From a look at the data for the Christmas period in Ireland this year and observing how people are behaving, speaking and generally listening to the way people are feeling and thinking, I believe we are currently in a time of greed.
People have become conditioned to believe that their role in society is that of a “consumer” and their default behaviour should be to buy things where at all possible, and it is always possible. With online marketplaces like Amazon open all year around 24/7, while the bricks and mortar shops sleep on Christmas day, you can always buy online, it never closes.
This famous phrase from Warren Buffett has been ringing around in my head for the last few weeks as I drive around Dublin city and in general observing society.
When others are being greedy, be cautious. When others are being cautious, be greedy.Warren Buffet
His actual quote is “Be fearful when other are being greedy” but I prefer the word “cautious” as to me it encapsulates being fearful, considerate, deliberate, moving forward with intention or remaining still if required. It conjures up the concept of not following the crowd, not even being part of the crowd, but rather observing the crowd and observing the market and deciding for yourself whether you move or not. It injects a very necessary Pause step into our all too often mindless and reactive actions and thinking.
Data from the retail sector here in Ireland indicates it has been a bumper record year for spending in Ireland and cites near full employment, rising salaries, disposable income and increasing population as some of the key drivers making people part with their cash this Christmas.
- €5bn Christmas splurge bigger than spend in Celtic Tiger boom
- Consumers set to spend €4.9bn over Christmas season
- 12% of Irish consumers start shopping in September – funny to note that this is based on data from Mastercard who have a vested interest in promoting spending and the earlier people start, the more they tend to spend.
I am signing off on 2019 as a great year for me personally. Some of my highlights from 2019 include:
- Finally coming off anti depressants
- Feeling positive and capable about life again
- Quitting alcohol
- Lots of travel with the family, at home and abroad
- Ran 2 half marathons
- Improved my health statistics significantly
- Paid off my mortgage
- 1st holy communion for my eldest son
- Successfully completed year 2 of my nutrition diploma
- Started year 3
- Once in a lifetime trip to Lapland to see the real Santa Claus!
I have thoroughly enjoyed this year and feel very fortunate to have achieved those things listed above. They took real work and commitment to achieve but that is what is required to achieve anything worthwhile in this life.
As we embark on a new decade tonight, I will leave you with the great quote once more to help guide you to make the best decisions you can for you and yours this Christmas and beyond in 2020.
When others are being greedy, be cautious. When others are being cautious, be greedy.
Bye bye 2019. Hello 2020.
Yours in health and happiness,