Thoughts on Growth and Destruction in The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while, but I am not here to come up with excuses on why I have not been active on my blog for quite some time.

There’s a quote from the book I am currently reading that I would like to elaborate on. This book is called “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel. While this book is focused on money, I am going to relate the following quote to life in general.

Growth is driven by compounding, which always takes time. Destruction is driven by single points of failure, which can happen in seconds, and loss of confidence, which can happen in an instant.

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

Let’s start with the first sentence: “Growth is driven by compounding, which always takes time”. What is compounding? It is mixing different “ingredients” or trying different things until it all works out. I agree with this statement because you cannot really say you have grown as a person if you have not experienced anything or tried out new/different things. Of course, it takes time. You do not just wake up and realize you are all grown up. Or better yet, it is not because you are 30 that you are suddenly matured.

Eventually, you start to notice changes or progress after much trial and error. This can take years and those who cannot wait for it end up with temporary happiness. For example, you want to become a doctor, but you do not really want to study for 7+ years. So you take another route and study for 4 years in a program that you somewhat like. It brings you joy for a couple of years because you have a degree and a job, but if it is not your dream job, you cannot really say you are happy and satisfied. On the other hand, if you actually pursue the career path you have always dreamed of, despite the struggles and the years of studying and hard work, you will feel proud that you have accomplished what you have always wanted and this will make you even happier than if you have chosen the easier or shorter path.

The second sentence is quite interesting because it puts importance on the words “destruction” and “failure”. Destruction is an accumulation of failures. We can fail anytime and unfortunately, after suffering from a couple of them, people give up.

Imagine this, you have worked so hard for 4 years to achieve your goal. Then, all of a sudden, in your 5th year, you start to fail at many things and you do not notice any progress. You lose your confidence and you just want to give it all up. Some people would say you are crazy for doing so!

What am trying to say here is why would you give up after failing many times instead of figuring out how to fix the issue. When things do not go our way, we should not focus on what went wrong or what we did wrong. Instead, we should think about how far we have come and how we can solve the problem to continue to work on our goal.

We should learn how to be patient because at the end of the road, if we really give it our all, in other words, we worked really hard to achieve our dreams, it will pay off in the end. We should not be persuaded by the pessimistic part of our brain that keeps telling us that it is not worth it and that we should just stop trying. Do not let your negative thoughts control you, you should be the one taking control of what is in your head.


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