I'll be Ready When I Need To Be. No Time Is Wasted To Get There.
How a book made me cry and I needed all five years to get to this point.
The thing is that no amount of "measured and deliberate" time could've ever predicted when I would be ready for such a book.
No amount of "analytical data" would ever tell me when I'm ready for the messages in a book.
There is a true oddity with connections.
I recently read "Not Fade Away: A Short Life Well Lived" by Peter Baron and Laurence Shames.
Without spoiling the book this is the high level: An autobiography of a media mogul who retired at 45, learned he had cancer at 48 and passed away at 51. He didn't start down this media career until in his 30s and was a ski bum after school. After realizing he will leave the world 'prematurely' he decided to write a book documenting his journey of dealing with his certain death.
It's probably the first book that made me tear up and only the public setting I read it in limited any kind of down pour.
Upon finishing the book, I thought about how this book came to my world. How did it become so material in my life?
Let's reverse engineer this.
Chris Sacca, Founder of lowercase capital, came on Tim Ferriss' podcast and he said this was the book he told his founders to read to gain perspective on whether the company they found was one they really wanted to run for the next while.
So, it could even be as far traced back to that Spring in 2015 when a friend taught me what a podcast was.
But I only got interested in podcasts because I wanted to learn.
School never taught me the value of learning. It taught me to take tests to get high grades so I could get jobs, awards and social recognition.
Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger taught me the importance of learning.
I was exposed to Warren Buffet after typing "long-term" investing on the advice of my finance professor when I told him I quit a stable career in accounting to become a stock trader. A job I didn't know stopped existing, for the most part, after the financial crisis.
The world of value investing brought me to a book called "The Outsiders" by William Thorndike. I learned about the legendary media mogul John Malone of TCI and Liberty Media in this book.
What does this have to do with anything? Indulge me a little.
I got obsessed with Liberty Media and followed it for years.
Alas, the continuous learning mantra led to the discovery of Tim Ferriss and his vast podcast series.
I learned about venture capital and soon became a massive fan of Chris Sacca given the conceptual similarities with him and the value investors I admired.
I've probably listened to more than 30 hours of Sacca's interviews. Only after the third time I listened to this particular episode did I think about the book. So why now?
Well, I've been trying to get more comfortable with mortality. It started with stoic philosophy. Something I was introduced to by Tim Ferriss.
It took me about one year to get comfortable with this journey. A journey filled with uncertainty, ambiguity and one where the desire for safety and belonging was rampant.
Though I've come to accept the journey I need to go on I still struggle with being comfortable with it. Maybe that's good. A critical element in all of this has been the wonderment of existence. I think I felt ready to get familiar with my end. I've frequently written about what my funeral may look like but a book accounting the process of dying would provide more perspective.
Not to mention that Peter Barton worked with John Malone at TCI and helped create Liberty Media.
Chris Sacca and John Malone were intertwined into this book. Two people I admired and respected. Oh, and my journey led to the creation of my own media platform and a self realization that I was actually interested in media.
So, how would such a person with a lot of my vested interest deal with death? Maybe I could learn something from him.
No Wasted Time.
This is a long way to arrive at a book. One that is not on the current bestseller list. One that isn't the face of some president or someone who puts "Fuck" in the title.
But it meant something deep for me. It's hard to say it would've had such a strong impact (enough to write this essay on it) without my knowledge of Liberty Media, Chris Sacca, personal journey and desire to learn about dealing with death.
I'd wager no.
It would seem that I needed all five years of my life to be somewhat ready to digest this story.
No amount of data analytics, modelling, planning and/or optimizing could've helped. There's beauty in that.
Accepting that no time was wasted. That I will be ready when I need to be. There is never a true point at which I'll ever be "ready". Every moment is the right moment and the amount of time needed to get to that point is non-debatable.
The thing is, I don't think there ever is a final point of true "readiness". You always want more time and more clarity and more proof.
Maybe this is how most of my opportunities and moments in life will be like.
I'll never know I'm ready.
I'll need to have the opportunity constantly flashed in front of me.
I'll choose to do it and it will seem like all the stars had aligned.
It'll seem like a massive coincidence but it took all the time needed.
No time was wasted getting to this point.