Money & the psychology of money
When Warren Buffet was asked by a high school child what the formula for success is, he said the first and the most important thing in anyone’s life is your individual talents and skills. Everyone comes to earth prepackaged with natural instincts and talents. What you do with these is up to you. By growing and protecting your talents and skills, you are setting yourself up to win. These are the only assets that cannot be taken away from you. Neither can they be taxed, because they can’t be valued by any outsider, but yourself. This is the first building block of success
ARE YOU LUCKY?
There are areas in your life in which you can be considered lucky. Your first level of luck is with your parents. You are lucky if you are born to parents who can nourish your soul and allow you to follow your soul’s agenda, whatever it maybe, whether they agree with it or not. This has nothing to do with whether they are rich or poor. You are luckier if they not only allow, but have resources that you can use to explore and grow your talents.
You are lucky if you are born in a country that will allow your talents and skills to blossom. A country with resources and fair and equal opportunities for all. A country that is not oppressive to its citizenry, but encourages individual growth and innovation.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
They say timing is everything. You are lucky if you are born at the right time. The right time means you will be the right age when your particular skills and talents can be grown. You will be the right age when certain opportunities present themselves, and you can ride the wave of trends that ride on your own skills and talents.
Malcolm Gladwell points out in his book, Outliers, how certain people were born at the right time. He talks of Hockey players who were born in the right months, so that they were the exact age needed by Hockey clubs who could give them opportunities. A child born a month or two earlier, could miss this opportunity because they would be too old for the cut off point of selection. He points out to people who were born at the beginning of certain trends in a country, like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and others, who rode the wave of technological development. Warren Buffet himself says he was born at the right time to be able to ride the economic wave that came out of the Great Depression.
You are lucky if you are born at the right time in your own country and you are the right age when your country requires your particular skills and talents.
There are things that are given equally and fairly to everyone. Everyone gets twenty-four hours a day. If you are blessed enough to be able-bodied and able minded, the rest is up to you.
UPGRADE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.
With the exception of your parentage, everything else is upgradable. All your circumstances are upgradable, if you don’t waste time arguing for your limitations. You can move and change your country if you were unlucky enough to be born in an un-accommodative country, many have, including refugees tracking on foot to another country. You can work hard in a life-time and acquire resources if you were born in a poor family, many have. You can acquire an education even as an adult if you missed it, many have.
BAD HABITS WILL SET YOU BACK
There are things you can do to set yourself back. Economically speaking, the first thing that will set you back is acquiring debt early in your life, and being stuck in a cycle of debt. When you are in debt, someone else has an advantage over you. You have to commit your time and resources to working for your creditor.
Any form of addiction will set you back, whether it be substance abuse or any bad habits. An addiction is like being stuck in one point in your life and being unable to move on, until you can break the addiction, that is.
FORM GOOD HABITS
Let’s start with economics. The first good habit you need to form is the habit of saving. If you start saving as a student, by the time your class graduates, you are already ahead of the game. Those who acquired debt as students are way behind you. While they spend their first few years servicing debt, you can be learning and growing your investments.
Another good habit you need to form is a good work ethic. You must create a working rhythm. If you only work because someone is looking, you won’t be motivated to work when they are not looking. If you ever become an entrepreneur, you will be doomed, because there, no one is looking. As a student, don’t work only when the teacher is looking, create a work ethic for your own good. As an employee, don’t only work when your boss is looking, be the self-starting and motivated assets they would hate to lose. Being productive is what sets winners apart from losers.
Create healthy habits. Keep your body healthy. Form good eating habits. Exercise your body to keep it in good shape. Read regularly to keep your mind alert.
BEWARE OF YOUR SENSES
It can be argued that control over sensuality is what may separate humans from other animals. While other animals live by their sensual instincts, humans can know when it’s enough, and thus gain control over their senses.
All our five senses were given to us for our survival. They are there to give us information for our benefit. Let’s take the sense of taste for example. People who are addicted to tastes, may never know when it’s enough to stop eating. They forget that their stomach can only handle so much, and they focus on how food stuffs taste. This is what may lead to obesity.
All other senses have also been commercialized. Be careful not to be addicted to these. The perfume world would not exist if we didn’t have the sense of smell. The music world would not exist if we did not have the sense of hearing. The world of colours would be meaningless if we did not have the sense of sight. We would not know the difference between a velvet feel, a silky feel, a soft feel, and a rough feel, if we did not have the sense of touch.
As economists would say, “ceteris paribus”, all things being equal, we should all be able to succeed on our journey to earth! But if we fail in this life-time, we may get another chance in yet another lifetime.