The Investment Scientist

My Gratitude Trip to China

Posted on: April 29, 2016


e61c4cba-818c-4330-98e4-f83600ebfa53.jpegRecently, I took a one-week trip to China, primarily to thank my English teacher. Since late last year, it had dawned on me that I had been so busy chasing my own success that I had forgotten to properly thank those people who made my success possible in the first place. So my new year’s resolution was to identify those people who had the most positive impact on my life and go thank them personally.

Teacher Huang is one such person. He started the first ever English immersion program in China, and he poured his heart into teaching us English. Without him, I wouldn’t have the language skills to accomplish what I have now

He lives in Guangzhou, China though, which takes nearly 24 hours of travel to get there. No matter, I made up my mind to do that. I wrote him a thank you letter, carried it with me, and I read it out loud in front of him and his family. We both were choked up in tears. This is a picture of me with my English teacher.

  1. I learned that Teacher Huang has kept me in his memory for all these years. He filled me in with many details of my middle school years that I had forgotten.
  2. Seeing his white hair, I felt like I had been an ungrateful student who took 30 years to come thank my teacher. But seeing how happy he was, I also felt like I’d made amends.
  3. He reconnected me with my middle school classmates, and through him, I reconnected with my own formative years.

I share this experience here because I think taking the time out of my life/work treadmill to make this gratitude trip was the best investment of my time, by far. The purpose of my business is to enable my clients to live a simple and flourishing life. Money surely is the enabler, but it takes mindful actions and effort like this as well to achieve that.

Schedule a Discovery review with me, or get my white paper for free: The Informed Investor: 5 Key Concepts for Financial Success.


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Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @mzhuang

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