"Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Bear Opportunity

The Bear Opportunity
Category: Life

Circa 1519 Hernan Cortez conquered the Aztecs. He is said to have established the town of Veracruz and to have marched on the Aztec empire of half a million with an initial army of 500. The begining of the campaign was solely to lay the groundwork for a town on the coast of Mexico. His ambition however had been from the very begining to seize Tenochtitlan and the many supposed riches of the Aztecs.

He lives in infamy for the amazing conquest and for the means employed to rally his 500 men to victory. Cortez employed a method of war known as the ’no-return’ tactic. To eliminate any second guessing of his men of the the possiblity for victory, Cortez had his ships destroyed! Thus, not giving himself or his men a means for retreat. Such conviction of action rallied his men and gave them a win or die mentality that led to the amazing demise of the Aztecs.

The goal of most endeavors revolves around victory in some form. Victory at times requires eliminating easy escape options that force us to win no matter what. Cortez new this and employed the tactic to win. Having had an escape route would have created an option to retreat. Being forced into only one option sparked primal energy, conviction, and creativity to employ a means of victory.

The current turmoil in the financial markets can be compared to a ’no return’ circumstance. There is no option but to succeed. Although Bear Stearns recently lost billions within a weeks time, life goes on. The option to overcome the debackle exists. Famous investor Jesse Livermore became wealthy during the Great Depression by shorting the Dow Jones.

Examples of success during turmoil are as old as written record. The way to victory through turmoil is to envision a win or die scenario, and summon all of ones faculties to execute. By not giving yourself an easy out you force your mind to figure it out and navigate your route to greener pastures.

- Angel Armendariz

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