At some point in life, we all want to lose a little weight. Losing weight (and keeping it off!) is a process. You don’t just go to bed and then wake up slim and trim. Nope. You exercise regularly. You make some changes to your diet. And over time you start to see the results.
Investing is the same way. There is no secret get-rich-quick formula. You don’t go to bed one night and wake up wealthy the next morning. There may be people who promise these things, but I have yet to see one that lasts for the long-term.
Investing is a journey
In the process of becoming investors, we learn. We get some hands-on experience. We make mistakes—and learn from them. We get more and more experience. And in this process our knowledge, our confidence, and our abilities grow. Not to mention our bank accounts. In many ways, investing is a journey filled with highs and lows, joys and sorrows. But a journey always worth taking.
The journey is the reward
This is the key: The process we go through is even more important than the end goal. Who we become in the process, as a result of all the learning, mistakes, and experience, is where the real value lies.
As the old Chinese proverb goes, “The journey is the reward.”
The journey can be hard
1985 was the year from hell. Robert and I lost pretty much everything. At one point, we even lived in our car. It was undeniably the worst year of our lives. My self-esteem was crushed. The upsets were constant. My inner voice was saying persistently negative things like, “You can’t do that,” “You’re going to fail,” “You don’t know anything,” and, “You’re hopeless.”
I would honestly go to bed some nights thinking how much easier it would be if I just never woke up. It was the lowest point of my life.
The journey is worth it
Now, looking back many years later, I realize that Robert and I were both going through our own processes. There was no pretending: it was miserable. Yet, by going through that process, hitting bottom and then pulling ourselves back up, it was probably one of the best things that could have happened for both of us.
The result of that extremely difficult time made both Robert and me stronger and smarter individually and more committed and assured as a couple. It was invaluable. That was the reward at the end of the process.
Start your journey today
I guarantee that your own journey is waiting for you today. On it, you will make mistakes—sometimes huge ones! You will be challenged. You’ll have fearful moments. There will be times when your character is tested. But if you shy away from the challenge, you won’t grow. You won’t learn. And you won’t gain anything.
Today is the day to start your journey.