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Everyone has a story..

This story is about a man named Victor (A made up name to hide the real identity)

Yesterday I had a real humbling experience. A friend of mine and I curiously and genuinely asked Victor to guide us on how to Invest money and build wealth.

Little did we know that a question on financial management will take us through Victor's life journey and will bring us some invaluable learnings. And some humbling lessons.

  1. You never know the other person or their journey: Victor comes from a very humble lower middle class beginnings and all the wealth he has created (substantial to retire today comfortably at under the age of 50) has been through very tough times. Victor had government schooling and did his graduation studies in Hindi. Learnt English very late in life. But that didn't stop Victor from aiming high. He accepted his limitations, did not use it to play victim, worked hard and has reached great heights. He got duped of lakhs of rupees but that didn't stop him from working hard and wanting to secure a better life. Imagine, getting duped of lakhs!! The magnitude. There was a moment in his life when he was almost on death bed and that changed his perspective towards building wealth for the future while keeping eyes on the present. It gave me a valuable lesson - Know that people who seem to look like they are doing better in life were not served things on a platter. They strove for it. Try and know their journey.

  2. Never judge the book by it's cover: very cliche right? But how often do we fall for this. I have been guilty of it myself and am not so proud of it. It's sometimes easy to look at people's areas of opportunities or weakness, but if we make an effort to know where they started, it will give us a true sense of how far they have come to reach where they are today. And that perspective is so important to be Human in our approach.

  3. Discipline and knowing how little we need to survive: Victor's one main message to build wealth was Be disciplined. Have a goal. For that if you have to curtail your urges, do that. The discipline will help you compound your efforts and investment.

  4. Acceptance of Ups and Downs and the secret ingredient "Luck": while being disciplined is in our own hands and we must try that with all that we have got, it's important to know that like in the financial markets, there will be ups and downs in life. To keep going and hoping for the Up to come. And know that beyond everything that you do, or not do, there is something unexplainable, whether you'd want to call it Luck or Destiny, it's upto you. But know that it shines on those who put efforts towards their goals. Victor made wealth but do you think he made all the right decisions? No. Empathically he roared. He made a lot of wrong decisions and a few right decisions. In the end the right ones have to outweigh the wrong ones.

  5. Your close ones: when Victor was in the hospital, he got messages and flowers and best wishes from his work friends but that made him realise the truth of life that in the end it's only your family and your close ones who are there for you and for whom you live and strive so hard. Never forget that.

It was an unforgettable story for me. And i would keep it close to me for years. Is it something that is new to us or is Victor the only one who has had it tough? No.

Then why did I share it? It's because sometimes we forget the hardships and realities in life when things are going all well. It's important to be grateful and see how far we have come and to accept the vulnerabilities. It's always a good reminder!

Thank you victor for being vulnerable.

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