunk degenerate who has no business in a bar. The first person to walk in, the hedge fund manager, sits at the bar and ask for a strong drink. The bartender, sensing a tense day, ask the manager, ” why the long face?” The manager’s response was that he had a bad day at the office, something about Regretting not buying some credit default swaps for some sketch securities. The bartender says ” sorry to hear that, can I offer you a $20,000 to ease your troubles?” Before the manager can respond to the unwelcome sarcasm, he is looking at a beautiful stack of hundreds. Without as much as a question, he takes the money and leaves. Being the conservative man he is, he invest long on some treasury bonds. The next guy to walk in is the degenerate. As he fumbles to find the bar stool, the bartender ask him the same question ” why the long face?” The inebriated man misinterpreting the question, slaps the bartender stating that ” his mother gave him this face you piece of shit!!!” The bartender apologizes for the misunderstanding and for his unfortunate genetics and offers the man the $20,000. This time Missing the deliberate and purposeful jab at his appearance, the man looks at the money, gives it back, and yells to the people at the bar ” drinks on me!”
Later as the drunken man is being carried out of the bar, the young man walks into the bar, he goes through process sitting at the bar and asking for a drink. He is having a rough day, just got off of work at a cleaning company. He is about to hit the library to study. The bartender offers him the same offer as the other two except with a twist , he can take the money or the bartender would grant him a life without fear and unrivaled focus. The young man pauses looks at the money and says ” since you’re just giving money away, can I get the latter with a free beer?” The bartender laughs and says “why not.”
The young man goes to finish his test prep, ace his LSAT, meet and network with the dean of his dream school, and continue his learning while meeting and befriending some of the most powerful people in the business. He would later go into politics and go down as one of the influential figures of our time.
I preface my conversation with this feeble attempt at a fable in order to make a point about the importance of the aforementioned characteristics: fear and focus. I would argue that to be fearless and to have a strong ability to focus should be two of the most coveted attributes. Fear is one of the most debilitating and crippling emotions. It causes people to pass out on stage, to not go after the woman of their dreams, to not speak up in class even though the may be far more informed than the other child who is blathering and making crazy inane commentaries. Or mostly to not chase after you dream job. When I was younger, I had an extreme fear of public Speaking , which is somewhat ironic given that I am an extrovert. If it was to make a joke, I could do that with ease. If it came to speaking seriously in public for school or any other matter, I would freeze up. This fear translated to many other aspects in my life. What I’m trying to say is that there are many of us with ambitions, a beautiful girl we want to ask out, grad schools we want to apply for, yet we find ourselves fettered by this emotional strong hold. One definition I have heard for fear was an acroynym, False Evidence Appearance Real; this definition is true to some extent. In one instance, for some us despite are extreme intellect, brilliant ideas and business plans, defer our actions based on the fallacy of improbability or ineptitude. I think this is why when you see the most successful people, they all have a common trait of optimism and confidence that allows them to operate and act in instances where others are unable to do so. On the other hand, someone’s fear of a wild baby mongoose is not necessarily predicated on untrue statements; it is very much warranted; the froth spilling from his little mouth is evidence enough. you should run now. The “false evidence”, I would postulate, that is appearing real is indeed really false if you are prepared for the situation or have the intellectual capacity to solve the issue. Can you imagine Kobe Bryant with all his ability, playing the game with the drive and swagger of a passive bench warmer. Or Ronald Reagan giving his infamous speech my asking ” can you pretty pretty please tear down the wall when you have a chance?” It is the lack of recognition in our own selves that makes the false evidence a reality.
I haven’t really spoke on focus because although I find it extremely important, my explanation for it is fairly simple. An extreme focus allows you to merely pursue the objective that was once blinded by fear. Once you are able to pursue your objective, focus allows you to pursue it with reckless abandon. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go study for my Series 7 exam. time to get focused.