With the New Year upon us, here’s a message from Ven. Samu Sunim, the founder of the Zen Buddhist Temple in Toronto on how the element of water can teach us how to live better. (Of course, there’s an investment angle here too. The italics are mine.)

Water always flows downhill. “Learn humility”.
A common mistake investors make is believing their gains are based more on skill than luck. Learning humility allows us to ask for help when we need it, and be willing to change our habits when they no longer serve us well.

Water always meanders around obstacles. “Learn wisdom.”
Flexibility is necessary to invest well.

Water does not refuse dirty water. “Learn inclusivity.”
Investment wisdom is everywhere. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open to great investing ideas. They can and do come from anywhere.

Water adapts itself to any situation. “Learn adaptability.”
You can adapt to any situation if you keep enough cash on hand to give you choices, even in difficult economic times.

Water is patient and endures. “Learn perseverance.”
Once you have made an investment, commit to it.

Water is not afraid of throwing itself off a cliff. “Learn grit and courage.”
Investing always involves some risk. Know what your risk tolerance is.

Water travels ceaselessly to reach the ocean where it becomes one with the ocean. “Learn the way of the Budhha in ocean Samadhi.”
Money is a manifestation of energy. Like knowledge, it loses its value when hoarded. Use the energy of money wisely to lift yourself and others up. Spend your wealth for good.