Do you want to figure out one of the key to happiness and overcoming life’s crap?

Stop taking yourself so seriously. I’m serious.

If you’re serious about your goals and your dreams, it will serve you well to relax a little.

I’m not telling you to lose your discipline or stop pouring yourself into your life. What I am telling you is that it’s ok to have fun.

What am I talking about? Let’s start with your finances…

Stop Taking Your Finances So Seriously

Money is a great slave and a terrible master.

Is money important? Absolutely. Especially if you want to eat, clothe your family and provide a place for them to live.

Does that mean that money should stress you out and give you an ulcer? Absolutely not!

Money is a tool, sure, but it’s also a game. It’s not a slot machine, it’s more like Risk.

finances so seriously

It’s important to make wise choices, but once you make those choices, you can’t change what happens, so you might as well have fun with it.

You shouldn’t be investing money in a high-risk investment, if you can’t afford to lose that money, so I’m not talking about being stupid. We’ll save that topic for another day.

Investing should be fun. If you’re focusing on retirement, you need to be taking an appropriate amount of risk, but not so much that you’re stressed to the max. If you’re young, you’ve got a little more room for risk…again, I said risk, not stupidity.

There are plenty of investments, from index funds to individual stocks, that should fit your level of risk.

When you’re calculating an investment, you need to know everything you can about that investment, but once you do, don’t stress yourself out wondering what’s going to happen.

Any investment can fail. And you won’t change anything by worrying about it.

All of the “what ifs” about the stock market and the economy won’t do you a bit of good to worry about.
What if the economy collapsed and all your savings and investments were wiped out? Then you would figure it out, just like people have done in the past.

It requires faith, like anything else in life, but worrying is not necessary and it won’t help a thing.

How to Look At Investing

Investing is a game, but it’s not the lottery.

Just because it can be fun, doesn’t mean you should throw your money into useless, ineffective, high-risk investments.

Doing the research and learning about the investment is all part of the game.

Investments go up in value and they go down and that’s life!

Investing should be viewed as a game in the sense that you’re picking investments with anticipation that they will rise in value, though you don’t know for sure. However, investing is an endeavor that requires the utmost discipline and responsibility…that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun.

I recently had a life lesson on investing. It’s all in how you look at your situation. Here’s my story…

What Amazon Taught Me About Life

I am a fan of Amazon, so naturally I started looking into buying shares of the company.

This was back when the price of a share was around $270 over a year ago. I decided to buy.

Of course, I didn’t do as much research as I should have…until after I bought the stock.

Then I realized the price was highly inflated, yet I was watching the price go up and up and up! It was truly a stock that defied all laws of the stock market…or so I thought.

When it reached the $380-$390 mark, I decided that I just knew it would keep going up, despite the fact that it was now inflated beyond belief, and it wasn’t really worth the price. The stock may have been selling for $390/share, but Amazon wasn’t worth $390/share.

Of course, like anyone might have predicted, the price rose to over $400 and then plummeted back into the low $300s.

overcome struggles and take control of your life

I laughed. Because I knew that was going to happen, yet I went against my judgement and bought it anyway. I even called it…while my money was still investing. A true genius, I know.

Now, I still own the stock. And it will rise again…eventually. Also, since I bought most of my shares at the sub-$300 price, I didn’t end up losing money, but I did learn 3 important lessons…

  • Don’t invest what you can’t lose. I didn’t lose everything. I am still technically “up” overall, but I made a stupid mistake. However, I didn’t invest money I couldn’t lose, so even if I would have lost it all, it would have been ok.
  • Look at your mistake, laugh and learn. I knew that putting money into Amazon was a mistake, yet I let my feelings and emotions get the best of me. Nobody’s perfect! Now I look back and laugh at myself. It’s ok to laugh.
  • Play with money, responsibly. Like I said, investing is a game, but it’s a strategic game. The stock market isn’t the lottery. You aren’t gambling as if you’re at the casino. Stocks should be a calculated, researched, informed investment.

The funny thing is that I already knew all of that, but this instance helped me to really let it sink in. I guess I didn’t “know it” as well as I thought I did.

Enough of my riches to rags sob story (well, maybe it wasn’t that bad!). This isn’t just about money. This is about life…

How to Stop Taking Your Life So Seriously

Life is fun. At least, it should be.

If your entire life isn’t fun, you’re taking it too seriously. And many CEOs and high-level leaders will tell you the same.

Here’s are a couple practical applications…

  • Work and productivity. Make it a game. See how much you can accomplish. Keep score and try to beat your personal records. This is especially effective for mundane tasks that you must do. Make it fun and enjoyable by turning it all into an ongoing game.
  • Your social life. Meet new people. Make new friends. Make new connections. Challenge yourself to be free spirited and fun loving in group settings. It will attract people faster than anything else. They will want to know how you do it and how they can too.

Seriously, you need to stop taking yourself so seriously.

Taking yourself seriously doesn’t make you more effective or more influential, it makes life hard.

Other people don’t take you as seriously as you do. Trust me.

Finally, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that seriousness + busyness = success. It doesn’t.

You really need to relax. Everything is going to be just fine.

Here’s a formula for life: Passion + persistence = happiness.

If you have happiness, you have success. You don’t have to wait for whatever you’re waiting for. You can be happy right now. Today. Just do yourself a favor and stop taking yourself so seriously.

Photo Credit: Jason, Nick, Ryan