A few days back one subscriber asked – “If you say nobody can predict what the stock markets will do in the short term, then how you are so sure about the future of stock “__X__X_”.

It’s a valid question, why should anyone recommend a stock?

In fact, if the markets work on equilibrium and for every buyer there exists a seller, then are all investors not fighting foolishly in a game of chance? Why does anyone recommend, buy or sell a stock or for that matter . . . expect anything?

The answer lies in human drive. Drive to succeed; to be right; and to be better than the other.

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5 Rules on how Spiritual Growth can make you a better Investor

Rule 1: Your time will not be the Same, It will Change

Change is the only constant thing in this world. Every person on this planet will go through cycles of good times and bad times. Money, pleasure and comforts may be abundant in your good time but sure enough you will find yourself troubled by the world. If not today then soon enough. If you are feeling blessed today, start putting some money aside, you will need it later. Start doing well for someone other than yourself, at least a little, you will need those blessings later. Help someone in need, commit to a good cause. In doing so, you will see that time is not same for everyone. You will be grateful for how lucky you are and you will stay connected with a reality we always want to run away from – Pain.

Rule 2: Surrender to the divine – Really. . . you know very little!

500 years ago we were sure that the earth was flat; today we are sure that it is in fact elliptical.

You know what the truth is? Or so I believe.

We are yet to understand an atom – the basic building block of anything; we have no clue about how we ended up on this planet or where we will go after we die. We know neither the origin, nor the end, we started somewhere in between and so will we end . . . somewhere in between.

We have sent rockets to mars and moon. Yet we don’t know how these planets came about, how many such planets exist? and where does the universe end? What’s beyond where it ends? Who are we to predict how stocks will behave, something which depends on the thinking of many others like us – ‘All Unsure’.

Indeed, we try.

Rule 3: Spiritualism does not mean renunciation of the world.

Spiritual growth should not be used to undermine the importance of materialism. Money is one of the most important things in today’s world. This is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Unless you are aiming to be a saint and spend the rest of your life in an ashram, you will need money more than anything else.

We are people of desires and passion. We also have duties – duty towards our family, society, and to an extent even to ourselves. These duties and desires must be realized in an organized system – we call it ‘Society’. If you go back to why humans started the use of money (read here), you will recognize that money creates a system. If not organized by this  system, human behavior will surely cause anarchy.

Spiritual growth will not directly help you make money, nor will it protect you from loss of material wealth. Those things are in the realm of conducting business. What spirituality will do is teach you how to deal with losses and profits alike. It will make you aware of the false nature of material wealth.

Problem with most of us is that we often think of this awareness much after we begin to suffer. Those doing well today may find these principles ridiculous, those who are not, may find them valuable. For those on the path of spiritual growth these principles exist in everything they do.

Rule 4: You can never attain 100% success, but keep trying

When you make a decision or rely on somebody else’s, you base that very decision (of reliance) on the likelihood of being right. It is this principle of reliance which gives rise to our need to predict things. This could be for our own good or for the good of another. When one is more right than others about something, people leave decisions in that sphere of things to such a one who is mostly right. Sure enough everyone makes mistakes. One may be right more often than wrong, but this will never be absolute.

Equally wrong will be the ones who rely on such a person. In the latter case, they may also feel cheated about their reliance.

Think about it, would you want to be always right?

Think for a moment that one became so sure of things that he would always be right. How long would it take before such a person loses the joy of doing things? Equally enough, what joy will they derive who follow such a person?

In any event, this is unlikely to happen for anyone since we are all trying to outbeat the other; be better than the other. Therein lays the source of all energy produced in the world.

Many find this confusing. If ‘practice makes a man perfect’ and ‘nobody is perfect’ then why practice?

Think of perfection as achieving a state ‘zero’ and yourself as a ‘number’. No matter how many times you divide yourself, you will never achieve zero. Sure enough you will keep getting close to it.

Just for 1 month, live by this principle and life will be beautiful – “The day you are 100% right in whatever you do, you will attain Moksha (or whatever else you wish for yourself).”

Rule 5: Be a Karma Yogi – believe in the discipline of action. Try to achieve perfection in action.

What is ‘Discipline of action’? – Work towards one or many plans, succeed or fail in them but keep doing things. Don’t sit on your plans.

Nobody ever gets tired of working hard; most people get tired because they have nothing to do. Stay so busy with work during the day that you sleep like a log at night. Fill your mind and body with good things. Be free from greed and anger. Be social and express yourself. When speaking the truth, speak the truth, speak without fear. Be loveable when meeting people but be free from lust.

दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः। वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते

He whose mind is not troubled by sorrow, who does not rejoice upon achieving something pleasant, who is free from attachment, fear and hatred, is a sage of steady wisdom.

The path to becoming a karma yogi is not easy but any efforts in this regard will make you a better person.