Anyone who has been in our church for some time will hear us talking about the value of a long-term vision of what your ideal life would look like. The reason for this is that we as humans have to be drawn to what we want rather than run away from what we do not want. In other words, we must apply the law of attraction for ourselves, focusing on what we want instead of what we do not want.
The other essence of a grand, long-term vision is that it guides us through the inevitable obstacles that will get in our way. Imagine driving over a plain dotted with massive boulders: if what you're heading for is not much bigger than the boulders, you'll quickly give up because it's out of sight. Imagine, your goal is a mountain instead of a hill: how much easier is it now to go in the right direction? It's about having a strong, long-term vision and then figuring out what you need to do there: I think that should be taught in the first grade of drama schools because it's so crucial to artistic success.
When investing the same applies. From 1977 to 1990, Peter Lynch, arguably one of the biggest investors of all time, raised the value of the investment fund he managed (the Fidelity Magellan Fund) from $ 20 million to $ 14 billion and recorded an annual average of 29% growth and one the most lucrative investment instruments of the century. But looking back at his numbers, he saw the most disturbing and odd thing: the majority of investors in his fund actually lost money.
How is that possible? For people who rode this wave, the value of their money doubled every two and a half years: investors should have loved it, and yet most people who bought Fidelity shares lost money on the deal. Why? Because, as Lynch himself found out, people jumped in after good quarters and bought – when the stock price had risen a bit – and then sold when the quarterly reports did not look so rosy. In fact, they bought expensive and sold expensive, which any high school student with a minimum of financial education could call a bad idea.
What was the reason for this kind of panic when buying and selling? Anxiety. The same thing that keeps us trapped in situations, long after they have become untenable, or jobs because "better, the devil you know," will kill any chance of success, either financially or in our acting career. People would look at the short-term results and either get excited and buy or get scared and sell. This kind of approach to everything, let alone investing, will destroy you. As Lynch himself says:
"… Stocks are relatively predictable over a twenty-year period, and you can decide whether they'll be higher or lower in two to three years by knocking over a coin."
The same thing might be said about our artistic development or our career prospects: we may be years and years off, but as long as we have the right mentality – and I mean long-term thinking – we will see steady progress. It used to drive me crazy in LA when I heard people saying, "I'll try this drama thing for a few months and see how it works." I wanted to beat them and say, "It takes years to build an acting career, not months, so why not go back to wherever you come from and stop giving the rest of us a bad name!" You would never stop painting because you did not sell a piece, and you would not leave drama school either because you did not have an audition for a few weeks. What keeps us going in these situations is our long-term vision of what our artistic goals are: it will also make us achieve our financial goals.