I read the newsletter from 10% Happier this morning and gathered some tools I can use during some “iffy” entries.
My entries have improved on the initial trade BUT I find that my rollups are not great. Either I have FOMO or I’m just getting into a trade just to be getting into a trade… which is stupid.
This mornings reading was very helpful for me to realize that I control everything that I CAN CONTROL. I CAN CONTROL my thoughts and I CAN CONTROL when I take a trade.
Another aspect is that when I have a thought about anything is that I can watch that thought float away. Every thought is not a catalyst for doing. It’s just a thought and I control my “response”.
We as traders need to learn to “respond” not “react”… woo woo, namaste.
So here is an excerpt from the newsletter for you and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR THOUGHTS.
Have a prosperous trading session today!
1. Mindfulness is most needed when you don’t think it is
First is remembering mindfulness itself. I’ve been meditating for seventeen years, teaching for the last ten. And yet, at first, I really had no idea how depleted I was last week. I knew something felt off, as I dragged through the nightly ritual of putting my daughter to bed, but I didn’t consciously feel like that had anything to do with the news.
It wasn’t until I had a moment to myself that I did a quick internal body scan – just looking for tension, seeing what was up in my physical experience – that I uncovered the stress, the sadness, and the exhaustion. Thanks heavens I’ve practiced that particular mindfulness technique for so long that it’s like second nature (you can learn it on the app here) and I know intuitively how to interpret many of my body’s signals. And as soon as I looked, this was like a five-alarm fire.
Yet it was all beneath my conscious awareness. The trick with mindfulness is that you need it precisely when you don’t think you need it. If you were aware of what’s going on inside, you’d already be mindful. The whole point is, as Donald Rumsfeld put it, you don’t know what you don’t know.
2. Letting go of thoughts… in real life
Second is learning to let go of thoughts, which is something you practice ten times a minute during the average sitting meditation. Stressful thoughts are particularly “sticky.” That’s an evolutionary response; we’re wired to obsess over possible threats to our safety. As I’ve said before, the caveman who flinches at every loud noise gets eaten by fewer saber-tooth tigers than the one who ignores one noise too many.
Of course, in the modern world, there are loud sounds all over the place, none louder than those of the politicians shouting on CNN. And when those thought-trains get running inside your mind, they do not stop easily.
Thankfully once again, I’ve been “letting go of thoughts” for many thousands of hours now. Most have been idle meanderings while I’m sitting and meditating. But for the last few days, when I catch myself obsessing over the news, I try to catch it and nip it in the bud. I see the anxious chain of thoughts beginning, and I simply take a breath, come back to whatever is happening in my present-moment experience, and I don’t take the bait.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I think it’s our civic responsibility to be engaged in politics. And I know that some people use “spirituality” as a way to retreat from that very responsibility.
But obsession is not engagement. On the contrary, when we spend our energy fretting (or yelling), we’re reducing the amount of energy available to actually making a difference. I am committed to devoting some portion of my life to political activism – but that “portion” isn’t unlimited. When I spin my wheels in fury, I’m wasting precious resources that could be better used in other ways.