Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lifting the seedlings to promote growth (拨苗助长)

Once upon a time, there was an inexperienced farmer in ancient China who was always impatient. Whenever he did anything he wanted to see result quickly.

One day he planted some rice seedings in his paddy field. He was very eager to see them grow. Day after day he would go to his paddy field to watch how the seedings were doing. Of course there was nothing discernible. He became impetuous. "Why not I do something to promote their growth," he said to himself.

Thinking it was a good idea to lift the seedings a little bit so that they looked taller, he went into the field and lifted all the seedings an inch higher.

He thought he was smart to have done that. He went home happily and bragged to his family about what he had done, little realizing that he had just devastated all the seedings.

The Chinese idiom to this action is called: 拨苗助长.

The stock market is designed to transfer money from the impatient to the patient. So don't become overly impatient or enthusiastic about growing your portfolio and do something as stupid as what the stupid farmer had done.