How To Stop the Tyranny And Embrace the Genius

Updated: May 21, 2021

Is it better to invest in real estate or the stock market? Should I stay in my good-paying job or quit to start my dream business?

Should I save for an emergency fund or pay my debts first? Where should I invest, UITFs or mutual funds?

Over the years, I’ve been asked these questions many times, along with a few other similar concerns.

While I try to give them straightforward and practical answers, I also do my best to explain to them that in most cases, they don’t really have to choose.


American business consultant and author, Jim Collins, wrote about the same mindset that exists in big companies, which he amply describes as the tyranny of the “OR” versus the genius of the “AND”.

Oftentimes, when faced with two equally good options, we force ourselves to choose one instead of considering how we can pursue both.

We rationalize this thought by putting up self-limiting beliefs, which make us fail to see that sometimes there is a way to have the “best of both worlds” if we wanted to.

Stock market OR real estate?
Looking for the best place to grow your money? Don’t choose, invest in both the stock market and real estate. You can buy an apartment and then invest the rental income in the stock market.

Good-paying job OR dream business?
What should you do? Just stay in your job but start your dream business. Delegate tasks, manage your time, and learn how to hire good people to run your business while you work. It is possible.

Save money OR pay debts?
Which should you prioritize? My answer is both — pay yourself first so you can save money, then minimize your expenses and create a budget for debt payments. Read more: Should You Save Money If You Have Debts?

UITFs OR mutual funds?
Which one performs better? None really if we’re speaking long-term. So instead of wasting time choosing, just divide your available money and invest one-half in UITFs and the other half in mutual funds.

Cost averaging OR timing the market?
What is the best strategy for the stock market? The answer depends on your goals and personality. But if you’re torn between cost-averaging and timing the market, then there’s the Strategic Averaging Method, which is a combination of both strategies.

Invest OR travel?
Save now & enjoy later, or save later & enjoy now — why not save money and enjoy life now? Create and follow a budget, plan your trips properly, find extra income, and build both an investment fund and a travel fund at the same time.

Remove the limitations that you impose yourself. Think within, and then beyond the box. Research more and analyze things further. Ask for help. Be creative and innovative. Be focused on your goals. Be patient.

It’s time for you to end the tyranny of the “OR” and embrace the genius of the “AND”. It is possible if you’re determined enough to find a way.

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Photo credit: jaredzimmerman


  1. I guess we’ve all got a good brainwashing. Like deciding whether to have a job or be an entrepreneur. I used to think that we must choose between one over the other because one leads to abundance and the other does not (tyranny of the ‘or’). We must come to recognise that separation inhibits us from achieving our true potential – you can pursue both (genius of the ‘and’).

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