“A storm is brewing in financial markets, as prices disconnect from fundamentals.” That’s one headline from Bloomberg that appeared on my Twitter timeline this morning. It got me thinking, why do so many of us fail to see the problems until they are on top of us? Over the last year I’ve wanted to learn and understand a lot more about economic matters. Politics I found to be too divisive. Economics however is much more hard hitting and factual. Of course with hindsight, it’s quite simple to see how things go from good to bad. Boom to Bust. Take 2008, to me it’s pretty obvious that when house prices rise as fast as they did, there is clearly a bubble, that in time will correct. And of course it did. But how come so few saw it coming?
As always, trends and cycles are universal. Whether it be economics, business, sport, even life in general. We have good periods, times when life is good. But as night follows day they give way to short, and sometimes long periods of pain and suffering. It’s seemingly unavoidable. I just played with Alex Levy. In 2014 he had an incredible year. He said to me his life changed as he earned a lot of money and his reputation grew. But this year he’s had a hand injury, he’s split up with his girlfriend (which was very tough for him) and his grandfather is really quite ill. I hope he doesn’t mind me using him as an example of how peoples lives and careers ebb and flow, ostensibly without different input or action.
This has fascinated me for ages. I never imagined life when I was young to be as tricky as it is. I don’t use the word ‘hard’, because for me, life isn’t hard, it’s fantastic relative to almost everyone else. But maintaining balance in ones life is like walking a tightrope. And when you reach a point in your life where you feel settled, you invariably lose sight of what enabled this in the first place. This is when it’s easy to enter a downtrend!
Honestly, I think I reached this point sometime last year. Life for me was great. I paid off my mortgage, ate out in Giraffe 5 times a week and never thought twice about the cost of petrol or business class flights. Although I didn’t think I was being lazy or unthoughtful at the time, compared to the way I was from 2010 – 2014, I probably was. And this year so far has been a struggle. If I viewed myself the way I’d look at the economy, I would soon realise that I’m in a recession! My job is to make sure it doesn’t become a depression. My golf has been heading backwards for around a year, and it took me 9 months to realise it before making a structural change (changing my coach). And now I’m in the period of starting a few things up again and making a couple of necessary, albeit difficult changes.
The difference this time for me is that I don’t know what the future looks like. Over the past few years when I struggled a little, I did the smart thing of just heading back to the basics. I tried to do this in May, and I wrote in a blog that I felt I was turning a corner. But that corner never came. That’s why I changed coach, because all of a sudden what I saw as the fundamentals weren’t working for me. That signalled to me that I had a structural issue. Now I’m working with a new coach and I don’t know exactly what to expect. This is providing me with some sleepless nights and anxieties. I’m ok with that, that’s life. We all fear for our futures when there is uncertainty. And so at the moment I am relying a little more on hope than I’d prefer. I’m not a big believer in faith and hope, just logic and reason. I’m strangely also seeking more praise and attention from Jamie than I ever had in the past, I can only put this down to a slight insecurity as my confidence has waned somewhat.
Does all of this make me weak or in need of help? No. Turning sleepless nights into dreamy ones is what life and careers are about.
In the past I’ve said I don’t have goals. Goals are what can stop people from falling behind because they should have a link between outcome and intrinsic drive. The problem with me is, I wouldn’t retain the drive or motivation from any goals I could set because I know intrinsically they have no meaning. If and when I were to die, I wouldn’t want my children to remember me as the winner of the Bob Hope Classic. My motivation in the past has come from struggles and the knowledge that I don’t want to go through that experience again. So as you can imagine right now I am motivated. To use another “Big Short” quote in fact, “I’m jacked to the tits”. I just need to use this wisely.
Anyway, I’m approaching Geneva Airport now on the train. First Class of course. Paid for. Imagine what I’ll be writing if I miss my next 3 cuts……