living like a tracker

In inspiration, learning, motivation, productivity by Jay Clouse

One of the podcasts I’ve gotten into lately at the recommendation of my upside cohost, Eric, is Invest Like the Best by Patrick O’Shaughnessy.

What I like about this podcast is that besides speaking with obviously great investors, the individuals he interviews have very interesting perspectives on life outside of investing.

Recently, he re-ran an episode with Boyd Varty, a native South African whose family has been tracking wild animals for four generations.

The conversation focuses on the application of ideas from tracking (as both a human or other animal) to your every day life.

For example, Boyd discusses how wild dogs will transition from times of total rest to heightened “play” very quickly when they catch a track. Instead of being in a constant, low-level state of intensity, they optimize for total rest and then high intensity when opportunity is present.

Another example he gives in relation to presence is that of a lion. Lions don’t have a “verbal mind” that is reminding them of the catch they missed the day or week before — they are just engaged in the present and the opportunity ahead of them.

Both of these analogies are really interesting in considering how we work. And not only that, but also considering the mechanics of tracking is interesting too.

Tracking begins in silence waiting for signal or awareness of an opportunity. It could be the call of an animal or an instinct to begin down a certain path. The tracker doesn’t know where the track (or process) will lead, but instead stays in the present to follow the opportunity as it emerges.

The podcast challenges you to instead of waiting until you have a whole path mapped out, to follow your instinct and curiosity in beginning the track. It’s only by beginning that track will you find subsequent clues and direction, ultimately leading the outcome your innate curiosity and interest were pointing you towards (almost like holding space)!


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