What Game Are You Playing?

I sat down this week and wrote out 10 investing principles that guide my financial investments.

Principle 3: Fear of missing out means you’re envious of someone else’s game. Play your own game and wish them well. Envy, greed, and hyperactivity do not win in the long run.

The heuristic of "game playing" helps frame difficult situations more comfortably for me.

  • Get passed by someone speeding on the highway? Rather than take personal offense, remind yourself the other person is playing a different game by a different set of rules (with different risk / reward profiles). Their behavior likely has nothing to do with you, so reacting strongly isn't going to change them or help you. See someone cash in huge winnings on speculative trades (i.e. Dogecoin, GME, AMC, etc)? Assuming you're a buy and hold investor, you can remind yourself that those people are playing a different game with a different finish line (and also with different risk / rewards profiles). Their winnings today do not reduce your winnings tomorrow, there's no need to fear, grow envious, or to stop playing your game.

  • Lost a key client to a competitor who bent the truth and compromised integrity? Remind yourself the long-term game of preserving your honor is a prize far greater than winning a short-term game.

As a business leader and a person, be clear with yourself and your team about which game you're playing. It will help everyone understand the rules you abide by, how the score is kept, and what really matters.

What game are you playing?