You ever notice?

You ever notice it’s the same people who spent eight years moping about deflation and disinflation who are now shrieking about inflation?

You ever notice it’s the same people who complained about being “pushed out on the risk curve” due to low interest rates on bonds who are now upset about higher interest rates on bonds?

You ever notice it’s the same noisemakers who’ve been seeing recessions over every horizon for a decade who are now complaining about too much economic growth?

You ever notice it’s the same folks who lamented the lack of growth who are now crying about how the acceleration of growth is unsustainable?

It’s the same people. They have no overarching point. There’s no comprehensive philosophy for how things should be. It’s just bitching and moaning, regardless of past, present or future circumstances. Everything’s wrong, everyone else is making all the wrong choices, with suspect motives, to keep me down and hurt my feelings. 

What do they want? Nothing. No conditions will ever be acceptable. The whining and crying is the thing. It is the means and the ends, in and of itself.

I used to think negativity was a state of mind. Now, having watched for long enough, I come to realize it’s not a state of mind. Negativity is a character trait. All of us possess some quantum of it, but on a spectrum. There are people at the far end of the spectrum who are so completely imbued with negativity, their personae so thoroughly animated by it, that not a day can go by without their expressing it. Infecting others with it. Spitting it up into the sky. Flinging it into your hair. Catching you in a web of it.

If you’re not related to these people by blood, then you have a choice. You simply cannot have them in your life. You cannot invite their poison into your inbox or onto your timeline. Especially if you are trying to plan and save and invest for your future. Skepticism and doubt are important character traits, especially on Wall Street where you are surrounded by people all ruthlessly playing their own angles. That’s a spectrum too. Surrounding yourself with the relentlessly negative, however, will nudge you too far along that spectrum. If you’re not careful, you won’t be able to make it back. Opportunities will begin to look like crises rather than vice versa. New ideas will look like disturbances. Innovations will tend to annoy you rather than stoke your imagination.

And then you will be truly lost.