“Stop & Start”: Powerful Life Maxims


I like to draw wisdom from an eclectic group of sources. I enjoy reading about finance, but I also like to delve into other fields like philosophy, psychology, and work ethic. I think it’s possible to gain a new, higher level of understanding when we start combining the ideas and concepts from different fields.

I have noticed that the more I read into each of these individual fields the more I recognize that they’re all interconnected. I have found that psychology and finance are nearly inseparable. As is philosophy and finance. As is psychology and work ethic. They all feed each other in one way or another.

Through reading a wide array of sources, I have noticed that similar teachings and ideas seem to pop up across each field. I like to think of these as life maxims.

Here is a small compilation of maxims that I have seen show up time and time again, no matter what field I seem to be reading about:

Stop looking to consume. Start looking to create.

Stop looking for motivation. Start implementing habits.

Stop speculating. Start investing.

Stop worrying. Start acting.

Stop complaining. Start searching for solutions.

Stop fearing failure. Start embracing the effort.

Stop obsessing over the outcome. Start obsessing over the process.

Stop mindless spending. Start mindful saving.

Stop buying stuff. Start buying time.

Stop dwelling on the past. Start living in the present.

Stop comparing yourself. Start pushing yourself.

Stop looking for outside approval. Start looking for inner satisfaction.

Stop wishing things were different. Start making things different.

Stop looking for quick wins. Start planning for long-term success.

Stop being jealous. Start being grateful. 

Stop focusing on the market. Start focusing on your savings.

Stop filling the day with meaningless tasks. Start incorporating space into the day.

Stop doing ten things. Start doing one thing.

Stop looking for more. Start looking for better.

Stop looking for applause from others. Start looking for peace from yourself.

Do you have any life maxims you draw wisdom from? 

I strongly suggest using free financial tools like Personal Capital to track your net worth, spending habits, and cash flow to help keep an eye on your money. The more you track your finances, the better you get at growing your wealth!

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11 Replies to ““Stop & Start”: Powerful Life Maxims”

  1. “Stop buying stuff. Start buying time.”- I use a similar phrase in my workshops: Rich is having money, wealth is having time.

    “I have noticed that the more I read into each of these individual fields the more I recognize that they’re all interconnected.” – In my professional career, I also teach a concept called Systems Thinking, where everything is interconnected.

  2. Hi, first time commenting but love the blog. Your list is great! It’s awesome that you explore a multitude of areas. I take a similar approach to life through philosophy, history, finance, economics, mathematics, psychology. If you haven’t already checked out, I would highly recommend Poor Charlie’s Almanac by Charlie Munger. It’s worth buying hardback new. One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. His overarching theme is applying a multi-disciplinary approach to learning. Throughout the book he gives an awesome selection of book recommendations from various authors, as well as concepts and topics. I think you’d really enjoy.

    1. HBFI, I have actually had a couple different people recommend Poor Charlie’s Almanac to me in the past few months, and it’s a book that I’ve always had on my reading list. It’s also a book that I have never been able to find at the library, so it looks like I’ll just have to purchase it at some point. The first time I was introduced to the idea of studying many different fields and finding connections between the fields was at farnamstreetblog.com, where the author over there talks about Charlie Munger and his philosophy of “Mental Models”. This is a line of thinking I really connect with and I try to keep my reading diversified across a wide range of topics because of it. Thanks for commenting, I hope you keep stopping by!

      1. Never heard of that blog, will definitely check out. Yeah, unfortunately that book isn’t one library’s seem to carry. I couldn’t find it used either. Before my fiancée bought if for me as part of my Xmas gift, I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t on kindle. Then I opened the box. It’s uniquely designed and makes total sense when you start reading it why it’ll never be on Kindle 🙂

        I read it after reading through ‘The Snowball’ about Warren Buffet’s life. Before that I read Benjamin Graham’s ‘Security Analysis’. These are dense reads and not for everyone, but the combination of these books have expanded my perspective on investing and markets in way I can’t do justice to in writing. Reading those books along with the history of Berkshire Hathaway letters gave me an education that exceeds my cumulative ~13 years in leverage finance. Truly powerful stuff if you can take your time through it….Sorry for the soap box ramble 🙂

        1. All of those books are absolute classics! I have read Security Analysis, but haven’t had the chance to read The Snowball. What I love about both Munger and Buffett is their no-nonsense straightforward explanations of investing. The Berkshire Hathaway letters are also gems that we’re so lucky to have public access to. Along with those letters I particularly enjoy reading Howard Marks’ annual letters, the Chairman of Oaktree Capital. He writes a lot about contrarian investing and general contrarian thinking in different areas, I think you might enjoy his letters! No apology needed, I love these in depth conversations 🙂

  3. This is so simple yet has a profound impact. In fact, I think I will print it and put it on our kitchen door. I try to post things now and then as reminders for not only myself but the teenage boys in our home. I grew up in a house full of girls whose complaints were about hair brushes and clothes…I had NO IDEA the boys would complain about the same! As well as height, weight, muscles, what all their friends have that they don’t. It’s never ending!! I always tell them if they don’t like their situation then they need to find a way to change it (minus the height!)…and they do nothing. No jobs, no cleaning, no working out. Perhaps hanging this will be a more subtle route… 😉

    Oh, and my favorite is “Stop looking for motivation. Start implementing habits.” As the start of this year I put a new app on my phone to check off my daily habits I wanted to build. Last month I switched to another and it’s really working! Hmmm…I feel a post coming on. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I can completely relate to the complaints of the teenage boys since I had those exact same complaints when I was that age haha, what’s funny though is that the constant complaining about not being good enough doesn’t stop at adolescence for most people, it continues well into adulthood. “I wish I made more money, I wish I had more free time, I wish I could travel more” but not many people take action to make these wishes become feasible. “Stop looking for motivation. Stop implementing habits.” is also one of my favorites, once you realize the power of habits you don’t even need motivation…because what you want to do is already a habit. You just do it almost without thinking. I’m glad you liked this list 🙂

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