In the world of investments, there is this very popular concept known as the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP). The basic idea behind SIP is that over a long period of time, investments made in the equity markets on a periodic, systematic basis helps in smoothening the impact of excess volatility that equity markets are bound to witness in the short run. In other words, SIP encourages building an investment portfolio by investing small amounts over a long period, rather than waiting to invest in lump sum amount on an irregular basis. (Apologies to my friends from non-finance backgrounds for making this sound like rocket science)
Can’t this concept of SIP be applied to life? Here’s how I think we can:
Over the lifetime of an average person, there are only a few potential momentous/devastating events or experiences. Death of a parent, winning a lottery of few millions, getting married, meeting with an accident, etc are some of the instances you could include under this. Now, what events hold what degree of relevance in one’s life is obviously subjective. Also, some of these events/experiences are certain and many are uncertain. I am referring to the certain ones here. For instance, death of a loved one - a parent. This is the most devastating one I can think of.
One may call me a sadist for visualizing such unpleasant things. But this is where the SIP comes into picture. What if we were to experience such an unpleasant event in installments! What if I imagine a life without my father around me! Obviously, I would be really upset thinking about it now. If I do this for 100 times over the next many years, would the situation be easier to handle when the event actually happens? Would the loss be more bearable since I’ve already ‘experienced’ that many times before?
The same logic (if I may use this word) could be applied in case of extremely happy events also. If the theory that all great things are created twice, one in mind and then in real, the excitement on witnessing these great events could also be ‘smoothened’. The reality is no one would want to be happy in only a controlled manner on blissful moments of life, everyone would want to exult.
A case in point is the character of Howard Roark in Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountain Head’. If that character seems too fictional to be in existence in this world, think of ace tennis player Roger Federer. I have not seen Federer displaying extreme reactions in either emphatic victories or crushing defeats. Is he a live example of the SIP theory? In a sense that his mind so strong that any event does not trigger too much of a reaction from him.
The flip side to this SIP theory is that there would be nothing that would ‘turn us on’ then.
Does all this sound like a piece of crap! Hope no one calls me up and advises me to see a psychiatrist :)