Thank you for reading this Operation Melt blog update.
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My amuse bouche for you today is a light “dad joke” to entertain your mind before we get down to business. Like any other amuse bouche, you may hate it, but it is worth every penny that you paid for it, right?
My New Year’s resolution is to stop procrastinating.
But I’ll wait until tomorrow to start.
Goal Success by Choice
Do you have dreams that you are trying to make come true? Do you have a goal that you are trying to crush? Success doesn’t happen by chance. You don’t have to get lucky or win the lottery to live the life of your dreams.
You just have to choose to be successful. If you make the right daily choices, adopt good habits and behaviors, and approach life with the right mindset, you can make your dreams come true.
Goal Success by Choice helps you make the choices that will move you closer to your goals and keep you from holding yourself back.
I hope this post helps you get a little closer to crushing your goals.
Happy New Year!?
“Do not set aside your happiness. Do not wait to be happy in the future. The best time to be happy is always now.”Roy T. Bennett
Do you invest in stocks?
Investing in the stock market is a big part of my overall investment strategy. I started investing in the stock market about twenty years ago and have made some good choices and some that weren’t as good. I will start today’s post with a story about making a poor stock investment choice. Then I will explain how this investment lesson can help you make good choices that will help improve success with your goals.
As promised in Happy New Year!?, now that my birthday has come and gone, I will wrap up by sharing my New Years Intentions related to profit-taking.
Making Money in the Market… Almost
There was a company that I had thoroughly researched and believed in a few years ago. I thought this company had a promising future, and I wanted to invest in purchasing some of their stock. I bought a small number of shares of this stock at just over nine dollars per share. The stock price started increasing over time, and it started paying a fair amount of dividends.
I continued purchasing additional shares of this companies stock for several years. I invested at ten dollars per share, twelve, fifteen, twenty, thirty and more. This stock that I originally purchased for nine dollars increased to nearly fifty dollars per share. The value of my investment increased significantly, and I was thrilled with my decision.
Then, as the company faced many challenges with competition and its ability to grow, the stock price started decreasing. The share price fell to just over five dollars per share, meaning I had lost money. The value eventually increased back to the point where my investment was worth more than I had paid for it, but the stock never got back to its highest point.
This left me asking myself why I didn’t sell at the high point and make a lot more money.
Alternate Ending: Profit-Taking
The alternate ending that I wished this story had was to sell my stock at its highest point. I watched this stock’s value climb, invested more money and then watched the value fall. I could have sold at a reasonably increased price and made great money.
I should have leveraged a process called profit-taking.
Just like the phrase implies, profit-taking is when you say “this price is high enough” and sell some or all of your shares in a stock. By doing this, you can take advantage of the results of your investments instead of taking the risk of losing out on the gains you have made.
Not every stock is well-suited from continued investment without taking some profit along the way. Continuing to invest despite the gains you have made and hoping for a big future payout could easily result in never being able to profit from your investments.
In the investment world, ignoring your progress and always living for tomorrow may result in both an unhappy today and tomorrow. Sound familiar?
Self Improvement, It’s an Investment
Many of us make investments in our self-improvement every day. We pursue our goals. We read and take courses to learn new skills. We complete various personality assessments to learn more about ourselves. We diet and exercise to maintain our health. The list of self-improvement activities goes on and on, and every one of them is an investment in ourselves.
Self-improvement is a never-ending exercise. We are all in pursuit of continuous improvement. We invest in our self-improvement, achieve a new skill or accomplishment and then move on to the next goal. Maybe with a bit of celebration along the way.
In leadership, this never-ending cycle is called performance tension. When there is a high potential team member, you continually set the goals just a bit out of that person’s reach. This forces them to never be satisfied with their accomplishments and to continue working for bigger and better performance. I have strong opinions about the dangers of performance tension, but I will save that rant for a future post.
I am a committed advocate for investing in self-improvement and have been engaged in it myself for nearly thirty years. But, our continuing quest for self-improvement isn’t without risks.
Imagine investing in your self-improvement every day. Despite the goals that you achieve and all of your accomplishments, you are perpetually focused on the next step. You diligently work every day to improve your skills and capabilities for some future results.
Isn’t this the same approach I employed for my stock investment, ultimately resulting in losing out on a big return on my investment? How do we avoid this same negative result to our self-improvement investments?
It is time for some personal profit-taking!
Personal Profit-Taking, An Example
Consider somebody who has committed to investing in a fitness and weight loss journey. Every day for a year or more, the person invests in eating right, exercising, tracking and more. They watch the pounds melt away as a result of their investments.
Eventually, this person reaches their weight loss goal, but that isn’t the finish line. It is time for more investments.
The next step is that this person needs to invest in maintaining a fit life. This investment may be accompanied by a commitment to other athletic achievements and some bodybuilding. Every time a goal is achieved, often in the form of a personal record, it is time to set a new goal and continue investing. This person is never satisfied or pleased with the progress; it is never enough. There is always more that can be accomplished.
Where does it end? Where is the finish line?
What if, instead of automatically setting new goals as soon as the last goal is achieved, this person takes a different approach? What if he (or she) pauses to be content with their accomplishments? What if he (or she) decided to accept their body and be happy with their progress before setting that new goal? What if the new goal was simply an enhancement and not an effort to fix another problem (see Defect and Enhancements)?
Choosing to be happy with your accomplishments before rushing to pursue that next goal is an example of taking some profit from your self-improvement investments. If you don’t do this, what is the purpose of your investment?
Making it Real: My New Years Intentions
In Happy New Year!?, I talked about how November first is my birthday and will be the day I set my New Years’ resolutions this year. I also wrote about how a New Years’ intention is often a better approach than a resolution. After some careful thought, I have chosen my intention.
I will take profit from my past investments in self-improvement while still making intentional investments in my future.
A fair amount of this intention is about how I talk to myself and think about myself. It applies to many areas of my life, but the two most prominent would be my mind and body.
For at least the past fifteen years, I have been investing in improving my mind through a multitude of efforts. I will not stop investing, but I will take profit from my past investments by stopping one exercise. I will stop taking personality assessments and engaging in activities to figure out who I really am.
Most personality assessments say approximately the same thing in different ways. I know who I am, I like who I am, so I will accept who I am and look for ways to leverage and live in alignment with that.
Over the past five years, I have invested heavily in improving my body and health. For more than sixteen hundred days, I have spent significant time and energy getting healthy, living healthy and competing with myself. Between exercise, research, logging data and analyzing results, I would say that I average at least four hours per day focused on my health.
I have invested at least six thousand hours of effort into improving my body in less than five years. These investments have yielded significant gains, so It is definitely time to take a little profit.
It is time for me to be happy with my results and stop focusing on my remaining flaws. I am going to stand tall, be confident and spend more time accepting myself as-is. That doesn’t mean that I will stop investing, but my work will be about pushing for improvement but not correction. Maybe it is even time to build a little bit of swagger.
Of course, it is easy to say these things, but it is hard to live them. That is why this is an intention and not a resolution. I don’t know how to measure my progress yet, and I don’t have a fully-baked plan yet.
I know that I will invest energy in my profit-taking and let myself live in alignment with who I am a little more often. If I have learned anything from my past investment activity, committing my energy to something means I will stop at nothing to make it successful.
It sounds to me like it is time to practice some visualization exercises and affirmations!
Investing money in the stock market is a fantastic metaphor for our investments in personal growth and self-improvement. Some smart investments, discipline and patience can yield major gains. But, simply “letting it ride” isn’t always the best strategy. Sometimes you need to “take profit” from your investments.
Are you looking for a little help with your self-improvement investing strategy? Let me help.
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