CVaR: Conditional Value-at-Risk is a risk measure which was formulated by R. Tyrrell Rockafellar and Stanislav Uryasev in 2000 in their seminal paper. They showcased the limitations of the existing risk measure, which was, VaR: Value-at-Risk, and fourmulated CVaR to overcome the drawbacks. CVaR measures the risk associated with a portfolio of assets, to make the investors aware of the risk involved in their investments.
Before I lose you, let me assure you how much I may seek pleasure in talking about Conditional Value-at-Risk, this post is nowhere near that. This post is about my version of CVaR, which is, Citing – Viewing – Analyzing – Refining. I want to share with you how I use CVaR daily to get one step closer. You may ask closer to what? Just give me your precious time and keep reading; I will soon make it clear.
Okay, so before I begin explaining CVaR, just let me state the underlying Axioms/ assumptions. So my technique/ tool is dependent on the assumptions that the below statements are a fact.
The end goal of every human being is Atmanomokshartha Jagathitayacha. That is, liberating the soul and in the process upliftment of the society.
To do this one need to reach the state of Vivek Acharan, that is enlightenment/ awakening.
Now to reach the stage of Axiom 2, one needs to be free from/ or above the three Gunas. They are Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva.
Now my tool can be viewed as one of the methods to reach the end goal. It is, as a matter of fact, a gross oversimplification. The effectiveness of CVaR, as stated previously, is dependent on the above three Axioms. I call them the Axioms of Purpose. One of the many ways to reach Axiom 3 seems to be the way of self-improvement, and hence CVaR is nothing but a method to improve one-self little-by-little daily.
Let me quickly come to the actual method. CVaR can be practised in two ways (indeed many, but I can think of only two). The way I practise is using the trifecta: Pen, Paper, and Ink. You can also practise it by inculcating it in your usual meditation sessions. But I have not tried it. So let me stick to my version of CVaR. Basically, there are four stages, as you may already be aware, they are Citing, Viewing, Analyzing, and Refining. When I am free from the day’s work, and just before going to sleep or mentally ending my day, I take out my favourite Journal and my favourite Fountain Pen inked with my favourite ink. And I start the process:
In the first step, I jot down the most important events I can recollect from my day. These events are not about when I woke up, or what I ate or whom I met, etc. But these events are something I said to my wife and later regretted, or something that had bothered me during the day, or feeling tired after waking up, etc. This process is just about writing the events which, according to you, needs a thought. And if you are practising CVaR while meditating, then just noting these events in your mind. They should not be more than five; I prefer two to three at max.
Here I write down my reactions or emotions associated with that event. Was the reaction violent, or the emotion of being sad, angry, happy, elevated, etc. For example, one day, the Swiggy delivery guy was not wearing a mask, and neither carrying my food in the Swiggy Hot bag, not wearing a Swiggy uniform. So I got very upset at him and confronted him. At that, he reciprocated equally, oblivious of his mistake, and instead asked me to better not order from Swiggy the next time. Now I had been very rude at him as I thought he deserved my rudeness.
So, in this case, I had written down the whole incident in my Journal. Now it includes my reaction of shouting at him and my emotions of anger previously, quickly translated to guilt at what just happened.
Here I analyzed why were my reactions like this. Why did I get so angry at him? This is the stage where we ask ourselves the questions of Why. I got the answer that I paid for it, and it was my right to avail myself the best service. But at the same time, it dawned upon me that shouting at him or being rude at him made him roll his sleeves as well, and he eventually shut his mind.
So I write in this stage that what could have been done differently. Continuing the previous example, I wrote that instead of arguing with the delivery guy, I should have complained to customer care. But again, I didn’t want that. So I wrote that the next time the delivery guy comes, I would politely ask him why he was not wearing the mask or why he was not carrying my food in the Swiggy hot bag.
One fine day, another Swiggy agent had come to deliver my food. Even he was not carrying the Swiggy hot bag or wearing the uniform. After he handed over my food bag, I said to him, that can I request you something. He immediately replied, sure, Sir. I said that can you please use the Swiggy bag and wear the company uniform from now onwards. At that, he said that they were not getting either the Bag or the Uniform due to COVID, and his old bag is no longer usable. Oh, I said.
So this is what my CVaR is all about. It is a simple self-improvement technique, but it works. In a particular case, I believe it helped me reduce my Tamas and made me an inch closer to Axiom 1.
The Math Guy