I may have a lot of shortcomings, but if you ask my friends and family about me, one thing they will say is that I don’t complain. And the truth is, what do I have to complain about anyway?
I am lucky enough to have been born into a demographic that is the most privileged in all of history; upper middle-class American males. In addition, I belong to the ethnic group that is the least discriminated against in today’s world.
My background is a mixture of Irish, Scottish, Welsh, German, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish. So basically anything that is white, dorky, and can’t dance.
I am also tall, thin, devastatingly handsome, and extremely humble, so all-in-all I’ve got nothing to complain about.
But just this once, I am going to complain. I am going to complain about my Male Pattern Baldness.
When you are a young man and you start to see more hair going down the drain every day it can really freak you out. I mean let’s face the facts, men want to be attractive for women and the guy with the full head of hair always has the advantage (I’m looking in your direction The_Analyst).
Today I am at peace with it since I am married (no need to look good anymore) and have more important things to worry about than my hair (read: kids).
Now it only annoys me from a logic standpoint. See, I have photos of my dad at his 40th birthday bending over and laughing, where I can see the very top of his head, and it is just a mass of thick hair. No scalp in sight and not an inch of recess on his hairline, so technically I should still have all my hair.
Right now a mass of folliclly challenged men are yelling at their screens…
“….baldness comes from your mother’s side…YOUR MOTHER’S SIDE….OH THE HUMANITY..!!!”
Think again Lex Luthor, because when my grandfather on my mom’s side died at seventy-seven, he still had a full head of hair.
Fortunately I live in a time when this issue could be solved by a simple surgery that would leave me with a head of hair like I had in high school (or so the Bosley Institute infomercial has led me to believe).
The only problem is that I have a hard time throwing away five or ten grand on something I consider pretty narcissistic. I am sure I would look pretty good but it would then be very hard to walk past a homeless woman and her kids no matter how much hair I had.
So if I ever win the lottery, first I will give a big chunk to charity and then immediately go get hair transplant and penis reduction surgery so that my look is finally balanced out.
But back when I was in the depths of my hair depression I began to acquire what is known as The Missing Tile Syndrome, something I first read about in Dennis Prager’s excellent book, “Happiness Is A Serious Problem”.
The Missing Tile Syndrome is based upon the concept that if you go into a room and look up at a ceiling that has a missing tile, that is what your eyes are immediately drawn to. It doesn’t matter how nice and lined up the other tiles are, we instinctively focus on the one that is missing. Sometimes we even obsess about it, wondering “why haven’t they replaced that tile” since we know “everybody must notice it”.
In life this syndrome manifests itself in the form of us focusing on everything that we are lacking. If we are short, we focus on people’s height. If we are fat, we focus on thin people. If poor, we focus on money. The ultimate extension of this is the saying “when a bald man walks into a room the first thing he sees is hair”.
And believe me, I have been right in that same spot.
My best friend is a mixture of Italian and American-Indian and has so much hair it can only be described as “obscene”.
At his father’s 60th birthday party I stood over his dad as he sat at a table blowing out the candles on his cake, and searched in vain for any sight of scalp showing on the top of his head. Screw the party, I wanted to know why he still had every strand of hair he was born with and mine was falling out. Bastard..!!!!!
In trading the syndrome makes you focus on how others can trade successfully in ways you can’t.
I fall victim to this all the time as I watch the trading action on StockTwits.
I watch PeterLBrandt use daily and weekly charts to stay with long-term trades.
I covet the skill with which gtotoy surgically extracts profits from the markets day after day.
I envy the ability of upsidetrader to identify intermediate market turns and exploit the shit out of them.
They all have masses of long flowing hair and I want to have that hair on MY head.
But alas I am bald. I can’t trade the way they do, and it is folly to try.
Instead of agonizing over those missing tiles in my trading ceiling I have to focus on the tiles I do have. I have to continue to develop my trading strengths and minimize my weaknesses. I have to remind myself that being a consistently profitable trader can be achieved in many different ways, and that focusing on the way that works best for you is all that matters.
And for perspective I have to remember that for every time I see somebody with a full head of hair and wish it was mine, there is a short guy who wished he had my height, or an unemployed guy who wished he had my job, or a terminally ill person who wished they had my health, or………..