I felt an intuitive nudge to check a retirement account recently.
I had written off this account because minus an initial modest investment I had not touched it for the past 15 years.
Factor in my globe-trotting lifestyle, the account having changed financial institutions multiple times during the time frame and possible communication barriers with my former employer and I assumed that even if I could get in proper touch with the employer, identify the current financial company and access the account that the number would be insignificant.
After trusting my gut and following a few practical steps I found out that the account total had increased 6 fold during the prior 15 years.
This is a clear example of how not doing anything is the answer sometimes.
I gave this money no thought over the prior 15 years. I did not obsess over it. I certainly did not change financial institutions for a better return. Nor did I try to change allocations to increase my balance.
Heck; I forgot completely about the account until the other day.
A few phone calls and verifications later I observed the collective powers of being patient, compound returns and NOT meddling by not doing anything.
Do You Need to NOT Do Anything More Often?
Mind is your life.
The world is your mind being reflected back to you, a play acted out to mirror your belief system.
Sometimes, the intuition guides you to take practical action to meet some end.
Other times, the intuition guides you to pull back from taking practical action, to trust in the process and to allow things to unfold for the greater good of all.
If hard work alone brought fortunes then billions of millionaires would dot planet earth.
If smart work alone brought fortunes, the number of millionaires on earth would triple or even quadruple because a fair chunk of people work from a high level of intelligence.
What do billionaires seem to know?
Almost all of them exhibit a seemingly supernatural level of patience.
Most of them understand how not doing anything with various aspects of their business and allowing the power of patience to bring astounding compounding returns is the way to go.
Facebook and Not Doing Anything
Mark Zuckerberg worked tirelessly on various aspects of Facebook.
But he decided not to do anything for a long time in terms of seeking major league funding via an army of angel investors after his site became a hot commodity.
He showed an astoundingly patient, bold move in allowing his subscriber base to become ridiculously massive before scaling more aggressively through other channels.
This is one clear reason why the guy is one of the wealthiest people on earth and why almost 3 billion people have signed up for his website. He knew when to be super patient and not do anything about securing capital when almost all founders trip over themselves to rattle their tin cup before they have anything worthy to pitch.
Most people believe that action brings success.
The happiest people on earth know that success comes from your mind.
Most people believe that working hard brings fortunes.
The wealthiest people on earth know that being truly helpful and allowing organic scaling to patiently to grow business – sometimes not doing anything along more traditional routes – is the way to expand into something spectacular.
Tesla and Not Doing Anything
Tesla sports a $0 advertising budget.
A fine-tuned product, word of mouth marketing and free social media marketing campaigns helped build a $500 billion company.
Of course Elon and his crew worked to succeed; he did quite a bit.
But he also knew when to NOT do anything via paid advertising by allowing patience, organic growth and clever social media marketing to mushroom his empire into titanic Tesla.
Sometimes, it's better to forget how the world teaches you to do things, to be patient and to allow the fruits of your initial investment and father time to work their collective magic.
Not doing anything may be the answer sometimes.
Good points, Ryan. I got a chance to talk to an individual who had worked behind the scenes at one of the primary trading floors in Chicago at one point, and he said day traders rarely last long. They get overconfident and are so focused on going after the latest hot thing that they make big mistakes, leading to worse returns than if they had just done nothing. Warren Buffett said you must only make a few good decisions to succeed. As you said, sometimes it's better to do nothing than to fix what isn't broken.
Super insights here Don. I did some trading on the side years ago; being in it for the long haul brought some profits for me while I always lost money when in and out too quickly.