Best Quotes From The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck By Mark Manson:
The old saying goes that no matter where you go, there you are. Well, the same is true for adversity and failure. No matter where you go, there’s a five-hundred-pound load of shit waiting for you. And that’s perfectly fine. The point isn’t to get away from the shit. The point is to find the shit you enjoy dealing with.
Happiness comes from solving problems. The keyword here is ‘solving.’ If you’re avoiding your problems or feel like you don’t have any problems, then you’re going to make yourself miserable. If you feel like you have problems that you can’t solve, you will likewise make yourself miserable. The secret sauce is in the solving of the problems, not in not having problems in the first place.
Who you are is defined by what you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who run triathlons and have chiseled abs and can benchpress a small house. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who fly to the top of it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainties of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.
Something about recent technology seems to allow our insecurities to run amok like never before. The more freedom we’re given to express ourselves, the more we want to be free of having to deal with anyone who may disagree with us or upset us. The more exposed we are to opposing viewpoints, the more we seem to get upset that those other viewpoints exist. The easier and more problem-free our lives become, the more we seem to feel entitled for them to get even better.
Values underlie everything we are and do. If what we value is unhelpful, if what we consider success/failure is poorly chosen, then everything based upon those values – the thoughts, the emotions, the day-to-day feelings – will all be out of whack. Everything we think and feel about a situation ultimately comes back to how valuable we perceive it to be.
Our brains are inefficient machines. We consistently make poor assumptions, misjudge probabilities, misremember facts, give in to cognitive biases, and make decisions based on our emotional whims…The fact is, people who base their self-worth on being right about everything prevent themselves from learning from their mistakes. They lack the ability to take on new perspectives and empathize with others. They close themselves off to new and important information.
In the long run, completing a marathon makes us happier than eating a chocolate cake. Raising a child makes us happier than beating a video game. Starting a small business with friends while struggling to make ends meet makes us happier than buying a new computer. These activities are stressful, arduous, and often unpleasant. They also require withstanding problem after problem. Yet they are some of the most meaningful moments and joyous things we’ll ever do. They involve pain, struggle, even anger and despair – yet once they’re accomplished, we look back and get all misty-eyed telling our grandkids about them.
Whether we like it or not, we are always taking an active role in what’s occurring to and within us. We are always interpreting the meaning of every moment and every occurrence. We are always choosing the values by which we live and the metrics by which we measure everything that happens to us. Often the same event can be good or bad, depending on the metric we choose to use.
Pleasure is a false god. Research shows that people who focus their energy on superficial pleasures end up more anxious, more emotionally unstable, and more depressed. Pleasure is the most superficial form of life satisfaction and therefore the easiest to obtain and the easiest to lose.
Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from ‘wrong’ to ‘right.’ Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. And when we learn something additional, we go from slightly less wrong to slightly less wrong than that, and then to even less wrong than that, and so on. We are always in the process of approaching truth and perfection without actually ever reaching truth or perfection.
Instead of striving for certainty, we should be in constant search of doubt: doubt about our own beliefs, doubt about our own feelings, doubt about what the future may hold for us unless we get out there and create it for ourselves. Instead of looking to be right all the time, we should be looking for how we’re wrong all the time. Because we are.
We all have values for ourselves. We protect these values. We try to live up to them and we justify them and maintain them. Even if we don’t mean to, that’s how our brain is wired. As noted before, we’re unfairly biased toward what we already know, what we believe to be certain. If I believe I’m a nice guy, I’ll avoid situations that could potentially contradict that belief. If I believe I’m an awesome cook, I’ll seek out opportunities to prove that to myself over and over again. The belief always takes precedence. Until we change how we view ourselves, what we believe we are and are not, we cannot overcome our avoidance and anxiety. We cannot change.
Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures, and the magnitude of your success is based on how many times you’ve failed at something. If someone is better than you at something, then it’s likely she has failed at it more than you have. If someone is worse than you, it’s likely because he hasn’t been through all the painful learning experiences you have.
Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. It never changes. Even when you’re happy. Even when you’re farting fairy dust. Even when you win the lottery and buy a small fleet of Jet Skis, you still won’t know what the hell you’re doing. Don’t ever forget that. And don’t ever be afraid of that.
If we follow the ‘do something’ principle, failure feels unimportant. When the standard of success becomes merely acting – when any result is regarded as progress and important, when inspiration is seen as a reward rather than a prerequisite – we propel ourselves ahead. We feel free to fail, and that failure moves us forward.
Trading Forces You to Embrace Failure – Losing is a Learning Opportunity:
The greatest aspect of trading is that the market provides a constant feedback loop. If you use this feedback mechanism to your advantage, you can eventually evolve into a consistently profitable trader. Whether you’re actively managing trades, or simply monitoring the market for potential opportunities, you’re receiving constant feedback. Not only are there constant flows of market data to analyze like volume, price fluctuations, and various other indicators, but there are also your own physical sensations, mental thoughts, and emotions to consider. All of this market and personal data can be used to continuously improve your process.
One of my favorite quotes from this book is about how growth is an endlessly iterative process (#10 above) – and this concept applies perfectly to growing as a trader. There is never a point when we reach perfection. It’s dangerous to believe that we will be right on any particular trade. The best we can do is get less wrong, over and over again. Slowly approaching truth and perfection, but never fully reaching it. The reality is that the market will expose all traders to their own beliefs in regard to uncertainty, risk, losing, and being wrong. If handled poorly, on both an emotional and financial level, then trading can be an extremely afflictive experience. If handled correctly, however, trading can be a rewarding experience. In the end, losing and being wrong are opportunities for growth.
“I never lose. I either win or learn”. – Nelson Mandela
Avoiding Problems is Not the Answer – Happiness Comes From Solving Them:
One of the main concepts covered by Mark Manson in this book is that we have to choose the problems we want. No matter how poor or how rich, how short or how tall, how popular or unpopular, and the list goes on and on – everybody in all of these groups has problems. Some problems might be labeled “better” than others, but we all have problems nonetheless. The point is that no matter what roads we choose to go down, there will always be problems. But that’s not something to be sad or scared about because it’s in the solving of these problems that brings us tremendous pride and joy. Happiness, and life in general, is about solving problems.
As traders, the main problems we face upon entering the market are our pre-conditioned attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives about money, success, being right, etc. In other words, a new trader’s mindset is rarely, if ever, in harmony with true market characteristics. As a result, most new traders struggle immensely until they ultimately get wiped out. A small minority, however, find that the secret to success lies in solving their problems related to developing the necessary skills and proper mindset. Far too many traders enter the market with an extreme focus on material success and their own ego. They have a need to be right, to win on every trade, and receive recognition for their accomplishments. But this supreme focus on results over process is a recipe for disaster.
If you have the wrong mindset, the market will quickly humble you. Overall, achieving trading mastery requires mental adaptation.
Learn More in the Trading Success Framework Course
Written by Matt Thomas (@MattThomasTP)
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