The importance of looking at the bigger picture (#054)

Macro view >>> Micro view

Day events:

  • Tried out a new "productivity" system today and it kinda worked. I'm still pushing off the things I don't want to do, but I was productive today (victory !).
  • Cooked some vegetables (I actually enjoy cooking vegetables haha, my small contribution to the HS household).
  • Started playing more with the idea of becoming some type of personal coach (I'm going to use personal for now since I don't know exactly what I want to specialize in).
  • I had a really good gym session (found this good rap gym playlist, that shit got me pumpeeeeed).
  • Miscommunication incident again with Mini Ms JB (will eventually find a better name, also glad we were able to clear things up quickly. Lesson noted though !)
  • Garbage badminton session (I played for an hour or so and was trash the whole time).
  • Nice little convo with Mr. SpaceX (got to learn about him, which was cool - nice dude for sure).

Thought of the day:

One of the first things you learn when investment money for the long term (in something like index funds) is that you should always look at the macro situation, not the micro situation (or long-term vs short-term).

If every day, you look at the performance of your index fund, you'll go nuts. Indeed, there are so many ups and downs constantly happening in the market that if you worry every time it goes down or excited whenever it goes up, you'll probably have an anxiety attack or something.

This doesn't even only apply to every day. You shouldn't even look at it every day, every month or even every year.

Shit always happen in the market and it's only when you take a macro view of the situation, when you zoom out over 10, 20, 30, 50 years that you can truly evaluate the performance of your index funds. If you get an average return of ~10% over 50 years, then you're good. That's all you have to know.

Just monitor that the fund is generally going in the upwards rather than downwards direction.

Although this is something that has been automatically drilled in my head when it comes to investments, it's something I often forget in other areas in my life.

For instance, badminton.

As I said in my "day events" section, today was a bad day for me at badminton. I remember finishing my session with a loss in team singles where I performed rather poorly (especially because the team was depending on me) and just feeling mad at myself. My head was just not in the game today. Most likely it was exhaustion from the gym + lack of sleep and it just messed with how I felt on court.

I was hard on myself because although I'm not the best badminton player physically or technically, I pride myself in having good mental strength and general attitude, but not today. The worst was that yesterday had also been a bad badminton session for me.

It's been two days in a row and I was only focused on the micro. So my internal dialogue was like "what the fuck Nich, why can't you concentrate, you fucking suck, you gotta go harder next time, no messing around tomorrow, etc." Basically, I was mentally beating myself up. It's good for me to have a killer mentality when it comes from a place of love, but not when it comes from a place of hate and negativity.

And this time, I was lucky enough to catch myself because I had a thought along the lines of "you've been playing so well lately and now, you play like total shit", but as soon I said that, I was like wait a minute. "You've been playing so well lately." Huh, I told myself. I have been improving in the past month or so.

I proceeded to take a macro view of the situation and the way I now saw it was that out of ~12 badminton sessions (or more), I only had 2 of them that were bad. Sure, they happened to be back to back, but who says that tomorrow's session isn't going to be a good one?

When I started to take a step back and view more the situation as a whole instead of these 2 particularly bad sessions, I was able notice that I was generally playing well and that I was indeed progressing. And that's really all I should be worried about.

So yeah, this was only one area of my life, but I'm pretty sure I can apply that to almost everything.

I think as people, we tend to put a lot more emphasis on the negative rather than the positive. If we constantly zoom in on these rare negative occurrences and make them bigger than they seem, we might feel overwhelmed or whatever. That's why I think it's important to take a step back and really get a good view of the bigger picture.

Note: I think it's important to specify that, in general, I think it's impossible to always have positive days. There will always be ups and downs regardless of what you do. This means that: It's important to not beat ourselves up too much during the downs, but our goal is also to learn from those downs and see what we can improve so that the next down will be less intense or non-existent.

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