The wisdom of what not to do
The famous investor Charlie Munger once said, “A lot of success in life and business comes from knowing what you want to avoid: early death, a bad marriage, etc.” I think this quote, much like an elevator operator, speaks to me on many different levels. 😀
Often deciding what not to do is just as important as deciding what to do. If investing in profitable companies such as Cineplex, and Mondelez is how I’m generating profits each year, then not buying lousy investments is how I’m able to hold onto my gains. A strong combination of financial offense and defense is the best recipe. 🙂 A few years ago a marketer I met at a real estate seminar suggested I should invest in distressed houses in Detroit. His pitch was interesting, but I ultimately refused the offer because it was outside of my comfort level. 😐 I’ve saved a lot of money by knowing to simply not partake in something I don’t understand.
Too many teenagers in the world are still picking up the costly habit of smoking. Buying a pack of cigarettes every day can cost more than $5,000 a year. There’s also the immense cost to one’s health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, smoking costs the United States $300 billion a year in medical care and lost productivity.
Too many high school graduates rush off into college without considering all their options. Sometimes it’s better to postpone university. It’s okay to not do what all our friends are doing. Sometimes we need to take some time off to discover what we really want to do with our lives.
Too many people rush into marriage without really thinking it through. This leads to a higher chance of separation later on. 🙁 If the goal is to end up in a happy, stable relationship then being single is miles ahead of being in an unhappy marriage. Single people are already free to meet others and develop compatible, long lasting relationships. But incompatible couples who are in dysfunctional marriages have to first divorce and reconcile any baggage they may have before they’re finally ready to date again.
In 2006, Yahoo offered $1 billion to buy Facebook. Many of Facebook executives and investors liked the deal and wanted to sell the company. But the 22 year old founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, decided to not sell his company. In the following year, Microsoft offered them another deal that valued Facebook at $15 billion! Once again, the deal was rejected. Apparently that was the correct decision for Facebook because it went on to become a publicly traded company and is worth $264 billion today!
Peer pressure and social norms can be very persuasive. Sometimes that can be helpful, but we have to know where to draw the line and not be a pushover. Whether it’s financial, career, or relationship related, we can save ourselves a lot of trouble simply by knowing what not to do. 🙂
Random Useless Fact:
The baguette is considered to be a symbol of French culture.