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3 Words to Change Your Short Life

Life is short!

That’s what was the unanimous answer of respondents (aged 70 to 100 and above) in a survey, when asked – “What are the most important lessons you have learned over your life?”

“Life is short,” a retired engineer told the researcher. “It passes in a nanosecond.” A 99-year-old woman said, “I don’t know what happened, but the next thing you know you are 100.”

Well, this research study was forwarded to me last night by a tribesman, Sudhir, and it led me to write this post, one not really on investing but on the more essential things in life – lessons on how to live life.

Being all of 34, I am no expert in doling out any advice on “living” life, so I won’t venture out doing that.

All I want to reiterate is what the elderly in the survey advice as far as “money and stuff” is concerned.

What’s their advice?

Here are 10 that I have culled out from the site dedicated to this project, called The Legacy Project

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t be a starving artist, but don’t be ruled by possessions or an overwhelming urge to make money.
  3. You don’t want your things to own you.
  4. Live within your means. Avoid debt. If you can’t pay for it now, don’t buy it.
  5. Be ready to tell this to yourself soon – “Enough is enough!” 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.
  6. Material things are useful, but good relationships with God and the people around you make life worth living.
  7. Money isn’t everything. Take time to have some fun in life. It’s not all dreary and dog-eat-dog. Stop and smell the roses.
  8. Accumulating stuff is of little importance. What is important is accumulating love of each other, of your children and of life-long friends and extending that love to those less fortunate than you are.
  9. 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.
  10. Focus on gratitude and giving thanks.

Life is short
It’s ironical that it often takes us a lifetime to learn to live in the moment.

We seem to think that we’ll live forever.

We spend time and money as though we’ll always be here.

We buy stuff as though it matters and is worth the debt and stress of attachment.

We put off “living happily ever after” for another year, because we assume we have another year.

We don’t tell the ones we love how much we love them often enough because we assume there’s always tomorrow.

And then, we fear. Oh yes, we fear!

Just because we are afraid of the risk of moving out of our comfort zones, we stick it out in miserable jobs and situations.

Just because we are worried we will fail, we don’t reach high enough or far enough, often forgetting that it’s better to fail spectacularly while trying than it is to succeed at something we never really wanted in the first place.

These three words – life is short – are what I tell myself almost each passing day, and they have changed the way I live my life.

And since, life really is short (it’s already two years since I started Safal Niveshak!), let me not waste another moment and thank you for being here for me…for this tribe.

I am amazed that that I found you in this life, and found my calling in this tribe. Simply amazing!

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.


  1. rahul panishap says:

    Hello vishal bhai,
    HOPE U WILL BE; very energetic article again. vishal bhai we all sleep in night and thousands other like us but few of us never wake up in the morning.God is so kind to us that we see mornings after mornings.we take our life for granted.Gratitude is the thing i think we should express in our life.I personally started to be thankfull for what i have. Thats a thing which i think should take top position in our life although list is love and wishes for you vishal bhai and for everybody attached with us.We learn a lot with you.

  2. In response to changing the world, or your country, for good , people say “How can I, a single man, possibly affect the grand scheme?”.

    Well, the answer is in the above article. You be happy, the right way and your job is done. Be a live example of “Genuinely Happy” and people will see a different possibility of life. They will have a choice to make.

    (Theoretically) This ripple effect will cascade down to the population. A critical mass, probably a century down the line, will reach and then the world will change for good. You may or may not get a Noble for that 😉

  3. Anil Kumar Tulsiram says:

    Excellent Vishal

    I think we need to read these things again and again and remind ourself that life is short. For me the life changing event was when I read “Four hour work week’. Just first 70-100 pages are worth more than the price of the book and balance stuff is more applicable for citizens of developed countries [outsourcing stuff]….

  4. Nikunj Gala says:

    Thanks Vishal Sir for such a wonderful post….

    Amazingly it came at a time when I was feeling pressure due to many factors…

    I am feeling better now ….

    Thanks a lot…

  5. Live in the Now is a very short but apt way to put how to live life.
    Thank you for this post.
    The 10 points are worth their weight in Gold.
    After reading this and a few books on investing, philosophy and trying to read many more I am starting to conlcude life is simple and we make it very very complicated unnecessarily.

  6. Hi Vishal,

    Very nicely written article. I wish to thank you for all the great articles you have put up on Safal Niveshak – immensly useful.


  7. R.K.Chandrashekar says:

    Dear Vishal & fellow tribesman
    How great life would be if we all practice living these ten commandments!
    One of my favourite questions that i put across senior professionals, when hiring is this: If you are told that you would live for only one more day, what would you do- who would all you contact, what would you say, what would be your priorities, etc. Think about it !!

  8. Bhuvan Sehgal says:

    Amazing things you send apart from teaching Financial things.

    God bless you.
    Many thanks,

  9. Akbar Khan says:

    Thanks you for these wonderful reminders!

  10. Rajaram S says:

    Good one. Life is not only short, but also utterly meaningless. I mean, I’ve seen people here this moment, gone next moment! Then there is grief for the departed one for sometime, and then people move on with their lives. The departed one is forgotten, except in some conversations about the past. Given life is meaningless, what does one do? Well, give it the meaning one desires. Moment by moment. I mean, we cannot but help give explanations and meanings for every incident. That is our nature, we cannot stop talking, we cannot stop writing, and we cannot stop relating. We are empty without relating. Since we must relate, we might as well give the meaning we want to, rather than pick up the meaning that makes us feel unhappy & disempowered.

    Living unhappily is a habit. If one has fallen into this, one needs to make the effort to come out. I am doing so now, practicing. Habits die hard, but one can always make the effort to live an empowered life, which is entirely about giving the meaning in every moment and situation that makes one empowered….

  11. hi vishal
    is there anyway to reach you by email ? had a question


  12. Man is a social animal always looking for social acceptance with his peers and relatives and the only way he could get that is by staying in the rat race of trying to earn more and save more.

    Although its a wise thing to follow these principles, once he does that he starts losing acceptance among society, as majority of the people live in the opposite way.Only who can bear the consequences can break the chains.

    Around the world and in India we live have a capitalistic society and in such a system the work “Enough” is a very bad word and “Greed” and “More” are very good words.

  13. Conrad Fernandes says:

    Dear Vishal,

    These are indeed words of wisdom that too coming from someone so young . I have lived the rat race in the metros and now am truly living my life in Goa .

    Conrad Fernandes

  14. Dhananjay says:

    Nice article Vishal. I would like to take a print of the 10 points mentioned and put it in front of my work place. Keep writing and keep us busy reading good stuff.



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