Why hello there. Sorry for the absence. I’ve been gone on the annual surfing trip I take every year. Except I wasn’t as productive as last year, as evidenced by the posts I continued pumping out whilst on last year’s trip on: 1) Photography 2) Blogging Tips 3) Why Fools Play the Lottery (ironically, we bought a lottery ticket on this year’s trip so we must be fools) 4) Thoughts on Working Location Independent and 5) Efficient Markets. What did I produce on this years trip? Apparently only surfing and eating a lot of fish tacos. I did come away with a few thoughts though (sorry but I’m about to go a little meta on you guys).
It’s strange to think that I’ve never really played team sports. I mean I did when I was signed up for the little leagues as a child and as part of physical education in high school, but I never went out of my way to play them. It’s not that I’m not good at sports – in fact I am actually quite good at them, being able to pick them up at ease whenever I’m in a situation to play. I just never liked the team aspect of most of them.
I’ve always been obsessed with boards. I would ride my skateboard from dusk til dawn in high school. I was obsessed with snowboarding coming out of high school and into college. And I found my true sports love in surfing sometime in mid-college, which endures to this day. I’ve discarded skateboarding and to an extent snowboarding, but surfing will be with me forever.
It’s probably due to something in my brain wiring that I chose to pursue these rather individualistic sporting endeavours over the typical team sports. I’m sure there are advantages and disadvantages to this psychological quirk. Being a fiercely independent person, I’m not too surprised that I ended up riding boards. No one but yourself to motivate and push you.
And in a way, it relates back to my obsessive interest in investing. It’s also an endeavour that does not require teamwork for success. You learn, motivate, and push yourself from within. You don’t need others directly to succeed. And I like it just like that.
Another theme that really resonated with me on this year’s trip was time. I’ve been coming to this spot every year to surf for a decade now. A lot has happened within that decade. But it also felt so… short. While staring off into the ocean’s horizon while riding up and down the swells, I was struck by how limited time really is.
I thought to myself that if I’ve come here 10 times in 10 years, it means I realistically only have 3 cycles left – 3 decades and 30 more trips realistically for surfing. When you look back to see the first cycle has complete, and with only 3 left, it leaves you with a sense of awe at how fast time moves and how little is left.
When I first started learning about investing years ago, I naively thought that saving as much money as possible to compound at the highest rate possible was the goal. Thank god I only considered that idea in theory and never actually implemented it in practice. While most people can relate to financial independence, achieving it at all costs really isn’t the goal.
Take this surfing trip for example. If I wanted to save at the highest rate possible, I wouldn’t have taken this trip (or any other trips throughout the years). I spent money to travel to the location, have a warm place to stay at night, eat endless fish tacos, and go out for merriment all with a good friend. I don’t mean to get all “enjoy the journey” sentiment, but there is a lot of wisdom in it. I guess I just don’t see the point in being a miser to achieve a goal, discarding all that time in between.
I don’t really know where I was going with all this rambling. These were the thoughts that were swirling around in my head as I settle back into city life. I warned you that this was going to be a
little lotta meta.
This quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald has been on my mind a lot lately, and I think it makes this whole concept of investing, saving, time, life, and financial goals a lot clearer:
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.