Nobody is unhappier than the perpetual reactor. His center of emotional gravity is not rooted within himself, where it belongs, but in the world outside him. His temperature is always being raised or lowered by the social climate around him, and he is a mere creature at the mercy of these elements.
Praise gives him a feeling of euphoria, which is false, because it does not last and it does not come from self–approval. Criticism depresses him more than it should, because it confirms his own secretly shaken opinion of himself. Snubs hurt him, and the merest suspicion of unpopularity in any quarter rouses him to bitterness.
Serenity cannot be achieved until we become the masters of our own actions and attitudes. To let another determine whether we shall be rude or gracious, elated or depressed, is to relinquish control over our own personalities, which is ultimately all we possess.
The only true possession is self-possession.
Author – Unknown
We must acknowledge that markets are an external situation, one in which we have no control over. Investors who choose to react to markets are giving up control. Successful investors “act” towards markets by developing a game plan, a target allocation designed around their tolerance for risk and financial goals, and they refuse to let short-term events interrupt long-term success.
Napoleon’s definition of a military genius was “the man who can do the average thing when everyone else around him is losing his mind.”
— Morgan Housel
There has never been a shortage of events to create concern and uncertainty over future returns in global financial markets. The irony lies in the fact that these uncertainties are the very reason investors can expect to earn the higher returns stocks offer over time. Volatility and risk are the fee that investors must pay to earn the returns stock markets provide in time.
Act Towards Markets
Part of pursuing a better investment experience begins with focusing on what you can control and acknowledging what you can’t. If the recent volatility continues over the coming weeks, months, or years; it is important to remind ourselves of that simple question: Do I act or react? If we want to stand out from the crowd, we just may want to realize that most of the crowd around us is reacting to the world around them. Achieving serenity as an investor indeed requires us to master our emotions and actions. Remember, the only true possession is self-possession.
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