I wish you a very happy, healthy, peaceful, and fulfilling 2016.
Life is really short (it’s nearly five years since I started Safal Niveshak), so let me not waste another moment and thank you for being here for me.
As I begin 2016, here are a few things I aspire to do each day, and would love to see you do as well. These are not any New Year resolutions (which anyways don’t last till 5th January), but things that can become part of your daily life, just like breathing, for the rest of your life.
Here I start.
1. Each day, do something foolish, something creative, and something generous. This is what I’ve learned from Ben Graham. Remember, this is not a big long term goal that should worry you just by the magnitude of it. It’s a daily task, which is much easier to follow. So, do something foolish, something creative, and something generous in 2016.
2. Don’t worry too much about making money. It won’t change the way you live. Time spent earning enough money is time reasonably well spent. Time earning an excess of money far beyond that required to meet one’s needs, however, is time wasted.
As far as saving money is concerned, take it seriously but not too much that you compromise your and your family’s present. Especially when you are making a reasonable income and are already saving enough, remember what Warren Buffett says –
…who is to say whether it is better to defer a dollar of expenditure on your family – on a trip to Disneyland or something that they’ll get enormous enjoyment out of – so that when you are 75, you can have a 30-feet boat instead of a 20-feet boat. There are advantages to spending money on your family when it is young – giving them various forms of enjoyment, education, or whatever it may be. But it’s crazy to be spending 105% of your income.
3. Do your work, your best work, the work that matters to you. Life is short, so find work you love. Work ought to be chosen for its intrinsic value, and for its sense of enjoyment, sense of purpose. Life is much too short to spend doing something you don’t like, even for a few years.
4. Choose well. The most important choices you’ll ever make in life will be with respect to your spouse and your friends. If you choose right, then later choices become simple. The less effort you have to give something, the more powerful you become.
5. “What if I fail?” is not the question you must ask this year. You will fail. So the better question might be, “After I fail, what then?” If you’ve chosen well, after you fail you will be one step closer to succeeding, you will be wiser and stronger and you almost certainly will be more respected by all of those that are afraid to try.
6. Don’t put off “living happily ever after” for another year. Don’t assume you’ll have another year. You won’t get this life again. No one will bring back the years; no one will restore you to yourself. Life will follow the path it began to take, and will neither reverse nor check its course. Life will not lengthen at your command. As it started out on its first day, so it will run on, nowhere pausing or turning aside. Stop being busy. Tell the ones you love how much you love them often enough. You could be very happy with almost nothing if you had a loving family, and you weren’t competing with a lot of other people who had more than you did.
7. Become smarter and wiser. Becoming wise is a slow game, but wisdom builds up, like compound interest. You have to work at it for a long, long time. But the earlier you start, the more territory you can cover. And the more big, important ideas you can assimilate, the easier the learning process is. Have a temperament to grab ideas and do sensible things. Start this process in 2016 if you haven’t already.
8. Stay humble. Ben Graham’s “Security Analysis” starts with Horace’s observation: “Many shall be restored that are now fallen and many shall fall that are now in honor.” Remember this as you celebrate the winners from your stock portfolio. Humility is the antidote to all sins you may indulge in life.
Bonus Rule: Get rich quick by doing these five simple things –
- Create value for others;
- Contribute to someone, without keeping score;
- Say what needs to be said;
- Learn something new, something scary; and
- Reject false shortcuts.
I’m so grateful to have you in my life, and I look forward to continuing our connection in 2016, whatever it may bring.
Stay happy and healthy.