Monday, January 22, 2007

Words of wisdom that works in life and in business

One of the reasons why many people fail to stand on the better side of things or fail to find a balance in their life is because many have not yet paid a really heavy price in what they select.

For example, in many people working life, a majority of us will never find a job which thoroughly suits us or at the minimal, be able to find a job which we can find joy in and look forward to going to 24/7. Some people are able to take it more in their stride. Some are less tolerant towards enduring a difficult time. For most people, they delay their making a really meaningful decision until much later in life which is often too late. For most people, they just job-hop hoping to find a better job when another ship sails alongside and jump over. But as usual, most of those who jump often jump onto another ship which is just as worst although at first, it doesn’t appears so. For many who stick to not solving a fundamental problem which they will perpetually face especially something as essential as having satisfaction in a job (let’s face the fact, we tend to face work more than we face any other event other than sleep), the problem will tend to escalate as time goes by. So what happens, a balloon or bubble is only so elastic, it can’t take more pressure than it is designed for. Very much like engineering, an aircraft is designed to fly at up to certain operating parameters, if it is flown at above the operating parameters over a period of time, it will surely break and disintegrate at somewhere and sometime in point. You do not know when but it will fail with a very high likelihood.

Same as in human to human relationship, when the basics do not fit mutually, it tends to lead to a little crack at first. Well, most people will just shrug their shoulders and ignore the initial crack. Then as the crack widens, they tend to pay a little more attention to try to fix it. Some cracks can be fixed. Some are just structural or innate damage which means it is a defect which is inherent. But many, when faced with inherent damage, they are faced with a dilemma – a very tough dilemma. When mixed with emotions, it usually gets thing jumbled up and confused. So they decide to stick together for reasons only known to them. Well, if the problem is an inherent one, usually, it will just widen a little bit slowly as time goes on. Problems may not appear today, or tomorrow. It will appear somewhere down the road depending on many factors. So it may reach a day sometime later in life when the couple are tied down with 2 kids, and a house to maintain, and then come a point where the crack just give way forcing open the floodgate.

Similarly, in investing, very common mistake is to lead yourself on which Warren always points out, “The easiest person to fool is often oneself.” One of the reasons why many fail to realize the way to make sustainable gain from investing is never through what I call “play by the ear” investing. It means listening to what the general public says you should invest in. Yes, in a strong bull market, even if you got a very silly and high price, a speculator will still gain as long as the crazy bull charges forward – at least on paper. Well, if the speculator does not cash out, he will not see real gain when the tide turns. Then when the tide turns, they pay a very heavy price and fail to find a balance in how they invest. And then, these people who are burnt may quit the game and a new bunch of speculators may enter the game and the cycle keeps rotating. It will be the same old ride - the only difference is with a different set of players.

Just very much like a regular gambler, they may just wager a little every week. Maybe some week they wager $50, some week they wager $100. As time goes by, some gambler gets more drawn into the game and up their stake. At first, it doesn’t really affect them or people close to them. But as time goes by, especially if the stake also follows in a similar direction, it may just blow up one day when they find themselves affixed to an addiction which may lead to the event of wagering off everything they have.

All these examples are often so real but also often, people do not pay much heed to or just shrug it off. Accidents often can be avoided if proper care are given. In many mishaps, it is usually a series of events that led up to the final blow-up. A chain of events where one misstep unfolds another misstep. But too often, all events prior to the grand blowout are covered by people who believed the next gamble would cover their last disaster - and who couldn't admit they were wrong or in a rampant state of self-delusion.
As Charlie says, “History is a bad teacher, and students are a lousy bunch of learners.” Until people pay a really heavy price, they will realize that past actions represent real consequences some time down the road, albeit a little too late to look for another clear piece of road if it comes too late.