A Call To Adventure


Happy Friday Virtus Family.

Truth: Is an accurate understanding of reality. It is the essential foundation for any good outcome.

Last week I wrote about Fear and the Media. An insight into how hyperbolic news reports can skew our perception of reality. To everyone who took the time to respond, Thank you! Your feedback was immense and I appreciate it more than you know.

I wanted to continue in a similar vein this week, last weeks conversation resonated with many of you, so let’s follow it up with a sequel. Hopefully, it’s more in the realm of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, rather than Zoolander 2, but I guess time will tell. 

I am fascinated by why people think and behave the way they do. This is not a free will vs determinism debate. That’s for another day (if you’re wondering, I believe the truth is a little of column A and a little in column B). But what do I know, I’m a dumb shit sometimes. 

More importantly, I want to know why I think the way I think and do the things I do. How can I better learn what is true, to ultimately be wrong less? How can I better understand my reality to improve how I live my life?

The more I read, write, listen, absorb and try to figure out answers to those questions, the deeper the rabbit hole seems to get. Sure it can be great to explore these things in in-depth but it’s important to have the ability to come back to the surface, appreciate all you have, and carry on doing good things without drowning in existential angst. 

Herein lies the magic pill, the secret sauce, the way forward… To properly understand anything complex, you must be able to explain it simply. Someone who I believe does this almost better than anyone is the hedge fund manager and philanthropist, Ray Dalio. 

Dalio’s book ‘Principles’ has impacted me more than any other. Maybe it’s because he calls himself a dumb shit in the first line (I feel I can relate). Maybe it’s because of his ability to take every lesson, failure and mistake, and repurpose it to help guide his decision making in the future (he calls these lessons ‘Principles’). Either way, this book holds pride of place on my bookshelf, I’ve gifted it more than any other, Lucy has a copy of his illustrated version (Thanks to Dan and Lauren), and I’ve rewatched his animated ‘Principles’ series on YouTube many times. If you said I enjoyed his work, you wouldn’t be wrong. 

“Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life.”

This line may be the most valuable 16 word sentence you’ll ever read in one of my emails. 

Here it is again. 

“Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life.”Let’s be honest, getting what we want out of life is why we are all here right!?

If it’s not, it bloody well should be. If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that life is unexpected, unforgiving and, although it’s the longest thing we will ever do, it’s also shorter than we have been led to believe. 

Each of us has one life, and we should be doing the things that set our souls on fire, with the people that we love, in the places that we want to be. We shouldn’t be compromising on our dreams, because not one of us wants to get to the end and wonder ‘what if?‘.

Dreams + Reality + Determination = A Successful Life

The dreams part is relatively easy. ‘Decide what you want out of life’. The determination piece isn’t overly complicated. ‘Show up enough to get to where you want to be’. But the reality question, as we discussed last week, is a little more difficult to get right. 

Reality is confusing. Is it what we see, feel, or experience? Is it empirical? Or is it something more? 
I don’t think we will ever get a true grasp of what reality truly is. We are limited by our understanding and our five senses can only ‘sense’ so much. Eventually, we must embrace what we believe to be our reality, make our decisions, and get on with it. 

”Time is