Finance Stoic 33 – Instead of calling it bad luck, can I come to see it as inevitable?

The Daily Stoic Quote

Whenever you find yourself blaming providence, turn it around in your mind and you will see that what has happened is in keeping with reason.

Epictetus, Discourses, 3.17.1

Daily Stoic Question

Instead of calling it bad luck, can I come to see it as inevitable?

Daily Finance Stoic Response

For today, I will go back in time to when I felt I had bad luck. It was a time that I mutually agreed I would leave a job and pursue greater opportunities, or at least that is how we messaged it.

At the time, I was crushed. I had worked so hard, given so much of myself. As I said last post, I was 34 years old and I had developed shingles from the stress of the job. What the heck – bad luck.

Unfortunately, not only was there stress at work, there was stress at home.

My wife and I were only a few months away from closing on a $700,000 townhouse in the City, which we were excited about. What we were not excited about was that we had all of our equity tied up in the home we were living in and we hadn’t sold it yet. We were in panic mode – bad luck.

With two young boys, a wife on maternity leave, and a house closing that had to happen, the work and life stress was mounting uncontrollably – bad luck.

How could I have such bad luck?

It was not bad luck.

I was not ready.

I needed to learn.

The challenges I was facing put my ego in check.

An industrial psychologist I was working with taught me my mantra for life: Slow Down. Listen. Be more patient and reflective. 

If not bad luck, what?

It was not bad luck, it was an opportunity to be better.

I resolved that I would improve myself from that moment onward, ego be damned.

That year, I read 70+ books, many of them on self-help, meditation, and Buddhism. The book that had the greatest impact was Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, which I have discussed a few times throughout my posts.

As I teased in that post, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), many assume stems from Stoicism. In fact, one of the 30 books on Stoicism I purchased is The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy. 

Based on the setting aside of ego, the reading, and the commitment to self-improvement, what resulted?

  1. We sold our home and moved into our dream home in the City, a close commute to work. We later sold that home for $900k more than we’d purchased it.
  2. I landed a job with a company I respected and admired from the outside for a number of years.
  3. I had the opportunity to build a dream team, which I am crazy passionate about.
  4. My earnings are more than I ever would have attained had I stayed where I was.
  5. We have great investment opportunities, which should facilitate FIRE.
  6. There is now an opportunity to potentially land an amazing role, a rocket for my career trajectory.
  7. I started writing a Fantasy Book series with my sister and our first book is now ~ 70,000 words.

At time time, it felt like bad luck.

In reality, the Universe was working magic in a way I didn’t see.

It was not bad luck, it was the best thing that ever could have happened to me.

Until next time,

FS

Finance Stoic

4 thoughts on “Finance Stoic 33 – Instead of calling it bad luck, can I come to see it as inevitable?

  1. Wholeheartedly agree with this post. It’s not bad luck, its the Universe guiding us away from waht doesn’t serve us to what does.
    Great to hear how far you came. I believe MSF introduced me to your blog!
    Keep up the good work,

    Like

  2. Hello, I sure am. It’s MrMulla01.
    Regarding my blog, it’s something which was a hobby, but it’s got to a point where I’d like to keep sharing more. So I hope to build a website similar to yours and have an about page soon.
    Regarding the 18-19 months off, I had a conversation with Keep Thrifty recently, which is here:

    https://www.keepthrifty.com/mini-retirement-philippines/

    I follow you now, so if you want to know more about my journey feel free to ask. I look forward to reading more good quality content from yourself mate.

    Like

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