Learn the Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation on Your Trading Results…And Your Life:
To most people, mindfulness meditation and trading are far from an obvious pairing. Because of the way trading is often portrayed in the movies, people tend to think it’s about having high energy and taking huge risks. None of the movies ever follow a character that simply pauses for twenty to thirty minutes a day to take a journey within – to find calmness, balance, and tranquility between their body and mind. But that would make for a boring film, wouldn’t it? Generally speaking, people want to watch a main character who acts erratically, gives into their impulses, makes high stakes bets, and usually goes through an exceptional rise followed by an even more massive and debilitating fall. That makes for a much more captivating story line, doesn’t it?
The dominant reality of trading that these movies don’t outwardly cover, however, is that trading is mostly a mental discipline. Most traders are actually struggling, both emotionally and financially, because of their delusional expectations, destructive habits, and impulsive tendencies. Those with weak and undisciplined minds easily cling to every passing thought and desire, which leads them into making irrational decisions. But a consistent mindfulness meditation practice can actually provide us with a special set of mental skills in order to be much more effective traders. When we develop higher degrees of self-awareness, balance, acceptance, concentration, patience, and resilience, the process of trading ceases to be an afflictive experience. Overall, the consistency we seek in our trading operations won’t come from some external source. The consistency we seek is internal – it’s within our own minds.
The Recipe For Long-Term, Consistent Trading Success – Proper Mindset & Validated System:
The simple truth is that successful trading only requires two elements – proper mindset and a validated system. But it’s far from easy to get these things right and maintain them. Oftentimes, it takes traders years to even realize how much of an impact that their beliefs, thoughts patterns, and behaviors have on their results. They go into it thinking it’s all about market analysis, trying to predict the future, or following some guru’s alerts, and then come out the other side feeling more stressed and confused than ever. This is because proper mindset is the foundational element of success and everything else that so-called experts claim to be important is only secondary to that. It repeatedly gets brushed over and ignored by most stock trading educational programs out there, but working on our mindset consistently is what will produce the most positive results in our trading operations.
In the opinion of many of the most successful individuals in business and finance like Ray Dalio, Paul Tudor Jones, Steve Jobs, Marc Benioff, and many others, having a consistent meditation practice is by far the most important self-improvement habit. Their particular meditation methods vary, but one thing is for certain – they credit their individual meditation practices for substantial portions of their success. There are even entire companies, including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, that have developed meditation programs for the benefit of all their employees, and these types of programs are on the rise across corporations worldwide. So it’s safe to say that highly successful people of the past and present have been taking meditation seriously. It’s time for us retail traders to take matters into our own hands and implement meditation practices of our own. Otherwise, what hope do we really have of weathering the ups and downs of the market with balance, concentration, and resilience?
Why Are You Always Distracted? It’s Time to Reclaim Your Focus & Attention:
With the massive rise of social media platforms in our society like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s clear that we’re more distracted than ever. We’re constantly tempted to look down at our phones for new messages and notifications, or see if we’ve received any new “likes” or “thumbs up” on our posts and comments. But regularly giving into this type of short-term emotional gratification ends up forming strong negative habits that can become deeply ingrained in our brain. Why do you think the top executives of these companies don’t even let their kids use them? The platforms are specifically designed to pull us in and keep us connected by providing short-term hits of pleasure. But that comes at a high price, whether we realize it or not. We’re essentially sacrificing our meaningful long-term goals for fairly meaningless short-term thrills. When social media use is taken too far, it’s completely unhealthy and disempowering.
Bringing this type of short-term mindset into the market environment is a perfect recipe for disaster, yet it’s what so many traders do. They enter the market solely focused on the money they want to make from it, but that leaves them obsessing over short-term outcomes. They sabotage themselves with the wrong expectations and perspectives, and allow the emotional part of their brain to take charge. They jump from strategy-to-strategy, ignore their rules, and attach their self-esteem to the outcome of every single trade – ecstatic if they win and depressed if they lose. But trading randomly and erratically will only produce random and erratic results. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way if we make the choice to change, and meditation can drastically help in the transformation. In all honesty, how can we expect to focus in the vast and fast-paced environment of the market if we can’t even do something as simple as focusing on our breath for a few minutes while meditating?
Stop the internal struggle with a consistent meditation practice. A weak, undisciplined mind simply won’t benefit us in the market.
Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)
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