Life is full of choices. The choices we make are driven by our desires, but quite often, those desires are contradictory. I want to lose weight, but I also want to eat delicious food. I want to go out for drinks, but I also want to save money and invest it for the future. Unfortunately, we can’t have it all.
It can be especially frustrating when those contradicting desires escalate to actual needs. For instance, needing time away from work to care for your child, but still needing to work to support your family.
As investors, we often find ourselves with competing interests of the long term rewards of buy and hold investing, and instant gratification. Living a completely frugal and spartan life style can take its toll on your mind or those around you.
As you might have expected, my answer is found in games. Games force us to make these choices all the time. Do I risk my safety to get that mushroom? Do I sacrifice my toughness so my Wizard can deal more damage? The magic word is “Balance.”
There’s a saying “Everything in moderation.” To live in any extreme has consequences, so we must always try to reach a balance between our desires.
There is no golden ratio in your life either. Balance is a moving target, and you must constantly re-evaluate. While a 50% savings rate might make sense this month, next month it might only be reasonable to save 20% of your income.
This concept can be difficult because it takes self control. That self control can be difficult to maintain when you look around at others and it seems like they “have it all.”
There’s always going to be that guy or girl that seems like life was handed to them on a silver platter. Money, looks, and time seem to be abundant for them. However, the truth is that you’re just not seeing the sacrifices, or the things that come hard to them. Maybe, they don’t have any meaningful relationships. Maybe they struggle to achieve anything new because they’ve never learned how to persevere through the struggle.
You can’t have it all. There’s always going to be something you need to sacrifice to satisfy one of your desires. This is true for you, and it’s true for them as well.
Besides, other people’s priorities and situations don’t match yours. It’s entirely possible that they’re jealous of you for when you prioritized something they sacrificed. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is who you were yesterday.
Seek balance, and never stop improving yourself. But don’t forget to have fun every once in a while!