Take Control of What You Can Control
On Sunday I was reminded that some things are just completely out of our control.
My wife was driving me to the airport in LA when the traffic came to a complete stop. Literally not moving. People were getting out of their cars and walking around.
Due to the protests at LAX in reaction to Trump’s immigration executive order, the airport closed the departure level. This caused a chain reaction of traffic back-up that basically made a parking lot out of the surrounding roads.
I ended up hopping out of the car and walking two miles into the airport, while I left my wife with the car in traffic (sorry!).
This was obviously a huge inconvenience for me and everyone else at LAX.
Clearly, there are some larger issues at hand here, but I just wanted to point out the irony of the situation.
LAX, which is one of the busiest airports in the world, has no rail transportation. This means that the only way you get can to and from the airport is by bus or car.
And, there is no transportation between terminals, except for your legs.
So, if the roads close, the airport becomes crippled.
I always wonder what foreigners think when they land at LAX. If you don’t speak English and you don’t have a vehicle picking you up, then you’re stuck. There’s no train or subway available to take you into the city.
I can’t think of any other major airport that is like this.
So much for that American exceptionalism.
Now, I’m not bagging on the US here. This is obviously a tiny problem in the bigger picture.
But, lots of people (especially in the US) fear traveling and investing abroad. They think that the rest of the world is uncivilized and susceptible to chaos.
For any foreigner who arrived at LAX on Sunday, I can’t imagine what their perception of the US was. Greeted by thousands of screaming protestors with no transportation to leave the airport, they were forced to walk miles to find a taxi (most likely Uber/Lyft) or just sit in the airport and drink $10 beers.
Don’t worry… There’s a good part to this story…
As frustrating as that whole airport debacle was (and the larger issue), I also had an extremely exciting phone call with a very unlikely contact.
This gentleman (who was somewhat of a childhood hero to me) randomly contacted me out of the blue. When I first saw his name in my email inbox my jaw dropped.
We spoke for nearly an hour on Sunday, but I could’ve kept the phone call going all day with all the questions I had for him.
Without going into too much detail, we discussed a potential land deal in a country that is hated right now.
I don’t want to disclose too much, as there is a possibility that I can share this deal with all of you. As of right now, I think I’m going to buy… and it’s cheap. I’ll share more as soon as I can.
But here is why the call was so exciting to me…
One one hand, I spent half the day battling issues with LAX and dealing with inconveniences that were completely out of my control.
On the other hand, I spent the rest of the day planning on how to take advantage of this exciting land opportunity.
It really put perspective on how I can react to things in my life. I can choose one of two things:
1. Dwell, complain, and generally ‘bitch’ about things that are going on in the world.
2. Go about my day while focusing on the things I can control and make the best of them.
As an investor, this is such an important concept to understand. There are so many things out there that you can’t control.
For example, the stock market in general is a beast that most people get eaten by. Then there are other investments out there that require a bit more work, but won’t eat you.
It’s understanding what you should focus on that will ultimately determine your success.
Nice article! I am an international student from China, currently studying at a US college. As a senior, I need to reach out to companies and try to land a job before I graduate. Now Trump’s policies are completely unpredictable and not so good for us international students, I hear my friends complaining all day long while doing nothing. Now that I read your article, I will just focus on what I can control! Thanks!