I was in Paris last week and lucky to attend a speech delivered by Bertrand Piccard, the legendary founder and pilot of the world’s first successful solar powered plane and a psychiatrist.
I want to share with my readers some of the key messages I picked from his speech. Talking in ballooning terms, he said, at times when the winds at the level you are flying are not conducive to the direction you want to travel, you have to change altitude to find another layer of wind stream that is favarouble. In order to change altitude to go up, you have to drop a lot of ballast from the balloon. He equated the dropping of ballast to go higher in altitude to the dropping of old dysfunctional habits to move ahead in life.
The best one was when he narrated a real story where he observed a difference in behaviour of wasps as compared to bees in certain circumstances. If you happen to live by a garden where you are likely to have wasps and bees you will notice that they come through open window because they might be attracted by smells from the home following the smells that are exiting through window’s opening – where there no glass.
But both wasps as well as bees struggle to get out because they try to fly through window glass to the bright world outside. There is no smell to follow, just the brightness outside. They do not understand that there is a barrier; concept of transparency is unknown to them. The Wasps however behave slightly differently than the bees – The wasp closely explore every inch of the glass and by hit and trial eventually succeed to find a way out where there is no glass. However the bees keep working hard stubbornly at the same area hitting the glass in every attempt and eventually perish.
In life too we are often faced with scenarios where just working hard in certain ways doesn’t necessarily produce the results you are after. You have to step back and find a way away from the glass barrier i.e. the old ways.
This lesson is so relevant in trading too where the markets are presenting us an ever changing landscape all the time. Traders have to find ways of not only developing a method that works for them, but keep evolving it with time as the market dynamics and various correlations shift over time. Remember while sticking to a plan is good, being stubborn and not evolving is plain stupid.
To end this I would like to share a video of another Bertrand Piccard talk – worth a watch and reflecting upon…