How to Lose and Still Win Everytime
[ Extracted and edited from D2Y2 Magazine – Volume 3 Issue 12, May 2001 ]
How many lessons of life can one learn from his experience in the share market? These may be a few.
1. Greed doesn’t pay!
It feels great to be able to gain so much in so little time. Everybody is working hard for their money but we seem to be able to make money work for us and with such speed at that.
However, in a merciless system, it is equally (if not more) painful to lose hard earned money (especially if it was really hard earned) in as quick a time. It’s true what they say, “Easy come, easy go” or “The higher you go, the harder the fall”, but this is not the problem and neither is investing in shares, per se.
Some will lose and others will gain. Most of the time however, it is not the losing that causes the most pain but the way in which that loss was suffered. Lost by the way of greed is one hard lesson to swallow. It creeps in so subtly and before you know it, it burns you on both ends, and leaving you with practically nothing.
You don’t have to go faster than fast.
So how does one keep away from the lair of greed?
One way is to avoid spending what you don’t have on what you can’t afford ie. don’t gamble your baby’s milk money or education fund.
Another, you don’t have to go faster than fast. If you are already going on a speed that’s faster than what you’re normally used to but it is still within the comfort (safe) zone then keep to it. Don’t be tempted to go faster than that and over commit yourself.
If you do, you’ll start worrying more than usual and life will surround itself around the share market. When it’s up, you’ll be up. When it’s down, you’ll be down. You won’t even have a life.
More than that, you stand to lose everything when things go against you (and they usually do). Take the Titanic for instance. They pushed that ship to the limits although they were already cruising faster than any other ships of their time.
We need to learn that godliness with contentment is great gain.
2. Asking God helps!
It is not wise to rush into anything no matter what people tell you or how good the promises presented to you seem to be. Psalm 40: 1 teaches us the benefits of waiting patiently on God.
There are very few examples in the Bible of anyone ever benefiting from rushing into things, but there are loads of sad stories for those who went ahead without inquiring of the Lord.
3. Be diligent and watchful!
It is good for you to make a thorough research or study about the promises presented to you before you commit to anything. Joshua learnt from his mentor, Moses, and sent out spies to survey the land even when God had already promised to give him whatever the sole of his feet treaded on. Jesus taught us to watch (and pray) and to count the cost.
4. Know your calling!
It is important to remember where and what God has called you to. If it wasn’t to make the big bucks, then stay out of the big deals. The general rule is that you won’t do well in whatever you were NOT called to do.
It is better for you to concentrate on what you’re good at and work hard and smart at it to succeed. David wasn’t comfortable in King Saul’s armour. He told him that he could not use it to fight Goliath as he had not tested it yet. Then he took them off in exchange for his staff, sling and five smooth stones instead.
Be comfortable with your own talents and giftings and use them faithfully to fulfil your calling no matter what others may say to tempt you otherwise.
5. Things done in secret when it should not, will be exposed most times in shame!
It is important, no matter how you think the other person may respond, to be completely open and accountable for your decisions and actions (or better still even before you make that decision or take that action).
There are some things in life which may warrant a little privacy but in most circumstances there should be someone else you are able to share with. Be prepared at times for a response that is totally against the grain of your thoughts about a certain commitment.
The most painful experience would be to look into the eyes of the one you love when all is publicly exposed in shame. Don’t go there.
6. The lion, the bear and then Goliath!
Life is full of promises. The secret is to tackle one at a time. It is wise for you to see promise fulfilled before you commit to another. If you’re the one making the promises, the advice is the same.
Some currency trading agents are in the habit of making promises to entice you to depart with more of your hard earned money, even when their last projection or promise hasn’t even come true yet. Don’t fall for this.
The biblical principle and practice is illustrated by David’s offer to fight Goliath. He told King Saul, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of Goliath.”
David had convincing “lion and bear” credentials to tackle the giant which even doubtful Saul had no answer to. It wasn’t based on wishful thinking or blind faith, but firm facts and fulfilled promises.
It is important at these times not to look at what you’ve lost but what you still have.
7. God is the God of the second chances!
Have you been burnt? Don’t despair. God is able to rebuild and restore even from the rubble of burnt stones.
I think of people in worse positions, like those who had experienced great loss of their homes and families in a disastrous fire. You could say that they lost everything but somehow managed to pick themselves up again and move on.
It is important at these times not to look at what you’ve lost but what you still have. It may not be much but it will be enough for you to patiently build on. The time will come when you will also be able to look back and see what valuable lessons you have gained from this experience.
It is okay to cry because the pain is real, but let your cries be made to God in the secret place and the God who hears in secret will reward you openly in His time. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes and to learn quickly.
There will always be the temptation to make amends and to try to minimise regret by taking another gamble. Don’t do it. You’ll only get yourself into a deeper mess.
When God forgives, He forgives completely. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, so stop condemning yourself for your past mistakes.
You need to have faith, take a deep breath and move on. Face the future with boldness and courage. Work hard with your hands and be happy.
8. If God is asking you to go at it again…
Can it be biblical that God may ask us to try again even after we’ve been burnt? Yes and the perfect example is found in the defeat of lsrael in the hands of tiny Ai.
We who know the story (Joshua 7) understand that Ai was not the problem but that the defeat was a direct result of sin in lsrael’s camp. After the sin was blotted out, Joshua inquired of the Lord and this time God promised him victory.
Is God leading you to go at it again? Then do so but this time be wise and go by way of all the lessons you’ve learnt. Repent of your greed (or whatever sin it may have been), seek God, be diligent, know your call, be accountable, take one step at a time and leave the rest to Him.
Watch yourself so that you don‘t ever fall into the same trap again and be grateful with what you have.
D2Y2, which stands for Don’t Despise Your Youth, was an official Asian Youth Ambassador (AYA) magazine birthed out in the late 90s. The printed materials communicated dynamic and effective encouragement to and from the Church, with special emphasis on the knowledge and experiences of our Christian youths, which we believe the content is still relevant and applicable in this current generation.