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Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 16 2021

The Stock Market of Life: It Has Its Ups and Downs but Trends Upwards

Life is getting more grim, right?  Climate change, fascism, a global pandemic, social unrest, terrorism, potential wars of the cold, nuclear, and civil kind, flattening of lifespans and homeownership levels…it seems like every day there is a reason to be pessimistic.  But of course that’s absolutely absurd to think that’s an objective assessment.  The list can go on and on as to how life is better in almost every way from the way it was hundreds of years ago: reduced infant mortality rates, longer lifespans, better quality of life, more rights and freedoms, lower crime rates, higher rates of education, less work required to meet basic needs, and greater health and safety than ever before.  So why does everyone think the world is going to hell in a hand basket?  There are a multitude of reasons:

This list could probably go on for a while.  Despite all of these reasons for life not seeming to get better and instead seeming to get worse, it is getting better.  Yes, like the stock market, you see ups and downs and big gains and crashes.  But the long-term evidence is there: life gets better, just like the stock market has grown on average double-digits every year.  If you think your life, society, or the world is getting so much worse, you’re not looking at the good things, you’re watching too much sensationalized, biased news, or you’re simply selectively sifting and shaping your perception and memories to fit your beliefs.

In short, stop all of that.  Life is getting better.  If you see yours get worse for a while, it will get better.  I mean, we’re so close to eliminating the overwhelming majority of things in the world that cause harm, pain, and discomfort that the biggest issues in this world are self-inflicted (e.g., caused by stress, diet, sedentary behavior, or bad habits like alcohol or tobacco).  That’s amazing.  That means that your life will get better, and you control more and more of your life to ensure that you are as happy and fulfilled as possible.  Take a moment to appreciate that, get some perspective, and remember this whenever you experience a down period so that you can keep pushing forward and trending upward.  If you’re like everyone else—and you likely are since we’re all human—your life is trending upwards (or can be trending upwards if you keep working on it) and you just need to invest in yourself and your life and stop looking so much at the “stock ticker” that is day-to-day life.

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Nathanael Garrett Novosel

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