The good news is that you "get to" decide
One of my favorite perspectives gained from the recent trying times, is thinking about the things that we still "get to" do.
To me, this means that we, hopefully, still "get to" spend time with our kids or grandkids, we "get to" go to the fully stocked grocery store, we "get to" talk with our friends and family, and the list goes on if you think about it.
Gratitude is an emotional superpower
COVID has made this realization crystal clear. We won't always "get to" do the things we may have taken for granted in the past. So why not start acknowledging them now to appreciate them more fully?
Below is a sketch illustrating the variability of days in the stock market vs. the decades, from Carl Richards.
This point isn't just about life, but investing too.
Looking over the past year, were you able to consciously choose where you apply your focus?
Do you remember a calm confidence that we would endure, or the tragedies and panics of the day-to-day?
I didn’t mean to say this was going to be easy!
As humans, we tend to take the recent past and project it indefinitely into the future. It’s called the recency bias, and our brains do it subconsciously.
But is imagining another year like 2020 for the rest of your life realistic? I certainly hope you don't think so!
It's not just in bad times either.
We saw the mania in Gamestop and other stocks recently
People were projecting recent gains thinking it would continue indefinitely.
Fortunately, if we think about it, we know that the bad things don't go on forever, and unfortunately, good things don't either. This is the thoughtful truth.
A good approach is to choose what you will focus on and extend your definition of the recent past.
This is especially important when it's been a painful day or week in the stock market, or worse, your life.
What about instead of talking about the last week and what will happen next week, we talk about the last decade and start thinking about the next one?
How might this perspective change our outlook?
I'll let you form your own conclusions.
Thanks for taking a look!