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Week 20: How to win in life

By Sam Instone - May 20, 2021

I’ve just enjoyed a week away with my family.

But if you’re anything like me, you find it hard to completely switch off.

As busy executives, we're all working hard to create a better life.

And winning in the markets can help fund the creation of those memories and experiences with your loved ones that make life so great..

Here’s what I’ve read this week to help you do just that, and more.

I touched on my love of cycling last week.

It also gives me time to listen to a lot of podcasts. This week I listened to the author of Richer, Wiser, Happier.

The book shares the wisdom of some of the world’s greatest investors – their common traits, characteristics, sacrifices and successes.

The author, William Green, also discusses how differently wired and strange many of these legends are; yet remain true to themselves.

It begs the question: are you living your most authentic life?

Many people have multiple areas of life they want to improve.

However, making a permanent change is hard.

This James Clear article helps you master your habits in three ways:

1. Make a specific plan;
2. Focus on one thing at a time; and
3. Practice more

Do you care about what other people think?

I loved this piece by Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal.

He talks about taking his work seriously but not taking himself seriously.

He’s not afraid of other people’s ridicule nor does he live for their approval.

Coming back to the world’s greatest investors, many people thought they were strange.

But, that’s likely because they went against the norm, didn’t care about what others thought and remained authentically themselves.

Jason also reveals the message behind a beautiful print by the great Japanese artist Kuniyoshi.

The image is one of a series of 16 by Kuniyoshi (1798-1861), known as “Sixteen Wonderful Considerations of Profit, which are Hereby Wondrously Transmitted."

These images are a satire on books about how to get rich quick, popular in Japan from the 1600s. It’s a super read!

To get rich, three things always need to be on your mind: earn, save, invest.

Darius Foroux makes a poignant point:

I believe that a person can only earn more by learning more. The more we learn, the more value we can provide to other people and organizations. And that’s how we earn more.

Are you making the progress you want in life?

Is the classic trope of working hard until 65 and retiring to a life of leisure, an outdated way to think about retirement?

Would you be happier working through your retirement years, feeling like you have a purpose? Or would you prefer to have a complete break and live each day as it comes?

There’s no right or wrong way.

Only your way.

There was an interesting discussion on a recent episode of the Standard Deviations podcast which is well worth a listen for those pondering their retirements.

Lastly, I want to share this Morgan Housel piece on playing your own game.

Different sports have different objectives requiring different skills.

No one criticises marathon runners for doing things completely differently from powerlifters, despite both being athletes.

But when people use the common label “investors,” that same logic breaks down.

If you view investing as a single game, then you think every deviation from that game’s rules, strategies, or skills is wrong.

But what you want might not be what I want.

What’s fun to you might be miserable to me.

We’re different people who want different things, so the investing skills we need would be completely different.

A question for you:

If you keep doing the same thing for the next five years, will you end up with more of what you want, or less of what you want?


This week's meditations

"Focus turns good performers into great performers."
- Unknown

"The teacher learns more than the student.
 The author learns more than the reader.
 The speaker learns more than the attendee.
 The way to learn is by doing."

James Clear

If you liked this post, please share it using the social buttons at the top, or just forward them this blog.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the ‘light’ reading! 


The Five Good Questions Podcast episode 'William Green - Richer, Wiser, Happier'

James Clear's 'The Scientific Argument for Mastering One Thing at a Time'

Jason Zweig's weekly newsletter 'The Intelligent Investor'

Darius Foroux's 'Earn, Save, Invest: 3 Rich Habits for Life'

Standard Deviations podcast episode 'Jamie Hopkins - How to Think About Retiring'

Morgan Housel's 'Play Your Own Game'

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