At 35 years of age, he is a role model, community leader and a seventh degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do.
His name is Able, and he is a survivor.
His 20,000-square-foot home on the mountaintop is a testament to Able’s ability to face the wilderness and return as a triumphant survivor. He refused to quit, kept his discipline and never stopped moving forward until he emerged on the other side. Right next to the palatial estate is a 5,000-square-foot structure called a dojo. It is immaculate, and there are a several parents chatting while their children prepare for class. The children, ranging in age from 6 to 14, are dressed in white outfits, each with a different colored belt. They are talking, punching, kicking and waiting.
At exactly 7:30 p.m., Able enters the room, and the lesson begins. The class is free for all who dare to make the trip and the commitment. It is Able’s way of giving back to those who want to give to themselves. It’s a joy to see children engaged in learning to defend themselves, making themselves stronger, and giving up time they might be spending with TV or hanging out.
Like Able, they are learning the art of survival.
The wilderness is a metaphor for the challenges that we face on a daily basis—both in the markets and in life. The behavior of the markets over the past year has taught us how to survive. We survive by preserving our financial capital, and with that, our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual capital. The markets will not rescue us from the wilderness. In fact, they are the wilderness.
It is our responsibility to do whatever we can to face them and to survive.
How do we survive under such brutal and unfriendly conditions? How do we make it through the wilderness to the mountaintop? Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Whyby Laurence Gonzales (published 2004, W. W. Norton & Company) has many lessons for traders and here is one of them: