Risk verses Reward

Thinking ahead

I have been a student of life for nearly fifty-nine years.  I have read literally thousands of books, met thousands of people and traveled to many distant lands.  Each of these experiences have pushed, pulled and in some cases cut away the clay of my existing self.  During this lifelong transformation process I have come to understand the complexity of what is truly meant by the statement; risk verses reward. 

Following my mantra of the Power of the Wisdom of Three; once more we are given a blueprint comprised of only three dynamic components.  When we put them in context, they make the difficult simple.  We have to deal with the risk to reach the reward but it is what is in the middle that sets us apart. For even if we know the actual risk and we know the final reward, it is the unknown between the two that shapes who we really are.

In finance, risk verses reward is a common refrain.  The riskier the investment, the more reward potential on the other side.  It makes it sound simple to the investor when in essence the trail to the reward is a complex path littered with pitfalls, traps and snares.  That is why the reward is not guaranteed; most investors need to rely on the skills of an experienced, educated and ethical advisor; a Solutionary, to take them through the unknown obstacles.

In life, we encounter countless examples of risk verses reward situations; many of which go unnoticed; that is, until the reward becomes a peril.  This world presents us with innumerable invisible risks but the seen rewards are just as plentiful when we are willing and able to challenge the obstacles.  It is proven that we have to take risks if we desire the big rewards but only when you are free to make those choices can we control the outcomes of our desires. 

As I look at this pandemic world of today, I see a plethora of scared people unwilling to conquer their fear. Cowering people do not take risks because the fear of the unknown is greater than their will.  Likewise, they are barred from reaping the big rewards not because they are not free to do so but because they choose to be captive to their fears.  They are not willing to endure the potential of the imagined pain.  Conversely, a free society filled with reward driven people will never succumb to fear for very long.  It is not in their nature to do so.  That is why some people are thriving while others choose to remain captive.  The fearful will see opening up the economy as reckless, the reward driven will take on the risk, overcoming their fears to reach their just reward.  The fearful refuse to admit that one can be courageous without being reckless to themselves or others.  That is not the America of our ancestors.   

It is all about one’s definition of life.  Our ancestors faced perils every day but their dreams were worth the risks.  They knew that they may not realize their dreams but they were willing to die trying.  During the trek across the American wilderness of the 1800s; fathers, mothers and children journeyed into the perilous unknown, many never arriving to their destination.  If they could have seen what became of this great Country, I believe they would do it all again.  They are the reason we are still the Land of Free and the Home of the Brave.

I too choose to live free; as if every day maybe my last.  I am educated to the risks, willing to mitigate them where possible but willing to face them head on.  In my world, I refuse to live as if I am already dead because I’ve learned; there are worse things than death.               

If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.

Anthony “Tony” Boquet, the author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary” and Vice President, Education and Development at The American College of Financial Services

Success; What Does It Truly Mean?

Sphere of Success©

I mentor people whenever possible because I was blest to be mentored; benefiting greatly due to their efforts.  My mentors all had one thing in common, they all believed in the same learning structure; “Keeping It Simple”!  That must be why, to this day, I like learning things that never change.  The Natural Laws, eternal truths, never ever change.  This is why I can say, without question, we live is a three-dimensional world.  It is a Law; it has to happen.

For every earthly species, these dimensions take on many common characteristics.  Consider our human person; it has a body, mind and a soul.  Thus, we live our life addressing every aspect presented to us on a physical, mental and spiritual level.  Our approach to these aspects will be made personally, professionally and spiritually. Yes, Mr. or Mrs. Sceptic, this applies to you too.  People have no say in this, we cannot discard or add to these personas and each of us must learn to accept, understand and thrive within the confines of these realities. It is only when we accomplish this task well, we are said to be at peace. Finding “balance” in our life, we will be generally viewed as someone who has their life “all together”.   Success!!

Many people strive for this nirvana their entire life and are never able to reach this place of “all togetherness”.  They are good, hardworking, educated and focused people but something still seems to get in the way.  This main hurtle is due to one major obstacle; we simply never truly learn, then profess and finally live the truth.  For example, we pick and choose when we will hide, disown or ignore one or more of our three personas.  We chose to be a different person at church than who we are at the office or on the golf course.  We rarely intentionally bring all three personas together as one.  In other words, we go through life denying to ourselves; who we really are in respect to one of more of our personas.  This denial causes us to live a lie.  A secret you might want to write down is that long term success can never be reached through falsehoods we convince ourselves to be true.  As my mom use to say, “The truth will always be revealed.”

These natural personas are not man-made; we were created with all three and we will die with all three.  Human kind cannot change these to suit our own desires; they are part of the natural laws that we have to live with.  As with all-natural laws, they are all true but not all people like the truth.  Some spend their life in a state of internal conflict fighting a battle that they cannot win.  During these skirmishes, three common strategies are used.  

The most common is when we try to compartmentalize the three personas. It goes something like this; “When we work; we work, when we play; we play and when we pray; we pray”.  Thanks to our crazy litigious society, human resource departments struggle with this model because it might satisfy the attorneys but, in reality, the natural truth will always be revealed.  Business culture tries to keep the three completely separate, appropriate and very tidy.  It is like “trying to satisfy a three-headed beast.”  This plan never works long term because one or more of the three will eventually cross the imaginary line; we were not wired to be only one persona at a time.  The unity of the three make us who we are.

The second most common plan is for the person to try to intentionally remove, extinguish or ignore one or more of their personas.  The deleted persona of choice is routinely their spiritual nature.  We live in a secular culture that promotes disagreeing, discrediting and disavowing spirituality so denying this persona makes you one of the cool kids.  Picture your body represented as our three triangle circle above; if you remove one of the triangles everyone can tell something is missing. 

The last arrangement is where we spend all of our time focusing on only one persona.  This is the technique we use in the attempt to “get ahead” in business.  We rationalize that we will spend all of our time, talents and treasures on our professional nature which will make us successful, then, once the business is up and running, we will have more time for family, friends and God.  All I can say is, good luck with that one. What generally happens in this scenario is when the business person finally gets around to doing the same for the other two personas, they find that the people whom are touched by those parts of their life are no longer there. 

The truth is, we cannot successfully separate and then balance the three personas; our nature does not work well in this fragmented way.  The winning formula is to use the truth completely and in unity for each persona.  We must be deliberate in doing the right things; this requires learning, professing and living the truth while striving to do our very best and always treat others how we would want to be treated.

The triangle that assures that we can do all of this with a pure mission is the hierarchy of Love.  Once again, we must do this in unity and without segregation of choice.  We are called to love our Creator, our neighbor and our self as one.   When I am spending time with my family and friends; I am also benefiting my work life by relaxing and the activities that I am doing should also be pleasing to my God.  When I am working I do so to benefit my family and my God.  When I am being spiritual it is to bring me to a closer relationship with my God, my spouse, my parents, siblings, friends, co-workers and supervisors.  Victory can only be obtained by our ability to combine the three personas into a single cohesive unit; one well-rounded successful trinity of a person.     

If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.

Anthony “Tony” Boquet, the author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary” and Vice President, Education and Development at The American College of Financial Services

Love to the Third Power

“My grown child is in an abusive relationship and I don’t know what to do to fix it.”

“If only I did not have all these problems to deal with in my life, my anxieties would be manageable.”

“My son was shot and killed; we have to outlaw guns.”  

“Why does my spouse drink so much?”

“If things would finally go my way, I would not be so depressed and would not have to drink so much.”

“I work hard but I continue to be overlooked for a promotion.  What can I do to make my boss aware of this mistake?”

“Consumers are being taken advantage of every day by the unscrupulous people they hire to do work for them. We need to have a new regulation to protect them.”

These are common views and thoughts of many people all around the world.  Who knows, you might have said or felt these exact sentiments in your own life at one time or another.  Some people can get past these obstacles, moving on to great happiness and success, while others turn these hardships into a permanent way of life or worse, the reason for their ultimate demise.  What is it that makes the difference between flourishing out of despair and allowing the despair to control you very existence?

First let’s consider the views above.  What is the common denominator in all of those statements? 

If you said, that in each of those cases, bad behaviors, poor choices or habitual decisions were made you would be on the right track.  Look at them again and consider, who the person making the statement, views as the one in need of change?  Correct, in each of those statements the person feeling the anxiety, depression, or the injustice does not view themself as the one with the problem needing correcting; it is always someone or something else at fault for the pain that they or their loved ones are suffering.  In cases where a loved one is involved; it is not even that person who bears the responsibility.  In their mind; a non involved third party should be the blame or in some cases, our government should be responsible to fix it.  This is at the heart of the problem of selfishness. The problem makes me suffer but someone else is the blame and someone else should solve it so I don’t have to change.   

I have written in one of my books, “Selfishness causes blindness to the truth; it is only the brightness of Love to the Third Power that can remove the darkness of deception, bringing clarity of sight.  For in order to relieve our problems we must first make a wise and true decision based on a compiled list of the best choice options of which to select.  However, this successful choice process first requires that we know, experience, and believe the truth.”  

Love to the Third Power is the only true and selfless love.  Love found in the bodies, minds and souls of those who demonstrate a caring attitude through thoughts, words, and deeds for those who share a strong unwavering emotional bond with you; a bond consistent with the relationship shared by the three parties affected by every decision.  On a family level it would be your family members, the people of the community in which you live, and your spiritual family who share and teach your moral values.  On a business level it would be the businesses’ associates, the consumers and people impacted indirectly by the company’s product or service.  When all three are considered and satisfied before a decision is made, wisdom will prevail. 

If it is true that all of the people above share the same selfish views yet some of them are still able to rise above these hardships, what is the differentiator that makes that possible?  It is something that I call, Personal Growth toward Wisdom. 

Personal growth toward wisdom is simply a shift in attitude.  In order to succeed and overcome any hardship a person must first take ownership of their problems and solutions they choose. When your attitude shifts to others, personal growth and your wise decisions can begin to address the true problems causing the other issues needing to be changed.  It is true, that not all problems can be solved to our satisfaction but we have to face the truth that all man-made problems can be solved by man, even if the solution is not one that brings us the pleasure we desire or immediately relieves the pains of past bad choices.

To illustrate these realities, recently I was on a panel discussing the importance of freedom of choice.  A fellow panelist, a psycho-therapist, made a comment that I found extremely interesting and culturally revealing.  He exclaimed to the audience, “Rational people cannot make bad decisions.” 

This was immediately countered by a vocal audience member who shouted, “I do not agree with that statement.”  The physiologist asked him, “Please explain why you feel that way.” 

After being brought a microphone, “I decided to marry the wrong person; a crazy person who for many years caused tremendous pain and struggles to me and our family.  We finally decided to divorce.  It was the wrong decision to choose her to marry.” 

The therapist asked him, “What made it a mistake?”

Taking his time before answering, “I did not know at the time of our wedding that she was an alcoholic.  After the fact, she would never seek help and the problem only got worse as time went by.”

“So, what you are saying is that given the information you had at the time of the wedding you thought she was the right person?” 

“Yes but if I had known she was an alcoholic I would probably not have married her.” 

The therapist said with a smile, “You see, you didn’t make a bad decision.  Any rational person would have likely made the same decision given the information you had at the time. You are being overly hard on yourself.”

After hearing this, I could not stay quiet any longer.  “Excuse me, may I ask a few questions?”  Standing I asked the audience member, “Without getting too personal, how long did you date before your wedding date?”

“Three months.” 

“During those three months, did you ever witness her drinking to excess?”

“Oh sure, we attended a couple of pretty wild parties while we were dating.” 

“You didn’t have a problem with her abuse of alcohol while you were dating?  Why?”

“Well, to be honest, we were both drinking heavy while we were partying.  It was only later that I found out that she was drinking heavily almost every day, even while at work.” 

Turning to the therapist, I asked, “Do you consider yourself a good representation of a “rational person”? 

He loudly proclaimed, “Yes I do.”

“Would you have married someone after only dating three months?”

He admitted softly, “No.”

“Me either and given the other information this gentleman shared, if I were in his shoes, I too would admit to making a mistake for choosing her as my wife.  The true fact is, only after having experienced deep pain through the relationship, does he believe he did not have enough information to make the right choice.  If he would have spent a little more time getting to know this woman before making a lifelong commitment, he would have started to question his judgment sooner than later.”

The therapist silently nodded his head in acknowledgement.  

Turning back to the audience member, I asked, “One more question, did you learn from your mistake?” 

“I did but way too late!” As I turned to return to my seat the gentlemen shouted, “And I should have listened to my parents and some of my friends…they tried to warn me but I was too young and foolish to listen to them.”

I turned, walked down the aisle, stepped up to him, I shook his hand in thanks of his honesty and courage to share this personal hardship with everyone. 

We all make mistakes but some, if not most, can be avoided; many of the others can be righted.  First by using the lessons found in the Wisdom Formula and the Principles of Solomon; second by trusting the wisdom of those who reside in one of the three entities affected by your decision.  Those people will usually love and care about you to the level of Love to the Third Power. 

For those occasions when we do make a mistake, first realize it was probably a selfish act that caused the problem and begin the process of repair by selflessly considering others affected by your actions.  In addition to the great results that will follow as a result of the repair; you will also start to become a much better person by the lessons that you learned through the experience

If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.

Anthony “Tony” Boquet, Vice President, Business Development at The American College of Financial Services and the author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary”