I wrote yesterday about five ways to destroy wealth in the stock market.
As an antidote, and especially as you may be sailing through the vicissitudes of ecstasy (after seeing your stocks surge yesterday) and, at the same time, misery (for not buying more stocks before yesterday), today I share with you one way to win at the game of investing, or at anything in life.
That way, my dear friend, is of equanimity, which is calmness and composure, especially in a difficult situation.
Indian scriptures define it better as samabhaav, which means “sameness of things” or samatvam, which means “evenness of mind.”
In the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 2, Verse 48), Lord Krishna advises Arjuna on the battleground of Kurukshetra –
योगस्थ: कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय |
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्यो: समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ||
Translated – Be steadfast in the performance of your duty, O Arjun, abandoning attachment to success and failure. Such equanimity is called Yog, or union with the Supreme.
When it comes to investing, making money in stocks when everyone is making money in stocks isn’t a big deal. Rather, it’s the ability to handle good and bad times with equanimity, combined with courage and decisiveness, that really matters in the long run.
Of course, most of us simply aren’t wired to be equanimous at most of the times, and it’s terribly difficult to rid ourself of the emotions of ecstasy (when things are looking up) and misery (when things are looking down).
And that’s why ensuring that we avoid all of those ways that can cause us wealth destruction – trading, timing, high fee, inadequate diversification, and leverage – is paramount.
Everything, including our triumphs and disasters, anyways shall pass. But the equanimity with which we allow them to pass will keep us sane always.
As Lord Krishna taught Arjuna, as we wade through the ocean of life, it throws up all kinds of waves that are beyond our control. If we keep struggling to eliminate negative situations, we will be unable to avoid unhappiness. But if we can learn to accept everything that comes our way, with equanimity and without sacrificing our best efforts, that will be true Yog.
So, give equanimity a shot, and see what happens.