Discover more from Psychology of Investing
Reflections at 42 🎂
My Thinking Hat is On...
I turn 42 years young today and what a ride this has been. I want to take this moment to reflect on lessons I have learned and that have stuck to me, even become part of who I am. None of these are being written for the application of you, the reader. You can of course, try and give it a shot. But the intent is to record these on my substack and revisit it every time one more candle gets added on the birthday cake ;)
I will be breaking down the points under 3 headings i.e. Richer, Wiser, and Happier (inspired by William Green’s book by the same name). All the lessons are top-of-the-mind ones and none have been taken from my highlights on Kindle or notes from Journaling Apps on my phone/Mac.
These are personal to me and each has a context of its own. I will spare you the story around it, and just share the essence of my learnings from each.
Here we begin -
Money is not the most important thing in life, but every important thing in life needs money.
Money is a good motivator for some time, but an even better motivator is the person I want to become, the purpose I am driven by, and the impact I want to leave.
If accumulating Money is tough, then retaining it and making it work is even tougher. The job around money (a.k.a. Money Game) doesn’t end and hence one has to be watchful about one’s conversation around money and about money, at all times.
It cannot be made the Master, it gotto be leveraged upon as a good servant.
I ought to learn the art & science of investing if I want to take control of how and how much does my money work for me. If I want to leave it on others solely and am blessed with these people in my life, then only can I take my hands off the wheel. Till then, look ahead and drive on.
Always give away/donate a portion of my income. It always comes back tenfold. Working with an abundance mindset will always bring tenfold returns to my financial contributions, even if I do not desire or crave it. Working from a scarcity mindset will always make me tight-fisted and reduce my impact on the world.
I cannot envy others with all the money in the world unless I am willing to take on all their burdens too.
Controlling Costs and penny-pinching is a miserable way to live. Taking on the game of increasing revenue streams is way more adventurous and an exciting choice.
Everyone suffers from Incentive Bias. A Salesman needs to sell, a barber needs to shave, a politician needs to promise, a line manager needs to push, a marketer needs to attract your attention, a religious institution needs your donation, and a junior needs your respect. Needs or Wants or Craves or Desires - all can be used interchangeably here. Nothing wrong here, that’s being human. One just got to be good at seeing the incentive bias, before one gets better at decision making.
Judging others as a failure will make me arrogant about my own success/stage in life which is a result of many strokes of luck and chance working in my favor. Everyone is struggling and some will make it and some won’t. Nothing more, nothing less.
State of Mind is a function of action. If I go to the gym consistently, I start trusting myself to stay fit and eat better. If I write weekly, I start believing in my ability to write and influence an audience. If I deliver my work on time, I start building a much more productive me. I can’t wait to be happy to act, I got to act to sustain my happiness, which is a very slippery animal to tame.
Everyone has a story to be told. Someone got lucky and made it big. Someone took the right call but life still didn’t work out in his favor. Someone had a chance but blew it. Someone never got a chance. Every story is unique in its own way.
People will hurt you, judge you, look down upon you, bitch about you, and even backstab you. You can’t change this aspect of people. Envy, greed, selfishness are just a few of the sins that everyone grapples with, and it's just psychological. You got to be aware of the frailty of human character and when you are at the receiving end, just take it in your stride and make the best move possible at that time. It will hurt but embrace the pain that comes with it, and still make your move.
Only take on endeavors that make you go “Hell, Yeah”. Avoid at all costs, invitations to projects where your internal response is “Okkkay” or “Naaah”. Life is too short to be involved in endeavors that don’t excite you.
I got to be very very clear about my priorities - Family, Health, Career, Moonshots. Everything is assessed in terms of its contribution to my priorities, anything out of line or out of sync needs to be put on the back burner or completely discarded.
I have to protect my time just as the Pentagon goes about protecting US interests. And hence, I choose few friends but deeper relationships. I choose only one sport, but a higher level of proficiency in it. I choose to excel in my career, and hence am constantly learning about my field and adjacent subjects
Relationships are a function of communication. The more we communicate, the stronger the bond gets, easier the journey ahead. Any void in communication is a sure shot recipe for breakdowns in time to come.
I got to take time out to do what brings me most joy e.g. Reading, Workouts & Snooker. Me time creates a flow state and higher levels of productivity in all other matters.
Joy is different from pleasure. Long terms games are different from short-term games. Inspiration is different from envy. Appropriate is different from overboard. I got to be clear on what’s what.
I have been lucky & blessed in many respects. I express my gratitude daily before sleeping. Humility is the only way to experience the gift of life, without the anxiety of having less compared to what one desires. In this state of mind, more gets done, and more gets achieved, and becomes a powerful flywheel of sorts.
42 feels so young. I feel more vibrant than me in my 20s, more energetic than me in my 30s, and much clearer in my head than me yesterday. Seems like I’m aging as gracefully as a single malt from Scotland does ;)
🥂 Cheers to good times ahead !!!
Recommendations of the Week #
Moretothat is one of the best blogs to follow online. Every single post from Lawrence Yeo will make you really think hard about choices one has, about the desires one pursues, and about the elements that make us mortal fallible humans. His latest piece on The Many Worlds of Enough is a MUST READ, in case, understanding ‘what drives us all’ intrigues you.
Morgan Housel delivers yet another home run with his latest piece. I could see so many points in my life that could exactly resonate with the lucky encounters that he refers to in this piece. Every move is a throw of dice, let’s see whether we get 6 or 1 …
Wishing you’ll a smashing weekend Amigos.