[Update on 4/13/2016: Thanks Mr. Spier for your reply and kind compliment on Twitter]
Spoiler alert: This is not a book review, instead this is more of notes for the most meaningful things (for myself) from Guy Spier’s book The Education of a Value Investor, thus it may contain details about the events described in the book.
I just finished reading this great book, following are a few sporadic things that made me thinking the most.
I find Spier’s life meaning searching experience very resonating. I myself started thinking about universe and life in recent years. As you may see the About page of my site, the purpose of this site is to journal my thought process in valuable things in my life.
Following is what I think the quote of the book: “When you begin to change yourself internally, the world around you responds.” This is not only true from philosophical or superstitious perspective, quantum physics also found that reality is determined by consciousness*. For example, electrons under the same conditions would sometimes act like particles, and then at other times act like waves (i.e. energy), all based on how they are observed (by human). One theory states that the whole physical world is merely a projection of consciousness*. Thus, I totally believe that one’s minds can have huge impact on the physical world. I personally also had some experiences supporting that statement but they are too personal to be shared here.
Additionally, how Spier views the adversity is also enlightening. You can only imagine what he’s been through in his years at D. H. Blair, however looking backward that’s actually an essential experience made him the Guy Spier he is now (otherwise, he may be a partner of Goldman now, or at least he would start his own fund much later). From quantum physics, a theory states that the past, present and future all exist in the same state*, which is to say what will happen in future is already “determined”, as strange as it sounds I still think that makes sense. How I understand it is that the adversity is an essential part of any life, which the “spiritual you” (as opposed to the “physical you”) may have “designed” it at the first place. So when I feel hitting a wall, I don’t have to be upset or depressed, because that wall is “me”. With this mindset, I could change my life quality in a very positive way. After all, I would embrace adversity with the same attitude as toward fortune because both of them enrich my life experience equally. That been said, that also means that I also won’t be ecstatic in a favorable circumstance. It exactly is what Spier (and as well as Warren Buffet) recommended to keep a “playful” attitude towards anything in life, because fortune and adversity are both enjoyable on a spiritual level.
However it by no means suggests that I’m a fatalist, quite on the opposite side I’m all for using positive self consciousness to influence the physical world that we live in. It may start to sound more like self muttering as I may not have enough life experience accumulated to articulate such a big philosophical topic. Anyway, I hope it will be of some tiny help for readers who may be asking similar questions in their certain journey of life.
* For more information about quantum physics, I highly recommend to watch the PBS series The Fabric of the Cosmos written & produced by renowned theoretical physicist Brian Greene.