I decided to take some thoughts (mostly about investing, but not only) I wrote down recently and put them both down together here, instead of expanding each one into its own post:
If Only We Were Robots
If we were robots, the unpredictability of investments would probably not bother us, as we would have mathematically factored in chaos theory or whatever higher math accounts for unpredictability. We would know that some investments do really well sometimes, and sometimes don’t, and we would always take what happens in stride and with total serenity. We would be completely immune to the emotion that regularly causes people to do stupid things with their money.
But alas, we are not robots. Most people are prone to getting emotional now and then. This can have dangerous implications when it comes to handling one’s money!
Competition vs. Alignment
In reading about long-term, buy-and-hold investing, sometimes it seems that the objective is to find the perfect combination of investments that will outperform in the long-term. Yet how on earth can you know what will be the best performing asset in the next 20 or 30 years?
And then I realized today: wanting to be the best, wanting to not lose, not look bad, not pick a bad investment, not being “behind” if you investment doesn’t perform well… All this is a form of competition. It’s comparison, keeping up the joneses, looking good, etc.
And I realized, that’s not alignment!
|trying to be the best||focusing on feeling good|
|beat the market||focusing on satisfaction of pleasing results|
|comparing with others… how am I doing?||focusing on the fruits of one’s own efforts, independent of others|
|temptation to chase performance||focus on long-term plans and principles for greatest overall good|
|Emotional decision-making||Keep the end in mind: focus on happy feelings and results|
Why focus so much on how your apple orchard compares with someone else’s? Instead, how about enjoying your own harvest? How about appreciating your orchard, and doing what you can to maximize it in a way that aligns with who you are?
Competition is like a hijacking that takes us out of the present moment, in an attitude of continual lack or trying to measure up. Alignment helps us enjoy the present moment, with all its gifts.
I know which one I’m going with. Even though it’s still fun to try to be the best… but only to be the best I can be, regardless of how others are doing.
A Foundation for Optimism
These days I am noticing myself become increasingly more optimistic. Maybe it’s the natural result of being happy with myself, happy with my choices. Also, with everything going on in our world, I have felt it necessary to “create my own weather” so to speak. This helped me tap into that infinite supply of well-being that is all around 🙂
It is a lot easier to be optimistic when you like the choices you make.
Optimism doesn’t just mean a fanciful, airy-fairy dream. It means having your feet firmly planted on the ground and being relatively sure that your plans are sound!
Things I feel optimistic about:
- The long-term growth opportunity of being invested in the stock market.
- Our overall finances improving, as they already have been.
- The ability to find my own Alignment.
- The prospects of growing and expanding to receiving ever-more joy and well-being, letting my dreams unfold, becoming better and better at receiving
- Of course, having love in one’s life is always a reason to feel optimistic
- Enjoying my daily routines and being positively expectant of more enjoyment