JUST BECAUSE I LOVE IT... - I don't do what I do because I have to be doing it, I do it because I love it. I'm truly blessed to make a living trading markets, while also having this forum of wonderful people to share my thoughts each day. But just because I love what I do and enjoy writing each day, doesn't mean it will always go smoothly. That's not how it works in life. There are going to be bad days too along the way and you need to learn from these experiences as well. Interestingly, one of the things I've discovered over the years that has really helped to make me a better trader, has nothing to do with trading at all.
THE REAL LOSING TRADE - Early on in my career, when things weren't going well at work, I really let it get the best of me in my life outside of work. This meant damaging relationships with the ones I cared most about. I found that while I was physically present with my family, I was mentally and emotionally disconnected. I was so consumed by all of the bad going on in my work life, I let it infect and dominate my personal life as well. One evening, I came home from a bad day which happened to be my birthday. My wife had made amazing plans for us and was so excited to make me happy. She was doing all of this because she loved me so much. And yet, I couldn't stop thinking about work, despite seeing her heartbroken at the fact that I was just going through the motions.
DISENGAGEMENT - She never said a thing about it, though I could sense her sadness from the fact that I was so distant. The next day, I thought a lot about it and how stupid I was for denying the love of my life the attention she truly deserved. As I thought more and more, I also realized how quickly life runs by and how much of an amazing opportunity we all have to celebrate all of the good things around us each day that we do a good job taking for granted. And on that day, I made the decision to make sure that no matter what was going on in my work life, I would make it a top priority to do my very best to disengage from it when around my family and friends.
BLESSINGS - Now I know this isn't an easy thing to do and of course there are times when it is more difficult to do this. But there are also so many times we make a bigger deal out of things that really don't justify hurting those around us. As I continued to process all of this, it helped me to separate from the bad work days and to make a real effort to live in the present with my family. We are all so lucky to have people that love us and for many of you, children that melt at all of the attention you give them. What a shame if we don't take advantage of such times. And you know what? The more I found myself doing this, the better I felt and believe it or not, the better I traded.
JUST LIKE THE DEMO - When you're able to see the bigger picture, all of a sudden, trading isn't such an overwhelming endeavor. When you're able to see the bigger picture, all of a sudden, your trading decisions make more sense and don't have the same level of anxiety swirling around them. I suppose it starts to feel more like a demo account that you are serious about but also not worried about. And you all know how much easier it is to paper trade than to trade real money. People always laugh at how crazy it is that when real money is on the line, everything changes and no one can trade anymore. But it simply comes down to your outlook on life. The more you appreciate the things that really matter in life, the greater the chance that live account of yours starts trading with the ease of a demo.