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This is not another article on why you 'need' to invest. We have already got so many articles on that subject. What we are looking at today is something deeper and more personal. We are going to discuss on why you 'want' to invest.
If Investing is defined as "an operation which upon thorough analysis, provides safety of principal and a satisfactory return", then we can say that we invest so that we can generate more money. (Obviously). What I notice is that there are so many programs out there that teaches you how to make money, however, what they do not do, is to discuss on why you want to make money. Many might think that knowing why you want to make money is not important or it is so obvious that making money is a good thing and there is no need to discuss about it. However, this is a very dangerous mentality. Let's do an exercise with me, try to ask yourselves the questions below.
Why do you want to make money?
When you have money what can you get?
Why do you want to get that thing?
Do you agree with me that Money is just a piece of paper or some numbers in your bank account that you exchange in return for some goods or services? Generally, we want to make money so that we can afford to buy the things we want, go to the places with the people we love, to have more time, perhaps some may be more noble, that is to help the less fortunate people. No matter what it is that you want to get with the money you make, I believe we can say that what we ultimately want, is to get happiness. Buying the things you want and going to places you like may bring you happiness, having more time may let you do the things you like or to spend more time with people you love,which also brings happiness, even helping other people may bring joy to our lives too. (Notice the keywords, happiness, love and freedom to do the things you like.)
The danger with us is that if we do not clearly define these ultimate gains that we want,is that we might lose them while chasing money. How often do you see people who blindly chase money while ignoring their loved ones or those who get depressed along the way or those tying themselves up with the job they don't like so that they can have more money. I certainly do not want that to happen to me, therefore, I have clearly defined what I want (You should too). That is, happiness, love and freedom. It is not logic to sacrifice these for money because it is a just a tool to buy those things. Do you agree with me that money can't buy everything? You certainly can't buy back the deceased loved ones that you have ignored while making money.
Then the question is, does money buy happiness? The answer is yes, and no. Yes, it does buy happiness, but it is for very short term. Have you ever experienced the excitement, thrill and happiness you get when you have purchased a new car? Of course you are very happy with it's sleek look, fast performance and comfortable seats. But after 6 months, does it feel the same? No, by that time, it will only be just like any other things, dull. You will resort to buying other things to give you the temporary high of happiness. This is not the way to achieve happiness.
What's even more dangerous is the greed that money brings out. You just can't have enough.
I have had first hand experience of this problem. Just 15 months ago, making my first profit has been so magical to me. RM1,500 is so much and I am so grateful and happy to be able to make that kind of profit. However, as I notice, I became more and more discontent,that even when making a profit of RM15,000, I still do not feel happy. Why? It is because I have already grown numb to that kind of earnings and is now aiming for much higher gains. Is this a good thing? You can argue so, as it helps me to aim high and achieve more. But how much is enough? or will I ever get enough? One year ago, I thought that I would be very happy to be where I am today .However, I notice that the higher you go, there is always something that you are not satisfied with, always someone that you want to be better than, you will never stop as long as there is room for growth.(I'm thinking about millions now) So, is money evil? If you do think so, please contact me, I am very willing to adopt them from you.No,I believe money is like fertilizer. It enhances you. If you're greedy within, it will make you more greedy. If you're already happy, it will enhance that happiness.
So,now you would ask, which one am I ? The one that is happy inside or the one that is hungry for more. I would say both, though I want to be better and better, I want to do it healthily, that is without sacrificing happiness,freedom and loved ones. The most important revelation comes from this understanding.
"Happiness is not found at the destination, happiness should be throughout the journey".
How to find happiness throughout the journey? I believe the key lies in gratitude. To be grateful of what you have now. Think about it, if you're reading this, you should be grateful. How many people doesn't even have access to clean water and ample food, not to say to have access to internet and learning sources. Even if these people wants to improve their lives, the lack of resources and the environment makes it extremely difficult for them to do so. I noticed that as soon as I focus on being grateful of what I have, I immediately felt joy in my life. I have a loving parents, close friends that support me, a comfortable house, a business that I enjoy doing and most importantly, health. Think of all the things I could accomplish with the health that I have. You really don't want to sacrifice health for money. One of the things that I am most grateful of is to be blessed with the knowledge of value investing. Because of it's low risk,high return and passive nature, it is a way to generate wealth while giving me the freedom I want without the emotional stress involved (Unlike trading, which requires time in monitoring that also taxes on the state of mind)
Since making money is not a problem anymore (I may be wrong, but I believe that as long as I continue investing in stocks by following the right method + right mentality , I believe I will achieve the financial freedom I want eventually), I can now try focus on doing what I love and spending time with loved ones while I still can. Each day, I will try to find things to be grateful of in my life, and you should too.
(Also,understand that happiness is a choice, you can choose to be happy now for no particular reason (and also get out of depression), but that needs a very good control of your state of mind, for us now, we can be happy by focusing on the positive things, life is already tough, don't make it worse by focusing on the negatives.)