I wish you a very happy, healthy, peaceful, and fulfilling 2020.
Life’s moving really fast (it’s nearly nine years since I started Safal Niveshak), so let me not waste another moment and thank you for being here for me.
As I begin 2020, here are a few things I aspire to do each day. These are more of notes to myself than advice to anyone. But if you wish to take it, I won’t mind at all. 🙂
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 2020.
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. So, know how much is enough.
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. 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 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 2020 if you haven’t already.
8. Let go of your need to control. Control makes us feel secure. But this security is dependent entirely on our feeling of keeping such control. And when things don’t go as planned, which is often the case, such a need to keep control may drive us crazy, and lead us to wrong, irreversible decisions.
Consider investing. You will work tremendously hard to earn great returns from the stock market only to sometimes see them disappear into thin air. And that’s okay. As an investor, you should learn to relax. Because making and losing money is just the nature of investing, and often outside your control. So just do your work well, and then let it go.
9. 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.
10. Deal well with your fears. We’re all fearful…of some things…and many things. I’ve never seen any person who has no fear. However, in dealing with fear several times over the past few years, I have realized one very important thing.
It is that, in our life, the issue is not really ‘fear’ but rather, what we do despite it. We can either get managed by fear, or manage it. We can either acknowledge fear or fall into an emotional whirlpool. We can either accept fear or pretend that it doesn’t exist at all. We can either give up or get up in the face of fear.
In fact, fear is what keeps us safe at most times in our lives. Fear keeps us out of harm’s way. All we need to have is the courage to manage it. Now, nobody can give us the courage. Even if Buddha were sitting right here next to you, he couldn’t give it to you. You have to practice it and realize it yourself. You have to make a habit of mindfulness practice to get over your fears. Then, when fear strikes you, you will already know what to do.
Anyways, before I close, here is a beautiful poem from Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese poet well known for his book, The Prophet, that strikes a chord deep within.
FEAR (Khalil Gibran)
It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.
She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.
And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.
But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.
Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.
The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
I’m so grateful to have you share this journey with me, and I look forward to continuing our connection in 2020, whatever it may bring.
Stay happy and healthy.