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VIEWPOINT: The big short


I only got to watch The Big Short this weekend. A great movie that hasn’t left me because maybe I’m trying to get to grips with what it is that is unsettling my thoughts and emotions.

The Oscar-winning best adapted screenplay movie is based on the non-fiction book with the same name by Michael Lewis about how the US housing bubble triggered the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008.

In a nutshell, it is the story about a few Americans fund managers that caught up with the idea that the US housing market was built on a bubble and started betting that it would burst, two years before it actually happened in 2007.  Because they bet on something that had never happened before, banks were eager to sign big deals with them (‘easy money’) only to realise later that it cost them billions of dollars.

The narrator at some point asks: ‘What were these guys doing that nobody else was doing?’ And the simplest of answers: ‘They were looking!’

How is it possible that the experts did not see a financial crisis that cost the US economy $5 trillion, 8 million jobs and left 6 million people homeless?

Sometimes actually the ones closest to the action are the ones that are the furthest from the solution or reality as they are imbedded with a range of other priorities and agendas.

What are you not seeing in your own life? What are others observing about your career, business, personal life and relationships that you are completely unaware of?

What might happen if you were to start looking more closely? What can you be capitalising on or avoiding by using this insight that will be the catalyst for an amazing stance five years from today?

The world is becoming less controllable.

Financial markets are emotional and some 75-year cycles have turned annual. What you have today, you might not tomorrow.

Things that have never happened before are now regular phenomena. People seem to not be important anymore.

Showing many external factors influencing your life and determining outcomes for you, reactively as a passenger.

What about jumping into the driver seat, proactively? What about getting your own magnifying glass in there too and really looking at your needs and determining the journey you want to take?

You might be saying that you lost yourself in all of this, how do you actually ‘look’ and plan your unique journey in a world with GPSs that don’t always work?

Well, then jump to the route planner to see what you need to ready you for your journey and the ride of your life!

Plan the trip; key in the ignition …

Ideal destination: What would this look like if you had no fear and money was irrelevant? If you know where you heading, you can actually get there.

Timeline: When do you want to be where and for how long?

Experiences: What do you want to learn and experience?

Potholes: What are the potential challenges that need backups?

Resources: What do you need to for your trip? Think people, finances, education, habits, etc.

Roadmap: Your blueprint for your amazing own journey.

Start the engine. Happy travels!

Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA) is an ICF-accredited executive and business coach