Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wall street explained

Wall Street explained

An older and much wiser cousin of mine recently explained the financial mess
this country and the world in general is presently facing. So, here is
how the old story goes:

Once upon a time in a little village somewhere maybe in Greece maybe
in some other part of the world lived a smart and maybe unscrupulous man.
This man, let’s call him Tom, announced to his fellow farmers and citizens
that he would buy monkeys for $10 a piece. The men in the village
(women were a little skeptical, they have after all been cleaning up
men’s monkey business ever since Adam) verged out in the forest
trapped as many monkeys as they found and brought them to Tom who
gladly bought them for the agreed upon price. However, as more and
more monkeys were caught the population of monkeys available began to
diminish and thefarmers stopped hunting them.

Tom now announced that he would be paying $20 per monkey and again the
men went out and more diligently now harvested some more of the poor
creatures. But now the available stock diminished even further.

Tom told his fellow citizens that he fully understood the shortage of
monkeys and he was now prepared to buy them for $25. Again the men went
out and caught the few remaining ones.

So, Tom now tells the men that he is painfully aware of the shortage and
he is prepared to pay $50 but he will be out of town for a few days and his
trusted partner will be handling all transactions.

The Partner calls a town meeting and tells the villagers: look, Tom has
filled the whole stable with monkeys. I will sell you the monkeys for $35
each and when Tom comes back you sell them back to him for $50. The men
did not think about it much, they collected their savings and their last
pennies(again against the women’s protestations, you see they know how to
sniffing out rotten fish) and bought the monkeys for $35 a piece.

Yes, you guessed it, they never saw Tom or his partner again.

Welcome to Wall Street.

Move aside Bernanke, here comes my cousin George the story teller.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Sectrets

The “secret” for success

There has been a lot of talk about the “Secret” these days. Personally I have found nothing new or conspicuous about the“ Secret”. And having said as much, I feel compelled to impart some more truisms about secrets of success.

Patients often ask me what made me successful. So, here are my secrets, and feel free to disseminate, no copy right.

1. Whatever you decide to do be passionate about it. I am talking about heart- pumping, adrenalin-running, mouth-drooling at the sight of your heart’s desire kind of passion. At the age of 15 I discovered “psychology” in my 10th grade. And there and then I vowed to be a psychologist. The decision took me to a journey from Greece (my birth place) to S. Africa, my first adoptive and beloved county to America my second adoptive and equally loved country.

2. When you find your love and passion, work hard. I shed tones of proverbial mental and emotional bullets studying psychology and philosophy and a bunch of other subjects in a language that was not my first, in a university that is considered to be the Harvard of S. Africa.Hard work makes you good at what you do and when you are damn good at what you do people will come to you and they will be happy to pay for your expertise.

3. On your journey to Ithaca there will be many Sirens attempting to set you off course. Your need to Focus. Like Odysseus you will need to close your ears to their alluring songs and move on. As I was going through graduate school people in my profession were talking about psychologists becoming an extinct species, private practice not surviving the managed care monster. I kept moving and I am still here.

4. Conquer your shyness and doubts. The first time I delivered a paper on existentialism to my philosophy class I thought I would have a heart attack. My fellow students joked about my very becoming green face color. Things got a lot better after this.

5. Do not allow anyone to give you crap (incidentally crap stands for Criticism, Rejection, Assholes, and Pressure). I had a lot of those from the get go. My mother to begin with, well indented albeit, had expected me to be a good little Greek girl, marry a Greek guy and have kids. There were others along the way who interjected their wisdom about what women can and can not do, or about NYC being a tough place to make it and a lot of other crap. I Persevered. I won.

6. Find people that are supportive, encouraging, your best fan and if need be the kick in your butt when you want to give up and let them be the wind beneath your wings. Yes, I had one of them too.

7. Do not be afraid to discover new things, new ideas, new ways of doing things. Life is about change and adjusting to it and thriving.

These are my “secrets” and now yours.