I was reading a column a few weeks ago on personal finance from The Motley Fool. Or at least I think it was the Motley Fool. I’ve just spent the last hour or so searching for the article and failed miserably. I found it last week, but apparently my google skills are failing me right now. If any of you can find this and point me to it so I can link it up, please do.
Anyway, back to my point. Pretend I have one.
Sometimes you read something, and it sticks with you. There was a line in the column that I will unfortunately have to paraphrase that I keep coming back to. It keeps making me think, and it’s really powerful to me.
Essentially, the point of the author was that he sold a stock at a modest profit. He locked in that profit, and in order to be happy with what he’s doing and — really — happy with life, it’s important to learn to be content with the return you have rather than regretting if maybe you could have made a little bit more. If you’re happy with earning $100 when you sell something, you can’t let the fact that maybe you could have made $105 make you miserable.
And it isn’t just with selling stocks. To me, this is applicable in so many facets of life. Life isn’t about being perfect. It’s about learning to be happy with what you have. You don’t have to have a bigger, better (fill in the blank).
Can you imagine how different our lives would be if we could learn to be happy with what we have? How much less general crabbiness would be out there. Cheating on spouses would decrease dramatically. People wouldn’t feel the need to push themselves into debt.
And that regret we feel after making decisions? Gone. We were happy with the choice we made at the time we made it, and that’s good enough. How freeing is that?
I’m doing my best to take this philosophy to heart. It’s really hard to do sometimes, but I’m working on it. And you know what? It’s making me happy. I really wish I could find the actual article to share with you, as I know I’m not saying it quite right.
Think about it though, and let me know if it speaks to you. Or share with me the philosophy that’s sticking with you. I could use a few more mantras outside “No blood, no foul!”