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Close Your Eyes and It Will Be Gone

Bad TellyThink back to the time you last sat in front of the television. In all likelihood this is not a difficult task. Most people can think back half a day.

When listening to financial news, it has not been uncommon to hear the reporter say things like “And Jones Heavy Industries beat the trend to finish 20% up at the end of trade!” One is led to think “I wish I had my money on that one!”. Flick to the station for the illiterati and it’s the same thing except in dumb-speak: “And Mrs. Jones of Smalltown won five hundred thousand dollars with her lucky numbers 3, 6, 42…” and one is led to think “I wish I had put those numbers down on my lottery ticket!”.

Few people are unaware of the fact that horse races and lotteries are worse than a zero sum game. The House always wins. Stocks are no different. The Trading House always wins. The people owning the horses don’t make as much of a living from having winning horses than they do from fleecing the punters at the races. So it is for stocks.

And in a losing streak, or a “Bear Market”, the same gamblers are out in force, each trying to guess when the losing streak will end. At the horse races one sees the old gambling addicts, chewing their pencils and working the probabilities. It’s all self deceit and with all the same, potentially lethal consequences as alcoholism or gambling.

People have woken up to this truth rather late, unfortunately. Many have nothing else and today they are desperate.

But if you go and sit where you always sit, in front of that television, turn the volume to zero and close your eyes, something will happen. The resulting silence can speak volumes about your inability to have a real conversation with your spouse, the absence of your kids or friends, or the absence of anyone at all. It is an altogether too threatening silence for many to withstand – a typical television withdrawal effect. But keep the sound off. Think a bit longer.

With the television off for several days, the mind will clear. Maintained for several weeks, your ability to think about your life will return. You will find the days filling up with social contacts, with unfinished jobs around the home, with gardening or with those long forgotten hobbies.

Even selling the television has benefits. You will end up with another useful corner in a room and perhaps several hundred dollars in your wallet, and several extra hours in every day, absolutely free of charge.

It is at this point that, for the first time in probably two generations, someone in your family has finally broken free. Your future becomes brighter. You have taken your first step towards surviving the coming upheaval.

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