Fall In Love With The Work, Not The Identity
May 3, 2021
I have a friend who is an expert at tracking the equity markets and investing in stocks. He has made many investments that have gone on to become blockbusters earning him great returns.
My friend’s passion for investing is infectious. Whenever I would meet him, he would excitedly tell me about all the investments he was making. I would then get all excited and immediately invest some of my money on stocks he was backing.
What is the situation today? My friend has multiplied his investments many times over in the last two and half decades, while I have had no such luck. I have made money on some, lost money on others. In the main, I have remained stagnant.
Tracking this experience, I have learned a valuable life lesson.
My friend was a serious and disciplined investor, tracking the markets daily, investing time to study the economic trends, industry performances, and making informed choices. In contrast, I was just a wannabe investor, trying to play my luck and make some returns.
I was in love with the idea of being a smart stock investor(like my friend) instead of being in love with investing.
You Fall In Love With The Identity
I am sure my experience is not unique. This happens to us a lot of times. We want the Identity of being someone without having to do what is required to become that someone.
When the experts do something, it looks cool and easy. But, when you try doing the same thing, it’s less fun. The activity is forced, error-prone, and full of mistakes.
You realize that there is a world of difference between actually enjoying something and enjoying the idea of something.
- On your social feeds, you see a friend doing some tremendous social work. You get inspired and want to become a social worker.
- You attend a fantastic musical concert, and you develop a deep desire to learn music and become a musician.
- A friend of yours has recently published a book , and you suddenly have this desire to start a blog and express your latent ideas.
In all the scenarios, you fall in love with the idea of being a social worker or a musician, or a writer, without understanding the implications of time, effort, and commitment required to become one. You fall in love with the idea of looking accomplished and being admired without necessarily being in love with actually helping others or learning music or writing.
Fall In Love With The Work
There is a flip side to this idea. What is it in your life that you are doing, not because you love doing it but because you love the idea of how it makes you appear to others?
You hate the job you are doing, but you stick with it because you don’t want to tamper with the identity and image of being a successful corporate executive. Whenever you get stuck into doing something just for the appearance, it will lead to an internal dissonance, and you will feel dissatisfied.
If I were truly in love with the art of investing like my friend, I would undoubtedly have multiplied my wealth. That was not to be. But, thankfully, letting go of the pretense has liberated me. I am no longer putting myself under pressure trying to multiply my wealth through investments, because that is not my area of interest or capability. I have other interests. Therefore, I am happy being who I am, doing what I love doing, and being the person I want to be.