In It For The Long Run - Issue #3

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Sunletter from Ondřej Bárta
In It For The Long Run - Issue #3
By Ondřej Bárta • Issue #3 • View online
Life is a series of long-term investments. Everything you do today inevitably impacts tomorrow. It’s a one-way street where turning around isn’t an option. What is an option is looking ahead and choosing your path forward. Will you choose the paved but long road along the mountain’s edge or will you climb the mountain to get to the other side? It’s only up to you.

I had many topics on my mind for the past week. And after wondering which one should I write about, I realized there’s a common root in them all. That is the concept of long-term investment. It boils down to so many aspects of life.
Many of the most significant investments are small but continuous ones. Let’s say I want to write a book. I could take a couple of months off at work and try to write it entirely, but a much less risky approach might be to take a couple of hours a week and regularly move toward the target. If you enjoy the process, there’s a likelihood you’ll even overachieve what you set for yourself. Showing up at the gym once a week might not be as effective as going every day, but it beats not going at all.
I’m always inspired by thinking of my friends who’ve achieved amazing things by showing up every day and doing the work. Like this initiative of a friend of mine, 366letter. He set himself to find time to draw one letter a day and post it on his Instagram for one full year. Each of the letters is original, and together they make a unique collage that reads a paragraph from a book.
Needless to say, I have my appreciation for streak systems. I have several on my own. And services like Duolingo have them as an integral part of their product. You set a goal for yourself to learn French daily, then follow it. The app facilitates your effort and helps you through your journey. But at the end of the day, you don’t need it. An inner motivation will beat any external one eventually.
To hammer down this idea of a continuous investment on another example, I often use the one of investing $100 into Bitcoin for a couple of years. If you invested like this for the last 3 years, you’d have 8 investments that lost you money. But you’d end up with 28 that eventually turned into profit. That’d give you roughly 327% of profit (feel free to check my math). You might be able to have higher gains if you invested it right away, but that’s not always possible. For one, with time, it’s impossible to invest more than what you have, which is the present moment.
Another popular idea is diversifying your investment portfolio. By investing smaller resources in many directions, you protect yourself from losing all of the invested resources. You gain some; you lose some. It’s a recommendation given to almost all new investors, and it’s a good one at that.
People tend to notice the yield and not the investment. The focus is on the results, but very few see the investment of time and effort at moments when everything is uncertain. The reality is that you’re now (and at every time) at the uncertain moment where you get to decide in what you want to invest. The results might not give you benefits right away, but chances are that they will eventually. All you have to do is keep investing in what you feel is worth it. In what you enjoy and what makes sense to you. You’re in life for the long run, so your investments should reflect that.
Have a wonderful Sunday!
PS: This past week has been uniquely challenging for me. My motivation levels were low, and I “invested” a lot of time into leisure. Life goes up and down. For as long as it’s trending upwards, you’re doing fine!
PSS: Currently, one of my investments is regularly drawing small pictures. Eventually, I want to add them into a composition of sorts and create a tattoo out of it. When seeing if I could add little rocks to it as decorations, I wanted to see how it’d look around a central light. Here’s this little picture:
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Ondřej Bárta

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