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关系:在你的总投资中占多大比重?/Relationships: How Big a Share of Your Investment Portfolio?

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    关系:在你的总投资中占多大比重?

    朋友在Facebook上贴出据说是史蒂夫•乔布斯辞世不久前说过的几句话,提及他如何习惯财富,如果能从头再来会花更多时间去营造关系等。

    我不确定这些真是乔布斯所言,也没有考证。我要分享的观点与乔布斯本尊无关,但与每个人都息息相关。

    视关系为理所当然、对其疏于关爱和维护是人之天性,也是个万人坑,尤其坑那些走在成功和致富快行道上的人。聪明的人会意识到重要关系的流失,亡羊补牢。但其他人却可能只有等到为时已晚才后知后觉。

    我所说的关系并非彼“关系”,或那些为谋利而培养出的商业和职业关系,而是以家庭和友情为核心的关系。

    如今,高速、繁忙而混乱的生活和工作已对人际关系造成了严重影响。我们在移动设备上花费的时间远远高于面对面的交流。人际关系已沦为濒危物种,可不同于隐匿于深山老林的珍稀动物,它就在眼前一天天地消亡。尽管如此,我们仍放纵自己心不在焉,拖延培养和改善关系的各种努力。“我最近太忙”成了最方便、在某种程度上也是最真实的借口。日复一日,我们习惯于这种忙碌,以至于无法投入养护关系所需的时间和精力。

    一般情况下,我们不会停下来思考这种行为的长期影响。这不太明智。

    但随着时间飞逝,总有一天在盘点劳动果实时,我们会遗憾没能做好工作和关系的并济。

    我曾经以为,阿尔茨海默症恐怕是最糟糕的病症。思想和记忆逐渐减退,身体却依然健康,且尚无法治疗,患病原因也莫衷一是。病人很快就认不出至爱亲朋。

    可换句话说,阿尔茨海默症患者并非是因为选择了不健康的生活方式而致病,而是因为丧失了辨别至爱亲朋的能力才不得不孤独终老。这一切只是命运在作祟。

    而相比之下,长期忽略人际关系的人最后也会孤独终老,原因却是被他们遗忘的亲朋最终可能会弃他们而去。二者的区别就在于这是他们一路走来的选择,很大程度上本可以避免。

    就像某位退休银行家朋友曾经说的,“作坟地里的首富,意义何在?”他有他的道理,迷恋金钱常无善终。

    不常花时间和精力探亲访友,或与不如自己的人交往,理由很好找。人际关系是宝贵的资产和责任,需要关注和养护,以免忘记。

    而我们,身为区区人类,需要时刻警醒。

    Relationships: How Big a Share of Your Investment Portfolio?

    A friend recently posted some words on Facebook which Steve Jobs reportedly said shortly before he passed away. He mentioned how he had become accustomed to wealth, and how if he had it to do over again, he would have spent more time on relationships.

    I’m not sure whether these comments were really made by Jobs, and I have not checked the facts. My point in sharing them here is not related to Steve Jobs per se, but any and all of us.

    It’s human nature to tend to take things such as relationships for granted, and to underinvest into their care and maintenance. This pitfall affects all sorts of people, but especially those on a fast track to success and wealth. Wiser people will realize they are letting important relationships slip, and do something about it while there’s still time. Others may only wake up to this problem when it’s too late.

    I am not referring to “guanxi”, or business and professional relationships which we cultivate in order to seek some benefit; but rather to those which revolve primarily around family and friendship.

    The high-speed, hectic clutter of life and work today have taken a harsh toll on relationships. We spend much more time on mobile device-based than face to face communications. Relationships have become an endangered species, but unlike a rare animal in a remote jungle, relationships are right here and now. Each and every day. Despite that, we allow ourselves to get distracted, and to postpone efforts to foster and improve relationships. The most convenient excuse is also somewhat true: “Hey, I’m so busy lately.” Day after day, we get into the habit of being too busy to invest the time and effort which are required to nurture relationships.

    Usually, we don’t stop to think what the long-term implications of this behavior are. That’s not very sensible.

    As time flies by, there is a risk that we’ll wake up one day counting the fruits of our labor, but regretting that we didn’t strike a better balance between work and relationships.

    I used to think that Alzheimer’s disease was perhaps the worst case among illnesses one could contract. The mind and memory progressively decline while the body remains fit, and there is as of yet no proven treatment or cure. The reasons why some people contract the disease and others do not remain largely a mystery. Before long, the sufferer doesn’t recognize their loved ones.

    In other words, people suffering from Alzheimer’s have apparently not made unhealthy lifestyle choices which contributed to their getting this crippling disease. They end up alone because their mind loses the ability to know their loved ones. It’s just bad luck.

    By comparison, people who chronically neglect relationships may also end up alone, because their forgotten friends and family may eventually give up on them. The difference lies in the choices they make along the way. This is a largely a preventable outcome.

    As a now retired banker friend used to say: “You want to be the richest man in the graveyard? For what?” He has a point, of course. An obsession with money rarely results in a happy ending.

    It’s easy to make excuses for why we didn’t regularly put time and effort into reaching out to family, friends, or people less fortunate than ourselves. Human relationships are precious assets, as well as responsibilities. They need attention and nurture, lest we forget.

    And we, being only human, need reminders.

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