Gratitude, Wealth, and Keeping the Proper Perspective

If you weren’t interested in making money, I don’t think you would be reading this right now. As an investor, or aspiring investor, it’s stating the obvious to say that you are interested in maximizing your wealth and certainly there is nothing wrong with this. More money means more flexibility and freedom to do the things in life that you find meaningful. Becoming wealthier isn’t inherently selfish; most people want to use their wealth to improve the lives of others, as well as themselves. So, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for developing the best strategy for becoming as wealthy as is humanly possible.

All of that being said, I think it’s important for us as investors to keep the proper perspective. We need to remind ourselves that, compared to other people in the world today and throughout history, we are already rich. We have vast amounts of wealth available to us. We have access to food, clothing, education, shelter, technology and freedom. We take all of these for granted but, they are actually unimaginable to the masses in the world today suffering without running water, health care, food, shelter, and sanitary living conditions. Moreover, even our wealthiest ancestors of a thousand years ago would envy what we now consider to be basics. I would guess that a king in the middle ages would have traded all of the gold in his kingdom for a single day of Internet access. We are already wealthier than most people could even imagine.

I bring all of this up for a few reasons. First, I think it’s always important for us to exercise gratitude. Think about the people in your life and in your workplace that are always complaining. Nothing is every good enough for them, and they act as if the whole world in conspiring against them. These kinds of people are toxic and destroy relationships. When you forget to be grateful and appreciative of what you already have, you run the risk of becoming this kind of person. Ungrateful people do not attract the relationships and opportunities that lead to success. So, you see, it becomes a vicious circle. You become ungrateful for what you have in life; it pushes people away and you miss out on wealth-producing opportunities; then, you become even more ungrateful, and so on.

I also think it’s important to be grateful for what we have, though, so that we do not become discouraged. The stock market, as we all know, can be rather duplicitous. One moment, everything could be going smoothly; the next, we could find ourselves in a state of utter panic. If you’re always thinking about what you don’t have, the stress and disappointment will lead to despair. Count your blessings.  I say this not to shame you but, rather to encourage you. When it seems like your investments are a little stagnant, just remember how much you already have. Get up and give it another try tomorrow.

If you need any help understanding how to develop the appropriate balance in your investing perspective, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation. We’re here to help you become a better investor, and a more grateful human being.