This would be an impossibly big list, only ruling out paths that are clearly far too long for you to traverse at your maximum possible pace on the path like me chasing a career as an Olympic figure skater. To complete our Reality Box audit with that caveat, we need to evaluate:. For those paths, evaluate your starting point, based on your current skills, resources, and connections relevant to that field.
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Think about end points and where on each line your star should be placed. Make an initial estimate for what your pace of improvement might be on these various game boards, based on your current pace-related strengths and how much you think you can improve at each of them in other words, how much your speed might be able to accelerate. You take your game board and make it a line, you plot starting points and success stars that together generate the various distances in front of you, and for each, you multiply your pace by your level of persistence.
A from-first-principles Reality Box audit may bring some overly optimistic people down to Earth, but I suspect that for most, an audit will leave them feeling like they have a lot more options than they realized, empowering them to set their sights on a bolder direction. A good Reality Box reflection warrants yet another Want Box reflection. Reframing a bunch of career paths in your mind will affect your level of yearning for some of them. One career may seem less appealing after reminding yourself that it will entail thousands of hours of networking or multiple decades of pre-success struggle.
Another may seem less daunting after changing your mind about how much luck is actually involved. This brings us to the end of our long, two-part deep dive. After a fairly exhausting box-auditing process, we can return to our Venn 10 diagram. Assuming some things have changed, you have a new Option Pool to look at—a new list of options on the table that seem both desirable to your high-priority rankings and possible to achieve.
If there had been a clear arrow on your map before your audit, check out your new Option Pool.
A suicidal move
Remember, going from a false arrow to a question mark is always major progress in life. And actually, a new question mark implies having made the key cliff jump on two roller coasters: getting to know yourself and getting to know the world. Major step in the right direction. Cross out the arrow and join the question mark crowd. Now the question mark crowd has a tough choice. You gotta pick one of the arrows in the Option Pool. Careers used to be kind of like a year tunnel.
You picked your tunnel, and once you were in, that was that. You worked in that profession for 40 years or so before the tunnel spit you out on the other side into your retirement. The truth is, careers have probably never really functioned like year-tunnels, they just seemed that way. At best, traditional careers of the past played out kind of like tunnels. But crusty old conventional wisdom has a lot of us still viewing things that way, which makes the already hard job of making big career path choices much harder.
It enhances the delusion that what we do for work is a synonym for who we are, making a question mark on your map seem like an existential disaster. When you think of your career as a tunnel, the stakes to make the right choice seem so high that it explodes the feeling of tyranny of choice. For perfectionist types especially, this can be utterly paralyzing.
When you think of your career as a tunnel, you lose the courage to make a career switch, even when your soul is begging for it. It makes switching careers feel incredibly risky and embarrassing, and it suggests that someone who does so is a failure.
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But conventional wisdom still tells many of us that careers are tunnels. And of course, that landscape—and those game boards—will have themselves evolved. Popular psychologist Dan Gilbert also eloquently describes just how bad we are at predicting what will make us happy in the future. Pretending you can figure out what dot 2 or 4 or 8 should be now is laughable. Future dots are the worry of a future, wiser you living in a future world. Dot 1 is your chance to test it out.
Hypothesis testing is intuitive in the dating world. You have to get some experience dating this person to learn what you need to learn to make that decision. We can all agree that this hypothetical friend is pretty nuts and is lacking a fundamental understanding of how you find a happy relationship. Reframing your next major career decision as a far lower-stakes choice makes the number of options exciting, not stressful. And now you have to actually make the move. The Yearning Octopus can help. As we discussed earlier, your behavior at any given point simply displays the configuration of your octopus.
Your conscious mind may have tried to assign lower shelf ratings to the parts of your octopus that lean towards inertia, but your yearnings have rebelled. To fix this problem, think like a kindergarten teacher. In your class, a faction of the 5-year-olds is rebelling against your wishes. What do you do? Go talk to the 5-year-olds that are causing the trouble. Describe to them the insights you gained from your Reality Box reflection. Remind them about how connecting the dots works and about the chillness of dot 1. Until you do, your life will be run by a bunch of primitive, short-sighted 5-year-olds, and your whole shit will suck.
Trust me, I know. Jumping to a new dot is a liberating feeling, usually side by side with some substantial internal havoc. The whining octopus is a reminder of why pure, elated happiness is never a reasonable goal. The times you feel pure happiness are temporary, drug-induced delusions—like the honeymoon phase of a new relationship or new job or the high following a long-awaited success. Chasing happiness is an amateur move.
The Voice of the Loon
Feeling contentment in those times when your choices and your circumstances have combined to pull it off, and knowing you have all that you could ever ask for, is for the wise. For a while, you can just live. As far as you know, you might be Michael Jordan holding his first basketball, so start playing.
At some point, your good feelings about the macro picture may sour. This is the mission-enhancing type of dot jump. A mission-changing dot jump may be in order, but depending on which parts of you are asking for it, it may also be the wrong move. The people on the left side of this spectrum are jump-shy. The cement-footed. Their pitfall is staying way too long in the wrong things. This is why these internal frameworks are important. They give you the ability to analyze the source of your impulses.
In our example, the question is whether your impulse to jump missions is the result of genuine evolution or quick-quitter bias. So think about your diagram. Is your restlessness just the expected incessant whining of an octopus still correctly configured? Or have you learned new information about yourself or the world during the trudge that has corrected some off-base initial assumptions? Or maybe something is fundamentally evolving—some blue or yellow loop activity:. If you feel that things have genuinely changed, you may decide to zoom out even further and think about the big red loop, which deals with fundamentally changing your mission:.
The best place to start is by looking at your own past. Studying your own past decisions, with the flashlight of hindsight and accumulated wisdom, is like an athlete studying game tape. Looking at my own past, I can see a lot of dot jumps or, while I was still in school, career plan adjustments , and some of them look pretty unwise in retrospect. Over the course of your life, your good and bad decisions will collaborate to forge your unique life path. But we should probably embrace the fear of end-of-life regret. I think end-of-life regrets may simply be your authentic self thinking about the parts of your life you never got to live—the parts of you that someone else kicked down into your subconscious.
My own psyche seems to back this up—looking back on my path so far, the mistakes that bother me most are the ones that happened because someone else took the wheel of my head and overruled the quiet, insecure voice of my authentic self—the mistakes that I knew at the time, deep down, were wrong. Other voices will never stop fiercely trying to live your life for you—you owe it to that little insecure character in the very center of your consciousness to get this right.
And if you want to download this post for printing and offline sharing, you can buy it here. Some paper to write on: Your octopus. Your priority shelf. Some path distances. Your career dot map. The site 80, hours —dedicated to helping young, high-potential people make big career choices—is an awesome resource.
The site is run by super smart, thoughtful, forward-thinking people, and can be digested in video or book format in addition to on their site. Seth has a lot of wisdom in his head, and he doles it out in little bite-sized nuggets each morning on his blog which I receive by email. Why Procrastinators Procrastinate. And a post about getting wiser. And a few less self-reflect-y Wait But Why posts on:. Awkward social interactions. The history of everything. Colonizing Mars. Also hoodies are cozy and Allbirds are like wearing socks all the time and jeans are magical pants you never have to actually wash unless you spill something colorful on them.
Fun meals and exercise fall into this category. Did you know that 9 out of 10 restaurants fail?! Stubbornness is a cook quality because it means being a cook to your previous self—i.
T. S. Eliot's "Little Gidding"
Or totally paralyze you and ruin your happiness! John Venn really pulled something off here. A Venn diagram is the most obvious possible kind of diagram, and somehow, John Venn convinced everyone he invented it. I now first hit upon the diagrammatical device of representing propositions by inclusive and exclusive circles.
Of course the device was not new then, but it was so obviously representative of the way in which any one, who approached the subject from the mathematical side, would attempt to visualize propositions, that it was forced upon me almost at once. This spectrum, of course, is also highly relevant in relationships. Twitter 0. Pinterest 0. And other higher education. Previous Post. Next Post. Belong Come participate in our worship services and activities.
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Imagine that you want to buy technology stocks. But you also want to limit losses.
By using put options, you could limit your downside risk and enjoy all the upside in a cost-effective way. In terms of valuing option contracts, it is essentially all about determining the probabilities of future price events. The more likely something is to occur, the more expensive an option would be that profits from that event. For instance, a call value goes up as the stock underlying goes up. This is the key to understanding the relative value of options.
The less time there is until expiry, the less value an option will have. Since time is a component to the price of an option, a one-month option is going to be less valuable than a three-month option. This is because with more time available, the probability of a price move in your favor increases, and vice versa.
Accordingly, the same option strike that expires in a year will cost more than the same strike for one month. See below an excerpt from my Options for Beginners course where I introduce the concept of time decay. Volatility also increases the price of an option. This is because uncertainty pushes the odds of an outcome higher. If the volatility of the underlying asset increases, larger price swings increase the possibilities of substantial moves both up and down.
Greater price swings will increase the chances of an event occurring. Therefore, the greater the volatility, the greater the price of the option. Options trading and volatility are intrinsically linked to each other in this way. On most U. The majority of the time, holders choose to take their profits by trading out closing out their position.
This means that option holders sell their options in the market, and writers buy their positions back to close. Time value represents the added value an investor has to pay for an option above the intrinsic value. So, the price of the option in our example can be thought of as the following:. In real life, options almost always trade at some level above their intrinsic value, because the probability of an event occurring is never absolutely zero, even if it is highly unlikely. The distinction between American and European options has nothing to do with geography, only with early exercise. Many options on stock indexes are of the European type.
Because the right to exercise early has some value, an American option typically carries a higher premium than an otherwise identical European option. This is because the early exercise feature is desirable and commands a premium. Or they can become totally different products all together with "optionality" embedded in them. Again, exotic options are typically for professional derivatives traders. Options can also be categorized by their duration. Short-term options are those that expire generally within a year. LEAPS are identical to regular options, they just have longer durations.
Options can also be distinguished by when their expiration date falls. Sets of options now expire weekly on each Friday, at the end of the month, or even on a daily basis. Index and ETF options also sometimes offer quarterly expiries. More and more traders are finding option data through online sources. While each source has its own format for presenting the data, the key components generally include the following variables:. This position profits if the price of the underlying rises falls , and your downside is limited to loss of the option premium spent. You would enter this strategy if you expect a large move in the stock but are not sure which direction.
Basically, you need the stock to have a move outside of a range. A strangle requires larger price moves in either direction to profit but is also less expensive than a straddle. Spreads use two or more options positions of the same class. They combine having a market opinion speculation with limiting losses hedging.
Spreads often limit potential upside as well. Yet these strategies can still be desirable since they usually cost less when compared to a single options leg.
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Vertical spreads involve selling one option to buy another. Generally, the second option is the same type and same expiration, but a different strike. The spread is profitable if the underlying asset increases in price, but the upside is limited due to the short call strike.