Thirty Six Investing Lessons from Thirty Six Years of My Life by Vishal Khandelwal, Safal Niveshak

I completed 36 years in my present state of existence yesterday (7th December). That’s 13,150 days, or around 55% of the average life expectancy of an Indian male.

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Thirty Six Investing Lessons from Thirty Six Years of My Life

I. Life

1. The present moment is all we have to create our life, and we have to prioritize things we want to do NOW. Regretting about the past is like wasting time and energy on the impossible. And worrying about the future is like having no belief in your capabilities. The best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. Just focus on what you’re doing, right at this moment. In this way, any activity can be meditation.

As the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote in his 2,000-year-old treatise On the Shortness of Life

The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.

2. People would occupy a large part of your life, so choose those you want to spend your time with very-very carefully. Of course, you can’t always control who walks into your life but, you can control which window you throw them out of.

If someone is a drag on me, I cut them out. If someone lifts me up, I bring them closer. My family comes first for me, then friends, and then other people I love – I always try to be there for them and help. But I don’t get close to anyone bringing me down (I’ve stopped doing that!). Life, after all, is too short to spend owing someone an explanation.

You are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with. So choose those people well.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. In fact, I have learnt the most from my mistakes – be it my relationships, work, or investing. Now I am not afraid to make mistakes. Of course, I try not to repeat the same mistakes too often. As I’ve realized by paying an expensive price, it’s very important to learn from others’ mistakes (reading helps here) than trying to make all on your own.

4. Accept who you are (unless you’re a serial killer), with all your shortcomings, fears, and doubts. Enjoy being you, and you will never be unhappy and lonely. There’s no point tying to fit into what others would think of you. No one has that time!

5. Accept others as they are (unless they’re serial killers), with all their side-effects. I’ve learned that it’s extremely difficult to change people (try changing your kids!). However, it’s easy to inspire people to change, from bad to good. I try to do that each day, and that seems to be working.

6. Accept that you will be wrong, often. Nothing hurts more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong. Appreciate such moments, and move on. You lose nothing by losing an argument. In fact, you save a lot of time.

7. Failures are the stepping stones to success.

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8. Patience is truly a virtue. Of course, patience is something you admire in the driver behind you, but not in one ahead. But be painfully patient and you’ll often be rewarded. Being a parent has helped me a lot in building patience. Sitting quietly for some time daily, observing nothing but my breath has also helped. Try it out. It works. And then, patience works.

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Thirty Six Investing Lessons from Thirty Six Years of My Life