Today I am writing about this eternal tale named “The Odyssey” and how few lessons can be learned from this tale while dealing with our investments.
The Odyssey was written by Homer about 2700 years ago. It tells of the adventures of the Greek hero Odysseus (Ulysses in Roman mythology) during his harrowing return to Ithaca after being away for twenty years, ten of which he had spent fighting the Trojan Wars.
In one part of the journey, Odysseus is aware that he is about to encounter the sirens (monsters), famous for luring sailors to their death with their beguiling wind-like song. Intensely curious to hear them, he has all his sailors plug their ears and tie him to the mast, with instructions not to untie him, no matter what he says. As they approach, the sirens begin singing and Odysseus gets mesmerized with the singing screams to be untied, but the sailors can’t hear him and they are all saved.
According to some versions of the myth, the sirens are fated to die if sailors were to hear their song and escape. So after Odysseus’ ship passes by, the sirens fling themselves into the sea and are drowned.
This piece suggests this dramatic encounter. If you listen carefully, you can hear the wind-song becoming ever more insistent, the rocking of the ship, Odysseus’ screams, and finally, the sirens plunging to their death.
Why is The Odyssey still popular? It’s a timeless and fast-paced tale which features a hero on a seafaring adventure traveling through exotic lands, enduring terrible storms and horrifying monsters. All of this is set against an enthralling, supernatural atmosphere where gods move around in humble disguises so they can be involved in human activities.
Those gods, of course, are capable of casting spells and curses. They can predict things, which actually come true, and their warnings to humans can help people avoid catastrophes—provided, of course, that they heed the warnings.
At the center of it all is a human hero called Odysseus (Ulysses) who is a sympathetic, complex man. He tries to do the right thing and usually pays attention to what the gods tell him.
He especially heeds advice from the goddess Circe who warns him about the “Sirens.” These two monsters, who pretend to be beautiful women with amazing voices, try to assure sailors, who pass their island, that they just want to entertain them with beautiful melodies.
What they really want, however, is to kill them.
What is the message about the Sirens which Circe gives to Odysseus? Among other things, she warns him that his men must fill their ears with wax so they do not hear the Sirens’ beguiling songs.
How is this tale related to our investment journey?
Like the Odyssey, we all are sympathetic, emotional at the same time complex human beings. Sirens (The monsters) are all over the place, while we are on our investment journey in the form of news, tempting advertisements, super lucrative instruments which are providing an unbelievable rate of returns on investments.
The Goddess Circe is the Power of Compounding and it keeps warning us about how time plays an important role in creating wealth. It also warns about market ups/downs in the short run and asks us to tie our hands and stay on the course of the investment journey.
Those who pay attention to Goddess Circe ( Power of Compounding) sail through this ride and those who get mesmerized with Siren’s melodious songs ( News / Events around us) will get succumbed.
Those who demonstrate patience and will power to stay & ride the course of volatility is surely going to reach home like Odyssey. When I say home, it is the goal for which the investment journey had started.
Believe in your Goals and Stay determined to invest through the course, Tie your emotions and plug your ears to the noise around to succeed.
Have loads of patience & will-power. Happy Investing!!
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