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The beginning of the year is always a good time to take personal inventory. I’m not just talking about going over one’s portfolio, net worth, and asset allocation model.
I value the importance of looking within, going over key life categories, in this order: vigor, vitality and health, solid financials, depth of family connections, quality of social relationships, accomplishment of unique experiences, improvements in nurturing a balanced personality, strength of marriage, consistency in showing an attitude of gratitude, and the implementation of wise time management.
These make up what I term Unreserved Wealth. Too many focus on a limited vision of riches, and confine their lives to the pursuit of money alone.
There is no substitute for living a full existence, on every single plain. The physical world, with all of its indulgences, such as a comfortable residence, fine clothing, time to travel and experience, a rich diet, and general health, are all but one part of our journey on this planet.
Books, the time to study world events, to have thoughtful conversations and ponder the deep questions of meaning and legacy, experiencing first-hand the different cultures around the globe and learning about the history of our planet, arousing our intellectual powers to high levels, is another facet.
Of course, life wouldn’t be complete, without living a rich life on the inside, in our own minds, feeling gratitude for the 100,800 heartbeats we enjoy every day of our lives, without our conscious intervention. Having a sense of awe and wonder about nature and its miracles and understanding that we are all together on this planet, is the key to happiness, as I see it. It’s the basis of giving and of showing love to others.
Right now, our political leaders are looking to play the blame game, thinking that all problems are derived by the “other guy.” Instead of exemplifying tolerance and understanding, they shut the possiblity of co-operation, unfortunately, undermining trust between people.
The two financial powers of the world look to strengthen their “camps,” and shape the planet, according to their views.
Courtesy: Ray Dalio’s LinkedIn
What China is doing clearly works for them. In 40 years, the real GDP per capita is up 23.5-fold. If that sort of growth happened in the U.S., each household would go from today’s $59,000 to $1,386,500 in current purchasing power.
Look at the chart above, and let it sink-in that China isn’t what the news outlets portray it to be.
If I showed you how the U.S. has fared in the past 40 years, you wouldn’t be stunned by the rapid growth, but by the racking-up of debt and by societal decline.
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Before looking at the outside world for responsible parties to aid in someone’s situation, countries would be best to do what I do at the start of each calendar year, and begin by looking within. Europe’s failing social structures should consider a revolution, before their obligations lead to self-destruction.
That being said, China needs a trade deal more than the U.S. does. Its economy MUST grow, so in this game of chicken, they stand to blink first and lose.
In a centralized economy like China’s, with 1.4 billion citizens on their hands, contracting is not an option. They must continue growing, or debt will be the end of them. Social unrest in China is known for its brutality.
Its decline is the anomaly, not its recent rise, back to global prominence.
Americans must accept that on the other side of the Pacific lurks a different sort of beast, but not necessarily an enemy.
If the two can’t cooperate, the world will suffer, but if the two can learn to co-exist, prosperity will ensue.
We can’t control the outcome of this negotiation, but we can control what we choose to do with our own time on this planet and to what should our focus and attention be devoted to.
In your individual world, full of existing circumstances, conditions and challenges, work to construct a fortress that nothing can hurt. Build your financial fortune, ensure your physical health, leverage your network of friends, broaden your views and experiences by reading and traveling, and close your mind to MEDIOCRITY.
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