I see in my Twitter bubble how much finance related topics determine many people’s lives. I don’t exempt myself from that. Many times a day, I think about the portfolio, my holdings, and numbers in general. It’s a hobby, it’s fun, and yet it’s time-consuming without having an immediate restorative impact on my state of mind. Instead, I should ask myself much more often what exactly makes a life in harmony possible and what has rather negative effects on my inner balance.
Living a life in harmony means living a life in harmony with myself
Living a life in harmony means living a life in harmony with oneself. Yes, it is a calendar saying, so bland that I am almost ashamed to write it.
Nevertheless, I have already heard far cleverer people than me saying far more banal things. Does that justify going down the same path and adding more banalities to the banal? Well, it’s the first Sunday of September, and after rainy weeks it feels that today is the first real day of summer.
I lie around lazily, drink a coffee and listen to a vinyl record that a friend gave me for my wedding. The only thing missing is a glass of whiskey (Lagavulin, of course, or the Italian Puni Single Malt, which I have recently taken a liking to). But it’s not even 2 pm, and I have my principles.
So overall, right now, everything is in harmony. And in such a moment, I write about what I want to write.
To be honest, there is some kind of truth in this saying. Harmony always starts with me. I am the closest to myself, and I am the only person I cannot escape. I carry everything that makes me and my personality around, like a backpack… the whole day.
That is why it is essential to create order in my chaos. Problems are to be solved, goals are to be set… The hedonistic motto is: to rejoice and enjoy life in as many moments as possible.
Harmony and finance related issues
But thinking about harmony is not only a matter of calendar saying. Harmony is also important when it comes to financial issues.
Why? Well, harmony may not be synonymous with antifragility, but it leads, at least, to robustness.
As you know, for me, an antifragile state is the safest haven we can have. Yet, not everything in my life can be antifragile. Even antifragility can turn into fragility, namely when the level of disturbance becomes too great as antifragility is not a one-way street.
So let’s stick with robustness and to the question why harmony fosters robustness.
In a state of harmony, we experience balance and evenness. No side or extreme has to fight against the other and that state of things brings stability, i.e., robustness.
With inner balance, it is also easier to take risks. I invest in some riskier growth stocks. If I make losses, that doesn’t bother me. They are within the bounds of my tolerance and don’t throw me off balance. I don’t question my overall strategy when I encounter minor obstacles. If this volatility were too much for me, I would invest in ETFs and could also live with it.
Inner chaos, on the other hand, won’t help to avoid the temptations of Twitter bubbles. If the balance is missing, it will be hard to separate the bullshit from the meaningful input. Imagine you are torn between the fear of risks and the greed for high profits. As long as you have not found a way for yourself, there is an increased risk of being influenced by any calls in forums and Twitter or by weird gurus and crash prophets.
Stoicism and inner harmony
Stoicism and inner harmony are closely linked. A Stoic could load all his belongings onto a boat and capsize in a storm. Afterward, the Stoic would say “At least, I have lost nothing important.”
I don’t think I would feel the same way if I lost all my assets (who would feel that way?). And yet, up to a certain threshold (beyond which one’s ego becomes fragile), it is possible to meet disturbances and obstacles with disinterest and indifference.
The threshold is different for each person. As a first step, it is essential to explore these boundaries and then examine what needs to happen to push them further in the direction of robustness. Investors should pay attention to three pillars here.
Three pillars of inner harmony and life in harmony
A friend (I call him “the Sir” for reasons) once said something very wise. The Sir said:
Apart from health, inner satisfaction (note: which is just another paraphrase of inner harmony) is based on a spiral driven by three forces: 1. success/satisfaction at work, 2. a fulfilling partnership, 3. good inspiring friendships.
And here’s where it gets weird. Because suddenly other people come into play. How are these people supposed to be connected with one’s harmony?
Perhaps it is because humans are social creatures and could not survive without primal social contact with parents.
In any case, this spiral and the forces working there are also, from my point of view, essential factors for inner harmony. Those who struggle at work will often take this part into their private lives, and those who struggle in private carry this package around in their job.
It always starts with oneself
From my point of view, the Sir has mentioned the exact three essential pillars for inner harmony as we always will lack inner balance when problems in our job, partnership or friendship weigh on us.
But these elements (balance at work, partnership and friendships) don’t grow as low-hanging fruits on the three of happiness. It all starts with us. Accordingly, it is we who direct the fortunes of these areas.
If I have my resignation letter in the drawer and enough human capital in my books, I can sleep quite relaxed and be a support for friends and family.
Those who have enough self-love not to be dragged into the abyss by toxic relationships will also have enough peace and stability in their professional sphere.
So the journey always begins with a look in the mirror and with the reflection of one’s own state of being.
What a banal finding. And yet so important.