In the Flow

It was a very difficult period I have to say. All your childhood dreams had been sort of realized and we had the biggest selling records in the world and all the things you got into it for. The girls and the money and the fame and all that stuff it was all … everything had sort of come our way and you had to reassess what you were in it for thereafter, and it was a pretty confusing and sort of empty time for a while…

– Pink Floyd

I think the appropriate response to some of the feelings I addressed in my last post is to be more intentional with my life – to set goals and baselines and priorities. The reality is that becoming a professional investor and not only that, becoming a good investor, had been a big (though quiet) goal of mine for a long time. Once I achieved step 1 (by starting work for a hedge fund) and started chipping away at step 2, the sense of purpose and focus in my life lessened ever so slightly.

Sidebar – I think about this a lot and maybe I’ve even written about it here before, but I’m continually amazed by the power of childhood dreams and experiences to shape who you later become. There are some people who have to set aside their childhood dreams in order to deal with the reality of making a living. But for someone who is talented and put into a fortunate situation, your childhood dreams never really get set aside. I and others I know are still chasing the things we never had as kids and deeply wanted.

Back to the main conversation – I’ve been drawing a contrast between my personal and profession lives: while I have clear plans and intentions and desires for my professional life, I don’t feel like I do for my personal life. But I think that framework is a work in progress still. It feels like a strange dichotomy to draw because 1) it feels like I’m missing out on a lot of key life components (intellectual, etc.), 2) it’s a bifurcation of my life that only happened at the earliest 2-3 years ago (so a void on one side is not surprising) and 3) I’m not sure it’s true – I actually like and want to do a lot of stuff outside of work, like surfing. But maybe the dreams part is wrong but the intentionality part is.

I definitely have things I want to accomplish and interest personally (basketball, surfing, snowboarding, running, music, food), I just don’t really have a plan or goals to getting there. I also observe that my interests are very un-social – I have never dreamt of nor do I have plans for climbing the social ladder or being super powerful or living in a perfect house, with the perfect wife, perfect kids and a perfect dog. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Anyway, as I said, I’d like to set some of those baselines and goals/milestones up. In general, here it is – I want to spend some time each weekend reflecting or meditating, I want to read more, I want to start swimming again and set achievable goals to get better, I want to travel more, I want to stay in shape, I want to volunteer more and I want to socialize at least once per weekend & do something I haven’t done at least once a month.

My thoughts on this are a work in progress.

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